Miss V’s Wardrobe 2016

I was looking through my blog posts and realized I had made a collection of new clothes for Miss V only just last year!  Amazing how time flies and yet seems so far away at the same time.

Miss V was here visiting home from Cambodia for the last 6 weeks, and she wanted new clothes.  So, for a change, we went fabric shopping together at the Fabricland closest to her and bought fabric for 3 tops, 2 trousers, 4 dresses and a cardigan.  I was all ready to start sewing two weeks ago, and then everyone under the age of 18 in my household got sick.  I still don’t know what they were ill with, but it was miserable for a while.  Needless to say, there was no sewing when there should have been sewing.  But I managed to get everything done, and reasonably well enough (considering how little fitting opportunities there were), and off on the plane in Miss V’s bags earlier this week.  This is more of a catalogue for my (future) self, but I thought you’d like to see what she chose this time.

Variations on Vogue 9595 (OOP). The pink is a stretch polyester brocade with a self-lined bodice. The cotton has a mock sarong overlay. Both of them have in-seam pockets (which I hate). She prefers gathers in the bodice to pleats.

Vogue 9595 variations

Vogue 1415.  I’ve actually made the trousers from this pattern twice for another client this summer.  It’s a gorgeous pattern, and there is so little fitting to be done. Of course they look dreadful pinned to the dress form.  They’re made of a polyester linen-look, lined with poly-cotton broadcloth (her choice).  Considering how hard it is to keep white white in Cambodia, these should be easy to clean.Vogue 1415 trousers

Vogue 2064 trousers in a woven, not the called-for knit.  It fits so well as a woven for Miss V. This is the same pattern that I used for her upcycled sari and purple trousers.  You’ll see the front needs some alterations, but, in my defense, Miss V requested that I make things a ‘bit small’ because she was going back into the sauna of Cambodia and would shed the extra that made these fit poorly through the waist/high hip.  They’ll sit at her natural waist soon enough! 🙂

Vogue 2064 trousers

I copied a Vera Wang jersey top that she had worn to shreds.  I was, thankfully, allowed to cut it all up so I could use it as a pattern.  I traced the pieces and trued them up.  It’s an interesting mock crossed drape front.  Miss V was so funny when I cut the pink striped one out for her to try as a muslin (unhemmed in the pictures below).  She danced around singing, ‘My top!  My favourite top!’  I made three iterations of this, and, unfortunately, didn’t have time to tweak the fit to make it perfect. But she was sooooo happy with them that I’m not going to sweat all the things that irritate me about these.  I’ll just make notes/adjustments on the pattern for next time.Miss V draped top

Marfy 1913.  This is such a gorgeous pattern.  Why haven’t I made this for myself yet?  Even DD3 wanted one for herself after seeing the pink paisley version on my dress form.

Marfy 1913 dresses

I also managed to get a cotton/silk top out of it for her wardrobe.

Marfy 1913 top

And I copied a cardigan that she loves.  It’s a waterfall  cardigan – well, a large rectangle (2 x .70m) with sleeves added at equidistant points from the CB fold, with enough fabric in the front to throw over one shoulder as a wrap.  I cut the sleeves on the bias, using the Vogue 2064 pattern. The fabric is a mystery jersey of some sort that(surprisingly) washed well.Miss V Cardigan

I sewed all long weekend to get this done, which I never do.  I always hold weekends sacrosanct for family time.  But it was so lovely having all my DDs and my DH around cooking, cleaning and planning while I just sewed.  I need to make an excuse to have that kind of sewing weekend without interruptions again. 😀

Burda 05/2016 #115: Bat Sleeve Top

Burda 05-2015-115 top

This ensemble is more of my stash sewn up.  It makes me feel good making up what I already have in store instead of buying yet more.  It’s nice to have a library of fabrics from which to choose, but at some point it begins to feel burdensome.  These couple of projects lightened my mental load a bit.  Does that happen to you, too?  I don’t like it when fabric starts staring at me askance when I walk into my sewing area.Burda 02-2006-114

Anyways, both these fabrics are from the fabulous EmmaOneSock. The lime green skirt is a cotton blend stretch denim. I used Burda 06/2006 #137 again, since it fits so well and I’m loving it these days. I left off the pockets on this version and the Team Portugal one.  And I cut the CF panel on a fold this time around. The only other adjustments made were lowering the front waist by 1.5cm and grading down a size through the back waist. I have another version of this skirt pattern planned, which will hopefully get sewn before the end of summer. But now, the top.

