Still with me after that break? Sewing has been a little on the slow side, and most of it has been for the girls, which means that photos are few and far between! I haven’t anything earth shattering to show you, and still haven’t sorted that post for the Terra Pants. Why? Well – I’m not convinced that they were right for me. Looking back at the photos and knowing how I feel when wearing them, the shape just isn’t me. So instead I thought I’d play things safe, and reverted to a favourite pattern of mine, the Teddy Designer Pants from Style Arc.
This is version number 6! I had a length of viscose linen in the stash that I’d bought from Rainbow Fabrics Kilburn last summer, is was a beigey-ivory colour that I knew wasn’t going to stay that way! It was instantly dyed Pewter Grey, but then found itself back in the stash. I had bought another piece of the viscose linen in rust and made a Zadie Jumpsuit with it, only to discover that it was too heavy and had too much drape to be a jumpsuit. That garment is still waiting for me to take the top of and turn the whole thing into something more suitable. So I was concerned that the fabric was too drapey and needed to be sure I’d got the right pattern next time.
In the end I decided on the Teddy Pants because the drape would be fine and I could interface the waistband sufficiently to control any movement there. It was a good choice! I made the 12 with only a leg length adjustment that I’d made way back when I made the first pair. I have also already adjusted the inseam pockets to be caught into the waistband – otherwise they flap around and drive me nuts. I have fancy pockets in these, using up scraps of Liberty to reduce bulk and make it easier to iron!
There isn’t much to say about these, they’re so comfy to wear and I love the relaxed fit and big pleat. They will not be my last pair. Not something I can say about those poor Terra Pants…
It’s no secret that I have a large vintage pattern collection. I’ve been trying for ages now to shrink it, largely unsuccessfully! I had a good clearout last month and got ruthless – I’m only keeping the patterns I love (no matter what size they are) and those that will fit the girls. Everything else must go! In that clearout, I re-found a Burda pattern for wide legged pleated trousers. They sit on the waist, have a decent sized box pleat in the front and a fly zip. They look good!
I decided I’d have to make them and promptly bought 2m of birds-eye navy wool flannel from Fabworks for the job. I toiled the 44 and made some adjustments to the pattern. The legs were very wide! So I graded down to the 40, from the 44 at the hip down. As they were to sit on my non-existant waist, I had to grade up to the 46 for the waistband, plus a little bit. They also needed to be shortened. A lot!! But the rest was great, the crotch depth and curve worked with the style of the pants, and I love the way the pleat covers the top part of the pocket.
And while we’re talking pockets – these babies are huge!!! I can fit my entire handbag of stuff in there! When did pockets become so unuseable, if they could make them so usefully sized back in the 90s? I decided that as I was using such a lovely wool that I’l line the trousers – fully! Fabworks were offering 3m of matching lining free when you bought a certain amount of wool from them at the time of shopping, so I used what they sent. It’s a really good quality viscose twill, in lucious navy blue.
I cut the lining by pinning the hip yoke pocket piece to the trouser front and treating them as one piece. The lining was made up the same as the trouser, and attached to the waistband at the top. I handstitched it to the fly area. The lining hangs free down to the hem, I like to have it free for ironing after washing, makes it easier.
I bloody love these pants!!! Wool flannel is just so fabulous to wear, it’s warm and cosy and has such a wonderful drape! Wearing these pants feels like swooshing around in a long skirt, but much more practical. I was initially worried that lining the wool would make the trouser legs feel wider, because of the extra layer of fabric. But I don’t feel funny in these at all. I’ve bought another length of wool flannel, this time from Rosenberg & Son when they came to Knowle at the beginning of October – there might be another pair of these in the wardrobe soon, in grey herringbone! Or I might try another vintage pattern, so many to choose from!
ps, If you’re after anything (vintage pattern-wise), drop me an email and I’ll see if I have something suitable. At the moment I’m updating my Etsy shop, it will be open again on the 1st November!
