LBD: Burda 9/2014 #130

LBD Burda 09-2014-130DD1 is attending a 16th birthday party for one of her friends, and the dress code was “all in black”.  Perfect excuse for making a new dress, right?  Never mind that she’s never owned a little black dress.  Burda 09-2014-130

She chose this style from Burda September 2014.  It’s basically a strapless, boned bodice with a short-ish (21″) gathered dirndl skirt and a lace upper bodice.  We went with black silk  shantung and spider-web lace from stash.  Burda 09-2014-130 bodiceI muslined the bodice, and then used the adjusted muslin as the pattern and underlining for the silk. The cotton lining contains the spiral steel bones, which I fell-stitched to the bodice proper.  LBD interior details I added a petersham waist stay, and an additional small stay across the top of the bodice behind the invisible zipper to facilitate zipping-up ease and prevent zipping up skin. Burda 09-2014-130 laceThe lace is bound in chiffon bias strips.  I shortened the front upper lace bodice by about 2 inches.  Burda 09-2014-130 shoulderThe left shoulder is fastened with a loop and button.The skirt is basically a rectangle gathered into the bodice.  I lined it with bemberg, and finished the hem with purple lace.  Mostly because I didn’t have any black lace.Burda 09-2014-130 hem laceThis was a 2-day project – crunch time, in terms of sewing hours.  And there was a lot of hand sewing, mostly due to my personal choice of construction.Burda 09-2014-130 frontI’m pleased with the fit.  DD1 is dancing 20+ hours per week and is extremely fit these days, but I deliberately cut the bodice with about 1.5 inches (4cm) ease spread out over all 6 seams so she can wear this for a few years.  Burda 09-2014-130 side

Galactic Princess Costume: the Amidala-wannabe dress

Burda 1-2013-142Pretty, isn’t it?  This was a hoot to sew up.  I love sewing frosting and working with taffeta and chiffon and all things unnecessary to basic wardrobe survival. The pattern for the overdress is Burda 1/2013 #142.142_0113_b_amidala_dress_largeI used a poly black/white shot chiffon, black/white shot poly taffeta that reads like liquid silver and a poly silver shantung for the bodice lining and belt. I chose to add piping to the neck and arm edges because I just think it looks better than a simple turned edge.  You can see the poly shantung bodice lining below.Burda 1-2013-142 shoulder detailThe “epaulets” are remnant bits from DD1’s fish-scale skirt hand-stitched over the shoulder seams.  I must say, I like the sparkly bits.  And doesn’t that taffeta look amazing?  I changed the back to a corset lace-up style so that it can be worn without alteration if people grow.  The loops are self-fabric bias loops, and there’s a 4-inch wide modesty panel lying underneath, so lots of grow room in this garment.Burda 1-2013-142 laced backThe modesty panel is stitched directly to the underskirt along the bottom of the placket opening.  Burda had the skirt and lining cut as large rectangles.  I chose to shape them into very wide gores, with pleats to eliminate some bulk at the waist.  The pleats are then gathered into the waist.  I also cut the chiffon a slight bit shorter than the taffeta underskirt to prevent tripping and tearing of the fabric.  I think taffeta will wear harder than the chiffon through school halls and classrooms.  Here’s the back view with the belt.Burda 1-2013-142 backWhat fun, eh? The belt is a 12 x 32 inch long rectangle of poly shantung stitched into a tube and turned right side out and pressed. I used remnants from DD1’s fish-scale skirt, cut into strips and stitched down through all thicknesses. Very slowly stitched, I may add. Then I added the same silver trim from the blouse sleeves down the centre of the belt and finished it off with a heavy-duty velcro closure.Burda 1-2013-142 beltHere’s a pic of the blouse front with the self-fabric ties.  Perhaps they’re a bit long, but I prefer them to another texture (like cording). Burda 1-2013-142 frontIt keeps the focus on that belt.  Love the belt.  galactic princess costumeDD3 has already worn the ensemble around the house several times, and at one point walked into the kitchen without the blouse and a little black sweater over the dress.  “Look, mom!  It’s going to be perfect for Christmas Eve!”  It’s a good thing, since she’s outgrown Blue Christmas.

Galactic Princess Costume: the blouse

DD3 wanted to really dress up for October 31st this year, which isn’t a big holiday in this house, but what do you say to school peer pressure?  Especially if sewing something fun like a costume is involved, right?  After much research through Mommy’s Pattern Stash, she chose an ensemble from Burda’s January 2013 carnival collection.   It’s actually a set of patterns to mimic clothing from Star Wars, but there’s no mention of Star Wars, probably for copyright reasons.  I frankenpatterned the little white Leia costume in the bottom right corner of the photo for DD2 last year.