I made mine of a feather printed rayon/lycraBurda bat sleeve top jersey.  I really liked the sleeve detail, but this top has proved to be a little problematic.  I cut a straight size 44 (my upper chest measurements dictate this in Burda sizing), and did a 5cm short-waist adjustment by folding out 5cm across the waistline.  I found the instructions simple and easy to follow.  The markings on the pattern made the overlapping of the sleeves at the shoulders simple to find.  The neck binding is wide – about 2cm – and I cut it about 5cm shorter than Burda suggested, and I’m glad I did.  I also raised the CF neckline by about 2cm.  I’m at the age of being over showing a bit of bra when I bend over.

lime green and feathers

I made a deep 4cm deep hem instead of the 1.5cm one suggested by Burda.   And the bottom of the top was HUGE.  I ended up folding out 4cm on each side seam and stitching them up into an inverted box pleat about 6cm deep at the side seams.  Did you read that?!  A total of 8cm extra in width at the bottom of this garment.  I was surprised, because I usually need to grade up a size over my hips.

Burda 05-2016-115 back

And let’s talk about these lovely bat sleeves, OK?  They were the selling point in this pattern for me, and I really do like them.

bat sleeves

Quite the bat’s wings happening. Burda also refers to the top as a “cape sleeve top”.  Definitely!  And they are a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen.  If the camera was at the right angle while I was standing with my hands on my hips, you could see all you wanted to see – and probably more.

oops!

Hmmm…..  Moving on! How to correct this?  After playing around with pinning the sleeve hemlines in various places, I decided to stitch them down to 10cm from the neckline, creating a dropped shoulder effect.  It keeps the overlaps in place and there’s not a chance of flashing anyone.

Burda ensembleI may make this up as a dress.  I’ll still make my short-waist adjustment, but I’ll experiment with making it under the bust instead of at the waistline to see if eliminates the need for stitching those shoulders down.

Simplicity 2846

My good friend and muse, Miss V, gifted me a length of printed batik from Cambodia, where she lives, studies and connects with every person she meets.  You may remember the red dress I made for her a couple of years ago (has it been that long?!) from the same type of fabric, and, yes, the same pattern.  The fabric comes in a set length/width, and is usually stitched together to form a continuous piece.  One then steps into it and ties it sarong style at the waist or upper chest if you’re tiny.  I decided to keep the dress idea alive and well.

S2486 front

There is nothing much to say about this pattern.  I did my usual FBA of about 2.5cm, and did a 5cm short-waist adjustment (which works better than the popular sway back alteration with my shape).  I left the fit a bit loose through the underbust and waist.  I’m starting to get self-conscious about the middle spread phenomenon that seems to be my lot in life right now.  Wanna see the best part of this dress?

Simplicity 2846 back

The BACK!!! Isn’t it awesome?  I love that it’s so average from the front, and then when I turn around, hello!

Here’s the stamp on the CB seam allowance.

Batik

I lined it with cotton batiste, and put in an invisible zip down the centre back.  I used the selvedge as the hem.  I’m glad it’s summer.  The sun and bright colours are wonderful to see after the long dreary drab winter.

Cambodian batik

EuroCup 2016: Team Portual Bomber Jacket

Back in the fall of 2015, I participated in the 2015 PR Sewing Bee.  The last challenge was making an Olympic team uniform, and this was part of my submission.  I thought it would be fun to blog it now that Portugal is playing in the EuroCup semi-finals today.

I made the skirt, trousers and top as blogged in my previous post.  This is the first bomber jacket I’ve made, and I thought it would be fun to pull out all the red silk and linen scraps in my stash to make up this John Richmond bomber-style top from Burda September 2013.  And it is not the most simple with a gazillion pieces, but it worked perfectly with all my little pieces of red.

Burda 09-2013-130I used red linen from my jumpsuit for the front bands and collar; a cotton-silk voile for the lower jacket, upper front and sleeves; and a rayon plisse (a double-layered fabric where the pleated fabric is loosely attached to a flat back) for shoulder and side constrast sections. The centre back panel and elasticated sleeve and bottom bands are made from silk taffeta.  Here’s the front. You can see the contrasting fabrics with the piping.  The single welt pockets are silk taffeta, too.

Burda 09-2013-130 piped

Here’s the back view.

Burda 09-2013-130 back

The sleeves have a pleating detail, which is just beautiful.  I made the lining for the sleeves separately instead of pleating all layers together as one.

Burda 09-2013-130 sleeves

I did a double row of piping around each section using gold and green silk shantung.  Labourious, tedious, and quite satisfying, for sure, once it was done.  This is a close-up of the back shoulder (from L, clockwise:  silk taffeta, rayon plisse, silk-cotton voile).

Burda 09-2013-130 piping

I’m not a big bomber jacket fan, but this is so luxurious to wear, and doesn’t advertise it’s patriotism too loudly, which suits me.  Back view, waving my flag.

Burda 09-2013-130 and 02-2006-137

Here’s the interior. I fully lined the jacket.  The body and sleeve linings were sewn as separate pieces.  I put the sleeve lining/fashion fabrics together, added the sleeve elasticated cuffs, and then stitched the sleeves to the jacket body.  The armscyes are bound with gold and green silk shantung.  The facings are linen.

Burda 09-2013-130 interior

Here’s a side view.

