November 07, 2010
A few months ago I decided I was rather fed up with making toiles. All those calico practice-runs were slowly sapping my sewing spirit. Darn it, I wanted to take a pattern out of the envelope and just make something. No re-drawing this, that and the other; no taking a bit in here and letting some out there; nothing. So I started looking for a short cut.
I started my quest with Kwik Sew 3716. The blurb on the envelope said it was a semi-fitted jacket. Perfect. As we all know, semi is the Latin for not really.
So after a few cursory measurements, I cut the pattern and fabric and got sewing with some nice grey Ponte di Roma. It was so much fun just to sew something without labouring over all the alterations. Liberating even.
But as I got closer and closer to the finish (and started trying on 3716) I could see things were going a little awry. The shoulders were droopy. The back looked awfully wide. The jacket was going to be swimming on me. The sewing started to become slower and slower as I tried to put off the inevitable - completing the ill-fitting Jacket of Doom.
To this day, Doom sits waiting for its sleeves to be set in and a hem to be stitched.
But not to be defeated (read: not having learned my lesson) I decided to look at smaller pattern companies for my magic-no-alteration-needed pattern. Then I found it: an independent pattern line promising that it had been drafted for people with big stomach bones. My eyes lit up. This was my ticket to alteration emancipation. I snapped up a pattern for yoga pants*.
I raced home with the pattern and cut and sewed the yoga pants.
Everything was great. Well, except for the fact that the pants were a bit short. And the top was all puffy and the legs too narrow at the bottom. In fact I looked a little bit like MC Hammer.
Never mind. I went back to the pattern and cut a smaller front and a longer, wider leg. Then I cut and sewed the yoga pants.
Everything was great. Well, except for the fact that the top of the pants was still too puffy. And the crotch was a bit short and I had to speak with quite a high voice.
Never mind. I went back to the pattern and redrafted the crotch curve and took a tuck out of the front of the pattern. Then I cut and sewed the yoga pants.
Everything was great. Well, except the back of the pants looked saggy and there was a funny protrusion at the centre front seam. And I looked a bit like Harry High Pants.
Never mind. I went back to the pattern and added two darts at the back and reshaped the centre front seam. I lowered the waist at the back to account for my sway back. Then I cut and sewed the yoga pants.
Now as you can see above, everything is great. Well almost. OK ... not quite.
* For British readers I mean "pants" in the sense of "trousers" and not "pants" as in "undies". Because frankly it would a little bit wrong to do an exercise class in your undies. Unless its that really weird Bikram Yoga where the room is heated like a furnace. I've never been to one of those, but I should imagine that everyone would need to be in their undies.