fall 6-pak

Each season there is a nice wardrobe-building sew along on Artisan’s Square. It’s the brainchild of ejvc, whose blog is here, and includes lots of posts on the topic. Each season you sew six items, mostly neutrals, and if you actually complete your six-paks, you end up with a very functional closet full of things that work together. At the beginning of this thread on Artisan’s Square, you can read her prescription for this fall. Fall 6-pak.

I have often joined up, but usually punk out after about 3 or 4 items. I think I’ve finished the whole 6-pak maybe twice. Still, even 3 or 4 planned items that go together are handy to have.

Once again, I’m inspired to give it a try. I even have a plan.

Fall 6-pak_edited-1

Colors are charcoal, indigo, a lighter indigo, and dusty plum. The Burda trousers are already made. The Pure & Simple jacket is a TNT, and there are no worries about fitting the other jacket – this is view B and I have already made view A which fits just fine. The Lola pants and Helix Tee have been sitting out cluttering up my work space for a long time, waiting to be fitted and made. The second top has not pattern selected for it – I’m waiting until the fall issue of Ottobre Woman comes out to see if they have something new that fits with this collection.

This plan is not very ambitious, which gives me hope that it can be completed.

Another attraction of this particular plan is that I already have all the fabrics except for the charcoal jacket, and that should not be difficult to find. This is the fabric stack.

fall 6-pak fabrics

top to bottom:

dusty plum knit of unknown content….a flat fold purchased off a bargain table

blue “Parisian knit” from Marcy Tilton

indigo cotton/spandex with a narrow rib woven in. I bought this stuff for pants and later realized that the ribs would make a noise when I walk, like corduroy. Much better as a jacket.

charcoal drapey poly blend for the Lolas. Polyester is not good for summers here, but OK for fall.

Not pictured is the indigo denim that has already been made up as Burda pants, and the charcoal jacket fabric that I will shop for. Something with some texture would be nice.

I’d like to say a few words about the Burda pants pattern. It’s from the Fall 2008 Plus magazine, number 404, but I believe it also appeared in the regular BurdaStyle mag. It may even be offered as a PDF. For my pear-shaped figure, these pants have been a super substitute for jeans. They have a narrow leg, for a close fit, but the line from hip to ankle is straight. When I look at the line drawings in Burda and they show a cut that hugs the thighs down to the knee, and then goes straight or flares from there, I know those are unflattering to me. This cut seems to be unusual for a close-fitting pant.

Other features that make this pant a winner: there are a total of four darts in the back, excellent for fitting and eliminating a gap at the back waist. And note that the waistband in back is in two pieces. This also helps with fitting because the waistband is attached before stitching the center back seam. You can sew the crotch most of the way, leaving an opening at CB, then try the pants on and pin fit the center back so that it snugs up to your waist. Then sew the CB of the pants and the waistband all in one swoop. Alter the waistband facing to match the waistband and stitch it last.

This method of construction also makes future alteration easy. You can easily open up the waistband to take in that center back seam if you lose weight. If you leave fat seam allowances, you also could let the pants out in the back if needed.

I still had to do some fitting with this pattern, but it was a much better starting point than most patterns. You may not be able to find this exact pattern, but if you have full hips and rear and a relatively small waist, look for the same features when considering pants patterns. I think they will make fitting easier for you.

burda 404

Here is the line drawing again, along with the schematic of the pattern pieces, to illustrate what I wrote about.


some patterns

Firstly, thank you to everyone who has taken the time to make a comment on my little old blog. I am really grateful for anyone that stops by to read, and especially those who comment. I try to reply to comments, but sometimes stuff gets in the way and my would-be replies aren’t timely when I finally am able to make them.  I will answer any specific questions, even if I am a little late with my answers. I do appreciate all of you!

This year has brought some lifestyle changes for me. I’m now retired and working on establishing myself as an illustrator – which is the career I always, always wanted. Woo-hoo, I’m going to have it now! The change also means rethinking my sewing, because in the past most of my sewing was to clothe myself for the office. Now I’m at home, and almost all of my activities (I do still do some house-keeping) are creative ones. This has me rethinking what I want to wear and sew, and what activities I need to have outfits for.

You are probably familiar with the exercise to help focus on real wardrobe needs, the one where you identify what you do in the course of a year to get an idea of where you should concentrate your wardrobing. This is my little breakdown.

Of course I sewed for the fantasy category, the evening events, first. (The two silk jackets in recent posts.) Who among us has not been guilty of similar misplaced priorities? But really, this is for me the easiest category to visualize how I want to dress. The “events” category includes such things as symphony, theater, and gallery openings.  My category evening “social” means date night with spouse, dinner parties and the like. There can be quite a bit of crossover between clothes for the two evening categories. I still need to alter my silk pants and sew one other pair, plus maybe a nice tunic and that would cover the evening categories.

20% is for such things as professional societies (gotta network, you know), church, and any activity in that in-between area where you want to look put-together but not eveningish. This would be that “business casual” look that has been so hard for many people to nail. Now I want to incorporate a bit of creativity into this category, too. I’m thinking in terms of a simple interior column, like pants and matching tank, with a statement jacket for this category.

That leaves the big 60% everyday category. There are two thoughts about this.

One thing I did is go back through my last two years of Burda magazines and make note of the patterns I thought would work for my 60%, and compile them into a graphic for easy reference. Since I have many more years in the archive, I might mine them for additional patterns, too. My Burda subscription has lapsed, so I have no 2012 issues to pick from, but here are my picks from 2011 and 2010.

My tastes really run to the classic shirt/tunic & pants combo, and would shorten any dress patterns above to make tunics. Yes, I am currently liking shirts more than knit tops. They’re cooler, don’t cling, and I like sewing them more. When the urge to make a knit strikes, I turn to Ottobre.

There is another idea coloring my thoughts for the 60%, and that is Lagenlook. There have been a couple of threads on Stitcher’s Guild regarding this style.  I’ll include them with some other links at the end of this post. This is a look that is really growing on me, and I can see using many patterns that I already own to make up the look: Marcy Tilton Vogues, Cutting Line Designs, and Sewing Workshop. I also lucked into these old McCall’s patterns recently. They’re from the mid-90s, but are lagen-adaptable.

This first one is my favorite. I would make the pinafore dress as a top, and make the jacket more of a duster length. I would even make the pants from this pattern with the side drawstrings, but would probably pair them with a closer-fitting top. Big all over is big in lagenlook, but doesn’t do me any favors.

The second one has another top/jacket with a scoop neck. The pants from this pattern don’t look overly wide, but I have a nice Burda TNT for drawstring pants.

Lastly, this one. I’m unlikely to use the pinafore, but might adapt the square neck dress with the flange-y sleeves into a top. Might try the woven t-type top, too.

I think one of the thing about lagenlook that I like is that many of the shapes and styles are like big shirts, and I am really liking the shirts these days. There is also a very romantic, ruffled boho style that is on the lagen spectrum, but it’s not for me. I’m drawn to the simpler, more folkloric-looking styles. I’m not sure what will come off the sewing machine for the big 60%, but I’m in for some experimenting. It will be fun to explore some new things!

Yes, I am still making the Chanel jacket. It will fit into the meetings and evening social categories.

And now for some linky links related to lagenlook, mostly gleaned from the Stitcher’s Guild threads.

Stitcher’s Guild Lagenlook thread – Lots more links here, including bunches to the frilly boho looks.

Stitcher’s Guild Lagenpac thread

Eileen Fisher – lagenesque


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