Friday, January 9, 2015

Made by Me Files: The Perfect Pant (McCalls 6930/6711) and a Leftover Jacket (Vogue 8910).

It's been a long while since I wrote up any of my sewing projects!  I have quite a few projects I have sewn up, I just lost my steam to write over the last month, and both of these got left behind. 

First up I will write about my "perfect pant" pattern, which is a mash-up of McCall's 6930 and 6711.  I will then finish up this post with a very *brief* review of a bias cut jacket I made, Vogue 8910.

Evidence of country--horse.
I made these pants up before I left for Mississippi, as I spied this fabric at Joann's, and knew that its color and pattern would work well with this sweater jacket I made specifically for the trip.  I also knew that having a good pair of well-fitting pants in a stretchy cotton sateen is a wonderful idea for any trip (especially ones that involve sitting in cars for hours driving to get to places--Mr. Dina is from the country, you all).
Since I had made up some pretty decent fitting pants back when I was in the Fashion Challenge for Fabric Mart using McCall's 6711, and I had read that the block that McCall's uses for all of its pants patterns stay the same, I knew I would probably be okay picking out another McCall's pattern for pants and having it work for my lower half.  (I also had lost some weight from the challenge and the plaid pants I had originally made fit me even better so I figured a new pair would probably be the same.)

I loved the back zip and pockets from McCall's 6711, so I knew I wanted my new pair to have the same thing, but I also knew I wanted a traditional waistband.  Well, the only pattern I saw that had those three things were McCall's 6930, but that pattern is for capris and shorts.  Sigh.

But then, ding!, I realized I could mash-up the top portion of McCall's 6930 with the longer, slimmer leg of McCall's 6711, and have a perfect pair of pants for me.  Yes!

I did check to make sure that the McCall's 6930 crotch curve matched the McCall's 6711, and without fail, it was a near match, barring a slight style difference to accommodate a waistband and lower rise.  So I proceeded to get my shears out and get to cutting.

Like all cotton sateen I have worked with in the past, this fabric was no exception to the "easy to cut, easy to sew" rule.  I love cotton sateen so much.  And provided the sateen is in a print with some stretch, the fabric shows very few wrinkles making it perfect for anyone who travels or moves about a lot.

It isn't especially thick, but for my purposes it is a good all-weather pant.  I felt fine in these in the 75 degree weather we had the day I wore them in Mississippi (December 1, thankyouverymuch), but I also felt warm enough when I wore them recently in more *typical* winter weather (last photo of this review).

Side view shows that the crotch curve works for my particular lower half well.  I love that it both fits my longer and larger bottom, but also works with my flatter front yet slight front thigh bump.  Woo.  I thought only Burda allowed for us to have proper curves.  LOL.

I cut the size 14, btw, the same size I cut for 6711.  My measurements fit the 16 better, but in my experience McCall's runs about one size big across the board (I should wear a 12 up top but always cut a 10).

I wish I had a darker colored grey invisible zip laying around, but I seem to only buy the REALLY long zippers from G Street, and forget to buy the shorter ones, too.  (I like to have zippers laying around, I cannot tell you how many times I have needed one and was very glad I didn't have to trudge out to the store in the middle of a project to get one.)  G Street, btw, has the *best* notions department, at least the one at Seven Corners here in Northern Virginia.  I feel very lucky to have all the YKK zippers in every color, size, and function at the ready and only a few miles from my house.  The same can be said of their elastics, ribbons, buttons, shoulder pads, snaps, etc.  So much choice!

Anyhow, I never seem to have troubles unzipping from the back, but I guess I probably am alone in this.  I really just don't like front zips, except in jeans.  I always feel like the zip on the front feels weird and it bothers me.  Obviously I get over it as most pants are constructed that way, but for me, as a sewer, I will always prefer to put my zips somewhere else than in the front.

Okay so above is how I wore the pants recently here in Virginia.  The weather wasn't stupid cold, but it was only in the 50s that day, so I knew I would have to wear it with the sweater jacket that I had originally planned to wear with it in Mississippi.  (For all that talk about wearing the jacket on my trip, I only had the chance to wear it once--it was just that warm...THE WHOLE TIME.)

Above is Vogue 8910.  I actually wrote up two reviews of this jacket, one at the Fabric Mart blog (has a ton of photos, too), and the review at Pattern Review

Since I have clearly said a lot about it over there, I will just encourage you to check out those reviews instead of recreating the wheel here.  I just know that some of you need to see a photo of what you will be looking at to have a reason to get up and go over there.  ;-)

I know this sounds crazy, especially since it is my first jacket and it is really nice and took ME FLIPPING FOREVER to do, but I haven't even worn it out in real life yet.  I finished this jacket on December 11, took these photos and wrote the Fabric Mart blog post on the afternoon of December 12, and later that night found out that my friend, W., had died.  I feel like this jacket is just such a reminder of his death, and all the pain and confusion I felt thereafter, and I can't bring myself to wear it. 

Thing is, he was a huge fan of my sewing and even joked with me that he would wear one of my creations one day and show off his legs for me in it (I guess I was to make him either shorts or a kilt, lol?).  He supported me during the contest and considering he is a rough around the edges, burly and bearded, LUMBERJACK, the fact that he got into it so much means either he was hiding a secret fashionista side or he really just wanted to be a great friend.  I am guessing the latter.  ;-)

I know he would want me to wear it, and I guess I will, I just need to get past my mental block to do so.  I think I will figure it out, it just seems like such a shame to have this creation of mine sitting on the sidelines since I feel vulnerable wearing it.

Okay, that's all from me for today.  There will be one more creation of mine at the Fabric Mart blog tomorrow, so definitely check it out!  I really like that creation (and their is a mini one in there, too), and unlike the jacket above, I have actually worn that one for real.