Tuesday, September 13, 2011

See and Sew B5550 Jacket

Butterick See and Sew B5550
This jacket was pretty easy to put together, would have been even easier not trying to match a plaid. However; the plaid I used was very easy to get matched up in most places. The fabric is 40% wool 35% silk and 25% linen and wonderful to work with available at Sew Much. It was recommended to dry clean but I hand washed and line dried to pre-shrink and it did okay. I did skip the step of the "vents" at the top of the seam where the sleeve and front meet, I just sewed that seam all the way to the top ignoring the markings and did the same on the facing seams and it turned out great. I will definately make this again but maybe on the 12 the 14 is a little big under the arms.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Perfect Pants!

My quest for the perfect fitting pant may have ended!
Okay I have been busy sewing lots of things besides my pants. I just can't seem to keep on one project at a time, but I did finally complete a real pair using my own personal pattern. They fit great-waist band sits against my back as it should-crotch is in the right place; however, I did not cut them long enough so I am trying to decide how to handle the hem. Maybe a facing or fake cuff-not sure yet. As soon as the weather cools off I will whip up more of these-and longer!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Perfect pants-Waistband

I determined from the put together muslin that my waistband needs to be 41 1/4" long (these sit low that isn't my actual waist measurement, but it's getting close as the years pass). Since I like how the Simplicity pattern waist fits with it being pretty wide and the curve fittting me I would just use it as a guide . So I had to change it from a side opening to front plus I wanted one long waistband without seams at the sides. So, I pinned the front and back pattern pieces together and traced them to make one long waist band that I will cut on the fold and the length needed to fit on the muslin.

New waistband piece
I cut out 2 waist bands per my new pattern using one as the facing attached them to the muslin and slipped my new pants on. Now the muslin is not looking too pretty but the fit is good and I guess that is the point. They actually look much better in person than in the photos. I am now on to making a real pair out of wearable fabric.

Finished muslin!  Next-real fabric!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Perfect Pant Quest-The Muslin

Started the muslin-cut everything out except the waistband. I decided to wait on that until I have everything put together so I can double check the length it needs to be. Got the fronts put together, see anything wrong here?

Ahh crap, 2 left fronts-this is what happens when I get in a hurry!

After the initial cursing and then ripping I now have a right and left front. Yippee!

That's better, now I can continue

I went on with the next step of adding the zipper. I have found that McCall's 5391 has the easiest fly and zipper assembly and instructions.This may be the norm and nothing new to most of you but I have had some pretty involved fly instructions before. You first stitch the front sections together from the bottom of the fly to a small circle (which I didn't transfer so I just went a little ways down the curve of the crotch). Then fold back the left extension and place the zipper right side up with the teeth close to the folded edge and stitch.

Zipper stitched to left front extension
 Next, lay the zipper the other side of the zipper tape to the right extension and stitch keeping the front free.
Zipper stitched to right extension

Then you open it out flat and on the front top stitch down to the bottom of the fly.
Topstiching on outside of front fly

I then stitched up the inner legs, center seam, sides, and gave them a whirl. Now I have to warn you the next photo is not terribly flattering, but the pants fit pretty darn good so far. I tried to get a shot of the back side since the seat and all fit so nice, but I found it's very difficult to photograph one's own bottom or bum bum as my 4yr old calls it. Plus, for some reason I clinch my butt when I take pictures I found that a bit odd and somewhat amusing but I will spare you.
Me and my muslin-next step waistband!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My quest for the perfect fitting pant!

I can’t buy ready made pants or jeans that fit, plus I hate shopping and don't buy clothes I know I can make. Store bought pants are most always too low in the back plus the waist bands never fit and I have to alter them. I have tried many pants patterns with some success but the best fit was always the patterns with faced waists instead of waist bands. I want pants that fit with a waist band darn it! So my quest begins.
3 patterns used in creating prototype pattern

I have a shorts pattern Mc Calls 5391 that fits really well except for the waist band. It is straight and never fits right across the back, so I think to myself “If I have a curved waist band that I know fits and modify it to the shorts I might just get the perfect pant.” I dug through my stash of patterns (most if which have never been opened) and found a Simplicity from 2004 with a side zip (not exactly what I had in mind but they have a nice curved waist band) so I gave it a trial run on some really uncomfortable poly. Crotch was too low in front with some extra room for parts I don’t have, but an easy fix, best part was the waist band fit perfect. I took the time to fix the front crotch piece by comparing the front piece to my shorts piece that fits in the crotch. So, next time I want side zip trousers the pattern is already adjusted. Wow, I can’t believe I was thinking ahead.
raised up the front crotch line to match the pattern that fits
 One thing I didn’t really like about the shorts was the slant front pockets. These always seem to gap and best fix for that is sew them shut, but I want functioning pockets. More modifications take place. I take a jeans pattern that has the more curved jean type front pockets. I changed the top of the shorts front to match that of the jeans pattern and made a new side front piece that will fit in behind to finish out the top to the side seam and also copied the pocket lining from the jeans pattern.
new front piece with side front and pocket lining on the left

 I am skipping the redesign of the waist band until I get to the point of putting it in, so I can take measurements and make it the right length. Next step-make a muslin. I don't usally do this, I usually just dive right in and cut things out of fabric I might actually wear. In this case I just want to get an idea if this is all going to work together, so I will make a practice pair out of an old sheet. Now, if they turn out perfect I'll wish they were more suitable for public viewing, at least the sheet is off white. Check back for my progress...


Good morning and welcome to my new blog! I am very passionate about sewing and love making clothes. I am starting this new blog to share my love of sewing and to give tips and inspiration for anyone interested in fabric and sewing. I will post often about things I am constructing showing any little tricks I might have learned all the years I have been sewing.