Portobello perfection

Hi there!

In previous years, as the weather’s turned warmer, I have found myself mass producing sleeveless tops and pretty dresses to suplement my ready to wear clothes and give my wardrobe a boost.  This year, despite there being some tops on the radar (and a couple in the wardrobe. And at least one directly in the bin) it’s all been about the bottoms.

This is definitely in part due to my increasing success in getting trousers to fit, which I talked about in previous posts.  It’s been given added impetus by the simple fact that I’ve been on migraine medication for the past year which causes your appetite to increase and your tiredness levels to follow suit.  Definitely a recipe for increased weight, which is exactly what has happened.

Now I’m trying very hard to fix that through eating more healthily when I can (because for me, a migraine comes with a desperation for ALL THE CARBS) but in the meantime, I’m off on holiday in a month and I don’t want to be uncomfortable.

One thing I love wearing in summer is floaty trousers.  Much as I love the look of a dress or skirt, realistically when it’s hot, trousers or shorts are what I reach for. Chub rub is real and it’s a bitch!

Enter another Nina Lee pattern (yes, I am becoming rather a fan girl, aren’t I?).  These are actually on my #2018MakeNine list, as is the fabric I’ve paired them with. So that’s quite satisfying!

These are the Portobello trousers; a wide legged trouser fastening with an invisible zip down the centre back seam, featuring back darts and front pleats.  They can be made up in a variety of different fabrics, from rayon to wool. I chose this black viscose which I bought in their sale last October.  I love the little white swans with their tiny red beaks!

Looking at the measurements, I decided to go with a size 12.  I took a smaller seam allowance on the side seams to give me a touch extra room on the waist and I did my now-standard adjustment to add 2cm to the back crotch depth.

The pattern came together relatively quickly; I finished these in a single evening (although I’m told I sew quite fast these days? Maybe it’s just that I go to bed too late!)  Everything was clearly explained in the instruction booklet which was great.

I love that these trousers come with in seam pockets.  I really love having pockets and the extra fullness at the front under the pleats means that this just isn’t a problem; you aren’t going to see the pocket outline at all.

Style wise, I love the wide, flowy legs.  I finished them with a smaller hem (1 5/8″ in total which is I think nearly an inch less than recommended) and I think the length is spot on for me at 5’7″.

I’m slightly less sold on the front pleats.  Like a lot of mums, my tummy isn’t my favourite area and looking down, the pleats seem to add volume right where I don’t want it.  But looking at the photos, it doesn’t look so bad and they are so cool and comfy, I’m totally prepared to forgive them!

So these beauties will definitely be heading to Italy with me at the end of the month.  They tick all the boxes for perfect holiday evening wear; a hint of glam but cool and comfy and easy to pair with a simple top for a relaxed look.  I’ve a feeling these might not be my last Portobello’s!

Becca x


Pattern Nina Lee Portobello trousers

Fabric 2.5m of woven viscose from Stoff Stil (there was a fair amount of this left but probably not quite enough for an Ogden!)

My measurements

Bust: 36″

Waist: 31″

Hips: 41″

Size cut


Adjustments made

Added 2cm to the back rise (by cutting a parallel line across the trousers level with the back notch and pivoting from the side seam)

Used a 3/8″ rather than 5/8″ seam allowance on the side seams

Future adjustments


Make again? 

Highly likely; they really are perfectly cool and comfy for this heat wave weather!

13 thoughts on “Portobello perfection

Add yours

  1. Your Portobello trousers + fabric combo is perfection! I own my squish (I could either put the work into changing my body or loving my body, and as my body is going to change continuously either way, loving it seemed like the better investment) and don’t mind adding volume to my already voluminous areas; but actually I find extra fabric gives the squish plausible deniability. Like, is it pleats, or is it ME in there? Haha! So what I mean is, when I look at this I don’t think “extra volume”, I think lovely and flowy and comfortable and chic!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think they look great on you! I totally understand how you feel about those pleats though 😀 But as you found out in the photos it’s an “optical illusion” when you look from the top 😉 So wear them and love them because they do fit you really nicely 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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