Burda 08 2017 119

The 2009 august issue of Burda has been my all time favourite. I’ve used 4 of the patterns in it and there still are a few in my queue – 8(!) years later ūüėÄ

This year’s august issue is just as good – I made this dress and plan to make at least 2 more items in the near future – the petite blazer and the cowl jumper.

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I always loved Burda’s puzzle dresses, this one and the other seamed dress in this issue are gorgeous, they really are something else.

backdress

The back is basic

The fabric is a ‘waffle wool’ as described on the Fabworks website, it feels really light and crisp, nothing like any other wool fabrics I’ve seen. The colour is really difficult to photograph, I’d say it’s in between the photos up here, not as cold as on the left but not as warm as on the right, and the photo on the Fabworks website is too dark.

After measuring the pattern I traced size 38 for shoulder, neckline and underarms and pivoted to 42 for bust, waist and skirt., keeping the size 38 length for the bodice. I made a muslin and was happy with the fit, I only shortened the bodice 1 cm above bust and raised the armhole one more cm. I also took off 15 cm off the skirt length.

I have a short torso and I usually shorten the patterns at least one inch above the waist. I think this might be too short on someone above average height.

My armholes ended up too small because I had a 1.5cm allowance there but I used less than 1cm when sewing the binding on. The finish is a bit bulky as well, I think I will go back and bind them with a single fold bias strip.

A few tips for putting this together that are not mentioned in the instructions:

  • I stitched darts and pleats and then overlocked everything but neckline (there’s a facing there), armholes (bias binding) and hem (overlocked all around after front and back are sewn together)
  • Step 3 asks you to baste the dress on top of the side panel on the placement lines and then baste them together following the seam lines. ¬†I did that on my muslin but then decided to only pin the inner edges instead of the first basting, otherwise you can’t baste the seam lines because the placement lines and seam lines are very close together at the sides. This probably sounds very confusing without having the pieces in front of you.

    burda2

    Left: dress on top of the right panel. The dress has the edges folded under and they extend all the way to the edges of the panel. Right: dress and panel seam lines basted

  • After step 3 and 4 I stitched in the ditch along the waist seam to secure the panel and keep it from moving around.
    burda3
  • You might want to interface the zip opening

I didn’t buy the September issue and I don’t think I’ll buy October either, but I have plenty of old issues I want to use.¬†Stay tuned for more Burda goodies! ūüôā

 

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McCalls 6996 and Burda 7105 – a resurrection

7 months ago I got a brand new sewing machine with all the bells and whistles, I was ready for SWAP 2016, when sloth took over. I was pregnant, tired and at the end of the day I only had enough energy to move from the sofa to the bed. I took a break until spring when after a couple of maternity sewing failures I stocked up on maternity patterns.

I started with a Burda 7105 skirt which, to my surprise, was a great success.

7105_esb_1

When I saw¬†it I thought the belly band at least would¬†be cut out of something with some stretch. But no, they instruct you to cut the band¬†from the same fabric as the rest of the skirt and the pattern recommends ‘light wools’ and stretch fabric for the trousers only. I was worried the skirt won’t fit for long with a rigid interfaced (!) yoke but 3 months later¬†it still does.

fusta1

March vs June

fusta2

After making the skirt I took another long break until the last couple of weeks. I started with a soft bra which is cut and patiently awaiting to be sewn. I made a pair of Burda mag pyjama shorts (documented on Instagram) and a cardigan. Noting maternity specific, I plan to wear all of them for a long time.

The cardigan is McCalls 6996. It looked pretty relaxed, not in a slouchy way and I thought there’s not much that could go wrong with it. I cut an M and didn’t make any alterations to the pattern.¬†¬†Looking at the pictures, I shouldn’t have skipped moving the shoulder seam forwards.

The hem is curved so I carefully marked, pressed and hand basted it before sewing. When I saw the picture on the left I couldn’t believe it’s so ripply. But then I realised I forgot to press it after sewing (LOL).¬†Problem solved, now I have a perfectly flat hem!

cardiganspate

BUT¬†I might need to do¬†the hemming¬†again. I think the combination of colour, length and slightly baggy shoulders make this cardigan look very outdated (me being in desperate need of a haircut doesn’t help either). So my next project is to shorten it by 6 inches, that would suit me a lot better.

