The Pink Suit

Pink Suit. Also, bad hair. >_<

(as my children so endearingly dubbed it) … is finished.

Right off the bat, I am going to apologize to Lisa. I did not end up incorporating her awesome hood pattern on the Renfrew. Mostly because I couldn’t find one of the  pattern pieces I painstakingly drafted from her instructions when the time was right, and I was too impatient to wait for it to show up. But then, the pink fabric is possibly a bit too thin, anyway. I will definitely try another time, after the pattern piece shows up.

So, shall we start with the bottom?

Jalie 3022

I added 4″ to the leg length in this pattern, as the size R (my hip size) only has a 30.5″ inseam. 34.5″ is a bit excessive, even for me, but frankly I wanted to be safe rather than sorry, and given that 4-way stretch pants sometimes lose length as they stretch, I wanted plenty. As it turned out (at least in this very stretchy fabric), I only needed about two extra inches, but I think I’m going to keep the length in the pattern just in case. I added the length in two sections, 2″ at the lengthen-shorten line on the thigh and 2″ just below the knee. I also did a small full-butt wedge (this  adjustment), based on my kids’ experience. Although as it turns out I probably could’ve skipped that, not so much because I didn’t need a bit of extra height in the back as because the overall rise was considerably too high for me—coming to just below my belly-button. That looks right on my kids; it doesn’t look right on me. Fortunately in a style like this, it’s easy to fix. I lopped off the seam at the bottom of the waistband (I don’t un-pick knits if I can avoid it), and cut a band off the top of the pants-portion, about 1cm from the back increasing to 3 cm at the front. Then re-attached the waistband. PERFECT!

Seam---interior

For seam finishing I went a bit…overboard. I had decided on black topstitching, in the hopes of cutting down the severe sweetness of all that pink. For my seams themselves, I opted to use a simple overedge stitch on my White, which is both stretchy and makes a much straighter seam on the right side than the overedge stitch on the Janome. And then finish the edge on the serger. And then topstitch with what I think of as the Janome’s “Athletic stitch.”

That’s a lot of stitching.

Topstitching

One of my main reasons for using the White for the seam stitch (besides saving me switching my settings constantly) is that it has adjustable pressure on the presser foot, and lightening the presser-foot pressure makes the knit wave up much less than the Janome’s fixed, heavy foot. Which meant that my seams looked really nice right up until I decided to topstitch with the same Janome. At which point they waved up like crazy. Ironing has helped somewhat, and I’m hoping that the laundry will take care of the rest, but if not, I will be warned for the future. Which is too bad, because I really like the look of this topstitching for “athletic” gear.

Jalie 3022 construction---one wide, flat piece.

I was initially a touch puzzled by the instructions, which have you construct the back as usual, then stitch each side of the front to the sides of the back, before finishing the front crotch and then the inseam. Then I realized it was *much* easier to topstitch the outseam before the “tube” was closed by stitching the front crotch. Smart Jalie! And for once I actually followed the instructions, so I got to enjoy the benefits of their braininess. Yay!

I used strips of Steam-a-Seam Lite (2) in the hems of the pants, as has become my modus operandi for knits, and they turned out, well, no wavier than the other topstitched seams. The nice thing about this particular topstitching (as opposed to say, twin-needling) is that it is the same top and bottom, so I could topstitch looking at the inside and make sure I was covering the edges of the hem-fold. Although, since the edge was already fused in place with the Steam-a-Seam, I suppose there wasn’t much I could actually do if the hem was wonky. Still, I felt better. ;)

Pink suit! Seams slightly ripply

On to the top?

Sewaholic’s Renfrew Top.

I used mostly the same construction methods on the shirt, although not nearly so much topstitching (just around the bands.) Once again I followed Tasia’s instructions surprisingly closely (for me), and was glad of it, because I initially sewed the “V” on the neck-band the wrong way—it was making an “A”, not a “V”.  So double-check that bit, because it’s not really obvious from the pattern piece. It turned out pretty well, though, as you saw above.

As so many others have said before me, there’s not really much not to love about this top. Easy fit, cute styling. I do prefer a smaller seam-allowance, especially when setting in the sleeves; the Jalie knits all have 1/4″ seam allowances, which can feel a bit scant—I think 1cm is definitely my fave in almost any situation. The shoulders feel a bit tight (which is odd, considering they’re rather wider than on my knit sloper) but I think this actually has to do with the curve of the armscye on the body, which is much more extreme in this pattern—which also makes the sleeves angle down more, as opposed to the sleeves on my sloper, where they angle more out. Despite the sleeve-caps being virtually identical. Verry Eeenteresting, my friends. (You can see the effect of the downward angle in the photo below, where they bunch up a bit above my shoulders because my arms are out.) This is also one of those differences that I wouldn’t notice in a fabric with a bit more give or a bit less recovery. I will say, if you’re fitting a knit, this is the fabric to do it in—it actually stays the size and shape that you cut it out.

