Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Finished: Burda 7882 & BPF FW-09-404

While making this outfit,  I had renewed determination to do the best job I could. 
No shortcuts!
 "No shortcuts" does not mean "no problems".  There still were glitches – some of them major.

Blouse:  Burda 7882
I bought this pattern a year or two ago expressly to alter it.  I needed practice restyling patterns so I turned a bib front blouse into an ordinary button front blouse.  (Kinda backwards.  Why would I alter a pattern to omit a nice design detail and make it more boring?) Anyway, this time I left well enough alone and made the blouse with the pin tucked bib.  Since I was committed to the "no shortcut" process,  I thread traced the fold lines for the tucks and pressed and sewed them one at a time using my edge stitch foot.  The extra effort was minimal and I was happy with the results.  I obsessed about carefully considered the size of the buttons on the blouse. They seemed too large to me.  Every time I looked at the blouse, my eyes were immediately drawn to  buttons that looked big enough for a clown costume.  I solicited opinions on Pattern Review and Stitcher's Guild. No one agreed with me.  Apparently, I'm the only person obsessed enough to worry about the size of the buttons.  Most people thought I was nuts, but were too kind to say so directly.  Okay.  I accept that. 

Pants: BPF FW-09-404
The pants were a disaster.  It's hidden by the blouse, but I could barely fasten the pants around my belly.  I'll probably never wear them and that's a shame because I love the fabric.  In an attempt to upgrade the finished pants, I used petersham to face the waistband as recommended in Power Sewing Step by Step  (Betzina, 2002) and Making Trousers for Men & Women (Coffin, 2009).   Call me crazy, but I think using the petersham made the waistband smaller.   I never had this problem before I used petersham in the waistband.
From Power Sewing Step by Step
Betzina  recommended shaping the petersham before using it as a waistband facing.  This, she says, allows the stretched edge to fit over the tummy.  I didn't do that, and sure enough, the waist didn't fit over my tummy.  (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)  I've made these pants in the past and I'm pretty sure they fit.  Truth is, I made  changes in pocket construction that could have affected the fit.  And could the problem possibly be my tummy?   (See that elliptical machine behind me in the picture?  I'd better start using it more!)  I'll make some alterations to give me more room, but these pants may end up in Wadderville.  What disappoints me most is now I'm less enamored of the petersham waist facing treatment. That bothers me because I wanted to use the method to add some class to my pants.  I can work out the glitches in the petersham waist band by doing some experimenting on some throw-away fabric.

In spite of the disastrous results on the pants, I'm still committed to "No Shortcut" sewing and I'm determined to keep trying to make better garments.   I can get cheaply made clothes anywhere.  I don't have to spend time making them myself.


  1. The buttons are fine. Quit obsessing. Actually the whole outfit looks great. Sorry to hear that the pants don't fit. I really find it annoying that I can't use the same pants pattern and just sew it. I can with tops. But with pants, I have to cut larger seam allowances and baste them together checking for fit, everytime I use the pattern. You so have my sympathies on the pants. But they look good in the pix.

  2. From the shape of your petersham I am going to assume that you used it for a contour waistband. I found the same issue some years ago when I tried this. Two things, I like it for straight waistbands which is pretty uch the only kind that Coffin makes and an old Threads article used it to face an Armani style pant and waistband that was also straight. I've only used it lately on straight waistbands as I've kind of given up on contour for the time being. In a couture pattern by Claire Schaefer she uses it as interfacing for a wasitband less pant that is lined with the petersham laying between the pant and the lining. Yes it is shaped but here's the difference, she provides a pattern piece for marking darts that are sewn, cut open, and pressed flat. This shapes the petersham to the waist shape and any more shaping is accomplished by steaming and pressing into shape. I would imagine that if you one, have little waist definition and or a flat stomach, neither of which I possess it might work by just steaming it into shape. otherwise I experienced exactly the issue you have. Why dont' you just remove it and make a regular facing so that the pants can be worn Lots of work, but better than a wadder if you like the fabric.

  3. Oh, and I agree quit obsessing about the buttons. No one will notice besides which they look fine!

  4. The buttons are fine and I love the top, but then I am obsessed with green at the moment. I've wanted to try petersham as well, but never done it. I've made faced pants before and I like those. I find using a shaped waist band of shaped facing for bandless pants works well. In fact, some sewists seem to add their own personally fitted shaped waist band to whatever pants pattern they make. That's always seemed like a good way to me and one of these days I will get around to doing it.

  5. The buttons are fine! Regarding the pants, nothing ventured, nothing gained. At least you've had the courage to try. I rarely use petersham because it is hard to get around here without ordering it. I have used bias strips in the past in the same manner, with good effect, but with the pre-shaping like the petersham.

  6. Are you kidding? This is a great looking blouse. I wouldn't have notice the button. I think it's perfect.
    Happy New Year!

  7. I feel you. I have pants fitting issues for days. They must go over the tummy gracefully. I just bought some Petersham. I have been dying to try it. I want to add a little stability to the band and try something more advanced. I recently read an old Vogue artile that recommended snipping one side to aide in the contour. The edges of the snips are then overcast to prevent fraying.