Mccalls 7081 and Burda 08/2013 #115

This was my entry for round 2 of PatternReview’s Sewing Bee with the theme ‘Fabulous sleeves’. When the theme was announced I wanted to make McCall’s 7627 but the pattern is only sold in US and Canada. I started looking at pictures of similar tops and I was completely smitten when I discovered the St Barts top from designer Johanna Ortiz.

The striped fabric was essential to the look so I started looking online for striped stretch shirting. I couldn’t find anything that had stretch and stripes wide enough to be visible so I settled on this shirting from Fabworks. It is so tightly woven it has absolutely no give and it almost feels like it’s waterproof. It isn’t, I tried 😀

The fabric arrived on Monday and the deadline was Wednesday so I had only 2 evenings to make this and take pictures on Wednesday. I did make a muslin before that so I knew it was going to fit, I didn’t have to worry about that.

The waistband and peplum are interfaced and topstitched every 3/4 to 1/2 inch so the bottom of the top got a bit rigid and heavy, it feels like putting on a gladiator suit.

My review on PR has the pattern and fitting details. The top is definitely fabulous and I feel fabulous wearing it. Two important questions arise though with sleeves this size:

  1. Can you wear any jackets with this ? What do you do when it’s too cold to wear the top on its own? My answer is the StyleArc Violet jacket.
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  2. How do you press this monster after the first wash? I don’t know!
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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 😀

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.

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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.

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    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.
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  • 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! 🙂

 

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.

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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.

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March vs June

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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!

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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!

One more Burda 08/14 seamed dress

This dress was ready a month ago, just in time for the “One pattern,  many looks” contest on Pattern Review. It didn’t make it into the contest because I misread the rules and added sleeves, but adding pattern pieces was not allowed, only altering the existing ones.

I used the same pattern, same size, altered in the same way as the first time. The first dress fit great, but it’s made in ponte roma. This one is cotton sateen, there’s less stretch in this fabric since it’s a woven, but I didn’t expect it to be so tight. I haven’t worn it outside yet 😐

This is what I had in mind when I decided to use the stripes. It was more dramatic in my head, but I guess in reality is less… impressive?

There is some thought in the chaotic swirl, there’s a continuous line going from my right underarm to side left, I marked it on the pattern before cutting. I knew I won’t be able to match all the lines because of the different angles but I wanted to have at least one row that matched.

I have a few more finished items to show you – a pair of Duathlon capris and a modified Scout. Simple quick makes, because lately knitting is eating all of my time. I’m knitting the gorgeous Old Romance and I’m almost done!

There’s another knitted top that I abandoned for Old Romance. It only needs 10 more rows, so that one should be ready soon too. After that I have a few hats and cowls planned. I’ve been to the knitting and stitching show today and I touched the softest wool I’ve ever touched in my life – MrsMoon’s Plump – this is going to make the greatestest winter set.

Burda 8/2014 103 or the million pieces dress

Actually there are only 14, but still…

It was love at first sight with this dress. I don’t know why it took me so long to make it. This is actually a test, I don’t love these colors together, but this ponte I had around was a suitable fabric to test the pattern. And luckily for me, the pattern fits! There are some obviously changes I made:

1. added sleeves – I like my dresses with sleeves, don’t really get the little wings Burda keeps using for all their dresses. The sleeves are from an older Burda dress, same size as the one I used for this one, 38

2. I made it a lot shorter, probably close to 20cm shorter. This makes the dress a bit unbalanced, the proportions are now a bit off with so much white at the top and so little at the bottom. Oh, well!

3. Because I shortened it I didn’t feel like raising the back vent and dropped it completely. I never made one before and I didn’t want to start now 😀

4. I did some kind of sway back alteration, as in I started sewing the skirt to the top at the sides using a 1/4 seam allowance and I gradually went to a 1/2 seam allowance at center back.

The pattern doesn’t have  facings, and while they are very easy to make yourself, I thought that the neckline would get to bulky. So I sewed the lining directly to the dress at the neck and then I pick stitched the neckline to keep the lining from showing. I did understitch as well, but I felt that it wasn’t enough. The lining is a very light elastic lining so I was worried that it would get dragged out by the heavy outer fabric. I used Sherry’s wonderful tutorial for sewing the lining using the machine.

Looking at the dress, you’d think sewing it it’s going to take forever. It only took me about 3 hours from start to finish, BUT I did skip ironing. Naughty, naughty! The ponte is very forgiving with fit and pressing, but I do need to press that center back seam below the zip :|. I think tracing the pattern took longer, because DID YOU SEE THE AUGUST PATTERN SHEETS???!! Sorry for the caps but they are atrocious! Fortunately the September sheets don’t look as bad, so hopefully this was a one off.

Ok, so I don’t love the colors , but I love the dress, the fabric makes it super comfortable for a sheath dress and I’ll probably wear it again. Because  I did wear it yesterday to work and everyone loved it. Or they say they did 🙂

Peacockish

The title describes not only my skirt, but myself as well. I strutted this skirt last weekend with a peafowl worthy attitude.

