Yes folks... I am finally finished with the Burda 7616 felt pants project. This is one of those projects that feels like it took forever. When I look back I realize I just picked the thread color 13 days ago...
The pants were mostly finished last weekend but there were a few issues that needed to be attended before anyone could see them. The pattern modifications I made while great in my sheet muslins were not working out for the thick felt. Mostly I had too much fabric in the crotch area which while comfortable, was very strange looking. Also the button ended up being too far inside the waist band and the waist itself was a little loose.
To fix these issues I ripped out the entire crotch and cut off the excess fabric, opened the center back seam and resewed it smaller, and cut the button hole bigger. Oh yeah, the first buttonhole was totally mangled so I pulled out all that and hand wrapped some stitches around the hole. It's felt so these stitches are mostly decorative anyway since it's not unraveling.
In sewing these pants I tried to keep the following in mind:
- conservative use of bright orange top stitching thread, I didn't want these to look like a joke when I was done.
- take time for small details that will make these pants unique
- reduce bulk anywhere I could including using raw edges where appropriate
- only use notions I had in stock, no buying extra stuff
The raw edges turned out great and being felt are actually hard to notice. I used them on the cargo pockets, side seam pocket facing, leg opening, inside waist band, belt loops, inside welt pockets, all seam allowances. Speaking seam allowances. The wool doesn't really take a crease which means the seam allowances sort of flop around inside the pants. I have three options: Leave them as they are, trim them short which might loose seam integrity, or the most correct.. to hand stitch them down similar to blind stitching a hem. I might get around to this if I'm really bored in the next week, we'll see.
I reduced the size of the cargo pockets even more since I sewed the pattern the first time. The slim pocket just looks so much better. I also included a facing on the front side seam pockets this time and I was sure to turn my pocket bag fabric so no matter if you were looking inside the pants or inside the pocket the right side faced you. I'm sure I'm not the first to do this but I felt rather crafty thinking of this. I also choose to overcast the raw pocket bag edge instead of using the serger since I feel it makes things look more handcrafted. I also prefer this type of treatment for pocket bag finishing because it's flatter and helps avoid seeing the bag outline on the outside of the pants.
I almost forgot to mention the welt pockets. As suggested by a reader I tried out Kathleen Fasanella's welt pocket tutorial over at her blog fashion-incubator.com. I will admit, I had to read it quite a few times and go back and forth to really understand what I was doing but WOW, that technique makes a easy and beautiful welt pocket. I might ever call it fool proof but don't want to offend anyone who can't make it work. Considering this is my second attempt at a welt pocket and first using this system I've basically mastered the technique. Just another reason to love the work Kathleen is doing over there.
Top stitching in orange is very cool and really pops on the dark gray I used just enough to give these pants some youth without trying to hard to be trendy. The pants are very heavy and the fabric doesn't fall away from your body but rather clings and bunches. I think next time I come across some wool felt I'll make jeans from it instead of slacks.
The slide show includes a lot of captions explaining details of construction: