Two and a half months in 2019 and no post here. Just checking in now to say that I did not move to another blog (in case you're wondering because that was one of the options I considered end of last year) but life has thrown me a few lemons that can't be turned into lemonade easily. Personally I'm fine and hope to be back within the sewing community later in the year. For now I keep it to sewing but not taking photos and blogging about it. See you later!
There are many, many tutorials on how to add a fly front zipper to a pair of jeans/pants. Including a very old one by me, which I have deleted now. Looking back (it was over 10 years old) it looked dated and I've changed my method over the years. So this tutorial might not add anything new, it's my take on how to do this and is a reminder for myself too.
Important to understand the photos and instructions is that I use a pocket that extends to center front. It's not necessary to use these pockets, but important to understand my photos. The pockets are sewn before the fly/zipper is inserted! Also: these are instructions to sew the fly in the closing that is mostly used on womens' pants: folding right side over the left.
When you cut the pockets, add seam allowance of about 0.5 cm center front for the left side!
The steps: Fold the fly (it usually is a pattern piece that is cut on the fold) and finish the seams. Sew the zipper on top, stitching only the side that's closest to the finished edge. (My zipper is a bit longer than necessary, I'll cut it shorter after attaching the waist band)
Finish the seams of the front pattern pieces. I use a cut-on facing on the right side, the overlapping side on a womens' pair of pants. If you prefer you can use a separate facing, you'll have to sew that on as a separate step.
Pin the pocket/lining in place, the left side has a little extra seam allowance. (if your pockets are not extended to center front, omit this step)
Sew the center front until the point where the zipper will end.
Fold and press the right side on the center line. Make sure the pocket on the inside is aligned with center front. Topstitch till the crotch.
On the inside it looks like this:
I like to sew in the zipper a little off-center. Fold the left 0.5 cm beyond the center and press. Pin the zipper with the fly in place. Sew on the edge.
Pin center front of the right leg to the center front of the left leg.
On the inside, fold away the fly and pin the zipper to the facing of the right side. Only to the facing!! Sew the zipper tape to the facing. The zipper is attached, the topstitching in the next steps does not have to be on the zipper tape, only on the facing.
I mark the end of my zipper with chalk, placing a pin to mark first. This way I know where the end of the zipper is. Especially important if you use a metal zipper, which would break your needle if you would hit in while topstitching.
Think that I said it already: I have quite a few projects that never have been published on this blog. Sometimes this bothers me, as my blog is also a personal story of my sewing journey. When I see blog posts that I have written, say 8-10 years ago it sometimes strikes me that I have forgotten about a project or see a project that was loved, but worn out in the meantime. I like this keeping track of my projects, so I decided to try to publish more of my projects, even if it's something that it's not very interesting to others. In this post photos of my coat, of which I published construction photos here and some random photos of a few projects made in the past few months.
Hmm, could the title be longer? This post is exactly about what the title says. I started making a pair of pants from the Burda december issue and in this post will show you how I use a pattern from the magazine. A short aside: a comment was made yesterday on my post on the missing cutting layouts that Burda will bring them back in the March issue (see here (text in German), thanks Beate for sharing this information and Burda for listening to their readers!).
This is the pair of pants I'm making, omitting the flap in the waist. It's pattern number 102 from the December 2018 issue and available as pdf from the Burda site: Link to the pattern. A very easy pattern, 4 pattern pieces and made in a stretch fabric. It's more close fitting/slim fit than I would normally make. I intend to wear it with a longer cardigan,
After the test post (thank you for your input, I'm debating/considering options) let's get back to sewing.
A while ago I learned about a great, yet simple technique to avoid the little pucker at the end of an invisible zipper. I insert my zipper this way all the time. Though the trick is at the last step of inserting the zipper, I include all steps I do for inserting a zipper. Disclaimer: as always when I do a tutorial, there are more ways to do it, this is just my take on it.
My posts are irregular at the moment, to say the least. I've quite a backlog of projects that were not mentioned here, either because they're not really interesting material or just because the time lacked to make proper pictures in good light. I read quite a few blogs through Bloglovin but was wondering why I sometimes see a complete post, sometimes only a few lines and have to click on "See original post" to go to the blog. Read more »
As most of you will know, I use Burda magazine patterns a lot. I haven’t counted but I think that around 2 out of 3 garments I make are (based on) a Burda magazine pattern. They do have consistent sizing, I know what to change for my figure. I know I’ve had my share of posts/rants on their photos (hiding what the pattern is about), complained about the diy projects or not having nice patterns any more and stopping my subscription. But they certainly have interesting patterns again and I renewed my subscription, because often after a while I saw a pattern made up and finding out I didn’t have that particular issue. Apparently I sometimes have to get used to a style/trend and am a late adapter.
