Short boxy tops: BurdaStyle 06/2015 #106

There has been a bit of (totally justified IMO) criticism of Burdastyle magazines lately.But it’s not all bad. Some of those boxy patterns actually turn out alright.

Let me show you my evidence

The cute Felicity version

The trial version without the collar and tie for Mum

For a boxy top I say this is a bit of a winner!

Technical Details

Pattern: BurdaStyle 06/2015 #106

For the mum version, I traced off the dress, BurdaStyle 06/2015 #107 at the blouse level

Size: 36-44, I made a 42 for both Felicity and myself. No we are not the same size. It’s boxy- no need for fancy fitting finnanigans

As you can see, I just turned the sleeve hem under. No proper 3 cm hem for me!

Fabrics

Both are from my local Spotlight store. Mine is a Japanese cotton, Felicity’s is a linen cotton mix with very cute embroidery.

I did flat felled seams on the linen. First time. Woohoo! Love my flat felling foot. Might have done them inside out. Oh well. Beginner.

I didn’t follow Burda’s instructions to cut the button band on the bias. I also doubled it for a bit of extra strength for the button holes (but didn’t interface it)

Buttons

Let me tell you about the buttons.

Mine are vintage hand-me–downs from a lovely elderly church friend. She’s English so they could even be from the UK via a wool coat that gone to a better place.

Yes you can see the selvedge showing through on the button placket. Yes I didn’t use interfacing. Yes I am slap dash. It was a trial version… and I excused??!

Felicity’s buttons are vintage courtesy of Portobello Road markets. Sewing souvenirs are the best souvenirs.

And for a trial version, mine has already had a surprising number of public outings.

I think I like this pattern!

 

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Dashiki Dress: BurdaStyle 07/2011 #131

And now presenting the second of my Philadelphia wax prints in dress form.

I took a long time deciding what to make and how to place the print. Pinterest was most helpful. Also an excellent rabbit hole to fall down in.

(click image for source)

There was lots of draping myself in my fabric length. Several things were auditioned and the highly valued opinion of the craft ladies sought.

As soon as there was a hint of female anatomy from the centre motif, however, that’s all I could see. Even placed horizontally it looked like someone had been working on fit and slashed the fabric to open it up. Being hot pink was not helping.

Then I saw this

Light bulb moment: highlight the border around each panel rather than the centre motif! Use a sheath dress style so I could wear to work if I wanted too.

My version

I repeated the border down the centre back too.

The centre motif on the panels is now only very partially visible at the side seams.

This is BurdaStyle 07/2011 #131 in a size 44

It looks a little tight in the photos, and it is. But it wasn’t. This was one of those occasions when I didn’t prewash the fabric. It turned out perfectly. Then I wore it and washed it. Put it on again less than a week later and it was a bit tight.

Cutting the dress out on the cross grain probably didn’t help: there is no give at all.

(Yes, I love that this pattern has a little capelet too. I still have two panels left and am very tempted to make a matching cape, inspired by this:

For my dress, I made the same changes to the pattern as previously: moved the neckline up a few cm, added a centre back zip and slit, and converted the princess seams to darts. This made pattern matching easier.

The first time I made this dress, the cap sleeves sat out like little wings.

This time I had a very good look at the pattern, and I decided Burda had the markings around the wrong way.

Now they look like cap sleeves.

And finally. With selvedge this good, it would be a shame to turn the hem up.

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Ghost Fish dress: BurdaStyle 07/2016 #117

My love of African wax print fabrics continues to burn strongly. Even after sewing two of them up.

First up was the ghost fish.

This is based on BurdaStyle 07/2016 #117

I really liked the asymmetric and wrapped straps of this design, but I wanted to check the fit and style before committing to the fabric I had in mind for this dress. So I traced off just the right side and mirrored it.

The Fit.

Ahem.

I forgot to measure myself and measure the pattern. I just traced out a 42. Well, at least that’s what I think I did. The bodice and skirt darts didn’t match up, so perhaps I didn’t?? Any way. Whatever.

It was way too tight through the bust and a bit tight through the waist. There was no way that zip was doing up all the way.

I could have donated this dress, but I really wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the fabric.

What to do? I’d already faced and finished the neckline so I didn’t want to open up the princess seams. Since they were already trimmed and overlocked (I know, rookie mistake), I wasn’t going to get much out of them anyway. And there were no side seams. A lovely design feature. But not so good when alternations are required.

So, I had to do it. Had to slice through where the side seams should be, and add a black ‘racing stripe’ down the side. Right through that beautifully positioned dark vertical stripe I had spent quite a bit of time on when cutting out. Oh well. It did give me another 3 cm in width.

Now wearable. And having pockets makes it both wearable and lovable!

Plus who wouldn’t love a navy and yellow dress with ghost fish?!

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Little Christmas cakes in baked bean tins

I know. Its halfway through January and no-one. No. One. cares about Christmas cakes. But they were so cute. I just couldn’t not blog about them.

This is almost entirely the work of He who Cooks. The sewing related contribution was very minor, and only added the finishing touch. Yes. It was cutting the ribbon and securing in place with a pin.

So. What did He who Cooks do?

