Saturday, July 8, 2017

A Sorry Sewing Saga Success - Burda 6889.

I managed to make these trousers this week.  It doesn't take me long to make trousers, because I sort of know what to do automatically now.  I often sew in the morning and evening before and after the days activities as well, so if I am familiar with the construction of a simple garment it is a fairly quick process.

(Before I continue, the pictures on this post are quite small - partly because there are quite a few, and partly because when I make them larger, the resolution was very poor).

I decided to make up a Burda Miss Petite pattern.  I do find that most trouser patterns don't fit me well, and look a bit woeful from the rear end.  As I am a petite I wondered if this range of patterns would work better for my shape.  I chose Burda 6889.

I chose the tapered pant version. As this is my official July Make a Garment a Month garment, I also chose a piece of black corduroy (from Spotlight) that had been washed and stashed some years ago - our them this month is Seasonal Stashbusting.

The pattern has quite different measurements for this range - a larger waist to hip ratio, and a very different hip and crotch shape.  I chose size 10  and widened the waist to size 12.  As many trouser patterns now sit below the waist, with no waistline therefor marked, I had no idea where the pants where going to sit.  I raised the rise at the back and front and added to the waist height - less at the sides.  This seemed to work, although I may have added a bit much.  I shall wear the pants and see what they feel like - I have to admit they feel really comfortable, and I like a high waist on my pants as otherwise they tend to slide down my slim hips, and I have to yank them up  frequently.

As it so happens, I was probably a bit generous in the waist measurement because I wanted these trousers to fit over layers of tops in winter.  So, I added some elastic to the back of the waistband, something I like to do in any case as this allows for a bit more give with movement.  I also had to widen the waistband in order to accomodate the elastic - I did this by reducing the seam allowances.  So the trousers are also a little higher than planned because of the wider waistband

I was happily advanced with sewing, when I noticed a flaw in the pocket bag.  I blobbed some clear nail polish on it - you can see the nail polish mark and flaw in the picture below:

Of course, like all sewers, I grapple with perfection sometimes, and I was a bit cross about this. Especially as I had checked the fabric for flaws and couldn't see any obvious ones. But then this is black, and it does get bits of fluff on it, so I obviously had not noticed.  So after a bit of self talk I put in the zip, and added the waistband  - with elastic in the back:



Happy with my pants, I then did the hems. I finished one - machine hemmed.  I finished the second and noticed a piece of fluff inside just above the hem  I flicked it away, or tried to.  But you know what I am going to tell you - I found another flaw.  Which was not hidden inside.

I blobbed some nail polish on it and decided that perhaps, just perhaps, I could live with it.  It was late, so I thought it was time to call it a day.


I woke up, decided that I could just not live with it.  I made a cup of tea,  and went to my pattern and traced the bottom of the legs of the pants.  I worked out where the hem should go, and then drew a line, and then did a mirror image of the leg extension below the line:

Then I thought I really should check that there were no more flaws in the trousers. should have done that before drawing the alterations, but didn't think of it.  It was early...

After three checks with a bright torch I decided the rest of the pants were okay.  I checked the remains of my fabric, and found that down one end near the selvedge were a few flaws, about three inches in. This was the end I cut my pocket bags from.  Most of the pants were cut the other end, so they were fine.  I made sure that I avoided the remaining flaws and cut out the new trouser bottoms:

Sewed them on, overlocked them, turned them up, and topstitched the outside:

So now my trousers have a designed hem - in fact, I really like this finish and have kept my alteration pattern pieces in case I want to do this again (if I use this pattern again).

There is also a plus in that I can fold this hem back into a little cuff if I want to.

So, quite a saga, but success in the end.  I thought I would share what I had done, just in case any of you ever have a similar problem.

Anyway, I now have a nice pair of pants, with lovely pockets, which are comfortable to wear and that I can live with :). And corduroy is not cheap, so it was worth the effort of fixing these.

And they are easy to move in - that rise is not too high after all, and I like plenty of ease in a woven. These are casual, corduroy trousers, after all.

