Sunday, September 5, 2010

Make it work! (with apologies to Tim Gunn)

Along with a heavy coat for winter, another piece I shopped for last month was a light jacket, which I will probably be able to wear all the way to Thanksgiving, given our temperate climate. I wanted something casual but stylish that would suit sweaters and khakis. And I found it at LL Bean: I liked the epaulets and the turn-back collar, and the button tabs on the side to give the jacket some shape. Since the customer ratings said it ran large and I'm between sizes, I ordered the smaller size at first, which fit in the hips and chest but was too tight in the shoulders for comfortable driving and such. So I swapped it for the larger size, and the fit is very comfortable. But it was a little boxy. What to do? I tried cinching in the waist using the button tabs but that made a lump of fabric at the sides which wasn't comfortable.

While examining the construction I thought about the inset waistband. Perhaps a little elastic? But did I want to disassemble the jacket to put elastic in the waist? The solution came to me: hand sew a lightweight cotton casing on the inside of the waistband to hold the elastic only in the back between the side seams. It took just a few minutes before I had completed the casing and inserted the elastic. Just enough to nip in the waist:Believe me, it looks better on the body than on the closet door. That bit of elastic made all the difference in the world in the fit of the jacket and didn't hide the fact that I have a waistline. Perfect!

Regarding the Tim Gunn reference: I have become a great fan of "Project Runway", and Mr. Gunn is one of the major reasons why. His gentlemanly manner is a relief among the catty contestants and snobby judges. He's a class act.

I watch the program weekly with the sort of morbid attention you give train wrecks. It's really quite spellbinding, not the least because of the appalling garments they produce. Granted, they are under time and monetary restraints, but really, some of these get-ups look like third graders made them. And can ANYONE fit a pair of pants anymore? It is hard to watch this stuff when you have made clothing since you were in grade school yourself and know tailoring and how clothing should fit, regardless of the compromises I make in my own clothes because I buy instead of custom make the stuff now and altering is a PAIN. The thing that really gets me about the styling of the dresses is the length. There's mini, and there's MINI, as in about a handsbreath below your underwear. We're into seriously tacky here. Unless the girl is going to wear bike shorts underneath everything, I'm at a loss how she will walk and sit without a public indecency charge. The winning dress last week was a good example. Oh, it's probably just me being a 50-something. I was here the first time minis came around but that time, four inches about the knee scandalized the nation.

1 comment:

Elaine Adair said...

Good job on the jacket!

I also love Project Runway -- occasionally even I/ME can spot a winner! Some of the designs are incredible!!!! Yes, sometimes they are dorky, but time limitations, and ??? things we don't know about, keep it interesting!

And how on earth does one fit garments on those size 0 girls???