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 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!


  1. Those pants look really good on you. I’m glad you’re posting more. When I’ve gone through my list of blogs, I’ve missed you. I’m also one that is a little glad 2009 is coming to an end. 2010 will be a great year for sewing and living.

  2. Those came out nicely. I get in those sewing moods when nothing I touch works out. I do other things to rest from trying to sew for me. Kids clothes are much easier.

  3. Miss Celie and her Pants!! Them is some classy trousers. All those little baggy bits and wrinkles we so often see were called ‘a dirty finish’ at college and what you are wearing? That would be ‘a clean finish’. CLEAN! I’m so happy for you – when it goes that well, fantastic feeling.

    I personally can’t wait to see the back of 2009, so here’s hoping for good things all round and especially good things involving sewing.


    (btw, re. lining. you can make a separate lining, add a couple of small eyes (thread or metal) in a couple strategic places around the waist, attach hooks to the lining and away you go. This is also much easier for laundry – you can wear the trousers more times between drycleaning and wash just the lining.)

  4. I’m so glad you rescued these trousers and then they in turn rescued you from your slump! I think I know what your mom means about wide legged trousers, though – I love them on others and I’ve tried to love them on myself, but my god do they make me look short and stumpy when I look at photos of myself wearing them (I’m 5’8″ so I’m not short in any way). I really only sew narrower leg trousers now, and have accepted it was just A Love That Was Not Meant To Be.

    Oh, and 2009 sucked. Hardcore. Bring on 2010.

  5. Yeah Cidell! Your pants are LOVELY. You should be so proud of yourself!

    I’m very glad to hear your slump is ending – you’re far too fabulous to stay in Slumpville for too long. Here’s to an AMAZING 2010!

  6. The pants look fabulous! Congratulations for getting a beautiful fit and getting the sewing mojo back.

  7. I see why you are so happy, indeed! Those are gorgeous pants. You are placed on my mental pedestal now 🙂 I’ve never done pants with fly zipper.

  8. Glad your slump is over and you have a fab pair of slacks to show for it; great job.

    Oh, I’ve been done with ’09 since July bring on ’10!

  9. Great pants! I like the front, and I love the fit in the back, they look great! I know exactly what you mean about slumps – I’ve been feeling the same way about sewing for the last few months, and then I made a dress that I am really happy with, and it worked at snapping me out of the funk.

  10. These pants look fantastic. The fit is great and your work is perfect! I struggle with wide leg pants, too. I’m still not sure I can wear them. I think it’s a matter of finding the leg width that works for you and sticking to that, regardless of fashion. I need to work on my pants because I don’t have a TNT pants pattern yet. I’ll be watching your progress with great interest.

  11. I am so glad you are back 🙂 And you have an awesome pair of pants to boot. They look very professional – both in that they are well made, and they work well in a professional wardrobe.

  12. Good to see you can come out of a slump, as I am in week 2 of slumpland, with no desire to sew or blog…. Love the pants!

  13. Your pants look very nice. In fact, the whole outfit looks great. I like pleats by the pockets. Welcome back to sewing.

  14. The pants are hotness! I love the pockets and the tiny pleat, and the styling is great with the wicked sweater and shirt. I know what you mean about the wide leg, but I find that as long as they’re worn with a defined waist, they can be very flattering (having said that, I’m only 5’1 and might be kidding myself when I wear wide leg pants, but I don’t care because I love them). I think you could also rock them with some gorgeous silky blouses, Katherine Hepburn-stylie…

    I’m glad you’ve gotten through the slump (life and sewing)–I can’t wait to see what you stitch up next!

  15. And, if you want to see what a cheviot sheep actually looks like (actually, there are two types, one larger and with a sort of ‘Roman’ nose and the smaller one but..), go here.
    We tried raising cheviots once. We’ve raised big sheep and bigger sheep and I can tell you that the smaller they are, the feistier they are. All that energy is squeezed down into a smaller package. One we had jumped straight up in the air in front of one of our kids, hit my daughter in the head and gave her a black eye. But the fiber from them…fantastic for woven goods.

  16. I know exactly how you feel,, when you have gained weight,, (it’s not noticable on you) you don’t feel like sewing anything,, but keep sewing,, you did a great job on those pants, and they look great on you,,,,

  17. Greta post, great pants! I’m sorry 2009 was a rough year and look forward to more posts. You have a huge fan club.

  18. You can line just the knees to avoid bagging. Lining fabric hemmed at both ends and just attached at either seam. Am I explaining this ok? I did this once and it was somewhat hard to put on the pants. I kept getting hung up in the lining until I put tiny hem stitches, invisible on the front of the pants, on the top of my knee lining. Kathy

  19. I can understand why you are happy because the trousers did turn out nicely. I just purchased Making Trousers for Men and Women and think this book will be handy for me, lol.

  20. Cidell,

    The pants are gorgeous. The fit through the back looks just perfect. It is great to have you back. I have misssed your posts.


  21. They do look good on you, but you might find a slimmer cut a bit more flattering. That is a fine looking outfit overall. The fit of the pants is wonderful.

  22. That’s some intriguing title you came up with – made me look up the definition of cheviot (a breed of hornless sheep with thick short wool, originally from the Cheviot Hills); never would’a guessed. The pants fit you beautifully, thanks to yourself and all those shivering hornless sheep.

  23. I’m in the same boat as you as far as a number of the things you mentioned are concerned. I too have found myself not wanting to sew or blog. My solution has been to do craft sewing for awhile. Too many wadders!

  24. How great are these!!? These are so flattering you must make more. It is amazing how a good project can turn us around. Get sewing, Girl.

  25. Your pants look wonderful! I think this is my first time commenting. I am always inspired by your sewing!

  26. Great job I think they look great! We must have the same jobs! Stress just takes away your joy at times. Glad you are doing so well. Happy 2010!

  27. Your pants look awesome. I love that pleat at the pocket. It appears you are doing very well with pants!
    I am glad you have moved out of your slump!!

  28. Putting on pants usually has the opposite effect on my mood, but I can definitely see why you are so happy! They look great, especially the awesome pockets.

  29. First, the pants are beautiful. Second, I’m glad to hear how something like pants can catalyze a whole-being shift for the better 🙂 Glad you’re taking joy in them and beyond. 2010’s going to be great 🙂

  30. Three cheers for you!!! The pants are fab and you sound like you are on a roll. Now if only I could get Marji here to “fix” me….lol

  31. You look great in this outfit. Happy for you that these pants had such a positive effect on you. We all have times when it just isn’t working in general and with sewing in particular. Glad to see you’re back.

  32. I want pants like that (and I’m 5’5″). Fantastic fit. I want fit like that too! I went straight ot the pattern and zoot! It’s archived. If it were one of their downloadables I would have bought it on the spot. I’ve been having a ‘Three-months-of-skirts’ (My sewing speed is just plain slow), but your pants have my eyeing my (as yet uncut) pants patterns with more enthusiasm…..

  33. Your bum does look faboo!! I think that silhouette totally works for you. But I do love me some wide legs. The fit is amazing, you should be really proud.

  34. They look great! I’m glad to hear these have helped to get you out of your sewing slump and to help improve your general well-being. Here’s to a fabulous 2010!

  35. Those pants look fabulous!!! You did an awesome some on them. Wear them well. I also agree, I think you finally have a TNT pants pattern.

  36. You know what they say–nothing succeeds like success!!! Your pants look great and hopefully we’ll be hearing lots more from you. Sally

  37. The fit is terrific! Congratulations. And it’s so nice to hear you get excited about a project again – makes me want to pick up an old project and get moving on it!

  38. They truly do look wonderful. As for lining, why not make some pants liners (glorified PJ bottoms) out of Ambiance (I prewash mine) with a small elastic casing at the waist. No need to attach to pants, can wear with ALL your pants, can WASH the liner and not dry clean the pants so often. I find Ambiance very comfortable and it cuts down on wrinkles, just like an attached lining would. When the pants liners wear out, make more 🙂

    And yes, let’s here it for this year and decade to be over!

  39. Good to see you sewing again! They fit! I agree about the wide leg pants. We are the same height and somewhere in between narrow and wide is a good range for me. I am happy to see that you have recovered from your fear of fly front zippers. Good job on it!

  40. Beautiful pants, in which you look beautiful! The wide leg is totally in proportion, and is very flattering. I myself am 5 foot nothing on a good day, and think I look good in a (proportioned) wide leg, so YOU should have no worries!
    Meredith, you’re a genius.

  41. I have way to much to express in one reply…lol. First off, amazing job on the pants. I hate to type this for all to read, but have to: Your butt looks great in those pants.

    I just saw the S.B. video last week. It was helpful for me to watch, but I had to still go with the pattern’s version. I think it just made me feel more confident to make the fly front as opposed to truly using her method. That being said, I have read a gazillion of blogs where they swear by this method.I’ll have to try it again.

    Now – the jealous part…lol. I was planning on doing a pants making marathon and even bought fabric to make 6 pairs only to start on a dress. Now that I see yours, I wish I had.

  42. So glad you are feeling better about things. I really enjoy reading your blog so I’m excited for you that are re-inspired. The pants look great on you, I think!

  43. These pants look fabulous. Thanks for the kick, I need to finish my grey flannels :-).
    But listen girl, don’t run yourself ragged lining every pair of pants. No lining can outlast good-quality wool (see coat post above..). I make generic liners. Then I can wear them to soften up every pair of wool pants, to warm up every other pair, to keep knees in shape, to provide glide over long johns.. You get it. No need for fancy construction, they look fine enough even if I’m caught with my pants down, and I just make a new batch every fall.

  44. Great to see you back in action! Those pants look fabulous!
    It seems 2009 was not a good year for a number of us. Here’s to a less stressful 2010!

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