Turquoise, teal and blue floral top: BurdaStyle 08/2012 #147

Yes that was a new top under my coat in my last blog post! Well spotted M of Nonsuch.

I had originally pulled out the fabric to use as lining for this coat. It’a been in my stash from before children (my eldest ‘child’, Felicity, is 24). The colours work well with my coat fabric and I liked the idea of a patterned lining.

Then my 24 year old pointed out it was too nice for lining. I knew that! But she was right!

Thus the plan was born for a patterned top to wear with the boucle striped coat rather than lining the coat with it !

And in my ongoing theme of sewing patterns from Burda magazines from the last decade, I chose this pattern from 2012:

Images from German Burda website

I made a size 46 despite reviews that it ran a bit small because my fabric was a stretch polyester. I also didn’t cut the neck ties on the bias, again because it was a slippery stretch fabric. The sizing and the ties turned out fine. it could be snug in a non stretch though – the reviews were right.

The construction was straightforward except for the right angle seams which required a bit more attention. I fused squares of very light weight interfacing to the corners and stay stitched before I sewed the seams. That makes clipping to the stitching line before you stitch it a bit less hair raising.

I forgot to raise the bust darts – a standard change I usually need to make because I’m short waisted. Luckily the busy print means this only obvious when I point it out!

I made the cuffs 2 cm longer and interfaced the cuffs with a poly organza but didn’t interface the neck facing, apart from a square at the point. They both turned out fine, although slippery polyester organza inside slippery polyester stretch fabric probably wasn’t the smartest move for the cuffs. A simple woven cotton would’ve been better.

I was delighted to be able to use some mustardy yellow glass buttons in my stash These were my mothers or grandmothers – inherited stash from a long line of sewists! And I love how they look on my cuffs.

I’m unconvinced the length of this top is right. It’s too long to wear untucked with the coat because it’s longer than the coat (yes I am still asking myself why I didn’t measure it up and work this out before I hemmed it).

I don’t think this length works with an above knee length skirt (as below) and it doesn’t look any better with leggings or trousers. Something is wrong with the proportions on me. Even in my highest heels.

It looks particularly bad with a knee length skirt

I like it a lot better tucked in. And then all that extra length makes no sense.

Keeping it real- wrinkled skirt after a morning of sitting

The skirt is new too!

I had a remnant of a light cashmere wool coating in turquoise that coordinated perfectly with the top and the coat.

It’s really glorious fabric. So I made a simplified version of BurdaStyle 09/2008 #136 – no double yoke, no pockets and no hem tucks. I pegged the side seams in about half the amount the tucks would’ve taken them in. I added a centre front seam because I felt I’d oversimplified it too much. Size 46 waist and 48 hips. It’s a bit loose through the waist but the ease makes it very easy to wear.

The yoke was lined with a lighter weight wool blend remnant and the skirt lined with acetate lining that was yet another remnant! Stash busting at its finest. Slow fashion label from KATM seems very appropriate..

These are my favourite colours so I am very happy with this outfit and all the individual elements (except that the top which needs to be 14 cm shorter! Oh and those bust darts! I still love it though..)

There’s also something very satisfying about much loved fabrics in the stash being successfully transformed into garments and moving into my wardrobe.

Doesn’t always happen… so I’m enjoying it whilst I can.

Mustard yellow skirt: Burdastyle 09/2008 #136

This skirt is from the same collection as the Valentino red jacket in the last blog post

I like the details. And I like the way the jacket pockets are echoed in the skirt. So I made a skirt to coordinate with the jacket.

Yes there’s some drag lines on the waist yoke. More about that below

This is a size 48 hip grading back to a size 46 waist through the yoke. The fabric is a stretch cotton twill from Spotlight. I didn’t interface the yoke but I did line it with non stretch lining I think that’s what contributing to the drag lines in the photo above – stretchy fabric fighting with non-stretchy fabric as I move.

I am very pleased with how well the yoke seams lined up across the invisible zip. Basting and patience are my tips!

I’m not yet sure whether I think the hem tucks are cool or a bit stupid. I like the way they peg the skirt back in but they’re a bit poufy in this fabric. I’m very likely to turn them into darts.

The pockets turned out very well, from the outside. On the inside the bags are upside down. Which doesn’t impact on functionality but did mean they weren’t going to be attached to the yoke. So I added ribbon ‘stays’

The shirt I’m wearing in these photos is a Closet Core Patterns Kalle shirt with the long sleeve extension. It’s made up in a Jocelyn Proust print with the sleeve vents, cuffs and hem facings in another colour way. I love these designs! And the Kalle shirt!