Other than that, it is what it is and what it is is luverly.

Oh, yeah, back view

Altogether, it is a lot of pink. Possibly more than I’m comfortable with. I was hoping the black topstitching would take the edge of the sweetness, but there’s not quite enough of it. I don’t think it will actually stop me wearing these (although maybe not so much together), but if it does become a problem I could always take a whack at producing a lovely sludgy dyed colour as Carolyn is so good at.

The only complaint I have about the pants (aside from the ripply seams) is that the fabric is *borderline* too thin for bottoms. In a dark colour, I might not have noticed it, but, well, we’ll just say I shall have to be careful which underwear I wear with these.

So another view. Note the un-ripply inseam and the ripply topstitching.

I had some photos showing where the waistband ended up after my alteration, but I’m just not quite happy enough with the current  jowly condition of my midsection to throw them up (at least in combination with the other things I don’t like about these photos, like my bad after-work hair and the crappy photo quality of my backup camera).   So you’ll just have to imagine it going from right below my navel to sitting comfortably beneath the belly-flub.*

On your mark...

I wish I could say this sporty suit will inspire me to  take after Winnie, but I fear that a) I hate long-distance running, and b) nothing’s going to change before the end of the summer at the earliest.

But at least I will be comfy while I slob around the house!

Also, now Tyo wants shorts from the leftover fabric. My desire to move on to other projects is at war with my desire to get rid of the remaining half-metre or so of this fabric. Hmm.

*As usual when I whinge about my body, I feel the need to insert a disclaimer: overall, it’s a pretty good body. I am (and have been for the past several years) mistreating it horribly, as health, fitness, and everything else except family and sewing, in fact, are pushed aside in the face of THESIS. And while I haven’t gained a significant amount of weight, I’ve definitely lost muscle tone, and what I do gain goes right to my middle. It’s not horrific—it’s just not what I want to see when I look in the mirror, and not what I would be seeing if I was doing anything other than sit in front of a computer nine hours a day. And I can’t even blame it on having children… ;)

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47 Comments

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47 responses to “The Pink Suit

  1. I like your pink suit! Looks very comfortable. It’s maybe a bit much all together, but when else can you wear bright and funky (and very pink) outfits than in pajamas and lounge wear? :D You should see my friend Heather’s pj’s (it’s her first attempt at sewing a garment!), because now THAT has your pink suit beat for eye-searing pink brightness!

    http://fussworks.blogspot.ca/2012/03/digital-sewing-date-follow-up.html

    Good luck thesising! I hope that she is a kind Master and doesn’t beat you down too much (or at least lets you out of the office every once and a while).

  2. I like those! They look comfortable for lounging around the house, even if you don’t wear them outside.

    The Renfrew here looks short on you. Did you shorten it? The ones I’ve seen on other people seem pretty long.

    I work out and try to eat healthy, but my days of wearing tight anything on the bottom are over. I can’t even blame a thesis!

    • It may have ended up a centimetre or so shorter in the top, but I very carefully kept the length in the bottom. Most of the other versions I’ve seen are worn with real pants, so scrunch up a bit at the bottom—maybe that’s it? I probably am a bit long below the waist (to go with the short above it part), but I think my overall torso length is pretty average (to slightly short).

  3. Sewista Fashionista

    The athletic stitch looks very nice on your bindings. I will keep it in mind. I have had friends who have done the THESIS and it just commands so much time and attention. Best hopes for you on energy and focus and wishing you done as soon as possible. :)

  4. When I opened your blog, my first thought was WTF, and I said the real words. Pink. Tanit-Isis in all pink. WTF. It looks nice on you, but it just doesn’t seem like the person we have all come to know and love.

    If you do decide to dye, I strongly recommend that you do not use Rit or Tintex, use iDye or Dylon which are both readily available and they are both fiber reactive, which means they won’t coat the interior of your washing machine. iDye is what Carolyn uses, Dylon is sold at Fabricland here, I am sure it is sold where you live as well, use the cold water stuff.

    • LMAO! Blame Lady Katza for sending me the fabric ;).

      Dylon is what I’ve used in the past, yes, the Fabriclands here carry it, too. I will see—I don’t mind pink, but yeah, usually as an accent rather than the main colour.

