Sunday, August 8, 2010

Tale of Two Skirts

For my summer wardrobe I wanted three skirts. I prefer skirts to shorts because they are cooler in the hot weather and are more flattering on me. The skirts I have made in the past have been at or just below the knee. This summer I wanted to explore some other lengths. First up is a Boden inspired skirt:
 I started with some fabulous black and white floral fabric that I bought from Gorgeous Fabrics last year and Simplicity 5914, view F. 
Knowing that I wanted a 4" border at the bottom, I cut the skirt 4 inches shorter to begin with. (I have no idea how wide the border is in the inspiration skirt, but this seemed right to me.) I then stitched the skirt together as directed, installing an invisible zipper, trimming and overcasting the seams.
invisible zipper (sorry for the blurry picture)
zipper on inside after handstitching the lining
 The Boden skirt has a solid stripe running between the print and solid border. I chose to simulate this look with a satin ribbon. I applied the 7/8" ribbon right sides together along the bottom edge of the skirt, overlapping the ends at the side seam.
To make the border I used a white cotton poly fabric. I considered making a black border, but I thought the white would be less severe. I wanted the border to be in just two pieces, front and back, rather than in the six gores of the skirt. I made a pattern piece by overlapping the skirt panels to remove the seam allowance and traced out the portion of the skirt that I had removed. I then cut out four border pieces (two are used as lining). I stitched the side seams together and then stitched the border to the facing along the bottom edge. I turned and pressed the border and basted the upper edges together. This border was then applied over the ribbon edge of the skirt. The seam allowance was pressed up and all thicknesses were overcast together. I then top-stitched along the skirt catching the border seam allowance.

border seam on inside

Before adding the ribbon and border, I used the skirt pieces to cut out a lining for the skirt out of the same cotton poly as the border.
I stitched the side seams, trimmed and overcast the seams and then stitched to the waist edge. I understitched the lining, put in a 5/8" hem and handstitched the lining to the zipper. I also tacked the lining to the side seams.
inside skirt with lining
 And here is the finished result:
I'm really pleased with this skirt. The husband likes it, too. I found some fabulous shoes to go with it at Payless, but the photographer does not consider shoes as part of the outfit. He'll learn.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Advance 5985 - Finale

(For those of you just tuning in, the previous posts concerning these pj's are here (preview), here (fitting) and here (construction).)

This lovely vintage pattern became...

...these lovely vintage-inspired pajamas.

I am very pleased with these pajamas. I have been wanting some "real" pajamas for quite some time.  My usual pajamas are t-shirts, tanks, and yoga pants. That type of knit sleepwear is extremely comfortable, but I'm always a bit self-conscious about walking around the house in them, especially when traveling, or answering the door on those mornings when I've overslept. They just show too many lumps and bumps and saggy bits, in my opinion. These are nearly as comfortable as my knitwear and just right for summer.  The woven cotton stays cool. My children think I am wearing a Hawaiian shirt to bed and that they look more like day clothes than pajamas. (And perhaps so will the unexpected early-morning door knocker.) The husband only asked that I not move toward getting twin beds.

I would like to make this pattern again out of silk for the winter with a beautiful brocade or quilted "coolie coat" to wear around the house. But that project will not happen any time soon. It's too hot to even think about quilted anything and I've got nine pieces of a summer wardrobe to finish by the end of August.

In conclusion, I love the look of vintage patterns and the challenge they provide. I do miss the more thorough instructions and definitely the multi-sized and printed patterns that we have today. Though I used mostly the construction steps as written in the vintage pattern, I think I will try to do more modern techniques when applicable. I've learned that the old way is not always the best way. I know that many sewists have their favorite methods for putting in zippers or handling facings and always use those methods versus what the pattern instructions say. I need to start making note of the best ways for me to do those things and build my own library of techniques.

Up next, a knock-off of this lovely Boden skirt:

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Advance 5985 - Construction Details

When I found time to work on this project, it went together very easily.   Several times in the construction the instructions say to cut out a facing piece or bias strips of a certain length. In modern patterns, these pieces would be included so you wouldn't have to be scrounging around through the scraps for a large enough piece. This is why reading through the instructions before you cut and sew is important!

