When I was a kid my dad listened to talk radio. Most of it bored me. But one show was quite amusing: the hosts were Deminski and Doyle, and they had a segment they called the "Hour of Duh". (I can't find the Hour of Duh online now... I wonder if I'm mis-remembering, or if I've fallen into one of those unpredictable holes in the internet... stuff that hasn't made it online yet.)
Well, today I'm going to tell you about a project that has been my hour of duh.
A client has asked me to make him some jeans, so I decided to practice the techniques by making myself some pants based on a jeans pattern. The first mistake I made was using a well-fitting old pair of jeans to make a pants pattern... without accounting for the fact that the jeans were stretch denim and my fabric had no stretch! (Well, it didn't feel like the jeans were stretching on my body...)
The ripple effect of that moment of duh? When I finally got the new pants to the point where I could try them on, they were six inches too small! Three inches on each side. (Argh! Karen! Always measure the pattern pieces and compare them to the body before cutting!) Luckily I had plenty of fabric to work with. I inserted triangular pieces in the sides to make them fit. The gussets are widest at the top (where the original jeans would have stretched) and taper to nothing around the calves.
My housemate says I should just "call it a design feature"!
The other duh was that I somehow sewed both front panels inside out! The fabric is a lighter-than-denim twill, so the front and back sides look very similar, but there is a slight textural difference. The right side of the fabric has a smoother finish because of the floater threads, and the diagonal lines created by the weave are visible. The wrong side of the fabric has diagonal lines, too, but not as obvious. But while I was working on the pockets, I confused inside with outside and didn't notice until all the top-stitching was done. And at that point I was not going to unpick things!
No-one will notice. And if they do, it's a design feature!
One of my sewing rules is "no sewing after eleven pm". I don't always follow it, but I always should: most of my "duhs" happen when I'm tired, or when I'm rushing because I feel like the day is ending soon. Then the next morning I have to fix things.
NOT ALL DUH
And here is a gallery of pictures of how I made the front pocket with French seams. Click through for captions:
As lovely as the pocket is, it'll never get used, since it's so small, and the gusset is now in the place where my hands most naturally seek a pocket! C'est la Duh!
The Pants of Duh now sit in my UnFinished Objects (UFO) pile, needing to be hemmed and to have a button added and stray threads tucked away. Unsurprisingly, I'm in no hurry to finish them.
Quilting, dressmaking, and history plied with the needle...
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