Saturday, April 21, 2012

Au Bonheur Pants with Seaming and GIVEAWAY

I wanted to thank everyone for their enthusiastic response to my FBA in Knits post. I tried something new this time. I responded to every comment. I am curious. Did you like that? Or did you not care? It felt a little weird to see so many of my own comments - a little self indulgent, like maybe I was trying to inflate the number of responses. Let me know what you think, because I'm not sure that I would do that again.

Let me tell you the story about this pattern. I didn't see it's potential and buy it before Au Bonheurs went out of business last August. Several months later, when Luz Clara spent two weeks in Paris, she visited the store that sells Au Bonheur patterns and found they had some left in their drawers. She very kindly offered to look for any I wanted, but I still didn't realize I wanted this pattern. Instead, I asked her to look for a top pattern, which she found and brought back. Thanks again, Luz Clara!

After Luz Clara returned from Paris, and after I had made the Au Bonheur jeans, I realized I wanted this pattern. However, I knew no one in Paris and none of my stateside friends had purchased it either. I thought, oh well, maybe it will make its way to me some day.

Fast forward to a few months ago. One of my sewing pals, Lynn CC (of the Koos scarf), wanted the jeans pattern and did have a friend living in France. She asked this friend to visit the store, sometime before Christmas, and try to locate the jeans pattern. This friend couldn't find the jeans pattern, but found "another pattern with interesting seaming" and sent it back to the US. When Lynn told me this, I was holding my breath, hoping it would be the pattern — Lynn had no idea until it arrived. It was! She very kindly let me trace off my size at our recent retreat. Thanks so much, Lynn!

This is an interesting design. It has back pockets, with a flap. The "circle" you see on the right hip is not a pocket. It's an inset circle. They sewed a button into the middle of it as a decorative detail. It features jodhpurs-like insets on the inside leg, front and back. It has a waist flap, which I immediately knew I would not use. It has a fly front zipper, with cool button flap on top. (I love this feature, but left it off my test pants.) It has a contoured waistband.

I traced off a size 42. The same size I used (that fit so well) in the jeans pattern. I did made a few changes: I used a rectangular waistband with elastic. I left off the zipper, back pockets, and button flap front. Since I didn't use the button flap front, I left off the decorative button on the inset circle. The pants are designed for a woven, but I used a stretch woven. In fact, this is a wool-blend, washable, stretch woven from Fabrix that I have now used for 3 or 4 pair of pants. This fabulous fabric cost me $3 per yard and is perfect for pattern testing. Surprisingly, I did not have to increase the waist or shorten the leg.

The most interesting detail is the inset circle. This immediately reminded me of the Holey Moley technique that Marcy Tilton shows in her Inspiration Paris CD. This is one of my favorite Marcy CDs, so I popped the video in my Mac to review. I did use her technique, very successfully. Twice! (Yes, I had a little oopsie.)

Look at the beauteous circle! (OK, it's more of an oval.) But, isn't it beauteous?!!
But... WAIT! Oh no! I sewed the two fronts together! And cut a circle out of the seam. Pfffft. At least I had more fabric and could recut the fronts.

I do like these pants. I think the crotch fit could be tweaked a bit, and the leg is rather wide, but I plan to wear these for awhile before I decide if I will make them again as-is. If I do, I plan to use a contrasting topstitching thread to show up the details, and also to include the button flap.


Now we come to the giveaway! This is another one of those ironic coincidences. Just last week a friend sent me a generous box of goodies. In the package, she included the Inspiration Paris CD! Turns out she had an extra and thought I might like it.

Since I already have one, I'm offering it as a giveaway. (I first obtained her permission.) The inset circle technique is a good one, but I also often refer to the included video on sewing a separating zipper in a lined jacket. There is also an interesting video on how Marcy packs when she goes to Paris.

If you would like this CD, leave a comment on this post. If you post anonymously, make sure to include identifying information of some kind. I'll generate a random number and post the winner sometime next week. This drawing is open to anyone, including my international sewing sisters. :)

If you want to leave a comment, but are not interested in the CD, that's fine - just mention that in the comment.

Another thing I wanted to mention. I never had trouble watching the videos on this CD when I was using the Leopard operating system on my Mac. However, when I tried to watch it on Lion, it would not play the videos, though I could view the rest of the material. To workaround this problem, I copied the PDF file to my hard drive and was able to watch it there — the videos are embedded in the PDF file. I talked to Marcy and David Page Coffin, and it seems that I might be an anomaly. I believe the problem is with Adobe Reader and not the CD itself, but I wanted to mention the workaround in case you experience this.