Slim Pants/Trousers Block

I wish I could tell you that turning a 0-ease Pants Block into a Slim Pants Block is as simple as adding ease to the side seams & inseams. It was not. At least not for me. I did eventually get a block that I’m OK with. But it took many many muslins & I’ve lost count of the tweaks.

So no tutorial. Just some mug shots demonstrating the effect of key alterations I tried. You be the judge of what you would be happy with if you try to do the same. Keep in mind that variable natural lighting may have affected how the muslin looked in the mug shots. And of course the same alterations may have different effect on different body shapes. Hopefully you will get to your happy point more quickly than I did.

Since this is a long & tedious road, let’s start with the destination – then you can skip the journey if details send you to zzzz…..

Slim Pants Block (for non-stretch wovens)

the road from 0-ease Pants Block

Apology for not giving step-by-step rationale for why I tried certain tweaks. The road was too windy & the journey too long ago. Plus I’ve threw away the WIP patterns in a fit of tidying up. In general, I was trying to get rid of wrinkles and add enough wearing ease. I’ve listed all the steps I noted down. The one crossed out were tweaks abandoned, mostly because they didn’t seem to make any difference.

the prep before the journey

Comparing old RTWs & pants made so far…

  • Best fit seems to be the high street wide leg pants in drapy wool crepe. Torso & crotch was still quite fitted, but the legs were loose. There was hardly any puddling. Interestingly the back crotch fork area is stretched. Not sure if this was stretched during wears or if it was part of the design.
  • The designer fitted pants in stretch wool doesn’t fit so well. I got the usual draglines in the crotch & thigh area front & back. Even with stretch fabric, the thigh is still larger than my wearable muslins. But the drapy fabric helps make the legs look slimmer. BTW pardon my hot cross bum. Gotta sort out new undies now my behind has gotten more droopy & squishy }:-)
  • Both RTW pants have shorter crotch height, crotch length, shallower back crotch curve (not so scooped) than my wrap. Yet they still feel comfortable enough. Actually they’re closer to my crotch height measurement. For some reason the wrap derived 0-ease pants block ended up about 1″ longer in crotch height than by measurement.
  • My previous Burda 2015-11-107 fits better than the designer pants, but this was achieved through over-tight waist-to-hip + back princess shaping. Even then slight wrinkling in back thigh, not to mention weird pooling at front crotch – thigh inseam.

Research trouser fitting on Cutter & Tailor…

Granted, most discussion are about men’s trousers. But some of the basic fitting principles probably still apply. These influenced my decision to shift the knee match-points in most of my muslins & subsequent makes based on this Block. In my wrap, the front knee level is lower than the back knee level. I don’t actually manage to match the wrap knee levels precisely, I just try to reduce the difference as much as possible with iron work stretching-shrinking the side seam & inseam lines.

Pattern 1

Don’t ask. This was a stillborn. Didn’t even made it into muslining.

Pattern 2


0) 0-ease Pants Block
1) Add ease at side seam (1/2″ total at waist, widened to 1-1/2″ total at hip)
2) Add ease at darts / princess line instead, with bigger darts (same amounts)
3) Lowered crotch 1/4″
4a) Back hip tilt – pivot at side seam at hip level 1/2″
4b) Curvier & lower back crotch (dotted line)
5a) Back hip tilt – pivot at side seam at bum crease level 1/2″
5b) Add crotch inseam ease 1/8″
6a) Back hip tilt – pivot at side seam at bum crease level 1″
6b) Curvier & higher back crotch + Add leg ease at inseam (1/4″ with extra from thigh up)
6c) Right leg no shifting of match point / ironwork
7a) Straighten legs + Add more ease at inseam from knee up + Curvier Back crotch
7b) Right front add 1/2″ more ease above mid thigh with deeper dart





