Finished (Sort of): Mrs. Depew 1940's Tap Pants in SilverI am sort of reluctant to call this a finished project; it is a muslin that turned out to be wearable, but doesn't really reach my usual sewing standards because I initially didn't think it would turn out wearable.
So I started this little project on a whim; I was thinking of joining the HSF challenge and wanted to join in with the challenge Pink by making some satin pink undies. But I had never sewn with a slippery fabric before so I took this silver poly satin I already had to practice on.
I used Mrs. Depew's 1940s Tap Pants pattern. This is one of those draft at home patterns where you take a special measuring tape to enlarge a mini sized pattern to a full sized one, drafted directly into your size.
Drafting the pattern was surprisingly easy. I had no idea what to expect before I started, but the process is pretty straight forward and took very little time. It does help - quite a bit - if you have a french curve to connect the dots. I have a french curve from Sew Easy with a grading ruler and it has probably been the best investment - sewing wise - so far. That thing is so darn handy.
After drafting the pattern I added just a bit of width at the side seams (because I had a feeling it might turn out rather tight) and added the seam allowances (because those aren't included in these patterns). I made a muslin out of a thin white duvet cover I picked up at a charity shop for a pound. The fit was too wide at the waist, strange enough only at the back, so I played with the darts first, but this didn't look right so I made the side seams curvier instead. The fit was now pretty much perfect and I have to say that the pattern itself was pretty darn close to being the right size.
Now that I had the fit right I moved on to the slippery fabric. I wanted to practice french seams which I had never done before. I marked all of my seam lines thinking that would make it easier to stitch a straight seam. Well that actually had the opposite effect; I was trying to stitch on the lines so hard, including the fact that this fabric was slipping and sliding in all directions, that my stitch lines are all over the place. Normally I would have hand basted everything first, but since I initially didn't think it would turn out wearable I just threw it under the machine straight away.
For some reason the front was longer than the back, something I did not notice on my first muslin. Unfortunately, with this fabric it shows quite a bit if you try to ease it in. It also made my placket longer on the front than the back.. whoops.
This fabric frayed a lot and when I got to the point of finishing the hem the fabric had frayed all the way to the seam line at some points. So I decided to use a decorative scallop stitch on my machine to 'embroider' the hem on the seam line and cut off the excess fabric. I am curious to see how it will hold up after wearing and washing.
So, there are quite a few things wrong with these knickers. The inside looks awful. But it still looks pretty okay on the outside so I thought it would be a shame to throw it in the bin. It won't be suitable to wear underneath my clothes, the buttons I used are too bulky for that, but it is suitable for 'boudoir' wear, or maybe to sleep in.
Oh and I am definitely convinced to try more of these draft at home patterns from Mrs. Depew. I was a little skeptical about them at first, but if the fit always comes this close it certainly is a cheap and quick way to get some great patterns.