Tag Archives: trousers

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!

Burdastyle 11/2012 # 107: End of Summer Trousers

At the end of July I spent a week in London – touring with 20 students, so I didn’t get a huge amount of time to  follow sewing pursuits. But I did get a change to visit both Goldhawk Street and Walthamstow Market and TMOS (Karen will be able to tell you all you need to know about him).

After I’d been to TMOS first there wasn’t much that exists in the world of fabrics that I had not bought yet, so I only bought one fabric in Goldhawk road, which told me it wanted to be made into a pair of late summer trousers..


They are, of course, completely OTT, but isn’t it the most fun fabric all the same? Unfortunately its quality is not very good: it grows considerably during wear and although I have worn those trousers only twice it has already started pilling a little bit where the legs rub together. So they might well be the trouser of only one summer…. We’ll see! That’s what you get for buying cheap fabric, I suppose.


I used my usual trouser pattern, Burdastyle 11/2012 #107. I made the pattern so many times, but this time I decided to try a side zip rather than the front fly. I thought this would be a quicker make and more flattering to the tummy. The later may be true, the former certainly wasn’t as the zip broke after the first wash and I had to replace it. That’s what you get for buying cheap zippers of some guy off ebay… Lesson learned, I only buy the expensive OPTI zips (one for the price of four off ebay) now, after three of the crappy zips broke on me in a row.



Let’s not talk about my need for a racerback bra – I only included these pictures to show how those trouser fit.


The sweater is one I knitted about five years ago and probably only wore once or twice until I forget about it. I recently did a bit of a wardrobe purge and came across it again. During the purge I tried to follow the Mari Kondo mantra of “Only keep what sparks joy!”

I found joy a bit of a strong word for the purposes of tidying. I get joy from my family, from nature, from a sunset at the beach, an evening with my friends, I don’t really associate joy with clothes (although there are very clear exceptions, as the Siena dress proves.) 🙂

But of course I get the point behind the Kondo approach: get rid of stuff you don’t like, that doesn’t make you feel good. A few things in my wardrobe fell prey to that, but with a few others I really didn’t know. One example is this sweater, so I decided to wear it a few times in order to decide whether to keep or chuck it.

To be honest I still don’t know.


Let me leave you with a little flower and a look at the state of my nail varnish testing:

IMG_2458And a question: Should this sweater continue to have a home in my wardrobe or should it move on to a better place?

Knipmode/Burdastyle 4/2015 # 103 Combo: Almost a Jumpsuit #jumpingintojune

Look what’s landed:


Yes, you see correctly: almost a jumpsuit! I got so inspired by #jumpingintojune that I decided to make a matching set of trousers and top to recreate the look of a jumpsuit while preserving the versatility and ease of bathroom access of separates. On the minus side I do get to flash some tummy while jumping. But I seem to jump a lot more rarely in real life than this blog suggests so I’m fine with that.


So there I am in my natural habitat, outside the Gasthaus Wilder Man (the Inn called “Wild Man”) – tbh, I’ve never been inside inspite of having lived here for 15 years, but the ice cream parlour is just opposite :-).


I used some emerald green rayon crepe which I completely fell in love with. At first I thought it contained some portion of poly because it really is quite thick and doesn’t crease all that much, but  burn test confirmed that indeed it just seems to be rayon. It comes in coral too – I can see a bout of late night fabric shopping coming on…

IMG_1733 Like my Aviator jumpsuit this is fully versatile: Suitable for turning round

IMG_1735and walking! I’ve made some jaunty turnups for the legs when wearing it with flats, but it could also be worn with heels.


The trousers pattern is from Kniipmode, a Dutch sewing magazine. I can just about work out the instructions although I don’t speak any Dutch at all, but it seems to be similar enough to both English and German for me to work it out. Plus, on a woven tracksuit pattern there really isn’t any great challenge of how to make these up. The top is my new favourite Burda woven top, 4/2015 # 103. This is my third version, version one, without the hem band is here.

What I like about it is the arm scythe:

IMG_1737It’s breezy and flowy but still offers full coverage, at least on the less well endowed. Both armhole and neckline are finished with bias tape, so this isn’t the fastest make, but while it takes a little bit of time it is not a complicated sew.

IMG_1739As you can see I had my hair cut, much to the chagrain of my colleagues who much preferred it longer. I seem to get a short hair flash every year summer starts – I had it cut the same length (though a slightly different colour) the same time last year.


My husband forced my to take off my sun glasses, aka No Makeup Protection, once in the icecream parlour. At least I contrast coloured my drinks! All in the name of fashion, ey?!

If you haven’t got thirsty by now, go and have a look at the wonderful jumpsuit creations that Jumping into June has generated.
And if you’ve gone thirsty, go have a drink and then have a look at the wonderful jumpsuit creations that Jumping into June has generated.

Happy June to all of you!

Burdastyle 4/2015 #113a and #103: So I Made Culottes!!!

Well, I’m still a bit speechless – not something that might usually be said about me, I assure you. It’s just: I only just made culottes!
What does that make me: really cool and trendy or an embarrassing fashion victim? Are culottes the item of clothing the modern woman has been waiting for or the rebirth of the worst looking trend EVER?

Judge for yourself:


I’ve been wearing this outfit all day and honestly: I still don’t know whether this is yeah or nay…

I used one of a glut of culottes patterns from recent editions of Burdastyle. This is 4/2015 #113.


I made a muslin in the suggested fabric with a crisper hand – with such ridiculous results than I have banned the pictures from my memory forever. For the make that made it out of the sewing room I used a really light rayon, the kind of stuff you’d use for blouses. I figured it had spent a while in the stash so I might try and think out of the box to make something unexpected with it.


While I know practically nothing about fashion, I do know that culottes only leave the realm of the ridiculous when worn with heels. So I hemmed these to just hit the top of my boots. It is what Burdastyle intended as well – I cut a size 42 as usual and make no changes to the pattern at all other than using a curved waistband rathern than a straight one. Again, this is what I always do, as far as the fit is concerned I cannot fault this pattern.


I have to say that culottes are the most comfortable thing ever. Breezy while offering full coverage of any important bits, no thigh chafing issues even in hot weather and when worn with boots even suitable for days with less than examplary leg shaving routines. What’s not to like!

The top, which I might well write a full blog post for at some point, because I already made two and have plans for more, is also from the April edition of Burdastyle, #103.


Given that I have complained about how I haven’t been much impressed with Burdastyle recently I maybe should reconsider: this is my third make from this edition, next to the culottes and the Amalfi dress (still unworn, by the way, the weather just isn’t on my side).

The top is my version of cropped boxy – I don’t really follow fashion trends, but this trend, high-waisted bottom and cropped boxy top did filter through to me and I fell head over heels in love with it. I’ve always found the full mid-rif-baring look a bit desperate, even on the young and fit, but the sliver of tummy skin look is very sexy, I think. It’s just that I’ a bit too self-conscious to show a sliver of my tummy, three pregnancies and northern European pasty white and all. (Just to assuage everyone who thinks such body hangups are the work of the devil and we should all love the skin we are in: I will happily let it all hang out in the open and wear a bikini, because then the spare tyre is in context, as it were. But JUST showing the spare tyre is a bit much…).

Anyways, so I made this top, which hits the bottom of the waistband and therefore doesn’t show any tummy at all. So at best it alludes to the look I like – but then I only allude to fashion at best, and so all is well ;-).

So readers, is it yah or nay for the culottes look?

She loves them…


She loves them not…


What do you think?

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