Sunday, May 31, 2015

May Burda Challenge - Fifties Love Affair

Just under the wire, here is my May garment for the Burdastyle Challenge.

The May, 2015 issue didn't have anything that really grabbed me, so I went on a very enjoyable voyage through the Mays of the past. I settled on these trousers, from the Fifties Love Affair section of the 2011 issue.

Burdastyle 05-2011 #124
The magazine shows the model lounging against a cream colored Jaguar convertible (which The Man believes to be an XKE). She's wearing the trousers with a pleat-neck top and carrying a wee Luis Vitton bag. Very Audrey Hepburn. They describe the trousers as "tapered 3/4 length classic trousers/pants with low-set broad waistband and deep pleats."

I am 5'2" (and three quarters) and I have what I like to think of as "athletic" calves. I don't do cropped trousers. I thought I could figure out how to lengthen them though, and in stash I had some charcoal twill with a bit of lycra that seemed like it might work well.

Inspired and eager, I hopped up to the cutting room (a.k.a. the carpet in the guest bedroom), laid out my tools and stared intently at the pattern sheet until I thought I had my three pieces spotted. I went to roll out my tracing paper, and then disaster struck. I was out. Drat!!

I use medical exam paper for my pattern tracing. Apparently I'm so used to that paper that I can no longer use anything else. I placed an emergency order with Amazon, paid for expedited shipping and twiddled my thumbs for 11 days. Finally, last Tuesday my package arrived and I got to work.

I lengthened the pants about 4 inches. I thought that would allow plenty of room for error, but it turned out to be just enough.

I moved the zipper from the side to the back because I couldn't wrap my brain around how to install a side zip into an inseam pocket, and I was pretty sure that Burda was not going to give me much help. In fact, I was barely able to stumble through the pocket instructions at all.

When I do an in-seam pocket, I normally sew the pocket pieces to the sides of the garment front and back and then seam the front and back together all in one go. Burda had me sew the side seams on the pants, but leave the pocket slit open. Then you attach the pocket pieces to the garment front and back, sew the edges of the pockets closed and press to the whole schmear to the front.

It took me two hours to figure out pocket #1, and then I proceeded to do pocket #2 wrong.  Twice.

The fit doesn't look this bad if I don't have my hands in my pockets, hones.
I also changed the waistband to have a button. Burda had the zipper going all the way to the top of the waistband. I kind of like my waistband to be a bit more adjustable. Cake and all.

I haven't really test-worn them yet, but I think I like them. Even though there are pleats in the front, the fit isn't baggy, so they're different from my enormous pleated 80's pants.

Roomy 80's pants
My only complaint is that the pockets can gape open a bit. I wouldn't mind so much, but I made the pockets out of contrasting fabric, so there's a flash of blue when I move. I may end up sewing those pockets closed, which would really chap my hide, considering how much brain-sweat went into installing the darned things.

 See that small flash of blue there?
I should have made the smaller pocket piece out of the pants fabric, then all would be well. Next time....

My pattern review is on here.