visibly mended coat pocket

This is my first project directly inspired by the techniques in Mending Matters.

The project

Mend the pocket of my coat, which had developed a big hole from carrying keys. The fabric of the pocket (as well as the lining) is cotton so it wears more quickly than a synthetic would. Both coat pockets have holes, so I chose to repair the easier one first. The coat is only partially lined and thus the pocket bags are very accessible.

Why I chose to mend it when I did

I’ve had holes in both pockets for years now and just worked around it. I could often get away with not taking my keys at all because my partner and I were both working from home. If we went out together, he’d take his keys and I’d leave mine behind.

He has since gotten a job that’s not only out of the house but out of the city, and suddenly I had to carry keys again. I was tired of the workarounds that I’d used when he’d been away studying before, which was usually throwing the keys into my fabric tote bag (I don’t carry a purse). But then the keys are at the bottom of the bag and possibly bruising the fruit and vegetables I’d just bought.

The process

This mend is visible in the sense that I chose non-blending fabric and thread for the repair, but only if I show it off because this area is of course ordinarily hidden inside the coat.

For my patch, I used a scrap of robust cotton twill that was originally from a project I’d made many years ago for my partner. I chose it for practical reasons, but I found that connecting this project for me to that older one for him was also rather satisfying.

I’d cut the left edge previously by following threads. The new chalk marks are square and show just how off-grain the fabric is. That’s not too surprising though, as twill often skews like this. I left the selvage on because it avoids a raw edge (helpful with an area that gets a lot of wear) and the different weight and tension of that bit of fabric wouldn’t cause any problems.

Usually when I apply a patch, I’ll glue it in place using an ordinary glue stick so that it doesn’t shift while I’m stitching. But that’s usually for jeans or other clothes that are getting washed and I’m not sure whether the glue would cause problems if it stays in indefinitely. This time I skipped the glue and tried the safety-pinning method shown in the book.

The safety pins worked just fine, but I still prefer gluing. I made sure to put the right side of the fabric facing out.

As luck would have it, I was in Japan in November and when I was at a large department store with a great craft and sewing section I remembered that I was considering trying out sashiko embroidery. At the time I was envisioning the classic white-on-indigo look, so rather than availing myself of the good range of colours they had (where do you start? where do you stop?), I just bought one skein of white to try it out.

I considered using that white cotton sashiko thread here but found that it looked a little harsh with the fabrics of the coat and patch — the lining fabric is a slightly warm grey. So I chose a cream-coloured cotton embroidery floss instead, which I found to be much more complementary, and the tint is so subtle that it still reads as white. Yes, the floss has a bit of sheen that the sashiko thread doesn’t but it’s not noticeable unless you’re looking for it.

All of the stitching was done with three strands of floss. The rectangle is the first part to be completed as its function is to secure the patch. I did the bacteria-like mend next, and rather than whip-stitching according to the book, I did a blanket stitch. The finished look is almost the same, but the blanket stitch effectively outlines the hole in thread which gives it a little more protection from wear. Because I’ve done more blanket stitching than whip-stitching, I also find it easier to do evenly. Finally, I threw in a few gratuitous lines of stitching because (a) I like how it looks, and (b) it gives a little more stability to the “white space” of the patch.

I’ve had this coat (and its twin — that’s another story) for many years already and had been idly thinking of a succession plan since it is (they are) showing a fair amount of wear. But wear is love, and now I’m inclined to keep it (them) on the road as long as I can.

oh god, more squares

polar bear quilting cotton
polar bear quilting cotton

I got a bee in my bonnet about making furoshiki out of seasonal prints so I could match the print to the contents of the bundle. I started looking for appropriate prints and had difficulty finding anything that I particularly liked. I eventually ran across a polar bear print at the quilt shop that is walking distance from my house. (So much better than running the gauntlet out to big-box/excessive-traffic land.) I’m now putting away my winter gear, so it all came together nicely.

You know that saying “idle hands are the devil’s tools”? Well, another tool in that box is the rolled hem foot. I’m doing well if I can maintain the same number of curses per hour as regular sewing – it’s usually at least double.

sometimes the rolled hem foot works nicely...
sometimes the rolled hem foot works nicely…

It’s tricky to keep the proper amount (width) of fabric feeding through. Too much, and there’s no room in the hem for the raw edge, which peeks out the side. Too little, and all you get is a single fold with the raw edge sticking out, or it looks good and the raw edge is folded under but it didn’t get caught in the stitching.

... and sometimes, not so much
… and sometimes, not so much (but the really egregious bits, I redo)

My neighbourhood’s annual arts festival took place last week, culminating with the street fair – arts and crafts shopping – on Saturday. For about 10 seconds, I thought about having a booth and making furoshiki to sell, but that way madness lies. For one thing, I get so bored with hemming squares that it’s hard to do more than one in a row.

so instead of vending, I went dancing
so instead of vending, I went dancing

Japanese old man trousers

There have been a few changes around BST since my last post:

  • I bought a new point-and-shoot camera (this might have happened shortly before the last post)
  • I bought a remote to use with said camera
  • the snow melted
  • *** my husband is back from the UK over the summer ***
  • I got a new laptop

The problem with the old laptop was that the monitor crapped out. I’m told that I can plug in an external monitor and do what I need to do, but I haven’t gotten to that yet, so my data move (including photos) is still incomplete. Nonetheless, I feel like I have what I need for blogging that is slightly less infrequent than it was.

I haven’t been completely idle sewing-wise in the interim. For one thing, I rediscovered my samue (a.k.a. samui) from my days of teaching in Japan. This is very much like a martial arts uniform with a few differences. Most obviously, the fabric is indigo rather than white. Mine also has a fine waffle weave, but I suspect this is not the norm. The jacket has a patch pocket on the front (which I imagine to be used most often for a pack of ciggies). The trousers have elastic at the waist (the uniforms traditionally tie but they seem mostly to be elastic too these days) and at the ankles, and side slant pockets. They also have an odd sort of fly: there is a front opening that doesn’t go all the way to the top, because the elastic goes all the way around, and the opening closes with a single button on a hidden button placket. (Kind of like men’s underwear with the escape hatch. Which, I am told, no one actually uses, so why do they even bother? Anyway.) The trousers actually rather resemble sweatpants (tracksuit bottoms) but made of a woven rather than a knit.

I associate this outfit with old Japanese men on the basis of a sample size of one: my former landlord. Who smokes.

Around the time that it ceased to be winter this year, I started wearing the jacket as a light housecoat in the mornings. One day when doing some gardening, I figured that the pants would be an improvement over anything else in the closet in terms of protecting me from mosquitoes. The only problem was that the rise was so long (low-rise these ain’t) that either the crotch dragged around my knees or I had to roll the waistband three times. I figured I would get more wear out of it if I altered it. Rather surprisingly, the inseam length was fine, so alterations were only required at the top.

samue pants before
samue pants before

(Fit photos reveal posture issues that are otherwise much less obvious.)

samue pants before: note super-long crotch length
samue pants before, with the waist about where I’d want it: note super-long crotch length

First I opened up the waist casing and removed the elastic. Then I stitched up the fly; I had considered removing some of the layers (all interfaced) but decided to leave it as is because I would have had to engage in significant surgery. I also stitched up the pockets and cut off the pocket bags, since not much of an opening would be left and they’d be unusable anyway. Then I put on the pants, held up with a length of elastic tied around my waist, to see about marking the new waistline. I ended up whacking off quite a lot; my waist is lower in the front, so it was about 5″ at the front and 4″ at the back.

One odd thing that I noticed was that, in addition to the elastic, there were also small pleats at the front: one on each side, with a depth of 1/2″ (take-up of 1″). If one can put pleats in an elastic waist, surely darts are no worse? And if you can do it on the front, why not the back?

