Category Archives: Thrifts

FESA: The corduroy pants

Edit: I had no idea, but a post over at the Coletterie stated that it is Corduroy Appreciation Day today! Fitting, no?

So, I finally finished my corduroy pants! I´ve been wanting to make a rust colored pair since seeing Carolyn´s version. I have already told you about the beginnings of these pants, so here comes the finished product.

FESA: The corduroy trousers


I used BurdaStyle Magazine 10-2010-110, omitting any back pockets and leather details. Just as for the shorts I made using this pattern, I got good help on zipper insertion from sewing goddess Sandra Betzina in this video over at Threads.

I am pleased with the final product, and they came out the way I wanted them to be, but I am reminded, while wearing them, that I am more comfortable with a side zipper. I just feel more at ease having the zipper out of the way! So I´ve actually started on another pair of corduroy´s – with a side zip…

On the pictures I wear them with a knit top I made from a scrap of the same fabric I used for the knit dress.

 BurdaStyle Magazine 10-2010-110 

Pattern size: 34-42

Avaliability: BurdaStyle Magazine

Pattern type: Pants

Rating: Highly recommend

Pattern Description: Flat fronted, mid-rise trousers with faced waist, fly front, slanted hip pockets, back single welt pockets, underlap with button for internal closure, outer tap with button for another waist closure.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? If I ignore the fact that I did some changes, yes.

Were the instructions easy to follow? I didn´t really follow the instructions, as I wasn´t going to have all the details that is included in this pattern. But the instructions seems to be quite thorough, when I look at them in magazine!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the leg finish, and the side pockets. I also love the rise. On second thought I am not too fond of the front fly zipper, but that is only my personal taste, and has nothing to do with the quality of the pattern!

FESA: The corduroy trousers
Fabric Used: I used a thrifted corduroy fabric.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I used a different zipper insertion method, I omitted the outer tap with button in the waist, and I omitted the leather placket on the legs, and I also didn´t include the back pockets, all of which makes my version of this pattern much easier than the original.

FESA: The corduroy trousers

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? As I have already made the shorts from this pattern, I think I might not use this again, but you never know? I will recommend it to others who want a pair of pants in this style!

Conclusion: A well constructed pattern with lots of options for unique details!

FESA: The corduroy trousers

15 Responses to FESA: The corduroy pants

  1. They look good Solvi. I love the rust colour and it goes well with the turquoise top. A splash of brightness for winter!

    • Good point, Alana. Another argument for always sew side zips (or back zips are alright too, I guess…)

  2. They look fab! I love the rust corduroy. I especially like the seaming at the bottom– looks great with your lace up boots. I’m going to have to try out a Burda trouser pattern. I hear people say that they are drafted well.

  3. They seem to fit perfectly, and I love how you styled them with ankle boots and the bright top.

  4. They look lovely on you! I really like the rest of that outfit, too. Teal really is your color and the scarf and shoes are pretty!

  5. They must be the most stylish pair of cords ever. The shape really suits you and they look perfect cosy winter wear. Im enjoying the fruity colour too! Great vision- totally worked.

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0 Responses to On freedom.

  1. When I was creating textile art, limiting myself only to what I had in the studio pushed my creative boundaries. It forced me to think in new ways. For example, what if I painted this fabric because it was not quite the right color? I’ve transferred some of that way of being to fashion sewing especially with refashioning. You’ll find it helps you grow tremendously. My only caution is to be careful to listen to that voice within. If you truly do not have the correct choice in your studio and your intuition is telling you so, then finding it elsewhere may be your best option. If most everything else has come from the studio, then – in my opinion – you are still within the spirit of your goal while still learning and especially learning to trust your intuition.

    I agree with you about too many choices. Boundaries are not the prisons they are often made out to be. They can actually be quite stabilizing and freeing and I have found in terms of creativity that they can provide tremendous push. Best of luck.

  2. Wow, what a topic. You make some really interesting points. I agree, I get overwhelmed with too many choices and am quite happy to make do with what is immediately available. Sometimes the challenge of working within strict parameters results in something even more creative and unique than without.

