African Wax Print Pants…

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I look pretty calm, right? Well, it has been interesting – my first experience with an African wax print.

As background, I’ve been enjoying Zoona Nova’s  blog and pics on Instagram so much. She lives, works, and plays in Malawi, and her stories and projects are fascinating. The local handicraft projects with which she’s involved (and pending pattern releases from her own design studio) include garments made with African wax prints. The fabrics are stunning – such variety, gorgeous designs, and so colorful! I just had to try some.

Since I can’t visit the local markets in Malawi, I ordered two pieces from Fabric Wholesale Direct.  They have an wonderful selection of African prints, their prices are so reasonable, and they ship very quickly. I like the latter – I’m impatient when I order something. I want it now, please 🙂

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Top: McCalls 7597 in bleached muslin.

I had no idea what to expect – stiff, waxed, starched? Well, in reality, both pieces were a bit stiff and rather shiny when they arrived. So, starch or some similar resist material. And drenched with color, all the way through. I wasn’t sure how to wash them or care for them. After a lot of research, and many opinions, I just threw up my hands and put them in a warm water wash with mild detergent, and then in the dryer on the delicate setting. They both came out fine, great in fact. No running or loss of color, and no discernible shrinkage. I was amazed!

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Sassy pants! I made these with Vogue 9217, Kathryn Brenne’s dolphin hem pants (original post here).

v9217 lines

With such an ‘active’ print, I left off the curved side vents and just cut a straight hemline, with an additional couple of inches to make them really long. I did keep the bound finish though. I think it adds nice balance to the print.

hem

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Top: Grainline Studio Scout Tee in cotton seersucker.

Great project – I feel like my world has expanded, as though I’ve been travelling, and I’ve learned so much. I love my pants, and, yes, that second fabric is already in the loft, ready to be sewn 🙂

Ciao! Coco

 

Burda 6770 Wrap pants – the real thing

 

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The real thing because they’re not a muslin! I first made these cute pants back in April, using a fabric for which I have no love (here). What I do love is this pattern.

So I transferred all my fitting notes to my pattern pieces, and waited for an opportunity to buy a fun fabric. Earlier this week, with a fistful of coupons, I picked up a couple calico prints at JoAnns. BTW, calico works beautifully on these. It has just the right hand, weight, and drape. And, of course, it loves to be laundered.

I think these Geisha girls are so appealing – and I hope you can see the front wrap on this pic. It’s very subtle, not at all over the top.

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One of my pattern adjustments was to the waist. I sewed the size 12, which fits great, but finishes with a 37 1/4″ waist. Ha! These are ‘pull-ups’ and my hips are about 39″. I changed the pattern just enough to finish with a 39 3/4″ waist. And while the waistband is elastic, it sits just below one’s natural waist and isn’t bunchy (the next pic is from my muslin, but it shows the very slight gathering really well).

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Top: The Sewing Workshop Trio Shirt (blogged here)

A note on pattern layout and fabric choice:

In general, calico is 44″ wide, and more like 43″ after the selvedge is removed. So I struggled a bit with placement of the two front pieces (and a larger size just wouldn’t have fit). The problem would go away with a 52″ – 60″ wide fabric (such as sateen and rayon, the other two recommended fabrics).

Layout

Great summer pants!

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Ciao! Coco

Vogue 9217 – Kathryn Brenne – Wonderful

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I’m in pants heaven. I love this pattern!

From Kathryn Brenne, and I’ve found no reviews, so perk up… Great pieces. A shell, a reversible jacket, and these pants. This post is all about the pants.

v9217 lines
Pattern link on BMV

Another view of happy me.

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So much to talk about, but check out the ‘dolphin’ hems (usually seen on jogging shorts, so really new for me).

dolphin hem
Fabric: Multi-stripe Cotton Ikat from Fashion Fabric Club…totally misnamed, because it’s a jacquard!

I did a muslin of these pants last week, wrote a post about them, and then decided it was just a dreary kind of post. But the muslin was so helpful – I had planned to sew the pants in this great cotton jacquard, and I didn’t want to blow it. A view of the muslin, and, BTW, it’s a nice view of how well this pattern would work for shorts (mine are in PJ rotation):

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Back to these new britches…

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Part of the challenge with this fabric was figuring out how to place the pattern. I didn’t want the dominant white stripe to be misplaced on the front or the back 🙂 So lots of single-layer cutting. I just did it with a good movie playing.

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Some sewing notes:

  • I made the size Medium (12-14) with NO changes to the fit.
  • In an unusual move for me, I used packaged double-fold bias tape to finish the hems. IMO, it was much easier than working with bias strips cut from cotton broadcloth. Even so, I spent most of one day finishing the hems. Picky picky…but finish is really important to me, and I never mind the time or effort involved.

hem

  • The pattern doesn’t provide very much information about the finished garment measurements. Which can be frustrating! So I measured mine, straight size Medium:
    • Inseam 27″.
    • Outseam, below the waist, 39″.
    • Thigh circumference 28″.
    • Crotch 27″.  Front 12 1/4″, back 14 3/4″

The pants are pretty much straight up and down, so they can be shortened anywhere in the leg. And the rise can be shortened at the top edge (just be sure to move your pockets down as well if needed).

