As I'd mentioned in a previous post, I'd long wanted a pair of capris. I've owned several and they've all been a little unsatisfactory. I envisioned a vintage-esque capri: something that falls between the two images below. Unlike most modern fashion, my dream pair would not be skin-tight, but certainly body-skimming for a nice, streamlined slim-look and falling just below the knee to make my legs look longer and my body taller overall.
Most importantly, the capri's an incredibly versatile companion. It can be dressed up or down, and chameleon a wide range of looks if it's in a dark, neutral color: retro with a jumper, rockabilly with a halter, casual-day-at-the-office with an oxford, day-at-the-beach with a tank, and so on and so forth.
So for Self-Stitched-September and the Hepburn Hepburn Project, I turned to Simplicity 3850 in my stash, a Built by Wendy pattern.
Though the pattern boasts it's "slim," I used the alteration suggestion for narrow legs in Mullin's Sew U book (take in 3/4 inch at each side seam at the ankle, 1/2 inch at the knee and taper toward the crotch). I also chopped about 3-1/2 inches off the capri-length in the pattern. Here's a quick snapshot in the midst of these alterations.
My left leg shows the original fit, in a size 12.
While making these capris, I was absolutely delighted. I learned how to shorten a zipper, I pulled off a front-zip fly, and I made slant pockets, my absolute favorite to wear. And this pattern comes with a wonderful little detail: A button closure on the leg.
- The sizing feels off to me. My waist is a 14 but my hip is a 12. I ended up cutting a 12 and realize only now, I should've cut a 10.
- Because of the sizing, the belt loops feel like they're far too close to the side seams, a problem when I need to do some serious cinching. And the slant pockets just accentuate the looseness.
- Though I realize these are low-waisted, the rear is much, much more generous than the front (you'll see in the photos). I also took in the rear seam twice and it's still got more than enough room.
- And finally, the worst of it all: this fabric has no recovery. I bought it at a thrift store, and all I knew was that it was a stretch twill. Photos of evidence. In the first, I'd been wearing them for an hour or so, and in the second, after a day's wear:
It's just shameful, really.
I've worn these several times in September, but I frankly only feel comfortable with a half-day's wear, or wearing them surfer-girl style: low and baggy with a graphic tee, though that's not the style I'm after at all. I've thought about taking it apart and re-sewing, but if I'm just going to have a slightly tighter version of saggy-butt, than I'm not sure it's worth the effort.
So, dear sewers, perhaps you can help me: What on earth would you do? And how would you learn from this mistake?
I guess there are more essential questions embedded in that:
- Would you fix this (and how)? Or would you toss it?
- For my future knowledge, how do you ensure that fabric will recover to its shape? Perhaps a fabric that has spandex/lycra content?
- I have a couple more yards of this stuff, would you keep it? And if so, what type of garments would it be suitable for? I can't imagine using it for a top, but would I be in safe territory, for example, with an A-line skirt?
- And this is a bit silly, but do some fabrics attract more lint than others? I feel like this fabric is a magnet for it; god forbid I visit someone who has a white cat.