‘Valentino red’ jacket: BurdaStyle 09/2008 #134

I seem to be drawn to Burda’s plus size designs from a decade or more ago.

This jacket is no exception.

I really like its simple lines

from https://burdastyle.ru/vikroyki/yubki/yubka-burda-2008-9-136/

I made it in a RPL bottom weight stretch gabardine from emmaonesock in ‘Valentino red’. Gorgeous colour. It has drape and medium body

I lined it with a polyester satin animal print non stretch woven from the stash.

I didn’t have enough so the sleeves are in a solid black bemberg

Hand sewing the sleeve lining hem whilst admiring my ridiculous pedicure

I did have enough for the pocket bags – and the satin makes them feel great!

I wasn’t sure on sizing so I made up a toile in size 48 and then took 4 cm out in width in total through the body – its probably more like a 46. I added a centre back seam to remove some of the width and adjusted the neck facing accordingly. The smaller back neck seems perfectly fine.

I also took 1 cm of height off the sleeve cap and moved the bust dart up by 2.5 cm. Which was probably a bit too much. The darts are very obvious and a bit pointy in this fabric.

I drafted a back stay with iron-on interfacing. I’ve finally realised that my fancy pants iron that works out what temperature to be depending on the fabric is not the right iron to use for iron-on interfacing – it never gets hot enough. So I used my baby travel/craft iron. Works so much better! Even if its pretty slow because it only fuses a small area at a time. I need to resurrect the standard iron that must still be somewhere in the house

I added raglan shoulder pads – from very deep stash. If my memory is correct they were in a rtw jumper from the nineties – removable through the wonders of velcro. I took the velcro off and tacked them in.

Lots of topstitching – which probably isn’t noticeable to anyone but me – and a nervous moment cutting the buttonholes. I love my chisel, but the first cut is always made with trepidation.

The buttons were from my local independent fabric store – Ferrier Fashion Fabrics. I took my jacket in and auditioned several buttons before setting on black with a thin brass edge. The staff were fully engaged in the ‘auditioning’ – coming up with several alternatives for me to consider! Love it when this happens!

Bottom line – this is a great design and I now have a lovely work jacket

Red and olive colour blocked dress: Style Arc Mila

Another experimental dress!

How did this happen?

Well, I had intended to add olive cuffs to my last red Bella dress but the fit issues dampened my enthusiasm.

But you know how it is – I still had the olive fabric out and there was a sizeable remnant of the red fabric left. Plus a new to me pattern to try: Style Arc’s Mila dress, which seemed perfectly suited to colour blocking.

Why not give it a try?

This is a size 16 and I like the way it fits

That V shaped bit in the centre was less tricky to do than it looks

My two fabrics were both from the stash. I’ve told you about the red before – it is a woven rayon from a local designer roll end sale in 2014. Almost vintage! It has more structure than a rayon normally has, a dry hand, and no stretch.

The olive is a polyester hi-tech microfibre from emmaonesock with great texture, drape and mechanical stretch. It was bought with a garment for Felicity in mind back in 2019 but she was less than happy with its colour so it’s languished in the stash. Despite it’s loveliness.

The Mila dress is an interesting design. The skirt has no side seams and curves from that V just under the bust to well below the waist at the back

I really like it. What I now need to do is work out how to add long sleeves to it so I can make a winter version.

Any tips?

Sizing up Bella

Tessuti’s Bella dress pattern is an old favourite. Search through my blog – you’ll see I’ve made several Bella’s for myself and Felicity.

But I am no longer the same size thanks to having so many birthdays that I’ve hit menopause. So it was time to test another size.

Version one was in a red rayon fabric from my stash but originally from a designer fabric sale. It’s an odd fabric. Gorgeous colour but has a very dry hand and is prone to creasing.

I traced off and made a size 16 with shortened sleeves.

It was too big through the shoulders – the only bit that really needs to fit.

So I added a 1.5 cm tuck to the centre front,going down 15 cm, to remove 3 cm of the excess fabric through neck through the bust.

This sort off worked.

Although the armscyes are too low – I really should not be able to lift up the hem this much when I raise my arm! Another pointer to the size being wrong

Whatever. I have a dress I can wear. And the colour is still gorgeous despite the fit!

So for my next version I went down a size to size 14.

