Work in Progress Wedesday

Today, I’ve been making trousers.  When the November issue of the Burda magazine finally landed in my sticky little paws, I wasn’t exactly inspired – not as much as I have been with previous issues.  But one or two patterns did look appealing.  I rather liked the trousers 117.  I just happened to have a length of russet coloured stretch denim a friend sent me from the States…  It was meant to be!

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Burda Trousers 117B 11/2018

The pattern requires fabric with stretch, but doesn’t say what percentage.  However, as one of the views was made in jersey, I figure it needs a fair bit.  My denim had that fair bit, so I decided to wing it and see what happened.  I’ll not go into fitting and toiling details here, I cut the 44 and shortened the leg length by 4cm.

The trousers in the magazine have a decorative ribbon down the outside leg seam and piping in the waistband, the jersey version has piping on the waistband.  Initially I thought this was just a sewn on detail, but the outer waistbands are actually in two pieces, an upper and lower.  So now you have somewhere to stick that piping!  I wasn’t going to bother, I figured I’d just use the inner waistband pieces and cut two of each, but…  I had piping in the stash, so might as well use some of it up in a practical manner.

I didn’t follow the order of work in the instructions.  By the way, has anyone else noticed there is no longer a cutting layout?  It was there in the October magazine, but “poof” no more!  I started with the fronts, overlocked the edges and made up the hip yoke pockets.  I used a left over piece of Liberty poplin for the inner pocket bag to reduce bulk.  I’ve used that left over piece quite a bit now, I wonder if it will ever get finished!  The pocket bag is understitched along the opening edge to keep the cotton from rolling out.  Once the pockets were done, I sewed the centre front seam from the top edge to just above where the crotch curve starts.

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Liberty poplin for the front pocket

Then it was the back pieces.  Darts first, then pocket.  I realised, when tracing out the pieces, that the welt on the back was faux, just for show!  Now I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to all the trouble of interfacing and cutting my trousers to insert a welt, I want a pocket to go with it!!  So that’s what I did.  I like to put my phone in my back pocket, that’s where it basically lives.  So I measured it and cut two rectangles from the poplin the width of the pocket welt and the depth of the phone plus a few centimetres.  Basically 14×18.  Then I cut two welt pieces, one to use for the actual welt, and one to sew to the top of one of the rectangles as a facing. I made the welt pocket up as standard.  I’m quite chuffed with it, it’s the perfect size for my phone, but if you want to use it for anything else, you’d better make yours a little wider, add a cm each side of the opening and all pieces.

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Top left: Pin welt raw seam to placement line, draw on stitching line & end lines, baste & sew. Top right: Pin pocket piece with facing right side down, stitch along placement line. Bottom left: Make sure you haven’t caught the welt when stitching the pocket bag! Bottom right: Cut through the trouser down the middle of the stitching lines, cut triangles at the ends, right to the ends of stitching.
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Top left: Welt and pocket bag pushed through opening, pressed. Top right: pin lower pocket bag to welt seam allowance and stitch. Bottom left: Stitch lower pocket bag along welt stitchline. Bottom right: press lower pocket bag down, away from welt.
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Top left: fold the trouser piece to the middle of the pocket and pin the side and bottom seams of the pocket bags. Top right: Start at the triangle, stitch carefully so you don’t catch the trouser front. Bottom left: finished pocket! Bottom right: Finished from the outside.

Once that was done I sewed the centre back seam as I had done the front, then moved on to the waistband pieces.  The piping was added to the upper seamline of the lower waistband, then the upper waistband was sewn on top.  I graded the seams to reduce bulk and clipped to allow the curve to lie flat.  When I clip a curved seam, I always do it on the bias, the theory is that the fabric won’t fray or rip on the bias.  If you cut with the grain, it might rip through your stitching.  Not that I’ve had that happen in the past, but just in case, right?  I made up the front and back waistbands and then attached them to their trouser legs.  Then I inserted the invisible zip in the left side seam.  It needed a little fiddling to make sure the piping and waistband edge lined up, because of the bulk it wanted to move down when I sewed, so I ended up unpicking a couple of times, and using loads of pins!

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Attaching the piping to the lower waistband piece with the piping foot.

