Shorts 2

I immediately cut a 2nd pair but carefully chose a microfiber fabric that would not stretch. I used the same tissues for the leg portion, but altered the waistband according to the changes needed to make the waistband fit yesterday.

The first thing I stitched, were the pockets.  I used the same pattern, but a slightly different procedure.  There was enough fabric to make pockets. Microfiber can be a bit limp, so instead of stitching a strip of matching fabric to the right side of the pocket, I stitched a 3.5″ strip of interfacing to the wrong side. Other than that, I did everything the same on the pockets.  Interestingly, it took less than 7 minutes to complete both. 7 minutes.  How often have you sewn 2 pockets in less than 10 minutes?

In the bank line– a slightly plump, 60-ish woman who is also reading her mail.

After the pockets, I immediately applied interfacing to the hems, inserted the zipper and then serge-finished all the edges.  I fused the waistband and facing with interfacing, serge-finished their edges and then carefully pressed. I trimmed by re-aligning the pattern pieces on top of the waistband pieces. That’s a trick Louise Cutting taught me (and of course, thousands of others).  It’s amazing at how much these small pieces can change in size and shape just due to initial handling. Every piece was trimmed at least slightly. But I’m positive now that I’m starting with waistband pieces that match the pattern. The pockets and zipper are permanently stitched into place.  The hem is fused. The side seams, inseams and waistband were all sewn at a 3.5mm stitch length. I pressed. Then pressed again.  The waistband and facing needed to be worked on for nearly 10 minutes. I mean, I spent more time pressing these shorts prior to the first try-on, then I did inserting the pockets. My fabric is a remnant from pants long ago. I don’t remember investing this much time into the pressing of the original pair. But having been confused as to was I looking at fit issues or pressing issues yesterday, well I decided to invest more time today.

What’s really nice, is that with this fabric due to it’s light color and zero stretch, I can really tell what is happening with this pattern.  For one thing, I know that I’m pulling them up.  I felt when I did it and deliberately pulled down at the sides for the photos. So #1 for my ease of mind, I need to add more height.  For now though, let’s look at what these need to be worn this summer.  First from the side:

I’ve almost corrected the angle of the side seam.  It still leans back a little at the bu_t and forward a little at the waist. The forward inclination is really minor and certainly hardly noticed. What I’m more concerned about is the multitude of little lines coming from the side towards the front. These lines are on both sides of the pant. It’s as if I’ve ease the side seams together.  I noticed this on the last pair, but it wasn’t present on the LL (long legged) original version.  My immediate thought, is I need to walk those seams and make sure that where I drew the Shorts Line, is indeed in the same place on both front and back.

I’m getting the impression that the crotch is too short (possibly my pulling it up?) and that I don’t have quite enough ease across the hip.  In the side view, the side seam leaned back. One clear indication that not enough ease was available on the back. There is also the matter of the slight dimples towards center back and below the waistband. These could be that the crotch upright is too long or it maybe that  the crotch is being pushed upward and the pant tries to find enough ease for my bu_t.  All things considered, I’m more inclined to believe I could use just a little more ease for the bu_t.


The front view completes the story.  First all the drag lines pointing to the crotch assure me that the crotch extensions need more length.  I’m also looking at the diagonals below the waist and above the hips.  The previous 2 pants had the same diagonals but they were pointed in the opposite direction i.e. from crotch to hip, a forward slant /. Whiles these are from hip to crotch, a backward slant \.  OK so I could be looking at the fact that this pattern is not designed to sit where I want it to sit.  If so that’s a future correction to the tissue. I won’t be doing today.

Today I will be scooping out the crotch both front and back. I will walk the tissue side seams. I will be hemming the legs, stitching down the facing and adding a closure. Honestly, I don’t look any worse than anyone else down at the bank. In fact I look better than 9 out of 10 customers. At least that’s what the tellers all say.