This one is made in an embroidered wool blend purchased on holiday in Leicester.

Souvenir fabric!

I didn’t have a lot of fabric but was pleased that I had enough to be able to line up the embroidered motifs reasonably well.

It’s lined with a polyester galaxy print which I bought as a roll end several years ago for a fabulous price because it was so last years.

Now so dated after sitting in my stash that’s it’s best used as a lining.

The facing is a grey linen. Because I thought the wool might be itchy. But it was a bit of an afterthought once I realised that lining right to the edge with the galaxy print might not be such a great idea. So I overlocked and stitched it on a top of the lining rather then doing things properly with a seam.

I used a wool 4 cm strip for the pocket openings for the same reason. And also just stitch an overlocked strip on top of the lining. What can I say? Consistently slapdash!

I used a wide stain bias from the stash for the hems -and the stitching just disappeared into the wool.

Love it when that happens

So. What do I think about the sizing? This is probably the right size. But the fit is not great. The shoulders are good but it’s a bit tight through the bust whilst being looser through the back.

And of course everywhere else is fine because the style is loose everywhere else

Bottom line -I like the dress. I’m not convinced Tessuti’s block works for me. It did work when I was a smaller size. Now, perhaps not so much.

So what other trapeze style dress pattern are out there that I should try? All suggestions most welcome 🙂

Patrones: one out of three ain’t bad

Why Patrones? Good question. The answer is a lot to do with feeling dissatisfied with Burda itself and how I could subscribe in Australia. And liking the idea of an online magazine. And liking the concept of a smallish pdf that you then trace off your pattern from. Sounds odd?

This is what Doctor T said recently about Patrones : The downloadable PDFs are an interesting compromise; you have to both print and tile the PDF pages and trace them; but because each Patrones pattern only prints onto 9 pages it isn’t too bad to attach the PDF print-outs, and because each print-out only has 1 design, it isn’t that bad to trace either.

Seems like Patrones has it all. And you can subscribe issue by issue. So I did. For three issues.

Why have I stopped? Well you will need to read this post!

The first thing I made was this skirt. Which I totally adore.

Patrones 429 modelo 29 – Falda con pliegues (pleated skirt)

It has pockets. It has interesting drapes and folds. It has a shaped hem. It is inspired by a catwalk outfit. Of course this pattern spoke to me!

Worn here with a much loved Kalle shirt made in Liberty lawn

Wisely, I made a toile first. New pattern company and sizing, instructions in Spanish, no pictures of the pattern made up and worn by an actual person – too many unknowns!

Just as well I did because the pockets are a very different sort of construction and the goggle translation of the Spanish instructions were of very little help. It took a few adventures and quite a lot of unpicking before I worked it out.

The actual pocket is that little piece at the bottom. And no it is not attached to the facing of the drape. Ask my quick-unpick how I know. The larger piece is the yoke/side skirt
The drape is then attached to the yoke with a few stitches to hold the folds in place
Final step is to baste to the side seams
And here’s the flat lay. You can see some of my changes compared to the original draft. I curved the side seams back in by 4 cm to narrow the hem and create a balloon shape skirt and the back hem curves down rather than mirroring the front and curving up

How would have expected that the pockets and the turnback of the drape are not even connected?? Not me! I haven’t yet put something in the pockets and have it drop all the way through, but it will happen at some point!

The toile confirmed that size 48 worked for me but that I didn’t like the hem as drafted (shorter at CB and CF, longer at both sides and not pegged). So I changed that too and then made it up in a delightful midweight linen from Spotlight.

And have worn it at least once a week since.

My second attempt was not successful at all

Patrones 430 modelo 9 – Camisa Hawaiana Lloyds (Lloyds style Hawaiian shirt)

I drafted out from a size 46 (the largest size offered) to a 48 (which might be my size based on my success above). No toile this time – flat pattern measures through the bust suggested it would be fine.

Not making a toile was not a good idea – the sleeves bands on the extended shoulders were too tight, and the ease through the top was fine in terms of the fit, but not for style – this really needs to be looser to look good.

So Felicity has a new top! For the record – the sleeve bands are not loose enough on her either – pattern drafting fault I say!

I used a remnant of a lovely drapey viscose crepe – last used for a Tide dress.

But I didn’t have quite enough fabric so it got a contrast collar band in linen

Optimistic label use.

