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A few questions about my first project
I am going to make pants from Mccalls 5890
Dana Cetz
Dana Cetz
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Date: 2/15/14 3:20 AM

A few questions:

1. This is a pattern for knits and I have the sewable polyester interfacing with the gridline to copy pattern and make a mock up. Do I need to buy some cheap knit for a muslin mock up?

2. The pattern has elastic casing for 1 inch elastic I have either 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch elastic that I want to use instead because of my sensitive back. So do I fold down the top of the pants pattern either a 1/2 inch if using the 3/4 elastic or an inch if using the the 1/2 inch elastic?

3. Is it correct to assume that when I make the mock up I would have to sewn in the elastic casing?

4. I am using a sewing machine what is a clean seam finish for the knit fabric? Keep in mind that I like my innards to look pretty also.

JTink
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In reply to Dana Cetz <<


Date: 2/15/14 10:02 AM

I never use 1 inch elastic for myself, if I can help it. I don't like a wide elastic. Just make the casing a little smaller. To get an idea, hold a piece of the elastic up against any type of material(doesn't have to be knit) and fold the material over the elastic. I would allow at least 3/8 extra to give you room to slide the elastic in, if you are using a casing method. I would allow that extra 3/8 no matter how I put in the elastic.

I would suggest making a muslin and yes it should be out of a knit comparable to the one you are going to use as the final garment. If the garment calls for a sew in elastic, I would do a casing on the muslin, that way you won't be wasting more elastic. You can just slide it in and then slide it back out again.

Dana Cetz
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Date: 2/15/14 10:40 AM

That's a good idea about the elastic. Should I just safety pin it closed?

JTink
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In reply to Dana Cetz <<


Date: 2/15/14 11:41 AM

Yes, just use a safety pin. This will also give you a better chance to adjust the elastic length, before stitching it to the fashion fabric
-- Edited on 2/15/14 11:42 AM --

stirwatersblue
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Date: 2/15/14 12:13 PM

Quote:
2. The pattern has elastic casing for 1 inch elastic I have either 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch elastic that I want to use instead because of my sensitive back. So do I fold down the top of the pants pattern either a 1/2 inch if using the 3/4 elastic or an inch if using the the 1/2 inch elastic?


You should be OK doing this for the 3/4" elastic, but remember that if the pattern calls for 1" of something, and you decide to make it 1/2" instead, that's going to subtly (or sometimes not subtly!) affect the way things line up and/or fit. In this case, I'd be concerned that folding over only half the called-for amount for the casing might throw off the way the pants fit you in the rise.

------
~Gem in the prairie

wendyrb
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Date: 2/15/14 1:32 PM

I teach 8th graders to make PJ bottoms. Everyone uses the same 1" elastic, but not everyone wants the PJs to sit at the same place at or below the waist. I have them try on the PJs without elastic, but with the top edge raw and facing the ceiling. Once they're in the pants, I pin in most of the excess at the side seams- often about 6-8", or enough to hold them up. Then we place the elastic around the waist/hip outside and on top of the fabric. We move it around until we find the level the student wants the PJs to finish at the waist/hip. The elastic gets safety pinned to itself to be secure during the rest of the fitting. Some key points all for 1" elastic-

* !" elastic requires 2" of extra fabric. They need to turn under 1/2" and I allow 1 1/2" casing for 1" elastic. I agree with JTink that 3/8" is enough if your sewing is under control. For new sewers with somewhat wavering stitching, I find 1/2", a bit extra, is an insurance policy. Otherwise, the casing can be snug in spots for the elastic to tunnel through. They're just learning and I give them the 1/2" for a margin of error. No one complains when they succeed in getting the elastic in!

* So, there has to be 2" above the top of the elastic. Often there's more. We put pins parallel to the elastic right at the top edge to know the desired finish. It doesn't have to be parallel to the floor. Many like the front lower below the belly button and then it needs to be tad higher in the back so they can sit and not have it "all hang out". I have them sit to check that they're "covered". Off comes the PJs.

* We measure and mark 2" above the pin line from the elastic edge. Trim on the line. Press under 1/2" seam allowance to clean finish the edge. Press under 1 1/2" to form the elastic casing.

Your construction method will be a little different to attach the elastic to your fashion fabric rather than a casing. However, I hope this addresses your fit- getting the rise you like and the top finish where you're comfy at your waist/hip.

Since this is your first project, you might consider a casing since it is more forgiving of errors and easier to rip if you want to change anything. Just my experience. Let us know how it goes for you. Nothing like personalized PJ pants.

------
Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them. Andy Rooney

Pfonzie- my honey Pfaff Creative Performance, Bernina 930 and 830, Evolution serger.

Dana Cetz
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Date: 2/15/14 3:34 PM

Thanks I was thinking of that. The pattern calls for me to stretch and sew on the fabric and then turn down. Makes me nervous.

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Date: 2/15/14 6:27 PM

Wendy, that was a great "tutorial". I'm going to remember your method of fitting, if I ever teach Lazy pants again

wendyrb
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In reply to JTink <<
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Date: 2/15/14 6:44 PM

Thanks for your comment. I've learned a lot by trial and error teaching these last 3 years.

I'd like to add how we do length. I have the students find their waist. Many are utterly mystified- no idea. So I have them bend side to side, right and left. Where the body bends, quickly wrap elastic, a tape measure, ribbon etc., right along that waistline. Then take the outseam measurement; they hold the tape measure at the point and let it dangle to the floor. Whatever the number of inches is flush to the floor, add 2" for the total length. I measure on the pattern from the casing fold line with the new total length to determine where to cut the bottom of the PJs. I use the same finish on the hem as at the waist. They just did it and can apply the same idea of 2" allowance- 1/2" to clean finish and 1 1/2" bent up for the hem to be top stitched in place. Students always want the pants sweeping the floor or even puddling down there. If something goes wrong, or they shoot up taller, we have 2" to work with. HTH for everyone's and anyone's PJs. It really is a fun project.

------
Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them. Andy Rooney

Pfonzie- my honey Pfaff Creative Performance, Bernina 930 and 830, Evolution serger.

SewLibra
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Date: 2/16/14 1:13 AM

I agree with Wendyrb on all counts. I make elastic waist lounge pants often for myself and my mom, using 1" soft elastic. It tends to stay in place, especially if you stitch in the ditch on the side seams when you are done. But if you want to use the elastic you have, that's fine too.

Regarding the inside seams. If you have a serger, it's wonderful for knits and wovens. If not, your machine might have an overcast stitch. A french seam can be sewn as well, but might be a little fiddly for a beginner, especially if your knit curls at the edges. If I didn't have a serger, my choice would be to use the overcast stitch or even a medium zig zag stitch on the edges of your seams. For best results, finish your seams as you go rather than trying to do them all after seams have crossed over other seams.

------
SewLibra
Brother SB4138, Bernina 1008, Brother 1034D, Janome Harmony 9102D

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