Shorts, Capris & Ankle-length Trousers

Burda 6-2011-110 backDD3 needed some new bottoms this past spring, so after looking through all the stretch denim available in Mom’s stash, she chose three fabrics, and three patterns.  Here’s the collection. Burda 6-2011-110 sideFirst up, another version of the shorts I’d made for her last summer.  It’s a shortened version of Burda 6/2011 #110.  It fit her well last year, and I didn’t want to re-think the fit on another pattern, so I re-measured to ensure it still fit, and started sewing.

Burda 6-2011-110 blue shortsThe next project was capris, and she wanted them to be skinny, but not too skinny.  So I opted for Burda 03/2014 #115. 115_0314_b_largeDD3 has a crotch depth of 11 inches – about one full inch longer than any standard block, and finding RTW trousers/jeans/shorts that fit her properly is a challenge.  She’s inherited the long back crotch measurement, too, but the extra crotch depth means bottoms are always low-riding on her.  As she prefers bottoms that sit at her natural waist, I altered the pattern using the slash-spread method to get the required depth.  Here’s the first pair at a true capri length.  The fabric for all these bottoms is from EmmaOneSock.  You can find it in other colours here.  This was a roll end, and I have enough fabric for shorts next year if she needs more.  This fabric worked extremely well for these capris, and the fit is perfect.  I don’t have any other photos of her wearing them at this point.Burda 03-2014-115 blueThe next pair was ankle length in a striped French stretch cotton blend, again from EmmaOneSock as a roll end. It’s lighter in weight and as a lot of stretch.  I used the same pattern, but they refuse to sit at her natural waist without a belt once they’ve been stretched out through wearing.  They’re her favourite pair, btw. (I’m too lazy to alter the waist yet again).  Burda 03-2014-115 detailsI used a BurdaStyle idea for binding the pocket edges in bias strips.  The denim (?) was lightweight enough to do it easily with a little help from my hammer for flattening the bulk.Burda 03-2014-115 striped frontYou can see in the pic above that the crotch depth appears to be too long, but the trousers are not actually sitting where she would like them to.  I really should take in the waist some more.  Here’s the back view.Burda 03-2014-115 striped backThe fit is pretty good through the back.  The fabric is really fun.  She wasn’t too sure of it to begin with, but every time she puts these on, she tells me she really likes them.

Fitting trousers/jeans/short is always so challenging.  The only trousers I’ve ever been able to fit without any wrinkles whatsoever are classic trousers, although these Burda patterns fit pretty darn well right off the tracing paper.  I’d love to try Jalie 2908 (stretch jeans pattern) for fit on her.  Next time.

Drape Drape Disaster and Rescue

Drape Drape 2 No. 4 front

Here’s the result of my first attempt at one of the popular Drape Drape Japanese patterns as modeled by DD1:  No.4 Asymmetrical Top.  I mentioned it in my last post, only because I was so annoyed that I’m not Japanese-sized.  More like 6XL Japanese sized.  However, I put my big girl pants on and got to solving how I could make this one-piece pattern work for me.  I needed to find 10 inches – read it – that’s a big one zero – in extra width.

Drape Drape 2 No. 4 side view

Isn’t the draping on this just gorgeous?  DD1 is a very dancer-fit hourglass, and the pattern looks so amazing on her.  This is the size L/XL on her, btw, because she’s a L in the Drape Drape world.  Anyways, I got a brainstorm and sliced the pattern clean down the middle and spread it three inches.  I have no pics of it, but it added width to the right sleeve and really nice drapey side as seen above.  Then I added three inches of width on either edge of the pattern piece (left underarm seam) and graded it back to 1/2″ of extra width at the sleeve edge.  And I cut the neckline three inches higher than drafted.  Here’s the result:

Drape Drape 2 No. 4 purple linen

I made the mom-sized version from some stashed linen jersey that came to me via EmmaOneSock about a year ago.  I really wanted to try the loose tee shape, and this jersey is soooo delicious to wear.  It’s a bit finicky to work with – something like fussy silk – but the extra care is so worth the end result.

Drape Drape 2 No. 4 plus-sized

Looks good!  I have to tell you, when I first tried on the orange sherbet version, it was t.i.g.h.t.  No drape whatsoever – more along the lines of Spanx.  Now, it’s me-sized, and the drape is just as sweet as the daughter-sized version.

