Steely Seamstress

Sewing for life


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IPM 2018: Lekala #7090 “Baker Boy” Hat

I was so uncertain about whether I was going to enter anything for the Independent Pattern Month challenges over at the Monthly Stitch this year. I was worried about the tight deadlines, which hit hard when you have to order fabric online (Bricks and Mortar shops are a bit lacking around here at the moment and ordering can take a while). But then the new challenge ideas came up, and Anything But Clothes really sparked my interest!

Lekala 7090 hat

I decided to use some scraps from previous makes for this challenge, so no visit to distant shops or ordering online was necessary. I used some grey corduroy, which had previously been used to make this Grainline Moss skirt. I also used some light-blue cotton lawn with stars on for the lining, which had previously done service for pocket making on these Papercut Wolf-like jeans.

My reason for choosing to make a hat, is that somewhere between the sun caps I wear in summer and my woolly winter hat, there is a gap. The mornings are cold and I really fancy wearing something on my head, but I haven’t got a good hat for the Autumn. I specifically chose a Lekala pattern too, for one important reason; I have a very small head. Apparently, the average head is 56 / 57 cm, whereas I’m about 51 / 52. Essentially that means that no ladies’ RTW hat has ever fit me and even finding a motorcycle crash helmet has proved tricky. (My current one is actually a child’s crash helmet). Anyway, Lekala do custom-sizing and you can enter your head size when you buy the pattern. I have made a Lekala shirt before and this particular aspect really appealed. (Check out my previous post for some notes on how the sizing works)

I think this hat is called a “Baker Boy Hat”, but I haven’t really seen many bakers wearing these! Mostly the hat reminds me of Sybil Fawlty’s golfing hat or the worker’s hat favoured by Jeremy Corbyn. Without the peak it’s even a bit Samuel L. Jackson. Not sure I was aiming for any of these looks!

Hat Models

The instructions with the pattern were not particularly clear. I would put them on par with the instructions suffered by those of us who are familiar with Burda magazines. The drawing of the hat, with all it’s top-stitching lines was probably more help than anything else as a guide for the hat’s construction. I would say that I had fooled myself into believing that the small size of the hat, meant small effort was required, but this was definitely not the case. These was a huge amount of top-stitching required on multiple layers of fabric, which were hard to manipulate and feed through the machine because of the hat’s shape.

 

Lekala Hat Technical Drawing

Although, the fabric came from my scraps bag I did visit my local haberdashery shop and purchase some self-covering metal buttons.

Self-cover buttons

The self-covering metal buttons were a dream to use. I was anxious that the corduroy was going to be too thick to cover these buttons, but following the instructions on the packet, I moistened the fabric and then pulled the fabric over the button. There are lots of little gripping teeth on the underside of the button and these held the fabric in place well, while I snapped the back into place.

Self-cover button instructions

The only other thing I needed was something to make the peak rigid. I struggled with finding anything suitable, but after raiding my stationery drawer found what I think was a thick overhead acetate sheet. I did look in the recycling first and couldn’t find any suitable plastic there (I think the plastic used in cold meats packages would have been equally good). This make is really turning into a tale of using up old odds and ends!

Half-way stage (Lekala Hat)

Half-way stage (Lekala Hat)

Inside of the hat before lining added

Inside of the hat before lining added

Inside of Lekala hat lined

Inside of Lekala 7090 hat lined

I went out to the park for some photos. It’s really windy today, but that hat sat on my head fine!

Lekala Hat 7090

Close-up of hat

All in all, I’m proud that this make came out my scraps bag. My only spend was on some thread and the self-covering metal buttons. Although I mentioned above that I do indeed wear caps in the summer and a woolly hat in the winter, I’ve never considered myself a “hat person”. A long history of buying hats that were too large or being stuck with children’s hats has made me a little wary of headgear. But the joy of sewing is that you can of course, made things that fit!

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Fabric Africa: Textile Exhibition at Bristol Museum

I happened by chance to come across this all-too-small exhibition of African textiles at the Bristol City Museum. It encompassed only two relatively small rooms, but what a lot they managed to pack in!

The first room was a display of various different fabrics and clothing. The items came from Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Sudan, and Mali to name a few of the countries and spanned the late 1800’s to the present day. There was audio commentary, insights into the textile’s origin and first-person stories to provide context.

The second room showed a video of a tailor making up a dress. He had an old electric sewing machine, probably as old as mine. He was so quick and sure with his sewing, it was amazing to watch. I really marvelled that he could apply yards and yards of trim using just one pin!

