Friday, March 18, 2011

Don't Call it a Comeback

Before shot of foyer

Aaaaaand, we're back. I would love to say that blog absence was due to something really spectacular and cool, like spending a year hiking the Yucatan or researching the mating habits of red-footed boobies. But, no. It was mainly due to blogging simply being off the radar. So what's been going on? The main focus of my time has been rehabbing my old house. My husband does almost all of the work himself with the occasional help of hired workers. I help, too. I suppose one could say I was the "creative director", somewhat to his chagrin, but not to discredit my hand in the wood and plaster sanding, priming, painting and staining and the never-ending dust chasing. It's a slow process, but it's coming along.

Here's an after shot. Well, sort of after as it's not yet 100% done. The woodwork needs finishing, new lighting needs to be installed and there are new furnishings to be added, which I am frustrated shopping for--shouldn't this be fun?

Foyer after, but not really

So now that I'm no longer chasing plaster and wood dust, I'm knitting something. Or crocheting something. And lately, sewing something. Let's talk about the sewing.

I started on a pair of spring Hepburn pants, inspired by Katharine Hepburn's style-busting wide-leg trousers of decades past.

Runway shows for Spring 2011 fashion were saturated with the same silhouette. I'm always thrilled when the retro styles I love make a comeback in fashion. 

With the help of the book How to Make Sewing Patterns and an old 1980's (?) Easy Simplicity no-frills, straight-leg pants pattern, I was able to make a muslin to insure proper fit. But it wasn't without good ol' novice blunders, especially with the darts. See the dart bubbles?

After consulting with a few sewers and taking in a couple YouTube videos, I learned the proper way to stitch the darts. The book and pattern helped me to redo the placement. Et voila!

I made this muslin a while back, and I admit that since then, my measurements have changed, so some adjustments have been made to pattern for the waist and hips. The original leg was already widened by several inches.

Now the fabric. Well, let me first say that recently a very generous benefactor blessed me with her fabric stash. Her very healthy fabric stash. Healthy as in she's a former fabric store employee, get my drift? Here it is as yet to be properly sorted in my fabric cabinet. Consider that about ten pieces of what you see here was my stash before I was gifted hers.

Almost all of the fabric is unlabeled, but just by sight, touch and feel I can, despite my fabric unsavvy-ness, discern between garment and decor fabric. It's roughly 99% garment fabric.

Due to lighting issues, I was only able to get pics of two of the four cabinets.

Here is the fabric I chose to use for these pants, from the gifted stash. My first choice would have been something with more drape, but I felt safer with this. It feels and looks like a cotton blended with something stretchy, maybe spandex.

The Simplicity pattern features front scoop pockets. When I made the muslin, I omitted the pockets, but since I'm using this relatively casual fabric, I included the pockets.

Next up is to complete the darts, sew the side seams and crotch, add the waistband, closures and hemming. I don't plan on lining. I hope to have these completed within a few days. But for now, I continue on my quest for the perfect foyer furniture. I leave you with an object of my perpetual affection, this 19th century Viennese walnut side table. It won't be gracing my foyer, sadly, but it is available for fawning and feigning over in the Museum of the Art Institute, Chicago. 

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