Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Great Pants Caper




Great? Well, in the grand scheme of things, not so much. And caper? More an experiment leaning towards debacle. So, let's revise it to read - The Lesser Pants Debacle. It was fun, it was hard, I learned a lot.

This is part of my on-going adventure in reducing the overflow of scraps taking over my sewing area, as well an effort to sew as many items as I can without having to buy anything - Recycle, Reduce, Re-Use. I started with one of my basic pants patterns and cut it up a bit, nothing radical or revolutionary, nothing that hasn't been done before or done better for that matter. The back pockets I took from one of the baby dresses worn by my girl, nice little time saver that. The rest was scrap scavenged from the heap. Out of that came these pants. I made so many mistakes in my rush to finish and I was doubtful at each step that these would turn into something wearable in the end. Even with all my careful measuring and seaming, one pants leg turned out almost 3/8 inch shorter than the other, why oh why.

And then there was the matter of a little extra something that they screamed out for. So enters my fear of applique. I kid you not, I am afraid of applique. Is there a clinical term for that? To clarify, I am not fearful of all applique, I am awed by the work I see of many talented folks out there. It is rather my own that makes me cringe. It all goes back to 7th grade sewing class. Our teacher, Ms. Blumquist, had us undertake an applique project, and for reasons still a mystery to me, I was compelled to make a pillow that looked like a hamburger, yes, a giant hamburger pillow I did make. I was required to applique meat, lettuce, ketchup, mustard, cheese and pickles oh my. While I did receive an A for my project (Oh dear Ms. Blumquist, with your saint-like patience, where are you now I wonder?), the lasting memory of pure ugly has haunted me ever since, leaving me with an aversion to even attempting applique again.

Time to face those fears...baby steps. In keeping with my "no buying anything" rule, I found myself sans fusi-whatsit, stabilizer and sundry notions that go along with the applique game. I made do with interfacing and Stitch Witchery and the little butterfly landed on the pants leg. I will spare you the close-up. And though it be quite flawed, it holds a certain charm and one baby step towards conquering the fear. There's still a long way to go before it is eradicated completely.

In conclusion, the pants are cute (I could not capture a decent photo of them, they show better in person) and when worn do not show the length discrepancy. They even passed the preschool test this morning with compliments from other mothers. One mom even told me that I had inspired her to start sewing, something she had never tried before. Now that made me feel a little warm and fuzzy on a cool Fall morning.

1 comment:

Claire said...

I love the pants! They're FAB! Totally fun and lighthearted. You have a very creative spirit! The hamburger pillow cracked me up, reminding me of my own home-economics classes, back in the day when we made pillows in the shape of our initials. What a lark...