Spring Closet Review: Tops

I did not review my wraps/3rd layers.  I have wraps, jackets and blouses (which function as 3rd layers)  in various colors including my basics.  I’m not entirely happy with all my wraps but not unhappy enough to give serious time and effort replacing them — at least not now.

I did, however try on every blouse/top I expect to wear this spring. As with the pants, I immediately discarded items that needed repair or had faded badly before checking for fit.  I looked not just at “does it go around” but I paid particular attention to the drag lines I’ve been fighting for several years. I.e. did it have round back drag lines?  FBA drag lines? Were the hems level? The Empire line horizontal? I tossed another half-dozen tops. Put at least that many into the ‘maybe’ pile. To tell the truth, I was afraid I would not have any tops without these gross fitting errors. I was quite pleased to find the 11 (shared in pics on this page) which deserved the “OK” classification.

These either had no fitting errors or the drag lines were slight. Relieved, I donated the maybes; and recovered buttons and findings from the “no-go” or “repair needed” categories before throwing those in the trash.

Some of the OK’s may not last all spring. I love rayon challis but don’t give it the care it deserves.  Normally rayon challis last about 2 seasons in my wardrobe. So I know the rayon challis blouses that were sewn in 2015 are on their way out. I also know that I prefer an evenly distributed range of browns, blacks and blues and for spring and  I’d like something that says “spring”  at least  to me.  Several of these say fall or winter.  I will be sewing tops purposefully to round out my wardrobe to my liking and make it ‘springy’.  Happily, I won’t be sewing like the devil to  achieve that goal.

Spring Clothing Review: Pants

Every few years, I find I have far more clothes than I do clothes hangers.  I do not buy more hangers. No my issue is that I sew a lot and I experiment with my sewing. A lot. It creates this situation of more hangers than clothes. And a need for a clothing purge.

I concentrated my review  on clothes that will work for me this spring and again this fall knowing that these clothes can on occasion be useful even during very hot and equally cold weather conditions. Why? Well they are  transition clothing. They are not designed for the extremes of weather, but all the in-betweens.

This spring I decided to cull by some specific qualities. First, was there was something wrong with the garment?  A ripped seam. Missing button. Freyed edge. That kind of ‘wrong’ stuff. Second criteria: fit. Not the ‘big enough to get around me’ fit but the other pull lines that say there is something wrong with my garment. Like the endless sequence of pants with these wrinkles:

BTW the pants above were particularly disheartening for me. I though I had an epiphany. I thought that Peggy Sagers pants fitting method was THE ANSWER to fitting pants for my body. To my dismay pants worn often enough and long enough  developed the same pull lines I’ve hated for years.  Let me say that again:   even though when originally fit the pants did not have these wrinkles, over time the wrinkles appear.

I gave pants considerable thought and realized that there were multiple factors causing my pain. For one, fabric and supplies. While they may have been good to start with, over time they stretched as best as possible to accommodate my figure and posture. I gave thought to replacing elastics. For this batch of pants that would mean an awful lot of ripping. I can think of ways that would make it easier for me to replace elastics in the future but for now (especially those pairs which appear to also be too tight across my bum),  I think I’ll just let go.

Another factor may be that I don’t totally get Peggy’s fitting method.  I need to both correct the sharp pulling down at CB waist, and pooling for fabric beneath the bum. I’ve only been applying the latter.  I need to experiment with correcting for both. Or replace elastic every 3 months.  Or eliminate Yoga pants from my wardrobe.   I’m still on the fence about the Yoga Pant.

Not shown above are all the lantern pants I’ve made and discarded. For the longest, I couldn’t figure out why I didn’t like them. I should love any pant which doesn’t have or develop the dreaded X wrinkles and bagginess below the bum. I think lantern pants looks fine on others, so why did I dislike them so much?  Finally I realized, I’m always trying to make myself look taller and the lantern leg shortens the leg making me look shorter.  So for sure, Lantern Pants are out of the line up (I do want to look taller).

Also not shown are the the 90% of my DG2 jeans which I still wear regularly.  I did go up 3 sizes. 1 so as not to have negative ease.  2nd one because I like a little more than zero ease. 3rd  when I moved to plus petite sizing to have enough waistband length. The DG2 pants I’ve discarded were because the waistbands shrank and became uncomfortable.

All my TJ906’s jeans are in rotation. They also tend to be discarded for shrinkage. I know it is shrinkage because when I make the next pair, I use the same exact pattern and the jeans are slightly too large.

I was surprised to realize that I have exactly 2 pairs of pants made from PP113 and none from the Eureka pattern. Partly this is because I tend to make a dressier pant with PP113 and Eureka whereas I live in jeans. But I know if I could fit a nice slim legged slack (16-18″ at the hem), I would wear them.  PP113 and the Eureka patterns have many differences in draft but on my body look nearly the same. The PP113 takes slightly less fabric (I can always get a pair out of 2 yards. Cant’ say that about the Eureka.)  Probably for that reason I’ve done the most work and have the most variations in tissue.


Black pants:  NONE I have an overabundance of black in every style I wear.

