Archive for the ‘Pants’ Category
Thursday, May 9th, 2013
This month for the Mood Sewing Network I’m making myself a suit! The fabric I’ve chosen is a luxurious gray cotton-mohair suiting, made in Italy, and purchased at Mood Fabrics NYC. It has a somewhat firmer hand than lightweight tropical wool suiting but feels a bit more casual (due to the cotton), and has a beautiful sheen. Editor’s note: MoodFabrics.com has a ton of suiting fabrics. We actually sell more menswear fabrics than you realize!
I decided to make the trousers first (as recommended in my suit-making books) and the jacket second. That way you’re more experienced working with the fabric when you take on the greater challenge of a tailored jacket.
The pants have side slant front pockets and two double-welt pockets in back. For pocketing I used sturdy gray cotton shirting I had on hand. I used commercial waistbanding for the inside waistband and a metal YKK zipper in the fly. I used the same pattern as last month for the white linen pants.
Given the splendid quality of the fabric, I decided to splurge on professional buttonholes (done at Jonathan Embroidery, just one block north of Mood, on 38th St.) and I’m very happy with the results. They cost just a few dollars but really raise the level of the finished garment.
The pants are already hemmed but I haven’t yet pressed the crease: I’m still undecided about the final length. Some people may find these a little short; I think shorter is sportier but I’m not sure. There’s a trend toward shorter hems for men, especially in summer suits, but maybe that works better with a narrower leg than these pants have. (I find very narrow legs unflattering and confining.)
I have to see how the pants look with the jacket before I make up my mind. What do you think?
Will I finish the jacket before the end of the month? I certainly hope so. In the meanwhile, I have a very elegant pair of pants to enjoy.
Thanks for reading!
Monday, April 22nd, 2013
One of my goals since joining the Mood Sewing Network has been to create garments that coordinate with each other. It’s frustrating to have a closet full of cool pieces when nothing goes with anything else.
Having sewn my bold Marc Jacobs taffeta jacket and shorts last month, I now wanted to create some classic pieces I could wear with them. I am a huge fan of linen, so I decided to make myself a pair of white linen pants using a gorgeous, medium weight linen I found at Mood. Choosing from their huge and varied selection, I was careful to choose a linen that was opaque enough for pants. I found just what I was looking for. Editor’s note: Here’s a white linen close to the one Peter bought at Mood Fabrics NYC.)
I also bought some beautiful cotton solid shirting, soft as silk and with a subtly polished finish on the right side, to make a summer shirt that would coordinate with the pants. I call the color of this cotton “butter.” So luxurious. Editor’s note: Mood Fabrics has a ton of cotton shirtings available online.
Here are my new fabrics, beside the Marc Jacobs taffeta.
And here’s my finished outfit!
I made the shirt using Vogue 8889, a new men’s shirt pattern that has a covered button band in front, my favorite feature and super easy to make.
I lined the inside collar stand with gray cotton just for fun (it’s also much easier to keep clean).
For the pants, I combined two patterns: vintage Simplicity 3044 (which I used for my shorts last month) and contemporary Kwik Sew 3504, a men’s jeans pattern. I also added two double welt pockets in back.
I copied the button loops from a pair of old ready-to-wear linen pants I own. For the fly I used a metal YKK zipper.
I love this ensemble: it’s summery and looks great with lots of things I own. It can be casual or dressy.
The pants and shirt are also extremely comfortable. I like to be able to move in my clothes — and dance!
Spring is here and soon summer and I think I’m finally ready for them, with the help of some fabulous Mood fabrics.
Till next time, everybody!
Monday, February 25th, 2013
Let me introduce you to my newest garment: my black-on-black pants. These pants are the culmination of my efforts in Sandra Betzina’s Pant Fitting Techniques class on Craftsy. The pattern is Vogue V2948, a princess-seamed basic pant pattern that either zips at the side or back. I chose to use a black wool crepe from Mood that is described as “an absolute staple for three-season wear”, which makes it a very worthy fabric for all of the time I put into the class!
I’ve spent a decent amount of time these last couple of months going through Sandra’s class. I make myself a goal of a video a week in order to keep things manageable and not get too overwhelmed by everything coming at me at once. The class starts by you guessing what kind of fitting issues you have, moves through how to address all of those fitting issues, and culminates in a muslin and final tweaking in the pattern. I would have liked to have added another muslin step in there, right after the guessing of fitting issues and before the addressing of issues. That way you get a real benefit from not only evaluating what you know your issues likely are but also seeing them in action on the pattern early on. I found even
I think Sandra would be proud of how well they hang from the waistband.
Now, what about the back? That’s where I had the most problems in the muslin, even after my weeks and weeks of working with the pattern for the class. My original muslin had drag lines all over the bum, and everything sort of twisted down my leg from there. After rewatching a couple of Sanrda’s lessons and polling my blog readers, I figured out I needed a small tweak to the crotch length, a shifting of fabric through a wedge method, and a sway-back adjustment. The result:
Okay, you might be wondering if the black is hiding some flaws, so I’ll brave a close up.
Though to a perfectionist everything can always be refined, I think the improvements are quite dramatic!
Okay, let me take a minute to say just how hard it is to feature something that is black in photos. Like these pants, for example. If I was slightly in the shade, the pants lost all dimension.
Yet, when I moved to the sun, you could see every little crinkle in them.
So, you don’t get many photos. But, the pants that those crinkles belong to are well loved. And, that’s all that matters, right?
It feels so good to finish
Now to apply what I’ve learned to other pants patterns and slowly take over the world of pants… Muahahahaha!
Thursday, February 21st, 2013
I know it’s only February, but try telling that to my spring fever! GAH can it go ahead and get warm here already!? Since I can’t control the weather (something I’m still waiting patiently for, as well as for my own Hoverboard and Jaws 19), I can at least get a head start on pulling my warm-weather wardrobe together, yeah?
Before you accuse me of shamelessly ripping off Lori’s red pants, I’ve actually had these planned for a couple of months. Lori just beat me to the punch, and of course hers look better (which is NOT FAIR). Figures!
The base pattern for these pants is the Thurlow trousers by Sewaholic patterns. It’s almost embarrassing how much I’ve made up this pattern – but I can’t stop! It’s so good and the fit is so spot-on for me!
I did slim the leg down from the original flare – I wanted them to taper slightly (but not too much since the red cotton twill I used does not have any stretch!). I was a little concerned about how comfortable these pants would actually be since there is no give to the fabric, but they actually turned out pretty nice! And since the fabric is 100% cotton, they will be comfortable to wear come summer.
To narrow these down, I traced off the original pieces and just straightened the flare with a long ruler. I know this is not the proper way – hence why I have a bit of wrinkling in the back, nothing too bad, but it’s there – but it worked for my purposes. I wanted my pants to be comfortable and a little slouchy. Hopefully the cotton will soften up with increased washings – even the first prewash made a world of difference to the drape.
To complete my ~come hither spring~ outfit, I used this amazing seafoam rayon jersey to make McCall’s 4488 (a pattern from the 70s). It’s hard to capture this exact color in my photos (look at the picture Mood has on the site, it’s much more accurate), but I LOVE IT. Pretty sure this shade of seafoam goes with every color I own. I sewed the entire top on my serger, except for the topstitching around the neckline and hems – which was done with a walking foot and twin needle.
And just for fun-
I lined my pants with this floral cotton print. Ah, I love a fun lining! Unfortunately, now I constantly want to take my pants off so I can show everyone the lining… must work on that.
Come on, spring!
Wednesday, February 6th, 2013
You know when you see an outfit and think I HAVE to recreate this? Well, that was my thought when I pinned this outfit. After, Mood Fabrics contacted me to be part of the Mood Sewing Network, I knew this was the outfit I wanted to make for my debut outfit.
I have had red skinny jeans in my wardrobe for a year now but knew a wide leg trouser style would be a perfect addition. I perfected the fit on Burda 7447 pants and widened the legs from the knee down for more of a wide leg look. This Burda pattern has all the elements of a great trouser, welt pockets, front pockets, wide waistband and belt loops, it seemed like a natural choice for my red pants.
Once you get past the welt pockets on the back of the trousers, these pants go together very quickly. I selected Lipstick Red Italian Cotton Suiting for the trousers. This fabric is the perfect weight and drape for the pants.
One fact that helped me with the welt pockets, was to baste the stitching lines of the welt pocket on both back pieces. This helps to keep your stitching consistent on each back piece and your welt pockets look the same!
For the peplum top the natural choice was Vogue 8815, a very popular pattern in the blogosphere for the very trendy peplum top. I did add 1″ to the bodice of the top, it looked very short on the pattern envelope. For the peplum top, I selected a ponte knit. Mood had the perfect shade in the Dark Navy Ponte to complete my inspiration picture. I did want to add a little something extra to the back of the peplum top and an exposed zipper seemed to be the perfect addition.
You know when you have on an outfit and it just makes you feel great? Well, this outfit does that for me, in my mind I stand a little straighter, have a confidence in my stride and a smile on my face. It is that perfect combination of the right fabric and pattern to achieve “the look”. My garments turned out just like the picture I found on the internet and the picture I had in my head, gotta love that. These pieces look amazing together but will work independently as well. Oh, happy days!
