Burda 08/2011 #136: Pleated Trousers

After the success of the last three slim fitting trousers, I wanted to continue experimenting with styles and silhouettes.  My bottom half is quite firmly in the Burda Plus range, unless I want to adjust patterns excessively (which I cannot be bothered to do unless severely pressed), so I thought I would trace off this little gem from Burda 8-2011-136 and see how it went.  I don’t always like the way Burda styles curvy women – the proportions are all wrong and the fit is always 1,000,000,000 miles off of anything a self-respecting woman with curves would want to wear, in my not-so-humble opinion.  But I was curious to see what some of the styles they put out in the plus range looked like on someone like me i.e. not young and statuesque.

Burda 8-2011-136 drawing

I chose to make this pair out of tencel denim from EOS. I had some misgivings about making trousers from the fabric, as it’s quite drapey, and my previous experience of anything tencel or rayon includes horrible wrinkling and pilling. But this is a medium-weight poly-rayon-elastene blend, tightly woven, and although I’ve been wearing the trousers all morning, you can see the fabric doesn’t really hold onto the wrinkles, thanks to the polyester, I’m sure.

I’m not completely comfortable with the style of these trousers on me. They are a rather loose fit, and I sometimes feel like they are too loose while I’m wearing them, but they look as though they fit well enough in the photos.  Opinions?

My tops change in these photos – I was trying to see what would look OK with the trousers, as I really like the fabric and I’m totally in love with the colour.  I find mirrors don’t often offer an accurate perspective on ratio or proportion. This is with Vogue 1093, a Donna Karan pattern that I made up in 2010, I think, and almost never wear because it’s just such a statement, and I don’t always like people staring at me as I walk through parking lots or whatever…

Burda 8-2011-136 Vogue 1093

You can see the top of a tank top made from silk jersey at the neckline.  I’m planning a post on that top shortly.

And me rolling up the hems for the next set of pictures….

Burda 8-2011-136 tabs

And what they look like with the tabs doing their job.  The top is Vogue 1245.

Burda 8-2011-136 rolled

I have to say, the inseam tends to roll down to my ankles after wearing them for a bit…

Burda 10-2010-118, rolled trousers

The front crotch depth is very long – I even shortened it as per my usual pattern adjustments – but check out this action shot. I noticed in the Burda magazine photo there doesn’t seem to be so much length on the model, so I really don’t know what happened.

Burda 8-2011-136

I love the details on the back. I left of the superfluous centre back waistband button tab. I just couldn’t see the point.  The pockets are faux, as I didn’t want the bulk of the pocket bags on my backside.

Burda 8-2011-136 details

And a close up of the hemline tabs.

Burda 8-2011-136 hem tabs

Well, whatever the fashion police verdict on these trousers is, they’re in my wardrobe, and I’ve been wearing them quite happily. I’m pleasantly surprised at how many random pieces in my closet actually work quite nicely with them.

How about you? Taken a style risk lately?

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Vogue 1454

Thank you all for your kind comments on the last post.  You realize, right, that the topstitching on the previously posted trousers is now The Standard, which I shall drive myself insane trying to meet for the rest of my sewing life….. 🙂

Earlier this summer I went on a stash-busting spree. No particular motive in mind, except that I was so sick and tired of feeling ugly and underdressed. It started at Easter back in the spring, and I’ve been sewing up a storm, but never feeling like I wanted to photograph anything when I was wearing it. So I’m working backwards.

In August I took DD2 and DD3 on a month-long road trip to Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. I grew up in western Canada, and had a deep need to drive for miles under the open sky, wind through the mountain passes, and dip my toes into the Pacific Ocean. Along the way we visited Drumheller in the middle of the Alberta Badlands and home to the Tyrrell Museum. It’s ground zero for dinosaurs. Now, I’m not particularly interested in dinosaurs, but I do love the geography of the Badlands. It’s dry, windy, dusty, incredibly surreal and other-worldly. See?

V1454 B 1-2016-135

I’m wearing the second version of the slim BurdaStyle trousers mentioned in the last post. The fabric is a stone-coloured stretch denim from EOS that’s been languishing in my stash for I can’t remember how long. It was a roll end, I believe, and there was just enough for these jeans. (Trousers? I always want to call them ‘trousers’, even if they’re made of denim, because they don’t have all the traditional ‘jeans’ details…)

This is a softer, stretchier denim than the peach denim in the last post. This was actually the first iteration of this pattern.

