Burda 12-2014 pajamas

I have needed a decent set of pyjamas for a very long time, and was finally driven to cutting and sewing up two sets from Burda’s December 2014 issue.  The first set is the pyjama shirt and capris.  Each image below clicks through to the pattern itself over at BurdaStyle.

Burda 12/2014 #133Burda 12/2014 #135camisole top

The fabric is a cotton lawn purchased over a year ago for the intent of a smocked girl’s dress that never happened.  I used a black poly-cotton broadcloth for the piping, and left off the pockets.  I cannot see the use of pockets in bed. I also didn’t face the capri hemline, but rather serged the edges, turned, pressed and top stitched them.

PJ pants hemling piping

I left off the top button, too, so that the collar can lay open.

Collar piping

And I like the sleeve bands.

Shirt band with piping

I didn’t have enough fabric to do a proper FBA, but as I will definitely be making another set of PJ’s, I will do so next time.

As for the other pair, made of Liberty of London Felicite in a purple colourway (again purchased over a decade ago for a smocked dress), I used the same capri pattern.  I curved the vent edges and did a narrow turned hem.  I did put a pocket on this pair, although you cannot see it, and I never use it.  But I had the scraps, so I thought, why not?

useless pocket

The little camisole top gave me more pause for thought.  I did a 2″ FBA, cutting through the dart and re-drafting the upper bodice piece into two, as the interior shows below.

Burda 12-2014-123 interior

I used petersham ribbon for the straps, and left a 2 inch curved vent at the side seams hemline.

Burda pajamas Felicite

 Very comfortable, I must say.  I wonder it took me so long to make these.  And now that cooler weather is just around the corner, I’ll need to make a warmer set or two.

Salvage September Project 2

Remember this dress?

Well, it went into the “remake it pile” when I purged my closet.  I initially cut it apart with the intention of making another dress, but that went out the window once I’d laid out all the pieces and realized only the skirt was really going to be salvageable.  Burda classics 0015 blouseSo I traced off this little sleeveless number from Burda’s 2012 FW Classics issue.  There was just enough to squeeze it out, although I did end up piecing some of the facing.

Liberty Bea

I lengthened the back by an extra 4cm, hemming it with right-angle corners instead of grading it to meet the front length.  It means I can tuck it in securely at the back, or, when it is left untucked, have sufficient coverage when I sit or bend over.

Burda Classics 2012 #15

I’m quite happy with this little top, especially the collar.  And quite happy that I have a garment which will see more wear than the dress ever did.

Tie front blouse


Judy, by Liberty of London

Burda 1-2011-107 blouse

I have long had the intention of adding more shirts to my clothes rotation, but hadn’t had the motivation until this past week… well, two days ago, in fact, when I browsed through the PR website and thought I’d give the Sewing Bee 2015 a try.  What do I have to lose?  And it provided a reason to sew a new shirt.

Enter a vintage Liberty tana lawn called Judy.  I only had about 114_107_bs1101_mf_burda_6_01_065_original_large40 inches of full width yardage with a few decent-sized scraps left from Vogue 7340, which was sewn a few years ago.  I had hoped to make a Sewaholic Granville, or another Vogue 8747, but there wasn’t enough fabric.  So I turned to Burda and remembered I had traced of 1/2011 #107 a couple of years ago and done nothing with it.  So I cut out the traced pattern and after careful tissue fitting, determined the only adjustment I needed was to shorten the back waist.  I didn’t even need to do an FBA, believe it or not.  There is about 4″ of ease just across the bust, even for me, and I usually require a 1.5 or 2-inch FBA on tops.

shoulder detail

I did trim the seam allowances off the top of the fronts, tapering to nothing at the neckline, to facilitate a forward shoulder.

I made a few changes to the pattern.  First, I did not add petersham ribbon down the front bands.  I didn’t like the look much.

collar detail

I shortened the sleeve cuffs by about one inch.  I didn’t think I had short arms.

sleeve detail

But I will probably wear them open and turned up because I like the look of the ‘wings’.

