Pattern Review: Burda 10/2013 #120

Burda 10-2013-120I love sparkly stuff.  LOVE!  Believe it or not, when browsing through the malls, the sparklies always catch my eye first.  Something about little flashes of light, I think.  Anyways, DD1 saw this lovely little sequin number in the October 2013 Burda and I jumped on the bandwagon for two reasons:  everyone needs a sparkly skirt if they’re a teen, and it would fit the Burda Challenge 2013.

The sequins are sewn onto a stretch mesh in rows, and the stretch mesh posed a slight problem with this design, mostly because of those yoke seams.  Well, there was a problem in my mind because I’ve only ever worked with sequined fabric once before, and it remains a UFO.  I was determined to not let this be a UFO, and prayed I could sew through the sequins instead of having to remove and re-attach them from the seam allowances.  I could.  *whew*  I did remove sequins from seam allowances along the waist and the bottom edge of the yoke along the CB panels.  I would not have needed to do this if the sequins had been small and circular, but as you can see from the pics, these are an elongated shape, about 5mm long.

What about pressing seam allowances on a sequin fabric?  I didn’t catchstitch each seam allowance in place, which, as I write this, seems like it should have been the default for this type of fabric. I used a linen pressing cloth and a low iron and carefully pressed each seam.

The pattern is straight-forward, with each of the yoke pieces lengthened as much as you like to form the lining.  The pleated skirt consists of two lengths of fabric pleated into 5 pleats per piece, 6 inches deep and spaced 3 inches apart.  Now, if you understood that, good job, because I am mathematically challenged and it took a good 20 minutes to figure out how such equations would fit the lower edge of the yokes.

Burda 10-2013-120 liningI flat-felled the lining seams to keep them tidy, and for the CB seam, turned the seam allowances under and stitched them down below the zip opening.  The lining is a poly taffeta.  I wanted a lining without stretch to allow the mesh freedom to move without being stretched.  Hopefully this will prolong the life of the sequin mesh, because the mesh is quite (annoyingly) delicate.Burda 10-2013-120 zipperI hand-picked the zipper and did not use an invisible one.  Seriously, I could not imagine inserting an invisible zip into this fabric.  I don’t go looking for sewing nightmares on purpose!!  The zip is 9 inches and hangs down past the yoke, according to directions.  Interesting, because zips extending past the bottom of a garment à la couture have been rolling around my sewing mind lately.Burda 10-2013-120 zipI wondered about this approach at first, but it was the only way to insert the zip without putting a CB seam through the pleated lower skirt, and after fiddling around a bit, decided I didn’t want a CF/CB seam. I handpicked the zip to the CB of the yoke seams, leaving the bottom seam allowance free to attach to the lower skirt.  It worked well, and I got to try something new.

The hem is catchstitched into place.Burda 10-2013-120 hemThere’s no waistband on this skirt, and I debated adding a grosgrain ribbon for one, but decided against it.  I thought the clean sequin yoke looked the best.  And, because no waistband equals a difficulty in hanging the skirt, I added little ribbon hangers.Burda 10-2013-120 hangersVerdict:  a sparkly skirt!!! So pretty and so fun to put together.

An Upcycled Sari

Peeps, my butt is sore from sitting, standing, bending, and sitting again for the last 48 hours as I worked to get this last outfit done for Miss V, who left this morning.  She brought me this sari and wanted something made of it.sariWhat to make?  She’s got a load of dresses and didn’t want any more, but she had been gifted this sari and wanted something made of it.  I immediately though of those Oriental inspired collections in BurdaStyle over the years and suggested a pair of loose trousers and a short coat. Short jacketShe agreed enthusiastically, so I traced of #116 from Burda February 2013.  And bought several yards of pink broadcloth (since it seems to be her lining fabric of choice) because the sari is polyester chiffon.  With silver thread embroidery throughout and a green ombre-effect border for added fun.  Working with silver thread is a pain in the butt.  It will not shape.  Bend, yes.  Shape or crease cleanly, no.  I “petited” the jacket – folding out about 2 cm through the upper chest, and about another 2 inches through the waist, making the adjustments across all pieces.  I chose to treat the broadcloth as an underlining for the body of the jacket, but I hemmed each piece of underlining separately.  I wanted it to hang free at the hem, and fall about 1.5 inches shorter than the bottom of the green border.  The sleeves are not lined.  (Please excuse the garish background.  My kitchen is still not done, but it’s a big space and very bright).

