Making Lemonade and Fagoting by Machine

Last weekend, I made a set of slopers/blocks/basic patterns based on my body measurements using The Pattern Drafter.  This week, I drafted and made my first top.  Having lusted after a pair of knickerbockers since last May, I decided to use my pants block to create a pair. 

After consulting google images for inspiration, I made an interesting discovery- Plus Fours are so called because the pants measure the length from waist to knee + 4″.  I couldn’t let that go by and decided to use it. 

I traced my pants, raised the waistline 1″ in the CB and .5″ elsewhere, and measured my waist to knee- 24″.  I duly measured 24″ down from the pattern’s waist, then added seam allowances and cut it from my last stashed piece of linen, a lovely shade of deep cobalt.

Later that night, I sat straight up in bed and realized I ought to have added four inches.  Honestly, where was my brain? 

With less than half a yard of remaining linen, I decided to cut a strip of fabric to add to the bottoms of my truncated plus fours.  That worked well enough, but I didn’t want to simply seam the extra fabric to the bottom of my pants.  Why not use a fagoted seam and turn lemons into lemonade?  A mistake into a design feature…

I finished both the bottom edges of the pants and the top edge of my strips, then folded them under by about .5″. 

I tested my idea using scrap linen and various stitches on my machine, #62 yielded the results I wanted.

Most online tutorials involve hand-fagoting by first attaching the fabric to paper and then stitching.  I found it was hard to remove the paper so I discarded that idea since I was working with two straight edges. 

My execution was not perfect (due to my leadfoot tendencies) but completely serviceable.  I did not need to yank the paper from between the joined pieces of fabric after stitching.

Finished seam.

I also stole these cute Chinese takeout pockets from my daughter’s Oliver + S Hopscotch pattern:

  When your sewing gives you lemons, how do you make lemonade?


  1. Good job! I have a few of these in my history :). Tyo's pants with the wide racing stripe on the outside leg are the most recent example. I'm not sure if you'd count the calf-high seam on my first pair of jeans, as I had originally intended them to be capris but changed my mind come September. Another big one is the Burdastyle Danielle dress I made last June… I neglected to cut the skirt front on the fold (huge DUH moment). I didn't have enough fabric to recut, so I added an inverted pleat of my contrast fabric at the CF. I did have to mess a bit with the other front pleats due to losing some width in the seam allowances, but it worked out and totally looks intentional.I love the little buttons and the loops, too! :)

  2. Ha! That turned out really good! I didn't even notice the seam at first, and thought it looked intentional when I went back to look. From the limited view, these look really cute! Can't wait to see them all together. :)

  3. Ha! Of all the things to wake you up at night! It seems the mind never rests, especially when sewing is in the air.That a really beautiful seam. And given how random its placement was, it ended up in a good spot.

  4. It is some how comforting to know that others can make similar mistakes to my own and on top of that to hear "the middle of the night realization" wake up!! to funny, happens to me all the time.

  5. I love the details of the faggoting stitch. I've seen this method done by hand and it looks impressive but I always thought it took a long time to do. What kind of machine do you have?

Is it kind, useful or interesting? Great!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s