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

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?

Pattern Review: Burda Blouse 10-2010-118

IMG_0810 This blouse has been finished for ages, but I’ve not had any interest in taking photos of it or writing about it.  But since today is Me-Made-May Day 6, and this is what I wore, I kinda sorta had to take pictures and so I may as well write about it, don’t ya think? I picked this Burda blouse in my desire to sew through some of the blouse fabrics that have been waiting for the light of day.  I originally thought I’d use this weird fabric…IMG_0852… but it has a definite mind and body of its own that does NOT look good in something as shapeless as this blouse.  It’s a rayon crinkle with another layer of the same rayon as a backing.  It’s cool, but it so did not work with this pattern.  So I disassembled it and will use it for something else someday.

But I really wanted to make up this blouse.  Don’t you just love the bow?  So I went a-hunting through the stash and came up with the remnants from this dress.  I don’t have the dress anymore.  Surprised?  I seem to give away as many garments as I sew.  But I love love loved this silk chiffon, and it worked nicely with the shapeless design of the pattern.IMG_0812

Shapeless garments don’t really work on my figure, but the chiffon is light enough and I cut this shirt one size smaller than I normally would, so it works well.  My only complaint is the sleeves:  the hem is supposed to be turned up twice, but it won’t stay there and I don’t want to stitch them into place.  I cut the ties on the bias, but used the narrow width suggested for the shorter tie on version A with the length of version B.  Well, I cut as much length as I could out of the remnant.  I didn’t bother finishing the edges of the tie, since it’s cut on the bias.  The seams are French seams; the hems on the bottom and the sleeves are narrow hems. 

This was the blouse that asked for a Ruby, and got one.


Working on a Ruby

I’m working on a camisole version of the Ruby slip.  As soon as I saw the Sew-A-Long, I downloaded the pattern, knowing that I wouldn’t get around to it until I got around to it.  I’ve always wanted a properly fitting slip, but could really never be bothered harnessing my intellect to wrestle through the bodice fitting issues.  When I saw Sherry’s version it was so pretty I just couldn’t resist giving it a try.  Then all sorts of Rubys started popping up in the sewing blog world and I really thought I’d give it a try.

B 10-2010-118

The final impetus was this blouse, however, which I made in a silk chiffon that definitely requires a camisole.  I could wear something nude coloured, but I personally find it annoying when I see curvy people like myself wearing something sheer with only a nude something else hiding their undergarments.  It’s visually distracting and I don’t like to see details, if you know what I mean.  So, after cutting out a Donna Karan top (yet to be sewn), I was pleased to see there was enough of this green silk charmeuse to cut the Ruby slip pattern to make myself a camisole.

I just want to say, regardless of all the stupid pattern adjustments that can (and do) make me tired of not being a B cup girl, Sherry did a wonderful job drafting this slip pattern.  The bodice cut is perfect, even though I’m not planning to use lace for this version.  And the required FBA was a LOT easier than any other slip adjustment I’ve attempted in the past.