Drape Drape 2 No. 4

Vogue 1282: Stripe redo

First, I just want to say thank you to all of you who left feedback via the poll on my previous post. I was so pleasantly surprised that most of you (94%) liked the mismatched stripes. I also reviewed this on Pattern Review and the response was very positive again.

But…. I…. just…. couldn’t……  Argh!  My inner perfectionist just couldn’t-shouldn’t-wouldn’t rest easy.  And then I saw The Material Lady’s Drape Drape 2 tunic with perfectly matched stripes and that finished my waffling on it.  Begin digression: And speaking of Drape Drape patterns, I traced off the Drape Drape 2 No. 4 Asymmetrical Top pattern, graded up through the waist and hips and am really disappointed because the L/XL sizes with my changes fit my daughters.  Not me.  The XL size has 33″ measurement for 38″ hips.  Uh… the last time I had 38″ hips I was a 16 year-old teenager with an eating disorder.  I can’t imagine the endless hours of exercise I’d need to get down to that size.  So, no Drape Drape clothes for me.  I’ll stick with Donna Karan! End digression.

So I unpicked stretch triple stitches (Pia has the record, btw…) and made some changes.  First, I deliberately off-set the stripes down the CF like a checkerboard.

Vogue 1282 CF stripe offset

And then I fixed the centre back seam and matched those stripes from the high hip to the hem.  It cost me about 3cm in lost width, but I’m happier – so much more satisfied! – with the result.

Vogue 1282 CB stripe re-match

Perhaps a little less interesting, but my inner nerd isn’t writhing in a striped torture chamber.  ;)

Vogue 1282

Vogue 1282 dress front

I’ve had this lovely black and cream striped rayon jersey in my stash for about a year, and I wanted to make something unique or unusual with it.  After seeing Allison’s striped top I went on a hunt for a design idea for this fabric. I had a little more than one yard of 60″ fabric and I hoped to get a dress out of it, not just a top.

If I had any degree of creativity or technical skill, I would have tried draping this fabric in an homage to Vivienne Westwood, but I don’t, so I hunted through patterns and landed on Vogue 1282. Line ArtI know.  Not very adventurous, but I had just finished making it up in a roll-end from EOS in a dark dijon rayon knit, and wondered if it would work in a stripe. I thought perhaps the excess fabric below the waist in the top would be perfect in a lengthened dress version, creating visual interest with the stripes, and hiding fluff.  Then I stumbled upon Ellen’s version from a couple of years ago that had a subtle stripe and it decided me.  I picked laid out the fabric and the pattern….

Vogue 1282 fabric

….. and shortened the bodice above the armscye (because it sits very low) by about 2 inches (5 cm), instead of just adjusting it at the shoulder seams during construction, as I did for the top, and plunged in with my cutting shears.

Vogue 1282 alteration

Instead of facing the armholes, I cut strips of fabric on the cross grain, one stripe-width finished width and left them as an extended edging.  It completely changes the fit of the pattern since they act as little 3/4″ sleeves.  It means the neckline sits at the outer edge of my shoulders instead of close to the neck, and results in the front drapes being a bit wider/shallower instead of narrow/deep.  But it also means I don’t need bra strap keepers and the shoulders are stable.  And it creates an asymmetrical look across the top, as the binding extends the vertical stripes on the right, making it look wider than the left.  Just one of those quirky things that are currently endearing this dress to me at the moment. As for the CF plunge, I’ve discovered a new little trick:  use a bobby pin to pick up one or two seam threads and clip it to the centre bridge of my bra.  Nothing moves.  Brilliant!

Vogue 1282 sleeve detail

I honestly wasn’t sure about this, but after seeing the pics (mirrors lie, y’know) I like it, but some details bother me.  For instance, the lack of stripe matching on the CF of the drape.

Vogue 1282 striped

And again down the CB seam.

Vogue 1282 striped back

Try as I might I just could not match up those stripes without creating weird alternating patches of easing and stretching which refused to lay properly and looked terrible down the back of the dress.

Vogue 1282 dress back

Similarly, if I match the stripes on the front drape, it will mean one side is longer than the other and sits at a different angle.  But my inner seamstress/perfectionist is squirming looking at these photos!  So, because I’d like your opinion, I’ve created a poll to either leave it, or fix it.  It’s anonymous, so please be brutally honest.

