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May 4, 2013

Suit Pants Progress + Seen Today at the Met Opera!



Readers, Michael had an opera matinee today and during intermission, sent me some iPhone shots of a man's pants he wanted me to see.  Different, no?



Exiting the theater Michael took a few more photos (this time with the man's permission).







Apparently the guy added the zippers himself to a pair of RTW pants (along with decorating the shirt with sequined trim).  Creative!

Speaking of pants, I'm nearly finished with my gray suit pants, but it hasn't been a waltz in the park.  This fabric -- a gorgeous cotton-mohair blend -- is somewhat stiff.  It does have a beautiful drape, but there's a sort of "wiriness" to the blend which I guess is from those long strands of mohair.  It's very tightly woven, extremely strong, and very unforgiving.



Some details:







One of the double-welt back pockets took me over an hour, the other took ten minutes -- go figure. The fabric is so unforgiving that everything must be just-so.  There's much more pressing to be done but it could be worse...

After I put the waistband on but before I pressed the seams, I checked the fit.  Michael thought the legs were too full.





I took the pants in on the sides as well as at the inseam and backside.  Now they're not as full but I'm not sure this is an improvement.



I'm not loving the wrinkles in the crotch area; these aren't jeans after all.  I think they should drape more even if that means they're wider.  I don't have long thin legs and I'm not tall, so this is always a bit of an issue I have with pants: tight legs aren't flattering; wide legs shorten me.  It's also hard to tell how pants are going to look when they're folded up at the bottom. 



I'm going to put these aside and look at them with fresh eyes in the morning.  I may go with the fuller leg in the end.

Readers, that's all for now. 

In closing, are you a creative type of person who likes to embellish your RTW clothes?  I don't think I've even put an embroidery patch on a ripped knee let alone sew zippers on legs -- I'm just not inventive that way.

Have a great day, everybody!

29 comments:

  1. One of my favourite skirts is a $10 sale item because it had lots of panels and they had started to separate at the seams a teeny bit, so I sewed metal zippers over the top of each seam and it looks RAD! I am not usually one for such things either, as being a large size, the RTW wear is usually so unspeakably dreadful there is no buying it at all, let alone improving it.

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  2. One of the contestants on the Great British Sewing Bee did something like that with zippers on one of the projects where they were supposed to embellish a RTW dress. I preferred it to some of the other variations, but the judges were not as impressed.

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  3. See, I knew I liked you...you love an Operaphile! I would suggest trimming off some of the excess leg fabric to get a better feel for how the legs will truely hang, before you adjust the width of the pants. (BTW, wonderful performance from the Met today.)

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    Replies
    1. Ha! I'm afraid to trim the excess because once it's gone, it's GONE.

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    2. I am with you there, Peter. I think I like the leg with a touch more fullness, it is a slack and not jeans.

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  4. How mad are those zip trousers?! Got to love personalised clothing :)

    I really enjoy reading your blog and I wanted to tell you that I've nominated you for a Liebster Award. Please pop over to my blog http://everydayimstitchin.blogspot.co.uk/ when you get a free moment to find our more about the award. Gemma x

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  5. Oh my gosh, those welt pockets are perfect.

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  6. I prefer the wider leg I think it will drape better when they are properly hemmed instead of folded.

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  7. Really beautiful job on those besom pockets. Looks professional!

    As for Mr. Zipper Pants, I am all for his creativity and originality, but the outcome, well, not my idea of appropriate Lincoln Center garb. Then again, last time I was at the Met, there were people in sweats.

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  8. I think halfway between the first and second version would be most flattering. They are suit pants and shouldn't be too tight, imo. Keep in mind that the material won't stretch like cotton twill, which is why jeans can fit tighter. Too tight suit pants can equal broken seat seams :o

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  9. Michael,
    Turn the bottom of the leg up INSIDE, you'll get a better idea of the leg fullness.
    I think the fuller leg is better.
    ...about Mr.Zipper...just because you can, doesn't mean you should! ...but when you add that sequin trimmed shirt, you realize the guy has NO design sense! ...and definitely not to the Met!

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  10. Peter: I am a little puzzled by stiff but drapey. A little fuller would probably be better for this fabric if it really is drapey. On the subject of your sewing projects, perhaps you might mention which of your machines you are using for each project and why?

