I don’t mind admitting that I like sitting on the sofa. Reading, cwtshing dogs, knitting or sewing – nearly all my favourite activities are done best while sitting somewhere comfortable. I lean back, stretch out my legs, heave a happy sigh and am content.
So it may not come as a surprise then that I like my clothes to be comfortable, too, and not just for slouching around on the sofa. I really cannot be bothered with clothes (or shoes for that matter) that pinch and hurt, and all in the service of some arbitrary ideal of beauty.
Which is why I immediately liked a pattern called Faulenzerhose (idler’s or loafer’s trousers) by Schnittreif and sold by Farbenmix. The trousers are wide and comfy, but the cut guarantees that you won’t look like you’re wearing a sack. The drawstring waist makes them easy to sew and easy to adjust for that time when you couldn’t resist that second helping of pudding. They have sew-on pockets, which can be customised to be a feature of real interest – usually by sewing them from a different fabric. The paper pattern is only available in German (at the time of writing).
I love cord, particularly the very fine fabric that’s sold as Babycord. Oooh, the softness of it. Just the right material for my slacker’s slacks.
The first step involved serging round the edges of all my pieces, so that the material won’t fray.
After that I spent some time tinkering with the little elements of my trousers. In order to insert eyelets into the waistband, I ironed on several layers of interfacing to stabilise the fabric a bit and to give it some body for the eyelet to hang on to.
And then I wielded my hammer. I’m still not great shakes at inserting eyelets into fabric that actually want to stay there, but I hope that these ones are well hammered in.
Next I decided to have a bit of fun with the pockets. The pattern comes with front pockets, and I made up some back pockets as well. Piping would probably have offset the pockets very well, but I decided to use binding – also in blue, but with contrasting yellow stitching. Here are the pockets…
The next step is simply to attach them to the front and back legs of the trousers. Word of warning to the beginner: the curvy bits of the pattern point inwards – they are the crotch area of the garment. Don’t try to attach the pockets the wrong way around. My back pockets are shaped slightly irregularly (which I find works better than pockets that are totally symmetrical) and so I needed to take care to put them on the right leg.
I was also keen to have a decorative seam in yellow running down the outside of my legs. Therefore, after having attached the pockets, I sewed the outside legs together first, and then added the decorative seam.
The rest was easy. The next step is to sew the inside legs together, turn one leg inside out, stick it into the other leg, and zoom round the middle/crotch area. Job done.
The only thing left to do now was to attach the waistband. As you can see in the picture I’d added a couple of belt loops from leftover binding tape. Useful for dangling house keys from, I hope. To make sure that the waistband fitted, I pinned it to the waist of the trousers and determined where exactly to sew the waistband together to form a loop. Then I inserted my cord (not for me the endless fiddling around with cord and safety pin after you’ve already sewn your waistband), and sewed the waistband to the waist of the trousers. And one last but crucial step: I put my lovely new trousers on, resisted the urge to slouch, loaf, or slack, and determined how long they needed to be and where to put my seam.
Here’s the finished article.
And here’s the finished article with me in it, ably assisted by Mia cat, who insisted on being in the pictures.
I’m telling you, trying to take pictures of trousers with a mobile phone is no mean feat. Holding the phone is out of the question as the angle is just too weird. So, I was balancing the phone on a shelf, jumped back & tried to look relaxed and happy as the timer counted down. I’m not good at having pictures taken at the best of times…
… Phew… time to put my slouchy, slacky, loafery, comfy pants on and sit down on the sofa to do some serious slouching, slacking, loafing in total comfort…