July 6, 2011

Back to the pants....it's alteration time!

Warning-- super pic-heavy post coming up!
It took awhile for me to get going on my next Summer Essential again--got interrupted by the necessity of a laptop bag, work, and travel. But hey, travel gave me something sewing-related to post here! A couple of my good friends and I went to Hogwarts (technically Universal Studios in Florida, though we spent most of our day there at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter section), and I couldn't resist taking pictures of the magical sewing supplies in the window of the wizard tailoring shop! (No, you couldn't go inside, it was just a storefront. But still.)

I thought the tape measure cat was pretty cute. In the other window, there was a tape measure that unrolled and retracted itself, but that was a little harder to get pictures of.

Anyway, back to work!

I started working on altering the actual pants pattern a couple of weeks ago, but didn't quite finish until this weekend. So here's what I've done so far. First thing was to fix the crotch on the regular pattern (that's a pretty big scoop there! But for some reason it worked...)

And since the welt pockets didn't work out so well on the shorts, I changed the front to be a side slash pocket. Horizontal welts wouldn't work so well with the lacing. So now I have 2 pocket pieces.

I also discovered that the pants were already pretty flared. So adding another piece for the pleat would basically turn them into a tent for each leg. So since I was retracing the entire pattern for the purpose of adding the waistband anyway, I went ahead and straightened the legs some--took about an inch or so off the bottom of each seam. I figured that should compensate for the extra width I'm adding to the front, so hopefully I'm right!

As for the pleat itself, I don't have a good picture of it yet, but what I ended up doing was drawing a sort of stretched out trapezoid-shaped piece that runs the entire length of the leg. Since the leg is seamed down the middle anyway, I was thinking that adding a new piece of fabric would be a much easier way to add the pleat and maintain the fit that I already tweaked, rather than just combining the two pieces. Plus then the grainlines would have been all wonky on one side of the leg. Don't want that. It's about 4" wide at the top and 7" wide at the bottom, so once it's sewn in and actually pressed into the pleat, I think it'll end up being fairly close to the original leg circumference. (If I measured it right off of the pattern, the leg hems are originally 28.5"! Love those hippie flares!)

On Sunday, I cut into my linen. I'm doing the same thing with the facings here that I did on the shorts, and using a cotton print (from the stash, of course.) I'm also planning on Hong Kong seam-finishing as much as I can, since I know the linen is going to have a tendency to fray, so that'll be a good way to use up most, if not all, of the rest of the cotton print. I'm going to do the actual waistband facing a little differently this time, though. I'll go into that later.

Since I don't have my retail job today and I have a nice chunk of time this afternoon between students, my goal/hope for today is to get as much of the front sewn together as possible. Here goes nothing!

p.s. I actually may even have a knitting update soon, since I have actual visible progress. But today, sewing comes first.


  1. Oooo I want to go to the Harry Potter theme park! It looks like so much fun. =D

    I'm looking forward to seeing the pants :)

  2. Beautiful coloured linen. Watch out with Hong Kong seams on linen. Standard bias binding can show through along the seam lines. Best to make your own binding from light lining fabric.

  3. I love the measuring tape dog!!!

  4. looks great. look forward for the finished pants. good luck!


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