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?
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
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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”
- 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.
- 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 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.)
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. 🙂
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:
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:
- Removed roughly 1/4″ from the CF seam on each front leg piece.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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:
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?