Springtime sewing

I left off last time with my Flint pants just a hem and hook-and-eye away from completion. Last week I put in the hook and eye, and the pants made their grand debut!



I decided to hand-hem the pants, because the bottom edge is curved. I always have much better luck easing in the curved edge by hand, rather than by machine. I loved the drape and swish of the wide pant legs, and didn’t want to ruin it all with a hem gone awry. I’m thrilled with the result!


After putting in the hook and eye and wearing the pants for the first time, a few issues became evident. The unusual side closure of the pants results in the left pocket remaining open. There’s a bit of a “valley” in the pocket that seems adequate for holding my keys, which are my usual left-pocket inhabitants. However, I wouldn’t entrust the left pocket with much more. I considered putting in snaps along the open pocket edge, but decided it was too much trouble to do/ undo them every time I pulled the pants on or off. The left pocket opening is exactly as advertised, so I shouldn’t have been surprised.


The other issue is that the pants are drafted for the side seam line on the front piece to align with that on the back piece once the ties are tied (seams are marked with arrows below). In my fabric, however, the bulk of the ties creates a bit of a gap in the left side seam, resulting in the left pocket lying not quite right. Perhaps in a lighter weight fabric this would work better, but then the fabric might not be suitable for pants.


In any case, the issues are very tiny, and I’m in love with the pants! I’ve paired them here with the Vogue 7876 wrap top, but I’m looking for additional styling suggestions, so please post in the comments if you have any!


The second recent project was a rushed camisole-turned-dress. I needed a white dress for a Greek-themed ballet that I was performing in last weekend. Initially I decided that I would just buy a dress and get on with things. However, nothing that I saw was suitable—most dresses had either enormous sleeves or shoulder cut-outs, neither of which I wanted. I guess I’ve been spoiled by getting exactly what I want by making it. Since I was under a bit of time pressure, I used an existing pattern, Butterick 5932, and lengthened the camisole by 11” to make a dress out of a polyester charmeuse. I used the matte side out to avoid glare from the stage lights.


The hip line was a bit below the “lengthen/ shorten” line, so after cutting and spreading the pattern, I drew the new hipline at the same height as the former one. I made sure to keep the width at that point constant, and then blended the side seams down to the new hem line (I think I ended up widening the hem circumference by 1-1.25” on each pattern piece). The rest of the construction was straightforward, though the gathering was a bit tricky. When I was finished, I realized that I was not able to kick to full height, so I made 3” slits in each side. The dress, and performance, were a success. Here’s a group photo, with faces of the other lovely dancers blurred for privacy. I ended up doing some last-minute alterations on the dress that’s second from the right, but everything went smoothly in the theater!



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