Burda 01/2016 #135 details

The top is from the last set of Donna Karan patterns that Vogue put out. I purchased it just because it was a Donna Karan pattern, and I’m glad I did. I love this top. It’s boxy, but it’s so comfortable and so fun to wear. I made it up from a linen blend from very deeeeeeeep stash. I honestly cannot remember where I purchase the fabric, and that’s saying something, because I always remember where fabric comes from.

Now, I really dislike fabrics that show the outline of undergarments, and this wasn’t quite opaque enough for me. So I self-lined the bodice, and used flat-felled seams to ensure nothing will ever get shifty.

Vogue 1454 flat-fell seams

But it didn’t quite work out in my favour at the hemline… lack of planning, I suppose, in terms of which direction the ‘fell’ went in the flat-fell. 😀 But it’s not really noticeable while I’m wearing it, unless you’re a fellow seamstress looking closely at details. Yes, this is the right side of the garment, looking at it from the front.  oooopsie…

Vogue 1454 hemlines

It was windy on the photoshoot, which worked in my favour, because it shows how the back flounce moves on this top.

Vogue 1454

Here’s another photo to show how much ease is built into this design. It made for a cool top in hot weather!

Vogue 1454 back

And a last one from the front. Like I said, it’s boxy, but I’m somehow liking this at the moment.

V1454

Vogue 1282: Stripe redo

First, I just want to say thank you to all of you who left feedback via the poll on my previous post. I was so pleasantly surprised that most of you (94%) liked the mismatched stripes. I also reviewed this on Pattern Review and the response was very positive again.

But…. I…. just…. couldn’t……  Argh!  My inner perfectionist just couldn’t-shouldn’t-wouldn’t rest easy.  And then I saw The Material Lady’s Drape Drape 2 tunic with perfectly matched stripes and that finished my waffling on it.  Begin digression: And speaking of Drape Drape patterns, I traced off the Drape Drape 2 No. 4 Asymmetrical Top pattern, graded up through the waist and hips and am really disappointed because the L/XL sizes with my changes fit my daughters.  Not me.  The XL size has 33″ measurement for 38″ hips.  Uh… the last time I had 38″ hips I was a 16 year-old teenager with an eating disorder.  I can’t imagine the endless hours of exercise I’d need to get down to that size.  So, no Drape Drape clothes for me.  I’ll stick with Donna Karan! End digression.

So I unpicked stretch triple stitches (Pia has the record, btw…) and made some changes.  First, I deliberately off-set the stripes down the CF like a checkerboard.

Vogue 1282 CF stripe offset

And then I fixed the centre back seam and matched those stripes from the high hip to the hem.  It cost me about 3cm in lost width, but I’m happier – so much more satisfied! – with the result.

Vogue 1282 CB stripe re-match

Perhaps a little less interesting, but my inner nerd isn’t writhing in a striped torture chamber.  😉

Vogue 1282

Vogue 1282 dress front

I’ve had this lovely black and cream striped rayon jersey in my stash for about a year, and I wanted to make something unique or unusual with it.  After seeing Allison’s striped top I went on a hunt for a design idea for this fabric. I had a little more than one yard of 60″ fabric and I hoped to get a dress out of it, not just a top.

If I had any degree of creativity or technical skill, I would have tried draping this fabric in an homage to Vivienne Westwood, but I don’t, so I hunted through patterns and landed on Vogue 1282. Line ArtI know.  Not very adventurous, but I had just finished making it up in a roll-end from EOS in a dark dijon rayon knit, and wondered if it would work in a stripe. I thought perhaps the excess fabric below the waist in the top would be perfect in a lengthened dress version, creating visual interest with the stripes, and hiding fluff.  Then I stumbled upon Ellen’s version from a couple of years ago that had a subtle stripe and it decided me.  I picked laid out the fabric and the pattern….

Vogue 1282 fabric

….. and shortened the bodice above the armscye (because it sits very low) by about 2 inches (5 cm), instead of just adjusting it at the shoulder seams during construction, as I did for the top, and plunged in with my cutting shears.

Vogue 1282 alteration

Instead of facing the armholes, I cut strips of fabric on the cross grain, one stripe-width finished width and left them as an extended edging.  It completely changes the fit of the pattern since they act as little 3/4″ sleeves.  It means the neckline sits at the outer edge of my shoulders instead of close to the neck, and results in the front drapes being a bit wider/shallower instead of narrow/deep.  But it also means I don’t need bra strap keepers and the shoulders are stable.  And it creates an asymmetrical look across the top, as the binding extends the vertical stripes on the right, making it look wider than the left.  Just one of those quirky things that are currently endearing this dress to me at the moment. As for the CF plunge, I’ve discovered a new little trick:  use a bobby pin to pick up one or two seam threads and clip it to the centre bridge of my bra.  Nothing moves.  Brilliant!

