Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Found the Right Slack - S2860

I am so pleased with the results of this pattern and would encourage you to go out and grab a copy. It's a very good fit without going through my usual crotch curve alteration.

Pattern Description: Misses' pants with individual pattern pieces given for slim, average, and curvy fit. Includes customized fitting instructions.

Pattern Sizing: sizes 8 - 22

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes. There was nothing confusing for me. Great instructions -- Several tips were included on how to make fitting adjustments. They lack instructions on making a sway back adjustment to the waistband and the adjustment on the length of the crotch was different from my normal adjustments. See my adjustment method hear. Also see comparison of M5710 and S2860 here.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? There are a few things that I really liked about it. The claim of an "amazing fit" was achieved. The instructions on how to make the fitting adjustments were pretty good. The pattern seam allowances were 1" instead of the usual 5/8", which is a plus when making adjustments. The process of constructing the pants was different from the typical instructions that you see with the big four, applying the waistband section to each piece of the pant before joining the side seams and CB seams.

Fabric Used: Polyester Gabardine (Vogue Fabrics) for the wearable muslin and very nice wool suiting from Fishman's Fabric.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I only made a few fitting adjustments.
- I added approximately 3 inches to the length. The pattern's inseam measured 33 inches, which enable me to put a generous hem the pant.
- Sway back adjustment to the back waistband.
- The seam allowances were 1 inch. I ended up sewing at 1 1/4" inch allowance. Based on my measurements I collected the curvy version, but I think the average version would have been better for me as far as wearing ease.
- I added a full lining to my second wear (wool), cutting it crosswise.
Assemble the lining, sewing all seams together except for the CF at the zipper opening; then finishing the edges. The lining was cut 2" shorter the pants.

This time I didn't follow my normal process of attaching the lining to the inside of the pants after attaching waistband; then hand stitching the inside of the waistband. Because of the pant construction, I followed the process below: Pin lining to inner waistband. This was a first for me. Only problem, I had a little trouble figuring out how to completely attach it and secure the waistband.

Lining attached to waistband

Next, I attached the lining to the fly/zipper.

There is a slight opening just below the zipper that I didn't attach. During the process I didn't consult any manuals or sewing books. Later I will search for some instructions on making a more polished look.

To secure the waistband, I simply stitched in the ditch of the side seams.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Sure will. This pattern fits very well and can be used as a sloper for altering other pant patterns. Additionally, I can use it to add welt or side pockets.

Conclusion: This pattern offers some great fitting options. It is versatile and can be used as wardrobe builder.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Weekend Sewing - Simplicity2860

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. Mines was kinda of quiet: cooked, cleaned, sewed, church, and little family visiting. I finished two pair of pants using Simplicity 2860. It definitely delivers on all claims. This is one to add to your pattern collection. You can use it as a basis for other designs/styles: adding welt pockets, tabs, or pleats. Great fit. I wanted to post the review and pictures today, but I got a flat tire yesterday and today my step-dad said that I needed new tires. Well, I ended up at Sears replacing the tires instead on going into the office. It didn't take very long to replace them, but I decided to just work from home the rest of the day.

Before the end of the week I'll provide my complete review.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Love My Pattern Collection

Like many sewists, my pattern collection is over the top. I enjoy collecting, studying, and sewing from them. With each sale (Hobby Lobby, JoAnn's and Hancock's) there is another opportunity to pick something interesting. In the past fifteen years my pattern collection has grown exponentially. Partly due to my approach to buying patterns. Previously I brought a pattern because I was planning to making an outfit for an occasion or for someone else's occasion (commissioned sewing). But now I buy for other reasons:

Teaching fit/construction techniques - I'm forever in "fitting school", always looking for ways to improve the fit of my garments as well as fitting my occasional client. This is so important to have each section of the garment portionally balanced. It can be well put together; but if it is ill-fitted, the garment can be uncomfortable to wear. I'm on a continuous quest for the ultimate "polished look". So any pattern that has some tips of the RTW polishing is a plus.

Styles of garments - At one point, my goal was to buy a pattern of every possible style of for each garment type. I know that sounds crazy, but..., Recently, some pattern companies have made it easy to have several style options (dress) within one pattern. This is a welcome change and may or may not reduce the number that I buy. lol

And finally,

Client requests - I sew for a select group of people, who have special requests. Some requests may require that I buy two patterns that I combine to create one garment. My confidence level is not high enough to try drafting my own pattern. So if I can create their design by using two patterns with some minor tweeking of the style, I'm good.

Soooo.., That's it on why have hundreds of patterns. Why do you collect them?

Here are a few parting shots. I'm copying one of Summerset's blog features. Lindsay T posted an article on "Would you Ever Make a Wedding Gown? I made two: mine and a member of my church.

