From Ikea throw to another Newlook 6471 top

You might see an IKEA VALKRASSING throw. I see 2 meters of 150 cm wide cotton double gauze.

The throw was reduced to $20 – that’s $10 per meter. Bargain. Perfect way to tip my toe inexpensively into sewing and wearing double gauze. And what better way to do it than with Newlook 6471, the pattern I’ve just used?

Mum jeans – #sewoverfifty

After I cut out my pattern pieces I discovered it was triple gauze. I presuming that makes it even warmer to wear and a bit loftier?

That line on the sleeve is not a dropped sleeve seam- it is the T-shirt sleeve hem I was wearing underneath. Also, look how much my natural colour has grown out! #greyharidon’tcare

The triple layers made me decide to go for a rolled collar rather than bind the neck with self bias. Two reasons – this seemed like it was going to be a cold weather top so the extra neck coverage would be welcome and sewing bias binding neatly and evenly in triple gauze onto gathers didn’t sound like fun.

The pattern doesn’t come with a rolled neck. I used the neck tie pattern pieces without the ties but with a centre back opening. To which I added button holes and buttons. This was the only place I used interfacing – a 3 cm strip underneath where the button holes and buttons were going to go.

Front, back, buttoned, unbuttoned. Also look how good this throw would’ve coordinated with my bedspread – perhaps I shouldn’t have cut it up after all?

The instructions are good for this pattern. I like the way the seam allowances for the gathered edges are 3/8 inch and that means the first line of gathering stitches is very close to the raw edge – makes it much easier to sew after it’s gathered because everything seems to stay better in place.

Sewing over pins and stictiching on top of the gathering stitch- #livingdangerously

The cuffs weren’t interfaced. I did the same as last time – cut them wider, sewed one long edge to the gathered edge of the sleeve, folded the cuff in almost half (butted the edge up to just touch to seam allowances which were pressed towards the cuff) and then folded up again and stitched. This means my cuffs are four layers of triple gauze! No wonder they look padded!

Last time I made this I felt the sleeves were a bit short. So this version has 5 cm extra length added to the sleeves. Now a tiny bit too long. Goldilocks sleeve length is still to be attained!

I’m still liking the idea of the high low hem. So for this one I cut the hem edge on the fringed ends of the throw. In fact, given the fringes are the selvedges, all of this top was cut across rather than with the grain, apart from the bias cut collar.

Serious face because I’m on the fence about the fringe

What do you think? Should I cut the fringes off and hem it normally?

Navy border print top: Newlook 6471

If you’ve been reading my blog posts recently you’ll be detecting a theme – stash busting and dated patterns. Here’s another example.

I’ve had the pattern for at least five years and the fabric for ten.

Yep- still keeping it real with wearing wrinkles from a morning of sitting, again

This pattern was a freebie in a sewing magazine I purchased whilst travelling. I rediscovered it recently whilst organizing my small pattern stash (ahem, not mentioning the extensive Burda magazine collection…).

I’d pulled out the fabric whilst looking through my fabric stash for all fabrics suitable for tops to go with my two new skirts (the mustard and turquoise ones). Why not put the pattern and fabric together I asked myself? The worst that could happen was bad pattern meets lovely but incompatible fabric.

Inspired by Giedre of Giedre Style who recently made a long sleeved top from a border print and put the border print on the sleeves, I decided to do the same. In hindsight, this very deep and linear border was not the best choice for sleeves, because the upper ‘line’ of the border looks a bit like a dropped sleeve seam, which I don’t like on me, but I sort of love the top anyway!

The fabric is a cotton silk woven from a local designer end of bolt sale in November 2012. I miss those sales! She’d used the fabric in a sheath dress with an overlay of the border running down one shoulder. I’d always thought I’d replicate it. But no. I made a border sleeved top instead.

I made some small changes to the sleeves. I cut the bottom of the sleeve out on the selvedge – I didn’t curve the edges up as per the pattern. This doesn’t seem to noticeably make the sleeves hang wrong.

