Friday, November 28, 2014

My Winter Uniform: Slouchy Pants and Sweater.

Burda 7250

This is my favorite combo for winter. The concept of having a style uniform has been very popular lately, well here is mine: a pair of slouchy pants and a sweater. It's what I was wearing most days last winter (alternating with my sack dresses), and what I want to wear this year as well. I love the track pants everyone has been sewing, but I don't think they are as versatile as a classic pair of pants, and honestly, these are just as comfortable.

Burda 7250

The pants are Burda 7250. I've sewn this pattern several times before, and made a number of modifications along the way. My last pair had all the alterations I want for this pattern, so this time around I was able to simply pull it out, cut and sew it up without any changes.

Here's how my pants differ from the original pattern:
- shaped waistband rather than straight
- front slant pockets
- single welt pocket in back
- legs narrowed slightly
- length added so they scrunch up at the hem.

The fabric is a stretchy wool blend which is extremely comfortable, and has a nice heavy drape. However, it tends to snag really easily. I have some pulled threads to show for some of the pinning I did during construction. These pants are bound to age quickly, unfortunately, but I will get as much wear as possible out of them.
Have you seen pictures of Vivienne Westwood with her pilling cashmeres and threadbare skirts? I really admire her for that. I find her attitude so refreshing, when all the style "gurus" seem to be telling us that we must constantly be sorting through our clothes and getting rid of anything that basically doesn't look new.

The sweater is a Fitzpatterns Kate batwing top (unfortunately no longer available on their website).

Update: I couldn't find the Kate Batwing top on the Fitzpatterns website, but you can download it for free here!
Note: for this top, I added a neckband and cuffs, which are not included in the pattern. And since this a slim batwing, it's very important to use a knit fabric that stretches both ways.

 I have made so many tops from this pattern! I love that the sleeve is a rather slim batwing, and it sews up really fast.
I used a wonderful wool/mohair double knit which has a soft and slightly fuzzy surface. I bought this fabric several years ago in Paris and originally intended for it to be a wrap dress, but I soon realized it was too soft for that. I think you need a knit with a bit more structure for a dress, especially in a color like this. So it took me a long time to come around to the idea that it had to be a top (or two tops, I have enough left for another). It was a bit of a let-down at first but I'm happy now. Realistically, this sweater will get a lot more wear than a peach colored dress would have.

Burda 7250

Friday, November 14, 2014

Tweed Malu Jacket.

It's kind of odd how it turned out, because some of the features that I liked best in Schnittchen's Malu jacket are gone in my version. I loved the wide hem band on the model, but on me, the length was all wrong. I considered raising the band, but it would have looked awkward, cutting across my hips. Without it though, the jacket has a bit of a 50s silhouette that I quite like.

As you can see, there's plenty of room for sweaters!
I also loved the wide lapels in the original jacket, but I ended up slimming mine down by about 1/2 an inch, thereby reducing the center front overlap.
The way they spaced their buttons didn't work for me either. I chose to have a single coconut button.

Another change I had to make was to raise the welt pockets by about 2 inches, and I used quite a bit more interfacing than Schnittchen advises you to. Imagine cutting welts into tweed that isn't interfaced. It would not be pretty!

I also shortened the sleeves before the cuffs by more than an inch, though you wouldn't know it. I'm of average height, so this pattern is clearly drafted for tall gals!
Sorry these pictures look so gloomy! It's been really grey and rainy lately and it never seems like the right time to take pictures. I'm only including this one so you can see the jacket buttoned:

In spite of all the cosmetic modifications I made, which were a matter of adjusting the pattern to my proportions, the bones of the pattern are unchanged. It's loose and comfy, and the way the sleeves are drafted, they accommodate my square shoulders quite well. I also appreciate that Schnittchen provides separate upper and lower collars for both collar options (I used the "pointy collar"). It's a well drafted pattern!
There is no back facing, which I'd never seen before, but I decided to go with it and it worked out quite well, I think. Makes me wonder, what is the purpose of back facings in collared jackets?

The tweed is 100% wool, the satin lining is acetate, and the result is surprisingly warm! Oh, and I lined the pockets in flannel to make them extra cozy.

I made a jacket last fall too, and it's still one of my faves! You can see it here if you like: My Peacoat.