After that it was all downhill, the remainder of the leg seams were stitched and pressed, the inner wiastband pieces interfaced with a lightweight fusible and sewn to the top of the outer pieces.  I understitched the waistband and trimmed the lower edge before folding the remaining seam allowance under and stitching in the ditch from the outside.  Then it was just the hems and voila!!  One new pair of trousers!  I do like that piping detail, it’s just a pity no-one will really see it.  I don’t tuck my tops in, so the only people to see that detail will be you guys now, and me later!

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Piped waistband, hip yoke pockets and invisible zip. Nice details!

I’ll be sure to get photos asap, along with pictures of my new tees!  Yesterday I ran up two stripey 3/4 sleeve Lark tees, the perfect colours to go with these new pants.  I am really looking forward to having these pants in my wardrobe, just like the paprika linen pants I made in the summer!  It’s nice to have that splash of colour to play with in amongst the blues, back and greys.

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Piped back waistband and useful back welt pocket!

P.S.  I have finished both coats for the girls, and I hope to have photos of those, modelled by the girls themselves (instead of on Betty the dummy) in a week or two.  In the mean time, I now have all I need to get cracking with the coat I’ve been promising to make for Mr W for over a year.  Tomorrow, I start cutting out!!!  Wish me luck…

Work in Progress Wednesday

I hadn’t thought I’d have a post for today, thought I’d have finished off my epic two-coat run.  But nope, I’ve been a little slow this week!  So here’s what I’ve been working on for the last 2 weeks, two versions of the coat 103 from February Burda 2017.

The fabric is a pinky-copper coloured cotton twill that I bought either from Croft Mill or Fabworks earlier in the year.  I bought 5m because I liked the colour so much, and it was only £5/m!  I figured I could dye it if certain people didn’t like it, so I was quids in.  Turns out both girls liked the colour and then they both wanted the same pattern made up with it!  I needed to do something to make them a little different from each other, but I think the chances of them wearing the coats at the same time together are pretty slim.

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I have done the usual interfacing, using Gill Arnold’s weft insertion the the t-panel, sleeve heads, upper back and under collar.  I used the polyester fine sheer fusible for the facing pieces, tabs and upper collar.  I altered the pattern pieces too.  First, the non-fitting changes.  I traced the collar to make one whole piece and added width of 2-3mm to the short sides and outer edge to accommodate turn of cloth.  The under collar had its grainline changed to the bias, but stayed the same size.  I also added 2-3mm to the revers on the facing pieces, tapering down to the original stitching line at the breakpoint.  The front piece had 2mm added to the front from the breakpoint to the bottom.  This all helps to roll the upper layer of fabric to the underside so you don’t see the seamline.

Fitting adjustments were relatively simple.  Both girls wanted it longer, so I added 4cm to the skirt length.  Daughter No1 needed a forward shoulder adjustment of 1cm, so that was pretty simple.  Her coat was made first!  Daughter No2 needed the sleeves 4cm longer, a broad shoulder adjustment of 1.5cm and the belt tabs needed to be lengthened by 1.5cm.  As this needed more cutting up, her coat was made last.

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Inside Daughter No1’s coat

This pattern wasn’t supposed to be lined, the raw edges are treated with Hong Kong finish, but we wanted something nice on the inside, so the hunt was on for nice linings.  Printed “proper” linings are expensive, so we went off-piste.  Daughter No1 has a William Morris inspired cotton poplin lining in her coat.  The large print looks great peaking out, and I know she’s going to love it!  The sleeves have a white and grey stripe “proper” liningso that her clothes aren’t bunched up in her armpit when she puts the coat on!  I still have to find/choose buttons for this coat, otherwise it would have been finished early last week!  The colour of the fabric makes it tricky to find the right stuff, and having no haberdashery shops within a 15 mile radius doesn’t help.  I raided the charity shops in town on Monday and found buttons with potential, but we’re not sure…

Daughter No2 has a viscose print for her lining.  I had originally thought of a geometric monochrome print, in pale grey or dusky blue, but she found the perfect stuff at the rag market in Birmingham for only £2/m!  The gold/beige tones in the paisley print work well with the copper tone of the shell fabric, so it works, despite the blue paisleys!  I found enough dark blue “proper” lining in my lining bag to use for the sleeves.  This coat does have buttons!