Pattern 3


8a) Add more ease at inseams (1/4″ – 1/ 2″) + Split darts into 2 per quarter + Increase Back dart width (1/4″ & shift side seam above hip to compensate) + Add more Front waist ease (1/8″ at side seam & decrease inner dart width by 1/8″)
8b) Right side raise waist 1/2″ at side seam
9a) Tried fitting book prominent calf adjustment (effectively deeper back crotch curve + lowered CB waist). No improvement.
9b) Legs straightened even more + Right side pivot at crotch at high hip level to increase side seam length
9c) Testing lengths & high-low waistline
9d) Final lengths for Wearable Muslin 1

⇒ Wearable Muslin 1

Gingham Capri with belt loop – Design Changes:

  • Lower F waist (1″ difference between CF & CB)
  • Contoured waistband 1-1/4″
  • Capri length
  • Fly front
  • Slant-front pockets
  • Belt loops

Assessment after days’ wear:

  • bum-thigh become saggy, waist seem to tilt front up & back down
  • knees baggy & twisted in front & excess pool in back just above knee – excess fabric from drooped back + angle of thigh vs calf too great & stacking of my upper over lower legs too wonky for slim but not skin tight fit to drape smoothly




Pattern 4


10a) More Back Hip Tilt pivoting at side seam bum crease additional 5/8″ (1-5/8″ total) + deeper curve (CB back to curved)
10b) Straighter CB above hipline
10c) Right raise waist 1/4″ at side seam
10d) Shift back thigh ease to inseam, increasing crotch length slightly + more ease from knee down, redistributed between F/B so both F/B knee down are straigher

⇒ Wearable Muslin 2

Gingham Capri without belt loop – Design Changes:

  • Lower F waist (1″ difference between CF & CB)
  • Contoured waistband 1-1/4″
  • Capri length
  • Fly front
  • Slant-front pockets

Assessment after days’ wear:

  • back crotch curve scoop seems too low



Pattern 5

11) Shallower back crotch curve + Less ease at thigh inseam

⇒ Wearable Muslin 3

Brown High-waisted Capri – Design Changes:

  • Lower waist equal 1/2”
  • Contoured waistband 2″
  • Capri length
  • Side invisible zip
  • Side-seam pockets

⇒ Wearable Muslin 4

Brown Mid-rise with Hem Zips – Design Changes:

  • Lower waist equal 3”
  • Contoured waistband 1-1/4″
  • Extended length
  • Fly front
  • Slant-front pockets
  • Hem zippers

Assessment after days’ wear:

  • Weird pooling at front crotch
  • Waist still seem to tilt front up & back down.
    In high-waist version, this caused waist to stick out in the back
    In low-waist version, this caused more bagginess in bum-thigh area
    This problem made these 2 rather uncomfortable to wear.
    Possible causes…
  • waist to high hip ease + contoured waistline (low front high back) that enlarged waist further = waistline sits lower than intended
  • waist ease + full tummy + flat lower back = waistline level even out front-back or even tilt towards skinnier parts – higher in front & lower in back, resulting in back crotch not sitting as intended, drooping causing excess length further down




More hypothesis to test…

  • Not adding ease at waist-to-high-hip OR assume ease means pants will hang lower on waist evenly, so shorten evenly above hip
  • Try 0 ease back + front with pleat – ie all ease on front ???
  • Don’t do high-low waist unless waist-to-high-hip is skin tight & relies on fabric give for ease in this area.
  • Wider legs especially back thigh to calf so fabric doesn’t have to bend to conform to leg shape & ending up with fabric puddle instead above the knee & front twist at the knee – wide enough cone to skim over all curves
  • Reduce back crotch scooping, stretch back crotch fork if possible, raise crotch level a little

Pattern 6


12a) Reduce Back Hip Tilt at crease level by 3/8″ (1-1/4″ total)
+ Add Front Hip Tilt at hip level 1/4″
+ Shallower Back crotch curve
+ Reduce Back inseam thigh ease
12b) Front Hip Tilt at hip level 3/8″ more (5/8″ total)
+ Remove Back ease above high hip
12 c) Testing flared legs
12 d) Testing high-low waist & different rise…settled on:
CB 3/4″ higher than CF
mid-rise = 1″ — 1-1/2″ — 1-3/4″ lower than high-rise (waist)
low-rise = 1″ lower than mid-rise
ditch the extra-low-rise (1″ lower than low-rise)
+ Reduce Front ease above hip to 1/2″ at waist when lowering waist




Pattern 7 (final)

I thought I was done after Patter 6. Unfortunately shortly after I grew my donut waist. So a bit more adjustment was called for.