sari remakeI added a mandarin collar to the pattern, and left the pockets in.  They are very deep, and needed trimming to fit the front panels of the coat.B 2-2013-116 pocketsSee what I mean about that darned silver thread in the border?  It has a mind completely of its own.  I could have interfaced and underlined it to make it hold it’s shape, but this garment needs to be cool and washable.  And I didn’t have the time, frankly.  It was muslined and fit once (and only once – I have no idea what it looks like on Miss V) three days ago.  I’m hoping the border will behave nicely while she wears it!  🙂B 2-2013-116 front flyThe buttons are decorative, and the garment is held closed by hooks and eyes. I added a fly for modesty’s sake, since I know it will be worn alone.  I bias bound all the seams.  Not by choice, initially.  My @(*&! serger decided to chew up the fabric instead of cut it, so I had the choice of flat felling or binding.  The binding was simple and easy, thank goodness.  And it looks nice. bindingFor the trousers I chose the wide-legged version from Vogue 2064 which is for two-way stretch knits only.  But I cut them one size larger than Miss V required and they fit perfectly.  I stitched two lengths of the sari fabric together along the green/silver border and cut the trousers on the cross grain.IMG_2794I love this trouser pattern.  It’s got no side seam – just a waist shaping dart that ends at the mid-hip level.  Two pieces – one for each leg!  Like glorified leggings, I guess.  Here’s a closeup of the dart and the bordered fabric seamed down the length of the trousers.side seamsThis trouser pattern was brilliant for the sari fabric because of the lack of seams.  I used a French seam for the inseam and bias bound the crotch seam from CF to CB, binding the seam edges underneath the CB zipper separately.  Then I grabbed some grosgrain ribbon for the waistband/facing, stitched it 1 cm from the upper edge, understitched, flipped, pressed, tacked it to the centre front and side darts, and voilà!  Nice clean interior.interiorWell, it’s all packed and on a plane by now.  I had a lot of fun sewing all these garments.  Long hours logged in the sewing room, but always with anticipation and sense of fun.

One Year Later: Vogue or Burda trouser block?

Since I can’t actually sew while my house is upside down and backwards, I thought I’d finally blog some things I’ve finished but never talked about.  Thanks for all your commiserating with me and the good wishes, too.  I cannot believe the withdrawal I am suffering through not being able to actually SIT DOWN AND SEW A SEAM.  However, the basement is dry and sanitized, so now I just need to wait for installers so everything can be put back into order and we’ll never know anything happened!

It’s almost exactly one year to the month since my first go at the skinnies from Vogue 1039.   After the saga of capris this past spring and the trouble and hassle and “it’s-better-than-it-was-but-I’m-still-not-satisfied” fitting journey, I thought I’d try my hand at these Donna Karan skinnines again with a stretch denim.

V1039.jpgNo particular reason except that in a fit of pique I thrifted all my RTW jeans and capris this spring and really really needed a pair of something to wear that wasn’t dressy, but that would keep me warmer than capris would through the coolish spring weather we’ve had this year.  And since I really truly do like that pleaty-pleat top but lack a pair of skinnies in a complementary colour, I thought I’d try another go and see if I couldn’t tweak the fit a little.  Ok.  A lot. And this is how I cheated – I mean tweaked.Burda 04-2013-114I traced off Burda 4/2013 #114 in my size (well, actually one size smaller because it’s a stretch fabric and my experience dictates going down a size with stretch fabrics) and laid each piece over the corresponding Vogue ones.  I should have taken a picture, but didn’t, of course. *handforehead* Let me just say that the difference was s.i.g.n.i.f.c.a.n.t. and similar to what you see between pattern pieces in this comparison post.  This was a good place to begin for tweaking or perfecting the fit on trousers for me.  Here is the front view.  I forgot to stand up straight (being so darned uncomfortable with the truthfulness of proper mug shots that I unconsciously avoid head-on poses), so you’ll have to believe me when I say the horizontal lines are not there when I’m standing straight.Vogue 1039 I have no intention of ever wearing these with my shirt tucked in, but as this is a sewing blog I know you’ll all appreciate the photos. ha ha (shudder)  The length of these skinnies is the Vogue length, which I’m very much on the meh side of the fence about.  Whatever.  This is a wearable muslin until the next pair. My favourite details:  the pocketses!Vogue 1039 pocketsMy thoughts after making these up without any adjustments to the Burda block:  Burda wins.  I need to add about 1 inch in length to the centre back and scoop out the back through the crotch a bit, but I just want to say that this is a much better place to begin fitting than any casual Vogue pant or capri pattern I have ever sewn (barring classic trousers). There’s been a lot of griping about the Big 4’s pattern blocks in sewing webland lately, and although I generally disagree for an entire blog post of reasons*, I can really see the point when it comes to trousers.  I cannot wait to trace off other Burda trouser patterns and see what happens.  Dare I say I’m a bit excited about this?Vogue 1039 pantsAfter reading a lot of blog posts about making jeans, fitting jeans, and wanting a few pairs that I liked in Burda mags over the last couple of years, I’ve acquired a very small stash of stretch denim to try this myself.  This is the first almost-successful go at it.  BTW, these photos were taken at the end of the day, and I’m really pleased with how the fabric held its shape.  It’s another stretch woven from EmmaOneSock.  I love the quality of her fabrics.

