First, the pants:
Pants. Been scared to make them. Can never get the fit just right, especially through the crotch. Surprise, surprise, Vogue 8717 is easy and fit pretty well right out of the envelope.
The pants are from the Very Easy Vogue series and is shown with a cropped jacket (which I made almost two years ago). They feature a high waist, front pleats, back darts and pockets. You can cuff the pants or not. The legs are wide – a style that seems popular right now.
Since these were the first pants I’ve made since I was 16, I made a muslin. I was surprised that a size 12 fit so well, and didn’t seem to need much in the way of alterations. The crotch curve/depth (not sure of the right term) in the front needed to be shortened slightly (1/4 inch). And I need to add two inches to the pant leg so I could wear high heels with the pants. (I’m 5’9″). I also switched to an invisible zipper.
The fabric is an absolutely stunning black stretch tropical weight wool twill from Gorgeous Fabrics (still available as of this writing). This is the second item I’ve made from the wool. I also made a skirt about a year ago (same pattern as the floral skirt I posted about last week). This is a beautiful fabric, and I have just enough left from it to make a pair of shorts. (No photo can do it justice).
Anyway, I wore the pants today, and I have to say just a few things. First, I felt very Katherine Hepburn with the high waist and classic, flowing wide legged trousers. I’m glad they are back in style. Second, I’m not sure this is the right pant pattern for me to make a second pair – because they are so high-waisted. I didn’t notice on the muslin, but these are REALLY high. Good support for your back, but not so comfortable sitting at a desk all day. Third, I still don’t have the front crotch depth right, but this was a good first pair of pants to try.
One thing I did do very differently: The waist band facing. I wanted a sturdy waist that wouldn’t collapse while wearing. I read in one of my books a while ago about how to interface high waists to prevent that. I’ve done it so often now that I can’t remember which book. In any case this is what you do:
- cut the facing from the fashion fabric or something lighter
- cut another facing from silk organza (this is a must)
- cut the interfacing from sew in hair canvas
- layer the three and baste, sandwiching the organza (if you leave it out, you midsection might itch)
- stitch the facings together, then channel stitch along the long edges, about a quarter inch apart.
- Attach facing to pant.
Seems to work for me anyway.
The Mandy Boat Tee
So was I channeling Katherine Hepburn or french casual chic? The top is a free pattern from Tessuti fabrics. The downloadable pdf is one-sized, and judging from the pictures on the website, the tee is really big on small frames. It’s 58 inches around at the bust. That’s okay – it’s supposed to be boxy and oversized.
Still, I edited. I reduced the circumference by 4 inches, folding out one inch from the middle of each shoulder through to the hem, front and back. I also shortened the top by nearly 3 inches to give more of a cropped look.
This went together super-fast and was very easy to do. And this was my first project with the new serger (Brother 1034d). Where has a serger been my whole life? I never understood what the fuss was about – omg – I’m in love. Sewing knits, finishing casual items? I’m sold. I used the four-thread overlock on all seams, hemming the neck, sleeves and hem with the twin needle on my old machine. Thrilled!
Only thing that gives me pause – mistakes. On a machine I’m okay with picking out mistakes, but now part of my seam is gone. In this case, my stripes weren’t perfectly aligned on the side seams (another reason I shortened the top, because I noticed right away that my alignment was off).
It helped that the fabric is very stable – 1/4 inch black/white stripe with a fair amount of lycra from Gorgeous Fabrics (still available as of this writing). It’s a beefier cotton jersey, with a lot of body (as you can see by the way it flares from the body). It was super-easy to sew.
I was concerned that the 3/4 sleeves and wool trousers would be too warm today – it was nearly 90 – but I was very comfortable. The pictures were taken at the end of the day. BTW, I think I like the Mandy tee with shorts better.