Posted in sewing

Unfancy Tobacco Linen Pull On Pants: Burdastyle 4-2011-139

While I’ve made my fair share of pants and jeans in the past, I can’t say they are my favorite to put together. I have a bit of a struggle fitting pants so I tend to avoid them. But, I get extremely desperate for pants each year, try to buy some RTW, get totally demoralized and ignore my need for pants for another 12 mos.

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Well, with a vacation looming last month (it was mah-velous), I knew I needed pants. My thighs touch and in the summer in can be terribly uncomfortable. We were going to be doing plenty of walking and flying. Shorts won’t cut it so pants it is. I settled on making a pull on pair because I didn’t want to invest a lot of time constructing pants that might not fit well. And, if I’m being honest, I hope to lose some winter weight I picked up and won’t have to worry as much about the fit later on.

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For this pair I chose the #139 from the April 2011 Burdastyle. This is a plus size pattern. I’m a 42 at the waist and a solid 50 through my lower thighs. My first two muslins were TERRIBLE.

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At the front I could see it straining across my jutting thighs. There was also not enough clearance for my stomach and the crotch was rightupinthere.

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On the reverse, not enough room for my protruding seat, a serious need for a swayback adjustment and also, not enough length in the crotch (you can see it pulling it up at the center thigh) By the third muslin on the far right, I was much happier with the fit.

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Here’s my final version of the pants in a tobacco linen. I actually surprisingly really like them. The waistline was originally too tall by a few inches, but I shortened it — which makes the pockets a bit too high on this pair.

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For the waist, I used a 2″ elastic vs the 1.25″ it’s drafted for. I just love wide elastic waistband. I think it looks more finished — especially with topstitching. This is a knit heavy stretch elastic so I cut it just 2″ smaller than my waist measurement and it grew a little less than 1″ after application and topstitching (making it the 1″ smaller than my waist measurement a heavy stretch should be).

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There’s also twill tape in the crotch seams to prevent those from bagging out (because linen stretches).

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You’ll note I skipped the hem band treatment on these pants. I decided I really liked this color and plan to wear them to work this summer. By keeping the bottom of the leg simple I think they are a hair more professional and less likely to be noticed when I wear them several times a week.

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I am thinking about reducing by a 1/4″ the length in the back crotch and shortening the rise another 1/2″. I’d like them to fit around my crotch a hair snugger. But, overall I am REALLY happy and plan to make several more over the summer.

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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 there 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. 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 facing 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 is 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.

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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!

 

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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.

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 🙂