Monday, December 6, 2010

Fitting Alex

Alex and I had our first fitting session yesterday and it went rather well.  She is 24 years old and 5'3" tall and quite thin though curvy. Not an once of fat on the girl!   When she was still in Korea I sent her links to several Burda pants patterns and this is the one she picked.
At 5'3" we won't make the cuffs and she has decided that she doesn't want the waist to be so high.  It's 1 1/2" above  the waist so I'll remove that much.  I cut a 36 at her waist and a 38 at her full hip.  I needed to take out the hip  and take in the waist, though I have to be careful not to over fit  the pants.   She figures now that she can eat bread again she'll gain back the 9 lbs she lost in Korea. She thinks she's too thin and she really is.   I took out the  seams which are there to facilitate shaping it above the waist.  Fabric is the last of the 130's wool and cashmere I had bought at Mood  for her for a 3 piece suit.  It's silky and gorgeous. Neither my dd or my dh, who read this, understood what 130's meant.  It's thread count and fine woolens start at about 100 and goes to 200 which is way more than I can afford! Mood carries fines suitings, which this certainly is.  I'm lining in stretch Bemberg rayon.  I noticed on Net a Porter that a pair of wool pants by Marc Jacobs without stretch had a stretch silk lining.  Pants linings often tear; they don't give and the usual advice to cut them a bit smaller than the outer pant is one of the reasons for this.  I sew the sas at 1/2" instead of 5/8" and just take a tuck at the darts and that helps them to stay in one piece. Stretch  should keep the lining  from tearing without sewing it larger.

Fitting issues in the pants:  Not a whole lot.  Far cry from fitting pants for myself!
They are too long, but that's to be expected.
The tightness in the full hip that I mentioned
The back below the rear end has some wrinkles pointing to the back crotch, so I pinned out about 1/4" here and then took out a little more, you can see it in the right hand picture, and gave her a little more room.  I repinned the side seams at the hip to give her back the room I took out at the center back.  I know that this sounds counter intuitive, but if you think about it, it's like making making the back crotch hook longer but it doesn't change the angle of the inseam which is a good thing. It works.  I got this from a series of fitting articles that Joyce Murphy wrote for Threads several years ago. If you've got old issues or the DVD they are worth looking at.
The pockets are gaping, but I think that this is more to do with the fact that I didn't tape the diagonal than any real issue with the fit.
You can see from the photos that I marked the grainline on the outside and this makes it easy to tell how the pants are falling and points to possible issues.  This is why I don't do wearable muslins!  An oxymoron if ever there was one. 
The grainline needs to be perpendicular to the floor, as does the side seam.  It's a little off here I think, but it's also a little loose as the waist. 

 clicking on the photo should enlarge them
If you change the side seam make sure that both the back and front outside seam are the same shape because if it isn't it will cause pulling.   It looks good when she is standing, but I don't like the excess fabric at the base of the zipper when she sits.  Alex says it's fine, but I'll bribe her with another quad shot vanilla latte and have her try them on again.   I  pinned out the crotch below the zipper to straighten out the front seam and this should reduce the excess fabric there.  Otherwise, they look pretty good and any other fine tuning I can do in the good stuff.

As well as making her pants I am going to alter the matching  jacket  I had sent her in Korea.  It's too boxy(she insisted on fitting this over layers and she would have put on more but I put my foot down)and I didn't like how the sleeves were hanging.  Seth to the rescue. He's the expert seam ripper in the family and   he undid the lining at the hems and took off the sleeves.  I pinned them back on and rotated until the wrinkles disappeared.  The skirt also needed some alteration.  It's high waisted and I put in a too short zipper.  I wanted to alter it when I made it for her, but she kept saying it's fine.  Well it is when she's this thin, but it's hard to get on when she isn't.  I forgot that you need to add the height above the waist to the normal 7" long zipper opening.  Seth took it out and I'll redo this as well.  Now that she's back in the States she'll need the interview suit that we had planned.  We are also going to make her a funky leopard pencil skirt with fabric from my stash.   
That should keep me busy for awhile. 


  1. What a teeny tiny waist! The pants look pretty good already, but I suppose that is the beauty of having a slim 23 year old model! LOL

    Alex is lucky to have you making her so many lovely clothes. I can't wait to see your finished creations.

  2. Alex is very fortunate to have you make her such gorgeous clothes!

  3. I'm a tad shorter than Alex and I am seeing a slight problem that I've found adjusting flared trousers. When the leg is shortened the line of the flare is lost. I wonder if shortening the trousers at the upper thigh might avoid this. I'd be interested in your thoughts as I am about to venture into the realm of palazzo pants.

  4. I removed 3" in length on the pattern removing 1/2" above the knee and 1 12" below the knee. This is the only way to preserve the shape of the leg. You also don't want to remove more than 2" at one place. Then the seams are trued. You are quite correct that if you just take it off the bottom edge you change the the shape of the leg. This is obviously a problem in rtw when you shorten pants.

  5. That's 1 1/2" above the knee and 1 1/2" below the knee.

  6. I will do just about anything for a quad shot vanilla latte, this is well established. :-D

    Karin and RuthieK are right, I am Very lucky!!!!!!!

  7. These are going to be fabulous! I so agree about the stretch lining idea, especially in pants. And there's nothing like knowing that you have a silk lining in your garment...

  8. How much fun this is to do for your daughter, and how utterly idyllic to have a consummate seam-ripper around...does he hire out?

  9. Those are going to be some gorgeous pants. I've been eyeing that Burda pants pattern since it issued. Nice mama!

  10. One lucky girl! Wouldn't let my DH use a seam ripper ;), he'd make holes.

    Looking forward to seeing the result, the pictures of the fitting stage are very helpful.

  11. That is a great pants pattern and the fit is looking awesome!

  12. Alex is a lucky young women and so are you. Not every daughter wants her mom to make her clothing. You are blessed. Alex knows a good things when she sees it. The fit is looking great here.