Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sewaholic Thurlow

My body type is a classic Pear. Smaller on top, bigger on the bottom. It seems to me that the pattern companies aren't quite as friendly to my breed as they are to my "straighter" sisters. I found  quite a few glowing reviews of the Sewaholic Thurlow  pattern from women with similar fit issues on the web so  I ordered it and sewed it. Here are my thoughts on the experience. Short version - Love!

Awkward stance, but I wanted to show you the back as clearly as I could.

There are lots of pattern pieces, but they are all well drafted and fit together perfectly. I kept a similar style of RTW pants close by for comparison and explanation when I wasn't quite sure what the directions meant. I had sewed a similar Calvin Klein Vogue pattern years ago, and had that one down to a science, but it's been a really long time (tip: never, ever throw away sewing patterns when you move, you will always be sorry) and I definitely had to think about each step, especially with the fly and back welt pockets. I also decided to switch the fly opening, which required that I switch the waistband pieces (4!)- which I still ended up doing wrong!!! Actually I did it wrong twice because I made a muslin of these with cheap cotton before cutting the stretch denim I had bought to make them.Oh well. Experience is the best teacher- eventually I'll catch on and it didn't affect the fit or wearability of the pants. 

Speaking of all the pattern pieces- yes we were- there are two separate pieces for the front of the pants. The only difference is that one has an added seam allowance for the fly facing. I didn't feel like cutting two separate fronts so I just cut them together and trimmed off the seam allowance on the side without the fly facing. It worked fine. 

My measurements came out to a six, but after making the muslin I ended up scaling back to a 4 and even a 2 in some places, especially the front which was too long. I left the back rise at a size 6 and even added a little in the seat to accommodate my rear end. I also ended up pinching out some fullness from the back leg beginning from approximately below the cheek to the knee. This is my own little method for getting rid of too much fabric back there. Oh, I also adjusted the darts in the back and used two on each side instead of the one that is called for in the pattern. It fit me better this way. 

The first fitting was a little scary because without the waistband on, these looked and felt really strange, but once I basted the waistband in place, it was clear that these could/would be a great pair of pants. 

I decided to have a little fun with the inside and use some leftover printed cotton for the waistband lining. I will never tuck anything into these- thus no belt loops- so why not put something cute in there?

Here's a close up of the fly- if you make these, follow the directions carefully. The zipper & facing  should sit inside the seam allowance by 1/8-1/4" to keep it from being visible from the outside when zipped. I didn't do this right- again, not earth shattering, but I'll do it better next time.

As for the welt pockets, I took advice from many and used Poppykettle's tutorial on a very nice method- which is much less fiddly than messing around with those blasted welt strips. 

Here's a shot of the front pocket. I finished it with a french seam and can think of nothing to criticize with this portion of my sewing. Yay!

The pattern gives you a ton of extra fabric for adjusting the center back seam for a perfect fit. My back pockets ended up a little closer together than I had hoped, but again, not a biggie and I will position them farther apart next time. 

These really fit nicely. The waistband hugs my body and doesn't gap at the center back or feel funny when I sit. 

Design note: I find the flare on the lower leg to be a little too much. I tapered it a little bit but will do even more next time.

It went together surprisingly quickly for a pattern with all those pieces, and I feel confident that after another pair or two, these can be completed in an afternoon ( long afternoon!)

Shew!- that was long winded, sorry. But the pattern is worthy of review.  

thanks for stopping by!


  1. Beautiful finish on these, Pam. I'm in awe of your welt pockets! I haven't tried them but I really need to. They look like a great fit for my body shape.

    1. The Poppykettle method for welt pockets is foolproof,

  2. Great looking pants, Pam! They certainly look like expensive RTW trousers.

    1. Thanks! I can't wait to make another pair!