Thursday, February 12, 2009

New clothes

I decided to spiff up the wardrobe recently, inspired partly by my upcoming attendance at my brother-in-law's wedding. So joining all the quilting fabrics in the closet are some crepes and such for skirts (I hate straight skirts and like them a little long, so I end up making all of them by a simple six gore pattern) and new pants and two spring jackets in nice spring-y colors from that emporium of style, JCPenney. I'm not being snarky, I really do buy clothes there, because I never liked spending a ton of money on clothes and all I really needed were some solid color short sleeve shells to wear under jackets and some classic pleated pants.

Well, I found the pants, in a nice dressy lightweight fabric that had a little body to hang well, were washable (always a plus) and had small inserts of elastic in the sides of the waistband. Perfect. Until I tried them on. The hips fit but the waist is a good 3 inches too large, without even stretching the elastic. When did clothing manufacturers forget women have waists?

You would have to be shaped like a cylinder to fit into these pants. Honestly, I am on the plus size of things, and my hourglass figure has gained some time, so to speak, but my waist is still 10 inches smaller than my hips, and evidently that's rare nowadays. I found the same thing with skirts in the stores and my beloved LLBean khakis, which have been recut and don't fit like they used to. So, this morning I'm altering the pants.

I would rather be stood out in the rain naked than alter clothes. I would rather make the things completely from scratch. I would rather, gasp, make another Double Wedding Ring quilt than do this. It's a PAIN. Picking out that serger stitching will drive you crazy. And when all of it is disassembled, you have to deal with the threads and the fraying and trying to fit the darned things to your body. Makes a person wish for all elastic waistbands.

But I can't quit until these three pants are altered and three skirts are made. Then I can organize my closet and breathe a sigh of relief. I hadn't bought anything new since I retired 18 months ago, and just ran around in khakis, tees and fleece jackets. I looked kinda ratty, at least to myself. I was never a clotheshorse, but don't subscribe to Thoreau's quote "Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes" either. Now, whatever activities come my way, I can meet them with sartorial splendor!


Suzan said...

I am shaped a bit like a bowling pin. I would love to know what pattern you are using for skirts. I need to jazz up my wardrobe a bit since my job promotion. I lean toward rather unconstructed jackets over tank tops and straight leg, flat front pants. Maybe I am missing the boat by not shopping at Penney's!

Linda_J said...

ACK on the alterations. I can believe that you would rather suffer thru another DWR than do that. I groan every time DJ hands me a mending job. He thinks I can fix anything but I'm not so sure about that.