Wardrobe Architect Plans Continue

Last Saturday was the Sew Brum event, a meet-up of a number of sewing bloggers in Birmingham.  I decided last minute – as you do – to have something new for the occasion.  And I mean last minute.  I had a new haircut on Tuesday, traced a pair of Burda trousers on Wednesday, had various interruptions & only managed to finish them on Friday morning.  I also started to patterncut a new blouse on Thursday morning.  Something had to give & unfortunately it was the top.

Trousers 143 from Burdastyle 2/2013
Trousers 143 from Burdastyle 2/2013

But first – the item I did manage to finish to wear to the meet-up.  Typically with no spare time, I picked a pattern I’d not used before & haven’t toiled.  I chose a pair of trousers from February 2013 Burdastyle magazine, number 143. The pattern has a slightly dropped, shaped waistband, front fly, hip yoke pockets and cuffs on a slight bootcut shape leg.

This is one the Curvy Collective could add to their list to try out.  It’s a plus size pattern & I traced the 44-48.  I don’t have much waist definition, going straight up from the hip, so I made sure I had enough sizes to grade up.  As it was, I used the 44 on the leg up to the hip line & graded up to the 46 from hip up to the waistband.  It’s a trifle snug because of the lack of stretch, but I’m satisfied with the result.  At least I know they won’t be falling down during the day!

I had to shorten the pattern by 4cm.  The finished length was to be 108cm, which I thought would be ok on me, but when I pinned the cuffs in place they dragged on the floor- not a good look for winter trousers!  I had to chop off the hem turn of the cuffs & reposition them, but now I’ve shortened the paper pattern by the requisite amount so next time will be all good.  I really like the shape of the trousers on me, considering I normally go for wide swooshy ones!  But that style doesn’t work in the winter, I needed a more fitted, shorter style.  I will use this pattern again, but I have my eye on two others to try too.

DSC09948-1The fabric is from Croft Mill, a two tone tiny herringbone cotton chino-type fabric with no stretch.  It has great body and is well suited to the style of trouser I chose – but this is one of those fabrics that creases badly in the washing machine, and then leaves the evidence of that creasing in the loss of colour.  It’s a real shame because now the trousers look like they constantly need an iron.  I’ll leave it for a little while, but I feel I’m going to need to get the dye out, which will lose me those teeny tiny herringbones.

Cuffs & hip yoke pockets lined with grey satin
Cuffs & hip yoke pockets lined with grey satin

I bound the inner waistband edge with the left overs of the lilac bias binding from Daughter No2’s vintage jacket & used a grey satin for the pocket bags.  As I was in a rush I simply zig-zagged the seam allowances.  Not the most perfect finish, but it does the job.

DSC09958-1The top I completed this week, yesterday in fact.  It’s sort of my contribution towards the Sewcialists’ Scraptember challenge, even though it was only dreamt up & made now in early October. I had some left over black & white spot silk de chine form a blouse I’d made a few years ago and loved to bits.  Literally.  I wore it until it fell apart.  The fabric has such a fabulously luxurious feel and the way it flows and drapes while you wear it is just beautiful.  Anyway, I’d kept the bits, because they were big enough for something, just not an entire new something.  Then by chance I found more of the same stuff in Fred Winters in Stratford on Avon!  Perfect!  I bought a metre and immediately hatched a plan.

Self-drafted silk crepe de chine faux placket blouse
Self-drafted silk crepe de chine faux placket blouse

I wanted something similar to the original top, but also wanted to do a twist on a traditional placket.  My go-to length for sleeves is three-quarters and I do love the sleeve I developed for my Jungle January blouse.  I cut the sleeves, cuffs & neckbands from the silk I had left over and cut the front, back & placket from the new piece.

Close-up of the neck-band & faux placket
Close-up of the neck-band & faux placket

The collar is more of a neckband, and the placket more like a facing sewn on the wrong side & turned to the right side & topstitched in place.  The bust dart was moved to the underarm position & I took a little of the waist darts out in the side seam so it wasn’t too tent-like.  Construction was pretty straightforward, French seams throughout, double turned dipped at the back hem.  I used Gill Arnold’s fine sheer fusible interfacing on the outer neckband, placket & cuffs.  The interfacing was definitely needed on the placket to keep it under control for the turning under of the seam allowances!

DSC09968-1I’m in love with the result!  Ok, so maybe a thin light silk top is not really a practical make for October, but I could wear a vest top underneath for added warmth.  The biggest advantage is that it’s done! Another top that fits my requirements and uses the fabric in the boxes.  Even if it does mean I had to buy a little to complete the project.  And yes, its more spots 🙂  What can I say, I feel overwhelmed by most patterns, but checks, stripes & spots I can live with.  So far this year I’ve made 4 blouses with definite spots/circles & two with variations on the theme.  Oh, and one tee, not blogged.  There is still another silk satin in the stash box with my name on it – spotted, of course! We’ll have to see what I decide to make next but I have plans to make another two pairs of trousers.

I bought a stone coloured cotton twill & a gold-sand colour stretch cotton chino from Croft Mill fabrics earlier in the year for winter trousers & I’m thinking of using 118 from Burdastyle 08/2013 for the gold & 134 from Burdastyle 04/2012 for the stone.  Just to get them traced & toiled first…

These are all resulting from my work on the Wardrobe Architect project.  Have any of you been using yours much to further your wardrobes this year?

Geometric Trousers

Geometric print trousers
Geometric print trousers

Here’s another of those fabulous, “make me more than once” patterns.  I posted a whole pile of my own tried & tested Burda patterns last month, this is definitely another, but for the girls this time.  I have used this pattern, which comes as a petite in the magazine, five times now, all successfully.

DSC07930-1The pattern is Style 123 from Burdastyle magazine, June 2011.  Daughter No1 is the lucky recipient of this particular pair, and I used the pattern in the petite format, making them an extra 2cm shorter.  I think the German ladies these patterns are designed for must have really long legs.  When I made this pattern for Daughter No2, who is pretty tall, all I needed to do was to adjust the pattern for “normal” height.  I had thought I’d need to lengthen it again for a “tall” person, but the length was just right.  However, for Daughter No1, whose legs are a fair bit shorter, I actually needed to shorten the pattern some more!  I took those extra 2cm out of between the kneeline and the hem.

DSC07932-1Looking at the photos now, I think I’ll be taking them in a little more from just below the crotch line to the hem, they are a little too wide on her legs.  I made the 17, which would equate to the 34 in the ordinary sizes.  The fabric is pretty cool.  I’d seen it on the Stitch Fabrics website, labelled as Prada twill and wanted it!  It is a cotton/lycra blend, but hasn’t got so much lycra that it gets all stretchy out of shape.  Originally it was going to be a jacket for me, but the beige is too – well, beige!  🙂

DSC07934-1I offered it to Daughter No1 for trousers & she was definitely in agreement.  It was she who suggested using this pattern as she loves the last pair I made in a black & white mini-houndstooth.  I used a black grossgrain ribbon in the centre of the waistband.  I love the way it looks like a belt, but it also serves a practical purpose.  As the fabric has stretch, this stops the waistband getting sloppy through the day.

DSC07927-1  I used a hook & bar closing instead of a button, it makes for a smoother finish.  The insides were all overlocked before I started sewing, and boy did that make me sneeze!  There was so much fluff!  I also used a stretch needle.  I have found that with fabrics with a certain amount of lycra or elastene, that a normal needle leaves holes.  I used a stretch 75/11 for these trousers.  Overall I am happy with this make, I will go back and taper the legs a bit more but I love the print, it’s perfect for trousers!

I also think this makes a good entry for the Monthly Stitch Sewing Double…  Here are the other versions:

For the Love of Hibiscus, made for Daughter No2;

I Love it! Vintage style Trousers, Daughter No1’s first pair;

Vintage Style Spotty Trousers, made for Daughter No2;

Vintage Style Cropped Trousers, the first pair I made.

Now I have to cut out some pretty silk, for my next “Sewing Double” instalment! 🙂