Monday, November 26, 2012

Vogue 8859 - Two Pair of Marcy Tilton Pants

Dressed for Union Square with DD1

Note that, as of Monday evening 11/26, all Vogue patterns are marked down 75% on their website. According to the email I received, the sale ends Friday, Nov 30th.

Vogue caused some confusion when they released the holiday patterns on October 25th. You may recall that they identified this skirt as a Marcy pattern:

As pretty as that skirt is, it sure didn't read as a Marcy pattern. Sure enough, by the next day, Vogue quietly corrected their error. They had mislabeled the skirt and had neglected to label Vogue 8859 as Marcy's pant. I almost mentioned it on the blog, but I figured people would quickly notice and my original post calls out this pant as an interesting pattern.

What?! You don't haunt the Vogue website like I do?

So on Thanksgiving weekend, I made two pair of Marcy's pants. I might have stopped at one, but I made two pair of Katherine's and, as a mother of two girls, it's best when things are "even". ;)

This pattern calls for either a double knit, such as ponte, or a stretch woven. I seem to have a collected plethora of stretch wovens, so that is what I used. This pattern features tucks at the front knee and the instructions provide three possible ways of handling these tucks. I used a different variation in each of my pants. The pattern also includes back pockets, which I omitted from both pair.

The back of this pant requires three pattern pieces: a yoke, the upper back (ends at the knee), and the lower back. The yoke and lower back are cut on a normal grain, but the upper back is cut off grain. It is cut on the bias, though not on a true bias. This is very interesting and, I imagine, affects how the pant fits in back. Surprisingly, the pattern does not include the finished measurement for the hip/waist on the pattern tissue, but it's not difficult to measure it yourself.

I cut a size 16 in front and a size 14 in back, which is equivalent to the same size I used for the Katherine pants, though the size range of her pant is small-medium-large.

Pair #1

For the first version I chose a rather wild flocked stretch denim I purchased on sale from Marcy's site. Since the print is busy, I chose to use variation #1 for the tucks, which is to merely fold them at the side seam. I like this effect but some might find it a bit sloppy - I realize this pair of pants won't be to everyone's taste. I top-stitched this pair using black Guterman top-stitching thread, which is rather hard to see against the flocking. I finished this pair on Saturday morning and wore them out with DD1. They are wild and fun.

Pair #2

I wanted a more sedate fabric for pair #2, to better showcase the knee detail. For this pair, I used a lightweight stretch woven in a brown/grey color that is sometimes called anthracite. For this pair, I used version two for the tucks, which is basically sewn across and then edge-stitched. However, I think I found an error in the instructions, which tell you to sew the tuck with the fabric right sides together and I believe they meant wrong sides together, or it makes no sense to me. The version three tucks are similar to version two, but edge stitched on both the inside and the outside of the tuck.


I love both pairs of pants! I finished the second pair Sunday evening, but I've already worn the denim pair twice.

How do these pants compare to Katherine's? Aside from the obvious seaming/tuck differences, it seems that the Marcy pant is slightly more fitted through the thigh to the knee, but only slightly, and the Katherine pant seems a bit more pegged at the ankle. I laid the patterns on top of each other and the shape of the fronts and backs are different. Both pair are pull-on and can be made from double knit or stretch woven fabrics. I didn't shorten the Katherine pant (unusual for me) so they must run on the short side. I shortened the Marcy pant by about 3/4", so they are a bit longer.

I like both patterns.

Do you realize that I have five new pair of skinny pants? Two Marcy pants, two Katherine pants, and the Style Arc Cassie pant. I'm in skinny pant heaven! But my next project will not be pants. In fact, I made another garment over Thanksgiving weekend, but haven't photographed it yet and it's not pants, either.

Flocked Denim Pair
Knee tucks
Flocked Denim Pair

Anthracite Pair

Friday, November 23, 2012

Vogue 8837 - Two pair of Katherine Tilton pants

Uch. Where did these weeds come from?

