Work in Progress Wednesday 6/21

I bet you hadn’t expected to read that title today!  To be honest, I really expected the next post to be the completed jacket, but other things have cropped up to delay the completion, and I’ve had to jump onto another project with a tight timeframe in the interim!

Daughter No1 has a favourite white shirt, bought a few years ago now from Zara.  It’s not only her favourite white shirt, I think I can say it’s her favourite shirt, hands down.  So she wanted another – here’s where I step in.  Can’t be that hard to copy a shirt pattern, right?  Except that she cannot part with it very long, I have a short attention span, and I cannot take it apart….  Anyway, she left it with me a few weeks (at least a month) ago and I promised that I’d make a pattern from it and return it to her, asap.

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The white shirt, collar, sleeve and concealed button fly

This weekend she asked, could she please have her favourite shirt back, she needs it!  Bother – I haven’t done anything with it!!  So on Monday afternoon I started figuring out how to do this.  I’ve not actually made a pattern from a whole garment before, I’ve aways been able to cut them up!  I started by pinning the front to some pattern paper, keeping the fabric smooth and trying not to stretch anything.  It worked up to a point, getting to the whole of the shoulder line and the armscye got tricky and I had to unpin some lower areas to release the tension.  I used a pin to pierce the fabric along the seam lines at sides, shoulder, neck and armhole, and just traced the outline of the front edge and the hem.  I did the same with the back, and found out that it was off grain when I tried identifying the centre line…  Also, the hem on the back is asymmetrical – this is not a design feature!

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The sleeve has pleat details, edgestitching on collar, cuffs and front edges

Laying the two pieces over each other made me doubt that I’d done this right, the shoulders and armholes didn’t look right.  A little Googling later I had decided on another course of action.  I have a roll of freezer paper sent over to me ages ago by an American friend.  I decided I’d iron this to the shirt, draw through the seam lines, peel it off and voila, I’d have a pattern piece.  Again, this worked – to a point.  Because it’s a large shirt I needed to move it around the ironing board a fair bit, so I couldn’t be sure that I’d not distrubed the grain, not stretched it out.

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Freezer paper makes copying garments easier

However, when I compared the shapes obtained this way to the pinning method, they weren’t all that far off!!  So, after checking the side seams were the same length, and the hem curve worked, I combined areas of the fronts and backs, traced both pieces and added front stand, seams, etc.  Now for the sleeve!  Sleeve is tricky, it has a box pleat at the sleeve head and a corresponding pleat at the cuff, but they are different sizes.  There are another two single pleats in the sleeve head, one on each side of the box pleat.  How to do this one??

I started with measurements.  Length of sleeve seam, length from shoulder point to cuff, width of cuff, width of sleeve (including pleats) at cuff.  Then I got happy with the freezer paper again, pressing it over the pleats and just marking where they go on the sleeve head.  I ended up with a fairly good approximation of what the sleeve would look like, just needed to add the pleats!  But – the sleeve head is not right, it’s too flat.  I’ll have to come up with a different way to copy this part.

I’ve checked all the edges, trued up the lines and walked the sleeve around the armscye on front and back, and it all fits.  The collar stand and collar were pinned to paper and I used the pin piercing method here again.  Walking the patterns along the seamlines shows they fit again, so I think I’m ready to make a toile.  I’ve allowed decent seam allowances so I can tweak areas if needed.

And the original shirt?  That’s in a first class package winging it’s way to London!  I just hope I’ve got all the info I need and that this toile works!!  Have you copied an intact garment before?  What methods did you use that were most successful?

Work in Progress Wednesday 5/21

I haven’t intended to have so few Work in Progress posts this year, it’s not as if I haven’t been sewing – just not thinking of taking photos while I work and getting round to posting anything!  Today I’ve made a start on a new jacket.  I’d realised that I had no black jacket for the winter – time to put that right.  As I said in a previous post, the Burda patterns haven’t exactly been inspiring lately, but there were two in the August magazine that caught my eye.  I’ve already made the trousers, this is the other pattern.

