Presents and Pants

By now the wrapping paper is collected into the empty Amazon boxes and ready for the trash pick-up today. My dear husband surprised me with a new book that was not on my Amazon wish list and it is wonderful!!! Simply called “Fashion” but it covers 3,000 years of what we humans have been wearing and who inspired it. fashionWhen I was working on my fashion design degree, the history of fashion was one of the required subjects and back then it was a superb way to link fashion and the art of the great masters and also understand the links between countries. Later, I sold the textbook and wished I had kept it. This book just replaces it and more! Try browsing through 480 pages of beautiful photographs and drawings and not be inspired!

The other book I received was one I had mentioned on an earlier post, “Over-Dressed” about the high cost of cheap fashion. 

overdressedI can’t wait to make some time to read and understand the real dirty little facts about clothing production.

Yesterday being Christmas, I made time for me and that meant not sewing for clients…it was weird…no pinning, no client whining, no fussing, no clients showing up late for appointments, no mad dashes of clients down the hall to the bathroom after visiting a Starbucks to buy a large latte. It was just me and my British hubby splitting a small bottle of champagne and orange juice (mimosas) mimosato start the day while he made calls to all his family in the UK.

The day before it was a different story with many clients still dropping off clothes to be altered for New Year’s Eve parties. There were lined sequined pants ( 2 identical pair) similar to the link that had to be hemmed.

The pants involved the usual problems with sew-on sequins…cutting the fabric with scissors you don’t care about since the metal circles will destroy good blades and then the fallout of those little critters on EVERYTHING in the sewing room. The hems and all seams allowances were bound with a double Georgette strip of bias binding which had to be carefully removed and replaced to hem them. You can see the steps in this series of photos. After the client has left I made a red thread basting line where the new fold line will be. Then I determined the depth of the new hem (between 1- 1.5 inches) and thread traced that in green as that will be the cutting off line. By using 2 different colors of thread on my work I don’t get confused and the green one is always the final step.


Can you see the little bits of sequins on the ironing board? It seemed like hundreds more hit the floor and sofa where I was working…lovely…get the vacuum! The leftover strips could be made into a headband.

P1150633 Once the bias binding is replaced, that edge is hand sewn to the back of the fabric. There is a double Georgette lining which will be hemmed up as well and French tacks added. At some point you realize that 2 hours have gone by but there is no way to charge that amount for the work. I chalk it up to another of life’s lessons learned and charge one hour. Now I have one more pair just like this to duplicate.

For those of you who want to know how that peachy wedding dress is coming along…here’s a shot of the progress from the wrong side:patches The patch was made from the crosswise fabric I cut off the hem of the satin and pieced together lengthwise to get this weird shaped patch. It has been stitched and serged and next time I will have everything finished as the bride is leaving town the end of the week. Fingers crossed her January 5th wedding date will be the last of this season.

Thank you to all who have been leaving comments and having a laugh with me. Checking your blogs has been great for me to expand my knowledge and see the diversity of what it means to love sewing and let it be your creative outlet. I wish you all a quieter week to enjoy your presents and make some resolutions for 2013…you already know mine…less alterations and more fun…oh and for those of you who live locally and have been asking about my swollen knee issue…the MRI showed a torn meniscus, fractured patella/kneecap (how did that happen?) and lots of edema (fluid). Surgery will be scheduled as soon as I can get in to see the orthopedic surgeon.

P.S. Just a link to the history of sequins given to me by my hubby:

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17 Responses to Presents and Pants

  1. ParisGrrl says:

    Your blog brings me joy. Wishing you a healthy and happy new year!

  2. Bunny says:

    Hope you have a quick and easy recuperation. DH had meniscus surgery and it wasn’t too bad. You will enjoy “Overdressed”. I would love to hear your opinion when done. Enjoy your “down” time and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

    • mrsmole says:

      Thank you, Bunny. I’m almost looking forward to a recovery time to read, read, read. The last book I read about the clothing industry was “Fugitive Denim: A Moving Story of People and Pants in the Borderless World of Global Trade” about how they make and process denim…scary and polluting! Wishing you a Very Happy New Year in your beautiful mountains! Thank you again for mentioning my name and sending so many bloggers my way!

  3. Alethia says:

    Happy Holidays to you and hubby! I have got to get both of those books…very interesting!

  4. Karin says:

    I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts after reading “Overdressed.” Good luck with your knees. Knee trouble is no fun at all.
    Have a Happy New Year!

  5. Darla in PA says:

    Your books sound interesting. Good luck with the upcoming surgery!

  6. prttynpnk says:

    Now will you charge for that matching headband or throw it in as a goodwill gesture? Your opinions on Overdressed will definitely be worth reading- no pressure, but a book report would be cool….

  7. Can’t wait to hear what you think of “Over Dressed”…I’ve been wanting to read that. Better you than me on those sequin hems…! That looks like LOADS of holiday fun 😉 Enjoy your free time!

  8. theresa says:

    Oh, LOVE the fashion book. A perfect combination, history and clothing. You’ll like Over Dressed, although it does lag a bit in the middle. OMG, I don’t think I’ve ever even seen a pair of sequined pants. How could I have gotten to this ripe old age without a pair? Think of the blinding glints I could make riding in a pair of those? The man with the silver nose ( movie:Cat Ballou) would have nothing on me!

  9. mrsmole says:

    Well Theresa, if you have an extra $900 leftover from Christmas, I know where you can buy some! They do stretch a bit and seem to be very comfy on the ladies who bought them but the sequins may not hold up to the friction of a trail ride! The ladies are also complimenting their pants with a black cashmere sweater with black fox fur cuffs…how’s that for decadence to wear on New Year’s Eve? Oh My!
    Here is a link to some shoes that would just put you in the mood for a party!

    • barb bachmann says:

      But wait!! They are on sale for a mere $552.44 such a steal. If you could only see my WIDE eyed look of amazement/shock right now. Oh and thanks for the shoe porn, just another fetish, eh?

  10. Bluenines says:

    thank you for a great sewing blog! love your houmor! happy sewing

  11. anne kelley says:

    I appreciate your blog in every way – thank you so much! But I do hope you can keep your resolution of more fun. Keep us posted on your surgery and I hope your knee feels a lot better after recuperation. Overdressed has changed my fabric choices immensely. Let us know – in your book report lol.Have a winderful 2013!

  12. anne kelley says:

    Don’t, please have a winderful 2013! That might present cause social problems. But do have a WONDERful one!

    • mrsmole says:

      Oh Anne, what I’d really like is a WAND-erful new year so I could wave a magic wand over my sewing room and make all clients smile and be on time and their butts and busts all look high and tight like back when they were teenagers!

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