The third attempt was almost successful

Patrones 429 modelo 25 – Top cruzado (cross top)

The asymmetry drew me in.

No toile on this one (yes, I had learnt nothing..) but I did use fabric which had been languishing in my stash for a long time..

I love this cotton, polyester and metal blend fabric and I originally bought this ten years ago (yes! ten years!) in two colours – cream (this one) and light brown – like milky coffee. The coffee one got made into a skirt. But it always looks crinkled despite rigorous ironing because of the metallic content and yet its sort of fancy because of that metallic content so the creasing and the shimmer is a bit odd. I also remember that it was a bit itchy against my skin. So… almost toile fabric…

But, because it wasn’t really a toile, I used a soft linen cotton blend for the neck facing, so that the itch factor was dialed back. The linen cotton blend was harvested from a ripped pillow case – there’s a lot of back story to the fabrics in this blog post!

I traced off and made a size 48, and although it fitted okay, I thought it would be better with a bit more width through the body of the top to make it a bit boxier. So I added another strip of fabric to the side seams.

The insert is a strip the length of the top and 4 cm wide. I added 6 cm extra length at the top of the strip and tapered it to a point. This was inserted into the sleeve seam like a gusset. With all seams at 6 mm, this meant I added about 5 cm of extra width to the top below the armscyes.

And now I think its wearable.

I couldn’t work out from the line drawing or pattern or sewing instructions if the buttoned front was functional. It didn’t seem to be. The neck is crew neck style so no chance of putting this on without some sort of opening. So I added a slit and a button with a loop to the back.

The second label is “slow fashion” because this fabric spent a long time in my stash. I’m amusing myself with my labels.

Now I’ve gone back and paid more attention to the flat lay photo in the magazine it looks like there is an invisible zip at centre back. That would work too.

I could “french tuck” half of the front and make it even more asymmetric. But not the best look!

I love these buttons. They’ve been the stash a while too.

So back to the question of why I stopped my subscription

I don’t yet have the sizing sorted, but that’s not a major issue. I don’t mind the printing and tracing – 9 pages is easy. Some of the designs are delightful so its not because I don’t like enough of the styles.

I think its two things: the language barrier – I must enjoy reading about sewing more than I realised – and it being online – despite the convenience of being online, I’d much rather read from an actual magazine.

Any one else tried this new format of Patrones recently? What did you think?

Retro Hope dress

Piping and a large print on a donkey grey background seems to have taken my third Hope dress into retro style.

And I like it!

This is Style Arc’s Hope woven dress at knee length. With a thin waist tie attached to the side seams.

The pattern description says the dress is in two lengths and the illustration shows a knee length version. But my PDF pattern does not have a seperate skirt pattern piece or a ‘cut off here’ line on the skirt piece or any information about length in the instructions about how much length to remove.

A totally easy hack – I removed 22 cm from the length – but odd that the pattern is silent about it.

This lovely large print is a viscose woven purchased from TMOS 5 years ago on holidays in the UK.

TMOS, unfortunately not facing the camera (unfortunate because he has a lovely smile, not just because he is handsome..)

It’s extra special because my dear friend Melissa and I literally bumped into Karen of Did You Make That? and Ella at the stall. What are the chances of that!!? The famous sewing blogger from London, from whom you heard about TMOS and the reason you went there, turning up at TMOS at the same time you went there all the way from Australia!

Yes Karen is wearing a CCP Charlie caftan in Liberty. Obsessed with sewing details? Who? Me??

I added piping because I had some in my stash and I wanted to highlight the raglan sleeve seam lines.

I had just enough for the front and the neck but not enough to pipe the back. Coffin back. Guilty as charged. But also in line with the retro vibe of this dress.

Also guilty of sloppy sewing, as my photographer (He who Cooks) pointed out to me – “there’s a pucker or something you’ve sewn badly at the waistline on the back”.

What sort of monster have I turned him into? I know I talk about sewing. All. The. Time. But surely that’s not to blame?!

I’ve got to assume I was distracted by that unintentional not-pattern matching through the centre back seam. Whatever. It didn’t distract him!

I added thin ties to the side seams to reduce some of the gathering at the waist. What it actually does, of course, is bring the side seams forward and put more of the fullness at the front. Another reason to be accused of coffin back.