BLUE:  At least one each 906 and PP113

Brown:  Ditto. One jeans, one slacks.


Note to self:  Purge the pants pattern stash. I only use 2 patterns. Why am I cluttering my space with all those other patterns?).

Neckline Repair

Remember this gorgeous slinky T with the lace inserts:

I used FOE to finish the neckline.  Did a careful job.  Even  joined the FOE on the bias for the smoothest flattest join. First time through the wash:

RUINED.  I know the pic is hard to see. Imagine a furry black caterpiller crawling along the FOE join.  No way I was wearing it like that; and I couldn’t repair the FOE.  I had it hanging trying to decide if I dare cut it off thereby lowering the neckline too much for my modesty; or throwing the T away.   When a possible fix occurred to me.

I used 1″ wide, commerical bias tape cut in 2″ long strips.

Stitched to the public side WST. Folded up and over the edge and top stitched again on the public side, but right along the folded edge. That caught the strip on the underside. At which point, I trimmed the excess bias tape.

I wanted to be sure the ruined FOE was covered and stayed covered. So I stitched down one side, across the long side and up the other side of the visible bias tape.

Looked odd to  have that one piece of commercial tape so I mirrored it on the other side of the neckline

and for good measure, repeated on the front:

PS lace sticking up in the back? That my tag in the back. Yeah, I can get confused in the morning and put my T on backwards.

Rolling Edges

Knits are infamous for rolling edges. Generally I handle them my serging the edges before prewashing and serging the garment as soon as the knit- fabric is cut.  But thereI’ve acquired a  new knit that rolls as fast as it is cut. This is a problem. It’s not that easy to unroll and serge.  I find that I’m changing the size of my finished garment i.e. I’m sewing the garment significantly smaller than cut.  Should  I add more ease to compensate? How do I know how much to add?  Is this something I have to make a test for each garment?  See how I can really obsess?

I decided instead to try out a few solutions to the rolling edge.  I purchased Terial Magic

I purchased mine from Amazon but I’ve seen it in several places. It came with a spray, so I tried spraying. Oy vey!

Look at the selvage on the left of that pic above.  It took 8 different spaying plus ironing without steam and it is still not flat.  Next, I poured TM into a small bowl, painted and ege and allowed to dry over night:

TM is a winner!!!!  Needs only a light press without steam. Heck I think I could skip the pressing.


Another recommended product is Blue Glue

I’m told it must be the blue, washable, school glue so that’s what I bought for the first trial.  I squirted it along the cut edge

Admittedly this may be a user error, but I couldn’t get an even application with out the help of a small spatula

Once again dried over night

I hang things that-need-to-dry-a-while over the shower curtain in the guest bath.

Don’t have a good photo to show you, but the glued edge curls as it dries.  I gave it a shot of steam and pressed lightly to unroll the edge.  I did have one place that was tightly curled and would not unfurl.  Made me glad I started by cutting project size pieces 2-inches larger than the expected finished project piece.  I can just place my pattern above the edge far enough to exclude the furled edge.

Both products performed. TM was better at producing a flat edge .  Blue Glue has some additional attributes.  It’s a lot less expensive — by far. Easily available and also functions as a washable resist. Yes, use it as a resist which will wash away and be gone.  I’ll use the TM as long as I have it.  Not sure I would buy a second bottle because, I’m cheap.



2017 Spring 6PAC Update

Yesterday I posted my first sewn garment for the 2017 Spring 6PAC. Originally I was considering 2 fabrics: the peach skin sewn and a silk  (bottom) that’s been marinating in my stash for about 15 years:

I love both fabrics but felt the peach skin coordinated better with the printed fabric I wanted to use for a knit top.  I’m pleased with my choice

and returned the silk to the stash. I’m  planning to use it this fall should this bright blue still be trendy.

The real value, well besides having a coordinated wardrobe, but I digress…. The real value in completing the 6PAC’s season after season is that time comes  when garments made for previous 6PAC’s can be incorporated into the current season. So the blouse needed to be sewn, but the bottoms are already in the closet:

These are both me-made.  I have to fall back of Peggy Sager’s excuse for the near invisibility in pictures of the garments themselves.  See, I too prefer dark fabrics for my bottoms. Only during  summer  will I wear lighter colored bottoms.

On the left are my favorite jeans Trudy Jansen 906. On the right, Pamela’s Patterns 113 slacks/trousers.  I live in jeans but I do like to have a dressier pant  available. Both bottoms were sewn during last fall and winter. So why are they spring bottoms?  South Dakota, where I live, has a long, cold and mostly-wet spring.  I start wearing mid-weight bottoms about mid-Oct.  Somewhere in Dec-Jan, I add a under layer of tights or long johns and pull out the corduroys and wools. By the first of April (most years), the heavy weight corduroys and wools are retired until next winter along with the long johns.  I may still need to slip ona pair of tights  until about mid-May. Point is, for my weather, mid-weight pants are wearable 3 seasons of the year.  The dressy pants are not replaced often. But jeans? I add a new pair in each of my neutrals (black, blue and brown) at least every year.

My update at the moment shows I”m half way through.  YES I have 3 completed garments