Sunday, October 25, 2009

An Ending and a Beginning

When I made the decision not to make any kind of hoody out of my Skullz fabric, I knew it meant the end of my beloved, faithful sweatpants, as my intention was to cut them apart to use as a pattern for a new pair. Yes, I could have purchased a pattern - I actually have a pattern for sweatpants - but my old pair was so comfy that I wanted another pair just like them.

To be honest, my sweats had long ago passed retirement age. How long ago? My husband nearly wept with joy when I told him I was going to cut them apart. Me: But they're comfortable! Him: You look like a homeless person! Me: A comfortable homeless person! It would be tempting to describe them as ratty, but that's not really fair to the rats of the world.

It took about two hours to pick the sweats apart and steam out the permanent bagginess in the knees and seat and produce this pattern piece. Because my fabric was bordering in the "not quite enough" range, I cut off 3 inches at the top with the intention of adding it back with a solid black casing. You can see I also pinned out some length in the crotch; roughly 2 inches in the back and tapering to 1-1/2 inches in the front.

Here's a close up of the part that's worn through. This is probably the main reason my husband thought they made me look like a homeless person. By way of explanation, I have extremely short legs combined with cold feet. It seemed natural to pull the excess length down onto my feet. Sort of like open-toed footy pajamas.

Now for the big surprise...I used my serger! Some of you might know that I don't have a warm relationship with my serger like I do with my sewing machine, the incomparable Lily. Actually, I'm fairly terrified of my serger. I think that's partly related to being spatially challenged and the serging process being so final. And partly related to high speeds and sharp, moving knives.

I've had my serger for over ten years and this is only the second time I've used it on an actual garment. It's not an expensive serger; it is a Kenmore and I received it as a gift from my parents (who knew nothing about sergers; I was surprised they even knew of sergers). But even with my lack of serging expertise, it produces what I think are very credible results.

It had been years since I'd sewn a pair of elastic/drawsting pants and I'd forgotten how fast it is! Before you knew it, I was ready to hem them up. I had serge finished the bottom edge before sewing the pants together. To finish, I folded up a 1 inch hem allowance and top-stitched it from the right side. I like the way it looks on the inside and the outside. Not quite as nice or easy as a cover stitch machine, but close enough.

Things I'll do differently next time:
  • Make sure I have enough fabric. The sewn on casing is functional but looks kind of funky. Not that it's a big deal; these are strictly for around the house wear, but I'd still prefer self-fabric.
  • Make a smaller opening for the drawstring and do a better job of stabilizing the area.
  • Redraw the legs to make the finished pants slightly less tapered.
  • Give more careful consideration to the elastic/drawstring.

The new sweats are fine, but don't seem as comfy and warm as the old ones. I'm not sure if that's due to differences in the fabric or because the old pair had elastic at the ankles while the new pair does not or the changes I made to the pattern. Or if it's just in my head.

1 comment:

Kat said...

That is so funny! I think we all have *something* that would make our husbands weep with joy if we threw it out. For me, it's a pair of old, summer sandals. Embarrassingly grubby, long past the point of ever wearing them out of the house. But they are SO comfortable, molded to my foot. When I sit next to him, he says, "Ew! Get those feet away from me." LOL