More skinny pants! I am feeling skinny pants right now. This Katherine Tilton pattern came out in the fall Vogue collection. It has some nice seam details. I'm a sucker for cool seaming.

The pattern calls for ponte, or a similar knit, but I used stretch woven and it worked great. I made a pair, tweaked the pattern, and made a second pair. Both pairs are black, but use very different fabrications and the second pair has contrast topstitching. The pattern features a cuff and some gathering in the back hem, but I omitted both.

Pair #1

For the first pair I used a stash fabric – a black poly/rayon/spandex pebbled crepe fabric called Crepe Couture suiting. This fabric has wonderful drape and might have been a better choice for a more trouser-like pant, but I think it worked quite well. Based on the finished hip measurement, I cut out a medium and sewed it up. However, I felt that there was too much fullness in the back of the pant, and then I remembered that in Vogue I usually cut a size smaller in back. Oops. The pants are still very wearable, mostly thanks to the drape of the fabric.

Pant #2

I re-cut the back pattern to a size small, traced off the back crotch curve from my Style Arc Cassie pants, and cut out a second pair, this time using s beefy black stretch denim. For this pair I topstitched the seams using white Guterman topstitching thread.

I really like these pants! Both pair are so comfy!

I hope those of you who celebrate had a great Thanksgiving! I had a nice quiet day this year. I am looking forward to spending tomorrow with DD1, who flew home from university. We'll be in downtown SF, shopping and eating and then I take her back to the airport at 2am. I am loving the long weekend.

Denim Pair
Denim Pair

Crepe Pair

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Style Arc Cassie Pants

When I saw the Cassie Pant on Style Arc's website, I knew it was time for another order, and pronto. I love the unusual styling of this slim pant. The interesting knee pieces reminded me of my favorite Au Bonheur pants pattern that I've made three times.

I added a bit to the side seam at the waistline, swapped out my own waistband, and otherwise sewed these up out of the envelope in my usual size 10. I used a fabric I found locally – a heathered charcoal grey stretch woven. I think it's a wool/poly/lycra blend; it's machine washable and looks and behaves like wool. A really nice fabric. Once the pants were finished, I shortened them 1-1/2", which is also pretty typical for me. I love the consistency of Style Arc's fit.

A Margy-inspired-Shams-inspired Pose.

I love these pants! The fit is soooo comfy. However, I found it hard to get a good picture of them. They don't look brown in person, but I do think there is brown in there and the camera picked it up in the hangar shots. I took a series of pictures, uploaded them, changed the rest of the outfit and tried again.

Hey, I just noticed an error in the illustration. The seam above the knee piece angles up towards the inner leg. It's drawn correctly in the diagram on the right, but incorrectly in both illustrations on the left.
We had some torrential rain yesterday. (I love fall weather!) This easement, just around the corner from my house and where I went to take the hangar photos, suffered storm damage from the fallen branch of a huge pine tree. I was still able to use the fence for my photos but the alley will be closed to through traffic until this is removed.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Mini Sew-along - Cosy Cardi

It just so happened, once again, that Margy and I bought the same fabric from Marcy Tilton – an interesting doubleknit. One side features a black/cream tie dye print and the other side is solid black. So we decided to do another little sew along using the fabric.

After washing, this fabric became incredibly soft. It has 2-way stretch and is very stable – it was a delight to sew. Each of us bought 2 yards and each of us was sorry we didn't get more. This fabric screams "cut me on the bias" but it's pretty hard to do much on the bias with only 2 yards.

I decided to make a cardi, similar to the one Ruth made at the beginning of the year. I liked the peplum detail she used. In Ruthie's case, she used New Look 6735, but I decided to use Style Arc's Cosy Cardi, which I believe I received free with an order some months ago.

I did my usual fit alterations for Style Arc:

  • FBA, a large-ish dart.
  • Narrowed shoulder by 3/4".
  • Nipped in the waist a couple inches.
  • Shortened the sleeves by 1/2". (I should have shortened by 1", which is typical for me.)

