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Trend Patterns TPC10 Wide Leg Flares

Hi everyone, Shauni from The Magnificent Thread here, back with another Minerva make! A recent weekend in Berlin filled my head with ideas of the sewing variety. The key to looking like you're part of the effortlessly cool native Berlin crowd? A pair of flares. Already planning my next visit and keen to adopt the local look, I decided to sew up my own pair using the Trend Patterns TPC10 Wide Leg Flare.

I really like the bold and often fashion-forward silhouettes that Trend offer, and the TPC10s are no exception! A high waisted trouser, they fit closely through the hips and thighs, before the legs billow out into a massive flared bottom. The fly front is actually a faux-fly - something I didn't realise until I started making them! - and the trousers fasten with a concealed zip in the side seam.

The pattern suggests woven, light to medium weight fabrics with a good drape and those with a little stretch too, though this is optional. The Modelo Chunky Stretch Cord is slightly heavier in weight but has a great drape and a bit of stretch owing to the  97% Cotton, 3% Elastane composition. It's the perfect amount of stretch that allows the fabric to spring straight back into shape. This, combined with the wide wale of the cord give it a really durable feel that's perfect for trousers. 

I haven't worn flares since I was a pre-teen, so whilst it was tempting to go with a bold colour from the 10 choices available, the pattern was already a step outside of my comfort zone and I stuck with faithful black. The flared legs really are wide, meaning there's little opportunity for pattern tetris, so this pattern consumes quite a lot of fabric (I used just under 2.5m). 

Cutting into such a large amount of high quality fabric didn't feel like a good idea when I was unsure of how the pattern would fit or even if flares would work for me as an adult... So inspired by Katie's recent trouser fitting adventures with the Philippa Pants in the very same fabric, I went to town on getting the fit of the pattern as perfect as it will ever be before I took the plunge. This is actually my third incarnation of the flares, following an initial - and after much adjusting - wearable muslin in cheap polyester suiting and a second muslin after addressing some of the fit issues from the first. Phew!

I picked the size 10 for the first pair based on my measurements but these came out way too big. After taking them in I was able to tweak the fit around the bum and crotch and get a feel for how great the style would look with the finished pair! Motivated by this I went straight onto a second muslin, starting with a size 8 and making just the top rather than with full flared legs to save fabric wastage. I leaned heavily on the Closet Case Patterns trouser fitting guide to make the pattern work for me. It's hands-down one of the BEST sewing resources on the internet and I feel like a trouser fitting miracle-maker every time I use it!

There were lots of tweaks along the way, most notably making changes to the rise - I found them insanely high rise at the front and had to take a big chunk out as you can see in the picture of my muslin - and the crotch curve as I have quite a flat bum/narrow hips compared to standard drafted patterns. I also had to make a few more modifications to balance out the changes after addressing these issues, such as adding 1cm to the centre back rise. I graded the side seams from an 8 at the hip through to the smallest size (a 6) in the thigh/leg to get the closest possible fit.

The stretch in the chunky cord really helped me to achieve a comfortable fit with the final pair. This also meant I ended up taking them a little bit smaller than I would usually go to get a really clean and tight fit around the hips and bum - if I made them again in a less forgiving non-stretch fabric, I might have to allow a bit more ease in the back. Overall I'm absolutely thrilled with how they turned out and think they were very much worth the effort. It took me 5 attempts to get the fit of the Lander Pants right, so I'd say this is a marked improvement!

I was so pleased with the near-professional fit that I decided it was worth blind-hemming those super sized legs by hand and this is something I never do! I stayed up late finishing them so I could wear them the following day, so they're already straight into regular rotation! The fabric made them comfortable for a full day's wear, which involved sitting and eating large amounts, so I can definitely vouch for it! They also retained their shape rather than getting all loose and baggy, showing just how worthwhile it can be to invest in good quality materials - I'd fully recommend it and use it again for future trouser making.

I can definitely see myself making another pair in future now I've just about perfected the fit but next time I'd like to convert the faux fly to a proper fly front fastening. For now though, I'm enjoying wearing this pair and seeing how they fit in with my existing wardrobe. Regardless of whether they're dressed up with heeled boots or down with Docs, they seem to create the illusion of legs for days and as an average height owner of average length legs, I'm not complaining! They're giving off a more seventies vibe in these pictures, worn with the Pretty Mercerie Sayan Blouse, but I'm sure it's just a matter of exploring the styling to get that Berlin-chic look! 

Thanks for reading! You can keep up with my future flare-sewing and other makes over on my blog.

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