Burda Style Pleated Trousers and a Plantain t-shirt by Deer and Doe

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I’m drawing to the end of just over a week off work, my first week since August last year. Instead of brooding on my return tomorrow I’m going to show you the lovely things I’ve made this week. But first, I can’t go on without mentioning the Bee.

By a strange twist of fate, Bloglovin predicted the winner, Heather, in my last post. I forgot to set a featured image and so it randomly picked one from the post, which just happened to be Heather. But, having watched the programme for me there was no question, she was the best Sewer/seamstress/sewist? (I hate most of the terms for people who sew, dunno why). That dress! The work that went into it!! I wish I could find a picture of it, it was incredible. edit: read Heather’s blog about the final episode here I loved Chinelo’s too but Heather worked with about three times the amount of fabric she did in the same amount of time and made a really good tie earlier in the episode, whereas Chinelo had a big fat fail in that round. For me Tamara was never in the running and that glue gun and fake flower monstrosity sealed the deal. Having started reading the Couture Sewing Techniques book I won from the lovely people at Sew Magazine, I can assure you that would not be used in an atelier.

I’m going to really miss the Sewing Bee on my TV each week. I’ll just have to wait for the next series I suppose.

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So back to my outfit post. I have a desperate lack of trousers in my wardrobe. I have a pair of black RTW trousers for work and a pair of jeans. I do have a me-made high-waisted sailor style that I made from a hack of the Kasia Skirt by Burda but I made them a while ago when my drafting skills weren’t so hot so they’re not very comfortable. In short – I need trousers. Earlier in the month I bought an amazing pair of Marvel leggings from Primark but, despite buying the size I normally wear, there was hardly any stretch in the fabric and they wouldn’t go past my knees. So I took them back and used the £8 that went back on my card to walk round the corner to fabricland.

I had decided to make these pleated trousers from April 2014 issue of Burdastyle.  The recent blog post from Burda heralded this collection as 1940’s southern inspired and I like the vintage-esque look to these trousers. They’re not normally a style I would go for as I’ve got a lot of junk in my trunk, if you know what I mean, and I don’t really want to accentuate that. But I though I’d step out of my style comfort zone and go for it. There’s a few style/sewing inspiration photos on my Pinterest sewing inspiration board.

Back to fabricland. The pattern suggested a linen, chambray or silk but with my limited leggings budget and lack of selection in the small shop, I found myself looking at the cottons. I normally wear black trousers but the selection of black was all stretch cotton, so not quite what I was looking for. I settled on a royal blue 100% cotton and if you follow me on Twitter you will have seen how much it ran in the prewash.

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Now sizing is where it gets tricky. My aforementioned booty poses a challenged you see. My top half just about fits the largest size in the magazine but my hip and waist measurements are a whopping 5″ bigger than the largest size. I decided to trace the largest, which wasn’t as difficult as it looks, and add and 1.5″ at each side seam, front and back. Not very scientific, and probably not the way it should have been done. I adjusted the pocket piece to take into account the wider waist and made already big pockets gigantic – reckon I could fit a small child in each, not sure why I’d want to though.

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Unfortunately, despite making a muslin that I though fit ok, the width at the hips is perfect but the waist is about 2″ too wide. If I make them again I’ll adjust that. The legs looked awful with the extra width so I tapered them in from knee down. If I yank them up to waist height I like the shape of the legs, but as it is they fall down and feel baggy and clown like. They are comfy though. I was hoping these would be suitable for work but I think they’re a bit too slouchy so they shall remain at home.   I made a few changes to the pattern instructions, which were awful.   In fact, I completely disregarded them after getting the pockets in because I couldn’t make head nor tail out of them.   I also inserted a lapped zip and hook and eye instead of an invisible zip mainly because I don’t have an invisible zip presser foot or any invisible zips.   I hand stitched the under stitching for the waistband facing and hand-stitched it down too.

The top was made using the free Plantain t-shirt pattern, minus elbow patches, from Deer and Doe. This top comes with a lesson in prewashing. When it was pulled out of the stash this grey double-knit was almost crisp and held its structure. Being lazy I cracked on, without washing, and whipped up this number on my overlocker. I liked the fit and drape. Then it went through the wash for the first time it suddenly became drapey and slightly on the large size (haha, my kindle tried to autocorrect ‘drapey’ to ‘carpet’ that would have been odd.). I still like it though. I didn’t have a twin needle at the time I made it so I zig zagged in a contrasting teal coloured thread at the neckline and wrist and bottom hems.

Can you tell I don’t have many accessories? I’m wearing the same belt and shoes as I was in my Somewhere over the rainbow dress.

I have also pretty much finished a self-drafted dress for my daughter, Maya, but I won’t share today because the dress and I are not speaking at the moment. It was not going according to plan to I’m taking a little break from it for a while.

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I hope you like this outfit. Things to look forward to on the blog include a post about Big Nana’s stash as I was having a rummage today and can’t quite believe how much fabric I have that she gave me.
Adios amigos.