achievement unlocked: turquoise tap pants & underpants

& also the camsisole & a second pair of underpants, using butterick 6031, but those were both big fails, so i can’t say i unlocked any achievements there.

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i already wrote a little about this stuff in a previous post, but this is the details post. i drafted the tap pants myself, in an effort to have something modest-ish to wear underneath dresses, so i don’t get arrested if a gust of wind blows my skirt up. they turned out pretty well. definitely wearable, though i drafted a new pattern (yet to be sewn) because i decided i wanted a higher rise, & i wasn’t 100% in love with the crotch curve on these. i mean, it’s fine. it could just be better. i was definitely freehanding it with the drafting, with the end result being that the back of the pants is nearly identical to the front. i’d prefer something a little shapelier in the back, to accommodate things like butts.

but i have worn these under dresses & even as hot weather pajamas around the house & they’re great. the legs, including lace, are a little less than four inches long, which is perfect for me. the fabric is 40 denier tricot (i got mine from fabric.com, it’s still available) & it is delightfully cool & silky. it was also quite easy to sew with a stretch needle. some reviews on fabric.com complained that the color bled. i was nervous about that, because i didn’t pre-wash. but i didn’t have any bleeding. after a couple of washes, my white lace is just as white as ever.

i did kind of screw up stitching the waistband elastic. the thing about sewing elastic is that you need to pull it through the machine both front & back, & i forgot to pull from the back, so my stitches are all over the place. luckily i got my act together before i had to turn the elastic in, so it’s only the stitches on the inside that are janky. the ones on the outside look great.

the underpants are butterick 6031. i loooooooove them. so comfy. i want to make 10,000 more pairs. for best results, this pattern requires fabric with a fair amount of stretch. this tricot has 50% stretch. & remember to cut your stretch lace to fit the fabric. don’t stretch while you sew. it’s worth noting that the directions with the pattern are a little muddled when it comes to attaching the lace. i simply overlapped the lace & the fabric by a quarter-inch & sewed with a 2mm square zigzag. easy enough.

oh, also: i wasn’t sure how these underpants were going to fit because the technical drawing doesn’t really match the sample on the model on the envelope.

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see how the illustration looks more like bikini panties, but the model in the peach get-up seems to be wearing boy shorts? well, the finished result for me was much more like boy shorts, which was great, because that’s what i wanted.

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& here are my fails. same butterick 6031 underpants, & the longer camisole from that same pattern. the fails are my own fault.

with the underpants, i was confused about how to attach the lace. i took a chance on stretching to fit, & i also sewed it so the top edge of the lace overlapped the fabric, & i stitched along the bottom edge of the lace. then i trimmed away the excess fabric under the lace. the final result was underpants that were just too small. i was flummoxed by the directions & simply made all the wrong choices.

with the camisole, i was attempting to grade between sizes, but i was a dummy who cut the top of the camisole according to my high bust (as you might with a dress, in order to get the shoulders to fit). obviously a camisole doesn’t have shoulders that need to be fitted, & my idiocy resulted in a garment that barely fit over my rack & is unfixable.

but!

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the construction is pretty fun! the pattern comes with cup sizes, with bust darts for shaping. after you sew the dart, you cut away the excess fabric & topstitch. it’s a fun challenge to make the darts absolutely perfect with no wobbles or puckers. mine came out great. too bad it doesn’t fit.

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you are also instructed to add 1/8″ elastic to the underside of the stretch lace at the tops of the cups, to help hold them to your body. this was also kind of a fun challenge, sewing something so narrow & fiddly to something so stretchy & fussy, & having to follow a curve in the process. i think mine came out really well…too bad about the fit. i imagine a person could probably use clear elastic here if they wanted?

not that it mattered in the long run, since this wasn’t going to fit no matter what, but i also cut the body panels for the camisole on the cross-grain by accident. the tricot i had was almost a perfect square & i just wasn’t thinking clearly about which way the stretch should go. (obviously it should be traveling horizontally around your body instead of vertically from bust to hem.) whoops.

i do plan to try this camisole again, because i think it would be the perfect complement to tap pants as summer pajamas. so i will hold off on making any final decisions about how i feel about the pattern until i get a chance to sew it up properly.

i’m almost recovered from my latest illness & looking forward to hitting the sewing machine again soon. i cut out the pattern pieces for a new purse this morning, & i have a lot of other projects on the go, including a swimsuit of my own design!

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