April - July 2013

Knickers

A pair of men's knickers made of Italian import wool from my stash. I used the newly revised Laughing Moon California Pants pattern. Aaron's also wearing a Victorian shirt and black silk ascot made with the LM shirt pattern, a cotton/cashmere sweater from the Goodwill, golf socks, some comfy dress shoes, and an Irish tweed cap. The outfit was meant to be worn with a cream brocade silk bow tie, which went very well with the knickers. But Aaron tells me that he is done with bow ties. Apparently I will need to learn to tie them myself if I want to see them on him!

Aaron doesn't have any summer-weight Victorian clothes. Knickers seemed like a fun option. The fabric looked like it would make good Victorian menswear. I did have enough fabric for a matching coat. However, I will not be making one. So I think the outfit ended up reading less Victorian and more 20th Century.

Menswear is challenging. Because I used this fabric, I was way out of my skill range. The plaid took two full days to cut. The wool is somewhat loosely woven and the seams ravelled quickly. I was overcasting seams that were also lined. One good thing to come out of this is I was forced to improve my skill on my serger. (After years of non-use). This fabric also wrinkles like mad, so I first interfaced the waistband with tricot to stabilize it, and then interfaced with sew-in hair canvas.

One of the revisions to the LM pants pattern is an additional 2" of rise. This is a big improvement. I'd become accustomed to making 2 1/2" alterations to raise them up to waist level. There are many pieces involved in making that one change! On the other hand, I was unimpressed with the knicker's knee opening. In my opinion, the overlapped edge doesn't work. It gaps awkwardly. I've made several pairs of LM pants - a mock-up for the knee opening didn't occur to me. I might have drafted a placket. (Incidentally, the instructions do not mention this but one must clip into the seam allowance in order to hem the side slit. Also, I press my side seams toward the back, not the front - why fight with the pocket?) After all the effort it took to deal with the difficult fabric, I just didn't have any patience left. I may address the issue down the line. But for now, the knickers are done. And that's saying a lot.


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