Monday, March 30, 2009

So long, sew along

Monday March 30, NZ time.

Well, it's that time folks, time to display the pants in all their g(l)ory. First let's recap the changes made to the pattern (Burda World of Fashion 09-2008-125). There's vanity sizing, and there's German sizing. I started with a 16 and had to grade them up to a 20! A 20! I'm deeply shocked, but not to the point where I avoided the Toberone in the pantry.

So I traced off the 16 (42) and basically added 3 inches to the waist and 2 to the hip and thighs. Now partly this is just because I prefer more wearable ease than 1 inch. 1 inch is not wearable ease, 1 inch is unwearable ease. You can not bend down to pick up a child with 1 inch ease, not unless you are sewing something with elastine or lycra. Now I know why they had their model saunter down the driveway. There's no way she could have got out of the car in those pants. Who needs a safety belt with trousers that tight? I tell you she's going NOWHERE.

So here in very crude form is the summary of changes. There were 13 major and a few minor. Some of the major were done twice, sometimes I added too much and had to trim back. Sometimes not quite enough and had to add more. It wasn't hugely time-consuming though, just fiddly.

As I mentioned previously I used wool suiting that I bought at a charity shop for the outer. Now this is a top quality fabric, but it's very masculine looking, and it gives the impression of earnestness and conservatism, like it's hiding something but presenting a respectable face : fabric for a dodgy accountant or lawyer for the mob.

I was going to make another pair in something more feminine and tweedy, but everything conspired against me. Benjy went ape in the fabric shop and I had to leave almost immediately. My sewing scissors suddenly went blunt. I am very careful to use them only for fabric, so that was really really weird. I ordered in a new Bernina but it won't arrive till next week. How many signs do you want? I just knew that the powers that look after weary mothers make sure they cannot overdo it on last minute sewing binges.

Anyway, I'm not 100 % sure of the silhouette. Can a not-very-skinny person really wear skinny pants? On the one hand, the vents create a flare at the bottom which balances out the thighs, so it's not too much like a house on stilts. The pockets are handy, but finish at the widest point of the hip. The full pant top is useful if you wear your briefs bigger than Rocketboy's, but they double your crotch length, which inevitably makes your butt look bigger. For me the biggest worry is all the extra fabric around the waist line.

The back view, pretty good:

And look at that thigh!

Here are the vents in more detail:

When all's said and done, I'm quite happy with these pants, so we'll say a success. I thoroughly enjoyed the sew-along, visiting new blogs and hearing about others going cross-eyed because they've been looking at their pants too long trying to work out how to fix all the pulls and gapes. Thanks to Antionette for managing this so ably and professionally and having the energy and enthusiasm to carry it along, and to Diana for getting the whole thing on the road.


  1. They look fantastic :-) I think you should be really pleased with them.

    A new Bernina, huh? Cool! Very exciting stuff :-)

    Here's to a stress-free Monday :-)


    PS feel free to pop over for a cuppa after PC if you like.

  2. Wow. Look at the fancy folded hem thing! Hey, probably every seamstress knows about this, but did you and Miss Smith ever watch that show, "House of Eliott?" 'cause its about 2 sisters that sew and everything. Just wanted to make sure you knew about it.

  3. Nothing ever goes according to plan with kids around! It doesn't matter how many a mom cares for, unexpected things happen, particularly in fabric shops. Why ever not?! I pack my 3-yo son a lunch box full of goodies: chocolate milk in a Thermos (the one with a built-in straw), butter crackers, cheese stick, graham crackers, cereal, fruit leather... basically a lot of goodies in Ziploc bags, enough to keep him quiet, munching for an hour.

    When my older son was 3, he threw the biggest, baddest tantrum I had ever seen ANY kid do at a store. I had to chase him around the cash registers, leaving my other son (then still a baby) in the grocery cart by himself. Every time I think about it, it makes me cringe. Never again!

    Okay, enough about my fiascos... let's talk about those pants.

    First of all, regarding rear view picture, those pants look absolutely perfect on your butt! Way to go!

    Nicely tapered and cool vents.

    No folds, no pulls on the front view as well! If those pockets irritate you, you know you can always change them. How about slant welt pockets, eh? [nudge, nudge]

  4. The pants are fantastic, you should be really proud of the job you've done. As i can see with this dress I'm making, and these pants, making a toile really does pay off. If only I could find the time to sew two of everything always!

  5. Those pants look like they were made for you! And I think the extra ease was a very good idea. I don't think tight looks good on anyone not even skinny. From the photos it looks like you have things at their most flattering. Well done!

  6. I'm lovin those vents. They're the flare without flares, if you know what I mean. They are a ripsnortin success Mary Anna! Well done!

  7. Love the vents on those pants!

    I think Burda patterns always run small.

    I don't meet many people with names similar to mine, either :)

  8. Wow. W-O-W. Stunning! I love these pants! I was actually very iffy about them from the magazine photo, but on you they are just wonderful. I can appreciate the vents much better in your side view, too. All your pattern alterations were right on, and these pants look beautiful. :)

  9. Said it on PR, will say it again - F A B U L O U S! When they say that the most flattering fit is the one that just skims the body, they can use these pants as the illustration. You've NAILED it.

  10. Dear MAryAnna - I agree wholeheartdly with all the comments. THe pants are amazing. I am enrolled on the pattern course and will email you the possible dates soon.

  11. I love them! I have taken a pant break and didn't realize you finished. I love (I mean really love) the vent! Great job. The fit is wonderful. So tell me-- will you be making more pants?

  12. Your pants are rad! And don't fret about the shape, they are very flattering and I love the vents - trés cool! Congrats on making it with a deadline to spare :)

  13. You did great!! I loved the look the moment I saw this in Burda but I dont think they will work with my figure. You pulled it off though and before the deadline!! Kudos to you. I have to blog on my adventure. Let's just say white isnt my color.

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