The forward side seams are quite obvious in the photo above, but so are the pockets. Like all great dresses, it has pockets!

It could well be time I moved on from this pattern. But it is such a delight for make and wear.

Is three Hope Dresses too many? Is three Hope Dresses enough to qualify me for the #HopeDressSpringsEternal club?

So many questions…

Style Arc Adeline dress #2 and #3

I’m on a red dress roll. Must be Christmas!

This fabric was a souvenir from Barcelona. I fell in love with the colours and I love border prints. As a bonus it’s an overprinted jacquard. Almost certainly made from synthetic fibres but interesting and unusual.

Hand sewing on the front verandah

The base is white (as you can see above) and the looseness of the jacquard means that there are a few spots where this shows. Like below. The jacquard weave also made it very prone to fray. The overlocker was essential!

Separating red threads in the middle of the leaf showing the white base layer

Style Arc’s Adeline was just the simple dress pattern I needed to showcase the fabric. I made a size 16 (printed at 98% by mistake).

Adeline Dress Sewing Pattern – Dress Sewing Patterns – Style Arc

My souvenir fabric was a precut of 1.5 m. At least it was 150 cm wide and with a border printed on both selvedges! But there was no way I was going to be able to cut out this pattern as drafted with the longer turned up sleeves.

No centre back seam either

After some pattern and fabric Tetris and accepting that cuffed sleeves and pockets were not part of my vision for this fabric, I successfully placed the pattern pieces on with the border at the hems and just a teensy bit on the shoulder.

There were enough scraps left for the hem and neck facings, and some self drafted sleeve hem facings.

I placed the border so that the maximum width of the border was on the front. This meant that the last few cms of plain red under the border shows on the lower back hem. Perhaps I could have placed it differently? Or straightened out the hem? Would that have been better? I’ll never know!

Such a comfortable dress to wear.

On it’s first “outing” I wore it to a day event with bare legs and blue sandals and then changed to black tights and heels for an evening event.

He who Cooks thought the opaque tights were a bit heavy and needed balancing out with a chunky black necklace. He was right!

I love this pattern so much that I immediately made another one. This time with the cuffs and pockets in a turquoise silk nylon blend that’s been a long time stash dweller. The last time I sewed with this fabric was March 2011!!

It looks much less like scrubs in real life…. although these photos are starting to make me doubt…

I don’t think I’ve finished with this pattern yet.

Red Papercut Tide dress

I’ve admired the Papercut patterns Tide dress ever since it was released (as the Kobe dress). Such a clever but simple design with the pleating and cut out at the back.

Tide Dress and Top - The Foldline
https://papercutpatterns.com/products/tide-dress-top

In a recent sale I succumbed and purchased it. And then spent several happy hours looking though my fabric stash for suitable fabrics. Of course I found several.

And that lead me down the rabbit hole of what else could I make to go with that fabric if I made it up as the dress or the top version of the pattern. Some of you probably know exactly what I’m talking about. Virtual wardrobe sewing. Hours of Fun.

Then I did some serious reading of reviews. Several sewists commented on the pleating at the back creating a weight imbalance that tended to pull the dress to the back. Perhaps I shouldn’t proceed? But I was already invested in this project because of the Hours of Fun noted above.

To reduce potential disappointment I used a fabric I’d acquired from the recent @adeladiesewists fabric swap. Don’t get me wrong. I really like this fabric. But it hasn’t been in my stash for long, so I’m not strongly attached to it, and it was free. It is still lovely, though. Nice drape, great colours and an interesting print. I’m guessing it’s a viscose crepe. Thanks Georgie Barker!

And then the question. What size am I in this pattern line? I’ve only ever made the Rise and Fall Turtlenecks from Papercut and they are knit patterns. This one apparently runs big, according to reviews.

I went for size 6 based on finished garment measurements. This was a mistake. I could have easily sized down.

The shoulders were too wide and the armscyes are very generous.

I have somewhat compensated by overlapping the back neck more than the designer intended and adding a tuck to the front neck.

And all those reviews were right – it does pull to the back. Quite annoying to wear. But also lovely and cool for the work Christmas party – which was outside on a 35oC day. The joys of Christmas in Australia!

Refashion or donation is its most likely fate. Or perhaps a weight at the base of the neck at the front under the tuck? Or a stay attached to my bra? I’ll report back!