I think my outfit looks great here on the farm in Missouri:
and it looks really good attending a baby shower for my daughter:
Yes, I am one excited first-time “nana”!
Wednesday, January 30th, 2013
“One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.” A. A. Milne Had I known organizing my sewing room would result in a two week hiatus from sewing AND blogging, I bet I would still be in the midst of a huge mess declaring I couldn’t take the time needed to bring order and modest aesthetic appeal to my cluttered space. I reached a good stopping point and expect to finish up over the next few weeks with pictures forthcoming.
At last I can sew in a pleasant surroundings!
Last year I made five pairs of pants. The first pair was a learning experience leading me to discover Style Arc patterns – in particular Style Arc pants patterns. After successfully sewing the Elle slim stretch and Leah Lounge pants, I ordered the Linda stretch and Willow woven cigarette pants; two patterns I rediscovered while cleaning.
Pants are my winter wardrobe staple and it was time to make more. I don’t know why but my fear of sewing ill-fitting pants was still haunting me. I settled on the Willow woven cigarette pants.
Any pant that is described as looking “amazing worn with heels or with flats” seemed like my kind of pant AND it sits on the real waistline!
Wednesday, December 19th, 2012
Fancy jeans has been a really big trend this season. And my favorite way to follow a trend and come in under budget, is to sew a garment myself.
This is Vogue 2973, an out-of-print pattern by Montana from 2007. Yes, I’m still reaching in the filing cabinet for old patterns. I’ve been intending to sew this pattern since I bought it 5 years ago… but I was always waiting for the perfect fabric for the jacket.
For the pants, I used a black damask printed Italian denim (cotton 85%/polyester 13%/lycra 2%). When I first ran across this fabric, I knew it had to become a pair of jeans.
While researching reviews of this pattern, I was surprised to see there were only two reviews for the pants. I thought they were pretty great looking on the envelope which is sometimes a rarity with the pattern companies. So when I read and reviewed the images, I saw why. This pattern has an enormous amount of ease. I wouldn’t want to wear jeans with the type of “relaxed fit” that this pattern would yield IF I’d stuck to my proper measurements. Which leads me to wonder, why the pattern didn’t produce a garment that looked like the designer sample in the envelope photo?! Could it be a case of a poorly drafted pattern?
So instead, I cut the size 14. I still had to sew them and nip/tuck as I went along. The leg was not originally as tapered as I wanted them to be. I didn’t want a “skinny” skinny jean… but more of a grown up straight-legged style. For my pants/jeans, I try to keep in mind my hip to leg-opening ratio. I’m not trying to look like an ice cream cone. So I based my measurements on favorite pants in my closet.
Even though with the print, you can’t see it, but there is a lot of topstitching and edge stitching. I felt that gave them a good RTW look… that is when given a close-up inspection.
And I didn’t follow the instruction very much. I know the order in which I like putting pants together. Plus, I always use this method for fly-front zipper installation.
My favorite detail of this project was the welt zippers and the topstitching on the waistband.
This is a cool pattern that fit the bill for what I’d envisioned. But please be warned, this pattern is not for the rank beginner. It’s for someone that knows how to take the pieces given and modify them into what they actually want.
Monday, October 8th, 2012
Basics are the backbone of a good wardrobe and they give you the opportunity to get dressed every morning without having to stand in front of the closet going, “I have nuthin’ to wear!” The two garments featured below are part of my “The City in Winter” Collection, the 13-piece wardrobe that I’m currently sewing.
The first garment is a gored skirt with a tulip hem that’s made from Simplicity 5194.
Wool crepe from Mood Fabrics – purchased in the NYC store but you can find some on the website, here.
9″ brown invisible zipper
black lining from the collection
1″ black lace
brown rayon seam tape
I haven’t made this skirt since 2009 and of course the last time I did I’m sure I made it differently. One of the things I did last time was that I taped the waistline using twill tape. This time I used a 5/8″ piece of lightweight fusible interfacing at the waistline to stabilize it. I really wanted a way to firm up the waistline without changing the hand of the fabric. I don’t know if I’ve read about this somewhere or just came about it organically from working with the pattern. Honestly, I will only know how it works after wearing it all day so expect a wearability report sooner or later.
I also added a row of edge stitching to the right side of the skirt. I wanted to keep all the pieces flat and secure.
TNT Pants ~
The pants have no new construction techniques. Although earlier renditions of these lined pants have been made with an underlining, for this pair I used a traditional lining.
Wool crepe from Mood Fabrics
brown rayon seam tape
soft & easy stretch elastic
black lining from the collection
A few more pics…
These are the first two pieces from the wool crepe that is a major part of the new collection.
…as always more later!