Fearless February Project: Burda Style 7441

I am currently at work on my Fearless February Project.  This sew-along was started by Victoria, and her blog, Ten Thousand Hours of Sewing, is based on the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

In the book, Gladwell expounds the value of the “10,000 Hour Rule”, where success and mastery of something can be achieved but requires 10,000 hours of practice.  It makes me feel really motivated and positive about my sewing since as a beginner, I sometimes feel overwhelmed with all there is to learn.  But, with this idea in mind, I believe that I can achieve success in sewing!

I’m a fan of Gladwell’s writing and if you have not checked him out, he has published several books and they all infuse a fresh twist into the subjects of modern psychology and philosophy.

Okay, with that in mind, here is the Fearless February Project:  Burda Style Pants 7441.Burda 7441 Pattern  I began this project last year before ever having sewn a thing, and it was far too overwhelming.  And, in retrospect, it was not a good choice for an absolute beginner for several reasons: 1) The pattern is a Burda and I have been told they can be notorious for not providing the most detailed or complete instructions.  2) It is rated as a 3 out of 4 on a difficulty level.  3) Tailored pants are more difficult to sew than a simple skirt or top.  And, 4) These pants have a lot going on including, two different styles of pockets, darts, pleats, zipper.

However, with some experience under my belt, a slew of practice hours logged and a variety of projects completed, I felt ready to tackle these pants again.

All pattern pieces have been cut out, including lining and interfacing.  Pants Pattern Pieces Cut Out

The very first task (after sewing the back darts) was to construct the back welt pockets.  Wow, these were difficult to understand, the directions and pictures were not very explanatory and there seemed to be a few placement marks missing on the pattern pieces (i.e., sew lines for piping and pocket attachment).  But, with the help of my sewing teacher, and a few tears, I have now completed the back welt pockets!!  Back Welt PocketBack Welt Pocket InsideThere was a definite learning curve, and, one pocket looks better from the outside while the other pocket worked out nicely from the inside.  So, for the next pants, I should be able to construct a pocket that looks good from both the outside and inside.  I am now on to the front of the pants.  Wish me luck!

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Sleeping in Style (with Monkeys)

So, this years Christmas gifts were….wait for it……sleepwear for everybody! YIPPEE!!

Father and Son Coordinating PJs

Father and Son Coordinating PJs

Pajama bottoms, a matching camisole and nightgowns.

Run Little Mister Monkeypants Run!!

Run Little Mister Monkeypants Run!!

Green Nightgown with Coordinating Fabric (and monkey fabric yo-yo on the front)

Green Nightgown with Coordinating Fabric (and monkey fabric yo-yo on the front)

I did not make the jersey t-shirts (I’m still working on inserting sleeves as well as learning to sew with knits), so I bought T-shirts and just embellished them with monkey appliques and matching fabric appliqued on.

Little Mister Monkeypants

Little Mister Monkeypants

The green Jammies set were all based off of the Monkey fabric, so they all coordinated with camouflage patterns, shades of green and monkeys.

Pajamas and Nightgown in Coordinating Fabric

Pajamas and Nightgown in Coordinating Fabric

I also added coordinating fabric to the hems and waistbands of some of the pajama bottoms as well as to the chest pieces and straps of the nightgowns.  And note the blue monkey slippers that match with the blue linen nightgown.

Blue Linen NIghtgown with Embossed Paisley Pattern (and coordinating monkey slippers)

Blue Linen NIghtgown with Embossed Paisley Pattern (and coordinating monkey slippers)

Nightgown in Blue Linen with Embossed Paisley Pattern

Nightgown in Blue Linen with Embossed Paisley Pattern

Who doesn’t love monkeys???!!!

Matching Pajama Camisole Top and Bottoms

Matching Pajama Camisole Top and Bottoms

Coordinating Pajama Camisole Style Top and Bottoms

Coordinating Pajama Camisole Style Top and Bottoms

Red and White Stars Cotton Pajama Bottoms

Red and White Stars Cotton Pajama Bottoms

(photo courtesy of The Guardian-uk)

photo courtesy of The Guardian-uk, of a kitty sleeping in style, with a monkey.

How to Construct a Waistband Casing

A waistband casing consists of a tunnel sewn to accommodate a drawstring or elastic at the top of a skirt or pants and at the waistline of a dress.  A casing can also be used at the hems of sleeves and pants.  You will need to fold the fabric towards the wrong side and press about 0.75 cm (quarter-inch), then fold down again the width of the elastic or drawstring, plus about 1 cm (half an inch).  Sew the casing closed, all along the garment, leaving a 4 cm (2″) opening.  Optional:  You can also edgestitch all the way around the top of the casing.  This flattens out the gathers at the hemmed edge and neatens the look.

Bodkin with Drawstringand Safety Pin with Elastic

Bodkin with Drawstring
and Safety Pin with Elastic

Using either a bodkin or a safety-pin attached to one end of the elastic or drawstring, thread the item through, being careful not to pull the opposite end into the casing.  For an elastic, overlap the two ends about 1 cm (half-inch), sew together and insert back into casing.  Adjust gathers and sew the casing closed.  For a drawstring, you will need to insert two buttonholes, approximately 2 cm (1″) apart at the front of the garment, within the casing, in order for both ends of the drawstring to exit and be tied.  The buttonholes can be placed so that the drawstring exits at either the inside or the outside of the garment.

Waistbands with Elastic Casing (left) and Drawstring Casing (right)

Waistbands with Elastic Casing (left) and Drawstring Casing (right)

You can also add a casing of different fabric, instead of folding down the fabric of the existing garment.  For this, you would do as above, but instead of adding the amount you calculated for the casing onto your original fabric, you would measure this amount onto the new fabric and cut it out.  You will also have to add another 0.5 cm (5/8″) or whatever is your seam allowance, as you will be attaching the casing to your garment.