The pattern has the ‘cuffs’ on the bias. Instead I cut the cuffs out double the suggested width and not on the bias- I used the same part of the border that the sleeves ended on. I sewed the cuffs on folded into thirds- resulting in a 2.5 cm finished width.

The sleeves turned out shorter than I expected given the pattern envelope photo. Other reviewers noted the same. Next time I’ll make the sleeves 5 cm longer. The shorter sleeves might have been because I made a size smaller (18) than my measurements suggested, and I have broad shoulders.

I cut the neck tie in two pieces due to fabric restructions. A centre back seams is not a problem though. Made it easier to orient my KATM label!

I made the high low hem of Style D rather than the regular hem of style A. I paid a lot of attention to centering the mirrored pattern on the front and the back.

More wearing wrinkles

But completely disregarded aligning the pattern horizontally. Which is a problem when you make the high low hem of Style D rather than the regular hem of style A because you think the high low hem will look good when you wear it untucked

Its about 4 cm out. So annoying. Only noticeable when worn untucked of course. So you know how I’m going to avoid that issue!

I like this pattern a lot more than I expected to, so another one is on the cards.

There’s probably lots of sewists out there who bought the sewing magazine with this pattern. But it doesn’t seem like it has been used much – not many reviews on Pattern Review. Is it just that we don’t value things we get for free? Or did the modeled photo put people off? Certainly didn’t encourage me to make it!

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.

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?

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!

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?

Orange and blue top: #128burda02/2015

A colour blocked top in ponte is an idea that has been percolating in my head for a while.

It all came together this winter because I made a simple pencil skirt in an orange and cobalt plaid and I had ponte in matching colours in my fabric stash. I love my stash!

The project included the fun of playing with colour blocking combinations on the screen before I committed to cutting. This is style 128 from Burda 02/2015

The pattern is in petite sizing (17-21), which works for me because I am short waisted. Except that COVID-19 induced isolation, grieving and menopause mean I now need plus sized petite sizing. 22 or 24 would be perfect. But that is not really a thing. Luckily, the pattern is boxy and flat pattern measurements suggested it’d be okay as a 21.

It was.

I liked the split sleeves of the ¾ length sleeves on the dress/tunic version of this pattern but wanted longer sleeves.

I don’t know how the orange part of the slit turned out slightly longer than the blue and was perfectly matched at the seam but I suspect it was due to the orange ponte being lighter andstretchier than the blue and me not marking the slit point. I’m not mad at how its turned out. Its hardly noticeably different and if it is then I figure it just adds a little bit more drama.

I’ve worn this top as is and with a black turtle neck layered under it.  I love it – and am asking myself why it took so long to make this pattern

This is not a complicated sew – just requires precision around the piecing and the square corner of the armscye. I used a square of interfacing on this spot and marked in the stitching line with a FriXion heat erasable pen, reduced stitch length around it and crossed my fingers (virtually) when I snipped into the corner.

It’s ponte, so none of the seams are finished. How weird, but freeing, it felt to leave everything raw!

I used a double needle for the hems, and went to the trouble of changing colours for the different colour blocks. Slow mindful sewing was what I needed to do.

The skirt? It’s a simple pencil skirt made from a gorgeous wool knit from Tessuti’s lined with a fine merino wool nylon blend from The Fabric Store and an elastic waist using fancy elastic from Seamstress Fabrics. All purchased online, but that’s no surprise is it? It’s 2020 and there’s a global pandemic.

It is certainly not a subtle top or skirt but it makes me happy!

Fruit tingles top: Vogue 8805

I went to my local fabric store for thread and came out with thread and fabric.

The fabric is pretty cute. An oatmeal coloured marle cotton knit with rainbow freckles sprinkled throughout. Practically a neutral.