Burda 1-2011-107 sleeve cuffs

The back inverted pleat gave me a little trouble, fitting it over the hips. I tapered it below the waist so that it followed the hip shape without flaring out like a sail.

Burda 1-2011-107 back

The collar gave me some grief.  It has a shaped stand that is sewn into an elongated “c” cut out of the collar.  You can see the pattern pieces here.  I used Fashion Sewing Supply’s “Pro-Woven Shirt Crisp Fusible” because I really love crisp shirt collars/cuffs/bands.  It is v.e.r.y. crisp, and I think this contributed to the difficulty I had attaching the collar to the stand. In the end I trimmed the seam allowances to a mere 1/4″, clipped them excessively, and it came together.

And there’s my new shirt.  (I don’t plan to wear it with these pants, btw, which I usually reserve for wear with the Donna Karan Big Shirt aka Vogue 1038. I just haven’t made a decent fitting pair of green-ish trousers that fit yet.)  I love Liberty tana lawn, so I know this will get a lot of wear, even as the weather cools down.  I’ve been pleasantly surprised at just how warm tana lawn can be over the years.

Angelica Naylah

v8747I’ve made a shirt from a Liberty print in my stash called “Angelia Naylah” using Vogue 8747.  I really hemmed and hawed about this pattern, because most of the ones over at PatternReview are out of solids, and I really wasn’t liking any of them that much.  Then I found one out of a white/celery print, and it sold me on this pattern for this print.  I’m happy to say I probably still have enough yardage to get a sheath dress out of this, too.  What can I say?  I really like tana lawn.Angelica NaylahI really need to work on the fit through the back shoulders on shirts, but I’m afraid to make them too perfectly fit, because I want the wearing ease.  I must say this pattern fits wonderfully.  It’s a Custom-Fit, which I wasn’t too enthused about, because the last time I used a custom-fit pattern from Simplicity, there wasn’t enough room in their built-in FBA for me.  This Vogue custom fit is perfect.  It’s so nice not to have to tweak a pattern endlessly.  I know, some of you are muttering “make a sloper/block”.  I guess I should, but it’s just so much work to get one, y’know?  Don’t ask. My laziness is not always logical.  🙂IMG_2083The nice this about this pattern is that it has princess seams in the back, too, instead of darts.  I’m starting to not like darts so much for shaping through the back of garments for me because I require so much shaping and the darts can be very deep and ugly.  And I’m amazed at how sloping my shoulders are…

Here’s the side view.  I made the long-sleeved version with the full cuffs.  My only complaint is that there is not a proper sleeve placket included in the pattern, so if you want a real sleeve placket, you’ll have to draft your own or borrow one from another pattern.V8747 sideI really like the collar and curved front bands on this shirt. The small gathers at the CF through the bustline work for me, too.  And can I just put in a plug for Pam of Fashion Sewing Supply fame?  Oh. My. Goodness.  That woman is wonderful beyond words.  I used her super-crisp shirt interfacing for this little darling, and it is dream interfacing.  I have always HATED using fusible interfacings, especially on fine cotton shirts, but the the Pro-Woven she sells is divine.  I washed this shirt in my washer – not by hand – and the interfacing didn’t budge.  Didn’t bubble or buckle and there’s no horrid little glue dots that can occur with some interfacings.  If you haven’t ordered anything from her, do!  I just placed a big order the other week and nearly choked on her shipping charges to Canada, but God bless her, she wrote back a very thorough, long and patient explanation regarding weight and US shipping comparisons and I was just so amazed at the customer service she provided!  I am so glad that I used the Super-Crisp on this shirt.  I was a bit worried it would be too crisp for the lawn, but it’s really nice!  You know how many shirts I’ve trashed over the years because of crappy interfacing issues?  Not this one!  Thanks, Pam!IMG_2099

