Sunday, March 03, 2013

Sew for Victory: Simplicity 3688 (1941 repro)

The second part of my Sew For Victory project, was a pair of trousers.  Although it IS possible to find vintage patterns for trousers, they are a pain in the backside because they tend to be the smaller sizes and I end up having to re-size them.  I do own a couple though, but this is my favourite trouser pattern.


I'm not the only one to make them.  Tasha has made them and so has Frances and yes, so has Debi.  And there are several participants in the Sew For Victory challenge who have made them too :)

My 1941 trousers and 1943 blouse.

Here are my completed trousers, with the already finished blouse.  So... I cropped the pictures.  I am pulling the most awful faces in them ALL (except the back view LOL) and I am not sure why. 
I have the slightest suspicion I have not quite gotten the lining quite right at the bottom of the legs.  Try as I might, I can't quite get them to sit right there.  I don't care though, because they are THE most comfortable trousers I have ever owned. 

Back view.

This silk blend tweed is a beautiful fabric I found in the Joann Fabrics' red tag 1/2 price sale, some time before Christmas.  There was just enough to make these trousers, with a very little left over.  I fell in love with it, and bought the last of the bolt.  But, being a woven pattern, it has the tendency to fray.

Nubby silk-blend, herringbone tweed.
So I used my new sewing machine to overcast the edges.  Oh my goodness, did that take forever or what?!  But, overcasting is one of the new things I can now do!

My new embroidery machine.  Expect to see more about that soon.

It is a very cool machine.  I can use it to embroider and more, and actually used it earlier today to make some curtains for the kitchen- with some special decorative elements.  More on those in another post though!

Please excuse this night-time photo.  You can see the lovely lining though.           

I fully lined the trousers, because the tweed is a little scratchy.  I can't remember if the blend had wool in it or not, I forgot to re-read the bolt tags before it was thrown out.  I lined it with a soft and silky Bemberg rayon.  They are the most comfortable trousers EVER!

Another night-time photo.  Because I cannot photograph these while wearing them.

The buttons are rather lovely aren't they?  I found those, yesterday, in an antique shop.  Four of them for 59 cents.

Side view.

There is a lot of back story to these.  First I had to redo my side opening- because I put it on the wrong side initially.  I was originally going to leave it there, but I knew it would really bother me.  The fastening on these trousers is a point that really bothers me.  For some reason, every time I make these, the zip does not come up far enough.  Which means there is a slight gap between the zip top and the button flap.  The other pair I made was the same way.  Which means I need to remember to ignore the notch on the side and sew a little higher!  The issue for me, has been that it tells you to sew the zip to the trousers an inch below the waistband.  Next time, I shall ignore this!
Adjustments:  I am just tall enough I need to make several adjustments to these.  1.  I added an inch to the leg length.  I have real problems with leg length- my legs are long enough that regular length never is quite long enough for me, but the tall sizes are always TOO long!
2.  I also added an inch to the upper area of the trousers- above the crotch.  I apparently also have a long torso compared to the ladies of the 40s.
3.  I lined them.  I also had to French seam the lining, which made the zipper opening even more trouble- but that is my own fault for not planning ahead!

The pattern is a great pattern though, with the exception of the zipper area, I have found it to be a trouble free pattern- highly recommended for anyone wanting to start out with trousers!

Anyway, there are my Sew For Victory clothes, completed.  I might have a few more things made by the end of the month (my sewing queue is getting long) but we'll see!


  1. They look awesome, Rachel!! Of course I love the tweed and now want a tweed pair. lol

    1. It is dangerous to read what other people are sewing ;) Sometimes it makes you want to sew something else! Thanks Tasha! *whispers* the tweed is lovely to wear ;)

  2. Rachel dear, these trousers are thoroughly fantastic. I can see how comfortable they look in these snaps. It's always an extra big joy when a vintage/repro garment looks amazing and also fits like a cozy dream. Awesome work on your new pants!

    ♥ Jessica


I always enjoy your comments, so please feel free to leave them or message me if you cannot!
I will try and reply as much as I am able :)

I have turned on word verification because I am getting spammed without it! You can always use the audio feature if you can't read the words.