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!
Ok, I know you’re waiting to see my coat, but I have something more fun! I made another dress!! I know what the other half is going to say when he sees it. He’s going to make a “nun outfit” reference, Sound of Music costume…. But I really don’t care, as an addition to my wardrobe with the Tea House Dress, it’s going to be well worn this season!
This is the kind of wool I really like, because I shove it in the washing machine on a woolens wash and then hang it up to dry. Unless I completely forget that it’s in the wash and put it in a normal load, it’ll be washed on that woolen cycle for the rest of its life, and it won’t shrink! It also saves me a load of dry cleaning bills!
I detailed the toile in my previous post, but if you haven’t read that yet (whaaat??) here’s a round up. I traced the Large and made it up, looking for areas to fix. The only thing that stood out was the length, my legs aren’t supermodel length, so I took 4cm out of the skirt length, decided to go without a FBA and went for it!
The pattern pieces are rather long, but as the skirt isn’t massively flared you can actually get them staggered next to each other for cutting out, if your fabric is a suitably wide 140cm or above. I bought 3m just in case, and ended up using about 2.2m. That means enough for a skirt or cropped pair of trousers with the rest, free clothes!! 🙂 The instructions are very clear, good illustrations to follow if you’re a beginner or not too confident. The inseam pocket instructions are great and are the way I do mine normally. The result is a neat, hidden pocket. I used Gill Arnold’s fine sheer fusible for interfacing the collar facing, the belt and to stabilise the pocket seam areas.
The dress goes together easily if you follow those instructions, the only thing I felt was necessary that they don’t mention is to stabilise that v-neck while you’re working with the pieces to stop it stretching out. I ran a line of staystitching from the top down within the 1cm seam allowance, just to be safe. Another thing that beginners will like is that the instructions include where, and when to finish the seam allowances. They say to overlock, but you could just zigzag. I wouldn’t use French Seams unless you were using a really fine fabric because the resulting stiffness will affect the shape of the skirt.
I was initially worried that the V would be too low, I’m not necessarily comfy with showing off cleavage. But, I think at some point I need to stop being so prudish! A friend who saw the dress said it was fine, she didn’t see any underwear (one thing I don’t like showing) and that the depth worked. So there you go, it works and I’ll get on with it! It’s great for showing off a pretty pendant!
I’m really happy with the dress, I love the sleeves and the length, and that I can adjust the belt to be comfy. I definitely won’t be wearing the dress without the belt!! But I’m thinking of adding thread belt loops to hold it in place, as it tends to move up and down a bit. I also probably should have made the belt a little longer…. Nevermind, it’s ok for this time! Now I hope to influence the girls to each have a version, I think it will look fantastic on Daughter No 2 with her height, and nice and dramatic on Daughter No 1, especially if worn with one for her many new jackets!
My dress has been shortlisted as a finalist in the “Around the World” section of The Monthly Stitch Indie Pattern Month 2018. Here’s the link to the voting page, I’d be delighted if you decided to vote for me, but you also get to choose 2 other garments to vote for. You can only vote once, but you get three choices.
So much has been going on this week! I finished my coat on Sunday, I have some photos to edit and the post to finish before you can see it all, but it’s so nice and warm! It’s just what I needed.
One of the projects I really want to finish this month is Hubby’s coat. The main pattern pieces were drafted last November, adjustments made and pattern altered. But we were no nearer finding the right sort of lining, so the whole thing stalled. I think I have finally persuaded the other half to accept a plain lining, with a patterned piping strip and other internal details for this version. I can make another coat, or even a jacket (one day) when we find and buy that elusive “perfect lining”.
The pieces of pattern that still needed to be sorted were the linings, front and back facings and pocket pieces for both the internal pocket and the welt pocket at the waist. Somehow I’d only drawn up the pieces for the chest welt pocket. So now everything is ready, no excuses! Except that we still have no lining…
For now. I have ordered samples of The Lining Company’s shot twill lining that have already arrived (one day service, I love it!). The linings are plain as in they have no pattern, but at least with the two tone colours there’s interest. I found some leftover silk in the silk box that would work perfectly for the contrast piping and other bits on the inside of the coat, and will work with 4 of the 5 samples I’ve ordered. I also ordered a stripe lining sample from Fabric Godmother that’s still to arrive. It should also work with 4 of the linings, if not all, should Hubby decide he doesn’t like the silk I’ve looked out.
I’m reluctant to cut the wool until I know I have everything I need, so while I wait for that last sample and we agree on colours and patterns, I have time to make something else! Not one to sit on my laurels, I decided I’d run up a toile of The Assembly Line’s new pattern, the V-Neck Dress. I liked the look of the dress the minute I saw it on IG at the launch.
I thought it would be perfect for Indie Pattern Month over on The Monthly Stitch. It hadn’t arrived in time for me to make for Week 1, dresses, but I figured I’d be able to squeeze it in by the time Week 3 came around. This week is “Around the World”,which means you have to make a pattern form a designer from a different country to that in which you live. The Assembly Line are Swedish, so that’s perfect!
The pattern is multi-sized and I decided to go with the Large, based on measurements and finished garment measurements. Technically I should have done an FBA, on that size, but the measurements gave me enough width/ease to be comfortable. I didn’t want it too big. The toile went perfectly, I only did the main pieces. I realised the skirt was a little too long, so I took 4cm out of the length. The depth of the V bothered me a bit, I don’t usually go for something this low, but I told myself I was being a fuddy duddy – get on with it!! And the bust seemed fine, there were no drag lines and there was definitely enough ease. Done!!
The dress is actually made now, but I’m not going to give it away just yet, I am going to enter that competition now! See you on the other side!