There’s a month to go until baby arrives and I think I will at least finish the bra until then AND make a summer dress. I will have a couple of weeks off work¬†so I might do even more!

Sewing with a plan

Have of you heard of SWAP?¬†It’s a yearly challenge to sew 11 garments that will all work together. Some years, every top has to match every bottom; other years, the 11 pieces simply have to work together as a collection.

This year the rules are very flexible and I finally feel I can commit to such a big project.

  • 1 “3 pack” of Color(s) A (3 garments)
  • 1 “3 pack” of Color(s) B (3 garments)
  • 1 “Combo Pack” of Colors A & B (2 garments)
  • 1 “3 pack” of Wild Cards

I went through my stash and chose the fabrics and patterns I want to use. This made me realise I have way too many, more that I could sew for several swaps. And I still love most of them so I should stop buying more.

My first pack is full of colours and it’s my favorite. ¬†The shirt¬†fabric is a poly cotton blend,¬†the top will be made in a cotton silk blend and the trousers in cotton sateen.

The second pack doesn’t have any prints and the colours are quieter.¬†Cotton sateen for the trousers, swiss dot cotton for the top and raw silk for the jacket.

The combo pack has prints again – cotton viscose blend for the top and medium weight cotton twill for the jacket. I think the stripes will look nice going in different directions on the lapel. I might add a waist seam and play with the stripes direction.

And the wildcards which are not plain but they will go nicely with the rest of the garments. Two of them are dresses so they can be worn by themselves anyway, but I think¬†the wrap dress will look great with the yellow jacket, and both dresses will go well with this coat. The coat goes with everything, the dots are very small so it doesn’t really look like a print from a distance.

Two garments may be previously sewn, one may be purchased, and two may be sewn up before the official sewing start date of Dec 26, 2015. I already have the denim dress but I didn’t take pictures for a post yet and I want to make at least the wrap dress before Christmas. I want to wear it to my work Christmas party which is on Dec 17.

There are a lot of garments but only a few patterns. I have Simplicity 2599 and Butterick 5678 for the tops, both of them are patterns with different cup sizes so I’m hoping I won’t have a lot of¬†work to do with the fitting. I’m showing two different trousers patterns, an Ottobre and a Burda, but they are very similar and I will¬†only make one. I’m still debating on that, I know that Burda trousers fit me well, but I like more how the Ottobre look on the model.

trousers

Ottobre on the left and Burda on the right

The jacket/coat patterns are very similar so I will probably fit one and use that pattern to alter the other two. I think out of the 3 I will start with the coat, so I can wear it during the spring.

I made the board in PowerPoint and I was surprised to see you can remove the image background after adding it to a slide. I don’t know since when this has been a feature, but I found it very easy to use and¬†you don’t need any photo editing software. Of course, you do need to have Microsoft Office. If not, I recommend Gimp, it’s a powerful free photo editing software. It might take a while to get the hang of it, but there are a lot of tutorials online.

Do you like to make plans? Are you just having fun and sew whatever you feel like? I was on the fun crew but I never have anything to wear so I’m switching gears.

A plaid tailored jacket for PR Sewing Bee round 3

I’m still burnt out after making this in 9 days (mostly evenings), 2 of which were spent on fitting the pattern, but I wanted to share it because I’m extremely proud of it.

There are many details in my PR review so I won’t bore you with¬†more text, even though I could probably write at least 2 lengthy posts about this week.

2 bound buttonholes – one of them is almost invisiblle

Perfectly matching pocket flap

Almost perfectly matching welt

I underlined the bias cut velvet collar with a piece of interfaced light cotton

Insides before lining

Inside out Рsatin silk lining from the cloth house sale Р£4/m

aligned horizontal lines

aligned vertical lines

Could’ve done better on the back

I absolutely love it!