Update: 143’s 46/48

originally completed 10/10/11

I had the pleasure of wearing the completed dual sized pants all day (46 front with 48 back) today:

… and must confess they are not done.  I hemmed these at 2″ and they are still too long. The pant hems touch the floor.  Certain moves drag the hems along stair and floor surfaces. I will rehem, rising the hems another 1/2″ after the next laundry.  (I’ll also mark the pattern -yet again,,,like time number 3- for the higher needed hem…. much needed.  I’m in the habit, enforced by 40 years of office life, of hemming my pants 1/4″ above the floor.  Once I don pants and shoes with some type of heel, my pant hems would then have been at least 1″ above the floor.  My retired life utilizes mostly a house-shoe of some type.  My previously normal hem is just not appropriate.  You’d agree if you’d seen the nasty edge of my pants.

But this post has more important information than the revelation of my short status and need for higher hems.

My fabric falls in the category of none-to-slight amount of give.  Usually the amount of “give” is expressed in the opposite manner i.e. slight-to-none. I deliberately reversed the expression to emphasize how unforgiving this fabric really is.  Thankfully it ravelled but slightly. The final serging trimmed 1/2″ and longer strings, but the strings were spaced 2 or more inches apart.

Wearing these pants, especially all day, was surprising.  If ever there is a time when ill-fitting garments will make their existence known, it is during this activity: my 2 hours spent sitting in the doctors’ office. This is an activity guaranteed to induce fidgeting in the nearly everyone. But fidgeting is especially prevalent when wearing ill-fitting clothing.   These pants were comfortable all day long. I checked the pants in the mirror at the beginning of the day.  The pants hung nicely, very nicely. I wore them with the fabulous CLD Ebb blouse completed in May 2011:

This is a winning combination, elegant, comfortable, casual-but-not-lazy/careless. Fabulous.

But back to the reason for today’s post, because this is very important.  This is extremely important.  This is so important I cannot emphasize enough:  this fabric with no discernible ease was comfortable all day long. Let me repeat: ALL DAY LONG. The comfortableness of these pants, can only be due to only one thing: the perfect draft of the pants.

Now look, I spent years thinking I was weird.  Somehow my body, while it looked “normal” was different from “normal”.  It was only a few years ago that I learned, well I was shocked to learn that 99% of the population does not come anywhere near to “normal” measurements. 99% of the population is “weird”.  So while I’m sure that what works for me won’t work for probably 50% of you, I do encourage you to consider the idea of using different sizes for front and back.  You only need to try it once. You might find, as I did with my Burda pants, that the perfect draft, is TWO drafts.

2010-04-143, template

143’s 46/48

originally published 10/9/11


I should be working on my black wool winter coat.  I want to work on my black winter coat.  I want to work on it now, months before it is needed so that I have no stress or urgency in it’s completion.  Last winter working with this very same wool, I was hurried.  I needed the black coat last year; and the fabric raveled horridly; just horridly.  I feel like I chose the wrong pattern from a stand point that the pattern had many interesting but demanding design details.  Sharp cornered collars, bound button holes, welt pockets and other details, all difficult to do with a fabric that falls apart in your hands.  Perhaps if I did these tailoring techniques more often, it would not have been difficult.  But add the complexity of the design, to the difficult fabric and then have some mismarked and not marked points on the pattern not my error but a pattern error and I had a recipe for disaster.  I don’t want to repeat that experience.  I want to use the same fabric, but choose a pattern more compatible with my current level of expertise and the demands of the fabric.  My stumbling point this year is I have too many coat patterns.  I’ve  looked at them for weeks.  Finally copied them to a working directory and started eliminating one by one for various reasons like demanding details or not really a winter design (who wears a coat open to the navel during a sleet storm?). I’ve narrowed my possibilities to 4.  4 patterns I think I’m fully capable of executing, with this fabric and for this winter.  But I need to make only one.