Here are the pictures I’ve taken of the exhibition and some notes about some of the fabrics. I’m hoping I’ve got all the details down right as I know very little about African fabrics. This exhibition really opened my eyes to the great variety of textiles that come from the continent.

Kaftan (Sierra Leone)

Boubou, or kaftan, made in Sierra Leone (possibly Mandinka people) in the 1960s-70s (on the left)

The kaftan is ancient Mesopotamian in origin. Islamic influence brought it to Africa and from the late 1950s European fashion adopted the garment, where it is commonly seen as beachwear. This kaftan has been dyed using tie-dying or Gara as it is known locally.

Mudcloth

Bogolanfini, or “mudcloth”, made in Mali (Bamana people) in the 1980s

Mud cloth is cotton cloth and dyed using fermented mud. The high iron content in the mud produces a black pigment when applied to the cotton textiles. The cloth was originally worn as wraps or made into shirts.

One familiar textile to me are the West African “wax” print cloths. In the early 1800s the Dutch tried to sell their mass-produced version of wax-resist cloth, batik, in Indonesia. But the production process gave a “cracked” look to the finished print and the textiles were rejected by the Indonesians, but became popular in West Africa when Dutch and Scottish trading vessels began introducing the fabrics in those ports. The Dutch company Vlisco still makes this type of fabric, and it is also produced in Ghana.

Tunic made in Cameroon

Tunic, made in Cameroon (Bamenda Tikar people) in the 1960s-80s

Animals are often used as symbols in African art to associate the owner with the qualities of a particular animal.  The elephant represents qualities associated with leadership, strength and wisdom. The u-shaped designs are iron bells on the tunic (above) and are a royal symbol. This type of tunic until recently would have been worn only by the elite of North West Cameroon society.

Tunic from Sudan, Fabric showing Robert Mugabe Zimbabwe, Commemorative fabric, Malawi

Left: Jibbah, or tunic, made in Sudan in the late 1800s Right: Fabric showing Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe Behind: Twentieth anniversary of forming of Republic of Malawi

There were a few textiles that had been designed to commemorate particular events, such as the 20th anniversary of the forming of the Republic of Malawi or for politics, such as the fabric showing Robert Mugabe above.

Sun dress and Masquerade costume

Left: Maxi sun dress (bought in Kenya in 2018) Right: Masquerade costume, made in Nigeria (Igbo people) in early to mid-1990s Behind: Kente cloth, made in Ghana (Asante people), early to mid-1990s

Kente cloth from Ghana was originally woven in traded silk. Between 16 and 24 strips would be sewn together to create the cloths worn only by the king and his family. Today mass-produced and high-end versions of Kente are worn throughout Ghana. The colours in the cloth have symbolic meanings; blue means peacefulness, yellow royalty or wealth.

The masquerade costume from Nigeria represents a young woman who has died. The performer, would wear the full costume which includes a mask, and attempt to help the deceased pass onto the next life.

Adinkra cloth, Ghana

Left: Adinkra cloth made in Ghana (Asante people) in the 1960s-80s

Adinkra cloth was originally worn only at funerals, but it is now worn commonly seen at other important occasions in Ghana. The word “adinkra” refers to the hand-stamped symbols on the cloth. Adinkra means farewell to the dead. On the cloth above the heart signifies love, patience and tolerance, the circles which look like “eyes” mean accepting the supremacy of God and the leaf-like symbol represents keeping confidences.

I noticed on the website once I’d seen the exhibition that they also had put together African textile handling boxes. I think these were primarily designed for children and somehow I hadn’t seen them. There is no better way to explore fabric that to feel it in my opnion, so I was disappointed that I’d missed this.

The exhibition runs until May next year and there is a Fabric Africa fashion show on 17th October.


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Vintage Vogue 8860: a top that deceived me

I decided to use up a remnant that I spotted in a charity shop in Bath years ago. I loved the Autumnal terracotta and ochre hues in the paisley design. I did a burn test on the fabric and discovered that it is most likely made from polyester, which I tend to avoid. For this reason it has sat in my stash for years. I’ve been trying to reduce my stash lately and as the oldest piece in there, it was time to sew it up.

The pattern I used for this top is vintage Vogue pattern 8860 from 1983. I think that you can see that this pattern would have easily passed as being from the seventies or possibly some other decades too. It is such a classic design. My fabric remnant wasn’t big, so I opted for View D, the sleeveless option.

