Trend Patterns TPC12 Utility Trousers

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Strange, cool, functional, stylish: a totally random leg flap and ankle vents I never knew I needed in my life or my trousers. Is the Trend Patterns TPC12 Utility Trouser a masterpiece? I think it just might be...
Trend Patterns TPC12
I bought the TPC12 from Trend's stall at last year's Knitting and Stitching Show in London because I really liked the unusual design, but in the immediate, it was mainly to add to my decorative collection of Trend Patterns that sits on a shelf. I also picked up a rich blue denim from Cloth House with the pattern in mind, but felt like I needed to try out a (hopefully wearable) muslin before taking the plunge, as it was quite an investment piece! Including the pattern in my #2019makenine has been a good incentive to get to work with it.

My Cloth House denim and stash corduroy
The pattern requirements state 2.3m, though as with the other Trend Patterns I've tried, the yardage is only given for the largest size. I managed to squeeze my pair out of 1.6m of this orange/red corduroy from B&M in Leeds which had been in my stash for a while. It really was a squeeze and I have learned a thing or two about nap as a result... mainly that corduroy is napped. Sooo the pile runs in different directions on some of the pieces - yep I'm looking at the lower leg piece below the random flap - but oh well! I'd say it would fit more comfortably from 2m in future!

In terms of sizing, my 72cm waist put me just outside of the finished garment measurements of the size 10, but I decided to risk it anyway having found my last Trend make (this TPC16 dress) too big at a size 12. I could have graded down a bit at the hips, but I didn't fancy messing with that shaping!

The trousers were one of the most involved and engaging projects I've made in a long time! The weird construction details, alongside the new-to-me technique of a concealed button fly, meant that I had to put a lot of trust in the pattern instructions. Whilst instructions from Trend often assume some previous knowledge and could be a bit more descriptive in parts, I found these ones to be pretty great! My only comment is that it's sometimes a bit difficult to tell the right side from the wrong side in the construction photographs as the demo garment is plain white!

So lets look at the details...

Leg flap
The Leg Flap: completely pointless yet totally necessary? It serves no real purpose other than looking sort of fun. There's the option to topstitch around it and the front seams of the leg too, but I skipped this as it wouldn't really be visible on the corduroy. It probably wouldn't be impossible to hack this into a real pocket - something to consider for next time!

Leg vents
The Leg Vents: the easiest to make and maybe the coolest trouser addition you could ask for! It's actually a bit cold for such levels of ankle flashing at the minute, but I'd seriously consider applying a similar hack to other trousers in future.

Closure details
The Concealed Button Fly: I hadn't realised the fly had a button closure until I'd fully committed to the project, and I might have let it put me off had I have known (I imagine you could swap this out for a zip, but as a warning, you'd need a big ol' zip the crotch is longgg). This was my first attempt at a concealed button fly and it wasn't nearly as difficult as I imagined. I was worried that this sort of closure might look bulky, but it lays really flat and the finish is super professional. I took my time with the button holes and made sure to use plenty of fray check. The only thing I changed was using hook and bar fasteners for the outside tab rather than another button.

The pattern doesn't highlight the need to attach the fly together at the bottom so it lumped up a bit strange when sitting, but a few hand stitches sorted this out.

Back view
Having been worried about the waist measurement originally, I actually found that they came up a bit big. I adjusted them for a closer fit by unpicking the waistband and back to take a 2cm seam allowance (rather than the regular 1cm) along the centre back. The resulting fit is much better, though in future I think I'd take a bit more out of the bum and could shave a bit of volume from the hips. It's worth mentioning that the waistband itself is curved, which supports the depth of it and really improves how it hugs the body - now I finally get why sewists love a curved waistband!

The crotch is very deep and sits quite low, but as a certified member of the #longcrotchclub I'm all for it! The trousers sit really high on the waist, which balances the silhouette. They're even comfortable to sit in, unlike some high-waisters! The only thing they're missing is pockets - quite surprising for a 'utility' trouser to be lacking in this area don't you think? I'm sure they could be easily added into the side seams for future pairs.

As you may already be able to tell, I love the finish garment, but even more so because of the process of making it. The pattern really pushed my boundaries and I learned some game changing stuff, both design and technique-wise - I so need to make a pair of Persephones now I've mastered that concealed button fly. Thanks Trend Patterns for continuing to stretch my style and creativity! I hope more people try out this pattern as it's just so good - plus the more inspiration the better!

I'm filled with confidence for a second pair in the Cloth House denim, and hoping to go all the way with contrast top stitching too! It took a bit of thinking to style this pair into an outfit as they are quite different, but I can see them falling into regular rotation.

How would you style them?

Stay in touch!

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  1. I love them! Think you've styled them perfectly. Love all the little details. Definitely got this pattern on my periphery.

    1. Ah thank you! I'm sure you'd love this pattern - would definitely fit right into your wardrobe :)

  2. they are gorgeous-adore the details. Hard to know where to put a pocket as the line of them is so lovely - I know I 'sneaked' a coin pocket into the waistband of some trousers (it was really for my 'dumb phone' which is rather small)

    1. Thanks Eimear :) Ha, maybe I will have to sneak an in-waistband phone pocket into the next pair (though my phone is quite big...)

  3. These are just amazing! I love the color you chose, it's striking as a pair of trousers. Beautiful work, as always! (Seriously, your style is very inspiring--you just look cool and effortless all the time. I want to be you when I get dressed, LOL!)

    I have had this pattern for a while but haven't gotten around to making it yet--I really must sew it ASAP after seeing your pair!! (And maybe I'll remember to make the flap into a real pocket...maybe.)


    1. Ah Abbey thanks so much - that's really kind! They were only really meant to be a wearable muslin so I'm happy they turned out so well! I'd really recommend the pattern - it's such a good make. Hope you have fun with it :)

  4. They look great! Love the color, I really like the lower leg vent, and it looks like you did a fabulous job with the button fly. I think turning the flaps into real pockets would be amazing and really up the "utility" of these.

    1. Thank you Alyssa! I can't believe how much I love the leg vent - definitely want to include it in other trousers in future. I just read an article about utility trousers being 'in' so definitely need to work on the 'utility' of my next pair :)

  5. Hi Shauni,
    Your makes are lovely and I'm finding the info you provide helpful. I appreciate that! Would I be too intrusive too ask your hip measurement to help me in sizing those lovely Trend Utility trousers you mad? Thank you kindly, Susan


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