In Which The Blogger Wears Big Pants (Trend Patterns TPC6 Review)

Hey there!

Today I am sharing a rather large pair of pants with you all. 😉 The pattern is TPC6 by Trend Patterns, the Pleated Front Trouser. I went out on a bit of a limb here: these pants are quite unlike anything I’ve ever worn before, AND the pattern itself was pricey. I wasn’t sure I’d like these, but for some reason I really wanted to try them.

I searched the web and Instagram for other FO’s of this pattern, but came up empty. So while other folks have made different Trend Patterns designs and have reviewed them, I will be going a little more in-depth here since info on finished versions of this pattern was so hard for me to find.

Let’s start with some photos, shall we?

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Big pants!

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With pockets!

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Closer look at side pockets

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Jumping!

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Muggin’

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Pensive side view

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Back view

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Another side view!

I made these out of a dove gray cotton twill from Fabric Mart, plus some bemberg rayon for the pocket lining pieces. I don’t know exactly how many yards I used for these, but it was definitely less than the 2.3 meters listed on the pattern. I made the smallest size, the 6. Here’s my review! (This review is my opinion based on my experience, and I bought this pattern with my own money because I wanted to make it.)

Pattern Review – Trend Patterns TPC6

Overall, I am very pleased with the pattern itself and the packaging/presentation. This was a great sewing experience! The pants themselves are a big style risk for me, but I do like how they turned out; I am even happier with them now that I’ve seen how they look in photos.

Detailed Thoughts: Positives

  1. Pattern: More substantial than regular tissue, but still lighter than printer paper. I am very much a fan of this pattern paper–it’s my Goldilocks weight!
  2. Instructions: Presented in a nice, color-printed booklet. There are photos instead of illustrations, which I honestly don’t feel strongly about one way or another. The instructions are definitely geared toward a more experienced sewer, and there isn’t a lot of extra hand-holdy text and conversational gunk that I am lately finding more and more annoying! (Old age, perhaps? 😉 ) Never fear, they provide plenty of detail to get you through the project.
  3. Draft: This was my first Trend Patterns rodeo, but I was very impressed. Notches matched, lines and pieces were trued well and, despite my reservations about the shape of these trousers, I felt that the proportions were handled very astutely from a patternmaking perspective. I also felt that the darts for my size were appropriately placed and of a suitable length. Given what I know about the designer of Trend Patterns, this is the kind of result I was hoping for–she is a professional and it shows. (Obviously I am not an expert, but I think my understanding of patternmaking and drafting is good enough to state my opinion of the draft here.)
  4. Roomy Pockets: That’s right, the pocket bags on this pattern are actually generously sized! I always assume patterns for women’s interior pockets will be so small as to be utterly useless, but nah, Trend Patterns knows what’s up.
  5. Tall Length: 2 hem lengths are provided so that taller sewers can cut a longer pant from the start. While I am taller than average at 5’9″ish, my legs are not longer than average, so I went with the “regular” hem. (These are meant to be cropped.)
  6. Style: This is subjective, of course. But this pattern knows it’s a big pair of trousers, and it’s proud. I love that! Recommended fabrics are medium weight wovens with structure and crispness, and you are specifically instructed not to press those front pleats flat. Volume is the entire point! Culottes and wide-leg trousers have been trendy for a while, but I haven’t seen anyone put this particular spin on it yet. This applies to their entire line, pretty much–very fashion-forward and edgy, and not your basic wardrobe staples!

Detailed Thoughts: “Meh”

  1. The waistband shape: it’s just a rectangle. On the one hand, I get that: it’s in keeping with the boxy shape of the pants and allows for the band to be pressed in half instead of using a separate facing, which keeps things easier skill-wise. (The pattern is rated “Easy” by TP.) But a contoured waistband would absolutely fit me better–this one stands away from my waist a bit.
  2. The envelope: I wish the pattern envelope could be closed after opening–you have to cut or tear it open! And even if you tear it open, the adhesive pulls off a layer of the bubble wrap and doesn’t re-stick itself closed. 😦

Detailed Thoughts: Negatives

  1. Labels: I only have one actual negative thing to say about this pattern. The waistband piece is mislabeled. The CF–that’s Center Front–of the band needs to be in the center of the piece, but the center line is labelled “Center Back,” which is where the zip goes (and therefore the waistband needs to be open at that seam). Obviously a more experienced and/or confident sewer would notice that and be like, “WTF-ever, I know that’s a mis-print.” But that incorrect label could cause confusion or frustration for someone else, so I’m mentioning it. I’m not pointing this out to slag off the pattern company, just to provide a truthful account of my experience and what I thought. (I have emailed them to tell them about it: I’m not going to complain here while not bringing it to their attention, that’s shitty.)

