Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Loes Hinse Linen Pants with Smocked Hem



I seem to be flailing around a bit lately, sewing-wise. I have been developing a stable of tried and true patterns, which is great. Most of them are Style Arc patterns, which have a fabulous fit. This has allowed me to start focusing more on design details and morphing the patterns into other designs.

So, what is my problem? I don't know. Maybe I am getting bored? Or maybe this just a regular mojo cycle - we all know how that goes. Am I confused by my style, resulting in Hamlet-like indecision? Or am I just frustrated that I often can't sew what I really want, because it won't work on my boobular figure? Maybe I just have too many clothes? (Though I have purged the closet.) I can't quite put my finger on it. Maybe it's a bit of all of the above.

At any rate, it's been hard to settle on a project.

I actually started this project in early September. I know that because I started a blog post at the time and it had the time stamp of Sept 6th, 2011. I was very taken with lattice smocking, also called Canadian smocking, which I had seen a season before on some tops in Macy's. Then kbenco used it on a top and wrote a tutorial.


Being a visual learner, I watched various youtube videos and made some samples. I decided to use the detail on a pants hem. Because I wanted as few seams as possible, I used the Loes Hinse Oxfords, which are the best fitting no-seam pants pattern I have.

The fabric is 100% linen in grey with a thin cream stripe, from Fabrix. Using a stripe makes it a bit easier to create the grid you need for the smocking. I plan to write another post with a bit more detail on how I achieved the effect.

The reason this project went into the UFO closet for six months is that, after smocking one leg, I wasn't pleased. I wanted the smocking closer to the ankle and knew that if I'd tried to remove it to make it lower, the fabric would show damage. Then, I recently decided to pull them out and try them on again. And now I love the capri length! Just the thing for summer. If I ever experience summer weather, that is. :)

Blog post: Lattice Technique.


And speaking of Loes Hinse. This last weekend I was finally able to visit her store in Carmel. I had seen her speak a couple times, once at Artistry in Fashion and once at PenWAG, and had talked to her once about using her patterns with my bustline, but it was fun to descend on her store with four sewing friends. She had been warned that our group was in the area, so she brought some fabrics and patterns to her shop, which is so small that she doesn't usually have them available.


Rita and Pat, excited to be in Carmel and visiting Loes.


Despite the pouring rain, she was our first stop in Carmel. I helped her bring her fabric from her car, requiring two trips through puddles, but we were determined. (And, besides, my friend Sue volunteered me for the task. ;) ) We had a lot of fun groping her RTW clothing, in that way that sewists do, and trying her garments on.


We made a mess!


Dorothy trying on one of Loes's jackets. The fabric in this is so interesting. Loes calls it her "feather" fabric. It's kind of like a faux fur, but it's not made with regular fur-like fur, but with these thin sheets of ... not sure what, but it had a sort of feathery effect. It reminded me of thin sheets of shale... in fabric form. Loes says you can buy the fabric on the Casual Elegance site, though I haven't looked.


All I bought was a wonderful striped rayon knit fabric. I was quite restrained. I can't say the same of my compatriots. :)



'Twas a fun outing! I can also recommend the shop Findings, which carries vintage trims and buttons and a few fabrics, and Pacific Rim, which had fabulous, fabulous clothing.

22 comments:

  1. The smocking is adorable. I'm glad you pulled these out of the UFO pile because, as often the case with your projects, these inspire. Love seeing the pics of Rita, Dorothy, Loes, and all.

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  2. OMG--those pants are so cute! What a great idea and so well-executed.
    I can empathize with your feelings of indecision and lack of mojo. I've kind of been in the same boat lately. I'm in the middle of a couple of projects that are on a deadline to finish. I've noticed that whenever I have deadline sewing, it just sucks the life out of my mojo--I don't want to work on the deadline project, but feel too guilty to work on anything else, so I end in limbo. But the deadline will arrive regardless, and then I can work on whatever piques my interest!

    I am jealous of your weekend sewing getaway, including the trip to Carmel and Loes' shop. Sounds like you had much fun--and perhaps it will kickstart the sewing juices for you. I wish I had such wonderful sewing friends nearby to get together with.

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  3. I LOVE your pants! What a creatively different treatment. I'm looking forward to your deeper explanation of how you did it.

    Pacific Rim is one of my favorite stores...my cc went into deep shock the last time I was there...

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  4. I love that smocked hem. I have seen smocking popping up on clothing. There is a dress at anthropologie that has it at the waist.

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  5. Love the smocking and the trousers you fab on you! I'm jealous of your talent!

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  6. Those pants are so cute! That's a perfect use for that type of smocking that I wouldn't have thought of. And yes, I am also envious of your sewing buddies and your field trip to Carmel. Sigh.

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  7. Those pants are so cute! I love the smocking, who (besides you of course) would ever have thought of it!

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  8. Wow! I've always wanted to visit Loes shop so it was great that you took us along with you!

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  9. Just when I thought you had exhausted all funkiness possible in pants, these appear on your blog! I too have long been attracted to that particular form of smocking. It's always shown on pillows. ho-hum. I would have never thought about pants hems, but now I'll need to shamelessly copy you. And I hope I can located this post if I ever go back to SF. What you fun you ladies must've had! You are so creative.

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  10. I love your pants! I wish I could wear a style with such nice embellishment on the bottom. I'm short, and even when I wear the fray art jeans, those make e look 2 ft tall. Every time I've been to Carmel Loes store has been closed. When I had my shop, I sold lots of sergers. She recommends that 4 thread stitch.

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  11. Those pants are a wonder! Two wonders!

    But I am really impressed with your annual sewing friends weekend! Why didn't I ever think of that? And it's a good thing you had a group b/c it looks like too much fun for one person to handle.

    Very inspiring. I am going to plan a sewing friends weekend right now!

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  12. Love the smocking! Cool touch!

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  13. I love the smocking! Very clever. It reminds me of a Celtic ring.

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  14. Another creative hit from you! Absolutely love that smocking!

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  15. What cool trousers, and a fabulous sounding trip.

    I am feeling mildly famous now ;)how nice of you to link to my tutorial.

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  16. Very very cool. Your work never ceases to amaze and inspire.

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  17. Wow. Only you would think to do this, and it suits your figure and style so well. I just love these pants. And your striped knit, too!

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  18. The smocking is so darn cute, in a good way. The length is great too, especially with those shoes.
    For someone claiming a mojo problem, you are producing beautiful, unusual and creative work!!

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  19. What cool smocking! At first it looked to me like woven bands of fabric. A very creative addition to your pants, for sure.
    Sounds like you had a fun weekend sewing and shopping with friends. I'm jealous!

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  20. I have old patterns that use this smocking technique on dress yokes and pillow. I keep them so I have the instructions. What a great way to use it on a modern garment! Really neat!

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  21. Love how the smocked detail (and those totally cute shoes) look feminine and charming without being too "girly". And I'm totally envious of your trip to Loes's shop! Tell all--did she make any oracular pronouncements about sewing, or explain the new business directions she seems to be heading in?

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  22. If you'd described the smocking to me, I'd have thought it could only be awful, but, wow, is it not! I love the way you can make even smocking funky . . .. I would never have thought of doing it (any kind) at the hem of adult pants, but this is wonderful!

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