Monday, November 26, 2012

I am a wannabe Stashbuster

I had recently joined the Stash busting Sewalong at SG!

Fabric from stash used up - ever since I joined this sew-along:

First draft Pants muslin - 1.5 yards

Pants fabric for the class - 1.5 yards

Cheetah leggings - 1 yard

So far the count of yards used up : 4. Yayyy!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Pants making class - Part 3

I wrote about the pants making class earlier in Part 1 and Part 2. This week was part 3 of the same class. We did front fly zipper and the fitting.

The front fly was so easy to put on, based on the method Agnes taught us and we also added a fly shield. While it was very easy to put in the zipper, I am not very enamoured with the finish of the fly - there are more chances for the zipper teeth or the zipper pull, to show on the outside using this method. And I hate it when zipper pulls show on the fly. Some of my RTW lined wool trousers that cost a pretty penny, also have this problem and I don't like it at all. While this method works for no, I'm more inclined to try and learn Trudy's Fly front zipper on Youtube.

Sandra Betzina also has a fail-proof method for the fly front zipper on the Threads website, but that one doesn't have a fly shield. While Sandra's Pants Construction class on Craftsy has a video of her, demonstrating a fly front with the fly shield, I think Trudy's Flyfront has a cleaner finish. And Sandra attaches the fly shield at the very end, whereas Trudy attaches it at the very beginning.

Debbie Cook also has an easy fly front tutorial based on the ideas she got from Sandra Betzina and other sources.  She also uses double sided tape to hold the zipper in place, which I think is brilliant.

Colleen G Lea from FashionSewingBlog also has a neat flyfront tutorial - one that's easy to follow. Her method is very smilar to Sandra and Trudy's in the sense that the zipper is further away from seam line, but does not have a fly shield. However if I start out like Trudy's where she first attached the zipper tape to the fly shield, I can then proceed with Colleen's method, I think.

So yes, I'll be using one or a combination of these methods instead of the one taught in class, for a cleaner fly front zipper.

The fitting:  This was fun! I had used size 42 of Burda. We ended up taking in 1/4 inch on the side seams and on the inner leg seams. The crotch part, below the fly front zipper, had to be taken in 1/4 inch as well.  But even without taking all these fabric, the fit was surprisingly good! I was super thrilled! :) And yes, I do have a Burda butt! :) And I'm glad that I went with my idea of using Burda pattern instead of the Kwiksew one used in the class. Remember I mentioned that I got some fabric pooling much below the butt, in my muslin. None of that happened this time. :) The fabric I used for the muslin, was not right at all, next time I will be sticking to bottom weight fabric for pants or skirts. And since it as 1/4 inch that was taken in at the crotch and side seams, this makes me wonder, maybe I should go down a size, to 40, but use 42 for back crotch seam alone?

Agnes also taught me a method to fit myself when trying to take some fabric out of the seams. First you pin the extra fabric, from outside (right side of the pants) while wearing it. Then after getting out of the pants, remove each pin, one at a time, carefully and place it on the same location (again on the outside), but catching one fabric only (either front or back piece of the pants, but use the same one for all pins). Repeat this for all pins one by one. Now if you turn the pants inside out, on the wrong side of the fabric, you see the pin basting showing new seam line. You can use a marker (chalk marker or a fabric pen) to mark the new seam on the wrong side. After marking the seam, remove all the pins and baste the new seam line over the mark, again from the wrong side, catching both front and back parts of the pants.

You can use this method to pin side seams, crotch seam, or even back seam. For Darts, you can pin both fabric from outside, open the pants inside out, mark with chalk on the new seamline before removing pins, then remove pins and pin them from inside and sew away the new dart.

Now I have some homework of sewing the newly marked seam line and we'll be attaching the waistband in the next class. Can't wait!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Pants making class - Part 2

For the second class, I pre-washed 1.5 yards of pants weight twill fabric in olive green, again, one that I would never ever wear in real life. So, pressure was off, right there!  I hauled all my traced out pattern pieces, the Burda book, my notions, the fabric and entered the class with so much excitement.

The class teacher Agnes, turned out to be such a delight! She was excited to okay my Burda pattern as she has sewn with Burda patterns before and she find those pants fit her well!! Right after she confirmed with me if I had chosen the right size, she proceeded to show me how to cut the fabric, etc. All the pre-work I had done, had surely got me upto speed with the other class participants! Woohoo!

Agnes suggested not to reduce the crotch length as mine seemed too small and that we could cut up the length from the waist later if we find that it's too long.. I'm 5 ft and needed it. My half-assed tissue fitting and my muslin said that I was right to have shortened the crotch length, but hey, she's the teacher and has been teaching this class for years. So, I followed her instructions. And we can always cut it back later, so no, big deal! We also left extra width of fabric on the side seams and in the back seam as some fit insurance.

And then we jumped right into the class. So far, we've sewn the back darts , back seams, sewed the fly-front zipper seam closed, interfaced the waistband and folded into half, borrowed from one of the other class participants, as my pattern didn't have a fly shield, sewed the fly shield, sewn the pocket facing and serged the ends, then interfaced the pocket facing and under-stitched it. I think something was lost in translation when she asked me to top-stitch the seam allowance with the pocket facing.. I later realized that she really meant under-stitch. :) Live and learn! I also have a homework to serge the ends of the main pocket piece and sew it with the facing.

The teacher is also a big proponent of pressing every seam!

Thoughts about the class - Love it! Instructor is fast paced and fun! Can't wait to finish my homework and can't wait for the next class. :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Pants making class - Part 1

I had signed up for the Pants making class recently. The pants pattern chosen for the class was Kwiksew 3363 - Slant pockets and straight waistband.

Even though the Kwik sew instructions are really good and suggested for newbies, I didn't want to make this one, The tapered style is so not my type or one that would sit my body shape. The other crucial factor was that a Burda crotch curve was much suggested for my ample booty! I did some research on the crotch curve of Kwiksew vs Burda. That pretty much sealed the deal that I am so not going to make the Kwiksew pants. So I called up the sewing centre and after a quick talk, I was okayed to bring in the Burda pattern. If suppose it wouldn't work, then the instructor would let me know anyway. ;)

And this is the pattern I had in mind. It is from Burda magazine 10/2009 with slant pocket-straight waistband pants (#125). I prefer contour waistbands as they fit me better, since I am very curvy. But for the sake of not deviating much from the class, I found a very similar pattern from Burda that had straight waistband and slant pockets with a front fly.

Based on my measurements, I was a 42 in Burda. That 42 depended on where I thought my waist was. :)

So to confirm if I've got the right size, I made up a muslin in cheap fabric. I also reduced the length halfway between the fly front zipper and some length from the knee as I'm 5 ft tall, skipped the pockets, etc.

The first draft muslin seemed okay to my untrained eye, just for some extra fabric pooling much below the butt. It also surprised me!! Really? Making a muslin is this easy? And using a fabric that you'd never ever wear means absolutely no pressure. Oooh, It was an eye opener!

I was all set for my first class and then my little daughter fell sick with the flu :( and I gladly gave up my class to be with her. Called the class to let them know that I couldn't make it, but they told me if I don't mind putting in some extra work, I was still welcome to the class, from part 2 onwards. Okay, that's good news! Now the wait begins for the next class.