Saturday, December 29, 2012

Thinking SWAP 2013

I don't know if I'll actually throw my hat into the ring over at Stitcher's Guild, as I believe we're going to have a VERY busy first quarter in 2013. We are hoping to get approved to buy a new to us house, which will of course involve a move; my sister and brother-in-law are having a 50th anniversary which will involve a very large, wild group of family in the San Diego area for several days; and of course I still work full time on top of everything else.

BUT I really feel like I accomplished a lot of coordinated sewing after planning last year's SWAP even though I didn't come near finishing in the allotted time frame. I did finish most of the garments, and wound up with some nice wardrobe basics. As a result, today I spent most of the day coming up with my 2013 SWAP, Chocolate Dreams. Could be coffee too, but Chocolate is really my fav, so that's what it is.

It will fit my lifestyle perfectly with slacks and tops for work and the bridge piece is a "jean jacket."

The pants are my self draft as they're the only ones that fit me, and are so much easier than trying to reinvent the wheel. The knit tops will be Pamela's Perfect Tee shirt for the same reason. The woven blouses are both from a new to me Butterick pattern, #5616. One will have a 3/4 sleeve, probably without the band at the end of the sleeve, and one with a cap sleeve for spring and summer. They will both be able to be worn over another shirt if desired. The jacket is my first foray into Stylearc patterns, but everyone who uses them seems to love them, so there you go. I'm hoping I'll feel the same way.

My fabrics are pretty simple and should be super versatile. I have medium brown and bittersweet chocolate wool for the winter pants with a silk/wool jersey, a mesh knit, and a cotton print top to go with those. The spring to summer grouping will have taupe cotton twill and espresso brown subtly striped twill pants, a natural tan color rayon/linen jersey, a dark chocolate rayon jersey, and a cotton stretch woven print for tops. The jean jacket bridge piece is a taupe-brown stretch denim. Everything looks like it will work well together, at least on paper!

There are myriad other garments I'd like to add to this, not the least of which is a wool tweed jacket for now, but it won't work as a bridge piece. It may get made first just the same. And of course, it's kind of boring with just brown and cream, so along the way there may be pops of color that jump in. We'll have to see how it goes.

I'll be doing my year end goals in lieu of resolutions in a few days, and then it will be a New Year. I'm hoping to do more sewing, more blogging, and in general have more fun.

Hope your year end is going well!

Monday, November 12, 2012

October was a little slow in sewing world

Well, a quick recap on September. Not much happening in the sewing world. I moved ahead and finished a pair of charcoal pants and a pair of black pants. Set the one quilt aside to work on another time when I'm more into quilting.
Work has been super busy which is good. We're working on getting approval to buy a new house. Not the easiest thing when you're both self employed in industries that have been decimated by the housing bust. Plus at 65, we just can't work as hard as we used to.
We're kind of looking in a nearby community for a "retirement home." That to me means hopefully within walking distance of services, hopefully very affordable, with a space for a garden and fruit trees, hopefully with at least peeks at the water, and with a nice room that can become my sewing studio. For Dale, it means hopefully peeks at the water, room for his boat to be at home and off the street, (which I would like to be behind the fence!) a nice big garage, and hopefully an art room so he can create also.
My brain is bubbling with lots of ideas of things I want to create. If I had the time, I expect I would be producing quite a lot of garments, new and old designs, in fabulous fabrics. As it is, I think about them, dream about them, and get a few items actually sewn.
So, now it's to work, and I'll try to be better about posting now that November is almost half over! :P}}

Thoughts on the Autumn of my Life & Fitting Older Bodies

I just want to say first, that September was kind of a wasted month in my sewing life. I worked on quilt pieces, which are going to take a long time to complete, and I fiddled with the pearl gray jacket for way too many hours hoping I could figure out a way to fit it correctly. AND, I remade the pearl gray trousers. I was reminded of why I don't do alterations and mending. Although the pants are wearable, I don't really like them any more, and the jacket, which probably had 150 hours in it, finally got tossed into the garbage.

The consensus is that I HAVE to buckle down and complete Don McCunn's drafting classes sooner rather than later. I need to draft a torso block for me, my husband, and my daughter with personally fit sleeves. Once I have a block that fits, I am hoping I won't have the odd problems here and there with diagonal lines and folds that I can't figure out but know relate to fit. Don's retiring the end of 2013, and although I figured I had forever to complete these and there was no rush, there is now a sense of urgency. I need someone with Don's experience to help me "read" the lines in our clothing to enable a perfect fit on less than perfectly proportioned bodies. :P}}

The really good news is that the wedding got called off, so I will hopefully have a long time before the quilt needs to be completed. I think it (the marriage) was never a really good idea, but a chance for an 18 year old to be on her own and away from her parent's rules. Unfortunately, switching from conservative parents to a demanding and inconsiderate, overbearing man that thinks he can command you to do whatever he wants, isn't any better, and is actually worse than conservative parents! Getting married to run away from something isn't ever a good choice IMO.

To the end of perfect fit clothing for us, I also purchased a new book, The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting by Sarah Veblen. I received it yesterday and started reading in my lunch hour. I will be reading this through cover to cover I believe. She starts with basics and moves easily through what from first glance appears to be the very basics into complex adaptations of OTC patterns to help everyone achieve perfection in their garments. None of us have the standard "dress form" shape, so I believe between Don's class and this book, we should come out in fantastic shape.

As I have been contemplating fit and bodies and all of the appurtenant issues over the few months, I have come up with some interesting conclusions about my body and aging, and my life.

As a young to middle aged person, I took for granted that I was active, healthy, and could do anything and everything I wanted with minimal effort. I have always had a touch of OCD, and dove right in trying to be the best at whatever I was doing, with little regard for whether or not it was good for me, or healthy, or anything else.

As I've aged, wierd and mysterious (to me) things have happened that I never would have believed COULD happen to me. I've shrunk by about an inch. Due to multiple events and health problems, I am almost 80 pounds heavier than I have ever been in my life, and for various reasons can't seem to elminiate that excess.

Things have fallen from where they originally were placed, and I have bumps and bulges I wouldn't have thought possible. I have learned, that for me, "good enough" is not good enough! I want perfection, and although I've always strived for that in my life, I didn't know enough to know that perfect fit in clothing was achievable with enough knowledge, time and effort.

I just took out three paragraphs of what was TMI and not interesting to others, but a good introspection for me.

