Some of you might think that living in a rural village in the Pacific Northwest is pretty dull and it involves endless days of denim interspersed with bridal gowns. Some weeks can get monotonous except for a few of the inhabitants that venture out into the big cities. One client likes to shop at the Ralph Lauren store in San Francisco and she brought me 4 pair of pants recently. All four were black and needed either hemming or waistband tightening/moving the buttons over 1/2 inch but one was very different.
This particular pair were plush denim, black on the outside and brown on the inside with grommets up the outer leg from ankle to knee. These grommets were threaded with black braid and were piped with brown leather. Fantastic you say? Well, here’s the challenge…with piping running down the leg and leather binding across the hem how does one shorten them?
I guess Ralph Lauren/Ralph Rueben Lifshitz thought of that when he whipped them up. There was a horizontal seam in the front leg and the back leg that could be taken in/up a little. Here is what I pinned out and basted: I was able to pin out a “fish eye” dart of 1/4 inch in front and a 1/2 inch one in the back.
Once the outer side seam was opened you can see the leather piping was stitched on with white thread…Really? So that seam cannot be shortened but the inseam can be shortened by 3/8 to 1/2 inch..lucky me!
Here are the 2 horizontal seams hand basted. The leather piping cannot be shortened. Oh, did I forget to mention that each of the horizontal seams were topstitched on both sides about 1/4 inch away from those seams and the stitch length must have been less than 2.o mm? Holy crosseyed! Digging into those tiny stitches to remove each one whether from the right or wrong side was a struggle/
absolute bitch and very time consuming…needless to say I will NOT be re-stitching those lines back this time. Meanwhile let’s check out the other features that make these pants fabulous. Ralph loves leather piping and binding so he used them all over these pants and then threw in a couple more features which possibly/ most certainly could add to the value/ price tag. How about a tiny useless side seam pocket? What does a sophisticated woman shove in there? A condom?
How about a center back grommet and tie feature? Here is the back of that decorative tie. And one more feature that is confusing/
frivolous is this inside waistband pocket: It is too small for keys or a thumb drive or tampon so it is anyone’s guess as to what you would hide in there. Have you noticed all the buttons sewn inside the waistband? Guess they were meant for suspenders/braces?
I tried to find a shot of these pants on the internet but I think they must have been last season and now all the Ralph websites are full of Spring colors. Here is one site with some inspiration for decorated pants.
More crocus are up this week in the garden and my orthopedist was happy with my knee so things are moving along nicely. One sour note was a bride who came with a very high end ($2000) sample wedding dress by Claire Pettibone…she bought it online without ever trying it on…she is a size 2, the dress is a 10. I pinned out every seam in the dress (side seams, center back seams, front yokes, shoulder seams), basted them, removed then basted the side seam zipper, basted up the hems by 3 inches and then she calls to say she has changed her mind and will list the dress for sale so she can get something else for her June wedding. So, everything I basted has to be put back to the original seamlines so she can sell it. It’s hard working with such a scatter-brained bride…I may choose to “release her”…we will see.