Great basic – grey flannel trousers

As I mentioned last week, I got gifted some wonderful grey flannel from Claire (however did she know I like grey? ha!). It’s so soft and lovely that initially I thought it should become a dress, but then realised I’m likely to get much more wear out of a really chic, comfortable pair of dress trousers.

I had just received the January edition of Burda magazine and so these jumped out at me – #122 (also now available as a pdf download if you missed this issue).

There’s nothing particularly earth-shattering about this design, but I just thought it looked nicely versatile, and something I could wear to business meetings as well as just team with a teeshirt if I fancied it. These also have the illustrated instructions for this issue, but I could sew trousers blindfolded by this point, so the instructions didn’t make much difference to me.

I did notice, however, that they do the particularly dumb construction technique of tucking one leg inside the other and sewing the crotch seam last – this makes NO SENSE to me, as it means you can’t check the fit until you’re 95% done. Whereas if you do the outer seams last, you can pin and adjust the fit in the thighs and hip before you sew it up…

These photos were taken after sitting in a car, then sitting through a big Sunday roast so there are more wrinkles here than I usually have! The fit on these feels a bit closer than with most Burda trouser patterns I’ve sewn, but it also might just be because I haven’t sewn trousers in a non-stretch fabric in a while.

Grey wool trousers (with hidden biscuit pockets!)

I’ve been doing quite a lot of sewing recently (less so on the blogging!). Most of it is for an upcoming pattern, so I’m not able to really share details yet, but I’ve also been trying to take time out to fill a few holes in my own wardrobe. Specifically, I realised I was in desperate need of trousers – I pretty much only had jeans or leggings that still fit me, apart from the Navy twill trousers I made this summer of course. I have quite a few skirts and dresses that still fit, but I tend to only wear those once or twice a week to work and I definitely favour trousers in cooler, wet weather.

So taking inspiration from what I’d had that I wore the most, looked at the grey flannel trousers I made in 2012, which I absolutely wore to death over the past three years. They’re a bit too big now, aside from being bobbled, so I thought I’d look for a similar pattern and attempt to recreate them. I found this pattern from the October 2013 issue, though when I looked through my Burda archives there were a ton of slight variations on this general shape. Hooray for sewing from the archives!


(The top on this page was Tall sizes, but the trousers were the regular size range)

The fabric was from equally deep in my stash – I’d been given this soft, grey flannel by Neighbour Helen just before they moved off the moorings (4-5 years ago), and at the time I already had a similar grey flannel in my stash (which became the aforementioned trousers, a midi skirt, and a sheath dress amoungst other things) so I didn’t cut into this one until that had gone. For some reason I had noted in my records that it was a polyester, but when I did a burn test it turns out it was wool! I found hidden treasure in my deep stash, and there’s a good 2m of it left, too.


Seen here with my favourite green Kimono Sweat top, made with green fleck sweatshirting from Guthrie Ghani.

Shocking Pink Trousers and a Cream Lace Tee

Summer in England is a rare thing, but we have had an overflowing bounty of gorgeous, sunny, and hot weather for the past three weeks and counting! So it’s natural that the heat would go to my brain and cause me to make some out-of-character sewing choices, right?

As I revealed last week, this manifested in the form of some super-bright pink trousers, and a teeshirt made from cream stretch lace:

The lace teeshirt was ridiculously quick to sew up – I’ve had the lace in my stash for several years now after buying it at Tissu Dreyfus on one of my Paris trips, and some of you may even remember it from when I used it on a long-sleeved KnipMode tee. I love that those photos were in the snow and now I’m using it again in a heatwave! I just used my knit sloper I’d drafted from the Kristina Shin book, only I levelled off the sleeve hem rather than the usual scoop.

The construction was identical to any other teeshirt, and the only real point of note here is in the neckline binding – I didn’t have any matching cream jersey, and I didn’t want to just fold it under and topstitch, so I had the great idea to use the selvedge as a band, and just overlocked it in place. It matches, it’s lightweight, and it’s guaranteed not to fray!