Vogue 1038: The Dramatic Shirt

Vogue patterns Donna Karan

Wow.  It feels good to be sewing so much again.  And sewing garments that I like, that fit and that are fun to make and wear!  Case in point, this fantastic over-sized tunic – blouse? – shirt? – from Donna Karan, courtesy Vogue 1038.https://mezzocouture.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/fa1a3-v1038.jpg?w=203&h=204I’ve made the skirt, although I’ve never blogged it.  You can see the skirt here.  It’s a dream to wear.  But this post is about the shirt.  That glorgiously oversized off-the-shoulder shirt that I don’t wear off the shoulder…

Vogue 1038 shirt back

I delved into my linen stash for this very lightweight semi-opaque woven stripe, and started cutting. I’ve always loved Donna Karan’s designs from a construction point of view, and the fact that they are so very unusual.  This top was no disappointment in either department.

The yoke is cut so that the shoulder seam is actually sitting on the bias.  Because I don’t really want to have to wear this off the shoulder, I added strap keepers at the shoulder points along the collar seam.

Vogue 1038 bra keepers

It makes the back yoke curve down a little bit, but it’s secure this way, and the sleeve cap sits at the edge of my shoulder like it should this way.

Vogue 1038 shoulders

I made absolutely no adjustments to this shirt, except to add a self-fabric wrapped 3-inch long piece of spiral steel boning at the CF to tuck behind undergarments in order to keep the front securely in place.

Vogue 1038 bra stay

The silhouette of the shirt is so dramatic.  It’s got great lines from all angles.  And people love seeing Donna Karan garments.  Wearing this shirt was no exception.  People stopped to comment on it and ask “who I was wearing”.

Vogue 1038 side

I’m not a model, so wearing it with the skirt is completely out of the question.

Vogue 1038 front

See?  Ridiculous on anything but a 6 foot stick with legs.

Vogue 1038

I’ll pair it with one of my many versions of another Donna Karan pattern:  Vogue 1039. I’ve tried to make this pattern a TNT – I just love the details on the capris –  and I’ve made them up just recently in a leopard laminated denim and the light olive stretch denim I’m wearing with this shirt for these pics.

Donna Karan head to toe

Yeah, maybe it’s a bit on the big and loose side, but it’s super comfortable and something different for those days when I crave “unusual”.  Have you made anything outside the tried and true world of staid jeans, trousers, tops or dresses?  Do you wear your unusual make very often?

 

A Plethora of New Tops

MMM15 Day 12-2

So I’ve been sewing up a few new tops.  The first one is Burda 7/2012 #136, without the ties.  No comment on the ties.

134_0712_b_largeI’ve been wanting to use fabrics I’ve been collecting over the last few years, and this combination of 14 oz rayon-lycra jersey in oatmeal and the scraps from my chocolate Burda 1/2013 #119 seemed to fit the bill. The chocolate jersey is 11 oz, and it doesn’t have the heft of the oatmeal fabric, but it manages. The bands are cut on the cross grain, on a fold, so the folded edge is the neckline. I had to do some tweaking to get the angles of the shoulder, CF and CB seams just right in order to feel secure in this top. The neckline sits (quite) wide. I ended up putting bra keepers in the shoulder seams just for added peace of mind. If you look at the Russian Burda site, lots of versions of this sexy neckline just slip off shoulders coyly. I’m not so coy, so I made the shoulders secure.

Burda 7-2012-136 side

The next top is my go-to for tees.  I just love the fit, neckline and little gathered raglan sleeves of this design:  Burda 02/2013 #126.

I have two versions that are new to me.  First, the crocodile print.

MMM15 Day 6

And then the polka dot one, upcycled from my purged McCardell dress.

MMM15 Day 7

There was so much fabric in that skirt, that I also made a second version in a bigger size of Burda 09/2011 #106. I don’t know what it is about that dotty jersey, but I just love it. Must be the combo of chocolate and olive.

And last, but not least, this little number from Burda 06/2014 #103. 103_062014_b_largeI didn’t quite have enough linen fabric to cut the required length, since this came in a package of roll ends from EOS.  So I added tiers to the bottom.  It’s rather loose, contrary to what the photos look like, which is a good thing.

Burda 6-2014-103 linen top

Here’s a detail shot of the shoulder.

Burda 6-2014-103 liberty

The jersey is intersected by petersham ribbon, which has been edged with bias binding.  It creates a structure from which the jersey literally hangs.  Brilliant.

