One more post squeezed into what’s left of 2018! I made these cropped trousers last month, but had to wait for assistance to get photos. I really need to make a plan with photographing trousers or dresses on my own. Anyway, the fabric is English wool suiting, with a textured herringbone stripe and a bit of colour that you really don’t read unless you’re up close and personal sewing it – or doing the ironing. It was a find from a charity shop!
I knew it would become a pair of cropped trousers, there wasn’t enough for a full length version. And I wasn’t keen on a skirt. I decided to use trousers 120 from Burda 7/2018 again. I like the slightly kicked out flare of the extension piece/ wide hem band(?). They also have a nice fit on my natural waist and are closer fitting around the hip area before becoming wider at the leg. I cut the pocket lining from a piece of navy and white cotton, but the rest is all wool. I like this fabric – it can go in the washing machine on a woollens cycle!
I’ve worn them a few times now, and I can say they’re really comfy to wear, are the perfect length and always get compliments! Today a little old lady told me I looked nautical”. I’ll take that. 🙂 Now, the only thing I can think of that might be missing from this pattern is a pocket on the bum. Such a handy thing to have, don’t you think? If you want to see the inners and a bit of construction, I posted a Work in Progress report on it that you can read here.
I’m hoping I’ll be able to get more photos of the other trousers I’ve been making and blog them soon!
The trench coat 103 in the February issue of Burdstyle 2017 has been on my “to sew” list since it came out. There was just something about the style, length and simplicity of the design that appeals. Daughter No1 was very keen on having it, and I really wanted to make it in one of her fabric designs, but the price of doing so was just too much. I still hope that one day I will be able to do that, but in the mean time she has her coat, and she’s still happy with it. And so is Daughter No 2….
I guess I’d better explain! 🙂 Both girls liked the coat, and both wanted a version. So I went looking online for suitable fabric and found a rather nice pink/copper cotton twill at Croft Mill Fabrics for just £5/m. I bought 5m, which was a real bargain. I wasn’t sure whether the girls would like the colour, but as it was cotton, I was quite prepared to dye it to whatever colour they wanted. As it turns out, however, they were both perfectly happy with it! That makes it easy for me then! My Work in Progress post will take you through all the construction details.
I traced the 38 and toiled it in an old duvet cover from the charity shop. On trying it on Daughter No2, we noted the following alterations:
Lengthen sleeves by 4cm
Broad shoulder adjustment 1.5cm
Lengthen coat by 4cm
Lengthen belt pieces 1.5cm
For Daughter No1, these were the alterations:
Forward shoulder adjustment 1cm
Lengthen coat by 4cm
So, I was going to make Daughter No1’s coat first with her alterations, then reverse the shoulder adjustment and make the adjustments for Daughter No2 and make her coat. The coat itself is pretty straightforward to make. Although Burda call it a “gathered trench coat”, there’s actually no gathering. The waist is formed with dart tucks in the front and back, and the belt piece starts in the back panel seam to be fixed in the front with a button. It does have the effect of cinching the waist in a bit, but definitely not gathering. The button is sewn through all the layers, there is no buttonhole.
I did make them slightly differently, the coats have topstitching in different places, and Daughter No2’s coat has no shoulder pads. I used shoulder pads in Daughter No1’s coat because of her posture. I halved the thickness of the pads, she didn’t want “Dynasty shoulders”, but she did need the shaping they give. Can you tell that the shoulders are different?
Linings for the coats were chosen for each girl. The coat wasn’t intended to be lined, the Burda instructions have you use Hong Kong finish on all the raw seams, and that would be fine for a Spring/summer coat. We wanted these to be warmer, so I needed a lining. I’ve not used traditional lining fabric for the main body, but I have used “proper” lining for the sleeves. There’s nothing worse than your sleeves getting bunched up under your armpits when you put on a coat!
I’d found the cotton poplin William Morris inspired print at Fabworks and knew it would be perfect for Daughter No1. Daughter No2 needed something more contrasting, and I was looking for something geometric with a grey and white colour but was coming up empty handed. Eventually I found a blue and white paisley print with bronze detail at the Rag Market in Birmingham. It is viscose and cost a mere £2/m! It was the right choice and Daughter No2 approved.