While I should have just bought the thread and left the fabric behind, I thought Felicity would like the fabric and that it would work as a top to wear with her cat skirt.

Right on both counts.

What pattern to use? After a long search through all my large BurdaStyle magazine collection, my smaller stash of PDF and paper patterns and some online exploration (long enough to have already sewn something!) we settled on shortening a simple shift dress pattern, Vogue 8805, into a top.

The fabric is a knit with some stretch but only in one direction, so I acted as if it was a delicate woven that needed stabilising – I used a straight stitch for all construction and added a woven ribbon to the shoulder seams.

Rather than finish the neck with bias binding, I trimmed to 1 cm by overlocking the edges, folded in on the stitching line and stitched the overlocked seam allowance down. This seems to have held up just fine.

This is size 12 with a D cup. I removed the excess fabric in the dart before sewing it and then overlocked close to the stitching.

This makes the dart look like a seam.

Such fun fabric. Goes with the cat skirt as planned but also look great with denim.

Now I want one too!

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.

 

Christmas/New Year sewing

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

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

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

Sailor shorts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kalle shirt

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

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

Gemini! Felicity’s star sign.

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

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

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

And what do these garments look like on Felicity?

Very cute.

Pseudo pockets in action.

Stealth sailor version (untucked)

Happy New Year!

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.

Something old and something new

Well this is an unexpected bonus. My new sparkly linen top works very well with one of my old favourites.

This skirt was recently rescued from the depths of my wardrobe. It’s a bit faded but still loved!

But let me tell you about the fabric in my top.

It’s a coated linen from The Fabric Store in Sydney.

No I don’t live in Sydney. But I have worked out I can fit in a quick visit to The Fabric Store on the way to the airport if my Sydney meeting finishes by 3:30 PM. And lots of them do.

Both The Fabric Store, and Tessuti Fabrics Surry Hills store, are located close to Central train station. Hop off the T8 line out to Sydney airport. Take a short walk there and back, then continue on your way to catch your flight. With new fabric…

The Fabric Store also has an excellent and extensive selection of Liberty. Even some on sale. I resisted. This time.

So jealous of sydneysiders with these two stores as their local fabric stores!

This is a repeat pattern make. I didn’t notice that the darts are a smidge low the first time I made this. But this plain linen shows everything! Even wrinkles after 5 minutes of wear.

At my age (#fashionoverfifty), I’m embracing the wrinkles!

This is an excellent pattern. Uses less than a metre of fabric. I can see several more in my sewing future!

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!

Flouncing around: BurdaStyle 07/2017 #119

I’m following M of Nonsuch’s mathematical approach in one of her recent blog posts

“I want to sew this fabric” + ”I want to make something with flounces” =  new top

I’ve been wanting to sew this fabric for a long time. It came from Liz of Designer Fabrics Australia. I am simultaneously wishing Liz was still actively managing her stash by making it available for sale, and relieved that she isn’t!

[image from Lizs blog post ]

So many things to love about this fabric: border print, yellow, the tribal and ethnic style of the pattern, Hugo Boss provenance and that its been made into a frock worn by an Aussie girl who met a Prince in a pub in Sydney and then married him and lived happily ever after in a palace in Denmark.

I have also become enamoured with flounces*. This BurdaStyle pattern from last July (07/2017 #119) quickly became my new favourite .

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The flounces are like a cross between a cape and a sleeve.

Burda says this pattern needs a fabric with two good sides. Mine has a right and wrong side, but the difference is subtle. I constructed the sleeves opposite to Burda’s instructions, which meant that the wrong side was on the less noticeable lower part of the flounce.

I did a baby hem on the edges, rather than Burda”s instructions to zig zag and trim close to the stitching. Really Burda?

I added slits to the lower edge, because I am most likely to wear this top like a tunic

It can be worn tucked in, but that’s not my preference, especially with this deep border print.

Much nicer untucked

 

* Don’t worry. Flounce obsession seems to have passed