Saturday, June 28, 2014

Summer, I'm ready and waiting with New Trousers


Well, here in Australia it is mid winter, but I'm sewing ahead, and these are my new lightweight chambray typs pants. I use the pants  from Burda 6985.    I originally thought I would use this pattern to make dressy trousers with.   I liked the style on the pattern, but as you know, what looks good in pictures does not always translate into such a good look when sewn:

Now, as you can see, these pants look really slim through the leg on the model, but less so on me.  Now, my legs are about the same width as the models legs are, so why are mine baggy and hers not???  I suspect some tweaking with the pattern to get the slim look.  Of course, most people don't have stick thin legs, so I suspect on many people the fit is slim.

I was also worried about the pockets, which seemed to be quite a large opening - I thought they would have a tendency to gape, and with the fabric I was planning to use for this suit:

 Not the look I would want!!  No, this fabric is softish, and baggy pockets would just bag.

I have made this trouser up as a wearable muslin, out of tablecloth damask:


 I made these quite short as the fabric ran out, but I knew the pant had potential.  I wanted to make them in a lighter weight material to have a closer look at how they might perform in the suiting fabric.  If you want to read about the fitting of the tablecloth trousers, do visit here.

The fabric is a very lightweight cotton - a sort of dressy chambray.  I got it some years ago from Spotlight.

As these are casual pants, I have made the waistband just a little larger than it needs to be - and then put a bit of elastic in the back section - only for a few inches. This helps to hold the pants up - I am so slim around the hips and bottom garments tend to slide down.  It also allows for lots of movement, which I find essential in casual garments.

The photo's next - I am wearing a little thermal top, so excuse the look - I want to see what is going on, and like to show you too.  In due course, I will reblog the pants with proper attention to style.  But for now, it's about the pattern and the sewing.

First, the dreaded rear photos.  I'll get them over and done with :)  ----

Baggy under the bottom
Okay, so in future I will need to pinch out quite a bit.
 But not so bad when moving - rear fits nicely, and wrinkles sort of not so obvious

 And you do need to be able to bend and move.
So next time, I'll have to remove a bit, but not too much, or I might not be able to move!

Now the front - a lot less challenging than showing the rear!  ---

 Nice and roomy to move in, but much fuller than the pattern picture!

 Lovely deep pockets, but with a tendency to gape

But with all that roominess easy to move in

And sit in!

So overall, I am very pleased with this pair of pants - which will be worn a lot when our summer finally arrives.  Just the thing I have been looking for the  supermarket and general chore run - with a nice white tee or shirt, these will work nicely.  Maybe not quite the new, elegant look yet, more a reversion to my old girl next door look, but so what, these work!

And will be worn!

I'm not sure I want to make up the suit material in this style, but I do think it would work for a pair of classic black pants, the ones I have been putting off making for months and months - and will put off making until next year.  I do like the fact I can move in these, they don't restrict movement at all, and that is a plus with me.  When I make them next, I'll tweak the back leg a bit, and then I think will have a 

Until next time, do take care everyone,

Sarah Liz.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

My new tablecloth trousers - aka a wearable muslin.

This is my test version of the trousers from the pattern  Burda 6985.  I liked the suit, and planned to make it in a piece of fabric I do not want to ruin.  So I decided a test garment was needed to check the look and style of these pants.

I was worried that the pants were a bit short for the look I wanted, and that they may have been too narrow at the hemline for the  look I want.

The line drawing indicates that the pants are quite generous through the hip, although they look less so on the model - but then, there is probably a large bulldog clip "fitting" the pants at the back.  That's what happens in photoshoots.  Don't believe the great fit you see, it's usually obtained by all sorts of tricks of the styling trade.

This was the fabric I had in mind:

I would hate to ruin this fabric by poor choice of style, so I proceeded cautiously.  First I made a muslin to check fit.  I cut size 8 hips, crotch and legs, merging into size 12 at the waist. I also added just over 1 cm to the front rise and just under 1 cm for the back rise:

The hips are still too big and curvy:

 And the back looks okay, except I do have a high hip  on one side:

I'm not going to worry about the high hip, that is being worked on by my physio and my co-operation with exercises.

These are the alterations needed - maybe a bit more at the waist, and take in the hips:

This is the new straighter hip line:

And the new muslin - looking better through the hip area :

 The back looks fairly good for me, I usually have a lot more problems than this:

The next step was to trial the whole style line and see what else needs altering. I decided that instead of a full length sheeting muslin I would use something out of my stash that I don't really want.  I had a 1 metre piece of 160 wide cotton table cloth damask - why, I do not know.  I decided that might make a pair of interesting pants. I just got them out, although I had to remove about two inches from the length - which on my height is about what I would take out of the pattern anyway.  And cut crosswise for the side fronts and waistband. It's quite a thick fabric, and was not easy to sew:

And here is the result ( I added a slightly wider waistband to balance the chunky look of the damask):

I did make the waist a little larger than necessary - I was not sure how much extra I would need to accommodate the bulk of the fabric in the waistband and the seams.  I overcompensated,  so I had to run some elastic in the back:

Now, there is still quite a bit of wrinkling under the bottom, and down the legs.  Partly this will be due to the extra width in the back and the elastic waist, and partly I suspect the fabric - there is no drape factor at all.  This is the sort of tablecloth fabric you would starch (if you lived in that sort of olde worlde environment, that is, and like starching tablecloths.  Not for me!!).  If you remember, the muslin did not wrinkle much at all.