    There is an interesting radiolab podcast on choice too:

  3. I agree complete re: having too much choice. I saw this very interesting ted talk a while ago, that discusses exactly this topic:

    As Kristen said, I often find that restricting my choices explicitly, will foster more creativity, because you have to find a solution within the parameters you are given. When doing brainstorming sessions for instance, it is often easier to come up with more ideas if there are limits or restrictions on what kind of ideas are relevant.

    In addition; using what you have instead of always buying new stuff is good for our keeping stashes small and saving the environment from our consumption. 🙂

  4. Hah, and now I see that my link to ted talk is by the same Barry Schwartz who’s interviewed in the radiolab podcast. Interesting, non the less.

  5. @Myrna: That is a good point you make about listening to your intuition, and I love your formulation about “boundaries are not the prisons they are often made out to be”. I might quote you on that one some time!

    @Kristen: Good to hear that it isn´t just me who get overwhelmed. Thanks for the link – I´ll definitely listen to that one!

    @Kjersti: Thanks for the link- Ted talks are the best.:-) And I completely agree with you on the point about keeping stashes small and saving the environment! 🙂

  6. Great post, Solvi. I’m with you on too many choices. I’m constantly seeking structure, constantly trying to deliberately limit my options so I don’t constantly feel dissatisfied with the choices I’ve made (in comparison with the endless possibilities out there). And I believe, in the end, it’s strangely liberating. I’m going to largely sew from my stash this year as well and when I made a list of everything I could possibly make (to prove to myself that I didn’t “need” more to put away for “someday”) I was surprised how long this list actually was.

    Right now we subscribe to a farm, which delivers fresh, local, organic produce to our door every few weeks. Most folks I know would prefer the farmer’s market, all the choice. Always veering toward what they like and away from what they know they don’t like. But I love the challenge of my produce box, knowing that the harvest will choose for me. And now I’m charged with making something delicious out of it. Our palate has expanded, not contracted. Perhaps that was too tangential, but it seems to me the folks that work within a framework spend much less time wringing their hands about what’s “out there.” I like to think of this way: I’m putting myself in a place to be creative and industrious. 🙂

  7. My favorite post of yours (and probably my first comment on your blog!), so far. My year begun with the will to sew and learn more about sewing, and I realized a few days later that this implied a certain rigour, or borders, as you call them. This is why I enoy spring palette challenge so much : it makes it very easy to see these borders (not to mention the fun and the community behind it).

    I love your jazz metaphor : I just began to learn how to play an instrument, and this certainly makes one listen to music differently…

  8. PS: Ali’s comment reminds me of this : there’s a french poetic group (mostly composed of scientists) who took, in a word, the decision to write only with restraint, which is actually the trigger of their creastive process. They’re called the Oulipo and they’re pretty inspirational, too!

  9. Hello Solvi
    What a great post – I agree with you about finding too much choice overwhelming and I think it can sometimes lead to stagnation. I like to set myself constraints and boundaries in my sewing as I find I can work better this way and it often leads to more creativity in the long run! I also used to set boundaries when I was a fineart student too. Interesting about choosing your doctor, here in the Uk youchoose your doctor but then changing can be tricky and also, how do you choose? I chose mine based on geography and the fact they were my boyfriend’s family doctors but in the past I had just stuck a pin in alist!
    Thank you for the comment you left on my post, I also agree that if the charity benefits from increased prices this can only be a good thing but I do know people who are being priced out of the more expensive chairty shops. Ilike your blog

  10. @Ali: Thanks! What a coincidence that you mention it, but we are also subscribing to a box of fresh produce once a week. Sometimes we fail in making something of everything that is in it, but most of the time we can plan our meals according to what´s in there. I love the challenge of it!

    @Carlotta Stermaria: Thanks for the recommendation on Oulipo, I´ll certainly look in to that, and thank you for the kind words, it´s such a great feeling to work with some limitations.

    @Debbie: Thank you! About the doctors; that is exactly what I mean – how can we make choices if we don´t know what to base them on? Great point. And I see your point about the expensiveness of charity shops. It´s a tricky issue, for certain.

