Tag Archives: waistband construction

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!

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