Because of my shape (slim with booty), when I tried on the pants with the elastic, the back was a wrinkly mess. I decided to try putting in a couple of darts on each side, like regular dress pants. The waffle weave made it easy to follow the grain to transfer the darts on one side to the other side, which I did meticulously. But when I tried them on again, they didn’t look right. I had assumed that the pants were cut on grain. Uh, no. I made the darts relatively even by eyeballing them and called it good.

Rather than just fold over the bulky fabric to make the casing, I cut a separate piece from scrap broadcloth for the inside.

samue pants after
samue pants after

While taking the photos, I noticed something that I hadn’t seen before, which is that I probably took too much width out in the back darts to be in proportion to the bagginess of the rest of it, so the volume kinda puffs out at the bottom of the darts. I can live with the pants the way they are and am not going to make any further adjustments: they’re slouchy work/lounge pants that I don’t intend to wear anywhere more public than my front yard. However, I think I can use this darting technique on other drawstring pants, so I’ll file this bit of info for later. I also think I may have shortened the CB a smidge more than would have been ideal.

samue pants after: awkward amounts of volume
samue pants after: awkward treatment of volume in the back

The pants are great for gardening, sitting on the couch with a book on the weekend, and at some point when the weather gets cold again, I will probably try them out as thermal pantaloons (under a skirt) for dance.

I can’t say I’m big on mending, alteration and refashioning, but when confronted with an item that is unwearable because of fit or being worn out, it becomes a very low-risk project to my mind. If I had made these pants from scratch, I suspect I would have been rather disappointed by the final fit that I achieved. But I took an item that was unwearable and made it quite serviceable. (This attitude would probably serve me well for from-scratch sewing too – will have to try to remember this.)

boot bag

Last Christmas, I gave my sister a pair of shoe bags. She mentioned that a bag that would fit a pair of boots would not go amiss.

I dug out the remaining scraps of the fabric I had used for the shoe bags last year. There wasn’t much, so I considered using some other fabric that wouldn’t require piecing. Nothing jumped out at me though, so I went with plan A.

I figured that the biggest piece (Luna Moth in turquoise) would make a bag that was too short and probably too wide, but I had a strip of Hive in raspberry that would make up the required length. There was a strip of Luna Moth in raspberry that would do for the drawstring. The colours all go together nicely as they’re all from the same manufacturer (Michael Miller) in complementary colour schemes.

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I have a pair of boots that I guessed were about the height of the ones meant to go in the bag, so I measured them up to figure out good dimensions for the bag. As it turned out, the numbers I came up with pretty much matched the dimensions of the scraps I had. Here’s what was left after all was said and done:

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Sweet!

Final dimension of the bag: 15.5″ x 23.75″ / 40 cm x 60 cm
Final dimensions of drawstring: 3/8″ x 37″ / 1 cm x 94 cm (I used an 18 mm tape maker)

purple floral skirt

This is version 4 of my pleated skirt design. Another quilting cotton print what was I had in mind before I made the navy one, but quilting cotton wasn’t in the stash and navy linen-cotton was. See how far that got me.

I can’t remember when I last deliberately shopped for “fashion fabric”. My usual MO is deliberate shopping for notions and serendipitous fabric finds in the store (usually in the bargain section, but sometimes merely slightly reduced). These days I’m making every effort to shop the stash first.

The store I went to has a good selection of quilting cotton, but after scoping out every bolt, I only found one in a colour that would suit me and with a print that I liked. I was in a crappy mood by this time, which impairs my decision-making ability, but I did come home with a piece of fabric. The good news is that I like it even more now.

As usual, I’ve stopped at “wearable” before getting all the way to “finished”. I’ve roughed in the waist casing so the skirt is a touch shorter than the others. Also, I’ve been finding that where the waistline wants to sit is sometimes different than where I intend for it to be, so I’m paying a little more attention to that this time.

