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UNIT 121: Making Trousers

 Assignment title: Pattern Construction
Purpose of this assignment: "This unit aims to enable learners to develop skills in pattern cutting, which has become hard to fill craft role. Learners will study the terminology and processes of pattern cutting and learn how to draft their basic block patterns."

Scenario: For the workshops, you should have researched trousers; their history, fit and features. You have explored a range of techniques that will enable you to fit trousers size and make adaptations for style. You are now asked to make a pair of trousers for your design.

Task 1: Produce a working drawing of your intended trouser. Provide a front and back and side if appropriate, view with annotations. Remember that although you can use the standard trouser block as a starting point, you should aiming to show how you will adapt or add to it to incorporate a range of design features, for example, harem pants or a higher waistband.

Provided in my notebook

Task 2:

Fill in a measurements sheet for a model of your choice. Adjust your pattern to fit your model. Provide notes and photos.

Provided in my notebook

Task 3:

Produce a tidy final paper pattern for your garment. This needs to be accurate and labelled with appropriate pattern terminology like grainlines, hiplines, notches, etc.

Task 4:

Test your pattern by constructing your garment in fabric (you can do a calico version or a fabric of your choice)

If you have time you may wish to revisit aspects of your pattern and refine them to make them better, and perhaps make additional toiles/mock - this assignment aims to produce an accurate pattern with a variety of design features so try to evaluate and develop your pattern as you work.

Task 5:

Evaluate your work as you go along, and write a final evaluation of the effectiveness and accuracy of your final pattern.

Task 1:
The project I decided for UNIT 121, it’s a 1930s-1950s inspired trousers.

Pleated/ pegged trousers, a classic cut for the man at the time. I took inspiration from some Marlene Dietrich photos and some vintage photos found around the internet.

I decide to use a heavy black wool coating fabric, for winter use and because I liked how heavy, the fabric was.
I opted for a taller waistband to accommodate larger elastic-band belts, welt pocket with black sateen for the back and rolled turn-ups for a more casual look. I am opting for a relaxed fit for front and legs.

Task 2:

I have used myself as a model, to be practical with time and because I wanted to make a classic trouser for myself!
I have used our school block as a base for my trousers and produced a mock out of it. The one showed above.

From that pattern here on top, I then created my second pattern with the pegged front.
I  have created a new pattern for the pockets (absents from previous mock) and create a second mock with just one leg, the results of the pegged was nice and defined on the calico version, by the fabric of my choice it's heavier so the result isn't sure.

Task 3:

After the second mock, I have reproduced the pattern on heavy brown paper. I have made/draw:

Notches -they are guides that show you, where pieces of fabric should match for a perfect seam, they can be made with a lovely tool called notcher, which I adore!

Grainline -you need to follow the grainline of the fabric & pattern to balance weight and elasticity of the fabric chosen.

Technical names of the elements of the pattern such as Fly, welt pocket, waistband etc.

Indications like: Fold, cut once or cut twice, front & back, left & right

Seam allowance -If you sew without following the seam allowance your garment will be different/incorrect fit from the original.

I have no photos of my final pattern, for lack of time, but I will upload them later on.


Task 4:
After the second mock version I bought the fabric of my choice for the project:
Mixed wool coating, black, content: 60%wool and 40% viscose. Suitable for hand wash only.
I lied it flat on the table and drawn my pattern, studying the best way to place all the pattern pieces and save fabric. I did everything using 1.50m x 1.50m of fabric.

I have cut all the pattern pieces of wool and sateen fabric (£9.99x meter the wool and £2.50 the scrap of sateen I've used).
I have then assembled the pockets and draw the welt pockets.

Using the industrial machine, I first sewn the darts on the back legs and then made the welt pockets for each side (more on the evaluation stage).

I left the back parts aside and cut the shape of the front pockets on the front legs and partially sewn them together. I did this to don't interact with the pleats of the legs.

I have made 3 pleats of two cm each, at the centre of the legs, the pleats are outwards or Neapolitan style. At this stage, they are just pinned into place. (more on the evaluation stage)

I have sewn the Fly and the zip, joining together the front on that area. (more on the evaluation stage)

I have sewed the front and back together, outside first and then the inner leg/crotch area.

I have measured the waistline created and cut a piece of fabric of 75cmx12cm plus seam allowance. I have to fold it in half, iron it and sewn along with the trouser, front side first. I then added an elastic band around the centre/back area sandwich between the waistband sides, I then closed the waistband and secure the elastic in the inside of the waistband.

