2010-06-115, 2010-06-144

I’m making progress.

originally published 6/1/2010

I made the proposed changes to my pattern. I’m pretty methodical about this.  I use 9×12 envelopes to store my patterns in.  On the outside I write things I want to remember.  Like “use 5/8″ SA” .  That’s different from my usual SA.  It may be months or years before I use a pattern again.  I want something that will jog my memory that something is different. I also list on the right hand side any pattern alterations.  My tops are pretty stand “remove 1′ from BW length; make 1″ narrow shoulder adj”.  So it’s typical that I have 4-5 comments on the envelope fronts.  But pants.  My gosh, with pants I fill out the right hand colum flip the envelope over and start writing on the back.  No I haven’t ever filled up the back yet.  As a matter of fact, I haven’t filled up the front for these particular pants. But  I did list the changes I wanted to make on the envelope and tick them off as the pattern was adjusted.


This is the 3rd pair from this pattern.  I suspect I will wear the first 2 pairs several times and then discard them.  The problem with perfecting a pattern with multiple versions is that eventually I don’t want to wear the first versions.  Nonetheless, I’m making small design changes to each pair.  To the untrained eye, which is about 99% of America, it will look like I’m working a different pattern.  This time I’ve traced off a pocket from a pair of RTW shorts.  You know how black doesn’t photo well?  Dark brown doesn’t either.  So the photo I had, doesn’t tell a story and I didn’t bother to upload it.  Oh how to describe it. It resembles a jean front pocket except that the opening is larger and the pocket is appliqued to the garment. It is a patch pocket.  Typically, I fully line this type pocket with something very light and then turn it inside out so that I get nice smooth curves.  My brown shorts pocket, has a facing at the hand edge.  I thought this was very interesting.  So I traced off the pocket, constructed a facing and stitched the two together.  I topstitched with a gold colored thread (but not real jeans gold).  It looks fabulous. Except now I’m looking at the other side wondering how am I going to get a nice smooth curve on that side.  I had forgotten that I lined this type of pocket just because that was the easiest way for me to get a perfect curve.  Oh let’s face it,  that was the only way I get a perfect curve.  — In case this is a little vague, I stitch the pocket and lining right sides together along both curves leaving the top and side open.  Press. Turn and press some more.  — So now I’m looking at the pocket wondering how I’m going to get the other side to look good. 


Unfortunately, I’ve had disruptions to my sewing.  First I took the day to go to Lake Charles Francis.  Lovely day, relaxing, mind clearing.  I was under shade the entire time and have 2nd degree burns on the tops of my feet, front arms and directly under my chin.  We think the lake must have reflected the light and burned those areas.  I didn’t feel it and DH didn’t see me burning.  End result is I’ve spent the last 3 days hidden in the house.  Even going outisde makes my skin burn.  Last night I was no longer lobster red, just red, and I started itching.  So I’m healing.  You’d think that would give me more sewing time. Well no.  We had a hail storm that broke all windows on 2 sides of the house, beat the siding unmercifully and created 4 bad leaks in the basement.  One of the leaks is in my sewing room.  I spent one day just cleaning up the debrie and tried to use the carpet shampooer to suck up the rain water.  The shampooer didn’t suck very much, but the carpets are still horribly wet in those areas.  I’m reluctant to sew at my electronic, computerized sewing machine while sitting with my feet on a puddle of water.  Also, our house was a rental at onetime, converted to apartments for a while and now once again a single-family-dwelling OURS.  We were told by the former owner that pets were not allowed. Period.  People couldn’t have pets and live in this house.  Yet we are both clearly smelling cat urine.  It is unmistakable.  Even if the insurance company doesn’t pay, we will be replacing those carpets.  We are burning incense.  You’d think we were a couple of hippies from the sixties.  But no, we just trying to cover up the cat urine. 


Back to the shorts. In addition to the patch pockets, I’m going to ease the front to the waistband instead of using the 2 tucks.  I’m using a light blue rayon.  Last fall I sorted fabrics again and this time I pulled out lengths that were under 2 yards and placed them in 1 of 3 stacks 1) under 1 yard 2) 1 yard 3) 1.5 yards

Since then I’ve really been working these small amounts.  Now that I know where they are, if I need a small amount I look in one of these 3 stacks first.  Shorts take between 1 and 1.25 yards.  I went throught 1.5 stack and found a light blue rayon that has a linen look to it.  I haven’t done the burn test, but the drape and what I remember from the first garment I made tells me it’s rayon not linen and not cotton and defintely not polyester.  I probably would have made a blouse out of this, but because I need shorts and need material that I won’t regret using, this fabric is becoming my next version.  I suspect it will again look a little dressy. So I’m also changing the hem.  I will  turn up the hem only once, which will make the shorts just a little longer. At first I planned to straight stitch with matching thread.  But now I’m thinking I should use the blind stitch.  I am doing some contrast top stitching.  Right now I think I will topstitch only the pockets and belt carriers.  I want to be able to easily adjust the front waistband seam and the inseam.  Too much topstitching and I’ll give up on alterations/adjustments.  Especially since I like to use the straight-triple stitch for topstitching. 


Well, I hope I can report more progress tomorrow.  First I’ve got to see if the carpet has dried out .