Jacket 111 Burda August 2021

Jacket 111 is slightly boxy, hip length, double breasted with collar and interesting sleeves.  It was the sleeves that made me stop and look again, they’re cut in three, with horizintal seams.  Volume has been added in each piece, creating a cocoon shape which is emphasised in the magazine’s version with piping.  Initially I wanted to use up the remains of the cotton jaquard from my Mother’s Day coat, and add plain navy.  But it wasn’t to be, there just wasn’t enough of the jaquard.  But I had something else…

I traced the 44 and toiled in some old curtain fabric, waiting to see what I’d need in the way of an FBA.  I didn’t need any width, there’s plenty of ease in this jacket!  But I needed the shoulders to be narrower, they hung over too far, even for a loose, casual fitting jacket.  I altered the line of the armhole to take into account 1cm of shorter shoulder seam, and it’s worked.  For the bust, I decided on moving the bust dart down 2cm and then adding depth in the front.  I added 2cm of depth, and took in the excess at the side seam in the dart.

A second toile of the front (I took the seam ripper to the first front pieces and took them off) revealed the adjustments worked.  I left the length of the jacket and sleeves alone, they’re all fine.  I had thought to make welt pockets in the front, instead of the inseam pockets the pattern has, but got lazy and just left the existing pockets!

Interfacing and support

I chose not to add all the structure I’d usually use to this jacket.  I have the standard interfacing, weft insertion fusible on the t-front, back yoke and supporting the underarms, sleeve head, collars and a lighter weight fusible on the facings.  I’ve also added 5cm deep bias cut interfacing to the hem area to support the fold.  I’ve also kept the cotton fusible tape along the front edge to stop it stretching out of shape and just make that area all nice and crisp.  What I’ve left out is the canvas chest piece that always goes into one of my jackets.  But I have decided shoulder pads are a must.  The pattern doesn’t call for shoulder pads, but it just didn’t look right like that, I much prefer it with the pads in.

Sleeve details, no piping this time, just topstiched seams

I thought I’d share my method of sewing inseam pockets in this post.  This method gives you a really nice neat finish, I never use the Burda method!  Well, not any more, anyway!  So here goes.  First thing  to do is to consider whether or not the fabrics you’re using need support.  If you’re like me, your pockets are going to be well used!  Another thing to look at is the weight of your fabric – mine is bulky so I’ve chosen to cut the pockets from the lining fabric but I don’t want to see lining fabric when I open the pocket.  So I’ve cut a 5cm wide pocket facing that will be attached to the back pocket piece.

pocket bag with facing

Start with placing the front pocket pieces right sides together with the front pieces and sew along the seam line between the markings.  Start and stop exactly on the markings.  Then snip, at a slight angle from the edge of the fabric to the markings/end of stitching.  Go slow here, you can always snip a little more, but once you’ve gone too far you’ll have to start again.  Then press the pocket bag seam with the seams under the pocket bag and understitch from mark to mark again.  Turn that under and press well.

Stitch pocket to front between markings
Snip to end of stitching
Understitch pocket bag
Press packet bag to the inside and topstitch if you want to

If you’re facing the pocket, sew it onto the pocket bag now.  Then place the pocket bag ontop of the front pocket bag and sew around the bag, neatening the edges afterwards.  I like to double stitch pockets in jackets, if I get a hole, I have another line of defense!  And overlocking, or zigzag stitching helps the edges not to fray while bouncing around between your jacket fabric and the lining.

I stitch a double row around the pocket bag and overlock the edges
Finished pocket, topstitched
And it’s big enough to stash all sorts of things in!
Jazzy lining and a complete pocket

This method of sewing your inseam pockets results in a nice neat finish, the Burda instructions will give you a pocket, but it won’t be as nice as these!

So, pockets, shoulder seams, collar, side seams, sleeves – shell done.  Tomorrow I’ll sew up the lining and attach it to the facings, turn up the hems and tidy the last tailor’s tacks.  But I need to decide on snaps, it’ll all depend on whether the local shop has black snaps in a suitable size.  If they only have silver ones, I’ll probably cover them with black lining fabric.  I don’t want shiny silver snaps!  Hopefully they have something I can use, otherwise I’ll have to order something online and the completion will be delayed.  Not that I don’t have anything else to be getting on with in the mean time!

I’m curious about your chosen inseam pocket method, do you have one method you always use?  Or do you follow the instructions that come with the particular pattern you’re using?

Diving into the Pattern Archives

It’s no secret that I have a large vintage pattern collection.  I’ve been trying for ages now to shrink it, largely unsuccessfully!  I had a good clearout last month and got ruthless – I’m only keeping the patterns I love (no matter what size they are) and those that will fit the girls.  Everything else must go!  In that clearout, I re-found a Burda pattern for wide legged pleated trousers.  They sit on the waist, have a decent sized box pleat in the front and a fly zip.  They look good!

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Burda 3057

I decided I’d have to make them and promptly bought 2m of birds-eye navy wool flannel from Fabworks for the job.  I toiled the 44 and made some adjustments to the pattern.  The legs were very wide!  So I graded down to the 40, from the 44 at the hip down.  As they were to sit on my non-existant waist, I had to grade up to the 46 for the waistband, plus a little bit.  They also needed to be shortened.  A lot!!  But the rest was great, the crotch depth and curve worked with the style of the pants, and I love the way the pleat covers the top part of the pocket.

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Burda trousers, pattern number 3075 from the 1990s

And while we’re talking pockets – these babies are huge!!!  I can fit my entire handbag of stuff in there!  When did pockets become so unuseable, if they could make them so usefully sized back in the 90s?  I decided that as I was using such a lovely wool that I’l line the trousers – fully!  Fabworks were offering 3m of matching lining free when you bought a certain amount of wool from them at the time of shopping, so I used what they sent.  It’s a really good quality viscose twill, in lucious navy blue.

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Big pockets and a nifty pleat detail

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I cut the lining by pinning the hip yoke pocket piece to the trouser front and treating them as one piece.  The lining was made up the same as the trouser, and attached to the waistband at the top.  I handstitched it to the fly area.  The lining hangs free down to the hem, I like to have it free for ironing after washing, makes it easier.

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I bloody love these pants!!!  Wool flannel is just so fabulous to wear, it’s warm and cosy and has such a wonderful drape!  Wearing these pants feels like swooshing around in a long skirt, but much more practical.  I was initially worried that lining the wool would make the trouser legs feel wider, because of the extra layer of fabric.  But I don’t feel funny in these at all.  I’ve bought another length of wool flannel, this time from Rosenberg & Son when they came to Knowle at the beginning of October – there might be another pair of these in the wardrobe soon, in grey herringbone!  Or I might try another vintage pattern, so many to choose from!

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ps, If you’re after anything (vintage pattern-wise), drop me an email and I’ll see if I have something suitable.  At the moment I’m updating my Etsy shop, it will be open again on the 1st November!

Wardrobe Basics – Trousers

When you live in trousers, they’re not simply a wardrobe basic, they’re an essential item!  I decided to add some pleated trousers to this year’s Autumn/Winter wardrobe, and have finally made something from one of the Burda magazines from this year.  Burda have, unfortunately, not exactly been exciting this year.  Only a couple of patterns have caught my attention, and until August, none caught it enough for me to actually bother to trace.  But this pair is different, it’s 119 from August 2021.  What caught my eye was the small pleats on the front, the neat waistband and tapered leg.

Trousers 119 Burda August 2021

I traced the 44 and 42 and made an adjustment to the height of the waistband.  While I liked the neatness of it, I also knew I’d prefer a slightly deeper waistband.  I toiled the 44, but started grading towards the 42 from the hip down.  The toile was successful, I only had a couple of adjustments to make.

  • Not making my usual shorten the length adjustment – this style should be slightly cropped, but it’s heading to winter and I don’t want cold ankles!
  • Altered the CF line – straightened it a bit so it was 5mm further out at the top, giving me an extra 1cm overall.
  • Took in the inseam by 1cm front and back from crotch to knee.
  • Made the waistband 1cm deeper.

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The adjustments have worked well, I like the fit on these, so will be making another pair soon.  I will, however, make them a little longer.  The length looks good, and while it’s not freezing, they’re fine, but I want a longer pair!  So the next pair will be 3cm longer.  Looking at the photos, I think I need to take in a bit more on the inseam, it looks a bit baggy there, but I also need to remember that these are not supposed to be skintight!

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In-seam pocket details

In toiling, I realised there’d be a lot of bulk at the waistband from the pockets, so I cut a pocket facing for the back pocket piece and rifled through the stash of scraps for a lightweight bit of pretty cotton.  I found I had just enough to cut the rather-large-for-Burda pockets from the pretty stuff, and only tiny bits leftover to head into the stuffing bag.  These inseam pockets are a really good size, phone in one and mask and card wallet in the other, with space to spare for hands!

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The trouser fabric is a cotton twill in Mocha bought from the Rag Shop in August, I don’t think they have any of that colour left now.  It’s Kobe cotton twill, and it’s also one of those fabrics you need to be sure to wash inside out.  I washed the trousers after the first wearing without turning them inside out and the creases formed while washing have lost a bit of colour.  This means that all folded edges will lose colour too.  I wouldn’t mind if it was a cheap, £7/m fabric, but it wasn’t.  I haven’t bought a Robert Kaufman fabric before, and it might be joining Lady McElroy fabrics in the “avoid” pile due to colour fade.  It’s beautfully soft though, and lovely to wear.  Just watch the colour fading.

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Detail shots

I wore these for the first time on a long weekend trip to York, they were very comfy to wear traipsing round the city all day.  They’ve since been worn a few times and I really do like the pattern.  I know Burda don’t have the best sizing these days, they used to go from a 34 to a 46 in the “everybody” section of the magazine, but these are just 36-44.  I feel they are trying to save money by reducing the sizes available, the number of patterns in the magazine and the quality of the magazine paper itself.  It’s a shame, as the old magazines were fabulous!  Perhaps a revisit of those older magazines is in order.

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York Minster behind, trousers worn with silk Burda top made in 2018.

In the mean time, I’ve traced a jacket pattern from the August issue to toile, I have a retro (90s) pair of Burda trousers to show you and I have Lander pants to make for both girls – not to mention a VikiSews blouse for daughter no1 and a Bellatrix blazer for each of them.  Thank godness the garden and allotment have stopped shouting for my attention!

Stash Busting Tops

I thought I’d get started early on the Autumn and Winter sewing, helped by my purchase of some fabric on Instagram from a sewist who was destashing!  I bought three pieces, two of which were perfect for sweatshirts of some description.  I knew immediately that I’d be making another LB Pullover from Paper Theory with the one piece, a mustard French Terry with a white tulip print.  I have many of these tops now, it’s so quick to make, can be sewn in both woven or knit fabrics and fits over just about any tee or blouse I have.  It’s perfect to go over the Olya Shirt too!

stash tops 3

There was just one metre though, which meant I could either have short, 7/8th length sleeves which would leave my wrists chilly, or make a plan with piecing and have warm arms!  In the end, warmth and comfort won out and I made a plan to lengthen the sleeves.  I cut the full length I was able with the fabric available, and just cut what was left + hem allowance out of left over bits.  It’s worked to make it look like I have a cuff – but if I’d had just a smidge more fabric, I’d have cut that section so that it was doubled, and had a real cuff that I could have folded back if I’d wanted to.

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However – I did not have enough and I am very happy with my new top, already worn on many, many occasions!  I never thought I’d be wearing mustard, never mind a fabric with a print like this, but I like it.  It’s cheerful and bright and works with my colouring despite my initial misgivings! (I thought I would make the top for a daughter – not me…)

The second top is the Fibremood Vera, made from the magazine bought earlier this year as an experiment.  I acutally liked a couple of the patterns, but this is the first one I’ve managed to get made up.  The fabric is a grey sweatshirt fabric, with tiny flecks of colour in it.  It’s warm and snuggly and just the right sort of boxy.  The sleeves are 3/4  in length, next time I’ll lengthen them.  They’re also fairly wide – wider than expected.

stash tops 2

The neck on the Vera is interesting, part of why I decided to make this pattern up.  It is faced  so makes it thicker than the rest of the top, but it would be interesting to use up leftovers or even pipe that joining seam.  One thing I’d change next time with the neckline is to lower the front a bit.  You can see in the photos that it’s too high in the front for me, and it gets more annoying as the day goes on.  Another change would be to shorten the top slightly, only about the depth of the hem.

stash tops 1

I made the Large, based on bust measurements, and for this version did not make an FBA.  I might do one next time, but it doesn’t need much.  The pattern was easy to trace and the instructions are interesting – they’re all diagrams!  You can go online and get more detail if you think you need it, but these were ok for me.

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Style Arc Annika top

One more stash bust – this time a Sewing Leftovers project.  I’d made a Uvita top from some lovely soft stripey jersey and had about half a metre left.  I decided to make the Annika top from Style Arc.  I bought this paper pattern aaaaages ago, on one of their Etsy sales.  It’s one of the mulit-size patterns, they only way I’ll buy a Style Arc pattern.  The top has a jersey top half and woven bottom half, sleeves included.  So, I used the stripey blue an white jersey for the top part and some blue poly georgette that has been in the stash for a very long time for the bottom part.

annika 2

I shortened the jersey section because I didn’t like where the join hit me, and removed the shirt hem shape too.  This made the top too long on me and just didn’t work.  I like this top though, might need a small FBA again for another time, but it’s perfectly wearable like this.  Style Arc instructions are brief  but you don’t need too much detail to make this pattern.  I made the 14, but I think the 12 would fit better at the neck and shoulders, so maybe a FBA on the 12 would be a good idea for next time!

