Crosshatch Denim Collection

It’s not very often I find fabric in my local Fabricland that I totally fall in love with, but this was one. It’s a brown-white crosshatch cotton-poly-elastene lightweight denim that I circled around for weeks until it went on clearance, and then I bought the entire bolt for $5/metre. I can’t remember exactly how many metres I purchased, but I knew it would give me several pieces, none of which I planned to wear together, but would provide a nice collection for other pieces.

The first piece in this collection was a skirt, Burda 02-2006-114sewn last summer. I’ve made four of these, in lime green, black, khaki, and now, brown. I don’t have pictures of the black one, but it’s made from the same beautiful cotton denim as these jeans. I don’t have any photos of my wearing it, so this will just have to suffice. I’ve worn it a lot over the last couple of summers.

Image result for Burda 04/2010 #143Then I wanted some capris, and decided to try Burda 04/2010 #143. These were an experiment in Burda’s plus sizing/drafting, and I’m surprised at how much I like to wear them. They have more wearing ease than a typical stretch denim pant pattern, as they’re drafted for non-stretch fabrics.  I made a curved waistband, not the elastic one as in the pattern.

I love the little tab details on these. The front tab is like a little built-in belt, and the hemline tabs are fun. These have been in constant rotation through my wardrobe since last summer.

Burda 4-2010-143 front tab

I did make up a jacket in this fabric, but didn’t like it much, so I gave it away.  It was my mistake in shortening the back waist and grading it into the side front that caused the fail (I did do a pattern fitting session on my dress form… in my defense…   It was the execution that was subpar…) and in the end I just didn’t like the fabric enough in a casual safari-style jacket.

WheBurda 5-2010-112n I purchased this massive length of goods, I initially thought of doing a safari style set of garments.  This dress is probably the only things that would actually qualify as having typical safari elements: big patch pockets, lacing, buttoned tabs, etc.  The pattern is Burda 5/2010 #112.  I only have a German copy of the magazine, so it was a bit fun translating a word here or there in order to get the gist of Burda’s construction suggestions.  Between reading the instructions aloud (my ear can hear hints of English sometimes) and studying the magazine photo, I managed to put it together without pulling my hair out.

safari dress

I underlined the back of the dress with a cotton batiste.

Burda 5/2010 #112 front detail

The front interior is a bit messier than I like with all the pockets (total of four) and the laced opening.  See?  Mess on the inside.

Burda 5/2010 #112 insides

This is a construction pic, and, no, you’re not looking at it upside down. I’m in the process of doing the welt pockets with the flaps in this photo.

B 5-2010-112 front pockets

And a back view.

Burda 5-2010-112 back

It’s dartless, and I wanted to keep it that way… loose fitting and cool in the summer. And one last view from the side. The sleeves are long, and after playing around with rolling them or just gathering them up into the tabs, I decided I liked the ‘careless casual’ vibe proffered by the latter.  Hmmm…. maybe it could use some shaping in the back.  We’ll see…

Burda 5-2010-112 front

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2017, 2018 and other tidbits

2017 makes 2
Vogue 1491, DD3’s middle school frankpattern formal, Burda 04/2010 #112

I’ve been enjoying all the year-end reviews that have popped up in my reader over the last 6 weeks or so.  It’s crazy how 6 weeks seems like it’s a lifetime ago, and obsolete.  One reason I really hate social media these days.

I haven’t blogged very much this past year for a variety of reasons, and it seemed to be a reflection on what I’ve actually done creatively in my sewing life.  But after reading Naomi’s wrap-up post I thought I would set up a similar Excel workbook to track my makes. And my fabric inventory.

Lo, and behold! I actually sewed 62 garments during 2017!  I was so surprised! Only about half got photographed or blogged, some were thrifted, and only a handful haven’t been worn yet, as I decided in December to sew up a collection of short-sleeved summer tops.

2017 screen shot

I must say, compiling this list was encouraging.  I sewed a lot last year!  It makes me feel  I can move on to 2018 with a right good will to getting some of the larger projects going that I have been purposely avoiding out of fear for the last couple of years (fear of fitting, fear of less-than-perfect execution, fear of garment-lifestyle clashes).

And speaking of 2018, there has been a lot of kerfluffle in the sewing universe about the 2018 Burda Challenge.  I’m sure Burda appreciates all the variations on this challenge every single year, although each iteration to date hasn’t gotten a lot of social media attention.  When I participated back in 2013, only a few bloggers were interested, but this year, I guess the right person with enough clout in the sewing blogosphere decided to get on board, so everyone’s talking about it.  I think credit should be given where credit is due, however, and so here’s to ReadyThreadSew and Pattern Review with the idea of a year-long challenge from waaaaay back when.  I always find it amusing when the masses jump on a bandwagon that’s been around for a while simply because they hear a louder or more popular voice talking about it.  No rant intended!  It’s just my observations from the sidelines. 😉  Ideas need persistent, loud, popular voices in order to take root and get people on board.  But that smacks of politik, and I am not going down that rabbit hole.

