Washed Linen Trousers

Another pair of linen trousers in my favourite Burdastyle pattern
Another pair of linen trousers in my favourite Burdastyle pattern

I love this fabric!!  It’s a charcoal and off white marl linen, of decent weight that I got from the NEC back in March.  I love the result of pairing this fabric with this particular pattern too.  The tee is the grey viscose from a couple of posts back and both items have been worn a few times on holiday.

P1140388-1There really isn’t much to say about these that I haven’t said about the pattern loads of times before!  The fabric wasn’t tricky to work with, definitely needed to be overlocked as soon as it was cut and I made sure to staystitch the upper edge while working with it to prevent stretching out.

P1140404-1P1140395-1Loving it with all shoes too! 🙂

Collage grey linenP1140407-1On a slightly sad note, those beautiful natural coloured herringbone linen trousers I posted about here, are no longer wearable. 😦  I wore them on my first day of holiday, and washed them later at a family member’s house but never thought to check the temperature the washing machine was set on.  Needless to say, linen washed at 60C never survives….  Gutted!!!  So now I’m on the hunt for another piece, Ditto Fabrics have none left. All suggestions for replacement fabric welcome!

 

A Trio of Tee-Shirts

This year I’ll have plenty of me-made tees.

This is me making up all that jersey bought in March!  One of my not-New Years Resolutions for this year is to make fabric up when I buy it, and not let it disappear into the stash, only to be found years later when I either no longer like it, or no longer need/want what I’d originally bought the fabric for!

So here we have 3 tees, two using Maria Denmark’s Birgitte tee and one a Burdastyle pattern.  The first was hard on the eyes to make!  I had seen an IG post by Wendy Ward of a black and white tee shirt, stripes, of course, where she’d used two stripes, one black and white & one white and black, in the one shirt.  There is a diagonal seam across the front of the tee and all the stripes appear to line up because of the single use of colour.  This gave me a good idea to use for the black and white viscose stripe jersey I’d picked up at the NEC.

Using the v-neck version of the Birgitte, I drew a line across the front from the right shoulder point to the left seam, about 10-15 cm from the hem.  Then I gave that line a slight downwards curve, because we’re not flat.  I added a line marking the top of a black stripe on the right front, and another on the left front to I’d be sure to cut the pieces on different stripe.

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Stripe details

When it came to getting the stripes to match nicely along that diagonal line, I questioned my sanity a bit!  I marked the seamlines with chalk and pinned each and every black-to-white stripe all the way down.  Then I basted by hand and checked from the front.  There were a few strpes that had moved, so I unpicked and re-basted those areas.  Then I used a long stitch on the sewing machine and stitched with a narrow, long zig zag stitch.  I had to shift a few lines again after they’d don a little walking, but overall the method seemd to work!  Then I used the overlocker and went over the seam again, but overlocked slightly away from the stitched seam

Collage staggered stripe tee 2

I love the way the line jumps down the front, the lines on the right side seam have the same jump as on the front line, and they match perfectly on the left.  I’m really happy with how this turned out, it could have been a plain stripey tee, but now its something that makes your eyes blink!

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Staggered stripe tee

The second is much more straight forward.  Again, it’s a piece from the purchase at the NEC but I can’t remember which stall I got this fabric from!  I just used the v-neck version of the Birgitte tee and it was made with no fuss in a couple of hours.

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Maria Denmark Birgitte tee in blue and white viscose jersey.

The last of the quick makes was really a toile, now I guess it’s a wearable toile!  I have a lovely piece of pale grey marl viscose jersey from Croft Mill Fabrics and I didn’t want to waste it on a pattern I decided I didn’t like in the end.  I got this pale pink-silver viscose jersey at fancy silk Stores during the Easter hols to use as toile fabric, but as I kinda like the resulting garment, I might dye it a little darker.

The pattern is the top of Dress 105 in the March 2016 Burdastyle magazine.  There are various versions in the magazine, different lengths, neckline treatments and fabric uses.  I wanted a slightly longer, tummy covering version!  This looked good in the photos, so I thought I’d give it a go, but lengthened the front a bit, just in case!

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Dress 105 03/2016. Image from Burdastyle

I’m in two minds about the outcome.  I think the sleeves aren’t narrow enough, certainly not the last 10cm as they end up flapping around my elbows by the end of a day.  It’s maybe a little too long and wide for my shape.  I can see a slimmer person looking fabulous in it, just as it is.  Or maybe this jersey is just too drapey.  Or maybe the colour is just too pale, perhaps a quick spin in the washing machine with some grey dye would make it better.

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Burdastyle top 105 03/2016 – a wearable toile

I have worn this top twice now, and I don’t mind it, but it’s not a piece I’d be desperate to wear as soon as it was back in the wardrobe either.  At the end of the day, it’s a decent wearable toile, I’m just not convinced I’ll use my lovely Croft Mill jersey to make another.

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I skipped the instruction that said to stitch the pleat on the inside… Perhaps my pleat would have looked better if I’d done what I was told instead of steaming ahead!

So the Birgitte Basic tee is turning out to be a very good basic tee-shirt pattern to use, I like the fit, it’s so quick to make up & it doesn’t require too much fabric!  I bought the Lark Tee PDF (copy shop version, of course) to compare, but I haven’t got round to making anything up just yet.  Perhaps when I’m back from my holiday with some fresh jersey.

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Enjoy your Spring (if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere), my garden is looking all green and pretty!

 

I Put a Spell on You

Linen.  It’s one of my all time favourite fabrics to use.  It’s definitely put a spell on me!  I bought this gorgeous sky and white herringbone linen from Ditto Fabrics in January for a pair of trousers.  Unfortunately they don’t have any left for me to direct you to!  I decided not to use one of my usual patterns with wide legs as I had two in herringbone already. I went with a tapered leg style, number 103 from Burdastyle magazine April 2013.

Burdastyle trousers in sky herringbone linen
Burdastyle trousers in sky herringbone linen

I overlocked all the pieces before working with them as the linen frayed quite badly.  I made the 44, grading up to a 46 from the hip upwards.  I like the pressed pleat down the front and am pretty happy with the shape of the leg, although I might still shorten them a bit.  They’re already 6 cm shorter than the original pattern.

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The tee is a modified Maria Denmark Birgitte tee.   Fabric came in the same parcel from Ditto Fabrics as the linen, it’s a lovely soft navy blue viscose jersey.  For the pattern adjustments, I flared out the sides by 3cm and added a shaped hem.  Then  I cut a back yoke and cut the lower back on the fold with enough to add a small inverted pleat in the centre.  It’s just enough to have a bit more movement.

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Inverted pleat, back yoke and shirt shaped hem

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But I wasn’t happy with just one pair of trousers.  Oh no, I had to order plain blue navy linen from Fabworks Online to make another pair to wear with patterned (striped) tees!

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One more pair please!

Worn here with my self drafted cowl drape tee, this is exactly why I made the plain pants!  I realise I hadn’t gone into any detail about this tee, you saw it first back in January with my first pair of Birkin Flares.  I’ve not worn it until now, but it’s going into my suitcase next week, along with the blue trousers.  Both pairs of trousers and the blue tee form part of my “Sew Seasonal Wardrobe” for the Summer.

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Got to have decent pockets..
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Looks like I’m having a definite colour theme this year!

The tee is from my tee shirt block, I’d made the cowl drape pattern back in November last year to make something to wear to the dreaded wedding.  This is the same pattern, but with short sleeves.  The jersey is really something, also from Ditto Fabrics and from the same parcel as the blue jersey and sky herringbone linen!  Of all the fabric I ordered on that occasion from Ditto Fabrics, I have nothing left to find its way into my stash.  Nothing but scraps, it’s all been made up now!  Yippee!  Now what to make with the left-over bits…

 

Mark Making

Collage mark making

My third  pair of Birkin Flares has become a firm favourite, just like the others.  Have I said how much I like these jeans? My first pair has quite a lot of stretch, making them extremely comfortable throughout the day.  The second pair had the misfortune of not having quite as much stretch as necessary, but being a very good colour.  These, the third, have enough stretch, a fabulous blue colour and a firm denim that doesn’t sag.  My favourite pair? Well..  possibly!