So until I decide which one I’m using with the black wool, I’m making pants.  Today I’m making Burda 2010-04-143 but the front is a size 46 and the back a size 48.  Several pants patterns back, someone suggested I might need  a larger size back than front.  I didn’t follow up on that thought until today. This will be a prototype or wearable muslin.  I fully intended to add this pair to my closet for wearing.  I’m using a rayon with a textured weave very similar to a  2-stitch seed stitch followed by 1 purl knitting pattern. Done on the small scale it reads as rust from a distance. A little closer you see the ribbed pattern. Closer still gold highlights within the seed-stitch rib.   The fabric falls in the medium to light weight range.  I’ve had it in my stash for years because I couldn’t decided how to use it.  It’s suitable for a long sleeve shirt, the long pants (which I’m making) or a sleeveless shell.  It will be a 3 season garment; comfortably worn spring, summer and fall.  If I want to wear during winter, I’ll definitely need tights and long johns.


The pictures to follow were made at the first fitting.  Some important points to note:

  1. The zipper is permanently installed
  2. The Elephant-ear pocket is permanently installed and basted together.  You’ll see a black line of zig zag stitches on the front about 2″ from the side seam.  I learned long ago if I basted the lips of welts together as early as possible, the basting would help shape the welts during construction and years later the welts so treated would retain their perfect finishing. Whereas, welts pressed into place and not basted tended to have minor imperfections and lose their perfect finishing over time.  As always, YMMV but this has become a habit of mine.
  3. The side seams and inseam is serged together at 1/4″.
  4. Hems are held in place with Steam-A-Seam (SAS)
  5. Waist band and back crotch is straight stitched at a 4mm length.
  6. Waistband is pressed in half and secured to inside with SAS.
  7. Button and buttonhole have not been completed
  8. Belt loops are secured within the waist-seam and tacked to the back of the waistband.  They might hold permanently with just this stitching, but I do plan to stitch again at the top of the waistband.





Obviously the legs are too, too long.  I really need to remark my pattern and either trim 3/4″ or hem this pattern at 2″ to start with. Because they are too long the legs puddle and force fabric to puddle further up. It’s not easy to see but they are actually hanging pretty well.  I do see some pull lines immediately beneath the waistband on the back.  These typically occur on me when the back crotch is too long. I’m not feeling the need to scoop the bottom of the crotch. BTW, I made no changes to the back other than copying a size 48 and shortening the leg so that both front and back side seams were the same length.   I’m not sure I don’t need a little more room in the back and the front might be a little big right now.  The idea of cutting the front and back 2 different sizes is an idea I will pursue.















I made the pictures small so you can see both sides together.  But because they are small sized, I’m not sure if you can detect the leaning of the side seams.  My right side is only slightly leaning towards the back.  The Left side is very much leaning towards the back.  There is plenty of fabric for me to fix this.  I put 1 extra dart in each back side to make them fit at the half way point on my waistband.  For this pair, I will mark the side 1/2″ towards the center front instead of exactly in half of the waistband.  I’ll remove the extra darts.  If I can I will increase the depth of the front pleat (I converted the front darts to pleats for this pair). If I can’t I will make a second small front pleat or ease the extra fabric to the waist band.  Then this pair gets nailed into place permanently and given permanent status in my wardrobe.


Oh wanted to share something I realized just this week.  I don’t quite remember why I was looking through pants patterns when I noticed that in every pair of wide leg pants, the model stands with legs wide apart. Like this:

Where IRL, I stand like this


How many and how often do you see women standing with their legs wide apart? My theory is: “Marketing company deception.”  I don’t realize how wide the pants are and how big my bottom half will look, when the legs are spread so far apart.  It’s only after I’ve purchased and sewn the pants that I think “these make me look fat”.  Generally I always think the error is my own.  I’m beginning to think, it’s not my fault.  I”ve deliberately been deceived.

2010-04-143, template

My 143’s

originally published10/3/11


I should be working on my black wool coat or my black silk jacket. But I sidetracked into fitting One-Seams and thereby pants.  Which cycled me back into a project from summer.


I had intended to take Burda 2010 April 143 and morph into an all ’round good basic pant. 143 is drafted as a long pant, with jean style front pockets and a straight waistband. I was particularly pleased that the finished hem circumference was 18″ That’s still a bit more than I think ideal but much less than the 22 inches I usually see in trouser type pants.