So the side zip was something I hadn't done before, that I can remember. You first make the facing piece by making a narrow hem on a piece of fabric (I'm too lazy to look up the actual dimensions). This facing is then stitched to the trousers right sides together in a narrow V. The V is then slit and the facing is turned to the inside. The finished edges are stitched close to the teeth of the "slide fastener." The rest of the facing is tacked into place. It is not a pretty finish, but I don't think anyone will ever see this but me.
The waist area of the trousers ended up being too large. I was over-generous with my additions and cut off part of  the center back that and added a second pleat to the back to take up the excess. With the waistband, however, I had the opposite problem. It was too small. I cut it to fit my exact waist measurement and did not allow for any wearing ease. Ugh! I cut it out again adding 2 more inches. The instructions say to make the waistband (folding in half, right sides together, trim and turn) and then attach it to the trousers. I, instead, used a more modern method (pressing unnotched edge 1/2", stitching notched edges to trousers, then folding in half length-wise, stitching ends together, turning and stitching in the ditch to catch the folded edge in the stitching). I'm not sure if my method was any easier than the original. Probably not, but it is the method I am more used to. Though I'm not used to such high waisted pants, The waist fits comfortably. There is a bit of a gape in the back. I used a vintage button from my stash to finish them off.

For the bodice, I followed the instructions as best as I could. I did overcast the exposed shoulder, center front and back and side seams to prevent raveling. My side vent "facings" did not line up nearly as well as they should have, but with some handstitching they are acceptable. The whole time, however, I was thinking that their had to be a better way. I also tacked the sleeve facings in place to keep them folded over. The instructions do not say what size of button to use. I bought some half inch shank style buttons. They are a bit small. I can always replace them with 5/8" or 3/4" if I find that they do not stay fastened well.

Next up, the big reveal and final thoughts....

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Advance 5985 - Alteration Frustration

The vintage pajamas that I have been working on for months (or more appropriately, NOT working on) are finished! Besides not scheduling time to actually work on the sewing, what took so long? Two words: alteration frustration.

The reason I do not consider myself an advanced sewist is in part because of my limited fitting abilities. Granted, I am getting much better about using the appropriate pattern size to begin with and altering to my specific measurements, but I don't often know right off the bat what or how to do them. I have two reference books that I use in addition to online tutorials and the wealth of knowledge at Pattern Review: Singer's The Perfect Fit and Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing. 

I am generally a visual person, so I have to see things in my head and visualize the flat pieces bending and morphing into their 3D shapes in order to understand. 1950's patterns to do not have the best directions.

I did a flat measurement of the pattern pieces to get an idea of the finished garment measurements. Modern patterns usually include these, but not always vintage. The trousers, as I thought, were significantly smaller than my measurements. I needed to add 4 inches to the waist, 5 1/2 inches to the hip, 2 inches to the thigh and shorten them by 3 inches. These additions were complicated by the fact that the trousers pattern was once piece (no side seams!) and had the weirdest crotch profile I have ever seen.

The pattern looks almost like it is upside-down, but it is not. (Maybe they would have fit better that way?) As designed, the crotch would hang down to my knees! Did they design them this way for modesty or did they just not know how to design trousers for women?

Given the one piece pattern, I could not simply add extra to the hip side seams as my fitting books were showing me.  So after studying the instructions and pictures, munching on some peanuts making sketches with my fitting book perched atop my head (osmosis?) I finally figured it out. To preserve the crotch length (even though it was weird, it was long enough), I split the pattern down the middle and added 2 inches (for a total of 4" at waist) and added an additional 3/8" width at the crotch seam for the 1 1/2 inches needed at the hips. I added 1" at the inner thigh and left the length for the time being.
The tissue fit of these changes was fine in the hip area, but, as I suspected, the crotch was 3-4 inches too low. After bringing up the depth, I followed the Reader's Digest guide for adding length by utilizing both the crotch point and crotch seam methods. Now my funky crotch line looks more like this.

 To alter the waistband (aka "belt") I added 1 1/8" to the side seam between the front and back notch and 1 3/4 inches between the back notches for 2 7/8 inches total. This proved to be wrong on my part, but more about that later.

