This was a busy month for me, with the performance of a show I had been working on since January 2017. As a result, not as much sewing as usual.
I landed on Try Hard both as a descriptor of myself, and as a command statement. I have a number of friends who are very cool and hip, who often appear to look down their noses at people who are obviously making effort. It’s such an interesting thing, as these people are high-achieving, intelligent people, but something about the way I make effort seems to rub them up the wrong way.
Instead of feeling small about these things, I have decided that I should embrace my try-hardery. I like it about myself, and I certainly really like it in other people – particularly people I work with.
The funniest thing about this tshirt is that it really was an embodiment of this ethos. I tried so hard to get the lettering all the same width on a slightly flocked fabric. And when I made a slight boo-boo on one of the letters, instead of just going with it, I tried to fix it, which in turn created more of a boo-boo. No-one can see it, and it’s fading now, but it really just about killed it for me. Perhaps the next tshirt I make should say “Don’t Try So Hard”?
There’s nothing to say about this tshirt I haven’t already. I love it. I make a straight M and do no adjustments.
The second thing I made was a pair of pants for the show I was in. I have had dress black pants on my to-make list since SWAP 2017! I have had the fabric leftover from another project and the pattern in my stash forever, but more fun things just kept making their way up the list. But when the costume call for this show was “anything you want to wear as long as it’s black” there was the impetus I needed.
These are a slightly hacked version of Simplicity 3688. I changed the zip to be at the centre back and added a curved waistband. I’m calling these pants my ‘epiphany pants’ because something amazing happened while I was making them.
Every time I make a pair of pants, something weird happens when I attach the waistband: all of a sudden they are infinitely tighter than they were when the waistband was not attached. I could not for the life of me work this out. The trousers fit perfectly without a waistband. I always make my waistband to measure. The waistband always fits the top of the trousers. What in the name of St Catherine (apparently the patron saint of seamstresses) was going on?
Recently I had sworn off straight waistbands. Although I am quite straight through the middle, I have a very sway back and straight waist bands were doing my head in. So I have been using the waistband off my Alpi Chinos which is lightly curved.
My sister Miriam has been having the opposite problem. She makes pants with straight waistbands and pants that fit her fine were now too big through the waist.
Then somewhere, in some comments on an IG post I saw something along the lines of “the more curved you are, the more curved your waistband should be” and I was like “hmmm Miriam has a much curvier waist than I, and we have the opposite problem” …
(that’s the sound of the penny dropping FYI):
MY WAISTBAND IS TOO CURVED AND WHEN I ATTACH IT TO THE PANTS IT CHANGES THE SHAPE OF THE PANTS WAIST AND MAKES THEM TIGHTER!!!!!
It also makes my zips not sit flat, my side pockets jut out. WOW. So I had already cut out the waistband and partially attached it while inserting the invisible zip in the back. But the sides were not attached yet. So I made a really crude change and tried to make the curve shallower. Not perfect but a hugely different result.
The next installment in my pants making is going to be to draft a custom waistband. I know from experience it will be much more curved through the centre back and then shallower through the sides and front. I’m also going to draft a nice curved one for Miriam next time she makes trousers.
Anyway, the upshot is I’m super happy with these pants. I wore them for the show with a silk bias cut cami top I made last year from a Vogue nightgown pattern that I had never blogged. The funny thing about this top is that when I was considering the costume I thought to myself: if I have enough fabric leftover, I could make myself a cami top to wear with these pants. And then I remembered I’d already made one!
On my sewing table I have a Victoria Blazer to match my recent Lander Pants. I also bought the Perkins Shirt by Ensemble Patterns, and I have fabric sitting there to make Alex some jeans. He’s also asked me to make a mascot for the studio he’s running in the new library, so that’s on September’s To-Make list too.