My wardrobe is red and black heavy and I’ve come to the conclusion that these colours are not the most flattering on me. It’s nice to introduce a new colour, especially one that’s better suited to my colouring. When I eventually get around to making tops in better colours, then they’ll probably match the skirt nicely. It seems to work well with most of the tops I currently have, which is a bit of a relief.

I put in a side-seam pocket, this time straddling the yoke seam and with the pocket top caught in the waist casing. The construction worked OK but it gapes a bit, revealing the black broadcloth I used for the pocket. I may revise this in future, but it’s good enough for the moment.

I still like this skirt design, I’ve got another in planning stages, and will almost certainly make more in the future. This is kind of funny because I’ve never been a skirt person. I think that when I was a kid and riding my bike everywhere, I removed skirts from the list of clothing options mostly for practical reasons. When I got into historical costuming during university, I discovered that I was really resistant to skirts and dresses: they made me feel deeply uncomfortable. Maybe just too far out of my comfort zone at that moment, because I’ve had similar experiences with certain office wear.

Have you ever excluded an entire category of clothing from your wardrobe? Was it a comfort and mobility thing, or the failure of RTW to fit your particular body type, or something else entirely?

green stripey trousers

A.k.a. those effing pants.

I cut these out about a year (!) ago, after which point my good scissors went AWOL, and they still haven’t turned up. I had hoped to complete them in time for a little trip last May but there was lots of other stuff to do and realistically I wasn’t going to get them done, so I set them aside.

I returned to them after the trip, sewing and resewing the side seams so that the area from the hip up resembled a railyard with all of its intersecting tracks. I tried a petersham waist facing, which didn’t work worth a damn – probably because the non-stretchiness of the facing disagreed with the stretchiness of the fabric.

Then I started revisiting my previous finished trousers (grey, purple) and trying to get them to work better. I figured it made more sense to try to learn some lessons and then apply them to these pants, so they remained on hold.

More recently I made a new facing using my draped belt/waistband pattern, this time using the same fabric as the rest of the garment. Pinned it in place, taking care to incorporate curve/turn-of-cloth while I went around the waist to account for the different lengths required for the facing versus the outside of the garment. Tried it on and discovered that I did it the wrong way around so the facing was too long (probably by ¼” overall) and the waistline gaped at centre back. Bugger!

Got some help from my seamstress friend who recommended pinching out a little more (an additional 1/8″ pinch, which amounts to ¼”) from a back dart on both sides to help the fit, and adding clear elastic at the top to snug it in a smidge and reduce gaping. Ripped off the facing. Put the facing back on before realizing that I had forgotten to fix the darts. Crap! Took the facing off again and experimented to see whether it would be better to widen the back dart closer to the side seam or closer to the CB seam. Neither, as it turned out. Both shifted the side seams way back, so I just took width out of the side seams instead. However, the side seams were still shifted back somewhat, so ripped it out again and resewed the side seam to take all of the ¼” out of the front piece. Resewed the hip curve a couple of times because I alternated between overfitted and ripply side seams without ever hitting the proper fit, then decided it was close enough and said screw it, I’m done. Rettached the facing, taking care to get the curve right. At some point in that process, I tried the clear elastic trick but found that it stopped the waist from lying flat against the body, and the fold at the top of the trousers became more of a roll. I also tried topstitching around the waist, and found that this stretched it out enough to cause a touch of gaping again. Balls!

