Saturday, 19 November 2016

Burda of the Month: 10/2016 #113 W I D E leg pants!

So I may have finished my October Burda of the month project in mid November, however since my November issue hasn't yet arrived I am technically up to date in my Burda challenge - yay for me!

There were quite a few lovely dresses in this issue, however I decided to step outside my comfort zone and make something I don't think I've ever made before - a pair of wide leg pants:

Burda 10/2016 #113 sailor pants www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

This is Burda 10/2016 #113, which are called 'Sailor Pants' by Burda however I decided to leave off the buttons on the pockets which I think are a bit OTT nautically themed:

Burda 10/2016 #113 sailor pants www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

These pants legs are super wide, and it feels quite strange to have fabric swishing around when I walk after so many years of wearing skinny leg jeans and pants. And I'm still not sure where I will wear these pants - even if fashion magazines are declaring the death of skinny legs, no-one in my neighbourhood is getting around in flares or palazzo pants yet.

Burda 10/2016 #113 sailor pants www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

I wasn't sure if I'd like this pattern and I was just hoping these would turn out to be a wearable muslin (ie the cross your fingers and hope you make something half decent approach!). I've had this fabric in the stash for a long time - it's just a poly/cotton mix which came from an op shop and I have lots of it so there was nothing to lose, but it has the perfect weight and drape. It does however wrinkle terribly - those creases at the front aren't whiskers due to tight fit but rather wrinkles for sitting down for the 3 minute car drive to get to the waterfront!

I'm also a bit unsure on how to style wide leg pants. Consulting Dr Google, apparently a chunkier shoe such as a wedge or a platform should be worn - neither of which I own. I did try them with flat shoes, but of course that only works if you have hemmed the pants to the right length. These pants were ridicously long - I chopped 15cm off the bottom, sewed a 5cm hem and they are still way too long to wear these pants with flats because it just looks baggy and a bit sloppy:

Burda 10/2016 #113 sailor pants www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

Because I didn't make a muslin I had to make some fitting changes which didn't turn out so perfect. I should have known before I cut these out that I would have gaping issues at the centre back - I ended up re-cutting the waistband to have a centre back seam so that I could curve it more, and I had take a wedge out of the centre back seam at the waist, which means the waistband dips a bit too low. There are also loads of annoying wrinkles at the back, partly due to the annoying fabric showing everything but also due to these lazy fitting changes:

Burda 10/2016 #113 sailor pants www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

I also found this pattern to run rather small. My measurements placed me between sizes, so I sized down because I find there is usually a lot of ease in Burda patterns, however these turned out really tight and I had to let out all the seams as far as I could to make them more comfortable. But you can see in the photos above and below those wrinkles pointing to my saddlebag thighs which are my widest point and cause of most of my fitting woes:

Burda 10/2016 #113 sailor pants www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

But enough about the negatives, on to the good points. I do like the pockets that sit flat on the front of the pants - because pockets usually sit at my widest point I generally avoid putting them in the side seam because they just add bulk. I also did a pretty good job at matching the stripes on the pocket and the pants front:

Burda 10/2016 #113 sailor pants www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

I also like the wide waistband - I find them more comfortable and they generally sit across my stomach rather than cause a muffin top. These pants have an invisible zip on the side, so the waistband pieces are cut on the fold. Because of the curve in the waistband it wasn't possible to match up all the pinstripes, so I focused on matching those at the centre front:

Burda 10/2016 #113 sailor pants www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

So overall I'm a bit on the fence about this project. On the one hand, I think they look pretty good in these photos (apart from those wrinkles) and it was a very easy pattern to make. However I'm not sure how practical they are in real life - what to wear with white and blue pinstripe pants? Where to wear such swishy, wide leg pants? And how to keep them clean? Just wearing them for these photos resulted in the hem getting so dirty I had to change out of them straight away. This is one of the few times I've worn something just for the sake of taking blog photos - I feel like a bit of a fraud to tell you the truth! 

