gold silk pantaloons

I got something finished, woo! The colour and texture of this fabric makes me think of flattened Ferrero Rocher wrappers.

gold silk pantaloons

These pantaloons are for tribal bellydance. We generally wear ‘loons under skirts, but I’m not sure I want to hide them.

They’re based on rectangular construction. The only curved seam (such as it is) is the waistband. There’s a self drawstring. The legs are full selvage-to-selvage widths, with the selvages running vertically and knife pleated to a somewhat fitted yoke, shaped using a diamond-shaped crotch gusset. The bottom of the leg is pleated to an inch-wide band. Because the pant leg was so wide and the band so narrow, it was a little difficult to get the pleats on the bottom clean and even – but as you can see, that’s not likely to be an issue. French seams throughout. I like to finish all raw edges anyway, but with this fabric it’s essential as it frays like mad.

I start teaching a 4-week dance class tomorrow, and part of my justification for making these pantaloons was that I could wear them for the class. But then it occurred to me that I’ll be sweating in them. Hmm. You’ll have to wait and see whether preening vanity wins out over practicality.

As for the stripy trousers, they’re on hold for the moment. I inserted the petersham waist facing, which then made the pants look like they didn’t fit again. My current theory is that this is due to a disagreement between the stretch of the fabric and the non-stretch of the petersham.

agonising over details: black silk skirt

For some reason, I’m finding it hard to make up my mind as to the details of this black silk skirt.

I’ve done two knee-length skirts so far and thought of a bunch of things I could do differently on this one: fitted yoke? knife pleats? different pattern layout? After agonising over these points for a while, I decided I’d keep it simple and just do this one like I’ve done the others so far: front and back will be one selvage-to-selvage panel each, big box pleats*, deep hem, unshaped yoke, drawstring doing up at the right side. I’m also going to add side seam pockets. So far, so good.

After coming to a conclusion on these details, I had to go and think of new ones. I’ve never done a skirt using this raw silk before and it’s pretty thin. It might be too insubstantial without some help. I don’t plan to buy lining fabric, but I have three options using fabric I already own: (1) double the fabric so it’s self lined; (2) line with flannel-backed lining in the stash, which is already packed (I’m moving in a couple weeks) and there probably isn’t enough anyway; (3) line with some 100% cotton broadcloth in the stash and there would be enough.

I can’t satisfactorily predict how this skirt will drape, with or without lining. Whatever I do, it’ll be a learning experience – maybe it’ll work, maybe it won’t. But first I have to pick a method. Actually, I was hoping you could pick the method – though I reserve the right not to do it your way if I decide you’re wrong.



* Meaning [big] [box pleats], not [big box] [pleats], which would probably be sourced overseas with poor labour conditions, and then require a lot of driving to get them.

what I did on my summer vacation

So wouldn’t you know – the day my blog first gets some real exposure (and hits) is shortly before I leave for vacation. I’ve been stealing moments on borrowed computers, looking at the daily  stats as they peaked at a number I found so high as to be silly, then steadily dwindle as my disappointed blogging audience slowly gave up and looked elsewhere for their amusement. Alas.

I wasn’t expecting to do anything related to sewing during my end-of-summer, family-and-distant-friends road trip, but it’s funny how opportunities (other than obsessing over blog stats) come up.

Continue reading