I handsewn a metallic clasp as closure for the waistband.

I have cut five pieces of fabric, folded each and sewn them into belt loops. I placed them around the waist and sewn them at the top, sewing all around. I then sewed each belt loops in place at the bottom.

Task 5:


Final evaluation of the effectiveness and accuracy of your final pattern


As my teachers know I am not done with these trousers! Yes they are technically finished, all their essential features are done and I handle it to them, but I am not done with them! (May Caroline will have a laugh reading this! She persuades me to handle them on, even if I was not Satisfact with them!!!)

I need to say the first problem it's me, if I imagined something and doesn't turn up as I imagined, I am disappointed.

As this has always happened with the drawing, now I am applying it on sewing. I decided myself to complicated my project too: I could have made just a calico version, I could have made a simpler less tailored version, I could have made just a pair of leggings, but NO, I have always aim high, unconsciously underrating the difficulties!

So, I have decided to create a classic/modern pegged trousers with no one, not two, but 3 plaits; deeper than usual pockets, because I have declared war to "girly" pockets this year and welt pocket that I have never made before, just to start.

Then I have decided "I can never put high elastic belt on my trousers... why don't I do a waistband high enough for it?" and then as well " Hey in the stores I find mostly light classic trousers, why I don't make something wintery because I am in perennial cold in this country??" and so I have complicated my life!

But even if the mission was complicated for a novice like me, I fought like a slayer, even not knowing what I was doing, or if I was doing it right, some times! I dealt with a difficult, heavy fabric, industrial machine and drawing pattern precisely! (Geometry, math, method... all things that I lack! Guilt on the Elisa of past school's years!)

I dealt with the time running out and I think I managed pretty well, having it to deal with adulthood life/ work etc and with the tons of time, I have spent researching!

I am indeed happy about my project, I just wish I had more time to alter it to fit.

...and here it's the critical objective part:


This photo shows me some of the elements that I need to judge on my work. That V, clearly shaped and visible on the front, wasn't intended, the pleats were supposed to nicely draping down the legs and the legs were supposed to have a relaxed fit but not too large to look weird with turn ups. I didn't think that well enough!

They can be rolled on, like on my technical flat, but look too bulky and large to look harmonious, they are ok, but a bit like flooding-wearing for Venice.

The hips area it's balloony as I drew it, but I think I should smooth it out.

I should have overlocked the front pockets, a note for next time.

On the pocket, as well, I have sewed the cut of the wool area and sewed on the sateen part. The result was mediocre because I have placed the pieces too close to seam allowance and the piece itself, needed to be traced and made larger, the sateen it's a bit visible on one of the pockets.

Returning to the V problem on the crotch area, it's the results of multiple factors: The fly, made with two layers of wool and one of sateen, it's too bulky.

The crotch area it's too long for my body, in this photo I even have, already, altered it a bit. Last fitting problem it's caused by, I think, that damned third pleat I desperately wanted to add! I don't know why, but it starts outwards as they should, but then curves, towards the centre area, instead of dropping towards the knee.

Another problem, at the back, there is a little defect right at the bum, and I don't know why the welt pocket drops down even if I reinforced them. I have tried to pull them up, resulting in that sewing down the sides.

Notes on Pattern:

The pattern was easy to follow and quite accurate for my first time! The front legs pattern are just one cm longer than the back part, the crotch area needs to be shortened down and the hip needs to be slimmed on both sides and the outer part of the legs straighten up a bit instead of being so curved.

The back pattern it's good and the side darts are perfect, I am proud of them!

The front pockets don't match perfectly, I don't know why. I had to cut them on the go. They came alright anyway at the end, excluding that are not overlocked and the idea to add the wool fabric scrap!

I know I was probably severe, too objective and negative on the judgement of my work.

So, here are the PRO:

- I love the fabric, it's heavy, formal, tailored and perfect for the winter season

-I can finally use my elastic belts! I have made the one in the photos as well!

-The trousers are wearable! I shouldn't underestimate that! They are my first!

-They are good for my height! Petite girls problems.

-Super deep pockets! The dream of all women! On 90% of our trousers, pockets are absent or tiny-tiny. These are huge! and discreet, you can't see the shapes of things in your pocket.

-They are comfy, avoiding crotch area...for now.

-They fit my tiny waist with grace... I just need some little tucks in!






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