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 🙂

Monochrome floral tunic: BurdaStyle 08/2020 #125

Experimental sewing. Wearable, but getting close to a wadder. I guess we’ve all been there.

I wouldn’t have said this when this top was fresh off the sewing machine, but subsequent episodes of wearing have led me to conclude that its not quite the right fabric for this pattern.

What is this pattern I hear you say?

BurdaStyle 08/2020 #125 in a size 46 bust and waist and six 48 hips.

Recommended fabrics are light weight blouse fabrics like viscose-rayon crepe

The fabric I used was not the recommended types but is actually quite lovely – a sophisticated monochrome panel print in a fine stretch cotton woven. With a beautiful multi coloured striped selvedge. And it has those special souvenir fabric vibes – bought in Bordeaux, France in between meetings on a work trip, back in the day when that was a thing I did.

I knew the pattern would be better in a drapey fabric, but I thought I would give it a try anyway. Experimental. Did I say that already?

It sewed up beautifully. Lovely fabric.

The interesting faux button V neck thing is good- not too deep but deep enough to be not frumpy. The lack of depth of colour on the underside of my fabric shows though- because there is no button band just a narrow turnback of the fabric edge to finish it. It’s not terrible, or even very noticeable to anyone else, but it irritates me.

The three quarter sleeves are nice but I had the unwelcome discovery that my forearms are larger than the pattern was drafted for. The cuffs only just meet. No chance of an overlap and buttons.

So instead I have ribbon tie cuffs. Design feature? Maybe! And an easy thang to fix for next time.

I used the burrito method for the yoke. It always seems like magic! And I couldn’t help myself with the label. That multi-striped selvedge needed to be seen – even if only by me. The native American blanket vibes are incongruous, but it makes me smile!

So what don’t I like about the top ( apart from the wrong side showing at the neck edge)?

It sticks out – it doesn’t drape. Of course it does. It’s a cotton with body. All operator fault in matching fabric to pattern.

I’ll keep on wearing the top before I judge it better donated, and I haven’t given up on the pattern. I just need to select a drapier fabric.

This photo is not very convincing is it? Its good to acknowledge that not all sewing results in garments you love. All part of the rich tapestry of life….

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?

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.

Lodo dress times three

The Lodo dress from True Bias is my new favourite summer dress pattern. Three so far!

So much to love about this pattern. It has a nicely shaped V neck, it’s loose through the waist, has excellent shoulder coverage, is designed for a stable knit, a woven fabric is used for the facings and (bonus points) the instructions encourage you to use fun fabrics for the facings.

My first version was in a ponte from EOS that I didn’t love as much once it was delivered. I think it’s the slight brown cast to the background plaid. You know, the perfect fabric to use for a trial version.

It turned out to be an excellent corporate look that has worked perfectly for work Zoom meetings. Accessorised with bare feet. The hand, stretch and recovery of the fabric makes this dress a delight to wear and absolutely easy care. It’s a poly/viscose/spandex blend.

Despite the colour not really being one that makes my skin tone look the best it’s been worn at least once every week since made.

This was the trial version so I cut out the longer version with the back hem slit.

Super dowdy.

I removed 15 cm from the length and turned up the hem 5 cm That makes it 17.5 cm shorter than the long version and 10 cm longer than the short version is drafted.

Making a longer version and then chopping some of the length off also means it has a micro walking slit. All stitching, apart from the facings, was done with a narrow zigzag using a ballpoint needle. Slightly wavy stitching lines, as you can see below, but worked a treat.

Despite the encouragement to use fun woven fabrics for the facing I used a very boring black poly cotton wove. The back of my fabric being black ‘inspired’ me. I didn’t turn under the edge, just overlooked, so it’s wider than drafted. I like it.

Lodo is a loose shift dress with a slight cocoon shape seen from the front and back. Yes that is annoying pattern twinning on the back! Didn’t think of it whilst cutting out. At least the plaid matches well.

The straightness of the style is obvious in this side view.

The second version was in a softer rayon/nylon/spandex blend ponte from EOS.

This fabric drapes more and also creases more. The photo below was taken after a morning at work, an afternoon at a work Christmas party, an hour and a half in a car, unpacking at a beach house and then a stroll on the beach. Not too bad, but my first version would not have shown a single wrinkle or crease. But also nowhere near as much fun as bright red!

This dress has already had a busy schedule at Christmas events. Here’s another photo of it looking a bit more dressed up and ready to go out to a Christmas lunch.

As lovely as this fabric is, it was a bit of a problem to hem and my normal trick of stitching down the top of the inseam pockets (Yes! It has pockets!) resulted in skipped stitches and drag lines even without anything in the pockets – like in the photo below where my hands are actually in the pockets.

I unpicked the pocket stitching and secured the pockets to the dress with one hand sewn tack 11cm from the side seam.

The pocket tacks show as two evenly spaced dimples in the dress. Pocket bags flapping around on the inside would be worse!

