Jalie Jeans and Leftover Top

Hi!

The first projects of 2017 have been chosen solely because I wanted to try out my new serger, Brother M1034D.

You might recall my Just Cavalli dress that took ages to complete. I don´t know how about you, but I find it really difficult to throw away large pieces of leftover fabrics although I never use them for another project again, so they just pile up and I am really happy when I can use up the whole yardage of fabric for a project. The only fabrics that I use again are linings.

So I had quite a lot of Cavalli fabric left from the aforementioned dress and after making these crazy blue pants I also whipped up the top, thus using every scrap of the fabric I had!

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So the pants are my first ever try of the famous Jalie patterns I have heard read so many good words about. Mainly about their jeans pattern which I had in mind at first, but then I noticed that they also have a pull on jeans pattern and since my fabric is very stretchy I thought I could also take the easy road. So I bought, downloaded, cut, taped and cut again their Eleonore /Jalie3461/ pattern.

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I mostly used my serger to make the pants and just sewed the zippers, topstitching and hems with the regular machine. I enjoyed working with the pattern and I only had to take in about 2 cm at the waist before attaching the waistband.

The zippers are my own addition to the pants. I actually have the idea to wear them with a jacket I am planning to make and once it is ready (no promises), it should match even better due to the silver zipper detail of the pockets.

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Because of the zippers, the pockets are actually bigger than the pattern originally requires. The zippers are purely decorative and since they are sewn onto the fabric I didn´t see a way to shorten them so that they would match the pockets. So the solution was to cut bigger pockets in order to make it happen. The pockets are about the width of the seam allowance bigger than original on each side.

For the top I used an old Burda pattern (from 7/2007, model 105) that I always thought was really cute:

It is the record project in terms of speed – I started cutting the fabric at around 10 PM and by 1.30 AM the top was complete. Of course I wasn´t too excited about it a few hours later when I had to get up for work and then drive all the way to Riga in the afternoon 🙂

The only thing I changed was adding the back center seam, because of my fabric print. I also just serged the back opening edges. The small ties are sewed on separately and they are both double layer of fabric, so they are not so easy to tie neatly and every time I end up with a different result – sometimes the tie ends show north-south, sometimes east-west!

Now I said “crazy” blue pants and I wasn´t lying – the photos above were taken in Riga at the hotel we stayed during the first trip to hunt for the wedding dress and the lighting conditions were obviously not the best. Here is how the blue is in reality, pretty electric, huh?

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I actually think that the top also looks better with black pants, but the truth is that I have to make some additional garments to wear with the pants, it is not easy to match colors with such bright blue!

It seems that April will go by without any new posts, since I am really pushing myself with the thesis, but it is going at a very slow rate. Still, I have so many sewing projects on my mind that we´ll see, maybe I will make something simple just to tame the craving!

Fancy Pants (in Vienna)

Hey!

It seems that this blog is slowly turning more into a travel blog rather than a sewing one, so I will start with the latest finished project, photographed in Vienna, and later write another short post on my holiday trip to Vienna and fabric shopping at the famous Komolka store.

So, the pants:

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 Maybe some of you can already guess, the pattern is from BurdaStyle 3/2014, model 115, the Floral Skinny Jeans pattern on Burdastyle.com.

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I cut size 40 at the hips, although my regular Burda size is 38, because my actual hip circumference is just about 100 cm and the tight fitting pant would not allow me to get away with some playing around on the fit. Due to this I had to shave off a lot of fabric on the waistline, I think altogether maybe 5 cm.

Tight fitting pants with all kinds of prints are really popular now and I had been wanting to make a pair myself. It was actually a risk, since several of the ready-to-wear pants have been just awful on me, sometimes the print really underlines details of the figure that I´d rather hide.

I guess I was lucky this time, because the heavyish stretch cotton I got from Stockholm seems ok to me.

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Some close-ups as well:

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I used a special thicker thread for topstitching (like the typical orange/yellow you see on jeans) and lined the side of the machine foot up with the first stitched line so that the distance between the two rows would be equal over the whole course of the seam.

For the pockets, I decided to use the off-white shade of the four elastic lining fabrics I got last year from Poland. I did so because I figured that if I followed the instructions and used the main fabric, I would end up with a lot of bulk to stitch through. I think it was a good idea, it is also easier to slip the hand into the pocket due to this little detail.

I finished all the seam allowances with a very thin cotton-looking polyester bias tape and used my beloved Threads magazine front fly tutorial for the zipper.

