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Sew Simple: Versatile jacket is A Little Somethin’ special

Dear Vicki: Several months ago – in October, I think – you mentioned a jacket pattern that you really like. I wonder if you could say more about it and why you think it’s so good. Thanks. – Kelley G.

Dear Kelley: The pattern you want is called A Little Somethin’ Jacket. I have made it over and over; it’s quick and can be made in an afternoon. In the summer you can use a light rayon, silk or linen; in the fall use a heavier but still drapey fabric. It is unlined, so you will have to finish all the seams nicely. I hope you have a serger, because this is one pattern where it will come in handy. Be sure to add some interfacing on the front edges, and expect compliments. There is very little fit, but you have some choices about the body length and sleeve length for different looks. Please try to find it at a local shop, but if you can’t, then send me a check for $14, and I will send the pattern to you.

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Dear Vicki: I am making a pair of pants. They are big enough, but the back of the crotch is too short – they pull down when I sit. And the front is too long – they rise up past my belly button. It’s crazy. How can I fix this for the next pair? Can I just cut the top edge at angles going up, and the center back and going down at the front? Give me your permission or other ideas. Thanks. – Vivian S.

Dear Vivian: It’s interesting – making pants could hardly be easier or faster, but fitting them is often a puzzle. Your idea of cutting the front lower and the back higher is not bad. However, it would be easy to throw off the grain line and change the way the leg seams hang. If there is very little change to be made, you will probably be OK. But there is another idea, and that is to also alter the crotch fit. You can test this to see if it will work for you. First unpick the crotch seam and the inseam at least 8 inches. Now sew a triangle-shaped extension called a gusset onto the top of the back leg sections. Let it add ¾ inch at the top and fade to nothing by the time you get 6 inches down. Now restitch everything but fold back ¾ inch at the front inseam; this will shift the inseam 1½ inches and possibly fix a lot of the fit problem you have. If it works and looks good, then go back and trim off the folded part of the front inseam, and then on your next pattern, just add to the back and take away from the front. Good luck.