Third time’s a charm? BurdaStyle 02/2014 #141

Not a very accurate title, as fourth time may be the charm. But whatevs

Diagonal Panel Dress (Plus Size) 02/2014

I really like this pattern. Have wanted to make it for a long time. Finally it made it to the top of my to sew list.

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As I was drafting it, I realised how fabulous it would be as a simple sheath dress for border prints. And I had a laser cut faux suede in my stash that would be perfect.

I could not get this idea out of my head.

I know the fabric has absolutely no stretch (its backed with some sort of black synthetic layer).

I know sheath dresses are uncomfortable in fabrics with no stretch. Ask me how I know. African wax fabric cut on the cross grain, I’m looking at you.

I know I’ve put on weight and am probably not the same size. Perimenopause, its all your fault, not my diet or lifestyle.

I went ahead anyway.

You know how this ends.

The style was fine.

The cut outs on the hem worked really well.

It has a lovely darted sleeve head.

But the sizing, not so good.

Sadly it’s too tight through the upper body and sleeves. So tight I can’t move my arms to even try and zip it up. Once zipped up it dreadfully uncomfortable and reminiscent of sausages. I’ve spared you the photographic evidence.

The dress is now waiting for me to lose weight. Or turn it into a skirt. Now that’s an excellent idea!

But I still saw possibilities with this pattern. I added width to the pattern and made another version in a scuba print.

I know.  I’ve both sized up and used a fabric with stretch. Not the cleverest move.

This scuba print has the best pattern (also I love my strawberry thief background).

I finished the neck with bias binding. And scuba meant no zip and easy zig zag hemming. Colour matched of course!

It’s a very comfortable dress to wear, but this ridiculously busy print hid the fitting issues.

It’s too big through the back and the bust darts are too low.  But I only know that because I made third version. I don’t notice any of this with this fun dress.

The third version was made with a ponte and another stretch woven from my stash, both with LOTS of 4 way stretch.

Look at all that extra fabric through the back!

I really am not winning with my fabric choices!

But my children are delightful.

Bottom line is that

  • I love this pattern
  • I wish I had been smarter with adjusting the fit
  • A fourth version, that fits perfectly, with some of the width taken back out, needs to be made
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Sewing Competitions

Sewing competitions. Why do I enter? Because I love the community feel of being part of something bigger than me and my sewing machine.  Not so much because I think I could actually come first. The skill of entrants in these competitions is truly humbling.

Plaid matching and excellent grading and looking as good inside as out? And everything else fabulous about sewing? Love it. But not anywhere near as much fun when it has to be done to a deadline and someone else’s schedule!

Tessuti Fabrics runs a competition every year and the fabrics are always interesting and often very desirable.  I didn’t participate the last two years and regretted this, either when the fabric sold out while I procrastinated, or after the competition ended and I saw what could be done with the fabric in the hands of fabulously creative sewists. Or both.

This years competition fabric was a cotton linen viscose spandex blend plaid. It wasn’t instantly appealing… but FOMO struck so I purchased.

Then, what to do? I fell down a Vivienne Westwood early nineties Anglomania rabbit hole. Pinned lots of inspiration and potential patterns.

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Draping would be so much fun. Ruth of Corecouture has made some fabulous garments this way. Studio Faro is another inspiration.

Then reality hit. Very busy at work. No way I had time to play with draping and pattern making if I wanted to make the competition deadline. I should have stopped there and realised the competition was the problem. I didn’t.

Even my sewing machine was trying to warn me with this project!

I wanted something draped and maybe a bit twisted to have fun with the plaid.

What about Burda? Surely Burda had some skirt designs over the last ten years that were Westwood-esque? I could make a top too. Combined they would look like a dress, but I’d have options with other garments. The colours should work with my sort of summer corporate wardrobe SWAP. Good plan I told myself!

Burda didn’t disappoint. Several options, but I kept coming back to this.

Flat pattern measures told me I needed to draft a size up. Bit tricky with the strangely shaped pattern piece, but a competition should have some challenges shouldn’t it?