The Sloper Pattern - S2860 Fitting Pants PT III

I call this the sloper pattern. It's all about making the perfect fitting pant. The pattern cover says:

- Contoured Waistband - comfortably sits 1/2" below the natural waistline
- Side Seams - Hang straight without pulling toward the front or back
- Center Seam - Has enough room for movement without sagging or creeping

Sounds good, right? Wait it gets better..., The pattern including three patterns for three different body types: slim, average, and curvy. So course, I'm trying it out. Part of my evaluation is to compare it to the adjustments that I currently use for getting the right fit for me.

The pattern instructions are pretty good. They include information of how to determine your figure type and how to select the appropriate pattern pieces for that figure type.

Details on fitting the waistline using darts for each body type.

Illiustrations and instructions on fine tuning the pants as you go.

Illiustration of the body space of the M5710 pattern.

The body space of the Simplicity pattern (2860) is narrower than the space of the M5710.

Here are the back patterns of S2860 and M5710 side by side. I can see the similarity in the shape of the side seam, but the crotch line is different. Based on my measurements, I should use the curvy version of the pattern.Finally, I placed the back of M5710 over the back of S2860 to further compare the two. The crotch curve is quite different. The base of the crotch line falls about 1 1/2" lower than the M5710. I'll see how big of a difference this weekend.

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pants - M5710

This fall season I plan to make several pairs of pants. After taking inventory of my fall wardrobe, I realized that many of the pants from last year were worn or in disrepair. So I need to beef up my wardrobe with some new slacks. So I chose this pattern to start the with. I didn't make a muslin; I just started with my usual adjustments then worked from there.

Pattern Description: MISSES’ PANTS IN TWO WIDTHS AND SASH: Semi-fitted, floor length pants have yoke, side front pockets and back zipper; pants A, B have slightly flared leg; pants A has sash; pants B has purchased belt; pants C has flared leg.

Pattern Sizing: 6 - 20. I made size 14; view A

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes. Nothing deceiving about the photo or the drawing.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes. Nothing confusing or difficult. Standard instructions for yoked pants.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? The flared leg attracted me to this pattern. After I completed them I remembered I didn't particularly care of pants with a back zipper. With the sash across the opening, it's not as easy to undo and slip off the pants. I don't like all of the adjustments needed to remove them. Next pair I'll make a mock fly for a front closer. Also I think I prefer wearing a wide belt as oppose to a sash. Because of my sway back, the sash doesn't lay as flat as I would like across the back.

Fabric Used: I used a wool blend from my sash, purchased at Discount Textile Warehouse last year.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I made my usual adjustments. I also fully lined them.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I plan to make at least one more pair this season. I like the cut on these pants. They are comfortable to wear. And yes I recommend them to all level sewists.

Conclusion: These pants are easy to make, very comfortable and stylish.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Finding the Right Slack - McCalls 5710 - Part II

I used the guidelines described in Threads magazine article: "Adjusting Pants from Waist to Seat" to make some of the needed adjustments to fit McCalls 5710.

First, I reduce the length of the back crotch by 1/2 inch. Then I removed 5/8 inch from the center back seam to increase the body space.

Next I added 5/8 inch to the side seam to compensate for the decrease in width.

The front crotch length was decreased by 1 inch. Above are the two pattern pieces side by side to show the body space area. Note the back piece is about 2 inches longer than the front. This compensate for the curve of the buttock and the sway back. Imagine the back pattern piece having flexibility to curve slightly as a sway back would.

Additional adjustments made:

Sway back adjustment of Back Yoke

Length the pants by 4 inches.

Stay Tuned! Finished pants post is next.
Happy Sewing!

Pants - Finding the Best Fit - Part I

Sewing has been an art practiced, shared and loved by many women in my family. My grandmother (father) sewed everything from drapes to coats to men's suits. The women on my mother's side garment sew too, but were especially keen on quiting. I started making Barbie doll clothes at age 10 and later started garment sewing at 12. The initial draw to garment sewing was out of necessarity because I was, back then, long, flat, and very thin. Everything RTW that was long enough looked like it was on a hanger. Two of my biggest challenges were understanding how to digest the pattern instructions and translate that understanding into a finished wearable garment using a sewing machine. In those days I had lots of help at arms length when I got stuck on a process. Thus, the start of my sewing journey.

In my early days of sewing, I only had to length sleeves, skirts, and pants. Today I am still long, but curvy, and thicker. As I mature, the uniqueness of my frame becomes more pronounced. Now, with each garment, there are adjustments to make it fit.

In August, I started inventorying my fall wardrobe trying to determine what I needed most. And that is pants. About half of what I own need some type of repair or are too worn period (clothes don't hold up as well as they used to). Because I wear them more in fall and winter, I decided to push a few pairs to the top of the list. But first the fit...,

Threads (January 2006) magazine published an article, "Adjusting Pants for Waist to Seat". This was an answer to my prays. My challenge has been sway back and adjusting the crotch area to the proper length to balance the front and back. This article considered the body space along with the length and curve of it. Perfect. From January 2006 to now I have used these guidelines to achieve a better fitting pants.

