Burda Challenge: Burda 3/2013 #119 – The Cape

Burda 03-2013-119 tiedI got distracted from another pair of jeans by this cape from Burda’s March 2013 issue.  I just fell in love with it the first time I saw it, and Burda had the goodness to publish it in three colours:  mustard yellow, red and a dark khaki – the colour in which  I’ve made up my version.Burda 3-2013-119This was a super fun project for me.  I don’t own anything remotely similar to this, and I like odd pieces that could potentially get a lot of wear.  I had some 100% ramie in my stash, and I laundered it several times in hot water and in a hot dryer in order to minimize shrinkage and hopefully get that “washed linen” look.  The washed linen look never occurred, and the fabric gave off a tremendous amount of lint in my dryer, but I am confident that this garment will never shrink.

Burda 03-2013-119 hoodSee how short the sleeves are when ones arms are raised? Impractical from a warmth/protection from the elements point of view. It has a hood which, in my opinion, is completely useless. But it looks nice from the back.Burda 03-2013-119 back 3I enjoyed putting this garment together because it required several things with which I don’t usually work:  cord, grommets, velcro, D-rings and a brass-toothed separating zipper.  I learned that shortening a zipper with brass teeth does require a pair of nips in order to not wreak havoc on the zipper’s tape by pulling the teeth out one by one before plying them open.  Anyways, I also learned that I’m better at handling a metal zipper than my DH, who gamely offered to help me use his pliers.  😉  Burda 03-2013-119 detailsFabric used:  100% ramie shell, washed silk charmeuse lining

Pattern alterations:  Well, first of all, I lined this.  Burda suggests canvas for the fabric, and the ramie, although it’s a fall weight, would be a bit warmer with the silk lining  and it would make the inside of the garment pretty.

I left off the mock breast pocket on the left front.  It was a strip of twill tape with grommets stitched to the outer shell.  Frankly, I couldn’t be bothered.Burda 03-2013-119 frontI did not cut two 114 cm long strips of bias for the cord casing.  The ramie frayed like crazy and it was a lot like linen to press except that it was a lot more stubborn to shape.  I just used grosgrain ribbon.  To my mind it would be a lot stronger without the risk of fraying or falling apart.  cape interiorI treated the silk as a separate lining and once the shell was constructed and the cord attached, I attached the lining to the garment along the “sleeve” seams at the front and back to keep it in place with short basting stitches through the seam allowances from the wrong side. Then I faced the hem and sleeves, and attached the hood, catching the silk inside the facings.  I also double interfaced the visor.  I didn’t use buckram – too stiff – but I wanted something that came close.Burda 03-2013-119From a practical point of view, this garment is pretty ridiculous.  The sleeves – if you can call them that – fall at the wrist when you’re standing doing nothing but mostly sit at the 3/4 length and when it’s tied, you can’t raise your arms.   I have to be careful about making sure my arms are not restricted when I’m driving, and the cape shape is attractive to odds and ends that grab it while I’m out shopping or whatever.  It’s not particularly warm and the velcro fastening of the hood is quite annoying when it’s closed, yet the neck is too wide and low to look good with a scarf.

*shrug*  But what can I say?  It’s one of those “out there” pieces that I really like.  Would I sew it again?  Probably.  It would be fantastic in red linen.  Would I recommend it to others?  Not necessarily, because it’s really not a functioning cape/outerwear piece.  It’s more like an oversized ridiculous poncho without the freedom of movement for arms that a poncho provides, and a whole lot of details that are rather pointless.

But I’ve worn it almost every day since I finished it, and it was super fun to make!Burda 03-2013-119 pockets

Winter Plaid Jacket

B 11-2010-133 side

So, after not doing anything with Marfy 1401 but letting it percolate in the back of my mind, I’ve come to the conclusion that I like the idea of that coat, but I don’t really like the idea of that coat in my life.  Why?  Well, simply put, I like… no…. LOVE the collar, but I just don’t need a long swing coat in my wardrobe.  If I need to dress up and it’s cold, I’ve got choices.  I could have played the Marfy down with the wool plaid, but in reality, I just want a casual coat that I can throw on and run errands in that isn’t a ski jacket.  Now, I hear you all.  Yes, I could have shortened the Marfy pattern, but I didn’t want to for some inexplicable reason.  I’m sorry to disappoint, but the Marfy Lab Coat project is officially dead.  So I went mentally wandering through my patterns for something else.