I’ve made shorts from this pattern using both woven and knit fabrics; and cropped pants but never the full length pant.  I didn’t have to tilt the waist. It was already tilted some by Burda. I copied the crotch from my perfect Bermuda shorts.  The Bermuda shorts are also a Burda design but all I have is the style # 115 written down. No month.  Interestingly, the 115 pattern scoops the crotch in a tilted manner i.e. deeper in back and angling up to the front. The result is a Burda szie 46 pants fits me quite nicely:

The pictures are from the try on.  I took pictures of the final pants, but somehow transferred them from the camera to La La Land. So I’m sharing the final fitting pics which were a bit too long and a bit too loose in the waist.  I hemmed these pants at 2″ instead of my usual 1-1/4″. I didn’t change the waist. I nailed the belt loops into position and put on a belt from the finished pics.


These pics are rather good, but the final was amazing.  All the wrinkles just disappeared.  Let me rephrase that: Hemming and bringing the pant into it’s correct position at the waist eliminated all the folds, drag lines  and wrinkles. I have only one teeny issue on the left side:


It leans to the back starting at the high hip all the way to the waist. This happens on the right side as well, but is not quite so clear.  I’m wondering if I need a larger size in the back because it also looks like the back half of the leg is smaller than the front.  Someone else suggested this possibility on another pair of pants and I never followed up.


If I ever find the “Finished” photos, I’ll replace these.  In the meantime,  back to the winter coat.


ETA Correction:  I just dug out the magazine to compare sizes of back pieces.  This pattern was not drafted with a straight waistband.  I did that.  I replaced their elastic back and funny two piece with a straight waistband.  It was also drafted to have a side zip and faux front zipper plackette.  Also gone.  If I’m making a frotn zipper placette it’s going to have a zipper in it and not in the side seam. I had totally forgotten about these little details.


3 in 2.5 (Final post)

originally published7/10/11


I thought I’d thrown in this interesting link How to pose for photos mostly because I’d like to have this reference handy for myself, but also because when a sewist starts wanting to share their projects, they start asking about how to take photos.  Knowing how to pose, is going to improve the look of your sewn garment.


Now onto the real subject of today’s post:  My Third and final pair of shorts from Burda2010_04_143, which I’m lovin and hope I’m Rockin.


See I took the time during cutting to plan a little more.  I already had a good idea how they would fit because of the grey shorts.  I trimmed 3/8″ from the sides seams then planned back and front pockets.  The back pockets are my favorite acorn shape with a neat embroidery.


I love putting machine embroidery on pants pockets.  I just think it’s an ideal spot for a touch of interest.  I don’t know why but when I look at this embroidery, I think pears.  No pears in the actual embroidery just leaves and vines.  Pears have leaves but no vines so I have no clue why I’m thinking pears.  I did a little top stitching. I wanted to highlight my front pockets which are a little unique.


The hand opening is narrow, less than 2″ wide but tall a tall 7″. 6″ is the standard for women and children. (Children?  Yes pockets on childrens clothing should be mommy-sized because that’s who has to clean them out before laundering.)  Instead of a pocket facing, I’ve stitching a 1″ bias binding right sides together, then wrapped around the seam edge and stitched to the wrong side.  The piece which forms the front of the pant behind the pocket is then top stitched to the pant front.  I used a polyester embroidery thread, the same one as used for the vines on the back pocket.


My top stitching looks like double needle work, but it isn’t.   One of the many things I love about my HV Ruby is the shape of the feet.  I actually have several guides just in the feet. You know, like when you stitch a pressor foot away from the previous line of stitching?  Because of the engineering involved for my foot there are several notches and angles that I can line up with the previous line of stitching AND be very accurate. So accurate that it looks like double needle stitching.


Once again I’ve used a fabric from my Under2’s this pair is a cotton corduroy with little or nor stretch, but I used the same pattern.  Where the two previous pairs felt too long in the crotch, the front crotch of this corduroy feels fine. I might like 1/2″ more in the back crotch.  I also find that the waistband, made with the same pattern that I now use for all my waistbands is just a tad too long. Just a tad.  I mention this because I’ve become endlessly fascinated by the effect different fabrics have on the same pattern.  I like this pair as well or better than the knits.  I envision wearing the knits mostly at home, but the corduroy pair are good for public display.