There is a change though in the instructions apparently. Yesterday evening I was browsing the November issue and wondering about yardage and the way they placed the pattern pieces on the fabric for a specific pattern. To my surprise and dismay: there are not cutting layouts in the November issue! I checked and the October issue still has them.
Yet another thing they are saving on? The pattern sheets changed a few years ago and there are less sheets and more lines on the remaining pattern sheets. Being used to tracing sheets I still think Burda has one of the most comprehensible sheets and compared to the time when all lines were a complete mess, the current sheets aren’t that bad. But strange enough I miss the cutting layouts. I might not always use the exact way of placing the pattern pieces, but they are great for checking whether you have all pieces, didn’t miss a “cut on the fold” instruction, have all pieces that you have to draw yourself, a cuff or pocket flap for example. And they always indicated where they intended where interfacing is to be used. I don’t use the written instructions much, but the drawings of the pattern pieces and those cutting are very helpful. And I’m convinced they help sewists with less experience.
What are your thoughts? Do you use cutting layouts or not?
For fun: part of a pattern sheet from a 1973 issue
Many, many years ago I participated in a contest on PatternReview and won a prize. I think it was second or third place, but I can’t remember which contest it was. The prize was fabric from Textile Studio (a company that no longer exists) and I chose a lovely wool fabric. It was 2 yards (which is 1.80 meter). Every year when I examined fabrics in my collection at the beginning of the autumn/winter season, this piece of fabric came out and I always thought “I must make some special jacket from it” and back it went in my closet for that special pattern that I would someday make from it.
This year I realised that my taste in jackets has changed and I no longer wanted a jacket from it, but that it would make a lovely coat. That provided a challenge: only 2 yards of fabric and the desire to make a coat from it. Sounds like mission impossible, doesn’t it? It took some browsing of patterns, pattern magazines and of course the internet and I found it. I checked all my Burda magazines from the August-January range and couldn’t find a suitable pattern. Having decided it should be a coat without a collar (too much fabric needed) and I googled something like “Burda coat without collar), a pattern from the March 2012 issue came up. I hadn’t checked my March issues, as I did not think that a March issue would have a pattern for a coat I was looking for.
Luckily I had that issue in my collection and decided that this would be my project to be made in my sewing days with friends. I planned a few changes: bound buttonholes instead of snaps, pockets with flaps instead of inseam pockets. For the pockets I took the position and shape from a Burda magazine from 2007! It is helpful to have a collection of over 100 Burda magazines .
A few in progress pictures to get an idea of how it looks and how the inside is done.
Sample of the buttonhole, which is not done in the official way, but using the “window” method. Bottom right you can see the “window”, which is done with silk organza.
The welts for the buttonholes, made of faux leather. On the inside is a piping cord, which you can see peeking out on a few.
Buttonholes and welt for pocket done.
All pattern pieces were block fused with a middle weight coat interfacing. I did that first (still at home) and after the block fusing marked the seamlines on the pieces.
I thought the the fabric was not thick enough for winter temperatures, even after the fusible interfacing was applied. All pieces were interlined with a flannel. For this I cut all the pattern pieces without seam allowance and used a catch stitch to attach it (did take some time!). After that the rest was relatively easy.
Front shield as in most of my jackets applied here too.
Sleeve head and shoulder pad inserted.
Almost finished. I still have to insert the lining. As said, I’m still travelling and this last step will be done when I’m back home again.
To conclude this picture heavy post a photo of the white cliffs, close to the location where I was with my sewing friends. I’ve been at several places along the south coast of the UK this time and wow, what breath-taking views! So different from county to county.
At the beginning of August I showed you a knitted sweater in progress. I finished it a couple of weeks ago and I’m ever so pleased with it. The base was a pattern by Asa Tricosa, but my version doesn’t resemble the original much. It’s mainly used for the general shape, number of stitches, increases/decreases etc. Center front I added a cable from the book Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible: 260 Exquisite Patterns by Hitomi Shida. At the sides I repeated the small cable at the edge.
I love the technique that Asa Tricosa has developed, which she calls the “Ziggurat” method. It’s knitting top-down and with very clever techniques you knit the top of the sleeve in one pass with the body too. A way in which you can try it on in an early stage too and adapt for fit more easily. My fear in knitting sweaters was always that I would spend hours and hours (far more time than most sewing projects take) and after assembly would find out that it was not fitting. If you’ve been reading my blog for a little while you know I can be obsessive about fit . I’ve found a technique that suits me very well and have two more garments on the needles from her book.
The book has many projects with lovely details that have a huge appeal to me, like this double knitted hem. Isn’t it a lovely detail? It’s a bit like nice underwear: you know it’s there, even if no one sees it.
The annual sewing retreat in the UK with a group of friends is next week, I’m preparing a coat and a jacket to sew. Sewing projects will be shown here again soon .