Has Sewing Every Scared You?

originally published December 24, 2009

More to the point, have you ever gotten a garment to the try on stage for fitting and were scared sh—– to put it on? That’s what happened to me today. My grey wool pants were basted together, I had sewn in the zipper and the side seam pocket . A new technique for me. This is not the old side seam pocket that is bulky, lumpy and adds pounds. This is that slim side opening pocket that you hardly even know it is there. Anyway, had zipper permanently in, pockets sewn, darts permanently sewn and front pleats pressed and basted along with side-seams, inseams and waistband all basted together. Hem was turned up but not pressed or stitched. And I couldn’t bring myself to put a leg in them.

I’ve had so many disappointments. So many times I’ve fitted a pant muslin to me perfectly, transferred the changes to the pattern, cut real fabric and had a disaster. I just couldn’t face another. I kept delaying. Finding this to do or that, plink around with the embroidery machine, check to see if any laundry or ironing could be done. Scrubbed a sink, you know just junk activities that don’t matter one bit, but kept me from putting the pants on. I screwed my courage together, put the pants on and took pictures. Yep, disaster time all over again. Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. First I wanted to bang my head against then wall, then I wanted to burst into tears.

But I did neither because the pictures in front of me told me that these pants weren’t as bad as my previous disasters.. As usual the fronts looked fine. Another plus, the side seams were running perpendicular to the floor and bisecting my leg just like I wanted. No smiles front or back, although I remembered that the pants felt a little tight in the seat. They were the right length and really did not have a lot of ease. They could pass for a Marlene D. pant, but were more classic trouser ease and shape. Then it occurred to me that the last time I was at this point, with the crepe muslin, I made only 2 changes which completely fixed the pants. I compared the scoop of the muslin to the grey crepe and sure-enough the muslin was scooped about another 1/4 of an inch. That would give me 1/2″ ease in that area. Good start. I also looked at the waistband carefully and decided I could move the stitching up 1/4″ at the sides. These were the 2 changes I made on the muslin that were the final key to the-pants-that-fit. After making these two changes I could feel the pants settling better on my body, more comfortable everywhere, except my waistline. Before I made the adjustments the waistline felt fine, now it felt too large.

Sigh, I decided I have to address the fluctuating waist. This is going to be a fit issue for me. My sewn garments will never be satisfactory until I solve this problem. I have several ideas in-the-back-of-my-head. Some of them I’ve tried before and can’t remember if they worked or not. If they worked, why did I quit using them? I don’t want the appearance of pull-on elasticized pants on every pair of pants I sew. But some application of elastic is the only way I can think of the create a waistline that can adjust with me through out the day.

For this pair I cut my elastic 3” shorter than my natural waist. I quartered it and stitched it to the back of the waistband but only the center back, side seams and center fronts. So the elastic is secured to the back of the waistband in 4 places.

After that, I hemmed the pants and wanted to take pictures. No dice. Camera insisted that the battery is low and the SD card is full. Well the SD card is empty, but the battery truly is low and in the process of recharging right now. DH assures me that the pants look great. But I won’t know until I take my very own pictures. I’m so anxious to verify that these pants fit. I envision replacing nearly every pair of pants I own. Really, the muslin and this grey pair are already the most comfortable pants I’ve worn in a long time. I dearly love to replace my less than perfect fitting pants, even those I’ve only had for a few weeks.

Well to anyone who is reading blogs tonight, instead of wrapping presents, Merry Christmas!!!