Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Yet more picture-less rambling from me

I finally got to start on my pants, and it's going rather well, I think.

So far, I've done the following:

- Cut the pants and the lining out. Incidentally, could a step be more tedious? I used to think sewing darts was my least favorite sewing thing. But I've now decided - nothing is more painful than cutting. And cutting lining? Ugh, ugh, ugh.
- Sew the back darts on both the fashion fabric and the lining.
- Get the side-front pockets in. (I skipped back welt pockets, since this iteration is mostly a trial, and also because I'm a little tiny scared of welt pockets.)
- Get the fly front done, and attach the lining at the fly front. (The lining w/fly front bit I've mostly figured out by trial and error, looking at all my RTW pants for clues on how it's done. I've yet to see a tutorial for this - dear readers, does one exist?)
- Sew the outside leg seams of the pants.

Basically, I think I have the following steps left:

- Sew inside leg seams
- Sew center seam
- Attach waistband (thankfully, already cut out and interfaced)
- Attach inside waistband (cut out, but I need to add bias binding to the bottom bit)
- Hem pants
- Hem lining

Looking at that, I'd say I'm about 66% done? The bit about attaching the center seam around the fly front area is always tricky to me - and I always get a wrinkle there. Which is always lovely - everyone wants a wrinkle right at their crotch, no? But the rest is relatively simple.

I own David Coffin's pants book, and I've looked through it in bits and pieces at various times. For this version, I took one critical bit of advice from him - I skipped trying to figure out which Vogue/Simplicity/Burda size would fit me (the answer, from previous iterations seems to be - (d) none of the above), and just ripped apart an old RTW pair that fits me pretty well.

Ripping apart an existing (serged) pair of pants was a bit of a pain in the ass, but you learn so much from the process. So far, in my RTW pants, I've discovered:

- 1/4 inch seams throughout
- no side seams on the waistband - there's a join at the center back, and obviously the center front is buttoned/fastened, but the left and right waistbands are cut as one piece. No extra bulk at the side as a result.
- different patterns for fashion fabric right and left waistbands, and different patterns for the lining right and left waistbands.
- to minimize bulk at the center front, the waistband is folded back on itself, and the lining join happens at a spot that isn't the center front. (I reread that sentence - ridiculously unclear. I'll take a construction photo to illustrate when I'm at that step.)

As a tangential aside - there seems to be a bit of prevailing wisdom on some 'sewing expert' blogs that RTW is crap, and hand-sewing hems, hand-basting and hand-anything else is the way to go. I couldn't disagree more. I would love to get the kind of consistency and efficiency in my sewing that RTW produces on a regular basis.

Anyway. I've bravely not tried on my pants so far, since I used a pattern that 'should' work. Tonight - I should get far enough with sewing this that I can try it on, and let's see? I'll either throw another tantrum, or be over-the-moon happy.


Clio said...

I'm with you - there are things that home sewists could learn from the industry.

anuradha said...

Which one is it?????Over the moon or...

AllisonC said...

While it is true that some RTW is made out of awful fabrics and buttons fall off when you look at them, the techniques used are generally quicker and smarter than some we are used to. What is crap is some sewing pattern instructions that haven't been updated for about 50 years. Hope you will be over the moon!

Lilian said...

Fingers crossed!! I hope your pants will fit.