  11. Interesting post!
    I agree with you that too many choices can make life more difficult, and that being limited in your choice can make you be more creative. (As a doctor-to-be, I don’t think that applies to health care, though. You might not especially care who you go to, because you’re not frequently sick or don’t suffer from a severe illness, but I do think that it’s important to be able to trust your doctor, be able to talk to them even about feelings or embarrassing problems, and that this isn’t possible with everybody…)

  12. That’s a very interesting and thought provoking post… with a lot of topics brought up, but sticking with just one (sewing) I will say that I am going with the same challenge as you, of working through my stash before allowing myself to buy any more fabric, too!

  13. […] New sewing plans and an award or two. April 11th, 2011 My blue fabric is still uncut, and I am being very indecisive about it all. The thing is, it has such a wonderful sheen, and a plain pencil skirt wouldn´t do that much justice. I´m thinking that some pleats or tucks would help to enhance that quality. Ahhh! The choices! […]

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What I made this month: January

First of all, sorry for not writing sooner, but I ´ve had a splitting headache most of the week, so I really needed to step away from the computer, and try to do other things instead. Now, you don´t have to feel sorry for me, because it´s all my own fault, not working out as… Continue Reading…

28 Responses to What I made this month: January

  1. Love the capelet/jacket. What is it about those kimono sleeves? :). Hooray for the Ceylon blouse love, your fabric is gorgeous. Also love the dress you rescued, that print really is amazing 🙂

  2. Oh, I love them all! Is that cowl shirt from Patrones no 300? I must have that pattern!

  3. What I made this month: January « delfinelise | Wholesale Fabric Buying Guide says:

    […] one I´ve had for ages, but it has always been a bit big. This month I finally adjusted it … Woven Fabric – Google Blog SearchDSC04514.JPG Image by catherinetodd2 Backside of hand woven fabric.Do I have to use cross-stitch […]

  4. @tanitisis: Thanks, kimono sleeves really makes the workd go round 😉

    @PepperToast: Thanks! Yup,, that is from Patrones 300. A wonderful issue, I could make everything in it, I think!

    @Paunnet: Thank you so much!

  5. I don’t know where to start. I couldn’t agree more about the dress print, your ceylon is delightful, and I’m really digging your style in general. Oh, and I might have to take your advice about capes…

  6. Wowee! You have been incredibly productive and I LOVE everything you’ve made! If only I could be half as productive as you are! 🙂 Well done!

  7. Thank you all so much! January is a calm month work- wise for me, so I can be more productive in the sewing department. We´ll see how the rest of the year turns out…. 😉

  8. Love the patrones cowl and the cute fixer upper dress! Yes, I am bad about blogging finished projects–especially the ones that didn’t end up working out for me. And sometimes it seems like posting about a WIP kind of jinxes the project.

  9. wow, you have been really productive. i just found your blog via friday finds by tilly. i love the way your ceylon blouse turned out. that fabric is to die for! 🙂 and i am in love with your kimono sleeved capelet! wonderful work!

  10. I love the Ceylon blouse! Also saw Tanit-Isis’ version. This is definitely something I need to tackle in the future! The piping you did at the waist is a very nice detail.

  11. Thank you all for the lovely comments! I am such a lucky girl to get so much feedback on my work. Thanks! 🙂

    @CGCouture: I know what you mean about jinxing WIP, that was totally what happened to this shirt!

    @Kristen: The book is quite promising, only problem is that I need supplies for making most of the stuff, and that doesn´t fit well into my current stash busting project…

  12. they all look amazing!! i love the blouse shape at the very top! I bought the vogue pattern for the trousers and cape!!! Im stealing your colour idea for the cape :p it looks amazing. Youve been so busy!! My sewing machine is playing silly buggers with me and making me quite sad. Im dropping in two machines to the singer centre on tuesday with my fingers crossed!

  13. @Claire: thank you, I´m looking forward to seeing your progress with thee trousers and cape! And I hope your sewing machine issues are soon to be resolved – sounds frustrating!

  14. Ooh, you have been super productive! This is practically a whole new wardrobe…! I just love the garments you’ve made, and particularly that gorgeous little capelet/blouse. It’s a really cute shape.

  15. I read this a while ago on the train and was drooling with amazement (though I wouldn’t expect anything less from you!) Ceylon blouse, gorgeous! That cowl neck top, brilliant! Tuxedo Junction? Perfecto. And dang, girl, you really know how to wear a skirt (I’m still learning, though I lack the curves that makes this feminine garment so lovely on gals like you). 🙂

  16. I just found your blog from searching for items made from Patrones 300 which was finally delivered today! One of my favourites is the cowl top – and even more so after seeing your lovely version.

