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Summer days and wrap around trousers.

The last few days have been so soggy that I feel I have to admit that summer has sadly come to an end. I’m not really complaining I do love autumn and I had a really great summer. I celebrated a big birthday in August which now means I can officially use a certain age related hashtag on instagram!! My gift from my lovely husband was a week in Greece. This was a first on many levels. The first time our kids had been overseas. The first time we had been abroad in 11 years!! (since kids arrived!) And the first time I had been to Greece. A place I’ve always wanted to go and more so since watching The Durrells.

While it rains I thought I would reminisce and share one of my holiday makes.

As major sunshine hadn’t been on my agenda for so many years I was very ill prepared for my trip. As soon as I knew I was going to Greece I took to organizing a making plan with a view to cater for pretty much everything I would need to wear apart from swimwear. The reason I opted not to make swimwear was because I find it pretty difficult to find cup shapes that fit well and are flattering for a bigger bust.  Therefore I decided to focus my limited time on general summer clothing rather than trying to perfect a fit for swimwear. I knew I would get much more achieved in my small space of time.

I found Vogue 9191 which has a pair of wide leg wrap around trousers included among the styles in the pattern. My initial idea was to make these wrap around trousers in a floaty viscose fabric for general everyday wear. I still think they would work really well in viscose or other fabric with a heavy drapey handle. However I had recently started stocking a range of plain cotton double gauze which has a gently textured finish and feather like coolness which was just asking to be made into something for the tropical climate that I was about to experience.

I laid the pattern with the fabric and mulled for a long time, wondering if I needed to stick to my plan to choose a heavier drape. The image on the front of the pattern looks to me like these trousers have been made in a fabric that is to springy for the style.  I wasn’t sure if the double gauze might have the same appearance. Nevertheless I took the plunge in the end and went for classic white.

These wrap around trousers are a clever design. There is no zip they really are wrap around trousers. To wear them you hold the trousers at the front and fasten the waistband at the back with a button and buttonhole, much like putting an apron on.

You then bring the back into place and tie the waist ties at the front.

The wrap at the sides is deep enough to not really expose leg unless you are doing massive strides or high kicks.

I really love these wraparound trousers, on holiday they were perfect to put on over my bikini when I felt like being more covered. Cool lightweight cotton gauze was an ideal fabric for the heat.

I also made a couple of really simple boxy cotton tops. This was the first trial run for a simple pattern that I’m thinking of publishing as a freebie here on my blog. A few weeks ago one of my customers made a similar style in my sewing classes. The style looked so good and was so simple it inspired me to draft this. This version is the basic sleeveless prototype. Again a great shape to throw on over swimwear in this situation.

I made this in fun pineapple print craft weight cotton I faced the armholes and neckline in one with this version, I am pleased with how it worked out. I also have several other versions on the go to see if I can give this simple style some hacking mileage.

I’m happy with these makes they were perfect holiday attire. They have now been packed away in a box in the top of the wardrobe. I’m hoping they will be packed back in a suitcase next year!

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Julia Claridge

I was about 6 or 7 years old when I had my first go on a sewing machine, it was an old hand crank machine that my mum used with her patients, she was an occupational therapist. I still vividly remember watching with amazement as the tiny perfectly formed stitches were created as I turned the handle. I Grew up in the 70’s and 80’s when buying clothes was less affordable and dressmaking was an answer to updating your wardrobe more regularly. My own mother was a talented dressmaker who made most of my clothes and my sisters clothes as well as a many for herself. I soon got involved with making my clothes, I loved the whole experience of picking out fabrics, trims and a pattern to create a new outfit, then going home to make a new garment or outfit. When it came to leaving school I visited a careers advisor who asked what I wanted to do next. My answer was ..Sew! Read more...

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