Monday, August 5, 2013

The Sister's Clothes

When I checked the reviews of Marcy's OOP Vogue 8397 pants, they dated back to 2007... almost seven years if we count from the beginning of the year to the current date... which makes one wonder if she's sewing something that's out of date or something that's unique and timeless. I've debated this before. I'm choosing the later because it really wouldn't matter what year I wore these in, there still wouldn't be a lot of women in my community wearing anything like this... which makes me unique... even if out of date... LOL.




I bought this pattern for two reasons. The first year I was at Design Outside The Lines, Marcy wore the pair on the right with the tucks and I loved them and another woman - Julie - wore the pair in the middle sewn with a knit and I loved them too. Obviously - VBG - that meant I needed the pattern. It's only taken me a year to sew them.

Many of the reviews noted the pattern ran large. I didn't find that for view A. One review said the measurements were printed on the pattern tissue. I didn't find that for view A either but... I have a measuring tape. I can measure. In the end, I did what I always do - looked at the size for my hip measurement, went up one size in the back and down one size in the front, and compared the pattern pieces to those of pants I'd already sewn and liked the fit of. 

Interestingly enough, I started watching Joi Mahon's class Fast-Track Fitting yesterday and she measures the body front and back and makes adjustment based on those differing measurements. I'm only part way into lesson two so I can't speak for the whole class but so far, I find that attention to detail most helpful. It's something I learned the hard way with my fitting and now use regularly because...




... the differing sizes front and back provide the right amount of width in the right areas and - with pants - create a shorter front crotch extension and a longer back one which is exactly what I need. I was intrigued that with this pant pattern the back crotch is more L than J shaped. I need that too.

One aspect I've been paying more attention to with my sewing is alterations that MUST be made before cutting out and ones that CAN be made after. Before cutting, I made sure there was enough width around the hip and waist, enough length along the inner leg, and more than enough crotch depth. Everything after that could be adjusted. 




After watching Peggy Sager's DVD on pant fitting, I have a better understanding of the crotch depth and why adjustments are made from the waist. Once the pants were sewn together, I used the elastic and chalk method - which I first learned from Pati Palmer - to mark the location of my waist.




The solid line is the line drawn around the bottom of the elastic marking my waist and the dotted line is 5/8" away. The wider bit front of the picture is center front and the narrower bit back of the picture is center back. It's hard to turn down a nice casing along a curved edge so instead, I cut a 3 1/4" strip the length of the waist plus seam allowances and then seamed it at the short ends, pressed it in half lengthwise, stitched it to the top of the pants, and threaded 3/4" elastic to a snug but could be snugger waist measurement. According to my scale - which I'm totally convinced is lying - I lost 2 1/2 pounds on Saturday. Not likely but enjoyable for the moment. I'm sure it'll be back tomorrow - VBG.




When I asked my husband what he thought of the points, he asked what points? I helped. Then he said they were very stylish and well sewn. Hmm... I think they're fun and I love the dart just above coming from the hip. I hadn't noticed those on Julie's pants.




Howard said the back made my butt look great. Nice... but I think it's more likely that the top makes my waist look fabulous. I'm wearing the sister's clothes. Marcy's pants. Katherine's top. AND... I really am going to have to figure out how and where to take pictures. My photographer is willing but not the greatest at giving directions and thinks I look gorgeous no matter how goofy my face. Goofy is not - LOL - the greatest posterity look.

The pants are sewn from a light-weight cotton with a small check and a crisp hand. They'll wrinkle a bit more than I'd like but I was avoiding synthetics last week which turned out to be a good choice. I sewed the cotton pajama pants earlier in the week, these on Friday, and then a pair of synthetic pajama pants on Saturday. By the time I finished those, I was having issues again. Sigh. Back to natural fibers.

For those of you who are interested in this part of my life journey, I am making progress on my learning. I finished Super Immunity. It's more of a medical information book than a plan of action but it did give me new information on why improving my immune system is important. With good timing, William Crook's book - Solving the Puzzle of Your Hard-To-Raise Child - arrived just as I finished the first one and I'm most of the way through it. What stands out is the connection between yeast and food allergies, chemical sensitivities, and other health concerns that run in my family so I'm going to explore that direction some more with his other book The Yeast Connection and Women's Health.

