Vincent Trouser Notes


0. Overcast seams

Vincent's first instruction is "Sew the seams, and tack the stays", which may refer to this.

Vince doesn't do a seam finish, and in tailoring the purpose of inlays is to flap about in case you need to change the fit of the garment later. So, after cutting, hand-overcast everything.

"Stays" are bits of firm fabric which stop the cloth stretching or tearing. Stays are made from linen, which is not the fabric you're thinking of. This might refer to putting in the pocket stay, fly facing, and linen hip stay.

Tack the linen hip stay (on the bias, 8"x1.5") into the back seam allowance on the underpiece (Cabrera pg227).

3. Baste a piece of linen on the fork

The crotch is reinforced to strengthen the bias against stretching, and protect the fabric from moisture.

Vincent places this third, but given that this area will stretch with handling one ought to do it first

Take a 7" square of linen - fold on the diagonal. Iron it along the diagonal into a nice curve. Place on the wrong side of the fronts over the pointy crotch, slightly over the shape of the underlying cloth. Baste in place, and then trim to match the shape of the cloth. You can overcast the edges in the seam allowance to fix in place; or JMC recommends cross stitching along the diagonal (but ensuring stitches don't go through to the front). Repeat on the other front. (Cabrera 206)

At this stage, JMC uses binding to reinforce the crotch notch. Crotch notches in the seam allowance allow it to lie flatter against the body, but weaken the curve.

2. Make up the pocket mouth and stay on the topside

Cabrera has this as the second stage: with the trouser pieces flat, all the decorative parts are done now. Ref Cabrera on straight pocket making pg211

Cabrera has you complete the pocket; Vincent makes you wait. I see no compelling reason to wait, really, other than pedantry; besides which, the instructions in Cabrera are better than either of the other sources I'm looking at.

if you're doing back pockets, also make them now - either with a flap or a welt pocket.

Neither RC, JMC or WDF show you how to make a pocket stay, but given its curved shape one assumes it's maybe on the bias and ironed into a curve,

4. Baste the seams.

"Plain sewing will suffice", but it's an improvement if:

What is 'fulling on'? Tailor magic. Instead of the two pieces being flat on top of the other, you sew a bit too much of one length into too short of another - rather like gathering, but far more subtle.

JMC seems to think that this process refers to sewing each trouser leg together separately - but not yet to each other. This is a little ideosyncratic; all my other notes say do the fork first, but tbh this is gonna lead to stretching.

5. Sew seams by hand or by machine

"with the exception of the top of the leg seam where for 12" it should be sewed by hand."

The standard neat trick to sew trouserlegs is....

6. Sew facing onto the underside independent of the inlay

This is piece G, the "blind" made of silesia. Because he mentions the inlay, it's possible that the purpose of it is to stop the inlay irritating yr butt when you wear it.

But I'm lost at "and on the back of this fair sized piece of linen shold be placed." That'll be the rectangular piece of linen you cut, but why and where?

"Canvas should be placed rather over 1"wide and down the catch."

You can at least see this on the diagrams

7. The cuts should be taped

JMC makes reference to this, I think: some kind of stay tape, a firm material, should be placed on any notches in the seam allowance so they don't weaken and tear. He quite rightly does this far earlier.

But wait, here it is: "the blind G, Dia 4 basted on". So what's that facing?

"The blind is brought low enough to cover the stays and the tacking. A hanger up should be placed at seatseam under the waist lining" 8. The pocket mouth tacked, the pockets inserted 9. The fly and catch made up

"the method of finishing fly front trousers 1. The catch is covered with silesia to match, the edge havig been turned in 2. the slesa is brought wide enough to cover the seam and should be neatly finished 3. THe front blind is placed between the front of the pockets and catch 4. And a neat striped waist lining is sewn on 5. The pockets are made to stand towards the front and are securely sewn 6. A good size cructh lining is sewn on to cover the linen and the seams at fork 7. When trousers are lined, the lining should be flash basted to the seams and either brought to the top binding or to go under the waist lining. Careshould be taken to cut them large engh and to avoid twisting when putting them in. When they only reah to a little below the knee it is customary to snip out the bottoms. A good twill calico is the bestfor this purpose, but some prefer swan's down or the ordinary calico