I hope I get through to the final round (will find out tomorrow) and the last challenge is a pair of trousers. I’ve had¬†a gorgeous pair of Burda (again!) jeans on my list for 2 years. ūüėÄ

Make the fabric your own – The reveal

I started quilting my fabric on Saturday morning. As I went along, it was becoming more and more apparent¬†it wasn’t going to be a skirt. It couldn’t, it was just too stiff, so I had to come up with plan B. The obvious garment for the fabric was a simple jacket, but I didn’t have enough fabric for sleeves, nor did I want such a bulky fabric around my arms. I stopped half way through the quilting and made a trip to Goldhawk Road, entered the first shop and asked for fake leather, they had a perfect dark brown which I bought and ran back home.¬†There went two hours I could’ve spent sewing, but at least the weather was nice and I got to see the sun.

I wanted to finish the jacket and take the pictures on Sunday even though the deadline is Tuesday night, but it was my only chance to take pictures in daylight. I woke up early and started a muslin on Burda 126-08-2014. No collar, no pockets, just the front, back and 2 piece sleeve. I’m really happy I took the time to test the pattern, there were a lot of changes I needed to do – narrow the shoulders, lift the right side at the shoulder front on the neck side, shorten the armscye and sleeve cap¬†(which I think would’ve looked better if I kept the cap sleeve length and changed only the width to make it fit the new armscye length), lengthen the bodice below the waist, widened the neckline, and I think that’s it. It’s not perfect, but it’s good enough for a 1 day jacket. Next time I’ll do better.

The front pattern had a bust dart but the fabric was too bulky to add a dart. I gathered the wool at the sides around the dart area and steamed it shorter. So even thought there are no darts the bust area is shaped nicely.

I trimmed the neckline, center front and hem with strips of the fake leather I used for the sleeves. The side seams match and the seam allowances are bound with the silk I quilted the wool on.

This felt like a marathon, I am sew exhausted now. I’ll go have another glass of wine and not sew for another week. Here are ‘a few’ pictures of the end result which make me really happy. I think it was worth it.

‘Make the fabric your own’ – the second round of Pattern Review Sewing Bee

The announcement for the second challenge left me stumped. ‘Embellish or alter some fabric to make it your own’. Aha. Ok. What now?

I think painting could’ve been the quickest, and with some decent skills can be pretty impressing (see here). I stress the ‘I think’ because I’ve never done it so I have no idea. I’d like to try it at some point, but¬†a limited time challenge wasn’t the right moment to start.

My mind was set on boiled wool and I wanted to make a jacket. I thought about applique, reverse applique, discreet or full on Alabama Chanin, yarn stitching and needle felting, cross stitching at the hems or around all edges but I couldn’t imagine any of these ending up like something I’d wear.

I then went through my fall sewing list (mentally, I don’t¬†have it on paper) and remembered (this post¬†helped) I wanted to make a tartan half circle skirt. Still with the boiled wool in mind I decided to give it a try. My initial plan as to use dark green, navy and black, to simulate the¬†black¬†watch tartan. But I didn’t find the right colours in the shop (Saeed in Waltamstow, I knew they had boiled wool) and online shopping wasn’t an option given the time constraints.¬†I looked at all the wools for probably half an hour before I picked dark green, brown and cream.

I cut strips of 1/2, 1 and 2 inches and started weaving them. It was a long and tedious project, trying to keep everything square and in place, so a lot of pinning an basting happened. I finally finished tonight and I now have a cosy little blanket, roughly 145cm X 75cm.

more fun awaits, all those basting threads need to disappear

This is going to be quilted tomorrow on a piece of silk, I’m going to topstitch all strips edges, so I expect to go through a lot of bobbins. I’ll load half a dozen before I begin :). I quilted a small sample tonight and it looks like¬†the final fabric might be a little too stiff.¬†I’ll still try a half circle skirt, and if it’s too Judy Jetson, I’ll just chop the flare off and make it a-line. We’ll see!

quilted sample

I’ll have to try and keep the skirt clean for as long as possible. Drying the fabric in one layer took 2 days. I can’t imagine how long it will take now with 2 woven layers and the lining stitched to them.

I’m happy with my idea and how things look so far, but after working on it every night this week my view is meant to be biased. There’s no time to edit though, we just have to go with our gut. I would’ve never tried something like this if it wasn’t for this contest, so there’s a win right there (cliche, I know), I stretched myself to come up with a concept and put it in practice.

Simplicity 1873+1610 and Vianne – a late oal2015 outfit

I wanted to take part in the OAL this year and I actually managed to finish the cardigan on time but not the dress, which is surprising considering the amount of time needed for each.