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Pink mother-of-pearl buttons from the stash

In my charity shop raid I found 3 vintage plum coloured buttons to use of the front of the coat, they go on the belt tabs and to close the coat in the front.  I had to use different buttons for the sleevetabs, and had lovely dark pink mother-of-pearl shell buttons for that.  I tried just about every type of button from the stash for these coats, and nothing worked.  What’s the point of a large, full button box if nothing is right when you need it??!

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Paisley lining for Daughter no2’s coat.

So today I need to make up the lining for the second coat and get it in, then finish off the buttons.  And maybe I’ll find something that works for the first coat too.  Fingers crossed it’s all done today, I’m really keen on making a nice snuggly Toaster Sweater for myself, and there’s a pair of trousers in this month’s Burda I fancy too!

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The best buttons so far, but are they too big? Too bland?

Do you wear culottes in the Winter?

 

I have two pairs of cropped, wide legged trousers in my winter wardrobe, made last year and worn loads last winter.  I also plan to make a pair or two of the Peppermint Wide Leg pants, for myself.  From my deep stash, in the winter fabrics boxes, I dug out a lovely windowpane wool that I had bought ages ago from Fred Winter in Stratford on Avon.  It had been used to make a pair of trousers for Daughter No 1 back in 2013 & I stashed the leftovers for a future project – because past-me bought enough of the lovely stuff for more than just one pair of trousers…

 

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Culottes 104 Burdastye February 2017

 

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All those red lines looking good!

I waved this piece in front of Daughter No1’s eyes recently when she said she wanted a pair of trousers that would sit on or just above her natural waist, and be loose fitting over her tummy.  I figured there’d be enough there to make a pair of the culottes from last February’s Burda, which I have used to make 3 pairs for her already!  So she knows the fit, etc.  It didn’t take much convincing, and I knew they’d look fabulous!  (And machine washable!)

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Good fit in the back

 

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I made sure the red lines of the windowpane check were in the right places on the pattern pieces, transfering the marks onto the paper pattern.  I cut the 34 and only took them in a tiny little bit (1.5cm) in the centre back once they were fitted, essentially making a dart in that back seam.  I shortened the pattern in the crotch depth by 1cm, the upper thigh area by 1.5cm and between the knee and the hem another 1.5cm.  I have also moved the zip from the centre front to the side seam, which she prefers.  All the culottes I have made from this pattern for her have a side zip.  But, this is the first time I’ve made the pants with the belt loops and tie for her.  And she likes it!

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Spotty lining in the pockets

These are going to look fabulous as part of her winter wardrobe.  The photos were taken on one of her visits home, so she only has limited clothing to wear with them here.   These pants will look great with boots, smart high heels and of course, these handmade brogues she bought on her travels in Vietnam.  I am making her a coat at the moment in a pink/copper colour that will look amazing with the tones in these pants, so whole outfits are emerging!

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First Coat of the Season

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We have had a real change in the weather this week!  Suddenly the wind is coming from the North and winter is snapping at our heels.  Thankfully I have a nice toasty warm new coat to wear – with a hood to keep that wind out of my ears.  I shared the making of the coat in a couple of  Work in Progress Wednesday posts at the beginning of the month here & here.  Now here’s the finished article.

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The pattern is “jacket” 110 from October 2018 Burda.  I traced the 44 and added a 3cm FBA.  In hindsight, I didn’t need to add that much and would definitely have been ok with just half of that.  The fabric is camel/beige wool melton that is rather thick, and once seamed and enclosed, is very bulky!  But, it is warm!  The zip came out of the stash, and is also possibly a bit wider in the teeth area than a metal zip.  This means that, although I laid the front band on the placement line, it’s not quite wide enough to finish at the right point on the other side.  This means the snaps had to be reduced in size and the buttons don’t line up at the top.  But I’m not taking that band off!!  Far too much bulk.

camel coat 2

 

The buttons on the front band are vintage military brass buttons.  I had hoped to use these on the back band as well, but could only find two!  So the front benefits from these and I used vintage leather buttons on the back band instead.  Because you’ll never see the two together, I think I’ve got away with it.

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The pockets are a great size, I used lining for the underside of the pocket flaps and for one side of the pocket bag, the other side is a scrap piece of cotton poplin Liberty fabric.