Burda 6-2014-103 trim back

I used a Liberty Arts Fabric print, and I cannot for the life of me find the name of it.  If you know, please share it in the comments!

Burda 6-2014-103 linen top back

I love the linen jersey.  It’s so light and comfy and luxurious.  It was a PITA to cut, though, because the grain was all skewed.  In retrospect, I coulda/shoulda used petersham in a more contrasting colour to make the binding pop a bit more.  But this is subtle, and I’m happy to wear it, as I am all these new tops!  I did make up one more top in a coral jersey, but the pattern (and solid colour) was all wrong, so I thrifted it.  Well, five keepers out of six ain’t bad! And I’m happy to be sewing my stash!

Do you like sewing new tee patterns, or go for TNTs?

#jumpingintojune with red linen

Burda 06-2010-141 red linen

Well, I’ve gone and jumped on the jumpsuit trend, thanks to Chris at Said & Done and all the general silliness that led up to it.  Y’know, a late night, one comment, and then another, and a dare and here you are!  I have no memory of ever wearing a jumpsuit.  Or romper for that matter, so the last time I wore one must have been before the age of two.  And I have no photo proof of that, either, so for all I know, I never have worn a jumpsuit until today.  Actually, I had an extremely artsy roommate during my undergrad years, and she had a beautiful jumpsuit with fish skin leather accents.  I confess to stealing it when I knew she wasn’t going to be around once or twice.  But it always looked better on her and I always felt like an idiot wearing it.

For this project, I decided to keep it simple and go with Burda 6/2010 #141.  It’s a plus-sized pattern.  Yup.  I’ve officially crossed into plus-sized territory, and I wanted this to be a cut-and-sew make.  So I measured twice and cut once.

You know I’ve loved Burda pants blocks, and this is no different. Every measurement matched mine from crotch depth to crotch length, hip width to inseam fit. Without tweaking. How lovely is that? And here’s the proof from the back.  Even Mrs. Mole has gotta be happy with this one!

Burda 06-2010-141 back

I did do a 1.5 inch FBA after I shortened the bodice by 3 inches.  I could have shortened the bodice another inch – the blousing is a little too much for me, particularly at the sides.  And I kept the super wide legs and left off the shoulder straps. I thought I may as well go the whole hog on this one. Since it’s a jumpsuit.  And it’s red.

Burda 06-2010-141

I delved deep into my stash for this washed red linen.  It was washed and dried several times prior to cutting because I was hoping for that really washed linen softeness/drape.  Although it still wrinkles and creases like linen.  Looks best from the back!

Burda 06-2010-141 red linen back

I lined the bottom half with bemberg rayon to the knees.  I cut the lining on the cross grain, so the selvedge is the lining hem.  Less work for me and it doesn’t create unwanted ridges when the garment gets pressed.

lining

I treated the lining and the trouser part of the jumpsuit as one and used the bottom edge of the bodice to create the casing for the elastic.  Burda’s version calls for elasticated ties, but I’m always going to wear this with a belt, so I left them off and stitched down the ends of the elastic on either side of the CF, so that the CF waist is flat.

Burda 6-2010-141 pockets

My favourite thing about this pattern?  The pockets.  I love them!  It’s basically a welt pocket without the welt.  A long rectangular opening about 2mm wide that is topstitched 3cm from each end, leaving an opening for your hand.  I wasn’t going to bother with them, since pockets always add bulk around the hips, in my mind, but since fitting is almost non-existent in this pull-on garment, I thought I’d just keep them.  Coolest pockets insertion ever.  I’m super happy with them, and they don’t add that much extra stuff across the high hip…. I think.

Burda 06-2010-141 linen

The first of several dance performances for DD1 was tonight, and when she saw this, she insisted on my wearing it.  I honestly wasn’t going to, as it screams RED JUMPSUIT.  But I did, and it was surprising easy to drive in, sit in, walk up and down stairs in and it was cool in a hot stuffy theatre and warm in the cool evening dampness after the show.  I didn’t lose the top.  I didn’t trip over the super long-and-wide trouser hems and no one stared at me.  (Well, that I noticed, anyway.  People can be very discreet about side-long glaces.)  My DD’s loved it (DD3 has asked for one).  DH said nothing except, “Your pants are too long.  They’re dragging on the floor.” And a good friend raved about it.  Well, now I have a crazy jumpsuit in my closet.

Are you making a jumpsuit?