Vogue 8860 sleeveless top

When I looked at the instructions, I saw there were thirteen steps and I thought that I was headed for a relatively quick project. Sadly though, when I read the steps properly the instructions for View D, referred me back to steps from View A twice, so there were probably twice as many steps in total. Furthermore, being an older pattern, there were a myriad of steps that involved hand-sewing, although I decided to pass on most of these. I admit that a hand-rolled hem would have created a lovely finish, but I just couldn’t bring myself to be so attentive to a piece of charity shop polyester. Even so, it was a far more fiddly project that I had first thought and I felt that I have been deceived!

Vogue 8860

The details that made this top such an intricate make included the facings around the neck and armscyes, the casings for the ties and the five button-holes. The facing took absolutely ages to sew, press and under-stitch. The polyester was also quite slippery. I was really worried about making the button-holes, so I used some wash-away stabiliser to provide an extra layer of stiffness. The stabiliser was very effective and washed away so easily afterwards. This is the first time I’ve used wash-away stabilizer and I was stunned at the difference it made. I know those button-holes would have been a huge mess without using it.

Vogue 8860 Close Up

I have done no pattern matching on this top as there was so little fabric to play with. But with a such a busy design I don’t think it matters as much. Close up you’d notice, but in the full-length photos this isn’t something that stands out.

I like the buttons that I chose best of all. They came from my recent visit to Ray Stitch in London and I spent a long time deliberating over my choice. I couldn’t find a match for the terracotta colour in the top, but these pearly lime-yellow (if such a colour exists) buttons perfectly harmonised with the other colours in the top.

Vogue 8860

Vogue 8860

Rather windy today so hair is all over the place!

I’ve worn the top to work so far and I must admit it does feel like I’m wearing polyester. I had that sweaty, stuck-in-plastic-bag feeling when I was walking to work. But on another level I can’t help feeling pleased with my sewing ability on this top, the top’s relaxed design and the unusual colour combinations in the fabric just make me smile.

Vogue 8860


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Can I see a wardrobe improvement? Aka Disney Declutter

Perhaps this post is better suited to the December slot where retrospectives are regarded as par for the course, however, I felt I couldn’t wait till then. September is here and Master Steely, is back at school, taking his associated chaos with him. This means I have some time in the house to organise things, without any organisation being undone within seconds.

What I want to do is a thorough wardrobe sort out. Already this year, my items out has exceeded my items in. I think that at last I’m truly letting go of my old clothes. Now I feel I have the ability to make all manner of garments, I don’t have to keep holding on to an item that is worn-out and old because I can’t replace it. But, I’m still finding it a hard process. I never thought I was one of life’s hoarders, but I find it hard to let go of old clothes.

Anyway, my plan is as follows:

  1. Give myself a clear couple of hours with a playlist and snacks to do the work
  2. Empty a drawer at a time onto my bed
  3. Classify the items according to the chart below
  4. Make sure the items reach their destination (keep, donate, set-aside for repair / refashion work etc.)
Classification Name Description Destination
Golden Goose

In frequent everyday use and still looking good Keep
Hansel and/or Gretel (alone and lost)

In use less frequently, Used with only one or two other items in my wardrobe Keep
Cinderella

In use unexpectedly, had been lurking neglected Keep
Donkey

In use, but is old, worn out and ready for recycling Textile recycle / Use for rags
Mini-Donkeys In use, but is old, worn out. Want to make a direct copy of the garment Set aside

(Make a pattern from item)

Swan

In use less frequently (Smart office attire) Keep
Swan In use less frequently (Party attire) Keep
Glass slipper

Never used, doesn’t fit Donate
Glass slipper Never used, doesn’t fit, but want to create a pattern using this item as inspiration Set aside (Look through pattern collection and on-line, is there a pattern that is similar?)
Ugly Ducking

Never used, unsuccessful make or choice Donate
Emperor’s Old Clothes

Not used anymore, no longer wear this style, not likely to refashion Donate
Emperor’s Old Clothes Not used anymore, no longer wear this style, waiting for refashion or replacement Set aside

(Decide whether I am still likely to do the work)

As examples, here are a couple of items from my wardrobe and how they fit with the “Disney” descriptions.

Item Description Colour type RTW/ me-made Classification Comment
1 Grey wide-legged trousers Neutral (grey) Me-made Swan Frequently used trousers for meeting customers
2 Red ponte biker jacket Accent (red) RTW Glass slipper Never used and doesn’t now fit. May create a similar garment

So why I have used these “Disney” classification?

