Burda 6838: Arctic Icy Blue

When I found the wool/tencel jersey mentioned in my last post, there were 5 colours available:  dark brown, brown, grey, ice blue and lime green.  DD3 fell head-over-heels in love with the ice blue.

So I made her own version of Burda 6838, at her request.

Draped front top

Here’s the back view. You can see how lightweight the jersey is in this photo.

Burda 6838 back

DD3 requested a matching camisole for extra coverage, so I cut one out of the remnants using the slip pattern from an OOP Donna Karan pattern, Vogue 2874…


…and slap-dashed it together for her.


DD3’s feedback? It’s warm, comfortable and she *LOVES* the colour.

Ice blue wool

Wool & Tencel Jersey Tops

I love winter.

I freeze in the winter.

But the cold air is so much easy to breathe and the sunlight is crisper than in summer, somehow.

So I love winter.

Crave winter.

I usually wear cashmere turtlenecks with down vests in my house during the winter.  We keep the house deliberately cool – around 19C – which means that it feels cold in my double-brick constructed insulation-free 1950s build of a house.  So imagine my pleasant surprise when my local Fabricland, of all places, had bolts of wool/tencel jersey.  IN SHADES OF CHOCOLATE BROWN!!!  I bought enough for three tops, but ended up with enough to make four. I’m so in love with this fabric I’ll probably buy more when it goes back on sale….  😀

First up, the Sewaholic Renfrew.  I must be the last person in the sewing world to make up this pattern. As it turns out, I really like it. I didn’t at first try-on.  I thought it was shapeless and completely unflattering.  But it has grown on me.  It’s comfortable and has a lot of room in its rather straight cut, and that is just perfect for me these days.  This is a beautiful rusty orange.

Oh! Before I forget, remember those made-a-few-years-ago-worn-almost-every-day brown jeans I mentioned in my Jalie jeans post? Well, they feature in all these photos despite their front fitting issues.

Renfrew front

I made no changes to the pattern other than making the back in a double layer of the jersey, as it is rather lightweight. It washes and dries beautifully, too, although the Tencel in it tends to make it a bit prone to wrinkling.

Renfrew back

The next pattern was Burda 6838 I love draped tops.  This replaces an old RTW version that got worn and washed so much it started to look ratty.

B 6838 front

I made no changes whatsoever to this pattern.  WYSIWYG straight out of the envelope. Surprising.

B 6838 back

Next up: Burda 11/2014 #114 in a lighter brown. I love the back yoke with the integrated draped front.

Burda 11-2011-114 back

I made two changes: shortened the sleeve and, instead of doing an FBA, I lowered the attachment points of the drape at the side seams by 8cm so they fell under my bust instead of above it. And I left all the edges raw. The sleeves on this needed to be shortened by a whopping 8cm. Seriously.  I’m not 100% in love with this.  The dropped shoulders aren’t particularly flattering, and it could be taken in a little through the waist/hips, but I’m shying away from snug-fitting clothing these days.  And I think shortening it about 2cm would be a good plan.

So!  Make, wear, photograph and learn.  It’s cozy for living in my house in the winter, and that was the point!  And it’s also getting a lot of wear these days…

Burda 11-2011-114 front

And lastly, this bi-coloured two-layer top from Burda 7/2010 #137.Пуловер It’s a plus-sized pattern (44-52), which I can use because I make up size 44 in Burda.   Lucky me – I can choose regular or plus size patterns in their issues.  😉

Burda 7-2010-137 front

This is my second BurdaPlus knit top pattern, and as flattering as they are in pictures, they are not fun or easy to wear.  It’s a very flattering look through the shoulders – which is probably the point in a plus-sized garment… drawing the eyes up and away from the goods… but keeping those shoulders in place is a nightmare.

Burda 7-2010-137 back

I ended up running elastic through the neckline to the CB and CF points to snug it up a bit and stitching layers together the below the centre points to keep the shoulders from sliding off, and the CF and CB settling into a lower meeting place.  Of course this is just lazy non-fitting, but after seeing this in photos, I’m not crazy about the use of the different browns, anyways. And it’s not very warm, which was the point of the wool jersey, precisely because the neckline is so wide and open.  So, like this earlier BurdaPlus make, it’s been donated.

