Monday, 4 July 2022

you picked a fine time to leave me (Lucille trousers)

Updated State of the Jen: everything is still not sorted, but possibly in a completely different way now? I don't even know what's going on anymore. I'm very tired at the moment, but I do have a new doctor and some social plans and a couple of low-key creative challenges for the month, so I'm hopeful things will start to look up soon. It's our anniversary today (eight years!) which is a decent excuse to a) not worry about stuff for 24 hours and b) go out to dinner twice in one week. Casual today, fancy on Saturday, which is how I live my life if you ignore the 'casual' bit. 

Let's get on to the trousers, shall we? 

I've mentioned a couple of times that I've lost weight recently. My weight and measurements have always fluctuated and usually it doesn't warrant more than a passing mention, but things are a little different this time. For many years now there has been a very specific upper and lower threshold that my measurements fluctuate between, but now I'm underneath that lower threshold and some of my clothes are noticeably not fitting anymore. For example, here's the pair of Lucille trousers I made last year:

This was the first of my regularly-worn items that I noticed a problem with. I wore these trousers more or less constantly throughout last autumn and winter, and when I made them they fit like this:

You will observe that the waistband used to provide some sort of definition and didn't just... hang there. I was increasingly often putting the trousers on in the morning, looking at myself in the mirror and taking them straight back off again because they felt so schlumpy. I started wondering how annoying it would be to alter them when I remembered I actually already had a pair of almost-finished Lucilles in a smaller size, sitting at the back of my fabric cupboard. I'd written about my incompetent first attempt, but hadn't specified that I had managed to work around most of my mistakes and get the trousers to the point where they just needed the waistband attaching. And then found out they were way too small. For whatever reason I hadn't thrown them out, so I went back to them and put the waistband on. 

When I first tried these on last year and they didn't fit, I had assumed I'd put more weight on and I made the second pair one size up. When I was finishing them a couple of months ago I compared the waistband to the pattern piece and realised it was two sizes smaller than I thought I'd cut (so three sizes smaller than the second pair). Even though I've lost more than 20lb since I first tried this pair on, I still couldn't eat a big dinner while wearing them. They do, however, look a million times better and I'm assuming some more weight will come off. I don't have a goal in mind or anything and I'm not even tracking outside my hospital appointments, but my habits are so fundamentally different now that it would be a surprise if things stopped here. 

I may still need to do some work on these. I put in a zip of unknown origin that I found in my stash, and it does not function like any zip I have ever known. The pull has a mind of its own and will often not stay up, sometimes the teeth pop open but not in a way that stops the zip functioning, and I just do not understand anything about it. When I get to the point of wearing these regularly, I will probably go back in and switch it out for one that doesn't do any of this stuff. This truly was one of my most incompetent projects, I'm amazed it resulted in something I could even photograph. 

Because this pair is still a little tight to just generally exist in, I decided to make some more:

(Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage Glasses Jen, whom you almost never see because I don't wear them most of the time and thus have no idea how to photograph myself in them without getting weird reflection stuff.)

Size-wise, the larger pair of purple trousers were somewhere between a 14 and 16, and the smaller pair very wonkily between 8 and 10. Based on current fit of both I decided to cut between 10 and 12 for this pair, which has worked very well. They're super comfortable for just splatting in without sacrificing any waist definition. 

The fabric is a viscose twill with a bit of stretch that I got from Fabrics Galore, and I will be honest and say that this choice was a bit of a whiff. Don't get me wrong, I wear them all the time and I like them, but I would not make the same decision again. In close-up the fabric is dark pink and two different shades of bright teal, and I was excited about having a pair of very loud trousers, but it just doesn't read from a distance. The teal is barely noticeable, and they're just not the statement piece I pictured (I am aware there will be many people out there who would laugh pretty hard at the idea of this garment being not enough of a statement, but I am a very specific person). And yet although, in my opinion, they are not that loud visually, they are literally, sonically, really quite loud. They make an astonishing amount of noise as I walk, and I'm not even sure why. It is odd. 

With that said, I am happy enough with them to wear them, and they are currently my go-to trousers. I am wearing them as I write this. They are comfy and at least a little interesting and appropriate for most non-rainy weather we're likely to get in this country. I will now probably put this pattern away for a little while; they're comfy and fun to wear but I cannot convince myself that I need more than two pairs at any given time. I'm really keen to have a few slightly different silhouettes in my wardrobe, and this one is so specific. I will probably return here eventually though (most likely when I find some actually decent soft crepe, which I swear used to be abundant and is more or less non-existent these days. What gives?).

Up next will either be something I've made very recently (if I get round to taking photos this week) or a couple of slightly older garments that don't warrant an individual post each (if I don't get round to taking photos). I'm working on a lot of experiments at the moment and some of them are definitely turning out better than others, but I'm quite enjoying that. I get to learn and discover things! Some of those things are going to result in my having to resume my search for a strapless bra that isn't utterly bog useless, but we all have our trials in life. 

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