Thursday, 5 November 2015

Patiala Salwar aka Genie Pants Pattern


This pattern sits just over the hip bones on a person with a 30" waist, 39" hip and inseam of 32".

This first diagram shows the major pieces and how they go together before being pleated into the waistband.

A) Is the main leg piece which ends in the cuff.
B) Is the part the part which gets pleated at the front, and covers the side back at the back
C) Is an optional piece, and is in essence an extension of piece B)
D) Waistband

Diagram 1

Diagram 2 shows the pieces as cut out flat.

A) Cut 2 @ 20x37.5
B) Cut 4 with long edge of 35.5, top of 24, and short edge of 13.5
C) Cut 4 with long edge of 13.5, top of 4.5, and short edge of 10 (this is the crotch depth measurement)
D) Cut 1 @ 44x7, and 1 of interfacing

You will also need a piece of elastic (1"-2" wide) cut to the appropriate length for the waistband, and 2 pieces of interfacing @ 1.5x20" for the cuffs

Diagram 3 shows how to cut the pieces for maximum fabric efficiency from 50" wide fabric, less the selvage (approximately 48" wide after removal).  Dotted areas indicate unused pieces.

Diagram 2
Diagram 3

To construct:

The legs (refer to Diagram 1):

**french seams can be used if desired**

1)   Iron on the interfacing 0.5" up from the bottom of both A pieces
2)  Create the cuff  on one A piece by pressing the 0.5" at the bottom over the interfacing, then turn up again 1.5".  Do decorative stitching over the cuff to hold it in place.
3)  Sew the long edges of two B pieces to the long edges of A by aligning the tops of the pieces and stitching down.
4)  Sew the long edges of two C pieces to the long edges of the two B pieces attached to piece C
5)  Repeat steps 2-4 for the other leg.
6)  Sew the two legs together at the 10" edges of pieces C.
7)  Sew the inseam from cuff to cuff, following the angle of piece B over the end of piece A.  Make sure the opening is large/small enough to fit over your foot but not fall off easily.  Trim piece A to 0.5" from the seam.

Pleating and attaching to waistband:

8)  Iron the interfacing to the waistband piece D.
9)  Sew the short ends of D together to make a tube.
10)  Press open the seam then press the waistband in half lengthwise.
11)  Press down a 0.5" seam allowance on one long edge of the tube.
11) With right sides together, match the CF/CB points of the pants to the CB/CF points on the long edge of the waistband without the seam allowance crease.
12)  Pin the back of the pants to the waistband from the CB to the side points (~11" from CB on both sides), keeping both pieces lying smoothly against each other.
13)  You will now have a great deal of excess fabric between the side points and the CF.  Make even knife pleats in the fabric between these two points, with the pleats opening towards the CF (ie. switch directions on the left and right sides) until it fits smoothly into the waistband.  This will likely take you a few tries.
14)  Stitch legs to waistband on one edge.  I suggest doing two lines of stitches, 0.25" apart to help keep things flat.
15)  Press the seam upward.

Inserting elastic and finishing:

16)  Sew the elastic ends together.
17)  Place elastic into the lengthwise crease of the waistband.
18)  Fold down the waistband over the elastic, and pin in place.
19)  Topstitch, shifting the elastic and eased material around to easily sew.  Take your time, as the pleats make this seam very thick at points.
20)  Put on pants and dance around with joy.


I'd love to see any makes from this pattern, so feel free to link to your pictures in the comments.

Genie Pants aka Patiala Salwar

A few years ago, I picked up a salwar kameez outfit at a thrift store because the pants (aka salwar) were a beautiful draped style I had never seen before.  Upon further research, I found that they were a style called patiala.   Sadly, the suit had been made for a person significantly shorter and rounder than I, and so am not able to wear the lovely outfit as is.  However, as you can see I was able to reverse engineer the pattern and make myself a casual day wear, elastic waist version of the pants.

Interestingly, the pattern pieces are mostly rectangles and triangles or combinations of the two which can be cut in such a way to produce nearly zero waste.  For this pair, I used almost every single square inch of a 50" wide, 2.5 meter long piece of fabric, and around 100" of fabric were fit into a 44" waistband.  As you can imagine, a thin and lightweight fabric is key!  Different hands with give you different looks, so good drape is not necessary unless that is the style you want: a Google search will show you various options.  I used a mystery fabric which looks similar to a light sandy coloured pre-wrinkled linen.  The hope is that these can be wash and wear.

I think my favourite part of these pants, other than the awesome drape and comfy-ness is the cuffs.  They need to be pretty sturdy to help the pants hang and to stand up to wear, so they are interfaced with heavyweight interfacing (inserting a grosgrain ribbon is an alternative) and decorated with fancy stitching.  This gave me a chance to test out some combinations of my decorative stitches to come up with a pretty pattern.  I went with gold denim topstitching thread in the top thread.

Some construction notes:

Even though you are using what feels like an ocean of fabric, they are pretty quick and easy to make.  I cut out the pieces in about half and hour, and even with making every seam a French seam, pinning out the pleats three times to get them to sit correctly, and changing waistband elastics, I was finished sewing by just after lunch the next day. Accuracy is a a total non issue as well.