Just because it is easy to label my groups with a snappy name. I started off thinking about “Ugly ducklings” and “Swans” and then realized that I could harness a fairy-tale name for all my groupings.

I’ve now attempted one drawer, a small effort on my part, but it’s a start. I’ve separated the clothes into my classification piles. This drawer in question was mostly trousers and bed clothes.

Classification Count
Glass slipper 1
Donkeys 4
Mini-donkeys 6
Golden geese 12 (although 1 needs a new waistband)

It’s interesting to see that almost half the drawer is full of donkeys, essentially items that are old and worn and need to go. Do you know that several of these date back to my teenage years! So it isn’t as if they haven’t had loads of use.

I have found four out-right donkeys in here. Surprisingly I found it quite hard to even part with these (my usual failing), but 2 of them are definitely going. The mini-donkeys (6 items), could also go, but I need to make some provision for their replacements, at least find a suitable pattern for each or take them apart and make a pattern from them. Although, I can see that this is going to take a while. On the plus side, I already have the fabric for a replacement for one of my mini-donkeys and it is next on my list to make.

The glass slipper is a fantastic little biker’s jacket, but it doesn’t fit. I’m still debating whether I  would like a jacket of this design in my wardrobe. Realistically I don’t think it is a project for the near future, so that may be for donation too.

Disney Declutter

I’m hoping to go through another drawer this week. It will be great to have more breathing space in my wardrobe and drawers so that I can actually find the things I want to wear. Do you find it hard to let go of worn-out items?


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Italian Sewing Magazines: Review of La Mia Boutique 06/18 and Cartamodelli 09/18

I’ve been in Italy for the last ten days, not that it was noticeable on my blog as I scheduled a blog post to appear in my absence with the final photos from my #SummerOfBasics outfit! As usual I was on the look-out for sewing mags. I had meant to post about one of these magazines a while back, but somehow I managed to actually leave the magazine in Italy. I was so gutted, because it was the June copy of La Mia Boutique containing several swimming costume patterns and I really do need to make myself a new swimming costume. Fortunately, I managed to find my magazine – it had somehow managed to find its way into the recycling when I was packing. The second magazine I picked up was a new Cartamodelli. So, here’s a look at the two magazines.

La Mia Boutique

If I was going to compare La Mia Boutique to any other magazine it would have to be Burda. The designs are quite fashion-forward and can be quite unusual.

La Mia Boutique Cover

Looking well-thumbed after it’s rescue from the recycling!

There are four swimsuit designs in the magazine; two bikinis, a trikini and a swimsuit. One bikini is a fairly conventional affair, but the other is this rather strange, off-the-shoulder affair with ruffles. I really thought that it would appeal to no-one, but weirdly I actually saw a few women sporting similar bikinis in Jesolo (Italy)! Anyway, it is definitely not something I would wear.

La Mia Boutique June 18 Bikini14

The “Costume” is the design that appeals to me most. When I’m at the seaside I’m not just a sun-bather; I need to be able to go snorkelling with Master Steely or kick a football about on the beach, so any bathing costume needs to stand up (or rather not fall down) when I’m on the move. This design, with its three anchorage points (halter neck, mid-back and waist) seems like a good idea to me. However, I will change the lower half to make it a little less revealing; it seems that all the designs have scant bottom coverage, but I’m sure that will be an easy fix.

La Mia Boutique June 18 Costume15

What other designs are there in the magazine? Keeping with the beach-theme there are two designs for over-swimsuit cover-ups. I particularly like the shirt-like look of this one, although I’m not entirely sure what is going on at the sides – are they open? Or is that just bobbly trim?

La Mia Boutique June18 CoverUp12

I like this “camicione” (big shirt), although I would probably skip the embellishments. It looks like a solid design. I used to have quite a few loose-fitting tops with long sleeves in light-weight fabrics. They seem to have bitten the dust over the last few years and not been replaced. That’s a pity, because I think they work well, better in fact than tight-fitting t-shirts in the UK, when it’s hot.

La Mia Boutique June18 Shirt08

Talking of embellishments, I don’t know what to think about this skirt, there’s an awful lot going on here. It seems to have fallen into that Italian clothing trap with adding lots of bling and random words, always in English or French. I do like the idea of a midi denim skirt, perhaps not this design though.

La Mia Boutique June18 Skirt11

As an outfit, plain though it is, I’m actually drawn to this page with the model wearing a combination of a simple button-up shirt with a pair of cropped trousers.