These pants do have great big deep pockets -

 The pattern did not suggest bar tacks, but I put them in - the pockets were going to catch on things otherwise.  I also did my usual topstitching everywhere:

Now the frieze of pictures - I look a bit careworn, I took these last night after work:

Verdict - l a great pair of fun trousers that I shall enjoy wearing casually on cooler summer days next summer. I have a few casual shirts that needed something to go with them, and I think these fit the bill.  The elastic in the back will make them very easy and comfortable to wear.  I may have to shorten one leg - the pants want to settle lower on one side, due to my hip issue.  I'll see what happens as I wear them.

But, do I want to make these up in the smart fabric.  No, they are not quite the right style for the fabric I had in mind.  I still like the concept of this suit, but the jackets need to go with a smarter pair of pants.

So, I have not wasted my time - a great pair of pants from stash I did not like.  And I did not ruin my good fabric!

Sarah Liz

Saturday, June 14, 2014

My new leatherette skirt...


Never ever ever ever was Sarah Liz going to make a faux false leather anything.  Ever.  At All.

Until now, that is.  I happened to see this faux leather in Spotlight, and it was 40 % off, which made it only about $12.00 for fabric, plus thread and zip.  I loved the colour and decided to buy it.

I decided to use a straight skirt pattern I have used before:

This is a basic straight skirt, front and back darts with a  godet at the hem at the rear of the skirt.  I did not use that, instead extending this part of the CB seam into a kick pleat.

As this fabric cannot be ironed (it's sort of PU sprayed onto polyester jersey) as it would melt, I had to decide how to flatten the seams.  I decided on to fold the seam over (like a flat fell, one seam trimmed back, and the other folded over, but not pressed under), and then top stitch it.

I inserted an invisible zip, and also finished below that with the same seam method.

For the waistband, I thought this fabric would not take the strain of a skirt hook, so for the inside waistband I used a firm interfaced cotton drill.  I also used a bit of elastic as both my waist varies, and so do the amount of layers I might wear with the skirt.  They add bulk too.

I overlocked the seams - the fabric was not going to unravel, so I could have skipped this step, but it just looks more finished inside.

I used a ball point needle to make this skirt - I wasn't sure what to use, but it did sew up very nicely.

Now for the construction pictures (I'm sort of proud of how this skirt worked, but I have to admit I did put in quite a bit of effort too!):

Back with invisible zip:

The folded and flipped seam below the invisible zip:


The folded and flip



Details of the kick pleat - I used binding on the inner pleat as this was less bulky than doing a narrow hem on this fabric:

And the finished entire length of the back:

And the waistband:

And the waistband fasteners:

 And how do you press the hem of a fabric that can't be finger pressed flat and can't be ironed.  Use  a heavy weight - I used a phone book:

And now, the pictures of me in the skirt:

Normally I tend to wear tops out over my waistline, as I am a rectangular shape and can look a bit like a block, albeit a thinnish one.

 So this is what the skirt looks like with a longer line top over it:

So there we are, my never say never faux leather skirt.  I love it :)

Do have a lovely weekend everyone, wherever you are...

Sarah Liz

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Look ....Holes in my good knit top...

I have a nice little twin set, made out of merino wool, that I have never worn because it was "too good" and was being "saved" for the right sort of occasion. Well, this was not a good idea, because either the fabric has degraded (textiles do decompose over time ) or a moth (or something else) had a meal.  I think it was degradation, because the top had two holes, and the cardigan had an area that was thinning and doing "something" but did not seem to be eaten.  I also store my woolens in a highly toxic environment of moth/insect repellents ( probably not very environmental, but then, I only tolerate so much nature eating my clothes)  and none of my newer woollies had any sign of a problem.

I was a little miffed, as you can understand.  I decided that somehow I was going to salvage these garments and then wear them a lot.  I shall also wear anything else deemed "too good to wear"before it suffers the same fate!!

I decided a piece of lace would do the trick.  First I applied a knit interfacing to the area with holes and then darned over the top of the holes to keep things together:

Front of darn

Back of darn

Then I attached a piece of wide stretch lace to each side, anchoring it at the side seams and then around the edges:

 Although the holes were only one side of the garment, I thought the top would look more as if this is what it is supposed to look like, with a symmetrical approach:

And for the cardigan, although I had no holes, I still reinforced the back with knit interfacing in the weak area.  I did this because I was going to apply a piece of lace, and needed something to stitch into.

I chose a lace with a nice large pattern and some flowers either side:

I cut out a shape that included the central flower and a few of the small flowers and applied:

So now I have a designer applique on the back of the cardigan:

So now I have a designer twinset!!  Good enough to proudly wear - and I am going to, before something else happens to it :)

Sarah Liz