Pants for me, a rarity…

I don’t like wearing pants. There I have said it. I used to adore my Diesel-jeans, I practically lived in them, but they stopped making the model and now they don’t have a model that fits me well anymore. I once went shopping for a new pair, long story short, I went to 5 stores, tried on 20 different models and none fit me. That was quite a depressing way to spend the day. After that, I just gave up on wearing jeans… Any one have a favourite brand or model for pear shapes, preferably manufactured in Europe or the US?
Up until last week I had 2 pair of pants I wore regularly, a grey pair and a black stretch jeans. Last week I was squatting down and the fabric of my black pants tore. Now I must admit, this was not the first time this has happened to me. The insides of my thighs rub together and the fabric gets worn out faster in that spot, and thus eventually all jeans tend to tear up sooner or later…
Even though I don’t like wearing pants, I do like making them. So I decided I should make a new pair of pants. And as a lucky coincidence, February is Smarty Pants Month at The Monthly Stitch.
I had been eying this pattern for a while and I know that Burda-pants fit me just fine without any alterations. After I saw Rachel‘s high waisted trousers, I was more and more convinced that this style should come from under my machine and make its’ way into my closet…
 I love the high waist on these pants, I just love the style. The husband-monster? Not so much. I believe he said he will only go out with me if I pull my shirt over the waistband, but I don’t like the way that looks, so he’ll just have to live with tucked in shirts…
The pink wool is from my stash and cost me 15€, picked up from a remnants table in Barcelona. Add a zipper to the grand total and I have new wool trousers for about 16€.
 Now construction wise:
Turns out I can sew a pair of pants in one day! Who would have thought? Certainly not me!
As with all Burda patterns, instructions are minimal. One A4-sheet in total…
The welt pockets gave me a bit of a headache. I have never made single welt pockets before, and if I hadn’t found this tutorial, both pockets would have ended up a disaster, instead of just the right pocket. I messed up completely and in the end had to sew the whole pocket by hand. Of course after I had slashed the pocket line…  Ugh! The left pocket looks alright. 
I didn’t go with the invisible zipper but went for a lapped zipper instead, using Sunny’s class on Craftsy. Turns out I should have started with the back leg so the lap would go from front to back, but I started with the front leg, and now my zip closes the wrong way. I’m pretty sure no one will notice.
I was very much in doubt, but in the end I went for the splits on the bottom, and I’m really glad I did. It’s a fun little feature, and they make my shoes look good. I like the way my trousers fall around my shoes instead of sitting on top of the shoe. Next time I will make the split 2cm shorter so my socks don’t show…

I made a size 42, but I think I could have gotten away with a size 40. Guess that will be for next time, when these wear out.
What are your favourite trouser patterns and which one would you recommend me?

Please, Boss me around!

The Monthly Stitch challenge for March is called ‘Miss Bossy Patterns’ and I couldn’t be more thrilled with this challenge.
During the month of March, which happens to be my birthday month, I will have to sew a pattern from my stash that I haven’t used before, and the best part is, you can decide which pattern it will be.
So, without further ado, the nominees for Miss Bossy Patterns 2014 are:
Vogue 8727

Made up in this beautiful birdy fabric that I have been saving since my London trip during the summer of 2012

McCall’s 5974 – out of print
The Perfect Knit Dress, according to McCall’s
Made up in this out of this world pink/purple (my husband says I’m colourblind…) shiny knit, scooped up during our sewist-meetup in Bilbao in December.

La Maison Victor Adventure Jacket
Selfless sewing. I would make this jacket from a new Belgian sewing magazine for one of the monsters in my house (probably my husband) and I would make it in this reversible knit.

So, help me make a decision what to make for the March challenge. But don’t worry if I don’t make your favourite in March, I probably will soon…

The lines are now open, until 28 February 2014 – CET.

TMS Miss Bossy Patterns

Thanks for your help! I also have a few projects to show you, pictures will be taken and posts written soon!

Vogue 8630 – a dress with 10 darts for Frocktober

Hello ladies, here I am again. Long time no see. I have valid reasons for that!
I have been super busy making plans for the renovation of our apartment. We have finally agreed on a plan with our architect (and more importantly, a price with our renovator) so we can move forward and apply for the permits.
The past few months I have been very busy scouring Pinterest for ideas, and now it’s a matter of finding the right kitchen, bathroom, floors, tiles, light switches, door handles (… you get the picture) to make our home OURS.
Apart from renovating I have taken up physical activities! And not just one, no, I started 3 different sports! 
Every Thursday I take tennis classes. I am a beginner, but enjoying myself! And I am already dreaming up a few cute tennis outfits. Is it wrong to start a hobby just for the wardrobe possibilities?
The next day, every Friday, my husband and I are taking a dance class. Taking dance classes together has been on our wishlist for almost 10 years now, and it’s finally happening! We found a school here in Santander that teaches Swing and Lindy Hop and it is all kinds of awesome. We’re still learning and so we fall out of rhythm all the time and occasionally step on each others’ toes, but it will all be worth it in the end. And again, I’m already thinking of all the dresses I could make for dancing… Not to mention the shoes!