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That’s it for stashbusting so far, I’m glad I was able to use up these fabrics and make something useful!

Ottobre Jeans

I have new jeans!! To be fair, I’ve had them for a few weeks now, and they’ve been worn quite a few times.  I suppose that’s a good sign in the scheme of things, I’ve worn them and not managed to get photos because I’ve been too busy wearing them!  I used the pattern for the Utility Trousers from the Ottobre magazine again, figuring that I liked the first pair of trousers made with that pattern, so why not make another?  There are a few changes this time around, all beacause the denim has stretch and the cotton/linen blend used last time did not.

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Ottobre Utility Trousers, pattern 8 in stretch denim

I can’t remember where I got the denim from, it’s been languishing in the stash for a while, and has had a little tab pinned to it saying ” Jeans – Me!” for at least two years.  So I’m glad it’s out of the stash and has made itself useful – finally.  The colour is delicious, a nice dark indigo that made my fingers and sewing machine nice and blue while working with it, not to mention making my legs even more pale blue while wearing than needed!  It has approximately 2% stretch and is very comfy to wear.

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Obviously I needed to make a few adjustments to the pattern from the last time, the first being to take in all that extra that I’d added to the leg because it was too tight around the calf.  I also took in the inseam, outseam and waistband.  Even though I’d interfaced the waistband on the opposite grain, it still stretched out while wearing, so I needed to go back in and make it smaller.

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One thing I’d forgotten to do though, was to either reduce the depth of the waistband – or put two buttons on it.  Only after I’d cut the buttonhole did I have a vague memory of thinking that it was a bit wide and that two would be better than one!  So you get the rather unflattering curl of the top part of the band, thankfully it’s mostly hidden by my tops, but that’s not the point…

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Welt pocket showing Shweshwe pocket bags

What I love about this pattern – the belt loops are cool!  You get three shaped loops with a button that you can choose to make operable or not, and two ordinary shaped ones, but they’re wider than the usual loop.  I like that look on the wider waistband.  Second thing I love are the pockets!  Plenty of decent sized pockets in this pattern, and the welt pockets in the back are a breeze to sew.  I used some scraps of Shweshwe cotton for my pocket bags to cut down on bulk and I love seeing that bit of pattern.

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Hip yoke pocket insides, a hint of Shweshwe!

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All the buttons were found in the stash, and I think that if I had found two of the bigger ones I might have remembered that I wanted two for the waistband.  The colour works beautifully with the denim and the colour chosen for the topstitching.  I used one of the Gutermann Denim threads again, rather than “proper” topstitching thread as my machine is far happier to use it.  The colour is more copper than gold and I love it.  All the double lines of topstitching were done with a denim twin needle, an essential piece of kit, in my humble opinion!  It takes all the guesswork out of making sure your lines are completely parallel and even going around curves is easy.

ottobre jeans
Beautiful topstitching, courtesy of Denim thread and a twin needle!

I have more sewing from September to catch up on here, a beautiful pair of wool trousers using a Burda pattern from the early 90s (I think, or late 80s…) and some new tops that have already come in handy with the change in temperature!  Yikes, October means Autumn and that means cold and wet on the way!  I have/had grand Autumn sewing plans, I’m slowly making my way through them, and promise to try to keep up!

Making Waves

 

I honestly didn’t think it would be such a huge gap between posts this month, especially given how much sewing I’ve done!  Anyway, you cannot turn back time, so all I can do is get on and show you all what I’ve been up to!  I’m starting with my latest Olya Shirt, pattern from Paper Theory.  This is my fourth, and I really do have a plan to make another.  We were in London last weekend, so I finally managed to get photos, thanks to Daughter No1!

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After making two in different types of viscose and one in cotton lawn, I now have a linen shirt.  I sized down with this version, the others are a tad too long in the sleeve, more noticeable in the viscose versions.  I thought it might be nice to have an oversized shirt that wasn’t quite that oversized, especially in a fabric that’s stiffer and less drapey.  It was the right decision!  So this is the size 12, with no alterations or adjustments.

