I’ve learned a lot of sewing lessons from Sandra Betzina through classes, videos and books. With her Today’s Fit line of Vogue patterns, the guide sheets capture the essence of Sandra. It’s as if she’s talking to me personally. Like, urging you to take your “honest” waist measurement; my favorite piece of advice was Sandra’s suggestion for those of us with protruding tummies to go ahead and make these tight pants because we’ll be wearing longer tops anyway. Vintage Sandra.
What’s so great about Vogue 1411 (Today’s Fit by Sandra Betzina), other than the fantastic, on-trend style and seam details? Simple. Even with my bumpy, lumpy silhouette, they look good; as Sandra says in the guide sheet, these pants are “very flattering”. They are close fitting and make my legs look deceptively long. Did I say they have great seam details? And…they fit certain criteria that women my age are looking for: comfort. It’s extremely difficult to find elastic waist, knit pants which do not look like one has given up on life. People, Vogue 1411 are knit pants with an elastic waist, and are super flattering and fashionable! Er, yeah, that’s me trying to emulate the Vogue model. Are you laughing yet?
Here’s how the making of V1411 went down:
The muslin: I chose view A because of the looser bottom leg. As the pattern says, both views have the same fit above the knee; they differ in width below the knee. For the muslin (this is one of the times I really wanted to make a wearable muslin) I cut out size E, going up to size F at the sides and top – just in case. But straight E turned out to be the perfect size. Its empowering to know that I fit into ONE size. The muslin was made with a leftover piece of knit from another project and quickly made to gauge the fit. A “front guide” piece is provided in the pattern so that you do not have to sew the seam detail just to gauge the fit. This muslin became lounge pants, because I was not about to wear emerald green pants beyond my front door. Picture below shows the crotch seam pinned to bring it down from size F to size E.
Main Fabric, Life Curve and Silver Lining: Onward with the “good fabric” pants. Gray ponte knit (shown in this post) from The Fashion Sewing Group (Nancy Erickson, owner) was used. At this point, life threw a curve with my mother ending up in the hospital. This is how I was pulled away from the half cut gray ponte knit for a couple of weeks. That is also the reason blog-writing was ignored for about 6 weeks. I’m sorry. A fabulous silver lining to these events: my daughter #2 getting engaged!!! Getting back to the pants…..
Sewing the seams: I just want to say that the triple stitch recommended by Sandra, has never received such a workout in my sewing machine’s 25 years. The stitch was used throughout construction, even the topstitching. Oh, the topstitching. There’s miles of it, but so worth it! Be warned that there will also be a lot of trimming away the seam allowance after topstitching. I used a stretch twin needle for topstitching the seams and the hem. The seams thus achieved a ridge-like look and became prominent and defined.
The elastic waist: I ran over to the closest fabric chain (not Joann’s) in my area to buy the 1 ¼” elastic. Well. The elastic aisle was thoroughly disorganized and I had to “make do” with this fabulous magenta elastic from Dritz. Too bad it had to be hidden. Next time I’ll consider using it by itself as a waistband.
The hem: this was done simply by using strips of fusible tape to turn up the hem. Once the hem was fused in position, I pulled out the stretch twin needle again. How exactly does one do an even twin needle hem being sure to catch the edge underneath? You can either thread baste a line and straddle that line with the twin needle; or you can use my “touchy feely” method, and use your finger to feel the underneath edge of the fabric – I get a perfect hem with my touchy method.
The next pair: The next fabric contender for Vogue 1411 is a tan/black double sided wool knit. Maybe I could use the black side for the smaller pattern pieces at the knee? The recommended fabrics on the pattern also include stretch wovens, and after I’ve exhausted my new knit pant obsession, I will be pulling out a couple of stretch wovens from my stash. That should see me through another pant-sewing drought in the future….
Readers, please tell me if you have already made this pattern. If not, I highly recommend it. Maybe you have another go-to pants pattern? I’d love to know about it.