What not to do with scuba: BurdaStyle 05/2011 #108B

Felicity was gifted some floral scuba and she has a church event coming up that needs a nice frock.

Both she and I have wanted to make BurdaStyle 05/2011 #108B for a long time.

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Fabric and an event and a pattern.  Seemed like an excellent coalescing of opportunities and needs.

Or was it?

I traced off a 21 and made a 2.5 cm FBA. The flat pattern measuring and the tissue fitting with the (non stretchy) pattern pieces was a perfect fit in length and width. The scuba bodice was also excellent, on its own, before that heavy skirt was attached.

I forgot that 4 way stretch in fabric with weight and a long full skirt should not be in the same garment. The stretch needed to be corralled into submission with interfacing and interlining and inter everything. I did none of this.

I unpicked, removed length and width and re-attached the bodice and the skirt three times.

Something still had to be done to rescue it.

I made a sash. Out of three small remnants.

It brings that waist back in and covers the evidence that the seaming was still a bit too low.

Now wearable. Phew.

Would have been such a shame to waste this pretty fabric.

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Green lantern dress: based on BurdaStyle 07/2016 #117

Several African wax prints were selected by Felicity when we had mother & daughter time in Paris two years ago. This fabulous green lantern one has been patiently waiting to be turned into a dress since then.

Felicity and I have had various ideas about what to do with it, but nothing had seemed right until she suggested using the same pattern as my ghost fish dress.

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This dress is based on  Burdastyle 07/2016 #117– made symmetric and without the straps.

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Mine was a sort of size 42. I got her to try it on to see how far it was from her size.

Of course it was too big for Felicity though the waist and hips. But the fit through the bust wasn’t too bad.

So. I could trace off a new copy of this pattern in her size and then do an FBA, or I could use the pattern I already had and just take it in from the bust down. A cheaters FBA.

You know what I did.

We both love the dress. This story ended well!

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Dress code ‘smart casual – frolicking in the fields’. Or what I sewed for my brother’s wedding

What do you do when you receive a wedding invitation with a dress code like this?

You buy new fabric and make two new dresses. Of course! What other option was there?

I had ‘nothing’ already suitable in my wardrobe or fabric stash. And it was a spring wedding in Queensland so I couldn’t be sure of the weather on the day. I needed at least two options….

This is the one I wore. Aren’t the textiles in the hotel lobby excellent?

This dress is a repeat of what seems to be becoming my TNT sheath dress, based on BurdaStyle 02/2014#141. Made up in scuba. Previous versions blogged already and I’m sure I’ll be making more. There are some further fit adjustments needed.

With this one, the bust apex was too low so I did a lazy short bodice adjustment: I took 2 cm out of the shoulder seam and then adjusted the sleeve by taking the same 2 cm out of the sleeve seam. I know. Not the right way to do it. But. Scuba. #forgiving

If you look hard you can see that the bust dart is still a bit low. You can also see the awesome sleeve head dart that this design has.

I really like this print.

I even like the chopped up pattern through the back!

I added a zip, but it is not needed because my scuba has enough stretch.

And this is the dress I didn’t wear.

This is Burdastyle 05/2010 #139 in a border print viscose. The border print is subtle –  a great big white triangle with climbing flowers reaching more than halfway through the width.

I’ve loved this pattern for a long time.

Kimono Dress 5/2010

Gotta love Burda’s photo shoots.

Who wouldn’t want to be wearing a dress like this while hanging out your washing, in heels, in a gorgeous light filled historic Rome apartment with your hot Italian man lying on the bed with his shirt off? Presumably because he only has one set of clothes and they are in the wash? Come to think of it, even better would be to be the one on the bed doing nothing while your hot Italian man hangs out the washing in his underclothes. Sigh. One can dream. About living in Italy.

Back to the sewing.

The design is supposed to be lined but my viscose didn’t need it.

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This meant I finished the neck differently.

First I stabilised the neck edge with cotton tape on the right side to try to keep the bias under control (and woven viscose has got to be the worst fabric to try and sew on the bias!)

Then I sewed on bias tape right side to wrong side, trimmed and flipped to the front and then topstitched it down. Viola. Facing and trim all done.

This is what it looked like on the wrong side before I trimmed off the extra and sewed the bodice edge to the skirt. No lining, but a clean finish and the bias edge supported.

Everything else was standard, apart from length – my dress is 10 cm longer than drafted. I wanted to get all of that border printed triangle of white on the skirt!

I like this design, but I’m not convinced the pink bias trim and ribbon is the best addition.

