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!

Laura´s Dress

I don´t know what it is with the hobby sewists, but most of them seem to be selfish folks. Me included. Which means that we only like to sew for ourselves and doing it for others is not even half the pleasure, as Elaine, probably my favourite sewing-blogger so beautifully explains throughout her whole blog, The Selfish Seamstress. Seriously, her writing is so funny and her creations so to-die-for, that I would recommend reading her blog even if you are not that much into sewing.

Every rule has exceptions and so making the following dress for my former classmate Laura, was actually pure pleasure. I guess the fact that she kept me company, brought a nice cake plus a bottle of wine and is generally a nice person, helped.

And anyway, it was a great day – while I was stitching-drinking coffee-eating cake-chatting with Laura and Mariliis (another good friend of mine from school) we also watched the Olympics, namely the men´s parallel bars final, where we were not cheering so much for the athletes, but for my fiance Manolis, who was occasionally visible as well, as he was accompanying the Greek gymnast Vasileios Tsolakidis (who unfortunately was not as successful as he could have been). And the fun day was finished off with a bronze medal for Estonian discus thrower Gerd Kanter, adding to the pleasure of the silver the Estonian heavyweight Heiki Nabi got a day earlier in Greco-Roman wrestling!

Ok,  back to the dress now. It took me some effort to find the pattern online, since it is from Burda 2006-5 issue and clearly this is already so long ago that burdastyle.ru, not to mention burdastyle.de and burdastyle.com, have forgottten all about it. On burdastyle.ru I could only see a few random issues from 2006 and that´s it!

So I dug deeper and finally got what I wanted on osinka.ru, which must be known to most sewists, because one really doesn´t need to know Russian to navigate on the site (I am a living proof!) and get to the archive of Burda and a few other sewing and crafts magazines, starting from 2001!

Here is the pattern, Burda 2006-5 models 121/122:

I traced the pattern in the beginning of the summer, thinking it would also work great for colourblocking. But then Mariliis, who occasionally also makes a dress or two, used this pattern for a simple dress, similar to McCalls 6559:

It worked great for her and then Laura got all inspired and then all I got to do was steal the idea and make a dress for Laura. I can see myself end up making one for me as well, since it is super easy and flattering.

Mariliis´s version can be seen here (isn´t the fabric amazing?), maybe one day she will agree to model it properly for my blog as well 🙂 This photo is taken during our recent trip to Hiiumaa, the second largest island of Estonia, at a beach that was all ours that day:

I just used the pieces from the back side of the Burda dress, pinned them on the fabric more or less as one, cut and sewed. I had to take in quite a lot on the side seams, approximately 5 cm altogether, but I guess it was because of the elastic fabric and the unorthodox way of using the pattern. The armholes and neckline are bias-taped. Here you can see Laura in her new dress:

Some fabric close-ups:

The fabric is some kind of mixed lycra, very elastic. At the same time it feels really nice on skin (yes, I tried the dress on as well) and looks especially nice on tanned skin. I hope Laura will get a good wear out of it and that she will enjoy her new dress!

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!

Rosy Leopard Dress

Summer in Estonia is tricky and after spending 7 years in much warmer climates (2 years in Cyprus and 5 in Greece), I am surprised every time I wake up here in the morning and it seems that  the weather has turned from summer to autumn overnight. The peculiar thing is that you never know what the day brings – it might start up as rainy and windy and then change to warm and sunny. In Greece and in Cyprus, it is very simple – from the end of May to the end of August you can be sure that there will be constant sunshine and too much heat. Although I like that I can plan a day at the beach anytime, because a good weather is guaranteed, I also like the tricky Estonian summer, where there are no guarantees, but amazing long days, where the sun goes down really late to rise very early again and the sky doesn´t really blacken for the night.

So, today was one of the days that in the morning it looked like autumn and then gradually started turning into more of a summer day. But the temperatures are not high, so in order to meet a friend of mine downtown, I decided to wear a dress I made in winter. It was a project that took me ages to complete, because at first I wanted a sweater-like collar on that dress, but it was difficult to find a suitable pattern, so after ignoring the fabric for nearly a year, I finally used Vogue 8593 to make it.

Here is the pattern:

I made view B. The pattern was not difficult, but because the fabric I used had a colourful print on it, sometimes it was difficult to see the markings I had made. The fabric I used is a warm polyester knit, with slightly furry surface. I believe the pattern would work better on one-colour fabrics, because it has some really nice details, like the pleats in front and seams on the back side and sleeves. I am planning to use the pattern again.

Here is the dress I made:

 

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I think the only change I made was adding this funny golden zipper. The pattern originally calls for an invisible zipper, but since the fabric was already quite “loud”, I thought why not go all the way and make it a little kitsch. I like the result, although after taking the photos I realized that the sleeves make a weird pop up at the seams, when I put my hands on my hips.

Since I was planning to walk downtown, which is about 40 mins with a quick pace, I decided to wear flats. They are red suede Clarks Cadiz Festival:

Burda Easy Fashion S/S 2012 Dress

I always buy Burda Easy Fashion issues, although the patterns seem to get more and more basic over time. In the last, spring/summer 2012 issue, the 60´s inspired line drew my attention, since I have been wanting to make a simple dress in that style. At the same time I was looking for a tangerine shade fabric to make something, in my case, probably another dress. A good opportunity arose when:

1) I saw this dress in Burda Easy Fashion:


2) found this fabric at a newly opened fabric store in Tartu, giving a generous 40% off on everything:

It is 100% polyester and unfortunately so was the only matching shade of lining I was able to find. But thankfully in the end it feels ok on the skin.

The pattern was simple, but I made things a little more complicated for myself by adding a full lining, the sleeves being an exception. I also omitted the horizontal pleats, since my fabric wasn´t suitable for this. The dress is a tad tight around the chest, which in my case is something really rare. But generally I am happy with the result (not so much with the quality of this photo):

I cut my usual Burda size 38 and sewing this dress was pretty simple and straightforward. The pattern requires a slit and button closing on the back, but I used an invisible zipper, because the former seemed slightly childish and also because I had used the slit and button on the previous dress I made (I will make a post of this at some point). For the hem and sleeves I used a double needle to give a nice finish and a little bit of detail to the otherwise plain dress.

As I was putting the dress on in order to mark the hem, I just slipped into a random pair of shoes, which happened to be my greyish snake print peep toe  Nine West Getwitit wedges and they unexpectedly match the dress very nicely.