Christmas/New Year sewing

I love the easy days between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Perfect for sewing! And this year my dear friend M joined me.

What’s better than a sewing day on Boxing Day? A sewing day on Boxing Day with a sewing friend! The catering by He who Cooks was pretty good too.

This Christmas/New Year sewing was all about Felicity. I’m working on a mini wardrobe in black and ivory and the first two garments were shorts and a shirt.

Sailor shorts

These are Burdastyle 06/2014 #122 in a size 40 and made up in a stretch cotton with about 25% stretch lengthwise and at right angles to the stripes. I cut them out so that the stretch went around the body. They are stretchy enough that a double needle hem was the best choice. So a knit in the form of a woven. What’s not to love?

I faced the waistband and upper fronts with a black poly cotton from the stash, and interfaced the poly cotton to give it some body.

I also made the conscious decision to not change my overlocker thread from white. Yes really. It matches the pinstripes. Ahem.

My reasoning for different facing fabric was that the stripes are ridged and might be uncomfortable against the skin. Also, all that stretch needed to be brought under some control.

I cut the waistband on the non stretchy direction to help with this too. Also I like the change in stripe direction!

Aren’t those buttons darling? They were from the stash, I had exactly the number I needed and they seemed the perfect buttons for sailor front shorts. It was meant to be.

I didn’t read the instructions well enough so the underlayer at the front was cut the same length as the upper layer. This was a bit of an issue at the bottom of the zip (there’s a zip under the button front) but I managed to get both the upper and under layer back together with some snipping.

This mistake did have the advantage of making pseudo pockets – I caught the underlayer into the hem and this meant everything was enclosed apart from the buttoned top and a tiny bit through the inner thigh. I think they’ll function as pockets ok. So all’s well that ends well.

Kalle shirt

I love Closet Case Patterns Kalle shirt pattern. And I love the Liberty lawn fabric I used for this version, even if it does have the odd name of Kevin.

It’s based on the celestial ceiling art in the hallway of a grand house in Scotland. The fabric has been in the stash for a year or two.

Gemini! Felicity’s star sign.

This Kalle shirt was made the same as all the other ones: I lengthened the crop top version by 10 cm but retained the faced hem.

The buttons for this one came from the stash too. I’m pretty certain their first life was on one of He who Cooks’s shirts.

I have enough shirt buttons in the stash to last more than a lifetime, yet I still cut them off worn out shirts. Someone will inherit a healthy button stash! I did and I love having buttons that I played with as a kid from my mum’s and nana’s button jar.

And what do these garments look like on Felicity?

Very cute.

Pseudo pockets in action.

Stealth sailor version (untucked)

Happy New Year!

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Trying to perfect a pattern

I’ve now made six dresses based on BurdaStyle 02/2014 #141. Six. Just this year. Yes, that surprised me too!

Version 5 was made in a novelty weave fabric in deep stash and originally from Gorgeous Fabrics labelled Maggy London.

The fabric lacks body and collapsed a bit under my bust so I added some vertical darts.

The sleeves are too tight in this version and I’ll probably remove them and make it sleeveless. But I haven’t got around to it yet. I think it may be more dinner date without the sleeves. With the sleeves it seems more lady who lunches or fancy office wear.

Version 6 is a lovely linen shift.

I love this dress. I purchased the fabric in a soft finishing shop in Wellington, New Zealand and would like to have a sofa covered in it too as well as curtains and dining chairs. Yes I really do love it!

It’s a heavy weight linen and the perfectly on grain print and centred symmetrical pattern make pattern matching and invisible zip insertion a dream. I should make more garments from soft furnishing fabric.

I lined this dress in white cotton batiste. It’s a delight to wear on a hot summers day.

I’ve surprised myself looking back at how many times I’ve repeated other patterns as well this year. Is this a sign I’m maturing as a sewist or just a lack of imagination?!

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White Christmas dress

I’ve been dreaming of a White Christmas…dress. Apologies to Bing Crosby and Michael Bublé.

And my dreams have materialized thanks to my fabric and pattern stash. Gotta love an extensive stash!

This pattern  is from one of Burda’s extra magazines. The website is calling it Burda Easy HW/2014 but my magazine is called Burda Special Autumn/Winter 2014. It’s Dress E without the collar and pocket flaps. Also available as a PDF download

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I made this dress in 2015 in a colour-blocked white and grey patterned lace and grizzled about a sway back issue that I didn’t manage to fix. Then, after a short period in the magic closet, I wore the dress all the time.

Three years on, it was time to make an all white version. I traced off the size up (thanks peri-menopause!) and made a trial version in a Christmas themed cotton print. With sleeves, out of curiosity.  This dress  was the supporting act in my last post.

The fit seemed okay, so I went ahead with my ivory stretch cotton jacquard.

I love this fabric. I already have a skirt made in it that I love.

I used a poly cotton for the facings.

There’s a side zip.

I used a bias cut poly cotton remnant to cover the end of the zip too.

I added a pocket, on the non zip side. Because. Pockets!

The sway back issue is still there.

I’m thinking now that it might be a short torso issue.

But, you know what? I can’t see it from the front. I predict I’m going to wear this dress. A. Lot.

Out take. White Christmas Monster.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone who celebrates.

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When Fiona met Christmas prints: Closet Case Patterns Fiona sundress

A Christmas sundress for an Aussie Christmas. How could this not be an excellent idea?

This is Closet Case Patterns Fiona sundress in a Chris quilting cotton from Spotlight.

I made it in a size 14 with a FBA and some other bodice side seam tweaks to get the fit right. I used a reasonably heavy weight interfacing and this means the top interfaced bodice band is very firm. Definitely no gaping!

The bodice is a bit overfitted by the look of those draglines. But look at her smile. I figure it’ll do.

Pockets! Side slits! Topstitching opportunities! I love this pattern. Also buttons! 17 on Felicity’s sun dress. The instructions call for even more.

I made the buttonholes horizontal to make them a bit more secure and to reduce gaping.

oh yes. I made a Christmas print frock too.

I wanted to trial a dress from the Autumn/Winter 2014 version of Easy Burda. And why use boring calico when I had more Christmas print cotton in the stash?

Kitsch yes. Fun also yes.

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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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