Salvage September Project 1

Back in Me-Made-May earlier this year, I whipped up a version of Vogue 1179. I used a poly-lycra roll end from my stash in a reptile-ish print.  But I wasn’t happy with it because it really needed an FBA to hang properly.  And I felt like a frump every time I wore it.  Definitely a wadder project, although I really really like the idea of this dress.  I just don’t feel stylish wearing it.  I even gave away my earlier red version because the fabric was only an 11 oz rayon-lycra and I felt so self-conscious wearing it.

MMM15 Day 27

So I took the latest rendition apart and saved the fabric by turning it into one of Burda’s shapeless boxy tops that take 30 minutes to trace, cut and sew (Burda 05/2012 #109+110).

Burda 05-2012-110

I’m surprised at this, OK?  I have never gravitated towards shapeless anything, but this was a gamble I was willing to lose.  I like it.  If it wouldn’t look weird, I’d wear this top three times a week. Why?  There is nothing special about it. It’s just an over-sized box with a wide boat neckline that can maybe sorta fall into a cowl-ish shape on the front.

Burda 5-2012-110 cowl top

I made it more interesting for myself by adding the shoulder ties and pulling them up to about a 10cm width.

Burda 5-2012-110 front

Lots of room in this, I think, is what I’m liking.  It’s not figure conscious, which translates to comfort, physically and psychologically, perhaps.  It was a good use of the fabric.  And now that I know I like shapeless tops and they don’t look as horrible as my mind’s eye insisted, I’m not afraid to try more.

Burda 5-2012-110 back

More Camo à la Burda

Burda 10-2013-107 frontAnother project completed in my Burda Challenge for 2013. And another dose of camouflage à la Burda’s October issue this year.  No weirdness here except the very commodious 80’s style batwings.

Burda 10-2013-107 mugBurda 10-2013-107 backBurda 10-2013-107 side

When DD1 first put this on her comment was, “It looks like a nightgown”.  Yup.  It hangs like a sack without the help of a belt.  But that’s a good thing, right?  Because a belt means you can make the skirt as short as you wish (since I wisely added a good 4 inches to the pattern).  HA!

The pattern is simple enough.  I made it up in a ponte knit so it’s warm for fall and winter.  The neck has a bias strip as a facing, which is turned to the inside and topstitched in place.  The placket was a bit fussy, but I stitched in the ditch and it’s as clean and neat a finish as one could wish for.  I was a bit concerned about the buttonholes, but they worked quite well on the interfaced ponte.  I must say I’ve never attempted buttonholes on a ponte knit before.Burda 10-2013-107 side backShe’s happy and has worn it several times although she keeps stealing my shoes.  But hey!  It suits her style and she’s pleased as punch, as is her seamstress.

And that’s my October 2013 Burda Challenge. Wish me luck to finish the challenge before December 31st!

Dotty for Tiramisu

Seriously.  Any tiramisu, although I’m talking today about the Tiramisu.dotty tiramisuI used a dotty jersey from my stash, and I confess to not following directions exactly.  I didn’t have quite enough fabric, so I left off the pockets and the skirt side seams, and the sleeve and bodice facings are from a coordinating fabric from my op art tee.

tira bodiceI cut the dress during an all-day cutting session last week, and put it together yesterday between mommy-I-need-you sessions, since the kids are home from school now.  The bodice sewed up beautifully and was a perfect fit right out of the envelope.  The only tiny adjustment I made was to the length of the neckline, which I shortened by one inch per side at the bodice CF bottom, tapering back to the original seam.

tira sideThe instructions are wonderful in this pattern.  Simple, straight forward and completely understandable.  I love the method of construction, too.  It makes the entire project a simple easy dress.  Add in the lack of fussy fitting problems, and this is a real gem of a pattern.  This is my first ever pattern from anything other than Burda or the BMV group, and I am very pleasantly pleased.

tira front

McCalls 4228: The Claire McCardell Day Dress

About six months ago, Tasia over at Sewaholic mentioned this pattern on her Facebook update…. or was it a blog post?  I cannot remember, but I do remember clicking on over to the Etsy shop that was selling this pattern and purchasing it on a whim.

