Bobble skirt

Finished it. Great feeling. Fabric bought this season from Gay Naffine and made up this season (the post about the fabric buying spree is here). It works nicely with a jacket I made a few seasons ago, which is just as well as the other pencil skirt I like to wear with this is near the end of its life.

This one is a simple pencil skirt but took a little while to get done. That’s because I played with some ‘couture’ techniques I’ve learnt from the very talented sewing bloggers out there: I interlined the skirt with organza as well as lining it.

Why did I go to all that bother? Well…. partly to try out something new and partly because I thought it might improve the final effect.

The fabric is a wool rich knit with lengthwise stretch and a very interesting selvedge. I wanted the selvedge on the bottom of the skirt. That meant the stretch was running down my body rather than around. I could end up with a skirt that grew in length. I’ve also found another knit woolen pencil skirt I made and wear quite a lot to work (desk job) ends up with a permanent extra bump at the back after sitting all day. I don’t really need any help making my derrière more obvious. So organza could be my solution- it might make the skirt keep its shape over my derrière and should stop any lengthwise stretching.

I cut the organza out the same as the skirt (with that selvedge there was no need to hem the skirt) and turned up a 15 mm hem on the organza interlining before attaching the organza piece to the main fabric all the way around by machine except for the hem; I attached the hem to the bottom of the skirt with hand stitching. I also sewed the dart marking lines through both layers before sewing the darts. I stitched around some of the bobbles to attach the organza in several spots between the waist and the hem too, by hand. The organza gave a lovely sheen to the back of the fabric.

With the front and back skirt pieces interlined with organza I then made it up treating these interlined pieces as single pieces. An invisible zip went it, in red (I thought the red zip pull at the top would add interest, but I’m probably the only one who will ever notice!) and I lined the skirt with red too. In the photo below you can see the red lining at the top and through the slit at the back.

You can also see clearly in this photo that the selvedge is not very even. This is the same all along the fabric. I could have hand sewn on some extra bits (like Jann did for the jacket she made out of this fabric) but I’m too lazy. I don’t think it’s too noticeable when its on.

skirt: Burda 07-2008-127 in size 42

jacket: Burda 12-2005-113 in size 40

top: Burda 02-2009-108 in size 42, minus the sleeves, blogged about here

Letting your daughter pick your favourite fabric for something for her, not you

If you have a special fabric: sew it quickly for yourself before someone else expresses an interest….

Another one of my favourite fabrics hit the dust recently. For her and not me. And what’s worse, she doesn’t like it now it’s done.

Sewing is a bit like that. I think at least half of the things I sew don’t turn out the way I planned and half of them I don’t like either. But a 75% success rate isn’t too bad.

This fabric was a double synthetic of some sort ( can’t remember) knit in warm brown. It has an all over large stylized rose pattern and great two way stretch. I planned to make a sheath dress for me with three quarter sleeves for winter. My 12 year old daughter decided she wanted a winter “church” dress out of it and picked out one of Burda magazines patterns for it. I loved the pattern and thought it would work for her.

It did! But that’s only my opinion.

The problems.

She’s not a fan of tight turtle necks (funny, He Who Cooks complains about having to wear “skivvies” as a child too- perhaps its genetic?!). I could fix that by changing the neck to a crew or V neck.


She doesn’t like the colour either. Funny. I told her it probably wouldn’t suit her colouring??  She is right: the colour doesn’t really suit her.

So is anyone interested in this dress? Its our first giveaway!

It’s a size 34 (bust 80 cm/31.5 inch, waist 62 cm/24.5 inch, hip 86 cm/33.75 inch, dress length from the waist is 54 cm- she is tall for her age).

Leave a comment saying you would like the dress and I’ll randomly pick a “winner” (presuming there is more than one of you)!

Technical details

Its Burda magazine 10-2008-117. The style is fairly straight through the bodice and torso with a pleated skirt featuring a twisted bubble hem.

The skirt is lined, with the lining side seams and top fabric side seams not meeting and elastic pulling the skirt in: to give the twisted bubble effect.

Because of the two way stretch I used some woven ribbon support on the side seams to keep it in shape (before this, the bodice almost stretched to her knees..).

