Sometimes I have a grand vision of an outfit and how I will look once I’m finished putting it together. Then reality hits. I’ve wanted to make the Pucci pant and top (Vogue 1394) for some time, delayed only by looking for the perfect fabric. I made it last week, but my conclusions on seeing it on me: it does nothing for my figure (which peri-menopause keeps changing).
But it’s not a complete loss, for I did enjoy making it and learned a few new lessons. You would have thought that making a muslin would be enough, but not in this case. I didn’t get the real sense of it until I finished. This outfit works for those who are slender and tall, which I used to be. My waistline/weight has been a problem in recent months (despite diet and exercise) and this top didn’t help.
The top/over blouse: nothing complicated here. However, despite the slightly curved line drawing, the side seams are perfectly straight and there is no shaping in the top. Add in that I needed to grade out from a 14 (old sizing, it would be a 12 today) to at least a size larger to accommodate the hips, and you’ve got a triangle shape.
The fabric is a linen/cotton blend remnant I picked up from Emma One Sock. Though Linda doesn’t identify the Italian designer, Marcy Tilton had the exact same design, but on a cotton, from Ratti. It’s a loose weave, and frays, but quite lovely otherwise and easy to work with.
The directions are quite good, though a bit different in terms of order from current instructions. This plays out in the facing, and constructing the “shoulder” seam. There is no shoulder seam, rather the back piece (cut in one) comes over and is stitched to the front to form the square neckline. I took my time with it to ensure a professional and perfect match. It’s the first time I’ve been able to do this type of join cleanly.
Four things done differently: I under stitched the facings, by hand (not requested). Since I could not get a perfect blind-hem with this fabric, I top-stitched the lower hem. I also used french seams for the side seams. And, despite repeated attempts, I could not get my machine to produce a decent button hole. Every time I’d do step 3 (go in reverse to stitch the right hand side of the button hole), the machine seamed to protest going in reverse and stitch a big knot. Since the button holes would show on this fabric, I sewed snaps instead. After the first wearing, I’ve decided to sew buttons for a decorative element, but also to keep the facings from pulling away as I move.
The “slim pants”: I needed to grade up a size, so I did. I traced off the pattern, cut, spread, and added the equivalent of a size, using some books I had about maintaining the proportion. The first muslin revealed a crotch smile and a side seams curving at the waist line pointing to the belly button. Oh, and they were still too tight. I was sad that night, as I began to get realistic about my changing body.
The next day, I made the fitting adjustments suggested by Pants for Real People. I added a quarter inch to the sides, straightened out the center front (from notch up), and added a smidgen to the inner leg seams, tapering to the notches. Felt good to go, so I cut them out.
These pants aren’t difficult, of course: faced waistline and hems, side lapped zip. The novelty here is the tab (and I managed a decent button hole). In no time I had the pants sewn together, all but facings, tab and zip. I pulled them on and they looked and felt fantastic (side zip not in, but opening pinned shut).
I completed the pant and … the waist is still a smidge tight, and I have too much fabric everywhere else, especially between my protruding belly and the crotch line. They aren’t comfortable to wear for long periods of time. I’m trying to decide if I can make adjustments on the final pant, but not sure where to start.
The black cotton sateen is medium weight with a bit of stretch. I purchased it from Gorgeous Fabrics in 2016. I have one yard left – a skirt or shorts?
If I can figure out the fit and/or slenderize me, the pants do have potential. However, next time I will consider facing the hems and waist with a lighter weight fabric to reduce bulk. I would also consider a different way to apply the zipper, facing and tab. I prefer my zipper tops to be sandwiched between the fabric and the facing, but here, the zipper is applied after the facing is completed. Because of the bulk, I finished the lapped zipper by hand using a pick stitch. It didn’t look great top stitched on, especially since I could not keep the line nice and straight (again, bulk). The only other thing I did differently was under stitch the waist band seam.