So, I am happy with these - and they fill a gap in my wardrobe.

I'm not sure what my next project will be - I am still getting over this one.

That's it for now, back another week,

Sarah Liz

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Finally, a New Direction

New directions come in many forms, and often they are inter related.   In my case, it is that my husband is changing direction with his career, and will be self employed only, instead of having a steady income from public hospital work.  Of course, he is at an age and stage where he should have a lighter  workload.  He has built up a medical and palliative unit in a local hospital.  But of course  his change of course also affects me.    On one hand, I am quite please about it, because we may finally have time to sort out a lot of things that need sorting out.  On the other hand, will my sewing time decrease???  Because I will have to increase my practice work to make sure the income is there.  In short, manage the business properly and get the accounts out.  This is not Really my Thing at All. My previous lives have been 1/ Nursing. 2/ Degree in Creative Arts.  3/ Degree in Psychology.  Clerical work  bores me to tears, I am much more interested in the big picture and concepts.  I have to play all sorts of games to get myself to do any sort of admin type of work!

So, with a change in the big picture of life, I have decided it is time to perhaps change my life a bit as well.  So, I am tossing out my old study books, which was a bit strange at first, but now it feels right.  I certainly do not buy the Kondo claim that you toss first and then the new will be shown to you.  I am too logical for that.  I have been thinking about what to do next, and now I am investigating avenues of interest. While I have not yet made up my mind (but I am working on it) , I do know that these books will not be needed again:

So, slowly I am taking books up to a quirky little second hand bookshop, which just happens to be opposite Spotlight.  And the owner of said quirky shop says he will find a good home for them.

It's strange how long it can take you to decide to offload, but it starts to feel good after.

The other thing I have done is to review my sewing and style direction.  I am starting to be aware that I really only need casual clothes now, but I want to look stylish at the same time.  In my own way, of course.  I also mostly like to wear natural fibres and comfortable styles.  I have also  figured out that most commercial patterns are just way too much not my shape.  Indies often even more so, geared as they often are to pear shaped figures - fair enough, since many people have this type of figure. Finally it dawned on me that I should explore Japanese patterns, as Japanese ladies are petite (short) and have straight figure types.  I have long tried to get hold of a publication called Mrs. Style Book, but it has been very difficult to order in Australia.  But there is a wonderful lady in Japan who now carries this publication:

The magazine is written in Japanese but is very logical in layout and numbering. Most of the patterns are self drafted, but again, as numbers are universal, language is not an issue.  And if you know how to construct a garment, then sewing instructions are not necessary.  Anyway, to cut a long story short, I love all the outfits in this magazine. They are easy to wear, and will be flattering to my shape.  And they look good.  So I will be making things from this publication in due course.

For those of you who are interested in sourcing this book, the name of the shop is  

I have also subscribed to Vogue Collections, just to keep abreast of the trends:

Many of the fashions are far too over the top, but some are really quite wearable. And you can pick up trends such as pattern and colour, and then raid your stash for the ancient fabric that never got made years ago when it was first in...

And I really enjoy reading it.  I used to subscribe to fashion mags in my youth, but real life and other priorities for spending took over.

As for sewing, I have hit my mid winter slump.  Partly because it is winter, and I hate the cold, and partly because I have been making pants muslins that have not worked out well.  However, I think I am now working out what some of the problems are.  So, I have made a toile today of Burda 6889:

Now, this pattern is not the regular size range, but is sized for Petites. The crotch shape is a little different, and the hip curve is much flatter.  Just maybe this might work:

And yes, it does!  As you can see, the foundation is quite straight through the hip - just like me.  I did add to the waist, because I am still straighter than a regular petite.  And lo, I put it on, and it is "good enough".   Which means a lot better than ordinary sizes!

So, I have found a piece of corduroy in the stash, already washed, and will be making these up as my July garment for the Make a Garment a Month Challenge - find us on Instagram, use #magamsewalong@sarahlizsewstyle.

And feel my mid winter sewing slump slightly dissipating...

Bye for now, need to go and cut these out ...

Sarah Liz