13) Shift crotch inseam 1/4″ to Back tapering to nothing at mid-thigh
+ shave 1/8″ off thigh side seam
+ increase Front flare 1/8″ below knee at inseam & side seam
+ straighten CF crotch adding 1/4″ ease at Front hip
+ straighten CB crotch adding 1/8″ ease at waist & deeper curve

Assessment after days’ wear:

  • Although there’s still slight bagging under the bum, I’m calling it done.
  • At least front crotch now looks normal.
  • It’s not as slim as I would have like, but can’t be helped if I want to be able to sit down.

Finishing up

  • Traced these onto card paper.
  • Broken the Front & Back pieces into components so I can mix & match style – eg different rises, dart options, leg styles below knee. This also make the Block easier to store in a small place. I don’t have the luxury of a rack of hanging full Block/Pattern pieces.
  • No seam allowance so that I can trace the combination I want to create fashion patterns.

Unfortunately I made a mistake when tracing. Instead of the high-low waistline of Wearable Muslin 5, I traced even level waistlines. No wonder the two pants/trousers I made using this Block came out less comfy than WM5. I only discover this as I prepared the illustrations for this post. Oops. Thankfully with the component approach I only need to redo the above hipline components.

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Choli Blouse Block Odyssey part 1

Back in July 2017 before I gave in to the middle age slump…


With so many beautiful choli blouse fabric in the Stash I really need to get some pattern block for choli blouse sorted. And I have in fact been working on it for ages. So much so that I now have way too many pattern pieces, muslins (wearable & not), & mug shots to confuse me never mind you…argh! Long story short, no cigar yet. But I have a hypothesis with 2 more pattern drafting approaches to test. On to the nitty gritty…


My 3 requirements for Choli Block:

  1. Bust support lift & shaping: Depending on the back neckline design, I may not be able to wear a regular bra with my choli. So built-in bust shaping / support would be nice. But it needs to work for woven fabric & not constrict breathing.
  2. Stay-put neckline: Allow low / open front & back neckline without the top falling off the shoulders
  3. Fitted sleeve mobility: Allow arms up & forward without excessive sleeve width & winged effect on short sleeves


Experiments based on
K. King moulage > top block

Since I already had a top block that seems to fit alright I thought I’d get better results using that as the basis for my draft rather than follow the relatively less personalised authentic Indian instructions. (Typical Westerner!)

Well, it didn’t work out so well.

Wearable Muslin 1 >
Gajiwara 7384 Wannabe Choli with home embroidery

  • I tried to raise my ageing bustline unsuccessfully. It was only like 1/2″ higher on my pattern. But I think my custom embroidery shrunk the pieces despite being stretch taut on a frame frame. And because I was worried about metallic embroidery thread being scratchy I didn’t extend the embroidery far enough into the seam allowance to allow me to let out at the shoulder seams. I ended up with some draglines in the upper bust area for my big day. (Did let out what I could afterwards. But there wasn’t much seam allowance to fix it entirely.)
  • Lowered neckline (aka unintentional off-the-shoulder look) wasn’t an issue in this version as I used the cross-back ties that one finds in many authentic Indian choli.
  • But limited sleeve mobility was an issue despite a moderately shallow cap. The bit that feels most restrictive was mid arm joint height, as if the cap area wasn’t wide enough.