The sleeves are three quarter length in the pattern. But I made them a bit more than full length for two reason-so she could push them up and get the gathered look, and so, when she wore her trench or the other coat this was supposed to go with, both with three quarter length sleeve, a bit of the dress sleeve would show.

Lovely dress, but not quite right for her. Hopefully it will find a good home.

Here’s a silly front view

And a laughing side view

Purple and dark olive organic stripes

One or two tiny posts about sewing and a comment about sewingelle taking over…. And he who cooks unleashes post after post about cooking! And shows gorgeous photos of delicious food !

So now there’s going to be a tiny interlude about sewing again, before the next onslaught of food.

My favourite local fashion fabric store often lures me into purchases. Early this season there was an interesting knit that got me. It was unusually wide (2 m) and was a stripe in purple and very dark olive of yarns with different degrees of stretch, then overlocked in a slightly crazy manner to produce very wavy organic strips

This was one side of the fabric, (that I decided was the wrong side and used on the inside, but it was a tough one to pick!). Its darker IRL and the purple bits are somewhat sheer

What to make out of such fabric? One of Burda magazines many great knit Tshirt patterns had been getting good reviews, so I gave it a try.

Technical stuff:

It’s 04-2009-112 made up in size 42.

I used some black foldover (lingerie) elastic to bind the neck edge because I’m lazy Burdas method of putting a facing on a knit garment neck edge seems a bit unnecessary.

You can see it here (you can also see the sides of the fabric I decided were “right” and “wrong”).

It’s the first time I’ve used this type of elastic. I ever so slightly stretched the elastic to pin it on, with a bit more stretching around the more curved parts than the straighter parts so that the neck edge would hug my body. Luckily, it worked out okay.

I didn’t take the seam allowance of 15 mm off before applying the fold over elastic because I’m lazy others had noted the neck was a bit wide, and wide round necks are not the most flattering on me ( the neck shape is still wide and round and not my best look, but I guess it could have been worse)

I cut the arm bands so the stripes ran the other way. This looks good, but means there is next to no stretch. Gets a bit tight by the end of the day.

I took the waist in by about 5 mm one each side seam ( 20 mm overall). Its still a bit boxy and probably would look better a bit longer

The raglan sleeves were in two pieces (back and front) with a seam from the shoulder down the arm. I didn’t fancy trying to match up all the wonky stripes. So I changed the sleeve into one piece by overlaying the front and back pieces at the upper seam and then cut a sort of dart where the two pieces diverged for the curve over the shoulder with a dart over the shoulders.

The two patterns pieces were like this:

I joined them to give one piece like this:

Burda’s famous bateau top three ways

Burda Magazine 02-2009-108

Well for someone who doesn’t like making the same thing more than once, why have I made this one three times so far? Guess it could be something to do with how easy this one is. It didn’t end up in Pattern Reviews Best Patterns for 2009 for nothing!

My first version was a simple red and grey ringstripe rayon jersey ( see the last photo). Worn a lot last winter and still looking good this winter.

This winter I tried out one of BurdaStyle’s patterns for a cardigan (more about that in another post maybe). I had a remnant about 50 cm wide and more than a metre long after making the cardigan. It was a lovely soft knit with great recovery and  a raised knobby surface in black. Enough to cut out another version of the bateau top, this time with three quarter length sleeves ( excuse the vampire look, I needed to overexpose this a bit to show the black fabric).

Summer came and, with it, new fabrics at my local store. How could I resist this red frilly fabric? The pattern sans sleeves was good for this too.

She (alias Sewingelle) takes over

Well, a change for this blog into fashion sewing as well. I’ve been lurking around the sewing blogs for a while and occasionally posting reviews on Pattern Review .. but now it’s time for a blog of my own. Well sort of. Not really my own since I’m sharing it with the chef in the house…..

First I have to post the trench coat I made for our daughter last year. It was one of the most satisfying but also more time consuming projects I have made for a long time. The fabric was beautiful: a lightweight silver/bronze shower-proof synthetic of some sort with a fleece-like black backing. This fabric was purchased at a local designer fabric sell off.  There’s more detail in my review. The pattern is a Burda Magazine one: 02-2008-114

The dress she is wearing under the trench is also one of my creations: more details are here