UPDATE: I have heard back from Lucy, THE DESIGNER HERSELF! at Trend Patterns. She had not been aware of the labeling error previously, and has corrected the PDF version of the pattern (here). (And no, that’s not an affiliate link or anything.) The paper version will be a more complicated issue because they’re already printed, but she is working that out as well. I felt like a real jerk being the first one to point this out–the pattern is super-professional and this is comparatively such a small thing–but she was so gracious and lovely, and wasted no time working out how to handle this. Between my experience with her product and our interaction about this particular piece, I am solidly a #fangurl4life now. (Whether I am cool enough to wear all of her designs is…um…debatable, LOL.)

IMG_20170920_194034

Label “oops” but if that’s the worst thing I can say about this pattern, it’s pretty frickin’ sweet.

Construction Notes

You all know me: I usually go my own way, and I mostly did here. I did follow the pattern’s recommendation to serge my edges separately before sewing so that they could be pressed open; I figured that would be less bulky in this fabric anyway. (This also proved to be somewhat time-consuming.)

I didn’t have the right zip length on hand (9″) and neither did the JoAnn’s I visited (at least not in the color I needed), so I had to use a 7″. I definitely could have used the extra length: it’s a wiggly struggle getting into these! 😦 Not a fault of the pattern, that’s just what I had. I was too impatient to order one, LOL.

Finally, I opted to blind hem my trousers by hand for a less casual look. I never regret that choice, even if I’m not a huge fan of hand sewing. 🙂

Fitting Notes

Obviously, my biggest concern with these pants was…well…how BIG they are. They’re a lot of pants, and my priority was making sure the cropped hem hit me at a flattering length. Whether a flattering-in-practice length even exists for these trousers is a matter of opinion, I suppose. 😉 I tried the original length, but wasn’t sold:

13588

I ended up taking a 3.5″ hem in the end, which is about 1.5″ more than the original allowance.

Apart from changing the hem length, the only other change I had to make was to the waist. My waist is smaller than the allowed-for measurement in the pattern, and I felt that the waist needed to be as close to my actual measurement as I could get (for non-stretch pants, anyway) in order for them to look even remotely flattering.

Here’s what I did:

  1. Removed roughly 1/4″ from the CF seam on each front leg piece.
  2. Removed roughly 3/8″ from the CB seam of each back leg piece, starting at the waist and tapering to nothing at the zipper stop notch.
  3. Removed roughly 1/4″ from the side seam of each back leg piece, starting at the waist and tapering to nothing at the top pocket opening notch.
  4. Sewed the unaltered waistband onto my pants, matching CF notches and letting the excess overflow at the CB; I trimmed that excess off prior to installing the zipper.

My back waist is narrower than my front, which is why I made most of my changes to the back pieces. (Another benefit of taking a patternmaking class and drafting your own moulage: you learn that stuff about your body!) I ended up with a waistband about 2″ bigger than my actual measurement, which is a little bigger than I wanted but I was afraid to go too far the other way!

Final Thoughts

Honestly, until I saw photos, I wasn’t sure, but now I am sold! I like the gamine/menswear-ish vibe, especially with brogues. I do feel kinda cool in them, I have to say. 😀 Tom thinks they look good but also laughs at the size of them, which I guess makes them Man Repellers as well–fine by me! 😉

Proportions are key with these trousers: my tops need to either be cropped or snug and tucked in for these to work for me. Good thing bodysuits were on my shortlist for Fall/Winter, huh? Before I go, here are some more outtakes and silly things:

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Bemberg rayon, yay!

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Puppy crossing!

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Flail jump!

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Sun’s out, t*ts out?

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Getting ready to jump

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60’s sitcom jump?

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Clown pants.

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Ministry of Silly Walks

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Puffy pants + dog!

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Gahhhhhh so handsome!

So that’s my big (LOLOLOL) reveal and review for today! I am really looking forward to trying the Utility Trouser pattern soon, as well as seeing what TP releases next. In the meantime though, I need to get cracking on some tops and jeans. See you soon!

What do you all think of these trousers?? Do I look ridiculous? (You can say it, it’s cool.) What is the most out-of-your-comfort-zone garment you’ve ever made or worn? Did it make you reconsider your personal style? Have any of you sewn a Trend Patterns design before? What did you think?  

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Showtime = Sew Time!

Hello again!

I promised/warned you I’d be right back! Our band recently had another show; I was not planning on having enough time to make a new outfit (or even a single garment), but I was able to put something together after all. One piece is a pattern I’ve made before, and the other is just simple.

SSJ (1 of 25)

Trying to look cool

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Failing

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Mopey side view

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The boring back

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Hip tie action!

