Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Taking the Nightmare Out of Making Pants

We all want a pair of pants that fit right. We want a pair with:

  • just the right amount of "room" in the seat - not too tight, not too baggy
  • just the right amount of ease in the legs for our figure type
  • just the right length - not too high water, but fashionably toying with our ankles
There is probably an answer to getting the perfect fit on a pair of pants that takes the trial and error out of the mix, but I'm not sure we know it. There are dressmakers and designers who are experts at pattern making.  There are classes that you take to learn the fine points of fitting a pattern.

But sometimes the simplest ideas work too: Make a muslin first! Maybe because Laurel can't hop over here to the store everyday, she chose to make a trial pair of pants out of cotton muslin to check the fit on my ever-changing body before cutting into the fabric that I chose. Smart girl!

After a few adjustments at the waist and hips, she was able to disassemble the muslin and use it for a pattern.  The beauty of this process is that now I have a pattern that I can use over and over again any time I need a new pair of slacks.

I chose the Debussy denim which has 62% linen, 35% cotton and 3% Spandex (don't you just love a little Spandex in your fabrics?). This fabric is remarkably soft for a "denim" like fabric and the small amount of Spandex makes it perfect for pants. I chose New Look #6163.

Another element of sewing pants that some find a little daunting is the dreaded zipper. I love these Beulon Knittted Tape zippers.  

The trick to putting in a zipper? Baste it in FIRST.  I love Laurel's trick of using a contrasting basting thread - she runs her basting thread right along the edge of the zipper teeth and then sews it on the right side of the garment so she can see how close she is to the edge AND keep the placket straight at the same time.

We all want to finish garments quickly so we can wear them right away and today's sewing machines are feature-rich on time saving settings and stitches.  But just because your machine CAN make an hemline stitch doesn't always mean you should use it. A case in point: this denim fabric did not do well with a machine hem.

Check out how it pulled on the weave: 

Solution - do a sample of your stitch first. If it doesn't look right, then don't be in such a rush that you forget the value of hand sewing. All those ladies in the 1800's couldn't have been that wrong! Look at the hemline on my slacks - beautiful!!!!

And the finished product?? Love these pants!  I sent Laurel home with some awesome Nevada Linen/Flax to make another pair! You can read more about my adventure's on Laurel's blog at Laurel's Quill!

All this visioning for a new wardrobe has me hungry for healthy food. It's amazing what having your measurements can do for motivating me in treating myself to a month + of all Whole9 Nutrition!

Here is what I made over the weekend for breakfast! Yummy organic eggs with organic vegetables and leftover grilled salmon from the night before. Put a little avocado on top and we are set!  Plus here's a peak into my refrigerator - it's so inspiring to just see veggies (the protein is in a drawer).

a.k.a. Daughter

p.s. I just want to say how inspired I am by those of you joining me in eating well. I am on day 25 and loving it. I have never felt better and I have no more joint pain and my weight and measurements are going places that I haven't been in years! Gee I sure hope these pants will still fit! I love reading your comments and letters about how you are trying the Paleo, Whole9 Nutrition Reset too! What more is possible for us all?

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