Sunday, November 21, 2010

Loes Hinse Oxford Pants & RTW Goodness

Well, it took me long enough, but I finally made my first Loes Hinse pattern. I had collected a few of her patterns but never made the time to try one. Then my ASG chapter issued a challenge to muslin the pattern for October's meeting and to make a final pant for November's meeting.

This pattern was chosen because it has the reputation of working on a wide variety of bodies. Now that I've seen it on at least a dozen women, I think that's a fair statement. There were only a couple people who felt it really did not work for them.

Here is a summary of our collective experience:

  • Most of the sewists did find it necessary to scoop out the crotch curve to some degree. Those with "bum puddles" (where horizontal wrinkles puddle below the butt cheeks) scooped out in the back.
  • For me, it was recommended at the muslin stage that I scoop out about 1/4" from the front crotch, and this worked well.
  • When I first took the pattern out of the envelope and measured the finished hip and waist, I decided to trace an XXS for the legs increasing to an XL from the hip to the waist. I did not want too much fabric at the thigh level and this worked pretty well, though this style is still more voluminous at the hips than I am used to.
  • Several sewists made a smaller size in back and a larger size in front. This technique works really well for some body types.

In the end, everyone tweaked for their own figure and most were pretty happy with the result.

This pant works best in a drapey fabric. Loes herself tends to use woven rayon fabrics. I used a rayon-poly crepe (woven) that I purchased from Fabrix. Even though I prewashed the fabric and wore the pants with a pant liner, they wrinkle like crazy. Also, the hem is fairly wide and it was difficult for me to hem evenly in this really unstable fabric. No one else reported this problem, so that might have been my particular fabric.

One more point. Most of the sewists found that these pants really benefit from a pant liner. A pant liner helps the pant glide over any lumps and bumps – the fabric clings to the liner, and not the body. Most of us had purchased pant liners made from tricot, but at least one sewist makes her own and it would be so easy to whip up a few pair from a china silk or a silk jersey using a one-seam pant pattern.

Only a couple folks used the pocket version of the pant, but I gather that it's a nice technique. I will have to try that on my next pair. Yes, I do plan to make these again. They are not like my usual pant, but they are fun to wear.

Ready to Wear Goodness

If you are on the Thai Silks mailing list, you might know that they are having 25% off all fabrics through November 30th (in store and online). I was in the vicinity on Friday, so I stopped by the store, planning to buy some black organza and to see what else might pique my interest.

After purchasing some organza, I walked past a store window and saw a gorgeous jacket. I headed into the boutique (I didn't think to look for the name of the store), and the jacket in the window is by a company named Covelo and I found it later on Fawbush. Check out this gorgeousness!

I don't know if Fawbush received a lighter-colored version of the jacket, or if the photo was lightened to show detail, but the one I saw had deeper, more saturated color. It was made from a very soft, loosely woven wool, that had been felted and ombre (dip) dyed. The "berries" were felted in (a la shibori) and then reinforced with poly fill stuffing. The unlined jacket closed with two large covered snaps.

This was one seriously cute jacket, and worth every penny!