Sunday, May 31, 2009


For pants. Er, shorts rather. Anyway, pants + muslin = the suck.

I'm trying to muslin the longer shorts from this pattern, New Look 6873:

I have a couple of pieces of linen that I'd love to use for this pattern, and I'm even prewashing in anticipation of a great fitting pair of shorts. My first one didn't go so hot. Here's what I started with:

1. Cut out size 18. Add 1" to front by slashing & spreading. I'd like to keep the tiny bit of "pleat" detail at the front. I think it's cute, and it's really everywhere in RTW, even though I typically stick to flat front trousers/pants/shorts.
2. Add 1/2" to back at side seams.
3. Add 3/8" at crotch point in front only...Sherrill has mentioned this alteration in the past to prevent that "cupping under" effect where I have a poochy tummy. Lovely thought, that.
4. Lower the CF by 1", tapering to nothing at the side seam. (My shorts & skirts always want to drag down about an inch, so I normally take off this amount from CF.)

Well...the first one didn't exactly work. Back fits wonderful I should add, but there's a bit of wedgie going on, which I think was because the front was still needing about 1", AND because I might still need some at the crotch point, or possibly the inner thigh. Debbie's Minott alteration has worked well in the past for that, but since this was a full-leg short I didn't do it here.

I didn't snap a pic because the fabric is pretty ludicrous. Although you might have enjoyed the laugh! I used this Amy Butler print, which I hate.

I have no idea why I bought it. Absolutely loathe the stuff and I've had something like 4 yards languishing for months. I'm finally about to use it up! Of course Lu thought these very obnoxious rose-printed shorts were cute!

But the muslin still had some issues, so I slashed and spread again at the center of the front piece, adding another 3/8", and then I slashed & spread through the zip to add back about 3/8" (I apparently trimmed too much from the CF at the waist!) I also slashed/spread another 3/8" at the front crotch. Here's what the pattern looks like now!

Crazy, right? We'll see if this one fits any better. I'm about to go for drawstring shorts again. Actually with the first muslin, I removed the pleats in front and everything hung much smoother. So I may end up removing that 3/8" from the front and leaving the pleats off altogether.

I got all inspired to sew yesterday after venturing back into my local quilt shop after a long absence (I think it was February last I shopped there!) I got these goodies, a little Anna Maria Horner, a bit of Amy Butler, a smidge of Heather Bailey, and some Jennifer Paganelli too...

And I plan to make some tunic-y smocked tops for summer out of them! Did you see Heather Ross on Martha Stewart last week? She made (and was wearing) a smocked sundress/tunic using elastic thread. You can view directions on Martha's website, including the video clip of Heather's appearance.

I made lots of these when I was doing little girls clothes, and now I'm going to make one (or two or five) for moi. I'll be using the basic directions from the April 09 issue of BWOF for this top as my starting point for measurements:
Then I plan to make at least one Colette patterns Eclair in a tunic length (rather than dress length) without the sash/bow:

It reminds me of this top from anthropologie, which i'm in love with! And it would be perfect paired with my newly purchased, loudish cotton prints!
OK...Break's over!


  1. Oh that is a super cute top. I love when you sew for you - you have the best ideas. I so need to figure out how to make nice fitting pants. g

  2. Good luck with your pants. Looks like you know exactly what you're doing with the fitting. Great fabrics!

  3. Oh, I am DROOLING over those fabrics from the quilt shop. So, so adorable.

  4. Uh-oh. I'm planning on making some patterned shorts soon; wish you had had luck with these!

  5. Good luck with the next muslin of your pants pattern. Love your new fabric.

  6. I would have taken that AB print off your hands! ;)

    I love your new prints you picked up and wish you luck on the shorts - I feel your pain, muslins and alterations suck.


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