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?

Miss V’s Wardrobe 2016

I was looking through my blog posts and realized I had made a collection of new clothes for Miss V only just last year!  Amazing how time flies and yet seems so far away at the same time.

Miss V was here visiting home from Cambodia for the last 6 weeks, and she wanted new clothes.  So, for a change, we went fabric shopping together at the Fabricland closest to her and bought fabric for 3 tops, 2 trousers, 4 dresses and a cardigan.  I was all ready to start sewing two weeks ago, and then everyone under the age of 18 in my household got sick.  I still don’t know what they were ill with, but it was miserable for a while.  Needless to say, there was no sewing when there should have been sewing.  But I managed to get everything done, and reasonably well enough (considering how little fitting opportunities there were), and off on the plane in Miss V’s bags earlier this week.  This is more of a catalogue for my (future) self, but I thought you’d like to see what she chose this time.

Variations on Vogue 9595 (OOP). The pink is a stretch polyester brocade with a self-lined bodice. The cotton has a mock sarong overlay. Both of them have in-seam pockets (which I hate). She prefers gathers in the bodice to pleats.

Vogue 9595 variations

Vogue 1415.  I’ve actually made the trousers from this pattern twice for another client this summer.  It’s a gorgeous pattern, and there is so little fitting to be done. Of course they look dreadful pinned to the dress form.  They’re made of a polyester linen-look, lined with poly-cotton broadcloth (her choice).  Considering how hard it is to keep white white in Cambodia, these should be easy to clean.Vogue 1415 trousers

Vogue 2064 trousers in a woven, not the called-for knit.  It fits so well as a woven for Miss V. This is the same pattern that I used for her upcycled sari and purple trousers.  You’ll see the front needs some alterations, but, in my defense, Miss V requested that I make things a ‘bit small’ because she was going back into the sauna of Cambodia and would shed the extra that made these fit poorly through the waist/high hip.  They’ll sit at her natural waist soon enough!  🙂

Vogue 2064 trousers

I copied a Vera Wang jersey top that she had worn to shreds.  I was, thankfully, allowed to cut it all up so I could use it as a pattern.  I traced the pieces and trued them up.  It’s an interesting mock crossed drape front.  Miss V was so funny when I cut the pink striped one out for her to try as a muslin (unhemmed in the pictures below).  She danced around singing, ‘My top!  My favourite top!’  I made three iterations of this, and, unfortunately, didn’t have time to tweak the fit to make it perfect. But she was sooooo happy with them that I’m not going to sweat all the things that irritate me about these.  I’ll just make notes/adjustments on the pattern for next time.Miss V draped top

Marfy 1913.  This is such a gorgeous pattern.  Why haven’t I made this for myself yet?  Even DD3 wanted one for herself after seeing the pink paisley version on my dress form.

Marfy 1913 dresses

I also managed to get a cotton/silk top out of it for her wardrobe.

Marfy 1913 top

And I copied a cardigan that she loves.  It’s a waterfall  cardigan – well, a large rectangle (2 x .70m) with sleeves added at equidistant points from the CB fold, with enough fabric in the front to throw over one shoulder as a wrap.  I cut the sleeves on the bias, using the Vogue 2064 pattern. The fabric is a mystery jersey of some sort that(surprisingly) washed well.Miss V Cardigan

I sewed all long weekend to get this done, which I never do.  I always hold weekends sacrosanct for family time.  But it was so lovely having all my DDs and my DH around cooking, cleaning and planning while I just sewed.  I need to make an excuse to have that kind of sewing weekend without interruptions again.  😀

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.

Vogue 1054: Rucci Trousers

Vogue 1054 pantsI’m still on the hunt for trousers I’m wanting to stay with for the long haul.  I’ve had a lot of short-term relationships with most of the trousers I’ve made, so I thought I’d give these a try.  I only own two pairs of casual trousers and find myself wearing them repeatedly during an average week, and I thought it would be fun to see if these actually fit a curvy girl like me given all the design elements so I can have a new pair of trousers to wear.

Vogue 1054I made these up in a stretch cotton sateen, which is one of the suggested fabrics – minus the stretch.  The shine highlights every single possible hint of a flaw, never mind the actually fitting issues.  Completely unwearable and not a keeper in my books, so they’ve already gone to the thrift shop for some lucky person who probably won’t know she’s wearing a Chado design!!!

Anways, since I went to all the trouble of finishing these, I thought I’d share my thoughts about them. First of all, I’ve never inserted a zipper this way.  Yup, the fly is finished.Vogue 1054 pants zipperAnd the instructions never do mention that one needs to trim that extra length of zipper before attaching the waistband.  However, once it’s all trimmed and stitched, this is what you’re left with.Vogue 1054 finished zipIsn’t that gorgeous?  It’s probably one of the more visually pleasing front flys I’ve ever done in my sewing life. Vogue 1054 frontHere’s the inside view of the front.Vogue 1054 zip fly