Vogue 1282 sleeve detail

I honestly wasn’t sure about this, but after seeing the pics (mirrors lie, y’know) I like it, but some details bother me.  For instance, the lack of stripe matching on the CF of the drape.

Vogue 1282 striped

And again down the CB seam.

Vogue 1282 striped back

Try as I might I just could not match up those stripes without creating weird alternating patches of easing and stretching which refused to lay properly and looked terrible down the back of the dress.

Vogue 1282 dress back

Similarly, if I match the stripes on the front drape, it will mean one side is longer than the other and sits at a different angle.  But my inner seamstress/perfectionist is squirming looking at these photos!  So, because I’d like your opinion, I’ve created a poll to either leave it, or fix it.  It’s anonymous, so please be brutally honest.

Vogue 1038: The Dramatic Shirt

Vogue patterns Donna Karan

Wow.  It feels good to be sewing so much again.  And sewing garments that I like, that fit and that are fun to make and wear!  Case in point, this fantastic over-sized tunic – blouse? – shirt? – from Donna Karan, courtesy Vogue 1038.https://mezzocouture.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/fa1a3-v1038.jpgI’ve made the skirt, although I’ve never blogged it.  You can see the skirt here.  It’s a dream to wear.  But this post is about the shirt.  That glorgiously oversized off-the-shoulder shirt that I don’t wear off the shoulder…

Vogue 1038 shirt back

I delved into my linen stash for this very lightweight semi-opaque woven stripe, and started cutting. I’ve always loved Donna Karan’s designs from a construction point of view, and the fact that they are so very unusual.  This top was no disappointment in either department.

The yoke is cut so that the shoulder seam is actually sitting on the bias.  Because I don’t really want to have to wear this off the shoulder, I added strap keepers at the shoulder points along the collar seam.

Vogue 1038 bra keepers

It makes the back yoke curve down a little bit, but it’s secure this way, and the sleeve cap sits at the edge of my shoulder like it should this way.

Vogue 1038 shoulders

I made absolutely no adjustments to this shirt, except to add a self-fabric wrapped 3-inch long piece of spiral steel boning at the CF to tuck behind undergarments in order to keep the front securely in place.

Vogue 1038 bra stay

The silhouette of the shirt is so dramatic.  It’s got great lines from all angles.  And people love seeing Donna Karan garments.  Wearing this shirt was no exception.  People stopped to comment on it and ask “who I was wearing”.

Vogue 1038 side

I’m not a model, so wearing it with the skirt is completely out of the question.

Vogue 1038 front

See?  Ridiculous on anything but a 6 foot stick with legs.

Vogue 1038

I’ll pair it with one of my many versions of another Donna Karan pattern:  Vogue 1039. I’ve tried to make this pattern a TNT – I just love the details on the capris –  and I’ve made them up just recently in a leopard laminated denim and the light olive stretch denim I’m wearing with this shirt for these pics.

Donna Karan head to toe

Yeah, maybe it’s a bit on the big and loose side, but it’s super comfortable and something different for those days when I crave “unusual”.  Have you made anything outside the tried and true world of staid jeans, trousers, tops or dresses?  Do you wear your unusual make very often?

 

Gold Chevron Vogue 1027

Vogue 1027  frintI’m grinning like a fiend because I’ve finally sat down at a sewing machine and sewn a few seams!  Woo hoo! This is the first of several stashbustin’-end-of-summer sewing projects before I wrap my head around several jackets that are needed this fall.

I waffled between another Tiramisu dress or my third Vogue 1027, but I really wanted a dress that would hide my waistline fluff instead of draw attention to it, and this light jersey with gold chevrons would be a little less than flattering, I thought, with a Tira midriff section. So the Donna Karan design won the argument.gold chevronsI made a slightly over-zealous FBA which gives the bodice a looser fit than the pattern design, but I’m OK with that.  I don’t like a knit garment to fit like a second skin.Vogue 1027 bindingsI used long narrow strips of fabric cut on the cross grain to finish the neckline and cap sleeves instead of hemming the neckline and using the shaped armhole facings.  This is my preferred finish for knits, but I’m sure you’ve all heard that every time I write a blog post about a knit garment.

I shortened the back by 2 inches – my usual short waist adjustment.  And I shortened the skirt by about 3 inches.  I think this length is summery and flattering.Vogue 1027I hadn’t hemmed the skirt prior to taking the pictures, but I have since folded up a narrow hem and double stitched it.  My new dress form made obtaining an even hem very simple.  One other change:  I added a tricot lining to the skirt.  This is the first yellow dress I’ve owned since I was a 6 year old, twirling in my MacLeod tartan sunburst pleated winter dress, and I’m liking!V 1027

One Year Later: Vogue or Burda trouser block?

