Saturday, October 15, 2011

FO: Betsey Johnson goes to Bournville: 70's trousers

Well now... hands up who thought my Eva Dress 1940's trousers were wide?  You ain't seen nothing yet, baby!
Welcome to the 1970's:  platform soles, v-necked pullovers, the Bay City Rollers and all!


Pattern:   Butterick 3289, Young Designer Betsey Johnson of Alley Cat, Junior size 7.  I added a centimetre to the back side pieces and reduced all the seams to 1cm in the hope that they would fit.  Luckily I was having a numerate day!

Fabric:  2 metres of dark bitter Bournville chocolate chalk-striped cotton moleskin:  seriously heavy, warm to the touch and gorgeous!  From Croft Mill Fabrics, £5.50 a metre - sorry, it's sold out!

Button:  Vintage, from the button box at my local charity shop, 5p.  It is a chocolate button.

Zip:   At the side instead of the back, which is a concept that scares me.  Not exactly invisible, but it still goes up and down, and that was my priority! ; )

The Sewing:

This was a really fun day of sewing!  Once I had established that I had enough material (and we are talking about half a centimetre's gap between the edge of the pattern and the edge of the fabric on all four sides!) I pretty much threw myself into this project. 

I knew that the pattern was too small for my measurements, but figured that the sheer width of those legs must mean I could make it fit!  The first time I stitched them, I narrowed the pleats to give myself more space at the waist, but it wasn't necessary.  I had to unpick them and sew them again, using the original pattern markings.  I was really pleased to be able to do this, because the style depends on that contrast between the high fitted waist and the sheer width of those legs.  The fabric is stitched down for 7 1/2 inches (19cm) in four front pleats. Taking narrower seams was enough to make them fit, with a bit more length added onto the waistband.

So how wide are they, exactly?  Um... each leg is 29 inches wide:  that's 74cm for the metrically-inclined!  WOW!  This is the first time I have been able to slide an entire trouser leg over my ironing board!

I am calling this a Finished Object, but I haven't actually hemmed them yet.  I finally ordered a pair of simple black ankle boots:  good quality, hopefully weather-resistant, plain boots.  But when I went to try these on, they just screamed out to be worn with my ridiculously high tan wedges!  And I discovered that I can get thick hand-knitted socks on comfortably with these shoes... which makes them borderline appropriate for  winter wear.  If only I thought I could negotiate the cobblestones of my work environment in them, without twisting my ankle!  So I am waiting for boots to arrive before I make a hem-length decision.


They sang shangalang as they ran with the gang, singing doo-wop-sha-dooby-doo-aye!

Vintage Blouse and 70's copper pendant
Call me crazy if you like, but I absolutely love them!  They sing to me of another era and have so much attitude!  How can anyone take life too seriously in a pair of these trousers?

And before you ask... yes, I do intend to wear them to work.

Have you got a problem with that, sir?

The question is:  would it be totally ridiculous to make another pair in black?


superheidi said...

Might be as crazy as you, but I really really like those. You look really tall in them, but maybe you are?

Urban Rustic said...

Welcome back to the 70's!These are super trews and look so stylish and I nearly bought some of that fabric but didn't..durr.
I am just finishing off my latest 70's oddity and I don't know why I like these 70's patterns so much but I do!

mali said...

Those are fabulous! I remember that pattern from the 70's, it was in my sewing queue back then. I made another pair fairly similar to these, which I remember wearing to a youth club in Maerdy, dancing with a lovely boy to 10CC. As for the black pair - a girl can never have too many pairs of black trousers now, can she?

Debi said...

ooohhh! I love these! And great to see this material all sewn up (sorry I missed it at Croft Mill)...I seriously love moleskin!

christinelaennec said...

Those trousers were clearly designed for you (it must have been a kind of Dr. Who time warp thing). You look great in them! Perfect attitude, indeed.

Annie said...

Go for it, re. another pair. They are such fun :D

Scruffybadger said...

Oh. My.word. These are those "flares"? They look modern day designer to me. How wonderful. You almost have a skirt on each leg? I'm suffering a by proxy identity crisis with them. When can wide leg trousers fall into the culottes category? ( speaking as someone who guess what, sewed culottes today of the short variety). They truly are delicious and do make your legs appear very long- perhaps the wedges help with that?! I bet you swish swish in them as well as boo bop!

Minnado said...

I love them...they make your waist look so teeney tiny (I am sure it's small anyway) but the silhouette created is fantastic. Wedges are a definite yes. I think the fabric you have used means you have escaped an overly 70s rollers look.

Alessa said...

I could never pull those off as I have possibly the world's shortest legs (like honestly, my sister is my exact same height and her legs are 3 inches longer), but you look totally fabulous in them!

Lizzi said...

That button is just the business!

jessica said...

Well I adore them on you! I think they go perfectly with the cardigans and blouses you've been making yourself -- and the silhouette really works (that Betsey Johnson, she must know what she's doing).

I say make another pair in black! I personally live in skirts/dresses in winter but I know it's a tough sell for most people, plus I no longer live in snow country (though I still did that when I was in Boston ... but admittedly there was always that one month where I really didn't want to pull on tights + more tights + wool socks + a skirt, I just wanted to slouch around in pants=trousers).

Really, I think these will go over fabulously in a work setting. You just whip in there like, hello young things of COURSE this is what you all wish you could find in the stores! And nobody will bat an eye =).

StephC said...

I love them! They look fantastic.

I simply must make my red linen pants..

faeriecollege said...

Wow, Roo, WOW. They're a lot of look, but it's so good!

Sigrid said...

The silhouette these create really is quite fabulous and the high wedges are probably perfect with them. I would love to you walking down the street in these--they would give anyone some major attitude.

Roobeedoo said...

Thank you everyone!
It is hilarious that you think I look tall... at 5 foot three! :)

Joy said...

These are impressive! I love the quirky 70s!