It is time to quit resting on my laurels and get moving towards my goals. I want to be healthy and active again, and have perfectly fitting garments that always make me look elegant and well put together. I will survive, and thrive!

More soon I hope!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

August Recap

Well, it looks like I'm doing a month's blogging all at once. Work has been busy, thank goodness. Sewing gets done when I'm not too exhausted to remember "right sides together."

I did get the little pencil skirt done for my granddaughter. Drafted her a pattern, added a kick pleat, and typed up very involved instructions so someone with no sewing experience can recreate a skirt from the pattern. That one also has a fly front, so those instructions were very detailed, and she has some good information there. She did mention that she thought it was a tiny bit too big. But hasn't sent any pictures, so I don't know if she's talking a half inch or two inches. Just going to wait until I hear from her. Here's a picture of the skirt on the hangar.

Kick pleat showing

 
Front
 
Once I had Kristi's skirt completed and in the mail, I continued to work on the Margarita top. I kept at it trying to get the fit exactly right for my body, including changing the shoulders and neck edge until it was something that I felt good about. To this point, I have three totally wearable tops that work well with or without a jacket. No bra straps show with these versions. Plus a few others that get worn for pajama tops at this time of year. The ones for "real" include a navy cotton overlock knit from Hancock's fabrics; an Ecru LaCoste mesh knit from Denver Fabrics, and another from a grey, red, and cream knit from Emma One Sock. Navy, beige, and gray are my core colors, so all will be immanently wearable, and get lots of use.
 
 
 
I also made a blouse from my Favorite Hot Patterns Plain and Simple shirt. I used a Bali handpainted Batik from Emma One Sock for that. It's already my new favorite top.
 
 
 
 
So on the table right now is a half completed pearl gray jacket that will match the pants previously shown. I also have 3 pair of pants cut out and ready to go ~ charcoal grey, black, and tan. I figure if they're ready to go they have a much better chance of being queued up and getting sewn quickly. Then I have the granddaughter's quilt partially cut out. I'll be starting sewing the strips together when I'm too tired to make sense of anything else. :P}} They can bet done while mindlessly watching television. I'm itching to get to the reds though. In my head I have a red jacket waiting to be made also! We'll see how quickly that comes together! LOL I think I'll use my TNT base jacket pattern, and do a Mandarin collar, then slant down to the bust level like it were a collarless jacket. In my head, it's going to work really well! LOL
 
I have a Butterick top partially adapted and ready for a muslin too. Oh, for the days when I could just cut a pattern out and it fit good enough that no one knew it wasn't perfect but me! Reading other's blogs, I most identify with SD Bev. I have narrow, sloping shoulders. Need a FBFBA. That's full bust, full belly adjustment. I need a sway back adjustment. I have what Carolyn calls Bodacious biceps, so those have to be adjusted. And then I'm short waisted, so things need to be adjusted in length too! I just need several more hours every day and I could be so productive!
 
Well, off to my day.  It's always a tightrope walk to balance my days and evenings with everything involved in being self employed, work, food prep, grocery shopping, and time for sewing. Still trying to eliminate some of the pounds brought on by my body's reaction to gluten and stress. I figure that's going to take a long while at the rate I'm going, but I am moving in the right direction, albeit VERY SLOWLY! Hope your August very productive.
 
More later!
 
 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

It's been a while.

I don't know why, but I finally figured out if I want to get so busy at work that I'm doing 12 hour days, 7 days a week, all I have to do is decide I'm going to do some garment sewing ala 6 Pacs or SWAP over at Stitcher's Guild. I'd really like to do some concentrated sewing of multiple garments in cores, and that's the goal.

The summer 6-Pac, which I was working on, got waylaid when I got super busy at work, my planned crop pants got very weird legs, and my granddaughter came for a visit. She generally comes for a few days each summer when she comes from Denver to California to visit her dad. I get a couple of days and her dad usually gets a week or a week and a half since she's been in high school. Before that she'd spend the entire summer with him.

She's very interested in fashion and design, probably because she's tiny and can't find a lot of clothes outside the children's section, which on an adult look strange. We've talked about her learning to sew for years, and I finally got through to her that she won't make the perfect garment the first time she sews. So this time, she wanted to learn how to sew, and wanted to make a pencil skirt. We drafted one, she sewed it with my directions, and btw, I've never seen a first time sewist so accurate... do you think OCD and perfectionism are inherited?...unfortunately, we didn't have time to do a muslin. It looked perfect until we got to the waistband. YIKES! She has the family need for a sway back adjustment. As we started tearing stitching out, I realized that the inexpensive denim we'd used showed all of the old stitching.

Long story short, I went back to the drawing board and she went home without the pencil skirt. Moving forward, I redrafted the pattern and did a bit of tweaking, moving dart placement as I thought they were a bit off, doing the sway back adjustment, and then getting more fabric. She's 22, works at Whole Foods, and although she wants a pencil skirt, denim is the most practical and will get the most use. I didn't have a dark wash in my stash, so got some at Hancocks sale.

I was ready to start pinning it to the new fabric when the most horrible flu I've ever had hit. I was down for the count for a full week, and another week to get back on my feet. Trying to work full time around the flu isn't fun. But as a self-employed individual with work that has to be completed within a strict time frame, I was out of luck. Had to run to appointments and hope I didn't spew in someone's house.

Finally, I have the skirt cut out and am ready to start sewing again. And of course, the summer 6 Pac that I was sure I'd have enough time for is over. :P{{ That said, I decided that I'd do the Stitcher's Guild Autumn 6-Pac. I have time to make the pencil skirt and still get six garments completed. I have TNT patterns for slacks and knit tops, and have one jacket pattern, and have started alterations on Butterick 5616 that I can use for a woven blouse and also for a light weight jacket. Plus my favorite TNT Hot Patterns blouse. Should be good to go, right?  But, wait for it!

Yesterday, a bomb got dropped. Totally out of the blue, the fourth granddaughter announced her engagement. She graduated from high school in May, and has been waffling about what she wants to do, no job yet, thinking about culinary school, thinking about other things, but her boyfriend lives in another town, a little over an hour away, and she wanted to be closer to him, they were discussing, etc. Turns out the discussions turned pretty serious! They are planning on a wedding next May. Not much time, IMO!

