Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pants Pizazz!

I took a big step last week-end ... I cut out a pair of pants in a brown wool that has aged nicely in the stash for 2 years. Why the nerves over something I have successfully cut and fitted before? Because of the new fit. You see, I have been working with a trainer at work for the past six months (if you count the almost 5 weeks we were "paused" due to vacation and work load) and as a result, I have lost some inches. I was not sure how much this would matter until the Liz Claiborn pants I had purchased last fall began to actually fall off! So, I took a deep breath and decided that I would take a risk and go down a whole size on the pattern.

I pulled out the HP Razor Sharp pants pattern and cut out a size 14. Something I haven't done on pants since my early years of sewing (and those didn't even fit right!). Rather than make up muslin, I pulled out the brown wool and just went at it! I cut it out as a 14 as is with out any additions to the s.a. at all. When sewing, I did hedge and only use 3/8" s.a. on the s.s and the inseam, however, I did use the full 5/8" at CB&CF. I also did my standard curve adjustment (I lower the J into more of an L) as that is something that is standard for my figure. By eliminating the darts at the front and back, I have that little bit of ease that I need at the waist.

I gave them a quick try on a minute ago and held my breath while I turned into my corner mirrors ... WAHOOO!!!! IT WORKED!!!! The back looks AMAZING! I now have quite the nice butt in these pants! So, now all I have to do is to cut out the silk organza that I want to use as a lining and I will have a new pair of trousers for parent teacher night at the end of the week. The even better news is that now I can breathe easier and cut out another pair in the cashmere wool (lined again with the silk organza) as I now am certain of the fit!

I would show photos but I need to get to bed as we are expecting snow and freezing rain over night, so I will have to shovel in the morning. That means getting up early ...

This will really motivate me to continue on with the training as I definitely see a difference in the body shape even if the pounds are not dropping much! Who needs scales when you have a measuring tape???

I will post back tomorrow night after I come back from the Beaver meeting with Monkey Girl and have the lining cut out. Then I may have a photo to share as well. I will start to draft my review of the pattern as I go, but that will be posted much later in the week.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Update from the prodigal sewer ...

Hello all! I am considering renaming the Needle the Prodigal Sewer as I have been so busy that I have been neglecting the machines. In return for this extended vacation, they have nicely managed to pull lots of fluff bunnies out of thin air and leave them around the carpet. The Pattern pile has grown (Thanks, Trudy and Jeremy!) a bit as has the pile of new luscious fabrics on hand (thanks to Darrell and Ressy!). So, in an attempt to refocus my energies on something other than Scout neck scarves (a record 45 were sewn and I have 15 more to go by Monday - argh!), I want to reorg the work shop. I wanted to start last weekend but it was plastic week not paper on our recycle run. As I don't have the space in the Pilot's shop (otherwise known as the GARAGE) for that much paper (loads of scraps of paper and patterns that I really won't sew again), I waited until this weekend ... then I can start sewing in earnest!

Rather than focus on the patterns, I am going to list the fabrics and muse about the choices available to them. Maybe they will tell me which they prefer (assuming they forgive me for ignoring them). Maybe I will actually have to make a decision on my own ... sigh.

This fall I am focussing on quality fabrics for work. I figure it is an investment, so why scrimp? The only limit for work is that it must be black. No choice ... I do get a "nice" buttercup yellow shirt to wear with it, though. Too bad it is designed poorly! I have a wool suiting with a white pin stripe. That is spoken for as a Marfy pencil skirt with a back bias godet and a matching blazer. Then there is the black wool/cashmere herringbone that will either become a sleeveless wrap dress or an almost tunic length vest. The medium weight would be welcome in the winter air conditioning of the gym! The pinnacle of the pile is another cashmere wool (yup! there is a trend to my shopping these days! I am determined that basic black will not be boring at my gym!). This one is a black with a royal blue pinstripe to it. This one is screaming at me to become a princess sheath style dress that I can wear with my nice yellow ... Darrell says it would be a very "Nautica" look. THEN there is the long lengths of the Rayon Linen that I bought from Ressy last year that could also be used up for now. I see a nice looser fitting twist shirt that will go over the yellow nicely out of that. Then there is the black RPL as well that keeps fighting to the top of the pile of RPL in a box on the floor.

The navy pinstripe is screaming the loudest, but I can't bring myself to cut it first. The commotion the other fabrics will make would be unbearable! So, my thought is to pull off the twist top first out of the rayon linen and then head on over to something else! I could use some more trousers, but I think that this weave will pill at the crotch line and I don't want that. Maybe a jumper type dress?

One very important thing I do have to do before I start anything new is to re-measure myself. For the past 5 months I have been working with a trainer twice a week (OK, trying to make it twice a week, not always successful!) and have managed to dorp some more inches. Just this morning, I pulled on a tank top at the gym proshop and bought it. The clincher? It was a size MEDIUM!!! And it FIT!!!! I am now down a size on the rack so I have to see what that equates to (if anything) on the machine!

Oh, and I almost forgot ... I finally finished the HP Cheery Blossom coat from way last year! The temps got cold last week and I needed something for work, so I moved the buttons over towards the sideseam a bit and then hemmed it. I did a rush job on the sleeve hems, so I need to rip and redo it as it is not a nice as I like. I kept the lining and interlining hanging loose so it needs a bit of a trim at one or two places as well. I removed the pockets and am going to use that fabric for belt loops for the belt. I am certain that I will lose that belt without it loops or it being stitched on somehow (maybe with extra buttons in the back?). I will provide pics when the final touches are done.

I wish I was as prolific as my friend Julia over at her blog. She does such a wonderful job at her sewing and her writing and posting that I often feel jealous!

The Pilot just came home, so we are now off to see Madagasacar 2! Time spent laughing with the family is priceless!