Black Cord Flares
Posted on Tuesday the 7th January 2020 by Sewing Angela
Flares were fashionable in the 60's and 70's and they - as fashion does - are making a comeback.
Immensely flattering, they create a lovely balanced shape instead of the top heavy triangle which skinny legged pants create.
Worn with a casual jumper and scarf they look very smart and will take you anywhere. Not too long ago I was scared of making trousers and jeans but to be perfectly honest it really is worth persevering with as the fit is the best you will ever get. I would never consider buying ready made trousers or jeans again.
The sewing pattern I used has various options including dungarees and straight legged pants so it is a very good buy.
This fabric is gorgeous. It is this plush supersoft stretch cord fabric.
It is a stretch baby cord, butter-soft and stretchy. It is an absolute dream to sew and feels amazing to wear.
They are just perfect for this time of year, they feel snuggly and warm. Being stretch you could sit in them all day - perfect to wear for theatre trips!
In my last post "The Blue Dress" I needed to lengthen the pattern. For this pattern I need to shorten them.
I checked the leg length of the paper pattern against a pair of trousers whose length I like and I used the line marked " lengthen or shorten here " to form a pleat. This will remove some of the length but I made sure that there was still enough length left to make changes as necessary.
The marks on the pattern all need to be transferred to the fabric , for example the back darts. I prefer to use tailors tacks as they can easily be removed leaving no trace at all. To strengthen the pattern markings I use hole strengtheners from the stationary shop .
When making trousers I always like to insert the zip first. Two reasons, firstly it is a whole lot easier when you only have two pieces of fabric to deal with, secondly it makes fitting easier.
The pattern instructions are very easy to follow and are excellent so do refer to them.
An easy method is to mark the centre front with tailors chalk and stitch the fronts together. Sew from the bottom upwards, at the large dot where the zip ends stitch backwards and forwards for a few stitches then switch to your longest stitch and this will form a basting stitch holding the fronts together until you remove the stitches.
Press the seam open very carefully using a lifting motion, a pressing cloth and plenty of steam.
The left side needs to have the zip teeth lined up against the edge of the folded back and pressed fabric.
The right side needs to be stitched in place further back to allow for a lapped zipper . You will see when you close the zipper that it naturally sits away from the edge of the fabric, pin and tack it in place before sewing in place with a narrow zipper foot. This is honestly one of the easiest and neatest zipper you will ever sew, so it is worth mastering.
I then tacked all the seams together and tried the trousers on. They were too large so I stitched a much wider seam and removed the excess fabric. Flares need to fit closely to the knee and then widen towards the hem.
The pants need a waistband and by far the easiest product to use is fold-a-band . Measure the width of the trouser waist and compare it to your own waist measurement.
Cut out a length of fabric around three inches longer than this measurement. Use a dry iron and a pressing cloth to attach the fold-a-band to the waistband.
The corner of the waistband needs to sit flush to the front overlap so stich the band in half along the short edge, turn right side out. Press.
Continue pinning the waistband in place and when you reach the other end you will need to stitch the end as before but this time pivot at the dotted fold line and stop stitching when you reach the zipper teeth. Turn right sides out and press.
Stitch along the dotted line on the fold-a-band right sides together .
Press in half and turn the back under and pin in place then slip stitch by hand.
You now should have something which looks like this.
Form a closure with a trouser hook and bar - far easier than a buttonhole but do one if you prefer.
Try them on again with your shoes on and mark the hem. I like to use a blind hem stitch but by all means top stitch if you find it easier.
It is notoriously difficult to photograph black especially when there is little natural daylight, but you can see how flattering they look.
This pattern is very versatile and wearable . If you do not have a pair of flares then these are not too wide and are a really good starting point. Definitely give them a go, you will be delighted with them, especially in such a luxurious fabric.
Thank you Minerva for this beautiful fabric. I know that I will get plenty of wear out of my new trousers .