Tag Archives: trousers

Burdastyle 7/2017 and True Bias: The Thailand Collection 

Those of you who follow me on Instagram will know that I went to Thailand where I joined an organised tour of Bangok and the South. I came away from the trip with very mixed feeling, but I guess that shouldn’t stop me from showing you what I made for the trip. No photos from out there I’m afraid, as my mobile selfies are far too crappy to show off on the blog.

Even before I knew I was going to Thailand I had picked up this silk twill remnant from my local fabric store with a view of turning it into an Ogden for next summer. Well, it served me well in the tropical heat and I just love the vaguely Japanese print.

To go with the top I made these linen trousers from Burdastyle 7/2017. Again, from a remnant picked up on the same shopping trip where I got the silk. The stars must have know about my long haul journey, even if I didn’t. Must have been Karma!

The pattern originally has a side zip, but for some reason I hate those, so I put in a normal trouser zip. In the heat, breathable trousers are important for me – for comfort I much prefer them to dresses, because of the dreaded thigh rub issue.

I also made myself a new day pack/hand luggage, the Desmond backpack by Taylor Tailor. In fact, I didn’t take this one to Thailand as my sister in law liked to so much I gave it to her. I then made myself one that is practically identical. (And one in grey for my husband. And then one for Child 1 in navy – this pattern keeps on giving!)

It’s a simple roll top back pack which I pimped by adding a zipper closure to the top and an inside zipper pocket and slightly wider side pockets to accommodate a water bottle more easily. Now it is perfect, so much so that I sent my previous RTW day pack off to the charity shop. If you’re in the market for a simple, easy to make day pack, you could do a lot worse than looking at this pattern. I even took mine on several treks through the Thai jungle and it came away with flying colours. No slipping off the shoulders, easy to mould close to the back and easily sturdy enough to carry provisions for a day. Obviously, I wouldn’t use it for a day’s trekking in the Alps, where all sort of extra clothing is a neccessity, but for a day in the city it’s perfect.

Ever since coming back it turned really cold here, so I look at my Thai fabric haul in despair: there are pineapples and oranges on two of the fabrics and I really could do with weather to match the fabrics!



Burdastyle 10/2017 #119 and 9/2017 #121: Lemons in the Lady Garden

One of the problems with my lack of regular blogging isn’t a lack of sewing, but a lack of taking pictures I’m happy with (and my standards of happiness are clearly very much lower than other bloggers’ anyway).
But looking at things realistically, happiness isn’t really achievable in the world of my blog photos anyway, so I ‘ll just post this as it is rather than delaying even further.

These are two of my favourite recent pieces: The trousers are Burdastyle 9/2017  #121, which, following a suggestions from Ali , I’ve named the Lady Garden Trousers, because, of course, there is a lot going on in the lady garden area, as Ali helpfully suggested.

There is actually a lot I would normally not like about these trousers. They don’t have pockets for starters. I hate clothes without pockets as I always have stuff to carrry around with me. So I added a small front welt pocket to at least accomodate my phone. Secondly, they have a side zip, which again I wouldn’t usually chose and which I normally convert into a front zip opening.  Of course I could have changed all that, but I was short on fabric and didn’t want to experiment with a new pattern. And thirdly the fit isn’t great, they came out a bit large and large quantities of elastic were used in the waist line (I did use my usual size 42 in Burda, but I might have needed to size down).

But, but but – I just love them! The fabric just makes these trousers and it makes me feel happy every time I put them on, so they are a big win in my book.

Patternwise I’m in fact more excited about the top Burdastyle 19/2017 #119.

This is a pattern I thouroughly recommend! It’s as comfortable as any regular knit top, but is just elevated a little bit about the standard top. Admittedly you won’t wip this up in an hour, there’s a bit of precision sewing necessary around the waist area and for setting in the sleeves that personally I couldn’t have done on the overlocker. So I used all three machines: the regular machine for precision sewing, the overlocker for the rest and coverstitch for the neck and bottom seams.

