26 April, 2010

Corduroy capers

Being in the throes of an utterly fabulous spring, I persuaded my child to part with his fave (mom-made) wool slacks. Kids being the perfidious creatures that they are, the only way I succeeded in prying the wool off his legs was, a la matador, by waving some new mom-made slacks in his general direction.
 One of the really great things about accumulating fabric for oneself is that useful freebies do periodically accrue. Here, two lengths of fine-wale cotton corduroy.  Nice enough, but not necessarily what I see myself wearing to work. Freshly armed with the confidence in trouser-making that the Jalie jeans and, not least, Jalie instructions, recently gave me, I knocked out two pairs (one olive, one blue) from the Burda 9699 slacks pattern above. Loose fitting indeed!  Why is it that pattern companies assume that you're going to squeeze your child's belly like Mammy did Scarlett's (You done had a baby, Miss Scarlett, an' you ain' never goin' to be no eighteen an' a half inches again - never.)  Really, if not for the fact that I added elastic to the back waistband, he'd probably have had to wait till next spring to wear them.  I confess I omitted the back pockets - as a matter of fact, I had to fight hard my urge to sew the front pockets shut too - kids slouching about with their fists stuffed in pockets - precisely like in the pattern pics above - are one of my pet peeves. These are the first pants with pockets I made for him, actually.

Moving on.  I realized I had just enough remnants left over to make a very nice unlined spring jacket to match the two pants pairs.  Yes, using the Burda 9700 pattern above. 

I managed to squeeze out two pockets, upper collar, upper cuffs, and cuff openings with the blue. And was lucky indeed to find buttons of the exact shade of brilliant blue.  Dad gets the credit for the matching blue headphones :)

As things go, this was a relatively painless set of projects.  The Singer buttonholer is a veritable godsend! No pain buttonholes henceforth, oh thank you Mr. Singer!  Lovely, quick, easy, beautifully reproducible.  Not only that, but since I already had the cover over the feed teeth, for the first time in my sewing career I tried to sew the buttons on by machine (using the zig-zag stitch).  Whaddya know, it worked!  Six buttonholes and six buttons all done before morning coffee got cold - a winning morning!

I also learned something very useful with this project:  sewing corduroy is delightful - the stuff sticks together like glue, seams stay straight, fabric doesn't overstretch, and as long as one remembers not to overpress, especially from the right side, the results are very consistent and pretty.  Shhhhh! don't tell the boy child - he's of an age when pretty no longer applies.


  1. Awesome outfit! I love the blue - particularly that it manages to coordinate with the headphones. Very cool, mom and dad! I also have only recently discovered the wonder of the Singer buttonholer and button sewing on by machine. Where has that been all my life??

  2. That's a terrific outfit! Very upscale RTW looking, only better!

  3. What a fabulous jacket! I'm doing the first shorts ever for my boys - turned out so-so for the older one, hope to do better for the younger one. I've got to check out Burda patterns for boys...