Burda 09-2013-130 side

If Portugal wins this round, we’ll be downtown at my MIL’s in Little Portugal on July 10th, cheering frantically for them to win.  If they don’t, I have some pieces to wear when I feel a bit Portuguese. 🙂

EuroCup 2016: Team Portugal Tee

With EuroCup in full swing, and living in a Portugal crazy household (my DH’s family is Portuguese), I thought some red-gold-green would be timely on the blog.  Let’s start with a TNT tee pattern, Burda 02-2013-126, in an appropriately patriotic colour block.

Burda 02-2006-114 khaki

I have always done the neck binding by folding a strip in half, stitching it right sides together to the neck edge, finishing the edges, pressing the seam allowance towards the garment and edgestitching it in place.  This time I followed Burda’s instructions and actually bound the neckline.  Slowly, carefully, and with a little unpicking here and there it worked quite nicely.

Burda 02-2013-126 Portugal

I added a skirt made from a stretch cotton and trousers. The trousers have since left my house because they were too wide and sat too low, and were too straight-legged and I just couldn’t be bothered altering them to fit properly because I didn’t like them enough in the first place.  Well, I liked the line drawing and the idea, but….

Portugual ensemble

Both patterns were from Burda 2006 issues.  I actually bought the skirt issue (February 2006) after coveting Allison’s version in denim a year ago.  It’s become my favourite summer skirt this year, edging out the wonderful Vogue 1247 for most wears so far this season.

I’ll be happy to wear the shirt in when Portugal plays in the semi-final next week.   And if it’s too cool for a tee, I’ve made a red-gold-green bomber jacket, which I’ll share in detail next time.

Miss R’s Floral Graduation Dress

A few months ago I was asked to help a good friend shop for her daughter’s prom/graduation, as she didn’t feel she knew quite where to start navigating the maze of promdom.  I suggested we go on a reconnaissance mission, push the boundaries on all pre-conceived notions of likes/dislikes and appropriate/inappropriate and see where we ended up.  Everything can be duplicated, regardless of the RTW price tag, I assured her.

So we went shopping.  And Miss R tried on everything from red sequin Vegas showgirl gowns to pink sherbet blinged out cotton candy dresses, to mom-approved middle-aged dowdy navy blue gowns that made her look old, and, well, dowdy.  At the end of the day, she settled on a navy beaded full length blouson dress for her prom and something made from this skirt, purchased at a steep discount by moi a few weeks after our reconnaissance escapade, for her graduation ceremony.floral skirt

The RTW beaded gown was hemmed and happily worn a couple of weeks ago.  The floral dress, however, required a bit more time and effort.  The end result was lovely, imho.  I found some stretch cotton for the bodice, and shortened the RTW skirt.  It was a few sizes too small for the client, so I used it all up making it a lovely knee-length pleated skirt.R's dress

The inside of the bodice has a boned corselette.

corselette

It’s lined in washed muslin – perhaps not the greatest choice, but comfortable in hot summer weather.

bodice interior

I kept all the petticoats and the lining from the original RTW skirt.

petticoats

The bodice has a deep V back, hence the necessity for a built-in corselette.  Here’s a couple of pics from one of the last fittings.

Some pulling and drag lines in the bodice.  So frustrating trying to eliminate them because the stretch cotton kept losing it’s shape and stretching itself out, and, of course, the snugger and tighter the better.  Between you and me, I wasn’t 100% happy with the fit of this bodice when it was all said and done.  The fabric was so lightweight and because it was stretch I didn’t (felt I couldn’t) underline it.  My mistake, in retrospect.  *sigh*  It fit beautifully before this set of pictures, just skimming the body instead of straining across it.  Ah well.  Always lessons and ‘should haves’ to take away from each project I make. :/

In the meantime, here’s a couple of pictures of DD1’s prom dress.  It was RTW (I know, bad seamstress mom), but she fell so head-over-heels in love with it and it was impossible to find a similar fabric to make the skirt, so I caved and bought it.  I did need to alter the shoulders (forward/sloped shoulder) on the top to get the bodice to sit correctly, and some reinforcement was added through the bust.  I have to say I was surprised at the amount of reinforcement required in the bust area to keep it from collapsing on DD1.  Some US manufacturers/designers must be getting the message that most women are not B cups these days and are making busts bigger.  The skirt is huge.  HUGE.  Five layers of petticoats huge, with horsehair braid in the hem. Dressing up is such fun, isn’t it?

Bandage Bodice Gown

Here are the promised pictures of the finished bandage bodice dress.  dress 3

Here’s a close up of the layered elastic forming the bodice.

prom dress 2

And another one almost showing the full length skirt.  It did hang rather nicely despite the unusual combination of heavy polyester jersey lining and thin polyester crepe fashion fabric.

prom dress 1

I cannot tell you how glad I am this unusual request (experiment) turned out so well.  I must say, it suited the client to a ‘T’.  She was pleased, and I’m sure will get a lot of wear from it once I hem it to be worn with flats.

Stay tuned for the next graduation commission in yellows and pinks.