2010-04-143, 2010-06-115, template

3 Shorts in 2.5 Days

originally published7/9/11


So pair one, for which there are no photos at all, turned out wearable.  I know because I’ve already worn them.  Nothing tells me how well a garment is going to fit as does wearing the garment all day.  I’ve tried. Believe me.  I’ve read all kinds of hints. Asked many many people both those I know and some that I just admire greatly.  The bottom line is to determine how well a garment is going to fit and work in my life, I need to wear it all day.


Well guess what??  This pair is usable in my summer wardrobe.But I’m rather surprised that the pattern used for grey corduroy pair tested and fit just a week ago; and wonderfully loved ; was remarkably different from the dark blue interlock made just 3 days ago.  To my great surprise the shorts feel wonderful everywhere EXCEPT the front crotch length.  It feels and acts like it is at least 1/2″ too long. Totally surprised, took off the blue pair and compared it to the grey pair.  The blue pair is narrower (I did remove 3/4″ from the side seams) but otherwise seems to be the same as the grey pair.  However during wearing, the grey corduroy is perfectly comfortable, but the blue knit is just too d@mn long in the front crotch.


Did I say I was astonished?  Well so much so that I folded out 3/4″ from the pattern front and back (vertically so as to remove excess ease) but made no other changes to the basic pattern.  I did add a back pocket and an interesting front pocket otherwise my cut and construction is exactly the same for the black pair as the previous blue pair.  The result?  Neat appearance, fit seems fine everywhere except the front crotch. Which strangely feels only slightly too large. Just slightly; not even enough to measure.  I know what I’m experiencing is the difference that individual fabrics can make.  I’ve decided NOT to change the basic pattern.  I’ve marked the front and back so that I know where to fold out excess ease for knit fabrics; and a note on the pattern for checking the front crotch length.  But the pattern remains the same; just BIG reminders to adjust for fabric idiosyncrasies.


Oh and the pockets?  Of these I’m so pleased:



The back:



Close up of pocket:

Front pocket but you are see it from a side view:


And WOW you notice the back more than the front pocket, which is way, way too bad.  The front pocket extends from inside the waistband to about 4″ above the hem; and from the center front into the side seam. It is a patch pocket i.e. stitched on the outside with a very interesting side opening.  The side opening was a 6″ rectangle on which I free-handed rounded the rectangular curves and then stitched a binding.  I stitched binding right-sides together, then flipped to the wrong side except that I did not press the SA’s to the inside.  That gives a little body to pocket opening.  Well, that and the 4″ of interfacing I fused to the inside of the pocket along that edge.  When I was working with it, I thought the pocket was a good idea but kind of cludgy.  When I finished, I couldn’t have been more pleased.  In fact, I’m so sorry that my pictures don’t show how terrific a pocket this is.  My much lightened picture below shows a little more detail but doesn’t show how great this pocket is IRL.  I will use this pocket finish again.  It’s just THAT good.



Oh and tomorrow will be the 3rd pair of shorts.

2010-04-143, 2010-06-115, template

3 in 2.5

originally published 7/8/11


??? While, as in my last paragraph posted on July 7,  I may be thinking about a very creative project, my sewing has been devoted to necessities… necessities for the season.  Yes indeed, summer has arrived in Midwest USA all the way to the most northern states.  While this isn’t a bad thing (no no no this is a very very good event from many perspectives)  it still requires a few personal changes.  Most notable, I need appropriate wear for 102+ degree heat.  I’m prepared with sleeveless tops (and tanks appropriate for a Midwestern Senior Citizen), but I also need skirts and pants appropriate for the warmer weather.  I’d given up super shorts long ago, but I do most certainly wear and enjoy Bermuda shorts, the ankle length pants and shorts somewhere between knee and ummm  6″ above the knee.  (I definitely prefer to avoid exposing any pub!c fur.)