I added almost 4 cm extra to the sleeve length by taking smaller seam allowances at the shoulders and cuffs but they still could be longer – I’d like them to hit my wrist with the cuffs turned up, not down.

Back to the skirt.

It’s a very comfortable skirt to wear. Perfect for stretching out on the couch in front of the fire after a delicious meal 🙂

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?

Fabric swap skirt: Burda 01/2011 #137

Fabric and pattern swaps.

A small part of the ‘cotton’ table

What a wonderful idea.

Some of the patterns waiting for a new home

@adelaidesewists organised this swap in July. I took 13 lengths of fabric and it felt good. My no-longer adored fabric was going to a good home and not landfill. Someone else is going to make something amazing from it.

What I took

I come home with 6 lengths of fabric (not as much as I took – #winning), so I saved fabric from landfill too. So much to love!

Fabric swap skirt!

This skirt is from one of those fabric. Thanks Rhoz! And thanks @adelaidesewists!

So happy about the fabric swap.

Also, so very happy with this skirt.

This is a Burda pattern I’ve made multiple time. It’s pegged and it has pockets. Some of my favourite sewing things.

The not-so-useful US Burda site has the pattern here. The German Burda site is much more helpful, even if you don’t read German (and is where I took the line drawing from).

The fabric is a bengaline with good stretch and recovery. I made the skirt up with an elastic waist but without a zip or walking vent or lining or top stitching around the hem.

Do you see a wrinkly waist ?

Does it look like an elastic waist skirt to you?

Do you see a wrinkly waist at the back? No, didn’t think so

It looks very corporate doesn’t it? Especially when I stand more normally.

I love the trickery of using the right fabric.

This is a size 46 waist and size 48 hips (thanks, no thanks, to hormonal imbalances for the size changes – yes I am a woman of a certain age).

This fabric was difficult to cut out because the print didn’t appear to be strictly on grain. I pinned every 5 cms or so and then stretched and ironed to force it into shape. I cut the front in a single layer and the back pieces separately.

The elastic waist was a bit of an experiment. I could have added a waistband to this pattern and inserted or sewed elastic to that, but I didn’t.

Instead, I cut a length of 4 cm wide elastic to my waist measurement, joined it, and then sewed it to my already prepared facing. Yes a nice even circlet of elastic sewn to a curved facing. I stretched the fabric of the facing and the elastic and used a zigzag stitch to sew the elastic to the facing just a smidge under the waist attachment sewing line. (No I did not change the thread in the overlocker to blue. I like the red. And I might be a bit lazy)

I then stitched the facing, with its elastic, to the skirt, using a narrower zigzag stitch and stitching very close to the elastic but not catching it in. Also whilst stretching. Which is why the stitching is a bit wonky.

Then trimmed the excess seam allowance of the facing close to the stitching line

After I turned and ironed, it all looked pretty good! The bottom edge of the facing has a bit of fluting due to the elastic but it’s very smooth from the outside.

Smooth waist! Also this is a classic scissors in the pocket photo with bonus measuring tape in the other pocket

I stitched in the ditch to secure the elastic/facing down at the side seams and centre front and back. So easy!

The hem was also secured with a zigzag. Almost invisible on the outside but pretty obvious inside due to that lovely red overlooking.

The skirt is about 4 cm shorter than drafted.

The orange and blue top is Burda 02/2015 #128 and you can read all about it here.

I’m very happy with this new skirt. It’s super comfortable to wear and just the right weight for the end of winter in Adelaide. Thanks again Rhoz! I hope you like my grey, black and white knit as much as I like your blue and white bengaline.

Linton Tweed pencil skirt: Burda 03/2010 #136

I have thoroughly enjoyed the sewing journey with this skirt. Which is fortunate, because the end result was much less satisfying than the journey to get there.

But that’s fine. This fabric was such a delight to sew.

It is a silk, wool and cotton blend purchased from Linton Tweeds in Carlisle whilst on holiday in the UK in 2017. It was one of their 1 metre remnants at 5 pounds. Bargain! Especially when all the fabrics M of Nonsuch and I purchased that day were shipped to Australia for an incredibly low flat rate of 9 pounds. All of you paying normal prices subsidised this for me. Thanks!

So proud to include that Linton label

The lining is a silky remnant, probably polyester, I picked up last year from a secondhand shop in Yankalilla, a local seaside holiday town. It’s the perfect match for the tweed. The leftovers were made into a scarf.

Lots of good holiday vibes in this garment.

I picked a pencil skirt pattern from my back collection of Burda magazines with added interest of the front darts rotated out to the sides: Burda 03/2010 #136

I interfaced the tweed with a very light iron-on interfacing I sourced from a local dressmaker – Tatiana Light. You can see the side darts drawn in on the interfacing in the photo above – an added bonus!

