Sewing and textiles with Ann
Welcome to the Hanoi collection. I already have the Jodhpur collection, so here is another ‘collection’, albeit, as it stands it consists of two garments.
I bought the fabric on Hanoi wholesale market back in November 2014. Here I am in the midst of international negotiations, and a whole load of Vietnamese fabric!
I bought the fabric with the intention of making trousers from it, but have waited 18 months to be sure that I had the right pattern. I wanted a pair of smart winter trousers to wear at work.
At the time I had been keen to make Wendy Ward’s zipped jacket, and eventually decided to cut into my Hanoi fabric to make the jacket.
I made this last year. It hasn’t been worn all that much, but its always the right thing to wear at the times that it does get worn. Its quite short, and tight fitting, so there is a limit to what can be worn underneath. It works OK with some dresses such as the Moneta.
The trousers are the third pair made using Gertie’s cigarette pants pattern, following the stretch denim versions here and here. The original pattern, is in Gertie Sews Vintage Casual.
These are the closest fitting, and possibly the best fitting pair, but there is no stretch in the fabric, so there will be pressure points during everyday bending and twisting. Like the others, I used a facing to complete the waist, but I omitted the front pockets and added back patch pockets. I also did this with one of my Ultimate trouser makes, and it worked well. Luckily I made some notes about sizing and positioning.
To get the pocket size, I traced the back pockets on a RTW pair. I followed my notes for the positioning, but they didn’t completely apply as these trousers have a higher waist line.
In the measured approach you can just see some RTW jeans that I used to compare the placement and the tape measure confirming positioning as per my notes. But then I decided to be less scientific and just see if the pockets looked right when put onto my dress form. I decided they did look right, and top stitched into place. I did read that with patch pockets you should top stitch the pockets and then hand stitch into place from the back. I thought about it – this is going to be a bit of a pressure point with non-stretch fabric, and I decided that machine stitching would be stronger than hand-stitching (and quicker, and easier), so that’s 3 votes in favour of machine stitching then!
Lastly, I needed to get the length right, which as I have explained in other blogs, is difficult on your own. I tacked the hem and then wore the trousers for quite some time, including a massive winter shoe try on session to see how the bottom of the trousers rested. (And yes, despite lots of shoe trying on, I am bare footed in the photos!)
The Hanoi collection nearly included a skirt. Had I really needed another winter skirt, I would have cut more judiciously. I was only a few cm short of a pencil skirt, and if I’d cut the facings differently, i’d probably have had enough fabric. But I don’t need an extra skirt, and anyway, I’ve just made a new skirt from the ‘white linen’ fabric.
I have a rucksack pattern which I have never used, which I bought specifically to use up these substantial but small bits of fabric, and a grey twill will make a good back for a rucksack.
So finally, for a bit of a joke, let’s put the two Hanoi garments together. Its not as bad as I thought it would be, but it is a bit ‘North Korea’ isn’t it? Or should that be North Vietnam? They aren’t intended to be worn together, unless its some sort of charity day in the office!!