The other changes to achieve the look were:

  • Shortened to waist length.
  • Added a rectangular "peplum".
  • Added a selvedge strip to the bottom of the bodice. (Using the solid black side of the knit.)
  • Added a rectangular front band, cut so the stretch goes along the band. Also used the solid black side.
  • Cut the sleeves on the bias.
  • I finished all of the seams with narrow twill tape.

The result? It's ok. The cardi fits, but it doesn't excite me. The front band is a bit wonky which is, I believe, the result of careless pressing. I will see how much I wear it. I feel like I let the fabric down a bit.

Be sure to check out Margy's beautiful jacket!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Midweek Musings and a Post Dental Visit to Britex

First, I want to say that I have been thinking so much of the folks affected by Sandy. One of my blog readers (hi, Nancy!) has sent me pictures from her street in Long Island, denuded of many gigantic trees that now lay across roofs, streets, and yards. I hope your lives return to normal soon and that your spirits stay strong in this difficult time.

I'm sorry that I am not posting as much these days, but my recent projects have been more time intensive. Plus, I have this hobby, called "work", which is a jealous mistress.

Right now I have three projects in the hopper, which is unusual for me. One of them is a sew-along I am doing with Margy. (By the way, she pronounces her name with a hard "g". It's good if you get it right in your head, otherwise, if you ever meet her in person, you'll have to retrain yourself, like I did.) I thought I'd whip through this project, then it became an almost wadder, on life support. That slowed me down, and humbled me, but I think I can resuscitate the garment, even if it's not one of my favorites. Time will tell.

Today, I had a lengthy dentist appointment. My dentist is several doors from Britex.

Woe is me.

After my appointment, while still a bit hopped up on nitrous, with a numb face, I went to Britex to do a little fabric shopping for Margy.

Never before have I had so much fun in Britex. Normally, I sashay right past the first floor (designer fabrics/wools/silks) and go to the 2nd (cottons/rayons/home dec), 3rd (notions/buttons/patterns), or 4th (remnants) floor. But today I parked myself in the "interesting fabrics" section on the first floor, right near the front door. It was so much fun to pull out bolts and grope the Armani, Chanel (and similar) designer fabrics.

I did help spend Margy's money (and am now slightly hyperventilating, fearing that she won't love the fabric), but I will let her show it to you when she's ready. Unfortunately, I found that iPhone pics just didn't do it justice anyway.

While I was pulling fabrics with Charmain, the owner of, and buyer for, Britex, a well dressed, well coiffed woman approached and said, "You're Shams, right? I follow your blog!" It was Beth from South Carolina, who was visiting San Francisco on business. Such a nice, respectable person no doubt bemused by my highly "lagenlook", dentist-comfy attire and novocaine-induced half smile. Of course, I had to inspect her purchases - a beautiful cotton shirting in blue, and a whimsical Japanese cotton print with Egyptian designs. She was very restrained in her purchasing. I'm sorry I didn't ask anyone to take pics of us, but I didn't think about it until later.

And since this post is woefully light on sewing-related meat, let me share some links with you:

  • KatiKoos. I've mentioned this wonderful San Francisco shop before, but they have moved. At the same address, they are now several doors down, on the 6th floor. I dropped by today, very briefly, and had a quick chat with the delightful owner. If you like lagenlook style, sign up for their newsletter - you can see all of their previous newsletters on their website. They also have an active presence on Facebook.
  • Do you want to download high quality Metropolitan Museum exhibit catalogs in pdf for free? Of course you do! You can see the list of available publications on their website. This is good stuff and I've downloaded several.
  • Sandylew is a store in Seattle, Washington. I've never been there, but I enjoy their blog. Start with the current posts and just keep going back for lots of eye candy.

I hope these goodies make up for lack of sewing content. :)

And now, I'm off to vote!