The final details:

  • stretch cotton
  • narrow trouser leg, but not super skinny
  • close-enough fit by means of vertical seams/darts, while keeping side seams straight
  • waist facing (draped, not drafted) made of the same fabric as the rest of the garment, inserted to make the facing a touch shorter than the garment itself
  • no clear elastic, no topstitching at the waist
  • understitched the facing to seam allowance around waist
  • tacked facing to vertical seam allowances
  • eyeballed the CF closure – the zipper is a little more exposed on one side than the other, but the excess is folded over at the top so the side meet evenly when you look at it from the outside
  • no hook and eye at the top of the zipper, which seems weird – will try to do a nicer job next time
  • belt loops – unlike everything else about this project, these went on easily and no ripping required
  • cut a 3″ hem allowance (folded twice so the stitching line is just less than 1½” from the bottom edge) because on the grey pants I only did 2″ (folded to 1″) and it seemed a bit meager; the 1½” seems a bit much now, but maybe that’s because I was lazy and sewed a simple seam that’s visible from the right side; I’ll fix that if I ever decide that I care enough to do so; or maybe it’s because these pants are narrower at the hem than the grey pants and it’s a proportion thing
Stripe-matching at CB seam. With cat hair.

After all this, I wasn’t sure I’d ever want to wear the effing pants anyway, but I don’t think this is going to be a problem. I have two pairs of RTW dressy polyester pants that look fine, fit OK, and feel awful, which is what I’d ordinarily wear when I’m required to dress up for work. I’ve had a few occasions when I’ve needed to dress up and I chose these new pants every time. Also, after coming home from work, I didn’t feel the need to change out of them immediately. They’re not perfect, but I think we’re be able to put our differences behind us.

Speaking of not perfect, here are some of the ways in which these trousers aren’t perfect:

  • radiating wrinkles pointing to back crotch point suggest that the back crotch extension is too short
  • front crotch bubble, which according to Palmer and Alto indicates the need for a more vertical (less angled) front seam

Duly noted. Hopefully I’ll remember these points before the next time I cut.

Also in not-perfect news, I’ve been sitting on this blog draft for weeks already because of the photos. First I didn’t have any. Then I finally got around to taking some and they all sucked. The realisation slowly dawned that perhaps the photos weren’t themselves inherently bad; perhaps the problem was actually that the pants don’t actually fit as well as I thought they did, and the photos just make this painfully clear. Anyway, I’m sick of these effing pants, start to finish, so here’s some crappy photos to illustrate the point.

front – crotch bubble; the horizontal wrinkles are from sitting all day
side – not bad; some back thigh issues but otherwise reasonable fit
back – some booty issues

Bonus: After being folded (and occasionally wadded) up for the better part of a year, it appears that this fabric doesn’t crease. Yay!

stash -1m

shoe bags

I made some shoe bags for Christmas, which is a nice way to use up scraps.

shoe bag

I like to press the casing while everything is still flat. I folded the top edge over at 1¼” and pressed, then folded the raw edge in to the fold and pressed.

One side is on the fold. The other side and the bottom are french seamed. Finished dimensions are 10″ x 14″.

I cut the drawstring 36mm wide to fit through an 18mm tape maker; final width is 9mm/ 3/8″.

Fabric is Michael Miller Luna Moth in turquoise (bag) and raspberry (drawstring).

purple trousers revisited

I hadn’t been wearing these trousers lately, as I found them uncomfortable. But I recently started thinking that they might be salvageable.

The problem

After I wore them a few times, I knew they were uncomfortably snug through the thigh. I was recently reminded that you should measure the thigh while sitting, which I hadn’t done. I researched wearing ease, and then compared the recommendations for waist, hip, thigh (1″, 2-3″, 2-3″) to the ease present in these trousers (1″, 2″, ½”). Aha!

Reviewing my original post about these pants, I note that I recorded the thigh ease as 1½” at that time. While that’s still low, it’s more than what I have now. Why the difference? The only thing I can think of is that I walk more and climb more stairs than I did when I made them. I guess I wore them so rarely that I didn’t notice the change in my shape (none of my other pants fit this closely, so they weren’t giving me the message) and put it all down to having done a poor fitting job in the first place.

The attempted fix

I let the thighs out at the side seams to provide the recommended ease and they felt way better. However, they looked worse and the alteration seemed to create more wrinkling at the back crotch. OK, so something is going on there.