  5. Chris

    Good Job! Looks fantastic on you…

    I’ve made these Jalie yoga pants in a 3/4 length and they turned out great. I love this pattern! But I’m 5′-10″ tall and was wondering where should I add length to the pants for the full-length version and you answered that for me. So, I appreciate you mentioning exactly where you added the 2″ twice to the leg length.

    I cut the ones I made a size or two larger than I need, because I didn’t want them to be tight against my legs. They hang a little loose and look great – nice and airy and cool for the summer. :-)

    • Thank you! Generally if pants have a shaped leg, it’s good to distribute your added length above and below the knee. Where above or below doesn’t matter so much, but you want to keep the knee roughly in the right position.

      3/4 length would be fun. :)

  6. also, it would be really hard to run a race in those high heeled converse.

    your pink is hot, your bod is hot! i know what you mean about muscle tone. but think of all the sewing we get done by avoiding the gym.

    • *snerk* but so stylish! ;) I thought the faux-athletic shoes went well with the whole faux-athletic look of the whole thing.

      Yeah, if I were making time for the gym there would be no sewing at all happening… ;) I do miss my dance classes, though. I really think they helped keep me sane.

      • Are you no longer belly dancing?

        /end personal questioning ;)

        • Heather, I lapsed from the classes here (which are across town) when I was studying for my candidacy exams (=three months of INSANE NOTHING BUT STUDY AND WRITING) and never quite got back into it. Which is very sad because I really liked the group, but the combination of distance, time, and money was just too much to take on. I will definitely get back into it once the thesis is done.

      • I agree with Oona, awesome shoes, and you look smoking. Love you poses, and I love the suit!

        I also do not do such a thing as the gym anymore (except for the swim classes I’ll be taking the toddler to, but that’s for her).

        • Thank you! Keeping fit with small children is so tricky! I think I was just lucky that I was young enough, when I was having babies, that it didn’t make that much of a difference that I did nothing other than my once-weekly dance class for a year or three. Now—well, I don’t even have that level of regular excercise, and I have definitely noticed that my body doesn’t hold on to muscle tone the way it did when I was 23…

  7. Great suit! These sure do look way more sexy and sporty than the ‘comfy clothes’ I’m wearing right now, hehe. And I think it’s a good thing you didn’t add the hood, I really don’t think it would have come out right with this fabric.

    Funny how you sort of apologize for ‘whingeing’ about your body. I also usually get remarks like ‘what do you have to complain about’. Because you have a generally good body, you’re not supposed to whine about it. Well, everybody has his/her dislikes and insecurities! So, no need for a disclaimer :)

    • One time (back when I was actually fit) I made a comment to a friend about going to the gym. His response was “You’re thin—why would you go to the gym?”

      Um, so that I can be *healthy*? And maybe build a bit of upper body strength, of which I have precious little…

      We all have our little insecurities—the trick is not have them become big and take over your life. :) But I find the disclaimer helps me get comments like yours, and not so many of the “why are you complaining?” ones. ;)

  8. i just deleted a paragraph of whinging about my body on today’s post, this science stuff is terrible for fitness!! cute lounge wear though!! i keep thinking i need to make some for myself, the husby is not thrilled to see me lounging in flannel pants and a hoodie every night!

    finally i have to give you an award, well deserved lady!

    • Thank you! Yeah, I think hubs would much rather see me in these than in the flannel PJs I tend to steal from him—which are really too short for either of us ;). Although pinkpinkpink is not really his colour, either ;).

  9. I too noticed the shoes second to the overall pinkness! And third, your amazing bod (even if you do point out the bits we don’t know about). I’d lounge around in this suit, it really looks the most comfy ever, only I would look far less stylish, as my furry slipper socks would spoil the look. Thanks for all the info on seams & how you’ve topstitched – it’s great to have view on what’s possible, how & why you’ve done the details. I learn so much from you -now guru of knit as well as denim queen….

    • Ah, but furry slipper socks would totally take the look to the next level!

      I think I’ve got a ways to go before I qualify as a knit guru, though I’m flattered! ;)

  10. I am totally enamored with the “athletic” topstitching. It’s so neat! Too much pink or not, these are two pieces you’ll get tons of use from.

  11. Looks like good comfie wear to me. And that pink is still less… overwhelming than my purple velour matching pants and zip up jacket.

