Trousers Muslin

I’ve finished a trousers muslin!  The pattern I’m using, pictured above, is from Burdastyle December 2011.  Although the trousers are styled for winter in the photo, my finished ones will be made from a drapey linen for warmer weather.

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You might remember my muslin fabric from my latest ‘What’s on my sewing table’ post.  These actually started their life as a duvet cover that was getting a bit shabby.  I had originally thought to add an additional strip of fabric in the side seam, to turn my trouser muslin into a pair of working pyjama trousers.  This was an idea I came up with during Karen’s Pyjama Party [http://didyoumakethat.wordpress.com/2013/06/29/pyjama-party-winner/], but I didn’t get started in time for her deadline.  Anyway, the duvet cover was scratchy to sleep under, and it’s going to be scratchy to sleep inside as well.  It looks to me like the next stop for this muslin is going to be the rag bin.  However, I’ve still got the rest of that duvet cover to use for testing out new-to-me patterns, so it won’t be the last you’ll see of it.

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I’m so very happy with the fit of these!  They don’t need much adjusting at all, although I can make those funny wrinkles over my hips disappear if I pinch about a half inch out of the front to lower the front waistband.  I can’t see any need for other alterations after that (aside from choosing the perfect length).  But check out that fit – no weird wrinkles in either the crotch or the leg.  Way to draft a pattern, Burda!

I can’t wait to get these trousers cut out in my real fabric!

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Mathilde Roadblock and a pressie

Alternate title: Damn you, .pdf. patterns!

When I printed my Mathilde pattern, the test square measured only 95% of what it should have.  I did some crazy maths on the measurements, which led me to believe I should cut a size larger than normal, and it would probably be alright.  This, because a 5% size difference is not much of a size difference at all.

In the stolen moments between work and my busy life, I’ve managed to get most of the construction finished.  Before finishing the neckline or the hem, I tried the top on to check the fit.  And wouldn’t you know it… that missing 5% is big enough to matter.

The armholes are too tight, and there’s pulling across the shoulder and the bust.  The bust dart is way too high (although I think that’s more than 5% too high, so I’ll watch out for it if I make this pattern again).  Now I need to unpick, and unpick some more.  I think my best option is to cut a new, slightly larger and definitely longer yoke, to let out the tucks just a little bit, and to do a minor alteration on the armscye.  I am not a fan of this option, because I have never messed with an armscye, and because I currently have enough left over fabric for another little sleeveless top.  If I cut the new yoke, I risk using too much of my remaining fabric.  Another possibility is to narrow the seam allowances, but I think that’s going to be a lot of work for a very dismal result.  I’ve done french seams and all of the associated trimming, so I will get no more than an additional one or two eighths of an inch out of this method, and I’ll need to zigzag everything.  I hate a zigzagged seam finish.  Plus, it won’t do anything for that annoyingly high bust dart.

In other news, and to give you something pleasant to look at, look at this!Image

This is a magazine that my colleague surprised me with.  One afternoon, he plopped two 1941 issues of Stitch Craft onto my desk, and I let out a yelp of excitement, even though I work in a library.  Yelps of excitement are not welcome in libraries, but I just couldn’t help myself.  He’d bought two – one for himself, to check out the wartime-era advertisements, and one for me, just because.

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There’s a lot more than wartime-era ads in this mag!

The most exciting thing about this magazine is that it contains iron-on transfers which, from the looks of it, have never been used.  What gorgeous kitchen accessories I could make!

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On my sewing table

Thank-you, everyone, for helping out with my reader survey.  Thanks to you, I ended up buying the gorgeous green airplane print from Stone Fabrics.  It felt like a bit of a risk, leaving the decision up to others.  Lucky for me, you were being asked to choose between three fabrics I knew I liked already, and your impeccable taste nearly unanimously chose my clear favourite.  Sneakily, I also bought some of the taupe floral, with another project in mind.  I’d have loved to get some of the white floral, but when I looked again, it’s a Liberty print, and costs over £20 per metre.  Either I’m tight as heck, or that’s just too steep.  But I will continue to day dream about making it into a top to pair with navy blue trousers.

ImageRight now, though, I have some sweet white airplanes on a green background to think about.  Although this fabric is just described by Stone Fabrics as a cotton lawn, it’s actually a viscose blend, and is pretty slippery and drapey.  I think it’s a good fabric choice for the Mathilde blouse, but it does present a neck facings challenge.  I don’t want the facings to be visible from the outside, but the fabric is so fine that they probably will be.  I’m thinking about bias tape for the neckline, but this presents its own kind of challenge.  Namely, I don’t like the stiffness of bought cotton bias tape, but I’m intimidated to try making my own.  I’ll probably worry about this for about a week before just sucking it up and going for it.  Deep breaths, self-bias binding.  More deep breaths.

With my fabric pre-washed and ironed, I began to tape the .pdf together.  There is a part of me (always wrong, every time) that believes .pdf patterns to be instant gratification.  You download, and BAM there’s your pattern.  Nevermind you have to spend hours lining everything up and taping everything together.  At least the Mathilde is ready to go straight out of the download, with no need to add seam allowances or draft any rectangular bits.  Way to go, Tilly!

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I started laying the pattern out on my fabric tonight, but then I have the facings problem to solve, and (here’s me being tight again) I can’t let myself cut into the fabric without first working out the absolute most economical way to lay the pattern out.  Must! Not! Waste! Anyway, I’m still too exhausted from my weekend to try and problem solve, so cutting and stitching will have to wait for another day.

Keep looking though, because when I get this baby finished, there will be another Mathilde giveaway!  With buttons!