Thought for a lifetime

Einstein made the very important observation that " Imagination is more important than knowledge ".

Friday, July 13, 2012

Fashion at the Art Festival

If you are anywhere near Laguna Beach, California on August 18th between 1-4pm this should definitely be on your to-do list.
It is the 4th annual Festival Runway Fashion show with garments made from 80% reclaimed of recycled materials. The eco-friendly show is on the beautiful grounds of the Festival of Art which is adjacent to the Pageant of the Masters show in Laguna Beach.
Find more information at

Jeans that Fit!

Everyone from the 80s remembers this Brooke Shields ad for Calvin Klein Jeans-nothing came between her and her Calvins.
This is the first designer jean to burst upon the American conscious and everyone wanted to believe the jeans would fit them as great as Brooke Shields.
Thus began the elusive hunt by women across the world for the perfect fit.

Early attempts at sewing pants for myself were complete failures but, I began working with students trying to create their perfect pant and had some amazing successes.
I decided to try fitting pants again and these green denim jeans were my trial run.
And I love these pants! 

To make sure it wasn't just dumb luck I made another pair with skinny legs, welt pockets in back, and ankle length. And then I realized I could finally have shorts the exact length I wanted and created my third pair of pants that fit me PERFECTLY!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

How I copied my favorite pants

I already had this Issey Miyake designer pattern for Vogue. It may no longer be available but, what I like is how the pant leg is fit through the thigh. The pattern also has the full front fly zipper and jean styling of pockets.
Now all I had to do was adjust the pattern to fit MY body.

First step was to take measurements from a pair of retail jeans that fit well. After measuring the circumference of the pants at the hip and waist the next most important measurement is the crotch length and exact curve.
The best way to accurately measure the crotch is by putting one pant leg inside the other and using a ruler that bends. This will give you the crotch length AND the exact shape of the curve. Compare these measurements to the curve and length of the pattern crotch seam.
My pattern required lengthening the back and making the rear curve more shallow than the pattern ( I do not have a Kim Kardashian booty ).

Next I used the waistband pattern and cut a waistband out of fabric because just measuring the waistband is not an accurate indicator of fit. Mark the center front, center back and side seams on the waistband and try on the waistband.
My waist was definitely larger than the pattern so I divided the extra length into four smaller measurements ( ie, divide 2" by four equals four 1/2" ) and spread the increases to waistband on each side of center back and both sides of center front.
Now the top of the pants must also be increased to match the waistband.

This whole process is somewhat like doing a rub-off to copy a garment. A rub-off is when each seam is pinned and a tissue or light fabric is placed over the garment and a soft pencil is used to rub on the top layer so the pins create an outline of the garment pieces.
Kenneth King has an online class at Craftsy called Jeanius that teaches a technique he has developed to copy your favorite jeans.
As long as the final fit is perfect whichever method is used you have succeeded!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Three Practice Pairs of Pants

First pair of pants was the classic straight leg, green jeans. I altered the shape of the leg below the knee and added length also. After I had sewn the waistband to the pants I noticed a weird horizontal bubble at the small of my back. I also get that with skirts and I think it is because I am sway back. I thought about living with the bubble but, my goal was a perfect pant so I took apart the waistband and lowered it along my back about 5/8" and bubble issue was resolved. Definitely transferred the alteration to the pattern.
WARNING- When altering the shape of the pant leg the grainline MUST be exactly midway between the inseam and the side seam or the pant leg will twist on your leg. Trust me.

My next pair I got some crazy fabric and added the back yoke to the pant ( so no yoke ) and made welt pockets. I also altered the shape of the front pockets and made the pant leg a ' skinny' pant leg and shortened the length to end at my ankle.
 I confess I was careless and the grainline on the pant leg was not centered between the inseam and side seam ( see WARNING above ) and the pant legs slightly twist and it drives me crazy and is a little uncomfortable.

By my third pair of pants I realized I could create some cool, original stitching design on the back pockets so I did some sketches and went with the silly JD ( my initials ). Luckily the stitching thread is very light so the design isn't obvious. I did toy with the thought of using bright red OMG!

Now that it is summer I decided next to sew up a quick pair of shorts from my perfect pant pattern. The third time is always a charm and these shorts went together without a problem.

So here are my three pants all from the same pattern. And I think I accomplished my goal of creating a pant pattern that fits my shape perfectly.