Saturday, July 23, 2016

A Simple Skirt

Since I am working on creating slopers for pattern-making, I have been sewing up simple basic pieces to test the slopers which actually are turning out to be quite versatile since I can combine them with many garments already in my wardrobe.  In this case, I had left over fabric from my white pants, enough to make a simple straight skirt.

Self drafted skirt.  The top is Vogue 1247 (out of print) in silk crepe de chine.
As with my pants, I decided not to add pockets so as to avoid them from showing through to the right side.  I also used the same waistband technique I used for my white pants where I cut the facing 1 1/2 inches wide, folded under 1/4 inch and topstitched.  This results in a clean waistband finish that looks like a countered waistband.  I think this will be my waistband technique go forward for white or light colored pants and skirts.  I inserted an invisible zipper at center back.

The beauty with pattern-making is that once you have a sloper that fits you, just about any pattern you draft from that sloper will fit nicely.  You only need to tweak the garment to account for fabric variables.

I used hem tape at the hem for a nice polished touch.  

I believe this ensemble is one of my most comfortable for those hot summer days.  

Happy sewing!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Pant Leg Shape: Slim

Well, now that I have a pant pattern I am pleased with thanks to the Joyce Murphy pant block I wrote about in my last pant post,  I decided to start playing around with leg shapes.  I made a pair of white slim leg pants and overall I am happy with them.  It was more of an experiment but I ended up with a pair of wearable pants I like.

Slim leg pants drafted from pant block and self-drafted knit top

What I wanted was a pair of slim leg pants but not a jeans fit, not skin tight.  I have a pair of ready to wear pants that have a slim leg shape I really like so I measured along the knee and along the hem and compared those measurements to the pant block.  I subtracted to obtain the difference and divided by four.  I then reduced equally on each side of the leg.

I made these pants out of a white cotton sateen I purchased from Mood Fabrics.  The fabric has a little bit of stretch in them which, of course, affected the way the pants fit compared to the non-stretch woven pants I previously made.  Kyle from Vacuuming the Lawn has said that each fabric is its own universe and that is most definitely true.

Below on the photo on the left you can see there are drag lines along the leg. Granted, I had been sitting all day in the office so maybe they stretched out a little but they nevertheless fit better than the ready-to-wear pants on the right which I have actually worn out in public!  I think I will tweak the back crotch length a little for my next pair to see what happens.

On the left, pants I made.  On the right, ready-to-wear pants
The fabric was tightly woven and opaque so I did not see a need to line them for modesty which also makes them a cooler garment to wear on a hot day.  Despite the fabric's opacity, if I were to make pockets or a fly front, you could still see the pocket bag and fly front facing through the fabric which I don't like.  I therefore decided to make them very clean and simple with no pockets and an invisible zipper on the side.  I could have made pockets in beige to avoid some of the see through, but I still believe you would be able to see the impression of the pockets which I also don't like!  So they are as simple as simple can be for a pair of pants.

For the waist treatment, I originally drafted a facing instead of a waistband.  However, I again did not like how you could see the facing on the right side.  Not only that, I had serged the raw edge of the facing and you could see a ridge from the serger stitches as well.  So I took inspiration from the ready-to-wear pants.  I cut the facing to a width of 1 1/2 inches, folded under 1/4 inch and topstitched.  The result is a clean waist finish that looks like a contoured waistband:

I am happy overall with these new summer pants.  Now I need to make more but the warm sunny days are calling me....

Happy sewing!