B 11-2010-133

B 11-2010-113 drawingEnter BurdaStyle’s November 2010 issue, #133.  It’s got bands, pockets and is a big, casual design with no fussing.  Win!  I chose this pattern because I liked the idea of bias bands with this plaid.  The fabric is wonderful.  It was a thrift store find a couple of winters ago that was originally intended to be a maxi skirt, but it was a bit on the heavy side, and so languished in stash until now.  I washed and dried it in the dryer about 3 times to get it to felt a little bit.  The process added the weight I wanted. The coat is not lined, but I lined mine with kasha lining. I made no adjustments other than sleeve length, although I did change up the construction a bit.

The first big change I made was to cut strips of bias for the bands and forget about Burda’s pattern.  I cut them 10.5 cm wide and washed them again to fray the edges a bit.  My idea was to overlay the edges of the coat itself and topstitch them into place rather than encasing the band between the coat and lining.  I wanted the casual frayed edge.  I did not interface the bands.

B 11-2010-133 front band

I measured 3 cm in from the edge of the coat and laid the inner edge of the top band along the markings.  There was a lot of easing and shrinking to do at the curved front bottom edges.  Once the top band was basted into place, I laid the band facing in place (wrong sides together) matching up the outer edges of the facing and band and topstitched them together.  Then I stitched through all thicknesses to attach both layers to the coat itself.  I really like how it looks.

B 11-2010-133 back band

I liked the idea of topstitching the pocket to the front, so I did that.  And I wanted a rolled-back cuff look but without actually having to roll the cuffs back.  The sleeves were long on me without the cuffs attached, so I trimmed about 4 cm and machine stitched the lining in place.  inside of sleeve

Then I stitched the cuffs and cuff facings together around the edges like I did the bands.  I folded them in half and stitched the edges together like a French cuff and laid the entire cuff over top of the sleeve.


Needless to say, that’s a lot of layers, so I used a fell stitch to attach the cuff to the outside of the sleeve, and then a long back stitch on the inside to attach the edge of the sleeve to the cuff.  The cuffs extend past the sleeve edge by about 4 cm.

B 11-2010-133 pockets

It thoroughly snowed on Friday – FINALLY.  I’ve been waiting since October for decent snow.  Yesterday it was all sunshine and sparkles with a blue blue sky – just gorgeous!  The snow makes everything brighter.  I love winter.  Today, it’s supposed to rain, so the snow seen in the pics is actually half of what we got in about 24 hours last Friday.  Loved it!  Winter is supposed to be full of white fluffy cold stuff!

B 11-2010-133 back 2

I didn’t put any fastenings at the CF (I may change this later and add snaps) so I’m holding it closed with a belt.  Haven’t put any belt loops as of picture-taking time, but I think I’ll add some.  And now that the snow’s scheduled to melt in the rain today, I’m ready for those casually dressed errands without a ski jacket.

B 11-2010-133 front

Burda 7579

B 7579 side

This is the finished jacket that I did my bound buttonholes for, based on Burda 7579.  I made it up on request out of the most lovely wool.  It was a perfect marriage of fabric and pattern, let me tell you.  A complete and utter pleasure to sew.  The suit has a matching pencil skirt, quite pegged, with a CB hemline slit, which I pulled from a vintage Lagerfeld pattern in my stash.  It’s a beautiful ensemble and fits perfectly (although I can’t say that for Vintage Judy in these photos).

B 7579 welts pocketThe jacket has been shortened by about 2 inches.  I was a bit worried about the proportion/placement of the pockets, which also have flaps, on the shorter version but it’s working nicely when the flaps are tucked in.   So I’m leaving them tucked in.  I did the pocket welts on the bias for consistency’s sake since the buttonholes are bias, too, never mind that they just looked waaaay better done on the bias that either straight or cross grain.  The picture below is before shortening the jacket.

welt pocketsThe jacket doesn’t fit Vintage Judy well at all as very evident in this photo, and it desperately needs to be pressed, but isn’t the back belt a nice detail?  The buttons were quite heavy, so I tacked them through all layers to support them.  I raised the collar stand by 5/8″ to order because it needed to sit a bit higher, and re-drafted the collar shape itself so that it could be tacked and stand up.B 7579 back

As you all know, if you’ve been reading posts lately, I am not a patternmaker or tweaker or draper or any such “er” (although I can sew reasonably well, even if I do say so myself) and the little change to this collar put me into a problem-solving line-drawing tailspin for a bit.  And then I leafed through the September Vogue and found this lovely little Chanel number.chanel 2012 jacketWhich gave me visual directions for my little change on the collar.  B 7579 collarIt worked nicely and was easy to do (thank God!).  And, if I can ever get my sewing queue organized, gave me an idea for an almost identical tweed in my stash….  But haven’t you heard that before?  I have loads of pattern/fabric marriages to make official, but never get around to 99% of them…..