Posted in sewing

Burda Magazine 11-2008-126: The Accidental Maternity Pants

I’m going outdoor ice skating and on a cold weather bicycle ride this weekend. How cold? Well, it’s mid 20s F (-2 C) here right now and was like 17 degrees (-8 C) yesterday with the wind chill. The ride is four hours to various bakeries and delis in NE Baltimore city.  I figure we’ll be biking 20 minutes, stopping and eating so it shouldn’t be *too* bad. I realized I was going to need to dig into my supplex and make myself some exercise / yoga pants. I went with the November 2008 Burda pants. I eliminated the pocket because I wanted a quick and dirty project.

I cut a 38 at the waist and graduated to a 44 at the thigh based on my measurements. The good news is this can be made in a couple of hours. The bad news is that as drafted and with my design ideas, they looked like maternity pants.

Yeah. I don’t know what I was thinking. I wanted a pop of pastel yellow color and liked that the pants were bisected. But, instead I made them look like a maternity panel.

It’s not helped with the elastic I cheated with instead of a drawstring. They were also too big at the hips by several inches.

I slept in them overnight and actually got overheated! I also wore them under a dress for my morning commute (I took them off once I got to work). They are very warm and didn’t lose thier shape. When I got home, I removed the waistband and reduced the width by half.

I also took about three inches out at the side and center front seams of the pants and the waistband.

I used the drawstring (actually the remnant from shortening the waistband) they recommended instead of elastic at the top. Whoa. Much better.

Despite making a swayback adjustment of 1.5 inches (the same adjustment also helps for  a full seat), I still needed the drawstring to snug up the back of the pants. I’m concerned about showing my unmentionables in these since they ended up being lower than planned. This supplex is AWESOME. It’s thick enough to lift and support and dark enough to smooth everything out and not show any cottage cheese.

I read several positive reviews on PR about the pattern as drafted. But, for me, it was too big and my bad idea to use such  high waisted contrast.

The belly shot is not intended to show my stomach per se. It’s to show how much lower the pants are with my modification. I prefer them higher waisted. I’m no longer at the point where my mid-section should be seen without me sucking in (as I am doing above). I’m not sure why I feel the need to explain that either though.  I’m generally happy with how these worked out. Especially given how comical they were before. I made a second pair with a two inch sway back adjustment with a blue accent and the waistband is a little higher.

I thought I was going to do the Sticher’s Guild SWAP for a new workout wardrobe. But, I needed to get a jump on my sewing for this weekend. I have a wrap top cut out that I hope to get sewn up in time for Saturday. I’m thinking two coordinating sleeveless tops from the 2006 Burda and leggings from the January 2011 Burda. That should be pretty easy over the Christmas break.

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Posted in sewing

Camel Toe Wadder

I’ve been sewing for a good 15 years now. I’ve been kind of serious about it the last four. If there is something I have foolishly never paid attention to, it’s directional stretch. As long as my knit fabric stretched, I figured that’s good enough. Until now.

Ummm, apparently two-way stretch means it should stretch lengthwise *also*. Oh yes my friends. Camel Toe Leotard. I have so many descriptions for how this looked on me. But, this is sort of  family blog (in that my family reads it) so I’ll leave it alone. I bought two colorways of this knit material last weekend at JoAnn Fabrics and Fleece and it only had stretch going widthwise. The pattern is Kwik Sew 3671.

It sewed up in less than two hours Sunday morning. I didn’t realize my mistake until I tried to put the leotard on and I struggled to get it over my shoulder. It was clear it needed about two more inches in length. I quickly compared it to my other leotards and realized that my leotard has no lengthwise stretch. Doh!

The pattern, is wonderful. It’s exactly what I wanted, higher in the back, flattering neckline, longer leg openings. And fantastically drafted.

click to enlarge

I’m especially proud I used my elasticator foot on my serger to apply the leg and neckline elastic.

It gives such a nice polished finish inside. That little knob controls the tension on the elastic.

Then, you can top stitch along the outside with a twin needle. Totally looks ready to wear. And alleviates the current trauma of not owning a cover stitch machine.

Here’s another ballet skirt. Definitely my favorite. I like the see through quality of this one. This material is also from JoAnn.

I have a couple more knits I’ve worked on the last week to show you. I thought I had sworn off knits for a bit. But, they are good for quickly bulking up your wardrobe after a closet purge.

Posted in sewing

The Jalie 2105 Leotard (and another skirt)

I’m taking ballet twice a week now to meet my en pointe goal. And, I love it. My Thursday night class is full of women my age. Awesome. None of us can do splits and we all grunt through the stretches. Saturday class is me and a 16 year old. A very flexible 16 year old. A very flexible 16 year old with some long legs. We’ll be dancing the recital together in December. It’s quite remarkable how her knees make absolutely no popping noises in plies. It’s a funny thing. I have the mental discipline in my 30s for ballet but not the physical. She has the physical ability, but not the mental discipline. It’s really a balancing act, isn’t it?

The photo below is totally illustrative of my body type. Big sway back, protruding seat and muscular front thigh.

The reviews for the Jalie leotard on PR are all for small children. Everyone thought the legs were too high cut for a small child. I made up the pattern using wicking material from Montreal. I think the legs as drafted are too high for a ‘ballet cut’ leotard. That being said, the pattern does not profess to be a ballet leotard. My RTW leotards have a lower leg and more rear coverage. In truth, overall a high cut leg is more flattering on me, it just doesn’t feel ‘ballet’. It feels more ‘dance’.

This pattern also has raglan sleeves. I have since discovered I prefer sleevelees. I’m also not a huge fan of the neckline and it’s interesting that the back is much lower than the front. (Ugh. Back fat.)  I *have* to wear a sports bra or two when I work out, so I think I want a a higher back or a t-strap back to my leotard and lower in the front. I don’t want this to sound like a negative review as it’s not. It’s just not what I need for a leotard pattern. That being said, the instructions are excellent and it’s perfectly drafted.

I'm jumping and look so much like my mother I was startled

I have two Kwik Sew patterns that I hope to make up next weekend in some cotton interlock from Joann Fabric. A new leotard runs about $21 through my dance studio. Making my own is about $15. No great savings. But, they are fast and I can get them in colors I really like this way 🙂

The skirt is Jalie also and from silky something from Joanns. I wanted something a little more see-through. The skirt is around $8 to make. I still like the skirt pattern with a self drafted belt.