Oh, and I did take pics of my backside, but I’ll spare y’all that information.  Let’s just say that I really do need to scoop out the back.  I promise I’ll post pictures after I find an invisible zipper that won’t separate on me every single time I put these on.  Or maybe I’ll put in a fly zip.  But that would “ruin” the look of these.  This is the second zipper that’s unhinged itself on these.  stupid zipperThe first invisible zip was replaced by a regular zipper, but the side seams pulled away from it whilst zipped, which I thought was incredibly messy and ugly.  So I went hunting for another invisible zip, and it split on the second wearing.  I still haven’t decided what to do with this PITA conundrum.   A metal zipper?  Any brilliant ideas?

*Which will remain unwritten.  Suffice it to say that the more I sew the more I think muslins are in order more often than not – even for a t-shirt – and I really don’t see the point of trying to imitate casual RTW quality clothes at home.  It’s entertaining and amusing, but one-of-a-kind frosting makes my sewing heart sing, not copies of a basic t-shirt.  Just sayin’.

Cuffed Shorts

Burda 6-2013-111A

DD1 wanted more shorts, and chose this lovely cuffed pair from Burda’s June issue to make from this spectacular stretch cotton (Burda 06/2013 #111A).  Burda 06-2013-111 drawing The fabric is so vibrant that I really wanted her to choose a skirt or a dress to showcase it better, but she’s “not that into skirts and dresses, really, mom”.  OK.  So shorts it is.  Although I did manage to cut a skirt, too, that’s currently resting in my magic sewing closet. But back to these shorts.Burda 6-2013-111A back

It’s a super simple pattern with only one welt pocket on the back right.  There’s a side zip, but the star of the show is the cuffs!  All two inches of them.  Lots of playing around room in these. Burda 6-2013-111A cuffs

I didn’t make a muslin, and I’ve noticed that she is going to need a little length added to the back of future trousers/shorts.  The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree!Burda 6-2013-111A action

Or maybe I should say the cherries don’t fall too far from the tree.  Better luck next time!Burda 6-2013-111A action 2


…of my wardrobe, of course!  I’ve sewn up a couple of skirts for my summer wardrobe, and it’s all been from stash.  How lovely it feels to be working through my stash!  There’s a tremendous amount of pleasure in pulling out a piece and making something that will be worn and used and therefore justify the purchase!  It’s also a good conscience cleanser.  I don’t know about you, but sometimes my own personal fabric store can be rather menacing at times.

Vogue 1247I’ve made up another skirt from Vogue 1247 in the same colour, although the fabric is different.  My first chocolate version was linen, underlined in cotton voile.  It was OK.  I added a lot of length to it to bring it to my knees, and I just wasn’t that happy with it.  Don’t get me wrong.  I wore it a lot, but eventually the linen started to fray at the bottom of the CB invisible zip (can you believe it?) and it was time to send it away.  I regret not cannibalizing it now, but I was going through a spring wardrobe cleaning fix and never bothered.  My current version is in a poly/cottton twill that will wear like Teflon, I’m sure.  I didn’t bother underlining it, and I only lengthened it by about 10cm this time instead of 10 inches.  haha!

Vogue 1247 skirtHere’s the requisite inside shot of this skirt.  I love how the inside looks with all the seam binding.  A lot of extra fussing, but it’s so pretty when one pulls it on!

Vogue 1247 interiorThe other basic I’ve added to my wardrobe is another version of Vogue 1093 which I’ve made up a couple of times. I just love the seaming on this skirt pattern, and it fits me well through the high hip and waist, which is always a challenge for me. The fabric is a love-inspiring caramel-coloured stretch cotton sateen that’s from stash.

Vogue 1093 skirtI lowered the top of the back slit by 6 inches.  The pattern as designed has the slit start just beneath the booty, which is ridiculous. Ri-di-cu-lous. I remember the first version I didn’t bother to check on it, and I had to stitch it down to a reasonable depth.  As this skirt stands, if I just plain bend over and touch my toes, it’s basically swimsuit coverage length.  Ha!