The combination of interfacing and tweed made a hand stitched hem very easy to do.

I know this premade bias binding doesn’t match exactly but I still like it

I need to do invisible stitching? Super easy!

This interfacing feels like adding butterfly wings but gives that essential extra bit of support to the tweed. Perhaps not quite enough to the waist facing, because that seems to have stretched out a bit by the time I went to stitch it on. This meant I had to take the waist in after construction (unpicking with that tweed? Uggh!). It is still a bit big.

The reality is that the delightful weave of winter white, orange, donkey grey and black threads turns into a muddy neutral grey brown at any normal viewing distance.

So I have a thick, long, pencil skirt that’s too big though the waist and in a boring colour. I feel a bit like I’m back in the 1940’s in an English village. Better weather though. And at least I know the fabric is special!

Colour coordination is a bit limited if I trying to match the colours woven into the skirt.

Orange and black are excellent but almost all my existing grey tops and fabrics are too grey and not brown-grey enough.

Except one mystery piece gifted to me by Jann of JannsFabrics. It’s the perfect match to the donkey grey in the tweed. I think it’s a silk cotton blend – it certainly feels like it.

The V- neck was stay stiched and the facing is interfaced. What are those mini ripples there? Not obvious IRL

I made up Itch to Stitch’s Seychelles top in this fabric in a size 14 out to a size 16 at the hips.

It’s the perfect colour coordinated outfit, but a lot duller overall in colour than is my preference. The scarf helps a bit.

The Seychelles top? I like it. I shortened it by about 8 cm because the proportions looked better untucked with this long skirt, but the standard length would be fine for knee length or shorter skirts. Next time I’ll do a forward shoulder adjustment and/or spread the sleeve gathers out over more of the sleeve cap – they are drafted to just be at the very top of the sleeve cap and when your shoulders roll forward the gathers mostly end up at the back.

Also next time I will either do a ‘proper’ sleeve placket or swap the cuff out for an elasticated cuff. The sleeve placket integrated with the sleeve seam is easy, but annoys me a bit by not being ‘proper’

Bottom line? I loved making this skirt. I’m glad this fabric has moved from too precious to sew to a garment in my wardrobe. Even if it only ever gets occasional wear.

The last of the summer sewing

The season has turned, I’ve brought my winter coats back into the wardrobe. It’s almost too late to be blogging about summer sewing… but not quite!

This top is Burdastyle 06/2016 #129

Crepe Tunic 129 | 06/16
https://www.burdastyle.com/crepe-tunic-129-06-16.html

I’ve even used a similar colour to Burda.

Crepe Tunic 129 | 06/16

Mine is made from a floaty cotton voile that has been in my stash almost forever (9 years – I’ve patted it appreciatively and admired its colour and hand many times since it came to live with me). This fabric is designer deadstock – from Gay Naffine/Lucy Giles.

I made several adjustments to the pattern to get the fit better.

I traced off a size 46, petite-ed the bodice by 2 cm above the bust dart and made a 2 cm forward shoulder – which meant I also brought the tucks in the sleeve head forward. Are you supposed to do that?

The adjustments certainly worked for the shoulder fit, but the bust darts ended up a touch high.

The neck depth is good but it is quite wide though – if there is a next time I’ll consider bringing it in a bit.

I didn’t include the front slit but I did keep the idea of regular tacks down the front band by adding pearl buttons (shining in the bad side light of the image above)

I used a very light interfacing for the neck band and the front bands as well as to reinforce those square seams

A KATM tag on the side seam above the slit because I can.

I promise this is the last ‘touching my hair’ photo!

The skirt is an old favourite made in my new larger size – 46 waist and 48 hips – Burdastyle 07/2012 #134

Yes this is from the Russian Burda Site. I have no knowledge of the Russian language, but the site is more useful than the US based one. https://burdastyle.ru/vikroyki/yubki/yubka-burda-2012-7-134/

I love the quirkiness of the darts at the hem. I didn’t sew the darts to the outside as per the pattern for this version. There was already enough going on with the stripes.

This is a stretch cotton that’s been in my stash for even longer – 11 years. Bought in 2010. That’s deep stash. This fabric is also designer deadstock- from Gay Naffine.

The second summer top is Friday Pattern Company’s square neck top.

https://fridaypatterncompany.com/products/square-neck-top-pdf-pattern

It is the second version I made – the first one was an XXL as per my measurements but with the neckline raised by 2.5 cm. It was too big in almost every dimension except through my hips. It was made up in a beautiful blue shirting cotton but that wasn’t enough to save it. It has already been donated.