Well, I had promised my oldest granddaughter that I would make her a Melinda's Heart barguello quilt for a wedding present. She finished grad school in May, and her boyfriend started grad school this July. They are not officially engaged as yet, so I figure I have a few years to get it done, and I'll be taking a class in November, so it should work out well. That's been percolating on the back burner of my brain. Oldest GD said I have to set her quilt aside and make one for Alex for her wedding. I've only made a couple of lap quilts to date, so need to find something quick and easy. Zowie!

Last night I got out my quilting books to search. Looks like I can do a rail fence quilt. The book promises they are quick and easy. Yeah, sure. But I will have it professionally quilted on a machine, so that will help a lot. I think fate is intervening. I have a postcard from my local quilting shop... it's their 8th anniversary sale. 25% off all fabrics. Sale yesterday and today. Better hustle my bustle as I have an appraisal that has to be finished today, and looks like I'm going shopping too!

So around my attempt at an Autumn 6-Pac, a denim pencil skirt, and working too much, looks like I'm going to be making a quilt too! Gives me something to do in my spare time! ROFLOL a little hysterically I must say. Not that I'm an overachiever by any stretch of the imagination!

I have been missing my blogging. Too much work, too much time at a computer. But I take great joy in reading everyone else's so I want to get back to it.

I'll keep you in the loop!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

How to draft a pocket for pants that don't have one.


Since I'm working on my gray pants and decided to make a regular quarter pocket instead of an inseam pocket or a patch pocket, I decided to share with you the way I got about drafting and sewing these pockets.

I don't claim to be an expert by any stretch of the imagination, and I'm mostly a self taught sewer, but this is the way I do it, and for me, it's easy, intuitive, and goes rather quickly. 


DRAFTING a 3/4 Pocket for your slacks draft

Start with a copy of your basic slacks front draft. Take the front piece, and pin out the darts, with the dart legs going towards the side seam, as if they were sewn.

Because I'm attempting a weight loss program and hope that I will need to take in the side seams on my pants, I've used a larger than normal pocket area of about 1/3 of the distance from the center front seam to the side seam for my pocket depth. Anything from 1/4 to 1/2 of the front is typical for slacks pockets, but for women, quarter pockets are most seen.

Draw in the shape of the pocket you want. I've made mine a bit deeper and wider than I normally would. Mark the grain line on the pocket piece before cutting! Cut the pocket piece off the draft. If you want seam allowances added to your pattern, add them now to each cut edge so you won't forget. You will use the cut off piece as a facing for your pocketing if you make it out of quilting cotton or regular pocketing. 











Get a new piece of tissue paper, and trace off the front side piece. You can do any width up to and including the full front width of the pants, or more typically, start at the inside dart and draft from there. Be sure to add the grain line that mimics the pants front.
The next piece of tissue paper will be the back side of the pocket or pocket pouch. I do separate pieces as it takes less fabric and I can use scraps or remnants for the pocketing. Trace off the pocket piece top, center, and bottom lines. Trace the side seam off your front pattern piece. Mark grain lines and add seam allowances if desired. If you prefer, you can just double your tissue paper when you're making the first pocket piece, cut it double, and then cut off the facing piece before adding seam allowances. Note the notch where the pocket piece edge should hit.
Note: These are your pants, so if you prefer, you can use a rectangle with straight bottom and a fold on the interior side of the pocket. I like the rounded pockets a bit better as I feel they produce less lint. 



Cut your pocket pieces from your preferred fabric. I like quilting cottons for the cheerful view when my pants are open, but you can use fashion fabric, dedicated pocketing, or even heavy muslin.

Cut your pocket facings from your fashion fabric using the piece you originally cut off the side of the pants front, and being sure to add seam allowances.

Cut the facings out of your fashion fabric if you're using any thing other than fashion fabric for your pocketing. 

SEWING:

Finish the inside edge of your pocket facing if you are using one prior to any other steps. I have had them ravel inside the pocket and it's a mess! 




Sew facing to pocket bag with wrong sides together. Press to set stitches and then set aside. If you haven't done so already, sew darts in front. 




Place wrong side of pocket piece to right side of front. You can see where I didn't get my seam allowances exactly the same. I'll fix that when I'm doing the waistband. Stitch along the curved edge, being very careful not to stretch the seam. 


If you want to be sure it doesn't bag, you can sew a narrow piece of twill tape to the underside of the seam. (Sew the twill tape to the wrong side of front.) Cut it about 1/4" shorter than the seam, and stretch the twill tape to meet the length of the pocket edge as you're sewing. 



Press flat first. Then press seam open. Clip curves. Trim seam allowances. Under stitch. 





Turn pocket to  inside, and edge stitch and then top stitch the outside edge of the pocket. Press again to  to set the stitches. Use clapper if necessary to get it nice and flat.






Get the pocket pieces you previously set aside. You want to place them under the finished front pieces being sure the facings are under the pocket opening if applicable. Match the side seams and the waist seam line and carefully pin the pocket pouch under the front piece. Note: If you have a tummy, placing the pieces on a pressing ham will give you a slight curve to allow for the tummy. Baste the pocket edge to the pocket pouch. 









Now, turn the pieces over and stitch the pocket seam. If the pocket pouch and the pocket seam lines don't match perfectly, that's fairly normal. Once you've stitched the seam and reinforced it with a second line of stitching approximately 1/8' away, you can either serge the bottom or zig zag in a very tight stitch for further reinforcement. Press flat. Baste upper pocket edge to waist seam allowance. You're done!



Finished pockets on Pants Front


If there's something I didn't make clear, drop me a note and I'll see if I can explain more fully.

More Later!





















.




Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Moving forward in my spare time!

Well, I finally have a few minutes to update the blog. Things seem to be moving slowly as I've been super busy at work, and that's taking a lot of my time. Don't you hate it when your real life interferes with your sewing time!

Here are the two pair of pants I made before my Cambridge/Boston trip. Unfortunately, they're not on me, but on the shower rod as I don't have the amazing ability to take my own picture. :P}} With the dark color, you can't really see any details even though I lightened them and tried to get the pockets visible. I did stick a handkerchief it the pocket of the twills, but it's barely visible either!

Navy cotton twills with patch pockets

Denim Trouser Jeans with patch pockets


They are very similar, and both fabrics are from my stash. One is a cotton twill from Joann I think, and the other is a dark wash denim from who knows where. I did manage to find a nice brass button for the denim ones, so they at least resemble jeans. I've gone back to buttons for my pants instead of the little hooks. For one thing, I have about a zillion buttons around here, and for another, I think they look nicer and make a flatter waistband under knit tops.