I still consider Burda 2010-06-115 to be The Perfect Bermuda Shorts for me.  At the same time, I think that if Burda produced a perfect pant for me, other pants designed by Bermuda should be pretty darn good.  So I was extremely surprised when Burda 2010-04-143 looked great, but didn’t feel so good. I made this pattern a short by folding the pattern up at the knee mark and adding a little extra at the hem so it would fold, stitch and hem easily.  Well, the hemming was great.  In fact,  99.9% of the entire pant was great.  I noticed no problems during sewing or fit.  Not until I wore the first of 3 pairs did I realize I had an issue.  My issue?  The back crotch rubbed on my tail bone.  I don’t know how else to explain it.  Photos looked fine; attractive even.  But wear was uncomfortable.  I describe the fit in the link above and I’m not going to repeat that other than to say that for the last 3 days I’ve been sewing shorts for current weather wear because the first 3 pairs didn’t do it for me.


Oy and the new version is terrific.  My first 2 pairs were sewn from beefy cotton/poly interlock knits  I knew when I purchased these 2 fabrics that there wasn’t enough for much more than a tank top or short-shorts. In fact, I was darn happy to be able to carve out the shorts.  My wonderful fabrics (they are that) were in dark blue/navy and black.  I probably could have construct sleeveless tops of some kind, but truth is these two dark color are best used in my wardrobe as bottoms i.e. short shorts.  I used the dark blue first.  I was hoping (ridiculously) that I would be able to play in photoshop and see details.  Good idea, but didn’t work.  Well, here’s the evaluation:


I used the  dark blue, poly-cotton interlock with Burda 2010-04-143 after alterations made to the back crotch as described in the link above.  I made no other alterations to the pattern despite the fact that the pattern was drafted for woven fabrics and I was using a knit.  I cut a separate waistband.  But knowing myself, I fished out a previously used length of 1″wide, non-roll elastic for use in the waistband. I folded the front along the vertical center line and carefully top stitched close to the fold (on both side fronts).  Although I cut along the dart markings at the waistline, I skipped darts both front and back. I just sort of evened off the top waistband and ignored the dart for both this and the black pair next in line. I  serged the fronts, backs, sides, inseams and crotches together and then tried it on.


I was a little concerned about even trying to fit.  My previous experience has been that my best fit is achieved by sewing darts, inserting zipper and attaching pockets permanently and then basting everything, including the waistband and hems.  Although it’s a great deal of trouble, this does produce the best possible fit for me. But I knew these were to be quite similar to gym shorts -no pockets, pull-on, elastic waistband, flexible knit— hard to visualize as attractive but easy to remember how useful they were.


Well, first try said they were humongous.  As in much too large.  I trimmed 3/8″ from the sides, basted and tried again.  OK better, but still much more form concealing than form enhancing.  Another 3/8 side seam trim and baste later, (not more than 15 minutes) and these looked, well not too bad.   NOW UNDERSTAND THIS:  I’m not a pretty young thing (PYT).  It’s been so long since I enjoy that status that I don’t remember it.  In fact, I’m not an up-and-coming anything, i.e a powerful female executive or Middle Aged Community Anchor or anything else.  I am officially a US.. Mid-Western… Senior Citizen (even on the days I feel like a PYT) and I dress like one too.


You know what? Once I stitched the sides and hems permanently, added the waistband and elastic; and tried this first pair on—– I was pleasantly surprised.  They both looked and felt comfortable.   —


OK ’nuff for this post.  Shall we continue tomorrow


(BTW just in case you were wondering about the title: “3 in 2.5” means 3 pairs of shorts in 2.5 days).


Shorts! Burda 2010_04_143

originally published6/19/11




I’m in need of shorts. I worked on developing Burda 2010_04_143 for summer shorts a few months ago. I made a few adjustments during the initial fitting and then thought the pattern was OK. Until I started wearing them on a daily basis. They feel funny. They look OK. Heck they look good. But they feel funny. Careful examination revealed that the center crotch, which should be centered anatomically, was forward. Which indicates that either the back crotch is too long or the front too short. A day of wearing convinced me that the first version was NOT wearable. The verdict is still out on copies 2 and 3. They feel better than Version 1 but still odd.


