Firming Seams

I”m working this through so it may not make a lot of sense. It may be a bit disconnected.  But I was thinking…

Trudy Jansen’s Designer Jean Pattern 906 has given me perfect or near perfect jeans time after time. Year after year. Size after size.  I’ve merged the yoke band to the legs. Merged the waistband on top of that. Still perfect looking jeans. I always thought my success was due to the draft. TJ had already allowed for the tilted waist most of us have. Her 2 piece back leg was not a new idea but refined with additional shaping so the jean would hug curvy figures while being comfortable and flattering. Lastly, I thought the J shaped crotch was sheer genius even though I couldn’t understand why it worked. So with I started the microfiber version of this pattern, I expected to serge the jean together and tweak the side seam seam allowances to achieve, once again, near perfect fit.  I was therefore stunned when the old X wrinkles, the bubbling, and drag lines occurred. Never had this pattern produced a pant that looked bad. For me, never. YMMV.

The sheer awfulness (I don’t mean that in a good way), caused me to rethink. Was it really the draft?  How much was the fabric contributing? Could the inherent drape be controlled? I thought about how I routinely use interfacing in other garments and why. Also the buttonholes that I choose to cord; and why. I routinely apply fusible tape to shoulders, especially knits. Because the shoulder will then not stretch out during stitching or later during wear and laundry. Same thing for necklines. I automatically tape a V or deep neckline to keep it from stretching during stitching and wear and thereby avoiding gaping at the neckline. Finally I often, but not always, cord buttonholes. It’s more of a hunch that tells me if I don’t the buttonholes will be unstable. Will develop uneven lips; even pucker.  Oh and I firmly interface jacket and vest buttonholes.  In fact my vests have more square inches that are interfaced than are not. Why?  Because the fabric just looks better and it looks that way longer.  An interfaced vest will shed wrinkles. Interfacing adds body, which is what I”m most interested in as pertains to pants.  All these things, add body, firmness, stiffness. That body visibly affects the appearance and subtly affects fit. For example, I deliberatly interface across the upper bodice because the vest will then fall from shoulder to bust concealing the natural hollow beneath the shoulder.  (Granted a shoulder pad helps with that too and is what I usually use inside tops.)

What I’m getting at, is the idea occurred to me that maybe pants would look better if I could add some firmness.  I’m Ok with completely interfacing pants. Except during summer.  Excepting that I need to be sure I’m not making the pants into armor.  I need to be able to bend, stretch, move freely. Ye-ah, even at my age. Interfacing can interfere with mobility. Not a problem across the upper chest, but would I interface a sleeve to the point of restricting my arm’s movement? So I could and would completely interface pants, but can I achieve what I need without interfacing the entire pant?  Back to those taped shoulders. Only a 3/8″ tape is required. The whole length of the shoulder but only one side. Similarly I tape an entire V neck but only the front i.e. the neckline back is left untaped — I don’t even stay stitch. Although I might use an interfaced back neckline facing. And think of the buttonholes that are interfaced and then corded. The interfacing is only along the 2″ next to the seam. The cording, only within the buttonhole. Yet the entire front of the blouse looks and wears much better. It’s the difference between home-made and individually crafted.

I considered the concept of boning. Which I’ve never done. Nope, never sewn a prom dress, wedding dress or strapless anything (I’ve always felt if I didn’t have enough to hold it up, I shouldn’t be wearing it.) I have added various fills to purse handles and other straps.  Noted how it changed the hand and usability of the “fashion fabric”. It reminds me of steel reinforced buildings and bridges.  The steel is invisible but is truly supporting the whole mass.  Steel isn’t considered lovely, just necessary.

So where am I going with this. Well instead of a new blog, as I’m wont to do, I’ve started a new page, titled Seam Finishes. Except it’s not so much about finishing seams as it about strengthening them; and it is information to which I want easy access .