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9 Responses to So, what´s next?

  1. Yippeeee…so glad you are going to join the Sewing through the Decades Challenge! It’s a great way to use the vintage patterns (and I’m with you about not having deadlines!) Can’t wait to see more from your 1939 books!

  2. Wow, Solvi! What a great post – a feast for the eyes! Your elastic trims are so pretty!

    I think it’s important to acknowledge that when travelling, as a seamstress, you are inevitably going to buy fabric. I know when I go to San Francisco this year, I’ll come home with fabric. It’s our version of the travel souvenier, don’t you think? Plus, ours can be made into something beautiful.

    Your colour palette for the spring challenge looks great. I’m on board, too, and I’m really inspired. I’m so glad you are continuing with the Hepburn Hepburn Project – I love what you’ve created. I’m also really glad you’re on board for the Sewing Through the Decades Challenge – awesome!! I can’t wait to see what you draft.

    Sarah 🙂

  3. Great post! I love how last year’s challenge is bringing you into a new way of approaching your sewing, which is thoughtful and still fun. I’m so looking forward to what you come up with this year (both in sewing and in pattern-drafting!)

    Like you, I think I’m going to slow down on my sew-alongs. I enjoy the community aspect but have been so slammed that I can’t manage to make a deadline. So after I wrap up the Crepe and the Pendrell, two garments I’d really love to have, I’m on board with you for loosely organized sew-alongs.

    And you’re completely justified in buying fabric in your travels. Think of it as fine dining. A treat, a special occasion 🙂

  4. Thanks for your thoughts on this topic, ladies, I hadn´t even considered that way of approaching fabric shopping as you mention, fine dining or souvenirs. Good points!

    It´ll be fun to see what everyone creates through the 2011 challenges! 🙂

  5. Loved this post – you have an excellent plan for 2011! I agree with you about detailing, it really does make such a difference to a finished garment, and takes it to the next level. Also loving your Moroccan palette, it’s the shots of vivid blue that really make it stand out – can’t wait to see what you make!!!
    And I totally agree with the other commenters about fabric shopping when on holida, 100% justifiable! lol. I’m heading to Zagreb next week and I’m trying to source some fabric shops (no luck yet tho!)!!!

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Score! It seems that my favorite local fabric shop could sense that I´d just bought a serger, because when I went there today, just to pick up some fabric for Christmas presents, there were a myriad of cute knit fabrics in the discount department! So I brought some of them home with me. Some are for me,… Continue Reading…

0 Responses to Knit-o-rama!

  1. Wow! Awesome finds! I love the black & red fabric too – awesome! I’m slowly venturing into the world of knits (eek!). 🙂

  2. Ah! No, I don’t think I’ve seen anything cuter. Looking forward to the loveliness you’ll whip up, Solvi! And that rolled edge function on your serger: So. Jealous. 😉

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0 Responses to Pledges and sustainability.

  1. I’m so glad to have found you through SSS flickr group, what a great blog! I LOVE your grand plan and actually had been thinking about doing something like that myself! Very inspiring work, lady! xxKO

  2. i don’t have any tips for how to get rid of things in your closet, mine is crammed full as well. i find if i’m angry about something or in a random “i need to get rid of everything” mood, then i can cull things for at least 10 or so minutes (until i get out of the mood, try things on to see if they fit etc!). oooh and i love love love the ceylon dress!

  3. my best trick for getting rid of clothes: invite a friend or relative over to help (this is ESSENTIAL), then try on EVERYTHING (not all at once), and have this friend/relation be brutally honest with you (pick someone you’re comfortable with as far as being in your undies, so you can quick-change without leaving the room).
    The main rule is: if it doesn’t look fabulous, it goes.
    You likely have stuff you know you already love and look fab in, and those things can be set to one side, to help cut down on time.
    You are allowed to hold onto some not-so-fab items if all they need is alterations, but they must leave your closet and head for the sewing room right away. If they’re not fixed (or missed) in a month or so, those have to go, too.
    If you just can’t stand to get rid of something, because you made it, or you have strong memories, etc, you can keep it, but again, it has to leave the closet and be stored elsewhere. If you haven’t got that sort of space, take a picture, and let it go.
    My sisters and mom and I try to do this for each other once a year or so. Sometimes it’s a couple years in between. Can’t be done without the friend/relation, though. You have to have someone else there to help keep you going, and to keep you from rationalizing too many items that really don’t work.

