Spring Green

With the Equinox on the 21st, it’s finally officially Spring here in the UK, and I’ve got a nice new springy green pair of trousers to show off!  I’d been after an interesting pair of linen trousers for a while, and was thinking of drafting something when I took a quick look at the Style Arc website.  They tend to have interesting designs and I thought I might be inspired somewhere along the line.

img-20190324-wa0052-018532967193288944915.jpeg
Teddy Designer Pants from Style Arc

After a fairly short browse, I’d found 2 patterns I liked, one in particular.  In the end, I just bought the pattern!  Now this is my very first Style Arc pattern, despite them being very popular amongst certain areas of the sewing world, I’ve never bought one.  And here’s why.  Up to now, they’ve only been available in your size, although you get the size above and below your chosen size as well.  But – these are seperate patterns, not nested, so it makes blending between sizes interesting, also, if I’m going to be dropping good money on a pattern, I want to be able to make it for more than just one person.  I want more than 3 sizes.  You could also only get PDF download versions in millions of A4 pages to stick together – something I particularly dislike, or wait for the pattern sheets to be sent from Australia, paying postage & customs charges on the way, making this an expensive pattern that had better be good!  It was a pleasant surprise to find that this particular pattern not only came in multiple sizes, but they were nested and the PDF was available in A4 as well as a copy shop version.  Sold!  Now, if they start doing this with all the other patterns, Burda will have a real run for their money!  I wanted a couple more, but they weren’t available in the same format.  No matter, I’ll keep my eyes peeled and hope I can get them later once the multi-size copy shop versions become more available, here’s the link for all the multi-size patterns currently available.

green teddy 3

green teddy 8

So, on to this one, the pattern I’ve been rambling about is the Teddy Designer Pants.  Pants, not pant!  Here goes another rant, why only one?  I have two legs, and want a pair of pants/trousers!  *breathe* I fell for the nice deep, long pleat down the middle of the trouser legs, sewn down from the hem and the waistband for about 20cm, the slight cocoon shape to the outside leg seam, the wide, shaped waistband and narrow hem. Basically, all the design features! 😀  I had some olive (bright) green washed linen in the stash that was begging for an interesting pattern, and I had just enough!

green teddy 9

Now, last time I mentioned there has been a little change of measurements around here.  Earlier in the year the #SewMySize hashtag did the rounds on Instagram, showing “ordinary” sewists with their measurements with the hope that indi pattern companies in particular would recognise the range of body sizes and shapes out there and cater to all.  I posted this photo.

But I’ve changed by eating habits and now I have new measurements, which means making different sizes! Woohoo! However, it also means I have a large pile of clothes that I need to make smaller so they don’t fall off me.  I’ll be adjusting for summer, rather than sewing for summer!  So, in the interest of openess and helping you to choose your size, these are the new measurements.

size for blog

I traced the 16 and 14, based on those measurements and toiled the 16 to see where I needed to alter the pattern.  Turns out the fit was pretty solid!  The waistband fits snugly on the waist, with the upper edge on the natural waistline.  There was no pulling around the high hip area, which can happen on some trouser patterns.  All I needed to to was to shorten the leg, brilliant!  I love the shape and the pleat, did a little wiggly dance around the sewing room in delight!

green teddy 5

green teddy 4

Making was fairly simple, I know some people have a problem with the instructions, or lack thereof, but being a Burda girl I’m used to sparse instructions.  They did read a little oddly though, like they were written by someone for whom English is not their first language.  The zip instructions were weird though, and for the final garment I ignored them entirely and did it my way.  I cannot get my head round instructions that have you put the zip in backwards.  I’ll be changing the pattern a bit for next time around the zip, basically adding the fly facing to the front trouser pattern, this eliminates bulk and gives me more to work with to sew the zip in from the centre front line.  I might also bring the pockets up 2-3cm, but that’s not critical.  I made the pockets bigger though!  They’re too narrow for me, my phone and hand didn’t fit in, so I widened the curve to make more space.  Three centimetres was taken out of the length of the leg.

