Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The brown challenge - HSF/HSM - Lisa

I had a couple things I could make for the brown challenge.  Both from the 30's/40's with my Wearing History patterns.  Trousers and a blouse.  I actually made both, and started working on a swing coat.   I've planned to make the swing coat for the last two winters.  Wide leg trousers were popular starting in the 30's, though they were not common and not worn as everyday clothing.

Jean Harlow in trousers

I have a pin stripe cotton, mostly brown with a little blue, for the blouse.  I was going to get wool flannel for the trousers but I wasn't sure I would like how the pants looked on me so I declined to invest the cash.  Instead I got a dark chocolate rayon twill.  It has lovely drape, though it's not very forgiving of my bumps.   I actually bought all this quite a while ago and just haven't got around to sewing it.

Smooth Sailing Pants 
The largest size of the pattern is a tiny bit too small for me in most places.  It's definitely too small in the 'high hip' (commonly know as the 'pot' belly).  I altered the curve of the hip and altered the pleats and darts along with adding to the overall size. I also hand sewed the side zip because I've found that I get a smoother line.  Clearly I'm too lazy to go downstairs to press my work before pictures.

Hand picked zip - Not pressed
And now, a moment to talk about squish.  I have a lot of squish, and it's not all just fat.  Everyone should know their squishability, because it matters when making alterations.  I added room in the pattern to match my measurements and then, when the muslin seemed too tight in the waist, I added more.  But I shouldn't have because I'm squishy, and I know it.  If my pants fit 'properly' in the waist they are actually too loose and will slide to my high hip.  I find I need to squish in about 1- 1 1/2 inches (more if the fabric will stretch a bit when wearing).  I always have a little roll over my waist but I prefer that to droopy pants.  I added an extra inch to the muslin and ended up taking two inches out.  That same 'squish' factor means I need to add a bit of extra room through the seat.  When I sit down I squish OUT there (wearing ease).  Alternately, Robin my co-blogger, has almost no squish no matter what her size.

Welt pocket - Also NOT pressed 
A side effect of the squish alterations was that the legs of the pants are a bit fuller than they appear in the pattern picture.  The pattern is for straight leg pants from the low hip and I added ease in the low hip.  My final decision was whether to add a welt pocket on the seat.  I've never done it, so I HAD to try.   I haven't made the belt yet, but I want to do that, too.

Smooth Sailing Blouse
The blouse pattern fit, except the bust.  Because it's made of cotton shirting and buttons down the front, I wanted to make sure I added plenty of fabric.  No gap!  The pattern creates bust fullness through pleating below the yoke.  I added half my extra volume there.  I also chose to add a bust dart, along with a little extra length in the front.  Due to the extra volume at the bust, I added a second shaping dart at the waist.  I'm quite content with how it worked out.

A couple of surprises with the pattern; first, the yoke is not lined and second, the shoulder seam came out slanting back over my shoulder.  Neither one of these were a problem.  I'm going to use the pattern again, and I will likely line the yoke and will slash and spread to move the shoulder seam closer to my actual shoulders.  The yoke is fine without the lining and hangs nicely, but my next blouse will have the outside of the yoke cut on the bias (for stripe detail) and will need the support.
The shoulder seam placement meant that closing the blouse up to the neck wasn't a viable option.  It will be easy to fix in the future.  Note; this is related to MY shape, not a problem with the pattern.

Both these patterns were extremely easy to work with and the instructions were straightforward.  I LOVE them.  I'm also secretly happy that I matched stripes (sorta) at the shoulder.

It's 7AM!  Only time I had for pictures...