Sunday, March 6, 2011

New Pants: Sewing Without Tears

People who know how to sew, avert your eyes.
Last summer I bought this serger on craigslist...

The woman I bought it from tried to give me instructions on how to thread it when I picked it up from her in a parking lot, in the rain, so needless to say I didn't retain much of what she told me.  She had lost the manual for it and when I got it home I saw this...

Oh geez.  So I took a class and the next day, I made this!...

But the real goal was pants for Joe because 1.)  He is very particular about fit and style and 2.)  He has the physique of a stick figure and it's hard to find pants that stay up AND look and feel the way he wants.
So I went to Mood when I was in NY last summer and bought some heavy jersy knit fabric, washed it, ironed it and then left it in the closet to "cure" for half a year.  Then we discovered a hole in the knee of one of his three pairs of pants on Friday and the conversation went like this...
Me:  Just wear them.
Joe:  But nobody else has holes in their pants!
Me:  Well, wear them today and I will put a patch on them when you get home.
Me:  Okay, well...  I'll see if I can find that fabric I bought for making pants and I'll work on them this weekend.

And here's why I recommend that sewers avert their eyes...

I don't really know what the heck I'm doing.  But I'm inspired by Elizabeth Zimmerman's book, "Knitting Without Tears" and if I were to describe my approach to sewing, it would be "Sewing Without Tears":  So what if they don't look perfect, I'm not trying to make them look like they came from the store.  I did consider doing a mock-up first, seeing as I had no pattern (not that I would know how to use one anyway.)  But I thought that seemed tedious so I just went for it.
And here was the result...  Note the "I hate these ridiculous new pants" expression.

But, BUT...  After some tweaking and a waistband, the response was, "These feel good, can I wear them today?"

Me to Chris:  What do you think?
Chris:  Well, they look home-made, but they're pretty good for a first try!

Um, thanks.


  1. a) love that skirt;
    b) love your EZ attitude;
    c) love Joe's expression;
    d) love that he's going to love them.

    ps ~ ask me about the Japanese kids' clothes pattern book I have.

  2. HAaaaaahahahaha! Oh, Chris's comment kills me. I think I would get the same from my husband. But Joe's critique is the only one that matters.

  3. He reminds me of me at that age, I was so finicky with clothes and shoes, I had all these weird calesthenics I would do in the store to test out everything.