I'm posting a picture of the latest Collette Sorbetto top. It's a woven, quilting cotton, bought in 2011 I think, that's been in my stash. The jacket is one I made last year, or maybe the year before, which is a major morph that started life as Simplicity #4273. It's from a piece of Rayon-Linen blend from Joann with a Bemberg Ambiance lining. I love that stuff! I try to use it for all my day to day linings, including when I'm making wool pants. It just feels great against my skin, and the ability to breathe makes it appropriate for all but the hottest days. When I'm making a really spiffy jacket though, I'll go with a wild printed silk charmeuse. To me, it's worth the extra cost to have the luxury of a silk lining, and since my clothing is usually kind of staid, the wild prints make me happy and fulfill my wild child side. :P}}
Cotton Sorbetto top Morphed into a tank top


Cotton tank top with rayon-linen jacket


I'm pretty sure I'm going to try to get the Summer 6Pak at Stitcher's Guild completed. I did the navy pants and the jeans in May, so they will count, if I get a navy jacket done to make an outer column. I am trying how to figure out how to make this top count, and I have some gray cotton twill on my cutting board with enough to make pants and a jacket. Then I've been looking at Robin's jacket in progress over at A Little Sewing, Vogue #1293, and think it would be fabulous as an upscale Jean Jacket. So I have the pattern here, and that will probably get started as soon as I finish the grey pants and jacket unless I decide I need to do the tan crop pants and top first. We'll see how things go. I'm thinking the tan crop pants and top will make a nice inner column, and I couldn't help myself and just ordered a nice cotton floral with creams and various tans and browns that would make a nice over shirt that can be worn as a jacket or a shirt when it gets colder. I'm thinking Simplicity #2370 for it. Don't know whether it will be cap sleeves or longer sleeves?

I know it's not too exciting to see my pants sewing as I've done so many pair, they're almost done by rote now, with few changes other than pockets. So I won't bore you with that! But I do hope to have a new outfit posted soon!

Now to get the next outfit done. I'm so excited about sewing again since I've found the "sewing community" over at Stitcher's Guild.

More later!
Lynda


Monday, May 28, 2012

Still moving forward but through a zig zap pattern!

I have been sewing again, but just haven't had time to post. I was really sewing with a purpose because I had a very eventful month this month. Last Thursday, my granddaughter graduated from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and of course, I needed to be there. She's my first grandchild, born when I was just a child of 42, and she's had her eye on the ball ever since. We're incredibly proud of her. She's not only smart, she's very focused and knows where she's going. She decides on her path, and just moves forward through all obstacles. She's the first of us to graduate from College at all. Well, besides my Associates Degree that took me until I was almost 60 to get! LOL Have to share her picture!


So I would look pulled together, I made a pair of jeans with my standard trouser pattern but with the big patch type pockets, and slightly slimmer, as well as another pair of casual navy pants with the patch type pockets. Pictures will come later after they come out of the wash. I am going to have to do some minor alterations to the pattern as they both have more ease than I want. Yoo Hoo! That pattern fit very well at the first of the year.

As a Northern California resident, I do forget how different the weather is on the East Coast! We had threats of thunder storms all week, but it was beautiful, sunny, overall warm, and HUMID! Where I live, there is minimal humidity ever. Good lesson learned. Next time I go to visit, I will have light weight linen garments in my bag. Most of the items I had were just way too warm for the weather there. I wore my Hot Patterns Linen blouse several days, and the first of my Sorbetto tops in a cotton interlock a couple of days. That was even a little heavy!

So now as we have entered the warm months, my sewing will be concentrated on making garments that keep me decent and covered, while breathing in the heat, and trying to look professional as we go along. I did see a woman at Boston Logan Airport that gave me an idea for a pair of pants that may work through a few sizes. I'm wondering... the pants, which I will make at knee length for summer casual wear, had laced grommets up the sides with an underlayer of fabric. I'm thinking that I could make casual pants using my TNT pattern as a base. Then put some flaps along the side seam with grommets in the flaps and lace them up. I'm not sure if it would work, but I THINK maybe I could use them through a few sizes by just cinching up the laces until the side flaps are touching? I'm going to play with that idea today.

I'll also be redoing the Sorbetto top back to the normal size and making the FBA to see how that works, cutting out my grey trousers for work, doing laundry so I can post the jeans and the new navy pants, and generally getting to sew physically and mentally on this marvelous Holiday! I don't usually get to take Holidays so I'm going to enjoy this one for sure! Although I do think my spouse has some plans for us time too. We'll see how the day goes!

And for those in the States that have served, Thank you!

More later!
Lynda

Friday, May 18, 2012

So here's the latest Sorbetto Top

This is the one that made me realize that there is no other option than a FBA. It will be fantastic for summer, but not quite there for right now.


I did a regular bias binding around the neckline, but the armholes are just serged, turned and top stitched. This is a piece of fabric I bought many, many years ago in Kauai that I was going to make a long halter jumpsuit with. The jumpsuit never got made, but I have had several tops out of the fabric. For summertime it makes me feel tropical, even if I'm just in Northern California.

I've got the next pair of navy pants started. They have patch pockets that are a little like pockets on cargo pants. I had a pair with these pockets a few years ago, and they're perfect if you're on the moving downward end of weight because you can take in at the side seams without losing your pockets. Always a concern. I'm hoping they'll work for the next 15 or so pounds.

I'll post pictures tomorrow.

Hope everyone gets a sewing weekend!
Lynda

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Just thinking of things

As I was working on finishing my next Collette Sorbetto top, I started making mental lists. It's something I do too frequently without getting the thoughts on paper. So I figured I'd share with you too.

!. Probably most important: NOTE TO SELF ~
No matter how lazy you are feeling, or how much you'd like it to be true, adding extra inches at the sides of a garment do not and WILL NOT EVER substitute for a full bust adjustment. You know it, so just don't go there.

2. The Sorbetto top worked well with adding inches to the sides in a knit...DUH! but not so well in a woven. PERHAPS everyone who says you can wear a size smaller in a knit than a woven knows more than I do! I need to go back and do an FBA and get this pattern working right for the wovens. It is a perfect TNT summer shell for either wearing under a jacket for work or on its own for play. Once it actually fits correctly, I have a half dozen or so "design changes" in mind.

3. I reminded myself that I am not going to have any more UFOS if at all possible. Which means I finished that top mentioned above even though it may hang in my closet for a month or so while I continue to shrink.