When you live in trousers, they’re not simply a wardrobe basic, they’re an essential item! I decided to add some pleated trousers to this year’s Autumn/Winter wardrobe, and have finally made something from one of the Burda magazines from this year. Burda have, unfortunately, not exactly been exciting this year. Only a couple of patterns have caught my attention, and until August, none caught it enough for me to actually bother to trace. But this pair is different, it’s 119 from August 2021. What caught my eye was the small pleats on the front, the neat waistband and tapered leg.
I traced the 44 and 42 and made an adjustment to the height of the waistband. While I liked the neatness of it, I also knew I’d prefer a slightly deeper waistband. I toiled the 44, but started grading towards the 42 from the hip down. The toile was successful, I only had a couple of adjustments to make.
Not making my usual shorten the length adjustment – this style should be slightly cropped, but it’s heading to winter and I don’t want cold ankles!
Altered the CF line – straightened it a bit so it was 5mm further out at the top, giving me an extra 1cm overall.
Took in the inseam by 1cm front and back from crotch to knee.
Made the waistband 1cm deeper.
The adjustments have worked well, I like the fit on these, so will be making another pair soon. I will, however, make them a little longer. The length looks good, and while it’s not freezing, they’re fine, but I want a longer pair! So the next pair will be 3cm longer. Looking at the photos, I think I need to take in a bit more on the inseam, it looks a bit baggy there, but I also need to remember that these are not supposed to be skintight!
In toiling, I realised there’d be a lot of bulk at the waistband from the pockets, so I cut a pocket facing for the back pocket piece and rifled through the stash of scraps for a lightweight bit of pretty cotton. I found I had just enough to cut the rather-large-for-Burda pockets from the pretty stuff, and only tiny bits leftover to head into the stuffing bag. These inseam pockets are a really good size, phone in one and mask and card wallet in the other, with space to spare for hands!
The trouser fabric is a cotton twill in Mocha bought from the Rag Shop in August, I don’t think they have any of that colour left now. It’s Kobe cotton twill, and it’s also one of those fabrics you need to be sure to wash inside out. I washed the trousers after the first wearing without turning them inside out and the creases formed while washing have lost a bit of colour. This means that all folded edges will lose colour too. I wouldn’t mind if it was a cheap, £7/m fabric, but it wasn’t. I haven’t bought a Robert Kaufman fabric before, and it might be joining Lady McElroy fabrics in the “avoid” pile due to colour fade. It’s beautfully soft though, and lovely to wear. Just watch the colour fading.
I wore these for the first time on a long weekend trip to York, they were very comfy to wear traipsing round the city all day. They’ve since been worn a few times and I really do like the pattern. I know Burda don’t have the best sizing these days, they used to go from a 34 to a 46 in the “everybody” section of the magazine, but these are just 36-44. I feel they are trying to save money by reducing the sizes available, the number of patterns in the magazine and the quality of the magazine paper itself. It’s a shame, as the old magazines were fabulous! Perhaps a revisit of those older magazines is in order.
In the mean time, I’ve traced a jacket pattern from the August issue to toile, I have a retro (90s) pair of Burda trousers to show you and I have Lander pants to make for both girls – not to mention a VikiSews blouse for daughter no1 and a Bellatrix blazer for each of them. Thank godness the garden and allotment have stopped shouting for my attention!
Here we are, almost two weeks into September and I still haven’t shown off the last pair of linen trousers made – last month! I have to admit to being in a bit of a sewing funk, but I hope I’ve turned that corner this week! More on that later, I thought I’d pop in and let you all know that I’m still here, and back to sewing. I suppose I also need to admit that I haven’t made those shorts for the other half. August was not shorts weather – so no need!! I will carry on with the sewing for him though, at some point!!
Right, this is another pair of the trousers from Burda July 2009, number 102. I made a pair in reddish linen back in April that have been on constant rotation this year. I love the leg width and length, they’re just so darned comfy to wear! Anyway, in June I bought 2m of a beautiful silvery blue stretch linen from Rags and Rolls on the Seven Sisters Road in Holloway and knew I’d be making another pair.
This time I’ve not used a contrasting fabric for pocket linings or waistbands. Having a stretch content, I sized down from the hip up because otherwise they’d be sliding down by lunchtime! I acutally could do with nipping them in a little more, or making the belt loops and finding myself a belt to wear with them! Again, so nice to wear!
I guess there’s not much more to say about them really, but try to track down the pattern if you want a comfy pair of trousers for the summer (and winter tbh, I’ve made them in wool and lined them before).
In other news – I made a good start to my Autumn sewing this week!! Since Friday last week I’ve cut out and sewn a pair of jeans, a shirt, two sweatshirts and a top. I suddenly got all inspired and have traced a whole load of stuff too, so tomorrow I’m going to try to get some photos of the stuff made so far and get some toiles done. I’m feeling all seasonal!
Remember weeks ago I said I wanted to add green to my palette? Actually, it might even be a month ago! Back in May I bought a stripe olive and ecru tee, which prompted me to buy a few pieces of olive/khaki fabric to create a mini capsule wardrobe that would also fit in with the greys, black and blues of the existing wardrobe. I got a 2m piece of cotton linen from Truro Fabrics and decided to make a pair of Burda trousers with it.
The pattern is style 107 from Burda March 2021. I started with the size 44, but traced the 42 as well, just in case! Knowing I wanted pockets and to move the zip position, I started with the pockets. I drew up a pattern for inseam pockets that would be supported by the facing seam, I don’t like the way the Teddy Pants have flappy pockets, the one thing I have changed on the pattern. I made them deep and wide enough to fit my phone and other items and not have them fall out when I sit down.
Then I needed to play with the front. I decided to have a front fly zip with fly bearer the way some men’s trousers work. It’s the best way to have a fly zip when there’s no waistband and button. The front detail needed to be operational, rather than purely decorative, so it has working buttonholes for the buttons. It means there are a lot of buttons to faff with when you need to go to the loo, but it works.
To minimise bulk I used some cotton fabric from the scrap box for the facings, reverse side of the front flap detail and one layer of the pocket bags. The toile showed the 44 at the waist was the right size, but I needed to shave off a little at the hip, so I switched to the 42 and followed that down to the hem. I shortened the crotch depth by 2cm and took 3cm off the overall length of the leg as well. Looking back, I could probably have left this last adjustment, or only taken 1-2cm off.
I made the toile “wearable” using a pintucked cotton duvet cover that I’d dyed black. I thought it would give the right amount of body. I actually prefer it to the linen version! And I think it’s because it has more body than the linen. So technically I have two new pairs of trousers, and I haven’t wasted the toile fabric, which is nice.
As you can see, I omitted the buttoned outside leg detail, that wasn’t the look I was going for, so this isn’t a really good review of the pattern! I’ve changed too many things! But I do like the width of the legs, and I don’t think it makes me look too short, which is always an issue with wide leg, cropped trousers.
I’ve worn both pairs quite a lot since making, and I have to say just one thing. As I don’t tuck my tops in, that cross-over detail in the front doesn’t get seen… So if you tuck, you’ll be good! One other thing – with the addition of the side seam pockets, I’ve removed the taughness/stability given to the cross-over pieces and they can get a bit wavey. So maybe the answer is to just have back pockets, but not patch pockets. A welt would work better, neater.
After making a pair about 2-3 years ago, I’ve finally made another pair of the Lander Pants, pattern by True Bias. It’s not been an intentional delay – I just needed the right fabric! My 3m purchase of the cotton/linen twill from Fabworks back in March was the perfect buy, and I knew I had a candidate for another pair of these trousers.
I’d made the size 12 the last time – but in a stretch denim – so needed to take them in to get the right fit. This time I went with the 12 again, but was prepared to have to possibly tweak in the plus side this time! I cut the pocket linings from a piece of leftover print cotton in the stash, and kept all the topstitching simple and in the same colour as the fabric.
