Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Marcy Was Right

When I was at Sew Expo at the end of February, Marcy suggested some skinny pants to go along with her Vogue 9089 shirt. My immediate reaction was "lollipop" and I could see that she wanted to say something but if a person doesn't think it'll work, it won't work. Since I trust her advice, that meant that if skinny pants were going to work I had to change my mind and be more adventurous. I'm working on the shirt so I decided to sew skinny pants to go with using Burda 7062.

Thanks so much for all the compliments on this top from yesterday's posting. I'd prefer a longer top with the pants but wearing this shorter one allowed you to see both it and the pants without showing off my bare stomach. I'm so glad I was open to the possibility. These are fun.

There is - apparently - a vast difference between RTW skinny pants and custom fit skinny pants. These don't look half bad and they are very comfortable. YES YES.

In her book Pants for Real People, Pati Palmer talks about a high front low back crotch shape which is what I have and the shape that Burda with its European cut seems to be drafted for. You can see above that not only does the crotch line angle down but it's much longer in the back. The only changes I made were to square out the corners and eliminate 1/2" of hip depth based on my measurements.

I ended up taking out the seams and allowing more fabric through the back calf to prevent bunching up. For next time, I've curved the seam lines of the back piece outward 1/2" each side at calf height easing back into the seam line above and below. LOL - now that I've made one successful pair of skinny pants I want some more and especially a pair in denim.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - Marcy was right

This need to be right has put a huge burden on me, one that I never deserved to have to carry. Part of it, I know, is cultural - in this age of information at a moment's notice, we've come to expect people to have answers - the right answers - at the drop of a hat. I feel very fortunate that over the last decade or so I've been able to leave the need to be right behind me and move on with my life with a more healthy perspective. I'm now willing not just to admit that I'm wrong, but also to stick my neck out with ideas or thoughts that may be wrong. The possibility of being wrong no longer threatens my emotional well-being; if I'm wrong, I'm wrong, and I learn from that.
- Tom Walsh


  1. oh yeah custom made pants generally are a whole nother animal!! These look just fantastic on you, i think they will REALLY rock with that dandy shirt! I want to make that shirt pattern, but i have been busy making cirque dresses and with summer coming up cool dresses a desperate need indeed.

    That black top is fantastic as well. Truly a perfect piece in and of itself, and even more perfect on you. The handstitching and piecing compliment each other exceptionally well, great choices all round leading to what looks like a workhorse for your closet.

    I am so curious how things will play out with all these new clothes you have, seeing which ones you will fall in love with and be super crazy over, and which are less popular. Where is the fast forward on life?!?!?!?! haha, anyways this will give you some really interesting info to work with going forward! Enjoy your day and hug Chloe for me please :)

    1. Chloe says hugs back.

      Thanks. I think the pants are fun too. I'm almost finished the dandy shirt so I can get a picture with that soon. Today I wore the purple Burda 7400 pants I made last week and received compliments at Starbucks. Apparently they are REALLY cute. I like the black top. I debated adding contrast but thought all black would have more of the "workhorse" aspect and be more versatile.

      I'm curious about what I'll wear too. I'm really trying to push the edges a bit and explore new ideas or interpretations. We'll see what happens but I know "average" is not a word I want applied to me.

    2. "..I know "average" is not a word I want applied to me." Myrna, that is the last thing you need to worry about! You are not average, never will be. I hear people worrying about what other people think of them, but i say who the hell cares. I say just make clothes that you really, really want to wear and the rest will fall into place.

      Of course, this is about a bazillion times easier said than done ;) But just for me i prefer this approach to it. It is more like i'm giving myself something special, and exploring things that tantalize me. The other way feels like i'm pressuring myself to come up with something that meets someone else's expectations and rules - which may or may not make sense to me or my situation. Your Mileage May Vary, as they say.

      I'm so enjoying watching your wardrobe journey, as in the last two or three months i've realized how far i've come in terms of my own pursuit of my dream wardrobe. I started back in the summer of 2009, when i felt my closet was okay - i could dress for any occasion i needed to, i liked my outfits. But lots of pieces were so so (in fit, quality, construction, wear and tear) and i did have blockages - one only 'really nice' outfit, laundry had to get done on time or trouble, etc. Worse there was no overall vision - aesthetically or in terms of how many pieces i needed to make life flow smoothly.

      Today it's a whole different story. I never thought i'd have this many nice clothes! I don't have too much, either, which is great as i get overwhelmed. I've been mulling over a summing-up piece on the blog, as things have turned out quite differently in certain aspects than i envisioned - which only makes sense as i didn't know where i was headed!

      But if you go step by step you will get there. Gosh i am saying a lot! But i wanted to let you know that it will take time.

      And all you have to do is just let Myrna shine shine shine, and you and everyone around you will be completely dazzled. Look, a new star!!!

    3. Like you, I've been experimenting for a while and I'm really comfortable with the direction things are moving in. The clothes I'm making are feeling more me. This is good.

  2. Great job! Love them! I agree that RTW skinny pants don't always work for us, but custom made ones are fabulous!

    If you think these are comfortable, just wait until you try leggings!! The absolute best for comfort...not be worn outside the house (at least for me), but my goodness they're comfy! And great for when you're sewing. You don't have to take everything on and off a million times.

    My (skinny) SIL had been trying to talk me into them for years. I resisted. I'm too old, too fat, too short, too, too, too.

    I finally tried them just this winter. I'm a convert! I wish I'd listened to SIL earlier in life and at least given them a chance.

    1. Thanks. I was really surprised and I loved that I could get rid of most of the wrinkling over the calf especially. I did buy some tights on the weekend when I was snoop shopping. They're black and white zebra print - so way over the edge for me in print too. I want to wear them with a dress or longer tunic.

  3. Your crotch line is a very interesting and individual shape. Not at all like RTW or commercial patterns would have it. I'm sure that's true for most people! And your pants are just right - not too-too skinny. The advantage of custom sewing!

    1. The crotch line illustrated is the Burda one. I didn't alter it much except to square out the corners a bit more. Part of my family heritage is German and I definitely have that behind shape. I think that's why the European cut works for me.

  4. The backward tilt to the crotch was written up in a very old Threads pants fitting article. This is a woman's anatomy. Anyway, I have been thinking that you needed to make slim pants especially with tunic tops or loose tops like this. This looks great and the pants are terrific. I wouldn't do that curvy bit on the back; you'll have trouble sewing it to the front smoothly. You'd be better off adding by cutting up the middle to the knee and across to the side seams and adding what you need.

  5. Thanks. I'll research the calf. I thought about doing it the way you're describing and I'm pretty sure Sandra Betzina uses the curved way. I'll check out and see. I could always try both ways.

  6. Yes yes yes! I couldn't agree more. Skinny pants are a very good look for you. In a modern cool print, you will rock Europe! And Canada! I too have the German heritage Burda Butte!

    When I took that class at puyallup I also learned from Lorraine Henry, that I have a " recessed pubic bone". There are fitting fixes in the book that I haven't gotten to yet. Will be home tonite so pants are on my agenda , as I found some cool stretch cotton for pants in Vienna.

  7. Great idea of curving out the calf seams! I don't think that will be found in RTW pants. Great job on the overall look and fit.


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