Monday, 25 May 2009

Six trousers - calico testing

When I did the Tennant Coat, I found it really useful and helpful to do a Calico Test before cutting my precious Alcantara fabric. It gave me the chance to assess fit; refine the pattern; and test out some design ideas to see how they would work.
I am currently quickly making a pair of Six trousers, just to get my skills up to speed for making trousers for my Tennant suit.

I am going through two calico tests before cutting my Yellow Ticking I have gone through hell to get right. 
The first is a quick mock-up with no pockets or fly front, but with the waist band, as this is integral to the cut of the trousers. This is solely to check that the pattern is sizing up right. I would hate to follow the pattern to the letter and get to the end only to find they are a circus clown fit on me or far too tight and  can’t even get them on.
As I explain before in Tailoring Trousers, I am copying a pattern from Laughing Moon Mercantile, and have prioritized preparing the pieces needed for the first calico test.

It is then a simple case of cutting the pattern in calico and stitching up the necessary seams and add the waist band (see right).

I found the fit around the waist to be pretty much spot on, but I felt the legs pantalooned out somewhat, so I will make some allowance for this before the second test.

Once I have fed back these findings from the first test to the pattern, I set about making a more finished test garment, following the pattern instructions closely and including every step along the way.
I will not outline the full making of the second calico trousers, as I would rather save showing you the ins and outs of pattern when I am making the final version.
This will be much nicer to look at too!

Here are a few pictures of the trousers at stages of making showing the marked-out button fly (below top left); the button fly assembled (below top right); the front pockets (below bottom left); and the back pocket (below bottom right), which I have based closely on the ones on GAP trousers used for the Tennant Suit, to get some practice in.

The finished result (see below) again fitted well, but I think I took the legs in too much, so I need to take that into account with the final version. 

These tests took three days to complete, and have verified the pattern as well as given me some invaluable understanding of how to assemble the trousers before cutting the final fabric.
There have been several little tricks I have picked up, which if I was to disassemble a pair of trousers, I would not have picked up on.

All I need to do now is make the real things!

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