Does anyone else hear that phrase and start singing it to the tune of 'Paperback Writer' in their head?
Does anyone else feel they must stand like this whilst wearing wide legged pants for reasons that aren't entirely clear?
Is anyone else on a total sewing bender at the moment and obnoxiously feeling they're churning out winner after winner?
Seriously, I'm so often affected by a serious lack of sewjo, that when the sewing bug is biting hard, I have to make note of it and celebrate it. It's probably got something to do with having absolutely no money due to recent apartment purchase, and as such no ability to buy clothes, but wanting all the clothes, so *having* to make them all.
And the weather abruptly turning glorious so I need said clothes THIS INSTANT.
I also, and this will no doubt jinx it all, I seem to have turned a corner with my sewing and fitting where the wadders are becoming much fewer and far between and I'm actually making clothes that I will actually wear and am being less critical of the finish - mostly because it is getting better - my self-criticism hasn't really changed a bit.
As somebody commented the other day I'm on a bit of a pants roll at the moment. I think this is the fourth pair in the last month or so. I think I've finally nailed the fitting demons, and whilst I do have to start afresh with each new pattern due to the different draft, and more often than not I will make a muslin, I know what to look for and how to fix potential issues. Which is a far cry from where I used to be.
I've just been catching up on the Love to Sew podcast and particularly the interview with Melissa Watson. It was really interesting to hear her take on fitting and how it is a continual process as your body changes throughout life and that a few wrinkles here and there aren't the end of the world. I do find myself obsessing about things and listening to that was a good reminder that it really doesn't matter (that much!)
That said I've also recently learnt some really useful bits of technical information that are more sewing practice related but actually help with fit too. Such as I now know that the inseam of a back trouser pattern piece is always drafted at least 1/4 inch shorter than the front between crotch point and knee. This helps create a better curve and fit to the body and avoids the excess fabric you sometimes get back there. I never knew this and thought that all my adjustments always threw the notches off so never bothered to line them up. Duh.
What a difference it makes.
(As a total aside, I still however, have yet to find a fail safe fly insertion technique for when you have a separate fly pieces. Any suggestions on this would be gratefully appreciated.)
So, whilst the sewing is good, not much else is getting done and my home looks like some crazed animal got hold of my stash; pins are strewn liberally about the apartment, fabric scraps and thread are turning up in the most random places and my epic folding cutting table, isn't getting folded away and takes over the sitting room, becoming yet another fixture under which intricate lego creations can be constructed. You may know how it goes.
My sewing and pants making might be improving, my organisation is not. I am not a tidy sewer: I am always that one rummaging around under fabric and pattern pieces for the snips; losing facings; forgetting to interface things (mainly because I HATE interfacing things - its such an, admittedly necessary, bore); always being on the other side of the room from the pin cushion and so on. I do however, kind of think that it's pretty impossible to be tidy when creating clothes. I'd love to know how you do it if you are.
While the making of these trousers was chaotic, I'm really pleased with the result. They are neatly finished, they fit well and they have the drama at the waist and hem line I was hoping for, even though I didn't have enough fabric to create the super dramatic 6 inch hem. The pattern is McCalls 7726 view D and the fabric is a beautiful crisp red and white striped linen from the The Fabric Store's online store.
This isn't at all what I had in mind when I was first planning these trousers. Paperbag waist yes, but a wider stripe and a little slimmer though the leg to a cropped length was my vision. However, I love how the creative process deviates and goes through twists and turns and back-ups and often ends up in a truly happy but very different place to where you started out.
For me, sewing pretty much always starts with a vision, or some inspiration, or an item I've seen on Instagram or on someone on the subway, or in a store. I then hunt down appropriate fabric and the pattern to fulfill that idea. It's rare that the starting point is the fabric or the pattern (Terra Pants and Persephone Pants (coming soon) aside!) Especially fabric. I try not to stash fabric just for the sake of it being something I love, I like to have a project in mind for it as I really struggle to envisage what a fabric could be unless I have a plan for it. The pieces that have been languishing in my cupboard for the longest are those bought without a plan.
So this linen was bought specifically with these pants in mind - and even then I managed not to buy the correct yardage. Seriously, brain is just gone these days.
Unknowingly in the spirit of Melissa's podcast, I made pretty minimal alterations to the pattern. I cut a size 16, added 1/2 an inch to the back rise and took 3/4 inch out of the front rise and that was it. Less it appears sometimes with fitting, is more. Who knew?
And they were a fun and interesting sew.
My only gripe is that the finishing of the pocket is kind of non-existent and whilst it is hidden under the folded down facing, the top of it has a clip in it and kind of just flaps around which says to me it isn't going to be so robust. I made sure to catch it when I was tacking down the facing, but I think there could/ should be a more satisfactory finish.
If I feel brave enough to bare my legs later this summer, I intend to make the shorts version of these out a beautiful auburn tencel twill I have loitering around. It's a great pattern and the super high waist is so where I'm at right now.
So here's to hoping the sewing bender continues and that you too are finding fun and satisfaction in your sewing right now.
See you soon x