I bought 2m of this fabric from Goldhawk Road at the sewing meetup. I thought 2m would be enough for a maxi skirt in my size, but I should have paid more attention when drafting the skirt pieces. I almost didn’t have enough for the waistband, I had to sew 3 pieces of fabric together to have enough. The bias seam line is not my idea.

Pieced waistband sewn on the bias to avoid bulk

I searched for inspiration online, trying to find a maxi skirt that wasn’t just a gathered rectangle. I initially thought of using the skirt panels from Anna but I didn’t want to have so many vertical seams, even though they wouldn’t be very visible in this print. I started going through my patterns/Burda magazines to see what I could use and in the February issue of Burda there was this skirt that looked a bit lot (can’t decide) like Gabriola.

I used the top panels from this pattern and drafted the bottom panels myself. I basically draw a straight skirt starting with the Burda panels as the top of my skirt, cut them at the diagonal lines and then I slashed and spread the bottom panels making them as wide as my fabric was. I added a bit to the length just to make sure it will be long enough. I forgot I needed a waistband too!! That is why i ended up piecing the waistband and in the end I had to remove 7 cm from the bottom of the skirt 😦 . And that was not my only mistake. When I bought the fabric and as I was drawing the pattern, I kept remembering myself to cut everything in one direction, with the feathers going top to bottom. Guess what? I cut my front the other way around… I was so upset, I almost didn’t want to go on with the skirt. But after 2 days of agony I finally decided that it’s not SUCH a big problem and it’s not really that visible either.

But I still felt that I needed to make up for all the mistakes somehow. I’ve recently re-stumbled upon one of Susan Khalje’s videos for Threads magazine where she is talking/showing techniques for building waistbands. I decide to give the 4 layers+ ribbon waistband a try – my fabric was light enough to handle this kind of treatment.

I decided to try other couture techniques as well, so I went ahead with the snap (popper) and hook and thread bars for closure, fell stitched waistband and lining, hand picked zipper, catch stitched seam allowances and 4 point loops for hanging the skirt. I don’t think i forgot anything, this should be it 🙂

I lined the top panels with a cotton silk lawn. It’s very light, but in combination with the main fabric it should be enough to hide my underwear. 🙂

Unfortunately this lead to some puffing in the back, I think the lining is slightly shorter than the shell and there is some bulging at the bottom of the zipper, I need to trim the seam allowances in that corner. There are a lot of seams that meet there. I’ll try to steam press it after trimming, I hope it will get better. I will need to take another round of photos, as I wasn’t able to see this problem before. My mirror must be deceiving 🙂

Oh, there is one more thing I wanted to say about the thread bars – if you decide to use them – sew them tightly, they get looser with wear. I let them a bit loose and they have stretched more.

I am very happy with the ribbon waistband – it springs back flat after sitting, something that doesn’t always happens with an interfaced waistband.

And that’s my Scout, in case you’re wondering. I don’t think there’s much wear left in it, it’s been on a “at least twice a week” program for many moths now. I’m finishing this post and I’m going to cut two more. 🙂

Have a nice sunny Sunday everyone! 🙂

Pattern Pyramid still in London

Second stop in London and 4th in the UK, the pyramid had a great time here in her home land, but she now wants to see the world again 🙂

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I picked 2 lovely 1960s patterns – The People 143 added by Joanne and McCalls 5996 added by Jennifer via Amy.

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Have a look at some of the other awesome patterns that long to travel

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I love that Simplicity 3552

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I added 3 patterns but I’ll add a Burda mag too if the pyramid goes to Australia or NZ, or other countries where Burdas are rare.

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If you want to spend some quality time with the pyramid and show her around your place of the world, leave a comment below. I will be travelling in the next 2 weeks so I’ll pick the pyramid’s new destination when I come back, on the 5th of May.

P.S. I am so lucky! Not only did the pyramid visit me this week, I have also won 4 yards of fabric from a sewnews giveaway.

Burda top 111 02/2014

The February issue of Burda is the first one I bought in a very long time, maybe more than half a year. I loved many patterns when I saw the first preview but this wasn’t one of them. I actually thought this was ugly.

But then Pauline helped me see beyond the ugliness of the ruffly sleeves and I decided to give this pattern a try. OK, maybe they are not that ugly, but it’s not something I’d like to wear.

It’s just a basic blouse and in this fabric you can’t really see the lines of the pattern. I think this is the first time I’m making something with raglan sleeves. I usually make size 38 when I sew with Burda magazine patterns, but this time I decided to go with 36 after measuring the pattern across the bust. The top fits well around the bust, but it is a bit too narrow at the shoulders.

I like this two piece raglan sleeve, the shape of the shoulder is very soft.

Instead of using facings I decided to finish the neckline with bias tape. You might wonder how I handled the corners. 🙂

When sewing the tape on the right side of the blouse I made a small pleat at each corner. The pleat allowed the tape to “turn” at corners. If you don’t help the tape to turn and instead you stretch it around the corners, the neckline will pop out. It’s not very visible, but it happened to me at the right front corner. The pleat I made there was too small and I had to stretch the tape a bit.

It’s a lovely little pattern and I’m thinking of making it again as a plaid dress with bias cut skirt.

What do you think of the ruffles? Would you give them a try?