Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tweaking the Fit of the Sailor Pants--Before and After


  Readers, thank you so much for the kind comments and suggestions regarding the fit of my sailor pants in the previous post.  I decided to try to see if I could make them fit a little better.  I did sew a muslin but I guess I just didn't pay alot of attention to how they looked in the back until I saw the picture--those things are worth a thousand words aren't they?  I am still not totally happy with the fit, but I do feel I am leaning valuable lessons in how to go about fitting pants.
     What I did was to rip of the side seam  of the legs from as close to the waist as I could get to the knee.  I took a deeper seam on the back and kept the seam the same on the front--so I had uneven seams.  I also "scooped out" the back seam down to the crotch.  I also took up a little bit on the inside seam of the legs.  They feel very fitted, but I still am getting some weird lines on the back below the rear.  Anyway, I am going to wear them like they are. 
   I might make these again and try to get the fit perfect, but honestly, pants are just not my favorite thing to sew.  I would rather sew skirts, blouses, jackets, and dresses.  Life is just to short to spend time sewing things you don't really enjoy. However, if I do make them again, I am wondering if I need to make a fisheye dart?   If anyone knows of anything else I can do to perfect the fit, I would love to hear it. 
   I am currently working on a pair of BurdaStyle pants.  I am interested to see how they are going to work out.  I will post them when I finish.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Hello Sailor Pants--HotPatterns 1016

Back in Feburary 2009 I made these pants.  I have worn them once since making them, because they have absolutely no stretch to them, and I have to be having a non-bloated day for them to be comfortable.  Since I made them, I have wanted to make a pair in denim.  A few months ago, fabric.com had some denim on sale so I ordered some.  It is 100% cotton, so it has no stretch.  I used the same size 10 from before, but I changed my seams from 5/8" to 3/8" so that the pants this time around would be a little more comfortable.   I absolutely love this pattern and it is well-written, except for one part that I found confusing.  I borrowed that pic from Erica and,  I am so thankful that Erica posted a tutorial on how to handle this part of the instructions.  If you make these pants and find yourselves scratching your head, I highly suggest you look at her tutorial.
   The only alteration I made other than the smaller seam allowance is that I lengthened them by 4 inches at the knee.  I am not incredibly tall, but I love to wear high heels, and I knew from making them before that they needed to be lengthened for heels.   
front view

Back view
Now, readers, I need your honest opinions.  What do you think of the fit of the rear end and legs of these pants?  In the pattern picture, they look more fitted, but I know that is just a drawing.  They "feel" like they fit well in the rear, but do the legs look a little loose to you right under the rear?  I could just say I was going for the slouchy look, I suppose.    I used 1/8" inch sliver eyelets.  It was so hard to find these eyelets.  I could not find them anywhere locally, so I ordered them from etsy.  I used a shoestring for the tie in the back.
back closeup

I used buttons from my local fabric store.  I thought they were perfect jeans buttons.  In these pics on my monitor, the denim looks charcoal gray, but they are a medium blue denim.

 front closeup

I hope all of you had a Happy Thanksgiving.  My husband cooked our entire Thanksgiving dinner--ham, dressing, dumplings, beans, and corn. All I did was make tea and slice the cranberry sauce. 

I am so excited over these pants that I am almost through making another pair from a Burda pattern.  I just need to put some fasteners on the front and hem them.  I will show them to you soon. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Prize Winning Peanut Butter Cake--Earthquake Cake

I don't consider myself to be a great cook,  but around Thanksgiving and Christmas I love to bake.  We are having Homecoming at Church tomorrow, and this is usually when the baking begins for me.  I usually make my trusty Caramel Cheesecake and Hash Brown Potato Casserole, but this year I decided to try a different dessert.  I was reading in a newspaper and found a Peanut Butter Cake that was a grand prize winner at a recent festival in a nearby town.  I LOVE peanut butter so I thought I would bake it for Homecoming tomorow.       It calls for Betty Crocker  Butter Cake mix.  I had never used that before because I always use Duncan Heinz Butter Golden Recipe.  After my cake layers cooled, I started making the Peanut Butter Icing.  It calls for 12 oz of Evaporated Milk.  As soon as I turned on the mixer and got it mixed a little, I suspected a mistake in the recipe (more likely a misprint in the paper), because it was much too soupy.   I began adding more confectioner's sugar and finally added a whole extra box.  I could have added a little more, but I ran out.
   I laid the first layer down on my cake plate and iced the top of it.  Then I placed the second layer and it developed a tiny crack in it.  "No worry",  I thought to myself, "I will just fill it in with icing."  Then I placed the third layer on top.  It cracked a little larger.  Again, I thought, "No worry".  I began icing the cake and the crack got a little larger so I filled in it with more icing.  Then, the disaster began.  It was like a mini earthquake just took over my cake:

The top layer began to pull apart like the earth's crust during an earthquake.  This is the final result.  I don't think I will be taking this to Church tomorrow.  I will just take my casserole.  Does anyone know why a cake would do this?  I have dark cake pans, so I  dropped the oven temperature to 325 as suggested.  I baked them two minutes longer than the suggested time because they just didn't look done when I checked them at the suggested baking time.
   On the sewing front, I am making outfits for my husband and me to be in a Christmas Bethlehem Drive at Church.  I cut out his outfit today and after I get it made, I will make mine.  I just finished a skirt that I will share will you soon.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Knipmode 4-2008-11 -- motivated by anthropologie

I am not titling this post an "inspired by anthropologie" post because it really wasn't anthropologie that inspired me to make this skirt.  It was, however, anthropologie, that made me stop procrastinating and go ahead and sew it.  I first saw this skirt  here on  Miss Celie's Pants blog.  It just blew me away.   I immediately began searching for the Knipmode magazine that contained the pattern and finally found it on ebay. Then as things go, it just lay around in my magazine stash.
     A few weeks ago, anthropologie was selling the Higgledy-Piggledy skirt and it immediately made me think of my Knipmode pattern.  I decided I had to make it.
Higgledy-Piggledy Skirt
My skirt is not an exact replica, but it has the same vibe to it. The Knipmode pattern is in Dutch so I used Google Translator to wade through it.  It did not help very much,  but since I had made a wrap skirt before I just figured it out as I went.  It was pretty easy. 
Here is the line drawing from Knipmode:

I used some of the Vera Wang fabric that I bought when fabric.com had it on sale for $1.95.
It is a polyester blend suiting and has sort of a slight flannel-type feel to it.  The pattern does not call for a lining, but I did one anyway.  I could not find any lining fabric quite the same chartreuse color as the fabric, so I just used some nice chocolate brown.  I thought it would look great peeking out along the edges of the folds.
Here is the inside of the skirt.
I used some wooden buttons bought at my local fabric shop.  I could not find any buttons the same color as the skirt, so I figured light colored wooden ones would blend like a neutral. 
     Finally, I wore the skirt to church on Sunday and then to a birthday party afterwards.  I have never gotten so many complements on a skirt before.  When I told people I had made it, they were amazed.  Now, all of us in the sewing community know that the making of this skirt was really no big feat, but it still amazes me that people are so stunned when you tell them you made something.  Here is the outfit I wore:
Velveteen Jacket:  JCPenney (old)
Ecru blouse:  JCrew outlet
 Chocolate brown Tights:  Banana Republic (old)
Bouquet of Roses Shoes:  anthropologie (Christmas present last year)
Here is a shoe closeup for all you shoe lovers out there: