PATTERNMAKING SEWALONG SEWING

LANDER SEWALONG DAY 3 – DARTS AND POCKETS

September 20, 2017

I am super excited to get started today on actually sewing up our Lander Pants and Shorts. If you havn’t done so already, go ahead and cut out all of your pattern pieces from your fabric. Make sure that you also transfer all marking from your pattern pieces to your fabric. There are quite a few ways to do this. Generally I just make a small snip for all notches and use my Chalk pen for everything else. It keeps it simple. The darts should be marked on the wrong side our your fabric, and the back pocket markings should be marked on the right side of your fabric.

OK, let’s get going.

Step 1 – Fuse your interfacing to the wrong side of the curved edge of the front pocket pieces, the waistband, and the left fly. Make sure that your fly looks like the diagram in your instructions with the interfacing facing up. Otherwise you might fuse it to the wrong side of the fly and then the left fly will be backwards.

 

Step 2 – Before sewing, make sure that you have the correct needle in your sewing machine. Especially if your fabric is on the heavier side, you are going to want to use a heavy duty or even a jeans sewing machine needle. It will really make a difference when you are sewing through multiple layers of fabric.

Sew the darts on both back pieces and press the excess in towards center back. I really like using a tailor’s ham when I press darts because it supports the bulge that you just sewed. You can also use a rolled up towel.

 

Step 3 – Prepare your back pockets by folding the top down by 1/4”, wrong sides touching, and pressing.

Take the pressed edge and fold it again, right sides touching, at the two notches. Pin and press.

 

Step 4 – Starting at the top folded edge, backstitch and sew down one side of the pocket at 1/2” seam allowance. Once you get to the bottom corner, leave the needle down and pivot to sew along the bottom of the pocket, pivot again and sew up the other side. Backstitch at the end.

I know it is hard to make out in my navy fabric so here is a closeup of the top corner.

Clip the top corners to reduce bulk and flip the folded area right side out.

Once you turn the top, the two sides will begin folding in as well. Press each of the two side edges and bottom in at 1/2”, using the stitch line as a guide.

 

Step 5 – Make sure that the folded section on the top of the pocket is an even width and that each corner has a nice point. Pin and press. Edgestitch 1/8” from the fold.

Step 6 – Pin the side and bottom edges of the pockets to the back pant pieces where the markings indicate.

Judge me if you will, but I really like using a gluestick for this step. You can get fabric gluesticks or be like me and steal your kids washable gluestick from their art box. (I am going to edgestitch like the instructions tell you to do here, but I actually recommend that you baste the edges at this time and do the final edgestitching once you can try your pants on to make sure that you like the placement of the pockets). Edgestitch around the sides and bottom at 1/8”, backstitching at the beginning and end. Set your back pant pieces aside for now.

 

Step 7 – Trim about 1/16” off of the curved edge and two straight interior edges of the front pocket lining pieces. This will help the lining to roll to the inside after stitching, making sure it is not visible on the finished garment.

 

 

Step 8 – With right sides touching, pin the curved edge, and the two straight interior edges of each front pocket to its coordinating pocket lining. Since the lining is a bit smaller, the main pocket will bubble a bit. Don’t worry about that.

Stitch. Leave the top and outside edges unstitched. Don’t worry if it’s still pulling a bit at this time. Once turned right side out it will be fine.

 

Step 9 – Trim the stitched seams to reduce bulk. Clip the corner and curved edge so that they turn well.

Turn the pockets right side out and press. The lining should not be visible from the right side.

If you are still having problems with the lining being visible, you can pinch a bit of the lining out using a straight pin and then press. It will leave some extra fabric in the lining, but once it is all stitched down you won’t notice at all. It’s more important that you don’t see the lining on the front of the garment.

Edgestitch the curved edge of each front pocket at 1/4”. Press.

 

Step 10 – Pin the pockets to the fronts, matching notches.

Edgestitch around the two straight edges of the front pockets at 1/8”.

Increase your stitch length and baste the top and side of the pockets to the front pant just to make it easier when assembling the rest of the pant or short.

 

OK, that’s it for today. Lot’s of fun progress already. I hope you are loving how they turn out. Comment or email me with questions and tomorrow we will pick up where we left off and we will tackle the crotch and fly.

 

OTHER

LANDER SEWALONG DAY 2 – COMMON ADJUSTMENTS

September 19, 2017

We are going to spend today doing all of the prep work so that we can start on our final Lander pants and shorts tomorrow. Before continuing though, I want to make a plea. If you are using precious fabric, or if you are making a lot of fit adjustments, PLEASE make a muslin first. Pants (especially crotches) are one of those things that are a bit trickier to fit. And a muslin just allows you to take more risks and get the fit right. OK, I warned you. Now we can continue.

First we are going to talk about the most common fit adjustments you might want to make. It will not cover everything so if you want to go deeper I recommend the book Pants for Real People from Palmer and Pletsch. It’s a great one for your sewing library and it covers a lot fitting issues and how to solve them. Or, if you happen to be in the NYC area, I know that Workroom Social offers pants fitting classes using the methods from this book.

Choosing Your Size

Waist

There are three measurements that you need to know when choosing which size to cut. You want your waist at the thinnest part which is usually the belly button. Because this is where the waistband of the pant/short actually hits (it’s a true high waisted fit) this is a very important measurement. The waistband is cut as one folded piece that is then stabilized so it’s very difficult to change this later. If you are unsure about the waistband and think you might want to adjust it, I recommend not cutting out your waistband until after you fit the remainder of your pants in step 20 of your instructions.

Hip

You want to measure your hip at the fullest part which is generally about 8 inches down from your bellybutton. One of my favorite parts of this pattern is that it leaves a very wide (1″) seam allowances on the sideseams. This adds up to 2 inches of wiggle room in the side seams. I still recommend grading between sizes in the waist and hip (which we will go over below) but just know that you will have a chance to baste and then adjust the sideseams to get a perfect fit at the hip in step 20 of the instructions.

Height

My patterns are drafted for someone who is 5’5″. If you are shorter or taller than this, you will likely want to make some adjustments. Which adjustments to make is highly dependent on experience and knowing your own body. For instance, you may be 2 inches shorter than the model, but have longer legs, and a shorter torso so you don’t need to make any adjustments. Or you may have a really long crotch rise so you want to add some length there, but not to the rest of the pattern. These are decisions you have to make and the more do you them and try them, the more you will learn about your body and the adjustments that are most common to you.

A common mistake I see is that someone adjusts the length too much. So for instance, if you are 5’8″, you are 3 inches taller than my pattern is drafted for. You instincts may be to add 3 inches in length to the pattern. But really only 1.5-2″ of that extra length is located in the bottom half of your body so you would only need to add that much.

Lengthen / Shorten

Before deciding to add or subtract length from your pant / short, keep in mind that the pants each have a 3″ hem. This gives you a lot of wiggle room with length. If you have the fabric though, I always recommend erring on the side of extra length, you can always cut off some later.

There are two lengthen / shorten lines located on the pant pattern and one on the shorts. This first is a lengthen / shorten line at the hip location to adjust the rise. If you have a long or short rise you can easily adjust this. First decide how much you want to lengthen or shorten the rise. Cut the pattern along the lengthen / shorten line. If you want to increase the rise, add a piece of paper behind the pattern piece and tape so that the gap in the middle is the amount you want to increase. Smooth out any cutting lines that may have become a bit jagged in the process. Make sure you do the same adjustments for the front, back, left and right fly pieces, and stitching guide. You will also want to adjust the button and buttonhole placements so that they are equidistant apart.

To shorten the rise it would be the same process but in reverse. Instead of putting paper behind it, you will simply overlap the two pattern pieces by half of the amount you want to decrease the rise by. So for instance, if you want to decrease the rise by 1/2″, overlap the pattern top and bottom by 1/4″ (the two sides adding up to 1/2″). Repeat the process for the front, back, right and left fly pieces, and stitching guide. You will also want to adjust the button and buttonhole placements so that they are equidistant apart.

Lengthening and Shortening your pattern in just the leg is pretty simply. The lengthen shorten line is located at the knee, but honestly, since the pant is completely straight from the knee down, you can just adjust that at the bottom. I would always err on the side of too much length, knowing you can adjust that as your last step when hemming.

Grading Between Sizes

Since these pants / shorts are pretty fitted on the hips and waist, I highly recommend grading between sizes. This is a pretty simple process since all of the pattern pieces are nested. Simply take a pen or marker, draw in the seam allowance, and then gradually connect the two sizes. Here I am showing how you would grade between a size 10 waist and a size 14 hip. This is just the front, but you would need to do the same thing to the back and front pockets. Changes are marked in yellow.

Like I mentioned above, you do have a really large (1″) seam allowance on the side seams which gives you some wiggle room so don’t fret too much. Simply grading and adjusting the side seams should be enough for most people to get a great fit. If, after doing a muslin, you still have issues, you may want to play with increasing your back dart and angling your center back seam to help balance where the adjustments are being made.

Lengthen / Shorten Crotch Curve

Adjusting your crotch curve is a very common fitting adjustment on pants. If your crotch curve is too short you will get a little bit of pulling creating smile lines at the front and back like this (not to mention a bit of discomfort):

You would adjust the front like this. The yellow line being the new line. Depending on where you see the wrinkles or feel the discomfort you can do it to just the front, just the back, or both. The yellow line is the new crotch line.

If your crotch curve is too long your will get the opposite which will appear somewhat like frown lines or excess fabric at the bottom of the crotch. This one is a little easier to diagnose because you can pinch out some of the length and see if it fixes the problem:

You would adjust the front like this. Depending on where you see the wrinkles or feel the discomfort you can do it to just just the front, just the back, or both. The yellow line is the new crotch curve. Since the front crotch is already pretty shallow, I’d be extra careful notch to shave too much off of it. If you need to get rid of more than 1/8″ I’d take more from the back.

In making adjustments, know that a little goes a long way, so probably start by adding or subtracting 1/8″ – 1/4″ only. For most people, this will solve your problem. If it doesn’t you can still play around with the actual shape of your crotch curve (some ladies are flatter while others more round) until you get something that you are happy with. If you have a fit issue that I did not cover, feel free to comment below. If I get enough interest in a certain adjustment I can cover it a future date.

Now that we have made all of the adjustments necessary, go ahead and layout your fabric according to the fabric layout recommendations in your instructions. These are just recommendations. You may find that you can conserve fabric by being a bit creative with your placement. Make sure that you transfer all markings from your pattern pieces to your fabric as well. Once you have finished this you will be ready for sewing your Landers tomorrow!

 

 

PATTERNMAKING SEWALONG SEWING

LANDER SEWALONG DAY 1 – PRINTING & ASSEMBLING YOUR PATTERN

September 18, 2017

Hands down the most frequent email I get is about printing pdf patterns. I know that for some of you this is redundant, but indie sewing has come a long way in the four years I have been doing this, so I figured it was time for a refresher.

Download and Unzip

The first thing to remember when downloading your pattern is to do so on a computer and not a phone or ipad. I know that you may have been able to do so with other pattern designers, but all True Bias patterns are zipped and ipads and phones are not able to open zipped files. And if you try you will likely run out of your downloads. Once you are at a computer, download the pattern to a safe place (I like dropbox myself). If you don’t know where the file downloaded to you can always search your computer for “True Bias” and you should be able to find it. Next you need to unzip or extract the file. Once you do you will have a folder with all of the files in it.

Making Sense of the Files

Now that you have all of the files in front of you, what do they all mean? Let’s go through them all.

Instructions

First you will look for the one with Instructions in the title. This is going to have all of the sizing, fabric layouts, and step by step instructions for sewing the pattern. It is set up to be printed on 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper on your home printer, but a lot of people choose to save on ink and just keep this on their computer, or email it to yourself so you can access it on your ipad or phone.