Black or another darker colour would have been better. But, refer to wedding invitation instructions above. Spring hues it was.

Spring. Such a lovely time of the year. This is the view looking up through the blossoming Manchurian pear tree in my front garden last weekend. #nofilter. The sky really was that blue. Of course two days later it was cold again…

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Pencil skirts and turtle necks

No, I have not yet made an A-line skirt.  But I have made five pencil skirts and two turtlenecks. Why isn’t there a sewing related version of the Twelve Days of Christmas? Ahem, I digress.

Five pencil skirts. Why? Well.  All of the skirts in my wardrobe made from my go to TNT pencil skirt pattern had ‘shrunk’. Not sure why…..I’m sure it’s nothing to do with my chocolate habit.

I turned to a new pegged pencil skirt pattern, BurdaStyle 10/2012 #145 and traced off a size up (a 46).

Five skirts later and I have a new TNT pattern.

My first version was a wearable muslin – a stretch woven with an elasticised waist, no walking vent and no zip. Baby steps. The fit was a bit on the big size.

Still, I’ve worn this skirt quite a bit. It’s a good cool weather casual skirt. Yes it creases. Yes that is a Monroe turtleneck. More on that later.

Encouraged by this I made a second version in a grey pinstripe woven with no stretch. Lovely fit through the hips but the waist was a bit on the big size. Perhaps I’m not a 46? Perhaps I should have added the waistband this style is drafted with?  Despite the looseness, I have worn this a lot this winter. It’s fabulous for work in my corporate environment.

I then jumped to a yellow double knit jersey with an elasticised waist. Because I wanted a yellow skirt and I had this fabric in the stash. Yellow brightens up my work day!

I made a mistake with the cutting out though and forgot to extend up the waist to incorporate the elastic. No problem I thought. I’ll just cut out a separate waistband/ facing.

See that annoying bubble? That’s what happens when you attach a facing waistband with over-locking and then add elastic.

Another ‘innovation’ for this skirt was to line it with tricot. Lovely to wear.

I still haven’t hemmed the lining. Bad sewist.

Version four was made in souvenir fabric. A Japanese linen cotton woven from Raystitch in London last year.

By this stage I’d nailed the fit.

This skirt is lined and has a grosgrain ribbon waistband/facing

The final version was in pleather. And I seem to have a lot of silly and overexposed photos of it

I added a centre front seam and a curved hem.

Not the best skirt to sit down in!

Everything got topstitched. I couldn’t iron it flat but I could sew it flat.

This skirt was lined too. Leopard print seemed the only suitable choice for faux ostrich.

I used an invisible zip. I suspect I’ll regret that soon when it breaks and I have to unpick it. I top stitched here too.

I faced the hem with premade wide bias binding. And top stitched that too. This project was top stitching heaven.

And the two turtlenecks? You’ve seen them already.

They were made with Tessuti’s free Monroe pattern.

I cut the neck band down to half the height. A swan like neck I do not have.

My stripy version was shortened by 5 cm but the ‘foxes in London’ print version was exactly as drafted.

The print on this fabric is almost too cute for words.

I’ve got to say, though, that the lack of accuracy slightly annoys me. A fox as big as a bus??! A row boat the size of three trees?!!

So that’s my story of basics. My wardrobe thanks me.

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Secret pajamas maxi skirt: BurdaStyle 12/2015 #115

I’ve been trying some new silhouettes, styles, techniques and fabrics recently. Not all successfully.

I think this skirt might, just, however, sneak over the line into the success category. Although I am challenged with styling it.

Dowdy with my liberty shirt.

More successful as pseudo evening wear with a velvet top. Think how much better this would look if I’d stopped by the hair and makeup department before photography!

I know. It’s hardly revolutionary for a sewist to make a maxi skirt. But that’s not the point. It is for me. I haven’t made or worn a maxi skirt for years. It’s pencil skirts all the time for me.

This non pencil skirt is BurdaStyle 12/2015 #115B

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I went a bit off piste and used a double knit, swapped out the normal interfaced waistband for an elastic one and skipped the zip. That turned the skirt into secret pajamas.

The yoke is a nice feature.

I like the lines of the wrap front.

The back hangs nicely too (or would if I properly straightened it)

I also like the freedom of movement this style gives me! And it doesn’t seem to come at the expense of wardrobe malfunctions.

You really have to try hard and flip that top wrap layer up to show much leg.

This is a good pattern.

Who knows what will happen next? Perhaps… gasp…an A-line skirt instead of another pencil skirt?!

Or … I’ll use a Frixion pen for the first time?

I am so adventurous!

