Tuesday, November 30, 2010

McCalls 9233 Pants

Now for the pants from my 4 day Palmer Pletsch workshop in Sydney 2 weeks ago. We tried on the gingham "shells" that were made up to determine our size - I was a 14. Then I used McCalls 9233 to make the slim fit straight leg pants. I was tissue fittted - and adjustments included lowering the crotch curve and folding in the centre back fold (there are adjustment lines printed on the pattern pieces). I then cut them out of some black mercerised stretch drill (2% Lycra). And therein lie the problems. Over the course of the workshop we determined that stretch wovens are problematic - oh yeah - just as everyone knows and as everyone blogs about!

 My pants were huge on me - even though the tissue fit was snug. So I ended up taking just about every seam and dart in again, re doing the waistband - dropping the waist down about 5 cm - now the side seams are very much off and the back is overly "pulled in" the waistband gapes at the back .... but, all is not lost, they are wearable and lessons were learnt - stretch wovens are a beast unto themselves! I could have gone down 2 sizes for this fabric!!

I also ended up making them 3/4 instead of full length ....

Miss Maggie is very interested with that thing in my hand ...
So, here are the 2nd pants - the pleated trouser. I was at first reluctant to make them - not terribly fashionable - but in the end I was pleased I did..... I used a grey wool - lovely and soft from Chic Fabrique.
Again, the crotch was lowered and the centre fold taken out of the back - there are 2.5cm seam allowances on these pants - to allow for fitting - and that was great because I had to taper the side seams for my hips.
I really only tucked my top in for the photos - but I quite like it. We also tied a piece of elastic around our waist to draw on a true waist line - I was surprised how much most of us cut of the top of our pants! And most of us added to the length as well.
The pockets had a pocket stay cut out in lining fabric and the waistband was the usual rectangle - but they advise how to ease it on using the side seams and other landmarks as markers. I think these will be well worn next winter.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Catching Up

Firstly, thanks very much for all of the lovely comments from my previous post - much appreciated!

Now for a quick round up of happenings from my studio.... 2 simple little skirts for my 13 year old - just like shop bought ones! I used thick black elastic and gathered up a rectangle of fabric to attach to the elastic.

Next, I'd like to show you some of the things that my students have been working on ... I often forget to photograph their stuff - I will try to get more... Here is L's bag. L is a uni student studying to be a Technology teacher - she came to me to upskill herself in Textiles - she worked on a range of decorative techniques to make coin purses and this bag.
She also refashioned a plain black jacket to a sleeveless jacket and put the sleeves on as "tails" with lots of machine embellishment - very clever! She is prac teaching at the moment and is sharing her new skills with her Yr 7 and 8 classes - Good Luck L!
These are S's bags - she is an accomplished bag maker! The one at the back is from Hot Patterns and the others are from a Vogue Pattern - great for using up little bits of fabric. Great work as always S!

And this is Nicole - she made a fantastic denim skirt using an independent pattern - the name of which escapes me at the moment - but I'll find out - or maybe she'll leave a comment to tell us? Anyway, she used strips of a Japanese craft print to highlight the gores in this skirt - and it fits her beautifully!

Great work Nic!
Back to me ... and here are some pants from Butterick 4077

Fabric is a superfine Cashmere - from the Fabric Store (Surry Hills) and the pants have a faced waistband and cargo pockets - no particular fit issues - I cut a 14. The top is the JJ Blouse - free pattern from Burdastyle - this is a great little top! Fabric is a black spotted cotton voile.

I recently did the Pants Fitting Course with Sue Neal - the Palmer Pletsch method. It was a great 4 days at the Martin & Savage premises in Sydney. We tissue fitted, cut and sewed and I will photograph 2 pairs of pants I made soon. Here is one of Sue's samples of a mock fly, pocket stays and pockets.
There are always a couple of naughty kids in every class - and here they are .....
playing dress ups with fabric scraps ....
And here we all are with our certificates and champagne after 4 long hard days!!! Thanks Sue - great course!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

65 Steps to a Vogue 1117

You may remember the fabric, and the chosen pattern ....

and so the marathon begins .... make a toile - which really isn't my normal mode of attack - but thought I'd play it cautious with such scrumptious fabric and a tricky little pattern .... these photos are actually the 2nd alterations to the toile ...
I cut a 12 - tapering to a 14 around the hips - this was a little too big - so took it in about 1cm on each side seam from the waist down. I also had to bring in the back darts about 0.5cm and adjust about 1cm for a sway back - that all gave a much nicer back definition. Everything else seemed OK.

The marathon continued with very careful cutting. With such a large print repeat, I checked each piece and cut out like my life depended on it - there is a centre front and centre back seam on this dress - so that was my matching priority. I read some reviews of this pattern, and I found that Allison's advice was very very useful in terms of sewing the little side front and back panels (thanks Allison!). The dress is fully lined - I used Silk Habotai from Gorgeous Fabrics. Everything went very well - however, I also added a bound edge to the raw edges of the CB vent - I used satin bias binding.

And after 65 time consuming steps here it is ....
I should have worn a strapless bra - but they annoy me  - I'll have to investigate a more cooperative strapless bra - cause my bra strap showed up in photos of this as I wore it last night .... the front detail is lovely ...

Check out that seamless continuity of pattern!!!! BTW - I used an invisible CB zipper ....

I am very very happy with this little number and it will get plenty of wear with the coming Christmas and end of year celebrations.... not to mention a special BIG NUMBER birthday party for a friend who lives at ....... (hah! jokin'!) - she'll know what I mean! And here I am with some of my school buddies from my 30 year School Reunion last night ...... my how time flies!!!