Burda 10/2016 #113 sailor pants www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

Anyway, if wide leg pants are your thing I can thoroughly recommend this pattern to you, I think they would look quite dramatic in silky black material paired with a sparkly top for evening wear, but overall this is a lot of look for a daytime for quiet ol' me!

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Burda of the Month: 9/2016 #108 blazer

Burda 9/2016 #108 tailored blazer in pink wool www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

Finally I have finished my September Burda project - it's been sitting in my sewing room untouched for at least the last three weeks. I made the outer part of the jacket quite quickly but when I got to the lining I suddenly lost all enthusiasm for sewing. Life has just been so busy lately and it's been easier to plan sewing projects, browse on-line fabric stores and read about other people's sewing achievements than actually tackle my own. But happily now it's done!

My pick from the September issue is probably no surprise to regular long term readers - I love a tailored blazer, especially one without a collar. This project is pattern 9/2016 #108:

Burda 9/2016 #108 tailored blazer www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com
Image via Burda Style
For once the magazine photo pretty much resembles the pattern and how it fits - no photoshopping or sneaky clipping the garment behind the model's back to get that fit. The pattern comes in petite sizing and I made a size 17 at the shoulder grading out to 18 at the waist and 19 at the hips which seemed to work well enough for me. I didn't lengthen the bodice to account for my long waist so the button sits a little higher on me than the model photo, but it looks good enough to me.

The back fit is superb on this one. The centre back seam and princess seams meant I could shape the back really well, and there is only a little bit of excess fabric under my armpit which is usually my problem area when fitting jackets:

Burda 9/2016 #108 tailored blazer in pink wool www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

I really like the two darts at the neckline, it's something that is common in vintage patterns but not so much in modern patterns but it gives a nice shape:

Burda 9/2016 #108 tailored blazer in pink wool www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

The sleeves hang really well in this jacket and the shoulder was spot on without me doing my usual narrow shoulder adjustment. I didn't use any shoulder pads, but I did put in a sleeve header. Annoyingly the sleeve header seems to be visible and is a bit ripply, so I'm considering taking them out:

Burda 9/2016 #108 tailored blazer in pink wool www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

The fabric I used is a pink wool crepe that has been in the stash for a long time, that I bought from a garage sale. Because the fabric wasn't quite jacket weight I block interfaced all the pieces with whisperweft interfacing, and then added a second layer at the front and back neckline. I couldn't decide on a button to go with the pink fabric though, so I made a fabric covered button instead - this way it matches perfectly!

Burda 9/2016 #108 tailored blazer in pink wool www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

You might notice I also left off the welt pockets - I never use pockets in my jackets anyway and there's a good chance of making terrible welts and ruining the front so I left them off. That dart was a little tricky because of the sparse Burda instructions, basically you need to cut into the pattern horizontally to sew the vertical dart, and then sew the bottom of the dart and jacket together to make that horizontal line. I've got a little but of bubbling at the point as you can see in the above photo, but it's not too noticeable.

Apart from the dart, it's a very simple jacket to make and would have been quick to make if I didn't suffer a severe case of loss of sewing mojo! When I did pull my socks up and just got on with it, the lining was easy enough to make and quick to attach using the bagging method (see this Grainline Studio tutorial for the best visual explanation I've seen so far).

One last thing before I finish up this post. Anyone notice anything different about these photos? Apart from the poor quality - my DSLR is in for a service at the moment and I made Anna take these pictures with our little point and shoot camera. Anyone spot the change?

Burda 9/2016 #108 tailored blazer in pink wool www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

No more glasses for me - I had laser eye surgery last Thursday afternoon and by Friday morning I was marvelling at my new found amazing eyesight. I've worn glasses since I was 11 years old, so it's pretty strange to not wear them after 28 years - I still find myself putting my hands to my face to push up glasses that are no longer there! I can't wear any eye make up yet or get water in my eyes while they heal, but since I won't be hiding behind frames anymore it's time to learn how to apply eyeshadow and eyeliner. The surgery itself was rather painful but it was only 4 minutes per eye, and it was ridiculously expensive (I could have bought a fancy schmancy Bernina sewing machine instead) but it's totally worth it, even if my kids do think I look weird.