The golden button is also from the trip Sweden:

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I enjoyed sewing the pants as they came together easily and I am happy with the fit. It took me approximately two Saturdays to get them done, although I must admit that as I wanted to shoot them in a different enviornment (on my trip), I pushed myself slightly harder than usually.

As you can imagine, I didn´t leave Vienna without any new fabrics, more on that in the next post!

Happy 2014!

It is about the last minute to wish a very happy 2014 to all of you!

I have seen some nice overviews of sewing projects of 2013 by other bloggers and since I enjoy reading them, I thought why not to sum up my own sewing year as well.

I am only including items that were completed in 2013, so no Out Of The Closet items here, although in the posts of 2013 you saw a few of those.

So, as I was going through the projects, I realized I am more into rose prints than I would have thought! Just look at this – a corset top and a matching skirt, another top and finally a dress:

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And the rest of the dresses I made:

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Just two tops (the rose print one you saw above) and one blouse made in 2013:

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Two skirts (the rose print  is seen above) plus a pair of pants:

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If I had to pick the most worn item I made, it would be the Wavy Top, but I also wore the Tribal Print Skirt and Princess Jasmine Pants quite a lot over the summer.

I still have some nearly finished items, that I spent a lot of time working on and for some reasons didn´t finish in 2013. Once they are done, I will post them as well.

This year I also made two dresses for friends and I still owe one to a third person, too!

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And finally, there is one more dress that should be added to the 2013 count, because I finished it on New Year´s Eve! Unfortunately the light conditions are so poor in Estonia in winter, that although I tried my best, I couldn´t get good quality photos of the garment. This is why I am showing only a teaser of the dress here and once I get a chance to take better photos, will write a proper post as well.

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Princess Jasmine Pants

This being the longest winter after seven years of living on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, I could easily switch to summer right now. Instead, we have a wonderful winter weather today here in Estonia, very appropriate for our Independence Day.

And I have completed a pair of summer pants in anticipation of my favourite season in Estonia. I just felt I needed a change in the battle against my Stardust Coat that is still in process, although thankfully it looks promising already.

I hope to make an update on the process in near future, but for now, here are the Princess Jasmine Pants:

Patrones No. 316 pants

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Now that I think of it, it is pretty funny that I made a Wilma Flintsone Dress in summer. Maybe while others draw their inspiration from the latest catwalks, mine subconsciously comes from cartoons?

The pattern is from Patrones No. 316, that I ordered a while ago because of some great jumpsuit patterns this issue contains. But I started with those baggy pants instead, just because I happened to have the suitable fabric in my stash. The fabric is some kind of cotton blend, quite lightweight and at first I thought to make it into a dress.

The pants are low-rise and really baggy, with six decorative metallic buttons in front and 3 at both ankle cuffs. There is an invisible zipper on the left hip and the pattern originally calls for pockets that I omitted. The pattern is model No 10 in Patrones No 316:

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Patrones 316 bombacho pants

Patrones bombacho pants

As I was cutting the pieces out, I realized that it was impossible to cut the legs in one piece because of the amount of fabric I had. After a lot of brainstorming I decided I can live with horizontal seams on the backside of the pant legs. In the end I even topstitched the connecting seams with pink thread to pretend that it was intentional. This gave me the idea to topstitch in the first place. I was thinking to use the traditional thick orange thread used for  jeans topstitching but then changed my mind and went with a bit unconventional pink.

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I love the buttons I found, although the twelve of them cost me more than the fabric and other notions together! They come in silver as well and you will probably see the silver version on a certain coat soon 😉

Patrones bombacho pants

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I am quite proud of lining the sides up so well, but not so proud of the pink zipper slightly showing, although it is invisible. I just couldn’t resist using a pink zipper as I wanted the zipper pull to add to the pink topstitching. With a good ironing though, the zipper shows much less, so I am going to keep it as it is.

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It is marked as “costura facil”, meaning it is an easy pattern to sew and I quite agree. The reason why it took me longer than it should have, is that I used bias tape (pink!) to finish all the seam allowances and lately I only sew in the weekends.

As with my Patrones shorts, the fit is very good, I cut Patrones size 42 and I didn’t have to make any major alterations to the pattern. Although I don’t exactly feel like a princess in them, I think I will enjoy wearing these easygoing pants very much this summer!

