One last project for The Sewing Bee

This week was quite a challenge! We were all brainstorming in the discussion forum about what could they have in store for us for the final round that would really test our sewing skills. I was terrified that they would pick a tailored jacket or something I had never done. I was hoping it would be a holiday inspired outfit where I could go all out — I was overflowing with ideas that included sequins and maybe ostrich feathers? Anyway, that wasn’t it…Front-back BurdaPantsPants! Though I have finally conquered my fear of pants, and have made several pairs successfully, these are supposed to be out of non-stretch woven fabric! Super scary! The fit has to be perfect, no room for error. I had the hardest time finding fabric for the challenge, too, since the yardage I have accumulated for pants all have stretch in them. This tweed fabric was earmarked for a jacket when I felt ready to tackle that. Oh well. Who knows when that would be anyway!

tech_126_largeI tried to pick the most interesting pattern, BurdaStyle Princess Seam Skinny Pants 03/2012 #126A with lots of seams that I could modify for fit. Actually, the fit wasn’t terrible, so my modifications were not complicated. I did, however, add a curved waistband. I hate straight waistbands, so uncomfortable.

Side detailBurdaPantsI double topstitched all the seams in bright pink thread, and quilted the side panels in pink thread too. I added little zippers to the hem, and did some very smooth welt pockets. Since they are wool, I fully lined the pants in bright pink that I found in my stash.

LegDetailBurdaPantsI sewed late into the night a couple of times, then the day it was due I woke up early and sewed straight through the whole day. Since they turned out so snug, I did not stop to eat! The sun goes down at 4:15 around this time of year, so I finished it up at 3:30 to take pictures. Whew!

LegZip2BurdaPantsI really enjoyed this contest, though it was exhausting! I feel like it took over all my free time for more than a month now. Then on Saturday, after everything was submitted, I sat down to watch some TV and started feeling a little bored. I didn’t have the energy to do anything productive, but sitting on the couch was boring. I ended up going to bed early!

BackBurdaPantsInsidesCollageBurdaPantsThe next day I was up and at ’em, ready to get into the spirit of Christmas and get things done I had been putting off. My sewing studio looks like a bomb went off, but I am walking right past it as I spend some quality time with my poor family and wait patiently for the results!

Here is a link to my contest entry on Pattern Review, and I copied my process on this post if you want to know all the details!

WalkingBurdaPantsFirst, I quilted 2 little rectangles for my side yoke pieces. I did that before I cut them out.

I assembled the pants, then serged and double topstitched the seams except the inner leg. I had to leave an opening in the front seam for the leg zippers, which I nearly forgot!

I put the leg zippers in next. I first pinned them so that they were inserted into the seam nearly invisibly, but then I was sad they wouldn’t show. They are a design feature, and they are pink! So I widened the seam so they were more visible.

Welt pockets were up next. These are perhaps my 7th and 8th welt pockets. Since I had to draft them myself this time, it really helped me to understand the process of putting them in much more that I had before. I wasn’t just blindly following the directions. I feel much more confident about that kind of pocket now.

I sewed up the lining, serged the seams, and made sure it all fit inside the pants. I had to tweak the lining to match the pants, as expected. Then inserted it and basted it to the pants at the top.

Luckily I had made little notes to myself on my blog about inserting a fly from my last pair of jeans I made. That, and grabbing that pair from the closet for reference, helped me put in the zipper fly with no problem. I forgot to use the pink topstitching thread for the fly and that made me sad. It would have been cute! The black thread is not visible at all in my very textured fabric.

I tried on my pants and carefully measured and tried on the waistband. I added my belt loops, then sewed the waistband on, then stitched on my waistband lining (black polka dots!). I wanted the belt loops not to go up to the top of the waistband, then my belt will slide up, so I attached the belt loops a half inch below. That took an hour and a broken needle before I just hand stitched them. Remind me to find my thimble! I understitched the waistband lining, then applied my handmade butterfly bias binding to the waistband lining edge. It looks so pretty against the pink lining, too. For the waistband I always do the burrito method, but I realized that the understitching was messing my corners up, so I had to take a few inches of that out on each side so it would lay flat and square. I stitched in the ditch from the front side of the waistband to finish it off.

I hemmed my pants, then handstitched the pants lining to the zipper tape so the zippers are functional. Then I sewed on the hook and bar on the waistline. Viola!

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