Fall is here with a vengeance! Temps in the forties, brisk winds, frost warnings....in keeping with my 'Frosting vs. Cake' epiphany, i'm doing my best to remember how to stay warm without using tons of visible layers. Undershirts, wool socks, long sleeved knits, wool tights are all coming into play - but not making an appearance!
Jeans are also uppermost in my mind. They are warm, with enough spandex they do not bother my legs, and they are a great foundation for a smart casual look. The trouble lies in finding ones that fit, that flatter, which are not completely encrusted with beads, embroidery, metallic gewgaws more fitting an aged yet flirtatious hermit crab than a stylish woman of a certain age.
You'll have to wait a bit for pictures of the jeans all sewed up and in an outfit. But i wanted to show you a bit of what is involved in custom fitting garments to your figure. I took these photos after i had partially constructed the jeans and had pinned the inner and outer leg seams. In both pictures the right side is the one i have altered from the original fit. My aim was to decrease the bagging and tugging on the back of the thigh. The difference is fairly distinct - in both cases the leg on your right has a smoother fit. In the end i sewed a closer fit than that shown here. The next time i make this pattern i will make an alteration in this area before i cut into the fabric, which should result in an even smoother line.
Here you can see the alterations i made to the inner and outer seams of the back pattern piece. In each case i've taken in less than half an inch width, but the difference in fit is quite noticeable. I've been reading stylist Kendall Farr recently and in her experience and opinion fit is the foundation of personal style. Yet we rarely read about fit in style blogs and fashion magazines. You don't hear about the thrill of having pieces personally fitted at the tailor's.
I agree with Ms. Farr about fit, and this state of affairs is a shame as far as i'm concerned. It takes time and fuss to really nail fit in your garments. But it is possible to do so and it makes a world of difference in how your clothes look, and more importantly, feel on your body. Wearing clothing that fits your own individual shape is a completely different experience than the pinching, pulling, and wiggling associated with today's standard off the rack fare.
It can seem way too daunting to jump right into custom-made clothing. That's just for the very rich, the privileged, the fashionistas, the anyone-but-me. Frankly, you don't need to have every garment designed for you from scratch. But i do challenge you to start small......move the buttons on your shirt cuffs to just the right spot. Hem that wrap dress to your most flattering length, even if it's a difference of only one inch. Stretch out those shoes that are just a wee bit too tight. Pick one or two little projects, just a few dollars or half an inch. Try it out, then see if you can honestly say to me that you can't tell the difference.
Jacket: Peruvian Connection
Scarves: own design
Jeans: Levi's Curvy fit (discontinued)
Handbag: Isabella Fiore
Hoodie: Free People
Jeans (in process): McCalls' 5894 Palmer & Pletsch 'The Perfect Jean'