Today, I'm getting the guest room ready and later tonight, my friend Caroline arrives. I'm looking forward to our week in the studio although there's been a slight shift. We're not going to be entirely alone in the house as planned. One of my son's friends from work was going through a rough time and needed a safe place. Sixteen is too young to be homeless and on the streets so he's now with us indefinitely. We'll see how that goes. Apparently I collect boys - LOL. Most of them were here for dinner last night and except for my SIL, all of them were in town this weekend. This is good.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - safe spaces

24 comments:

  1. Fabulous outfit, and totally *you*! The points look fun and artsy.

    Enjoy your time with your friend, even as you provide a safe harbor to a kid in turmoil. Fingers crossed that the seas of his life calm down soon.

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    1. Thanks.

      Yes. I hope his waters calm. There are same major complications,

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  2. Marcy's designs always read very French to me, and while the French are always up on their trends, in their main wardrobe pieces they tend to go for items that both suit them And that they think will work for the long-haul. So who cares when the pattern came out if you love it, and it works for you? Love how you customized the waistband--I'd like to see a photo of that from the inside.

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    1. Marcy is definitely influenced by French style. I like the idea of having French overtones in my wardrobe. Makes me feel like I'm might be more chic and interesting. It really doesn't matter when the pattern came out if you love it and can wear it with confidence. I hope. Wore them out in public yesterday and got a few looks and a few compliments. That's about normal.

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    2. Another style you might have fun playing with (which we also see all the time here in Europe) is the harem pant--I'm a pear shape, and was stunned at how flattering this style can be. There's a basic pattern page with variations at http://www.shira.net/costuming/cg/pants-harem.htm

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    3. Funny you'd say that. I just ordered Sandra Betzina's Vogue 1355 harem pants. I used to have a pair YEARS ago that I loved. I remember them distinctly. The senior administrator took a great dislike to them and told my manager to tell me not to wear EVER them again, on a bad day, with a family funeral I couldn't attend. That didn't sit well with me when one of the women in another department was almost six feet tall with very long (lovely) legs and was wearing tights with a cropped top. HR agreed with me plus gave me three days off to grieve. I have been called a sh....t disturber at times - LOL.

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    4. I agree about the French style! This look is not mine (though I totally appreciate it on you). And, as I've said before M, most of what I know about pants fitting (which, admittedly, we could call into question :-)) I learned from your blog.

      PS: You are very open with your personal space. I think it's so wonderful that you have it in your personality to care for others who need help. I'm not so giving - at least when it comes to sharing my home.

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    5. Perhaps I should explore French styling more. These pants feel very me.

      LOL - oh gosh... what a huge responsibility... thanks for listening to me. I'm still learning. Hopefully you learn more as I do. The two size thing is really starting to really resonate with me. We measured Caroline and discovered that she needs one size across the back and another across the front for her tops. It's interesting to take the front and the back measurements and see how they add to the total and how the full and the individual measurements compare to sizing.

      I require huge amounts of personal space and I'm not - normally - good at sharing. I feel compelled to do this. We'll see how it plays out.

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  3. The pants fit well and suit you! Very fun and functional. I love the "here's the points" pose! The "Daphne" pant from La Fred pattern line has you do the same thing at the waist line. Was just reviewing that pattern last night as I hope to cut out two pairs of work pants (black and grey) today...I'm back to work "unofficially" on Aug. 20th (which means I'm in and out and can set my own hours) and full time (8 to 4) as of Aug. 28th. Feels like that is creeping up on me a bit! Have fun with your visitor and hopefully the new boy's life smooths out as well.

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    1. I don't remember looking at the La Fred line so I'll check it out. Thanks.

      Yes, your work does seem to be sneaking back in. Here, school never goes back until the Tuesday after the labour day weekend which I much prefer. Seems silly to start school and then give everyone another long weekend.

      I'll definitely have fun with Caroline. The other will settle one way or another. He may be ours for a while.

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    2. You're right - kids go back on the 3rd (day after Labour Day) but teachers (well, Edmonton Public ones) go back for meetings, etc. on Aug. 29th and 30th. I go in on the 28th to supervise and execute the "Welcome Back BBQ" for in-coming grade 10 students. I'll definitely smell like a burger by the end of that day - my dog loves me ; ). I just feel better to get my own classroom set up and ready to go earlier as there often isn't enough time during our meeting days. And I am NOT going in on the long weekend. It's my last grasp of summer and I try to spend it on my deck with some lovely and frivolous reading!

