Lavender Tops

Back in the spring DD3 expressed frustration with the lack of choices in her wardrobe, specifically in the tops department. I must confess, after the last few unsuccessful projects that I made for her, I wasn’t very keen on risking more failures. They have seriously affected my sewjo.  BTW, this post was originally drafted in May……

I sent her shopping for RTW a few weeks ago,and told her to try on e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. she saw, even if it looked silly on the hangers, just to get her ideas flowing, and to take a lot of pictures so I could we what she liked. She came home with a $100 top from Wilfred, made of beautiful Japanese polyester, but the fit was off, and I didn’t care for the cost:product ratio. So she returned it, and went off to see what she could find that tickled her fancy in the Burda magazine collection housed in my sewing nook.

And I, browsing through my local Fabricland while purchasing thread for several new jeans projects for myself (I may not be trendy and stylish, but I love my me-made Jalie jeans and made three new pairs recently) stumbled upon a pretty lavender polyester satin crepe with a hammered finish. I purchased a 1.5m length, as it was the right shade of lavender i.e. not very pink, washed it, and set it on one of the sewing tables.

And she noticed it. And liked the colour. So I cut out two of the designs she had ear-marked, and suggested one that I had made for myself a while back, which she liked after she’d tried on mine.Burda 4-2016-114The first one is BurdaStyle 04/2016 #114, a very simple top with cut-on sleeves and a deep V neckline in the back. There is a band across the back shoulders which helps keep the wide neckline in place. There’s not much to say about this top. It’s very simple to make,  the most difficult part being the adjustment of the back band to a length that sits properly. In retrospect, it would fit her better if I’d done a square shoulder adjustment for her swimmers shoulders.Burda 4-2016-114 backThe second top is a repeat of Burda 04/2015 #103, which I’d made for me in 2017.  I had her try it on and she liked the style. Burda 4-2015-103It’s another simple sew, although getting the centre front V to sit properly took some very careful cutting. I have plans for at least two of these tops for myself. Burda 4-2015-103 frontThe last of the lavender tops used up some stash silk: lavender chiffon and a darker habotai for the longer layer.Burda 5-2014-128 silk It’s BurdaStyle 05/2014 #128, and DD3 wasn’t very sure of the design, but I loved the longer gathered back, and thought I’d take a risk while sewing up the stash fabric. I was prepared to thrift it if she didn’t like it in the end. Burda 5-2014-128 backThis top is short: I added a full 10 cm to the length.  Burda’s instructions are good and easy to follow, for once! I followed them to the ‘T’.

Burda 5-2014-128

I hand rolled the hems.

Burda 5-2014-128

And there we are: three new tops for her to wear. Funnily enough, the one she reaches for the most is gathered-back top. She’s going to wear it out first, mostly because the chiffon is rather fragile.

Ta da!

The lace tunic is finished.

The lace is quite substantial and the tunic has some weight to it. The silk charmeuse lining is wondrously comfortable, and makes this such a pleasure to wear.

The centre back pleat was a bit of a pain to manipulate so that it lays flat but adding a small flower appliqué helped tack it all down into place. There is a facing which I interfaced with silk organza, under stitched, and then ‘topstitched’ invisibly 5mm away from the neckline in order to keep it in place. I also discreetly secured the edges of the facing through all layers so that it wold behave as one layer.

My solution for the side seams was to use a true Hong Kong finish, using the silk underlining, and then stitching an appliqué on the interior of the hem to hide the bottom 4 cm of seam allowance.

Another close up of the hem and side seam finishing.

I’m pleased with how this turned out.

Winter Coat: Burda 1/2016 #123

So, one of my goals for 2018 was to make jackets and coats: I had declared it “The Year of the Coat”.   I managed to make one.
Green CoatI finally got around to the project at the end of April. I pulled two pieces of fabric out of stash:  a lovely green/brown ‘bubble’ wool from EmmaOneSock in 2013and a piece of velvet linen, purchased randomly from Scalamandre’s Third Floor around the same time. I had this from BurdaStyle’s January 2016 in mind for both: Burda 1-2016-123It’s a ‘tall’ pattern, but I wanted something long and dramatic.  So I left the length, and adjusted the waist length by 2 inches (5cm). Here’s the back: green coat back
I did not like the tie collar (and the linen would not have worked for it, imho), so I frankenpatterned Vogue 2590 (an OOP Montana military-style coat). collar collageI love the high collar, and I must say, working with a Vogue pattern vs. a Burda magazine pattern in the same project was a sober reminder (and an elated reminder) of why I love Vogue patterns so much: there were more markings on the collar pieces than the entire front coat pattern piece from Burda.  A clearly marked pattern makes construction so precise, and easy construct with (relative) perfection. Well, I am happy with it, anyways!

The coat does not have buttons. I debated doing the hand worked buttonhole exercise, but opted for the large snaps Burda suggested. I like them! And, no, I did not bother to try to choose a fabric that would match the coat so they could be covered. I just put them on. Finis!

Some details of the interior finishing:lining

There are in-seam pockets. green coat pockets
Here’s the side view.
green coat side

A loooong belt tie. green coat tie
A tall, statuesque drink of water I am not, which is perhaps accentuated by the tie belt. But I love the length and drama of wearing such a coat.

Vogue 8896

Note:  I began this post in July.  I cannot believe that an entire year has gone by already.

It’s been a crazy last few months, and although I have completed a couple of commissions, whipped up some new pairs of  slim Burda 01/2016 #135 pants, altered and mended clothing and made a winter coat, it’s only this weekend that I have finally managed to get some pictures of a recent make!  Woo hoo!  This coming Tuesday is DH’s birthday, and it’s also July, which means Summerlicious in TO.

Birthday + Summerlicious = reason for a new dress.V8896 The fabric is a rayon-lycra knit from my local Fabricland, purchased last summer (or the summer before…..???) because it was a) on sale; and b) looked so cheery.  Actually, it probably reminded me of some project I’d seen in Burda Magazine that I really liked, so I purchased it.  Unfortunately for me, I never make a note of pattern + fabric combinations that randomly pop into mind, especially at that critical moment when they are actually in mind, so I cannot remember what made me think this would be a great maxi dress. In the interest of time (no time to trace a pattern!), I opened my binder of Vogue dress pattern envelopes, pulled out Vogue 8896, measured the flat pattern, laid out the fabric, and cut.. I made some changes to the shoulders – adding width in the back to match the front shoulders so I could sew channels and run ties to create the gathers instead of just gathering the front into the width of the back shoulders. V8896 shouldersI used my favourite neckline edging (a long strip of fabric, cut across the grain, 5cm wide and a few cms shorter than the actual to-be-finished armscye or neck opening) and finished the armscyes using the same technique before stitching the shoulder seams so it would be a neat finish for the ties.V8896 waist

The skirt was quite heavy, and in the interest of keeping it in place at my waistline without having to constantly adjust it, I stitched the seam 2cm wide instead of 1.5cm and ran 1.5cm wide elastic through then entire length, from left front to right front ties.

And then wore it out to dinner!

Vogue 8896 frontI do have more projects to show you.  I have been under a self-imposed deadline to get some things done, photographed and blogged before December 24, when my sewing area will be co-opted into Christmas Dinner With The Family space.

Updated December 30th: And here we are…. at the end of the year… The good news: I took photos of my one finished coat project for 2018. Fingers crossed for posting!

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

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