The Galactic Princess costume consists of this Fairy Tale Blouse (Burda 1/2013 #118) with an overdress (post on overdress to follow later).    118a_0113_b_peasant_shirt_largeThe blouse is very straight forward to sew; it’s only three pieces.  And due to it’s loose fit, no fitting required.  How lovely is that!Burda 1-2013-118cI made a few changes to the instructions.  First, I made the ties from a long strip of bias fabric instead of purchased cord.  It doesn’t look like much in these pictures, but in the context of the costume, I thought the self-fabric tie would be a better choice than yet another texture thrown into the mix.

Second, I did not leave the edges raw.  I hauled out my overlocker (serger) and did a rolled hem on the neckline, sleeves and bottom edge.  And I used French seams for the construction.sleeve trimAnd third, I decided the looooooong trails of trim tied loosely around some nebulous wrist area of the arm as per Burda was ridiculous for an 11-year-old, especially since she will be wearing this to school and she’ll need to be working, not untangling herself from yards of trim trailing from her sleeves.  So I stitched the trim down on each edge, which left me a channel about 5/8″ wide.  sleeve trim facingI backed it with bias taffeta strips (no edge finishing required) and ran an elastic through the casing.  Et voilà!  Nicely gathered sleeves that won’t drag through school work.Burda 1-2013-118c sleeve

Tag: You’re It!

Vogue 8656 top, yoga pants and an old sweater

Well, peeps, I’ve been tagged by the wonderfully inspiring Mrs. Mole in the current game of Blog Hop.  Thank you muchly, Mrs. Mole.  And to plunge right in….

Why do I write?

Well, I’m an introvert’s introvert, so writing is a safe way to express myself, I guess.  Saves me from all that anxiety and energy expenditure required for smiling and being social.  I can tuck myself into a corner and type and edit to my heart’s content and never once have to think about my facial expression.  And I get to write about the projects I’m happy with, or I hate, or pattern instructions that frustrate me, and I get to edit.  Editing is important, because I often want to edit what I say, but by then it’s too late.  Writing gives me the chance to really say what I mean.  If I’m motivated to, of course.  And after I edit it.

What am I working on?

A spidery lace overdress for DD1 from Burda February 2014. We haven’t decided on the t-shirt dress fabric (or if we’ll bother with it). No.  It’s not for a celebration of dead scary things this Friday, October 31st.  This is a fashion statement dress that she will wear out to dinner.123_0214_b_large

How does my blog differ from other sewing blogs?

Um, honesty maybe?  And copious amounts of ordinariness? There’s not a lot of people in my life who sew at the level I do, and this blog (and PR and BurdaStyle) is a way to get feedback from others who know when fabric is off-grain or can interpret those darned drag lines that a non-sewist would never see, even if they hit them over the head and restricted every move they wanted to make.  I love to sew. I love working with needles and thread and embroidery (don’t do enough anymore).  I love fabric.  MMM14 Day 30I almost always do waaaay more imaginary sewing than real (frustrating, but true… especially at night).  So I’ll blog my makes and dreams, and share my failures because everything I sew is not perfect, and, quite frankly, nothing is more off-putting than a blog where everything is photographed perfectly and made perfectly and there’s nary an error to be seen.  I have Vogue magazine for that kind of thing if I want it.  My sewing blog is a hobby, period.  I’m not ever going to market my blog, garner newspaper and media praise or sign up affiliates or hope to have this earmarked as a trendy fashionista-sewista blog.  This is my way of taking pictures to check fit and document what I’ve made and connect with others in the sewing community.  From the safety of my sewing room, of course.  :)

What is my writing process?

True to my character, my process is as variable as the project.  Sometimes stream-of-consciousness – particularly if I have a proverbial bee in my bonnet about something or other and can’t get my thoughts out fast enough. Sometimes each sentence is edited within an inch of it’s punctuation because I don’t know WHAT to say about a project, and I’m hoping editing will provide inspiration.  Mostly I’ll take pictures and then hem and haw away about what to say about them, but a picture is worth 1000 words, right?IMG_2392

And now to pass on the baton:  I’d like to nominate Allison because I love seeing her makes, and often times I’ll laugh because she’ll have sewn and blogged a project that’s in my queue! And Chris from Said & Done: Handmade by Chris because …  Well, because she has an “ordinary” sewing blog like mine, and I like being allowed a glimpse or two into other not-for-profit-or-fame sewing worlds.

Repeats: Burda 1/2013 #119

Burda 1-2013-119 toastI made another two of these tops.