  • About that hem. I almost used a facing instead of the bias tape that the pattern uses. And I think it would be a reasonable way to finish them (although I love the taped hem). A suggestion on how to do it, simply draft the hem with its ‘natural’ seam allowance, and draft a facing to match. E.g.,

re-do hem with facing

  • The pockets provided with the pattern are standard in-seam pockets. But for pants, I really prefer a slant pocket that’s attached in the waistband. I used the pocket from Butterick 6296, but any similar pocket would work fine.

These will be my favorite summer long pants. Absolutely. I want more! Last pic of this happy woman. Photo-bomber Emile is sporting a Tessuti Megan Cardigan, finished last week, I’ll blog it soon. And my blouse is my recent camp shirt (B6296), cropped!

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Butterick 6296 Classic PJs – Jammin’

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Sewist at work – a candid fit-photo in the sewing loft.

It’s time for summer PJs – I’m really really tired of leggings and tees!

B6296_a-horz

 

I decided to start with a short-sleeved top and long-ish pants.

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They’re sewn in Michael Miller ‘Meet Me in the Meadow Spring Bloomers’, a quilting-weight cotton I found on sale at Hancock’s of Paducah.

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After my recent angst about Emile, my dress form, and my thoughts of replacing her, I found just I couldn’t do it. I apologized, and we’re still BFFs…

The pants are terrific, so I decided to make a Capri-length pair for street-wear.

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I re-used the fabric from a tiered maxi dress that I made in 2015, and have never worn. It was just too much sea life – but I’ve always loved this Tonga Batik from Timeless Treasures Fabrics.

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A few sewing notes – this pattern is really well-drafted, so my changes were really for style, not fit.

  • I sewed the top in size 12, and the pants in size 14.
  • I shortened the pink pants by 7 5/8″ inches, and the octopus pants by another 1 3/8″.
  • And I added 1″ to the length of the sleeve.
  • Going for comfort, I left off a couple things: the pockets on the top and the yoke on the back of the pants piece. That yoke is kind of a lost detail anyway, and it might be bunchy below the gathered waistband.
  • The pattern has lots of piping detail, which I addressed by leaving off most of it, too. On the sleeve and pants bands, I used a contrast broadcloth edging instead. I cut 2″ wide bias strips, folded them in half, and attached them the same way the piping would have been sewn.

edging

More PJs are underway –  this is fun, easy sewing.

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Bye for now! Coco

Burda 6770 Wrap Pants – fun!

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I’m definitely into warm-weather sewing now. And done with home dec…boring.

BS6770 Line Art
On Simplicity.com

These are such cute britches!

I’ve been looking at them for a while, but I’ve hesitated. I find sarouel and Thai fishermen pants to be very uncomfortable, just too much fabric and fuss. However – Sarah Webb just posted a pair of these Burda pants on Instagram  (Sarah is so creative and innovative, and she’s a constant inspiration for my sewing).

click. Miss Impatient here downloaded them from Sewing Patterns and had a pattern drafted in no time.

Some more pics. I love how these fit in the front,

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And in the back.

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They don’t even hint at having a elastic waist. Great fit in the fantail.

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My top is a modified Sewing Workshop Trio – I added a side slit with hem variations front and back. And I raised the gathered back panel by about 3 inches.

trio

I know it’s really hard to see the ‘wrap’, front pleats, or dropped waist with this print, but maybe this helps.   The wrap doesn’t impede leg movement at all.

wrap

Sewing notes:

  • The instructions are a little spare, but the illustrations make up for it. I’d put this at advanced beginner and above – a fun project for summer.
  • I sewed the size 12, which worked well for me with only one adjustment. The finished waistband on the original is just over 37″ – that waistband has to go over my 39.5″ hips! So I lengthened the waistband and narrowed the seam allowances at the top of the pants.
  • All the reviews I read, and Sarah, mentioned that the pants are very narrow in the lower leg. I added 1″ to both sides of the front and back at the hemline, and trued the side seams back up to the knee area. Worked great for me. Thank you, ladies!
  • And I didn’t like the length of the pants – they seemed a little long for the profile of the legs. So I shortened them by 2″, giving me an inseam of 22.5″.

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These are sewn in cotton calico from my stash, and I’m loving how they turned out. I think other good fabrics would include cotton sateen, with or without stretch, linen, even midweight (6 – 8 oz) knits and lightweight ponte.B6296_a

 

Up next – I’m cutting out summer pj’s today, using Butterick 6296 Lisette Classic PJs. Move over, J Crew…

Ciao! Coco