When sewists compare newly made garments to secret pjs I now know what they mean. I always feel better when I get dressed in the morning but the temptation during lockdown to don my cosy pjs all day has been very real. These trousers are the perfect remedy for those days when you want a looser, but still smart, alternative to jeans. Combined with this soft, viscose twill and elasticised waistband they are ideal for a working from home wardrobe.
The Safiya trousers are my first make from Tilly and the Buttons’ latest book, Make It Simple. As you’d expect, the book is packed with quick and stylish makes, with each project accompanied by a suggested cutting and making time within which it could be completed. Now these timings are by no means prescriptive but me being the pedantic planner that I am couldn’t resist the chance to see if I could make a garment in the space of an afternoon. Ooh the irony – this make took me about about two weeks to complete… work deadlines, lack of the correct sewing tools and a temperamental sewing machine meant that I ended up putting this make on the back burner for a little while.
When my new thread arrived and my sewing machine was purring away nicely, I could finally dedicate a good chunk of my time to this project. The first thing to note about this pattern is it has minimal pattern pieces (yay!) One of the things I love about the book is that each project is accompanied by optional variations so you can add extra features and details if you wish. For the Safiya trousers, I decided to add pockets for an extra bit of detail. These were easy enough to install, just make sure you remember which is the front and back of the trousers as – certainly when sewing in poor light- they can look similar.
So, the fabric. I remember seeing this viscose twill by Mind the Maker and absolutely loved the design. Different sized polka dot motifs on a forest green background is right up my street. One thing I could have done (though I confess I’m not entirely sure how) is to match up the polka dots at the seams to give the garment a more professional looking finish. I don’t think it’s too noticeable?!
To install the elastic waistband I used two large safety pins, attached one to each end of the elastic and then pulled it through the channel that I’d sewn. Make sure to follow the pattern measurements for the waistband to ensure it’s wide enough for the elastic, it’s worth taking a bit of extra time here to ensure the fabric is folded correctly.
On that note, one thing I always struggle with is folding up fabric equally to make a hem. Where possible, I’ll overlock the raw edge and then fold this layer up and sew as it’s much easier and quicker.
I’m looking forward to trying more projects from Make it Simple and implementing the time-saving tips included. Are there any sewing habits or shortcuts you’ve discovered for speedier sewing?