Monday, August 16, 2010

Sewing Expandomatics

Looking for my favorite slacks pattern, I found my tracing on pattern paper that may have come from one of these. I don't know which one, so I am showing you both. Not too recent you say? Well, when I find a pattern I like, I stick with it.

But just in case, I made a quick trial pair of shorts and discovered three things. They fit around the derriere, they were way too long in the crotch and thirdly, I never made this pattern before and don't know where the tracing is from. So I guess that eliminates all of the above.
Nevertheless, I decided what the pattern required to fit correctly and made the alterations. Shortening the front brought the crotch up perfectly and lowering the pocket made it possible to get my hands in the opening.

 Don't try this at home. Go to the store and buy a pattern that fits your measurements. Here's the rule: For best results, wear not the size you used to be, nor the size you want to be, but the size you are.           It was not possible to save the sample for future wear but it was like 25 year old fabric and worth the sacrifice, so no biggie.
The resulting slacks fit perfectly, with a straight leg, no taper, no flare. Smooth front and lined pockets. Not exciting, but that is what I expect from slacks, being a good foundation for a fabulous top. And perhaps today I will find a current pattern for a great top, from this century. There is a sale on McCall's patterns at Hobby Lobby and I am going to town today, so fingers crossed for something new to make.

There are two more Calcutta Cloth pieces to sew into these slacks and while searching for fabric in the garage I found three more nice pieces and one was black Calcutta. Ancient but still usable.

Several of you wrote to ask where to get this fabric and the others shown in the previous post. Some are very old but the recent fabrics came from

And while I am at it, an explanation about coming out of retirement. I am just doing this one gig at Kalamazoo, the Fabrications Retreat. I can drive there, which fits my desire to stay out of airports. So no trips to California etc. where I would have to fly. If I can drive there I will go, but realistically, I don't think any teaching invitations will come from anywhere nearby, other than at the yarn shoppe.


  1. Hi, This is the good blog with good images and good details. Please keep on posting the more stuff. I will like to hear more from you.

  2. Melody, I know you love to do it yourself but all I could think of while reading this one is "You can buy the pants at Kmart for about $6". They have a drawstring but that's the only difference. Same fabric, same style. Lots of colors.
    Of course, I admire everything you do and how you figure stuff out no matter what you're trying! I just don't have the patience so am in awe!!!!

  3. I throughly enjoyed this post. I have only recently found your blog and I am so glad I did. I have taken apart a pair of pants that I loved to draw a pattern from them. Thanks again,

  4. Anonymous1:01 PM

    Mel, it's a wonder you even want to do it. I did it that way, back when pattern pieces were just that. Now one has to lay out a tissue as big as the living room floor and try to find each piece and then figure out what size because if you cut the wrong size you are done. Not to mention the cost. On sale, yes for .95 but heck no for $5+ and then try to figure out all that cutting. Good luck I know it's the challenge with you as it used to be with me. I found out that it's easier to find an old worn piece of clothing to rip apart and use that as a pattern. Then I know it will fit and save a day's work. Good luck, you will make it work regardless.

  5. I think it's cool that you can make several pair of pants that actually fit in less time than it would take me to go to the store and find a pair that fit. Store bought clothes are, indeed, cheap nowadays, but for some of us finding pants that fit can take many painful hours. (And I'm not 300 pounds; size 16 but short-waisted.) Your way sounds more fun.

  6. LOL! Since we're talking about what we love, I love that you say you are "going to town" today! LOL! And the funny thing is you mean it... it is a big deal! It just reminds me of something that would have been said on Lassie, the 1950's versionn.

  7. That pattern cover cracks me up. "Make it in minutes"- ha! Looks fun Melody....

  8. When I get a pattern, I put the month and year on the front. It does help when I go to make it... I also write on it other information, like "I like this pattern, but in jersey knits" Something along those lines.

    I love to make clothes! Just haven't had much time lately. Especially like to make quilted coats!!!

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  10. I'm so glad you are making clothes, Mel! You always inspire me, and I've been wanting to make some clothes for months now (ok-years). I hope your adventures will get me over the hump--thanks!


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