Friday, March 29, 2024

Purple Pants - two patterns, Leisl + Co Peckham and VikiSews Edna

Did I need two pairs of purple pants?  Or any purple pants at all? Not really, But I had some purple fabric in my stash and decided to work out a new pants pattern, the Leisl + Co. Peckham pants. With a number of changes I'm fairly satisfied with how they turned out - although the elastic waistband which is a feature of this pattern is what I actually eliminated in my version. 

Leisl pants 1

Here are the Peckham trousers, the fabric is a stretch woven, I think it has about 1 or 2% stretch and the pattern does call for stretch woven. 

Leisl pants back view

Peckman diagram

Changes I made to this pattern:
  • Raised the waist all around about 3/4"
  • eliminated the elastic waistband
  • added a seam in the waistband at center back.
  • shaved off about 1/2" on the upper side edge of each back piece
  • took in the center back about 1" after waistband was attached. 
  • due to my uneven hips, lowered the waistband about 1/2" on the right side tapering back to center front and center back. 
No changes in the legs or the crotch seam shape. In this pattern the inseam is moved forward which is much more similar to many ready to wear pants which I think fit better than most sewing patterns where the inseam is at the lowest point of the crotch curve. The designer has industry experience in ready to wear and it does show in the pants pattern of Leisl and Co. 

Now for things I don't like about this pattern:
  • 1/2" seam allowances.  Just my personal preference but I hate these, I am so used to 5/8" so I have to concentrate when I sew any other seam allowance. 
  • Elastic insets in waistband. In theory it sounded good but when I sewed up a test version they were just very bunchy and the waist was too big and needed a lot of adjustment. 
  • Zipper fly method - I prefer to use a cut on fly for trousers, reinforced with interfacing, it just comes out much better than sewing on a lot of fly pieces that add bulk. I changed it to a cut on fly.Test Peckham pants
This is my test version, I used some wool crepe that someone had given me during the pandemic - definitely not my color. I ended up taking in a lot of fabric when people were stuck at home and doing closet cleaning, figuring I would use it eventually for tests, samples, etc. but I think I need to start culling as even with making test versions of patterns I won't use up all these fabrics. 

Here's the pattern image. Why do pattern designers use print fabric to show the example on their pattern?? Which is another reason why I really don't look at the examples but just at the line drawing.
Leisl Peckham trousers image

Now for Pants pattern # 2. This one is the VikiSews Edna Trousers. I kept the same purple silk shirt on for these pictures and it is definitely a different shade of purple, plus if I didn't have my hand in the pocket that would be better. But anyway I like how these fit as well. 

VikiSews Edna purple1
This is actually the second time I have made these, I thought I had posted on the blog but I think only on Instagram about 12 months ago. This pattern calls for woven and this is a wool twill with no stretch. I think they would be fine with a slight stretch fabric as well. 

VIkisews pants back
Here's the line drawing for the VikiSews Edna trousers. I think it is a bit idealized, but the basics are visible. The useful thing on their website is to compare all the line drawings of the different pants they offer, looking at leg width, pocket shape, etc to choose one that I liked. 

Vikisews Edna diagram
Changes I made to this pattern:
  • this has a shaped waistband and I lie that better, but I did create a seam in the center back waistband so I can fit that area.
  • added seams in the waistband at the side seams, for additional fitting. 
  • I might have raised the waist in the back about 1".I can't recall but I think so as most pants are dip down at the back waist on me. 
  • printed it as a copy shop size file which has the seam allowances as 3/8" and it is easy to change that to 5/8" which just makes it easier for me to sew. 
What I like about all the VikiSews patterns, and the pants particular are the instruction which are outstanding. This is the only pattern brand that details the steam shaping of the pants legs and also has the crease line marked, which you press before you sew up the pants. I really like the width of the legs on both these patterns, perhaps the Leisl and Co Peckham pants have a slightly more fitted leg which makes sense as it is designed for stretch woven.  
Dislikes - can't think of any. These VikiSews patterns are really well designed. And they have the same forward inseam as mentioned for the Peckham pants above. 
Vikisews Edna image

So that's the latest on my pants sewing adventures. 
Another look at the Peckham pants.
Leisl pant front 2
And another look at the VikiSews Edna pants. 

Vikisews pants front2

Enough purple for you?  I made that shirt using a silk that I bought in NY in October at Chic Fabrics. It does match quite well the first pants and I actually wore that outfit the other day. 