If nothing else, I’ve once again proved that sewing with lovely fabric is always a pleasure even if the final result is not quite right.

EDITED to add my pulling-to-the-back solution – a tablecloth weight attached to the tuck on the inside at the base of the front neckline. Works perfectly!

Success and failure with asymmetric hemmed tops: Newlook 6412 and Butterick 6765

I’ve made two tops with asymmetric hems from non Burda patterns in the last few months. My Burda magazine collection must be feeling unloved. Who even am I?

I’m pretty happy with this pattern.

It’s a mash up of Butterick 6765 style B and C.

This is a size 18 bust and waist out to size 20 hips. I cut the back on the fold with a slit for the slit rather than with a centre back seam. I then bound the slit with self bias – same as the neck- and used the bias for the button loop.

The fabric is a silk-like Japanese technical polyester from Tessuti, purchased in February 2018. A medium term stash dweller out of the stash and into my wardrobe. Always a good feeling!

This was not a fun fabric to sew – slippery, puckery and impossible to iron creases out. See above for evidence.

I used french seams throughout except for the armscyes, which were overlocked.

It’s saving graces are that its lovely to wear, the puckers and tiny creases are only obvious up close and turquoise is my favourite colour.

I’m not so happy with this pattern.

This is Newlook 6412 style A in a size 16.

The asymmetric hem line is supposed to draw attention away from a full stomach but this top doesn’t live up to that promise.

But that could be the fault of the sizing (perhaps I should have gone up a size?) and the fabric – a lightweight viscose knit with 8% spandex at least 100% stretch in both directions. Which means it shows every bump.

It is nice as a layering piece, so I haven’t re-homed it yet.

This fabric was also from Tessuti, and has been in the stash since January 2014. Very happy with my stash busting even if it not entirely successful!

Back to the lovely turquoise one.

This Butterick pattern is a winner – I should make another one!

A coatigan to remind me of my grandma’s carpet: Burda 12/2011 #114

I was lucky enough to get 2 yards of this totally glorious fabric from emmaonesock last year. It looks like a fabulous vintage carpet.

It’s a wool fleece with raised areas, a brushed texture, and decorative selvedges. The design seems to be knitted in as you can see below on the reverse.

The fabric arrived and I petted it. A lot. And then it sat in my stash. You know. That too precious to cut into fabric. I had a Pinterest board dedicated to it. Searching for the perfect pattern. Surely what I did with something similar to this fabric several years ago was too simple and wouldn’t be good enough?

Winter passed, before I was smart enough to realise that it was more than good enough. I still wear the coatigan I made in 2013 a lot. It’s the ideal pattern for this fabric.

So I bit the bullet and cut it out.

This is Burda 12/2011 #114 and I made a 44.

For my version there’s no zip, no petersham ribbon trim, no hip length seam or pockets, no lining, just a neck facing and I lengthened the sleeves to be full length.

The hem is simple turned up and stitched by hand. No finishing treatments – it doesn’t fray.

Sometimes simple is best!

I adore my carpet coatigan!

‘Bib Skirt’: BurdaStyle 10/2020 #118

Bib skirt. Burda. Really? What were you thinking? You have to hope it sounds better in German.

Brooklyn Farm, at which some of this pinafore was sewn, provided the most wonderful backdrop for these photos.

It’s allowed to look great – it was a movie set.

Of course once the pinafore was made it needed a top to go with it. Never mind that this orange top looked great with it. Especially with magical late afternoon light.

So far two tops have been made.

The first one is Simplicity 8982 – a simple long sleeved T shirt in an Australian aboriginal art print. Accessorized with a Venetian mask. Don’t ask me why.

The second is a Wilder top in Liberty tana lawn

Not yet actually worn with the bib skirt. But has been worn with a similar Burda pinafore made a couple of years ago.

So, let’s talk about the technical details.

The bib skirt is Burda Style 10/2020 #118 made up in a mid wale cotton corduroy from Spotlight. It’s a size 40 skirt and size 44 bib and straps (I drafted out to a 44 at the top of the bib pieces from a 40 at the waist – this adds 1.5 cm in length and width to each bib piece). Easiest FBA I’ve ever done!