Anyways, I’m looking forward to actually getting photographs of all my 2018 makes – both successes and failures – and sharing them with you this year.  I’ve tried IG for the last year, and it is sooooo not my thing.  I’m a sideline girl, and although I occasionally like to scroll through my feed and see what you all are up to, posting prolifically is not my style.  Of course, this article went a long way to explaining why, never mind that I like my neurons and my privacy.

That said, this year I have resolved:

  • to actually blog and share my makes this year, and not get dopamined-up and depressed on my IG feed.  There is a small part of me that screams, “But you’ll be missing out on so much!”, and I’ve decided to ignore it and stay true to my watching-from-the sidelines self.  Sharing all my makes is also not really in my comfort zone (I often feel I have nothing interesting to say, or any pretty pictures to share), but I have also resolved this year to…
  • take baby steps.  Baby steps in healthy activity, in French, in social settings; permission to be creative, including TAST (an embroidery and stitching challenge); and..
  • sewing up some of my prolific stash, including ticking off the
  • 2018 Burda Challenge box and a
  • Year of the Jacket personal challenge with each make.  I have so many beautiful coatings in my stash, and I really want to attempt a French jacket, so I have set this as a many-birds-with-one-stone step.

And here’s a teaser, although I probably won’t blog any of these, as they were last year’s makes.

2017 makes
Collection of lace and silk tops from BurdaStyle & Vogue; brown skirt Burda 02/2006 #114; blue linen trousers Burda 12/2011 #133; and a stack of tops from Simplicity 4076 and BurdaStyle

 

Named Clothing Tavlikki Sweater

Tavlikki front

After seeing all of Anne’s wonderful sweatshirt posts the last few weeks, I thought I needed one.  I really liked her version of the Tavlikki sweater, and, although I don’t really do pattern downloads as a rule, I did download this one!  It was worth all the printing and taping, and I am in love with the neckline.

Tavlikki back

I took note of Anne’s comments about widening the neckline, but I must have a smallish brain, because I didn’t need to add anything to get this over my noggin.

For the first time in my entire sewing life, I successfully overlocked clear elastic into the shoulder seams.

Tavlikki elastic

Catch me while I faint, I told myself.  I cannot believe this worked so perfectly!

perfect elastic

The fabric is from EOS – a “luxury sweatshirt fabric” that is soft, cozy and sooooo nice to wear.  It was my first time sewing sweatshirt fabric, and it was a dream to work with.  The sweater itself came together within a couple of hours.  The hardest part was ensuring the starburst darts were perfect.  I stitched them with my regular machine using a stretch stitch.

I cut straight size, no FBA, but I did grade up a size through the hips.  The first time I wore this, DD’s 1 and 3 remarked on how they loved the starburst darts and split hemline.  Those are the selling points of the pattern, right?

pic collage

I must say, though, it’s a bit drafty through the waistline with those hemline slits, so I usually wear it with a cashmere camisole, especially in such blustery weather as we’re having today!

Tavlikki sweater

Burda 04/2017 #106: Joggers

Burda 04-2017-106 side

I made these for DD1 earlier this year from a medium-weight 100% tencel fabric, as she needed basic black pieces for a job this past summer.

Burda 04-2017-106

I made no changes to the pattern except to omit the waist ties, at her request, and she agreed to let me share them with you on the condition her face wouldn’t be seen. *sigh*  Her only other request was that they would be ‘loose’.  I cut the size to match her hip measurements.

And I managed to find black zips for the pockets, which made me very happy. Fancy zippers are not easy to source here. Here they are zipped….

Burda 04-2017-106 details

…. and unzipped.

Burda 04-2017-106 pockets

They turned out to be a little too casual for work, so she’s only worn them a couple of times. They were fun to make, and I’m pleased with the zipped pockets.

Burda 04-2017-106 back

Broderie anglaise: failure & success

I’ve had a beautiful silk/cotton broderie anglaise for a couple of years, and couldn’t decide what to do with it.  I had two pieces, for a total of about 2.5 metres or so.  What to do?  I can’t see myself wearing a dress made of this pretty fabric, although I really do like it.  But I needed some tops to wear for the summer, so I opted for two, the first of which was Vogue 8392.Image result for vogue 8392

And since it’s the Year of the Sleeve, I thought maybe I’d try that little trend, too. I underlined the top in a cotton voile, and bound the neck edges and opening with it.  Then I thought I’d get fancy with the sleeves. I purchased a 5cm wide trim to add to the bottom of the sleeve, and cut one flounce to make it, well, flouncy. It was so pretty!

Vogue 8392 sleeve

And it looked like a box on me. Ugh.  I dont’ know what it is about flounces, but I love the idea, and hate the reality of it on me. Maybe these aren’t just dramatic enough. Perhaps more flounces would have been better. But I don’t think it’s the sleeves that I dislike about this top.  I’m sorry I don’t have photos of it.  It was too horrible to photograph; I put it on, and took it off.

I think it was the neckline. This is the second garment I’ve made with neckline pleats, and I just don’t like them. The first one is this dress, and I haven’t worn it at all this year because I just hate how the neckline pleats add more bulk and volume above my chest than I’m comfortable with.  I was rather disappointed. I had hoped this would be a pretty top that I would like to wear. I’ve taken the flounces off the sleeves and put it aside for the thrift shop.  Perhaps someone else will think it’s perfect.

So, on to the next blouse, which I’ve made before out of silk chiffon, and quite liked.

Burda 10-2010-118 drawing

I did not bother underlining this.  I also cut the tie a bit in between the suggested lengths and considerably narrower than either version. This is with my previously-blogged pleated trousers.

Burda 10-2010-118, rolled trousers

I used French seams throughout the construction.

broderie interior

And, just to see if it’s really possible to tell the difference between a pair of brown capris (unblogged) and a skin-tone camisole, I took this picture. I was pleasantly surprised that slight differences in under layers won’t be too noticeable.

broderie underneath

This is another winner of a pattern, in my books. I’ve made this top three times, and never regretted any version of it. 🙂

Burda 4-2010-143 front

Another Vogue 1412

V1412 flowers back

This is my second version of the Rebecca Taylor top from Vogue 1412, this time in crepe de chine.  The trousers are Burda 12/2011 #133 in a polyester crepe from very deep stash, and fully lined in bemberg.133_1211_b_largeThis is the inside of the blouse front once the buttonholes and buttons have been finished.  This shows the true colours of the silk.

Vogue 1412 front interior

It’s a rather spring-coloured outfit, but I thought I’d share the makes even if it’s autumn.

V1412 flowers

I really like this top pattern, having made it twice. (The trousers are comfy, too. I made another pair in linen, which I’ll share later.)

Burda 08/2011 #136: Pleated Trousers

After the success of the last three slim fitting trousers, I wanted to continue experimenting with styles and silhouettes.  My bottom half is quite firmly in the Burda Plus range, unless I want to adjust patterns excessively (which I cannot be bothered to do unless severely pressed), so I thought I would trace off this little gem from Burda 8-2011-136 and see how it went.  I don’t always like the way Burda styles curvy women – the proportions are all wrong and the fit is always 1,000,000,000 miles off of anything a self-respecting woman with curves would want to wear, in my not-so-humble opinion.  But I was curious to see what some of the styles they put out in the plus range looked like on someone like me i.e. not young and statuesque.

Burda 8-2011-136 drawing

I chose to make this pair out of tencel denim from EOS. I had some misgivings about making trousers from the fabric, as it’s quite drapey, and my previous experience of anything tencel or rayon includes horrible wrinkling and pilling. But this is a medium-weight poly-rayon-elastene blend, tightly woven, and although I’ve been wearing the trousers all morning, you can see the fabric doesn’t really hold onto the wrinkles, thanks to the polyester, I’m sure.

I’m not completely comfortable with the style of these trousers on me. They are a rather loose fit, and I sometimes feel like they are too loose while I’m wearing them, but they look as though they fit well enough in the photos.  Opinions?

My tops change in these photos – I was trying to see what would look OK with the trousers, as I really like the fabric and I’m totally in love with the colour.  I find mirrors don’t often offer an accurate perspective on ratio or proportion. This is with Vogue 1093, a Donna Karan pattern that I made up in 2010, I think, and almost never wear because it’s just such a statement, and I don’t always like people staring at me as I walk through parking lots or whatever…

Burda 8-2011-136 Vogue 1093

You can see the top of a tank top made from silk jersey at the neckline.  I’m planning a post on that top shortly.

And me rolling up the hems for the next set of pictures….

Burda 8-2011-136 tabs

And what they look like with the tabs doing their job.  The top is Vogue 1245.

Burda 8-2011-136 rolled

I have to say, the inseam tends to roll down to my ankles after wearing them for a bit…

Burda 10-2010-118, rolled trousers

The front crotch depth is very long – I even shortened it as per my usual pattern adjustments – but check out this action shot. I noticed in the Burda magazine photo there doesn’t seem to be so much length on the model, so I really don’t know what happened.

Burda 8-2011-136

I love the details on the back. I left of the superfluous centre back waistband button tab. I just couldn’t see the point.  The pockets are faux, as I didn’t want the bulk of the pocket bags on my backside.

Burda 8-2011-136 details

And a close up of the hemline tabs.

Burda 8-2011-136 hem tabs

Well, whatever the fashion police verdict on these trousers is, they’re in my wardrobe, and I’ve been wearing them quite happily. I’m pleasantly surprised at how many random pieces in my closet actually work quite nicely with them.

How about you? Taken a style risk lately?