it’s still a jungle in here

jungle januaryA construction jungle, that is.  STILL.  And since I’m being slowly eroded with the endlessness of this project, I sewed up a little bit of animal print to help me feel at home in the mess. This lovely little ensemble accomplishes three things:

  1. let’s me in for a play date at the Jungle January playground;
  2. brings me one step closer to completing my Burda Challenge 2013; and
  3. Burda 11-2013-130checks off two of a 3PAC for the Stitcher’s Guild Algebra SWAP 2014.

My ensemble is the designer pattern from Jo No Fui (Burda 11/2013 #130).  I made it up in a black stretch wool suiting for the skirt and an animal print silk charmeuse with an all-over fleur-de-lis burnout pattern for the blouse.  Let’s talk about the skirt first.

I was a bit skeptical about the extra yardage that drapes at the CF, but I like it. It doesn’t add bulk to the silhouette – it’s very clearly a pretty drape.  Burda 11-2013-130 frontThe wool I chose is perfect for this – it’s about the weight of a heavy silk crepe – and sewed up like a dream.  There is a small hip yoke piece instead of darts in the front.  The CF seam is sewn wrong sides together with the drape finished beforehand.  Burda 11-2013-130 jo no fui

The back of the skirt is simple.  It’s short – only about 19 inches in length – and cut straight.  I added a waistband instead of the facing, pegged the bottom by a total of 4 inches and added a full lining.  I likey this skirt.

Burda 11-2013-130 blouseAnd now the blouse.  Of course the star feature is the sleeves with the deep 4 inch pleat to keep the excess fabric at a decent length.  As it was, I decided to shorten the sleeves by 3 inches in total just to avoid the potential of dragging through dinner or what have you.sleeve pleatI added small squares of organza on either side of the pleat for stability and strength. I don’t want those tacking stitches tearing a hole in the middle of my sleeve, thank you very much.  The bottom of the sleeves are gathered into a narrow binding that just barely fits over my hands.  I’m not complaining – I actually like the smallness of the opening.  I think it will help keep the sleeves at my wrists.organza sleeve interiorThe instructions for binding the CF and CB slits were just asking for punishment, as far as I was concerned.  The binding strips were cut on the bias, and I should have known better and just cut them on the straight grain like one would finish a placket.  But what the hey!  I finished the neckline entirely by hand because of the finicky quality of the bias, but mostly because the charmeuse handled differently than the burnout chiffon sections in the fabric and it was just simpler to do it by hand instead of swearing at my machine.Burda 11-2013-130 bindingThe back binding extends into a loop for a button while the top of the CF slit is completely bound by the bias.  It’s a low opening, too, despite the high crew neck. Burda 11-2013-130 blouse neckline I had initially thought I’d make up a Ruby camisole in the same fabric for modesty (chiffon sections of the silk) and to prevent wardrobe malfunctions with that CF slit but the crossover of the cami doesn’t quite do the trick at this point.  Some adjustments are required before I actually wear this ensemble out in public, and I will probably also sew the bottom inch of the slit closed.leopard ruby As you all know I was a little sewn out after (almost) completing the Burda Challenge 2013, and although I want to finish it (yes, I’m that stubborn), I have a long queue that I’d like to catch up on from the last couple of years that has been pushed aside to make way for other projects.  And a lot of fabric that I would love to wear.  These are the more immediate items that come to mind:

  • Pavlova skirt & top
  • Marfy 2922 jacket in a lurex wool/silk tweed
  • Harris Tweed coat (originally part of my SWAP 2012)
  • finish the Burda Challenge
  • do something for Jungle January
  • participate in PR’s Little White Dress event

So after sifting through all these nebulous ideas wafting around my sewing room, and reading through Ruth’s post on the SG’s Algebra SWAP 2014 rules, I realized I could fit everything in my year(s)-old queue into a lovely little plan. The more I thought about this little SWAP, the more it gave me the impetus to start sewing after the December rush and holidays.Burda 11-2013-130 backAnd this little ensemble has started me off beautifully.  But more on the SWAP in my next post.

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.


Meet Ruby

In green silk.  I didn’t even bother to put her on a really nice hanger for you all to see.  But here she is!  I wanted to wear a new blouse, so didn’t really take a lot of care into the construction of this camisole – I have no plans to wear it anywhere else but underneath the blouse or some other blouse that may require a green camisole.ruby camisole

And I won’t horrify you with modeled pictures!  But I am very pleased with this pattern.  The drafting is wonderful.  I cut a size 14, did a 1-inch FBA, added an additional 5/8” to the bottom of the bodice fronts for better coverage, and added 5/8” to each side for the wearing ease that I wanted.  It’s a little loose fitting once it’s on, but that’s good for this camisole.  I wanted movement room and there’s no give in the silk.

This pattern has potential for a myriad other slips and camisoles.  I’m really impressed.  The FBA was simple to do.  I traced the bodice, slashed and spread each piece according to Sherry’s FBA tutorial for this pattern (the way I do most FBA’s, BTW), sewed up a muslin of the bodice only, and made my side and depth adjustments based on mirror observations.  Not very scientifically accurate, but it worked.

For the bodice edges, I simply added 5/8” hem allowance to the top edges.  I chose to cut the neckline edges on the straight grain since, if I were using lace, the scalloped edge would be the neckline.  It made doing the narrow hem easier, too.  I cut two of the bodice back and used one for facing.  It finishes in the inside a bit nicer than otherwise. ruby back facing And I did not use adjustable straps.  I did think about it, but I was in a bit of a hurry to get this done because I wanted to wear it the next day.  I did run them through the depth of the bodice back so they are attached to the waistline.  I think this will provide more support against pulling wear and tear.  I simply tacked the straps with two rows of tiny reinforcement stitches at the front. And I stitched the front bodice overlap into place.  I didn’t bother trimming the extra from the layer underneath. ruby front overlapAnd no rolled hem foot lives in my house, so I simply turned up the raw edges 1/8”, pressed them, turned them again, stitched the hem and gave it a final press.ruby hemDid I mention I really like this pattern?  This is the first slip/camisole pattern E-V-E-R to fit well.  Kudos and much thanks to Sherry!

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.