But I’m perplexed.  I’d just discovered and really realized that clothes manufactures and sewing pattern companies use the same blocks over and over again.  They start with the same block and develop the next design.  My Perfect Bermuda Shorts were developed from Burda 2010_06_115.  I did start with a size 42 and add 1.5″ to crotch depth (front and back) and 1.5″ ease in both the front and back. With just a little tweaking, my 115’s were perfect.


So why don’t I just keep making 2010_06_115? Because they have a fitted waistband with corresponding facing, belt loops and many other delicious details which are completely obscured when I dress myself. That’s right. I never tuck my blouses and all the time-consuming details that show are:

  • the tip of the zipper
  • a little bit of the back pockets
  • maybe a little of the front pockets if I use patch pockets

I don’t like adding 45 minutes of sewing that can’t be appreciated.


2010_04_143 seemed like a great simple alternative.  Straight waistband (yes I know a lot of you hate those) the option for pockets.  I think the pattern  specified a side invisible zipper which I changed to a front faux-fly.


I never make a complete fly front with shield. Being modest, I’m not going anywhere without pan!ies.  I have no fear of pinching flesh, catching pub!ic hair or otherwise injuring myself with a zipper. My mom pan!ies take care of that issue.  It took a little thought but I extended the front and developed a zipper insertion procedure which gives the look of a full fly without much of the work.


Continuing on, I started working with 143 in size 46 because comparing my 115’s with the pattern for the 143’s the crotch lengths seemed the same.  I made a few pairs that look good but felt funny when worn.  I want to know, why? If Burda starts with the same block, why don’t the 143’s feel as good as my 115’s?  I’m not sure Burda starts with the same block.  When I compared the two patterns the crotch front was very different. There front hook is 1″ longer (not depth wise but the extension to meet the back crotch is 1″ longer!) The back was the same depth but the 143 center back is more slanted; center back of 115 much more vertical (upright.) There was additional ease in the 143 back about 1/2″.  Honestly, I thought Burda started with the same block; and with my having made simple, straight-forward adjustments to the 115’s; the differences would only be in the amount of overall ease.   I was surprised to see all the differences.


I copied 143 and then traced the differences from 115.  For good measure I added 1/2″ SA which I intended to remove during the final fitting.  When I got to the final fitting, I skipped it. Yep, I just added a gathering line to the top and eased the pant to the waistband.  I used a 4mm stitch length to attach the waistband.  Always, always always, depending upon inherent give of the fabric, my waistband length will need to be adjusted.  (That’s such a True for me that I usually baste the waistband with water soluble thread!)


Before you look at these I want to tell you that the fabric is a micro-cord probably 100% cotton. But I’m not sure.  The fabric is from the Under2’s and has been marinating in the stacks for several years.  I’m fairly sure I made full length, winter cords after the initial fabric purchase. I may even have made a coordinating jacket. But I don’t remember. Which indicates to me that this fabric has been marinating a good 15-20 years.  I love how soft the fabric is, which has me asking could these have some microfiber?  Has microfiber been around for 20 years?  Well, it’s is soft, but not drapy.  So the excess ease falls in folds






I really do think all the folds in the pictures are either from excess ease or the need for more pressing.  I did press a final time but think it’s pretty obvious I made a quick inattentive effort. (I’m hanging my head in shame and asking AnneR to forgive me.). Some of the wrinkles and folds though are undoubtedly resulting from the fact that the waistband is too large. Holey moley.  Can’t believe this, but this cotton corduroy waistband needs to be smaller than I usual.  I think the stiffer and less flexibility a fabric has, the longer my waistband is going to end up being.  I’m wrong with this fabric.  I pulled the shorts up repeatedly during the few photos. Top stitching was done with Marathon Polyester Embroidery thread using the triple stitch of my HV Ruby SM.  I think it’s delicious but as usual limited my top stitching so that I could, if I really wanted, I could make fit adjustments.

I’ve been wearing them all day.  When I make the next pair I will remove about 1/4″ from the side-seam  seam-allowances.  I don’t mind having shorts with a little fullness–when that’s what I have planned.  I’d like the final version to be close but not tight fitting.  I’d like to be able to decide how much ease I wanted in next pair and add what I want.  Happily, I can tell you, these are comfortable and I like wearing them.














