Monthly Archives: October 2009

Hot Patterns Marrakesh Pants – Finally

While I haven’t made the Three Graces yet, this is officially my new favorite HP pattern! I’ve been working on these pants here and there for quite a few weeks and I am so happy that they are finally finished. In reality this is a quick project but you know how it is when there are constant interruptions and you have to put something side for a few days or a week.

I apologize up front for the poor mirror photos. I wanted you to be able to see them on me rather than on my mannequin so I guess these are better than nothing. One of these days I will take the time to learn how to photograph myself with the aid of a tripod and self-timer.

fulllength

closeup

This is before hemming, hence all the threads around the bottom. :-) Since I was using a pretty heavy linen I decided to make a size 6 and allow for 1″ side seams just in case. In a thinner, drapier fabric it’s nice to have more fullness but more fitted is always better with sturdier fabrics, IMO. I ended up not needing any of the excess but it’s always nice to have a little insurance since different fabrics fit differently.

As with all HP pants, the fit was nearly perfect for me right out of the envelope (you have to love that!). I made one alteration: I cut 1″ off the top of the waist. Not only am I short, I also wanted a slightly lower rise. If you do this, realize you’ll have to add to the lengthen the waistband. I just let out some of the extra I added as fitting insurance.

Since I have long legs for my height, the length was perfect for a flat or low-heeled shoe so no changes there. I wish you could see the back – Trudy’s magic L-curve makes my derriere look magnificent, if I do say so myself. Check out Trudy’s derriere in her Youtube videos and see for yourself.

You’ll notice that I didn’t include the pockets. I’m not much of a pocket person and, even if I were, I probably wouldn’t want them in a white pant since I’d have to find a suitable skin-toned fabric for the bags. I really dislike seeing white pocket bags on a white pant or skirt.

I made mock flat-felled seams at the side which gives a casual look and reinforces the seam nicely.

flatfelled

Instead of a self-fabric drawstring (which would have been pretty heavy in this fabric) I stitched two layers of 1/2″ twill tape together. The waist and fly facings were cut from a white herringbone shirting fabric to reduce bulk. I interfaced the shirting with Pro-Sheer Fusible to give it a little extra body.

facing

Instead of a button at the waist, I used a trouser hook. I also made my fly on the left side instead of the right because I am so used to that wearing jeans all the time.

fly

I used a plain, topstitched 2″ hem for weight.

hem

These are just the thing for going out to breakfast on a Sunday morning – as comfy as PJs but a lot more stylish and flattering. This is a pattern that I’ll be making many times over!

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I’m here!

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I posted. I apologize, life has been a lot more hectic than usual. I’ve been under the weather since the last time I posted and am just now starting to feel semi-normal again. And my friend had a total knee replacement so I’ve been minding his shop (in addition to my regular job) 6 days a week. All I can say is that I’m pretty worn out and very cranky due to hardly having any time to sew. Surely, I’m not the only sewer who becomes rather b*tchy when she can’t get to her machines. Am I right?

Anyway, I have two blouses in progress and am nearly finished with my HP Marakesh pants. I’m not working this Saturday so hopefully I’ll be able to finish up a few things.

This past Saturday, I took the day off and attended a wonderful lecture and trunk show with Louise Cutting at Cynthia’s Fine Fabrics in Tamarac. I’ve seen Louise several times and she is always wonderful and full of ideas and information. As usual, her sample garments were TDF. Everything is impeccably constructed in the finest fabrics. I immediately fell in love with her In The Trenches pattern made up in tomato red linen. I love a trench and, although this is supposed to be a top, it will make the perfect jacket when it’s just a little chilly out. Check out Louise’s sample on her website (you’ll need to scroll about three-quarters of the way down – use your browser back button to return here).

I had a really wonderful time at the seminar and saw a lot of people I haven’t seen in quite some time. I came home energized and ready to get back into my sewing room so stay tuned!

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Hooty’s Belt

I know, I haven’t posted anything all week. I have been really under the weather and haven’t sewn a single stitch. I still didn’t have any energy to sew today so I thought I’d work on a belt for the owl buckle I bought on Etsy last month. I’ve been dying to wear it!

I went to Tandy Leather yesterday and picked up a couple of belt blanks. I buy the more expensive ones (about $11) that already have the snaps and are pre-skived in the buckle area. They come in one size only (I think it’s 44) and you just cut them to fit. This belt is 1.5″ wide which is what worked best with Hooty but it will not fit through the belt loops of all of my jeans so I’ll definitely need a 1.25″ as well. I couldn’t decide when I was at the shop so I bought one of each.

I don’t have a strap end punch (yet!) so I just drew a nice shape at the end and cut with a strong pair of scissors. Any irregularities can be smoothed out with an emery board.

Next, I marked the holes and punched them with a revolving leather punch. I know these holes look rather large but that is what I needed for this particular buckle. Punching the holes took every ounce of my strength because this leather is really thick!

holes

The next step was dying the leather. I used plain old Fiebings leather dye in Chocolate, which turned out to be a lot darker than I really wanted but it’s pretty. I probably should have used the Medium Brown instead. I applied three coats of dye and then buffed off the excess with a soft cloth (an old t-shirt). I dyed the back as well but only used one coat.

dye

Next, I finished the edges with Edge Kote in Brown. This isn’t necessary but I like the way it finishes off the edges.

edgekote
Lastly, I applied a couple of coats of Tan Kote to seal everything. I was going to stitch around the edges but I am kind of liking the belt just the way it is so I’ll do that next time. My next belt is going to be USMC Black with brown stitching to go with a really cool buckle I bought on Ebay last week.

tankote

45 minutes later, Hooty is ready to wear! I think I’ll go back next Saturday and buy a few more belts to have on hand (and probably that end punch…). The snaps make them interchangeable so it would be really nice to have a few different colors on hand.

hooty

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