As nearly all my summer shoes are still in Athens, I have no shoes to show you today!  However, I don’t think I would match these pants with high heels as modeled in Patrones mag.

Happy sewing and Happy Independence Day to all Estonians!

Burda Stretch Pants

I remember the moment when I saw Elaine’s terrific leather-ponte combo pants. My heart stopped a beat and I decided right there that I have to have something at least remotely similar.

Well, deciding to want something is one thing, but it can be a long way to finally wear what you imagined. But I think I managed in the end.

I didn’ t trust my drafting skills enough to do it the way Selfish Seamstress did, so I had to dig around until I could find a pattern that would allow me to make something similar.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, in winter and early spring there was a long pause in my sewing and in pretty much everything due to some serious things going on in my life. I discovered the suitable pattern much later in BurdaStyle March 2012 issue and by that time had to make a special order from France to get the magazines I had missed and which, after a long time, contained some really interesting patterns.

I think the people at Burda haven’ t really made the most of this pattern (model 126, March 2012 issue) for the magazine. The photo below is the reason I always open a fresh BurdaStyle in the middle where the line drawings are.

The pattern is quite similar to the Helmut Lang pants that inspired the Selfish Seamstress. There are no side seams and each leg consists of three pieces (four, if you consider the divided front piece two).

Since I probably wouldn’ t be able to pull off the leather pants look, I decided to make mine in doubleknit, with some fake leather details. The very first plan was to cut only the front leg details of fake leather, but in the end I also cut the side yokes of the same material and I think it was a good idea.

I didn ‘t expect much of the pattern because several sewists haven’ t been exactly happy with the fit and I was sure I would have a problem as well. The pants turned out to be a little wide around the waist and hips (according to the Burda size chart, my hip measurement should be size 40 or even 42 and based on experience I always cut size 38, and these were still wide!), but that was easy to fix.

A much bigger problem was caused by the fact that I must have cut one of the three leg pieces slightly off grain. This resulted in the good old spiraling pants – the seams were twisting around my calf and it was especially obvious due to the design of the pattern.

I knew what was the reason, but still, hoping that there might be an easy way out or that the twisting might be caused by a different mistake (which hopefully would again be easier to fix), sat down and ran a little search online. Well, it had to be the grainline issue, which most probably happened when I cut out the pieces from double-layered fabric and didn’ t notice that the lower layer was slightly off.

It was rather difficult to determine, which of the three leg pieces was responsible for the twist and of course I couldn’t rule out the possibility of having more than one piece off the grain. Finally I tried my luck with the side piece. But as I had ran out of fabric, I had to go and buy some more of it, wash it, cut the relevant piece etc… a lot of trouble, but I didn’ t give up.

I think I hit the spot of the problem, because after changing the side panel, the twist was gone!

The fake leather I used is the same as for my obi-belt, it has a nice fabric backing and it is slightly elastic, which I figured would match the doubleknit well enough.

As said, I cut the size 38, slightly adjusted the hip and waist width and omitted the back welt pockets altogether. I have never made them yet and I didn’ t want to put this project at more risk.

The pants could have a better fit, but generally I am happy with the outcome, they are wearable and fun. Some could say that maybe they are a tad too short, but this is the way I liked them. I tested them with several shoes and this length seemed to be the best in my eyes.

I didn´t want to stitch through the leather while hemming the pants, so I only stitched the fabric part and used fabric glue on the leather which worked perfectly because it is fabric-backed.

Patrones Shorts

I was so happy when I got my first and so far the last Patrones magazine this summer, but when I took a closer look at the patterns, I got a bit put off with the fact that the pattern sheets only come in 3 sizes and if one falls in between of those sizes, the tracing can be painstaking. They offer sizes 40-44-48 and I found myself being 42. Just for your information, I wear RTW garments in sizes 36 and 38, so already the big number seemed scary enough.

In addition to the models I showed in my earlier post, I also instantly liked these shorts:

I got a piece of nice dark blue stretch denim from Estonia and finally decided to give these shorts a try last week. I traced size 42 and hoped for the best.

At first I tried to follow the instructions, but realized soon that instead of  brushing up my dormant Spanish (I managed to get myself to a pretty usable level for my Erasmus exchange student period in Canary Islands several years ago), I can do without them. So I continued on my own and thankfully didn´t have any problems whatsoever.

I was very pleasantly surprised with these shorts, because I think the fit is perfect! There is a difference of 30 cm between my waist and hip circumference which sometimes makes it hard to find pants that really fit. It is the typical problem of fitting at the hips and being too large at the waist.