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Decisions, decision, decisions. Should I put the waistband on the bias or straight grain? The back skirt is on the straight grain, so I went for bias for the waistband. Love how this looks.

I love the bias binding finish on the inside of the armscye too. What can I say? Simple pleasures!

But what about the front of the skirt? It’s a mix of directions. I went for the front waistband on the straight grain. Hindsight says it would be better on the bias too.

I shamelessly copied Ruth and made a matching top using Paco Peralta’s draped front top pattern. BTW this is a fabulous pattern. I already have several versions in my wardrobe and wear them a lot.

So, how do they look together?

Hmm. Interesting. Almost like a dress.

The top will probably get worn more often on its own. Like this. Perhaps with better shoes. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE these shoes. But I do  wear them way too much.

Also I added about 5 cm length and next time I won’t. I know. I could just reduce the hem on this one right now.

But then I’d lose most of that lovely upside down V on the side seam.

And what did everyone else make from this fabric? Some absolutely spectacular things. On Pinterest here, and on Instagram with #tessutisklinescomp.

Note to self. Buy the competition fabric if it appeals. Sit back and watch what everyone else does if unsure or uninspired or time poor or all of the above. Make something later, when I feel like it.

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Is it still Summer? Another Kalle Shirt dress

The equinox has been and gone but it still feels like summer. Highs of over 30oC. No wonder I’m still sewing for warm weather!

Yes another Kalle shirt dress. This time in tencel. I love this pattern. This is the fourth time I’ve used it. And I’m not tired of it yet.

Some of the features of this version

Length

I added an extra 10 cm because I knew I’d be more comfortable, especially wearing it with a belt. Here shown with a simple self fabric tie.

Collar

I finally made a version with a collar! I removed 10 mm in height for both the stand and the collar because it looked a bit big to me and I don’t have swan-like neck.

Yes I did match my inner yoke to the soft furnishings. Yes I do love William Morris designs. Just in case you were wondering.

The collar turned out lovely, but probably would also be fine as drafted.

I was lazy and didn’t draft a separate undercollar –  just took a few mm off the second collar piece after cutting it out.

Pockets

This version has both a breast pocket and in seam pockets

The inseam ones are from Tessuti Patterns Bella dress and my topstitching shows up their clever design.

Back Vent

I sewed the vent back together again at the waist to help control the fullness when belted, but it looks good without the belt too

Here’s some with and without belt images to show you what I mean.

Topstiching

Navy and yellow make me happy.

I topstitched almost everything I could, including the side seams.

You can also see that I didn’t use self bias bindng for the hem.

I sewed this dress at a sewing weekend with M of NonSuch, and this was her gift to my dress.

Sewing weekends and sewing friends are the best!

This weekends project is a struggle with Tessuti Fabrics sewing competition fabric.

It’s not all going smoothly…

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Something old and something new

Well this is an unexpected bonus. My new sparkly linen top works very well with one of my old favourites.

This skirt was recently rescued from the depths of my wardrobe. It’s a bit faded but still loved!

But let me tell you about the fabric in my top.

It’s a coated linen from The Fabric Store in Sydney.

No I don’t live in Sydney. But I have worked out I can fit in a quick visit to The Fabric Store on the way to the airport if my Sydney meeting finishes by 3:30 PM. And lots of them do.

Both The Fabric Store, and Tessuti Fabrics Surry Hills store, are located close to Central train station. Hop off the T8 line out to Sydney airport. Take a short walk there and back, then continue on your way to catch your flight. With new fabric…

The Fabric Store also has an excellent and extensive selection of Liberty. Even some on sale. I resisted. This time.

So jealous of sydneysiders with these two stores as their local fabric stores!

This is a repeat pattern make. I didn’t notice that the darts are a smidge low the first time I made this. But this plain linen shows everything! Even wrinkles after 5 minutes of wear.

At my age (#fashionoverfifty), I’m embracing the wrinkles!

This is an excellent pattern. Uses less than a metre of fabric. I can see several more in my sewing future!

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Ditzy floral meets Eve

Felicity looks so good in my Sew Over It Eve dress that I made her one of her own.

And this time I used a drape-y viscose. See how nicely it hangs?

