Männerjogginghose (tracksuit pants, for the non-Europeans among us)

I was noodling around online, looking for a tracksuit pants pattern for the Fashion Critic, when I clicked a link on Pinterest and ended up here.

This led me to a mystery pdf download, all in German with no instructions. Since I don’t speak German, but like a challenge (and a free pattern), I decided to print it out and have a look.

This is what happened:

jogginghose jigsaw.jpg

Eh? What kind of German jigsaw puzzle is this?

I went back to the original link, and googled “geschickt eingefädelt”, the heading at the top of the page… and was delighted to discover the German version of the Great British Sewing Bee! This was one of the challenges.

Geschickt eingefädelt auto-translates as “Cleverly Threaded”, and is clearly a close cousin of GBSB. It has presumably been sold to Germany by the BBC (or the other way around) because the format and even the soundtrack are identical.

Luckily there is a tutorial for sewing these bad boys here, which auto-translates well enough to work out how to construct them. (Mostly translates, anyway. I’m pretty sure “bügle” means “iron”. I was very happy to announce “I’m off to bugle my jogginghose!”).

There is also a video of the segment when all the jogginghose were judged… it’s nail-biting stuff, even when you don’t understand the language.

As you can tell I was tickled pink to discover all of this. I’m a huge fan of the GBSB, and glad to see that it’s been a winning formula elsewhere as well.

So – no doubt you want to know if the Fashion Critic got his trackies? Well yes, he did.

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I used a navy sweatshirting from the recent Fabric Warehouse pop-up sale. I added an inch to the length, otherwise they’re a size L.

There are a couple of things I’d change next time, and they’re both about the crotch (sorry, Fashion Critic). First, it’s a bit low and I think I’d raise it an inch next time. Second, I’d deepen the front crotch curve. You can see on the pattern that it’s very shallow (almost straight in fact).

jogginghose front piece

When combined with the way the pattern is pieced at the front, the (um) groinal area is really baggy. In the line drawing it looks a bit like a nappy. It’s better in real life but still not ideal.

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Otherwise they’re ace. The wrap-around pockets are interesting and functional. They’re a relaxed fit, and for a slim fit I’d probably take 2cm off each side seam, rather than sizing down (the smaller sizes aren’t that much narrower in the leg). The TV show website suggests using leather or sequins to turn them into eveningwear, but I don’t have any immediate plans for that. That said, at least one sewer has made them with contrast pockets, and they do look pretty cool.

Please let me know if you end up making these! I’d love to see how they go.

Gemma vs the Goldstream peacoat

I’ve borrowed the format of the title from Amanda because – hoo boy – this one was a doozy.

front 1

Once again, it’s a coat in the middle of summer. The Fashion Critic and I spent this afternoon sitting outside a bar on the waterfront, enjoying the sun and drinking cider. Then we took photos of him in a winter coat, poor guy. Between this and the constant threat of standing on a pin, I’m not sure why he sticks around.

sleeve buttons

I can’t decide which part of the coat to tell you about first. There were so many new things to learn, and so many improvised steps that worked out OK in the end, and so many things that went wrong that you never have to know about!

The pattern is the Thread Theory Goldstream peacoat. I muslined it first, but then was too nervous to make any changes, so it’s a straight size L.  The shell is a grey wool blend from the Fabric Warehouse. The whole thing’s interlined with some flannelette from the stash to make it extra snuggly. Want to see the flannelette?

flannel

It’s almost a secret but I put a little patch inside the inner breast pocket, as a reminder.

pocket flannel

Interlining was a new technique to me. I didn’t decide to do it until I’d already cut out the pieces for the shell. So I laid out my flannel and put each piece of shell on top, wrong side to the flannel. Then I basted the shell to the flannel before cutting round each piece. This is pretty time consuming, so you’ll want to drop a few hints to the future owner of the coat, about restaurants you might be wanting to go to, or maybe some part of the house that needs a clean. In fact you’ve probably got enough time to drop hints about both.

Then I was impressed by the non-wrinkliness of this guy’s version, and decided to use horsehair canvas on the front pieces (is there anything that Made on Marion doesn’t have tucked away? I have yet to find out. They certainly had horsehair canvas. I was hitherto unaware of the existence of such a thing).

hair canvas

I pretty much used the Thread Theory tutorial to attach it, first basting it and catch-stitching it along the top edge, then taping the roll line (did I really write that sentence? This coat makes me feel like I’ve been moved up a grade at school).

Construction was pretty straightforward. I used Gertie’s easy way of setting in tailored sleeves.

It’s lined with some snazzy striped silk. Ooh yeah this stuff feels good.

lining

Last stop, buttons. I think these are part of the reason the coat looks a bit special. I did Spanish snap buttonholes (ideally followed by a glass of sangria, I guess, otherwise they may as well be regular snap buttonholes). I learnt the hard way that it’s really important to cut the oval backing bits on the bias, otherwise they don’t “snap” into place at all (they just pretend not to notice you, while you’re pulling at them madly trying to turn them to the inside). After a bit of swearing, and lots of unpicking and re-cutting, the ovals turned inside as directed, but tended to pop out again, so I used iron on hemming tape to get them to stay put.

shank button

The buttons came specially from As Cute As A Button, a specialty store in San Diego. Mighty expensive, but I think worth it. But I discovered the horrors of the shanked button! This double-breasted coat has two rows of buttons, one row that go through the buttonholes and one that’s just there for effect. The former need a shank, but the latter don’t, and just dangle looking silly and sad without a buttonhole to go through. Not to be defeated I enlisted the help of a jewellery-making friend, who sawed off the shank and made a new hole closer to the body of the button. Dangly buttons begone! (Heaven forbid any fall off, now that they are truly limited edition buttons).

This was my Big Project of 2015. I’m really glad I took it on. And the Fashion Critic will be nice and warm all winter, even when I’m not around to snuggle him.

 

 

 

Sewing for the Fashion Critic

new look 6097
I know, it doesn’t look like a men’s item. But because I’m still hooked on this pattern (New Look 6097), I made one as a gift, and what was left became a t-shirt for the Fashion Critic.

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It’s merino from Levana, what could be better?

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Despite the surfeit of free ladies’ t-shirt patterns (have I missed any?), there are few (none) for fellas. So I drafted this one myself. There are pull lines under the arms, but I’ve been assured that it’s perfectly comfortable. Mind you, I doubt it will get too much wear, simply because it will have to compete with roughly 1,000 other t-shirts. Is this the only house in which t-shirts multiply like coathangers?

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Next, though, is my sewing success of the year. I decided to dip my toes into the uncharted waters of men’s trousers. Specifically, Burdastyle 7841.

burdastyle 7841This pattern had pretty good reviews round the interwebs. I ignored all the wacky Burdastyle instructions and used Lladybird’s Thurlow sewalong for the construction. It was much easier to follow, and it’s just a sensible way to put trousers together.

Burdastyle 7841

The size 42 fit the Fashion Critic without any adjustments. How is that possible? However next time I’ve been asked to make both the front and back pockets deeper.

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Also next time I’ll make the fly overlap a bit bigger – you can see the zipper a bit (if you’re looking).

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The fabric is a navy wool/silk blend from The Fabric Warehouse sale a few months ago, and it’s just delicious. It was by far the nicest one there. These used just 1.7 metres.

Welt pockets! Don’t look too closely, this is only my second one ever. But they’re not nearly as intimidating as I’d thought.

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And some action shots, just ’cause. (He got all dressed up on a Sunday, I think that’s worth some more screen time)

Burdastyle 7841

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Starring the garbage bin and the dog bowl. Don’t forget to recycle!