Simplicity 3688: the “whine” pants

I have had this pattern for quite some time now and never got around to making anything from it other then stealing the skirt pieces for another dress. I bought a pair of pine green wide leg trousers a few months back and I really loved the way looked on my so I figured this was a good pattern to start with for a me-made version.


The end result was everything I had hoped. The only thing I would change would be to add some pockets and do a curved waistband.


So why are they my whine pants?  Well first off they are wine colored but I had such a hard time making them that I was whining the whole time! Don’t get me wrong the pattern is actually pretty easy to make but I was a bit of a perfectionist and redid several parts 2 or 3 times ( Zipper, Cuff, and Waistband)…also when I finished Tony whined that I made another retro pattern.

I made a couple of alterations. I added 2″ to the front and back crotch length ( so 4″ total) it makes it hang a little low but it’s just perfect when I go to sit down so I’ll take it. Also most of the authentic 40s pants seem to do the same thing. I also added 5″ to the length of the pants. Some of that additional length was used to make cuffs. I think the cuffs really help to anchor the wide leg and help it hang better. Finally I widened the waistband to be 2″ though I wish I had curved it so it would have sat close to the body better.

This was my first lapped zipper. I must have watched that tutorial 8 times and it still took me 3 attempts before I sewed it correctly.  I overcame my obstacles in the end!

I took a fellow bloggers advice and put the zipper in first and then adjusted the fit along the darts. Boy did it need adjusting. In the picure you can see how I more then doubled the length of the front dart and widened them. I also took in the center front and back seems as well. After it was all said and done I think I took in almost 3″


All the effort was worth it because I think they hang beautifully and they make my legs look ten feet long.


Vogue 1353: AKA Luck Be A Lady Dress

I adore window shopping the ModCloth website. Even before I started sewing I remembering thinking how fabulous it would be to have a closet full of there retro dresses. Alas I could never afford them. Last year I fell in love with the Luck Be A Lady dress on Modcloth but I just knew it would be too short on me and who’s going to pay $80 for polyester anyway. I pinned it to serve as inspiration.


It wasn’t until I found Vouge 1353 pattern that I got the idea to make this dress myself. The vogue pattern had all the important elements:  pleated neckline,  fit-n-flair shape, pleated skirt.



I wanted to stick with the same slightly nautical colorway of the original. I picked a blue and cream fabric in a linen blend from Joann’s and went to work. Since I was super excited about this dress I actually did multiple muslins (look who’s growing up!).  To get a better fit I lowered the arm scythe by 7/8″ and narrowed the straps by 1/2″. I lengthened the front and sides by and inch but graded to nothing in the center back in lieu of a swayback adjustment.


I kept the 6 pleats on the bodice since I wasn’t to confident in my ability to draft it down to 2. I think it gives it a softer look anyway.


Most of the changes I made to match the inspiration happened on the skirt. I shorted the blue fabric by an 1″ and then cut a 9″ wide strip of the cream fabric folded in half. I serged the white strip onto the bottom of the skirt. Pressed towards the blue and then edge stitched it to keep the allowance in place. I vastly prefered this to my normal hem procedure and I love how clean it looks. Don’t think this would would as easily on a curved hem but I will keep in the back of my head the next time I have a similar skirt.


The pattern had the skirt pleats all running in one direction. I used the same pleat markings but did them as inverted box pleats instead to more closely mimic the inspiration dress. I also added some side seam pockets since the original dress had them and all girls love pockets.


I used cream Bemburg lining on the bodice and cream thread in my serger (Though in retrospect I would have preferred if I had used  navy lining darker thread).  I had a feeling that the white was going to peek out so I sewed a sort of facing around the neckline in the largest scrap of blue I could find. I figured the neckline would be the most noticeable place if the white did peak out. I also put a waist stay which is a first for me. I was hoping it would take some of the pressure off the invisible zip at the waist seam, though it seems to make it a little more difficult to zip up.


I am so pleased with the finished dress and how close it is to the original. It’s still pretty cold here in Colorado to wear this dress but pop a blouse underneath and  it’s a much warmer option.




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They can’t all be winners

I hit my first road block. I absolutely abhorred working on this jumpsuit. Maybe it was the fabric or the design but half way through I just couldn’t work on it any longer. So I took nearly a month break from sewing until I could muster up the courage to start working on it again. I used a Linen Look fabric which unraveled like a beast so I thought I would try my hand at seam binding using Snug Hug.


Many sewers on the internet swear by this stuff so I was excited to try a new way of finishing a garment. I ordered a roll off of Amazon in cream, thinking that that was a good neutral color that would work with many future projects.  I spent hours binding the seams in the pants making a project that should have only taken a day drag out to a full month. I have to admit it does make a much cleaner looking crotch seam but I don’t think I could be bothered to do it again.  It’s french seams for me for here on out!   Anyone on the market for a 80 yards of Snug Hug?


Another tedious bit was after it all you then have to hand sew the collar on.  This took me a Grey’s Anatomy and most of a Nashville but I did it.


The finished product was not all I had hoped for. Even with doing the muslin I think the bodice is too baggy. It was hard to tell without the zipper how the top was going to fit so this is totally my fault. The bottom portion fits but the extra length I had to add to the rise made the finished garment look out of proportion. I think it would have been better to lengthen the midriff, but that would have messed with the zipper length. Tony said it looks like a clown costume, but he was never really into the whole jumpsuit idea from the get-go.

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I finished it so now I can in good conscience  move on to something else. Maybe I will use it as a beach coverup but it’s likely to sit in the back of my closet for some time.  It’s almost Halloween so I think the next project on the docket will be a costume.  I also bought some beautiful silk/cotton on a trip to Seattle which wants to be made into a blouse.

Giving Gertie another go

I decided to try the Butterick 6094 Gertie pattern once again only this time doing the straight skirt.


Unfortunately I had purchased a pattern where 14 was the smallest size, I learned my lesson last time that this was just too big so I took in and inch on both sides  when cutting the material so that I wouldn’t have to re-size it later.

Also learning my lesson I decided that pattern matching on this was just too much trouble so I opted for a solid linen fabric in this luscious deep turquoise color and green to contrast.


I wanted to pull out all the stops when finishing this and I think it turned out really well. I used some lace hem tape for starters in the contrast color. This has to be the best hem I have ever done. I will defiantly be using this stuff in the future.


The linen had a bad habit of unraveling so I did french seams on the side of the skirt. I couldn’t figure out how to resolve a french seam into a zipper so I bound the back seam as well as the waist seam with bias tape. Finally I hand stitched the bodice lining behind the zipper and into the waist seem so the entire inside is as finished as the outside

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