May 2 in Mantorville, Minnesota

Here’s what it looks like in our back yard today.


A winter (or Spring?) storm brought us a lot to shovel.


I think it’s fair to call it a “snow day”…… May.

We started the day off with the electricity out, but all is well now.  It’s a  good day to stay inside and work on things like slacks!

Recently I tried my hand at making a flat pattern using the instructions from a book called, Metric Flat Pattern Cutting for Children’s Wear and Babywear, by Winifred Aldrich.  It has a section specifically for the developing teen.  I created a pattern for my oldest daughter to make a pair (or two) of classic slacks.  I am excited to say it was an enjoyable exercise in drafting.  I really had a good time, although I have more to investigate on the concept of “ease”.  Initially, we thought we nailed the fit and were highly impressed with the idea of flat pattern drafting; however, once sewn up, they were a little too close to Hannah’s specific measurements; just a little too “skinny”.  So we cut a second pair, and added 1″ seam allowances so that we could adjust them in “haute couture” style.

Along with Aldrich’s book, I purchased and spent time studying David Page Coffin’s book, Making Trousers for Men & Women.  This is another great book that gets the mental processes going as he walks you through a series of mid- to high-end, ready-made slacks starting with a basic pair of jeans by L. L. Bean, then to Yves Saint Laurent Couture, looking at various details in their design, and then on to those from other great companies like Brooks Brothers, Orvis.  He also explores those made by a few designers, like sewing teacher and designer Mary Ellen Flury and retired tailoring teacher Mr. Stanley Hostek in Seattle.  Of course, he shares lots of information about how he goes about creating slacks.  I related to Mr. Coffin when he explained that he’s primarily interested in enjoying his sewing time as he develops his techniques, and he only wants to sew for himself and a few loved ones.

Fortunately, with slight adjustments, the first pair (navy) fit beautifully on my second daughter, Lydia.  The second pair (brown) look great on Hannah.  We kept things simple; no welt pockets or even pockets this time.  The focus was primarily on fit.


I found myself studying my Pendleton wool slacks, looking for how the waist band was stitched, whether there are felled seams or not and so on.  I also found Sandra Betzina’s video on the Flat Fly-Front Zipper and watched it over and over.  I love working with Pima Fine Line Twill from Spechler-Vogel Textiles.

Creating a flat pattern is something I’ve wanted to try for some time.  I credit the Cutter and Tailor Forum for encouraging me to give it a go.  I enjoy reading the discussions and reviews of others’ work there.  There is a lot of good information posted regarding the art of tailoring.

I look forward to spending more time on the subject of pattern drafting, and then exploring the options and developing the necessary skill for a good pair of slacks.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s