The second one was a XL bust out to XXL hips plus 2.5 cm removed in the bodice above the dart and through the sleeve and then the neck also raised by 2.5 cm.

It’s still not quite right – the cap sleeves pull when I move my arms forward. I doubt I’ll make another one unless I use a knit.

The fabric is lovely though – an embroidered linen cotton remnant from my local Spotlight. It is also from the stash, but it has only been marinating for 3 years.

Stash busting, three garments I can wear and two I love!

***EDITED to add how I do a petite adjustment to the bodice***

I’m very surprised to find that I couldn’t easily point Sandra to a youtube or blog post from someone else that explained how I do this. Either I haven’t looked well enough or what I do is different to what everyone else does. Or perhaps both.

This comes with several warnings:

  1. Writing tutorials is a skill that I don’t have – it’s highly likely that none of this will make sense.
  2. Drawing simple diagrams is also a skill I don’t have – it’s not going to be pleasing to the eye.
  3. This works for me but possibly works for no-one else on the earth – try on something unimportant, like a muslin/toile before you commit to this!

The green lines A, B and C are your cutting lines

  • Line A: draw this in starting at the centre front and perpendicular to centre front, at least 2 cm below neckline (if you’re doing a 2 cm petite-ing, more if you’re doing more, less if less) out to just before before the armscye stitching line
  • Line B: draw this in also perpendicular to centre front but start 2 cm below armscye on the side seam (or more or less depending on your adjustment) and stop at about the same position as Line A.
  • Line C: this line joins Line A and B and is parallel to the centre front

The purple dashed lines are the lines you’re adjusting to.

  • Measure up 2 cm (or more or less, depending on your adjustment) from lines A and B and draw in a line parallel to them (this is the purple dashed lines).

The red bit is the amount you’re going to remove.

  • Cut along your green lines.
  • Shift the pattern piece up to the dashed lines and tape it back together

Now do the same to the back bodice piece

Why I do it this way:

  • It doesn’t change the armscye, which means you don’t have to adjust the sleeve. I don’t usually have an issue with where the sleeve joins the bodice being too low so I avoid having to make this additional change.
  • It takes length out only above the bust, which is where I seem to need it to get the bust point in the right spot for me.

This isn’t what I did on the square neck too (I just took 2 cm out from centre front through the cut on sleeves) but it is what I normally do and what I did for the V neck Burda top.

Sandra: Hope this helps and good luck with your fitting journey

Does this make sense? Does anyone else do this? Is there a better way to do this?

Flippy skirts for Felicity: #108burda02/2020

Simple pattern. Cute skirt. Gorgeous daughter. Stash fabrics. These are some of my favourite things.

This is Burda 02/2020 #108. In size 40 waist and size 42 hips.

The first version was in a poly cotton tartan cotton for spotlight. Horrid fabric to sew – the weave is too loose. It turned out well as a garment. I credit lovely bemsilk lining for that!

The second version is in delightful Italian cotton shirting purchased a hundred years ago for a great little shop in Turin. Not actually a hundred years ago but in our COVID-19 world it feels like this.

A vintage button adds to its charm. Yes it probably is sewn on upside down.

I didn’t line this version but it may have hung better if I had.

These pictures were shot in my new sewing space. l love having a large dedicated sewing space! Even if is a work in progress – there is still a lot of stuff in random spots and the pictures need hanging.

Just look at the light!

In conclusion. Great skirt pattern. The goldilocks of flounce. Highly recommended.

Cielo Top and a Burda pencil skirt: BurdaStyle 11/2019 #110

My new year’s resolution to sew my fabric collection (AKA stash) is still going strong.

Formerly too-precious-to-use fabric continues to break out of my fabric collection and into my wardrobe.

This gorgeous fabric comes from Mood in NYC and was purchased 5 years ago. A beautiful cotton voile with a huge pattern repeat featuring birds, flowers, botanicals and the odd old map or two.

090715_1250_VisitingNew15.jpg

It has almost been a dress several times, but I never got to the cutting out phase.

This time I broke the jinx and its now a Cielo top

I used French seams for construction and bias binding on the neck and hems. This is a size 14.

The neck and hems are an inch higher and longer than drafted because I attached the bias binding flush with the cut edges rather than in the seam allowance.

I didn’t add the seperate back yoke – there is plenty already going on with this top and one of the shoulders looks like it has a yoke anyway.

Pattern placement was a bit of a head scratcher, but I settled on the pinker and brighter section on the front and the yellower and more muted section on the back.

