Thursday, February 18, 2010

This is great. I like it. I'll sew it.

Front detail Burda 09-2009-113

"When I see people dressed in hideous clothes that look all wrong on them, I try to imagine the moment when they were buying them and thought, "this is great. I like it. I'll take it." Andy Warhol

I was totally bummed about the failure that was the Jalie stretch jeans. Determined to learn from my mistakes I reflected on all the factors that contributed to their downfall.

1) I did not like the fabric.

2) The fabric was the wrong weight for the project.

3) The fabric was the wrong colour both for the project and for me personally.

4) I made the mistake of assuming that the jeans looking good on other people would mean they would look good on me. (the old, "love it on the model," factor)

5) I ignored the fact that I do not actually like stretch jeans on me.

6) I was in too much of a hurry to get into the sewing room and start sewing without creating a space for critical thinking and reflection. Questions like "is making this a good idea?" did not get the space they needed to find their true answer, which in this case would have been "no". Don't get me wrong - I'm all for taking risks and wadders are a necessary part of the learning process, and I'd rather have wadders a plenty than not try something I really want to make. But really, more thought was required on this one.

7) I am someone who needs to see a pattern and then pick the perfect fabric for it, not the other way round. Using up stash does not work for me in this way, except as maybe fodder for wearable muslins.

I took some time off to do some research and spent an afternoon reading these books:

For Valentine's day, my husband gave me the best present - 6 hours uninterrupted sewing time. I traced the Burda jeans from the September issue 2009...and as a little momento from the Jalie jeans I used their back pocket pattern piece and put a x (kiss) and o (hug) on the back. (the burda jean has no back pocktets). I also chose some fabric from stash to serve as my "wearable muslin."

Check out the difference in the pattern pieces - both are cut to a Burda 42 (16) Jalie size "w" - although the burda pattern has no back yoke so it extends further up. Let's look at the "pour factor" - that's what 20% stretch looks like friends - the difference is what wants to embrace your little touche, and grasp your tender thighs. The difference across the hip, accounting for differences in seam allowance is 3 cms (an inch and a quarter).

I still am struggling with the fit through the back, more experimentation required, but I got rid of the front pooling by deepening the front crotch line below the zipper.

I totally love the front yoke and the pockets that slant off it. Sooo handy.

Now I am going out to buy exactly the right fabric and make these jeans again with adjustments. Watch this space.

Burda 09-2009-113
Fabric: lightweight denim in pewter, Nick's fabrics - $8, scraps of cotton and interfacing.


  1. These are a great start. I can see that they are going to be really flattering on you. Can't wait to see it in your final fashion fabric. Good work!

  2. What's that I smell???
    A winner!! It's gonna be great!!!

  3. I really like that slanted yoke / pocket combo. Has Burda done this on a skirt too? It's great that Burda works so well for you...validates that Burda subscription! And let's face it, the joy of receiving a Burda mag each month surely outweighs a one-off pattern purchase. I much prefer the darker colour on you as well. Good job.

  4. I am liking the yoke too. I like the new books! I am going to check them out.

  5. I'm loving jeans 2.0!
    You're so right about the need for critical thinking at the pre-sewing stage. I always get the most satisfactory garments when I think first about what is missing from my wardrobe and then try to find a pattern for that item, followed by finding the right fabric. I go wrong when I see something on a moddle or in the pattern magazine, try to match it to a stash fabric and then sew. I should learn- Don't mess with the Golden Order of Garment Sewing!

  6. I am glad to see you had success with these jeans. I really like this pattern and have plans to make it when I find just the right fabric. Great job!

  7. They look great! I love the slant pockets and the front yoke, too...might have to hunt out that issue ;-)

    Between us, you and I must be keeping Nick's in business ($4 at a time...)

    Looking forward to seeing version 2.0.

  8. I came back for another look. I don't know how I missed that perfect topstitching the first time around.

  9. I like these, too! I will take another look at that pattern. I have some denim with just a hint of stretch that's been looking for a pattern for a while. I like your pink topstitching and I love the pocket embroidery!

  10. The pocket and front yoke look great on these and they look good on you. I agree with the thinking before you sew thing. I have just finished reading a style book too and it has put me off one dress I had planned (a good thing). I have had too many 'blooper' type outfits lately.

  11. I am interested in how you decide Burda 42 is a 16. According to what I make of Vogue sizes and Burda sizes, a Burda 42 is a 14. I won't even bother to go into RTW sizing because it's so crazy. But I do find I have to cut Burda smaller than my measurements imply (I have to cut 40 or between 38 and 40, even though I should be a 42, I think), but I am assuming that is because they put a lot of ease in their patterns. But maybe sizing is different again in Oz?

    Oh and I particularly like your chouce of fabric and contrast top stitching in this pair.


  12. Congratulations for not giving up on the first try. Your critical thinking is exactly the thing that we all need to do. We must sew for our own body and not the image of a model's. Nice work.

  13. Funny quote. You know, I have my husband, sister, and mother pick out my clothes for me. I do a terrible job without them!

  14. Hi MaryNana
    I was watching Project Runway last night and thought you would be a good contestant to add to the mix. My favourite part was when one of them responded to the change in instructions by saying "Capital WTF". Ha! Humour even for non-sewers like myself.

    I've given up on jeans I think. A few weeks ago I finally took the plunge again and bought a pair just to confirm that they weren't my thing, I think. Have worn them but never think they get the crotch length right - is that a sewing term? They always "seam" (ha!) to cut you in half, as a friend says. I think the verdict is that jeans are just not comfortable. (But may be I have spent two long in elastic waste bands. I think it was Karl Lagerfield who said that people realy let themselves go when they get into trackpants becaaue they don;t notice the inches piling on!).

    Righto - sorry for long post - Ken and I really enjoy your blog- and I loved the puff sleeved T-shirt.

    Love MAry

  15. Those jeans are great. I like them. I'd wear them.

  16. Looking very promising, both style and fit. I was wondering though just what you meant by deepening the crotch line below the zip to remove pooling. As I picture this it would create more pooling. Clearly I've missed the point, so I wonder if you wouldn't mind a words-of-one-syllable explanation so I can go "Duh, how obvious!"

    ps, I think your sister wants you jeans! ;-)

  17. I have to admit that I have been tempted to buy the Jalie jeans pattern, too...But I already HAVE this pattern and they look so great on you! Nice fit and I like the small flare at the hem.

  18. I am glad you have found a jeans pattern that is a better fit for you!! I like that front yoke detail also. I can't wait to see the pair you make next!! Well, I also can't wait to read about it as you always wax poetic!!

  19. That last bit of travel left me way behind on blogs... obvz.... so I have to say that I love these Burda jeans quite a lot on you. I relate very much to falling in love with the way a garment looks on a model, forgetting what is best for my shape and stature. It's too easy to be tempted when we have able hands.