Thursday, November 16, 2017

Sewing Pants for Women...Preparing the Pattern for Alteration Step 4, Part 5

Continuing with the Sewing Pants for Women by Else Tryoler.  Today, will we start with Step 4 of the seven giant steps to pants perfection:

Hang of the pants at the waist and crotch width alterations

There is an old and weary joke about a person's legs being just long enough to reach the floor.  It is also axiomatic that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.  Now, suppose we start at the waist smack in the center of the back and envision two lines traveling to the floor.  If the person involved has a very flat seat, the route from waist to floor will be a straight line.  But if she also throws her hips forward making her tummy rather prominent, you can see the line from the waist to the floor in front has to travel over the provenience en route;  therefore it is not a straight line and is longer than the line to the rear.

A similar situation develops if the subject has a bustle back and a flat stomach.  In other words, it is possible for a pair of pants to be a different length from waist to floor in the front and the back.  This is also true of a person who carries no extra weight, but simply tilts her hips forward or backward so that her waist line is at a slant. See Figures 9, 10, 11.  These three figures each have the same hip measurements.  Figure 9 shows a standard (or perhaps ideal!) shape.  The anatomy is evenly balanced and requires little or no alteration.  Figure 10 shows a shape which is wider through the seat.  It is rounder in circumference through the hips, and is more like a true circle.  This type requires a longer line in the back to reach from the waist to the floor as shown in Figure 12.  Add 1/4 to 1/2- inch at the center back waist seam, tapering to nothing at the side seams.

Figure 11 is very flat in the seat.  This type requires a far shorter line from the waist to floor in the back.  In this case, drop the waistline 1/4 to 1/2-inch a the center back seam, tapering, as before, to nothing at the side seams.  You will find this technique illustrated by the dotted line at the top of Figure 13.

Look again at Figure 10.  Compare the distance between the Xs on this type -- this is called crotch width  -- with the distance between the Xs on the other figures.  Wider, isn't it?  In order to fit this type, the crotch curve must be widened by adding to the inner leg seam at both front and back.  See Figure 12.

Look now at Figure 11.  Judge the distance between the Xs on this type.  Her crotch width is narrower, isn't it?  Therefore less crotch width is needed in the pattern, so the inner leg seam is decreased at the crotch by about 1/2-inch in the back only.  This is shown by the broken line at the side of Figure 13.  It is sometimes necessary to alter this again after the first fitting.  If it then proves to be still too wide, in out a small amount at the front seam also.

Front alteration (the waistline seam):  If your abdomen is flat, no alteration will be needed.  However, if you tend to round out in front once the coning influence of a tight garment is removed, this is more apt to be a problem.  If this is so, increase the center front by adding 1/4 to 1/2-inch to the waistline, tapering to nothing at the side seams.  See Figure 14.

Did you notice anything with the terms in this section? I believe we would know crotch width by today is called crotch length.  What do you think?

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


Here's a view of some of the fabric organization in the closet:

In this picture you can see the collection of denim, fat quarters, holiday fabrics, interfacing, and mostly contained quilting scraps.  There is a shelf above that can not be seen.

In this picture, you can see the carefully folded fabric.  Fabric in this area is larger than 1/2 yard.  You can also see the sleeve board, a few hangers, towels awaiting applique, and more interfacing.

This is some of the carefully folded fashion fabric.  There are a few pieces in this batch that will be for muslins only.  This is a couple of shelves above this picture and a shelf below.  This is also a sewing machine under the last shelf.

This is another view.  Additional carefully folded fashion fabric with magazines, patterns, and a tiny bit of yarn (this is the only knitting stuff that has made it to the room).  There is a couple of shelves above with more fabric and a shelf below.  You can see the corner of my cutting table which will be in the closet and moved out to line up with the sewing table when needed.  Also, hidden by the cutting table is a couple of my sewing machines.

I think the biggest surprise with doing this organization is the amount of denim that I have collected along with the amount of quilting weight cotton fabrics.  Some of the denim is destined for a quilt and some of it is destined for jeans.  I suppose some of the denim can be used as a muslin for jeans.

If nothing else, this whole experience has certainly slowed down the desire to purchase more fabric.  Now that I can see the majority of it, I'm hoping that it will be considered first before purchasing more.  I do not have a large amount of knits so that will most likely be the exception.

Fabric folding techniques can be found in the blog post "Organization....Folding Fabric".

Happy Stitching!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Organization.... Rulers...

My room is slowly coming together.  I hope that it works as well as I hoping.  I used the vertical surfaces on cabinets and my shelves for the rulers:

On the bookshelf, I have a long skinny ruler and my tube turners.  There is a little bit of space left to add additional skinny rulers should I find them or acquire more (I hope not).