La Mia Boutique June18 ShirtandTrousers 1819

I also love this maxi tiered dress with the straps that cross at the back. Clearly appeals to the part of me that loves a classic seventies design.

La Mia Boutique June18 Dress07

Then there is this dress. It’s also long, but cocoon-shaped with deep pockets. I admire the design, but I’d really like to see this in a different fabric and with the model in a more natural pose. I want to see how that shape hangs. Would it look good in a stable knit?

La Mia Boutique June18 Dress20

I noticed there are so many designs in this magazine where white fabrics have been chosen. Great for showing off design lines, but a colour I stay away in the UK, it’s just too easy to get dirty. Perhaps if I lived in Italy I would wear it more. Actually, I saw children wearing white trousers and shorts there. Either Italian children aren’t messy or the mud doesn’t stick like it does here?

Sometimes in the Burda magazines, I find the plus section really good and wish they did those designs in the smaller sizes too. Here though, the plus size section was quite boring, and all dresses. Although I do think this dress looks flattering with its curved waistline. I like the combination of plain and floral fabrics too.

La Mia Boutique June18 Dress29

If you want to look at the complete magazine, there is a flick-through video here.

Cartamodelli

I picked up the September edition of Cartamodelli last week. This edition has 40 patterns in it, quite a bargain, but they are certainly more conventional in design in my opinion The thing that struck me about this edition is actually how summery it looked for a September issue. After returning to the UK, my thoughts are returning to warmer clothes already.

Cartamodelli Cover Sept18

The first design in here that really grabs me is this wrap blouse. I’m not really looking to expand my work wardrobe at the moment, but I think this would make a tremendously chic top for the office.

Cartamodelli Sept 2018 Blouse05

I love this jumpsuit. It is a classic design and would be a perfect summer make.

Cartamodelli Spet 18 Jumpsuit12

This dress is one of the more unusual designs in the magazine. The most prominent feature is lace-up front. At first I thought that perhaps the lacing was a bit too much, but the design has grown on me. Plus I have loads of left-over eyelets to use.

Cartamodelli Spet 18 Dress13

For me, the garments that scream “make me” though, are in this outfit. The fabrics that have been chosen are quite plain, so I know this wouldn’t necessarily be a page in the magazine that would grab everyone. I love the design of the pockets on this pair of jeans and the cut too looks flattering, slightly flared and medium-rise. The top can be pulled on, but I like the addition of the faux-button band; it makes the top look smart and yet I know that, because there are no buttons, it will be an easy make. Lastly, there’s the bomber jacket. It’s in a lace fabric, but could easily be re-created in a silk or a sweatshirting.

Cartamodelli Sept18 Outfit 19, 20 & 21

For some unknown reason there is a section in the magazine where the garments are just laid out flat and not modelled at all. Somehow, I’m just not good at imagining the cut of these items without them being on a person. How long are the tops? How loose are the shorts? I haven’t a clue! It’s a pity as they are good basics. Perhaps they decided that it wasn’t worth modelling these, but I’m disappointed.

Cartamodelli Combinations 24&25

I know that those that buy plus-size patterns moan when they see something they like and it’s not in their size, but hey it works the other way round too. The plus section in this magazine, is definitely more appealing, than in La Mia Boutique above. The outfit I really like is this denim blouse and asymmetrical skirt combination. I imagine the skirt, wouldn’t be too hard to grade down, so perhaps I’ll be able to make this without too much effort.

Cartamodelli Sept 18 Shirt and Skirt 32 & 33

I’ve found a flick-through video for this edition of Cartamodelli too, if you’re interested in looking through the rest of the magazine.

Finally, I made this guide to Italian Sewing Magazines which includes where they can be bought from on the internet, along with some other information on sizing for each publication. I have also created this glossary of Italian sewing terms. I’ll keep adding to it as I make more garments so it becomes more of a resource.


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#SummerOfBasics Full Outfit

This is my final post for the #SummerOfBasics. The instagram feed has been full of such amazing makes. It has been great to be part of this challenge. This is also such a fantastic contest for providing me with solid everyday clothing and this year I have made a yoga outfit.

The items are a pair of yoga socks using this free Patons pattern on Ravelry, a hoodie using a Burda pattern (Burda #119 01/2018) and the Ruri Sweatpants from Named Clothing.

Now I just needed to model my yoga kit all together – I finally have a yoga kit that I can feel proud to wear! The hoodie and sweatpants are cosy and perfect for the winter months in the yoga studio. The socks keep my feet warm, whilst still allowing me to grip the yoga mat with my toes. I’m super-pleased with the combination of fabrics and yarn too, all sticking to my navy blue / grey theme.

