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which grain: crotch liner for suit pants (long winded)

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Old January 23rd 04, 04:41 AM
joy beeson
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Default which grain: crotch liner for suit pants (long winded)

Long-windedness ensues. Query starts below a row of
asterisks like this one: *******

I started cutting out weeks ago, I'm still working on the
eighteen pockets for my two-pants suit, and one pair of
broadfall pockets hasn't even been cut out yet!

My plan is to make a wool shirt, one pair of pants by my
"fat" pattern so that it can be worn over long johns, and
one pair by my "skinny" pattern so that it can be worn under
the other pair in case of need.

I meant to make the broadfall pockets china silk, but
shortly after I'd begun work, the broadfall pockets in my
cotton herringbone pants gave way, and would have been very
troublesome to repair because they are an integral part of
the construction. " Egad!! My china silk won't wear much
better than that broadcloth!! "

So I hastened to buy a meter of "dupioni satin" from Phoenix
Textiles (fabric.com), because it was heavier than what
Dharma http://www.dharmatrading.com/ was selling for
about the same price.

"Dupioni" and "satin" seem like contradictory terms, but the
only reason I'm buying satin is that it comes in thicker
weights than habotai and twill. The dupioni doesn't show
enough to indicate that the slubs were put in on purpose;
nonetheless, when I took the piece out of the washer, I
wished that I had enough of it to make a blouse or gown.
But when I was trying to straighten it, and trying to make
it hold still while I cut it, I was just as glad that I
don't have four yards. (Charmeuse is said to be easier to

And then before the satin was delivered, the crotch of the
herringbone pants wore out -- the broadcloth pockets had
been quite durable enough. But it's a good idea to make the
pockets as durable as possible anyhow.

I have scraps from the herringbone pants -- enough to make
two more pair; cotton twill was hard to find when I bought
the herringbone, so I planned to make four pair. Then
Phoenix came along and I started insisting on linen for
summer pants, so I haven't cut the other half yet -- but I
will when I get the suit under control, since I'd been
wearing the old herringbones quite a lot, and miss them.

I have the fabric, and I know a way to patch the crotch that
makes it look like part of the original construction, but
the pants have faded and the scraps have not, so these will
become apron pants, to hang on a peg in the garage to jump
into when I'm about to do something dirty. And just in
time, too -- I slipped the old old pants on over my house
clothes so I wouldn't freeze while filling the bird feeder,
caught my toe in a weak spot, and tore the front of the
thigh. At which point I realized that they are now worn out
all over.

Hmm . . . maybe I could use the old old pants to make faded
patches for the new old pants?

Which sounds like a lead-in to my query, but I've been
intending to reinforce the crotches of my new wool pants
ever since I noticed that DH's suit pants have triangles of
lining and pocketing in the crotch. (Twill fabric in back,
something plain woven and thinner in front, I noticed when I
measured them.)

At first, I thought the tailor had simply folded wide pieces
of bias in half and laid it over the pieces before sewing,
but thinking about it showed me that it had to be more
complicated than that, and today I finally got around to
tracing my fat-pants pattern onto folded paper to make two
diamond-shaped reinforcement patterns. If I drew the fold
line on the straight grain, the patch would go all the way
to the hem. If I drew it on the true bias, it wouldn't
cover all of the worn area. So I can't possibly match both
halves of the patch to the grain of the pants, and it is
very important that the two halves match each other; if they
don't, the patch will ripple.


So the fold line of the reinforcement for the crotch of the
pants must be cut on the straight grain, the cross grain, or
the true bias. There is no difference between cross and
straight on my china silk -- or if there is, the straight
grain is stretchier -- so straight or cross can be left to
economy in cutting.

The question comes down to: cut with the fold line along
the threads, or cut on the true bias?

I *think* DH's suit has them on the straight, but I can't be
sure, with the seams finished so nice and so little fabric
to pull at.

But I'm sure some of you have done this before, and know
which grain is best for crotch reinforcements.

At the rate I'm going, I have worlds of time to think about
this -- but I did get my packet of thread from Things
Japanese http://www.silkthings.com/threadsindex.asp
today , which cuts off a lot of excuses.

(And yes, an entire 200-meter spool did go onto one of my
40-yard bobbins. The machine is threaded, but I haven't
stitched with the new thread yet.)

Joy Beeson
http://home.earthlink.net/~joybeeson/ -- needlework
http://home.earthlink.net/~beeson_n3f/ -- Writers' Exchange
joy beeson at earthlink dot net


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