Tuesday, November 1, 2016

A pain in the pants... making your own pants

     I have been teaching myself fitting techniques since I started sewing for myself five years ago. I took a class and made a "dummy" out of duct tape. That has worked well for the upper torso fitting projects. In the first three years I made 4 jackets and maybe 6 or 7 tops. I feel that most of my tops look like they fit me. I had to analyze my shoulder line and master the large bust adjustments.
     Last year I decided that I wanted to make some pants for myself. I had my husband take pictures of me in all of my pants. I soon realized that they all had the same problem and were all pulling in the same spot. I bought Kenneth Kings fitting CD's Smart Fitting with Kenneth King and I could follow his explanation on that CD but when it came to reading my own "wrinkles" I was clueless. The second thing I did was take a fitting class from Sarah Veblen and bought her book: The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting. I understood better what my fitting problem was from her book and what I needed to do. The problem with the pants I made from that pattern was that she gave me way more easy than I like in my clothing. I thought they looked too baggy. (Some people feel that if you are a plus size you want your clothing baggy, I do not.) I do recommend her book as it is really informative and the design ease is such a person thing.
     The third system I used was taught to me by my friend in the American Sewing Guild. We used a book: (How to make sewing Patterns by Donald H. McCunn) and built our pattern by using our own body measurements. I did this kicking and screaming because I feel I am too lousy with math.
     She put up with my shenanigans and walked me through it. The pants fit with enough room to move and drape nicely over my curves. Now I have a template that I can use to compare commercial patterns.
     I used Vogue 9131 for my pants. They compared to my self made pants pattern very nicely. I didn't have to change much except for the crotch curve.
     I saw a pair of pants on the Nordstrom web site in August.
I decided I wanted to make pants that had this length and tapered leg. So I happened to be shopping at our going out of business Hancock store and found similar fabric.These are what I made.

Willow the Corgi
Vogue 9131

Do you have a pants story? Tell me about it.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Spring Components



I made two spring tops to go with the pants I talked about in my previous post. The tops came out more successfully than the pants did. I did not have anything in my wardrobe that was this pale lilac color. My pants were made with a linen type fabric with this lavender/ lilac color. I used lace on the pants pocket. The lace on the top is the same lace.
The Tye-dye fabric I just saw at my local Hancock's Fabric store that is going out of business. I had been wanting to try that McCall's 7094 pattern. It is too big but wearable. I loved the shoulder tucks. I am wearing the lilac pants with it in the pictures below. Do you like my sidekick, Willow the Corgi?

McCalls 7191 Is another top that I recently made. I also made a knit jacket to throw over it.
I love the cut out back in this pattern. The pattern was true to size and I just needed to do a simple Full Bust pattern adjustment. I used Sarah Veblens book to do this with and it came out perfectly. My new dog walking outfit. I used the left over fabric to trim my hat. I just rolled edge the fabric and draped it on the crown and pinned it with a matching flower trim. the knit jacket was a Simplicity jacket. I used some knit fabric I had from my mothers stash. I top stitched it with some variegated Superior thread. It came out beautifully.

Pants update I am a "deep" person

I took a pants fitting workshop with http://www.sarahveblen.com/ Sarah Veblen. During the workshop I tried on ready made pants samples of the Fit for Art Eureka pants that Fit. I had a choice of one front pattern and three back pattern pieces.
I learned that most people are evaluated by their width side to side measurement from the front view. Length from waist to center crotch and the depth of their bodies as viewed from the side. I have way more depth to my body when viewed from the side than I do width when viewed from the front. When wearing pants that means I need more depth so that I can "sit" comfortably in my pants.
I made the mock up muslin and it fit very nicely in the muslin toile.
At the workshop there was a person who could mark your purchased pattern pieces so that I can replicate the sample I tried on.
So I am making my first pair of pants. I bought a jeans pattern from Butterick 6327 and adapted that pattern back so that it matched my muslin pattern. I wanted a jeans look to my pants even though I am making them out of a linen blend.I think the fit in the front is overall good but they are just too big in the legs. the front hits exactly on my waist and on my side seams are where they should be. The pant legs look twisted but they are not just getting caught up on my sandal straps. The fit in the back is good across my buttocks. The pocket placement I like. The excess fabric that should curve around my butt indicates they are too big there. There is no gripping and pulling under my butt cheek which means my crotch seam is long enough. I don't carry the bulk of my weight on my lower hips but on a high hip area. These issues I will tweak in my next pair of pants. The fabric also was a much looser weave then the toile and has stretched a bit too.

 The top is just a white sweatshirt revamped. I just cut off the knit cuffs hem and neckline tucked it under and sewed. The closeup is the reverse applique that I added and used the lace again on the underside. I used complimentary thread colors in the bean stitching. Hope you like the colors I used these are new to me. I never wore this shade of lilac before. All the fabrics were purchased at a local Hancocks fabric store that has gone out of business.....

Monday, March 21, 2016

Another Jacket done! Simplicity 1320

I finally finished this Jacket that I started in Jan. It will be ready for fall. I seem to always do the wrong seasons jacket... I have to plan this better. I used pattern Simplicity 1320 I completed view C

The solid fabric is a cashmere wool very drapy and soft. The woven fabric is a boucle that is a synthetic blend. I loved the collar. I spent a lot of time fitting this jacket. I have many fitting challenges. I had to adjust for square shoulders, short back waist, full bust, slim arms, full waist, narrow hips.
I decided that I wanted the woven print down the middle instead of on the sides I thought it would give me a better line. There is a tab belt that needs to be sewn on the back woven panel that will give the illusion of a waste.
This fabric was given to me so this was my "toile" if you were. I am not sure I like the colorfulness of it yet. I think it has to do with a fall color pallet in the Spring. I am not sure I will make it again. I kind of like it and kind of not like it. I have the satisfaction of having finished something.
Now to start making the pants that I hope will fit me well.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

I'm a 'Tight A**'

Honey do these pants fit? A question to never ask your significant other or spouse? Flash-Flash I got him to take pictures. Well now all of my previously 'good pants' are in the give away pile. I realized that I don't have enough room in the seat area of my pants. This would be the crotch length. I also have too much room in the thigh area, skinny legs of an inverted triangle. If I size up then they are way too big everywhere. The seat curve is wrong as well I need a deeper curve. These statements probably make sense if you have ever attempted to make your self some pants. In March I am going to have a pants fitting session with Sarah Veblen, she is from Baltimore and has a book on fitting that I recently purchased. 
 Sarah Veblen Complete photo guide to Fitting

Baggy thighs

The best fit but pockets are too far apart

crotch depth too short legs too baggy

Boyfriend Jeans

I might have worn my jeans like this in the 60's

makes my derriere look flatter too tight

Almost there

new pants went up a size still don't fit

more of the same bad fit pockets way too far away
 I will be posting more as I start my adventure on pants making. Wish me good luck> Do you have a favorite pants pattern that you had lots of success using? I want to make jeans.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

New in 2016, Millinery, flat pattern hats

The Millinery has been busy. I have made some new felt hats and a few flat pattern hats. Yes I can sew and I do love to use all of the
features on my machines.Patty was gracious enough to model for me.

I have been sewing up a storm to finish all of my projects started in 2015. I took a few refresher and new courses in 2015 so hopefully you will see my millinery skills evolve to a new level in 2016.