I knew that the bodice would not be too difficult to alter. The flat measurement revealed that the top had a generous amount of ease (9 inches at the bust line and about 7 inches in the hip area). As I said in my previous post, a 34 bust is just about right for me. After all of that drama with the trousers, I was delighted to find that I did not need to make a single alteration to the bodice. Not. One. Even the neck and arms fit beautifully with plenty of ease built in!

I felt confident enough with the fit of both pieces to cut out my fashion fabric. I had originally wanted to use a coppery brown to match the background of the Amy Butler fabric, but once it arrived it did not match nearly as well as I thought it did online. (That's one of the dangers of online fabric shopping). At my local fabric store I came across this lightweight cotton in a lovely chartreuse. It is not a color that I would have ever chose, but I really like it! It has a very vintage look to it. I also used the chartreuse for the accent pieces of the top. Some lovely yellow buttons, a lovely yellow thread and zipper and I was on my way!

Next up the construction...
My previous post on this pattern: Walk Through a Vintage Pattern .

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Change is good

I have not given up on writing this blog. I find that I write more for quality than for quantity and given my limited time for writing, the posts I've been working on and wanting to work on are taking longer to write than I first thought. I am also making changes to the blog. Though all of the things I have been writing about are interesting to me, I realize that my readership may not be so diverse. So I am actually going to divide my writing up into three separate blogs. Measure for Measure will now be focused solely on sewing and fashion.  My food posts are going to move over to The Rainy Day Baker. And when I come up with a good name for my third blog my more poignant posts about my family, homeschooling, philosophy and stuff, will be there.  (Come on over to The Well-fed Mind!) Thanks for all who have been reading and commenting. It really encourages me to read your thoughts!

Finally, behind the scenes, so to speak, I have implemented a better schedule for sewing and writing in my daily life. Having time on the schedule for these activities is really helping me stay focused and getting things accomplished without feeling guilty that I am not with the children or husband 24/7. So, hopefully, I will be posting more frequently and sharing more projects with you. Stay tuned!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Summer Wardrobe 2010

Pattern Review is having another wardrobe contest! This time, the wardrobe is for 10 pieces: 4 tops, 4 bottoms, a topper (such as a jacket) and a bonus item. The added challenge is to include something "on trend." The contest runs from June 1 - August 31. My original plan for this contest was to sew pieces for the cooler weather ahead. But after posting my "Must Haves" for Summer I realized that I had enough projects already planned to create a wardrobe that I could also wear right now. It's too hot to think about woolens right now anyway.

The trends I will be incorporating are white jeans, denim on denim, and turquoise. To that combination I will be adding navy blue and red. The colors remind me of the Greek island Santorini. I've never been, but have seen beautiful pictures of the colorful buildings and deep ocean color. I was playing around with Polyvore the other night and came up with this inspiration board:

The items from my list include:
  1. dark denim pencil skirt - M5429 - need fabric
  2. white jeans - M5894 - need fabric
  3. striped shirt - OOP B3344 - black and blue striped mesh knit
  4. knit skirt - OOP S4237 or B5101 - navy jersey
  5. six gore skirt - S5914 - large print black and white floral
  6. knit dress - S2443 - navy doubleknit
  7. denim shirt - M6035 - need fabric
  8. white jacket - not sure what pattern - need fabric
  9. floaty top - S3751 - turquoise eyelet - need pattern and fabric
To this list I'm adding B5328 in a red stretch shirting fabric from my stash. I'm considering a different dress, too. I won't make a storyboard until I make my final fabric and pattern decisions. I'm looking forward to adding these pieces to my summer wardrobe.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Book Review: The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer

My dear friend, Linda, reminds me now and again to turn to a good book when life becomes too much. Charlotte Mason, my home education philosopher of choice, also espouses the importance of reading for mothers - part of what she calls "mother culture." Books are there to inspire, to educate, to uplift and encourage! As a very domestic person who loves being at home, cooking, sewing, taking care of my family and a lifelong lover of art and creativity, I should have read this book, The Hidden Art of Homemaking: Ideas for Creating Beauty in Everyday Life, years ago. Its title kept popping up on my blog feeds over the course of a year, or so:
So I jotted it down on my to-be-read list and eventually bought a signed copy on eBay. Isn't the illustration lovely? Then the poor book languished (as so many do) on my to-be-read pile. I just have to wait for the right time before I pick up a book.  That is definitely what happened with this one.