This top works well with my grey blue linen wide leg pants (love the yellow wall, don’t love the messy hair so much –  it was very windy)

It’s a beautiful match with a new pencil skirt.

This is BurdaStyle 11/2019 #110, at the #111 length and without the D rings, made as a size 44 with size 42 waist.

My fabric is a stretch cotton in dove grey with a lovely sueded feel to it.

I was not careful enough with cutting out so the front was a touch bigger than it should be. I added two small tucks to the front and solved the problem.

This pattern has the front pockets drafted as a single piece. It acts almost like a tummy control. And inaccuracies in cutting out this piece and the front skirt mean that extra design features such as tucks need to be added.

So, to sum up how I’m feeling.

  • Love, love, love my top. Glorious fabric and beautiful lantern sleeves.
  • Very happy with my skirt. It’s a neutral basic that I need in my wardrobe and its lovely to wear.

 

A skirt of Japanese cats: BurdaStyle 05/2019 #112

Who buys Japanese fabric on holiday in Spain? Who wouldn’t when it’s as irresistible as this!

I mean. Look at that cheeky cat in the middle with the ball of wool. And the smiley yellow one. And the little black one. And the….

I turned this souvenir fabric purchased from Nunoya in Barcelona into a skirt for Felicity.

This is BurdaStyle 05/2019 #112 (or #112burda052019 in instaspeak)

( image source: the previous USA based Burda website that was so good. No point adding the link now. Not happy Burda!)

I added 7 cm to the length and cut the front skirt and yoke on the fold. This omitted the centre front seam and the decorative button tab.

I lined the yoke with a poly/cotton from an old shirt of her fathers.

I covered the end of the zip with a scrap from his shirt too.

It’s very satisfying to recycle like this 😊

Secret pajamas maxi skirt: BurdaStyle 12/2015 #115

I’ve been trying some new silhouettes, styles, techniques and fabrics recently. Not all successfully.

I think this skirt might, just, however, sneak over the line into the success category. Although I am challenged with styling it.

Dowdy with my liberty shirt.

More successful as pseudo evening wear with a velvet top. Think how much better this would look if I’d stopped by the hair and makeup department before photography!

I know. It’s hardly revolutionary for a sewist to make a maxi skirt. But that’s not the point. It is for me. I haven’t made or worn a maxi skirt for years. It’s pencil skirts all the time for me.

This non pencil skirt is BurdaStyle 12/2015 #115B

https://burdastyle-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/patterns/technical_drawings/000/004/902/115-122015-M_large.jpg?1448854194

I went a bit off piste and used a double knit, swapped out the normal interfaced waistband for an elastic one and skipped the zip. That turned the skirt into secret pajamas.

The yoke is a nice feature.

I like the lines of the wrap front.

The back hangs nicely too (or would if I properly straightened it)

I also like the freedom of movement this style gives me! And it doesn’t seem to come at the expense of wardrobe malfunctions.

You really have to try hard and flip that top wrap layer up to show much leg.

This is a good pattern.

Who knows what will happen next? Perhaps… gasp…an A-line skirt instead of another pencil skirt?!

Or … I’ll use a Frixion pen for the first time?

I am so adventurous!

 

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.

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/fc/44/41/fc4441ecd62d3423f7692f68d0da35c0.jpg

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.

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!

Why I sew so much BurdaStyle

I received this Newlook pattern as a gift with Sew magazine bought in Heathrow Airport. Yes I am that person who buys sewing magazines to read on long haul flights.

Fabulous I thought. A free pattern that’s looks so useful!

I made up style C in a cream linen from deep stash.

Best French seams and precision sewing I ever did do. Of course I don’t have photos of it – unwearable: the armscye was too low and it was too loose under the bust.

So I did a petite adjustment (2 cms out of the bodice above the bust and some waist shaping) and made another version. This time the square neck line of style D with the sleeves of A.

Now sort of acceptable.

Although the bust point is now too high and its still too loose under the bust, even with my adjustment.

However, let me tell you about the skirt.

It’s Burdastyle and I know what to do to Burdastyle to get it to fit first time.

I know. It’s just a pencil skirt. But still. Those panels are kind of nice.

This is Burdastyle 10/2016 #106

I drafted up one size to a 22 (the petite equivalent of a 44) at the hips and halfway between a 21 and 22 through the waist.

I made it up in a mystery fabric from deep in the stash that behaves like a wool, so probably is a wool or a wool blend. I don’t recall buying it, so it might have been my mothers. That means it’s at least 20 years old.

I love it! Much more than the Newlook top!

There’s something to be said for sewing from a pattern company that uses a pattern block that you know works for your measurements.

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!

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…