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    1. Stiff is the wrong word -- the weft (width-wise) yarn has a wiry quality (presumably the mohair), that makes the fabric firm. Of course it can be pressed, but until you press it it will keep its original shape. I'm using my Kenmore 158.141 in the table for this project. It's the machine I used most these days.

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  11. I do change up RTW clothing for my daughter. I cut out sleeves add something else, or sleeves from another RTW garment, shorten, lengthen, add all kids of frills, lace etc.
    That is why I use my Brother sewing machine the most. Love your pockets. No way, no how I could ever make those pockets.

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  12. Your trousers good, his trousers bad

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  13. I think version 2 is too tight and agree with Summer - maybe somewhere in between. I think a centre crease in the leg will help with the "wide legs shorten me" issue.

    Spud.

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  14. I'm with Summer and Anonymous - the trouser pant would be good somewhere between the last pic (too tight) and the first pics (too loose) IMO.

    I LOVE the zipper guy's pants - incredibly creative!

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  15. Those pockets are amazing! I vote for the looser fit. I think when you add the jacket it will produce a more fluid line.

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  16. I have added to RTW shirts. I took some leftover batik to change this one from plain to "better" http://blog.geneblack.com/2011/09/shirt-re-do-and-star-digitizing.html
    I did a black one with leftover patchwork from a quilt and added a strip to the top of the pocket on it. It looks much better but I can't find a picture.

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  17. Hello Again.
    First of I like mohair. It stays in place when press for small parts ie pockets, folds, waistbands. From the front crotch lines, the crotch distance is too short in the latter picture & loose in the first go. So let a bit as the back looks too scooped.
    THEN. Deal with the width. So view it three check points - at crotch point, YOUR knee point & Hem point. After letting out from each leg at crotch, mark how narrow your want the knee (keep in mind this is a suit pants - unless you like the English cut, close cut) & last mark the Hem.
    Side note. Pants length. Cut the excess. Have michael mark the pant when it touches the floor & from there add 5 cm. That's all you need. Unless you plan on wearing heels.
    Back to the in-seam. From crotch to knee, chalk a curve inward around the upper thigh & chalk straighter line as you get closer to knee. Then connect the Hem. Keep mind, from knee to hem it's absolutely straight BUT necessarily the same width. The curvature inside the leg will open it a bit to show the legs but Unlike Armani suit pants they are looser so they Don't usually show the leg gap. It's personal taste.
    Again like your linen pants, nicely done on the fly and the Welt pocket also well done. Suggest to bar tack the welt ends (tight consistent zig zag), for a stronger opening.
    Curious, do you iron on or sew reenforcement in the fold of your slanted pockets?

    I always look forward to your sewing adventures. Thank you. "pocket maker".

    My iPhone doesn't allow for an identity, so I'm anonymous. Shrug.

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  18. When I started to sew I did a few embellishment and upcycle projects, but now I'd rather just start from scratch.

    Your welt pocket is impeccable! (As was your top stitching the other day!) I second whoever said to turn the hem to the inside to check the fit of the pants legs - I think that Goldilocks "just right" width is somewhere between the wider and narrower that you've shown here.

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  19. Aside from the amazing welt pockets, what about the fly? Wonderful! I'd give a lot for my zippers to look half that good!

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  20. I used to have khaki pants that zipped down the outsides of the legs like this. LOVED them. Bought 3 pairs. He's onto something here...

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  21. First, let me say, that I absolutley love your blog. I am a new reader and so appreciate that you update it regularly. I would also like to say, from what I have read, you are a relatively new seamster. Well shoot! A darn good one. Those pockets on your Pants are awesome. Lastly, Your butt looks great in those pants. Make sure however, you sit and wear them comfortably. Keep Sewing.
    Sincerely,
    Gabrielle AKA/Gabby from Rancho Cucamonga California.

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  22. your welt pockets are just perfection. I know what you mean about one taking forever and the other being done in no time - drives me mad.

    For the fit, I'd go looser at the thigh and slim it up a bit to the knee and calf. I think you could get a good balance between a nice drape and not being stumpy =)

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  23. My thanks to Michael and to anonymous zipper-pants-man, they've given me good inspiration! I've been clipping my pants legs to ride my bike, and since the legs only narrow beneath the knee it doesn't look good. But the illusion of narrowness up to thigh level, that looks much better! Using two long zippers to control the pant legs while biking may just work. Smaller teeth, though. Those big bold metal zipper teeth just look painful to sit upon.

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