Skirt Notes

The skirt is the Moss Mini by Grainline, sewn in the same black stretch denim as my jeans. Once again, I used leftover shirting from my Blair for the pocket bags, so those are a fun (if secret!) addition to an otherwise basic skirt. The only thing I had to buy for this project was the zipper, and that’s just because I didn’t want to waste a jeans zipper on a skirt.

Despite having stated that I would make changes to the pattern after my first rendition, I definitely didn’t do that! O_o I ended up remembering after I had the skirt put together except for the waistband–d’oh! I had to remove 1-2″ from the center back and another 1/2″ at each side seam to get the fit I wanted. I really ought to get the pattern back out and make those permanent! The one thing I did manage to remember from the first Moss was how much I regretted not using a jeans button, so I used one here.

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Slash pocket, with basically-invisible topstitching

SSJ (6 of 25)

Jeans button FTW!

To keep it simple and highly mixable, I used black topstitching throughout. There isn’t really any topstitching in the instructions, which makes sense with Grainline’s minimalist aesthetic, but I prefer this type of skirt with a little extra “oomph.” My choice of black thread, however, reduces the “oomph” factor significantly! 😉

Top Notes

The top is the Selja Knot Tee from Named. I made it in an ITY knit I bought from Fabric Mart ages ago–it’s a good type of fabric for this top, if you’re wondering! It was a devil to hem though, LOL. I used my twin needle for all the hems, since they need to stretch. The hem flares a little when the top is untied, but that’s not how I’ll wear it so #no1curr.

I have to be honest, I am disappointed with this top. For one thing, I didn’t do a good job matching my stripes on the front seam. I was thisclose to turning that piece and putting it on a different grainline for visual effect with the stripes, but was worried about distortion and weird pulling so I didn’t. I really should have!! I will probably go back and sew the seam closed another 1/8″ to match the stripe a little better. I also don’t love that I chose a fabric with an obvious wrong side–those ties have to be carefully choreographed to hide it!

SSJ (8 of 25)

Untied…not such a great look on me. (And UGHHHHH that pathetic stripe-matching. O_o)

SSJ (9 of 25)

Flappy flaps

The real issue though is the fit–it’s certainly not very good. I am pretty sure I didn’t add my 1″ at the bust (I traced this one well over a year ago!!), which may have helped somewhat had I done it, but the area that really bothers me is the shoulder and armscye area. To my eye, it looks like I need more width for my lats and shoulders. There is a good deal of pulling there, and it’s not the most comfortable tee where mobility is concerned. I know I am pushing the limits of Named’s EUR32 size in my shoulders/lats but I’ve not had this kind of glaring issue on other tops or bodices previously. It’s also quite baggy from the armpits on down, which makes the whole top look particularly ill-fitting. I wonder if it’s because it’s one of the earlier patterns and they’ve improved or changed things since then, or if I’m just a dolt? I can’t say for sure, but I really do wish this fit better. 😦

The neckband is also not my best in terms of how it sits. I mistakenly cut it out going the wrong way against the greatest direction of stretch! So while I did stretch it to fit the neckline, it really should have been cut with the stripes going the other direction to help it stretch and flatten out. Additionally, I’m not sure how much of the issue(s) with how it sits would be helped if the fit was better in the shoulders and armscyes–I think it would make a difference. Oh well!

SSJ (13 of 25)

Neckband derps

Conclusions

So there you go, one rock ‘n roll outfit on short notice! Definitely not as exciting as my electric skirt, but I really love being able to come up with something in time for a show. It’s a big confidence booster for me when I get up onstage! Sorry that I don’t have any action shots for you this time around: Tom’s band was on the bill with us that night, so he didn’t bring his camera.

In case you wondered, I do wear my show outfits in real life too, not just for shows. The skirt has been worn TONS since I finished it, but I’ve only worn the top one other time. That’s more to do with the weather (which is now chilly, boo) and my hatred of that front stripe snafu than anything–once I fix that stripe, it will get more wear.

That’s all for me right now, but I have a couple of projects planned that I will–hopefully!–be back to share soon. It’s definitely feeling like Fall here in Ohio, which is influencing my sewing plans big time.

Do you wear your “meh” sewing projects, or do you banish them from your sight immediately? What project(s) are you working on right now? 

 

 

 

 

OMG, Finally! (Jeans!!!!!!!!!)

Hey everyone!

I meant to share another post entirely, but we took photos for everything at the same time and I am so excited about this project that it jumped the blog queue. (The other post is coming soon, promise!)

What’s got me so damn excited? JEANSSSSSS!!!!

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JEANSSSSSSSSSSS

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Side view: no twisting!

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Admiring myself

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Showing off the crotch?