Vogue 1093 skirt 3I’ve been sitting and getting in and out of the car all day in this skirt, and it has held up well in terms of the fabric not stretching out of shape.  It was a roll end purchased from Linda at EmmaOneSock and there wasn’t enough to cut the skirt on the straight grain, so I squeeeeeezed it out on the cross grain, which, of course, means that the stretch in this cotton is lengthwise instead of crosswise in the garment. After wearing it all day I haven’t noticed that it’s made much of a difference.  And that is a testament to the quality of stretch wovens sold by EOS.  I have always been horridly disappointed in the lack of recovery in a lot of stretch fabrics purchased in my local Fashion District or Fabricland.  However, every single stretch anything I’ve ordered from Linda has washed, worn and recovered brilliantly.

Vogue 1093 skirt (2)The length is a bit long-ish – I may really fall in love with a couple inches shorter – but I think one skirt of this longer length in my closet creates a good mix of choice. Now we just need summer weather to arrive in this town.  It’s been raining and cheerless for the last week!  TTFN!

The Mud Maxi Skirt

Burda 3-2013-123 skirt I’ve always like long skirts. Ball skirts in particular.  I know maxi skirts and dresses have been staples of summer wear for a few years now, but not being the one to really want to jump out on a trend limb (I’d rather be odd), I’ve taken my time walking around the long-skirts-for-summer trend. But having decided to join the 2013 Burda Challenge and actually purposefully make one garment from each issue of Burda during 2013, I thought it would be fun to make up the long tiered skirt in a this embroidered mud-stained looking cotton voile.B 03-2013-123It’s pretty basic – tiers getting progressively longer, gathered into the previous tier.  The only pattern piece was the shaped yoke.  And I didn’t have an invisible zip in the right colour, so I cannibalized an old skirt that was on it’s way to the thrift shop because the silk linen grew in wonky ways over the years and the hem was very sorry to look at. It couldn’t be evened out unless I took of the trim and the lower band and evened out the skirt itself. Too much work for a skirt that I wasn’t wearing much anyways. Oh, and I took the lining from it, too, because I always like lined skirts.B 03-2013-123 liningThe lining looks super short, but it comes to about 2 inches above my knee.  Here’s the back view.  The bottom tier is 5 metres of fabric.

Burda 3-2013-123 back It’s a plain, boring old colour, but I like the “staple-ness” of it.  No statement, just an interesting twist on an every-day skirt.Burda 3-2013-123 tiers

Vogue 8094 in Chocolate!

This is my third pair of capris currently in circulation from Vogue 8094, and I promise I’ll make up something new and exciting from a different pattern for my next post!  But I love chocolate brown – it’s the black in my wardrobe – and I wanted a pair of capris in this staple colour for my summer days!   Vogue 8094 brownThere is nothing new that I have to say about these except that I put a crease in the legs for something different (not being super creative like some of you, I couldn’t come up with dyeing, embroidery or applique that would have suited my rather conservative tastes) and left the zip at the CB. I think I’ve almost got the fit nailed on these, too, compared to the previous two pairs, which I shall alter to mimic the fit on these.  This is the mandatory front mug shot.  I still have to figure out how to get rid of the extra fabric across the front of the crotch. I must say it’s more horridly noticeable while standing stock straight for fitting purposes than it appears to be in the rest of my “living” pictures.  *sigh*

IMG_0581And the back mug shot.  This pair’s fit is much improved from my previous pair.  Not perfect, but we’re getting there.  I cannot believe how much adjustment to the crotch is necessary on these casual pants.  I have never had to do this much tweaking and adjusting and crying and leaving-them-alone with dress pants.Vogue 8094 backIt’s been a learning process, like all of my sewing, and I’m was rather encouraged this morning after scooping out MORE of the backside.  I’ll be scooping more on the green ones I made yesterday, too.  And the original rust-coloured ones.Vogue 8094 dark

New Capris!

Vogue 8096 capris

I really need capris and summer trousers.  I’m not a shorts person at all.  I haven’t actually worn a pair since my DD3 was born 9 years ago, and prior to that I’ve only ever owned about three pairs.  But I like capris, and the only pair I currently own is my trusty rust-coloured pair from OOP .  And since I trashed a couple of skirts this spring because the hems were sagging and the other was bagging, I need new bottoms.  This pattern is fairly straight forward, but my alterations don’t make it so straightforward.  However, since this is my 3rd go at this pattern, I think I’ve tweaked it into submission.

side zipI decided to put in a side zip this time.  I chose a lapped insertion because it’s strong, and I hate invisible zips that die.  The fabric is a lighter poly-cotton twill, and I intend to wear these capris until they fall apart or I get sick of them or (God forbid) I grow or shrink out of them.  To keep the zipper from inching down, I added a button tab on the inside.  The facing is interfaced cotton from my stash.

inside zip tab

And now for the obligatory mug shots.  I’m sure Mrs. Mole will say I need to drop the crotch even more than I have, but that will wait for the next pair.  I honestly scramble to make these up this morning so I had something to wear besides PJ’s or sweat pants.

