Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Circles of completion.

Hello again, everyone. I am still sewing, but it must be fit around a myriad of other activities and so I work at a snail's pace.

Many thanks to all those who chipped in for advice about how to fix my jeans. The wedgie impression was so strong that when I took the jeans off to have a shower that night, I could still feel the abrasion lingering on my flesh. A ghost wedgie!

And indeed the solution was - as everyone said - to lower the back crotch length. Lower, not scoop.

My goal at the moment is to incorporate more "circles of completion" into my life. This is a concept that is used to de-stress the complexity of modern living. It's a very simple idea: finish what you start.

Here's a small example - when you get up in the morning, make your bed as soon as you leave it. When you have breakfast, rinse your plates and cups, put them away and wipe down the bench. In other words, every small activity has a completed cycle.

A completed sewing cycle might look like this. Choose pattern and fabric. Check Pattern Review to see how it looks on a real person. Revise plan or go ahead. Fit, sew a test garment. Wear. Adjust pattern. Sew again in final fabric. Tidy sewing room. Archive pattern. Blog about it. Write PR reveiw.

Now I have to confess that I exit many many times before that cycle of completion. My two main exits are after the test garment has been sewn and worn, and before writing a PR review. Thinking about it, I even sometimes exit before putting the pattern away and tidying the sewing room!

The main reason for my exit is that I get a new and exciting piece of fabric or sewing magazine and my focus shifts onto newer more exciting territory.

In order to complete the cycle with my jeans, I need to respond to some of the comments and share a little about what I learned.

Yes, the silver top stitching on the back was a mistake. I knew it as soon as I did it, but after unpicking those jeans twice I did not have the stamina to fix it!

The full lower abdomen adjustment can be found here. It adds width and length - room for the fabric to go up and over.

Yes anyone is welcome to use/adapt my back pocket design. I'm flattered you would consider it.

How jeans fit is a matter of taste and preference. I laughed out loud when I came across an article that said jeans should fit like bras and brows - lift and separate that butt! I shudder at the thought - living in a very humid climate, to wear jeans so close to the body would create all manner of hygiene issues.

I did come across a very interesting blog post on crotch shape. Basically the Jilly Jean has a "shallow C" - and what I need is a deep "j" or the "fish hook" - Burda fit me so well because of the deeper back crotch shape. That was good to learn. You will know the shallow "c" is wrong for you if you get diagonal drag lines pointing to the inseam. (think Elephant butt).

At any rate, no pattern company is ever going to produce a patten that fits me perfectly. I do not have an average body in any part - so I have no expectations that a pattern fit me out of the packet, although it's a nice fantasy.

At any rate, I would now like to bring the Jilly Jean pattern experiment to a close - I traced and altered my pieces on separate pieces of paper, so I have a complete unaltered pattern here if anyone would like it. It is a size 12. Hip 103 cms (40.6 inches) waist 80cms (31.5). I have to warn you that if you are bigger than those measurements it would be a lot of difficult work to make it fit. Also, it requires a reasonable amount of stretch in the denim 4% elastane or above - so if you are leary about your body in stretch denim this may not be the pattern for you. Leave a comment if you would like the pattern, and if more than one person shows an interest I'll do a draw. This pattern cost me $40 to import, so I'm happy to post anywhere - what's a few more bucks on top of that!

In the meantime, here I am mid cycle on my next project: I've finished my first test garment for La Mia Boutique pattern number 733, 2011, a cowboy shirt. It's looking very promising. I'm sorry to deprive you of weeds today, but it's raining outside.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Jilly Jean's not my lover

Have you ever taken on a project that has just felt dead in your hands? That's me and the Jilly Jean from Style Arc patterns. I made a muslin ages ago, but the fabric I choose was so unreliable it told me nothing (it kept stretching and stretching).

So I made it up in a better quality denim and made some tentative adjustments. I realised I had bought one, maybe two sizes too small. In case you don't know, Style Arc patterns are traced from a sloper, so you only get to choose one size. I based my choice on the hip measurement - but I should have used my waist, which is much the larger (comparatively) of the two.

I decided my initial adjustments had been all wrong, so I unpicked the jean (because I liked the denim) and resewed it, using the Style Arc original pattern. It looked even worse!

I threw them in the bin.

A day later, I pulled them out of the bin and unpicked them again, recutting them according a pair of jeans that fit me well. Then to make up for the lack of width, I attached a 2 cm "galloon" (as Burda charmingly calls them) to the side seams on the front.

The 2 cm galloon extends the whole of the front:

Much better, wearable in fact, but still, there's a wedgie: a whisper of denim that tries to sneak its way up into the crevasse.

I'm not above unpicking and redoing the back but I don't know what to do - let fabric out, take fabric in, scoop out more, scoop out less - pants fitting is such a nightmare.

Any suggestions very welcome, if no-one knows, I'll post on Pattern Review. Those ladies know everything.

The front, after a full lower abdomen adjustment (seriously that's the official label for 'big fat tum') top tucked in for your viewing pleasure:

I am happy with the back pockets though - this is a motif I'd like to explore more.

I like the shape of this leg, the pocket bags and the way the whole thing is drafted is such a pleasure to put together. I am not in love with the fit, but then, I bought the wrong size and my denim probably isn't stretchy enough to sew as drafted.

Let's call it a draw.