It was the first ever vintage pattern that I have owned, and I was quite excited to open it up and have a look.  It was in perfect condition, although there was no pattern envelope.  It was housed in a paper bag with a magazine photo of the pattern taped to the front.  No information about yardage except for a handwritten notation “3 3/8 yards” on the back.  The dress is a size 16, which I thought could be tweaked to fit me, since that’s usually where I start with a pattern.  I loved the blue of the dress, and thought about making it in a deep teal jersey, but couldn’t bring myself to purchase the fabric since I’m really trying (really, I am) to whittle down my stash instead of adding to it.  And I had purchased the plum jersey, pictured, to make up the Donna Karan Vogue 1259 dress, but decided I’d use it for the McCardell dress.  But I cut it wrong.  Bad.  Very very bad.

And then I went to Fabricland.  Ugh!  I honestly only went to purchase fabric for DD3’s winter dress coat, but they had a 50% sale going for members, and the table of knits was BOGT and…  and…  and…  So much for shopping my stash.  But, in defence of economy and wise fabric purchases, this dress cost me all of $15 + HST, so it’s a steal compared to what I usually sometimes end up coming home with.McCardell 4

The fabric is a rayon lycra knit in a rich chocolate colour, but it’s got little olive green fuzzy polka dots all over it. They’re really a nice touch – a little like velvet spots – they catch the light and change from light to dark like velvet will.  And they shed, but that’s beside the point.  I really liked the green dots.  The interesting part of this dress is its construction.

If my memory serves me correctly, Claire McCardell was an American designer that revolutionized daily dressing, mostly through her use of knits and her swimwear.  I’m not a McCardell expert, so if any of you are, please correct me (or fill in the details) if I’m wrong.  I’m also pretty sure that jerseys or knits were a relatively new thing in terms of fashion fabrics, and the give in a jersey wasn’t something designers were making the most of, like today’s designers do.  So, this dress has reinforced seams.  I think the fluidity of a jersey appealed to McCardell , but she didn’t want the garment to stretch out of shape.  Here’s a shot of the interior of the bodice.interior of bodice

Every seam is reinforced with seam binding.  I used lace seam binding for the bodice.  The sleeves, CB seam and side seams are all stitched with the seam seam bindingside zipbinding to prevent the jersey from stretching out of shape.  The back pieces are cut on the bias, so that the “V” neckline edges are cut on the grain.  And every single facing is bound.  I could have omitted this step, but I wanted to do the dress as the instructions dictated for the vintage flair.  I used olive green china silk from my scrap stash for the pocket lining and the skirt CB and side seams.  I was running short of the lace binding, and wanted to use it for the skirt hem. There is a waist stay, which you can probably barely see in the picture above, and a side zipper inside the pocket opening.

I did not do any adjustments to this pattern because it’s made of jersey, and because there’s a lot of fabric in the crossover front (about 6 pleats, each 4 inches deep), and a lot of fabric gathered into the skirt.  I’m not so crazy about the pockets, but I left them in because of the zipper.  I didn’t want to mess around with the zipper placement. McCardell 1I did not make up the belt that came with the pattern for a couple of reasons, mostly because I just cannot find a two-pronged belt buckle that’s 3 or 4 inches wide.  I do have a date for the Fashion District next Wednesday, and it’s on my list, but until I get the right buckle, this purchased belt with have to do.  It’s the right width, but it’s very stiff and the bottom sits at my natural waist.  The belt pattern is only 2 inches wide, which I don’t think would be wide enough for this dress.  I much prefer the wider belt that the model is wearing, so if I ever do find the perfect buckle, I’ll be making this up as a wider belt.McCardell 5 And I have to wear it backwards, which is probably really stupid, but it works for now until I find that perfect belt buckle.  BTW, there’s nothing like a rearview shot to bring a hefty dose of reality to one’s view of oneself.  I had no idea I was so w-i-d-e across the back hips.  Brother.  The gathering of the skirt fabric does NOT help, either.backBut you can get a good idea of the bias cut of the back bodice from this picture, and the small “v” back neckline.  The sleeves are raglan, and a little shy of my wrists.  I don’t mind that length, as I prefer them pushed up a bit anyways. McCardell 2

This was a fun pattern to put together.  It’s a classic cut of dress, comfy because it’s knit, and the style suits me, I think.  I’m not sure if I’ll make up another one, but if I did, it would be in a dark teal blue, I’d shorten the waist by about 2 inches, and probably try a circle skirt to eliminate the dirndl look. But then I’d probably have totally different dress!  As it is, I’ll probably wear this dress a lot once I get the perfect belt!