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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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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Oh dear

My great pant sewing experiment has run into a bit of a snag. The last of my P&S pants will be hemmed tonight, and if my husband and I can coordinate picture taking and daylight (which falls earlier every night now) we can get some good photos taken outside on the front steps. I have discovered that photos of dark pants taken inside just don't show up at all. So hopefully tomorrow.

I have made five pairs in the last week from this pattern and they are just fine, at least by my standards. I am more or less thrilled and feel pretty comfortable that I can make other pants fit fairly well with this method.

Now what do I do next? My original plan was to go on next to Wild Ginger and try that as a comparison but do I really want to make more pants I do not urgently need, now one month before Christmas? I did not plan in any way being satisfied with an early experiment.

I would probably go on to Wild Ginger after a bit of rest pants-wise for other styles, casual pants and something more fitted and conventional in a woven, like a twill and I would like to try Joyce Murphy's method because it has rave reviews. 

But to be honest right now I have a pattern that I am happy with already and may take a pause from pant production until I do that.

This is always the line I find hard to draw in sewing, the should-dos from the want-to-dos.

Which brings me to another one of my sewing dilemmas.

It's about the SWAP and group sewing and how fashionable am I comfortable being.

When you hit 55 it's time to get serious about maintaining your style. 

I have had a couple of weeks now of public places, meetings, doctor's offices, out in the stores and am quite distressed to see the number of women my age in jeans and sneakers in venues that I feel require lipstick. Sarah Palin even voted in jeans for goodness sakes, although I am sure that was deliberate and playing to the base.

There is no reason that comfortable has to equate with tired and bland, so I am going to try to keep an effort of some kind up. There are lots of stylish ways to be comfortable even at home, Loes Hinse patterns are as comfortable as sweats really as an example if you like her look, but I also have to negotiate the fact that I am more at home in classic clothes and simple shapes than anything too trendy.

So this is my compromise. I am going to work on the basic patterns that I can make over and over and to increase my style quotient I am going to try to make one item a month from Burda World of Fashion.

So back to the pant dilemma.

The thing I need to do now is compile my basic list and figure out what I need to develop. Feel free to contribute:

1. Pants - at least one version - Check
2. Straight skirt - a Wild Ginger version to revise - half Check
3. Twin set - need to develop
4. Basic blouse - see above
5. T shirt - I have a princess seamed Vogue with potential
6. Tank - can I devise from the above?
7. Comfortable dress that I can multi vary. What does this look like? I have a great fitting Wild Ginger straight sheath but I need something that is a little easier to wear to teach/walk to work.
8. A lounger. OK you know what I mean, not unwrappy like a housecoat, something that I can wear when I have family to talk to after my bath/book routine at night. Seriously schlepping. I am definitely getting old. Stop me before I hit the quilted brunch coat,
9. Lots of other things I will think of later.

Seems to me that while I focus on Christmas and other projects that I might do some work on a Wild Ginger blouse since the fit was so good in the dress, although I am likely to divert into pants too.

Lot on the go at the moment, renting out our house at the beach since we don't get down there much, and many calls from son-in-London who may have a new job in Washington D.C. Yeah! That's some place I can drive to when I miss him, not the same with the Atlantic ocean in between.

Now off to hem the last of those pants.


katherine h said...

If you have a pants pattern that you are happy with, and now have 5 new pairs of pants, I wouldn't go onto Wild Ginger either. Me personally, I am struggling with Wild Ginger pants fitting at the moment, so have put it aside until after Christmas. I do recommend the Vogue Alice & Olivia pants patterns though, as they offer a stylish pant that is distinctly different from other pattern styles out there. Congratulations on getting a pnats pattern to fit...I can't wait to see the photos.

Barbara said...

Katherine, this is a great suggestion. Now I have fitted the hard part I need to get some style going. These are cool looking pants and as soon as Vogue goes on sale Alice and Olivia are on my list. Pants are so much better when they are stylish and I appreciate the recommendation. I feel badly about bailing on Wild Ginger in the middle of this experiment because my dress fitting with WG has been outstanding, the only sheath in my life that ever fit and I do intend to go back to the software after the Christmas dust settles and to use it for blouse fitting too.