Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Ongoing Pants Saga, or, Why I Love Craftsy

Well, I finished the Vogue 1366 pants, and was so dispirited that I doubted I would ever see sewing mojo again.  They are a sad, sad pair of pants.  I'm not sure why I have such trouble fitting pants in the crotch area, but... yeah.  It was sad.  ANYWAYS.  I was poking around Craftsy.com and found the Jean-ious class by Kenneth King.  It's a class designed to teach you how to clone a pair of jeans that you already have that already fit!  Cue heavenly light!

So, I started in with a pair of pants that I love (these ones from White House Black Market, if you're curious).  They are awesome pants, but they are crazily expensive (at least for me), so they are a perfect object for cloning experimentation.  I got all the information that was detailed in the class from the pants, and then started in on the muslin.  Here's where things get funny.  You see, the originals are made of a cotton/poly/spandex blend.  I didn't have anything like that laying around (in fact all I had were scraps laying around), so I made the front out of white canvas and the back out of non-stretch denim.  I figured they'd be pretty snug, but that I should still be able to get a feel for the fit.  Uh, no:

Now, for those of you who have never really paid attention to how your jeans are made (and who could blame you, really), it would be easy to think that all that gaping is where the zipper goes, right?  Weeeell... you see those black snapped threads on either side of the gaping maw that is the front of my muslin?  Where those threads stop is where the pants are supposed to be sewed up to.  The zipper goes above that stitching. This bodice-ripper effect is what happened as soon as I tried to put my muslin on.


SO.  There was more stretch in those jeans than I had originally thought.  So, my sewing time has been devoted to going to the fabric store (Thank you, PacFab!), buying half-yards of all likely looking stretch denim, and making...

Daisy Dukes!  (Ignore the mess.)  You see, I'm not too worried about the leg fit, just the waist/hips/crotch.  DD's are wonderful test garments :)  The one on the left is a European denim with not too much stretch-- I could get them on, but there was no hope of getting them closed.  The middle is a 95-5 cotton/spandex blend, and the one on the right is a 75-23-2 (-ish) cotton/poly/spandex.  The fit on both the cotton/spandex and the cotton/poly/spandex was pretty close-- they close, but I think I'll add just a smidge on the outseams just to be safe.  But, Huzzah!  Onwards to fitted pants!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Woe is me!

I've been working on V1366 all day.  Hear my travails!

1.  I serged (SERGED) one leg right side to wrong side up the inseam.  It took me almost a whole episode of Project Runway to unpick it.

2.  I nearly gave myself a blister with my pinking shears.  I think they might be in need a good oiling, don't you agree?

3.  I sewed a pucker into the very bottom of my otherwise flawless top-stitched fly.  You know, right in the spot that's nearly impossible to get straight once you've sewn the legs together.  Of course I didn't discover it until I'd sewn the legs together...

4.  Speaking of sewing the legs together-- the pockets get caught up in the side seam.  When I hit the end of the pockets, the serger jammed.  I un-jammed it, which took a good chunk out of my sewing time.  Then I tried again.  At which point the needles (both of them!!) snapped off and embedded themselves in my pants. The side seams got finished on Rarity (my Elna).  She didn't even blink, so that was good.  Less good was having to pink all my edges that I'd planned on serging.  More thumb blisteriness for me!

Perhaps I should stop kvetching.  On the plus side, the pinking shears were a gift, and I'm glad I had them. The pants are fitting well, and are coming up on done.  If I'm supremely motivated, maybe they'll be ready in time for date night tomorrow.  Rarity took care of the bulky seams at the pockets with zero problems. And I had friends over who sat and watched PR with me while I ripped out serging.  When I write it like that, it all sounds a lot better:)  And, my pockets are silk!  Purple silk, which is even better!