My next problem in choice was the buttons. I raided my button box and then all the charity shops in town. I ended up with 3 rather yummy plum/maroon vintage buttons for the front of Daughter No2’s coat. But there weren’t any for the sleeve tabs. Another rummage through the button stash revealed 3 pretty pink mother of pearl buttons that would work. So that was one done, Daughter No1’s buttons were more tricky to decide on. She didn’t want a colour that would stand out too much, she decided subtle was the route to take.
In my raid of the local charity shops, I had found 4 beige-y/pink buttons, BIG ones! So the colour was subtle, size – not so very much…! But – they have worked rather well, and I found a couple of smaller similar coloured buttons in my stash that I used for the sleeve tabs. So, there you have two pink/copper coats with different linings and different buttons for two different girls with different styles. Although the shell colour is the same, and I used the same pattern, they do look different on.
That’s another Burdachallenge2018 entry for the year, and I’m glad to have made the trench coat.
Finally! I have some photos of the trousers I was making two weeks ago. I’ve worn them quite a bit since making them, mostly because I thought I’d be able to get photos, but no… Instead I had a comfy, warm day of wearing my new pants. I really do like this pattern, it will be good to make in a summer fabric too, linen or even viscose. A reminder that the pattern is 117 from November Burda 2018.
They were really easy and quick to make and they’re fab to wear. That could be because of the stretch content, of course! 😉 The piping in the waistband has the advantage of stopping the waistband stretching out. So it looks good and has a proper purpose! Detailed photos of the waistband and pockets are in that WIP post, link above.
The welt pocket is also good. Next time I’ll widen the welt and resulting pocket by 2-3cm. The original 14 cm is fine, and fits the phone, but it could do with being slightly roomier, making it easier to access said phone. For people with a wider phone than mine, it would also be a good idea to make the pocket wider!
The leg length is just fine. I had shortened the legs by 4cm and crossed my fingers that it would be ok. I still get a break on the top of my show, and honestly I wouldn’t want more than I’ve got in a stiff fabric like the denim. In a softer fabric, more of a break would look fine, so a longer length would work.
I just can’t decide what these are, jeans – or trousers?
It seems I’ve been posting more of these “in progress” posts this month than showing the finished items! I must get some photos this weekend, if it’s not too rainy. So, what am I making today? Well, I decided on the spur of the moment last night to use a piece of wool that a friend had found in a charity shop and gave me last month. It’s navy blue suiting with a pinstripe and herringbone weave. It was about 1.2m in length, so was never going to be a full length pair of trousers. That made it easy to pick a pattern, I could use my favourite cropped pattern that I’ve used 5/6 times, or a newer one, used just twice so far.
I picked 120 from July Burda 2018. I have made it earlier this year, in the summer, using a linen and cupro blend. Definitely time to make another. I got pretty much all of the pieces onto the wool, except for the pocket lining piece. I was slightly tempted to add the ruffley thingie on the pocket opening, but there just wasn’t the space to cut the bias piece. Actually, it was just as well, it would only get in the way of my shirts and no-one would ever see it anyway. I cut the pocket lining from a piece of scrap cotton print in the stash.
I cut the 44 but had graded it before from the hip to the waist to the 46. The leg has been shortened by 4cm, this was a good length in the previous pair. I started by tailortacking and then overlocking all the pieces. In order to make my sewing time really productive, I pinned the darts, pocket linings to the openings, and pinned the lower front and back trouser pieces to the main pieces. These were then all sewed up.
Pockets were sewn and everything well pressed, then the front and back centre seams were sewn to just above the crotch curve. The waistband needs to go on before the zip can go in, so that was interfaced and the front and back pieces attached to the trousers. I didn’t have a dark navy invisible zip in the stash, but the brighter blue one I chose will do just fine. The waistbands lined up rather well, usually I need to unpick at least once to make the seamlines line up better.
Next to do was all the side seams, making sure the perpendicular seamlines lined up nice and neatly. On the whole, it worked out rather well! I decided to handstitch the hems insead of machine them because I was using thread from the stash and they didn’t necessarily match the colour of the wool all that well. I then decided I’d handstitch the waistband on the inside too.
I finished the trousers by 3pm, having started cutting out at around 9:30 and taking an hour break for lunch. So I’m chuffed with that, I have a new pair of trousers in the cupboard and one less piece of fabric in the stash! I’ve also used the remains of three reels of blue thread and taken another zip out of the zip box. Eventually I’ll get all these “stashes” down to more acceptable levels!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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…
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.
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.
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…
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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!
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??!
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!
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…
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!)
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
But I would like to make it again, in a less bulky fabric!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.