The trousers were much more interesting from a construction standpoint! I had a bunch of Mood fuchsia stretch cotton sateen leftover from my fuchsia party dress (which is still my go-to party dress btw – I’m getting lots of wear out of that!) and I knew I wanted some fun Spring/Summer trousers. In my original Spring/Summer 2013 ideas, I thought I’d reuse the Burda Jan 12 pattern I’d made in grey flannel, but then I really wanted to try a StyleArc trouser pattern, and I already had the Jasmine pattern to hand, and it’s for stretch wovens. Perfect!

Things I like about the Jasmine pattern:

Peach flip-turned top and slim brown trousers

In addition to my exercise gear you saw yesterday, I actually made another top and trousers the weekend I got back from Montreal! Since I wasn’t in a fit state for a photoshoot until now, I kinda feel like I’m clearing out the cobwebs here…

This top is another “Flip turned for a draped effect” top from Pattern Magic 2 (drafted on my Morley College course!), this time using the tulip sleeves from Jalie 2806 for a more Spring/Summer look. This is the third time I’ve used these tulip sleeves and I really love the look and love wearing them – they really make a top much more special than just your average short sleeve! I used a lovely orange marl viscose jersey from Tia Knight here that’s just sooooo soft and lovely to wear! Hurrah for an impulse purchase!

The trousers are from the March Burda magazine (#126), using some stretch cotton sateen I bought at Tissues Dreyfus in Paris last month. It looked black in the dark lighting of the shop, but I got it home to realise it’s actually dark brown, which was fairly annoying, as I wouldn’t have bought 3m of brown had I known!

Grey Pattern Magic "Flip Turn" top

Ever since I first opened the Pattern Magic books, a few designs have been burning a hole in my sewing brain. One of these was the “Flip Turn for a Draped Effect” bodice from Pattern Magic 2, and I was so happy that I was able to draft this on my Morley College Pattern Magic 2 course last month! It wasn’t too bad to figure out, but I’m still really pleased to have the instructor there and because I muddled through (albeit with help), I feel much more confident about tackling other designs in the books.

The only problem was that we drafted all the course designs based on the largest Bunka sloper, which was still rather a lot smaller than me, so if I wanted to actually wear the designs from the course, I’d have to create them again off my own sloper, which just seemed a bit dull.

Or maybe… just maybe… I wonder if the Bunka sloper version would fit if I eliminated the back waist darts and made it in a knit?

OMG a toile for a fashion college dressform fits me!! :O 😀

Since this was a total fit experiment, I wanted to try this first in a low-risk fabric, and I had just enough of this viscose grey marl jersey leftover in my stash from the Manequim “big shirt”.

One interesting part of this design is that the reverse of the fabric is shown on a large portion of the lower front, and in this fabric, the reverse is kinda textured and loopy, but without any major colour change from the “correct” side. It means you get a subtle texture change on that panel, but without screaming “hey! I’m the wrong side!”.

To further play up the texture change and to make it look more intentional, I used the wrong side of the fabric on the neck band, too (maybe I’ll do the sleeves on the wrong side next time, too?)

Spring 2013 Sewing Ideas

Thank you all so much for your lovely comments on my asymmetric Drape Drape teeshirt! A girl could get used to that level of flattery…

It also marks the start of my sewing short sleeves, which means it must finally be Spring, and hence, time to start thinking about marrying up the patterns and fabrics I’d like to sew for the next few months. I really do these only for my own benefit, and so they’re not a “SWAP” in the sense that everything must coordinate against each other (lord knows I have enough clothes that I don’t have problems putting combinations together!).

This is more just a set of ideas towards which I’d like to work, so when I get to the end of a project, I can quickly refer to this image and go “oh yeah, I want to sew that next!”

For the first time I’m also including running/exercise gear in my plans, since I’m wearing lycra as a significant portion of my weekly wardrobe, and I want to contain all of my sewing ideas together. So you’ll find all the running stuff on the bottom row, and the rest of life’s wear on the upper two rows!

Top row:

A Year of Burda Magazine Patterns – Challenge Completed!

