Monday, May 30, 2011

Project #12 – Jeans: Burda 02-2007-129

Not only has DD#2 recently graduated, but this week I also began a new job! I’m still sitting in front of a computer for most of my day, but the dress code is decidedly more relaxed and wearing jeans to the office is an option I’m looking forward to.

I sewed this pair, little by little, over the past few days. And, as most always, I hadn’t a plan but sewed as I pleased at the moment. I like doing that. One thing though that I have been doing ahead of time is sewing belt loops. Using my rotary cutter, I turn scraps into one inch strips and run them through the belt loop folder on the coverstitch. I use what I need, then put the rest in the drawer for next time. That has been a great time saver. Also, by the time I’m ready for belt loops I’m anxious for the project to be completed. It’s a mental thing…

I was reading someone’s blog a few nights ago and they mentioned the Russian pattern company, Lekala. Up till now, I’ve not paid much attention to it. When I visited, they were offering, for free, all women’s size 44 sewing patterns. I wear a size 44 so you know I downloaded several. There is a good chance that I won’t actually sew all of the patterns as many were downloaded because of a pocket or collar that caught my eye, not necessarily because I liked the garment. I will make an effort and print out one of the pants patterns soon and compare it to one that fits. If it is horrible, I may delete the whole lot but I’m really hoping they work.

To dip my toe in the water, I included a Lekala back pocket and flap (from Lekala 5468) onto my Burda 02-2007-129 jeans.

I didn’t convert the back darts to a yoke this time. Instead of making the darts go away, I topstitched them. I also didn’t think to reinforce the pocket flap area prior to sewing the flaps down so I applied rivets. I bet you think I just wanted to play with the rivet press...

Burda 02-2007-129

With this project, I’ve finally started a file of pocket patterns. I’m placing copies of my favorites in the file so I have quick access. This way I’ll have an array of choices without having to dig through pattern envelopes. Change the pocket on a garment pattern and it ends up looking totally different.

I don’t know how to get more consistent colors of out my camera. Eventually, I need to figure that out. The color of the denim in the scrap basket is what the denim really looks like. Trust me, it isn’t grey!

The Burda pants have been working out so well, I really should give the Burda shirt/tops patterns a try…

Make it a wonderful week!

Sunday, May 22, 2011


DD#2 has graduated with her MPA (Master in Professional Accountancy). I am so proud of her!

So are her siblings!

Well done, little one!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Blue Top/Grey Pants

I have been sewing t-shirts for my mom out of cotton/lycra knits that I’d ordered from Denver Fabrics. Everything from the order arrived as anticipated except for this lightweight blue piece. Knowing she wouldn’t like a t-shirt made from thin fabric, I figured it might as well become something for me. Now, I’m not too thrilled with this fabric either but, at least, it is another top to wear. I can't complain.

Using Butterick 5219, it went together quickly. Not only was the pattern already adjusted (I’d sewn it before) but I was able to sew most of it on the serger and coverstitch. The Bernina did the center front gathering stitches and the yoke facing understitching. The yokes were interfaced with Pro-Sheer Elegance. That stuff is becoming my favorite interfacing.

I’ve been wearing my black cropped pants quite a bit. They are dressier than the denim shorts but still comfortable with the high temps here. To keep them from being tired before their time, I made another pair from the same pattern (Burda Style 02-2011-123A).

This is what the fabric actually looks like...

The fabric is a grey Vera Wang silk and cotton pinstripe that I had purchased from Fabric Mart way back in 2009. It kept getting passed over as I deemed it too heavy for a shirt yet too lightweight for pants. I decided it might just work for this pattern. It does.

I made a few changes by adding those Burda 007-E005-DL back pockets that I had put on my last pair of shorts, attached plenty of nickel ring rivets (purchased from and sewed on some belt loops. I kept the Simplicity 7581 front pockets as that sped the project along - I didn’t have to re-trace pattern pieces.

Burda Style 02-2011-123A

This pair looks so different from the Burda line drawing (and the black pair too!) but they did indeed come from that pattern.

Next? Not sure. Maybe the dark green cotton/rayon stretch twill that was hanging out with the grey pinstripe. But, I do need more tops and yet the denim roll is calling…

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Shorts Again! Burda Style 05-2010-135

Denim shorts are quickly becoming my preference when I want to wear something casual. This is the third pair from the roll and I opted to use Burda Style 05-2010-135 again because I already know the pattern fits well and I’ve discovered that I like those nifty in-seam pockets.

Burda Style 05-2010-135

I actually use the front pockets on my shorts and pants. However, like most women, I rarely (if ever) use the back ones. Just because I don’t does not keep me from sewing them on my garments anyway. It doesn’t make sense, but there it is.

To make my new shorts different from the first pair I’d made from this pattern, I added back pockets, belt loops, rivets and plenty of topstitching.

The back pocket pattern comes from Burda 007-E005-DL, a free pants pattern offered on the German Burda site. Don’t quote me, but it seems that there are some free patterns there that aren’t on BurdaStyle. I haven’t tried the pants pattern yet, but that back pocket, minus the flap, caught my attention. Sure, I could have drawn my own pocket but printing one was painless.

Burda 007-E005-DL

I had fun with the rivets. In fact, I applied them as I went this time, not waiting until the end. It didn’t make it any easier, but I was amused. After the first ones went on, it struck me that the reason I hadn’t used this sequence before was those little bits of metal have the potential to scratch the paint on the Bernina. Next time (if there is a next time) I’ll cover the rivets with masking tape. I just didn’t think about it this round.

The denim has been a big help in getting me over my resistance to Burda Style pants patterns, but so far I haven’t sewn any Burda tops. I simply don’t know what size to begin with - though it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out. I just need take some time, pull out my BML (Bernina My Label) patterns and compare. I could do with some new summer tops so it looks like this will be happening soon.

Friday, May 6, 2011

"Repetition is the Mother of Perfection"

I found myself muttering this phrase repeatedly while sewing the single-welt pockets on DD#1’s new jeans. As my children were growing up, I used many momisms and this was a favorite. Don’t ask where it came from - I really don’t have a clue.

So, I’m taking my own advise and I have to say that it is working. The welt pocket process still took much longer than it should have, but I was more confident this time around. Also, it helped that I wasn’t constructing the jeans for a particular occasion nor was there a deadline.

Burda Style 04-2011-104
The pattern I used for the jeans is Burda Style 04-2011-104. I had to add a few inches to the length (yes, she is a tall one) but other than leaving the belt loops off, I didn’t make any additional changes to the pattern.

Per her request, I used navy thread for everything except for the pocket topstitching. I put a copper jeans button at the center front waist. The copper matches the thread color.

She likes both the fit (the waist isn’t too high or too low) and the styling of these jeans. I have a feeling I will be making them again. After all, the pattern does come in my size…

Monday, May 2, 2011

Denim Snowflake Skirt – Burda Style 12-2009-122/123

DD#1 was gracious and allowed me to take a few photos of her wearing her new skirt. I blended Burda Style 12-2009-122 and 123, sewing single-welt pockets onto the back. The front pockets came from OOP Simplicity 7581. To keep the hem hanging nicely, I serged the edge and turned it up only once and topstitched.