Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Tissue and Muslin Fittings: Tailored Pants, Simplicity 2860

I promised to share with you the muslin for my Tailored Pants, Simplicity 2860. I cut the pattern tissue in a Curvy Fit, Size 16. Then I traced all the seams allowances on the tissue so I could pin the seams when doing a Tissue Fit. Here is a picture of my Tissue Fit:
From the Tissue Fit I learned that I would need to add 1 ½ inch to the upper back seam line to have enough fabric to cover my curvy derriere. I used the slash method by cutting the upper seam line to the 1 inch side seam allowance being careful not to cut all the way through. Then I inserted tissue to give me the needed 1 ½ inch. Here is a picture of my slash method alteration.
Then I cut and stitched the muslin using given seam allowances and the following adjustments were needed:

Outer Leg Seams:  1 inch increased to 1 ¼ inch
Inner Leg Seams :  5/8 inch increased to 1 1/8 inch
Upper Back Center Seam:  1 inch increased to 2 inch
Front Crotch:  11 ¾ inch decreased to 11 ½ inch
Back Crotch:  15 inch increased to 16 ½ inch
I also lowered my crotch curve to prevent excess fabric just above the crotch at pubic bone and to prevent the back crotch seam cutting between the buttocks. Here is a picture of my fitted muslin.
Mrs. Smith from Sew Crafty Chemist feared that a Curvy Fit size 16 would be too big for me. But I think I needed to cut that size to cover my butt! (HA-HA!) The finished measurements of my pants are:

Finished Tailored Pants Measurements
Waist: 30 1/3 inch
Hips: 41 inch
Front Crotch: 11 ½ inch
Back Crotch: 16 ½ inch
Full Crotch: 28 inch

On to cutting the pattern in the fashion fabric!

Friday, August 29, 2014

September is the Month for Sewing Pants!

I have decided to tackle one of my greatest sewing challenges: A Pair of Tailored Pants.  I have chosen Amazing Fit Collection, Simplicity 2860, a modern straight leg pant with a fly front and contoured waistband.
Separate pattern pieces are included for figure types – Slim, Average and Curvy.  Advertised features are a contoured waistband that comfortably sits ½ inch below the natural waistline, a centered seam that has enough room for movement without sagging or creeping and side seams that hang straight without pulling toward the front or back.

My tailored pants will be made with a black wool-look blend of 50% polyester, 26% rayon, 20 nylon and 4% spandex which I purchased from Hancock Fabrics. 
Let me state that I only own two pair of jeans and several pair of scrub pants.  I do not own a pair of dress pants!  I hate shopping for pants!  I often find myself near tears after taking pair after pair of pants into a store dressing room and sadly find that they are all too long, the back crotch that does not rise over my curvy derriere, or that the back crotch does rise over my curvy derriere but leaves a large gap at the back waist that is beyond simple alteration.  Okay end of my whining!

Anyway my goal is a great fit for these pants!  Simplicity states I should these measurements to determine my pattern size and figure type:

My True Body Measurements and Simplicity's Suggested Size/Body Type
Waist - 29 ½ (Size 16)
Hip - 37 (Size 14)
Total Crotch Length - 27 (Curvy 16)
Back Crotch Length -17 (No size they offer! Yes, my back crotch is a fitting headache!)

The finished pants should have 4” of wearing and design ease in the hip/seat/upper thigh area.  So I am going to cut a muslin in a Curvy Fit Size 16 which would give me a pair of pants with a finished hip of 43 ½ and then alter.  I will share-a-look at the muslin with you before using my wool-look fabric!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

August 2014 Dress - Simplicity 1686

Project Details
I have finished my August Dress!
Amazing Fit Collection, Simplicity 1686.

Cool Blue Linen Blend, Joann's Fabrics.

Thread, one 22” invisible zipper, hook and eye, two ¾ buttons, 1 5/8 yards lightweight fusible interfacing .

Misses'/Miss Petite Dress.

Pattern Sizing:
U.S. 6,8,10,12,14.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done?
Yes. I chose to make my dress with the sleeveless bodice top of View C and knee length skirt of View B.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
The instructions are clear and simple. I love the detailed instructions offered for fitting throughout the pattern guide-sheets.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
This pattern includes separate pattern pieces for bust cup sizes and slim, average and curvy fit!  The 1 inch seam allowances are offered for fitting adjustments.  I like that the finished garment measurements for bust and hips are offered on the back of the envelope!  However, I was disappointed that the finished measurement for the waist was not included.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I initially cut this dress with a B cup size 6 bodice (34 ½ inch finished) tapering to a Curvy Fit Size 12 skirt (41 inch finished.) The bodice fit was great. The left armhole was a little loose so I make an adjustment at the underarm seam. The midriff/waistline was too snug so I let out the one inch side seams for better ease. The hip area felt tight and the seams and front pleats pulled to the back. So I released the 1 inch side seams, smoothed the back of my skirt over my curvy derriere, then pin to the front, making sure that the side seams were perpendicular to the floor. I took the time to measure my finished garment and found the finished measurements were bodice-34 ½, waist-32 and hips-42. Oh, I covered my own buttons for this dress!
Would you made it again?
I may make this pattern again.

Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I would recommend this pattern for a seamstress whose goal is to achieve a perfect fit.

This was a great project and I learned much about working with body measurements and fashion ease. I have also become a fan of the Amazing Fit Collection from Simplicity Patterns!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

August Is The Month For Sewing Dresses!

I have chosen for my first project Simplicity 1686, a mock wrap dress in two lengths with back zipper, inset waistband, lapels and sleeves
variations. This dress is from the Amazing Fit Collection designed by the American Sewing Guild. Separate pattern pieces are included for A, B, C, D cup sizes and slim, average, curvy fit. Advertised features are a front neckline designed to be "gap free", princess seams to follow the contours of the bust smoothly and a deep-front overlay for coverage.  Well we will see!

My stylist suggested I make a sleeveless View B with covered buttons to accent the inset waistband. My fabric is a pale blue rayon, polyester, linen blend that has been in my fabric stash for over 10 years!

The first fun task of this project was deciding which cup and fit size to use! That meant comparing body measurements to finished garment measurements and allowing for design and wearing ease. Now readers this is how I determined what cup and size to use:

My true body measurements + Ease = (Cutting Size)
Bust: 32 1/2 + 2 inch ease = 34 1/2 (B cup, Size 8)
Waist: 29 1/2 + 1 inch ease = 30 1/2  (Size 12)
Hips: 37 + 4 inch ease = 41 (Size 12, Curvy)

The Amazing Fit Collection does not "jam" sizes 6 through 14 on each pattern piece. However I was very joyous to find that Size 8 and Size 12 were on the same pattern pieces so it was very easy for me to adjust sizing from bust to waist.

The fabric pieces have been cut and sewing begins tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Fashion Advice Session!

As I grow older, I often question if a given style and/or color is appropriate me. I highly value the fashion guidance of my daughter, Jocasta.

So this weekend, she willingly sat in my sewing studio and reviewed/weeded both my pattern and fabric stash. She carefully matched fabrics to patterns and we discussed how these choices would gave me a more flattering and contemporary look. (Friends, some items were sent to Goodwill!)

Following the session, I asked Jocasta to give me list of fashion do's and don'ts. Taking into consideration my age, body type, style and color favorites, she offered me the following list:

Momma's (aka Regina's) Fashion Do's and Don'ts
1. Curvy skinny jeans (Perfect for your legs and hips)
2. Slim fit, Crop-cut trousers (Shows off your legs without drowning them in fabric)
3. V-necks tops (Best neckline for your frame.)
4. Form fitting knit dresses with gathering on the waist (Shows off your bust and hips. Makes you look tiny in the middle.)
5. White skirts (Every closet should have one.)
6. Pencil skirts (Shows off your curves in the right way.)
7. Empire waist skirts (Elongates your frame.)
8. Thick waist band skirts and pants.
9. Dresses with pockets (Best invention.)
10. Shawls and open sweaters (Great for layering.)
11. French jackets (Classy)
12. Wool or fleece pea-coats (A way to add color to your wardrobe.) 
13. Trench coats (Classy.)
14. Front ruffle blouses (A feminine touch.)
15. Chambray tops or dresses with leggings (Cute and comfy look.)
16. Red shorts (Nice pop of color.)

1. Wide-leg pants (Makes you look bottom heavy. Hides your figure.)
2. Full elastic waistbands (Mom jeans. Out-dated.)
3. Wide mouth tops (Slips off shoulders.)
4. Pleated A-line skirts (Makes you look bottom heavy. Hides your figure.)
5. Low ride waist pants (Your hips is not meant for these.)
6. Vests (You're not hipster enough.)
7. Romper shorts (Looks too childish.)

Bright colors are your friends (Just bright, not neon.)
1. White
2. Warm bright colors (red, yellow, orange)
3. Purples
4. Silver/Light grey
5. Lighter blues

Avoid colors that wash out your skin. 
1. Darker brown (not khaki)
2. Dark grey
3. University of Kentucky Blue (The color, not necessarily the team.)
4. Olive greens

Following this session and with this list in hand, I feel very positive about revamping my wardrobe with projects from my upcoming sewing sessions!