I (silently) set myself the challenge to sew one garment from each issue of Burda magazine (aka BurdaStyle) in 2012, and I’m proud to say I completed it! I’m not the sort of person to make New Year’s resolutions, or proclaim lofty goals to everyone who’ll listen – I’m more the sort to quietly commit myself to something, and see if anyone notices what I’m up to before the completion… I do know that Kristy has also been keeping up with the Burda challenge this year, and it’s been fun to see which patterns she’s chosen from the same issues (and on occasion we selected the same pattern!).

There were some roaring successes, a few fails (both my fault and not), and some that I changed my mind on only after months of wear. So I thought it was worthwhile to have a look through all the projects from this year, and my thoughts on each looking back from now…

January


Rating: 9/10
Link to original post: Great Basic – Grey Flannel Trousers

At the time I said: There’s nothing particularly earth-shattering about this design, but I just thought it looked nicely versatile, and something I could wear to business meetings as well as just team with a teeshirt if I fancied it.

My thoughts now: I don’t think these look as nice in the photoshoot as they do in real life. I genuinely love and adore these, and have worn them pretty much nonstop, at least once a week to work, since I made them a year ago. I wouldn’t change a single thing about this pattern, and the silk pocket linings fill me with glee everything I slip my hands inside. I really do need to make some more of these!

Burda magazine November 2012

I don’t think this is the best issue of Burda we’ve seen in a while (remember how amazing August and September were??), but there are still a few patterns worth mentioning, and even a few worth buying!

I really like these slim trousers omg but they look identical to the ones in the January 2012 issue that I made! Seriously, I inspected the tech drawing and pieces and it really does look like this is an exact reprint from January! To be honest, I like my grey trousers so much I was thinking about making them again, but now I might make this pair instead purely so I can compare the two.

Here are those slim trousers again plus a top with a boxpleated peplum. I really like this peplum top, but I think the one I made two months ago is probably enough for me for a while!

This long trenchcoat is rather nice, though it has an asymmetric back vent flap that just looks wrong (but is easy enough to change).

The Peplum Top

It should come as no surprise that I’ve been sewing this peplum top – after all, I shared my instructions on how to line this top already! But for those of you who are short in the memory department, this is #113 from the August 2012 Burda magazine, which is also available to purchase as a pdf download here (and you can look at the full instructions and layout diagrams on that site for free). There’s also versions with long sleeves or with a much longer peplum, extended into a dress, so there’s quite a lot of versatility here.

A lot of peplum dresses just feature a ring of excess fabric around the hips, but here, the curved waist seam plus the sloped hemline and bias-cut peplum on this particular pattern really sets it above the rest. I also like that it’s separates, so I can pair my top with a skirt, slim trousers, or leggings and get much more wear from it than just a single dress.

This is how I wore it to Karen’s V&A Ballgowns meetup, worn with my denim-look leggings I made a few months ago. I know peplums are really trendy right now, but I really like how retro 1950s this outfit looks even when made with completely modern patterns and fabrics!

Burda magazine August 2012

I’ve been buying Burda magazine (formerly “Burda World Of Fashion”, now “Burda Style”) since 2005, and I’ve seen its greatness come and go (and then come back again) in waves. It’s been getting steadily better over the course of 2012, but this August issue is the best one in a LONG time! Definitely the best this year (along with May 2012), but possibly it ranks up there with September 2010 and August 2006 even in my own personal Burda Issue Hall Of Fame!

I pretty much love everything in this feature with the white background, but let’s take these one step at a time.

First up is this blue tuxedo with slim trousers and a great jacket with interesting, non-standard lapels. How could I not love this, when I’ve already made a blue tuxedo with slim trousers and a jacket with interesting lapels back in 2008 (and also from Burda patterns)??! LOVE.

I really love the shape of this dirndl-inspired dress, with its cap sleeves and interesting bodice seams, but part of me is also concerned by the sharp seaming – they look awfully similar to the seams on a Burda slip pattern I tried that really didn’t work for me (ahem, pointy boobs) so I’d want to definitely muslin this bodice before going further.