originally published 10/9/11
I should be working on my black wool winter coat. I want to work on my black winter coat. I want to work on it now, months before it is needed so that I have no stress or urgency in it’s completion. Last winter working with this very same wool, I was hurried. I needed the black coat last year; and the fabric raveled horridly; just horridly. I feel like I chose the wrong pattern from a stand point that the pattern had many interesting but demanding design details. Sharp cornered collars, bound button holes, welt pockets and other details, all difficult to do with a fabric that falls apart in your hands. Perhaps if I did these tailoring techniques more often, it would not have been difficult. But add the complexity of the design, to the difficult fabric and then have some mismarked and not marked points on the pattern not my error but a pattern error and I had a recipe for disaster. I don’t want to repeat that experience. I want to use the same fabric, but choose a pattern more compatible with my current level of expertise and the demands of the fabric. My stumbling point this year is I have too many coat patterns. I’ve looked at them for weeks. Finally copied them to a working directory and started eliminating one by one for various reasons like demanding details or not really a winter design (who wears a coat open to the navel during a sleet storm?). I’ve narrowed my possibilities to 4. 4 patterns I think I’m fully capable of executing, with this fabric and for this winter. But I need to make only one.
So until I decide which one I’m using with the black wool, I’m making pants. Today I’m making Burda 2010-04-143 but the front is a size 46 and the back a size 48. Several pants patterns back, someone suggested I might need a larger size back than front. I didn’t follow up on that thought until today. This will be a prototype or wearable muslin. I fully intended to add this pair to my closet for wearing. I’m using a rayon with a textured weave very similar to a 2-stitch seed stitch followed by 1 purl knitting pattern. Done on the small scale it reads as rust from a distance. A little closer you see the ribbed pattern. Closer still gold highlights within the seed-stitch rib. The fabric falls in the medium to light weight range. I’ve had it in my stash for years because I couldn’t decided how to use it. It’s suitable for a long sleeve shirt, the long pants (which I’m making) or a sleeveless shell. It will be a 3 season garment; comfortably worn spring, summer and fall. If I want to wear during winter, I’ll definitely need tights and long johns.
The pictures to follow were made at the first fitting. Some important points to note:
- The zipper is permanently installed
- The Elephant-ear pocket is permanently installed and basted together. You’ll see a black line of zig zag stitches on the front about 2″ from the side seam. I learned long ago if I basted the lips of welts together as early as possible, the basting would help shape the welts during construction and years later the welts so treated would retain their perfect finishing. Whereas, welts pressed into place and not basted tended to have minor imperfections and lose their perfect finishing over time. As always, YMMV but this has become a habit of mine.
- The side seams and inseam is serged together at 1/4″.
- Hems are held in place with Steam-A-Seam (SAS)
- Waist band and back crotch is straight stitched at a 4mm length.
- Waistband is pressed in half and secured to inside with SAS.
- Button and buttonhole have not been completed
- Belt loops are secured within the waist-seam and tacked to the back of the waistband. They might hold permanently with just this stitching, but I do plan to stitch again at the top of the waistband.
Obviously the legs are too, too long. I really need to remark my pattern and either trim 3/4″ or hem this pattern at 2″ to start with. Because they are too long the legs puddle and force fabric to puddle further up. It’s not easy to see but they are actually hanging pretty well. I do see some pull lines immediately beneath the waistband on the back. These typically occur on me when the back crotch is too long. I’m not feeling the need to scoop the bottom of the crotch. BTW, I made no changes to the back other than copying a size 48 and shortening the leg so that both front and back side seams were the same length. I’m not sure I don’t need a little more room in the back and the front might be a little big right now. The idea of cutting the front and back 2 different sizes is an idea I will pursue.
I made the pictures small so you can see both sides together. But because they are small sized, I’m not sure if you can detect the leaning of the side seams. My right side is only slightly leaning towards the back. The Left side is very much leaning towards the back. There is plenty of fabric for me to fix this. I put 1 extra dart in each back side to make them fit at the half way point on my waistband. For this pair, I will mark the side 1/2″ towards the center front instead of exactly in half of the waistband. I’ll remove the extra darts. If I can I will increase the depth of the front pleat (I converted the front darts to pleats for this pair). If I can’t I will make a second small front pleat or ease the extra fabric to the waist band. Then this pair gets nailed into place permanently and given permanent status in my wardrobe.
Oh wanted to share something I realized just this week. I don’t quite remember why I was looking through pants patterns when I noticed that in every pair of wide leg pants, the model stands with legs wide apart. Like this:
Where IRL, I stand like this
How many and how often do you see women standing with their legs wide apart? My theory is: “Marketing company deception.” I don’t realize how wide the pants are and how big my bottom half will look, when the legs are spread so far apart. It’s only after I’ve purchased and sewn the pants that I think “these make me look fat”. Generally I always think the error is my own. I’m beginning to think, it’s not my fault. I”ve deliberately been deceived.