Wearable Muslin 2 >
Nakkashi 5036 gold embroidered Choli

  • I had to tweak my personalised pattern to fit the ready-made embroidery, which is presumably shaped to work with standard Indian pattern-drafting. Eg the allowance for back waist dart is smaller than my back waist dart, so some of mine had to be pivoted to the back cut-out area. In other areas I had to twist the fabric slightly to fit my pattern, or even patch a bald area with embroidered scraps.
  • Bust & neckline not an issue here as I didn’t attempt to lift the bust & this design has a back cut-out rather than lowered neckline.
  • Sleeve mobility wasn’t too bad, but comfort was my main issue here. I made the cap even more shallow & wider to increase mobility & tapered the sleeve width more sharply to minimise the winged look. The result was the heavily embroidered underarm areas getting too close for comfort. I felt like I was holding something with my armpits! Again had to suffer through it for a friend’s wedding, but redid the sleeve increasing the cap height (by shortening the sleeve seam length) & removed as much embroidery from the area as I could. Wearable. But now the sleeve’s more restrictive. So I wouldn’t reach for it naturally.

After armscye alteration…

 

More muslins & research…

  • Stay-put lowered neckline:
    • Tried the instruction for lowered F&B neckline from K King’s Moulage book. It was a method devised by his Indian teacher. Didn’t work for me. Actually made the shoulders slip off even more easily. Maybe I didn’t follow the instruction correctly?
    • My patterns had the back neckline at shoulder blade width, but the muslin necklines all spread out more widely. Perhaps it was too much to ask the neckline to stay put at the shoulder blade peaks?
  • Sleeve mobility:
    • Tried cutting sleeve on the bias. Sleeve looked marginally less wrinkly, but made no noticeable difference to mobility nor decrease the winged look.
    • Tried on a me-made choli based on older bodice block for comparison & was surprised to find that it actually had better sleeve mobility without excess sleeve width & winged effect. I had thought the shoulder slope & sleeve cap fit was off on that version, causing excess fabric folds pointing to armpits & draglines from centres of neckline as if the sleeves were pulling the neckline outward. Comparing the latest sleeve draft to that choli (don’t have the pattern anymore) that earlier sleeve shape was actually closer to my immobile fitted sleeve – cap taller & narrower than my latest drafts…WTF!?!?!

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A bunch of Ts

Not much interesting sewing happening here lately. I still feel exhausted & low from last two years’ craziness. To keep Meaning-Of-Life questions at bay, I tried to keep myself distracted by replacing boring basics in the wardrobe & made a bunch of easy-ish T-shirts that refine my stretch blocks.

Dartless 0-ease Knit Block designs:

Dartless 0-ease Knit Block (+Set-In Sleeve)

1. Envelope neckline T with set-in sleeves

This is a straight replacement for a couple of RTW Ts that I wore to death. The pattern is essentially my Camden Town Kids Wannabe top minus the puff over-sleeves & the funky hem. I also tighten up a bit at the side seams since the cotton (+lycra?) knit I used for this version moulds to the body better, so can take on a body-con shape without draglines – unlike the totally artificial fibre fabric I used for the previous top.

2. Shawl neckline T with set-in sleeves

This is a wearable muslin for a T that was planned for Fall-Winter 2014 SWAP. Yes, 2+ year late. But it’s a classic silhouette. So who cares right? I could have reused the altered Vogue 2980 which I made back in 2012. But I was hoping to improve the fit at the bust & the back neckline by using my own Blocks.

For the shawl collar I used V2980 as a guide to shaping the pattern using my own Blocks. I cut the collar as an extension to the back piece rather than a separate piece – my fabric stinginess won the day again! But I ended up having to stabilise (with bias tape) & stitch down the facing side of the collar extension along what would have been the shoulder-neckline seam. 6 vs half-dozen blah blah [roll eyes].

As for the shawl pleating at the side seams, I tried to minimise bulk by pleating only the top layer (ie not the facing layer).

Like my take on V2980 I again added a shelf bra (this time with double layer of stretch net), with elastics at both the bottom of the shelf bra &  its seam with the front neckline.

The initial result was a bit disappointing. The main problem was a gapping front neckline: I didn’t account for hollow at the chest that affects the fit of a lowered neckline. I also ended the shawl pleating too high up at the side seams. This resulted in the pleating being barely visible & the shawl not overlapping the front neckline enough, thus exacerbating the wide gapping neckline problem. To fix this I tried redoing the armscye – side seam: I narrowed the front neckline (cross-front width) slightly at the armhole, and reduced the depths of the pleats a bit so the shawl can end lower at the side seams (bustline now). It’s a bit better now. But I’m still not 100% sure I’ve cracked this silhouette.