I sized down one size to a 38, which I usually do in Burda knit tops and it turned out just right. I used a very hefty ponte and that was a good choice, I this the waist belt wouldn’t sit right in a flimsier fabric. Oh, and I managed to get this top out of 1 metre rather than the 1.3 metres specified. I had to shorten the arms by about 2cm, but that was all.

Regular readers of this blog will know that one of my modellig special skills is walking up and down, so I wouldn’t want to leave you without proof that I’m still at the top of my game!

See, told you so, exemplary stuff!





Burdastyle 8/2016 # : Pleat Front Trousers

To those of you who are waiting for news of the Brexit Coat: Rest assured that the project is in strong and stable hands and the Minister for Sewing the Brexit Coat would like to stress that while the difficulty level of choosing those buttons is in another galaxy the project is nevertheless  progressing at an appropriate speed.
But as I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be able to keep up Brexit-related analogies, let me give you some light relief: In a departure from my usual style I made some pleat front trousers.

They are one of my #sewdowndewsbury projects – in fact the only one that I went to buy fabric for specifically. I used a non-stretch woollen suiting, and when I say non-stretch I mean absolutely no give whatsoever, neither across nor perpendicular to the grain. I was a little worried about this as I’d never made or even worn trousers so relentlessly non-stretch, but it’s turned out well.

I used Burdastlye 8/2018 #111. The trousers are quite high-waisted (please note that I am high-waisted anyway, so they look rather “normal”, but on someone with a figure that corresponds more to the norm the trousers do come up high). Also the pleating is rather more pronounced than is usual. I am never sure whether this is wise on a pear-shape like me, but yolo, I’ve decided to embrace this.

I didn’t make any changes to the pattern other than scooping out the crotch curve a little. I normally add some extra room to the back, but this was not needed in this pattern – I guess the roomy front takes care of any booty issues. I think the pocket opening should move further down, so if I ever make these trousers again I have a good change of forgetting to make this adjustment ;-).

Next up: further procrastination on the Brexit front in the form of not one but three shirtdresses. Buttons pending, so don’t hold your breath!



Burdastyle Wide Leg Trousers: Feel Free to Laugh Out Loud

Actually, the trousers are fine – no need to laugh at the trousers (though if you feel you want to laugh at them, go right ahead, I won’t be offended).

But I had to laugh at myself and my embarrassing attempts at posing. You see, I while back I promised I was going to get the lack-of-photography situation on this blog under control. To this avail I bought a new camera – nothing fancy, still a point and shoot, the Sony Cybershot RX100 III. But it can be remotely activated via the mobile, so I am able do do my own photoshoots and don’t have to rely on my long suffering husband who enjoys photoshoots as much as I do a visit to the dental hygienist.

But boy, this posing lark is a learning curve!! I’m fully accepting of the fact that I won’t look any prettier on photos than in real life – but I would be really pleased if I didn’t look a whole lot worse. So I read up on “how to shoot good blog pictures”.

All the technical side is still a bit above my head, so I decided I might have to work with what I’ve got.

Making long lines is what I’ve read one should make – judge for yourself in the picture at the top.


Or may be “creating angles” is where it’s at?


or alternatively no nonsense what you see is what you get?

I’m really working this, girlfriend, don’t you think?

On a slightly more serious side note, can you see how my cowl doesn’t gape?! More about the Hila top in another post!

I even arranged a photo”studio” in a corner of my sewing room: (and oh my god, I just discovered how to do these fancy circles!!!)

And on a by-note, may I introduce this top from Fashion Style 5/2015 which I suppose is not going to make it onto a separate blog entry. Win some, loose some, ey?


So there, you may stop laughing now!

How do you cope with posing? Is is something you enjoy? Find as awkward as I do? Do you have any tips? Mind you, beginner’s tips will suffice…



Burdastyle 10/2016 # + True Bias Ogden: Culottes with silky top

Oh culottes!! If only I could make my mind up about them! My love/hate relationship with them goes so far that I don’t even know whether to love or to hate them at any given time. I mean, it would be great if I loved them: they are such a great garment in principle. The beauty of skirts with the practicality of trousers! Plus they are having a fashion moment and for me to partake in that is a rare pleasure.

