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Ticking Off Boxes With Robinson Trousers

Hi readers and enthusiastic sewers alike,

How is your autumn sew going? I just started with mine, and this sew is one of them. So a little bit of background on my sewing goal for this year, which is making basic pieces. Since becoming a full stay at home mum 2 years ago, I have had no time to browse (or even do any window shopping) for a new wardrobe. So this year I am trying to refresh and replace my tattered wardrobe, no joke.

I currently have 4 denims, 3 of them have holes in many places and in such a condition that even mending them won’t help. I’m not exaggerating, just stating a fact. So sewing trousers to add to my wardrobe is a no brainer. 

Fabric

My choice fell to the Lady McElroy Cavalry Twill Suiting Fabric in navy blue. I know that everyone has their own opinion on what colour is best for basic pieces in their wardrobe but this colour fits in my wardrobe very well. I have a lot of tops that will look good mixed and matched with this twill navy blue, plus my most worn outerwear is also in navy blue.

I have a little experience with picking bottom weight fabric for trousers or even sewing woven fabric, so I paid attention to the specification listed under the fabric and what the pattern required. Since twill is one of the most common trousers fabrics and it’s 100% woven, I felt safe ordering this.

Did you know that twill fabric has wales, the diagonal ridges? I didn’t. So I made a mental note to not screw up the pattern placement and the grainline to avoid weird mismatch diagonal lines throughout the trousers.

As someone with the life motto ‘better safe than sorry’, I prewashed the fabric after it arrived to avoid later date shrinkage. I’ve read somewhere that it’s advisable to wash the fabric just like you’d wash your wardrobe normally.

Pattern

I chose the Robinson Trousers from Ensemble Pattern. This one has so many hem options that it took more time to choose which one I’d pick than the time it took me to actually sew it together. Not only that, it comes with 2 different pattern for woven fabric (option A) and for stretch fabric (option B).

After spending time pondering and eliminating hem options, I made a muslin from former tablecloth fabric gifted to me by my mother in-law (thank you! I put it to good use) and cut straight size 8 according to my hip measurement. I didn’t cut it to the hem, just to the knee point or the lengthen and shorten line to save fabric. I also cut the waistband pieces.

My length is 153 cm (5’) so I want to check if the rise is too high or acceptable, the fit around my thighs and hip and most important the crotch curve. Surprisingly, everything went well except the ease for size 8. I like it to be more fitted so I decided to size down.

Bravely, I cut size 6 on the twill fabric. Of course after checking the finished measurement table for size 6’s hip measurement and paid attention to the grainline. I treated this twill just like a directional fabric. Since Robinson trousers have an elasticated waist, what’s important is the hip measurement to make sure I can pull it up through my hip.

Robinson has an optional faux fly construction, which was what I made at first. But my fly topstitching is invisible so in the end I scrapped the faux fly and topstitched it close. I didn’t change the inseam length. I tried to determine where the length is supposed to hit from the other Robinson trousers in the web but it differs greatly, some are more cropped than others.

At this point I pondered once again and questioned which hem I should pick. Multiple options sometimes make it more difficult to choose. I went with my gut; elasticated hem it is. With my height and size 6 elasticated hem, it hit just above my ankle. A happy coincidence, because mind you, some hem options have a longer inside seam.

As I tend to sew without collecting the correct notions needed beforehand, I was forced to take a detour before I was able to attach the waistband. I had to make a bias band first to cover the inside waistband edge so that it matched with the fabric I used for the pocket lining.

After spending quite some time admiring my new make, it’s time to put it to test! I wore it for 2-3 days in a row during my daily mom-activities to check if the fit is really that great and if the fabric holds. I can proudly say that it does indeed. I experienced no tightness in the crotch area, perhaps the rise is slightly too high when I sit down but that’s not a deal breaker. The fabric also holds really well, after the second day I noticed more ease in the knee area but not around the thigh and hip. And let me also sing praise for the front pocket. It is deep! Deep enough for safely tucking my phone during biking and not falling out.

This trouser is becoming one of my favourites to wear, not only because I didn’t need to make any alterations to the pattern but also for the simple and effortless style of the trousers, which combined with the fabric, ticked a couple of boxes of my sewing goals for this year.

‘til my next blogpost. Cheers,

Anien @aniensalomons

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