Thursday, December 09, 2010

Baby It's Cold Outside

It's cold...it's dark in the mornings and even though the calendar says that "Winter" officially begins December 21st...methinks it winter out there now!  Because of that and because I hate to be cold...I can tell you that there is no indecision about what I will be making this weekend.  Can we say pants, pants and more pants!


See I bought a really long wool coat with lots of swirl and sass thinking that I would look good, as well as, warm and still be able to wear a dress or skirt/twinset combo with some tights.  Well I'm here to tell you that nahhhhh that don't work!  I put said coat on Tuesday over a white turtleneck twinset and my black Burda wool crepe skirt with some black tights.  I walked to the bus stop and was freezing during the 2 minute wait for the bus...because the wind caught up under all that swirl and sass and stung the bejessuz out of my bodacious booty (which the coat does manage to hide quite well, thankyouverymuch!).


So yesterday morning when it was a couple of degrees colder and still as windy, I opted for a pair of black lined pants.  But again I have this problem with the linings wearing out after one season of wear, which made 3 of the 5 pairs of black wool crepe pants unwearable.  This does not make me happy especially since my favorite weatherman says that next week will be even more bitterly cold...and since it was even quite chilly in Mexico yesterday morning (this fact delightfully shared by said favorite weatherman)...I'm thinking it's gonna be a C-O-L-D winter so I'm gonna be needing some more pants.


Now I know that many people have challenges sewing pants...fitting the crotch curve, making the fly fronts lay flat and insert well...not having that extra fabric underneath the booty.  I also know that many people think of elastic waist pants as their grandmama's pants...but I'm all about the comfort!  Since I not only possess a bodacious booty but my abdomen is no shrinking violet either...these work for me.   And seriously, if I hadn't told you would you have known:

black wool stretch pants with JJill knock off vest
Fall 2010


black linen pants with tailored linen jacket
Summer 2010


Black stretch wool pants & jacket
part of my SWAP collection


brown/pink pinstripe jacket & pants
Spring 2008


Due to this challenge, I pondered and pondered and realized that I need a new lining method.  I used this lining technique


for this pair of pants and they wear wonderfully:



For this version the lining and fashion fabric are serged together to make one piece and then the pants are sewn as normal.  I'm going to improve on this and actually sew the two pieces wrong sides together using a 1/4" seam, pressing flat and open and then constructing the pants.  This will give the inside seams a finished look.  Hopefully I won't have the issues I'm presently dealing with which I believe is because of the bodaciousness of my thighs.

To my fellow plus size readers, have you ever noticed how RTW does not offer a lot of lined pants to our market segment?  Now retailers will offer "slimming" factors but no lining.  I'm sure some of it is cost controls but do you really want to pay $95 (on average) for a pair of pants with no lining? So I'm thinking that I need to employ this technique for the couple of pairs that I want to make this weekend.  That's right I said couples as in 4.  I decided to aim high and hopefully end up with 2 completed pairs of pants.  That should get me through the week when added to the twinsets, sweater jackets and jackets already in the closet.

...as always, more later!  

32 comments:

  1. I agree - it's hard to find lined pants for sale anywhere! I have one pair of lined wool pants I've had for over 10 years. The feel of lined pants is so nice! Good luck with your pants-making weekend :)

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  2. Hey! I was just reading this week (on someone's blog) about stretch lining. That maybe it holds up longer? I think she was also saying that she doesn't cut the lining smaller, because she doesn't want it to strain.

    I think. (Oh why am I so bad at remembering authors??)

    Sarah

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  3. Carolyn, have you ever considered making a separate pants liner to wear with pants? That way, you might be able to salvage some from last winter.

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  4. I haven't seen lined pants in regular RTW stores in ages. RTW is so cheaped out now. I think sometimes I get so focused on making a star piece (Christmas dresses, etc) that I forget to make the basics and then I need them and have to run out and buy something. I need to make goals of making basics...

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  5. Ms. Carolyn,
    Cuddl Duds make a silky-type of thermal pants that I wear under pants. I'm sure you can whip those up in about 15 minutes. Just a suggestion.

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  6. Going to school in the cold midwest, I've found a couple of tricks to make my skirts last longer through the winter --
    First, that wearing black long underwear (silk or some kind of man-made-something) *under* my tights helps surprisingly! Silk or poly-whatever is thin, unlike the "traditional" waffle weave long underwear, so it doesn't affect the visual of the tights at all.

    I also layer knee-length leggings over the tights, under the skirt, partially to cut down on the skirt riding up (right now I'm using cut-off dance pants, so they're nice and slick), but also to hold in all the heat generated by the long undies -- stays surprisingly warm!

    Good luck with the pants!

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  7. I like your idea with the elastic waist, since, like you, I rarely tuck anything in... Talbots still lines a number of their pants, so I will buy their plus size pants, when they go on sale and then let the hem down since I'm tall...I really wish someone made tall, plus-size pants...there are lots of us who are big all over!!!

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  8. Lined pants in non-plus RTW sizes are hard to find. I spent a lot time winter before last trying to find some. I wound up making them. Even high end RTW isn't what it used to be.

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  9. You look great in all of your dresses, but you are also rocking those pants.

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  10. DaQ and I are on the same wavelength. I would also suggest a liner, or several, one in black, one white, and one skin tone, to wear under your pants. Once you have the liners you can easily whip out the unlined pants and yet still have the benefit of a lining.

    Not long ago I worked in a building that was brutally cold. We actually called OSHA one day but nuther story. We literally would wear "thermals" under our pants, men and women, and wear leggins with out dresses, long before that look arrived. It was COLD!!!

