Vintage overview: Sailor trousers (Italian and French)

 

Plus free flat sketches!

French sailor trousers. They're supposed to be very old but back when I bought it I didn't bother asking when they were made.

French sailor trousers. They're supposed to be very old but back when I bought it I didn't bother asking when they were made.

As I wrote on my post about redoing a vintage kimono, I love shopping for vintage clothes, supposedly for research purposes and actually for wearing them myself.

This weekend I decided it was about time I adjusted the two pairs of sailor trousers I bought in August 2016, at Cenci Vintage London (hint: don't be fooled by the number of followers on their Instagram, major Fashion houses send their teams there twice a year for research!).

And since I had to take them apart anyway, there was no excuse for not drafting the patterns, as well. These trousers have no side seam, only an inseam; it's an interesting construction that is not very common anymore and I want to share them here on the blog.

I don't know yet the best way to do so, as most people and myself don't have access to a digital pattern drafting software. Also, I'm starting a YouTube channel in the following weeks and this could be the perfect opportunity to make a series of small videos showing how to sew the trickiest parts, and a written tutorial to teach how to draft the patterns from scratch.

While I (over-) think about all these details, there's plenty of resources that you can consider as an introduction to women's tailored trousers with:

  • fitting pictures comparing different styles - straight leg, slim fit and wide leg, plus a bonus long semi-flared skirt;

  • overview of the patterns;

  • construction details and closeup pictures;

  • flat sketches (Front and Back view) done on Adobe Illustrator.

Happy learning!


Italian sailor trousers

Vintage sailor trousers x Classic slim fit Tailored trousers (Yves Saint Laurent, 2000?)

The fit: Straight leg, sits on my natural waist line.

These trousers had some excess near the crotch, both on the Front and on the Back, that was bothering me. It wasn't my intention from the beginning to make them so fitted on my the top but I'm happy with it.

The inseam shows a little on the Front, which is not a problem per se - jeans are usually like this. It bothers me a little bit so I moved it 1 cm towards the Back.

There's a nice old school detail on the Back in case the trousers need adjusting. I don't need any more adjustment but I will change the drawstring once I find something I like.

FashionTechsupport-sailor-trousers-IT-open.jpg

The pattern: No side seam; the excess from the waist until the hips is taken using the Front opening (plus two Back darts).

FashionTechsupport-sailor-trousers-IT-front-fastening-closeup.jpg

Construction details

FashionTechsupport-sailor-trousers-IT-open-closeup.jpg
FashionTechsupport-sailor-trousers-IT-open-closeup2.jpg

French Sailor trousers

The fit: Originally a generous straight leg but not enough for me to call them wide leg trousers.

I unpicked the inseam since I was in that mood, tried it on and realised it could also work as a skirt. But I decided to keep them as trousers and added a triangular panel between the legs so i could have the wide legs I wanted.

You can barely see the curve of my tummy, so this would be a good style for someone who's self-conscious of that part of their body.

The Front facing with the buttons is where my natural waist line is, the waistband goes above my waist 5.5 cm on the Front, 4.5 cm on the Back.

The pattern: No side seam again, with the waistband part forming almost a square on the Front, whereas the facing goes upward from where the side seam would be.

The area highlighted in red shows how much I added in the inseam to achieve a wide leg silhouette.

FashionTechsupport-sailor-trousers-FR-open-closeup.jpg

Construction details

Flat sketches

Flat sketches of the styles on the post: click to download the AI file with Back views

Flat sketches of the styles on the post: click to download the AI file with Back views