Friday, November 11, 2005

The "AHA!" Moment

Someone on Sewing World asked what everyones 'Aha!' moment was in sewing...a realization that caused a paradigm shift. Some mentioned discovering the fit of European patterns, others when they realized they could cut between or outside of the lines on a real 'Aha' moment came when I realized didn't have to rely on a pattern to tell me how to do something.

Back in 1982, I bought a pair of Liz Claiborn raw silk pants on sale and wore them for probably 10 years...until they really looked bad. They had the zipper in the pocket, which I just thought was the coolest thing. I looked long and hard for a pattern that had a zipper in the pocket. There were a few patterns that had a hidden open seam in the pocket, which provided plenty of room for entry but they tended to be drafty. Then one day it hit me: The zipper's IN THE POCKET! No one will see it! Who cares what it looks like!

I played with the pocket just a little, came up with a way to stick the zipper in it (no, it doesn't look wonderful, but who cares? For anyone who's curious, I've got a photo album of the process HERE), put a blue zipper on a pair of black pants and never again considered the pattern guide to be The Final Word on how to put a pattern together.

Which I suppose was the foundation for the waaaayyy out of the box thinking I now find myself doing to put costumes together.


  1. There was a time in the late 70's-early 80's when in-pocket zippers were the thing. I had skirts with them too. I also have a pants pattern with the same type of closure, but no zipper. It just has hooks on the band. I can't remember if the underpocket piece is larger, but I made several pairs, and never had any gaposis. I forgot all about this style. Nothing could be easier.

  2. Yeah! I guess 'drafty' might be a poor choice of words...I didn't really have problems with gaposis, exactly, just a not-all closed-up feeling. And there were a few cases in which I hurriedly stuck a tissue in my pocket only to see it emerge from the bottom of my pants leg a few minutes later! ;)