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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Friday, October 3, 2008

Before I start what do I want?

It's been a busy week post wedding. Put my son on the plane to London last night with my stepdaughter and her boyfriend who also live in the UK. They were stopping over for a day in Iceland and going to go to the hot springs there. We had a fantastic week, an "epic" family week my son said, and are now getting back to normal.

My weekend will be about doing marking that backed up on me while I was wedding-centered and of course pants.

The idea of copying a pair of good ready-to-wear pants seemed brilliant except I have come to realize that I don't actually own a pair of r-t-w that are worth immortalizing as a favourite pattern. I thought I did (see previous baggy leg pants) but really when I try them on there is always something major that I would change. Most of my fitting problems are stomach related, I have a 32" waist, 39" hips and if you measure across the fullest part around my navel you are looking at 38". The fitting challenge is obvious. This is undoubtedly age-related (only three weeks until the 55 year old senior's discount at Fabricville!) my friend calls it the "menopad" and three babies one C-section related, plus my mom's body shape.

My sense is that clothing designers aren't taking all this into account. So even the OK ready-to-wear pants if they are fitted through the hips and thighs are tight across the stomach, and even worse if they have all the detail action (wide waistbands, buttons, flaps I don't need) where I don't need it.

This has also got me to thinking about what kind of pants patterns I would like, in the best of all possible worlds, once this whole experiment is done. 

This is my wouldn't it be wonderful list:
  • Nice basic woven pants that can be anchor pieces for my work wardrobe. Simple tailored and reliable. Wool crepe and lined for the winter, linen for the summer. Something I can whip up (I don't have enough in the "whip up" department) over a weekend when I decide I need wardrobe expanding. Fuller legs.
  • Elastic back, plain front pull on pants that don't look too dopey. For tops in the summer and domestic wear year round.
  • Capri or cropped pants based on the above.
  • Slimmer leg casual pants to round out my elaborate wardrobe requirements of something to wear to the store or out to the craft place with my daughter or for weekend family dinners etc. The great pants I don't think I have ever actually owned pants like these, but they would be fantastic. I am thinking chino type fabric.
  • Pull on stretch pants with a bootcut (is that still fashionable? Someone tell me) leg.
After all of this the ready-to-wear pair I will be copying this weekend are natural linen Coldwater Creek summer pants with an elastic back and a waistband front. Pretty wide leg but comfortable.

Also a note on fabric, I have done some sewing with stretch wovens (my jeans are made of that and comfortable) but not happy with it after some wearing. Is there anyone out there as old as me who can remember babysitters who used to come over with stretch stirrup pants who used to sit with there legs straight out so they wouldn't stretch out the knees? I am finding that the stretch fabrics can lose their integrity and shape and it's good to have something that can be reliably ironed.

Up tomorrow is a) a photo of my body so you can see what I am up against fittingwise. b)  a photo of my to-be-copied pants and process photos of taping up the pants to make a pattern as that project progresses.

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