Yoga Outfit

Yoga Pose in my new yoga kit!

Yoga Outfit

…..And time for a rest!


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#SummerOfBasics Ruri Sweatpants – Elegance in sweatshirting?

I have my doubts around sweatpants, joggers, tracksuit bottoms or whatever people call this item of clothing. Essentially I fear wearing something that looks awful; a garment seen on builders that reveal too much cleavage or a teenager loitering on a street corner (no offence intended to builders or teenagers – I know some very nice examples of both!) But I hold a degree of prejudice for this garment and I needed to find a pattern that would eliminate my fears. Is it possible to make “elegant” sweatpants? Or at least ones that look like you decided you’d made an intention to wear, rather than just picked them up off the floor for the umpteenth day in a row. (See, the negativity towards sweatpants just keeps on running off my fingertips!)

Ruri Sweatpants

After a search on the internet for suitable patterns, I decided to go with the Ruri sweatpants. Just look at the photo of the model (below); they are sweatpants in disguise surely? Admittedly, the high-heeled boots do make the model’s ensemble rather more sophisticated than some trainers would. However, I have hopes that these will fit the bill. They are slim fitting, have some roomy pockets and I love the snap closure feature on the hem. Furthermore, I can actually see myself making additional iterations of this pattern, perhaps in a woven fabric or in velvet, which would be a plus. I hate to buy a pattern that I think I’ll only use once.

Ruri

I didn’t start sewing these until August. The reason being that I took a trip to London on 30th July and I wanted to buy the fabric there. I’m quite limited locally with fabric shops. There are a few, but I knew that cotton sweatshirting was not going to be stocked in any of them or at least with lots of choice. Anyway, despite a long meeting in central London, which took up way more time that I imagined it would, I still managed to head up to Islington and enter the tempting emporium that is Ray Stitch. Unlike my local shops, which are small and once you’ve eliminated the non-dressmaking fabrics, like the felt or upholstery-thickness bolts, there is a very limited selection, I was somewhat overwhelmed by the goodies. Fortunately, I hadn’t gone in with a carte blanche purchase attitude and I stuck to my guns and bought my sweatshirting. (I also bought some jersey fabric, but again that was an intentional purchase. I hope to use that very soon.)

My sweatshirting is in navy blue, in keeping with my grey/navy blue basics theme for my #SummerOfBasics outfit. I also purchased some silver-coloured snaps. I found some 4.5cm width elastic in my stash and I was ready to go.

Ruri sweatpants

The Named Clothing instructions for the Ruri are very good, with clear line-drawings; such a joy after the wasteland of Burda instructions. I quickly put together the pockets and tacked together the crotch and trousers seams. At this point I tried them on and found that they were rather roomy at the front, so I re-cut the fronts of trousers making them narrower and so the crotch seam was less curved too. Once I was happy I sewed everything up and constructed the waistband.

The waistband caused me quite a few problems and I had a couple of attempts making it smaller each time. The fabric pieces must have been quite a bit smaller than the suggested pattern measurements for my waist size. I had tried the waistband on before sewing the top-stitching. So, I think that when I sewed in the elastic, there was some stretching out, which caused the elasticated back portion of the waistband to lengthen. Never mind, I got there in the end. I notice that Sie macht had had the same problem when she sewed the waistband. And then, I had an enormous drama sewing the waistband to the trousers. It resembled an enormous tug of war with the overlocker. Trying to hold the elastic unstretched while getting umpteen layers of fabric through the machine. I broke two needles in the process and had to visit the haberdashery to replace them! I would say that when I make this pattern again I will make sure that the seam allowance on the upper waistband is wider perhaps 1.5 – 2.0 cm so that I have little chance of the elastic creeping into my seam. It might prevent the needle breakage.

Then, there were the snaps. I was so worried about the holes that I needed to make in the fabric to insert the snappers, I even sewed around the holes to strengthen them. I was also anxious that I was going to insert the snaps wrongly, but it the end I managed. But I suppose they gave me as many jitters as buttonholes do….I think it must be the “putting holes in fabric” that worries me so much.

I decided to model the sweatpants initially in a similar fashion to the Named model. I think that they actually look smart, which is unbelievable. I’m not entirely sure I would naturally team this shirt and boots with these sweatpants, so it was good to see this combination.

I’m off now to model the full yoga, so I’ll post more photos later….