I let out the inseams at the crotch. I had to patch in a small piece on back right and left to make a longer back crotch extension (added about 1½” in length). This now gave me loads of room, so I brought the side seams back in.

The change to the back crotch negatively affected the front crotch (as predicted) by causing a ‘bubble’ below the zipper. I tried to fix this by straightening the seam below the zipper (as per Pants for Real People), which brought the front curve down a little. It still looks odd and I don’t think I can fix it given that the zipper is in already; perhaps if I make these corrections at the outset rather than as a later alteration, I’ll have more success. I hope.

before: definitely pulling at back crotch

How did I get here?

In the first iteration of these pants, I raised the CB for my full bottom. (I think I also added to the hip at the side seam, or took away from the waist at the side seam for much the same result.) I don’t recall adding much, if any, at the back inseam. But these wrinkles at back crotch look like what Pants for Real People calls “smiles”; they recommend letting out the inseam (making a longer crotch extension).

Having researched the “protruding buttocks adjustment” (how clinical that sounds) during this process, I discovered that it requires:

  • more height at CB
  • more width at side seam at hip level, and
  • longer back crotch extension

Why didn’t I just do the complete PBA in the first place? I thought my pattern was pretty close, since I had had help with it. I guess it wasn’t as close as I thought, and it needed more significant surgery than a tweak here and a tweak there. In future, I would probably benefit from doing another muslin or two (ugh), taking my existing pattern and applying the PBA. I’ve found a couple of methods, so in the spirit of scientific inquiry, I should reduce the variables (same pattern as a starting point, same fabric), and try every method to see which works best for me.

Current status

after: slightly less pulling? or is that wishful thinking?
after: looking a little odd in front because of the changes to crotch length

I think the patch job helped the wrinkles at the back, which encourages me to try a proper PBA. However, the patch was at the top of the inseam only (not right down to the knee), so they get weirdly snug at mid-thigh. Sigh. Not comfy to sit in, and not flattering. The best I can hope for is that this was a learning experience.

What I learned from this revision

  • the pattern that I had help with is still far from perfect
  • the PBA has 3 elements (CB, side hip, back crotch extension) and you have to do them all
  • what “smile” wrinkles look like in fabric (as opposed to in a drawing), what a too short back crotch looks like
  • when adding to the crotch extension, you need to let out the inseam to the knee (at least)
  • fit problems in homemade garments look different from fit problems in RTW – not because RTW is better, but because they make different ‘mistakes’ than I do
  • pants are difficult to fit, and even people who do lots of sewing are sometimes intimidated by sewing pants

Intellectually, I’m certain that I’ve made some progress with fitting. However, I’m still far from being confident in my ability not to mangle good fabric irretrievably. I’m going to need a project where the fitting is less miserable so I can have a tangible accomplishment and not be tempted to give up on sewing completely.

ukiyo-e skirt

Digging into the sewing archives with today’s post. I made this one in June 2009.

The fabric

I love this fabric and have never seen anything like it before or since. It’s indigo printed on white cotton, and the images in the little medallions are from Japanese ukiyo-e prints. (At least I assume they are. I do recognize “The Great Wave off Kanagawa”, at least.)

Ukiyo-e print. Apologies for the lack of focus.

I bought 2m of the stuff from the bargain section of the local chain fabric store when I went looking for a cool print with which to make pyjama bottoms for a sleepover-themed house party. (You wouldn’t want to see me in what I usually wear to bed; the fantasy is much more attractive than the reality.) This fabric is basically quilting cotton. A day or two after I bought it I decided I wanted more, but it had sold out by that time. I wasn’t too happy with the resultant pyjama bottoms so after the party I relegated them back into the stash.

Thus when I started out on this (pre-blog) skirt project, I didn’t have a lot of fabric, and some of what I did have was already in pieces.

