Tuesday, March 29, 2011

These pants are amazing, part 2

Today I finished the grey wool pants that go with a suit I made last year, and maybe it is the fabric that is amazing, as well as the pattern.  Sewing with Italian wools always proves that when it comes to wool and tailoring projects, the better quality the fabric, the better the result.
Rita, the owner of the suit, told me that when she went to Japan last year she had her suit in her carry on luggage, and on arrival, hung it up and it looked fine - practically unwrinkled. 

My number one rule for a good result on wool garments, whether jackets, coats, pants or any other tailored garment, is trimming.  Actually on any garment or fabric.  I am fanatical on the topic.  It makes me crazy to see the lumps and bumps in seams or pockets on some ready to wear clothing.   Have you ever examined a really finely made men's sport jacket - perhaps a cashmere one?  Everything is smooth, the lapel points are so even, nothing shows through the top layer, not a bump or lump to the touch.  

Grey pants Seam allow trim
Here is an example of trimming, in the side seam where the top of the waistband is sewn to the waistband facing.   Before trimming, when the waistband is folded over, at each seam allowance there are 8 layers of fabric.   
Grey pants seam before trimming

After trimming there are 6 layers of fabric, and then the seam allowance attaching the waistband facing to the waistband is trimmed, and graded, further reducing bulk.  

Grey pants seam after trimming

It might not seem like much to remove that fabric, but there are a lot of places on the garment where there is a juncture between two seams and you have those little corners that add bulk.  Particularly on neck facings, lapels, waistbands, darts.  If you think you will be opening the seam later - maybe to let out or re-sew- then don't trim as much.  

For some reason I love to do this trimming on all garments, it is kind of mindless, and I just go around the waist or whatever, snip, snip, and then have a nice collection of little 1/2' fabric squares on the sewing room floor.  Anything with a scissors is fun.  Pruning is one of my favorite gardening activities.  I frequently cut my own hair, much to the dismay of my wonderful hair stylist Lia.  So there is definitely a limit to my talent with a scissors.  

Above I mentioned looking at ready to wear clothes and being dismayed sometimes at the finish, as well as what is charged for that quality.  But at the other end of the spectrum, do you indulge in a little reconnaissance shopping in the high end stores?   My location of choice for surreptitious dress deconstruction is the local Nordstrom's where they have an extensive collection of designer clothes.  Fun and yet tantalizing to examine the details of an Armani jacket, or a Dolce and Gabbana dress.  I always have to supress a laugh when the sales person asks "can I help you?"  because I want to reply, "yes, please, can you hold this dress up while I measure it and also can you turn it inside out so I can see how they put in the lining".   Chances are they might not even care - that department is not exactly swarming with shoppers and I bet it is a little dull at times to work there.   
Grey pants front

Here is a look at the finished pants front.  

I did a bias trim edge finish on the waistband, similar to menswear.  I am really liking this finish on pants waistbands now.

As of now I don't have a photo of the pants being worn, hopefully I will later.  

For the four readers that were first to request one of my "semi-Vintage" Vogue designer patterns from my archive, I have heard back from everyone and will be mailing those tomorrow.  If you make them please let me know I and I can link to your photo.  It will be fun to see these finally sewn up.

SF Bay area Sewing blogger and/or readers meet-up to see Balenciaga and Spain:  Exhibit at the de Young museum is still on for Sat. Apr. 30, so contact me if you would like to join in.

dafodills tete-a-tete

The daffodils are almost done.
Temperatures in the 70's (F) here tomorrow - with plenty of sunshine.  So I will be skipping around the garden.  Ok, a slight exaggeration, but this SunnyGal is happy to get out and pull some weeds.    

Happy Sewing,  Beth  

P.S. I would love to hear about your
designer dress spy mission - what have you done to check out those fancy duds?


  1. The tailoring on those pants is magnificent! I really like the Hong Kong finishes to the waistband facing.
    Hehe, I often go on reconnaissance missions into high end dress stores too! I'm glad I'm not the only one!

  2. Thanks for the tip about clipping. I don't do that much trimming, but there is no reason I can't start!

  3. Beth,

    I had a wonderful time at the DeYoung on Saturday! Thank you for coordinating the visit. It was great to meet you face to face.

    Rose in SV


Related Posts with Thumbnails