Sunday, April 13, 2014

FO: Lisette Portfolio Pants: Dangerously Suitable Trousers

This weekend I made a pair of trousers.
It has been two years since I tried this trick with the same pattern.  On that occasion, I thought I almost cracked it and that all I had to do was make the next size up and everything would be fine.
These are the Portfolio pants from Simplicity 2245, that sought-after out of print Lisette pattern we all know and love for its tunic / dress style.  I have had people write to me on spec asking to buy my copy and I have regretfully turned them down.
If you google the pants, you won't find quite so much adoration.
ScruffyBadger wrote about her experience here, which led her to call them the "Miss Ellie pants".
I was puzzled at the time, because my first pair seemed quite close-fitting and jean-like.
Ha!  This pair certainly isn't either of those things!
Look at all that drapery!
Where did that come from?
This is what the first pair looked like:
You would not believe this was the same pattern!
Two things are different: I made the next size up (10 instead of 8); and I used a thinner fabric.  My first pair was stretch cotton, while these are stretch wool.  Just one of those changes would have been enough.
They are certainly comfortable.
But after all, that's what slacks are meant to be.
OMG I made a pair of slacks!
Which is why I call these my "Dangerously Suitable Trousers":  they are absolutely perfect for a 50-year old woman to wear to the office.

Pattern:  Lisette for Simplicity 2245, in size 10 (dammit), the "Portfolio pants".
Fabric:  A lightweight wool with some stretch, from Mandors in Glasgow, from stash. It cost about £18 almost 2 years ago, I think.
Other:  An invisible zip, some woven interfacing, and thread: all from stash.

Machine-stitched blind hem - not bad!
It all went swimmingly.
The invisible zip is pretty near perfect, and I used the method from my Anemone skirt to secure the waistband oh-so-neatly.
I even used my Bernina blind-hemming foot (number 5) for the first time ever - go me!

They are just so middle-aged looking!
I set out to make a pair of "appropriate" trousers to wear to work, and boy-oh-boy did I get them!
Honestly?   They are perfectly fit for purpose. 
But they are just so bo-ring!
If I am not going to feel like Frumpy MacFrumperson, I am going to have to add some edge.
Maybe a high-low top?
An incredible funky haircut?
Massive shoes?
I may be almost 50, but I am not giving up yet!


Colleen said...

I don't know. I don't think they are middle aged looking at all. I mean, if you style them in your usual playful way, I think they look age appropriate but really really cool. I am biased, of course.

Now, on to the tunic. Did you know that it's been slightly (but I don't know how) modified and renamed and is available from Oliver and S's website? It's not called the Cappuccino Dress for some reason. It's a digital download pattern:

Colleen said...

SORRY, that is the wrong link! Here is the correct one for the Portfolio/Cappuccino tunic/dress:

Mela R. said...

They look great! I really really like them. I have this pattern and never thought to try the trousers. will have to keep them in mind.

Susan said...

Take them up a bit ! I think they're too long that's why they feel frumpy. Otherwise they look F.A.B. !

beate grigutsch said...

haha - be careful with your wishes ;-)
this is why i gave up on trousers - finding jeans uncomfortable and slacks unflattering. live since years on skirts, in a climate like yours. exception: knickerbocker or shorts for "sports".

love the blouse!!!!!!

beate grigutsch said...

p.s.: awards on your way:


Textile Art Forum said...

I think it's something about three cut that making you think 'frumpy'. Could you combine the neat fitting waist and hips of the 10 with the
narrower legs of the 8? Its the spare room on the thighs that makes them look 'suitable'. Great work as usual :-)

Textile Art Forum said...

the cut not three cut -typo

Scruffybadger said...

Oh no!! You've had the same reaction to them as me! However, yours look infinitely better than mine did, I assure you! I wonder whether making them shorter would work? Sort of turning them into tapered ankle nippers, is that a form of carrot leg? ( but without a saggy rear- not that you'd have a saggy rear my friend!).
And you could try a turn up ? ( which could be autocorrected as 'turnip' adding to the root veg theme!!)

starryfishathome said...

The fit is very good, maybe you could slim down the thighs a little. Surely everyone needs at least one work appropriate outfit? I'm sure you can style them to be more Roo. How about making a pair in a less neutral colour?

Cattyrox said...

I'm just in awe of the ability to make trousers. Trousers! I agree with people who suggested turning these one up and narrowing the legs of the next pair. But, seriously? I'd be delighted if I had made these!

Lynn Barnes said...

I don't think they look frumpy at all! (Keep in mind that I am a 55-year-old woman who lives in slacks and overblouses, lol.) It is necessary to size a canvas before one begins to paint a masterpiece. Well-made, well-fitting solid basics are a boring, boring, boring beginning to a fabulous personal style. Once you've covered your body for your personal level of modesty and for protection from the elements, you can do whatever you like to adorn yourself. Plain trews in plain colors, and a few plain blouses, can set you free to play with color and shape and pattern in your other wearables. Thus endeth the lesson.

The Coffee Lady said...

If people really want a copy of that pattern, I can slap mine on Ebay pronto. It's NOT for the hourglass figure. I looked like I was wearing a spud sack.

The new version looks much more flattering.