I had originally planned on using a 4" wide waistband elastic but it did not look good.  It stuck out at the top of my hip, felt stiff and looked clunky.  I replaced it with 2" elastic which is thick enough to deal with the weight of the pleats, but thin enough to conform to the hips.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Peacock Feather Skirt

This is one of those fabrics which I saw and desperately needed to buy.  Love at first sight.  I was smitten, even though I had absolutely no idea what I would do with it.  I promptly bought two meters, crossing my fingers and counting on the idea that there is no way I would made a full body garment in something this loud.

A few months later I needed a semi-formal outfit for the fancy end-of-degree dinner and decided to sew it up into a skirt.  After agonizing whether the feathers should go up or down (definitely down), if the skirt should be long or short (long!), sleek or full (eh... sleek is less fussy but it could have gone either way),

In the end, I drafted a simple, straight, floor length skirt, lined to the knee with back darts, side walking slit, and a concealed zip.  I still have about three quarters of a meter left, but goodness knows what on earth that will end up being.

The top on the other hand, was trickier.  I originally wanted a simple royal blue stretch velvet scoop neck top, however there wasn't any to be found anywhere I looked.  I bought three other pieces of fabric, all in the right colour in the hopes that I could come up with something, but in the end, a trip to Value Village found the perfect piece two days before the even.  Phew!

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Doctor Who TARDIS Pajamas

These pajamas have been a while in the making.  The fabric is hand printed from lino stamps in silver and gold screen printing ink on royal blue cotton and completed back in 2013 (blogged about here).  At that time, I concluded that a sleep wear set would likely be the best use.  More recently, the sacrificial pink shorts pattern was modified into an elastic waist pattern, and the blouse muslin-ing exercises took care of the top. Two years later, they have finally come to be!

As I was making them, my family rightly pointed out that these go somewhat beyond your typical pajamas.  In fact, would posit that they are more in line with Barney Stinson's Suitjamas.  I wanted a convertible collar and piping and buttons and a yoke, and so I got them.  I'm also going to be doing some pretty extensive travelling over the next year, so I'm happy I will have a more than presentable set of jammies to wear while at hostels, friends' homes and other places.  Isn't the ability to sew whatever you want wonderful?

For the piping (and inside yoke), I used a finely printed quilting cotton.  The gold tone of the vortexes isn't a true bright, warm yellow colour, but rather a darker greenish yellow instead, so finding something to match was tricky.  I then used this method to create a continuous strip of bias tape, which was then wrapped around some chunky yarn to make the piping.

 I used Gigi Sews' method to sew the yoke and collar (it's pretty hard to get your head around what's going on if you aren't following along irl, but straightforward enough otherwise) which allowed me to enclose almost every seam, then used a fancy stretch stitch on all other exposed seams to prevent fraying.

I'm quite happy with the shorts.  The piping was really fun to sew, as each leg is one continuous piece sewn in one go: down, around and up again.  The side panels were not originally planned but I was running out of yardage in the first panel of printed fabric and was hesitant to cut into the second.  I took out about 2" of  ease from the middle of my single piece pattern to make it fit.  My logic was that they were elastic waist sleep shorts, and a few inches of ease either way wouldn't make a big different.  Nope.  After trying them on, it had obviously not been a good idea.  I had arrived in snuggle-bun and wedgie land.  Somehow taking out fabric width wise had not only made them too tight around for the style, but it also pulled down the rise significantly.  I also think my original draft likely needed more ease in the first place.  I did end up cutting out the inserts from the next panel, but happily it was only about a 5" strip.  I want to make another pair of these for everyday wear.  I can imagine adding a pocket into the side panel if it were made wider.

I am happy with the top as well, thought the pattern still needs a few tweaks.  The armhole is ok, but should be dropped another 0.5-1", and there's a tiny bit of excess fabric across the upper chest width wise but I'm not 100% sure where it's coming from.  The sleeve I ended up with works well, and most importantly, I can cross my arms with ease!

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Basic Convertible Collar Shirt Muslin No. 2.0

And here is draft 2.0.  Much better!  Not perfect, but getting there.  I ended up taking out approximately 3" from the centre back: 1" through a shoulder seam swayback adjustment, and then a 2" tuck in the bottom back piece, tapering to nothing at the sides.

The slightly larger French darts are certainly more attractive.

When I first sewed this up, the side seams looked even worse however.  I ended up getting fed up, lined up the front and back so it looked "right" and sewed a straight seam right from the armhole.  It looked much better, but was a touch snug around the hip.  To fix this, I started at the waist and added about 1.5" of flare- you can see this if you follow the lines of the weird plaid pattern at the side seam.  It still isn't perfectly centred/straight, but it's better.

There's just a touch of strain from the bust to the shoulder.  A PR member suggested about 1/4" wedge to be added at the shoulder seam at the outside, tapering to nothing at the neck.

I'll made the pinned/suggested changes, and then it's onto... dum, dum, dum... SLEEVES.  Eek.