Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Rolling in Clover

Nearly the end of the day and the Clovers are done.
OK OK OK, so you were all right and I was wrong - after the toile (muslin) and fitting and cutting and clipping and trimming and re-sewing that was involved in the first pair, today's just sewed up fine, first time around, including the zip! 
In fact I had time to spare, so I made a few additions to the pattern.

If you're really interested, I cut a 12 on the fronts and a 10 for the backs and did a bit of taking in at the waist, which is normal for me and trousers (pants) that sit at the natural waist line. 

I intended to do a quick sew - couple of hours at most and then concentrate on the vintage jacket, but Frabjous made me feel guilty, so I at least made an attempt at proper sewing and zig-zag stitched the seam allowances. After trying the trousers(pants) on, the fineness of the fabric became clear and I desired a more substantial feel to them. So, also in keeping with proper sewing, I decided to line them and found some cheap stretchy lining fabric in the box. Clover 2 fabric came from My Fabrics - it is quite a fine wool with 3% lycra, an orange pin stripe and looked dark brown on the computer screen but in real life is more khaki. Now I have to make something else to wear with them!
Now, pay attention, I am going to try to explain a brilliant way of attaching lining to a waistband. I read this at Paco's tutorial about his half-circle skirt - it is not my idea but I believe this method is used in RTW. It is simple, easy to do and hides all the stitches. I usually hand stitch lining to the waistband, but today was about quick sewing.

Construct your Clovers as per the step-by-step instructions that Colette have written until you reach attaching the waistband facing.  Attach the waistband facing but do not turn under or finish the raw edge. Sew up the lining pieces, only the legs no waistbands needed.  Sew your lining to this edge, right sides together.  The positioning of this can be a bit tricky making sure that the lining is the correct way. Pin and turn the right way out just to make sure. When happy - sew. On the left is an image of what it should like like: left - trousers, then the interfaced waistband, the facing and the lining. All inside out. Do not trim seam allowances.

Keeping the garment inside out, pinch the seam allowances from the facing and lining with the seam allowance of the trouser (pants) and waistband. Match up the notches etc to avoid twisting the fabrics.
The waistband is now folded over on the outside like the finished garment, but it's a mess inside. That's fine - carry on. You are aiming to trap the interfacing between the seam allowances. Sew.

Now you can trim. Flip the lining right way out and stuff down the legs and voila, all the seams are hidden with invisible stitching. 

The downside is that you might have to figure out another method than Colette recommend for attaching the waistband facing to the zip. I just folded everything to the inside out of the way and slip stitched the facing and lining to the zip tape. See, a real bit of sewing!

The changes I made to Clover 2 are -

  1. Cut the waistband on the cross grain to get a horizontal stripe across the top.
  2. Lined, see above.
  3. Added turn-ups (cuffs).
  4. Did not fret or agonise over a few wrinkles - these are looser that Clover 1 but feel just as secure because of the lining.

My method for making and attaching the turn-ups (cuffs) is not scientific in the least. Here's what I did. Made two bands, on the cross-grain, to match the waistband, folded them over wrong sides together, lining up the the edges with the bottom of the legs and straight sewed them to the leg hem line. Trimmed and zig-zagged. Turned them to the outside (right way out) of the legs and steam pressed them into position. Needle and thread time again - slip stitched the turn-ups(cuffs) to the legs so that they don't fall down when walking. Done.

Now follows some unintentional special effects photography of the finished article. 

Invisible zippers that are gradually becoming invisible!
Turn-up (cuff)
Side view
Front view

Thanks for reading. Ruth


  1. Hahaha...well, the teacher in me says to get a good, invisible zipper foot made for your machine and then practice, practice, practice! However, if we should ever meet up I would be proud to treat you to a pint...wouldn't that be more fun?

  2. Hi Ruth. I love your new Clovers! Thanks for all of the photos. My third pair of Clovers will be with stretch wool and a lining, so I might have to try your technique! I've never made anything with a lining before, so I'm a bit nervous about it, but we'll see how it goes.