In this post, we have traced the pattern and prepared a first toile for the V8499 Trousers that Marcy Tilton designed for Vogue Patterns. This first mock-up will allow us to test the silhouette in a basic calico so that we can make fit changes as needed.
This pattern is also being toiled to be used as part of our mini collection based around Mood Board No. 1.
About The Pattern
Pattern: Marcy Tilton Trousers
Pattern Code: V8499
Size Range: UK size 6 to 20
Supplier: Vogue Patterns
This trouser pattern has a more unusual shape than many traditional trouser patterns that are commercially available. Overall, the design has ample volume to create a curved and rounded silhouette through the legs.
Judging from the images on the front of this pattern, it may also make up very differently depending on fabric choice. For example, a stiffer and more structured fabric should create a more sculpted look, with the curving through the legs created by the two darts that point towards the knees. Additionally, the long vertical seams that run through the legs will also make the fabric more rigid, especially if edgestitching or topstitching is also used.
By contrast, a fluid fabric would allow the silhouette to collapse more to create soft drapey folds. In a case where you are using a new pattern that you wish to sew in multiple fabrics, it can be helpful to sew a toile in the most rigid fabric first. In many cases, this will give you the clearest idea of how the pattern works before you start making any changes. In this case, a toile has been sewn up in a rigid calico, which is less forgiving, but also makes fit issues more obvious.
In the images below you can see examples of how the printed pattern looks – a standard commercial tissue paper pattern.
Preparing The Pattern
For this toile, the pattern has been prepared in a Size 10. The pattern has been traced for the longer length Version C to give us more fabric to play with while fitting but ultimately the final garment is likely to be hemmed closer to the look of Version B.
Any pieces that needed to be doubled over ‘on the fold’ were traced on folded spot and cross paper so that they could be cut out to be a full symmetrical piece.
In the images below you can see how the pattern makes up in a Size 10. We have desaturated the colour of the calico in these photos so that you can focus on the silhouette and details.
Toile 1 Sewing Notes
In this first toile, the construction process was based on the instructions given with the pattern. Points to be aware of include:
- Seam finishing:
- As is the case on many commercial sewing patterns, full instructions are not necessarily included about how to finish off the raw edges of the fabric.
- For this toile, the fabric edges on the seams were left raw. In this case, it was likely that a second toile would need to be sewn after fit changes were made, so it was unnecessary to finish off the seams.
- It is worth noting in pencil on the instructions the steps where you may need to finish the raw edges in the future. For example, on the second toile many of the raw edges will likely be finished by overlocking.
- Topstitching is mentioned as a step, but you should consider whether you want to include this or not, whether you need topstitching or edgestitching for functional reasons, and whether you want to switch to a heavier topstitching thread for an aesthetic effect.
- If you do decide to use a heavier thread for topstitching, this may affect the order of construction. For example, if you only have one sewing machine then switching back and forth between regular and heavyweight threads (and potentially altering tension slightly) as you go might be good motivation for switching the order of construction around so that you can do more sewing on each thread type before you have to change.
- You can also think about the width of topstitching used for aesthetic reasons. In this pattern, the topstitching is at 1.3 cm (1/2 in) but you could also switch this to just a 6 mm width.
- In these instructions, the main fabric and interfacing for the front facing are cut separately and then fused together. In this sort of situation, it is almost always less hassle to just block fuse the fabric before you cut out the facing.
- You will need fusing on the facing and the top of the pockets, but they don’t necessarily have to be the same type or weight. Here a heavier weight non-woven fusible was used for the facing (Vilene 250) while a lighter weight (Vilene 200) was used to reinforce the fold line of the pockets.
- You could also switch the pocket fusing to simply a wide strip of fusible seam tape to prevent the top edge of the pocket from stretching.
Pattern / Fit Changes
Often when a silhouette plays with proportion, as is the case with these trousers, it is important to get the fit just right so that it relates properly to the body. Just because a garment is oversized, doesn’t necessarily mean you can get away with not fitting it. For these trousers, the volume will swamp the wearer unless the fit is tweaked to reduce the areas where volume is too much. Length adjustments will also be important – having the hem at the right cropped length will stop the silhouette looking too clunky. The length through the legs will also be important, you want the darts to actually be pointing at the knees correctly.
In this case, ample volume is included in the pattern relative to the size. Judging from the fact that other online reviews of this pattern have mentioned how much extra volume is in these trousers, you may want to cut yourself a size smaller. Or where you fall between sizes, to cut down a size.
It’s also important of course to consider how this relates to your own body. Especially for these trousers, it’s good to think about the ratio between your hip and waist measurements. As it is straight from the envelope, the pattern may be more suited to those who have smaller waists and more curvaceous hips and thighs. For those who are more straight up and down with less of a defined waist and with narrower hips, it is likely you will want to reduce the volume out of the hip area. This second situation is more the case for the fit model and mannequin that we are using to fit these toiles.
In this example, the fact that the toile has come out oversized means having lots of volume to play with when pinning and fitting the toile. In the next post, we’ll look at how this toile has been fitted and what pattern changes will be made ready for toile number 2.