Valient Viewers of Braver Homes and Gardens

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Nina Garcia #3

I've had so many projects to do that I didn't realize I was neglecting my Nina Garcia project.  I'm attempting to sew all of the one hundred must have items Nina Garcia, of Project Runway fame, describes in her book The One Hundred.  I just finished must have item #3 - Ankle Boots.

Um...but you can't actually sew a pair of boots.  I realized after I started this project that Nina's book details quite a few wardrobe items that can't be sewn.  So I'm going to have to fudge it a little with some of them and sew an item to wear WITH the must have item.

Nina talks about how ankle boots were first meant to hide under trousers until designers in the 80's started putting them on runway models.  "Everyone wondered," she writes, "why we had been hiding these shoes under our pants for so long." 

I can tell you why.  Because that's the only way ankle boots look good.  Look at this example:

This is one of the better examples I found.  I HATE wearing completely exposed ankle boots.  I hate (contrary to Nina's advice) mixing a masuline feeling shoe with a feminine looking out fit.  I also disagree with her claim that they are a great alternative to the pump.  Ankle boots with my business suits?  I think not.  You may as well just wear combat boots with a prom dress. 

But I love the look of ankle boots under a nice pair of trousers. 

I do not, however, love making pants.  I have two fitting issues with pants that, until recently, I was unable to find a good fitting solution for.  One, is my potbelly and the other is my Polish dupa.  (That would be a bubble butt for all you non-Polaks). 

But the project must continue so I set out to find a good alteration method.  Stumbling on an article in Sew Stylish magazine (Fall 2009 issue), I finally had an easy to understand answer!  I used a cheap grey linen look fabric as my muslin. 

Basically you take your front and back trouser pieces and at least 2 inches to the top.  I added seven inches.  Sew the front to back as usual. 

Then you try them on - - and custom fit the darts at your natural waistline.  Wow!!  It's one of those "I can't beleive I didn't think of that before" techniques.   After the darts, you cut off the excess top and finish your top edge.  (Precise directions vary depending whether pants have a facing, a casing, or a waistband). 

Here's what I got:
Amazing! As you can see, this method allows the pants to rest up at my natural waist and it totally accomodated my toosh and my belly. Custom fitting the darts allowed the tucks to go where I need them and eliminates them where I don't. Finally! Pants that fit around my waist!

And don't they look cute atop those ankle boots

But good thing these were only a muslin because look what else I got:

Say cheese!  The wrinkles here are called "smiling crotch".  It's a fit issue created when the hip width of your pants isn't wide enough.  The pants want more room so they pull fabric up from your legs.  The pulling effort creates the impression that your crotch is smiling.   

The Sew Stylish article does say.....all the way in step take in or let out the sides before final stitching.  Putting this at step four isn't so helpful if your pieces are cut too small to begin with.  Next time, when I'm adding my extra inches to the top, I will also add extra inches to the side seam area.  Then I will also have room to custom ize the hips as well as the waist. 

For now, I'm grateful I found a fitting technique that's easy to follow and makes sense! 

And I have the ankle boots.

Next project:  Aviator shades

1 comment:

Caroline said...

Contrary to you, I agree with Nina Garcia. I love mixing masculine-ish pieces with more feminine ones. But your outfit looks very appropriate too.