SSJ (1 of 1)

Overexposed to try to show the black fly topstitching…not super successful!

Closer Seam

Close-up of the flat-felling on the inseam

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Closer look at the side; sorry for the awkward hand intrusion!

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Exciting pocket/butt shot, sorry y’all. O_o 

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Trying to hike them up!

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Matching shirt + pockets!

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Hem

I have been planning this project for AGES now, but could somehow never make jeans for myself a priority item. My first sincere attempt was undone by fabric that was too stretchy (which is apparently a thing? Who knew! 😉 ) but I came back to these in August, determined to make them happen. Apart from a few little things, I am THRILLED with these!

I wanted to keep them versatile, so I stuck with black topstitching and gray bartacks and nickel hardware. I got stuck with a tacky bright gold zipper though, LOL! Unfortunately, the topstitching gets lost in the denim, but that’s okay. And my back pockets look more like cousins than twins (I don’t know where I first read that phrase, but it perfectly sums up my experience with sewing exterior pockets). The denim I used is from Fashion Fabrics Club, and I’m pretty sure I got it for like $4 a yard. It is stretchy but firm and substantial, and really perfect for skinny jeans. Plus the “smoke black” color is so 90’s!

Pattern Notes

The pattern I used is the one I cloned from an old pair of Aeropostale jeans. While the original cloned pattern was very low-rise–requiring a 2.5″ zipper!–I altered it to be high-rise. I have come around to that look and feel in jeans…mostly because I am super into cropped tops right now! 😉 I was naughty and went to Madewell and J. Crew last year to try on–but not buy–their jeans, since I was curious about the higher rise by then. I took some measurements from a few pairs of 9″ skinnies, which I liked best, for science. I compared those measurements to my original pattern, and made my alterations from there.

I know I could have just started with a high-rise pattern, like View B of the Ginger Jeans pattern, which I bought right when it was released. But in my opinion, the proportions of that particular pattern are “off”: they’re just too tall overall IMO, plus the zipper is weirdly long and the yoke always looks too tall. (And that’s to say nothing of some other bug-bears I have with that pattern draft-wise, but this isn’t the time or place to get into that!) In order to get the proportions right, you have to distribute any extra rise height correctly in the front AND back. What I learned from the RTW jeans was how best to do that and achieve the look I was after. I think my pair look proportional with my body; they don’t look “high-rise,” they just look like jeans.

I mean, look at them:

That’s a Madewell pair of 9″ rise skinnies on the left (original photo is property of Madewell). The proportions are pleasing to the eye and not exaggerated in height (i.e., no mile-long zipper). Success!

Now as I said, I would change a few things about these jeans. For instance:

  1. The waist is too big, despite my taking out almost 3″ already. This included unpicking the top of my flat-felled back crotch seam to take a big-ass wedge out there, plus another 1/2″ at each side seam. Boo.
  2. The front pocket openings need to be larger/deeper, both for visual and practical purposes.
  3. I could stand to take about 1/4″ off the length of the front crotch. I am not terribly worried about the lines you can see above–those are caused by my stomach-slash-pubis area being too flat versus my pointy comparatively prominent hip bones and front thighs. I might fix it, but I might not. Whatever.
  4. Maybe narrow the lower legs a bit for a closer fit, a la J. Crew’s “toothpick” cut.

Construction Notes

Putting these together was pretty straightforward, since I’ve made jeans before. I followed my own notes on the fly front, and flat-felled the inseam, back crotch, and yoke seams. I forgot to put my belt loops on before sewing the waistband to the jeans and its facing, so those could be cleaner next time. Once again, I used Angela Kane’s buttonhole method; seriously, I don’t think I’d ever do that any other way on jeans! I did all my sewing with a 90/14 Jeans needle; over any big bumps, I folded up some scraps of denim and put them under the back of my presser foot and that was a big help. Finally, I used true Topstitching thread for all of the topstitching EXCEPT for the gray stuff. My machine will work with that heavy-ass thread, provided I tweak my settings properly and don’t try any bartacks!

Conclusions

So here we are, one pair of self-made jeans down with many more to go! 😉 I am so excited that these turned out to be wearable, and am feeling good about making lots more pairs. Goodness knows I’ve got the denim to do that, LOL. Before I go, here is a hilarious .gif Tom made of the two shots we got of me trying to hike these pants back up where they belong:

melikeybouncey

Maximum Effort

You’re welcome. 😀

I will be back VERY shortly with another post featuring the outfit I made to wear to our most recent band gig. (Spoiler alert: one of the pieces was in some of these photos!) See you soon!

Talk to me: would you ever bother making jeans? What’s one thing you’ve always meant to sew for yourself but can’t seem to prioritize?