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I am really glad I have this new coat, a more casual offering than my “old” coat.  The pattern and instructions are pretty straightforward.  If I make this again, there are a couple of things I’d change.  My neck is too short (& my double chin doesn’t help) for the collar, so I’ll not be buttoning that shut.  However, I usually wear a nice scarf in the winter, so that will fill the gap left by not zipping to the top.  I will also revisit that FBA.  I don’t need all that width afterall.  The hood is great, nice and roomy, but it tends to slip a little too far forward.  This means you could be in trouble when crossing roads if you aren’t looking properly!  It just needs a little tightening up around the edges.

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But I would like to make it again, in a less bulky fabric!

 

Linton Tweed Biker Jacket

 

I’ve been holding on to this jacket for about a month now, waiting for the new owner to come and collect!  And the fabric’s been hanging around even longer!  If you’ve been following for a while, you’d have seen I started a Work in Progress Wednesday post, and the inner workings of this jacket were the very first of those!  Now you get to see the finished article, worn by Daughter No 1.  The pattern used is Moto Jacket 105 from September 2017.

 

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Linton biker jacket

I am so glad that I used a different fabric on the inside of the cuffs, waistband, ollar and for the facings.  Daughter No 1 likes to wear the jacket with the cuffs rolled up once, so you get to see the black fabric.  It has a line of sparkle through it so it’s a little something different.  I also love the silver zippers and snaps, they work brilliantly with the colours of the fabric.  The lining is blue herringbone viscose, left over from a coat I made for myself around 10 years ago, I was really chuffed that there was enough to be able to use.

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Contrast black welts to the zippered pockets

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Large silver snaps

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Daughter No 1 loves this jacket, it can be smart or casual, dressing an outfit up or down.  I love using fabrics and patterns in this way.  Here it’s worn with a boat neck Lark Tee and a pair of jeans, and it looks great!  She wore this jacket with a white tee, black jeans and trainers to the Stitching Show last week, and the outfit was perfect.  It will also look fabulous with the black crepe Pulmu Skirt I made her last year.

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Work in Progress Wednesday

 

Coat update!  Last time you saw it, it was all in pieces.  I’d done the interfacing and needed to tailortack and then get cracking!  So that was Thursday morning’s position.  By the end of the day I had assembled the hood, the back, the sleeves and the two fronts with the welt buttonholes.  I’d left the pockets to the last, because I knew it would be fiddly because of the bulk of the fabric.  Actually, they were fine, and the rest went together really well.

 

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Hood, collar pieces and facings sewn, no side seams!
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Welt pockets. On the left you can see the bits of interfacing on the fronts, and the cut down dart to reduce bulk.

On the weekend I attached the zipper to the centre front and made up the collar, attached the hood and facings.  I attached the zipper before I sewed the shoulder and side seams, figuring that it would be far easier to do with less fabric and fewer pattern pieces flapping about.  I also attached the collar and hood pieces before sewing the side seams.  If fact, I didn’t sew the side seams until I’d finished all the faffy, bulky work on the front.  It was tricky enough to do flat, I can only imagine how frustrating it would have been had the sides been attached.

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The front

Things got really tricky with the front tab and collar, there were so many layers of wool that it was tricky to get it all in under the foot of the machine.  This is one of the times when I am very happy to have a sewing machine that weighs so much!  I really don’t think I’d have been able to manage with a modern, lightweight machine.  Then adding the front fastening band made more bulk and made things worse.

I am unhappy with the position of that piece, I couldn’t get it higher as the machine pushed it down every time I forced it under the foot, even when I basted it in place.  It also seems to be too far from the centre front, and I think that’s because of the width of the zipper.  I really should have attached the band closer to the front.  Monday wasn’t a great sewing day, I had a re-occurence of my nasty headaches and attempted to work through it.  It wasn’t one of my best ideas, and I had no relief the next day either.  So now I have a pretty much finished coat, but I’m unhappy with that band and know it will be a mission to move it.  So I’m inclined to leave it.  But I know it’s not right.  Grrr

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Left, sleeve head tipped over; top right, pinning the sleeve in the seamline; bottom right, sewing the sleeve into the armhole, sleeve side up.

