I talked about the embroidery elsewhere. Here I want to discuss sewing; construction choices.
I’m using a remnant I think from the now defunct Mill Ends in Sioux Falls. I truly miss that store. They had a small section of designer fabrics –rejects for one reason or another. Like too much stock; didn’t use in time; or crap for fabric. I also have a proclivity for upholstery fabrics. Many are manufactured in much wider widths and are higher quality than dressmaking fabrics; also surprisingly, better priced. (For example, when I considered fiber and width, dressmaking silks were more expensive and of lesser quality than silks in the HomeDec dept). This 100%, loosely woven canvas came from the upholstery remnants section of the store. Just barely 1.25 yards by 54″ wide. Just not enough for a pair of pants for my frame. Could have been a vest. In fact I think I did consider making it into a vest but never got that done. I need shorts now and I’m particularly interest in grey rather than black for summer.
This is a nonstretch fabric. It does not even possess the “give” of denim. I knew immediately I would be using Trudy Jansen’s 906 Fashion Jean. TJ906 is my goto pattern for nonstretch fabrics and has been or several years. Long enough for me to have developed several variations. About a year ago, I developed what I call the DG2 Waistband.. OK, I didn’t really develop this waistband. I bought a pair of jeans from Diane Gilman and realized what a sweet waistline finish she had used. I got my french curve and a la Peggy Sagers, copied it. Essentially, the front is extended at the top to include the waistband. The back yoke and back waistband are combined into a 2nd piece. The waistband pattern piece, is retained as the facing. Front pockets are not used. They would be a PITA, but optionally stitching which suggests there is a front pocket can be used. (I didn’t this time). DG2 uses back pockets. Sometimes I do sometimes I don’t. Lack of fabric was the deciding factor this time and these shorts have neither front nor back pockets. I installed a zipper because hello nonstretch? I need a way to get in and out. DG2 sometimes uses a zipper sometimes not. With the 8″ of stretch in DG2’s jeans they don’t need a zipper. I top stitched the back yoke seam. Mostly because it has a tendency to twist which can be irritating during wear. I also did 2 rows of top stitching on the hem mostly because the first row wasn’t high enough to secure the edge. That edge would have rolled again being an irritant during wear. (I’m surprised at how many RTW details can be traced back to making a garment easier to sew or more comfortable to wear. Listen to the hawkers on TV and you’d think it’s all about beautiful you. Nope.) When I installed the facing, I used 2 rows to secure the bottom edge because hey that looks like real jeans but also to echo the dual lines of stitching along the hem.
Must confess to one heart stopping moment during construction. I’ve made this pattern so many times that I just assumed it still fit. About half of the shorts I’m wearing every day were made, I thought, with this very same pattern. My existing shorts are comfortable. They fit the way I want. I thought I had both the shorts and long leg versions nailed! My heart stopping moment came when I aligned the waistband with the top of the waist. The CF is marked 1.5″ from the cut edge. The entire waistband was not long enough to finish the upper edge! Even using the 3″ designed as beyond the CF. What happened? I don’t remember having this issue before. No remarks in my blog about a too short WB or too long waistline — even when using the very same DG2 waistband center front over/underlap. The only thing I can think of is that I did not cut and sew immediately. I cut the pieces. Hung them while doing the embroidery and then stitched my shorts. The pieces hung for 2 days. I did not stay stitch or fuse, so it is possible that the waistline had stretched, I just doubt that it stretched 3″.
Instead of taking everything apart, adjusting and restitching, the way my Home Ec teacher would have insisted, I applied the facing, top stitched leaving the edges open along the zipper. Then I threaded 1.25″ elastic through the channel created by the top stitching.
I stitched the elastic and the facing along the zipper and then again at the side seams.
I Frey Checked the edges of the elastic and trimmed close with my pinking disk.
That stitching is enough to keep it all secured and the elastic evenly distributed. The elastic cheat? It’s one I learned/developed several years ago when having to deal with an expandable waist and tailored pants. The elastic is undetectable. The waistline fits no matter how much I eat or how bad the IBS becomes.
I will not change the waistband at ATM. I will keep it in mind as a possible future alterations. What does concern me is that the side front and the side back do not match. After all this time, I’ve made many pants and shorts, I don’t understand the mismatch. It would be easier to miss in a stretch fabric. I noticed it first with the cavanvas fabric because I had to stretch the sides slightly. Well more than slightly
The sides seams are really rounded and bubbly. It does almost completely press out
However is evident in the side views:
Have to admit, even the back seems to be a little loose
(I may take these in just a bit after the first wear and launder.)
I looked carefully at my previous shorts and said “Darn. They’ve got it too.”. Meaning that this excess length has been there a while and not the result of the DG2 waistband treatment.
Well despite that little issue, I think these pants are just beautiful. In retrospect, I wish I hadn’t taken the time for embroidery. Canvas tends to pull free at the seams. I did use a 2.5″ stitch length at the SM, N (which I think is also 2.5) on the serger. I don’t know what it is about canvas that helps it escape from seams. I just know that I feel a pang of regret realizing this canvas probably won’t last 2 seasons. This much beauty deserves a place in my closet for several years.