Pattern Review: HP 1016 Riviera Hello, Sailor! Pants

Guys. I think I’ve found my holy grail pants. For *real*. I’ve wanted a pair of sailor pants forever. Seriously. At least 10 years. When I made my big Hot Patterns purchase two years ago, this pattern was the first I put in my cart. I even muslined it a few years ago, liked the fit, but just never got around to sewing it.

I love these pants.  They are everything I wanted in sailor pants. Plus, they are a really really good cut for me. I only have glowing remarks about the draft and pattern itself. I did make two muslins, but that was to check fit.  I’ve taken lots of photos because I would have found some more helpful in construction / picturing final product.

Fabric: Super heavy, cotton / linen blend from A Fabric Place /Michaels about three years ago. They kind of wrinkle when you look at them. I used the khaki version for the Burda trench/ safari jacket and skirt. I am nervous that there was NO stretch in the material. These pants are snug on me and I’m worried that I’m one potato  chip away from splitting them. Hence, my desire for some stretch. They did not feel this snug in my two muslins! I swear!

Pattern Alterations: I made a swayback adjustment by extending the back curve and adding about a one inch wedge through the hip. I cut a size 12 and these fit nicely.

There is some fabric folding at my crotch, but consensus at the office is if the waist was snugger and stayed up higher, those go away. That being said, I think they are slim fit.

There’s loads of chatter about HP directions. I sew with Burda! The directions overall were fine. Yes, a little sparse in comparison to Big 4 but inline with Jalie and Burda. And, I think that chatter is from the early days when tehre were directions and no diagrams. This pattern has diagrams without which I do not think I could have sewn these!  **& ETA: Trudy at Hot Patterns reminded me that they now post tutorials on YouTube.

For this pattern, the main thing to remember is that the front ‘dart’ is not a dart. Those two lines are in fact the stitchlines. Erica has a helpful diagram.

Because the fabric is all natural, I expect it grow like my linen pants did. So, I used twill tape in the upper waistband to prevent stretching. But, I would like it to stretch everywhere else! I’m reminding myself that jeans used to not have lycra and they stretched…

I wish I had used twill tape and re-shaped the flap a bit. The upper edge follows the curve of pants / waistband, but I would like like it more straight across the top and the upper edge stabilised with twill tape too. Especially because I used cream topstitching, I feel like the flap is smiling against my stomach.

I serged my finishes. These are unlined and would have looked gorgeous with bias binding for the finish. Next time, that’s what I’ll do.

The ‘lining’ is seersucker left over from a vest project.

I struggled with buttons. I was afraid if they were too bold, I’d limit myself from wearing ‘statement’ pants. If they were too subtle, what a waste all the details would have been. I also couldn’t decide on top stitching or not. I am terrible at making these kind of choices.

I did make the buttonholes 1/2 inch from the edge. I think I could have done 3/8 or so and been happier. My buttons are 1/2 inch as recommended by the pattern. I think they are a little small. Not terribly. That being said, I FREAKIN’ LOVE these black buttons with gold anchors. There is no button placement guide on the pattern. Which I kind of like because you may not always want the same button size recommended.

The design is based on a Marc Jacobs sailor pants.

Last thing, the vent in the back. So, I was going to leave this off b/c I wasn’t sure it was ‘classy’ enough for work.

But, it’s such an interesting detail (and straight from the inspiration) I couldn’t resist. I’m also happy to report that my underwear don’t show.

But, I HATE EYELETS. These inserted like crap and don’t look good from the back. There is so much fray check on these holes I think they are emitting toxic fumes.

Note the graveyard of badly applied eyelets.

I’m hoping to take them to NYC with me soon and have them done professionally. Or, take them out and use my eyelet template on my automatic buttonholer. The pattern directions don’t have a suggestion on where to place the eyelets.

Overall, I’m THRILLED. I’ll have these in time for Baltimore’s Navy Week / Star-Spangled Sailabration in June.  I have serious stunt / theme dressing planned for June :)

My pattern review is here

Notes on construction details (these are just some notes I made to myself while sewing that I was unclear about upon first approach. Nothing is ‘wrong’  — just more detail for me.

First, I my preferred method of pant construction is to sew the waist band on to each leg piece. Then assemble to pants at the side and front seams. Personally, I find it much easier to take in the waist (common for me) this way. I haven’t quite worked out how I would do that with these pants. Luckily, I muslined first and they fit fine at the waist. But, could be 1/2 inch to 1 inch snugger.

Step 2: My stand is not finished at the bottom as I missed the step on sewing the short ends.

Step 4: You want to use the non-intefaced pieces

Step 5: If you are serging, I recommend you finish all the front button. See my photo below for which edges are left exposed

Step 6: When joining the facings, you’ll do so right sides together

Step 8: ‘Join the fabric layer’ means right sides together and as noted above, that’s not a dart. One if your ‘stitchline’

Topstitching back: the line drawing for pattern has topstitching only going up to the waistline. I thought it looked ‘short’ and extended onto and through the waistband.

Tuxedo Pants, Burda Magazine, 11-2010-129

I’m just going to come out and say it. I think these pants make me look skinny. And, I’m going to say it because I haven’t said that about pants in at least five years.  And, I’ve NEVER said that about pants I’ve made. These pants are *magic*. I had an idea about making a tuxedo after I made the bow ties. I was wearing one out as a necklace and had several men (none keepers, but whatevs) complimented me. I figured a tuxedo might be a nice way to work more into my wardrobe. Especially since Liz and I were launching Baltimore Bespoke Bows this summer. I’m wearing them with my BWOF 1-2008-105 blouse from two / three years ago.

Except, I forgot I HATE making pants. I love them in theory, but, they do not love me back. As noted earlier,  I made half a dozen muslins of a straight legged pair and gave up becore moving to these. I bought the fabric from Guss Woolens in downtown Baltimore when Trena visited a few weeks ago. Mike, the owner, suggested the wool / poly hopsack weave at $8 a yard. It nicely resists wrinkling and presses wonderfully. It’s a little thinner than I would have thought a tuxedo material should be. But, it breathes so nicely! The satin accents are from A Fabric Place in Mt. Washington, Baltimore. I think it was $10 a yard.

The original pattern from November 2010, #129 does not call for a waistband and has no side seams. But, I wanted a satin waistband and pockets — like traditional tuxedo pants. So, I used the top twp inches of the pants to make a waistband.  The lack of side seams made it tough for me to add a satin stripe down the side of the pants. But, I think it’s ok. I did not do additional pockets on the back. But, I would next time.

 

The only alterations I made were a swayback adjustment and adding 1/2 inch at center front. But, the waistband still dips a bit and I’d like to adjust that in the future. I used twill tape along the upper waistband seam allowance to prevent stretching.

This was my first time using Kathleen Fasanella’s tutorial on making single welt pockets. And, I was so thrilled with the results that I made a donation. She puts out impressive, industrial method tutorials. I know we all think the internet is free, but people’s time and knowledge is valuable and making a small donation is a tangible way of saying ‘thank you’.

I still love wide length pants. They are snug around my smaller hips and waist and gloss over my full thighs. Plus, wide leg pants don’t get caught on my chub rub and give me  as angry wrinkles in the back.

I’m a third a way through a matching tuxedo jacket. I didn’t make a muslin so I have that same feeling of trepidation when I started sewing my wool trench coat.  I may slow down as I really really want a matching puple Bemberg rayon to line the jacket with and have none on hand or locally available. We’ll see!

 

More Wide Legged Trousers: Burda 9-2007-115

Pants!

The shirt is ready to wear from LL Bean three or four years ago

On Monday, I wore the grey version of these. My colleague said, “It must be really cold. I’ve never seen you in pants.” Not such a crazy thing for her to say. I own three pairs of pants. A summer linen made this year. Grey wool from last year and a pair of ‘all season but mostly when it’s not cold’ black RTW pants that I bought because I needed black pants for some event. And, they are terrible on me. Dresses look better on me (although I think I look pretty good in jeans) and pants are harder (for me) to make. But, I get COLD and like to wear pants in the winter. In fact, I would wear pants every day of the winter if I had more. But, I seem to manage to make  just one pair a year and RTW pants all require serious alterations for me.

Well, nothing to get terribly excited about here. They are black pants. What I do like is that my butt looks pretty damn good in these. This is my third go round with these pants.

I didn’t put twill tape along the waistline so they are kind of loose around the waist. By the end of the day they bordered on hipsters. This weekend, I’ll take in the waist at center back and add twill tape. I’m not a huge fan of belts so I like my pants very snug.


I love using metal trouser zippers. I get them at G Street or when I visit NY. But, I think this is the last of my black G Street zippers.

Let’s see. This fabric is from Fabric.com. I bought it last year immediately after making my last pair. But, it languished. Oh, the yoke material I bought in NYC this last time. You see, I lost the yoke pieces between tracing them out last year and sewing them this year.

As you can see, I’m still not  lining them! I got some brilliant suggestions last time on lining options. I could actually shorten this pair another 1/2 inch but — I won’t. It’s interesting. I need to take this version in, but the first two fit perfectly despite having put on weight. Each fabric reacts differently, that’s for sure.

I realize I’m not as enthusiastic about these as the first time I made them. I’m thrilled to have pants. But, they are what I consider functional sewing.

Liz was taking photos for me in the office. Then, Kim walked by and decided she wanted to join the fun. Haha. I really do make that face a lot.

Next: I’m in the middle of a jacket. It was a shawl collar blazer for work, but it totally just looks like a coat.

Pattern Review: Wide Leg, High Waist Trousers BWOF 4-2002-122

I realized yesterday while hemming my Burda World of Fashion 4-2002-122 trousers that I am essentially sewing a Chico’s travel wardrobe. This is the part where I should say that there isn’t anything wrong with Chicos — just not my style. But, there *is* something wrong with Chicos. I am first, 15 years shy of their demographic no matter how young a model they choose. Second, I’ve always thought their clothes were better suited for cruises. What’s odd though, is I’ve had two boyfriends buy me jewelry from Chicos as gifts. I remember the last time it happened my heart sank when I saw the big  block lettered CHICOS on the box. I thought,”‘Crap. This relationship isn’t going to last. He doesn’t know me at all. What about my personal style says, ‘cruisewear’.” The earrings were just as ugly as I imagined them to be and we broke up a week later. Coincidence? I think not.

I say I’m sewing a travel wardrobe from Chicos because everything I’ve picked is loose, not tailored and easy to wear / care for. That, IMHO, is Chico’s style.  At least my stuff isn’t animal print. Don’t get me started on animal print. Which, I will say is just not my style. Animal print doesn’t personally offend my sensibilities. Except when black models are photographed in editorial fashion shoots wearing it. But, that is a Woman’s / African-American Studies paper on its own. I digress.

These are the pants unironed from my sewing machine. I did press them before cutting out and during the sewing. But, no final press. I wanted a sense of what they would look like washed in my hotel room sink, LOL.  I’ve heard the linen can stretch out. So, I took extra care with this garment. Using Sandra Betzina’s Power Sewing as a guide I

  • Interfaced the zipper side seam
  • Used twill tape in the crotch seam, sewing it twice
  • Used twill tape at the waist line
  • Interfaced the hem allowance
  • Used boning in the front, back and side seam

What I didn’t do, was interface the upper edge of the waistband and it stretched. And, it looks like another 1/2 inch more for my swayback would have been good.


So, the waist line is kind of wonky especially in the front. But, trust. I will never wear something tucked in to these. If I wasn’t sucking in for this photo, then my pants wouldn’t have fallen, and you would see that the pants sit above my waistline.


I will probably shorten these another half inch before I go to China. But, I’ll be wearing them with heels to work in the meantime. The pants are crazy wide! Power Sewing mentions that unless you are very tall you shouldn’t wear wide leg trousers. Oh, well. My driver’s license says I’m 5 ft 7 and I’m both calling that tall and sticking to that height.

I suspect because they are so wide, that my protruding seat adjustment wasn’t critical. But, it worked well for my swayback. I’ll let you know tomorrow how the pants held up at the end of the day. Hopefully, they won’t have stretched out to my ankles!

I was so motivated by the not hideousness of these, that I muslined a pair of Hello, Sailor! pants from Hot Patterns last night. They are altered and ready to cut from the good stuff. They’ll be my more tailored pants. But, more on that later :)

Can I Name My First Born ‘Cheviot’?

I am 100 percent in love with these pants!!!  They are Burda 9-2007-115  and I first made them two years ago.  Between the amazing fabric and finally getting the construction down, I honestly and truly love them.

These pants are not fast nor are they easy. Iactually had them cut in this gorgeous cheviot wool from Egypt for over a year. But, I was so disappointed with the jacket and just generally struggle with sewing pants that I put it away.

And, I was actually going to throw it out in the “great sewing room move” but never got around to it.  It’s really starting to get cold here and I am (as always) in DESPERATE need of pants / separates.

I love the pockets. They are a thorn in my side to make, but I do just love them. This time, I interfaced all the upper edges so that the pockets stayed crisp.  I also used pocketing  in addition to the fashion fabric.

And, lookit!! My fly front! Yes, I use the Sandra Betzina video. But, it’s always been hit or miss for me. This time, it worked (well, it worked after I ripped it out the first time).

Now, I did leave the pants unlined. But, I am SO BAD at making pants that I figured I was better off focusing on the actual construction of these and getting comfortable with pants before I tackled the lining. Yes, I have fears of the knees bagging out. But, for now, I don’t care! The fabric is super firm and just deliciously soft. I would fly myself back to Egypt for more of this fabric. Truly.

I will say, I have a desire to move away from wide leg pants. Burda says these are suited for ‘tall women’. I’m not short at 5’6. But, I ain’t tall. To qoute my mother, I don’t know that they are doing me any favors.  The muslin Marji and I are working on is a slimmer cut but still needs some tweaking. In the meantime, I have ordered some fabric from Fabric.com to make at least two more of these this winter.

Oh, this is pretty much what I want to wear all winter. Pants / skirt, sweater, shirt. I’m kind of into the three -piece wardrobe right now. When I worked at Lord and Taylor post college the rule was a dress, a suit or pants / skirt with a jacket. I think it’s a good rule of thumb for work attire.

I am so stinking happy right now folks. I have clearly been in a slump. I think, well, I think that 2009 was just a lot harder for me than I was admitting to myself.   I put on the ‘no one is going to ever love me so I might as well get fat’ 15 pounds — which does not make you want to sew (especially when family members think it’s ok to point it out to you. Like I don’t *know* that I’ve put on weight).  Work has been just incredibly busy and painfully stressful. This left me not wanting to sew and not wanting to blog and honestly with little *time* to do either.  But, making these pants — something I have just never done well and have little confidence in reminded me that I LOVE my craft. I LOVE to create and I LOVE to sew. I was SO happy after these pants that I’ve already got my sweatshirt dress from La Mia Boutique cut and pinned. I’ve pulled skirt lengths for my next four projects. I’m happy and not stressed in my sewing room since Marji helped me straighten it out. I guess what I’m saying is I’m back baby, I’m back!

Weee!!! Pants (SWAP #1)

Ahhhh. I can’t tell you the sense of relief of adding a new pair of pants to the wardrobe. I made these about three weeks ago, washed them twice and they’ve held up!

These are Vogue 8457, view C (with pleats, no belt). They are made up in a silk herringbone I got from Fabric Mart last year, I think it was $10 a yard. They are fully lined with some Bemberg from Joann’s. Overall the pants were probably $30. They are super wide. Like I walk and feell the cuffs swinging about wide. But, I like them because they hug my slim bits (hips and waist) and glide over my not so slim bits (rear and thighs).I did make a swayback adjustment to the waistband and like how they are snug against my back. Something unusual for me. Other than that, they fit me out of the envelope. Ok, I probably could do some sort of seat adjustment because they look like they are struggling with ease up and under my rear.

I couldn’t find my directions (well, I found them the morning when I was ALL DONE) so I used my Sewing Pants from the Singer Reference Library to make the cuffs. The cuff on these pants are really deep. In fact, I took several inches off the length and reduced the depth of the cuffs. The cuffs are huge again because they were dragging and getting dirty. I still need to tweak the cuffs so that they are even. Oh, I also tacked them in the seams, the front and the back.

I made belt loops, but I think I’m going to remove them. I don’t have a skinny belt. Well, I do, but I can never seem to find it when I need it i.e. now. I’ve gotten a lot of wear out of these and will probably make my next pants up in the same style. They are totally working for me.

Look Ma! No prints!


These pants conclude the parade of finished projects for the week. Hopefully some sewing over Thanksgiving. Maybe another skirt project and the start of pants or a shirt.

Black Pants


Here I am in the BWOF 5-2007-112 pants. They are made up from black on black seersucker. The lining is a pink poly/cotton batiste from Joann. They are really high waisted! Easily to my bellybutton. I did make the buttonhole in pink to try and infuse some interest in the pants.


I made a 1.5 inch full seat adjustment just to get the pant over my rear an in the vicinity of my waist. I went down to a 36 in the waist and up to a 42 through the leg. I, um, don’t think my rear is quite that pooky. I think there is some extra fabric there.

I did add 1.5 inch to the crotch point in the back. But, I think next time I will leave that off. They seem to have a little too much fabric under my bum.


I wore the outfit out tonight for my friend Sheryl’s birthday happy hour.

I have to say. These pants are so underwhelming. But, it’s fabulous to have a pair of pants that stay up at the waist and aren’t straining across my backside. I think with some tweaks these could become a good basic pattern. I really love the slope / flair.


Today, I pretty much got the first of the three skirts done. Since it’s mainly bias cut, it’s hanging now so the bias can drop. I’m planning on tackling the hem on Sunday or Monday.

People, We have PANTS!

I got an hour today to finish up the 9-2007-115 pants from BWOF. I’m really digging the higher waist looks. Especially since I think I’ve reached the age where it’s no longer cool (nor desirable) to show my stomach. I don’t love my fly front and it’s my fault. I didn’t add enough to the fly extension so the zipper head peaks out. The pants are wonderful, my workmanship is so-so. But, I have fully lined, basic colored pants that I should be able to wear all year. I, in fact, like the pattern enough to make them in another fabric soon.

I left off the belt loops. Mostly because I don’t have a belt to wear with these and the pants fit, so belt not needed to keep them up.

I did make a seam on the CB waistband so it would be easier to make alterations on the pant for fit. This one needed to come in about 2 inches at the CB to accommodate for my swayback. Not an actual alteration, just a taking in. Since I took them in that much / that high, I should have made about a 1/2 inch protruding seat alteration. I think that would take care of the wrinkles below my bum.

I know I don’t sound too positive. But, I really do like these. They just aren’t very well made. That being said, this is about the third pair of pants in my newfound sewing life and maybe the sixth I’ve ever made in 10 years. The fit is pretty good, the style is great, heaven knows I need basics.  I just need to practice a little more.

Review: Simplicity 4237

I don’t think there is a seam here that wasn’t ripped out and sewn back up on Simplicity 4237. User error overload! I lost the directions before I even made the muslin so I flew solo on these pants. And that’s fine because they are easy. Now, I know there are some wrinkles across the front. And I swear to you, it’s because I sat around in them to play on the computer. Fresh from under the iron, there are no wrinkles.

I have to say I looooove these pants. They are comfortable, they fit, no gaping in the back, love the pockets on them, love the length, love the width. Love it. Love it. Love it. Did you hear that Anthropologie? You can keep your $88 Whale Watcher Trousers!!

But look at what I had to mess up to get here….

1. Understitched the wrong side of the yoke
2. Sewed trouser fronts together vs a front and back together
3. Put the lining facing the wrong way
4. Realized lining went in the wrong way because one pant leg was finished on the right side, one on the wrong side.
5. Used bias to finish the yoke like RTW, except put it on the wrong side on the yoke
5. Put a serger hole in the lining while finishing

I will be wearing these tomorrow and like that I will sit down and my panties won’t show. I will stand up and it will be a good fit that keeps my pants close to my body rather than cinching of my belt within an inch of its life.

Alright, I am off to do an accounting of the haul from this morning’s Joann sale. Oh, one final thought. Seersucker still needs ironing! I had a photo with the matching jacket, but it needed ironing after spending the last two days laying around on my sofa.

More detailed review on PatternReview.com