Yikes, what a year 2020 was.
My last few posts almost 12 months ago were written in a state of denial; recalling what had been normal. I reread how I expected to be working from home for a few weeks or months "at most" and chuckled ruefully. That silk shirt? Worn (maybe) once. Those wool trousers? More often, but fewer than 10 times (they are very comfortable). In the fall, I went through the formality of moving my winter clothes out of the storage closet for ready access, but most of my jackets and dresses languish unworn. Even that nice wool knit dress I made a year ago isn't getting much love, although I do love it. I'm now living in jeans and comfy stretchy clothes like everyone else, and wonder if I will be OK going back to my structured professional wardrobe.
I previously mentioned how my work exploded with COVID. It calmed down (somewhat) but I'm still working from my sewing room so the space is tainted by too much time spent there not sewing. Too much inactivity (still standing at my ironing board standing desk, though it is now augmented with a gas lift table top for better ergonomics). Too many screens. Too little time.
But I've been a bit more creative lately and was feeling bad about my neglected blog.
So here is a project I completed recently. I have a pair of MEC pants (lightweight nylon, 0 stretch, many pockets) and for a few years have been musing to myself that I should clone them. They are very comfortable (see above re comfy clothes). I found an article in (I think) Threads Magazine on how to make a pattern from an existing garment. Now that I'm looking for it again of course I can't find it. But here's the gist.
EDITED - I still can't find it but there is a YouTube video by David Page Coffin that more or less illustrates the method.
Use foam mats as a base (I have some that I use for blocking knits), cover with paper. Use pins to pierce the paper along the seam lines of the garment. Obviously you have to keep it as flat as possible. Once you have put enough holes in the paper to see the lines, use a pencil and ruler/curve to mark the seam lines. Repeat for all pieces. Check dimensions. Guesstimate grain lines. Sew a trial muslin to see if it worked.
It was ridiculously easy and surprisingly I got a quite accurate pattern on my first attempt.
(Notice The Sewing Lawyer's longer hair "style"...)
The most interesting features of these pants are impossible to see in these photos.
The pants also have lots of pockets. The two hip pockets are standard construction, but very deep and anchored in the fly front.
The back pocket has a zipper that's inserted in a separate strip of fabric separating the lower pants back from the yoke.
A zippered side leg pocket is similarly inserted into a strip of fabric sewn in between the front and back side seams.
I go back and forth on whether to copy all these features in my next version (winter outdoor pants) but on balance think I will take the trouble, just because.
Back zipper pocket, left.
The zipper tape fills in the width of the strip of fabric (approximately 1/2"). I just used cheap skirt zippers from Fabricland.
The original pants had mesh knit pockets.
I've been doing some machine knitting too, so stay tuned.