 

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My jacket journey to Itch to Stitch’s Hvar

My wardrobe is lacking in me made work appropriate winter jackets.  Not really surprising. Jackets, done properly, can be a lot of work.

So, I purchased a lovely silvery grey ponte from Tessuti with a soft but semi-structured jacket in mind. And spent a delightful few days looking through my patterns and being distracted by all sorts of other projects before settling on BurdaStyle 08/2013 # 106.

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I made a toile from leftover scuba to check the fit and to see how the style might look in a semi structured stretch fabric. Yes, I used two different remnants.

Gorgeous isn’t it!

And then I got cold feet. I decided that a woven stretch cashmere wool blend in my stash would be a much better match for this pattern. And also, a lot more work because proper tailoring would be required. So that project is still on the to-do list.

I still wanted to use the silvery ponte, so my next pattern choice was the Hvar Jacket by Itch to Stitch.

Itch to Stitch Hvar Jacket

This is a new to me pattern company.

I couldn’t possibly cut into that lovely silvery ponte without a toile! But I didn’t have enough of any other stable stretch fabric I was prepared to sacrifice for a toile.

So this time I committed to making a wearable muslin from a stretch synthetic suede that has been in my stash for almost as long as I’ve been a mum (Felicity has just turned 20…)

Yes, you know where this is going: silvery ponte still in the stash. I’m thinking it would make a great winter frock…

I’m very happy with my new suede blue jacket! It’s a nice mix between waterfall cardigan and formal jacket. With none of the work of tailoring or even lining.

This is a straight size 12 made up in a stretch synthetic suede. This fabric has about 10% stretch in one direction only.

I took the sleeve hems up a cm or two more than drafted but otherwise this is straight out of the packet, so to speak (it’s a PDF).

It’s not perfect but I’m happy enough with the fit. Good decision to make a wearable muslin. It’s very wearable!

And that blouse underneath the jacket?

I started making it last year and then got distracted.  It’s BurdaStyle 04/2010 #114 in Liberty’s strawberry thief tana lawn

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I traced a size 44 and cut out as instructed except no pocket and no back loop. I’m happy with how it fits.

My efforts to pattern match paid off. There is something very satisfying about getting pattern matching right!

I didn’t use standard interfacing. Instead I used a cotton linen remnant as a sew in interfacing. I know no one can see it. But I loved this fabric and although the dress I made from it is long gone, it can live on with me in this shirt.

The ‘interfacing’ was fabric bought in the USA, the Liberty was purchased in the UK, the pattern is from Germany, I used Closet Case Files instructions from Canada for the collar points and the whole lot was sewn in Australia.

Multi-nationalism at its best!

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Sophie wins: BurdaStyle 03/2018 #117

M of Nonsuch and I have just enjoyed a delightful sewing weekend. One of the daughters benefited more than either of us planned.

So. How does that work?

Something to do with everything looks good on her perhaps?

M made Tessuti’s Alice top in a delighted watermelon linen from Spotlight. It was remodeled into a cropped top and claimed by her daughter. Read all about it here.

I made BurdaStyle’s Cardigan 03/2018 #117 in a smudge-y gray oyster knit from my stash.

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I know. It looks like a shapeless garment. It is. I was seduced by Meg’s version and I thought it might work as part of a corporate wardrobe.

Mmm. No.  It is really so much better on S as part of a casual outfit than it is on me as something to wear to work.

And in other news, Smitten Kitchen has the best recipes for delicious cake!

This weekend we enjoyed her Cannoli Cake

.and just in case the link doesn’t work, here’s the recipe, with the very minor changes made by He who Cooks;

Cannoli Pound Cake
1 cup caster sugar
Finely grated zest from 1 orange
Finely grated zest from 1 lemon
1/2 cup olive oil
250 grams ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 pinches allspice
1 1/2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
1 cup mini-chocolate chips
about 1/4 cup walnuts and the same of apricots, chopped small

Heat oven to 175°C. Coat a standard (8 1/2-x-4 1/4″) loaf pan with butter.

Place sugar in a large bowl, and add zest. Whisk in olive oil, ricotta and eggs. Sprinkle baking powder, salt, cinnamon and allspice over wet ingredients, then whisk to combine. Gently stir in flour, then chocolate, nuts and apricots until just combined.

Scrape into prepared loaf. Bake in oven for 55 to 65 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out batter free. Let cool on wire rack in pan for 15 minutes, then invert out onto rack to finish cooling. Cake is great the first day, and even more amazingly moist on the second and third. Just ask the craft ladies!

Very yummy.

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