Me-Made-May ’12

MMM 31 MMM ’12 is finished with a big thank you to Zoe – graffiti style on the side of my house – for organizing this challenge.  This is the third me-made challenge I’ve participated in (you can see the others listed on the right under What I Wore), and so far, I think, my most successful.  The weather cooperated, which was a HUGE part of being able to make this work, and I’ve managed to sew a few more very wearable items over the last year or 18 months that have made it into regular rotation in my wardrobe.  I am quite surprised at how many days I wanted to reach for capris, but didn’t have enough me-mades to choose from.  I hope to rectify this over the next little while.

If you’d like to see what I wore this past month, I’m stealing this wonderful idea from Amy of SewWell and giving you a linkable screen shot of my Flickr set so you can read about each day, if you’d like.  I gave up writing a really long post with all the respective blog links for each outfit like Claudine did.  I suspect she was really smart, though, and worked on her compilation post all through May, because it was in my reader first thing this morning! If you do decide to click through to Flickr, be sure to browse on through to the group Flickr pool.  Hope to see you all there next year!


Liberty, how do I love thee!

I’m pre-washing and drying some of my Liberty Art fabrics in preparation for summer projects.  Thrown into the mix are a couple of beautiful batiks and a modern print voile.

From L to R:  unknown (help me out with a comment if you know this print, please!!), Pelagia, Molina, Ros,  Angelica Naylah (wrong side out), blue and brown batik, Mollybish, purple print voile, Mark, Clara and Mabelle

Sounds like a regular family get-together!

A bouquet of dresses

Miss V asked if I would sew up a few garments for her as she is heading over to Asia for the next year and needed appropriate clothes.  She brought three pieces of fabric with her, and a dress to copy.

IMG_0407IMG_0409I’d sewn a hot LRD based on Vogue 9595 a couple of years ago for her, and she so liked the simple empire style that she requested a couple more from the fabric she brought with her.   This orange polyester satin looks nice, but shows every single stitch.  It’s lined with a poly-cotton broadcloth, which I’m sure won’t stick in the heat and humidity, but it’s heavier than the fashion fabric.


Then she asked if she could have a new version of a sheath dress with a mock sarong skirt that she’d had in her wardrobe for years.  I was hoping she would fall in love with something from my stash, and she chose a length of Megan by Liberty of London (who are now called Liberty Art fabrics) in a hot pink colour way.  IMG_0410I am very surprised at how pretty this dress turned out to be.  The one flaw in my copy is very obvious, but I could not correct it because I didn’t have enough fabric to re-cut the skirt overlays.

IMG_0411I completely underlined the garment with cotton voile and piped the neckline and arm openings.  But I didn’t want to line it because she’s going to be wanting very cool clothing for the next year.  So I used a catch-stitch for the edging.  All these dresses have the bra keepers in the shoulders.

IMG_0415And I knew she wanted a white dress.  b 2-2011-101This burnout re-embroidered cotton voile was originally purchased last summer for a dress that DD1 really didn’t like, so I thought I’d use it for this last piece.  DD1 thought it was a wonderful use of the fabric.  (Obviously, her tastes in clothing differ significantly from mine – no big inter-generational surprise).  I used the bodice from  Burda 2-2011-101, which has been made up a gazillion times around the sewing world.  I just so like the bodice despite the reports of fitting nightmares, and thought it would suit my friend.  I chose a circle skirt instead of the dirndl – it’s a more pleasing silhouette.

b 2-2011-101 sitting I took the darts out of the back and put a length of elastic at the waist.b 2-2011-101 back And I’d love to thank my DD1 for being willing to goof off and model all these garments.  If she wasn’t so gracious, you’d have seen pictures of these garments on hangers.

Summer has finally begun


Yes, it’s official.  Today is the first day of summer holidays for my DDs.  And it’s a wrap on Me Made June.  I must say I’m not sorry to see the end of trying to decide what me-mades I’m wearing today, and then taking (postable)pictures.  At some point I may post an overview, but let me catch up on outfits first.

