Sewing, What I wear

Bluebell trousers and adventures with swans

I’ve been holding off on showing you photos of these trousers because all the photos I have of them are rubbish.  But they’ve been done for almost three months now, and I do have some photos of them, and even if the photos are rubbish, at least there is a fun story attached!

I started these trousers last autumn (so yes, well over six months ago!) along with a class who were making them:

Bluebell trousers thedreamstress.com1

These are made from the same altered version of Wearing History’s Chic Ahoy trousers as my Pants that Never End.  The fabric is an absolutely delicious lightweight worsted wool that I was given by the wonderful Lynne.  It’s a fabulous colour: grey in some lights, purple in others.

The fabric isn’t quite as successful as the linen was, simply because it is so light and clinging that I feel the need to wear smoother pants underneath, which is more effort than I can usually be bothered with (tap pants are easy and wonderful, smoothers are a hassle.  I’m very specific!).  It also looks terrible the moment you put anything in the pockets, which entirely defeats the purpose of big pockets.  Still, I do love them

I have managed to wear them a number of times, most notably as my Wellington-to-Taranaki travelling outfit for our Anne of Green Gables weekend.

Bluebell trousers

We got photos of the trousers at our brunch stop, and again for an afternoon rest at Virginia Lake in Whanganui.

Nana lived very near Virginia Lake, and was very proud of it.  She always made us walk around it when we visited her, so I like to stop there every time I pass through.  It’s not exactly a hard task: the lake (it’s really a small pond) is beautiful, especially in springtime.

There were oak trees in full flower (an oak tree in flower is possibly one of the most underrated things in the world)

Bluebell trousers

And wisteria arbours:

Bluebell trousers

And, best of all, a teeny bit of bluebell woods:

Bluebell trousers

One of my life goals is to go walking in a proper bluebell wood, with acres and acres of them.  This patch isn’t quite doing it, but  these trousers certainly work perfectly with them, so they immediately acquired their name.

In addition to flowers and bluebell woods, Virginia Lake has ducks, geese, swans, coots and pukeko, all of which were either nesting or had just hatched clutches of fluffy offspring.

We saw a black swan sitting on her nest, with mate on guard:

Bluebell trousers thedreamstress.comShe was doing a pretty good job of defending her nest from interlopers herself, like this nosy coot:

Bluebell trousers

Based on the nest, I thought we were too early for cygnets, but a few bends further on in the lake I spotted a pair in the reeds.  I crouched down to see them, and  they decided I looked like I would make a nice friend and came to investigate:

Bluebell trousers

Andersen got The Ugly Duckling all wrong, because there is nothing remotely ugly about these darlings!

Bluebell trousers

Look at them.  They even know how to pose already:

Bluebell trousers thedreamstress.com11

The cygnets were coming right up to me,  posing and flirting and generally making me excessively happy.

Stella & Priscilla were calling my name with increasing urgency, but I just waved them away, because baby swans.

Finally I turned around to see what they were so excited about, and discovered that the excitement was the mother swan, who was RIGHT behind me, and not at ALL  happy!

Cue mad scrambling away and hysterical laughter once I was at a safe distance.  I’m sorry mama swan!  I just wanted to be friends with your babies!



  1. Elise says

    All babies, and all children are beautiful! This includes young swans, of course!

  2. MJ Ruisi says

    You look so comfy /divine,& and Blue bell knoll….swoooooning….!

  3. Deanna says

    The babies are so sweet! You got marvelous pictures of them. Glad you got away from mom in time. 😉

    I want some trousers with a super-wide wingspan now!

    I don’t imagine I’ll ever come across a bluebell wood, but I actually have wisteria and a crepe myrtle in my back yard now, so some of my yearnings have been fulfilled unexpectedly. 🙂

  4. Lynne says

    I think the trousers look great. I do like looser trousers! But I don’t think I can take credit for the fabric – I don’t do that grey purple. Nothing wrong with it – just not me.

    Aren’t the cygnets charming! I can quite see how you nearly ended up being feathered if not tarred by an irate mama swan.

  5. Frances Yaxley says

    I wore trousers just like these in the sixties. I loved the freedom they gave and of course they suited my thunder thighs…. We called them Patio Pants and had them in plain fabric as well as some of the wonderful sixties patterned fabrics.

  6. Well, of course, if you think fluffy grey is ugly, then Andersen got it… But now that I look at pictures to remind myself, there is a stage between old cygnet and adult swan when the swan looks a bit raggedy and, for lack of a better word, mouldy; but the fluffy young ones? Awww.
    Also, these are black swans! I’m used to the white ones. With red-and-black beaks (but only adults). Seeing black swans feels a bit like white crows. 😀 (Oh! Um. Czech idiom at play. “White crow” means someone different from the majority who doesn’t fit in. And that unwittingly takes us back to Andersen.)

    Bluebells! I only just recently put together word and plant – they don’t grow here. I can see why you’d want to visit a proper bluebell wood – it’s incredibly impressive just in photos and videos…
    If you do, I think you should bring the trousers and make those perfect photos you wished for. 🙂

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