Copy Shop – A0 or US

Next look for the files labeled Copy Shop. These patterns are for those of you who do not want to tape together the pattern at home and want to send it to a copy shop so that it’s printed on one large sheet. There are two different types of Copy Shop files to choose from. If you are in the US use the US Copyshop files which will fit on the standard 36″ width of commercial printers and will be delivered in one long sheet. You can send it to Kinkos or Staples or your local print shop. Although if you have a week to wait for shipping, I highly recommend using PDF plotting. I put an order in with them every month or two for the next few projects I work on and it’s much cheaper than the alternative. Cashmerette has a great blog post on sending out Copy Shop files you should check out.

If you are out of the US and your local printers use AO sizing then pick the AO Copy shop files. Just like the US version, you can send it to your local printer of choice. The files will fit into the standard 841mm x 1189mm size. Depending on the pattern these either come as one sheet or may come as multiple AO sized sheets that need to be taped along the top and bottom edges.

If you want to know the size of a Copy Shop pattern you can open it in Adobe Reader and move your cursor to the bottom left hand corner. The dimensions will pop up. You will need this when using an online printer so that you know what size paper to print it on.

For the Lander pant and short pattern, the Copy Shop files are divided into shorts (View A) or pants (Views B and C). You can print just one if you think you will sew only that view.

Since the Copy Shop files can be pricey, a lot of sewists choose to trace their pattern pieces at this point. This allows you to use the pattern again at a future date if you want to make another size or make adjustments.

Print at Home

The last option is the Print at Home Pattern. Use this if you want to print and assemble the pattern yourself. It is certainly the cheapest way to go. Yes, it takes some extra time, but I personally love being able to reprint the pattern if needed to down the line. And it’s pretty simple to do it once you get the hang of it.

Open the Print at Home file in Adobe Reader (it’s very reliable and free!). File -> Print. Your settings should look something like this.

My patterns are all black and white so you can check Print in Grayscale. Next, under pages to print, check All. Continuing down, under Paper and Sizing check Actual Size. This is very important. If you tell it to fit, it will make your whole pattern too small. Lastly, under Orientation you can leave it on Auto. Now you can print.

Tip: It’s not a bad idea to print off the first page by itself, measure the 3 x 3 inch square, and make sure everything is correct before printing the entire pattern.

Assembling Your Print at Home Pattern

If you chose to print your pdf pattern at home, you will need to print and assemble it. There are lots of ways you can do this, but here is the method that works for me. I take 5 pieces of paper at a time and trim the top and right sides off only.

If you don’t have a paper cutter you can do so with scissors, but if you think you will be assembling a lot of pdf patterns in your future, I highly recommend getting one.

Next, assemble the first row by by overlapping the the trimmed right edge of one piece of paper over the untrimmed left edge of the next piece.

You need to line up the gray circles and tape in place.

Once you make an entire row, set it aside and do the same thing to the next row.

Now tape the trimmed top edge of the second row over the untrimmed bottom of the first row. Match up those circles and tape into place. Continue to do this for the entire pattern until it is all assembled.

Every once in awhile you may find that something is off by 1/32″ here or there. That is inevitable. It may be an error when cutting or it might just be that your printer interpreted a line a bit differently than intended. Please don’t fret about it. That small amount of difference will not change the outcome of your finished garment. Instead, just interpret where the lines connect accurately and keep going. I promise it will be fine.

 

When choosing which size to cut out, refer to the sizing guide below or on your instructions.

Measure your full hip and natural waist (smallest part of your waist at the bellybutton). There is a bit of wiggle room in the hip (the seam allowances on the side seams are extra wide and there is a step in the instructions to baste and then adjust the fit of the side seams), but the waist measurement needs to be pretty close to accurate. If you need to grade between sizes or you think you will need to make other adjustments, wait to cut our your pattern pieces.

Tomorrow we will be covering the most common fit issues and how to solve them. In the meantime, if you need to purchase the Lander Pant and Short sewing pattern, you can do so here.

SEWALONG SEWING

LANDER PATTERN FABRIC & NOTIONS

September 14, 2017

With the Lander Sewalong starting on Monday, I wanted to jump in and give you some information and inspiration when it comes to fabric and notions for your pants and shorts. The pattern calls for medium to heavy bottomweight fabrics with little to no stretch. Keep in mind your machine and how it handles multiple layers of heavy fabric when considering the fabric you choose. I sewed all of my samples up in the Robert Kaufman Ventana twill which is a great fabric for this project. There are tons of colors which you can find here. But don’t limit yourself to just twill for this project either. You can also use corduroy, heavier weight linens, and denims to name a few options. I really like using linen for a more spring/summer look and denim for something more fall winter. I’ve grouped some great options below into solids and prints.