4. Moving on... something you may not know that works super well. When making a top with a cowl, if you add a small pocket on the inside bottom of the facing with a snap closure and insert a coin... quarters work really well... it keeps the cowl facing inside where it belongs.

5. When starting and ending a seam, if you reduce the size of your stitches to 1.5 or so, it eliminates the need for backstitching, and eliminates bulk. Just remember to increase it again when you are past the crossover seam allowance, and reduce again towards the end of the seam. It is HARD to tear these out, which tells me it's good for keeping them in!

6. Pants. After trying every pants pattern known to man, I took a pants drafting class from Don McCunn of How to Make Sewing Patterns fame. It was the smartest thing I ever did. It takes me less than an hour to do a new draft. A few minutes longer if I'm doing quarter pockets. It will fit my body perfectly. Everyone else I know takes a pattern, redrafts it to what they think the alterations are supposed to be, does a muslin, figures out more changes, alters the pattern again, and so on for at least a few tries before they get an "acceptable" fit. I don't understand why everyone doesn't draft their own patterns! Once you have a perfectly fitting pants sloper, you can add design changes and make whatever you see!

7. When making pants, if you insert a piece of twill tape in the curve of the back crotch seam about 3 or so inches long, you won't tear out the seam even if try. Or at least I can't.

8. The video on You Tube by Sandra Betzina in how to install a fly front zipper should be watched by everyone who makes pants with a fly front. Since I watched that video, I haven't screwed a pair up and all my trousers have flawless fly fronts. Well, from the outside. I have put the fly cover piece on the wrong side a few times! But that's on the interior and no one knows except me. LOL

9.7. I have to find the time and SOON to perfect the bodice sloper. I signed up for Don's on-line class for that, he calls it the "upper torso" class because it has both men and women in it, but life got in the way and I didn't finish it. That is on my list for this year. I need to perfect my bodice sloper and also draft one for my hubby who is short and muscular from working construction, and has a hard time finding shirts to fit.

10. David Paige Coffin is a genius. I aspire to be as brilliant as he is. I took a class in men's shirt making and we used parts of his book as a textbook. If I had done the men's upper torso sloper mentioned in #9 first, and used the entire book as a textbook, the shirt would have been perfect. It was pretty good, but unfortunately, not knowing how to fit men's shirts made the result go to charity. If someone tells you the way to judge a man's neck is to pin your pattern together on the person, and cut until it fits around his neck, don't listen. It doesn't work and the shirt won't fit correctly.

10. David Paige Coffin's book on Trousers, is also brilliant. Anyone who sews trousers as much as I do needs to have this book. I absolutely LOVE his inseam pockets.

11. I learned to do neckline binding from a Stretch and Sew Pattern for "French Tees." It is easy and I used it on almost every shirt I make that doesn't have a collar whether it be woven or knit. The trick to getting it to be flat is to sew with the binding on the top, and stretch the binding until it slightly cups as you're sewing it to the neck edge. Don't stretch the neck edge. Works great.

12. I've been sewing for about 40 years and only learned how to do mitered corners when I learned how to do the neck bindings. Just sad, really. But that's what happens when you're a self taught sewer who won't admit she can't do something that "everyone" knows how to do.

13. Sewing machines should not be sold with a foot that has a "lip" at 5/8". (US) Also a 1/4" foot with the same lip, and a narrow edge foot with the lip down the middle for top stitching, etc. If I had those three feet when I learned to sew, all of my garments would have looked much more professional. The narrow edge foot with a machine where the needle will move sideways even will make perfect double rows of top stitching without using a double needle and having the zig zags on the bottom.

14. Buying serger thread with two regular and two wooly nylon cones (for a four thread serger) in all of the main colors you use for sewing is a bit pricey to start with but in the long run saves you time and effort. I have navy, black, white, ecru, and various blues. I use them frequently! And, yes, I do have a bit of perfectionism. But I love the insides of my garments to look as good as the outsides!

Enough. Back to my new navy pants. Even though I didn't technically finish the SWAP, I'm moving forward with my plans. I have another pair of navy trousers cut and started, a piece of the gray for the gray pants suit on the cutting board, jeans up next and more fabric ready to go for more pants and spring and summer tops. I need to do some power sewing over the next few months. I'd like at least four more pair of work pants and a half dozen or so woven blouses, plus the knits, oh, and a few more jackets, and some overblouses.

Hope you find something helpful in the above thoughts.
More later!
Lynda

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Quick update today

Work's been super busy again, and Holidays seem to intrude on my sewing time. Not that I don't enjoy my time with my children and grandchildren, but taking a day or more to cook, travel, and visit does cut into my sewing time. Need to pull those knitting needles out again so I can knit while I'm visiting. In other news, it was one of my granddaughter's birthdays as well as Mother's Day on Sunday. I had promised her a lap quilt, and started Friday night. Of course with work and the rest of life, it wasn't finished by Sunday, but I did have a top to show her. It still needs to be quilted and sashed, but that will go quickly. I really like the bright colors myself, feels "beach-ey" to me, but she was thinking she'd like something more subdued. Here's a couple of pictures.
Next Colette Sorbetto top is cut out and waiting to be sewn, and I finally got the navy cotton twill as "on grain" as it's going to get, so I can cut out another pair of navy trousers. Now to work! The cotton pique for the Sorbetto can be seen in the white pieces in the quilt top. It's white with giant flowers in blues and purple and green, bought in Kauai in the 1980s. It's going to be fun to wear it this summer. More later! Lynda

Sunday, May 6, 2012

SWAP didn't quite make it, but here is the last post and today's.

