Oooh so much to share and so little time I have some updates on the spinning WIPs I shared in my last post, but I'm not going to talk about that today. Oh no. We are going to talk about pants! Well, rather trousers.
Now, I love my straight-stitch vintage Singers – they sew a beautiful stitch, will go through anything and some of the attachments such as the magical buttonholer, are sublime. But, in preparation for major garment sewing I have found myself wanting to be able to do a zigzag without having to attach the zigzagger and also to have the ability to do stretch stitches for knit fabrics, or use a twin needle – all things I'm going to ideally want to do to finish some of the garments I have planned.
So on Friday we popped into town and went to visit our neighbourhood sewing shop to see what vintage beauties he had that could do a few more things, as last time we went in, he had some lovely older machines (that weren't as old as mine), with all metal parts that had some of the features I was after.
I love popping in there – I got to have a play with a beautiful old Pfaff, we had a good chat about overlockers and whether one of those would tick all the boxes and we got into an interesting discussion about the merits of newer machines, of which he showed me a couple. I found myself being swayed by the idea of a new one and it just so happened that the machine I was keenest on, he had in the shop. A few minutes later we were on the bus home with this:
Set up in all its glory…
It's a Janome 525S, the same machine used on the Great British Sewing Bee apparently and meant to be quite good for the money. It was important to me to have a rotary bobbin, as I'm rubbish with loading the other type into the machine and I like seeing how much thread is left. I don't mind paying a bit extra for that – plus as I found out when I got home, it has a few extra features like adjustable foot pressure that I am glad to have (even all my Singers have it!)
I spent some time getting to know the stitches… I forsee a bit more time with the instruction manual in my future!
With this in mind, I dug out some fabric I bought back in September which I had planned to use to make a pair of Colette Junipers after doing a muslin of them in October. There were a few issues in terms of fit that I'd need to tweak, some things that I didn't like, or wish it had, plus the worry that a wide leg trouser would just make me look wider than I am (or just add to the general impression of wideness), so I shelved that idea.
I then bought and made a muslin of the Sewaholic Thurlow pattern (which I didn't blog, oops!) – designed for pear shapes (which I certainly am on my bottom half) with the hope it would be a better fit straight out of the box. Plus I loved the idea of them being more tailored and work suitable. I'll share the muslin in another post, but they looked ok, so after my sewing machine acquisition I decided to try and put a pair together without any alterations.
Before that though, Trev got the grand idea that I could make him a shirt, so off we went to browse for shirt fabrics. I also thought that I could get some denim to make a second, more casual pair of Thurlows should all go well. My mission, was to find some very funky lining fabric to jazz up the insides a little. Here were the contenders I found!
Number 1: ALOHA! (I have done nothing to this picture… It was taken on my phone, in artificial light, in a basement. It's actually that bright)
Number 2: Surf's Up! Even more obnoxious and more NEON!
Number 3: Skiers! Who wouldn't want skiers in their trousers? I blame Winter Olympic fever for making me consider this one.
One veritable fabric haul later and I have enough for another pair of trousers, two tops, a shirt and possibly more. (And yes, I bought 1m of the Hawaii!)
I finished cutting out my pattern pieces…
By the time I'd done with the fabric, lining AND interfacing, I was sick to death of cutting things out:
I didn't get off to the most auspicious start.
I misunderstood the shading on the pattern diagrams for front and back, so managed to assemble both pockets, stitch one to one of the trouser fronts and trim the seam allowances, all with the pieces being BACK TO FRONT. There was much silent cursing (I used far worse words in my head than “pants”, which, my American friends, we will sometimes yell when frustrated) and ripping out of work – I was very close to hurling the damned thing into a corner.
Needless to say I will never do that again. From that point I proceeded cautiously, triple checking everything as I followed the instructions and the sewalong. I even fastidiously practised my welt pockets:
(I know why they're puckering and hopefully will learn to avoid it in future attempts – too much sewing down when you go over the little triangles!)
I have to say how amazing I find it, that after a few hours of sewing, measuring and pressing, all of a sudden you end up with what resembles a pair of trousers, albeit in need of a waistband and a seam at the back.
Look, a lapped zip! With fly facing, lining and everything!
Welt pockets! (I love these… Simple to do, but tricky to master it seems. But they're genius! I can't wait to try bound buttonholes on a garment now):
I can't believe that they actual resemble real trousers!
Since taking the above pics, I have gotten further (only hemming and belt loops to do now) and will share a full update on the weekend. I have also tried them on (they do go on, yay!) so will share full FO pictures, with a comparison of my muslin and some ready-to-wear trousers too.
I am gobsmacked that I've sewn an actual thing, that you can wear and it looks like it's supposed to! I wonder if that novelty ever wears off? Of course I need to add making things that fit to that list, but so far it looks like I'm off to an OK start.
Anybody else doing any sewing?