If I had picked up this book when I first heard about it or even when I first purchased it, I would have skimmed the first chapter and put it back on the shelf. Until recently, I bristled at the thought of God as my Creator, the Creator. I am the creator. I wrote this. I made this. Give credit to some invisible other? Nonsense! But, oh, how the heart changes. Now, though I still have doubts, I can read about the Creator and be comforted and encouraged. I am a creative being made by a creative force (God) in His spiritual image.

And that, my friends, is how Edith Schaeffer begins this lovely book. If you are turned off by the religious overtones, I recommend that you read it anyway. It is a delightful book for anyone wanting to make their (home) life more beautiful by (re)discovering their talents. It is all about intentional living. The areas of "hidden art" include music; painting, sketching, scultping; interior decoration; gardens and gardening; flower arrangments; food; writing - prose and poetry; drama; creative recreation; clothing; integration; and environment. She encourages her readers to explore each of these areas in simple ways such as playing that instrument you learned as a child, writing letters to friends, reading aloud, planting flowers in a sunny place and going for long walks. She makes all of these things sound like not just good ideas but necessities for living a full and rich life!

The Hidden Art of Homemaking is a book that I could turn to often for encouragement. Each page has a quote or phrase that jumps out at me to contemplate.  Reading this book is like reading poetry. It puts me in a higher frame of mind. It encourages me to see the world as a more beautiful place. She writes:
I feel strongly that this modern fear of home becoming non-existent can be countered only if those of us who want to be sure our little spot is really a home take very practical measures to be sure that it is just that, and not a collection of furniture sitting in some sort of enclosure being protected from wind and storm.
As I read through the chapters I have been inspired to begin making small changes in our home. I bought a lovely set of candlesticks at the thrift store and some tapered candles. I try to make time to set a lovely table for everyday meals with the candles and placemats. I've stopped waiting to have a home of our own to make our interior more pleasing and have begun cleaning out and redecorating the children's rooms. I am trying to be more creative on a regular basis. (Writing this blog is helping!) I've been thinking more about why I do things and how to make my personal environment (my attitude and appearance) closer to my true self.

Despite my efforts, I still have a long way to go. I can start by putting my spiritual life (my relationship with God) first with daily prayer and meditation. Second, spend more time clearing and cleaning my physical environment with regular housework. Third, focus more on my relationships by being more mindful of the needs of others and responding with love on a daily (hourly) basis to all. Finally, utilize my time wisely in creative and productive ways and not waste it with unnecessary computer time and idleness. (Though idleness is not all bad. Sometimes one needs to spend time in "wise passiveness," as Wordsworth's writes in his poem "Expostulation and Reply".) Most of all I need to imprint this verse on my brain:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8 (New International Version) 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

To my children, on Mother's Day

I've been a bad Mommy this week. No amount of dark chocolate could get me through the day without lashing out at my poor children. It was mostly hormonal, but my short-temper is a character flaw that I really, REALLY, need to work on. (Seriously, Holy Spirit, if you are reading this, I need help!) So often I get caught up in the small details of the days that I forget to just enjoy the children, the who and how they are right now. Many people are writing and reflecting about their mothers today. I don't think I can without crying a lot, so instead I will write and reflect about my children and cry a little.

Let's start with the boy. At six years, he's a wonderful child. He is full of energy and curiosity. He is the one who must figure out how everything works. He is the one who strikes up conversations with strangers in the line at Chick-fil-A to tell them about his lost teeth or the cool thing he found in the ditch. He's the one who wants to be a scientist or inventor or robot builder.
He's the one who likes to be the first at everything: getting up in the morning, running home, playing on the computer. He's the one who giggles. He's the one who wants to sit right next to you while watching a movie. He is most like his father in his wiry hair and distractibility. He is most like me in his smile and stubborn independence.

Then there is the toddler. She is almost two and at that perfect age where she is still a cuddly baby at times, but is learning and exploring so quickly you can hardly keep up! She loves babies. She loves singing and dancing. She loves being outside and going for walks. She can be very quiet and is often found sitting on the couch or her little chair perusing a book. Her favorite foods are bananas and yogurt, though not together. Her vocabulary is booming lately. She's making sentences, can say her name and repeats just about everything she hears, for good or bad. She is most like her father in her cheerfulness and sweet puppy-dog face. Of all the children, I think she is most like me.