Almost Shorts (Burda 2010_06_143)

originally published 6/18/11


This interesting stripe was purchased from Denver Fabrics over a year ago.  At the time I was in love with my Jalie 2908 jeans which required 3% Lycra.  Denver Fabrics listed this cotton sateen as having 3% Lycra.  I purchased it and a few other similar cuts. To my horror 3% Lycra in cotton sateen does not stretch the same as 3% Lycra in cotton denim. Nope, not like each other at all.  My Lycra denim pulls snugly up over hips and thighs settles in, slims the waist and reveals a figure I thought lost 30 years ago.  This cotton sateen won’t pull up over the thighs and of course bunches from there down totally unwearable.  I tossed the pants. Used the other similar cuts developing my TDF Ciggie pants and placed this 1 yard scrap in the Under2’s.  I was convinced that the pattern is the issue.  The fabric works really well, but in a different pattern.


2 years later, I’m in need of shorts and stoically trying to reduce the Under2’s .  I pull out this fabric and Burda 2010_04_143.  I made a few alterations to the pattern (fodder for another post) and cut the fabric.  Then I had a think…..


In fact I had a walk from downstairs in the  Sewing Studio to upstairs in the closet.  I have nothing, NOTHING to wear with this fabric.  The neutrals I thought would work are cream and white.  I have nothing in short or sleeveless styles in cream or white.  I am a pastels person.  Really, they flatter me where many intense colors wash me out and make me look ill.  Bright white is not the best color for me either. But the off-whites and creams are good choices. Except that I’m a klutz.  That’s right, even at the table I manage to drip food all over me.  I tell people “I love food so much, I wear it.”.  But we all know, I’m a Klutz and therefore my light colored tops, including off-whites and creams- tend to be cycled into the rag box within a month or two of inception.


Regardless, when I make this fabric into shorts, it will be hanging in the closet, unselected the entire season.  Unless I purchase or make something to coordinate.  I don’t have plans to make or buy so the cut pieces are hanging downstairs in the projects closet.  I suspect they will be reutilized for facings and small projects or I’ll get tired of seeing them in the projects closet and they will hang in File 7.

2010-04-143, template

Summer Shorts are coming along

originally published5/20/11


At Stitchers Guild, someone recently asked if anyone sewed multiples.  Like several of the same garment at the same time.  Normally I can’t count mine as true multiples.  I may use the same pattern multiple times but I’m usually tweaking with a minor design change or embellishment to make it look different. Also, other then when I’m fitting a pattern, I seldom make one after the other.   I’ll make one now and another no sooner than 30 days later.  There are some patterns that even though their design lines are unique, I keep a version in the spring/summer wardrobe and another in the fall/winter wardrobe.  I’ve been doing that with La Fred’s Athena blouse ever since I bought the pattern about 20-25 years ago.  It’s just that good.


But this year I need to add shorts to my closet for the summer months. I could have worked with one of my pants TNT patterns (and I probably will at some point), but I was truly interested in seeing if I could work out a fitting procedure for Burda pants.   I haven’t been making them one right after the other though.  I’ve been making a pair. Wearing it for a day while constructing a different garment and then making another.  So I’m still not sure that I’m making multiples of Burda 2010_04_143, but I’m adding in record time copies in different lengths  to my wardrobe.  The latest pair was quick quick quick to sew.  I cut, permanently stitched darts, zipper and pockets; serged the side seams, inseams and crotch and then basted the waistband.  I tried them on and said “Good Enough As is” then permanently stitch the waistband and added the button/buttonhole closure.


Truth is, they still have just a little too much ease in the waistband.  I’ve added a 2nd dart to the fronts and backs for a total now of 8 darts.  But the waist is still too loose.  I think I’ll increase the depth of the darts another 1/8″ each and see how it works.  Next time. Whenever that is.  Because I now have 3 pairs of shorts, 2 pair of ankle length pants, 4 pair of long leg pants and NO HOT WEATHER PREDICTED.

Umm sorry no pic on me.  I did try them on, but it’s was just too dang cold to put them on and mess with pictures.