Sunday, 20 September 2015

Ultimate Trousers Class at Sew Over It

When I first took up sewing a couple of years ago I considered taking a couple of sewing classes to get started. Unfortunately I found that they were a bit more than I could afford at the time, so I learnt as I went through patterns with help from blogs, Google and various sewing books. Whilst I think I've got to a be a reasonably competent sewer, one thing I really struggle with is resolving fitting issues. So after finally sewing a Sew Over It pattern, the vintage shift dress and then more recently the Betty (yet to be blogged!) I decided to have a look at their classes.
After my first couple of attempts at trousers, Colette Clovers and Burda 7062, I was feeling a bit deflated over how to get a good fitting pair. So when I found an Ultimate Trousers class I could get to, albeit the one the other side of London, I booked on straight away.
My first class went pretty well, despite turning up 5 minutes late because of delightful problems on the northern line. I decided to make my trousers out of some tartan wool I chose as my prize for winning the #SewIShowOff in July, and we had decided on our size, cut out and overlocked all the edges by the end of the class. I sewed a couple of seams at home and then at the beginning of the second class a week later, was all set to have Julie fit them to my shape. Which is when I ran into problems.
They wouldn't do up. At all. We debated whether I had cut off too much when I overlocked the edges, or whether I had just overdone it on the cake front that week. It turns out that when I was trying on toiles, I had thought I was trying on a 12, that was in fact a size 14. I hadn't noticed, Julie the instructor hadn't noticed, so I had then cut out a size 12. I didn't think anything of it either as I'm usually a size 10 in RTW and often a size 10 or 12 in modern pattern companies. Anyway the long and the short of it is, I had no option but to start again. I worked as quickly as possible and managed to get to the fitting stage again by the end of the class. Julie then fitted them to me, which is when we then discovered that my left leg is considerably fatter more muscly, than my right. There's around 1.5cm seam allowance difference. I could understand how my left arm would be stronger, as after 10 years of waitressing, and more than that of playing the bassoon, my left arm is the one that takes the weight. But quite how someone ends up with one fatter leg I don't know.
Anyway what I have now after finishing them at home, is a bloody well fitting pair of trousers. Seriously. There is nothing about the fit I would change at all, the only tiny issue I have which I always have, is somehow managing to put the zip a little high up so it doesn't do up right to the top link. The fabric I used is also a tweed wool, so it is a little on the itchy side. But it also looks gorgeous, so I'll put up with it.
So if you're considering taking a class but were wondering if it was worth the money, I would definitely recommend taking this one. I did worry that I might not learn anything new, but I picked up lots of tips on how to do things, like stretching the crotch seam a little as you sew it so it will stretch later when you bend down! I was also able to use an overlocker for the first time, and the most invaluable thing for me was having someone fit the trousers to your shape. Without an experienced seamstress to do that there's no way I would ever have known that I had different sized legs...! Julie even offered to do another session with just me to finish mine off, although it wasn't really needed in the end.

This will be the first of many pairs of Ultimate Trousers..... and hopefully not the only class i'll take at Sew Over It.
Have you taken any sewing classes recently?
Emily Kate.


  1. Hello from a fellow class mate! So pleased you managed to get the replacement pair sewn up ok. I finished mine over the weekend and totally agree about the value of getting someone else to fit you - it makes such a difference. Very pleased with the end result.

    1. Hi Nina! That's great you were pleased with yours too, I'm so pleased I did the class and found out about my odd legs. I've already bought some more tartan too to finally make a tartan pair!

  2. Glad you finished yours. I've only just got round to doing the hems. I can wear mine now.

  3. These look like such a good fit!! I'm still to brave making my first pair of trousers, hopefully this spring. I did the Sew Over It dressmaking weekend a few years back, where you make the shift dress & a circle skirt,and it was brilliant! I'd love to do the trouser class as they advice & help you got with the fit sounds brilliant.


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