The outer leg seam is the one with the 2.5cm seam allowance, enabling a good chance at getting the fit tweaked over the hip and into the waist. I started with half of that, 1.25cm all the way down and tried the pants on. To my surprise, I realised I could take in the entire seam allowance again, from the top! So I popped it under the needle and stitched the 2.5cm allowance. It still fitted just fine! There was the right amount of snugness over the hip and tummy, the front crotch area had no lines and the back was ok too! Miracles!! So I popped the waistband on and voila!
I honestly expected to need more room than that, but they are comfortably snug, and only slightly loosen during the day with sitting and wandering about the house! (Still not really going anywhere) For the length, I needed to loose 9cm… So I turned up a 4.5cm hem twice – sorted! It gives a nice heavy weight to the hem, keeping the width of the trousers in place.
I’m loving these, definitely needed another pair, and the blue is perfect. These pants are going to be a great addition to the spring/autumn as well as winter wardrobes. Might even keep them out during the summer, for those definitely inclement rainy British “summer” days. And, given how delayed spring has been here in the UK this year, these trousers have been a properly good addition the my wardrobe!
I bought a new to me magazine last month, but not new to the sewing world! I thought I’d try out the Ottobre magazines, as some people think they’re a better option to Burda. Unfortunately there aren’t as many each year as the Burda, only one for Spring/Summer and one for Autumn Winter. They’re around £11 each and this one contains 18 patterns. The one I got is Spring/Summer 2020.
First impressions. The styles aren’t as “trendy” as the Burda, but there is a good variety of items. Three patterns stood out to me, a pair of trousers, a jersey top and a camisole top. So for £11 it’s not bad value, especially when you consider the Burdas are now £7.50 an issue and I often find nothing I want to make. My measurements put me in the same size as the Burda sizing, but these patterns all go from a 34 to a 52, so much more inclusive than Burda.
I traced the pattern for the trousers #8, the Utility Pants, in the size 44. Looking at the pattern, the crotch depth is much deeper than I’d expect. Chris made a pair last year and commented that they didn’t fit as expected, definitely a crotch fit issue. I noticed the zip opening seemed very low. Once toiled, I also needed to check on just where the pattern was supposed to sit! On Chris the waistband sits on the hip, as does the one on the model. On me, much higher up.
Toile issues… Too wide on the waist, take in total 4cm. Pants too wide to around mid-thigh, then getting too snug around the knee area and definitely too snug around the calf. The crotch was also defintely hinkey. It wasn’t close enough to the body, it was too long by about 4cm and had too much fabric, causing bunching in an akward area! So here’s what I did.
Shortened the crotch depth by 1cm at the crotch depth line.
Took in the inseam in the front by 1cm from the crotch to mid-thigh, then out again by 1cm at the knee down to the hem.
Lifted the crotch curve just over 1cm and altered the shape of the curve. In the front, the centre front seam was moved in half a centimetre to remove excess fabric and tapered to the original CF spot at the top.
Shortened the zip opening by 5cm.
Crotch curve in the back – also lifted 1cm, curve adjusted by moving in 1cm and tapering to the original line 10cm below the waistline.
Back waistline dropped 1cm in centre back, tapering to the original side seam.
Back inseam adjusted the same as the front.
Side seams, back and front: took in 0.75cm at top of waistband, tapering to 1cm at the bottom of the waistband. From the top of the trousers, 1cm taken in all the way to just below the crotch depth line where it goes back to the orignal line, then tapers out 1cm by the knee and then straight down to the hem.
Shortened legs by 2cm by double turning the original 2cm hem depth.
The crotch adjustments take out the excess fabric that was causing bunching and weird lines, front and back. The zip shortening makes it look so much better, no-one needs a zip opening that long, they usually stop at the hip line.
There’s only one thing I’d change when I make the next pair, use two, smaller buttons in the waistband. At almost 6cm in width, it would work better with two buttons than the one. I just might take half a centimetre out of the trouser leg width, all depending on the fabric used! So yes, despite all the adjusting, I will be making another pair.
Making wasn’t tricky. I cut the pocket linings from cotton remnants, as well as the inner waistband pieces and the underside of the belt tabs. The welt pocket at the back makes the welt, folded up, you don’t need to cut seperate welt pieces. This cuts out bulk! The tabs were going to be purely decorative, but at the last minute I made working buttonholes. All seams are overlocked, simple but effective.
Fabric notes; I bought 3m of a cotton/linen twill from Fabworks last month, loving the brilliant blue colour. I hadn’t expected it to be quite so sturdy and stretch-less when it arrived, so it prompted a re-think on the patterns I was going to use. Originally I thought I’d make a dress or jumpsuit, but there’s not enough movement for that. So, new plan was to make more trousers! There is no movement in this fabric at all, so perfect for Landers! That’s what I’ll be making with the rest of the 3m length. They still have some black and a mossy/khaki colour, which I’m tempted to get for a short Sienna Maker Jacket.
I don’t want to get too distracted with “maybe” projects though, I have the Olya Shirt from Paper Theory waiting to be toiled, waiting rather patiently since October!! So while I have a foot injury and cannot get to the allotment, I need to get on with the sewing, at least I can sit for that!
Here I am, still sewing trousers! This is the end of the 3m of black cotton twill I bought in London in October, all that’s left are small pieces that I’ll use for pouches or to patch together for a bag or something. This time, I’ve made the Kew Pants from Style Arc. I chose this pattern because I liked the slightly cocoon shape of the legs, and the interesting dart detail on the hem. According to the size table I should be a 14, but knowing that the Teddy Pants fit really well in a size 12, I went for the 12 again!
The toile revealed that the size was fine, I just needed to shorten the back crotch curve by 1-1.5cm. That’s all!! I didn’t even need to shorten the leg length, and that’s a miracle in itself! After making all the bits and pieces in the toile material, I knew I would be needing to make a lot less bulk in the pocket area, so cut the bags in a cotton and only did the facing and coin pockets pieces in the cotton twill.
This pattern sits with the base of the waistband on the natural waist, so I guess people will say they are high waisted. The fit is good, I like not having to hoik them up during the day! I have a pair of Burda trousers that also sit on the natural waist, but the waistband is one long straight piece, unlike the Kew Pants waistband which is curved. It’s still one piece, but that curve means it has a little more give – the Burda one is slightly snug as the day goes on. Also, the Burda pattern I made is the size 44, the biggest in the magazine’s non plus-size range. I am able to make the 42 in patterns that do not sit on my “waist”!
So, back to the Kew. There are two back trouser pieces, adding to the shape. This means you have extra opportunities for fitting. The pockets in the front look really big in the drawings, but are perfectly sized in real life! I French seamed the bottom pocket seam for neatness – and strength. I really like the pockets, they are great for stuffing a phone and mask and card wallet into, and still have space for hands!
I changed the fly zip by adding the fly facing to the front piece when cutting out, this eliminated bulk in the zip area. All the pieces were overlocked before I started sewing, I like this done first so there is less fraying going on while I’m trying to sew. I bound the curved section of the front leg at the hem before I sewed the dart, it’s made it a bit bulkier than I’d like, but I didn’t like the idea of just turning the narrow hem inside.
One thing that has shown up in this fabric is that I need to take in the inside leg seams a bit, and maybe adjust the crotch seam, there are some wrinkles that would indicate that there’s too much fabric there, front and back. Funny how it didn’t show up in the toile! Anyway, it’s not affecting me wearing them everytime they’re back in my wardrobe, so maybe I’ll just leave it….
I have made a start on the gorgeous viscose fabrics I got from Rainbow Fabrics, there’s another Asuka Hamada blouse with the ginormous sleeves on my sewing table!
After cutting that Grace Coat from my 3m of navy twill, I had a decent sized, if not a little awkwardly shaped, piece of fabric left over. Early in October I decided, on a whim, to use it up and make a quick pair of trousers using a Burda pattern I used two years ago now. It’s 117 from November 2018. The original pair are too big now, so I traced the 42, but kept the shorter length adjustment I’d made back then.
