Archives for the month of: September, 2013
Errand Day

Errand Day by melaniemac featuring a gold plated cuff bracelet

M Patmos brown tank
$260 –

Dries van noten cardigan
$340 –

MiH Jeans green jeans
$155 –

Steve Madden military combat boots
$130 –

Madewell tote

Yossi Harari pear drop earrings

Don't mess with me!

Don’t mess with me! by melaniemac featuring zebra print scarves

Lanvin silk sleeveless shirt
$790 –

River island jacket
$210 –

H M mini skirt
$24 –

Menku rose jewelry

Silver stud earrings
$6.43 –

Casual Capsule Wardrobe

Casual Capsule Wardrobe by melaniemac featuring short boots

I have been trying on and off for about the last 5 years to make a pair of pants that fit.  For me, fit means the front is smooth, and the back of the pants fits smoothly, then hangs straight off my derriere, with no wrinkles.  It was easy in my 20’s, but now that I’m in my 50’s, my shape has changed to the point where fitting is a much bigger challenge.

I always ended up with wrinkles in the back, horizontal wrinkles under my bumb, and sometimes angled wrinkles radiating from the top inside of my back leg, down towards my knee.  What I eventually learned was that I need a “dropped seat” adjustment, along with an adjustment for larger inner thighs.  I’ve spent about 8 hours over the past couple of days, and have drafted a pants pattern that’s the closest I’ve ever been – I’ll use it to sew up a pair of golf pants.

Here’s a list of the resources that I used to learn everything I could find about fitting:

CraftsyOne Pattern, Many Looks: Pants.  This class really did it for me – Kathy is an excellent teacher and she gave me hope that I’d get it.

Threads Magazine online:  I used Draft Your Own Pattern for Pants that Fit to create a pants pattern from scratch – it’s a bit easier for me to do it this way, than trying to modify an existing pattern with my measurements (although I’m doing that next).  Adjusting Pants from Waist to Seat really helped me get my head around the concept of body “depth”.  We always look at length, plus width for measurements, but depth is a big factor.  It became key for me.  *Note, these were articles from previous issues of Threads Magazine that are available online for people who have an “Insider” subscription.  This subscription gives you access to a wealth of articles and video’s plus an electronic version of the magazine, and it not at all expensive.

Pants for Real People by Pati Palmer and Marta Alto also helped a lot, especially with larger thigh adjustment.

Peggy Sager’s video on The Ultimate Pant Fit also helped me look at wrinkles and figure out what they were telling me.

The message here is that we can all get pants that fit – it might take a big dose of frustration, and some time, but it does eventually come. For me, it was reading and watching everything I could get my hands on. I’m not completely there yet, but I’m very hopeful.  I’m booked into Achieve a Better Fit: Pants at the upcoming Creativ Festival in Toronto in October, which is a full-day workshop on pants fitting.  I’ll report back on that in another post.

In my first post, I lamented the fact that my blazer didn’t fit.  In addition to making a toile or muslin to fit the garment, I did learn a couple of other things:

1.  You need to take good measurements and compare them to the pattern – for instance, the shoulder extended a bit farther than I was comfortable with, which was just part of the pattern design.  Second, the pattern specified a 1″ shoulder pad.  On a 5’4″ frame, that could be a bit overwhelming when combined with the shoulder extension – it looked a little like a football outfit to me.  You should be armed with as many measurements as possible, including shoulder, full bust, high bust, bust point, back neck to waist and so on.  Compare these to the paper pattern as part of your decision about whether it’s the right pattern in the first place.

2.  You need to know what you want in a garment in terms of fit – how much height in the shoulder pad, how much extension in the shoulder, how long the garment should be.  What I should have done was look to a few ready-to-wear garments I have, and take some measurements from them to determine what I feel suits my eye.  Another good idea is to go shopping and look at the type of blazers that look best on you – are they a princess seam or just a waistline dart?  If a princess seam, does it go through the shoulder, or curve over to the armscythe?  How many buttons down the front of the blazer?  How long is the blazer?  What’s the shoulder length?  All of these elements then become the things you look for in a pattern.

3. You should know what suits you.  Study your body shape and investigate the best silhouettes. The shapeliness of the blazer and the 2-button stance were ok for my short & busty figure, but the shoulder made the top of the jacket a bit too big for me.  There are a lot of resources on the web and many great books written on developing your style, and understanding what clothes look best on your shape.  It’s well worth investigating (more on this in a future post).

Much as it’s painful, I’ll keep posting my failures, in the hopes that others can learn from them.  But along the way, there will also be some successes to celebrate as I continue learn from my mistakes, but more importantly from other people.

Happy sewing!


Casual Outfit #2: Working at home

Casual Outfit #2: Working at home by melaniemac featuring a cable knit crew neck sweater

MiH Jeans army green jeans
$155 –

Dorothy Perkins earrings

Lancôme lilac perfume

Lancôme fragrance

Casual outfit #1

Casual outfit #1 by melaniemac featuring orange scarves

Glamorous top
$40 –

Balmain wool blazer
$3,140 –

MiH Jeans green jeans
$155 –

MINU Jewels earrings

Capsule Wardrobe: Casual

Adding one more bottom could extend this wardrobe to 21 outfits!

Capsule Wardrobe: Casual by melaniemac featuring a cable knit crew neck sweater

M Patmos metallic silver shirt
$255 –

Dries van noten cardigan
$335 –

Glamorous top
$40 –

Balmain wool blazer
$3,140 –

MiH Jeans olive green jeans
$155 –

Mango dark jeans

Steve Madden combat booties
$145 –


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