Creation Report: Hotpatterns 1026 Divide and Conquer Culottes (OOP)

HotPatterns recently hosted a Sew Something Saturday on their Facebook page, and I had a hell of a time deciding what I would make.  Originally it was going to be a Deco Vibe Delicious Dress – T&T; appropriate for work or a nice evening out; easy; and the forgiving fit means it would look good regardless of what happens with my weight.  But I just wasn’t feeling it.  I do a lot of instant-gratification sewing.  Quick, easy, and office-appropiate.  I guess sometimes instant gratification isn’t gratifying any more.  Sometimes, I have to heed the call of the epic make.

I don’t know how long I’ve had this pattern in my stash, but considering that the copyright date is 2005, I must have had it for quite a while.  I didn’t make them until now because they’re flamboyant and attention-catching and I often prefer to blend with the wallpaper; because I hadn’t mastered pants-fitting; because I didn’t feel my skillz were up to the task – with all those panels, if you’re off by even a mm, that error can add up to 16mm petty quickly, and in a slim-fit garment, that’s difference between fitting, or not fitting.

I’d had this fabric in my stash since 2008 – bought with this pattern in mind.

It’s nothing particularly precious or expensive – a loose-weave polyester houndstooth suiting with multicolour tweedy slubs all through it.  But it called out to me and had to be these culottes; nothing else would do.  And so it sat and waited.

And for Sew Something Saturday, I finally made it happen!  (Though I only just finished them; today is Tuesday.)  They are not quick.  They are not particularly easy (though not particularly difficult either, just picky).  I can’t decide if they’re office appropriate.  They feel more appropriate for wandering the desolate moor while pining after a lost love, then dieing of consumption, like a tragic Victorian heroine.  I kindof love them.  They’re swishy and over the top and really me, as opposed to the ever-appropriate face I generally try to present.  Also: they’re basically a skirt, but have a built-in chub-rub barrier.

As for actual construction, like I said, they’re pretty simple.  A center front, a center back, and a side panel that you cut 12 of.  Plus a waistband and fly.  And other than having to manage 3m of fabric flapping all over the place, they make up just like any other pair of pants.  I made my usual swayback, big bum, and big tummy alterations, and frankenpatterned in the countour waistband from a different pair of pants because straight waistbands tend to be uncomfortable for me.  The other design changes I made were to add a lining, and to lengthen them a little.  I think they were intended to be mid-calf length on a not-short person, so on me they were just above the ankle – I lowered the hem to just below the ankle.

Here’s how they turned out:

Pardon the lack of fancy styling to show them off.  You get the idea, though.

Also, because I am a masochist, I changed the hems from a 5/8″ turn-up, machine stitched hem, to a 2″ turn-up, hand-stitched one.  I’m so glad I didn’t measure before I started that hand-stitching: 4.2m of hand-hemming. Not gonna do that again.

But I do think I’m going to make a couple more pair of these – yes, a pair in black.  And also maybe something more summery.

Choir Uniform

My choir decided to go with a tighter dresscode, to give us a more “unified” look. Long skirt, or wide-legged pants that look like a skirt, plain top with 3/4 sleeves and a conservative round neckline. Fabric should be knit. (Previously, it was just: all black.  And people interpreted it as anything from sweatpants to eveningwear.)

Everybody is scrambling to find something as we phase in this new look… except me: I scrambled to make something. (It also didn’t hurt that Fabricmart was having a sale on ITY jersey at the time the announcement was made.) I made the HP 1190 Pull-on Palazzos (cut wider through the inner leg to be more like a culotte), and a straight-hem, extended-arm Shirt-tail T (HP 1189). I made the neckline of the Shirt-tail T more conservative by splicing in the neckline from Saf-t-pockets Simply Terrific T.

Just to be on the safe side – stage lights can make the most solid fabrics unexpectedly sheer – I lined both top and bottom with wickaway tricot.  This also helps with the unpredictability of climate conditions on stage, which can vary from frigid to tropical in the space of a single performance if you sing in drafty old churches.

I might change the top back to shirttails: in the photo I can see that it’s a little snug around the hips, which I didn’t notice as much in the mirror.

A Paean to HotPatterns 1189 the Shirt-tail T

Can I just say how much I love this pattern?  I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve made it, and at this point I can get one done from flat fabric to photo ready in under two hours.

hp1189

It does what it says on the envelope: a dead-simple t-shirt, with some clever variations.  Great for showing off interesting knit fabric.  And no set-in sleeves to worry about, but the cut-on cap sleeves are long enough that I don’t feel self-conscious about my upper arms.

Here are just a few versions I’ve made:

hp1189-1 hp1189-2hp1189-3 hp1189-striped

I’ve got plans for (yes, another) argyle version – with contrast neck and sleeve bands, and possibly another directional stripe one in a lavender and white linen blend (if I don’t use it for something else).

And then Trudy Hanson, the mind behind the designs, made herself one with 3/4 sleeves, and posted a diagram of how to turn the cut-on cap sleeve into a dolman.  So I had to do it too!

hp1189-sleeves hp1189-sleeves2

Construction notes:

  • This top fits very, very loose.  The first three (swirls, space print, pink argyle) are a size 24, which I selected according to the measurement chart and my full bust measurement.  For the final three, I went down to a size 20 (despite the fact that my high bust measurement would put me in a 22) and I would say 20 is about right for my preferences.
  • The version with the directional stripes really, really calls for precision and pickiness.  Every tiny waviness in your stitching lines will show.