Pants! And a shirt!
Okay, I’ve been thinking I have to refine my dress pants pattern. I keep hearing on “What not to Wear” that dress pants that go straight down are the most flattering cut. I really like the casual jeans pattern I have and it fits but the legs are tapered AND it doesn’t look dressy. I have several pants patterns (included in patterns with whole outfits of jackets, skirts and stuff) that have no waistband. Some have a side zipper or a back zipper or even a front fly but the key is that they don’t have the waistband AND they go straight down. Not only can you tell from the pattern piece, but you can tell because the width at the bottom of the leg is wider than on the jeans. My pants are 13 inches wide at the bottom of the leg on tapered pants and jeans, but they are 18 inches wide on the dress pant.
I have made the pants in McCalls pattern 4154 once before and they fit nicely. I rarely wear them because I used some material that was very flowing and bright blue with flowers on it. But they did fit well. So I am making them again.
Speaking of being challenged about fabric, I was going to use some plain grey stuff I didn’t even remember buying but instead, went with this really odd stuff I do remember buying because it was on sale - probably $2/meter. It has Lycra in it too - a bonus! But it really is odd. The wrong side is plain white and looks like a knit. At last I will be making something where you can tell the right from the wrong side. The right side is a subtle stripe with a sort of herringbone look to it. The main colours are brown and off white and there is a red thread running through it too. Overall, it has a pinkish look to it. It also has a nap. The finish is more than peached - it is brushed and so I had to cut all the pieces facing the same way “up”.
When I laid out the fabric with the pants pattern pieces on it, I realized I had enough extra to make something else so I decided on a shirt. This shirt pattern has facings on the front and a spread collar so I am thinking I could wear a t-shirt or turtleneck under it, so it works more like a jacket than a shirt. I think it would be entirely TOO much of the fabric to ever wear both the pants and the shirt at the same time, however. I have made this shirt before on several occasions and I usually leave out the darts in the back so it fits more loosely. I am also making the 3/4 length sleeves.
Next, I had to decide on the thread colour. With white on the back and brown and red on the right side, it was difficult. I laid out six spools of brown thread I already had to see what looked best. I refuse to buy new thread while I am sewing with “ugly” fabric that I am merely trying to use up. I eliminated the three spools on the right and plan to use up the three on the left. I am also going to use white thread in the top or the bobbin, depending on what piece I am sewing.
I ironed on the interfacing where required and started assembling the pieces for sewing. I was going to sew all the darts at once, so I decided on brown thread for the bobbin and white for the top thread. The brown would show up on the inside which wouldn’t matter for the pants but might show on the top. But I decided not to worry about it.
The next photo shows two darts made in one side of the pants back. The first one has the brown bobbin thread showing and the one I have just finished shows the white top thread.
When I used the same thread combo on the split dart on the shirt front, I opened up the “seam” and took a picture of what the threads will look like once the seams have been pressed open. You can see two colours of thread but you really have to look closely.
Finally, I finished the raw edge on the facings for the front of the shirt. I already pinked the edge to prevent fraying but I also ironed over the raw edge and sewed it down. In the last photo here, you can see what brown thread looks like as topstitching. I changed the top thread to brown and sewed the facing edge with brown on both threads. Although I didn’t make a big effort to sew totally straight, it doesn’t look too bad.