Thursday, June 27, 2013

Burda Style 7195 Pleat Front Shorts

I stepped outside to do my photo shoot a little after 7 this morning - and you can see I was instantly laughing. The humidity was a whopping 93%! My carefully (kinda sorta) styled hair went bing bing into its naturally frizzy curly state immediately. And I felt like I was going to melt...

I had picked out several tops to style these cute shorts, but changed my mind really fast in favor of snapping shots quickly. Best news - no mosquitoes so far this year. I am really lucky, other parts of the county nearer the shore are having a terrible time.

I first saw this Burda Style pattern on Mimi G.'s blog. She's sewn the peplum front pants several times, they look great on her. When I looked on Pattern Review, I found Mimi's review and only one review of the shorts! And that's it - a web search came up with no other shorts versions. But what a nice pattern. I really like wide leg pants and shorts, so gave this a go.

Given the pattern dimensions, I decided to sew a size 12, instead of my usual 14. My original version was true to the pattern, with two exceptions:
  • I left off the ties. They are just a bit too much for me. 
  • And I also opted out of the cuffs. They never stay rolled! and I do not want to fuss with them. My shorts have an 18 1/2" outseam.

The front styling is so interesting. The side seam is a couple inches forward and has deep in-seam pockets. The inverted pleat on each side is echoed in the wide waistband.

The back waistband has 3 rows of 1/2" elastic that bracket the flat front. Even though this is a wide leg pant, the gathers at the waist are not outrageous and would look nice with a tucked-in shirt.

Overall, very good-looking. But I didn't care for the front waistband. For one thing, I'll be wearing all my tops out and over my shorts, and the band pleats are a bit pokey. And for another, without any gathers, darts, or ease in the front, the shorts seemed to pull up at the crotch. Out with the seam ripper, off with the waistband. I attached a simple 1 1/4" wide band with 1" elastic. Very comfy, perfect solution.

My fabric is a 100% corded cotton from Fashion Fabrics Club. It is so soft, I'm glad I have four more yards. Maybe I'll do long pants in this same fabric and pattern. My top is a self-drafted tee, using a cotton jersey tribal print from Girl Charlee. And what summer shorts outfit would be complete without drugstore zoris :-)

My hands in my pockets pulled the back view, the shorts actually fit nicely in back...

Love my newest shorts.

Ms. Squirrel came out for breakfast. The guava tree is full of fruit, she is so fat and happy.

Hope everyone has a nice weekend. Ciao! Coco

Thursday, June 20, 2013

It all fit in one bag...

This was fun. I went over to JoAnn's around noon to pick up a couple things, and here is part of what came home with me :-) I didn't even know I needed all this! Especially the Spiderman thingies (you put them in water, and they make small towels. Of course. Spidey is my grandson's super super hero - he will have a blast with these).

The purple thread is for this pretty calico, destined for wide leg pants like the cocoa dots I sewed last summer.

Vogue 8584

I also wanted self-threading sewing needles. They actually come as a pack of 10 on this cute pink magnet. It is perfect for keeping my basting needle and a couple sewing needles at hand as well. I can't stand to have them on the pin cushion with my straight pins because I knock them off or they fall off into the carpet - and I have a horror of sliding one into my bare foot. 

Back to the self-threading needles - Dan R. ( Piece and Press) mentioned in a post reply at Male Pattern Boldness that he uses them when he is pulling through his thread ends, knotting and sinking them. Brilliant! I've been using a regular sewing needle, licking the thread ends together, hoping they both go through the eye. This needle makes the process so much easier and faster. Thanks, Dan!

Confession time. I did not make it out of the store without fabric. I tried, I really did. But I remembered that I needed to look at faux fur, feel it actually, because I'm planning a jacket this fall. I don't want anything that too static-y or sticky or stiff. Faux fur is tricky and expensive! Fortunately I had a coupon for 40% off...

So pretty - very soft, deep brown, a little swirly, about 5/8" long, 100% poly. The knit backing is very well done, and the selvages are even. I gave it the fluff test (it didn't give up any) and the static test (no shocks). I do plan to use a cotton lining, both for comfort and to minimize static potential. And I already have my pattern, Simplicity 2150. I'm pretty sure I'll leave off the collar and raise the neckline slightly to compensate.

Felt like Christmas. BTW, the Spiderman goodies are from the Dollar Store next to my JoAnn's. Where I also got this 2013 must-have windmill to go out in the garden... Ciao! Coco

Saturday, June 15, 2013

McCalls 6291 Walking Shorts Version

Summer means shorts, even for a maxi lover like moi! Last year I made oodles of Simplicity 1852 Low Rise Shorts  and I love them. But a post by Scruffy B. showing off her cute cute culottes got me about a new look for summer 2013?

I started with McCalls 6291, which has three variations on cargo pants. Love the deep pockets, elastic waist, front pleats, and belt carriers.  My first version was a pants combo of Views B and C, done in a navy weavers cloth, great look and lots of fun.

For the shorts, I took advantage of all the features of the pattern and just changed the lines to give me the fullness I was after.

I traced my new front and back pieces to a length of 22". The lines of the outseam and inseam are continued straight down, parallel to the grain.

The changes didn't effect the pockets or pleats in any way. I did add a belt carrier at the center back.

The finished inseam is 8 3/4", the outseam is 20", measured below the waistband.

Loving this look! I used a 55/45 linen/rayon fabric from JoAnn Fabrics in Calla Green. Finally got on board with the green trend, I'm just a few months late :-) I washed and dried the fabric 3 times on warm before I cut it, and it is so soft. It has a nice tropical rumple, but doesn't wrinkle. What you see in the pics is really all the wrinkle it has.

And we are walking, walking...

As I was walking back to my tripod someone else came out to pose. My buddy Ms. Squirrel. She is feeling much better now that the kids are weaned and off bothering the neighbors.

She was compensated for this photo shoot with four peanuts.

Ciao! Coco

Monday, June 10, 2013

McCalls 6747 Long sleeve knit maxi

Oh, what a cute knit summer dress! 

I get cold everywhere I go...and love having long sleeves instead of taking a wrap. I did not opt for the henley look, with placket and buttons, but other than that, I really made only one change to this pattern. It was based on a discovery from sewing so many knit dresses the past 6 months...

    My dresses (another one below) are done in a light-midweight 7 oz. cotton jersey knits from Girl Charlee ( I 
    looooooove this knit fabric store). I've found in sewing this weight knit that a center back seam takes a lot
    of punishment, particularly if you are sitting on it...the knit pulls out at the stitches. 

    I have 3 versions of the  Kwik Sew 3703 maxi dress, which has a CB seam. Originally, I serge/sewed them all
    but after a few wearings  I went back and reinforced the CB seam with an elastic knit stitch. The CB seams
    were pulling out like crazy!

End of story: I cut the back of this dress on the fold, rather than with a center back seam. I'm happy with the fit as is, but someone else might want to add side darts for shaping if this approach is taken.

Sizing-based info:
  • I'm a bit over 5'7.5" tall, 140 lbs.
  • Sewed a size medium.
  • Added 2" to the length.
  • Dress hem is 2".
  • Sleeve hem is a scant 5/8".

Version two, a tribal animal print, in orange of course!

And the gratuitous envelope cover photo...or something near it.

I really love this dress.

Ciao! Coco