But then: do they really look good, in real life, not in the “cool city girl” life that clearly isn’t mine? Not sure…

A case in point are these culottes that Burdastyle has been going crazy about for a couple of years:



Aren’t they just the coolest thing?

Well, here is my version:

(BTW: Don’t get any delusions about the quality of the weather here in Germany. These pictures were taken a few weeks ago. We are well into autumn dreariness right now…)

It’s all a bit more art teachery, isn’t it? Clearly, they should be worn with heels rather than with flats. A slightly drapier fabric would be good as well, rather than this rigid denim from deep stash.



But feast your eyes on my new favourite make: the True Bias Ogden cami! I already made about 5 and they are revolutionising my underwear drawer.


As you all know I like to prove the versatility of my makes! Look, the Ogden is fully pull-outable!

And just in case somebody should think I don’t pull out all the stops for my blog photography here is proof to the contrary!


Always in action for your viewing pleasure!

But back to those culottes:


I made them with slanted pockets rather than with single welt side pockets as in the pattern. I did make another version that I don’t have pictures of with the welt pockets, but I did not like the way the pocket bag feels against the leg, so I went with slanted pockets.

The front and back creases are sewn in, not just ironed. I made a little mistake there by sewing them just a bit too wide, so they look a bit severe. I really should have sewn just a needle width away from the edge of the crease.


It’s especially obvious running down the back where ironed in creases would have been sat flat, so this looks a bit unnatural. Well, lesson learnt, I’m not loosing any sleep over it.


I love me a gold zipper, so they got the hardware salvaged from a previous make. Obviously, there’s a little metal confusion going on, what with the gold zipper and the silver belt, shoes and top but hey, this is how I roll ;-).

And indulge me with one last picture: I’ve been clearing out my wardrobe recently and have given away a lot of me-mades that just weren’t got worn. But one of the items that is still going strong is the white topper from Burda’s 1950s Vintage edition:


I still love it and wear it regularly, both as a jacket in the spring and a top in the autumn/winter.

So what do you think about these culottes? Yay or nay? I’m still undecided – but I have a few bits of fabrics in my stash that would be just right for another pair. So should I – or shouldn’t I?


Burdastyle 4/2014 #110: Pleat Front Trousers of Two Years

Peeps, I’m back! I’d deserted this blog for the past few weeks, not even finishing the second pair of jeans I was trying to make for Jeans in January. I don’t think they were missed though, as there were many other pairs of fabulous jeans that saw the light of day in January. I will write a summary post once I get the chance.
I did have a good reason for the radio silence: the written part of the philosophy exams I’m taking in order to qualify for teaching philosophy here in Bavaria. Unfortunately one exam didn’t go well at all, so I need to pull out all stops for the orals – but they are only in April, so normal service will resume here at least for a little while!

So today I would like to show you the trousers that took me two years to make. Well, only one day of each year, to be honest, but those were New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day – which goes to show how boring I am that I spend both days sewing rather than on unbridled partying 😉


These trousers are part of my drive to test new trouser shapes. See, while I love making jeans I think the ubiquitous skinny shape is quite boring. Nice, versatile, but boring. So I’ve been experimenting with different trouser shapes and the pleat front is one of them. To be honest, I’m not sure that these, Burdastyle 4/2014 #110, work on me, but I liked that I tried.


As a pear shape I always think that pleat front trousers should be great because they hide the hip  area – but I never consider that in doing so they draw the eye to exactly that area. In fact I had made these trousers before, when the pattern came out in 2014, but donated them after one wear because they just made me look so big. Then I saw a version of these on a blog recently, unfortunately I can’t find the link or name anymore, where they were slimmed down along the leg and just looked great.


I used a navy wool suiting from my stash to make these. As I said, I love the theory of them, the way the pleats open from the hip bone rather than from the tummy area. In order to emphasise this effect I stitched them closed for the first 3 cm.


If I decide to keep these, I might make the lower leg a bit smaller still, but as I said, I’m not really sure yet. I should add that I have worn these a few times so far, so they seem to fill a wardrobe gap of sorts.