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    3. I think the teachers here have to go in for one planning day before the long weekend as well. Definitely, you want your classroom set up especially when it's a new one.

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  4. Brava Myrna! well done indeed!!

    hmm. Years ago (decades, actually) i took a one evening class at the Sewing Workshop in SF - so long ago that i believe Marcy was still in charge. I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the woman who taught the class, which kills me because i use what she taught me every single time i make anything. The class was on the topic of French pattern making/fitting techniques, subtle changes you could make to "American style patterns" so they would be more flattering and fit better. This would have been in mid to late 1980's, when fashions were pretty durn boxy so her info was especially helpful then, tho it still applies today.

    What i learned in her class: EVERYONE needs a smaller front than back crotch. To put things anatomically, the muscles which lay over the back of the pelvis are much bigger than the ones which lie across the front (thus our less than flat tummies). In addition, the bulk of our motion at the to of the leg involves bringing the thigh to the front of the body, thus pulling on the fabric at the back. (similar to the shoulder situation). This teacher also taught us to how to cut trou/pant (not jeans) crotches so that the butt takes longer to bag out (ah, another thing i loved about her was her realism! this was pre-lycra). You cut an L-shaped crotch with a teeny little curve (no bigger than 1" either up and across). You take .5" out of the 'across' length of the crotch seam, and .5-1" out of the length of the inseam as well. Then you go to the ironing board and stretch those lengths back out of the fabric, in essence you are pre-bagging the butt and getting rid of the bag. On trousers and pants this works out great!

    So, i am interested to see that Marcy's pants include both of these techniques. I need to write Ms. Tilton a letter and find out who this lady is and if she's still teaching so i can plus her on my blog, as well as M & K's Ultimate Tee class which is just phenomenal from the technical, inspirational, practical, and entertainment sides all. I pulled out Katehrine's 8691 top the other day and she uses some of the same techniques i learned in that class around fitting the bust - no wonder this top is so flattering!!

    Best of luck to you and your young charge. Those situations can be incredibly difficult, and/or you can be like my grandparents and end up with another kid (that's how my Aunt Millie came to the family, at age 15 back in the 1960's). And man i wish i had a back view that curvy :) Have fun, great post as always!! steph

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    1. Thanks. The course you took at SW sounds fascinating and very useful. I wouldn't mind taking it now. I can understand why the back crotch is longer than the front and it has been on all the patterns I've sewn but did she talk about why some people need an even long and even shorter division of length. The two sizes seemed to distribute it better on me. I'm going to reread the info on bagging. I've heard it before but it was for a flat derriere not bagging. Something to consider.

      V8691 is really worth exploring. It's a fabulous pattern. I haven't signed up for the t-shirt course yet. I did find the coupon for a workshop and decided to take Joi's this time.

      It's a huge responsibility having a young charge who isn't your own. All the other young men I've adopted came into my life when they were older or much much younger. I hope I can do well. Right now, we're going with warm, dry, safe, fed, loved.

      LOL - I've come to love my curves.

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  5. Warm, dry, safe, fed, loved: You are an angel.

    A friend of mine was similarly taken in by another family when she was about 14 and living on the streets. That family is her family, all these years later.

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    1. LOL - I hadn't counted on having more children but I strongly feel God is asking me to look after this child... and so I will.

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    2. Perhaps this is the reason you were being nudged out of going back into hairdressing at this time - you have a soul to look after...

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    3. LOL - good thing God has lots of money. He may need to send some our way. A sixteen year old "baby" shower might be good. This kid has not much.

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    4. What does he need? I can send some things or a gift card if you tell me where. :)

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    5. Since Avery is no longer living with us - see August 12 - I'm deleting the above comment to remove my address. Thanks.

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  6. You did a great job. It sounds like you have a great husband who appreciates the things you do. I like the idea of altering fronts and backs to fit those parts of your body, before cutting out.

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    1. Thanks. Definitely thinking of the body as two sides that make a whole has helped me out.

      Howard is a sweetie.

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  7. I always hit send too soon. I don't get my SS check until the 20th but I would be glad to send something for the young man you are sheltering. What a wonderful thing to do. Please let me know what I can send on the 20th.

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    1. That's very sweet of you. Whatever you want to give in whatever form works for you is more than wonderful.

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Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.