I have just finished my second pair of Sasha Trousers from Closet Case Patterns, using one of our Spring Summer 2020 suitings – a tan stretch cotton blend. I’m very pleased with how they’ve turned out – lots of challenges in the fitting, construction and finishing so I have plenty to say!
There’s a lovely smooth face to the fabric which gives a polished look to the garment and the mid tan colour is complementary to my favourites – cool blues, berry, denim, and white.
With 97% cotton and 3% elastane, I had conservatively estimated 10% crosswise stretch. This is less stretchy than the navy stretch cotton twill I had used for the first pair, and admittedly less stretchy than the pattern suggested (!) so I was expecting to have to reduce the side seam allowances.
I made the pocket bags and bias tape made from a striped cotton shirting we picked up last summer as deadstock from a shirtmaking factory. I made a Saraste shirt dress from the Breaking the Pattern book by Named Clothing with this and had some left over in my stash. I knew it would be strong enough for pockets and I liked the tan, navy and white combination.
This was a stashbuster, notion-wise - always satisfying! A brown 6” zip came from my grandmother’s sewing box, a button came from my button box (a spare from something by Ted Baker), I'd previously bought a 3 pack of concealed closures, and the twill tape for stabilising the waistband came from my wee bag of tape. Threads came from my own stash or Claire’s – her husband dropped some through my living room window when he was out for his once-a-day exercise!
I made several metres of 2” wide bias tape, using the clever ‘continuous bias binding’ technique – there's a great tutorial by Colette Patterns here but I learnt this technique quite a few years ago when making piping for cushions. I love the efficiency of it and I'm surprised every time by how much it makes. I have a Prym 25mm bias tape gadget – it was about £14 which seemed pretty pricey to me when I bought it but it works perfectly every time and I can’t say the same for some of the cheaper ones I’ve bought (Hemline maybe?) so I think it was worth the money.
This was my second time making the Sasha trousers and I couldn’t fault the pattern itself, the very comprehensive instructions and the sew-along blog posts. The trousers are described as “featuring classic tailored details, a flattering mid-rise with a contour waistband, slim, tapered leg and a comfortable stretch fit”.
Having only made pyjama bottoms and culottes before, this was a big step up in trouser-making but knowing how much I would wear them was motivation enough for me to go for it. I think I’ve had at least one pair of ready-to-wear trousers like this in my wardrobe at all times in the last 15 years.
I made a low seat adjustment to the back crotch curve (Closet Case pants fitting guide) and added 2”/5cm in length to the legs. The instructions advise you to baste the legs and a waistband piece together before construction-proper to check the fit. I’m afraid I was a bit lazy at this step in that I only basted the outside leg seams from the waist to the knee notch. Based on this, I reduced the seam allowance from 5/8” top 3/8” and the fit was snug but okay. In retrospect, I really should have also basted the inner leg seams as the final construction ended up being much tighter fitting than I expected. Just when I think I have learned which corners to cut and which not to, something like this happens!!
This was, as expected, a very involved make. There are darts, welt pockets, slash pockets, a zip fly, bias binding, understitching, stitching in the ditch, French seams, top stitching … you get the picture! There are a few imperfections here and there, but overall I’m very pleased. Pfinnoula the Pfaff (my new Pfaff Quilt Ambition 2.0) was wonderful and dealt very well with some extremely bulky bits. She struggled a bit with the bar tack at the bottom of the fly top stitching but made up for it later with a very nice button hole on the waist.
Hand basting was recommended in the instructions for a few steps and I found this very worthwhile every time. I also hand basted the waistband facing down before stitching in the ditch to secure it. I have to admit that I am a total convert to hand basting – who even am I anymore???