english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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More Paper Bag Trousers & Holiday Pics

Simplicity 8605

Another weekend, another blog post featuring past holiday photos! A combination of not being able to go on holiday this year, and not having many recent projects to share, has led me to revisit a number of projects I photographed but never blogged – including these Simplicity 8605 paper bag waist trousers.

Simplicity 8605

This is my second pair of these trousers (first pair blogged here). They are really easy to make (5 pattern pieces including the belt), and to fit (loose fit and an elastic waist). They’re a great option to pack for a holiday as they are comfortable and easy to wear (and in the polyester version here, don’t wrinkle), but they’ve also been great for wearing around the house this summer. If you haven’t made any trousers before and want to give them a try, a simple design like this is a great place to start.

Simplicity 8605

In these pictures, the trousers are paired with another old make which hasn’t previously made it to the blog. The top above is also a Simplicity pattern, 8593 which is a re-released vintage top pattern. Simplicity refer to it as a poncho blouse, and it’s basically a rectangular design, with detail at the neckline and side-ties, which is wrapped over itself and tied at the front and back. I was interested in trying this different design, but in reality I found it irritating to wear. The side seams inevitably gape (Exhibit A, the picture above), so you need to wear something underneath, and the top moves about a lot while worn. I actually relegated this top to my fabric scraps tub before the top made it to the blog. The fabric – which is a lovely soft cotton from Cloth House – also faded quickly after a few washes.

Simplicity 8605

I haven’t mentioned it previously, but I’ve been working on developing some sewing patterns which I’m aiming to begin releasing later this year. All of the work involved in getting them ready for release has kept me really busy over the last few months – and meant that most of my recent sewing has been to test the patterns. It’s also meant that the various other craft projects which I got excited to begin during lock-down (new knitting project, bargello, shoe-making, weaving, etc.) haven’t gotten much further than buying supplies. If lock-down hadn’t removed most of my evening and weekend plans I don’t think I would ever have gotten them ready (and they aren’t there yet, so fingers crossed and head down).

Simplicity 8605

I feel like I’ve devoted quite a bit of this week to a thorough tidy and clean of the house (I can’t understand how it takes me as long as it does, but it consistently takes me FOREVER?), so I’m making the most of savouring it before the house reverts to its natural state of being messy and dirty again. I have a few ‘to-dos’ to complete today (including writing the overdue July newsletter for the Association of Weavers, Spinners & Dyers, which will now be the July/August edition!) but then I’m hoping to pick up one of my abandoned craft projects to enjoy in the calm of my tidy living room (subject to how messy a craft project I choose).

Simplicity 8605

Have a good weekend everyone.

Simplicity 8605


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Paper Bag Waist Trousers

Simplicity 8605 Trousers

Just a quick blog post today to share a pair of trousers which I made (and photographed) almost exactly one year ago, but never did share on the blog.

Simplicity 8605 Trousers

These are Simplicity 8605, which were part of Simplicity’s 2018 Spring collection, made in a super soft chambray fabric from Guthrie & Ghani. They’re paired here with a Paprika Patterns Onyx woven tee.

Simplicity 8605 Trousers

I do love a paper bag waist and I also love a quick and easy sewing pattern so I clearly need to make more of these trousers. I wore these non-stop last summer, and now that the weather has warmed up here in the UK I’ve been wearing them lots again. I might have a browse through the stash and see what fabric I have that is suitable for a second pair.

Simplicity 8605 Trousers

The pattern is as simple as it looks; five pattern pieces for the trousers, and four for the skirt also included in the pattern. The paper bag waist is created by attaching a casing, containing two rows of elastic, to the waist of the trousers. They are extra easy to fit. The legs are loose, and you can control the width of the waist by the length of the elastic you add. I appear to have made these in size Small, which according to the pattern envelope is smaller than my measurements, and they fit great.

Simplicity 8605 Trousers


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Trousers! Vintage Simplicity 3688

At the beginning of the year I set myself the goal of sewing three items of clothing that I’ve never made before – trousers, a swimsuit, and a coat. One down, two to go, as I recently made my first pair of trousers!
Vintage Simplicity 3688 19040s Trousers
Simplicity contacted me last month and offered me a free pattern. With my trouser-sewing goal in mind it was a no-brainer to go for Simplicity 3688 which is a reproduction 1940s pattern. The pattern includes four separate items – I’m never going to make the skirt suit but the trousers and blouse were more than enough to win me over. Helpfully the pattern envelope includes both the adorable original illustrations, and photos of the finished items which (while not exactly thrilling photos) allowed me to get a sense of the finished shape. I was totally sold after a quick google identified that Karen and Debi amongst many others have previously made gorgeous versions of the same trousers (Debi has also made the blouse).
Vintage Simplicity 3688 19040s Trousers
I would totally recommend these trousers to other trouser newbies. They are made from only three pattern pieces (five fabric pieces) and are a quick make (yippee, my favourite kind!). Personally I love the vintage shape with the high waist & wide leg. I used a grey polyester suiting fabric which has a nice drape which suits the wide leg & is light-weight for the summer. I’m thinking a wool pair would be great when the weather gets a bit colder (which, to be honest, could be at any time in the UK…). I cut a size 10 (based on the finished measurements, NOT the measurements on the envelope). The size 10 was actually a tiny bit smaller than my measurements so I sewed with a reduced seam allowance at the sides. The pattern uses the side seam allowance to cover the zip – my reduced allowance meant that wasn’t really possible so I just used an invisible zip instead of the standard zip recommended.
Vintage Simplicity 3688 19040s Trousers
Vintage Simplicity 3688 19040s Trousers
The automatic buttonhole function on my sewing machine has stopped working recently. How a machine can work perfectly except for the buttonhole function I do not know… It’s the most infuriating fault as it will sew 2-sides of the buttonhole but then stops! I’m planning to take it for a service soon but while waiting I attempted to use press studs on the waistband of these trousers instead of a button. I thought I’d found an easy workaround until the first time I wore them when I found that the press studs popped open every time I bent down! So I borrowed my mom’s sewing machine & attached a nice secure button instead:) Press studs +  waistbands = not a good idea!
Vintage Simplicity 3688 19040s Trousers
Vintage Simplicity 3688 19040s Trousers
Me and Phil have been lucky enough to spend the last few days on holiday with my family in the Lake District. The photos above were taken in the garden at Beatrix Potter’s House and just outside. For those outside the UK who may not know it, the Lake District it is like a storybook version of England – all tiny villages, countryside, slate and stones walls. Basically it’s gorgeous. Obviously it also contains lots of lakes, like Coniston Water pictured below along with some wide trousers billowing in the breeze!
Vintage Simplicity 3688 19040s Trousers