Well, I started this on March 26, and then wanted to wait til I could upload the pictures. Who knew it would take over a month to get back to it! I hope this isn't too confusing as it has the initial post with added comments along with the pictures. Couldn't turn down work when hubby is still off. So I got Saturday, Sunday, and today (March 26) instead of four days. But I did get some things done. I finished the Hot Patterns Weekender cowl. It is okay and I can wear it around home, but it doesn't fit right, and I'm not enamored of it. The "inset" was just wrong. Without elastic it hung down below the boobs, and with elastic it pulled the front armholes in, and still hung too low so didn't do any extra coverage. The neckline isn't right for me either, and the back doesn't match the front. Perhaps if I had made it form fitting, it would have been okay, but that's not something I like on me at this age and weight! My husband's comments... the front looks formal and the back is too short and looks like work wear. So the bottom line is that I will keep it and wear it around here with a tank under it. Not for work, unfortunately. BUT, I did find out that cowls are an attractive alternative for my current body and shape. That's a good thing to know as they are so ubiquitous at this point in time. In my mind, I think I'll use my TNT Pamela's Perfect Tee pattern and just draft a cowl neck on that so I have something I know fits well and is a good jumping off point Looking back at this, I was a little incorrect. I started wearing it around the house, and it's SUPER comfortable. It does have a few issues, but I do like it. I'm going to work on this one for fall and winter. It should be a keeper for the cooler months.
I drafted a pair of workout pants, and made a muslin, using my sweatshirt fabric, which will become pjs. They are okay, but needed a slight bit of tweaking. Then got the second pair underway, and they're about half done. So today those get finished, and hopefully along with them at least one tee and preferably two. But I seem to be getting distracted a lot with outside issues, and not having my full sewing day as I wanted. These are pretty good looking for workout sweat pants, VERY comfortable, and get worn almost every day when I get home. Here's a picture when we took an afternoon and drove out to Grizzly Island. The tee is one I made for my SWAP also.
Christmas before last I decided that I'd make everyone sweats for Christmas, and bought ten yards of sweatshirt fleece in navy, black and gray. None of them got done, so I have a LOT of sweatshirt fleece around here. I may also use a piece of matching color to make one of the sweaters with long drapey fronts. I must have a pattern around here for one of those! Even though I went and bought about 4 of the patterns with the waterfall front cardigan, I wound up using my Petite Plus sweater set cardigan for this. I had made one already (this year or December?) in a gray sweater knit, so knew it would fit. It's definitely going to be a TNT! It's another, super comfortable, fits well, and will get tons of wear! I only have a picture of it on Lulu, not on me. But here it is:
On another note, Spring has arrived, and with my blogger "friends" getting organized, the bug has hit me too. I love to cook and wind up cutting out and printing recipes off the internet regularly. When we figured out I'm gluten intolerant, it made for a lot of recipe searching to find things I could eat. Many more internet recipes printed out to try. So then I have all these bits and pieces all over the kitchen and can't find what I'm looking for. So this morning I took a couple of binders, my three hole punch, tape, and binder paper, and taped the little bits onto binder paper, hole punched the computer paper and got them at least categorized into areas. I worked on this for a couple of hours, and still have some to go, but I can see an end to the madness! I love being organized.

Pre Dale, I had everything exactly where it was supposed to be at all times, and I WAS one of those women that have their spices alphabetized. 10 years into our marriage, and I realize after seeing what a total slob he is, I kind of gave up. So I have had a bit of my own mess going. Well, no more. As I'm doing my SWAP, I'm also organizing and moving things around to make them more user friendly. Last night I actually moved my serger in next to the sewing machine. I've been using parts of a few rooms for my sewing things, and now I have those two right next to each other with the ironing board adjacent. Will make things much easier! Less running room to room, and more production. Gotta love that! Moving on: I also got another tee done, a rayon-lycra, super comfortable, goes with both my navy and grey cores:
Then, instead of our normal cool and rainy Spring, we got hit with almost full on summer with temps already into the 80s. I wasn't that excited about continuing to make long sleeved blouses, so I switched my focus to things I could wear right now. I had downloaded the Collette Sorbetto Tank Top after seeing it on so many blogs. I didn't have a lot of faith in it fitting me as I've been trying to get a tank to fit properly for almost 3 years now with not much luck. I got this one to fit and was so excited! The muslin got pinned and chopped, and morphed into the first tank, which I figured was a trial garment. The fabric is fine, and will go with my grays and black too, but it wasn't going to be a huge loss if it didn't work out. I know I got it on sale for a minimal price and it was a small piece, so it worked out perfect to use it for my "wearable muslin." And I have worn it a few times already. Looking at it on it's own I can see some things that need to be changed, but it works great with gray or black trousers and a cream colored jacket, and I've worn it for work a few times already. Bad picture, but you can see it.
Second try with a few tweaks was an oatmeal colored cotton interlock knit. This one I actually put the pleat in the front. It'll go with tons of stuff I already have as well as the grey and navy of my swap. Sorry this one is on Lulu too, as I haven't actually worn it yet.
I'm thrilled I joined the SWAP even if I didn't get enough garments completed to be officially a finisher. It got me to try several patterns I had not used before, do some muslins and really look at fit of things, and got me back into sewing if not every day, at least a little bit every week. So for me it was a huge win. And in other news, I got a new doctor, who happens to be a homeopath as well as specializing in sports medicine. She's working with me on getting my knee to actually heal and helping with the other issues I have going on. I found out I had actually torn my meniscus, so it wasn't in my imagination. I am back in the knee brace every day, doing some PT, paying attention to where and how I'm moving, have a cane to use on bad days, and back to icing on a regular basis. In addition, by correcting a few other items I had going on, I've finally started to lose weight again. Good news and bad news. Bad news is I had to redraft my pants pattern because it was too big. Good news is IT WAS TOO BIG! Unfortunately, I have a lot to lose at this point in time, but I'm hoping to be like Debbie Cook and just keep on sewing smaller clothes and losing until I get back down to the weight I'm supposed to be. :P}} It's going to be a long process, so hopefully I'll get to just keep drafting smaller and smaller sizes for the next year or so. In actuality, I love drafting pants patterns, so it's not a strain, nor is it an issue. Construction jobs around here just seem to have completely dried up, and we're thrilled Dale was able to keep working on a more or less regular basis as long as he did. But he's now switched to a new career, and will be doing Home Inspections on a full time basis. He's got his first few under his belt, and is making contacts, and hopefully will be fully employed by the end of the year. It's the perfect niche for him. He's meticulous, exacting, and knows more about building houses than anyone I've ever met. It should give me a little breathing room so I can get some free time to sew again. Now off to make the third version of the Collette Sorbetto Tank, and cut out my next pair of slacks in the right size again. Hope your Sunday was great, and I'll try to get back more frequently.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Thanks Ruth!



Ruth has given me the Versatile Blogger Award. I tried to load it as a gadget, but blogger says it's broken. Obviously not. What's that about?

I need to do several things in order to be a versatile blogger.
First Rule: add it to my blog. Hopefully it's right above this post!

Second, thank the blogger who has given it to me. I don't think I actually deserve it, but thank you so much Ruth. I love reading your blog, so you get lots of points for that! http://sewruth.blogspot.com

Third, list the rules (interspersed above and below):

Rule #4 List 7 random things about myself you may not know.