The pockets are part of the front yokes.Vogue 1054 pocketsAnd the reverse corners were fun.  The details always make a sewing project more pleasurable, imho.  Plain and simple gets tedious after a while, and this pattern is not simple or boring by a long set of instructions.Vogue 1054 reverse corner front Beside the unmentioned need to trim the zipper, there were a couple of notch match-ups that didn’t happen properly in the lining.  Vogue 1054 lining mismatchThe side/yoke pieces double notches didn’t match up on the back pieces, as you can see above, and the same little problem popped up on the front lining piece along the top seam with the notches on the yoke.Vogue 1054 lining yoke mismatchThis wasn’t a good fabric for these trousers, although it was a luxury to sew.  It exaggerates every single wrinkle possible.Vogue 1054 sideThe back patch pockets are flattering.Vogue 1054 backThe legs are very straight, and on a curvy person, that can appear wide – something I’m not too sure about.  I felt they were very dressy trouser-ish while wearing them, and I can’t decide if that’s because they were lined or roomy or a combination of both.  Vogue 1054 shinyI wasn’t sure about altering these trousers, so I cut them according to Vogue’s size recommendations, and they are roomy.  I suppose the stretch factor didn’t help, but they could have been a full size smaller, which I’ll do the next time.Vogue 1054 front (2)And the crotch curve needs some altering for the next pair, but I wasn’t going to futz with these, and I was prepared to finish these, try them on and give them away if they weren’t a perfect fit due to the poor fabric choice.  Silly, I guess, but I had no problem finishing them up beautifully to pass on after wearing them for one afternoon.  Blame it on a new pattern with 69 (sometimes tricky) steps

Final verdict:  What an amazing trouser pattern.  I cannot wait to find the perfect fabric to make these up again.  Patterns with a thousand little details always make my sewing room a happy place, and these are the perfect ticket to happy detail sewing in a trouser pattern.

More Trousers for SWAP: Vogue 7881

Vogue 7881

This is the latest of my SWAP 2012 instalments, and although what you notice is the blouse, this post is about the trousers!  Vogue 7881 is a classic Claire Schaeffer design with couture options, but I followed a more RTW approach because I wanted them done.  Well, actually, truth be told, I just didn’t feel like fussing over them and doing all the hand sewing that a couture version would require.  Sometimes I just want a project out of the sewing room and into rotation!  This is my second version of these pants.  You can see photos of my first version in linen from about 5 years ago here.

I like how this pattern is drafted.  It’s easy to fit and the full straight legs are chic and comfortable to wear.  It’s a very straight silhouette, and not curvy like my other favourite pattern, Vogue 2578.

Vogue 7881 back

I cut a straight size through the hips, and tapered down one through the waist – my usual adjustments, which you all know if you’ve been following along much.  The waistband is shaped and in two pieces, which makes tweaking the fit through the back a breeze.  Obviously I hadn’t finished tweaking prior to taking the picture above!  I need to take in the CB seam about 1/2 inch through the crotch curve.  I deliberately put the CF zipper in the opposite way to the illustration/instructions because I like my zippers to open to my right, as I’m right handed.  There is no fly shield in this pattern, and I didn’t bother adding one.  Vogue 2578 does have a fly shield, and after making up both patterns one right after the other, I think I prefer trousers with a fly shield.  But I’m not adding one now!

Vogue 7881 interior

I decided to go with a dark purple lining, and, yes, they are fully lined. I love a fully lined pair of wool trousers. I finished the hems with a Hong Kong style binding, which was slip stitched into place.  There are thread chains attaching the hem of the lining to the inseam to keep the lining in place during wear and washing.

Vogu 7881 lining and binding

The fabric was purchased in 1994, I think.  It’s a Dormeuil wool, one of several in my stash purchased during the years preceding children when a fabulous store was going out of business.  Isn’t it gorgeous?  A good friend of mine hated the colour, but I’m totally in love with the texture of this!

dormeuil wool

I’m well on my way through the SWAP program!  I just have the jacket, coat, skirt and blouse to sew up and I’ll be finished with my fall sewing program!  But first I have other interruptions to tell you about!  Stay tuned!

Vogue 7881 wool

PS.  Taking pictures in the winter months in the northern hemisphere is very discouraging!  I always end up taking 100’s and trashing most of them.  I’m sorry these aren’t the clearest!

Skinny pants: Vogue 1039

OK.  Pretty pictures first.  Just keep in mind how slim, elegant and long-legged the pants on the model are in the picture above.   First, I’d love to say that I really had fun making up these pants.  Of course, mine look nothing at all like hers because I’m not elongated like she is, but the details are all the same!  First up, lookee here at the pocketses!

IMG_0855 IMG_0856And the detail at the centre back yoke.  Crappy topstitching job, but honestly, no one will notice or care once I’m wearing them.  And the little tab is truly sewn in straight – you just can’t tell from the angle at which the pants are laying!IMG_0853The inside.  I used gingham remnants for the binding and pocket liningIMG_0854 Let me just say that this pair of pants is designed a little on the large side.  I cut one full size smaller than what I usually cut for a Vogue, and this is what I ended up with.IMG_0897Not so skimming, huh?  The waist fits perfectly, after tapering down one size as per my usual adjustment.  But I had to take in a 2 full inches from the inseam and crotch.  And then I noticed that I could have should have taken in two inches at the centre front.  Too bad for this pair, because I’m not going to adjust them any more!IMG_0908Obviously I can still take in more across the back, but I’m settling for this particular pair.  The picture above was taken after wearing them for a few hours post adjustments and the fabric bagged.  I guess it’s missing the Lycra.  There’s still too much fabric in the back leg, too, which I shall fix for the next pair.

What’s that you say?  Yup.  I’ve decided these were so much fun (thank you, pockets!) that I’m going to make up a second pair and see if I can make them skinnier.  I may regret this yet….