From the Seamripper

I’ve successfully detached myself from the sewing machine in order to write this article. In the frantic rush to provide garb and get all the sewing projects done, I’ve had a full house. Not that I’m complaining, mind you. I love having company over, just as long as they overlook the condition of my home. (Yes, we did move over a month ago, and no, I’ve not finished unpacking.) All in all, it’s been most productive. John of Britain (our beloved Joey) came over and had an assist done on his T-tunic that was accidently cut too short, and using a pair of blue jeans as a guide, Chikara (Josh) and I came up with a drawstring pants pattern. Sciath (Heather) came over and covered her non-period white plastic binder with a cloth cover, and John Paul managed to cut and sew his kimono. And, of course, Friday night (the day before the event) Canyon and John Paul were over sewing protective gear on their fencing masks. They managed to finish, after duking it out with a set of curved upholstery needles. Catherine (Kim) also came over with several times and has almost completed her new dress and chemise. Ryu (Vik) came over with fabric and silver medallions and designed the prizes for the fighters. I made some silent auction items, constabulary bands, finished the fighter prizes, and with help finished the site favors which I found strewn on the floor from the kitchen to the bedroom Saturday morning, courtesy of my punk of a cat, Pachinko.

Thanks to Josh and John Paul for allaying any fears that Joey’s mother might have had about our group. When she came to pick up her son from our fearsome clutches, John Paul was on the floor cutting fabric, and Josh was at the ironing board, and fabric was everywhere. Since this method of just calling me and coming over to sew seems to be working, I’ll leave it like this (So declares the Silver Key). Since the last time I offered a sewing workshop and lugged my machine and a ton of gear to campus no one showed up. For those who are interested in sewing something up, my number is (805) 898-9767. Until the next frantic sewing session (Remember, Coronation in one week!!!). By the way, I’ve discovered that my machine is quite picky about its bobbins, so bring the clear plastic ones!

Yours in service to the dream, Kachigatai Kitsune (aka Michelle Manke).

The following is the pattern for drawstring pants, which Joey can model. Try not to pick a wool blend fabric, though.

  • From A to B – half the back waist measurement, plus two inches.
  • From B to C – waist to crotch measurement, plus two inches.
  • From C to D 3 inches.
  • From D to E inside leg seam, just draw a line to reach F.
  • From E to F half ankle circumference measurement plus 3 inches.
  • From A to F waist to ankle measurement plus 3 inches for the waistband, and two more for the hem.
Fold fabric in half, then in half again. Shaded fabric is print side.
Sew B-D on two pieces print side together, wrong side facing you. Repeat. Then open the 2 pieces and place them together. Sew D-E & A-F. Flip pants right side out & hem ankles. Fold a generous seam for the waist, and sew near the bottom of fold. Leave an opening for the string. Thread string using a safety pin. Knot ends to prevent fraying.

You’ll end up cutting through all 4 layers.

Remember, you can always cut fabric off, but you can’t add more fabric, which is why the generous seam allowances. Plus, you don’t want these pants to be too tight, especially for the fighters. For a drawstring, any type of cording that looks particularly period – your full waist measurement plus an extra foot for ties.