My gauge was spot on for the cardigan, but I made a mistake I no longer make when sewing РI knit it in size M, based on my bust measurement. Therefore the cardigan is big at the shoulders and the sleeves are too wide.

For the dress I used Simplicity 1873 on top and 1610 on the bottom. I’ve made the 1610 dress before and I love that skirt – perfect pockets that stay in place and are better located than in-seam pockets (they look better too imo), plus¬†the width of the skirt feels just right for me.

I don’t love the top though. I tried Nancy Zieman’s pivot an slide method (see video at the end) and started with size 10 based on my front shoulder measurement.¬†I had to add quite a lot of width at the bust and waist and I’m afraid that distorted the overall shape. The top has a lot of ease above and below the bust at the sides, but at least the armhole doesn’t gape. I made a muslin and made a few other changes to the pattern after that – moved the front waist dart a few cm to the side, lowered the bust dart and removed a 1.5cm wedge¬†for sway back. One¬†other alteration I meant to do but somehow forgot was to add length at center front. This is not mentioned in the video but it makes sense to add some space vertically too. I did squeeze a little bit of length by reducing the seam allowance, but that was not enough and I think the proportions are off because of the bodice¬†length. It is just too short.

Modified pattern before muslin

Front view Рthe too short and boxy bodice is obvious here. And notice the green on green Рthis is why my other pictures are inside even though it was a beautiful sunny day.

Even though I moaned all through this post, I don’t dislike and the dress and I¬†will continue to wear it. It’s not perfect and I hope all my future projects turn out better than this, but sometimes less than perfect is enough. At least from some angles.

 

Since I made this I bought Nancy Zieman’s pattern fitting book, I’m not giving up on her method yet. It looks easier than other I’ve seen/tried, I hope I can make it work.

Butterick 6183 – A complete outfit

I’ve started working on this pattern right after I finished my B6168 dress. I used size 14 for the dress and narrowed the shoulders in order to avoid a FBA, but since this pattern has different cup sizes, I cut a size 12 with a C cup for the top. Most reviews say the top is snug but mine came out roomier¬†than expected and too wide at the shoulders, even though I used N. Zieman’s method of choosing the pattern size based on the front shoulder measurement. The reason? I didn’t measure myself correctly. Duh.

There’s just one alteration I’ve made to the top pattern – I shortened 2 cm above the waist. The CB length neck to waist was over 40cm, which is huge I think even for¬†people with a standard height. Also, I didn’t use a zip, I just left the slit opened and added a button at the top. A button that is too big and heavy for this light viscose. Anyway, this top is going to the bin unfortunately. I finished the SAs with a pinking shears and they all got shredded in the washing machine. I’ll keep this in mind when I work with similar fabric. I plan to make more tops like this, but I’ll go down a size, make the sleeves 2-3 cm shorter and add 2-3 cm at the bottom.

The trousers are size 14 – I was worried they were going to be too small, so I used 1cm (3/8″) SA at the sides and lengthened the waistband.¬†They didn’t look so wide from the top on the pattern cover, and they didn’t look so wide in the few reviews I’ve seen either. But they are. Loose from the hip to the ankle. I’m not complaining, I’ve been wearing them 3 times a week, they are very comfortable. I think they look better with a more fitted top, like the above Tonic that’s too tight to wear with anything else.

I found it odd that the pattern instructions didn’t say anything about interfacing the zip area or the pocket openings.¬†I had to do that because the linen I used was very loosely woven, and my pockets are already gaping anyway. Some ribbon would’ve been even better. I added a snap to the waistband to¬†help it keep it closed.

I have a few muslins cut out, but I¬†didn’t feel very motivated to sew or knit lately. It;s probably the recent ‘tiny pocket tank’ fail and the lovey weather outside. Do you sew much during the summer? I’d surely need more dresses and airy¬†tops but I¬†don’t feel like staying inside.

Butterick 6168 or Do you know how much I love Lisette?

I was only aware of the Lisette patterns before and I do have an unused (yet) Simplicity one, but my love really started with Butterick 6168. I needed this dress and I finally have it.