I was a bit surprised by the issues I had with the hem. I’ve used this fabric before and my double needle worked fine. It didn’t matter which needle I tried – ballpoint, stretch, microtex, universal – I got skipped stitches. I suspect it may be because my double needles are blunt, but a ballpoint double needle and a normal new universal or microtex needle didn’t stop the missed stitches either.

All this happened after shops had closed so I hand sewed the hem because I wanted to wear the dress the next day. Of course it took less time to hand sew than all the trials on scraps with different needles and stitch styles and rethreading and rewinding bobbins *eyeroll*

No boring facings on this one. And these ad their edges turned under so they are as narrow as drafted.

The extended shoulder/sleeve facing shows as does the pocket lining when seated but when it’s as glorious as this Liberty print there’s nothing to forgive.

The third version is in a stretch cotton woven. Not a recommended fabric but worked perfectly well. Absolutely no issues with skipped stitches with this well behaved fabric! Look at that lovely double needle hem!

I made a 2 cm forward shoulder adjustment and took the centre back seam in 1 cm through the waist. This more structured fabric seemed to need these changes.

Back to boring facings and overlooking rather than turning the edge under. I like the wider look. I didn’t cut the extended shoulder/sleeve facing on the bias but ‘on the stretch’ (is that even a proper term?)

This one has pockets too. Also stitched into place with no issues.

All versions are size 16.

I haven’t worn the white one yet but its a likely contender for Christmas Day.

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate. I know many of you have had to cancel plans due to COVID-19 or , even worse, are back in lockdown, but I hope you can enjoy moments of peace, joy and love despite the circumstances.

Keep sane and keep safe!

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

4e_image_easy_large

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.

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!

The skirt edition of sewing at the beach

I made some skirts at the beach too. Simple stretch cotton summer staples. Fabric from the stash, but originally from Gay Naffine’s sales in July 2014 and November 2010.

Red ticking skirt

This is an adaptation of my asymmetrical wrap skirt Burdastyle 12/2013 #109

I took the left front side pattern piece (the one with the straight hem) and cut it out on the fold on the centre front line. I added a centre back seam to the back, plus a zip and walking slit. And used a facing instead of the waistband. In other words, it bears little resemblance to the original pattern!

A teensy bit of topstitching and, viola! a casual summer straight skirt.

The blouse is a me-made from October 2013: BurdaStyle 07-2011-121. It’s one of those blouses I reach for over and over again, and still looks great. I put that down to fabulous fabric. It really is worth sewing with the good stuff.

Lemon yellow skirt:

You saw this skirt in the last blog post. It’s BurdaStyle 01/2011 #137. It doesn’t seem to be available as a pdf download, but if you have this issue, have a look at this pattern. It’s a winner!

I first made it for Jungle January 2014, and have been meaning to repeat for a long time. This one is just the same as the Crazy Zebra version, except without lining.

It’s a nice pegged retro-ish over the knee length style, with a reasonably long walking vent that makes it easy to wear.

I’ve paired it here with another simple  knit top, BurdaStyle 04/2014 #109

I did a lazy persons petite adjustment (raised the neckline 2 cm) but otherwise changed nothing. Two pattern pieces? What was there to really change!?

This pattern is a bit of a sleeper. Burda made it up in a chunky knit, and instructed picking up stitches at the hem with a knitting needle and casting off using yarn you’d unravelled from the remnants of fabric. Sort of pretend knitting.

The pattern easily adapts to a regular knit. Instead of bias binding for the neckline, I cut out a skinny facing and, after stitching it to the bodice and flipping to the inside, stitched it down with a twin needle. I shamelessly copied this idea from Mary Athey.

This was cut out as a 42 grading to a 44 at the hips. It’s very roomy.

I know there are draglines from the bust but I’m not worrying about that (or ablogogising).

It’s a two piece pattern. I got to use up a knit remnant from fabric I loved and Felicity ‘stole’. So much to love. Draglines can be sorted with the next version. This one is going to be worn.

Repurposed Italian cherubs and a stripy grey top

This very cute fabric was purchased in Italy and made into a dress. I wore it a lot, and it faded.

The fading bit was okay, but it also grew, width wise. The curse of stretch woven cottons perhaps?

Now it’s a skirt.

Technical details

Skirt:

The dress was BurdaStyle 02-2009-124A

I sliced the bodice of the dress 4 cm down from the seam, through the zip and then turned down 3 cm for the waistband. The side seams came in a further 4 cm at the waist (that’s 16 cm overall- that’s how much it had stretched!).

I ‘reinforced’ the waist with elastic in the same way as I did for the pink ponte skirt.

Top

BurdaStyle 09-2011-108

Size: 36-44, I made a 40, taken in about 4 cm at the waist both front and back seams and shorter than drafted- 11 cm final length from waist).

Fabric: Polyester knit from Gay Naffine (from the stash and a bargain at $2 per metre)

The top is not supposed to have three quarter length sleeves, but that’s how it worked out. It could be partly because I made a 40, and I normally make a 42. Felicity’s version was a touch short in the sleeves too.

I’ve had the problem before with stretch cotton woven garments becoming shapeless. What is the secret with preventing stretch out?