Getting a Rein on Stirrup Pants for Fall

Times Fashion Editor

Question: In your recent reports on the New York fall openings, you have written a lot about stirrup pants. I remember this ski-pants look from the ‘60s, and I would like to sew some for fall but cannot find a pattern. Can you help? Any fabric suggestions?--T.J.

Answer: The stirrup pants illustrated here can be made from Very Easy Very Vogue 9160. Unlike the stretch pants of the ‘60s, many of the new ski pants are made of non-stretch fabrics such as flannel, gabardine, covert cloth and even velvet. They don’t have that super-taut look made possible by stretch fibers such as Lycra Spandex. And without the recovery factor of that fiber, chances are the knees are going to bag out. So if you want your pants to remain taut after a few wearings, ignore the catalogue’s fabric suggestions in favor of those with stretch yarns.

Q: What kinds of dress collars are best for women with short necks?--M.D.

A: A V neckline is best. When you get bored with that, wear a small collar but keep it unbuttoned. A round neckline will make even a long neck look short, and a turtleneck is the worst possible choice.


Q: I am in need of a company that will do pleating. Can you help?--H.D.P.

A: A-1 Pleating, 8426 1/2 West 3rd St., does all kinds of pleating except permanent pleating. Fortuny-style pleating costs $11 per yard of fabric. And 1/8- to 1/2-inch knife or box pleating, or a combination thereof, is $7 per yard. Prices for sunburst accordion pleating (also called crystal pleating) range from $4 for fabrics that are 12 inches to $48 for 70-inch (cape length) fabrics. Allow one week for pleating, and remember that three yards of fabric become one yard after pleating, so bring three times as much fabric as your pleating order requires. This company also covers buttons and makes belts to order.

Q: My daughter found the perfect dress for her wedding--perfect with one exception, that is. Iridescent sequins and pearls have been glued to the heavy lace bodice. The store says it will not be possible to order the gown without this trim. My question is: Can the sequins and pearls be safely removed?--M.L.

A: Jerry Goldstone of Museum Textile Cleaners in Northridge says he would have to test the gown. “Most of the time, glue will dissolve with the proper solvent,” Goldstone reports. “And sometimes the glue will come off in a simple allover dry cleaning. If M.L. can bring the gown in, I will be glad to give her my opinion.”


Marylou Luther welcomes questions from readers. Mail to Clotheslines, Fashion85, The Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053.