Sewing without your right arm

It’s quite seldom that I do not use my serger for at least part of any given garment.  But when it started feeling “clunky” last week, I decided it was time to get it serviced (it’s been I think 3 years).  But I only had a pair of knit pants to make (ponte pants–my last item for the Wardrobe Basics Sew along, specifically), and theoretically, you don’t need a serger to make knits.  I say theoretically because I didn’t realize how crazy dependent I am on my serger.  Good sewing went out the window.

My inspiration pants were the City Knit Luxe pants from NY and Company that I tried on at the beginning of the challenge whilst on a little snoop shopping expedition with my sweet friend Lisa.

I started well enough with Burdastyle 12-2009-104–a skinny stretch woven pant with faux front pockets, and 2 piece front.  I took out a little more than usual in my flat seat adjustment and added a little more in scooping out the front crotch to account for the additional stretch in my fabric (a nicely draping rayon poly lycra doubleknit from Denver Fabrics).  I cut 1″ off the top to make it more low-rise, as low-rise is normal rise for me.  It decidedly being Spring, and it being far too warm to wear jeans tucked into boots, I also decided to add some flare from the knee down.  But this sewing trip was not all a trip through the roses.

Exhibit A:

Ack!  This is the ugliest waistband ever.  I think I thought that I’d serge it as one piece, except that I didn’t have my serger.  Ick.  It’s all wrinkled and such because I tried to do Lori’s tutorial for adding hidden elastic in the waistband.  Don’t go on my mistakes here–it really is a good tutorial.  I think a couple of things happened:

1.  My elastic should have been longer so that there wouldn’t be so much disparity in circumference in each part of the waistband.

2.  If I had thought about it, I might have tried to stitch the elastic to the seam allowance in the waistband.  I ran out of matching thread in my bobbin, so I’m not fond of the 3 part zigzag on the inside.

3.  My topstitching on the waistband went seriously awry.  I say mysteriously because it looks perfectly fine on the two part seam on the body of the fronts as well as the faux pockets.

I do really like that this method helps keeps the pants from doing the knit pant creep down towards the knees that happens over the course of the day.  Though, they still are a little saggy in back after a day’s wearing.


Exhibit B:

I put on the pants to do a final check of the fit, only to discover that they were mysteriously breezy.  Breezy because there was a big hole I slashed at the bottom of the fly.  A little extra bartacking fixed it, but it’s not exactly pretty.

Exhibit C:

Where are the pockets?  I feel a bit exposed in these pants, so I reckon I’ll be wearing them with longer tops.  A quick patch pocket could have fixed that.  I’d retrofit these with some patch pockets, but my layout was too tight and left me with very little extra, and certainly nothing wide enough for a pocket, and there’s the problem of topstitching on this fabric again…

From the fly down, I’m okay with these pants.  The great thing about messing up a waistband is that you can cover that.  They are extremely comfortable.  Actually, they are more comfortable than sweatpants because they fit my body while allowing the freedom of movement that make us all love knits in the first place.  As a bonus, they look more like slacks, which is what I wanted over a yoga type pant which I probably wouldn’t wear out of the house.  I also really like the 2 piece front…it’s a fun design element and it’s flattering.  All this said, the next time I attempt a pair of knit pants, I will wait until my serger is back in her proper place.

As for you readers, do you have any salvageable mess ups that you’ve made?

My full review is here.

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3 responses to “Sewing without your right arm

  1. I do like the piecing and front pocket on those. Nothing wrong with wearing long tops!

  2. Seriously great pants. I made sweatshirt pants last month from a burda pattern and love them!

  3. Pingback: MMM catch-up « ~E Made This!

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