I am Angela and I love to sew. I started sewing as a child and by the time I was a teenager I was wearing the very latest fashions to go out in. All me-made. I am passionate about reducing the amount of textiles sent to landfill, and encourage you to repurpose fabrics and clothes I started this blog in order to have a way in which to pass on my gained knowledge, and my professional knowledge to you, Sewing is empowering, you can save money by making items, make money by selling then, You can pass your knowledge on to others. What is there not to love? Interestingly I am a direct descendant of the Flemish weavers who came over to England in the 1300's. I find that fascinating especially as most of my family from as far back as I can trace are somehow involved in the manufacturing of fabric . . I have a degree in tailoring with a special interest in WW2 fashion.

Friday 9 August 2019

How to Sew Palazzo trousers

What a fantastic holiday outfit this is. Palazzo trousers are so comfortable and flattering you will want to make several pairs. I had fabric left over from mine and made a very simple shell top to wear with them, the outfit is a total winner, perfect for warm days . I made this when I spent a summer living on Corfu

The pattern I used is the Palazzo Trousers  from Simple Sew Patterns but other companies do them too. Lots of choice here!

Trouser patterns

Before you do anything you need to take your measurements and compare them to those on the pattern envalope.you need to be honest here!

I measured myself and decided that the size 12 would fit me perfectly. It is a very good idea to make a toille or test garment here just to check that everything is perfect for your figure.
I am living abroad at the moment and I do tend to bloat a little around the tummy in the heat so I wanted to add a bit of extra ease around the waistline for pure comfort. I did this by merging the size 12 into the size 14 starting three inches below the top of the trouser leg  pattern pieces gradually sliding the size 12 hip into the size 14 waist. You can do this on any pattern so long as you do it on all the relevant pieces.

 Before doing anything else I ironed my pre-washed fabric and inspected it for flaws whilst I was doing it.

 This is  Viscose dress fabric from MinervaCrafts.com.  MinervaCrafts.com Viscose Dress fabrics  I am not going to specify a particular fabric because Minerva have so many different prints and plains to choose from in this section and new designs are constantly being added so it is far better for you to visit their web site and choose which design suits you  best.
I chose this fabric because I wanted a lightweight trouser to wear on holiday. When I make these again I am going to make them in plain black crepe. I will also  move the zip to the side for a totally smooth front.

The instructions are fairly  easy to follow, you start off by stitching the back darts and pressing them towards the back. Then you stitch the centre back together, press the seam and neaten it.

Throughout this garment we will be using the overedge foot. The  I appreciate that not everybody has an overlocker so I wanted to show you that great results can be achieved on a sewing machine with an overedge foot attachment. These are available for most machines from jaycotts.co.uk

 Every time you sew a seam, trim the seam allowance to straighten it - you can purchase an overedge foot with a side cutter for this machine by the way, but it is not necessary at this stage.

Then attach your overedge foot to the sewing machine. Changing feet on this machine is so easy to do.

Following the instructions in your manual on pages 51 and 52 . Choose your overedge stitch and then line up the foot so that the toe is right at the edge of the fabric as in the picture above. The overedge stitches will then cover the edge of the seam perfectly.

If you do not have an overedge stitch on your machine or own an overlocker  then a simple zig zag will do or you can turn under a narrow hem on each seam.

I forgot to mention at the beginning that whenever you are cutting fabric out you should always  cut the notches outwards, it is very bad practise to snip into the seam allowance like so many people do these days. My tutor at college would have been horrified if any of us did it! Think about it though, supose you need a tiny bit of extra ease or supose your fabric frays easily! You have lost a decent amount of usable fabric by snipping into it rather than cutting around the notches.  

The pockets are easy to insert, you could leave them out, but they do add to the design so give them a go please. The method of insertion is different to other patterns -usually the pocket comes in two halves and you attach them to the fronts adpnd backs individually before sewing the side seams.
First fold the fabric in half and then pin the right sides of easy pocket to the fronts and then the backs of the trousers.  You will be following processes 7,8 and 9 on your pattern instructions.

Double stitch the bottom of the pocket bag for strength and then overedge the seam to neaten it.

Keeping the pockets out of the way, stitch the side seams from the top to the first notch,  and then continue at the second notch right down the outside of the trouser legs.

Now we come to the waistband itself. I have chosen to line my waistband with a firmer fabric. Viscose is very soft and waistbands need to support the garment  so I cut out the lining in a firmer cotton fabric,  I interfaced both the waistband and the waistband lining with iron on interfacing for extra firmness.
This is where my construction differed slightly from the pattern instructions because I did not make the waistband up first as instructed.
I wanted to try the trousers on before making up the waistband to check the fit in case any adjustments were needed. It hink it is important to do this before making the waistband up so that you are able to adjust it to fit your own  body.
I also changed the method slightly by attaching the waistband without first stitching it to the lining.
It then made it easier to insert the zip.
 When it comes to inserting the zip, first overedge the zip opening to stop it from fraying and then press the seam open.

We all have our preferred method of zip insertion,  I like invisible zips, but you do what you find easiest 
Which ever method you choose first pin and tack the zip in place to make sure that all seams are matched up where they need to be.

This is the zip tacked into position ready for sewing. Choose a normal zipper foot if you have chosen to use an ordinary zip or choose an invisible zipper foot for an invisible zip.
You could always use an exposed zip here if you wanted to, this would add great detail to the trousers especially in a contrast colour.

At this stage you need to finish the waistband by attaching the facing along the top edge. Clip the curves and then press the waistband flat. Sew a tiny hem along the bottom of the facing.  Press the waistband flat, turning the facing to the inside. Pin and tack it in place and then stitch -in- the-ditch to catch the facing down. This term means that you sew along the seam line so that the stitches do not show on the right side but they catch the facing down and can be seen on the wrong side.
Finish the sides of the waistband by hand or machine.

To finish the hems, I like to use the blind hem function on my machine. You will find the instructions in your manual, page 54 for this particular machine. I always keep my sewing machine manual handy - there is always some function that you have never tried and when I come across one I like to use it.

The blind hem foot for all machines has a guide which protrudes from the bottom and which is used to guide the stitching along the pressed hem. This foot is also useful for top stitching and for quilting.

To sew a blind hem you need to fold the fabric so that the main stitching is on the hem itself and so that the needle just swings out and catches the main body of  fabric in this way once the hen is folded back down the stitches are virtually invisible on the right side of the fabric.

It is worth peresevering with this method of hemming as it looks really professional and honestly is so easy to do you will wonder why you have not used it before.
The picture above shows the stitching on the wrong side of the garment

And this is the hem in the right side. Doesn't it look neat! You can hardly see the stitches, so if your machine has a blind hem stitch then do promise me you will try it out.

As I had some fabric left over I made a simple shell top to make a complete outfit. You could use any shell top pattern.
You could even put a top and the palazzo pants patterns together and make a jumpsuit,  extending the zipper all the way up the front.

These photographs were taken on the balcony on my apartment for the summer in Corfu

The outfit is lovely and cool to wear, and I confess to having worn it a few times already. I particularly  love the matching top, and although you will find tutorials on how to make one in the is  blog, I will show you again soon.

  The pants fit very well and are extremely comfortable

I do hope that you will make some yourself, they can be made smart or casual depending on the fabric used.
Photographed in Corfu

Thank you for reading this post

Happy sewing

Angela x