In contrast, the sleeves went in so easily!  If you’re making a jacket or coat, run a line of long gathering stitches 2cm from the edge of the fabric, just one line, and pull that up slightly, to give you the shape of the sleeve head.  Then pin it into the armhole with the armhole folded back, and the sleeve over it.  Next, pin on the stitching line, parallel to the stitching line, easing the fullness into the sleeve head.  It’s fiddly and the pins bite, but it gives a great finish.  Then you sew the seam from the inside, the sleeve side up, picking out the pins as you get to them and using both hands and almost all your fingers to smooth out the fulness and avoid puckering.  Once you’re happy with it and the hang is good, sew in the sleeve padding.  This can be purpose made wadding or you could cut bias strips of your fabric and fold in half longways.  Stitch just before the original sleeve seam and fold it over and into the sleeve head.  Some jackets need this step, some don’t, it all depends on the look you’re after.

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Looking up at the shoulder pad on the left, into the armhole with the interfacing and padding showing.

The lining is in, and the hem handstitched in place.   The lining is from The Lining Company.  It’s an acetate/viscose twill, and it’s shot, so you get a lovely shade of colour, depending on the direction in which you view it, and which side you use!  I chose  the Light Blue Fawn colour, which looks fabulous with the colour of the wool.  I’m using the blue-er side but have decided to use the other side which has more of a gold tone to cover the snaps for the front.  I was hoping to find a brass/bronze colour snap in the time I had, but I couldn’t.  So simple silver snaps are now covered with the lining.

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Lining details

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I had originally intended to finish the coat to wear to the Knitting and Stitching Show in London tomorrow, but the weather is not showing me I’ll be needing it, and I haven’t got the fastening band buttonholes done yet either.  I guess that although my headaches have finally passed, I’m not in quite the right place to finish today.  I’ll get it done over the weekend, and hopefully some proper photos will follow soon!  In the meantime, I’m looking forward to my first visit to a big London sewing show!

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From the back

I’ll show you what I buy over the weekend, all the fabric I bought at the NEC earlier this year has now been made up, so I’m kinda justified in getting a bit more! 😉  And I would love to find the perfect fabric to make up another dress, The Assembly Line’s V-Neck Dress.

 

Three Points

This is a project I’ve been quite keep to make since spotting the pattern in the magazine.  I liked the section seams of the sweatshirt (111 from February 2017), the opportunities for colour blocking and, most importantly of all, the chance to use it to use up some of the left over bits of ponte, quilted jersey and fleece fabric taking up a fair bit of room in my jersey fabrics box.  I really do need the space for full lengths of useable fabrics!

I decided to trace the smallest size, the 36.  The pieces are massive!  On the sheet the front and back main pieces are just half, so I flipped the paper over and made them whole.  This means that if I’m using leftovers, I know immediately how much space I need!  There are enough of a couple of fabrics for this pattern to work, but I couldn’t make up my mind where to start.  So I drew out a couple of tops and coloured them with the colours of fabric I have to try to get somewhere.

Then I asked Daughter No2 which she prefered.  Typically she couldn’t decide either and said she needed to see the fabrics first – in person!  But I really wanted to make the sweatshirt.  So I laid the pieces out on some of the left over black and white ponte that I’d made my last Uvita Top in, and placed the sleeves and triangular side panels on left overs of plain black ponte from Daughter No2’s long cardigan.  I liked the idea of the sides being solid in colour.  I figured that if she didn’t like it, I’d offer it to Daughter No1.  Once I started actually sewing, I figured I could always keep it for myself – it was that wide!

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The sweatshirt, with all its width!

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The essentials of the top are simple enough, especially if you’re not making the version with pockets.  But the pocket instructions got me all befuddled.  I obviously wasn’t having a brain fully engaged day, because I made a fluff and had to make do in the end.  And in the end I realised what I should have done!  So here’s a tip, if you’re planning on making this top.  The pockets are KANGAROO pockets!  If I’d realised that in the beginning I’d have understood the instructions immediately and done them correctly!

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Anyhow, I am now pre-warned for the next time!!  But will there be a next time?  Maybe.  It’s definitely going to be fabric dependent.  Daughter No 2 was home on Friday for a quick visit to collect her winter coats and take them back to Birmingham.  She was initially unsure of the top when she saw it, but decided she rather liked it once it was on!  The verdict was positive, but only in a fabric that is fairly soft and has drape.  She wouldn’t want it if the fabric had too much body (it would be very boxy) and with that width it’s not what she’d wear.  But this one she likes!

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Sweatshirt 111 February 2017