I did a quick muslin in size 14 and made the following alterations:

– shortened the shoulder length by 1 cm

– shortened the bodice above the bust 1 cm at the armhole to 1,5 at center front (1cm across at the back)

– 1 cm sway back

– added 2 cm to the sleeve width

– shortened the skirt by 12 cm: 7 cm at the marked line and cm at the hem. I found that when I need to shorten a large amount on a full skirt, it works best for me if I remove some of the length at the hem too, otherwise the skirt is too full compared to the design for my short figure.

Another thing I changed was to use a normal facing for the back, instead of bias. To do that, I slightly changed the sewing steps:

1. I’ve sewn the front facings only from the neckline notch toward the bottom when constructing the front

2. I’ve attached the front to the¬†back at the shoulders and the front facing¬†to the back facing

3. I’ve sewn the facing to the bodice from front neckline notches to centre back

The fabric is a very soft and light cotton jacquard, I think. It’s light grey on one side and dark grey on the other, with contrasting spots on each side.

 

I bought it from Cloth House, which is close¬†to my office. After buying the pattern I couldn’t wait for the weekend to go looking somewhere else, and even though I wasn’t convinced with the dark color, I think it’s a good fit for the cheeky design. And it’s really so soft and light, you can see in the photos it’s always flowing.

As other reviewers have stated, the side view is not the most flattering. I could easily wear this dress half way through a pregnancy. But looking at the design as a whole, I couldn’t see the skirt attaching to the top any other way. And I can’t imagine it with a straight/a-line skirt either, unless you change the midriff band as well, and then you have to make sure you keep the design balanced. I’d really love to see someone try it.

I don’t know if I’m going to make this again, as it’s such a distinctive design, but I’m surely going to sew other Lisette patterns. Right now I’m working on some wearable muslins for B6183. Have you worked with any Lisette patterns? Do you love them as much as I do?

New Look 6145 – Do you know an architect called Maya?

One year ago – well, one year and 13 days to be exact –¬†I went to my first sewing meetup. It was the big London meeting at V&A organised by Rachel at House of Pinheiro.¬†I was living in London for less than a year and I didn’t know anyone there. There were so many ladies in the V&A cafe¬†and most of them seemed to know at least 2-3 other there.¬†I am not the most sociable person, quite the contrary, it took me a lot of¬†courage to go there. But as it usually happens, I was very happy I went. I met many lovely sewing ladies like¬†Amy, Jodie, Lou, Vicki and Maya. I spent most of the shopping time on Goldhawk Road with facebook-less, instagram-less, blog-less Maya, and it was her who found this fabric:

It was a 3 m piece of what I suspect is a cotton-silk blend based on a burn test. We¬†loved it as soon as we’ve seen it but none of us was committed to buying the whole piece. So we shared it. Each of us took half and I held on to it until I found the perfect pattern.

That happened 2 months ago when I found out about Simplicity’s blogger challenge. The ‘Best dressmaking project’ category pattern was New Look 6145, a basic shift dress that not only was a perfect canvas for my special fabric, but¬†it’s the style that Maya loved best. I wouldn’t be surprised if she had a dress similar to mine, maybe just a little more a-line.

I love this length on me, I have to make a version as long as my muslin.

 

I started with size 14, removed 5 cm from the skirt length and made the following changes to the pattern after a muslin:

  • shortened the bodice above the bust by 1 cm
  • shortened the shoulder length again by 1¬†cm
  • moved the shoulder seam 1 cm forward at the armscye
  • removed 1 cm wedge from CB
  • widened the back darts by 1 cm each
  • lengthen the back darts by 1 cm on the upper end

Apparently I do everything in 1’s :).

I think the back could be even more shaped and there is a little bit of dragging at the armscye, but¬†I don’t know what more I could do, I’m not sure what needs changed. It still fits good for a woven dress, but¬†every wrinkle and line is¬†highlighted by the shiny fabric. Look at that zip – urghhh! – I interfaced the fabric there! ūüė¶


I’ve planned another dress using this pattern – I’m going to make it out of a colorful viscose I bought recently, omit the zip as I can get into and out of the dress without it, and use the 3/4 sleeve, lightly gathered at the bottom.

And please, if you know Maya, the Finnish architect who lives in SE London, wears mostly a-line dresses with leggings, braids her hair and cycles to work, please let me know, I’d like to see her again! ūüôā