1. Even though I generally dress really conservatively, I have a wild child inside waiting to jump out. I LOVE wild fabrics, and will frequently use them as pockets or linings on my staid clothing.
2. I have a German Shorthair Pointer and a Cocker Spaniel. Both are loving and smart and sometimes too needy, wanting to be in the middle of my sewing projects!
3. I am married, but have been divorced and widowed.
4. In previous incarnations, I have been a travel agent, an income tax preparer, a commercial landscape estimator and purchase agent, and a salesperson of various items from commercial tree nursery outside sales to commercial accounting and tax software.
5. I generally love my job but am amazed at the squalor some people chose to live in. A little messiness is one thing, but raising children in a hovel is appalling. Alternatively, those people who don't have a spot of dust or anything out of place are almost as freaky and I wonder if they don't have any kind of life! Obviously not obsessed sewists!
6. I have two children, two step children, and eleven grandchildren including the steps.
7. When I was widowed and downsized within a few months just before my 50th birthday, I decided I wanted to go back to school (quit college my first year when I got pregnant with my first child.) Even though I started working full time, I went to school nights until I received my Associates Degree (with almost enough credits for a Bachelor's Degree) with highest honors. BUT, it did take me 10 years to do a two year degree!

Rule #5 Pass the award on to 15 deserving and conscientious bloggers.

1. http://sew-4-fun.blogspot.com/
2. http://www.staciethinksshecan.com/
3. http://creativecraftwork.blogspot.com/
4. http://sdbev.blogspot.com/
5. http://ruthieksews1.blogspot.com/
6. http://girlsinthegarden.blogspot.com/
7. http://tenthousandsewinghours.blogspot.com/

These are the ones I know that don't show the award on their blogs. Sorry there aren't more but most of the blogs I follow have already received this award!

Rule 6 - Inform your nominee. The recipients can then link to your blog, copy and paste the award and display the award on their own page.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

One down, many to go!

Well, I finally have made an executive decision and decided I need to take some time for myself before I get sick! I haven't had a day off since the end of February, and trying to fit my personal needs around 8-12 hour/7 day a weeks doesn't work that well. So I have four days off in a row and intend to put in some quality sewing time over the next few days! It's raining here so I'm not too interested in the garden at this point.

I have squeezed a few evening sewing hours out though, and finished my first Hot Patterns shirt. I hate the way I look in pictures, and please excuse the flip flops, but hubby was home so I could actually get a picture! Shown with a pair of tropical weight wool trousers that I made prior to the start of SWAP, but I may need to include to get to 11 garments. :P}}



Took care of some accounting and household issues this morning, and finally am starting on the Hot Patterns cowl neck top. It's officially the "Weekender Renaissance Top" and appears to be out of print. Too bad because I love the look of it! I had made this before and it was a total wadder. It didn't fit right, and I had for some unknown reason... perhaps because there is no layout on the pattern sheets... cut it on the straight of grain when I absolutely know for a cowl to hang right, it has to be cut on the bias. So I have retraced the pattern, using what I hope is the right upper chest and neck size, and just going out a few sizes under the armpit so I don't have to make a FBA. I know, I AM that lazy right now!This is made out of knit from my stash, that appears to be a super light weight double knit. Perhaps a rayon, but I don't know off the top of my head and I'm currently too lazy to go look. :P}}Love the color, it's kind of a denim-ey blue.

But good news on another front. I finally got a new doctor who actually seems interested in helping me achieve a normal life again. After almost two years with no exercise because of at first allergies, then a super painful knee injury, she has given the go ahead for slow and careful exercise. I was initially told I'd sprained a ligament and it would take 3 months to heal. 9 months later, I switched doctors and asked for some answers as to why it was still so painful I couldn't walk a mile without winding up in tears. She was rather surprised no X-Ray had been taken, and that I hadn't been sent to Physical Therapy.

To make a long story short, I know now that I have a torn meniscus, and I need PT. I will be starting swimming as soon as the new bathing suit I ordered arrives, and yes, I know I COULD make one, but I don't want to fuss with it right now. I can also use a stationery bike with my knee brace for 15 minute periods three times a week so long as I use lots of ice afterwards. So all of a sudden, exercise pants got added to the list, and I'll make a sleeveless top. I don't have anything suitable for the gym, so those will be quick and dirty projects. The HP cowl should be done this evening, and the gym pants and top will get started tomorrow.

Hallelujah! Normality may be in my future. I am super hyper and a couple of years of forced inactivity have dramatically impacted my life, my moods, my weight, and my mental state. I am super positive about getting back to my normal life and hopefully dropping about a third of the weight I'm carrying... that will make it ALL GOOD!

Hope you have a pleasant and fulfilling weekend! More later.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Moving along at a snail's pace

I did finally get the man to take some pictures, but they're not the best! It was a very windy day. You can at least see the two pair of pants I've done, and the jacket. The blue shirt is one I made last year from the Hot Patterns Plain and Simple Princess Shirt that I'm using again for my SWAP.

That shirt is one of my absolute favorites and I wear it a lot. It is a linen, and I'm doing one for my SWAP in a rayon challis, and another in a cotton crepe. I am making some minor changes in the Hot Patterns shirt. I had already done a FBA, a sway back adjustment, and narrowed the shoulders. I have to start at a much smaller size in the neck and shoulders, and blend out to waist and hips, then do a full bust adjustment that takes care of the tummy as part of the deal. Unusual for me, the sleeves were fine and had plenty of room for my chubby upper arms. With the new version, I've done more of a sway back adjustment, which seems to have fixed a few minor fit problems, and added 1/4" at each center front princess seam at the bottom, blending to nothing at the waist.

As I look at the grey pants, I may have to go for another redraft. They aren't fitting as well as the other ones, although it could be because of the grey cotton fabric. I am using the same pattern I used for my navy tropical weight wool slacks which don't have the same issues. The navy slacks seem to be okay. So, I'll check it out again!

Navy pants and jacket:



Grey Pants and Hot Patterns shirt



I'm hoping to actually give the SWAP a really good run now that I have these done. Although looking at the pictures, the last year of being off exercise due to my knee ligaments getting injured has me thinking I need to quit eating altogether! And if I can lose 25 or so pounds, the redrafting will be a reality, and a pleasant one at that!

I do have another Hot Patterns shirt almost done. Unfortunately work has been long hours with minimal time off. I've had a lot of 7 day weeks, and usually when I'm that busy I don't have energy for much else. Since my hubby has been off work for most of this year so far, I don't feel like I can turn down work for sewing time, although I'd sure like to do so!