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Olya Shirt from Paper Theory

The fabric is from Simply Fabrics in Brixton, the first time I’ve bought fabric from this shop.  I’d been browsing for a while, and when I saw this stuff I knew I needed it in my stash.  But I hesitated for a bit – hesitation that was rewarded with an announcement of a nice big discount!  I used it and swooped in on the fabric.  I love it!  I think the combination of fabric and pattern has really worked.  I like finding different prints like this, and I’m glad I feel comfortable wearing them, as I’m a plains person at heart!

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Sewing the shirt went as smoothly as the last three times, if not better because it’s linen, not slippery viscose!  I like this smaller size and might stick to it for the next shirt, which is definitely going to happen.  I have some left over pieces of linen from various projects that I’m sure I can put together to make a shirt.  Fingers crossed, but please, don’t hold your breath!!

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End of Summer Trousers

 

Here we are, almost two weeks into September and I still haven’t shown off the last pair of linen trousers made – last month!  I  have to admit to being in a bit of a sewing funk, but I hope I’ve turned that corner this week!  More on that later, I thought I’d pop in and let you all know that I’m still here, and back to sewing.  I suppose I also need to admit that I haven’t made those shorts for the other half.  August was not shorts weather – so no need!!  I will carry on with the sewing for him though, at some point!!

Burda trousers 102, 07/2009

Right, this is another pair of the trousers from Burda July 2009, number 102.  I made a pair in reddish linen back in April that have been on constant rotation this year.  I love the leg width and length, they’re just so darned comfy to wear!  Anyway, in June I bought 2m of a beautiful silvery blue stretch linen from Rags and Rolls on the Seven Sisters Road in Holloway and knew I’d be making another pair.

This time I’ve not used a contrasting fabric for pocket linings or waistbands.  Having a stretch content, I sized down from the hip up because otherwise they’d be sliding down by lunchtime!  I acutally could do with nipping them in a little more, or making the belt loops and finding myself a belt to wear with them!  Again, so nice to wear!

I guess there’s not much more to say about them really, but try to track down the pattern if you want a comfy pair of trousers for the summer (and winter tbh, I’ve made them in wool and lined them before).

In other news – I made a good start to my Autumn sewing this week!!  Since Friday last week I’ve cut out and sewn a pair of jeans, a shirt, two sweatshirts and a top.  I suddenly got all inspired and have traced a whole load of stuff too, so tomorrow I’m going to try to get some photos of the stuff made so far and get some toiles done.  I’m feeling all seasonal!

Colour Update – Green

Remember weeks ago I said I wanted to add green to my palette?  Actually, it might even be a month ago!  Back in May I bought a stripe olive and ecru tee, which prompted me to buy a few pieces of olive/khaki fabric to create a mini capsule wardrobe that would also fit in with the greys, black and blues of the existing wardrobe.  I got a 2m piece of cotton linen from Truro Fabrics and decided to make a pair of Burda trousers with it.

collage burda 107 03 2021

The pattern is style 107 from Burda March 2021.  I started with the size 44, but traced the 42 as well, just in case!  Knowing I wanted pockets and to move the zip position, I started with the pockets.  I drew up a pattern for inseam pockets that would be supported by the facing seam, I don’t like the way the Teddy Pants have flappy pockets, the one thing I have changed on the pattern.  I made them deep and wide enough to fit my phone and other items and not have them fall out when I sit down.

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I have to have pocketses!

Then I needed to play with the front.  I decided to have a front fly zip with fly bearer the way some men’s trousers work.  It’s the best way to have a fly zip when there’s no waistband and button.  The front detail needed to be operational, rather than purely decorative, so it has working buttonholes for the buttons.  It means there are a lot of buttons to faff with when you need to go to the loo, but it works.

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Front fly zip with fly bearer

To minimise bulk I used some cotton fabric from the scrap box for the facings, reverse side of the front flap detail and one layer of the pocket bags.  The toile showed the 44 at the waist was the right size, but I needed to shave off a little at the hip, so I switched to the 42 and followed that down to the hem.  I shortened the crotch depth by 2cm and took 3cm off the overall length of the leg as well.  Looking back, I could probably have left this last adjustment, or only taken 1-2cm off.