Flannel Skirt 118|Burda Style 10/20

The skirt is lined with bemsilk and the bib and waistband with a slippery poly woven with a paisley design in a sort of jacquard from deep stash. Because I didn’t have enough of either to do both parts. The buttons are vintage – purchased from a second hand shop in Greenwich, UK, on holiday 4 years ago.

The wilder top was made from Liberty Tana lawn purchased from Liberty in London with Felicity 5 years ago on holidays. I’m seeing a theme here. Holiday purchases and time in the stash.

I added 22.5 cm to the length and 10 cm to the width of the sleeves. Then brought the volume back in with an elastic cuff (turned up 12 mm and then 25 mm to form the casing and inserted 20 mm elastic).

Hardly enough change to qualify as a pattern hack but I couldn’t resist using this label!

And the Simplicity 8982 knit top?

I had limited fabric so I cut this top out width wise (by that I mean with the hems of the sleeves and bodices aligned with the selvedges).

Not really a hack nor was the fabric a holiday purchase or a stash dweller. It’s a rayon spandex knit printed with one of Pauline Napangardi Gallagher’s designs, purchased from Spotlight and sewn up within a month. There’s more about this talented artist here.

Pinafore? Bib skirt? Whatever. It was fun to sew, and has already been worn more than just for the photo shoot. #winning.

And, talking about photo shoots, the Brooklyn Farm chickens weren’t going to let an opportunity pass them by. If their door was going to feature in my photo shoot then they made sure there was also a photo of them at our door.

Flag Lodo

I‘m up to my fourth Lodo dress this summer. And I don’t think summer coming to an end will stop me sewing this pattern a fifth time. How good would a winter Lodo look with a turtleneck and tights?

This version might be my current favourite – partly because of the fun I had deciding how to use this fabric, purchased a year or so ago from EmmaOneSock

It’s a 160 cm wide stretch cotton with a large plain border along each selvedge and a wide geometric print through the middle. Or I could describe it as a geometric print with a lot of non patterned potentially unusable fabric each side of the print…

The fabric is from Milly’s 2016 Spring Collection. The three garments shown are all cut across the grain rather than with the grain. I like the effect, but it means the stretch is running up and down rather than around the body. Wouldn’t work with Lodo.

The print is reminiscent of a flag isn’t it, but whose? There are more than 20 national flags with red, white and blue stripes, so lots of options.

Previous Liz only bought 2 yards of this fabric. Which is not enough for a dress if you want to run the geometric print symmetrically through the centre back and centre front. Previous Liz probably though she could make it work, for a shirt. When in doubt, buy another metre/yard… Stash accumulation beyond life expectancy? Yes! Drowning in remnants? Also yes!

Back to Flag Lodo. I offset the print on my pattern pieces and cut both the front and back across the width in one dress length. All the white on one side. All the pattern on the other. Asymmetric print placement for the win!

But do I use blue or white thread for topstitching and the hem? Well, no need for this to be binary – I can use both. White on the white sections, blue on the patterned sections and change over from one to the other on the hem.

The facings were cut from white stretch cotton from the previous Lodo and I again added in seam pockets.

A departure from previous Lodo’s was to add a centre back zip. I used a white one. Not sure why I didn’t use navy given my commitment to change threads over if needed but at least it’s an (almost) invisible zip.

A zip is not needed for this pattern – I can pull the dress on over my head – but I prefer to step into a dress. For fabric like this with only horizontal stretch, it’s a simpler dressing experience.

This Flag Lodo dress now joins a growing collections of Lodos: Brilliant White Lodo, Corporate Tulip Lodo and Holiday Red Lodo.

Final word? This blog post is unlikely to be my final words on this pattern. It’s an excellent pattern in so many ways, and one that works well with my body size and shape and my lifestyle.

Kielo wrap dress

Why did this take so long? Both this pattern and this fabric have been waiting for years!

This is Named Patterns Kielo Wrap Dress, made in a ITY knit from Gorgeous fabrics with a lot of stretch but great recovery.

Such a cleaver design.

Hours of fun tying it different ways..

It is just as lovely in IRL as if is when posing for blog photos in my front garden.

The gorgeous M from Nonsuch  and I heading out to the fabulous Adelaide Sewists Christmas Function

This is such a great pattern. I already have several more versions (knee length, with sleeves, in a linen…) in my imaginary wardrobe.