Brocade Trousers: Burda 9/2014 #113

Burda 9-2014-113 brocade pants

DD1 has fallen in love with the brocade trouser trend.  Actually, she fell in love with crazy printed trousers when they first appeared a few years ago.  And because she’s so much fun to sew for (and easier to fit than my own self), when she said she liked these trousers from Burda’s September 2014 issue, I told her I had had the perfect brocade for them in stash.

Burda 9/2014 #113 technical drawingI love picking up roll ends from EmmaOneSock.com, and helped myself earlier this year when I saw this beautiful French gold/silver/black brocade.  I had vague notions of what it would become, but when DD1 saw the trousers in the magazine, I knew the fabric belonged to her.  She agreed.  I used bemberg to line them, and silk shantung from stash for the belt.

Burda 9-2014-113 back view

I made no alterations to this pattern, except to take in the waist significantly.  I chose to leave the fullness of the trouser front, and take in the pleats.  The pleats are sewn through all thicknesses once the trousers are finished.

Burda 09-2014-113 waist pleatsI love the shape of the zipper flap.  Details like this make a project special.

Burda 09-2014-113 zipI attached the lining to the hem, bagging it slightly, in order to keep everything neat and tidy, and free from the possibility of getting snagged.

Burda 09-2014-113 lining hemI added hanging loops at the waistline.Burda 09-2014-113 detailsAnd a belt loop to keep the curved “belt” in place.Burda 09-2014-113 carrierThe belt extends from the CB, around the right side of the trousers and attaches at the left front pleat.  There are inseam side pockets – which I personally loathe, but they’re necessary!

Burda 9-2014-113 waist

They’re a flashy pair of trousers.  I must say, I quite like them, and I’m so glad this beautiful fabric has been put to good use.

Burda 9-2014-113 metallic

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Ikat Trousers & Metallic Jersey

Burda 10-2013-140 ikat frontI completely fell in love with this fabric when EOS was having a roll-end party a few months ago, and decided I needed a pair of trousers of this stretch ikat brocade.  These trousers have been sewn and waiting for wear since the end of December, as part of my Burda Challenge 2013, so I thought I’d finally blog them.

I confess to still not having a perfect trouser pattern block.  Recently I learned about points of measure (POM) that are necessary in the RTW and pattern making world.  Apparently, the POM at 2 inches up from the bottom of a crotch curve should equal 6 or 7 inches between CF and CB when laying out the pieces flat with the crotch a continuous curve.

Let’s just say that NONE of the trouser patterns I have made to date have that measurement, which probably explains a lot of my fitting problems.  However, I’m getting ahead of myself: I learned this little VIP piece of information after finishing these trousers.  This post is about Burda 10/2013 #140, which is for stretch leather skinny trousers.  Well, stretch anything should work, right?  And at the time I sewed up these trousers, I was pretty dayum proud of tweaking the fit of my butt.

I attempted to tackle the fit with the help of this incredible book on fitting after reading about it on A Challenging Sew.  Can I just tell you this is a gold mine?  O.  My.  Goodness.  It’s the bible of fitting.  Amazing.

fitting and pattern alterationWell, I spent hours trying to imitate my personal shape on paper with the help of a flexible ruler, and came pretty near close to it.  I didn’t capture any photos, but the lining for these pants FIT WITHOUT ANY WRINKLES ANYWHERE.  I was gobsmacked.  First time ever without wrinkles in trousers other than an 80’s loose-fitting dress trouser.  Unfortunately, these stretch trousers are not so jaw dropping.

Burda 10-2013-140 sideI only half-lined them to the knees, and I wish I’d done a complete lining because the fabric isn’t the most comfortable to wear next to the skin. I wasn’t sure about the skinny legs of this pattern, so I straightened them out a bit.Burda 10-2013-140 ikatBut you can see the inseam is pulling up. I’m not quite sure what to do about that yet. Aside from that, the fit is comfortable and I’m pleased with it through the hips, but I’m not crazy about my straight-leg adjustment.  Maybe I created the problem with the inseam by beginning my widening of the skinny above the knees? Perhaps they’d be better if they just stayed skinnines.

Burda 10-2013-140 frontI’ve no intention of wearing these as everyday trousers – they’re a little attention-grabbing for me, and I haven’t figured out the right top or shoes (definitely not the booties I’m wearing in these photos).  They need something like stilettos or kitten heels.

Maybe I’ll pair them with this top that I haven’t yet shown the light of day.  It’s another garment from my Burda Challenge 2013 (Burda 12/2013 #119a).  I thought these two would be a fun holiday outfit when I initially sewed them but I never got around to wearing them this past holiday season.Burda 12-2013-119aThere’s a lot of fabric in the front cowl – about triple what one would usually expect in a draped cowl neckline – but the excess is a nice touch in a party top.

My fabric is a metallic bronze jersey that was BOG2, and I have enough to make a maxi skirt for the fun of being over-the-top.

I made two changes to the pattern.  I added strap keepers at the shoulders because the neckline is very wide. I will narrow the lower band by about 4 inches, since this is more flattering (I think) to my short waist.  Nine inches of close-fitting band around my upper hips is unthinkable.  I’ve just folded it up in these pics, hence the inconsistency from photo to photo.Burda 12-2013-119a belted partyWell, I’ve got a new party outfit for the upcoming holiday season eight months hence.  Now I just need to adjust those inseams and find a different pair of shoes.