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Toile of the trousers, crotch too low and trouser length too long

I made the toile “wearable” using a pintucked cotton duvet cover that I’d dyed black.  I thought it would give the right amount of body.  I actually prefer it to the linen version!  And I think it’s because it has more body than the linen.  So technically I have two new pairs of trousers, and I haven’t wasted the toile fabric, which is nice.

collage olive zip
Contrast cotton fabric reduces bulk with all those layers.

As you can see, I omitted the buttoned outside leg detail, that wasn’t the look I was going for, so this isn’t a really good review of the pattern!  I’ve changed too many things!  But I do like the width of the legs, and I don’t think it makes me look too short, which is always an issue with wide leg, cropped trousers.

olive 1

olive 3

I’ve worn both pairs quite a lot since making, and I have to say just one thing.  As I don’t tuck my tops in, that cross-over detail in the front doesn’t get seen…  So if you tuck, you’ll be good!  One other thing – with the addition of the side seam pockets, I’ve removed the taughness/stability given to the cross-over pieces and they can get a bit wavey.  So maybe the answer is to just have back pockets, but not patch pockets.  A welt would work better, neater.

olive 4

August Plans

Well, July went past in a bit of a blur!  I’d had grand plans to whip up garments for #SewJapaneseInJuly, post some work in progress updates and show off the Burda trousers I finally made – but I did none of that!  At this point I think I’ll not worry with the work in progress, but I’d love to show you the Burda trousers as they were a pattern I loved when I saw them in the magazine, but knew they’d need pockets and a zip transfer!

Anyway – it’s August now and I have new plans.  First off…  I have enough summer goodies in my wardrobe, so I’m not making anything more for me – unless it’s something that really grabs me and I have fabric!!  I’ve dusted off my pattern cutting equipment and books and have started with drafting a trouser block for the other half.  Why?  He needs new shorts and doesn’t like anything in the shops and none of the patterns I have fit his requirements either.  I tried with the Jedadiah shorts, but nope.

parkland_menswear_pattern_collection-14_78fbacb3-d3ee-440b-946c-1942984a306b
Jedediah shorts from Thread Theory website

As far as making for the other half goes, things haven’t been all that successful.   I made a coat block 3-4 years ago and drafted a beautiful coat pattern, bought shell fabric and buttons, but I’m still looking for the “perfect” lining fabric, so that project is still on hold!  I am hoping making shorts will be easier, I mean, chino fabric is not that hard to find, right?  And it doesn’t need lining, thank goodness!!!  The block toile fitted much better than I expected!  I just needed to shorten the crotch depth by about 2cm and reduce the waist by 2cm too.  I distributed that between the front side seam and back darts and it’s all good!  I hontstly expected much more faff, so this is a relief!

IMG_9623
Instructions for the trouser block

Once the shorts are done, I want to make patterns for office trousers too, he lives in his jeans and one pair of black wool pants that have to suffice for meetings.  Why only one pair?  Because he’s a fussy begger who doesn’t like what’s in the shops so drags this one pair of pants out for every meeting.  So I definitely want to make pants to his particular requirements.  Then I guess it’ll have to be shirts and a jacket or two!  But jackets mean lining and if the coat saga is anything to go by, jacket making could take a while!  If you’re interested, the book I’m using is Patternmaking for Menswear, I bought this a long time ago now on one of my London trips, a chain bookstore there had loads of books I couldn’t get hold of in sleepy Warwickshire.  Sadly it’s closed down now and I cannot remember the name!!

IMG_9624
Patternmaking for Menswear

I’m quite looking forward to pattern cutting again – get those dusty brain cells up and running!  Of course, making garments will always depend on finding the right fabric, so now I’m on the hunt for suppliers of good shirting fabrics.  I’m sure my usual fabric suppliers will do good on the wool suiting and cotton twill for pants and shorts.  Tomorrow I’m taking my machine in for a sercive and then I’m off to a tailoring supplier in Kenilworth, it’ll be good to see his stock in person rather than online.  There’s also a little fabric shop on the high street that’s come up trumps for good wool in the past.

So – apart from the odd request from the girls, I’ll be making stuff for the other half this month!  Oh – and toiling a pattern for a winter coat and raincoat for me.  Just because my summer wardrobe is full doesn’t mean I don’t have room available in the winter one!  And I need to use up scraps, so I’ve decided to make some pouches and little bags that I’ll sell later in the year as a fundraiser for an environmental charity.  Them’s the plans!

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