Dress Blue Slacks

Apologies for hanger shots. My back just would not cooperate.

I’m again using PP113 because I made another tissue change.  I added 1/4″ ease/circumference to the back only.  Summary of tissue changes is now:

  1. Less 4″ leg length
  2. Crotch depth
    1. Back: 1/4″ evenly tucked  (total 1/2″ removed from back crotch depth)
    2. Front:  3/8″  Wedge at the center front decreasing to  1/4″ at the side seam
  3. Ease
    1. Front: Vertical 5/8″ tuck  (removes 1.25″ ease per leg total 2.5″ from the front)
    2. Back Slash and spread 1.50″ (adds 1.50″ ease per leg total 3.00″ added to the back)
    3. Net ease change = +.5″

I wanted to do something different. Anything. I chose to use a waistband similar to Loes Hinse Euro. It is a simple pattern adjustment already half done with the shorts in the previous post.  A straight waistband is drafted for the front and back pattern pieces. It is 3.5″ wide (my preference and includes 3/8 SA on each length-wise edge) plus 1/4″ for anticipated top stitching along the folded length-wise edge. The waistband pieces are pinned to the top of the front and back leg at the waist and overlapping the seam allowance of the pant and the waistband. This is just like the elastic waistband of the shorts. The first difference is that the darts are extended up through the waistband. They aren’t tapered as the rest of the dart. Starting at where the dart legs end at the waist, the legs are extended equal distance from each other all the way across the pinned on waistband.  Hmm a picture would be handy, but I didn’t make one.  Next change is preparing the tissue for a zipper insertion. Since I prefer the front zipper, I unfolded the front extension (as originally drafted). When stitching, the darts are  stitched from point through the cut-on waistband.

Euro Waistband

I used the MSS pocket again. I want pockets especially when I’m out and about in a more business like setting.  It’s surprising at how often, even with a purse somewhat handy, that a pocket is the most elegant solution to tucking something away while still having it handy.  I would tend to avoid the MSS pocket on more dressy garments. I used it here because I thought the fabric design would conceal the pockets’ top stitching.

I’ve used my fabric before. It’s a Walmart purchase and I believe a cotton/nylon blend. It is 66″ wide which makes me think it wasn’t intended for garment construction. But it works very well for summer pants.  It is light weight but firm. It tends to resist and then shed wrinkles. However, like all cotton garments, it can be a hot mess especially if I dozed off or wore them for 18 hours straight. It is a stripe of navy blue, white and a royal blue. I prefer stripes as a casual pant, or as an alternative dress pant. It will be my primary dress pant because I simply don’t have another similar fabric. I have pant fabric suitable for casual pants, jeans, transition and winter wear. Light weight  fabrics that work well for summer pants and are also navy blue are in short supply.  Not only does the pocket lie flat, flat, flat (one of the reasons I love the MSS pocket), the top stitching is nearly invisible due to the fabric’s stripes. The Euro Waistband is very flat. Between the two, this loose pant is actually slimming.

The two designs choices MSS pocket and Euro waistband added considerably to the sewing time. Nearing the end I realized why I don’t use this waistband treatment often.  For me it requires an inner button tab. The tab conceals the little gap that occurs when the zipper is nearly at the top.  I happened to set my zipper about 1/4″ down from the very top edge which can result in a large gap.  The tab pulls the top together and makes the closure a little more secure.



Brown Shorts for Summer Collections

As my planning posts  were being published,  I was able to return to my sewing room. Finally I’ve healed enough to navigate the stairs. I knew what I wanted to sew: summer weight, brown shorts, black jeans, and blue dress slacks.  My machines were threaded with brown. It was a no brainer to sew the brown summer shorts first.

I looked for brown fabrics in my “Under 2’s Stash”  That’s the cuts that have been reduced to under 2 yards. Too big to throw away but not big enough for  every imaginable garment.  I find cuts that are about 1 yard up to 2 yards long are excellent for summer clothing and crafts.  I keep these segregated so that I can find them easily and use them up. Otherwise these small cuts frustrate me. I can’t find them when I want them. When I don’t want them, they’re all I can pull out of the stash.  Lo and behold, there is 1-5/8 yard of brown corduroy in the Under 2’s. It’s the only brown fabric in the Under 2’s. I looked over my brown stash, because I really didn’t want to sew corduroy for summer. But the brown stash didn’t contain any light weight pant fabrics. I scoured the blue and black stashes and found that I  didn’t have much that will work as light weight pants.   I Placed an order through Fashion Fabrics Club but they won’t be here for another week to 10 days.   I  look again at the brown  remnant in the Under 2’s.  I purchased 2 cuts of this particular corduroy.  It was labeled as Baby Corduroy. It is a fine pin wale and heavenly soft.  So soft that it made poor looking pants.  I was always rumpled looking. Like I had just leaped out of bed. Those pants didn’t stay in my closet long.  The remnant sat in the stash for 2 years or better. I decided for the sake of getting things started, I  would use this soft corduroy which would be fine for all but the highest temperatures South Dakota can throw at me.

I also didn’t want to spend a lot of time fitting. Since the latest PP113 is near perfect, I opted to use it by folding the leg up-and-out-of-the-way  about 6″ about the knee line. I also wanted a quick sew. I opted to draft a cut on waist band. Which is  very simple to do.  My straight waistband is 3.5″ wide. I wanted and elastic waistband which looks best if it is folded in half lengthwise and edge stitched along the fold. I added 1/4″ to allow for top stitching 1/8″ away from the fold. I cut tissue 3.75″ wide and the entire length of front waist. Cut a second the entire length of the back waist. I pinned the tissue to my existing pattern along my waistband stitching line.

I also opted to use the MSS pocket.  This pocket is an extension on the back which is placed beneath the side front and to stitched. The front pocket must be finished before hand. I’m not giving the whole secret of the pocket away because I feel the MSS pant by Louise Cutting has several neat tricks that are well worth paying for. The pocket is just one.  Creating this pocket entails a change in my normal construction order. Not a big deal.  The real draw back is that you don’t want to try to adapt for fit after the pocket is sewn. In fact the instructions for the pocket say that it is assumed you have already fit a muslin and need no fitting adjustments.   When I choose to use the MSS pocket, I know I have to be will to accept the final fit whatever it is.

I had my tissue changes made, fabric cut and pants sewn in about 4 hours. I did not stop for fitting. Because of the pocket, either the fit works for me or the final garment is donated.  This really is a winning version of PP113. Easy sew; the pocket is flat against the body. There is some gathering at the waist due to no darts and the elasticized waistband.

My photos are from the point of adjusting the elastic. Every elastic seems slightly different.  The only way to be sure that the elastic is tight enough without being too tight is by trying it on. After these pictures, I removed 2″ length making my Walmart 1″ elastic 32″ long.  Then I butted the edges together on top of a 1″ bias tape remanent and stitched the edges to the bias tape. This gives me a flat, very flat, elastic join.  After that I stretched and snapped the elastic several times rearranging the distribution of the waistband over the elastic. I make a point of telling this, because the final short hangs a bit differently from the pics. Also, the pics have been lighted 55%. The corduroy is a nice deep chestnut-brown which photos as well as black.

So not the best looking pants in the closet. As far as fit goes, I mean. I like the details. See how the pocket opening is practically invisible? I do think I want to shorten the pants just a little more. This is not the best length for me. Overall, I’m happy with my new shorts. Especially happy because they now complete my Basic Brown Summer Collection: