Posted in sewing

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 🙂

Posted in sewing

Pattern Review: Burda Magazine 1-2008-122 Poet Blouse

I love this Poet Blouse from the January 2008 Burda! It’s soft, comfortable and just says ‘artist’. I asked my roommate to take my photos this morning because I couldn’t find my tripod for the life of me. I felt so vain telling her that I was going to need about 20 snapshots before I would have a few useable ones. But, she indulged me and did a great job!

It’s hard to see the details of the blouse since my camera had a fit with my skin contrasting with the bright blouse in the glaring sun. I finished this blouse well over a month ago and just got around to photos today. This, is actually going to be a part of my China, East Coast to Far East capsule. Please click on photos to enlarge (slightly).

The fabric is Egyptian cotton from Alexandria, Egypt (a sister city of Baltimore I might add). Despite fabric shopping in Egypt a few years ago, this is actually a gift from an Egyptian friend. The fabric is fantastic. My one qualm is that it is a super tight and dense weave. Pinning it proved a challenge with my needles sometimes bending!

This blouse was all the rage on when it first came out. I luckily traced it, but never got around to making it.

The only pattern change I made to leave the sleeve cuffs open. Only after sewing did I get the brilliant idea to measure the wrist opening. My forearms are larger than the pattern draft and I decided I just didn’t want to open it back up again.

I could have stood to make a FBA. But, sigh. I’m still learning to remember those. The fabric is a little stiff (and starched) so it can look pregnant without a lot of drape.

Perfect for summer and perfect for my trip!