Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Men's trouser alterations.

I went to my parent's the other day and Dad asked me if I could cut and hem a pair of his trousers. Sure, I said and he went and put them on and I 'pinned' it with a bobby pin, which was all I had at hand to hold it in place. Ok ... so Dad went to get changed and came back with 7 pairs of trousers and 2 pairs of shorts! Great! :(  Just in case you didn't get it, I've added the sad face! 

Like most sewers, I hate dislike avoid doing alterations but what do you do when it's your Mum or Dad or sister (I have 4!). I do it... well I'm still doing it. I want to say that I have avoided doing suit pants for many years as I think, if I ruin them, there goes a whole suit, but I didn't worry this time because Dad has just turned 81 so the need for perfect suits is long gone. I don't know why I always question or am unconfident with my skills as I haven't actually ruined anything important really... the long, red satin gown for 2000 New Year's Eve doesn't count... that's another story for another day!

I measured all the pants to make sure they were all at the same length, cut the hems and overlocked them. That was enough for one night. Then the next night I hemmed two pairs, two last night and I'll finish the last of them tonight. The shorts had to be taken in at the waist - both done too. 

Most trousers are tapered, so the first pair I cut I resewed the bottom of the leg seams a bit wider to cater for the taper, but the second pair I noticed that they had just held the seam open a bit  and stretched the overlocking. Hmmm.... good idea and one I am keeping in my memory banks, as this happens often with taking up tapered pants. This was the pair that was from Dad's suit so it was good quality, but even the rest of the cheap pairs had this - so that saved some time.

The other things I noticed was: crotch (ewww!) lining, fly guards and half had lining of the front leg to the knee... all things that will make the trousers last.

Close up of crotch lining, sorry about the discolouration of all the linings... these are old.

There was also the waist that needed to be taken in on two pairs. It's great how the back is constructed to allow the taking in or out of the waist as needed. I hadn't done one of these before and thought it would be more difficult... as in the lining would be on in a whole piece and need deconstructing, but they (tailors) have cleverly made their own future work easy by making the facing/waistband and trouser backs as one, joined in the middle. So it was really easy. There is some tacking down of the excess and one pair (of the cheaper variety funnil) had a nifty little 'pocket' that the excess fit into making it very neat.

The other thing I noticed was how detailed the waistband actually was. On some pairs there was even more layers than this one above. Some had piping in between the two waistband facing bits and lots of layers under. I wasn't au fait with mens trousers in such great detail, but I'm thinking I may use that waistband adjustment technique on my trousers. Funny isn't it, mostly it seems that men can stay pretty much the same weight most of their lives but their trousers get the ease of adjustment techniques and women, who tend to fluctuate more (generally speaking) get the fixed waistband. Curious! Ever done any of these alterations or do you avoid them too?


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  2. I do not envy you this job at all. Relatives mending - yuk.

    I do sometimes use a male technique in trousers - I add to the DB of the pants, and add to the waistband - if I remember! It's easy to do with a straight waistband, which I tend to use, being a straight up and down shape. I guess the techniques could be adapted to a curved waistband as well.


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