Sunday, February 01, 2009

James in winter

James has always had a pair of winter walking breeches. Very nice they are too, in tweed. Of course they are supposed to be plus 2s (meaning 2" spare in length), but on James they were minus 2s. Apart from that, though they were great, so there was no need to make some new ones until they started to get rather thin.

I made these new plus 2s without destroying the originals, by pinning tracing paper onto the originals and drawing on the stitching lines. I then made a mock up in some super cheap corduroy, and then adjusted the pattern, and made sure that the pattern pieces lined up with each other. At least that was the idea. I forgot to transfer one of the adjustments (taking some extra out of the back crotch curve) to the pattern before cutting it out again. It is quite irritating, since it causes the trousers to "pooch out" at the back in most positions. It is not so bad in these picture,s where James has things in his pockets and is striding up the hill. What I should have done is double check by tacking together the final version after it was cut out - then I could easily have adjusted it. But in the overall complexity of all the different parts of the construction I forgot to do this. Major surgery would be required to adjust it now, so I wont bother, especially since James says the comfort is good.

These are made from Polartec PowerShield (from Malden Mills Direct). This is a stretch fabric, 1 layer with a hopefully very hardwearing outer and fleece inner, whereas the originals and my mock up fabric are both non stretch woven. The back pocket is very clever. It creates a double thickness seat which is good for durability and warmth sitting on rocks and sliding down moutains and the like. The belt loops are about 10cm long, and they fold into the waistband, which meant dealing with enormous thicknesses of fabric at the waistband. There are all sorts of clever willy guards inside the fly, while the bottom of the legs are finished with a little gusset and velcro tabs.

As you can see from the photos, there was not much snow around when we went for a little walk the other week, so these have not been tested in real winter conditions yet. But it was the first time on any winter walk that the bottom of the legs of James' breeches have not come undone nor his socks fallen down!

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