Thursday, October 25, 2018

Persephone Pants in Denim and a Jagger Shirt :D

Well, it's been a few weeks since I have updated my blog and honestly I am so far behind chronicling my projects that. . .I won't be catching up anytime soon. But I am jumping ahead of my backlog to write about my most recent project, which was my first attempt at non-elasticized pants for myself.

This past summer I started thinking about jeans and the fact that I don't really have any, besides a pair I swiped from my 5th grader when he outgrew them. It's really hard for me to find pants that fit and it's even harder having time to try on pants in fitting rooms before purchasing them (preschoolers find creative ways to embarrass their mothers.. .) I finally decided to actually try to sew some jean-ish type pants. I had some specific features in mind: A higher waist, since I hate low rise jeans and constantly having to tug them up, wide, straight legs so they'd fit well over winter boots and they'd also have to be comfortable without being too tight or too loose.

I waffled between the Lander Pants pattern and the wildly popular Persephone Pants pattern that was released earlier this year and finally decided on the Persephone Pants simply because I have followed the designer online for many, many years and I know her work is very careful and thought out and beautifully done. It also seemed that the Persephone Pants pattern would be less complicated to sew and I liked the seamless side silhouette. PLUS the pattern is based on vintage mens sailor pants so of course, with the historic element present they were the obvious choice. πŸ˜„

I bought my 10 oz. no-stretch denim last month and didn't have a chance to actually start sewing these til recently, once the stretch of Halloween sewing was finished. It took me a few days of pretty steady sewing (for a few hours each day) to get them done. I followed the instructions step by step and used the size 4 exactly as printed with no modifications, except for adding back pockets, since I DO use back pockets and for leaving the length about an inch longer than called for, since I wanted these to be full length pants rather than cropped.

Before adding the buttons!

The sewing seemed to never end. Since I don't have a serger, I used a zig zag stitch to finish the raw edges and each seam was sewn three to four times - the initial seam, the zig zag finishing of the seam, and the two rows of exterior topstitching to secure the seam in place. This took an insane amount of thread. My brand new spool ran out halfway through and I used up all of another spool by the time I was finished. I have NEVER used two spools of thread on a single garment before but - it is definitely worth it. These pants are very, very sturdy and I think will hold up a really long time, through regular wears and washings.
Alllllll the stitching!
I forced myself to try to use only machine stitching on these and I made myself do machine made buttonholes, which came out somewhat badly but still - I'll never get better unless I keep doing them. They work! The button fly is fastened with hammered-on jeans buttons that Malachi very happily whacked into place for me and the waistband is fastened with another of the jeans buttons.

I LOVE these pants. Since these were basically made as a wearable muslin, there are a few things I will change up next time. But still these are perfectly wearable as-is and yes, I have been wearing them almost constantly! The size 4 matched my measurements almost exactly but they are really a big too big, especially in the waist and upper hip area. And I do not have enough bum padding to fill out the seat nicely, so I think that next time yes, I will go down a size and see if that works better for me. I love the length as it is and I love the topstitched waistband pockets in the front. These are awesome, awesome pants.

I didn't intend to make a blouse to go with the pants but the leader of our 4-H group gave me some lengths of fabric a few weeks ago and once piece was a six yard length of silky poly leopard print fabric. I had no idea what to do with it. I just don't do leopard print anything. A friend of mine suggested a pajama set, which I still may do, but I was inspired to make an 80's style shirt, inspired by the blousy button-ups that Mick Jagger often wore during that decade. (Ohmygosh he is the most gorgeous human😍!)
Image from 1981, found on this forum
I love his simple collared shirts, often open at the neck. 
I love Mick's shirt in what is possibly my favorite music video of him ever,
performing Dancing in the Street with David Bowie! 

While I couldn't find any pictures of Mick wearing a leopard print button-up, there are some images of other Stones guys wearing leopard print, like Keith Richards in this 1969 photograph:
Keith Richards, rhythm guitarist of the Rolling Stones, looks every bit the rock star in a leopard print jacket, spotted bow tie
and striped shirt, 1969. Photo by Graham Wiltshire/Getty Images
And in this one from 1981:
from Getty Images - yes Keith, you're hot but you're not Jagger hot. . .
I looked at a lot of images of vintage leopard print button ups from the 1970s and 1980s. I liked the look of this 1970's shirt from The Rusty Zipper:
Vintage 1970s Leopard Print Shirt
And this 1980's shirt:
Vintage 1980's Leopard Print Blouse
I also looked at a lot of sewing patterns from the 70's and 80's, decided I did NOT want to do a giant 70's style collar, and I used my Otari Hoodie pattern (so versatile!) as a base for my blouse, with sleeves from a 1969 blouse pattern I have and a two piece fold down collar I drafted myself.

 This material was a pain in the ass to sew but I persevered with starch and plenty of pins. All the seams are french seamed except the armholes, which are finished with a narrow zig zag and topstitched. I used interfacing in the collar and cuffs to keep them nice and flat. I had exactly four black buttons in my stash so, I wish I did have more on the front but four was enough to finish it and make it wearable!

It's a hugely fun and comfortable outfit to wear and you know what's awesome? Trying something new and discovering that you can do it! And getting out of your comfort zone enough to expand yourself a little bit. I love that.

I do plan to make more button ups but will refine my hacked pattern a little bit for next time - more ease in the shoulders, a back yoke and more fitted sleeves instead of blousey ones. I'll make my next ones out of more somber material; one leopard print shirt is enough! πŸ˜‚

Have a very safe and very happy Halloween, my loves!


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