3. Strappy T

This – along with a matching skirt – was actually an afterthought tagged on while making T #6 below. But as it’s based on the set-in sleeve block let’s talk about it first. It started with liking the fabric swatch combination. Unfortunately the result didn’t turn out like my doodle promised. The contrast band end up more wrinkly than planned. And my short straight figure just doesn’t do my doodle any justice. Last but not least, my attempt at built-in bust support with a darted shelf bra (as suggested by defunct Pattern School instruction for a Tankini) left an unsightly visible seaming bump. So a bit meh.

Raglan Dartless 0-ease Knit Block designs:

Raglan Dartless 0-ease Knit Block

4. Raglan short-sleeve T

This 2-bird 1-stone T attempted to use up the last scrap of cotton (+lycra?) knit from 1 above & retest my tweaked Raglan Dartless Knit Block at the same time (Test 3 in my previous Raglan Knit Block post). I had problem with the armholes feeling too tight – riding up against the armpit – despite the Block being derived from a set-in sleeve version which fitted fine. So I tried simply lowering the armpit a little bit. It’s been a while since I made the tweak, so I wanted to test the fit again in this forgiving cotton knit. No luck. Wearable, but the armpit is still a tad too close for comfort & the bodice still rides up slightly. The neckline is also a bit smaller – sit higher than I thought it would.

It’s good enough to wear, but not successful enough to make again.

5. Tweaked again Raglan T muslin 1

This time I tried adding length to both the raglan bodice & sleeve about mid-way up the armscye. This does seem to work better comfort-wise. But as the fabric I’ve used for this one – thin cotton jersey & lightweight power mesh – are both quite stretchy anyway, I won’t call this tweak a success just yet.

The design was inspired by Clio & Phineas’ cool cat V8670 Raglan T made with Alexander McQueen pima cotton jersey. I really lusted after one of my own. Then I was gifted the gothic looking black & red print by Giselle of London Dressmaker Meet-up Group. When shopping my stash for muslin victim I thought this might just about capture the spirit of Clio’s cool cat Raglan T. And I’m quite chaffed with the result, even though I haven’t got anything to wear it with.

6. Tweaked again Raglan T muslin 2

Exact same pattern as T #5 above. Wanted to test the pattern on a different knit. This time a less malleable artificial fibre knit. The very same fabric I’ve made a raglan T in before – Burda 2010-02-112. I got way too much of this fabric that was on sale, & that older raglan T is getting a bit tatty. Just the chance to replace & test my tweaked Raglan Block at the same time. Gosh I love my 2-4-1s!!!

To jazz this up I again turned to gold stamping/painting Queen B on the back, swarm of worker bees on the front, & barcodes at the wrists. Unfortunately my initial attempt resulted in a poorly positioned worker bee on the front bodice. For a moment I thought I’d just own it like a proper feminist should. But I chickened out & invited more bees to disguised the mistake. I don’t like the resulting mess of a print as much, but hopefully it’ll make the T more wearable.

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Stripy Westwood Wannabe T

Moving swiftly on, here’s my self-drafted Vivienne Westwood Wannabe 3/4-sleeved cowl-neck T made from the same bamboo striped jersey.

Style Shots & Mug Shots

WORN WITH: 1 Burda 2011-08-121 pencil skirt; 2 TopShop mullet skirt; 3 TopShop Martha jeans; 4 Refashioned RTW mullet skirt;

The Inspiration & Pattern

Inspiration:

I had enough of this limp & not-fit-for-a-Breton-T stripe jersey left to make another garment. As I wasn’t inspired, I just went for a long sleeve variation of the same old cowl neck fitted top idea. Figuring out how to add sleeves to Vogue 1282 would be more effort than I want to spend. So I picked another Vivienne Westwood design that looked easily achievable using any fitted Knit Blocks:

Vivinne Westwood stripy T

Vivinne Westwood stripy T

Block Used:

0 ease Fitted Darted0-ease Stable Knits Darted Fitted Top Block (Bodice & Sleeve)

Design Changes Made

1-pat-F

  • Front Cowl:
    • Pivoted side bust dart to shoulder so the dart allowance could be incorporated into the cowl drape.
    • Cut & spread the Front Bodice to create cowl drapes. I chose to do this from underbust up & to split the amount into separate rows of cut-n-spread because I thought this will give me cowl drape while retaining a fitted silhouette.
    • For more exaggerated drapes I added pleats to the shoulder seam & to minimise the risk of boob exposure I tapered the neckline back to a narrower width. For a more natural looking drape, I prefer to cut extra fabric & drape the cowl on Q, my dress form. I don’t like it when such drapes are too even / symmetrical. The extra fabric extends up from shoulder-armscye points, then across a bit above the shoulder-neck points. After draping the pleats I wanted, the excess fabric was trimmed to pleated shoulder seam + seam allowance.
    • Back neckline I was going to lower & maintain the neck curve. But I got lazy & went for straight line with cut on facing…because the Vogue 1282 top I was sewing at the same time had the same back neckline treatment. In retrospect, I should have used a binding like in my Burda 2013-12-119 top. It would have been cleaner & less chance of a facing flipping out on me.
  • Front bottom drape: This is essentially an unstitched dart.
    • After deciding where the bottom of the drape will be on the right side seam (ie the dart point), I folded the paper across to form one leg of the dart, then bring this up to where the top of the drape will be on the left side seam (ie the other leg of the dart). Across because you can see in the original design the fold line is almost parallel to a line of stripe.
    • Then I trace the rest of the Block below the fold.
  • Shorten to desired lengths:
    • Bodice to a couple inches above full hip, Sleeves to 3/4 length.
    • I made the hems straight to make it easier to sew a wider hem. But this meant the hem at the side seam could look weirdly pointy. So I reshaped the back side seams slightly to get closer to a right angle to the hemline. This also helps with the right side steam stripe matching as the unstitched dart modified the angle of the side seam blow the “dart point”.

Fabric & Notions Used

Construction Notes

  • Stripe-matching: See previous post about how I dealt with stripe matching in this PITA wiggly stripe fabric. It wasn’t possible to match the stripes 100% because of my pattern’s uneven front & back side seam heights. So I sacrificed the matching near the armpits – even going as far as letting the sleeve-bodice seam intersections not match. Somehow I managed to get a stripe going from the bodice to the sleeve in one armpit which I thought was rather neat. Too bad the other side was off a little bit. At the bodice hem, the left side seam draped area was never going to match. But on the right side I ended up trimming a bit of width off the hem & got the stripes to match pretty well.
  • Stablisation: Again, the back neckline & the armholes were stablised with fusible interfacing to fight the gravity-compliant tendency of this viscose jersey. As this is long-sleeved, the shoulder seams were also stablised so the extra weight of the sleeves won’t stretch out the shoulder seams over time.
  • Cowl: I’ve used the same technique on another VW inspired top. But this time it wasn’t so successful. The difference was the other top had a fitted lining which controlled the cowl drape. This top is unlined. So the extra width just wanted to spread & droop all over the place & get in the way of my forward arm movement, especially as my armscyes were all stablised & not stretchy. I ended up having to tack the drapes in place to maintain the folds. While the drapes still look a bit messy, at least the armsyces now feel comfortable & unrestrictive.

The Verdict

It’s an OK top. It’s one to slouch in rather than dress up in. It has just enough caffeine kick to keep me awake, but not enough to shout about.

There may be a little bit too much drape. My thin & droopy fabric doesn’t help. So it looks more sloppy than the VW original. I probably should have removed some width from the unstitched dart’s fold  so that it hugs the body there & are less likely to spread open. But I just wasn’t interested enough to want to fix this in the top since it already looks sloppy in the cowl area.

So a caffeinated slouchy top it shall remain. And no doubt get more wear than its dressier siblings!

