Wednesday, November 30, 2011

FO: Shockingly Pink 70's Trousers

With Red Patent DM's - what else?!
Do not adjust your sets:  these trousers really are THAT bright!

Pattern:  Vintage 1970's Butterick 3289 by Betsey Johnson of Alley Cat, size Junior 7 with an extra centimetre added to the sides of the back pieces and 12mm seams all over.

Fabric:  2  metres of shocking pink chunky corduroy from Croft Mill at £6 per metre.
Zip:  7 inches, same shade of pink, found in the stash
Button: from the box.

Dance like nobody's watching : )
The Sewing:

I already made up this pattern in a chalk-stripe moleskin so knew that it would fit with the adjustments noted above.  I wear the chalk-striped pair a lot : )

I decided to have the cord nap running upwards rather than down, as the colour was richer that way up.

In total, these took me about 6 hours to make.  Easy.  I had to stop work on Sunday with just the hems and the buttonhole left to sew:  the small matter of cooking dinner intervened.

How many acres of fabric?!

The Girl has no words.  It is probably better that way.
FL chuckled and the words "clown trousers" were used, but he quickly corrected himself to say they were "lovely" and "very you"!

But actually, I didn't make these for anyone but myself.  I saw that pink fabric and knew that I needed some madly bright and fun 1970's trousers, because although a lot of my cultural memories of the time are from black and white television, it was also the era of David Bowie and hippy rainbow-coloured idealism... in between the power cuts!

Perhaps it is not a coincidence that on Saturday, The Girl and I watched Control, a film about Ian Curtis of Joy Division, which definitely captured some of the grey truths about being young in northern Britain in the 70's.  So help me.  Call it catharsis.

Back to the trousers... the cord is perhaps a bit too widely-spaced:  I do fear they look as if I had cut up a candlewick bedspread to make them!
And it is possible that they are a bit too Ziggy Stardust for my workplace...

The Good Life:  Barbara and Tom

But as an upbeat, comfortable pair of trousers to wear at home around the farm they are perfect ... because don't forget that while my teenaged self was watching "The Good Life" on tv, wishing I could be Barbara, FL was living my 1970's dream right here, where we live today.

Back then, the hives were buzzing with honey bees, there were cows in the byres and hens scratching in the yard.  I distinctly remember his sunshine-yellow terry-towelling t-shirt - mmm hmm!  They don't make them like that anymore, do they?

That lifestyle is long gone, but there are still echoes around the place. There's a rainbow sticker on one of the upstairs windows and I found his 1970's copy of John and Sally Seymour's Self-Sufficiency guide the other day - fantastic!

Sadly there is no mention of how to make clothes out of old bedspreads.


Jane said...

They'r mad and fab and made me smile during strike day with BOTH children at home all day and no sewing!

I loved the Good Life too, although I always wanted to be Margo. Ah memories, my dad used to make his own bread, beer, and, wait for it, wine!!! I used to write the labels. x

Annie said...

Perfectly fabulous, pinkly divine, just don't startle the wildlife up there on the farm ;D

Urban Rustic said...

Stunningly pink!

Roisin Muldoon said...

AMAZING! Roo, they are so fabulous and so, so you - FL is just right. And it made me so happy to see the photo of Tom and Barbara because I often think of them when I read your posts.

blue hands said...

Oh my word, how pink! Strange as it may seem I think that cord pile running upwards works quite well as it doesn't get ruffled up by the act of sitting down.

StephC said...

I love these! They're so great! I especially love that you made them specifically to wear around the house and farm, to make life a little more day-glo... hehe.

sarahel said...

Like Jane these, and your spot on comments on the 70s, really made me smile. I was brought up to believe that all fabrics with a pile should be sewn so that it runs upwards for just the reason you mention - the colour is much richer and the fullness of the pile clear. My OH wears a lot of corduroy and most runs the wrong way IMO.

mooncalf said...


*squints into the bright light*


*wipes eyes*


Miriana said...

They rock. I've got some near-fluro green needle cord from croft mill, so am feeling inspired.

Noas' Libellule said...

Are the trousers actually glowing. They are mental! I love the Good Life too - discovered it very recently thanks to my British husband (he said I woudl love it, and he was right!).

Minnado said...

They are so fab, lovely and bright for gloomy winter days and made me smile. I can remember begging to be allowed to stay up late enough to watch The Good Life...think it was on at 8pm!

Tanit-Isis said...

Wowza! These are fabulous, and YOU are fabulous.

The only time I've worn this colour since I was eight or so was in dance costumes---puffy hot-pink pantaloons. Which also, in their way, rock.

Mmm. I am happy now.

Evie said...

Awesome. Isn't this the whole point of sewing...making things that you love and making them just for you.


And fabulous dancing too.

MelindaJ said...

Seymour's Self Sufficiency is on our bookshelf too (we're in our 60s) and got quite a lot of use about 35 years ago! And we had bees and dug our own food.

And I love the trousers. Well done!


Lizzi said...

I wanted to be Barbara, too - in fact I still do! I have the Seymour book and still refer to it for our tiny wee plot. And the bread recipe is good......:-)

I have a pair of shoes which will match your trousers exactly.

Scruffybadger said...

I am still smiling! The photos and poses are awesome you funky lady! Talk about banishing away the blues- these pink numbers leave no room for any other colours on the spectrum. I think you make many people happy with your trousers, not just you. How generous!

Clare said...

Brilliant trousers! I love the way they clash with all those earthy greens, browns and greys.

faeriecollege said...

Lady, you brightened up my day something amazing. You look electrying, in the best possible way :D

Technicolor Cutie said...

I need hot pink pants! Love these!

christinelaennec said...

You definitely brighten up the world in those trousers (and the blogosphere)! Good for you!

Alessa said...

Those are totally Happy Pants (um, Happy Trousers?) They make me smile, anyway. :)

Sigrid said...

Wowza, I love that you made these for farm wear! And they do look great with earth tones, don't they? I so love it when people really sew for their selves-- not just to physically fit, but also to fit a mood.

Sarah said...

Roo: Love them!! But....couldn't wear them, I'd look "wide as a barn"!!

Reminds me of the time my m-i-l (mother-in-law) told me "You don't have a waist". Nope.....never cared much for the woman, after that!!

Alice said...

Fantastic! This post really brightened up my day (literally!) and on a day when I thought nothing could make me smile. You really carry them off, how I wish I could be so bold. I saw my Aunt recently and she was wearing a shocking pink short silk jacket (a similar colour to your trousers) with a lime green trim that she found in a charity shop. On anyone else it would of been a diaster but she looked stunning your trousers remind me of that.

monkeysocks said...

Ok, these are AMAZING! I totally need to start using more plain brights-I always go for the patterned fabric, but plain RTW.. I need to rectify this!