I used a burnout charmeuse in an animal print as the silk trim for the toasty caramel version.  I had even less fabric for these than I did for the first version, so I’m missing about 2 cm of width at the hip level on each of these.  I did the two-piece sleeve like my first version, too.  It was the only way I was getting these tops out of about 1 yard of fabric.  I also had to shorten the curve on the sleeves a bit, so there’s not as much fabric in the ruching as there is supposed to be.  Burda 1-2013-119 darkIf I have anything negative to say about this pattern, its the twisted bias trim on the neckline.  As you can see from the photos, mine are more like ruffles.  I just could NOT get it to twist by sewing the edges off centre along the neckline.  It’s too back, but I can live with it.  The only other changes to the pattern I made were to run a 1/4″ inch elastic through the neckline’s topstiched seam allowance because I did not interface the neckline edges as per Burda’s instructions.  I don’t care much for interfacing on the interior edges of knit garments for some reason.  I think there must be another way to get them to keep their shape.  So running the elastic was my quick-fix solution. Burda 1-2013-119 back
The darker version’s trim is one of the most beautiful-weight silks I’ve ever come across in my local Fabricland. Occasionally they’ll carry fabrics from Télio & Cie, which are usually pricey, but the superior quality speaks for itself. This fabric was the end of the bolt, so I got it cheap. I’m hoping there’s enough for a top left over after cutting the bias trims for this. I love all the jewel-toned colours in it. Burda 1-2013-119 toasty Again, all the fabrics are from my stash. It sure feels good sewing pieces from stash instead of buying something new. My goal is to keep shopping at home and only purchasing whatever notions or linings I may not have. Burda 1-2013-119 brownThese are the last of the long-sleeved additions to my casual fall wardrobe.  I’m loving them and hope they stand up to rigorous wear.  I’ve been wearing them non-stop.

LATH Wardrobe: Burda 4/2011 #114 Chiffon Top

This is the final piece of my LATH wardrobe.  I wanted to use up the little bit of chiffon left over from trimming the various pieces in this wardrobe.  I was hoping that it would be dark enough to not require a cami. Burda 4-2011-114 topIt’s a cute little top.  It just fit on about 1 yard of fabric.  It’s the cover top on the English version of the April 2011 Burda magazine.  There’s three tops (nos. 112 – 114) that are essentially the same with minor variations in finishing.  I chose to use the longer length (model 112), but finish it as per the instructions for model 114 (above) with neckline and armscye facings.  I didn’t want raw edges.silk chiffon facingsI used silk organza to interface the facings, but after facing the neck edge, I decided against doing anything other than bias facing for the armholes.Burda 4-2011-114 armscyeThe organza had just that little bit extra body that didn’t quite work for the chiffon in this design.  In fact, I ended up cutting out the facing on the front neckline because it wouldn’t lay properly and created more of a funnel-neck look, which I didn’t like, and it just would not lay flat.  In the end, it looks better just with the narrow bias facing tacked into place underneath the tiny pleats formed by the neckline gathers.  But it does sit high around the base of the neck.Burda 4-2011-114 necklineI left the facings in on the back neckline.Burda 4-2011-114 back facingI spotted a roll end at EOS of this gorgeous 4-ply silk crepe to make up a camisole for underneath this.  What a dream fabric.  I had exactly 60cm of fabric (a little over half a yard) for this cami.  I considered another Ruby, but decided against the seamed bodice, and chose the simple bias slip in this OOP Vogue 2784 by Donna Karan.  V2784, Misses' Dress and SlipI managed to cut the front and back with a length 3 inches below the drafted waistline, which was a little short.  So I pieced together bias pieces for a band around the lower edge.Vogue 2784 camiWorks well, the added length is perfect, and it’s that little something that was missing under the chiffon top.  I’m thinking I can wear both of these tops with other pieces in my closet and not limit them to LATH wear, too.

Well, folks, that’s a wrap!  I didn’t get every piece of the Burda capsule made, but there are enough pieces here to keep me lounging nicely for a while.  Until soon!

LATH Wardrobe: Burda 1/2013 #110 – The Dress

Burda 1-2013-110 dressSuch a cute little dress.  Burda calls this “an item to relax in.”  It’s cut for comfort (I’m quote from the magazine) and is charmingly casual.  It features a wide neckline with edging and drawcord and cute raglan sleeves. Huh.   It’s a pretty simple make, but I made it more complicated – because I didn’t want it to be form-fitting – and added about 2 inches down the CF and CB.  I ended up with a tent.  My lovely darling DD1 walked in the door from school and said, “What’s up with the nightgown, mom?”  Wait.  Nightgown?  I know this is stay-at-home wear, but I wasn’t wanting this to look like a nightgown.  So I took out the width that I’d added and I must say that I like it a lot better.  Just for fun, here’s a tent picture.tent dressSee?  A little 80’s maternity wear. Not working.LATH dressMuch better without all that extra width.  The neckline detail is a very wide (about 10 inches) rectangle cut on the bias with a casing sewn in for the self-fabric ties.neckline detailI used a double layer of chiffon.  It was a bit fussy to sew, but it worked out well.  And I left off pockets.  I know, I know.  But I really dislike pockets, except when they’re in jeans or outerwear.  I never use them for anything.Burda 1-2013-110Hmmmm…. maybe it still looks a bit nightgown-ish.  Definitely stay-at-home don’t-answer-the-door wear.  D’ya think slippers would improve the look?