collage green teddy
Details

green teddy 6

I put the pants on for photos, and didn’t take them off!  I decided they were so comfy that I’d wear them for the rest of the day.  They really are good to wear, even the hubby likes them!  So, as I have yet to start the next Zadie Jumpsuit – in the black linen from the stash, I think I just might use it for another quick pair of these!  That way I have two pairs of pants to add to my suitcase for my holiday!  And I’d better get something else while I’m away for the jumpsuit…

Sewing Japanese in January – Part 2

As far as the resolution “take it slower this year” goes, I’m not doing that well…  I’ve made three garments and two toiles, mended/fixed/altered a bag full and I’ve got a LIST for the month that really should be quartered.  Ah well, if I can’t have fun in January, when can I have it??

So, the next garment in the sewing from Japanese sewing books saga is another pair of Kana’s Standard trousers from the first book.  I had intended to use the wide leg pattern from the second book, I graded up two sizes, toiled and fitted (it worked perfectly!) but when it came to laying the pattern on the fabric, I didn’t have enough.

pinstripe 2.jpg
Kana’s Standard trousers B-a

The fabric I wanted to use has been lurking in the stash for a long time.  I’d bought it from Fred Winter in Stratford on Avon years ago in the remnant bin.  It was 1.8m, pinstripe navy English wool, but with a problem.  It was labelled as a second, and I found the flaw straight away, running the full width of the fabric about 15cm in from the one cut end.  I figured I could deal with that, depending on what I was making and bought it anyway.  Then followed various attempts at fitting various patterns onto the fabric, which, it turned out, had more flaws than the one I’d seen in the shop.  There was another flaw running the full width about 30cm from the first one, as well as two holes about 10cm in from the selvedge on the opposite end of the fabric.  So nothing fitted, even though I tried.  I thought I could get this pattern to fit, heaven knows why, it’s a wide leg pattern, needs length!!

pinstripe 3.jpg

But I was determined, this time the fabric was getting used!  So I pulled out the pattern for  trousers B-a from the first book and did a little tetris around the flaws.  I had to shorten them by 2cm to their original length to fit the legs into the area between the end and the first flaw, and cut really close to the fold, shifting the pants pieces as far from the selvedge as possible to avoid the holes, but I managed it!  The pockets fitted into the 30cm between the two flaws, as well as one of the waistband pieces, and the other waistband piece fitted between the first flaw and the end of the fabric.  DONE!

pinstripe 4.jpg

I overlocked all the pieces before starting to sew, and then it was easy.  The pattern instructions are easy to follow from the diagrams, I’d already added the required 1cm seam allowances & 4cm hems when I traced the pattern.  So on Sunday, while hubby was working checking drawings, I was happily making a new pair of trousers.  Now, if you remember, the corduroy pair I made last seemed a little too roomy.  So to combat that, I decided to increase the seam allowance to 1.5cm on the inside leg seam and from the base of the pocket to the hem on the outside seam.  This wool is not as stiff as the cord, but I like the more streamlined look.  Makes me wonder why I graded up two sizes! 🙂

pinstripe 5.jpg

But that takes you into the realms of fitting, and what you personally like.  The pants are supposed to be baggy, and not necessarily sewn in a stiff fabric like corduroy.  The thing is, I don’t want them too baggy on me, so I slim them down.  I have the same issue with the tops in these books.  If I actually graded up to the right size and proportions, I’d feel like I was wearing a massive tent, I just don’t like that amount of baggy.  Even though it looks great on other people, and in the books.  I can do baggy, just not tent.  That’s why I never use the Burda Plus patterns.  They’re just too big, too long and too “cover everything over”.

pinstripe 6.jpg

Anyway, I digress.  This is my third version of this pants pattern, I might venture in to the shorter versions and maybe the jumpsuit version in the summer.  It might be nice for wearing on the allotment with a Basic Instinct Tee underneath.  Even the “dungaree” version might have legs 😉  So – so far, the purchase of the book has been vindicated by the use.  Especially if the toile for the gathered sleeve blouse works!!

Pumped up Kicks

 

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!

 

pumped up 1
Burda trousers 120 07/2018

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!

 

pumped up 3

 

pumped up 5

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.

pumped up 4

I’m hoping I’ll be able to get more photos of the other trousers I’ve been making and blog them soon!

 

 

 

 

 

Jeans or Trousers

 

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.

red jeans 5
Burda trousers 117 July 2018

red jeans 6

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.

red jeans 3

 

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!

red jeans 2
A proper, workable back pocket!

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.

red jeans 4

I just can’t decide what these are, jeans – or trousers?

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!

117 11 2018
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.

DSC_0106
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.

collage pocket bags

collage welt pocket rust
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.
collage welt pocket rust 1
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.
collage welt pocket rust 2
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!

DSC_0123
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!

DSC_0126
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.

DSC_0127
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 – with a bonus tutorial!

Not your usual WIP today, because today is about tracing and toiling and fitting.  I had a list of new patterns to trace for the girls, one pair of trousers, a blouse, sweatshirt, mini skirt, coat and sleeveless top.  I’ve got them all traced from their Burda magazines and decided to start with toiling the trousers and the coat first.  The coat is on both girls’ lists, and I’ve been wanting to make it since I saw it in the February Burda last year!

psx_20180925_2246075638386345477804891.jpg
A whole lot of tracing!

The trousers are 101 from December 2017.  Daughter No2 fell for the shape and the ruffle on the hem.  The fabric chosen to make them up is from the stash, some dark stretch denim left over from a pair of Birkin Flares that I made for myself.  I traced the 36 & 38 and toiled the 36, graded to the 38 over the hip.  When the toile was tried on though, it wasn’t necessary, so I pinned it out and adjusted the pattern accordingly.

collage pants fit

What we did need to do though was add pockets!!  You need pockets, just like ladies love them in their dresses, we love them in trousers!  So I drew an outline of where it would need to be directly on the toile while daughter no2 was still in them.  She decided the angle, width and depth of the pocket and I drew around her hand.

collage pants fit 2
side and rear views

The other adjustment I needed to make was to take a horizontal dart out of the trousers below the bum.

DSC_0082
Narrow dart in the back leg to remove some wrinkling and sagging

The pockets are welt pockets on a slight angle.  The welt is 1cm finished depth, the pocket opening is 12.5cm.  The pocket lining will be cut from a thinner, cotton fabric while the bag will be from the denim, so you only see denim when the pocket is opened.  I rather like this sort of pocket in trousers, it’s nice and neat.

So if you’re worried about welt pockets, here’s how I made these, after the trouser toile was already fully constructed, which is not really ideal!

collage welt pocket

  1. Attach welt, 5mm seam allowance.
  2. Pin pocket bag right side down to attachment line.
  3. Sew exactly on the line, start and stop exactly in the corners.

collage welt pocket 2

  1. Cut through the pants halfway between each sewing line, cutting triangles at the ends and ensuring to snip to, but not through, the stitching.
  2. Turn pocket bag to the inside and press well, turn welt up and press seam allowance well.
  3. Ensure the triangles are pushed to the inside as well.

collage welt pocket 3

  1. Pin the pocket lining to the welt seam allowance.
  2. Stitch from the trouser side so you can see your original stitch line and stitch on that line or only just off it.
  3. Press well and close the pocket, either with pins or basting stitch.

collage welt pocket 4

  1. Pin the pocket lining to the bag.
  2. Stitch along stitch line.
  3. Moving the trouser piece out of the way to reveal the triangles, welt and pocket pieces below, stitch across the triangle and secure well.

collage welt pocket 5

  1. Sitch the pocket pieces together around the edge, ensure you secure the lower triangle and welt in the seam.
  2. Pin the top and sides of the pocket to the top and sideseams of the trouser pieces.
  3. Remove the pins and admire your new pocket!

