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! :)

 

 

 

 

How I fixed Bellatrix’s Sleeve

When I made my first Bellatrix back in January, all went fabulously well until I got to the part where you insert the sleeves into the armhole.  I don’t usually have an issue with this part, so wasn’t expecting anything major to happen, especially as the rest of the construction had passed without incident.  But – the sleeve head did not fit the armhole!

Usually you need to ease the head into the armhole, for practical purposes, you need fullness in that space for ease of arm movement.  The back fitted in just flat – no ease at all, but the front!  The front…  the sleeve head from the front notches to the top point/shoulder point was far too small.  I ended up having to stretch the sleeve to fit the armhole – not exactly the normal way to do this!

Not in the mood for massive adjustments, I simply cut  my next version (the Paris print cotton canvas) a little wider on the sleeve front.  It worked fairly well, mostly because the cotton canvas has some give.  I kept the same adjustment for the third Bellatrix, but as this was made using a wool/poly blend with no movement at all, it didn’t work.

I knew I’d have to do a better fix, so this is what I did.

bellatrix sleeve collage 1

Measuring (l-r) depth of sleevehead, length of sleevehead seam, length of armscye (armhole)

First I measured the armscye of the jacket, front & back.  In the (adjusted for wider shoulders)  XXS this measurement is 45.6cm.  I compared this with the measurement of the sleevehead – 43.7cm.  Now there is the problem.  You cannot fit a sleeve into an armhole properly if the sleeve is 2cm smaller than the armscye!  It should be at least 2cm BIGGER!  Next I checked the sleevehead depth.  This is measured perpendicular from the underarm line to the top point of the sleeve, and should be one third of the armscye measurement.  Bellatrix is lacking 1cm in this department.

Now different pattern cutting books will give you differing amounts of ease they require for the drafting of the sleevehead, but in the end it all depends on the current fashion, and of course, the style of the garment.  This one obviously does not require masses of ease, we want a smooth fit.  Also, there are no shoulderpads, so we really don’t want to add too much or we’ll get floppy shoulders.

Raise the sleevehead by 1cm, redraw stitch line & add seam allowance

Raise the sleevehead by 1cm, redraw stitch line & add seam allowance

I started by raising the sleevehead the 1cm missing from the depth.  I drew a new line from the front notches to the new top point & back down the the back notches (green line in the photograph below).  This new line gave me a measurement of 45cm, still not enough.  But I didn’t want to make it too much bigger.  I tested this new sleeve & found the back was just fine, the little more added made for a more comfortable ease, but the front still needed work.

Alterations, colour coded

Alterations, colour coded

So I made a little more room (completely un-scientifically) in the front from notches to top point & it worked!  This new line is the red one in the photograph above.  Weirdly, the measurement of sleevehead & armscye are the same, but all fits properly.  I think its all down to the method used when drafting the original pattern.

This method may not work for you, please try it out on a toile before leaping feet first into some delicious fabric!  :)

I thought I’d try draft a one-piece sleeve using Winnie Aldrich’s method & the jacket front & back pieces.  It came out way wider (almost 6cm) than Bellatrix’s, making it flatter overall, wider in the arm & much less flattering.  So I will stick with the now more pointy sleeve & see how I get on.

The completed, altered sleeve pattern

The completed, altered sleeve pattern

For now, this alteration seems to work for me.  I used it in the linen jacket & had a good, smooth insertion with no dragging, so what the heck.  It may not look like I expect it to, and it certainly doesn’t have the measurement I expected, but it goes in without fuss.  Until I try this with a fabric without give….

If you want to give this method a try, let me know whether or not it’s worked for you.

 

Sewing double – twice!

Bellatrix the Fourth

Bellatrix the Fourth

April for the Monthly Stitch sewists is “Sewing Double” month.  We all have those tried & tested patterns that we have no problem running up quickly, loving the fit, style, etc.  My favourite pattern this year just has to be Papercut Pattern’s Bellatrix Blazer.

This is the fourth incarnation – and most certainly will not be the last!  The fabric is a gorgeous pistachio-y green medium weight linen that was part of my haul at the Sewing for Pleasure 2 weeks ago at the NEC.  It was going to make a vintage bolero to go with an early 50s sundress I’m making but….  I miscalculated the conversion from yards to metres.  I bought 1m but should have got just 20cm more and it would have worked.  Never mind, as you can see, Daughter No2 is pretty pleased I cannot do Imperial to save my life.  As usual, she’s come out the winner!