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Baste & Gather Birkin Flares

I won’t bore you with a million pictures of the jeans, they’re made in the same way as the other two pairs.  For detailed pictures, you can revisit the first pair.  Once again, I used ordinary thread, I had no intention of mucking about with topstitching stuff.

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For the tee shirt, I used a pattern I’d used twice last year.  The fabric, which you might recognise from my last post, came from Stitch Fabrics at the NEC.  It’s a cobalt blue and white print by John Kaldor, a viscose jersey with a great drape and weight.  I like a floaty tee for the summer when it gets sticky and humid.

Originally I thought I might use the prints I bought for more fitter, “plain” tees, and the solids for the floaty stuff, but I was halfway through cutting this one out when I remembered!  Oh dear!  Anyway, I love how this has turned out.

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The pattern is 113/4 from Burdastyle 12 2008.  An oldie, but a goodie.  I used Vilene iron-on bias stay tape on all the neckline edges and armholes.  I have learned my lesson with soft, drapy knits and keeping them in their place!  I love how the print on this looks in this and I’m looking forward to wearing it thoughout the summer.

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Loving my new shoes too!

I have more makes to show you now I have a photographer at home for the Easter holidays, most of them will be going into my suitcase for my trip to South Africa in two weeks.  TWO WEEKS!

 

Crystal Midnight

I’ve been sewing up a storm – all the fabric bought from Fabworks has been made up!  This is the last piece, a really nice jersey, although I’d call it a knit rather.  I had thought it would make a fab tee, loved the colours and digital type print.  When it arrived I realised it was thicker and weightier than I had pictured.  I’ve still made a tee-shirt, but this will be more of a cooler weather tee than a hot weather one!  I am most definitely counting it towards part of my Sew Seasonal Wardrobe.

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Birgitte Tee by Maria Denmark

I reverted to the Maria Denmark Birgitte tee, v-neck with three quarter sleeves.  These particular sleeves are 4cm shorter than the pattern and 3cm narrower at the cuff.  I find the pattern as drafted is a little too wide at the cuff, and I prefer them a little shorter too.  I really like this pattern as a quick make, the fit works for me.

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I am sorry the fabric isn’t softer and drapier than I imagined.  However, if you were thinking of making a cardi, in particular the Wendy Ward Longley cardi, you could definitely use this!

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This summer looks like it will be made mostly in blue and white, which is no bad thing.  My colours in general tend to be blue, black, grey, white and a bit of beige/camel/tan thrown in for warmth.  They all go together well and remain pretty classic.  I know some people will think it’s all a bit boring, but I like it! 🙂

 

 

 

 

True Love

Moar linen trousers for me!
Moar linen trousers for me!

Linen trousers mean summer time to me.  I have said it before, and I will definitely be saying it again!  When everyone else is reaching for skirts and shorts, I’m swanning about in my long, wide linen trousers.  So here’s to true love, & making yet another pair of linen trousers – another version of one of my favourite ever Burda patterns, 116 from March 2004.  I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I’ve used this pattern, in both summer and winter weight fabrics.  The last one I made was this indigo and white pair in herringbone linen blend from Fabric Godmother last year.

So I thought I’d make another.  This time I’ve got the most beautiful natural linen herringbone from Ditto Fabrics.  The second I saw the fabric on the website I added 2 m to my basket.  I didn’t even need to think about it. I might have added some other colours to my basket while I was at it.  But that’s for another day.

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The pattern was cut and made in a day, for me this pattern is so quick to make, even when making sure details line up properly.  I love the shape of the hip yoke pockets and the way they intersect with the shaped back yoke.  There is no waistband on these trousers, but for that, they fit beautifully at the low waist/high hip.  This is the second of my makes for my Sew Seasonal Wardrobe and will oh so definitely be packed in my suitcase for our holiday next month.

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The intersection of the shaped pocket (left) and the back yoke (right) at the side seam.