This side of my little cabinet has triangle rulers.  Additional space below for some additional rulers.  I'm currently out of hooks and have two more small rulers to hang .  You can see my largest mat behind this little cabinet.  Not ideal storage for it but it was the only spot I could find.

This side of the cabinet has the hexagon rulers with a variety of other rulers below.

One on side of my pattern cabinet, I have all my large cutting rulers.  There are 2 stripology rulers and a 12 1/2" square.

On the other side of the pattern cabinet are the remaining rulers.  I think most of the rulers have been found.  At least, I hope that have been.  There is always the chance that some mini rulers may be discovered yet.

I used the Command Medium Wire Hooks to hold up the rulers.  So far they seem to be holding up well.  This particular hook will hold up to 3 lbs.  Here's a better picture:

FYI:  I'm not affiliated with this brand.  Just a happy customer.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Sewing Pants for Women...Preparing the Pattern for Alteration Step 3. Part 4

Continuing with the Sewing Pants for Women by Else Tryoler.  Today, will we start with Step 3 of the seven giant steps to pants perfection:

Hip alterations

There are as many different humps and bumps to a pair of pants as there are women to walk around in them.  There is certainly no area more susceptible to poor fit than the hips if you attempt to squeeze all those varied contours into one pattern shape.  Might as well try to add apples and oranges or bananas and pears for that matter.

On your measurement chart you have all the information you need to personalize a pattern so that it will fit you and your particular terrain.

Pin the front and back pattern pieces together by matching the side seams at the hip-line.  (Remember those two pins at the fullest part of your hips, about seven or eight inches down?)  Take a look at Figure 7 to see what you should be doing.

Now comes a little math:  look up your hip measurement and add two inches for ease.  This represents the total hip circumference you will need in your pattern, but remember that the two pieces of your pattern represent only 1/2 your figure.  So, next divide your total hip circumference by two and you have the number of inches your pattern must measure to fit you.

Back to the pinned together pattern.  Measure from the center front (the X to the left on Figure 7) to the center back (the X to the right on Figure 7).  If the measurement is more than the number of inches you determined in the preceding paragraph, you will take half the difference out of the pattern Front and half the difference out of the pattern back.

This alteration is made on a vertical line, designated by the alteration line on the diagram, so that it will not disturb the side seam curve.  (Do not make the common mistake of adding only at the hips, because that will make the side seam ripple and cause great difficulty when it comes time to insert the zipper.)  An example:  if the pattern is 1-inch too large, fold out 1/2-inch in the front and 1/2-inch in the back.  Be sure to fold it out all the way from the waist to the hem as shown in Figure 7.  Similarly, if the pattern is too small by 1-inch, insert 1/2-inch in the front and 1/2-inch in the back.  You are now grading or sizing the pattern up or down a fraction of a size.

Remember your hip measurement is not all hip.  It also includes the seat and abdomen.  If your hips curve more than standard, add a little more at the side seams of the front and back to take care of the excess.  This is particularly  necessary when the hips are prominent.

If you have very straight hips, the curve at the side seams must be decreased in front and back. Be sure to decrease in equal amounts, however.  See dotted lines, Figure 8.

Always operate where your figure requires it.  Sometimes you grade or size only in the front, sometimes only in the back.  For example, you may need to add only a small amount to your hip measurement -- let's say 1/2-inch.  If you protrude more in the front over the abdomen than the standard figure, then insert only in the front.  Or perhaps your seat is standard plus --- or a prominent side.  Then insert only through the back portion.

Do the same grading if you want to make the pattern smaller.  For a figure with a flat abdomen, fold out a small amount in the front only, or do the same in back for a flat seat.

After you have made any of the alterations, ad have decreased or increased the width of your pattern pieces, remember to draw a new crease-line vertically through the exact center of the knee-line and parallel to the former crease-line.  The reason for this is that when inserting or decreasing the pattern piece, the crease-line moves over half the amount of the any change made.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Found Beauty...

Moving all of my sewing stuff across country has been a true eye-opener.  Too much stuff but it has been fun going through it.  I have also found many projects.  Many unfinished and stuffed into bags and/or boxes.  Along with the unfinished projects, there have many projects that were purchased (pattern, fabrics, and notions) and just left in the bag for another day.  I'm planning on finishing some of these projects.  The first project is this little beauty:

Yes, this is very hard to photograph but I tried.  I'm pretty sure this is something that I did in the late 80s when I was learning how to hand quilt.  I have no idea if it was ever intended to be anything but what it is but I'm going to turn this into a small pillow.  Hopefully, among the pillow form stash will be a form that will fit the finished size.  Also found with it was more of the same muslin and this will be perfect for the backing.  Now, I just need to see if I have a zipper in an appropriate color (cream or white).

Have you found old projects like this?  Have you gone through with the completion?  Were you happy with the end results?

I'm hoping that this will be a good addition for the bench in my entryway.

Happy Stitching!