Red Christmas

Burda 11-2012-121 redShe’s so pretty.  Isn’t she pretty?  She’s so pretty!   OK.  Enough mummy bragging. Down to the sewing stuff.

This was the last of my sewing projects with a December 24th due date:  DD1’s Christmas dress.  She chose this lovely gunmetal brocade with red flocking to be made up in dress from Burda’s November 2012 issue (click on the image for more details).  I muslined the bodice once after making a square shoulder adjustment and rotating the darts to the side seam.  This was my first time rotating a dart, too.  I would say it was minimally successful due to lack of practice.  Try and learn, right?

The fabric has a softer drape than the skirt required, so I underlined it with a soft net.  This seems to be the Christmas for stiff underlined skirts – lots of frosting fun!  I left off the pockets (what’s with pockets in a party dress? Isn’t that why you have blinged out clutches?) and I pressed the seam allowances towards the skirt because of the way I attached the lining.

Burda 11-2012-121 backBurda 11-2012-121 frontI am disappointed in this bodice after sewing up Vogue 8615, which went together beautifully and fit so well. I always have issues with the shape of Burda shoulders and I find the sleeves they draft a PITA to set.  I don’t know if this is because I choose the wrong sizes or because they lack all the markings that Vogue typically has.  Burda sleeves always seem to have a ridiculous amount of ease in the front – as though the sleeve head was drafted backwards – and never enough in the back. I have been experimenting with removing ease, but I haven’t mastered it yet.  And, quite frankly, sometimes I just don’t want to think through stupid re-drafting adjustments; I just want to sew something without having to think about it and have it work perfectly! I should have done a prominent shoulder blade adjustment for her R shoulder blade, but I didn’t:  I ran out of time.  Sewing by candlelight made me appreciate the amount of time that went into sewing garments before electricity and modern machinery became the norm.Burda 11-2012-121 sideI lined it in bemberg and drafted my own neckline facings and understitched them.  Why does Burda never suggest understitching for facings in their instructions? Or facings?  Both are required for a perfectly clean neckline finish, IMHO.  And one more confession: I left about 3 inches too much ease in the waist of this dress, but the advantage was lots of comfort room for dancing Christmas Eve away at our family gathering.

Blue Christmas

chinese brocade dressIsn’t this the most amazing colour?  In some lights it’s cobalt.  Other times it looks what in my mind I call “blueberry”.  And the highlights are baby blue, but other times they look turquoise.  It’s a visual feast, embodied in my DD3’s new Christmas dress.  She leapt at the fabric when she laid eyes on it, and after perusing The PatterV8615n Stash, chose this little classic number called Vogue 8615.  The selling feature was the BIG SKIRT.  Now, the brocade as has decent amount of heft, as most brocade does, but as you can see from some of the versions on PR (click the pattern image to see) the skirt falls rather flat.  The pattern does mention a purchased petticoat, which I think helps the skirt stand properly.  But I didn’t want to make a separate petticoat, and DD3 didn’t want to wear a separate petticoat.  Isn’t it nice when we’re on the same page with our clients?  🙂

I had in my mind this BIG SKIRT from Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, and since we watch this film bi-annually, I was quite sure that I could copy the stiffness of it.  If you watch this scene you’ll notice that the skirt actually bends, like there’s 20 layers of organza underlining.https://i0.wp.com/the-dandy-life.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/white-christmas-vera-ellen.pngI chose to use a stiff netting as underlining – just one layer – and the effect is similar.Vogue 8615 skirt interiorThe hem was fun to make.  Vogue suggests a narrow 5/8″ hem, but I wanted more support in that BIG SKIRT, so I turned it up 3 inches and micro-pleated in the extra fullness into purchased 1-inch-wide bias binding (that’s super stiff for some reason) and hand-stitched it to the underlining.  I did not press the hem.  The skirt is 6 yards in circumference, consisting of four panels.  The centre of each panel is cut on the straight grain, which means each seam is on the bias.  That was another reason I underlined it with stiff netting.  🙂  Netting on the bias doesn’t grow, and I was surprised, after cutting fashion fabric, that this brocade would if I’d let it have it’s own way.Vogue 8615 backThe dress is straining on Vintage Judy through the shoulders, but the V back fits DD3’s shoulders perfectly because I raised it by 1.5 inches and did a short-waist adjustments to keep it sitting properly.  I debated putting a waist stay into the dress, but didn’t.  I may add one if today’s wearing suggests it would be a good idea.  (Today is DD2 and DD3’s piano recital.)  Vogue 8615 beaded zipperThe zipper is hand picked, and can I just say it was such a massive pleasure putting a zipper in by hand again?  So much simpler than a lapped zip or an invisible zip and completely fuss-free. After inserting the zipper, I made an additional pass over the stitches and added iridescent beads.  It’s my first use of this decorative technique. Vogue 8615 blueThere’s a lot of pattern in this brocade, with a repeat that I ignored except on the CF bodice seam.  You can see from the pic above how the BIG SKIRT folds in on itself rather stiffly.  So pretty, even if I do say so myself.  I’m really liking this pattern, too.  It comes with custom bodice sizes A through D cup, two sleeve lengths, and seriously, peeps – who couldn’t love that BIG SKIRT?