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  11. I meant "with our dresses" not with out! (blush)

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  12. Hi Carolyn! Like NancyDaQ has suggested, how about a seperate pant liner to wear with your pants. Nancy Erickson has advocated/featured this idea for years. That's how her pants are made up; with a seperate liner. She says that making a seperate pant liner for her pants pattern keeps the 'fashion fabric' shell from having to be cleaned as often. I'm sure that she's posted about it on SG.

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  13. I always think you look great in pants. Happy sewing - stay warm!

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  14. Last year I also got a bunch of suggestions to make a seperate pants liner. I think it's a brilliant idea. I haven't seen lined pants in aeons. When I gave my mom some old pants a few years ago, she remarked that she'd never owned lined pants. I'm with you. Pants, pants and more pants I say.

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  15. You do look lovely in all of your pants outfits! The one pair of pants I've made that I ALWAYS get compliments on when I wear them are the Loes Hinse Europ pants, the pull on version! (I never did get the fly front version to fit right). Everyone loves those pants and no one has ever noticed they are elastic waist, pull on pants. Ha.

    And no, I never see plus size lined pants. Or, if I do, the lining is so much smaller than the pant, it's a waste of my time to buy them because they never fit right. To get the lining to fit MY bodacious booty and thighs, the pants are too big and saggy looking. Doh.

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  16. All your pant outfits are wonderful. Good luck with finding the perfect pant lining.

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  17. Caroline, do a search on the Threads website for a technique called "flat-lining". It is a way to line each piece of the pants, but it finishes the raw edges at the same time. I believe the only seam left to be seen is the crotch curve. A good technique that doesn't compromise the fit.

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  18. Kindred spirits. I hate being cold too, even through the hot flashes. LOL. I'm with you on lined pants. Something just necessary. Your ensembles look marvelous.

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  19. You look super in all your pants, and what a nice job you've done of lining them. Stay warm!

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  20. Carolyn, I learned a neat way of lining/underling pants. Cut the lining 5/8" larger on all the vertical seams and keep the regular size on the curved ones. Sew the vertical seams right sides together with the fashion fabric using a 1/4" seam and turn. The lining wraps around the fashion fabric pieces forming a mock hong kong finish. Then serge all the curved edges. I can hem to this underling and pressing in the crease is a snap as the lining and fashion fabric are treated as one. I won't do my wool pants any other way.
    Jane

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  21. Love your pants - and the word Bodacious. I agree about lined pants, I've never had any! What pattern do you use for your elastic waist pants? All your clothes look great, you are such a smart dresser.
    Thanks to all the other commenters for their lining tips, this is like a tutorial!

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  22. You look great in pants! They really suit you.

    I'll be interested to see your emerging techniques for lining pants. I have no idea how to do it, and pattern instructions never include lining.

    I don't think RTW in any size includes lining unless the pants are fabulously expensive. Never mind, the ones you are making yourself look really chic.

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  23. Another vote for the separate lining! It really extends the life of the pants and is so easy to launder, etc. You can buy nice tricot ones from JCPenny's or you can easily whip up some silk ones using a one-seam pattern.

    Like you, I love elastic pants! They work well for some silhouettes! :)

    That coat is gorgeous! It's a bit hard to see in the photo, but such nice lines!

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  24. I know you love your dresses, but you also look very nice in pants. And honestly, in winter-pants prevail!

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  25. Carolyn, I had the same problem with pant linings wearing out...I got so tired of trying to replace the linings in my favorite pants that I marched myself off to Joann's and bought some swimsuit lining fabric in black, beige and white. I made pant liners. They are made very similar to a slip, except I used my favorite pants pattern, minus the darts and just used some 1/2 elastic. I turned down the waist seam and zigzagged the elastic over it so that the elastic would not be next to my skin. To make sure I did not wear out my pants, I make sure that I double stitch the upper inseam and crotch seams and I even put a crotch guard (like men's pants).

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  26. Oh how I hate the cold dark mornings too! Your pants look fabulous on you and, personally, I'm all for pants with an elastic waist and a bit of give. I think comfort and style can be combined. As for pants with a lining - I can't remember the last time I came across any in a RTW store. That is one of the great advantages of being able to sew - if we want something we can make it ourselves, we're not at the mercy of the clothing manufacturers!

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  27. I had to laugh because on Monday of this week I was so bummed by the cold and lack of light, that I went out and bought a Farmer's Almanac to tell me when spring would be here!

    I have a vague impression that you are in NY which the almanac puts as the southern part of the northeast region.

    Here goes: "Winter will be milder across the north but colder across the south [NY area], with the coldest periods in early and mid-December, early and mid-January, and mid-February. The snowiest periods will be in late December, mid and late January, and mid-to late-February and early March."

    Carolyn, you are getting a lot of snow! Make a lot of pants! I lived in Mass. for awhile and some of the folks there wore silk thermals under pants. Would that help you eliminate or save your linings? Just a thought. Stay warm. :-)

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  28. My elastic waist pants are always the casing type. Your pictures look great and I love the way you do yours. Are you going to do a tutorial on it?

    Pretty please.

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  29. http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/4614/line-and-underline-in-one-step

    an article by the late Shannon Gifford on flat-lining

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  30. I love dresses, as I know you do too, but these pants outfits are really flattering on you. I like the cool "modern" look with the gray vest.

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  31. You really do have pants fit down pat. Your pants look great on you. Have you considered re-lining the pants that have worn out linings. Maybe take off the waistband - add new lining and then put the waistband back on?

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