    make sure you send it all off to charity/thrift stores, of course (after giving your helper their pick, if they wish). even the stuff that isn’t wearable gets used at those places – one near me bundles up their unsold or unwearable clothes and sends them to Africa (usually), where they are cut into strips and woven into rugs, which helps the impoverished make honest money, etc. Win-win.

    • Oh, thanks Laurel! That is a great idea to get someone to help me. Come to think of it, my sister IS the best clutter police I know. Only problem is she lives a 100 miles (european miles) away, so I´ll have to wait for her next visit. If I don´t suggest this as an activity for my sewing group.

      I love the part you added about the stuff that should be fixed. I have ALOT of stuff in my “ixing bin”, and they´ve been there way much longer than a month. So I´ll probably start there. 🙂

  4. I wrote a similar post yesterday! Last night, I filled two bin bags: one bag has gone into my “storage drawer” and contains my summer clothes; the other contains items for the charity shop. Once I got going, it wasn’t too hard. I still think I need to be more brutal with what’s left and intend to strike again tonight. I also know that I ought to edit the summer bag a bit more, but at least it is out of sight for a few months! One thing I would say: try to do your editing in daylight – then you can identify the items which need to go because they are past saving due to fading / bobbles etc. I feel quite refreshed! P.S. There are some interesting comments appearing on my post you might like to read.

    • Oh, that´s so funny that you did that too, must be the season?
      And the part about daylight, is soo very true.

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Summer Essentials Sew-Along: The Sundress 1

Traditionally, I´ve been a skirt-sewing gal. I have made a million skirts, and when Me-Made-May came around I found that I really didn´t have much else, so now I´m sewing up mostly tops and dresses (although I can´t resist Beignet, and it is already cut…). The latest result of this is Simplicity 2362, or the… Continue Reading…

0 Responses to Summer Essentials Sew-Along: The Sundress 1

  1. Such a pretty colour. I love those dresses that you can just throw on, too. Unfortunately it’s winter here at the moment so I have a whole lot of time to wait before I can justify making one. Otherwise Self-Stitched-September will roll around, it’ll still be chilly out, and all I’ll have to wear will be summer dresses 🙂

    • Thanks. I am starting to worry a bit about September myself, as I´ve gone for the full version this time (I did a lighter one in May), and I think I have, for much to long, ignored the fact that September is in fact autumn here in Scandinavia, and can be beyond chilly….so really, I should stop making summer dresses and start working on a coat or two instead…:-)

  2. Very pretty! I’m starting to fret about self-stitched September too. All my plans for summer sewing have been thwarted by cold weather. It’s July 1 and I’m sitting here in a wool sweater. Grr.

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Summer Essentials Sew-Along: Pool pretty

Sooo, I´m thinking about making a one-piece. Not only sew it, but construct it from the instructions from patternschool.  I want to make this groovy looking halterneck suit, AND I found the most perfect fabric at Beyond Retro in Stockholm. I only hope that the fabric I found is big enough for the pattern. Rye and… Continue Reading…

0 Responses to Summer Essentials Sew-Along: Pool pretty

  1. Holy cannoli, that fabric’s gorgeous!

    I hadn’t even heard of the Pattern School ’til you posted it in the Flickr group. This is an awesome pattern — can’t wait to see it completed! You’ll definitely be groovin’ poolside 🙂

  2. Ah, thanks Ali – we´ll see how it all turns out, never constructed anything this complicated before, but I´m empowered by the fabric. Very exiting. I learned about patternschool over at some discussion over Allison the swimsuit (isn’t that the one you´re making?) on burdastyle.

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Thrift & the City

A couple of days ago I went out on a thrift shopping round. Wow, did I get lucky! I found fabrics for a whole bunch of fun summer projects, and some for the autumn as well. This plaid fabric is an old bed sheet that at the moment is cut, and is to become a pair… Continue Reading…

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