The design

I started out with the basic idea of a flaring knee-length skirt that I could wear as “real clothes” as opposed to some kind of costume, which was the vast majority of what I was making prior. A circle skirt was a possibility but I quickly decided that I wanted to work with rectangles and pleats more than I wanted to cut arcs and worry about grainlines. Having made a few full-length tiered skirts for dance, I had a brainwave to simply make a shorter skirt using the same basic design elements: pleats,  rectangles, a yoke.

This skirt is essentially one “tier” plus the yoke, with the fullness controlled using box pleats.

I basically built up and down from the horizontal hip seam. Because I didn’t have much fabric, I rotated it 90° (lengthwise grain – ordinarily vertical – is now horizontal) to make best use of what I had. I put selvages at the hip seam (on both the yoke and the “tier”) to avoid the necessity of seam finishing there.

Yoke seam of ukiyo-e skirt, with box pleats below. Hard to make out with this print.

The yoke is a cylinder just big enough to get on over my hips, with the one (French) seam at the right side. I scavenged part of a pant leg for this piece.

The “tier” is a rectangle: I took the remaining uncut fabric (about 1.2m long and 115cm wide), cut it in half lengthwise, and French seamed the pieces together to make one long, narrow piece with the selvage all on one side. It was quite long; when I hemmed it to knee-length, I folded up all the excess fabric into a fairly deep hem (2 1/8″/5.5 cm). This had the effect of giving the hem good weight and, because the hem was doubled, a little extra body.

The last step was to mark the waist and make a casing. I used the drawstring I had originally made for the pyjama bottoms.

ukiyo-e skirt

The results

Having grown up tomboyish and riding bikes, I’ve never really been into skirts. Nonetheless, I quite like how this one turned out. I’ve worn it numerous times and I’m happy to say it goes with pretty much all of my dressy shoes. It’s also machine washable and super comfy – I can sit cross-legged in it, which is a necessity if I’m going to wear it to work. Most versatile. (Well, as versatile as an ukiyo-e print can be. Can’t say I’ve seen a lot of this stuff on the street.) The only possible drawback is that it has to be quite warm out before I can wear it without feeling too cool!

Skirt, in front of "borrowed scenery".

zipper indecision

I managed to locate my trouser pattern with a minimum of frustration (woo!), so I’ve cut out the fronts (except for the crotch curve) and backs. I would like to get stitching, but I’m not sure how I want to handle the zipper. I’m trying to think a few steps ahead but in the process became paralysed with indecision. So I took a nap. That’s one nice thing about sewing on a holiday.

The options I’m considering are:

Fly-front
+ I don’t find it particularly intimidating
+ I like how it looks/most RTW is done this way
+ it works well with belt loops
– it needs a separate waistband, which is more bother than I really want (my waistband pattern is a little rough and not entirely dependable yet)
– it needs a button and buttonhole (I hate trouser hooks); I’ve been hesitant to do it this way because I’m not certain that my machine would make a nice buttonhole through all the layers – easy enough to test though, I suppose
– it’s a little more involved than I really want – I’d like to keep it simple

Invisible zipper
+ no waistband needed – I’d like to try a shaped petersham waist facing, which should be pretty easy
+ no button or buttonhole – I’d probably close the top with a hidden hook and eye
– I’ve never used an invisible zipper on a garment before (I did a sample one as part of a workshop years ago)
? I think it might look weird with belt loops
? is it weird to put an invisible zipper in the front? I wouldn’t put it in the side (I prefer to avoid putting a zipper into a curve, and I expect to have to tweak the sides a fair amount), and while I don’t object to the idea of putting it in the back, that wouldn’t work with the belt

The fabric is a very dark green (reads as black) with with asymmetric pinstripes in white and light blue, and it has a little stretch. I won’t be putting in any pockets. The waist will be below my natural waistline. I’m going for work-appropriate but comfortable (i.e. I need to be able to sit cross-legged).

Having written out the pros and cons, I’m leaning towards invisible zipper in front with belt loops. If I’m on crack, please talk me out of it.