MMJ Day 29 – Outfit:  RTW top and me made capris from Vogue 8094, worn several times this month!   Stuart Weitzmann clogs, picked up for a song (almost literally), and extremely comfortable.

MMJ Day 30 – Outfit: Susannah dress, blogged here

MMJ 30

Until the next post….

Me Made June: Days 12 & 13

P6120013Me Made June Day 12 – Outfit: Vogue 8846 made up in Liberty of London tana lawn.  The print is called Bea.  With my mini poodle, Nuggy Baby.

Activities:  Nothing.  We went to church in the morning, ate fast food for lunch (DD2’s favourite – the Golden Arches), took about 20 pics trying to get this fabric to photograph nicely, finished up Barnaby Rudge by Dickens (I loooooove Dickens), and BBQ’d beef souvlaki for dinner. The 2nd picture accurately captures the richness of the Bea print. It’s hard to P6120020photograph this fabric because of the slight sheen to it.  And, no.  I did not wear this dress for the entire day, in case you’re wondering.  I schlepped around in my pajamas after our morning at church, but I thought I’d spare you the pictures of that, since my PJ’s are not me-made.

Thoughts:  I wore this dress with the sash today, wrapped around twice and tied in a very small bow at the centre back (not like the picture at the right – I changed it up after taking the pics).  It’s the first time I had the brains to try that, as I had tied  it with long tails at the side front like the pattern envelope.  It did not look nice.  I always feel so dressed up in this dress, but it’s really comfy to wear, and the style is so pretty.  I know in my review I mentioned wanting to make it up in a solid colour, but I haven’t done that yet… there’s just too many other projects on my sewing table!

MMJ 13Me Made June Day 13 – Outfit:  RTW capris and Simplicity 2603

Activities:  laundry, sewing, cooking and running kids to dance class

Thoughts:  It’s cool today – only about 14C, so this ensemble is perfect.  But the sweater is loooong, as you can see from the original post.  I’ve tied the ends together and put them around my neck to shorten the sweater for today.   It creates a sort of ruffle effect down the front, which is OK, I guess.  I like the colour, but this is not one of my favourite me-made items.

(Belated) Pattern Review: Vogue 8446


Pattern Description:  Mid-knee or below mid-calf dress with fitted bodice and flared skirt has lined bodice and back zipper closure.

Pattern Sizing:  AAX(4-6-8-10), DD(12-14-16-18) I sewed a 16 – my usual size, and it could be taken in about 1″ at the waist, but what the hey!

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  Yes – 100%. Actually, I think it looks better on me than the model at Vogue Patterns website.image

Were the instructions easy to follow?  I had no difficulty following the directions of this pattern, however, I can see where people who are just starting out on their sewing journey could be VERY confused with the directions for the construction of the bodice.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  I love love LOVE this neckline (closeup here.) It is so amazingly flattering! I was a bit skeptical about the pleating in the skirt and the “dirndl” look since I really don’t need any extra below my waist, but it works very well with the proportion of the dress.

Fabric Used:  Liberty of London tana lawn in Bea from my stash. Lined in bemberg lining. I wasn’t sure about using this fabric for the dress, but I think it turned out so nicely. It’s very vintage looking, and the rich colours are striking.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I only did my usual FBA and waist shortening of 2″. I was too lazy (or overconfident?) to do a proper muslin, as I am getting pretty good at the FBA adjustment using Vogue Patterns Sewing Book instructions. It worked perfectly.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it tP6120005o others?  I would definitely sew this again. I’m currently hunting around in my stash for a solid colour in a crepe or faille. I think it would be very dressy in a fluid fabric. I’m just totally in love with the neckline.

I highly recommend this dress. Even if you need to read and re-read the instructions to get the bodice construction just right, it’s well worth the time and effort. You won’t regret the time it took!