Mr Compulsive and I will be spending 3 weeks in South Africa next month and I cannot wait!  It’s been 5 years since our last visit and I am very keen to see friends and family again.  My suitcase will be a bit empty going out, I’ll need the extra space for the return!  Hopefully I’ll be making a few fabric purchases & I will be looking for more vintage atterns to add to my collection.  I also hope we can find some mid-century modern goodies to bring back.  Top on the list are glass and ceramics, but we’ll look at anything!  Considering the last time we returned with a 1m tall African drum, and the time before we had a 2x3m rug over our shoulder, nothing is beyond the realms of impossibilities.

Collage trousers 116
Details

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New Burda linen trousers worn with white Maria Denmark Birgitte tee and Burda linen jacket
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This is my “Bloody hell it’s freezing, have you got enough photos yet?” pose.

Is anyone else firing ahead on sewing for a yet to come summer/winter?

Changing of the Seasons

Sewing a seasonal wardrobe – and looking forward very much to summer and a three week holiday in the southern hemisphere.  I have a pile of fabulous linens from Ditto Fabrics in my favourite colours, and some piles of fabric in the stash still awaiting their turn to be sewn up too.  In order to get some progress made I decided to join a couple of Facebook groups last month,  One is the Sew-A-Longs and Sewing Contests page.  They’ve got a contest running from the beginning of February to sew up 8 garments that match and belong to a theme.  My theme, apart from sew as much as possible, is to have garments that co-ordinate with each other, and the other stuff in my wardrobe, that will be my summer and holiday wardrobe.

Sewing for the summer in the tail end of winter sounds great,  dreaming of linen trousers and drapey tee shirts in the sunshine.  But when you’re looking out of the window at frozen gardens, rain and now snow falling, it’s tempting to sew a coat instead!

I will post each garment once it’s finished and I have a photographer.  Mr Compulsive is a very, very reluctant photographer and Daughter No2 is away at university, so photo shoot opportunities are extremely rare.  I have actually finished a pair of jeans, 4 pairs of trousers, a jacket and two tee shirts.  No photos though….  Until today that is.  Daughter No2 came home for Mother’s Day weekend so I’ve co-opted her to get as many photos done as possible!  It’s darned cold though for photographing summer stuff…

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Birkin Flares by Baste & Gather

I made these jeans in the first few days of February, they had their first outing for a visit to Birmingham to see Daughter no2 on a day off from lectures.  While there I bought more fabric, of course!  I got denim for another pair of Birkin Flares which I might make without the flare, and sweatshirting for two Sewaholic Fraser sweatshirts.  More Birkins? Of course, my first pair are worn at least twice a week!

My second pair of Baste and Gather Flared jeans is loved almost as much as the first, but due to the fabric not having as much stretch as required, they’re a teeny bit tighter!  I love the colour.  I’d bought this twill from Croft Mill Fabrics last year – or maybe even the year before – but waited until I had what I thought was the perfect pattern.  That’s one of the ways to grow a stash, by the way.  Buy fabric and then dither and procrastinate about which pattern you’re going to use before taking the scissors to it.

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Prepped and ready to sew

I didn’t use topstitching thread for this project at all.  I’d found a perfect colour match of ordinary thread and it’s worked out just fine.  I had to get the zip online though, none of my local stores had a 5″ beige jeans zip.  Jaycotts are pretty quick and before I’d even finished cutting & marking the pattern, the zip had arrived.  Pretty cheap too for a YKK zip!

I made the same alterations on the upper thigh and in the back crotch curve as the first pair, and as I was left with 8cm to chop off the bottom the first time round, I altered the pattern at the mid thigh and mid calf, taking out 2cm in each place, leaving 4cm to be removed from the hemline.  This pair went together just as easily as the first, and I made the same change in the zip, accessing from the left instead of the right.  I remembered to alter the direction of pressing of the back seam this time, so all seams and stitching lines up perfectly.

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Dead chuffed with how these lined up!!

I am really happy with how the topstitching worked out on the yoke this time.  Generally I really love this pair, especially the colour, I just wish there was more stretch!  It means I have to work harder on losing that Xmas and Winter padding before we go away in mid April…

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I found this cool button in my stash, as it was the only one, it was perfect to use on the jeans.

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The lack of stretch means the jeans are a little tighter than I’d like…

Back to getting more photos before the weather turns… 🙂