DSC07857-1Only one problem, 1m is barely enough for Bellatrix.  I had to cut the sleeves on the cross-grain to fit them in & had to forgo the matching facing pieces on the peplum thingie.  I had toyed with the idea of doing some contrast fabric for the welt strips and the front that forms the outer collar, but it would have restricted the number of outfits Daughter No2 could have paired it with.

DSC07854-1The lining…  I did say at the end of the last post with those MAD trousers that the lining in the jacket would look familiar  :)  I used almost the rest of the handpainted cotton for 90% of the lining for the jacket, the exception being the sleeves.  I dug out some left-over bremsilk for the sleeves.

DSC07859-1I used Gill Arnold‘s fine sheer polyester fusible on the linen peplum pieces, the front & facing front & on the back above the shoulder blades & into the armholes.  For extra structure on the shawl collar I used a fusible canvas, also from Gill.  If you’re going to use a stiff interfacing like this, make sure you remove the seam allowance – you do not want that bulk in your seam!

Interfacing , front & undercollar and the back

Interfacing , front & undercollar and the back

As usual, the whole thing went together really quickly, and..  I have fixed the sleevehead vs armhole issue!  YAY!  The answer (for me anyway) was to raise the sleevehead 1cm, keep more of the height on the front than the back, and merge the extra into the existing shape at the front & back notches.  I forgot to take a photo to show what I mean, but next time I’ll put up a picture.  This adjustment has now finally worked, the last time I didn’t leave enough height on the front, so it was still a little short when fitted into the armhole.

DSC07852-1The sleeve fits really well now, and there is plenty of movement without the drag lines that appeared on the previous versions.  So, there it is, four Bellatrix blazers since the start of the year.  I have some pinstripe cashmere blend wool that I think will be enough to make another – that can wait a little though, I have a feeling another couple of linen or cotton canvas blazers are lurking in my near future! How many times have you used one pattern?

DSC07858-1Three blazers

Three blazers

Clockwise, left to right: le Bellatrix Blazer français, Curtains for Bellatrix and Bellatrix III

I have another “sewing Double” project to be getting on with this month, so bye for now, I have silk chiffon to cut up!  :)

“I love your trousers – where did you get them?”

"Oh, I didn't buy them, my Mum made them..."

“Oh, I didn’t buy them, my Mum made them…”

First time out with these, standing in the queue waiting to pay for her handful of Creme Eggs the trousers have been noticed.  These are the trousers that shouldn’t have been – just a quick toile, you know.  I had this fabric in my stash, I’m pretty sure it’s a hand painted/blocked piece, all cotton.  I think someone was going to make a quilt with it as it had a seam up the middle and I did think I could finish that off, but I don’t do quilts.

DSC07809-1I do do trousers.  I was toiling style number 110 from BurdaStyle November 2013, the pattern I used for the Monthly Stitch’s Smarty Pants month of February.  Once Daughter No2 had them on, she decided she rather liked the mad print & asked me if they could be made “wearable”.  I raised my eyebrows and looked askance at her -”Seriously?”

DSC07810-1Oh, she was serious alright!  Sure, no problem..  They got shoved in the cupboard because I had other things to be getting on with at the time.  All they needed was all the seams neatening, (because who neatens seams on a toile?) a fly zip insertion (ever done one of those when the trousers are pretty much finished already?) an inner waistband & interfacing & the hem and cuffs turned up & stitched.

DSC07814-1I decided to do it today.  I wanted a quick job…  Well, they’re done now & as usual, she loves them!  I keep seeing all the things I would never do on a “proper” pair, the pattern doesn’t line up from the trouser front onto the waistband, the front legs have a different part of pattern to the backs, the pattern doesn’t line up from the fronts onto the hip yoke pockets either & the centre front is slightly off pattern centre.  These things would bug the hell out of me if they were mine, but she seems fine with it all!

DSC07811-1Would you wear madly printed trousers like this?  They’re definitely not in my wardrobe comfort zone, but this would be a very boring world if we all dressed the same, wouldn’t it?

DSC07817-1Now I have my fourth Bellatrix Blazer to finish off – you’ll see a familiar fabric as the lining.

Happy Mother’s Day to all those who celebrate today!

Oh Dear..

Yup, oh dear!  No posts in March because I haven’t really got anything to show you.  I should have known not to do the Bossy thing – I never did like people telling me what to do!  Even though the chosen projects were ones I wanted to do anyway, I hit small snags & immediately found something else to do instead. Bad, bad, bad!

But, I didn’t do nothing.  I drafted the jacket front & back & made a toile, leaving the sleeves out for the time being.  Daughter No2 wasn’t really feeling the huge collar, and felt the shape at the front was “weird”.  Now you see why I didn’t really go too much further?  Anyway, I pinned the toile into more of a suitable shape & length for her, but then she had issues with my chosen fabric.  She just couldn’t see herself wearing that houndstooth.  So I’m stuck – the jacket pattern could be made to work, but now I need a different fabric.

Husband has proved difficult too.  Even though I’ve promised him shirts for years now he’s “in no rush”.  So no progress on that front.

I have made the pattern for Daughter No1′s Grecian inspired dress and toiled it too, but I won’t get to fit it on her until next weekend when she’s home for University for the Easter holidays.

That leaves me with nothing to show – not a bit.  But…  I have some linen that I bought at the NEC last week that was supposed to be for a vintage bolero to go with a dress I’m making.  However, I made a miscalculation when translating yards and inches into metres and bought too little – flipping annoying!  It just may be though, that it will be enough to squeeze another Bellatrix out of!  I’m off to try it now, see you on the other side! ;)

Me & my sewing machine, partners in crime!

Me & my sewing machine, partners in crime!

I love this print, found the image on Pinterest initially & tried to find it on Etsy, but so far have been unable to find the maker.  If someone can trace images better than I can, please let me know who the owner is of this, I’d love to buy a print for my sewing space!

Result of Being Bossed Around

Poll Result

Poll Result

It’s official – the most votes in my poll went to…….  Drum Roll

The 1935 jacket for Daughter No2!!  Husband’s shirt lost by a mere 4 votes!  I guess that means I have some work to start getting on with!  But – I will also be making the patterns, and garments, for the other offerings.  In order, I will make a shirt for Husband, then the maxi dress for Daughter No1 and the wiggle skirt for Daughter No2.  They will all get done, in that order, but not necessarily all in March.  It all depends on how long this all takes me!

I must just warn you that the jacket might not come out exactly as the picture.  This is because Daughter No2 likes to have some sort of input into what she ends up having to wear, & she has some ideas on changing some of the style lines.  But stay tuned, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!  :)

I am really looking forward to the results of all the other polls, and getting to see everyone’s finished garments.  March is going to be good for sewing!

Miss Bossy Patterns

Better a little late than never, right??  So, as you may have guessed from the profusion of blogs with polls asking you to choose the next project, the Monthly Stitch has decreed that you, the reader, should choose the project to make in March.  Apparently we all have a huge stash of un-used patterns, as well as fabric.  Moi, never..  ;p  Now I’m not sure how I would ever have narrowed down my  250 vintage patterns & 21 years of untraced Burda magazine patterns to just three, so I have come up with a little twist.

There are four pattern cutting projects I really want to get on with, but procrastination is hampering the start.  I want you guys to decide which I start with.  I might, just might, use the poll results to rank the order of all 4 projects and do them all, but lets see how we go, shall we?  They certainly won’t all be done in March!!  :)

First up is a shirt for Husband.  Poor, long suffering husband.  I promised 2 years ago to make a shirt, a few, actually.  I even bought 3 pieces of fabulous stripe ex-Paul Smith fabric to do so.  I made a shirt block & even toiled it, then we put the house on the market & do you think I can find that stuff??  Oh, I have the fabric – phew!  But the paperwork has completely vanished.

Pattern Cutting for Menswear by Gareth Kershaw

Pattern Cutting for Menswear by Gareth Kershaw

Using the last of an Amazon gift voucher, I bought “Pattern Cutting for Menswear” by Gareth Kershaw.  I thought I might try it as an alternative to Winnifred Aldrich’s dated styles.  It was for research purposes, you know.  So that’s offering No1, a shirt for Husband from either of these fabrics, pattern cut from that book.

ex-Paul Smith stripe cottons for Husband's shirt

ex-Paul Smith stripe cottons for Husband’s shirt

Daughter No1 came for a fleeting visit this weekend, and left with a request for some maxi-dresses for the summer.  She & Boyfriend are off to somewhere much sunnier & warmer than the UK for a couple of weeks in June, & she’d love something new.  I have a dress block all fitted for her and the most gorgeous blue viscose fabric with a large off-white flower print that would make a fabulous drape-y maxi-dress.

Caramel stretch twill for daughter No2, Blue print viscose for Daughter No1

Caramel stretch twill for daughter No2, Blue print viscose for Daughter No1

I did a quick sketch, a cross-over front with soft gathers into a fitted midriff piece.  Pleated skirt to fall to her ankles.  She has trouble buying maxi-dresses, they’re all far too long for her, poor little thing!  Anyway, I think this is going to look stunning on the little monster.  That’s offering no2.

Maxi-dress sketch

Maxi-dress sketch

Offering no3 is a skirt I sketched for Daughter No2 last year, I bought the fabric & everything, but never quite got round to getting the pattern drafted.  Bad Mom!  The fabric can be seen in the photo of Daughter No1′s print viscose.  It’s the most amazing caramel colour stretch twill.  She wants a wiggle skirt with pleated detail on a front seam, the sketch in the centre.

Skirt ideas for Daughter No2

Skirt ideas for Daughter No2

There are to be two tabs going opposite ways, fixed with buttons, a simple waistband and possibly a kick-pleat in the back seam.

I did say I had four options, and you would think that the next one would be for me, wouldn’t you??  But I am saving mine for next month…  Instead I have a jacket that I drooled over the sketch of so much that I decided to make a pattern (and the jacket) for daughter No2 for Xmas.  Needless to say, that didn’t happen!  So, it’s on the list for March, offering no4.  Here’s the picture again.

Vintage jacket from 1935

Vintage jacket from 1935

Fabulous, no???  I found the image on the New York Public Library’s Digital site.  Proceed with caution people, you can get totally lost in there, browsing the most amazing images!  So, for the jacket I have a cute grey & black houndstooth wool which may or may not have contrast plain black collar & lapels.  It will need a vibrant lining though, so that will have to be purchased.  Otherwise the fabrics will come from the stash!

Wool for 1930s jacket

Wool for 1930s jacket

That photo makes the houndstooth look more like grey & grey, but it’s just the lighting.  So those are your four options.  All are patterns I want to make, none have been used by me before (’cause they don’t exist yet!).

So which one am I to start with?  It’s in your hands.  You have until Friday, midnight!!

ps, be kind…  ;)

 

 

Tried & Tested – Burda Trouser Patterns

i love trousers

A small selection of my favourite trouser patterns

With all this commotion regarding trousers I thought I’d share my most commonly used patterns.  These are all Burda patterns, traced from the monthly magazines, and all made for me, not the daughters!  They don’t often require the same pattern made up 4 or 5 times, they prefer different stuff each time!  :)

Mostly I like a trouser pattern that has some width in the leg.  Not to say I have never made cigarette pants, but I do like “swooshy” trousers.  Another hang-up (albeit unknowing) of the 70s I guess!  I live in trousers, all year round.  Linen trousers with a wide leg are so cool & comfortable in the summer & for me, far better than shorts & definitely better than skirts!

The first pattern is the oldest & most probably the most used.  I cannot show you a photograph from the magazine, it’s in storage in the loft!  Trousers 112 (a-d) from April 2000 have been made in linens, cottons & wool, those being lined for the winter.  I’ve made both lengths too.  I love the fit at the low waist, the side zip & the inseam pockets just below the shaped yoke/waistband.  The hem measures 62cm on the full length pair, so you can see what I mean about them being “swooshy”!

I don’t have a wool pair in my wardrobe this season, & the linen trousers are in the loft with all the old Burda magazines, so you’ll have to settle for the working drawing & my assurance that it is a good pattern!

img004

Trousers 112 BurdaStyle 4/2000

Next up is a pattern I’ve used mostly for summer trousers.  It’s 102 from Burdastyle 2/2002.  It has a straight waistband that sits on the waist, a fly front & hip yoke pockets.  I like the optional cuffs at the hem.  They’re a straight leg pattern, with a hem width of 50cm.  Again, swooshy, but not as wide all the way down as the previous trousers.  Unfortunately because of the season, I don’t have them to hand, & until I started this blog, was notoriously absent from photographs, preferring to be at the other end of the camera.

Trousers 102 BurdaStyle 02/2002

Trousers 102 BurdaStyle 02/2002

I do, however, have a blurry photocopy of the image from the magazine & the working drawings to show you.  As you can see, the trousers are not so baggy on the thigh, but get nice & wide from the knee down.

Trousers 102, BurdaStyle 02/2002

Next on my pile is style 104 & 5 from BurdaStyle 09/2003.  I’ve put them together because they use the same pattern pieces, the only difference is 104 has a side zip & 105 a front fly.  Again, a pattern that’s been made in both linen & wool with a shaped leg, falling straight from the knee & having a 50cm hem width.

Trousers 104 & 105 BurdaStyle 09/2003

Trousers 104 & 105 BurdaStyle 09/2003

Now this next pattern is one of my absolute favourites, 116 from BurdaStyle 03/2004.  I have absolutely no idea how many times I have used this pattern – quite possibly at least once a year I find the need to make another version of these trousers.  I adore the fit.  They sit snugly at the waist & hip, have decent sized pockets and fall from the hip straight to the floor.  I have them in wool, linen, cotton & linen & one in each of the colours I love so much!  The shaped yoke on the back means you get a really nice shape, perfect for those who need a bit of a sway-back adjustment.

Trousers 116 BurdaStyle 03/2004

Trousers 116 BurdaStyle 03/2004

I have a copy of a copy of the picture from the magazine for you this time.

Image from Burdastyle 03/2004

Image from Burdastyle 03/2004

I know it’s not the greatest image, but it does show that the pants are more fitting in the hip area & just how nice & wide they are at the hem!  55cm of linen swoosh! :)

Only a couple more, I promise!  Now I have style 105 from Burda 08/2008.  They’re lovely & long & wide & they have turn ups!!  Swoon…  The shaped waistband with double buttons is fab & there is a neat welt pocket with button closing at the back.  I made these twice for myself when a friend ( a very good friend) asked if I could possibly make her a pair.  I used a fabulous black wool with faint white pinstripe.  That was the first pair.  Since then she’s had a pair in printed linen & another plain wool pair!

Image from BurdaStyle 08/2008

Image from BurdaStyle 08/2008

Here is the welt pocket on the back.

Welt detail for trousers 105

Welt detail for trousers 105

And the working drawings..

Trousrs 105 BurdaStyle 08/2008

Trousrs 105 BurdaStyle 08/2008

And the second last of my tried & tested BurdaStyle trouser patterns is this one.

Trousers 102, BurdaStyle 07/2009

Trousers 102, BurdaStyle 07/2009

I have this pattern made up in cream wool (lined), white linen, brown linen, khaki linen, black linen, lightweight denim….  I don’t really need to go on, do I??  The pattern is 102 from BurdaStyle 07/2009.  I’m pretty sure what first influenced me to trace the pattern was the picture in the magazine.  The model is standing in front of a Cape Dutch farmhouse.  Homesick much??

Trousers 102 BurdaStyle 07/2009

Trousers 102 BurdaStyle 07/2009

They have a shaped waistband that sits just below the natural waist, hip yoke pockets, but not angled ones, a fly zip & a great fit.  I’d like to say these are my favourite, but I think I’ve already said that about each & every pattern I’ve featured so far!  Needless to say, there are at least 2 of each of these in my current wardrobe.

And now – last, but by absolute no means least – these fabulous bootcut trousers.  I. Love. These!  They are 118 from BurdaStyle 04/2009.  At the moment I have two pairs in my wardrobe, a caramel colour you have seen in some of my more recent photographs without the cuffs, & a pair of dark blue & grey plaid with the cuffs I made last year.

Trousers 118 Burdastyle 04/2009

Image from Burdastyle 04/2009

Now I certainly don’t have the tall willowy figure of this model on the balcony of her Cape holiday home, but I can dream…  I love the fit of these at the waist & hip, the narrow thigh & the wide swoosh to the floor!  The little patch pockets are big enough for my iPod or a spot of cash if I need to pop to the shops without hauling my bag along.  They have become a firm favourite of mine.  Although I love them to death, I to have to turn up 6cm in the mid-leg.  They are waaay too long for me otherwise – but look at that hem circumference!  :)

Trousers 118 BurdaStyle 04/2009

Trousers 118 BurdaStyle 04/2009

Here's my caramel pair, without the cuffs

Here’s my caramel pair, without the cuffs

And the navy & grey plaid pair, with cuffs

And the navy & grey plaid pair, with cuffs

And that, as they say, is all – folks!  Hope I haven’t bored you to death with my preference for wide legged trousers – all from older BurdaStyle magazines…  Hmm, I wonder if that’s telling me something.  The trousers I have traced from the newer magazines have all been for the girls.  I have finally decided on my choice of pattern for my own Smarty Pants entry, 102 from 07/09 in a stretch caramel linen.  :)

ps:  All BurdaStyle images remain copyright of their original owners, their use here is for purely illustrative use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Miss Smarty Pants

Miss Smarty Pants

Miss Smarty Pants

I have decided to delegate the Smarty Pants to Daughter No2.  I mean, she looks so smart in these pants, so why not!?  These are the trousers mentioned in my previous post, no 110 from Burdastyle 11/2013 in a damson coloured stretch cotton satin from Croft Mill Fabric.  I originally over-ordered the fabric to ensure I had enough for a pair of trousers as well as a vintage dress which I need to turn into a coat/mac.  I haven’t got round to doing the alterations necessary for the coat but Daughter No2 was desperate for these trousers.  So I gave in & cut, anyway, I can always buy more fabric, can’t I?

DSC07306-1The pattern is great.  Daughter no2 seem made for the shape of Burda trousers, including the length!  I always have to lop 5-6cm off for myself, but they are just right on my little giraffe.  She’s 174.5cm tall, so generally we have a problem with shop trousers being waaay too short – which is why I make them instead.  The fabric behaved perfectly, it irons like a dream & has enough, but not too much, stretch.  I took in the side seams (making the 34) 5mm each, so effctively narrowing the pants – from the hip – 2cm each.  She felt they were a little baggy before.

DSC07308-1I overlocked everything before starting sewing & hand stitched the hem in place.  The button & zip are from my stash.  As you can see, she’s pretty chuffed with them!  This outfit is completely handmade.  The top is a vintage Simplicity pattern I made last year (see my Vintage Belle blog for details) & the swing jacket is what I made for my Jungle January project in 2013.  As it’s half term here in the UK this week, she’s taken a day out from studying & masses of 6th form homework to go out with her friends, & this is what she went in!

DSC07316-1

smarty pants CollageIt’s not even that cold today, & thankfully no rain is forecast either!  But, rain or shine, I must get on with my own trousers.  I have some gorgeous caramel coloured linen from Ditto Fabrics that’s just begging to be used & a whole pile of patterns needing to be traced!

 

 

Trousers – “For me, or not for me?” That is the question!

Grrrr, I have to confess to major irritation with my trouser toiles.  It seems the Hot Patterns patterns don’t suit me.  Not the garments & certainly not the instructions!  I set about making a toile of each of the patterns I wanted this weekend.  When I use a pattern for the first time, I like to use the instructions as printed, then I can see where to deviate (if necessary) the next time.  All was well until I got to the fly zip.  Now I can do a fly zip, 5 minutes & it’s done.  The instructions for these patterns bamboozled me to such an extent I ripped the entire lot out & threw it on the floor for 30 minutes while I stormed downstairs for tea & chocolate!

I don’t know who the instructions are written for, but they made absolutely no sense to me whatsoever.  One I’d calmed down I returned to the scene of the crime & inserted the zips my way.  Done.  Then to put them on – yeah.  They don’t sit right, & I don’t like them – either of them – at all!!  Apparently they’re “really easy to make following all the tutorials on youtube”.  I don’t want tutorials on youtube!!  If you cannot make the instructions clear enough on the item I paid money for, I’m not interested!  gggrrrrr.

So I recon it’s back to good old Burda for trousers – at least I know they fit, & I know where I need to alter them!  But I cannot decide from the pile of magazines with marked “possibilities” which to start with.  My Smarty Pants selection is going to have to change.  So in the truest sense of procrastination ever – I started something else!  :)

Trousers 110 from BurdaStyle 111/2013

Trousers 110 from BurdaStyle 11/2013

Daughter No2 loved this pattern when she spotted it in the BurdaStyle magazine back in November.  I have some beautiful damson stretch twill with a satin finish from Croft Mill Fabric that will look fabulous made in this pattern.

Working drawing & gorgeous stretch twill

Working drawing & gorgeous stretch twill

I traced the pattern this morning & made a toile in some spare fabric, a madly printed cotton.  I used it because it was the only piece I had that was the right size & roughly the right feel for the finished garment.  I reconned without Daughter No2′s wacky taste.  The minute she saw them she thought they were the “real thing”! You’ve never seen such excitement – & then disappointment when I said it was just a toile!

Toile fabric

Toile fabric

As you may have already guessed, I have succumbed to the request & will be making these “wearable” once I have finished the twill version!  She’s nuts, but I wouldn’t swap her for anyone else!  :)