You know those projects, which for some reason or another, just don’t go quite right. The fabric acts up, the pattern isn’t quite what you’d hoped, or your machine is on the fritz. Both creations I’m sharing today are just a bit…unfortunate.
My shirt is Burda 7136. I’m enamoured with Burda shirt patterns, and had been wanting to try this particular pattern for a long time. So when I picked up some Isaform cutlery print poplin on the $2/m table at Spotlight, making this pattern was first on my list. First: this fabric. THE FUCK, SPOTLIGHT.
Not only was the print off grain to the selvedge, it was off grain to itself. See those cute lil cake plates, forming a vertical line? Although aligned vertically, the rest of the print travels horizontally, meaning I had to choose either a correct horizontal or vertical orientation, not both. I decided to align the grainline to the cake plates, leaving the rest of the print to travel diagonally across my body. Trust Spotlight to cock up a designer print.
As for the pattern, it wasn’t wrong per se, but just not what I had envisaged. The proportions seemed off: the body was quite short (I added 3.5cm length) and the sleeves very long (shortened 2cm). The sleeve was also quite wide through the elbow and wrist, which for some reason I was convinced was terribly unflattering, so I slimmed it down a bit too much.
This isn’t a bad pattern, but personal preference means I wouldn’t make it again. Why bother, when I’ve got a veritable repository (not suppository) of well-fitting Burda shirt patterns.
Next up: I made jeans! The Style Arc Misty Jeans, to be precise. As a participant in House of Pinheiro’s #sewphotohop, I won a £50 gift voucher to UK fabric outlet, The Fabric Godmother. With it, I bought some stretch denim with modal, and silver grey cotton sateen (yeh, I thought it would go further too!). Having had such success with other Style Arc pants patterns, I chose the Misty Jeans pattern for my first jeans sewing experience.
I made a few style changes, including adding an encased elastic waistband (rather than exposed), and drafting a deeper pocket bag. As drafted, these front pocket is incredibly small – like, a couple of cms deep. To make them more functional, I drafted slightly larger pocket bags, with the pocket facing and bag made from cotton lawn, and the opening topstitched onto it, as in RTW jeans (this sewalong post illustrates what I mean). I also double topstitched with topstitching thread, rather than using a twin needle, and chucked in some edgestitching and bartacks too.
Now, part of the problem with these jeans is my fault: despite being advised by Style Arc that I should sew my usual size, I was convinced that the lower spandex content and firm stretch of this fabric meant I should size up. This was a mistake! I had lots of saggy drag lines around my knees and calves, which all but disappeared when I took them in. Before washing, there were still plenty of sag lines around my upper bum/crotch area, and I expect they would reappear with a bit of wear.
However, these jeans aren’t getting any wear other than in these photos. Why? This denim stains everything! I’ve washed them, soaked them, and washed them again with colour catchers at the recommendation of The Fabric Godmother, but they still insist on turning everything around them a fetching shade of Smurf blue. (They were kind enough to reimburse me with a store credit.) I figure the indigo dye mustn’t have been fixed properly to begin with, and there’s not much I can do about that unless I’m willing to go the full Tobias Funke, and that ain’t gonna happen.
I did enjoy making jeans so much that I bought the materials for a couple more pairs, so expect to see them pop up onto the blog sooner or later. As for this pair, I don’t know what to do with them – I hate throwing good clothes in the bin! Are there any denim gurus out there who know how to fix loose indigo dye?
Pattern: Burda 7136
Pattern details: Paper pattern in 3 variations with 1.5cm seam allowances included. Sizes 36-50.
Fabric: 2.5m x 112cm Isaform printed poplin in cutlery, grey, $6.32 from Spotlight on sale
Other materials: Sheerweft interfacing. 12mm bias tape, 12mm grey buttons, from stash.
Mods: Size 40 bust and shoulders – 44 hips.
– 12mm forward head adjustment, moved sleeve cap forward to match
– 1.5cm added to body length at waist, and 2cm at hem. Hemmed with bias facing to conserve length.
– Sleeves shortened 2cm at hem
– About 1cm height taken from centre third of sleeve cap
– 5mm added to sleeve side seams at underarm, 2.1cm taken through each sleeve side seam around the elbow, to 1.2cm at hem. Cuff shortened to 27.3cm finished width (approx)
– Own two piece placket drafted, similar to this Off the Cuff tutorial but to the dimensions marked on the sleeve pattern
– Shortened back dart to reach 14cm from each centre point
Pattern: Style Arc Misty Pull-On Stretch Jean
Pattern details: available sizes 4-30 as a single sized paper pattern from the Style Arc website, or as A4 PDF patterns in groups of 3 sizes from Etsy. Note that each size is a separate file.
Fabric: 2m x 120cm Stretch Denim with Modal, from The Fabric Godmother using Instagram prize gift voucher. 68% cotton, 30% modal 2% elastane, with 25% stretch.
Other materials: 32mm knitted elastic, from Spotlight. 30/3 spun poly thread for topstitching, from M Recht Accessories. Steam a Seam 2 Lite. Cotton lawn for pockets.
Mods: Size 14
– drafted proper pocket bag which was a bit larger than pocket as drafted
– used double topstitching rather than twin needling, with more topstitching and bartacks than called for in instructions
– took in legs 6mm each inseam and side seam, tapering to nothing at crotch (inseam) and just below side front pocket opening (side seam)
– only hemmed to 1cm
– used covered elastic waistband instead of exposed