Monday, August 24, 2015

Road Trip Skirt

VI may have mentioned that The Man and I are off on a road trip thorugh the Southwest at the end of August. I've been sewing my little heart out, beefing up my hot weather travel outfits. This latest is from Burdastyle May, 2012; skirt #118.

Front view, demonstrating hip yoke pockets
The May, 2012 issue is one of my all-time Burdastyle faves. I've made 4 garments from this issue and I've liked each one. And I have another skirt cut out and waiting, plus I have my eye on a slightly fitted button-up blouse that might fit a couple pieces of stash fabric.

Side view
Burda describes this little item as a mini skirt with deep pleats and hip yoke pockets, which pretty much says it all. I'm a big fan of roomy pockets in a travel skirt.

Rear view
Here's a back view so you can see the pleat action. Kind of a reverse mullet; party in the front and business in the back. Burda wanted me to put two welt pockets back there, but I wasn't about to try that without some third-party instructions. Plus, the front pockets are so nice I can't imagine wanting to throw anything in a back pocket.

Close up of shaped waist-band, copper buttons and front pleats.
I used a denim-look fabric that's mainly tencel. It was a bit fray-ey and slippery to sew, but the drape is nice and it will be lighter than denim, I think. The mid-blue should go with pretty much every top I own.

Another side view
My only change-ups were to omit the back welt pockets and to put the buttons on the outside of the waistband.  Burda wanted me to hide the buttons on the inside and continue the fly topstitching on the outside so that it would appear the zipper went all the way to the top. I kind of like these copper-toned buttons, though, and I figure they carry out the jeans theme of the denim-toned fabric.

Well, one other small mod; I somehow missed the "mini skirt" part of the description, which explains why the skirt came out a bit shorter than I'd reckoned on. Burda wanted me to use a nice, deep hem, but I used lace seam binding to turn up as narrow a hem as possible.

I'd be happy to have another of these skirts, maybe in a pin-whale corduroy for winter. Next time I'll know to add a few inches when cutting out so I can mess with the length to my heart's content.

My pattern review is on here.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

August Burda Challenge Conquered

Burdastyle 08-2015-125b
And this month, challenge is the appropriate word. Do you ever have projects that fight you all the way?

Side view of pleats
These are the pleat-front pants from the August, 2015 issue of Burdastyle (pants #125b). We're getting ready to take a road trip to Santa Fe at the end of August, and I thought that a pair of loose, light cotton trousers would be a great addition to my travel wardrobe. Shorts and skirts are always on deck for a summer road trip, but sometimes you want a little sun coverage.

How did these pants fight me? Let me count the ways:
  1. The fabric, a cotton chambray with a subtle, almost gingham check, shrank up in the wash so that it had more texture and a different hand to what it did in the store (Hart's, natch). It's now a bit searsucker-y, but I decided I liked it fine that way. I tried to be extra gentle with the pressing, though, so as not to unintentionally re-shape the pattern pieces.
  2. The pattern called for 2 yards of fabric; which I purchased. And believe me, I needed every inch. This fabric was 60 inches wide, and I had to fiddle mightily to get these palazzo-style legs to fit between the selvedges.
  3. I was so proud of myself for only needing to refer to my Sandra Betzina video three times while putting in the fly. Then I snipped through the front of the pants when trimming the seam allowance. Blast and double blast!! I sort of saved things by using some iron-on interfacing on the back of the cut and then zig-zagging it closed. It's not too obvious. Fingers crissed it lasts.
  4. I finally got the pants put together with the waist band attached and tried them on. They were ginormous. I ended up taking them in 2 inches at the center back and an inch on each side. That's 4 inches. That's a lot. They're super-baggy in the butt, because I had no clue how to take in that much volume once I got into crotch-curve territory. Hence, no rear views.
Problem #4 actually hurt. I've come to trust Burdastyle and their consistent sizing. I felt so betrayed that I pulled out the pattern sheets and measured the waistband against the original. Sure enough, I'd traced the size I thought I had. Why,  Burda? Why?

Waistband with bling-y button, and a closer view of the fabric. Can you see my zig-zag surgery on the right front?

But the good news is that I do like the pants. I think they'll be cool and comfortable when I'm frolicking among the cacti in the Southwest, and the indigo color will go with most everything. I like the pleats in the front, and I like the nice, big pockets. And I can't see the rear view, so why should I worry?

The other good news is that practice is making me a more resourceful sewist. In earlier times, I would have thrown in the towel after problem #3, and problem #4 would have made me cry.

Will I make them again? If I do, I'll have to go back and re-trace. If I can figure out what size to use - I ain't trusting the size charts, that's for darn sure. Re-tracing though....gee, I don't know.

Side view with hands in pockets

My pattern review is on here.