    I was thinking Renfrew looked a little shorter on you than I’d expect (as mentioned by Andi). But then I remembered, I am only half an inch over 5′ and I get the impression you would put a second number behind the 5″. There may be a difference there between us. ;)

    • I don’t think there’s much in the world that would be *more* overwhelming than purple stretch velour from head to toe…

      I’m 5′ 7″, though I don’t think my body is overly long—a lot of my height is in my legs. (I know, poor me). But yeah, probably a bit longer ;).

  12. Bri

    Well even though you think it’s so very pink I hope you do get some use out of your “pink suit” after you put all that work into!

  13. LinB

    If you crowd your seams when sewing stretchy knits, they won’t be rippley.
    That is, keep a finger firmly behind the presser foot as you sew, letting the fabric bunch up between your finger and the foot. You’ll have to stop every once in a while to release the bunch — duh — but this process keeps the feed dogs from stretching the fabric unduly as they pull it through the machine. Practice on something yucky to get the hang of it — would hate to see your lovely topstitching come out wonky with this technique.

    • I have heard of rear-crowding but I admit I didn’t try it for this—I will give it a go. I am very careful about crowding from the front, I’ve just had a hard time wrapping my brain around how crowding *after* the stitch is made would help. Which doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t. I will try. Thanks for the tip! :)

  14. I don’t know… I think you’re really pulling off all this pink! Looks great… beautiful work!

  15. Amy

    You are such a beautiful, beautiful woman, whether it’s comfies or not! I actually opened this and thought “COOL HAIR”, but that might be because I’m radiating around that 5-year itch to cut all mine off. I love this fit on the Renfrew on you. A very cool cut. So interesting how even a slight armscye difference can change the shaping! And now I’m dying of curiosity but no need to answer (what is her thesis about?!). Do you have a deadline or is it whenever you are ready to organize your date?

    • Ahaha! I used to try growing mine out about every five years, only to regret it deeply once it reached shoulder length and started hanging limply and growing split ends faster than the length could keep up with. >_< I do still sigh enviously over people who have gorgeous long hair, though, and cry a bit everytime one of them cuts it off.

      I am studying palaeontology. While the actual defense will be whenever I am ready, we're moving back to our hometown this summer, so I really really really want to be done by then.

  16. You should silk screen on of those little sayings across your bum… you look great! I hear you, though re: muscle tone, especially after sitting sewing for a while. Happy blogiversary, by the way :)

  17. I have to admit to being a little shocked when I first saw the all-pink picture of you, even though I *knew* you were making these pieces…but then I saw your awesome hair (I know, you just got off work, but I think your hair is my favorite of all my Interwebs-friends) and the high heeled converses and I knew it was still you inside the cake :)

    I really like the fitting job you did on these; I think I get lazy about making knits fit because I figure, wth, they’re gonna stretch anyway. That athletic topstitching really makes the look, and I think as separates they’ll be fine, as it’s not a very pinky-pink.

    I would also have to admit to being extremely curious about what your thesis topic is!

    • Aww, thanks! I always love my hair when I first do it and it’s all spiky in the back and swoopy in the front and makes perfect points over my cheeks… but then I walk out of the house and stuff it in a hat and try to fluff it up again and, well, by the end of the day it’s usually sagging. I’m glad someone else still likes it, though.

      You may be a little closer to the “average figure” than I am, proportion-wise. ;) It’s the length that’s really the issue in knits, at least for me, because even if it’s a 4-way stretch there’s not as much stretch that’s going to happen up and down. And if it’s too long (especially through the armscye) it just ends up bubbling up above my chest every time I raise my arms. This particular pattern probably would’ve been fine as is, but the little changes just bring it up another notch. And I’ve gotten really attached to my square shoulder alteration—I always wondered why so many things bunched up behind my neck! :)

  18. Joy

    Your thesis is almost done! (right???) I love the pink suit. The black topstitching really makes it. And anyway, it looks more coral than cotton candy. You could even go out in public in the pieces – maybe worn separately though, hehe.

    • Well, almost done in the “running out of time” sense, not so much the “nearly written up” sense. But I’m trying not to think about that lest I collapse into a whimpering ball of jelly. It is more of a coral or salmon colour, and actually one that I really like as an accent. But yeah, head to toe is a bit much. :)

  19. Pinkity pink and everyone above is right – good colour on you. I really like the topstitching too. Again I need to get the Jalie and Renfrew for myself.

    I’m really interested in your note about the curve of the armscye affecting shoulder fit. Unsurprising as it is I am surprised. I need to check that out ’cause I seem to have square shoulders sometimes. At least I think I do. Armscye/sleeve cap stuff is a bit of a dark art to me still…..Oh there be experiementing in my future. Yes there do be do.

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