Last Saturday was the Sew Brum event, a meet-up of a number of sewing bloggers in Birmingham. I decided last minute – as you do – to have something new for the occasion. And I mean last minute. I had a new haircut on Tuesday, traced a pair of Burda trousers on Wednesday, had various interruptions & only managed to finish them on Friday morning. I also started to patterncut a new blouse on Thursday morning. Something had to give & unfortunately it was the top.
But first – the item I did manage to finish to wear to the meet-up. Typically with no spare time, I picked a pattern I’d not used before & haven’t toiled. I chose a pair of trousers from February 2013 Burdastyle magazine, number 143. The pattern has a slightly dropped, shaped waistband, front fly, hip yoke pockets and cuffs on a slight bootcut shape leg.
This is one the Curvy Collective could add to their list to try out. It’s a plus size pattern & I traced the 44-48. I don’t have much waist definition, going straight up from the hip, so I made sure I had enough sizes to grade up. As it was, I used the 44 on the leg up to the hip line & graded up to the 46 from hip up to the waistband. It’s a trifle snug because of the lack of stretch, but I’m satisfied with the result. At least I know they won’t be falling down during the day!
I had to shorten the pattern by 4cm. The finished length was to be 108cm, which I thought would be ok on me, but when I pinned the cuffs in place they dragged on the floor- not a good look for winter trousers! I had to chop off the hem turn of the cuffs & reposition them, but now I’ve shortened the paper pattern by the requisite amount so next time will be all good. I really like the shape of the trousers on me, considering I normally go for wide swooshy ones! But that style doesn’t work in the winter, I needed a more fitted, shorter style. I will use this pattern again, but I have my eye on two others to try too.
The fabric is from Croft Mill, a two tone tiny herringbone cotton chino-type fabric with no stretch. It has great body and is well suited to the style of trouser I chose – but this is one of those fabrics that creases badly in the washing machine, and then leaves the evidence of that creasing in the loss of colour. It’s a real shame because now the trousers look like they constantly need an iron. I’ll leave it for a little while, but I feel I’m going to need to get the dye out, which will lose me those teeny tiny herringbones.
I bound the inner waistband edge with the left overs of the lilac bias binding from Daughter No2’s vintage jacket & used a grey satin for the pocket bags. As I was in a rush I simply zig-zagged the seam allowances. Not the most perfect finish, but it does the job.
The top I completed this week, yesterday in fact. It’s sort of my contribution towards the Sewcialists’ Scraptember challenge, even though it was only dreamt up & made now in early October. I had some left over black & white spot silk de chine form a blouse I’d made a few years ago and loved to bits. Literally. I wore it until it fell apart. The fabric has such a fabulously luxurious feel and the way it flows and drapes while you wear it is just beautiful. Anyway, I’d kept the bits, because they were big enough for something, just not an entire new something. Then by chance I found more of the same stuff in Fred Winters in Stratford on Avon! Perfect! I bought a metre and immediately hatched a plan.
I wanted something similar to the original top, but also wanted to do a twist on a traditional placket. My go-to length for sleeves is three-quarters and I do love the sleeve I developed for my Jungle January blouse. I cut the sleeves, cuffs & neckbands from the silk I had left over and cut the front, back & placket from the new piece.
The collar is more of a neckband, and the placket more like a facing sewn on the wrong side & turned to the right side & topstitched in place. The bust dart was moved to the underarm position & I took a little of the waist darts out in the side seam so it wasn’t too tent-like. Construction was pretty straightforward, French seams throughout, double turned dipped at the back hem. I used Gill Arnold’s fine sheer fusible interfacing on the outer neckband, placket & cuffs. The interfacing was definitely needed on the placket to keep it under control for the turning under of the seam allowances!
I’m in love with the result! Ok, so maybe a thin light silk top is not really a practical make for October, but I could wear a vest top underneath for added warmth. The biggest advantage is that it’s done! Another top that fits my requirements and uses the fabric in the boxes. Even if it does mean I had to buy a little to complete the project. And yes, its more spots 🙂 What can I say, I feel overwhelmed by most patterns, but checks, stripes & spots I can live with. So far this year I’ve made 4 blouses with definite spots/circles & two with variations on the theme. Oh, and one tee, not blogged. There is still another silk satin in the stash box with my name on it – spotted, of course! We’ll have to see what I decide to make next but I have plans to make another two pairs of trousers.
I bought a stone coloured cotton twill & a gold-sand colour stretch cotton chino from Croft Mill fabrics earlier in the year for winter trousers & I’m thinking of using 118 from Burdastyle 08/2013 for the gold & 134 from Burdastyle 04/2012 for the stone. Just to get them traced & toiled first…
These are all resulting from my work on the Wardrobe Architect project. Have any of you been using yours much to further your wardrobes this year?
28 thoughts on “Wardrobe Architect Plans Continue”
Love it! Chic and casual!
Thank you! 🙂
These pants look so good on you that, if it were me, I would never use another pattern. The house is great too, but, oh, those pants…
Haha, I will definitely use it again, it never hurts to have plenty of TNT patterns for pants when you live in them like I do! 🙂
Love the look of those trousers. And polka dots are always a great look. Love your faux placket finish. It’s a great look for fall!
Thank you, can you ever have too many items with spots? If you can, I fear I may be reaching that limit! 🙂
Great new hair look! And those trousers look great… the way they’re fitted makes me think I should take another look at the pattern for myself. And you’ve given me another fabric to think about for winter blouses, as silk satin hasn’t been on my ‘even think about wearing because it’s too hot/humid’ list forever. Might be time to check it out for winter! Great pairing with that blouse, which is another gorgeous touch! del
Thanks Del! I had grown tired of the “trying to be long” hair & am so much happier now that it’s shorter again! I have to admit to wearing silk all year round, although I’m sure we don’t get anywhere near as hot & humid as you do! Try going for floaty things that let the air in for the summer maybe?
That does work a treat, Anne – thanks for reminding me! We had a cooler summer than last, which also helped tremendously. Am now gently being forced into thinking cold weather… and have just gotten some fleece & double-napped cotton flannel, but am still liking the floaty concept. We’ll see what happens!
Good job! Loving the silk top. The slacks look to be a good fit. Regarding the wrinkles and loss of color, have you thought of throwing in the dryer for a couple minutes and then hanging to dry? Or not putting in the dryer at all. Oftentimes for me, a couple minutes heat will help some of the wrinkles from the washer fall out. But hanging to dry preserves color and shrinkage for me.
Good luck with that.
Thanks Ramona! I don’t usually put cotton items in the dryer at all, shrinkage & all that. But I can try for just a few minutes after they come out of the washing machine. I just think that all the damage is done in the wash already, wrinkles & loss of colour. I’ll try to live with them as they are for a bit, but have a feeling the dye is on its way.
I LOVE both makes. I have had these trousers traced and waiting for action for some time (I need a size 42 and they had the same type in August 2013 I think) – your pictures have really encouraged me to just go and make them. And the blouse – just heaven! Again (really most of the time when I look at your makes) I fell a mixture of excitement and envy 🙂
Haha, thanks Chris! 🙂 I was uncertain for a bit because my fabric for the trousers has more body than the recommended fabrics, but the fit isn’t loose, so I figured I’d get away with it. I really like them & they should be easy to grade down a size.
The trousers look great and polka dot blouse!!! 3/4 is my fave sleeve length too, so I think we’re twins. I’ve always thought silk was quite a good warm layer.
Thanks Oanh! Silk can be warm, but this crepe de chine is nice & thin, fine for in the house with the heating on, but definitely needs something under or over for venturing outdoors in lower temps! 🙂 However, for the summer it’s gonna rock!! 😀
It looks great! A very smart look. I love the pants and the spots? I’m with you…..can never have too many……and I think the blouse is quite elegant… An understated classic look……and will dress up or down. Jane
Thank you! Spots never go out of fashion! 🙂
You are my trouser muse!!! Because of your inspiration I actually just finished my first wearable muslin of the BurdaStyle 118 trousers, and despite how long it took me to figure out (the dreaded instructions LOL) I was overjoyed with the fit – you were so right!! It kind of looks like the 143 is a similar pattern only with a different leg shape; could you use your existing pattern and just adjust the leg to avoid all the fitting nonsense? 🙂
Also, when assembling the front pocket, I could not for the life of me figure out how to turn the pocket over to the inside without cutting into the seam allowance on the front trouser piece; do you have any tips? 🙂
Yay!! 🙂 I’m not sure what problems you had with the front pocket, as a hip yoke there shouldn’t need to be any snipping that I can see….. I think I’m confused 😉
Obviously it’s ME who’s confused haha ^_^ The instructions have you attach the pocket piece to the trouser front, then turn it in, then attach the hip yoke. So, maybe when adding seam allowance to the trouser front I should just not add it where the pocket is attached? Or maybe I am totally way out in left field and misinterpreted the instructions? I confess, they were like reading Greek half the time and I guessed on a lot of it 😛
haha, no, you do need seam allowance on the line where you attach the packet bag, I’ll take a couple of pics when I do my next pocket so you can see, maybe that will help?
Great outfit. One of the few disadvantages of losing weight is that I no longer fit a Burda 44. It was great having the choice of mainstream and plus size patterns.
I do love the top – such a perfect blue that brings out the blue blue blue of your eyes. Pity about the pants fabric but they are still fine I think …. Casual, comfy and a good successful pattern test.
Great look – so versatile. You could really dress it up or down. Don’t polka dots always make you feel good?
Absolutely! My current problem is that most of the new fabrics I have to use up this season have spots or dots of different diametres! I’m in danger of being the crazy spotty lady….