The waistband of the pattern has a piping band through the centre, but I didn’t have enough fabric to cut 4 waistband pieces, so I had to give that a miss this time, not that you get to see it anyway!! I cut the waistband facing and the pocket bags from left over shweshwe from my last Zadie Jumpsuit which also helped with bulk reduction. A bit of pattern tetris was required to get the must-have pieces onto the fabric, including taking 1cm off the hem depth to get the length in!
Making up is quick, I made the same adjustment to the back welt as last time, actually inserting a welt pocket instead of just pretending. I use that pocket for my phone all the time, especially as the hip yoke pockets on these trousers really aren’t suitable for holding a phone. The insides are all overlocked to prevent fraying. I made a few small adjustments to the crotch curve and inside leg seams, changing the angle of the front line, the front curve and dipping a little at the back too. I ended up taking in an extra cm on the front and back inseams from the crotch curve down about 15-20cm. Somehow I aways end up with too much fabric here.
Whilst I will still be looking at some drag lines, one must be realistic about trousers, you have to move in them! And sit in them. These will do just fine, and I’m glad I’ve used up the remains of the fabric, with the scrappiest of scraps relegated to the scrapbusting pouf. I wanted another pair of casual trousers in my wardrobe, I always end up with too many smart wool pairs in the winter!
It’s so hard to photograph dark trousers! We had a great day in London, and I’m glad I got the chance to get photos, because at home these dark pants would have been impossible to photograph!!
You’ve seen the three tops in the form of Tee-shirts that are required in the challenge, but I have another! I wanted to make a top from the February Burda, top 119. I bought a metre and a half of grey marl sweatshirting with French terry back from Fabworks and boy was it the right fabric!! Lets just say that I’m wearing that top whenever it’s clean and dry. I traced the 42 and didn’t do a FBA, which, in hindsight, I really should have done. There’s definitely upward pulling going on which a FBA would have prevented. Ah well, next time! I lengthened the body by 5cm and am definitely happy with that decision! It would have been way too short otherwise.
The fabric is perfect for the style, it holds the shape really well. The only thing I’d change for the next time would be to reduce the height of the collar. I’m wearing it folded over all the time – for me it’s just too high, so could do with 2-3cm shaved off on each side. But apart from that, this is a great top! I love with my 3/4 sleeve Uvitas, I like the colour and pattern popping out of the sleeve and just below the hem. Looks like I’m talking myself into making another…
Now for the pants… These are the one item I’m not that sold on, and mightwill have to find a replacement for. The pattern I chose is 107 from August Burda 2019 – which states it’s designed for fabrics with and without stretch, and which, in the magazine, they’ve made in ponte. So I bought 2m of viscose ponte in pistachio from Fabworks and set to work. Making a fly front, hip yoke pair of trousers in ponte was an interesting project. I like the colour, but I wonder if it shouldn’t have had a little more oompfh. Nevermind, as it is, I don’t think this pattern wasn’t necessarily designed for ponte fabric.
I cut the 40, as the previous pair I made in wool in the size 42 are too loose. But still I needed to take these in an extra 2cm on each side seam and 4cm in the back. The waistband was interfaced with stretch interfacing, and still halfway though the day I’m having to yank them back up into place. If, and this is a big if, I make this pattern again, I’ll remove a centimetre or two from the crotch depth, and make a 38 in a knit, possibly the 38/40 in a woven. I love the pleats at the hem, that detail is just fabulous, but the rest of the garment just isn’t working. It’s such a shame!! I think I’m going to have to open the waistband up and insert some elastic, or possibly even grossgrain ribbon. It just needs to stay up!!
So, three successful tees done, one sweatshirt top and one pair of dodgy trousers. I have toiled the “topper” part of the challenge and have identified at least another 3 pairs of trousers that would fit the bill for the bottoms. They’re all Burda patterns and will need to be traced, but at least I’m finally finding something in the latest magazines that I want to make!