Apparently using photography terminology my pictures were blown out - sounds painful - and can easily be fixed with a lens filter if only I would let my dearly beloved use a proper camera instead of my phone. A few weeks later we finally found time to take replacement pictures.
The travel wardrobe was going to consist of:
- Vogue 1410 a Lynn Mizono dress made from a skirt that is never worn and other fabrics pieced together to create enough fabric to make the dress. I do love the skirt fabric (a Prints Charming cotton) and think it would be worn if it were a dress
- Style Arc Flat Bottom Flo pants using a white stretch cotton twill fabric found in deep stash
- Lily Sage & Co Branson Top 04 in a green cotton that coordinates with the dress fabric
- TSW Zayn Top in a lime green stretch cotton also from deep stash
- Vogue 2056 an Issey Miyake blouse from 1988 in a Liberty cotton sweatshirting, design Poppy's Patchwork in colourway pastel purchased especially, from The Fabric Store, to coordinate with the other items in my travel wardrobe
The bottom three items were eligible for the Pattern Review Pattern Stash contest but they didn't reach fruition in time for that either.
So onto the actual topic of this post.
I chose the white fabric to make the Style Arc Flat Bottom Flo pants because a) it fitted into my imaginary travel wardrobe and b) there was enough fabric that I could make both a muslin and finished garment with it.
It is a long time since I made a pair of trousers/jeans, certainly not since I started sewing again. RTW trousers fit me relatively well and getting a better fit in home sewn trousers is not that easy. The trousers I made in the past were generally wide legged and didn't seem to get the extra fabric under the bottom that I get now. Or maybe that is just a faulty memory. Or a sign of the aging changing body shape.
The finished garmentCalling this a finished garment is a bit of a misnomer because it isn't. I have attached the waistband to the right side but have not put elastic in it or sewn it to the wrong side, nor have I hemmed the trousers. I just wanted to get them to a stage where I could see what my fitting problems are. Surprisingly there don't seem to be as many problems as I anticipated and most of the issues I created myself.
The fabricThe fabric is a nice cotton twill which I have had for quite some considerable time. It came from Ballantynes, a department store in Christchurch, back when they had a fabric department. This is many moons ago as it was gone long before the 2011 earthquake.
The patternThis pattern is described by Style Arc as every butt has a different shape! This stretch pull on pant is for those with a flatter bottom. The back side seam comes to the front giving this slightly narrow legged pant a slimming look and the back yoke adds to this flattering shape.
I thought this pattern might suit me when I saw how flat my bottom was in my self-drafted leggings pattern. Must have flattened it with all the sitting on it I have done in my working life.
The pattern alterationsI really wanted pockets in my trousers so used both the front and back pockets from another Style Arc pattern (the Georgie Stretch Woven Jean). I also wanted the pocket bag to hold in my tummy like it does in RTW Not Your Daughter's Jeans.
So first problem as you can see in the photo below is that the pocket facing is not big enough to stay inside the pocket. I have now re-drafted the facing piece to be larger.
Second problem is that I made the pocket bag too deep and you can see a line across my body almost at crotch level where the pocket bag sort of bunches up. So that is now also fixed with a shorter pocket bag. Both of the new pattern pieces are in the photo above. The pocket bag may still need some alteration because in my RTW jeans it is shaped but I wanted to be able to stitch it down when I top-stitched the faux fly.
Thirdly the back pockets are positioned too low down but I am not sure how much I can change that because of the back yoke. They could be raised a couple of inches but that is probably about it.
The other alteration I made is to the width of the pants leg. The legs of the pattern are straighter than I wanted. Skinny jeans may be falling out of fashion but I still love them. Plus I thought I was being fashionable enough sewing a pair of white jeans - don't want to overdo it.
Rather than alter the pattern I just chopped the extra width off at the outside leg seam (and more from the back seam than the front) of the partially sewn up garment. This of course resulted in the trouser legs twisting. So for the real pair I will alter the pattern pieces to the desired width using all four of the leg seams (back inside + outside leg seam, front inside + outside leg seam).
The good news is that apart from these self-created issues the trousers fit amazingly well. There is no pool of fabric under my bottom or camel toe in front so both the crotch curve and the crotch length seem to be appropriate for my body. Having found this state of nirvana you would think I would have sewn up a proper pair quick smart, but despite making these a couple of months ago a final pair has not yet eventuated.
I think the problem is that they are white and not really needed in my wardrobe in the depths of winter. So I should just put the white fabric to one side and make a pair in another fabric that can be worn in winter, rather than fixating on the original plan.
The sewingThe jeans were sewn using the overlocker and then top stitched with black Metler cordonnet thread. I used my vintage Singer Featherweight for the top stitching and made a real newbie mistake.
I tested the top stitching on a scrap of fabric and just couldn't get the tension right. No matter what I did every now and then I would pull a chunk of the top thread through to the bottom. I was starting to get quite frustrated and then had an aha moment. Of course I needed to use a larger top stitching needle. I was only using a size 80 as soon as I went up to a 90 the problem stopped. I did need a slightly tighter top tension as well (6 instead of 4 on my old Singer), to compensate for the difference in top and bottom thread weight.
So all in all a successful make even if I don't have a finished garment to show for it. Now if only I could stop pushing other projects ahead in the queue and get on with making a real pair of Flat Bottom Flo pants - maybe next weekend!