Vogue 8096 front

This is before adjusting the crotch.

Vogue 8096 back

And this is afterwards.  I can see that I probably could lower it yet another 5/8″, and will for the next pair, or when I take these off at the end of the day!  ha-ha!

Vogue 8096 droppedThe only little bit of interestingness I added to these were little tabs at the outside cuffs.  They serve absolutely no purpose but as a place for my brass buttons.  Yay for a new pair of capris!

see the tabs

Op Art Tee

Burda 02-2013-126This the second of three tops that I’m working on right now.  The third is in the toile stage because it must fit perfectly.  When you see the fabric, you’ll understand why!  Anyways, this lovely little tee with gathered raglan sleeves from Burda’s February issue – 02/2013 #126 – has been popping up all over the internet these days, and I know why!  It’s the perfectly fun take on the basic tee.

Burda 02-2013-126I cut a size down from my usual size – typical for knits, but I could have gone another size down through the shoulders and bust.  It’s a little loose, but it’s not going to fall off my shoulders or be guilty of any wardrobe malfunctions.  And it’s very very long.  I trimmed a good 5 inches from the bottom of this top and my bottom hem is 1.5 inches deep.  And there’s still enough length to pool at my waist during wear!

neck bindingThe only change I made was to not follow Burda’s directions for binding the neckline.  My experience with bound necklines in a knit is not fraught with pretty successes, so I thought I’d just do the standard neckline edging with a strip of self-fabric on the cross grain.  And I cut my length about 2 inches shorter than Burda suggested.  It’s good, but it could be a snugger fit around.

Burda 2-2013-126My conclusions on this one:  a great little tee pattern.  You can’t really see the gathers on the sleeves, but I like the shape of it and would highly recommend it anyone!

More Trousers for SWAP: Vogue 7881

Vogue 7881

This is the latest of my SWAP 2012 instalments, and although what you notice is the blouse, this post is about the trousers!  Vogue 7881 is a classic Claire Schaeffer design with couture options, but I followed a more RTW approach because I wanted them done.  Well, actually, truth be told, I just didn’t feel like fussing over them and doing all the hand sewing that a couture version would require.  Sometimes I just want a project out of the sewing room and into rotation!  This is my second version of these pants.  You can see photos of my first version in linen from about 5 years ago here.

I like how this pattern is drafted.  It’s easy to fit and the full straight legs are chic and comfortable to wear.  It’s a very straight silhouette, and not curvy like my other favourite pattern, Vogue 2578.

Vogue 7881 back

I cut a straight size through the hips, and tapered down one through the waist – my usual adjustments, which you all know if you’ve been following along much.  The waistband is shaped and in two pieces, which makes tweaking the fit through the back a breeze.  Obviously I hadn’t finished tweaking prior to taking the picture above!  I need to take in the CB seam about 1/2 inch through the crotch curve.  I deliberately put the CF zipper in the opposite way to the illustration/instructions because I like my zippers to open to my right, as I’m right handed.  There is no fly shield in this pattern, and I didn’t bother adding one.  Vogue 2578 does have a fly shield, and after making up both patterns one right after the other, I think I prefer trousers with a fly shield.  But I’m not adding one now!

Vogue 7881 interior

I decided to go with a dark purple lining, and, yes, they are fully lined. I love a fully lined pair of wool trousers. I finished the hems with a Hong Kong style binding, which was slip stitched into place.  There are thread chains attaching the hem of the lining to the inseam to keep the lining in place during wear and washing.

Vogu 7881 lining and binding

The fabric was purchased in 1994, I think.  It’s a Dormeuil wool, one of several in my stash purchased during the years preceding children when a fabulous store was going out of business.  Isn’t it gorgeous?  A good friend of mine hated the colour, but I’m totally in love with the texture of this!

dormeuil wool

I’m well on my way through the SWAP program!  I just have the jacket, coat, skirt and blouse to sew up and I’ll be finished with my fall sewing program!  But first I have other interruptions to tell you about!  Stay tuned!

Vogue 7881 wool

PS.  Taking pictures in the winter months in the northern hemisphere is very discouraging!  I always end up taking 100’s and trashing most of them.  I’m sorry these aren’t the clearest!