Tuesday 13 November 2018

Hollywood Trousers and a Guy Laroche V1339 tank

This is my not-my-Frocktails-2018* outfit, but only because I got my other plan to work, sort of. But that's for another post. This is the outfit that I didn't wear last Saturday night, but will probably wear to every other evening function for the next decade...

*what on earth is Frocktails? check it out here.

I was delighted to be able to pattern test for Liesl & Co when Liesl had a couple of new patterns in the works. All three are now released. Check them out here.

I made the Hollywood Trousers and the Neighbourhood Sweatshirt, which I'll share another day. The trousers straight out of the packet were the best fitting pants ever. I made my pattern test version in a super cheap $2/m mystery fibre fabric from Eliza's. I was immediately dreaming of a fancy version in something nicer.

Here are my test pants photographed to demonstrate fit as part of the pattern test.

So, not the best fabric, but they've already proved to be really useful, easy wearing, casual trousers. An overexposed photo of the back view posted on Instagram created a bit more excitement :)

Knowing that the fit was perfect for me I dived straight back in and went for round two. I didn't even wait for my final version of the pattern to arrive but worked off the pattern test version. Afterall, the design and drafting were faultless - I approach the pattern test like it's a pop quiz and the challenge is to spot every errant apostrophe or missing comma. (I won't launch into a diatribe about pattern testing and the whole promotional blog tour malarky that so many indie companies build their businesses on. Suffice to say it's hard work. I treat it like a job and so do Liesl & Co. Two thumbs up)

I had just enough of a wonderful navy crepe that I'm going to assume is wool. I scored it from the back rooms of Buttonmania when the shop was being sold and moving out of the city. It was in the same corner as the 60 year old tulle used here, so I'm not only calling it wool crepe, but almost-certainly-vintage wool crepe.

This time I lined the pants - the instructions are there for lining, and they feel super lush. The hems are finished with a little navy satin bias binding and only the fly shield and pocket stays are a pale blue cotton.

The instructions for the zipper and fly are superb and really, I was surprised at how quickly they come together. I guess I'm used to pants involving lots of topstitching and belt loops and extra bits.

I pondered putting welt pockets on the back but I'm glad I didn't. I think the great, smooth expanse of butt is better without pockets! Feel free to disagree.

The only place that's not quite perfectly smooth is where the front pockets bottom edge sits. It happens to land right on the top of my quads where my legs are quite big. I wouldn't say the pants need more room there, but in a thinner fabric I would definitely omit the pockets to prevent them showing through any more.

In fact, I'm already dreaming of a version without pockets, moving the front fly to an invisible side zip and adding a big waist sash tie. Similar to a pair of ready to wear pants that I have. If you see any wool crepe on sale anywhere give me a heads up!

Of course, not everyone has the same shape body so I fully appreciate the sheer luck I'm experiencing here. These pants feel like they were drafted just for me!

But for anyone looking for a fitted, high waist, wide leg trouser then I have to recommend these as an excellent launching place to start whatever fit adjustments you might need.

The tank top is an idea that's been kicking around in my head since Frocktails last year... Back then I made the Vogue Guy Laroche dress: V1339 (blogged here). At that time I feel in love with the top half on it's own.

It has the box pleat on one shoulder, the weird inside to outside french seam on the other shoulder and then all that hand rolled hem and pleated waist detail. It's such a great tank top it needed to be made on it's own.

When I found this drapey, navy blue metallic knit at Fabric Deluxe the idea of the whole outfit - navy wool crepe trousers and fancy singlet, came together in my head. And simply wouldn't get out.

The sparkle in the knit is gorgeous as it's really bronze rather than a bright gold and being a big fan of all things brown I was instantly smitten.

All I did to turn the top half of the dress into a tank top was serge on this folded band on the bottom. I think I eyeballed the depth and guessed at the width. Sewing with knits is awesome like that.

So this is what I WASN'T wearing at Frocktails a few nights ago (still recovering - oh my!). But it was the liberating relief of having this outfit as my back up plan that allowed me to get on the other idea.

That one is much less my usual style and was quite an adventure in sewing outside my skill level. Thankfully it turned out alright!

