Stashbusting Trousers

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There’s a lot of sewing to catch up on, so here goes.  Two years ago I made a purchase of two pieces of grey wool (amongst other things – of course) from Croft Mill Fabrics.  One of the pieces of wool is a suiting weight blend of viscose and mohair, and really wasn’t what I’d expected when it turned up!  I pictured something thicker and warmer – snuggly…  This was fine, had a sheen and was rather fluid.  So it went into the stash until I could come up with something.

Eventually, after making this pair of Burda trousers earlier in the year, I decided to reuse the pattern and finally make up the silver grey fabric.  Go stashbusting!  I opted for the longer length view and the mini turn ups, leaving off the welt pockets at the back.  I don’t use the ones on the other trousers at all, and it’s just annoying to have to iron the darn things flat each time.

I used the same fitting alterations as the last time, but didn’t shorten the pattern at all! There is no stretch in this fabric at all, and it’s shown that I probably need to make a chunky calf adjustment.  It wasn’t a problem with the last pair because of the stretch content.  Because the fabric is so thin and fine I decided to add a little something and raided my linings bag for something suitable to line the trousers.  I picked out a green viscose lining and used it to half line the fronts.

There are no contrast fabrics anywhere else, the waistband and pockets are all in the main fabric.  I’m really happy with the result, although I can see that they may not make it all the way through winter, being so thin.  But they’re surprisingly warm(-ish).  I love the mini turn-ups, and the finished length is perfect for wearing with heels or my silver brouges.  Definitely making another sometime.  I’ve worn them once a week since I made them, which is a good sign!

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Details
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Love these little cuffs!

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More catching up to come, although it won’t be stashbusting…

 

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Blue Tropic

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Blue Tropic, #138 Burdastyle 8/2011

Making a start on delivering on my revised sewing plans for the last 1o days in March.  I might have been ever so slightly optimistic about what I’d get through when I changed tack in my last blog post, but we should always aim high…

So of the 7 projects I had on the new list, I managed 5.  I’d have done better but a nasty cold (man flu) held me back badly and no sewing at all was done for at least 4 days!!  That would definitely have been enough time to finish the entire list.  But no matter, those projects will be on April’s list instead.

This fabric was supposed to be realised in a different pattern, but when I made the toile of 115B 8/15, I just didn’t like it.  It was too straight, too long and I wasn’t convinced it would take me into spring and summer.  So I nicked the pattern that was supposed to be made in the cotton voile.  It was the right decision!  I just love the fabric.  It is viscose, but like no other I’ve had before.  It’s fluid and soft and has a cool touch, not to mention a fabulous sheen that makes it look like silk.  The colour is just stunning too.  The fabric was bought 5 years ago from a shop called Tatler’s in Derby.

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The front of the top has been lengthened by 10cm and the line flows well into the dipped back hem.  I also omitted the opening on the back, only having the button loops on the yoke.  It isn’t necessary to open the buttons or to have the extended opening to get the top over your head.  Those are the only changes made to the pattern.  Usually I would have used French seams on this fabric, but in the interests of a quick make, I overlocked the lot.  I do love this pattern, having made a fair few versions over the years in different fabrics.  This might just come close to beating my up-to-now-favourite, the black and white spotty silk version.

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Narrow rouleau loops encircle bronze flower buttons from the stash.
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Soft gathers from the neckband are very flattering
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Caught chatting, this is a very comfy top!

I’ve no regrets at all about switching patterns on this top, the cotton voile will be allocated a different pattern, perhaps one with ruffles….  There have been a load around on Instagram and although I’m not a ruffly person, I’m ever so slightly tempted….

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I must remember not to wear my new things too long before getting the photos taken, creases!!

Stick around, the other items on the list just need photographs (although I’ve worn a couple already).  I am missing my resident photographer and am in the process of training up Mr W.  It’s a slow process…..  😉

Grey Shadows

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Last month’s sewing, planned, executed and only slightly delayed in being blogged and shown off!  Most of my plans have been to make more tops -for me.  My stash had a few pieces of grey viscose jersey, all slightly different shades, ever so slightly different in handle and weight too.  In addition to this, I’d got two grey fabrics in South Africa, one a knit with a texture in the knit.  So you could call this my shades of grey adventure, but I’m not going there….

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First up is a grey stripe viscose jersey knit from Croft Mill Fabrics, bought at the end of September.  I opted to make the Maria Denmark Birgitte, using the three quarter sleeve and v-neck option. This really is a quick pattern to make, about an hour or two of your afternoon should suffice.  My adjustments from the original pattern are simple, shorten the body by 3cm, and add an FBA.

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Next, the textured sweater knit.  I suspect this has a fairly large man-made fibre content, given how static it becomes with wear!  The pattern I chose is 107 from Burdastyle January 2015.  It has been on my to-make list for some time, one of those waiting for the perfect fabric, as always.  This might not be the perfect fabric, the pattern probably really needs something with a bit more body, but this is what I had and I wanted to use it up!

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I liked the shape, the neckline and the dropped shoulders.  The pattern itself is simple, only 3 pieces.  It promised to be another quick make!  Now, if you really want to make it quick, add hem allowances to the sleeves and body pieces, and make a facing for the neckline.  I wanted a contrast, both in texture and colour, so wanted to use the binding  to add detail.  I used some of the fabric left over from a previous (and again, unblogged) top.

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Perfect position for pretty pendants

It took a little while to get the binding on, but oh boy was it worth it!  It wasn’t tricky, just needed time and concentration.  I love the contrast and the way it highlights the curved detail on the sides and the neckline.  That neckline is perfect for showing off a pretty pendant.  I made this without any adjustments, deciding that there was enough ease in the pattern to make it fit, but completely ignoring the fact that the other half of the FBA adjustment still needed to be made.  What was that about concentration??

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Never mind, I have a cosy, comfy sweater I like to wear, and a stripy tee to wear under it!  My grey tee shirt adventure will continue, I finally made a Lark tee!!  That and more, next time, there might even be an update on the new list for March.

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On My Sewing Table 

Or, sewing plans interrupted and replaced with new, more exciting plans! At the beginning of March I made a list of the project I wanted to get through this month, using my free calendar/planner. Of the 7 planned projects I’ve done 2 & 2 are half way. But I’m not excited by them, they are just jobs to do. So I’ve got a new list!

Item one, the one that’s actually cut and in progress. I’ve wanted to make this top for a while and this weekend realised I already had the perfect fabric! The pattern is 105 from Burda magazine 2/2016. The fabric is silk satin and I’ve never seen anything quite like it before or since !

Item two is another top, this one from the original list, one of the half done projects because it’s been toiled and is ready to go. It’s Lekala 4286 & will  be made in a 70s polyester floral print with the biggest, brightest print  ever!

Item three is another Burda top, a pattern I’ve used before and really like. The fabric is cotton voile from Fabric Godmother about two years ago. Pattern is #138 8/2011.

Items four, five and six are culottes #104 2/2017! Following the success of the previous pair I found two pieces of fabric for daughter no1 and one for me!😇

Item seven uses this beautiful blue viscose I bought in Derby I think five years or so ago, time flies!! I’m making another Burda pattern, top #115B 8/2015, which is another that’s been on my list for a while.

And last, but by no means least, item eight is another top, another Burda pattern. This time it’s #103 from 2/2016, using a really pretty  bit of white broiderie anglaise that’s got a silver finish and grey jersey from the Fancy Silk Store in Birmingham.
So, enough to keep me busy for the next  ten  days?? 😉 Do you throw out your plans when things don’t really excite you enough to provide motivation to get them done? Or are you a good planner?

A Head Full of Dreams

A hit or a miss?

Dreams of winter coats… Now maybe in a colder, snowier climate, white and cream are fine for outerwear, but it’s not the most obvious choice for a coat in the UK.  It’s far to wet and muddy here in the winter.  So why make a white coat you ask?  Because I had the fabric, is my answer!

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Burda Jacket/coat 117 September 2015 9 (a little longer IRL!)

I spotted this “coat” number 117 in the September 2015 issue of Burdastyle magazine and rather liked it.  Not altogether my style, but something about it kept me coming back to look at it.  Then I remembered I had 3m of off white/cream basketweave English wool in my stash.  I’d bought it from Arkwright’s Mill in Derbyshire in 2012 for a song, £6/m!!  Originally I had intended to dye it, even on a good day that amount of cream/white does nothing for me.  But how do you dye a 3m x1.5m length of fairly heavyweight wool?  I certainly didn’t have the facilities.  So it sat in the stash.

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Cream English wool coat and dark grey herringbone tape for the edges

I thought, if I made the coat in the wool and it didin’t turn out quite right I wouldn’t have lost anything, beause the fabric wasn’t doing anything anyway.  I thought I’d make it a little better for me by buying an awful lot of dark grey herringbone cotton tape for all the edges. Of course, having mis-read the amounts, I bought 20cm too little and had to get another whole metre to rectify it, but that’s all done.

The pattern pieces are huge!  I suddenly wasn’t sure I had enough for the whole thing,but managed to fit all the pieces on the fabric by opening it out and cutting in a single layer.  The belt had to be pieced but I don’t think it’s noticable.  The tape was sewn on by hand – all of it!  I ironed the tape in half, lengthwise (of course) and pinned like mad.  I sewed one side, then the other, in sections and mitered all the corners.  That’s a shedload of hand stitching folks.

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Coat with pinned grey herringbone tape, awaiting handstitching…

So, the pattern itself.  It’s a big, chunky style, narrower at the hem.  I used the overlocker for everything as the insides are easily seen and the coat is not lined.  There are no hems or facings, the edges are bound with bias or seam tape. The belt goes through a slit in the right front/side to wrap around the body, but apart from that slit, there’s nothing holding the belt in place, so you have to wear it tied up constantly, or leave it off.  I added a chunky belt carrier to the centre back to there’d be more support for the belt, but in actual fact, now I am wearing the coat I prefer it unbelted.

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I stil wasn’t sure whether or not it was “me”.  Wrapped over and tied up I felt like a bag of potatoes.  There was too much cream, too much bulk.  I’d made the 44, but wonder if, with the size of everything, that a smaller size wouldn’t have been better.  Possibly it just doesn’t suit my body shape.  Those big flappy “lapels” all in white over my front just seem to enlarge everything from where I look – down.

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Can I just say that while I’m not sold on the bulk, I love the huge turn-ups on the sleeves, and the decent size in-seam pockets!

After making it in plenty of time for the cold winter the coat languished in my wardrobe.  It was never cold enough to wear!  Until last week, finally proper winter temperatures, frost on the ground and the car.  Cold enough for a heavy, warm wrap around coat.  I make sure to wear it with dark coloured clothes and scarf, and never, ever tie it shut!  It looks better draping down and the dark scarf and trousers underneath at least give a hint that there might be a shape under all that bulk!  Saying that, the cream is still the least practical colour I could ever have chosen to buy!  I must remember that although dying fabrics is a great idea, I need to actually be able to do it.

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So for now, I wear the coat.  I don’t love it and I don’t think it’s amazing, but it is at least being worn.  You never know, I might cut it up and make something else out of it for next winter!  Or send it to a charity shop, which would be a shame….

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These photos were all taken after I’d finished the coat back in October, sadly thankfully I have no-one to take a pic of the coat belted, seriously, you really wouldn’t want to see it anyway.  I am working on a pair of Birkin Flared Jeans by Baste & Gather at the moment, looking forward to seeing them with this coat! 🙂

 

 

 

 

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! 🙂