I think I will make some cotton sateen pants or lightweight chino in one of these patterns for spring/summer as an alternative to always wearing jeans.

I have a couple of in person classes coming up in April  
Copy your Favorite Shirt class with Hello Stitch Studio, April 13, details here. 

Make the Kalle Shirt or Dress, Weekend Workshop April 27/28, details here. 

Up next in my sewing, no idea. The weather has been so cold and rainy and I am ready for spring! We had a few gorgeous sunny days recently and I am ready for more shorts weather. Even with the chill I have been out in the garden quite a lot and things are getting ready to burst into bloom. 

Happy Sewing,

throwback photo for the garden, a dahlia from last summer. At the end of the season I put all the dahlias in a garden bed and let nature do what it wanted. Just the other day I saw the first shoots poking out of the soil so they are on the way. 

pink dahlia 2023

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Cloning Ready to wear, copying an interesting top

Last year my friend Heather bought a top from Universal Standard which was really perfect for office wear and fit well.  I think it came in only two colors so she bought both.  One day she showed it to me and said she wished it came in other colors, and actually in different fabric. I took a look and said I thought I could make a pattern from the existing top - without taking it apart. So I did!

Before I forget - we just scheduled a Garment Copy Class with Hello Stitch on Sat. April 13. I haven't done this class in a while and it was really popular back in the day so I'm glad we found a spot on the calendar. 

H silk top front

It's an ideal top as a layering piece, under a blazer or sweater. This version is of a silk that I think I got at a stash sale - I originally made a blouse for myself and still had several yards remaining.  I don't wear much navy blue but as you know if you read this blog - Heather loves it so it was great to use it for this top.  
I will confess that I had to make about 3 test versions of my clone pattern to work out the details of the neckline area. 
Here's a look at the top from Universal Standard. Currently on their website they have a similar one with long sleeves. 

US top all views
Here are the pattern pieces after I find tuned them, made sure all the seams sewed together precisely and with the seam allowances added. I used 3/8" seam allowances on this as that is what the original had, and it makes it easier to recreate that color which is an all in one facing that folds back at the neckline.

US copy blouse pattern piece copy

I think in my test versions I worked out the placement and angle of the dart, which is drawn in in pink on the above image. 
This side view shows the pleat that is facing outward. In essence that pleat is another dart creating some fullness over the bust. At first when I started playing around with the pattern I thought it was similar to a top I made last summer but if you look at that blog post which has the diagram, on that top the pleat opens to the center of the neckline. I prefer this one, it lays on the body a bit better. 

silk dot 8

Here is a closer look at the pattern pieces with the folds at the neckline shown, that's what creates both the pleat and the self-facing which turns to the inside and covers up the back neck seam. 

front pattern piece copy

Here's a look at the inside of the neckline before I sewed the "facing" down to enclose the seam. I did undo the seam on the store-bought top so I could see what was going on in there, and to measure the depth of the pleat. I noticed they had some lightweight interfacing on the pleat section, going a bit past the shoulder seams so I did the same on mine. I think it supports the soft and slippery silk fabric and makes the back neckline lay nicely against the neck. I also put some interfacing at the center front where the center front seam ended, to reinforce that area. I alway worry about over the head tops like this - that is the point of all strain when you are putting it on and the fibers can fray and cause a tear at that spot. So a bit of interfacing is helpful to avoid that. 

silk dot inside neckline

The top inside out on the dress form, the front area folds back and is attached at the shoulder seam, but underneath is the fold that is creating the nice pleat on the outside. 

silk dot4

Another look at the original.

US top full view

H silk top back

Back view on Heather - you can tell she is not very tall as I made the length similar to the ready to wear, and it is a lot shorter on that probably 5'8" model. I actually made another version previously in a silk print we bought at Britex, here is that version. I think it works in solids and prints. 
Clone top silk print

So that's the latest on garment copying - it's something I really like doing, it's very satisfying to copy an existing item, for one thing you know you already like the length and the fit. Here's something I copied quite a few years ago - a denim jacket for my mom. And when she wore this pineapple jacket on the plane to Hawaii the flight attendants went wild for it!

Another link to my upcoming Garment Copy Class, on April 13, sign up on that link to the Hello Stitch website. 

Happy Spring Sewing, 

Another look at Heather in her silk top. This will stand in for my usual garden photo - note that I took that picture on Dec. 12, 2023, and looking at it now I can't believe how much color remained in the garden through December. 
H silk top front