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Aviator Cap & Convertible Mittens

Lastly, mopping up the too-big-to-trash scraps of the orange-black double-sided sweater knit are these experiments with an Aviator style hat & a pair of convertible mittens.

Style Shots & Mug Shots

4-style1-1b

WORN WITH: 1 Self-drafted mock-wrap skirt, Burda 2015-10-109 sweater, Burda 2013-11-117 jacket;

 

The Cat-ear Aviator Cap

Inspirations, Design, & Pattern

I had collected a bunch of inspirations for Aviator style cap. There was even one planned in my SWAP Fall/Winter 2014, though for a different fabric. The Block shown below was actually developed for that, which of course I haven’t got around to make. So count this make as a wearable muslin? Although this is knit, and the other isn’t, so maybe not so insightful as a muslin. Hmmm…

I had originally considered Burda 2011-10-149 fur cap for that planned faux shearling aviator cap. But because my head is really flat in the crown, I was worried standard hat pattern won’t fit well. RTW hats tend to fly off easily. And a floppy fabric one that mold to the head might just show up my deficiency. So I made my own Block from flattened plastic wrap + clear tape head mold. I added back some extra room in the crown, but not as much as in a standard pattern, just enough to disguise my deficiency slightly.

So how I ended up with ears…Yes I do feel a bit silly wear this. But you frequently see young ones in London & East Asian women in cute knitted animal face hats. I guess ultimately I still have East Asian blood flowing in me. Excuses excuses. In any case I consulted Burda 2011-10-142 animal cap which is a similar hat for children, but ended up going with the Block I already have with added ears. After all this is suppose to be a muslin right?

Fabrics & Notions

Construction Notes

I thought my fabric was thick enough to go single layer. But when I made up the single layer I found the result too floppy & unstable. Oops. So I ended up scavenging for scraps big enough to double all pattern pieces. This mishap did allowed me to hide the seams of the Ears to the cap & the strips of interfacing I used to stabilize the cap circumference & edges. The construction is otherwise unremarkable – apart from the general problems I had with this fabric. The Ears were the first time I tried using Flatlock stitches on a dart. It didn’t come out too bad. So now I don’t have to convert darts into seams – eg princess seams in my reversible skirt – to get shaping when using Flatlock as my primary seaming technique.

2-steps-Hat

The Convertible Mittens

Inspirations, Design, & Pattern

The mittens are the equivalent of impulse purchase. I had never lust after one. But as it was cold outside, I couldn’t find my gloves, and there was enough scraps left, I thought why not. I settled on mittens because fingers seem too fiddly to sew well in my spongy fabric.

After Googling “mitten sewing patterns” & “convertible mitten sewing patterns” I cobbled together different ideas & made up my own pattern to fit my hands as you can see below. There are probably simpler patterns one can use. But I didn’t want a visible seam line on the back of my hand, so I had to add extra bits like the “Back of Hand Tab”. You may be less fussy if you make one yourself! :@)

 

1-pat-Mittens

Fabrics & Notions

  • Fabric: 2.5 yd Mohair/Acrylic/Nylon Double-sided sweater knit from NY Elegant Fabrics ($59.95/yd)
  • Notions: 1/8″ elastics.

Construction Notes

Construction would probably be easier on the sewing machine. But my overlocker challenged me to flatlock the whole thing & I accepted. OK, I did have to tidy a few bits with hand sewing, and the finishing is a bit on the rough side. But for what would have otherwise been scraps they’re now serviceable mittens for a season or two. So can’t complain.

2-steps-Mittens

The Verdict

Regardless of whether these accessories are your cup of tea, or even mine, it’s quite satisfying to use up all the scraps without having to take up quilting or crafting! The hat – minus the ears – will probably get made again, maybe with chin closures for better practicality, for I haven’t given up on those inspiration images just yet. The mittens probably no, for I prefer gloves. Even as convertibles, they’re not as useful (for using smartphones while keeping hands warm) as I’d hope, because I discovered I actually use my thumbs as well when smartphoning.

So that’s the end of this double-sided fabric. Next up, my second attempt in recent years to make a pair of trousers.

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