Since I can’t actually sew while my house is upside down and backwards, I thought I’d finally blog some things I’ve finished but never talked about.  Thanks for all your commiserating with me and the good wishes, too.  I cannot believe the withdrawal I am suffering through not being able to actually SIT DOWN AND SEW A SEAM.  However, the basement is dry and sanitized, so now I just need to wait for installers so everything can be put back into order and we’ll never know anything happened!

It’s almost exactly one year to the month since my first go at the skinnies from Vogue 1039.   After the saga of capris this past spring and the trouble and hassle and “it’s-better-than-it-was-but-I’m-still-not-satisfied” fitting journey, I thought I’d try my hand at these Donna Karan skinnines again with a stretch denim.

V1039.jpgNo particular reason except that in a fit of pique I thrifted all my RTW jeans and capris this spring and really really needed a pair of something to wear that wasn’t dressy, but that would keep me warmer than capris would through the coolish spring weather we’ve had this year.  And since I really truly do like that pleaty-pleat top but lack a pair of skinnies in a complementary colour, I thought I’d try another go and see if I couldn’t tweak the fit a little.  Ok.  A lot. And this is how I cheated – I mean tweaked.Burda 04-2013-114I traced off Burda 4/2013 #114 in my size (well, actually one size smaller because it’s a stretch fabric and my experience dictates going down a size with stretch fabrics) and laid each piece over the corresponding Vogue ones.  I should have taken a picture, but didn’t, of course. *handforehead* Let me just say that the difference was s.i.g.n.i.f.c.a.n.t. and similar to what you see between pattern pieces in this comparison post.  This was a good place to begin for tweaking or perfecting the fit on trousers for me.  Here is the front view.  I forgot to stand up straight (being so darned uncomfortable with the truthfulness of proper mug shots that I unconsciously avoid head-on poses), so you’ll have to believe me when I say the horizontal lines are not there when I’m standing straight.Vogue 1039 I have no intention of ever wearing these with my shirt tucked in, but as this is a sewing blog I know you’ll all appreciate the photos. ha ha (shudder)  The length of these skinnies is the Vogue length, which I’m very much on the meh side of the fence about.  Whatever.  This is a wearable muslin until the next pair. My favourite details:  the pocketses!Vogue 1039 pocketsMy thoughts after making these up without any adjustments to the Burda block:  Burda wins.  I need to add about 1 inch in length to the centre back and scoop out the back through the crotch a bit, but I just want to say that this is a much better place to begin fitting than any casual Vogue pant or capri pattern I have ever sewn (barring classic trousers). There’s been a lot of griping about the Big 4’s pattern blocks in sewing webland lately, and although I generally disagree for an entire blog post of reasons*, I can really see the point when it comes to trousers.  I cannot wait to trace off other Burda trouser patterns and see what happens.  Dare I say I’m a bit excited about this?Vogue 1039 pantsAfter reading a lot of blog posts about making jeans, fitting jeans, and wanting a few pairs that I liked in Burda mags over the last couple of years, I’ve acquired a very small stash of stretch denim to try this myself.  This is the first almost-successful go at it.  BTW, these photos were taken at the end of the day, and I’m really pleased with how the fabric held its shape.  It’s another stretch woven from EmmaOneSock.  I love the quality of her fabrics.

Oh, and I did take pics of my backside, but I’ll spare y’all that information.  Let’s just say that I really do need to scoop out the back.  I promise I’ll post pictures after I find an invisible zipper that won’t separate on me every single time I put these on.  Or maybe I’ll put in a fly zip.  But that would “ruin” the look of these.  This is the second zipper that’s unhinged itself on these.  stupid zipperThe first invisible zip was replaced by a regular zipper, but the side seams pulled away from it whilst zipped, which I thought was incredibly messy and ugly.  So I went hunting for another invisible zip, and it split on the second wearing.  I still haven’t decided what to do with this PITA conundrum.   A metal zipper like this (click for source)?  Any brilliant ideas?

Jackie Seamed Side Zip Skinny Trubador 2*Which will remain unwritten.  Suffice it to say that the more I sew the more I think muslins are in order more often than not – even for a t-shirt – and I really don’t see the point of trying to imitate casual RTW quality clothes at home.  It’s entertaining and amusing, but one-of-a-kind frosting makes my sewing heart sing, not copies of a basic t-shirt.  Just sayin’.