Solids

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

 

Prints

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

Lining

You also need to source some fabric for your front pocket linings. I think that most of us already have scraps big enough for this so dig through your stash, or even cut up an old buttonup that you no longer wear, to save some cash. You need about 1/2 yd and it can be voile, quilting cotton, linen, rayon bemberg, or really any typical lining fabric. This is always a fun way to add interest to the inside of your garment by playing with fun prints, but an added bonus is if the color of your lining coordinates with your main fabric just in case a bit peeks out.

 

Notions

I will be talking a bit more about notions during the actual sewalong, but you will want to source a few items.  You will want some all purpose coordinating thread, medium weight fusible interfacing (1 yard), a heavyweight sewing needle, and 4 buttons. The buttons can either be jeans buttons – which are super fun and professional looking, or regular buttons. They need to be about 5/8″ wide (also called size 27L for the jeans buttons) . I will be talking more about attaching jeans buttons during the sewalong (I promise they are not as scary as they seem), but for now just make sure that you source quality ones. I highly recommend buying some from wawak or Taylor Tailor if you are in the US. I have ordered through both and they are high quality and won’t pop open once attached. Most of the ones you find at the big box stores are going to have plastic parts that just don’t hold up over time. And there is nothing worse than your buttons popping off when you sit down. If you have good sources outside of the US please comment.

 

Ok, I think that is it for now. I can’t wait to get started on Monday. The schedule for the sewalong is as follows:

Monday – Printing / Assembling your pattern

Tuesday – Common Adjustments / Cutting / Marking

Wednesday – Darts and Pockets

Thursday – Crotch and Fly

Friday – Waistband, buttons and Hem

 

If you still need to buy the Lander Pant and Short Pattern you can buy the pdf here or preorder the paper pattern here.

 

 

PATTERNMAKING SEWALONG SEWING

LANDER PANT / SHORT READY-TO-WEAR INSPIRATION

September 11, 2017

I am blown away by your response to the Lander pant and short sewing pattern. I am so happy that you like it as much as I do and I can’t wait to sew along with so many of you next week during the Lander pant and short sewalong. This week, however, I wanted to share some ready-to-wear inspiration as well as some fabric ideas. Today I will share the inspiration and in a couple of days I will be back with fabric and notions so you will be ready to start on Monday.

Since the 70sis having such a huge comeback right now, there is lots of fun wide legged, high-waisted inspiration to choose from. Whether you choose to use linen, jean, corduroy, or twill (to name just a few), it will completely change the feel of the final garment. You can also use jeans buttons for a more polished finish or regular buttons for something a little more nautical and casual. I’ve broken the inspiration into each View. I hope it gives you some great ideas for your own version!

 

View A (short length) – I am pretty obsessed with the shorts version of this pattern. The 4 inch inseam is a perfect length to not feel booty short, but also not matronly. It balances nicely with the high length of the waist and you can easily roll up the hem if that is your preference. I found myself reaching for these all summer long because it felt like a great way to feel casual, yet stylish. I would often pair it with an oversized buttonup and tuck it into just the front.

 

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

 

View B (ankle length) – The ankle length pant is everywhere right now. It feels so fresh and on trend. I love pairing it with some sneakers for a trip to the park or dress it up with some heels for a date night. I can’t wait to try it with some boots or booties in the fall like number 4 below.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

 

View C (boot length) – The boot length version of this pattern is perfect for the full 70s vibe. It’s dramatic and flattering, creating a beautiful long silhouette from the high waist down to the floor – especially nice for those of us who are on the short side. I can’t wait to try this is a corduroy or jean fabric like number 5. So many possibilities.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

 

The full sewalong starts on Monday (a week from today). You can still get your pattern here if you want to sew along. I’ll be back on Thursday with fabric ideas and notions.