Finally, there is the older daughter. She is nearly ten and is blossoming into a young lady before my very eyes. She has been addicted to the computer since a very young age. She has a lively imagination and likes creating and playing role-playing games (RPGs). She draws and doodles all the time. She doesn't think much about boys, except her brother, who is her constant companion and playmate. She loves animals and reading. She has read almost every book in the Warriors series a couple of times each. She has a secret club with her best friend, Lily. She is messy and tall and loud and not nearly as brave as she imagines she is. She is most like her father in her boisterous laughter and her addiction to electronic gadgets. She is most like me in her moodiness and love of reading.

Thank you, children, for filling my days so that my life will always be full. Thank you for your joyful noise so that I may relish in the silence as you sleep. Thank you for your angry words so that your hugs, kisses and little kindnesses are all the more sweet. Thank you for the unmade beds and the dirty clothes and the hungry stomachs so that I may serve you. Thank you for your questions so that I may think and be wise. Thank you for being so that I may be a mother, your mother. I thank you and love you...always.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Singing and dancing and ... sewing?

I've not done any sewing in the last week. My pajamas are all cut out but I haven't made the time to sew them yet. I want to finish them by Mother's Day. Yikes! I have three days!

I was hoping that watching The Pajama Game with Doris Day would give me motivation for sewing my 1950's pajamas. I'd never seen it before. It took me back to my costume shop sewing days. There were a few good songs, costumes (especially Carol Haney's) and Bob Fosse dance numbers (especially Carol Haney's), but overall I was hoping for something better. My teenage self would have loved the 2006 Broadway revival with Harry Connick, Jr. as Sid Sorokin.

If you've never seen the movie, here are a few highlights.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

My "Must Haves" for Summer 2010

It's rainy and the husband is busy grading final exams. So instead of enjoying an afternoon to myself sitting at the coffee shop with a nice mocha frappe, I'm writing this in my living room with the toddler sleeping on my lap listening to the dishwasher run and the dryer spin and the boy munch an apple. I will envelop myself in a cone of silence and try to get rid of some of the virtual post-it notes from my laptop screen.

A blog that I enjoy reading is Smiles Go With Everything. Diana is a newly graduated librarian (my dream job!) who also lives in The South and has a similar polished yet casual style that I admire. I purchased this bag on Etsy that she featured in a recent post. I love it, but secretly wish I'd gotten it in blue.

She has a list that she keeps called 2010 Wardrobe Gaps List. This helps her keep her shopping focused and on budget (another of her projects). I think this is a great idea. I don't like to shop for clothing much, but I do have a list of projects that I'd like to sew. Some are based on fabric/patterns that I've stashed and others are from trends lists such as Angie's list on You Look Fab. So as I was cleaning up from my wardrobe sewing marathon, I pulled together this list of projects to sew for spring/summer 2010 (in no particular order):

  1. dark denim pencil skirt - M5429 - need fabric
  2. white jeans - M5894 - need fabric
  3. inverted pleat skirt - OOP B3155 - olive stretch twill
  4. rouched waisted top - OOP B4914 - pink floral print jersey
  5. striped shirt - OOP B3344 - black and blue striped mesh knit
  6. casual knit top - S2690 - abstract floral print jersey
  7. knit skirt - OOP S4237 or B5101 - navy jersey
  8. six gore skirt - S5914 - large print black and white floral
  9. knit dress - S2443 - navy doubleknit
  10. denim shirt - M6035 - need fabric
  11. white jacket - not sure what pattern - need fabric
  12. another knit dress - either M6109 or M6112 - need pattern and fabric 
  13. vintage pajamas - in progress
  14. "utilitarian" jacket (military or safari) - completed 
  15. something lilac - (see #16) or coral - (see #14)
  16. a lacy shawl/scarf (such as the one below)
  17. vintage-style apron - such as S3544 - need pattern and fabric
  18. floaty top - S3751 - navy eyelet - need pattern and fabric

This is an ambitious list, but will add many wonderful pieces to my wardrobe.  Oh, and I'll probably sew a few things for the children. They need clothes, too, right?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A walk through a vintage pattern

My next sewing project is working with a vintage pattern. Part of the fun of working with a vintage pattern is learning about the pattern's past. Who owned it and what was she like? Did she make the pattern? Why not? What was life like at that time? Many people collect vintage patterns for the cover art or because of the designer. Come along with me as I peruse this pattern for the first time.