For the first time ever I made welt pockets that look as nice inside as out:


The pattern didn’t have the pockets, I added them kinda following this tutorial, but I only used one continuous length of the fashion fabric rather than using lining fabric and fashion fabric. For the first time it clicked on how to sew French seams on inside pockets (the Ginger jeans have those as well) – it’s a very pleasing look I think!


So in all the jury is out on these: Construction-wise they are proably the best work I have produced in my trouser-making journey (even the invisible zip is truly invisible!), but shape-wise this journey surely isn’t at an end.

In a triumph of hope over experience I haven’t given up on the pleat front shape just yet. Next up (after another pair of Gingers that graces my sewing machine at the moment) is Burdastyle 1/2015 119, thought I don’t intend to make them in shiny material and add a crazy waist bow – not even I am that deluded… Who knows, maybe I will have got pleat fronts out of my system after the next try??

Talking about Burda: I think Burda have picked up again for the last few issues – there is a lot I like and some numbers have made it right on my to sew list. Those of you who, like me, walk the Burda way: what do you think? Burda 2016 yay or nay?


My Jeans in January Debut: Jalie Flares

Well, to be completely honest, I cheated a little bit – I completed these jeans around Christmas, but I thought given that I’m hosting Jeans in January I should step up and show you a pair of jeans early on in January.


So here they are: the mother of all flared jeans patterns, Jalie 2908, high-rise version. I made those last year in a non-stretch denim and wore them exactly once as they proved far to tight and uncomfortable. This time I learned and used a medium-stretch denim (marked as 3% lycra, but a LOT less stretchy than my 3% stretch corduroy) and the pattern cut in the same size as last year came out quite roomy.


I’m a pear shape and so theoretically, the flares should balance out any extra weight around the hips. I’m not really sure this theory works for me – at the very least I would need to wear serious heels to achieve the leg-elongating look. But then I work standing up, serious heels simply are not an option for me.


(Disclaimer ahead of the next picture: May I ask my reader Mia to avert her eyes as there is a major vpl-situation going on here. I do realise, but I’m afraid if it’s thong v. vpl, vpl will win in my case…)


Here’s the arty shot that the photography on this blog is famed for 😉 : me next to some art.

In this version of the flares I had a major face-palm moment when I realised a mistake I had made last time round. I had somehow managed to use the front leg of the low rise version together with the back leg of the high-rise version. Don’t ask me how I had made those to match up at the side seam, but I did manage it. This time around I amended that mistake, used the high-rise version all around and magically, the fit is a lot more comfortable.

And now, not because I’m uber-critical or because I’d like to make an ablology, but just because we all live and learn, let me draw your attention to what happens if you go against Chris’s 9th rule of sewing jeans and put the button in the wrong place:


Yep, it’s zipperband-gapeage! If the button is too far towards the corner of the inside waistband it will distort the waistband when closed and the button band will gape. And that makes you look as if your jeans don’t fit when in reality they do. And that’s never a pretty thought, don’t you agree?

Overall I’m not too sure what to make of the flares. Sewing-wise I’m pleased how these turned out, they fit well and are very comfortable. But fashion-wise I just don’t know, I still feel a bit frumpy and dated in them. Strange, on others I kinda like the retro-vibe of the flares, but on me I’m just not really convinced. I have been wondering whether they might look a bit more fashion in a lower rise so there isn’t quite so much jeans fabric overall. But then I suffer from tummy-flab-anxietiy-disorder (TFAD, it’s a condition, you know?!), so low-rise jeans are a thing of the past for me.

However, inspite of my reservations about flares, if you are enamoured of the trend, you are in luck: Heather Loo just published a flare extension for her Ginger pattern, so if you want to make your Gingers into flares (and properly stylish ones at that), you can do so in time for Jeans in January!

If you are taking part in Jeans in January, how are your sewing plans coming along? Do say in the comments!
I almost finished my first pair of Gingers – I say almost, because I realised I had put on the waistband bottom-up (so that the smaller curved side is attached to the body of the jeans and the larger curved side now stands away from my waist – a truly comical look). Major face-palm moment! So all of that has to come off again, including belt loops and button for a second attempt. Next time, I’m not gonna do this after midnight, though. Live and learn, live and learn!