Monday, November 12, 2012

Put down your pencils.

Work on the pencil skirt is ongoing.  After assembling most of the shell on Thursday, I decided that I wanted to pick out the back seam and do it again.  The problem though with finding a very close match between thread and fabric is that it can be difficult to see your stitches to pick them out!  By the time I'd gotten to that point, it was late afternoon and there wasn't enough light to see what I was doing, so I set it aside.

On Friday, I decided that what I really needed right away was some dark brown narrow-leg pants.  It's an item I'd been feeling I was missing for quite a while:  there have been so many times in the last months that I've wanted to wear a top, but felt I needed these pants to make the perfect outfit.  While I was at Vogue last week getting the fabric and notions for the pencil skirt I happened to find some stretch cotton twill in the exact shade of brown I'd been wanting, so I snapped up two yards.  On Friday, I washed it up and made it into my third pair of Clovers.

These aren't any different than the first two pairs I made.  I made the longer length, without the pockets,  using the pattern adjustments I'd made in my muslin.  The only difference this time was that I used the invisible zipper foot on my new sewing machine.  And WOW!  That thing makes a big difference:


And it makes it so easy.  I did discover though that I don't like the normal zipper foot on the Janome at all.  It's quite a bit wider than the one on my Kenmore, which made sewing the seam below the zipper difficult.

Yesterday I finally got around to "fixing" a top I'd bought on sale at Anthropologie maybe three years ago.  I bought it because the fabric is a design by Vera Neumann (whose scarves I collect and love).  I don't think the shape is fantastic for me (it does come with a waist tie, but I opted not to wear it today) but the fabric is so pretty, and it goes with my new pants!  However, like a lot of my tops from Anthropologie, the shoulders were way too high, so the neckline hung too low.  Because we had a lot of sun yesterday morning, I got out my seam ripper and unpicked the binding around the neck, then took each shoulder in by an inch (half inch front and back) and restitched the binding on.  It's still not a perfect fit, but it's a lot better than it was, and I think I'm more likely to wear it now.

I know - it makes me look preggers.

I'm not bothering to show any details of the Clovers because you've all seen a million pairs of these pants by now!  For me, and with my alterations, these are both comfy and flattering.  The only thing I don't like, and haven't yet figured out how to fix, is the amount of bulk where the right waistband seam meets the side seam.  No matter how much fabric I trim away, it's always bulgy there.  Any ideas?

I wore this outfit to go have coffee with Alicia this morning, but since it was chilly, I also had to put on a sweater:


And my new Meandering Vines scarf.  As I was taking pictures, the sunlight was coming and going.  The complete outfit shot was super sunny:

Oooh, the mother ship is here!

There has also been a good bit of progress on the Exeter sweater.  I'm hoping to do an update some time this week.  I've also got a house that could really use a good cleaning.  So I think work on The Pencil is at a temporary standstill.  Good thing I don't really need a pencil skirt.

14 comments:

  1. Great outfit! The top is fun; one thing about Anthro is the material for their merchandise is wonderful.

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    1. I wish they were doing more collaborations with the Vera company. Or maybe they are and I just don't know, because of being Seamless this year.

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  2. The new clovers are great (and probably a great wardrobe staple) but that top is AWESOME!

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  3. Wonderful outfit as always! I love that you just felt like making a perfect pair of pants and then you did it! Why aren't there pants in that color very often? All of the young, hip people are into those ghastly neon colored jeans.

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    1. heh. You won't find me in neon colored pants. I am on the lookout for a nice mustard yellow though!

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  4. Hee hee. Mothership.
    Umm... for the bulgy side seam.. would it help if you used a lightweight fabric for the facing on the inside...?
    And good on you for altering that top! I know what you mean about the shape but you pull it off with the slim pants :)

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    1. I thought of using a lightweight fabric, but haven't yet been able to find one with stretch. It would have to have stretch, I think, because the main fabric is stretch, right?

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  5. Hee - the mothership!?!
    Great trousers. Does the top not work with a narrow belt? It seems such a shame to only see the hem of that lovely fabric peeking out

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    1. Hmmm, I never thought of wearing a belt. It does come with a purple silk tie for the waist, but I took it off yesterday because I already had a tie thing going on with the sweater.

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  6. that top is sooo cute, i can see why you saved it to alter! i would probably belt it, but after four kids i'm ultra sensitive to the "pregger?" look... hee hee!

    the pants look great and super useful. i would use a lighter fabric for the inner waistband, maybe something cut on the bias would do the trick for maintaining stretch. then again, i imagine that even a stretchy outer fabric doesn't have much stretch left in the waistband once things are straight stitched and whatnot. the other thing you can try is just whacking it with a hammer. you would be amazed how much bulk can be reduced by doing this!

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    1. D'oh! I never thought to use a thinner fabric cut on the bias! Silly me! Thanks for all those tips - will try them, because I also got some nice black twill for Clover #4!

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  7. Ooh, that top is really cool! I'm glad you've made it wearable! Of course, your new Clovers are fab, too!

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