Happy Day!

Well, if I can’t actually sew because there’s no place in which to set up and sew at the moment, it doesn’t mean I can’t get happy packages in the mail!

fun timesI love EmmaOneSock‘s roll end parties.  C’mon… browse over there… y’know you want to….

BTW, I should be able to set up my sewing space later this week once the basement dump zone is reorganized.  The craziness of chaos is going to be put back into order simply because one room has been re-floored.  Woo hoo!

a winter white diversion

1940's dress form and me!

Well, after the labour involved in the coat for DD1, I thought I’d do something simple.  I had planned to make a knee-length bias skirt of the very dark chocolate brown (darker than the picture) fabric on my dress form, but Burda 09-2010-109 had been sticking in my proverbial creative mind, and I kept coming back to it.  I invaded my stash, and pulled out all the ivory silk that I own, purchased from who knows when.  It included about 1.3m of bridal charmeuse, two pieces of a mid-weight silk crepe, and yards and yards of a blush-ivory crepe that I thought was silk until I did a burn test:  polyester.

Burda 09-2010-109 back view

I originally wanted to do all of this blouse in the silk crepe, but I cut a 90’s Karl Lagerfeld short-sleeved blouse (still working on it, but I’ll review it next!), and there wasn’t quite enough left to put this Burda tunic together.  So I opted for the tuxedo look, using the charmeuse on the cuffs, plastron and collar.  (Btw, the word “plastron” was new to my vocabulary!)

crepe and charmeuse contrast

I didn’t really want the “tuxedo” look, but that’s all there was left to work with.  The poly crepe was not a colour match to the silk crepe, so I couldn’t use that, and I couldn’t cut the entire thing out of the poly crepe, because I have other designs for that – a second 1980’s Karl Lagerfeld blouse that will fit in with the HepburnHepburn project nicely.

~ the tux look ~

I will state that the opening of the blouse is a bit of an issue.  I did notice that the model’s bra is visible in the BurdaStyle picture….. Oh well, I’ll just work with it.  Like my DD1 suggested, “Why does your bra have to be skin-toned?  Make it contrasting so it’s pretty to look at!”   Uh….. right.

Hidden button closures (are difficult)

Yup, especially when reading instructions from BurdaStyle magazine, which seams (ha ha! Did you catch that?) to be excessively concise.  However, just in case anyone else out there wants to make this lovely coat, I thought I’d actually post pictures of the steps of the hidden closure to help you decipher the cryptic instructions.

my mini trial run

I did actually make a small model to see if the instructions would work.  They did, but I was very glad for the practice run!

1.  Hand-baste along slash line on facing so it’s visible on the right side of the fabric.  Mine is in pink thread below.  You’ll have to excuse the crookedness of it.  I basted the slashing line after sewing the dart and shaping the front, so of course it went off.  I realized this when sewing it (step 3 below), so I just used the interfacing edge as my guide to straightness.

2.  Lay lining strip centred over marked line and pin in place.

3.  Work from wrong side to stitch a rectangle, about 7mm (1/4 inch) wide around the marked opening.

stitched and slashed opening from wrong side

4.  Slash between lines of stitching and clip diagonally into corners at top and bottom end, as seen above.

5.  Turn lining strip to inside and press ends of opening.

lining strip turned to inside and pressed at the ends

6.  On lengthwise edge which lies next to marked buttonholes, turn lining strip into opening and fold it so that it fills the opening.  WHAT?! In other words, BurdaStyle, like a narrow welt pocket.  Sheesh! In the picture, the facing is on the right side of the welt; the coat front is on the left.

welt edge formed for hidden closure

7.  Pin lining strip in place and stitch in place, along line of joining seam.  Or, in plain English, stitch along the right edge of the welt “in the ditch”, like this:

lining strip stitched along original (joining) seam

8.  Work buttonholes as marked.  I did Spanish snap buttonholes, directions for which I will post tomorrow.

Spanish snap buttonholes

9.  Lay lining strip at front edge of opening toward inside edge of facing.  Baste opening closed.

Well, I couldn’t do this, because the purpose of this step is to “face” the back of the buttonholes, which I couldn’t do because the lining strip was narrower than the width of the buttonholes.

lining strip too narrow to face buttonholes

So I trimmed the lining strip to 1/2 inch wide, turned it under…

trimming away lining strip

…and fell-stitched it into place along the entire length of the lining strip. (Sorry, I took this picture after it was finished.)

fell stitched lining strip


10. Stitch small triangles at ends of opening to lining strip on inside.

stitched triangle ends

11.  Baste lining strip to facing.  I used pins. (Except the pins should be at right angles to the opening, not like below!)

pin basted strip to facing

12.  Stitch across opening, centred between buttonholes. I marked 3/4″ (roughly 2 cm) on either side of the buttonhole as my starting an ending points, as this was the distance from the top/bottom of the opening to the top/bottom buttonholes.

centre-stitched opening between buttonholes

Et voilà!  Completed hidden buttonhole closure.


Well, after that, I had a glass of Bailey’s on the rocks.

First-ever BurdaStyle project fininshed! YAY!

I’ve finished my first ever BurdaStyle project.

I was very pleasantly surprised at the September 2010 issue of Burda Style.  I decided on a subscription out of curiosity after reading so much about it on all my fellow sewers’ blogs just to see if it was as great (or horrible) as people say.

Well, I was very pleasantly surprised, and since I need some tops that are suitable for fall, SSS and the duties of a SAHM, I thought I’d give style 111B a try in some rayon-lycra jersey from my local Fabricland.

technical drawing for Burday 9-2010-111B

After looking at the pattern sheets, I suddenly remembered what turned me off Burda patterns when I first started to sew back in the 1980’s:  the lack of seam and hem allowances.  However, after sewing all these years, I felt confident enough to draw in my own!  It was very meticulous work tracing the pattern pieces.  I’m thankful that the instructions give the drawings of the pieces with all the markings, as it was very easy to miss them when tracing through so many coloured lines!

pattern maze

The instructions were quite easy to follow.  I will say, though, if you’re new to sewing Vogue’s instructions are a lot more detailed: there’s more of the finishing/finicky tips for putting a garment together that these bare bones instructions did not include.  However, I’ve not  yet tackled something more detailed, like a jacket for instance, so I’ll reserve my final opinion until later!

I was unsure of the sizing, so imagine my surprise when I needed no alterations, for a change!  I measured myself, and was disappointed to find that I should be cutting a size 46, according to Burda’s sizing table.  This pattern only went up to a size 42, but I cut it out anyways  – I figured knit fabric has a lot of give (if it was snug) and the design has the crossover happening so high that I didn’t need to worry about falling out the front of it.  I didn’t actually measure the pattern pieces prior to cutting – DUH – although I did tissue fit to my dress form.  And what a pleasant surprise!  I’m not sure if the design is meant to have so much wearing ease, as the pics of garment don’t show the entire thing and the model is wearing a belt to boot (something I’m not  likely to do, since I don’t have a 24-inch waist).  And I really liked the sleeves.

sleeve detail

Although in retrospect, the ties are going to be ANNOYING when I’m cooking dinner for my crew.  Oh, well, I’ll just push the sleeve up past my elbows!
Conclusion on BurdaStyle:  I’m liking!