Saturday, September 20, 2008

A bit of success...

...was achieved this summer making casual tops from patterns created from ready-to-wear items, but now it's time to up the ante -- slacks.

I chose a simple pair of J.Jill slacks whose fit works well for me. Let's hope their simplicity will give me a better chance at success.

As mentioned previously, I decided to try taping off the pattern pieces instead of tracing them. No pockets, no lining, not even a separate waistband, so it's just 2 pattern pieces -- a front and a back. The flat areas (lower legs) are simple. The tape is placed around the entire outline of each piece, and then filled in with overlapping layers. The real challenge comes from the non-flat, darted hip/waist area. This needs to be done with the shape filled in -- preferably while being worn inside out. Darts (there are two on each piece) are taped over, with each apex marked. After removing the taped shape from the garment, the darted area is cut from the center down to the marked apex. When the taped piece is affixed to a flat paper the slits will open up (hopefully!) to proper dart width. It was a real pain to get the taped shape from the garment to the paper -- remember wrestling with adhesive paper when lining shelves? -- but here's what I ended up with:

That's the front piece, and I think you can see how the darts opened up in a closer shot:

Because it seems to me that this method might result in slight shrinkage as far as size goes, you'll note I've given myself wide 1" (2.5 cm)seam allowances. I'll baste fit and make adjustments as needed.

The original slacks are made from a sueded poly/Lycra blend. I am testing in a denim/Lycra blend -- hopefully I'll be able to get a clear idea of the fit by using another stretch woven, although the original fabric has more drape. I'm thinking a stable knit might have worked as a test fabric, but you go with what you have.

Sew, will this work out? Or will it be yet another "wadder"? Stay tuned...

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