Well. Baked bean tins are the perfect size for cuteness optimization.

Adding exactly the same amount of cake mix to each tin is greatly facilitated by the scientific method (AKA using scales to measure mass)

Here they are, ready for the oven with their brown paper coat fastened with a kitchen string belt.

A glazed fruit and nut topping. Much easier than icing!

Viola!

Cooking and sewing!

The recipe was from Butcher Baker Baby

Christmas Cake
12 mini (small baked bean tin) cakes

200g glace cherries
500g mixed dried fruit
500g sultanas
zest of one orange
200ml sherry  (He who Cooks used a mixture of sherry and whisky)
225g butter, softened
225g dark brown sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
225g plain flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp mixed spice
50g whole almonds

1) Put cherries and other dried fruits plus zest in bowl and soak in sherry overnight.

2) Line the cake tin: Lightly grease base and sides. Line sides with a double thickness of baking paper that stands 5cm above tin. Make 1 cm cuts at base to help it lie flat. Line base with double layer of paper.

3) Preheat oven to 150°c. Whisk butter and sugar for 5 min till light and fluffy. Whisk in eggs slowly. When almost added, whisk in some flour to stop it curdling. Fold in flour, spices, fruit and almonds. Spoon into lined tin and make a small dip in the middle of the mixture. Wrap tin in a double thickness of brown paper and tie with piece of string. Cook for 60-90 minutes.

 

 

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Christmas dresses

It’s already a week since Christmas and I haven’t posted about Christmas sewing yet. Outrageous. Anyone would think I’ve been on holidays!

Two Christmas dresses were sewn this year.

One for me. One for Felicity. Both Burdastyle patterns. Both in novelty cottons from Spotlight. Both with pockets.

Mine was BurdaStyle 04/2016 #114, lengthened to the dress length of #115 and added #115’s in seam pockets. Appropriately sack-like for Christmas dinner eating.

Felicity chose a more fitted style. But I added a bit of ease in it when I did the FBA. Christmas dinner reasons.

Felicity’s dress is based on BurdaStyle 07/2016 #111

Her version has

  • wide shoulder straps for bra strap hiding reasons
  • less full box pleats for narrow width fabric reasons
  • a shorter skirt, for fashion reasons

It was excessively hot here for Christmas. Cool cotton dresses were perfect.

And now its 2017. Thank you and best wishes to you, the wonderful online sewing community.

Happy New Year!

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Silk chiffon tablecloth dress: BurdaStyle 03/2015 #121

Another awards dinner. What a social whirl wind my life is! Ha. It is. So. Not. But it did mean that another dress required.

The wonderful online sewing community* gave me courage to cut into a silk chiffon that has been in my stash for far too long

*Thanks @bimbleandpimble for hosting #bpsewvember!

This fabric was perfect for this style (Burdastyle 03/2015 #121)

Lining a silk chiffon dress would have been an excellent idea, but instead I purchased a short RTW slip in black.

The black slip ends just above the mid thigh side slits (where my fingers are in the photo below), but all the horizontal lines in the fabric mean it’s not a sharp cutoff line

The only things I did differently to last time was to omit the in-seam pockets and use self made bias rather than a facing for the neckline. The V was a bit tricky. Best not to look too close on the inside. Oh and I also used a selvedge strip to reinforce the zip opening.

I tried not to over stress about pattern matching at seams (impossible shifty fabric to cut out..), so I’m pleased that it turned out not too bad through the centre back zip

So that’s me using the same pattern again… I’m even thinking of making a third version of this dress in a knit. Apart from basics like pencil skirts, I never do that. Have I inadvertently got older and wiser? Heaven forbid!

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Black tie: BurdaStyle Designer original 12/2013 #130

This time the fancy evening frock sewing was for me. He who Cooks and I had a black tie event to attend.

I love how this dress turned out.

I have used this pattern before: Felicity’s year 11 formal. Hers was a fluorescent abstract print. Mine is much more like the designer intended. Black.

Technical details

Pattern: BurdaStyle 12/2013 #130.

Size: 36-44, I made a 42.

Fabric:

I’ve been keeping a cotton nylon self stripe in my stash for just the right project. This was it!

This fabric has great body and it wonderfully crisp, so it was perfect for the bodice and waist tucks. Plus, french seams were a joy to make in this lovely well behaved fabric.

It’s sheerness was not a problem for this design, because there’s a fitted bodice underneath the crop top and the skirt is also lined. I’m pulling the outer skirt away from the lining in the image above, and you might be able to see the slight sheerness of the crop top in the image below.

The tulip skirt shape is flattering and very easy to wear. A long slit at the back helps even though the shape is very pegged.

As you can see, I left the lining loose.

Changes I made:

The main change was to add a beaded embellishment to the neck line to accentuate the style lines.

This lovely beaded trim was from M&J Trimmings in the Garment District of New York City. Sewing souvenirs are the best!

I used two of the flowers on the back too.

The other change, and you can see the evidence (stitching!) above, was to use bias binding instead of facings on the crop top, and for the hem and slit. M of Nonsuch kindly donated the bias binding. So much easier than cutting out self bias. Thanks M!

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