Happy Easter everyonePosted: March 31, 2013 Filed under: Dressmaking, Fabric, Pattern Magic | Tags: Dressmaking, Fabric, PJ's, Trousers 7 Comments
I hope you are having a wonderful weekend. I was supposed to be away scuba diving this weekend but the weather conditions conspired against that so I have been having a busmans holiday and catching up on my sewing.
You may remember that I cut out another pair of the Burda trousers I was eventually so pleased with. This pair are a black needlecord with a little elastane in it. It has been impossible to get a good photograph wearing them, but they are now finished and I can confirm I am happy with this pair too. Strangely I had to take this pair in about 1.5cm on the seams over the hips – presumably the firmer fabric just made them more ‘sticky outy’ and needed to be more finely tuned. They are still a very comfortable, easy wear but it wont be a disaster if they shrink a little if dried outside in the sunshine. (Note the optimism!) I used some flame print cotton from stash for the inside of the waistband to jolly them up, and also cut bulk. I didn’t put the hip pockets on this pair, but did put patch pockets on the rear which I am more likely to use. I love this pattern, and it will be hard to move on and do my Patrones comparison now – but move on I must. I may end up back with the Burda which seems to fit well, but I do need to try the alternatives.
I have been working on a few projects recently but the one I decided needed to be given priority was my promise to the Management to make him some PJs. Why did I want to do this as a priority? The last two pairs of chain store PJs he bought in the same size turned out to be wildly different sizes, and both have given way on seams within a very short time of purchase. These were not ‘cheap’ garments – I am sure that we could have bought them elsewhere for less money but I can’t subscribe to the ‘wear it and chuck it’ mentality that is seen in the clothing industry at present.
The fabric was bought from Birmingham rag market for very little money and pre-washed ages ago. I even made the pattern from a cannibalized pair of his old PJs. I have to admit that I didn’t look too closely at the print on the fabric initially but when I did I had to buy it! Clearly this pair is just to test the pattern, but I have to say that he is remarkably pleased with them – and very happy to have his first pair of pj’s with helicopters on them.
As a trial this went very well but I will have to make some sensible pairs pretty quickly – I wouldn’t like to think of the treatment he would get if he had to go into hospital with these!
Mid week I had another trip into Birmingham with a list of things I needed to buy for customers. It was one of those days when nothing you wanted seemed to be available (one explanation given was that it was the end of the tax year so no new stock had been bought yet – it made strange sense to run down stock pre having to value it all for tax purposes). I was getting a bit frustrated and ended up in the Rag market (again) and bought three pieces of fabric for myself. Because I really need more fabric. Anyhoo, the details. The apple green is a fairly heavy cotton drill which I thought would make a great jeans style jacket. Or skirt. But not to be worn together. Ever. The orange is another cotton denim type, but a much lighter weight than the green. It looks like it will make great summer trousers. A bit Boden, don’t you think? The beige/grey/gold metallic knit could be made of anything and I really don’t care! I liked this and already know I want to make one of the twist type jumpers from the first Pattern Magic book from this. And all three pieces cost me less than £8. In total. Oh yes, there is 2.5m of green, 4m of orange, and 2m of knit. Bargainous!
I am planning to sew again tomorrow so I will start to clear the decks of things I need to do before I can start on this little haul. I can’t wait to make a start.
Happy Mothering Sunday!Posted: March 10, 2013 Filed under: Burda Magazine, Life | Tags: BWOF, Life, Trousers 11 Comments
I have had a wonderful Mothers Day. I woke up rather than being woken up. I had a jog along the river in Bewdley in a freezing cold wind with snow flurries and survived (I actually enjoyed it!). And then I came home to find a lovely floral arrangement from my wonderful daughter which I am happy to share with you all – pretty things should be shared.
After lunch I was able to spend some time finishing off the Burda trousers I have been making. They are model 143 from 2/2013, made up in a straight size 44. From my measurements I would have chosen a larger size but I always seem to end up fiddling with the fit to make them smaller so this time I cut the 44, but hedged my bets with large seam allowances! As I have already mentioned I did my best to foul these up, tracing the wrong line on the pockets so they had to be tweaked into place using that large seam allowance. I used a polyester/viscose mix from stock which has 6% elastane and I love the fit this pattern has given. I have taped the upper edge of the waistband to prevent it stretching in wear (I used the selvedge from some lining as I had run out of seam tape – I find this works very well and is a very thrifty option!). I did take the center back seam in about 1cm at the waist, which I was fairly amazed about, and the trousers sit really nicely into my back now without gapping. The only thing I am not 100% happy with is the pocket opening, but I should have known that I am ‘iffy’ about that pocket shape and changed it before I cut the fabric. It isn’t something I feel strongly enough about to be unhappy with this pair, but I will change it in future pairs. Yes, there will be more!
When you consider that these almost ended up in the bin last week they aren’t bad! I am happy with the fit, although I will ‘tweak’ it a little next time. I am planning to make these up again very soon without the side hip pocket shape I am unsure of. I know that I will have to use fabric with an elastane content, or allow a bit of extra ease.