The next shirt is similar to the one in the pictures. It is a rayon challis blue with a floral print... I think we're seeing a theme here, but has 3/4 sleeves instead of short sleeves. It should be done in the next few days and then I'll have at least four pieces out of the 11 done! That doesn't seem like much, but I can do a couple of tees quickly, and the pants are quick too. The jacket didn't take long, and now that I think I have the graining problems settled, that will make a huge difference.

Well, to work. It's piled up around my ears.
More later!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A bit done today

I'm so far behind in my SWAP! I anticipated being halfway through by now. I need to get over stalling my progress when I get stymied by something and just work through it and keep going. I think I'm back on track now. I finally got the off grain fabric worked out. Parts are going to continue to be slightly off grain, but I worked on graining that damned stuff for a week off and on and it never got much better. So it will be what it will be. Frustrating because it's a lovely light weight navy twill for one of my core items... pants and matching jacket. But I'm moved on with it, and I'm up to the lining insertion. I had hoped to have it complete by now, but unfortunately life got in the way this weekend.

Instead of sewing, I had to do errands. Our refrigerator ice maker and water dispenser just quit working. So I had to find the brochure with the warranty items, and go through them. What a surprise to find you're supposed to change out the water filter every 6 months! I don't think they told us that initially. But to make a long story short, several hours were wasted on line and calling local stores trying to find the right part.

Ultimately I found out our Kitchen Aid refrigerator filter has been changed to a Whirlpool filter. After checking with multiple stores, and getting useless recordings that want you to talk to them, I finally found out Home Depot carries them (if you have the right number!) and if you get lucky enough you might even find someone to help you!

Off to Home Depot we went. We initially had a woman who took us to the Brita water filters, and the filters for those in sink water dispensers. After wandering around for a while, we found the refrigerator filters and after a lot more head scratching found one that is the same as our old one. Not the actual part number we were given, but it does fit.

All in all, I love the Internet, and I love being able to find anything on line. BUT there are times when you need something today, not in a week, and I really miss having customer service from a real person who can help you find what you need in their store and actually gives a damn if you are pleased with the store and their service! I know, rag, rag, rag. BUT still!

So now I'm off to hopefully finish that jacket tonight, or at least get really close!

Hope you all had a fabulous sewing weekend!

Friday, February 24, 2012

The inseam pocket instructions

Don't get freaked out by the various pair of pants. As you'll be able to see, I do this a lot! And I love wild prints for my pockets and waistband finishes. If you do this, every time you go to the bathroom all day, you'll be smiling! :P}}

I have taken this from David Page Coffin's book Making Trousers for Men & Women. I can't recommend the book highly enough. Like his book on Shirts, this is the definitive textbook for making trousers. I took his instructions, and wrote them out with pictures so even I can get it right start to finish!



Modify your pattern front side to have a flap that extends past the normal seam allowance. Add the flap along the front side past the seam allowance along the area where your pocket will be. The total width including seam allowance should be 1.25" if you use 1/2" seams. Adjust appropriately for your preferred seam allowance. It should start approximately 1.25" below top of pants including upper seam allowance, and extend approximately 5 to 7 inches long, depending on the size of your hand. Your hand needs to be able to fit through the opening without stretching the pocket opening.

Cut a pocket square approximately 15" wide by 12" long. This can be cut from the fashion fabric, regular cotton pocketing, or any tightly woven cotton. Quilting fabrics work great. You will fold it in half, with the fold towards the pants center front seam. Place the folded pocket square underneath your pants front pattern. The top should be at the top of your pants to be included in the waist seam.

Cut the outer edge of the pocketing to match your pattern hip curve. While you cut the pocketing, you can ignore the flap and just do the pocket the same as the pants would be without the flap.

The total width including seam allowance should be 1.25" if you're using 1/2" seam allowances, or 1 3/8" if you're using 5/8" seam allowances. Again, you want your pockets opening to start approximately 1.25" below top of pants including upper seam allowance, and extend approximately 5 to 7 inches long, depending on the size of your hand. Your hand needs to be able to fit through the opening without stretching the pocket opening. (See photo)



Note: I use 1/2" seam allowances, with an extension of 3/4" extra or 1 1/4". If you are using 5/8" seam allowances, adjust as needed. A 1" extension also works, and will be just a little wider on the interior of your pants where no one can see it.



Cut the clipping lines on the pants front as shown in the diagram. Finish the outside edge of the flap.

Sew front and rear darts.

Make the Pockets

With the right side of your pants front up, position the cut out pants front over the front pocketing. Extend the top of the pocket up to the waist edge of the pants so it will be caught in the waistband seam. Check to be sure your hip curve matches on the pocket and the pants front. The extension should go beyond the curve of the hip by 3/4" to 1". Mark the pocket edges on the pocketing.

Reinforce the pocketing edge only with stay tape adjacent to and abutting the seam line. to keep the pocket edge from stretching when you're wearing the pants. You can either use sew in or fusible stay tape or narrow twill tape.



Fold the extensions over the pocketing (wrong sides together ~ you want the print showing when the pockets are complete!) and zigzag through the pocketing and extension ONLY. Be sure not to catch the pants in this stitching!




Fold the pocketing so it matches up along the seam line with the edge of the pants that will be sewn to the pants back. Position the pocket facing between the layers so it lines up with the side seam, and covers the pocket opening. Zigzag the facing inner edges to the pocketing, leaving about 1" open at the lower side edge so it can be folded out of the way when you stitch the side seams. NOTE: Don't do the outer edges. They will be caught in the side seams.





Topstitch the pocket edge. At this point, I like to fold it again so the inside edge of the pocket is even with the stitching line and topstitching edge is 5/8" inside the seam line for 1/2" seam allowance. You can baste the edges together so they don't shift when you stitch the side front to the side back if you choose to do so.



Baste and stitch the pocket bottom together. I like to pin them together inside out first, stitch the seam, turn them, and topstitch with the raw edges inside the topstitched area. It reinforces the seam and makes it look nice on the inside.




Fun photos of very sedate looking exteriors and fun interiors!

Khaki twill slacks with camo pockets



Grey polished cotton slacks with stars!



and my favorite: Tropical navy wool trouser with circus pockets!



If you decide to make these pockets in your pants, let me know. It's fun to know there are other sewists walking around with sedate pants on the exterior and wild pants on the inside!

More later!