Today’s blog post will be in reverse order of the title. I know, it’s a teaser! 😉 But first, here’s a bit about my guest post!
If you follow my blog and you’re into sewing, then you know about Marie and Kerry‘s Vintage Pledge. This year, they jam packed all of July with guest posts from tons of bloggers, and I’m honored to say that my guest post was this weekend! I sewed up a cute ruffled eyelet blouse from a pattern from… wait for it… the 1980s!
So pop on over to Marie’s blog, to read all about my blouse! And then meet me back here, for the dirt on those crazy cigarette pants I’m wearing with the blouse, and a sewing confession at the end. 😉
Back? Okay. Those cigarette pants are another version of Butterick B5895 (you may remember them from such recent things as these orange capris). I’ve made this pattern often, tweaking it slightly many times. I’ve never gotten the calf to be quite slim enough, always changing seam lines after the fact and never transferring it back to the pattern pieces, and… I still need to do that.
Because instead, this time, I went for a really fitted leg for a change, and did do it on the pattern pieces first (well new pieces). I actually only started with a minuscule change at the upper thigh, tapering down more dramatically until my ankle. I must have twig ankles compared to my calves because that’s the hardest part to get right (and still isn’t, quite).
Fitted, these are! I used a stretch cotton sateen from Mood, and I love the fabric (hurry, pink/red is almost sold out but it comes in other colors too!). These are pretty damn tight, and I likely wouldn’t normally wear them with a cropped top, but I thought they’d be a cute pairing with my Vintage Pledge blouse, inspired by this pin. Although I’m not 100% sold on the outfit after the fact, hey, that’s why it’s fun to play with fashion.
I think they’ll be really fun to wear in cooler months with a fitted pullover belted at the waist. For the record I’m really feeling the idea of printed pants this fall/winter! So I’m on the (very difficult, I’m finding) hunt for all the best fun printed stretch bottom weights! (Like clockwork, well before the season change I’m already starting to think towards sewing plans for the upcoming cold weather.)
I did actually throw in one fitting alteration (a tip I got from a reader’s email, thank you Dori!), about the only thing I haven’t tried to get rid of more wrinkles under my (low, full) rear end. It’s from this older Iconic Patterns post. Essentially you close the back waist dart and do an adjustment that looks like the symbol of the Masons:
There’s not a whole lot of info on how to do the adjustment, and I skipped one step Dori mentioned to me via email, adding back some width to the side seams. Although my adjustment really only changed the upper hip by a little bit. That’s a bit confusing because now the back dips down slightly (this being a full butt adjustment issue I’d tackled in the past), even though the butt area didn’t change, which probably goes to show you that one change can cause issues elsewhere. I also noticed the front crotch looks a bit roomier than I recall in past pairs, but I’m not sure if that’s just awkward poses in the photos, something I did at the back making an actual difference, or just because every stretch fabric is different. But I’m certainly not fussing with that as I’ve been quite happy with the front crotch of this pattern to date. (More to file under “sewing leads to weird sentences”.)
I forgot to actually get good photos of the back because we were focused on the blouse, and it was about 95 degrees and my brain was melting out my ear. I think it’s possible this outtake below shows the wrinkles are a bit better than I’ve sometimes experienced (and you can see the waistband dipping)… but maybe, maybe not.
Yay for stretch fabrics, at any rate! I know some women wear trousers this tight that are non-stretch fabric… what, do you bend down awkwardly sideways if you have to pick something up? How do people live like that?!! But I digress.
Frankly, when I compared an adjusted back leg piece to a non-adjusted piece, there really wasn’t much difference in the shape (other than the slight upper thigh side seam), so I’m not sure this adjustment did anything at all worthwhile for me, or anything that wouldn’t require another series of adjustments to compensate.
BUT. What I’d like to do and I believe should do is sew a pair in a similar fabric, with only the leg width changes (I thought ahead and kept a fresh copy of the back leg piece before the Masonic symbol alternation, huzzah!), and see how under my butt compares. But I’ll keep the modified piece because it takes out the back dart, and I’d actually like to try to make a pair with these narrower legs in ponte knit (secret pajamas, if it works out, though I have some doubts).
Anyway, long story short, always playing and tweaking. I’ll never get rid of all the wrinkles under my butt anyway, it’s low and it needs at least some of that fabric to sit down. (If you have a low butt and experience this issue, pin out the excess fabric under your butt and then try to sit down comfortably; doesn’t really work well. Then, unpin it again and stick your hands down the back of your pants and pull your butt cheeks up—I know, but we’re all friends here—and you’ll see how the fabric nicely conforms. Asshole butt.) I’m also pretty much sick to death of one adjustment leading to a series of other adjustments to compensate.
And here’s the confession about sewing pants, for me.
Be it jeans or cigarette pants, I’ve reached a stage where I obsess to the point of utter frustration on the wrinkles everywhere… the thigh, the calf, under my butt, literally everywhere. I cannot NOT see a wrinkle, anymore, anywhere.
It happens when I sew, and then when I review all the photos I think the garment looks awful and my heart sinks. I won’t lie, it did when I looked at these photos, too. I loved the print, the different fit, but I obsessed over all the wrinkles that I thought were surely due to me poorly executing various adjustments. But once I’ve blogged about something, I must let some of it go, because I really don’t have a problem happily wearing the finished garment in real life. I never think about wrinkles under my ass at that point. Never.
It’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole of fitting.
It’s especially easy when you blog to worry that if you don’t say something, people will think, “Tsk tsk, can’t believe how ill-fitting those look, and she’s not even saying anything about it”.
It’s easy to second guess your skills, or your finished garments.
It’s easy to convince yourself something looks terrible that most people would think looks good, if not great. And if they don’t think it looks good, you really wouldn’t care, anyway. (I know I certainly don’t get dressed in the morning for anyone else.)
I have to sometimes remind myself, blogging and sewing is supposed to be for fun, but I make my clothes for my real life. I love to sew, I love to learn. I can’t be perfect. If something that I sewed makes me happy in real life, and I’ve worked hard, and done a good job, and I’m proud to wear that item, I should be pretty damn pleased. Not endlessly chasing perfection, missing the good in the meantime.
And I am. Pretty damn pleased, that is.
I’m pretty damned pleased with these cigarette pants, and I look forward to having fun styling them in the fall!
cigarette pants – made by me
blouse – made by me (see my Vintage Pledge guest post on it!)
shoes – Chinese Laundry
confetti lucite clamper – purchased recently on vacation in New Mexico
earrings – Desperate Beatnik