Merriam-Webster defines "vintage" as: "of old, recognized, and enduring interest, importance, or quality : classic;  dating from the past : old." Classic and enduring. That is the appeal of vintage, no? Styles and trends come and go.  Vintage (classic) styles will be around forever. Classic styles for me are fitted jackets, pants and dresses;  tops and jackets with peplums, pleats or tucks, and anything Asian inspired. I also adore anything Art Nouveau (1890's-late 1920's) and the clean lines of Modern (late 1950's, early 1960's). So this Asian-inspired pajama set is definitely vintage in my definition of style.

This is my first time working with a pattern from this era.  I remember my mother making a vintage dress for my sister's prom. (That's it on the right.) It was a strapless gown with boning and a petticoat. I remember the delicate pattern pieces, pre-cut and folded into the paper envelope. We found that pattern up the creaky back stairs of a thrift store run by Mennonites in my home town. Oh, that attic was full of the most delightful things, including a huge stash of vintage patterns! And cheap, too. I remember getting a vintage wool coat there in high school for like $2.00. They also had hats, suits, shoes.  The thrift store changed hands a few years after I left for college. It is an "antique mall" now where the great finds have already been found and priced exorbitantly high.

My first task was to find a date for this pattern. Careful examination of the envelope and instruction sheet did not reveal any copyright date. A quick Google search later and I found out that Advance patterns of this time period were not dated. From the style and sizing, however, I can determine that it is early 1950's. More information about Advance patterns can be found at Cemetarian.

Another clue to the age of the pattern is from the bottom of the envelope where it says that the pattern was featured in Woman's Home Companion. This magazine, I found out with another Google search, was a very popular magazine that folded in 1957.  Here are some terrific images from the magazine's early years.

I'm curious to see the pattern in the magazine. Was it just an ad? Was it featured in a story? The archives are not available online anywhere that I can quickly find. I'll had to do more research on this. Perhaps our local university library has the back issues on microfilm.

A quick look at the back of the envelope also shows that  the pattern pieces are "pre-cut". Seam allowances are 1/2" instead of the 5/8" that is standard today. The dress sizes are much smaller than in patterns of today. This pattern is a size 16 with a bust measurement of 34 inches. I will have to significantly alter the pattern to fit me. I generally use a modern size 14 for tops and a 16 or 18 for bottoms.

The garments are not listed separately, but are grouped together for fabric yardages. So you can buy fabric for the coat and long pants; short sleeve top, pants and coat; or short-sleeve pajamas with short pants. Fabric widths are much narrower. Today you can usually buy fabric in 44/45" or 56/60" widths. This pattern lists fabric in 35-54 inch widths. Since I need to grade up the pattern to my size and make other modifications and I plan to make the top and bottoms in different fabric, I will wait until I get the pattern modified before I purchase my fabric. Or I can try to convert the yardage.
I'm considering using some Amy Butler fabric from

Further down the pattern you are given additional body measurements, but finished garment measurements are not given. I will definitely need to take careful measurements of the pieces themselves and probably make a muslin, or mock-up, of the pattern before cutting out my final fashion fabric. Notions include 2 - 50yd spools of thread, seam binding, buttons (It doesn't say what size or how many.) and two pair of frogs for the coat.

Upon inspection of the instruction sheet (only front and back of one sheet), I see that these pattern pieces are not printed on. Instead they have a series of holes punched into them to mark darts, lengthwise grain, place on fold, etc. Correctly interpreting these marks is part of the fun of using a vintage pattern. I have plenty of experience using contemporary patterns, so that should help in knowing how to lay out, cut and put things together. I love this note on the pattern instructions:
When you follow in this order and consult your dressmaking steps as you go along, you will complete your garment with ease, to fit right, to look right and to be admired by all.

Isn't that what we all want? Great fitting clothes to be "admired by all." Contemporary patterns just don't use that kind of language. Why not?

Finally, a quick look over the directions and I see that the pants have a "slide fastener", aka zipper. Hmm...that wasn't on the notions list.  I wonder what other surprises await me. Stay tuned.