Chance of Flurries

I am two weeks (maybe closer to three weeks) behind schedule, but I am undaunted.  The last two weeks of 2012 were chock-a-block full of Family, Fun, and Feasting – and then the plague hit our house.   Yes, another F-word – the FLU – which apparently was not the type we got the immunizations for…

But this week has found me back in my sewing room, finishing up what was to be my final project for 2012.  Flexibility, I have learned, is a great asset to cultivate, so I am trying to be flexible in my plans and take it all in stride.  Indeed, I am hoping that I will be striding pretty in newly-sewn pants, which have now joined my wardrobe.

I think I must like pants made out of figured fabric.  As soon as I saw this snowflake wool on the website of Waechter’s Fabrics, I knew I wanted to make it up in winter slacks.

This is a jacquard woven wool, but very light-weight and soft.

This is a jacquard woven wool, but very light-weight and soft.

It was not even a decision to use the same 1960s’ pattern I used for my “very stylish” linen pants last Spring – pants’ patterns that fit are worth using again and again.

I made quite a few alterations to the pattern so that these slacks actually fit me!

I made quite a few alterations to the pattern so that these slacks actually fit me!

I did decide, however, to make these using couture techniques.  I underlined them with a very light-weight rayon voile which I have used successfully before.  I did not want to add much stiffness to this very soft and flexible wool, so the rayon seemed a better match than silk organza in this instance.  I catch-stitched all the seams, and inserted a hand-picked zipper.

The underlined pants, with catch-stitched seams.

The underlined pants, with catch-stitched seams.

Hand-picked zipper.

Hand-picked zipper.

As luck would have it, the newest issue of Threads Magazine arrived right as I was getting started on this project – and Susan Khalje’s article “Build a Better Waistband” (page 44 – 49) immediately caught my attention.  I had already purchased several yards of Petersham ribbon in anticipation of waistbands yet to come, so I was all set.  I carefully followed all her detailed instructions and photos:

The newsest issue of Threads magazine

The newsest issue of Threads Magazine

The Petersham ribbon basted onto the waistline.

The Petersham ribbon basted onto the waistline.

I even decided to make a “faced” waistband.  I knew that this would help reduce bulk in the waistband, but also it would insure that any “itching” around the waist sometimes caused by wool fabric would be eliminated.

I made the facing out of the lining fabric.

I made the facing out of the lining fabric.

Everything was going along swimmingly until I went to set in the lining for the pants, which I made out of Bemberg rayon.  Somehow, the rise from the crotch to the waist was a little short.  I don’t know how this happened, but it did, and so I was faced with figuring out how to remedy this situation short of making an entire new lining.  Well, I decided to attach the waistband just to the underlined wool, not including the lining.  Then I used some careful and tightly-spaced catch-stitching to attach the top of the lining to that waistband seam.  (I forgot to take a photo of this, as I was totally absorbed in this “make-do” process.) This worked beautifully, much to my delight.  The only further fix I knew I needed to do was finish the inside of the waistband.  The waistband facing needed to be a little longer to hide my mistake, so I bound the raw edge with seam binding and used the fell stitch to finish it off.  I’m happy with the way it looks:

The seam binding helps to make a clean finish and hides my mistake!

The seam binding helps to make a clean finish and hides my mistake!

DSC_0761

I don’t think anyone would suspect my mistake – except for all of you, of course!

After final stitches to secure the lining to each of the legs, and then lots of steaming and pressing , my snowflake pants were finished!

Here they are, all finished!

Here they are, all finished!

Snowflake pants

A back view.

A back view.

Kind of a side view.

Kind of a side view.

And a little closer up...  I'm happy with the way I was able to align the snowflake "medallions".

And a little closer up… I’m happy with the way I was able to align the snowflake “medallions”.

We seem to be in a January thaw right now, so the only forecast for flurries must be – in my control??  Well, I happily guarantee that sightings of snowflakes will definitely happen this Winter!

15 Comments

Filed under couture construction, hand-sewn zippers, Uncategorized, underlinings, vintage Vogue patterns from the 1960s, Vogue patterns, woolens

15 responses to “Chance of Flurries

  1. Susan Klein

    I love your pants. You are my inspiration for 2013, really. I am awed by your persistence to make beautiful pants that fit you so well. Congratulations and Happy New Year!

  2. They look so nice! And what a great fix for your too-short lining – the inner waistband finish looks completely intentional. =)

    • Thank you, Brooke! I’m delighted that you think my “fix” looks fine! By the way, did you hear about the storm in the Pacific named Gandalf? Hopefully your Gandalf is tamer!

      • You should see some of the ugly fixes inside theatre & film costumes! Whenever there is something pretty on the inside, you just have to take a minute to admire. =)

        I had not heard of the storm named Gandalf! lol – I will have to look it up. Perhaps it is near New Zealand where they filmed Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit?

  3. Let is snow, let it snow, let it snow ! ! These are fabulous pants! I just finished the Threads article myself and am going to follow Susan’s advice too. Thank you for sharing!

  4. I have such a cute Mom. These pants are adorable. I like the whole outfit! I can just see you strolling into Philadelphia on a sunny winter day with your Jackie O sunglasses. Too bad the sewing gene didn’t pass (in full effect) to me. Maybe the Baby will get it! I’m so impressed with your construction techniques and all the math that I know goes into each piece of clothing you make. Congrats on finishing your project, Mom. I’m excited to see what’s next!

  5. Wow! I covet every single thing you make. And these great fitting pants are no exception. You did a superb job of motif placement, and the inside looks as nice as the outside. Just wish I had them! Gorgeous job!
    Cissie

  6. Just love these pants, great work at placing the pattern, and beautiful work on the inside! Huge ‘pat-on-the-back’ from me…J

  7. Carol

    Great to hear you are feeling better and have successfully completed your custom made snow pants. It’s neat how the “fix” of seam binding looks like a special couture touch.

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