I couldn´t believe my eyes when these shorts fitted me at the hips and at the waist without ANY adjustments at all. The best part is that when I sit, there is no ugly gaping on the back, so I don´t have to worry about publicly flashing my underwear.

The trickiest step was the topstitching. I definitely wanted to use a thick orange thread similar to the RTW jeans topstitching and a double needle for more professional look. But my sewing machine protested because of the thickness of the fabric and the whole process was very time and thread consuming. Plus, I broke two needles. Truth be told, I was pretty exhausted when I got this done. The rest however, was not complicated at all, so I will make these shorts again for sure, but not in denim. Or at least in a thinner kind of denim.

Instead of several smaller belt loops, I made three bigger ones which serve more of a decorative than practical purpose.

Here are my shorts:

I am not really sure which way to prefer them – either straight or with rolled-up hems? They seem to be wider than in the picture of the magazine, but since my legs are not exactly thin, I think that slightly wider shorts look better on me.

Another question – do you think I should also use orange thread for sewing the hems?

In order to reduce the bulk for the pocket, I used pink gingham. As it was the first time I made such pockets (I am more into dresses, as you know), I didn´t realize that this cute detail will not show on the inside of the shorts. I should have reconstructed the pockets in a way that the whole pocket would have been gingham and only the upper, visible part of it would still be denim. But instead of undoing the whole process so far, I decided to take it as a lesson, and let it be.

As the first encounter with Patrones patterns ended so well, I am really interested in making more of their garments, just to see if I simply got lucky or have I really found perfectly fitting patterns for me.

The blue suede shoes I am wearing are Logan Crossing, a lucky bargain from a year ago. They seem to be sold out anywhere online as far as I checked.

photo from polyvore.com

And last but not least, I have made progress on Stefania´s dress. She came over today for the first fitting and so far it looks promising. It seems I don´t have to make too many alterations and thankfully she was also happy with the length, because in my impatience, I had basically finished the balloon skirt of the dress and changing that would have been a lot of fuss.

Here is a small peek:

Zebra Pants

Although I mainly prefer to sew dresses, I got very much inspired by one of the most interesting sewing bloggers, Erica B.  She made a pair of trousers recently, that I loved instantly and after taking a look around at some shops I realized I can make my own at a fraction of the price. At first I liked these Mango snake print pants a lot, but I had already bought a top with a similar print on it and I didn´t manage to find a suitable fabric here in Tartu, either.

Although Erica B. and Mango had opted for an elastic waist, I decided to try out a proper fly closing for my trousers.

The pattern I used is Burda February 2012 issue, model 103B:

In Estonia there is a very simple solution for finding Burda, Diana Moden, Ottobre and some other sewing magazine patterns with zero cost – they are available at most libraries and one can take the magazines home for tracing for 7 days at a time, unlimited amount of issues, free of any charge, only a registration at the library is required. I only wish I had such an opportunity in Greece as well, but I haven´t heard of it so far.

The reason why I mention this here is that although I have this February issue in Athens, I wanted to use the pattern now, being in Estonia and at that moment I was only able to find the Russian edition of Burda magazine at the library – they had given out the English one. So I traced the pattern, but I was pretty concerned about my ability to insert the fly with my poor Russian and the notorious Burda instructions.

Instead of getting myself into trouble, I googled around and came across this video tutorial. Another link to the same think is here. Probably a lot of sewists have seen it already, but it is simply amazing, or amazingly simple way of inserting a fly without any stress.

Here are my trousers:

The pattern was very easy to work with and I didn´t need to make  any alterations, apart from omitting the pockets. The zippers in the side seams were actually unnecessary, because the legs were wide enough, but as I had bought them already, I decided to use them anyway.

The fabric is synthetic charmeuse, very thin and slippery. I normally just zig-zag the seam allowances, but in this case it was impossible, because the fabric was fraying and it didn´t look nice. So, as I have been admiring the perfection of Amanda S.  garments and especially the amazing finishing on the inside, I decided for the first time to use bias tape for the seam allowances. I am so happy with the result, that I will probably start doing it on all of my clothes. It just looks so clean and neat!

So, thanks to some fantastic bloggers and hobby sewists, I got myself a pair of trousers that I am really proud of! And if I add all the expences for fabric and notions, I think the total cost of these was about 10 euros. Not bad!