I was either lazy or efficient (you decide) and used the pattern pieces in my size with just the shoulders trimmed by 2 cm. I’m sure this breaks all sorts of pattern adjustment rules.

Hey I figured the ties would sort out the waist adjustments that were needed and all the blousing through the bodice would hide a multitude of sins.

And it does.

I promise I’ll cut out the right size and do a FBA on the next version. But this one is acceptable don’t you think.?

The wrap front is genius. Hugs your body even when bending forward.

Some clever drafting by Sew Over It going on here. Plus the stay tape keeping the bias under control.

I cut the front skirt a little less full due to fabric restrictions – I folded out about 10 cm at the hem through to zero at the waist in two long wedges.

I don’t think the slightly narrower skirt is a problem

And the final change was to add pockets.

Because. Pockets.

 

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Oops I did it again – Kalle Shirt

This time in June’s Meadow Liberty lawn.

I did the same things as last time – lengthened by 10 cm and used a cut on button band – but I also used another Liberty lawn print for the hem facings and inner yoke.

I’m really the only one who knows it there, but it makes me smile every time.

Don’t tell He who Cooks, but I bought both these fabrics from Tissus Reine in Montmartre, Paris intending to make him a shirt. In 2013. Clearly not ever going to happen. Much better as a shirt for me!

I love the high-low hem of this pattern

The skirt is BurdaStyle 10/2015 #106 which I’ve made before.

This time I accentuated the panels with poly satin bias binding, as a sort of flat piping.

The fabric is a delightful cream stretch cotton with a snakeskin texture.

Both garments were made from the stash. So glad they turned out so well because the fabrics were almost too precious to cut into. I’m sure no one else has that problem!

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Lovely pattern but with not quite the right fabric: Sew over it Eve dress

You know how sometimes you get the match making a bit off between pattern and fabric? No? Doesn’t happen to you?   It does to me. Sometimes,  I even quite like the mismatch. But that usually requires a brief time out.

This was one of those times.

Seduced by the cool vibes in London in September I purchased a couple of indie patterns: Sew over it’s Eve dress and a Merchant and Mills coat pattern.

Sew Over It Eve Dress Sewing Pattern

Later in the trip we were in Leicester and just happened upon Crafty Sew & So. They had the most delightful triple crepe. Perfect for Eve or some other drape-y dress.

Back home I decide I should trial that Eve dress pattern before cutting into precious souvenir fabric from Leicester. Also, the pattern suggested I needed more than the 3 metres I had of crepe. Seemed unlikely. Lets see about that.

Months passed. Now it was very hot and I had 4 metres of a navy print cotton voile I wanted to sew. M made a shirt for K out of it, and I love it. A dress in navy print could fit into my sort of summer corporate SWAP. Perfect fabric for a trial version. Well, hello, not really. Its cotton. Even though its voile, its still cotton and not very drape-y. But summer holiday brain didn’t get this far.

I cut it out anyway. No problem fitting it on 3 metres. So far, so good.

Beautiful fabric to sew. Drafting was excellent. Instructions detailed and clear. Sewing on the stay tape to the bias cut neckline worked very well. Bodice fit was checked and all was well. Continued with the sleeves. Skirt went onto bodice just fine. I like the hi-low hem. What can I say. Child of the eighties.

Had a ‘duh’ moment turning the ties the right way out. It took 20 minutes doing it the wrong way and 20 seconds doing it right. You know which one I did first.

Time to try it on. Yes, this style does not instantly shrink my waist. Yes, this is not the style I like the most on me. Yes, the non drape-y nature of the cotton voile isn’t the most elegant rendition of this pattern.

But, such lovely fabric. So nice to wear. Perfect hot weather dress.

And its a wrap dress but with a no gape neckline.

Wardrobe malfunctions unlikely with the skirt either!

A very happy ending.

I’ve worn the dress several times already, and there was enough left over to make a shell top. Both garments get lots of compliments. It seems everyone like navy and dandelion prints!

For the record, I cut out a 16 and made no adjustments. The pattern includes finished garments measurements, and they were spot on.

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