Sewing In February

originally published 2/11/11


I’ve not been posting.  But not posting doesn’t mean not sewing.  In fact it seems at times that I have time to either sew or to post but not both.  My own fault.  Even though this is the 11 and we’re over a 3rd the way through February (11/28= 39%)  I’ve been completing garments all month long.,

On the first of February I completed a pair of JSM’s.  If you don’t want to read the blog, in short JSM is my TNT pants pattern fit more than a year ago and revised when I lost some 15 pounds.  (Wish I’d do that again). This is not the latest version, the Ciggie Pant, but the full trouser pant as designed by Joyce Simmons Murphy.  I love the fit of the original version, but prefer a slimmer leg.  However, I have several pairs of the original version in, of course, several different fabrics. Making a new pair gave me the best perspective of a new-to-me fabric, Nancy Erickson’s Modern Gab.   And it is marvelous.  Simply marvelous.  It reminds me of the fabric I used to see in expensive RTW pants.  My mother worked for a while in stores as one of those “helpers” in the back room at expensive department stores.  Kind of like “personal shoppers”, but hired by the store to sell store merchandise.  We could never afford the clothes she sold, but that didn’t stop her from showing us the styles and fabrics.  This was one of those fabrics with a plus.  The plus is lycra.  The fabric is a fine woven gabardine of poly, rayon and spandex.  It has a wonderful drape.  It has a heft and a weight but is not heavy.  It’s one of those fabrics that you can’t describe.  You have to get your hands on.  I had some small issues during sewing.  The fabric stretched when the zipper was inserted causing some ugly rippling and resulting in some riping (unstitching, frogging).  I’ve seen this behavior before and it’s easy to correct.  I’m surprised that I didn’t anticipate this issue.  The fabric stretches lengthwise but not width wise. I’ve seen it in other fabrics and it usually results in seams stretching when stitched along the grain lines — which is all those long seams.  As I said it’s easy to correct.  I used a little SAS to fix the fabric to the zipper and a little more to fix the fabric to fabric where it is folded back on itself.  Lovely thing with SAS is that it washes out in the first wash or so.  Without further prompting, I also stabilized the slant pockets.  Slant pockets are famous for stretch out if they’re comprised of concrete.  So interfacing and SAS-ing the slant pocket would have been necessary anyway (i.e. had this not been Modern Gab).  Curiously for the side seams, they were basted in for fitting and did not stretch.  It’s quite possible that lessening the upper tension could have also corrected this problem.  Basting was a good idea.  With this fabric I could have gone down a size.  My 1/2″ seams turned into 1″ seams, snugging the fabric to my hips and looking oh so good.  I won’t change my pattern. Not even when I use this fabric again (which I will).  Because I use this pattern with many different fabrics and each fabric needs it’s own amount of ease to look it’s best on me. This is expensive fabric, IMO.  It is $16 per yard plus shipping.  If I bought only enough for 1 pair of pants shipping would be about $8.  I purchased 2.5 yards but could have gotten away with only 2.  A second pair will cost $40.  OK that’s not much to some people, but I’m a Walmart-bargin kind of shopper.  I would rarely pay that much for any clothing – even coats.  I could cut this from 1-7/8 yards.  I”m not sure it’s sold in eights.  But even when I order again at 2 yards per pant, I will order several different colors – got to be sure I get the most for my shipping $. (Oh no pic, sorry.  These were made in the dark evergreen color which like black shows nothing when photoed.)

I immediately finished, like on Feb 2, a pair of leggings cut from KS3661.

I’m telling you I will never buy long johns, leggings or whatever you want to call them again. Seriously I traced the pattern, cut and sewed up the first pair in less than a hour.  I did lengthen the legs by 8 inches.  I used their recommendations for elastic length, which worked well. My leggings are in white and fit skin tight Now, that’s what I wanted, it’s just that I’m not going to post a photo of me which is that revealing. Seriously they are high and tight across the bum, throughout the crotch and legs. I wear these in the winter and like to keep a few pairs.  When I was working and had to be out in the weather everyday, I kept 7 pairs. I have 4 pairs now but they’ve greyed and look rather ugly.  Also I bought what was available so that I would have 7 pairs.  I have some that are XXL.  They don’t fit the same.  This is much much better.  Mine are also made from cotton T-shirting.  I think if I’d made them of a poly or nylon knit or something which has much more stretch, I wouldn’t even notice these on me.  But becuase it’s plain cotton knit, I’m aware that I’m wearing them, but not uncomfortable.  Only the lower leg feels a little tight.  In the next pair I will add 1″ to the back crotch and remove 1″ from the front crotch.  Why I thought I would not have to do this standard crotch adjustment is beyond me. It’s like I’m not paying attention to any of the lessons I’ve learned.  I’m reading all these reviews which say “it fit out of the envelope” and I’m thinking this pattern will be different too. Not so.  They still draft to standard measurements and shapes and I still deviate from them.  So yes I need the crotch adjustments.  I do think that I will add just a skootch to the lower leg because I’m likely to be using T-shirt kints for my leggings.  Cotton knit is just warmer than that poly and nylon stuff and I’m wearing these because I’m cold.

I have more garments to report.  But that’s enough for now.