This will double check that I am happy with the pattern before I pack it into a new file marked ‘Kim’s TNT Patterns’!
How to improve your sewing. Run away!Posted: March 8, 2013 Filed under: Burda Magazine, Life, Travel | Tags: BWOF, Life, Travel, Trousers 5 Comments
Well again I start with an apology for the delay in posting . I have been without my computer for a little while – it has been a bit ‘huffy’ for a little while so it was time for it to go for some TLC. Now that it’s back I anticipate being able to post without problems.
If only the same could be said of my sewing. I have realised that I need to give as much importance to my own work as I would do for a client. Perhaps I need to make me one of my clients? “What has caused this revelation?” I hear you ask. The Burda trousers. The ones I was going to finish last week.
I’m afraid I made an error tracing the pattern (Burda maps are much more ‘busy’ than the Patrones sheets) and it took me a while to work out why the pockets seemed to be pulling, and when I tried to put the waistband on all became clear. Or at least clear that there was a problem. It was only a very small corner of one pattern piece, but that was enough to cause problems. So I chucked the whole lot into a corner and ran away to Lyndhurst in the New Forest with the Management for a few days.
Everything seems much better having spent time walking – amazingly in sunshine! – and admiring the New Forest ponies who live loose in this area.Very relaxing although it may take a little while for my calf muscles to recover. 😦
On one of our days we visited the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu which had an exhibition of Bond vehicles. Now whilst I like sewing I LOVE Bond films! This was clearly going to be a lot of fun. In addition there are lots of other beautiful cars including Chitty chitty bang bang, the Back to the Future De Lorian, Mr Beans Mini, Del Boys Reliant (from Only Fools and Horses) and best of all ……. Ron Weasleys Flying Ford Anglia from Harry Potter. The Management thought I would probably last a couple of hours until he spotted this lot. Six hours later we staggered out. If you get the opportunity this place is well worth a visit. There were other attractions too. I hadn’t realised that a lot of the training of the Special Operations Executive agents was done in this area (and the SOE was also known as the Stately ‘Omes of England).
I came home thoroughly ready to do battle with my trousers – and today I have got them to the point where they just need to have to inside waistband fitted, a fastener, and be hemmed. I feel confident that I will have them finished tomorrow so provided I can get the Management to take some photographs I will post the finished article then.
Considering they almost ended up in the bin last week they are actually looking pretty good. Watch this space.
Are coloured jeans still ‘in’?…Posted: January 14, 2012 Filed under: Dressmaking, Patrones | Tags: Dressmaking markers, Patrones, Trousers 1 Comment
…because I have finally finished the Patrones jeans (cut out in may/june last year). I am trying to work out why it has taken me so long to get going with this project – I know I buried them a couple of times and forgot they were there but once I actually started sewing they really didn’t take too long.
I made a couple of adjustments from the original black pair. I felt that the pockets were too ‘open’ in the black pair so I raised the curved cutting line to give a smaller opening. I also reshaped the legs so that they were closer to a pair of Gap jeans I particularly like to wear.
I sewed the pocket bags with the birdy print visible to the inside – I thought it would be prettier that way, and taped the waistband at both of the seams to prevent the fabric stretching (which it seems to still want to do despite being interfaced – I imagine it is because the waistband is curved).I found a hammer in button that was obviously kept as a spare to a commercially made pair of jeans which was perfect for these.
Despite all the extra weight I am carrying after Christmas, and not stopping to fit these at all (sometimes I’m just reckless like that!) they got a comment of ‘Not a bad fit’ from the DH who was drafted in to take the photographs. Praise indeed.
Once upon a time…Posted: October 25, 2011 Filed under: Dressmaking, Patrones | Tags: Patrones, Trousers Leave a comment
Enough of that. I am currently feeling a bit cross with myself because way back in may I cut a pair of jeans from a Patrones pattern I had just made up so I could have a nice lilac pair for the summer.
I have just found the pieces in a bag – put away in a safe place (particularly safe from me!) to be made up when I finished a dress for me, and a batch of client work, way back in June. Clearly all that work was finished ages ago – but this little bag was already buried under other stuff and forgotten. Fast forward to me searching for something else ‘I know is here somewhere’ and you see how it was discovered.
The good thing about the delay in making these up is that I have hade plenty of time to wear the black pair and will make a few little tweaks to the pattern. As I had already cut the pieces I only have a few options (but I was glad to find I had already raised the pocket opening) so I will reshape the legs to be more like the shape of my favourite GAP jeans. I also changed the fabric for the facing pieces to the leftovers from my ‘birdy’ dress. The waist on the original pair turned out to be a bit too large so I will be reducing that too.
Given that all the prep is done (apart from interfacing the waistband and supporting the pocket seams) this should be a quick project so I am hoping to get them made this week around client work.
If I hadn’t buried these last time I was busy I wouldn’t be looking so hard for free time to make them now. Has anyone else found a project they had forgotten all about?