And last but not least, we took a sailing course. Every Saturday and Sunday of October we have been out on the water with our trusty Julien the Vaurien. We have been having a ball… Luckily the weather has been kind, with no rain at all and temperatures above 20ºC. We are already making plans to continue the course throughout the entire year to learn to sail regattas! It is just awesome. Oh, you want a picture? Your wish is my command!

Back to the dress!

Today I am showing off my make for The Monthly Stitch Frocktober. When I hear the word ‘Frock’ I immediately think ‘fancy dress’.
I have been stuck on straight skirts for a while now and I have a huge crush on Belgian Queen Mathilde, so I chose this pattern. It reminded me of the gorgeous dress the Queen wore to the crowning of King Philippe.

The Queen’s version:


My version:

As you can see, there are a couple of differences.

First of all, I omitted the collar. One reason is that I didn’t think it would work very well with this fabric, and the second is that I barely managed to cut the dress of the yardage I had on hand, a collar was simply not possible.

Another difference: no sleeves. I don’t think those would have worked either. I have never worn a dress with silk twill sleeves, but I can’t imagine that those are really comfortable. Besides, if I want to go dancing in this dress, sleeves would only be in the way.

Last difference: mine is shorter. I don’t have a crowning to attend and I like my skirts a bit shorter.

Apart from sewing 10 darts, this is not a difficult dress! The only difficulty I had was that I only had 0.5 cm of seam allowance on the sides from the waist down (thank you pear shape) and inserting an invisible zipper with that small amount of fabric… Pfffff… In the end I had to handstitch it in place.

The fabric is a great silk twill I picked up on my La Coruña fabric binge. It was the last of the bolt and I got it for 30€. It was just enough and involved a bit of puzzling to get the fabricpattern to line up, but it worked out! Yeay!

These pictures were taken in the entrance of our apartment building, and I really like the setting. We should do something about the lighting though…

I really love the dress, but it won’t come out of the closet any time soon due to lack of an appropriate event… New Year’s Eve is not that far away though.

My dear Watson

A while ago I decided to join The Monthly Stitch. A new challenge is posted every month, and you can join in the challenge or not. The challenge for August was ‘CAPES’ and since I had this pattern in my stash since June, I decided to hop on the bandwagon and join. 

I finished just in time, August 31th, still got 22 hours left!
The Watson coat… When you lay eyes on the pattern, you will want one too!
The only thing that was a bit daunting, was the fact that there are 15 pattern pieces, and since I didn’t want to cut in my original pattern I traced them all… 😦
I cut a size M, but in hindsight, it was a bit to big. I eliminated about 2.5 cm from the bust-area, took in the sides 1 cm and eliminated 1 cm from the shoulder, but now it fits really well. 
I was really surprised at how fast this coat came together, it was finished in about 3 days (not counting laying out the fabric and matching up those plaids), it helped that the directions were very clear with lots of pictures!

The fabric came from Le Chien Vert in Brussels. I thought the plaid was perfect for a Sherlock-inspired garment. I saw another Watson-jacket with 2 different fabrics, and although I liked it, for mine I wanted just 1 type of fabric. The lining came from the same store. 
I did have a bit of trouble with the cape. The lining kept peeping out from under the cape. To solve this I topstitched the bottom of the whole cape piece and after that I had to ‘stitch in the ditch’ in the side seams of the cape through both layers of fabric. Now the lining does what it should do; be invisible from the outside…

I got the buttons covered in one of the many Mercerias around town, because I always mess up with those DIY-kits. The coat closes with snaps because my buttonhole-foot isn’t big enough for these buttons, and I didn’t feel like making bound buttonholes, because that was just to much trouble.

If I make this again, I will probably leave out the cape (2 cape jackets might be a bit too much) but will insert in-seam-pockets. But I probably won’t make another coat for the next 5 years or so, I bought a new one just last winter and my last coat lasted me at least 5 years, so I’m pretty much set.

Taking pictures in this coat while Summer is still going strong was a bit weird…

This is my favourite picture, inside the port of Bilbao, in front of one of the huge cranes. My husband had a job there and I went along to assist. Yes, in my polkadot dress (made by me 3 years ago) and sandals, because that is appropriate attire for a cargo port.

The next challenge is VINTAGE patterns. Since I have quite a few of those, I’m ready to go for it again!

So what’s the weirdest place you ever took pictures?