Tip-Toe Through the Tulips Cadena Mode - Fall 2008

The Cadena Mode Fall 2008 issue is just as beautiful as the previous issues that I own. This is a great fashion magazine. In this issue, Cadena is featuring florals, interesting embellishments, unique silhouettes, the color palette ranging from bold brights to soft neutrals hues. There is something for everyone: classic designs to the latest trendy chic Runway styles.

One of my favorite design elements of this issue is the Tulip. This design is featured in day wear and in eye-catching evening attire.

This Evening Gown - Is not a Tulip, but the skirt imitates flower petals.

Cadena is published in the Spring and Fall and can be purchase at Fishman's Fabric (Desplaines and Roosevelt-Chicago). I've already reserved my copy of the Spring 2009 issue.

All photos from Cadena Mode Fall 2008 magazine.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Online Quiz

This is a fun online quiz that Bonnie posted on her blog. So I decided to give it a try. My results are below.


Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are a Grace!


You are a Grace -- "I need to understand the world."

Graces have a need for knowledge and are introverted, curious, analytical, and insightful.

How to Get Along with Me

  • * Be independent, not clingy

  • * Speak in a straightforward and brief manner

  • * I need time alone to process my feelings and thoughts

  • * Remember that If I seem aloof, distant, or arrogant, it may be that I am feeling uncomfortable

  • * Make me feel welcome, but not too intensely, or I might doubt your sincerity

  • * If I become irritated when I have to repeat things, it may be because it was such an effort to get my thoughts out in the first place

  • * don't come on like a bulldozer

  • * Help me to avoid my pet peeves: big parties, other people's loud music, overdone emotions, and intrusions on my privacy

What I Like About Being a Grace
* standing back and viewing life objectively
* coming to a thorough understanding; perceiving causes and effects
* my sense of integrity: doing what I think is right and not being influenced by social pressure
* not being caught up in material possessions and status
* being calm in a crisis

What's Hard About Being a Grace

  • * being slow to put my knowledge and insights out in the world

  • * feeling bad when I act defensive or like a know-it-all

  • * being pressured to be with people when I don't want to be

  • * watching others with better social skills, but less intelligence or technical skill, do better professionally

Graces as Children Often

  • * spend a lot of time alone reading, making collections, and so on

  • * have a few special friends rather than many

  • * are very bright and curious and do well in school

  • * have independent minds and often question their parents and teachers

  • * watch events from a detached point of view, gathering information

  • * assume a poker face in order not to look afraid

  • * are sensitive; avoid interpersonal conflict

  • * feel intruded upon and controlled and/or ignored and neglected

Graces as Parents

  • * are often kind, perceptive, and devoted

  • * are sometimes authoritarian and demanding

  • * may expect more intellectual achievement than is developmentally appropriate

  • * may be intolerant of their children expressing strong emotions

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz at HelloQuizzy

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Burda October 2008 - The Luxury Look

The faux fur jackets are too fabulous. My favorite is the black jacket with the wool sleeves. I think I want to make one of these.

Burda also features several garments in graphic colorful prints made up in silk and satin fabrics.

I like the cut on this jacket.

There is something for everyone is this issue. For the special man in your life. This is a great pea jacket in classic navy. Nice...,

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Cutest Little Top - Butterick 4985

Butterick 4985

Let me start off by saying, "This is a great pattern. It has been reviewed on PR at least fifteen times." And I will definitely make this again. The only reason I'm reviewing it is my alterations may assist someone with making their own version of this top. It's a winner. Did I just give the conclusion? Oh well. Here goes.

Pattern Description: Tops A, B, C, D have gathered upper front, lower section with princess seams, sleeve and collar variation. A: stand-up collar and tie, two-piece sleeve. B: gathered sleeve with band and collar with collar band. C, D: gathered sleeve with band and stand-up collar. D: purchased trim.

Pattern Sizing: Sizes 6 to 20. I made size 14 with my usual alterations.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes it did.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Easy as 1, 2, 3.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? What's not to like about it. It's feminine, stylish, and flattering. Not to mention, very versatile. Again, no dislike.

Fabric Used: Okay the remnant room at Vogue Fabrics is the first place I go when I shop there. You'd be surprised at the great deals you will find here. everything from silk, to wool, to polyester. This is a polyester silky print fabric that I purchased for under $10.00.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I made a few: They are:

- FBA. Here's the original paper pattern over the redraft.

Now the two side by side.

- Broad Shoulder/Prominent Shoulder Blades

- Sway Back -- for the sway back adjustment, I added tucks at the lower back of the bodice and increased the seam allowance of the adjoining lower back sections.

- The pattern called for four 5/8" buttons. I used 1/2" buttons from my stash and instead of four I sewed six spaced 1 1/2" apart.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Sure will. I plan to add long sleeves to the next version.

Conclusion: It's at the top! ;-)


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