Some More Margolis

I thought I’d share some more scans from the Adele P Margolis book ‘Fashion Sewing for Everyone’.  The first set of scans are here.

I’ve read this book cover to cover now, and there are a lot of post-its sticking out of it.  There are so many useful bits of information in this book that it’s been really hard to narrow down what I want to share with you.  I definitely wanted to show you this though.

These are some fabric scraps in the section on pockets.  My copy comes from St Catherine’s College, Bootle.  I wonder what the outfit was like that was made with this fabric.  There’s red and green in the scraps as well as gold flecks!

So, to use Ms Margolis’ own words here’s the section that’s ‘Borrowed from the Boy’s’ or the slacks and shorts chapter (trousers if you’re a Brit like me!).

A lot of time is spent explaining how to fit trousers and there are some great diagrams but first up is this little excerpt:

“While the design of the pants [trousers] is your first consideration, the second concern is making the standard-size pattern fit you not-so-standard figure.  This is even more important in pants [trousers] than in a skirt.  You may salvage a skirt in the seam allowances but you get no second chance to change a crotch, say, once the pants [trousers] are cut.”

Well!  No second chance to change a crotch.  Is it just me or is that just a tiny bit (school play ground kinda way) funny?  I can’t argue with the whole paragraph at all, but take those seven words out of context…  Google search results will be interesting considering the number of times I’ve written the word ‘crotch’ in this post too!

Anyway.  I digress down childish avenues!

There are some really comprehensive instructions on the measurements that are needed to fit trousers correctly, including taking measurements when seated to determine the crotch depth.

Here’s the first scan on fitting trousers with some really clear diagrams (click on the images to make them larger) on the adjustments to be made for a large (top diagram) or flat (bottom diagram) derrier:

The importance of a muslin is stressed:

“So now you have altered your pattern in accordance with your personal measurements.  You think your fitting problems are over?  Alas!  One can’t depend on mathematics alone to give a good fit.  All arithmetic can give you is length and width and a general idea of the required shaping.  That’s not enough.
Becomingness, ease of movement, posture, direction of seam line, individualised shaping can only be truly tested in cloth.  Not the cloth of your pants.  That would be too risky a test since only minor changes can be made at that stage.  A trial muslin will save you a lot of grief.”

Advice is also given on how to sew up the test muslin to aid fitting:

“Baste the leg seams first.  Baste the crotch seam.  Clip the crotch seam allowance.  Baste the waistband in place.  It is hard to judge the fit of pants without suspending them from something.”

Here’s a scan showing the wrinkles that may be apparent when fitting and what to do about them:

Finally a little word of advice:

“Did you think that sewing means dashing off to your sewing machine as quickly as possible and stitching away madly?  Not so!  There are really not that many yards of machine stitching in an entire garment.  Stitching is but the tip of the iceberg.  It’s that submerged seven-eighths – the planning, the care, the precision – that is so vital to the beauty of the garment.  Sewing is literally not what it ‘seams’.”

I think I should print this out and put it on my wall above my machine.

I’d like to share a little more next week.  Probably on pressing and tailoring as that is where the majority of my post-its are!  I’ll narrow it down to just a few though rather than the 20+ that are sticking out of the book at this moment in time!  I also have a give away to go with the post for your own copy if you’d like to read more…

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5 thoughts on “Some More Margolis

  1. Well it’s official. I definitely need this book now. Still waiting for the first one so maybe I’ll be prudent and order this one once that one arrives LOL. ^__^

    I bet those fabric scraps are from school uniforms! I can envision a red, green and gold plaid jumper so vividly ^__^

  2. I’m hoping to venture into pants sewing eventually – but it really is much more complicated than all the other stuff. A very interesting book, will you be sharing any projects you were able to successfully sew after reading this book?

    1. Oh Yes! It helped with my Jasmine and also gathering the lining on my Minoru. I now use my normal stitch length but take the needle tension down to 1 so the bobbin thread floats on the back. I then sew two lines of gathering stitches – one at 4/8″ and one at 6/8″ and it doesn’t pleat and gives a gorgeous result!

  3. Ahhh! The “submerged seven-eighths” of sewing! That’s what kills me! I’ve often grumbled that sewing should actually be called “ironing and pinning”. Ugh! I’d love to sit at the machine, whizzing along, and bang out a garment in no time!

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