I know a lot of people are scared of welt pockets, mostly because you have to cut through your fabric, and what if you’ve made a mistake!?  The thing with these pockets is to be precise and careful.  Make sure you mark very carefully the placement and or attachment lines onto the fabrics, using whichever method you prefer.  The critical thing that I learnt was to be exact on the start and stop points, you have to mark those very clearly.  It also helps to baste everything instead of relying on pins, because the fabric will still move.  But they’re do-able!  Practise on scrap fabrics until you’re more confident with your methods, but don’t avoid them, they look great!

Now I’m off to toile more patterns.  I might even squeeze in another project for myself before the end of the month.  I fancy a new shirt.

I Can’t Help Myself

July’s Burda magazine was pretty good, I thought.  There were a fair few patterns I marked as interesting to make, either for me or the girls.  One that stood out immediately for me to make for myself, was the cropped, slightly flared trousers, 120.  The only thing I didn’t want from the pattern was the pleated detail on the hip yoke pockets.  It had similar details to the cropped trousers I’ve made heaps of so far, the rusty linen was the last pair.

burda flared trousers
Burda flared trousers 120 July 2018

I had some turquoise washed linen I’d got from one of the stands at the NEC in March that I decided was perfect.  I had the right amount of fabric, which was a good start!  I did make a toile, as I always do with trousers, I need to know just how much length to take out of the leg, and whether or not to grade out from the hip up to the waist so I can close the zip.

turquoise 1
Burda trousers 120 July 2018

 

In the end I removed 4 cm from the length of the main pieces in order to get the knee line to line up with my knee, I left the lower trouser piece intact.  I also graded out to what would have been a 46 at the waist, because I go straight up from the hip.  The waistband pieces are straight, which is perhaps not ideal.  I recut them so there’s a centre back seam, which helps with getting a better fit.  Although, I have to say, looking at these photos, that I could probably do with making them a little shorter, about 2cm should do the trick.  And I need to take them in a bit, they do look rather big in the thigh area, I’m sure I could loose a bit of fabric there easily.

collage turquoise
Please excuse the creases, I’d been sitting too long already!

The linen pair are great!!  I made them in the first half of July, just after we got back from our Cornish break.  The colour is almost a neutral, but has enough colour to stand above.  The linen is a bit thicker than I’d really like for the sort of summer we’ve had this year.  On the day I delivered the shirtdresses to daughter no2, I wore these trousers – that’s when I finally got those photos done.  It was easily the hottest day of the year, it got up to 32C in Birmingham, and I thought I would melt.  I’d also sat on a train for 45 minutes, then walked for another 10 in the heat.  I was already uncomfortable way before taking photos!  No matter, apart from that, they’ve been lovely.  I had to make them a little tighter where I’d let the pattern out!  The linen, of course, stretches with wear and they ended up hanging a little low, so I took 7.5mm out of the centre back and 1.5cm out of the side seams, necessitating the removal and re-insertion of the invisible zip.

ink 4

Lovely enough to make another pair!  Your remember I had some inky blue linen/cupro from Fabworks a couple of months ago (probably longer than I’m thinking).  I’d expected a soft, floppy fabric, and got something with lustre and sheen (like a silk) and a lot more body.  So it went on the backest of back burners while I decided what to do with them made something else.  But then this pattern said, “give it a try”.  The body of the fabric would hold the shape, and it’s thinner than the turquoise linen.  I had two metres, so why not!  Just a note, this particular colour has sold out, but they have other shades on a special offer…  There’s also a post with information on how to care for this particular fibre partnership.

collage ink

I stuck with the original enlargement, this stuff has NO STRETCH!  It was the right call.  They fit really nicely into the waist and do not fall down during the day, just right.  Again, I left off the pleated detail, you’re really never going to see it anyway, and it’ll just make bulk under my tops.  More bulk….

ink 2

So I’m really happy with this pattern, I think it could easily be made in wool for wear with boots and tights in the autumn/winter, in fact, I rather thought this last pair would be slightly transitional.  While we’ve certainly had the most amazing summer weather, just how long will it last now it’s August already??

ink 3

I have another pattern to make quickly from the July Burda, top 117 looks interesting, and I think I’ll make it with one of the pieces of fabric I got from Seasalt.  But I just need to finish a couple of tops on order from daughter no 2 first…