Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pants and Ensemble!

    Now that my sewing area is accessible again (see previous post) I have been able to start sewing again.  I was thinking it'd be fun to make some blouses, but when I went through my closet, it was clear I really needed pants more than tops. I have a large stack of pants that "don't quite fit".  ;-)  This was the incentive I needed to work on making a PMB pants pattern that fits.
    I had made a pair of shorts last summer, and they were wearable but a bit "wedgie" in the back.  In comparing PMB5 pants styles, I noticed that the Trouser version had more crotch horizontal extension than either the Slacks or Jeans versions (which I had used for the shorts), so decided I would try that. 
    I'm happy to report that I now have two pairs of wearable slacks.  Are they perfect, no, but they are a step in the right direction.   (Click pictures for larger images)

And even more exciting, I now have a vest/slacks set that I can wear with a variety of blouses! The first pair of pants matched the dark blue vest I made earlier.  I just made simple pants, no pockets, etc.  The pants are comfortable, though a bit snug around the thigh when I sit down.  


    And yes, my right leg _is_ shorter than my left leg. I'm always amazed how much it shows up when I do clothing photos.   
   Analysis: I also think I should widen the leg a bit by the knee, as these seem to make me look knock-kneed. There are still some other issues to be resolved.  The pants are relatively higher in front than in back.  I need to lower the front waistline and raise the back waistline some more.  I also need add a bit more room to the seat.

 I was going through my stash and found another fabric that was similar, even though it didn't fit in my current navy/forest/burgundy design color scheme. (Sorry about the bare middriff, I'm just trying to show the waistline and the pockets.)

Compared to the first pair:
- added "Jeans" style hip pockets.  
- raised the back waistline and lowered the front waistline a bit more.  
- slightly increased the back crotch extension and decreased the hip ease.
- slightly raised the hip level.
Analysis: I'm going to try yet more back crotch extension on my next pair.  The hip width is much better.  The increased knee width makes them more comfortable around the thigh when I sit down.

Note to self:  Remember to check the nap on the fabric BEFORE cutting next time. ;-)

Thanks for stopping by, and keep on sewing!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Well, I said I was done with fleece jackets, and I am, for now.  However, this is one I made earlier that I didn't get a picture of until recently.  I made this jacket as a surprise for my mother for Christmas.  I've never made anything more than a hat for her before, so picking out fabric and making a jacket was an experiment.  The good news is, it was a successful experiment.  She wears it constantly!  I'm going to have to make more fleece jackets for her!  Her only requests were larger pockets and making the jacket longer.
(Click for larger image)
As you can see, I used contrasting fabric for the facings and pockets.  Because I wasn't sure about arm length, I also lined the lower part of the sleeves with the darker fabric so they could be rolled up if desired, but her arms are longer than mine and she always wears them full length. The fasteners are large, western style post snaps.  I tried buttons, but I had trouble sewing buttonholes on the fleece.  My machine just couldn't manage the thick fabric and they probably needed more interfacing or stabilizer.

For PMB users, this is a an Oversized Jacket pattern. 
Settings are:
Jewel neckline
Finished length 24"
Sleeve underarm length: 18.5
Collar style: convertible

And if you noticed that I haven't been sewing, it's true.  We bought new furniture for our "study" (aka home office) and everything that had been in the study ended up in the adjoining "sewing studio".  It's really easy to empty out drawers but takes a long time to sort through the stuff and decide what to throw or keep and where to put it!

Gratuitous pictures of new furniture (and Patrick the dog):
( They look a lot better if you click for larger images)

Thanks for stopping by, and keep on sewing.

Sue C.

Addendum:  By popular request, more pics of Patrick (and the answer to the obvious question is that I have been told he is half Chihuahua and half Shih-Tzu.  He has the ears and domed head shape of the Chihuahua and the mouth and body of a Shih-Tzu.)