I liked this outfit so much that I took it along with the intention of an outfit change midway thought the night. It was my party, I figured I could get away with that much self indulgence! Only I forgot to pack a bra... the dress I wore had so much support and structure that to take it off and then wear this singlet with no bra underneath would have been a flop - metaphorically and literally!


Pattern: Hollywood Trousers by Liesl & Co

Size: 8 - I measured between the 8 and the 10, but my size 10 Soho Shorts were feeling a bit loose so I went down for that super fitted look.
Modifications: none
Fabric: Almost certainly vintage wool crepe, cotton pocketing from the stash, navy lining from Fabric Deluxe

Tank Top:
Pattern: V1339 Vogue Guy Laroche dress
Size: 12 (previously sized down on recommendations from Pattern Review) 
Modifications: Omitted the skirt and just added a hem band to make it a top
Fabric: sparkle knit from Fabric Deluxe


  1. What a classic pair of pants! I just made that pattern up in gold corduroy. Like you, I am lucky the fit needs no adjustment. This will be my go to pattern for trousers. I didn't attempt a lined version, but your lovely post encourages me.

    1. Thanks Dee. I saw your great pants and review and I love the idea of a corduroy pair, but with no thigh gap imIalways wary of all that friction noise! :)

  2. Wow, just wow, those pants do fit like the pattern draft was made just for you. I have not sewn pants, so far I have been too intimidated. These look fabulous, and I am green with envy. I would have to make several pairs immediately if I could find a fit this perfect. Congratulations!

    1. Thanks. I'm very new to pants sewing and I'm delighted to have found the pants to compare all other pants to.

  3. Love your outfit and the fit! You just bumped these back up in my queue! Oh and good call on omitting the welt pockets.

    1. Thanks Emily. I think in a wool suiting with welt pockets they'd make perfect work trousers. If only I had that kind of job.

  4. Lovely ensemble and great fit on the pants! Very clever little tank and I love the dress you made with the same pattern, a stunner!

    1. Thanks Eleanor. I still love that red Vogue dress. So happy to have a tank version now.

  5. I just saw your review at Pattern Review and came here. Now this is the way pants should fit. This is my goal, still, after 30 years of trying. I almost get there, then my dang waist increases, which affects the fit everywhere else.

    You wrote that you didn't have to make any adjustments. May I ask what your usual adjustments would be for pants other than these? Or maybe you just have "the perfect body".

    1. Well I'm sorry to say, and feel free to hate me, but I think I just got lucky. I have only made knit pull on pants and some deep crotched culottes previously so I haven't ventured into proper pants fitting. The only other fitted pants I'd made were a vintage 70's wide leg pattern and they also happened to fit perfectly. I don't think there's anything super special about my body, I just seem to sometimes be sewing under a lucky star. Like I said, feel free to scoff! I'll be laughing too when I crash and burn on my next project

    2. Oh and I should add that ready to wear trousers often have almost enough room in the small of my back for me to portage a watermelon back there. I guess my adjustments to shop trousers would be: reduce back waist, raise waist, more upper thigh room. I hate shopping for pants.

    3. No hate at all. We're almost the same size, but I have some protrusions which must be dealt with. Nothing wrong with sewing under lucky stars which I hope continues for you.

  6. Wow! So glamorous! They look amazing. I haven't yet been brave enough to make trousers, but maybe when I move somewhere cool enough to wear them, I'll try this pattern. Enjoy the whole outfit - it looks great on you.

    1. Thanks! I can only imagine a place where it's always too hot for pants. I like my four seasons, although I do wish Melbourne didn't always try to give us all of them in the same day!

  7. Just gorgeous! I must say, I would love to hear your diatribe about blog tour malarky! These trousers are just absolutely amazing on you. Fit is spot on. Your rear in these pants could be an illustration for a fitting book, lol!

  8. Oh I would have loved to see these at Frocktails but so understand the no bra situation. Love this outfit and I've got the Hollywood Pants pattern, just now to find the time.


I get a real kick out of knowing you've visited the blog and love to read comments. Thanks.