Using the ‘right’ side of the fabric

Thank you for your kind comments on my last post about my reversible skirt. It is a bit ridiculous that making such a simple garment has been so pleasing, but it seems that lots of you are with me on this!

Now, I promised to show you the more mundane use of this fabric.

This simple dress is version #4 of Burdastyle 07/2011 #131.

It’s much roomier than the last version I made. I’m putting that down to the much looser weave of linen cut on the straight grain for #4 versus using tightly woven cotton cut on the cross grain for #3.

Linen and loose fitting – perfect for hot humid weather when I still need to look pulled together. It’s already been worn multiple times.

This time I cut the sleeves on (I butted the side bodice and cap sleeve pattern pieces together, ignoring the wrongly marked seam numbers)

The focus on pattern matching was balancing the vertical stripes down the centre back and front and matching horizontally though the side seams, – not the shoulders! As you can see.

Next up:

The last warm weather shirt dress for Felicity, in her choice of quilting cotton. Australiana rules!

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The dilemma of reversible fabrics

I know which side of the fabric is the right side, but what if I like the wrong side too? That makes it an unintentionally reversible fabric, right?

This fabric is a delightful Italian linen from a high end English menswear line. I was lucky enough to visit Ditto fabrics in Brighton in the UK last year, and this is one of my souvenirs. The right side is the classic navy and white plaid. The reverse has a beautiful bronze coating.

So, what to do?

I did what any sensible sewist would do. I squeezed two garments out of my fabric length.

And made one of them reversible. (I think that means I made three garments…)

The main garment hasn’t even been photographed yet. The squeezed-out-of-the-remnant-and-made-reversible simple pencil skirt? That’s today’s story!

The hem is fringed.

I zigzigged and then pulled out threads

The waist was finished on the brown side with grosgrain.

I turned under the seam allowance at the waist and topstitched the ribbon on. Hardly noticeable on the ‘right’ side.

The darts were top stitched down too.

The zip was exposed on the navy side

And even a more ‘exposed’ on the brown side

I ran the grosgrain ribbon down the seam underneath the zip, to cover the seam allowance.

Looks like that ribbon goes all the way from top to bottom, doesn’t it?!

The other seam got flat fell treatment

and a bias strip covered slit at the hem.

I love this skirt!

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Linen wrap skirt: BurdaStyle 02/2015 #109

More sewing for Felicity

This skirt was made with the same fabulous embroidered linen I’d used earlier for a boxy top.

It’s a lovely wrap style with box pleats front and back and enormous pockets.

Pattern: BurdaStyle 02/2015 #109B

Size: 36-44, I made a 42. It’s a bit big on Felicity, but, being a wrap style, this just means the centre front pleat overlaps a bit at the waist

I ran out of fabric and had to piece the waistband with plain white linen: Felicity’s skirt has a seam at the top of the waistband with plain white linen as the backing, and all of the back pieces and ties completely in plain white. She wrapped the ties back to the front in these photos and then wore a boxy over blouse, so you can’t see them at all.

I top stitched the pleats and flat felled the side seams. And then covered the seams up with enormous wrap around pockets. You could fit a novel in these, with room to spare!

I like this skirt and this style a lot. Perhaps I might steal it from her wardrobe. Or make myself one of my own…

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Fun Sewing: Cleo Dungaree Dress

Does a 50 year-old woman need a teal blue dungaree dress?

Did she sew one anyway?

Course she did!

And put all the pockets on the front …

…and the tiny slit at the back, because she didn’t pay enough attention to the (excellent) instructions.

Pattern: Tilly and the Buttons Cleo

Size: I made a 6 in the longer length

Fabric: Stretch cotton denim in my favouite colour. This fabric is a long term stash dweller; an online purchase from Gorgeous Fabrics over 4 years ago.

Jeans buttons are so much fun to hammer in.

Mine are from the Button Bar in Adelaide Arcade and they are the two pronged ones. They didn’t go in perfectly straight , because I am an amateur button hammerer, so I hope they hold okay.

Fun to sew, fun to wear.

I love my Cleo!

 

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Party at the back dress: BurdaStyle 08/2014 #116

Looks like a sweet little dress at the front

But it’s all party at the back with its lower back cut out, full skirt and mullet hem

Yes, I added pockets.

Because. Pockets are a Thing.

Technical details

Pattern: BurdaStyle 08/2014 #116

Size: I made a 42 with a 2.5 cm FBA. I didn’t sew up the vertical dart that this adjustment added, just gathered the bodice waist into the skirt. The waist is elasticized, so you’d never know. Except I just told you.

The fabric was Japanese cotton from my local Spotlight store. It was only 105 cm wide, so I added a centre back seam to the skirt. With the selvedge in the seams so I don’t forget.

The centre back seam meant I didn’t need to add an eyelet or button hole for the ties to come out, because I could just leave an opening in the seam.

Burda’s instructions for the elastic and ties were particularly bad. I ditched them and just did what Dawn of Two On, Two Off did.

Other changes: I didn’t line the bodice, but used self bias binding for the neck and armscyes instead.

It’s about 6 cm shorter than Burda drafted, and Felicity is above average height. We were going for more of a sundress vibe than a long and flowing tea dress.

And look! Sunbeams!

I love this dress! Think Felicity likes it too…

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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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