Thursday 23rd August

We have Breeches!  (Well, almost, just 8 buttons to sew on by hand!)

After work, I popped into Fabricland to pick up some 1″ single fold black interfacing – I got 2m and spent a small fortune!  (64p!)

The legs are not finished with a hem, but with bias binding, but not in the way you would (or rather I would) normally expect.  I would normally expect the bias binding to show on both sides of a raw edge, effectively ‘binding’ it, but in this case, the binding is being used more like a facing.

Firstly we need to fold open the vents (along the pressed fold lines) to the outside of the legs and also open out one of the folded edges on the binding.  Now, right sides together pin the binding so that the fold line is at your seam allowance (1cm in this case).  Start and stop the binding about 1/2 ” away from the vent edges.

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Stitch along the fold from edge to edge, remembering to take a few stitches at both ends to secure the stitching –

The ends of the legs here are curved (inner and outer curves) rather than straight – so I had to be very careful when pinning and sewing to keep a nice even distance from the raw edge.  As the edges are curved, I had to trim and clip the seam allowances before turning the binding to the inside (having clipped the vent extensions across the corners) and then then pressed the seam allowance and the entire binding up inside the leg.

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One the seam and binding had been pressed up inside the leg I needed to check my edge to ensure that the binding is not rolling to the outside or the fabric to the inside, and then pin very carefully (again curves!)

The binding is then edge stitched close to the other folded edge of the bias tape to create a facing on the inside of the leg – once stitched it was pressed to set the stitches and flatten the tape.

Inside and outside views – the extra threads were trimmed of course

The waistband was then constructed – interfaced and stitched along the back seam.  This was then pinned to the main garment, matching the Centre Back and notches – gathering the back of the trousers (remember I put in 2 rows of gathering stitches) to fit across the back.  This was then basted into place and then stitched.  The waistband was then pressed up (away from the body of the trousers) and the seam allowance also pressed upwards towards the waistband.

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The waistband facing (lining) is then constructed (stitched together at the CB seam).   The un-notched edge is then pressed up at the seam allowance point (1.5cm / 5/8″) – at this point the instructions didn’t make a lot of sense – they said to pin the waistband lining to the waistband, right sides together, then stitch open ends and across top as in the image.  Unfortunately they had the image showing notches which I assumed meant you matched the notches – no.  They were only the notches on the lining – you just have to match at the CB and the edges!

Once this was done, I trimmed the seam and clipped the corners (for turning the end of the band), turned the band the right way out and pressed it.

Next thing to do is to pin the folded end of the lining over the stitch line (where the waistband joins the trousers) and stitch.  Normally I would do this on the inside and then curse because my stitch line on the outside is wonky and shows.

However, I checked through the set of presser feet I bought ages ago (and hardly ever use) to see if I had a ‘Stitch in the Ditch’ foot – I did – yay!

Basically this foot allows you to stitch neatly in a seam that you have already made by using a guide than runs along the seam.

So, I pinned my fabric on the outside ensuring that my lining was far enough down on the inside to be caught by the stitching.

Above you can see the ‘Stitch in the Ditch’ foot, there is a thin metal guide which runs along the existing seam and the needle then stitches right in that existing seam hiding the stitching.   I did miss a couple of bits on the inside, but I just re-adjusted the lining and stitched in the ditch again.

Buttonholes were next – in the vents, evenly distributed.  I also topstitched the top of the vents, but didn’t make sure the vent was properly folded on one and had to un-pick.  Unfortunately, my seam ripper caught the fabric and I was left with a small tear near the vent.  I fixed this by applying some iron-on interfacing (2 layers) to the inside of the leg across the rip – I then used a zig-zag stitch over the top along the length of the tear to hide it.

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Not the best picture and highly zoomed in.  but you can see the repair – it’s really not as noticeable in real life.   To give you some idea of scale the button you can see there is 18mm across (just over 5/8″).   The stitching above the button is the top stitching on the vent and this has been back stitched.

I made the buttonholes for the underlaps next – close to the edge of the left hand underlap.  I then put the breeches on and adjusted until comfortable, and then marked the button positions, and stitched them on using my button foot.  This is why in the main image the wooden buttons are not central – I have options to move the buttons.

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The buttonholes in the flap were the last thing I did – the shank buttons (3 per leg and 2 large on the flap) still have to be sewn on by hand, but this isn’t a huge job.

The shirt is next…..

 

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