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.

Miss V’s Wardrobe 2015

I always love hearing from Miss V with her cheerful announcement that she’s got a bag of fabric that needs to be turned into clothes.  She is back from Cambodia for a few months, and needs new clothes.  What fun for the both of us.  Here’s a catalogue of what she has added to her wardrobe this time ’round.

First, a plaid blouse, base pattern Burda 9/2010 #110.  Believe it or not, this was the first Burda pattern I ever made.  It seemed like a good place to start for the shawl collared sleeveless knit top that needed to be copied.  Never mind that this fabric is a poly woven.  The blouse has a lot of wearing ease, so I just cut off the fronts at the CF, omitting the overlap of the pattern.

Burda 09-2010-110

Then I added a band, about 4 inches wide, cut on the straight grain to the bottom of the blouse, leaving a 4-inch gap between ends at the left side seam.

Vogue 9595

This simple shift dress is Miss V’s favourite.  I use Vogue 9595 with a mock wrap sarong that I copied from one of her dresses.  It has a hidden welt pocket.

Vogue 9595 hidden welt pocket

This next dress is my least favourite, and imho, a fabric disaster.  It’s not only a sheet, but the weirdest sheeting fabric ever.  I’m sure it must be a 70/30 polycotton mix, and it’s as light as a voile.  Anways, she’s pleased with it, although I’m not.  The bodice is Burda 2/2011 #101, the first iteration of which you can see here.

Made-from-a bedsheet dress

I had originally put on a dirndl skirt, but she didn’t like that, so I substituted in the A-line version of Sewaholic’s Cambie with pockets.  I confess to doing a less-than-stellar job of accurate cutting.  *sigh*

Marfy 1913 dress back

Now this sweet little number is none other than the free Marfy 1913, lengthened into a dress.  If you search Google images, you’ll see a entire world of versions of this great pattern.  I added side seam pockets and lined it.

Marfy 1913 dress

This orange striped polycotton jumped right out of her bag of goodies and screamed, “SUNDRESS!!!”  I used Burda 9/2014 #130, which is the basic bodice associated with DD1’s recent LBD.

Striped sundress

The skirt’s pleats are all edgestitched, both on the inside and outside to keep the pleats in place after laundering, and to prevent the fullness of the skirt flying up in the wind.  I cut an A-line lining and attached it to the skirt using thread chains.  Apparently it’s quite windy in Cambodia, and flying skirts aren’t an option!

Here’s another version of Marfy 1913,  with side hemline vents and a side zipper in addition to it’s CB opening.  It can be worn outside the trousers, or tucked in.

top side vents

The trousers are Vogue 2064, which I used to re-make a sari Miss V brought last time.  The pattern is for jerseys, but I find sizing up one size takes care of the negative ease and makes the pattern work for wovens.  Miss V wanted a dramatic waist sash with a bow to finish it off.  I’m really sorry the only photos I have of this outfit on the dress form.  The fabric is quite stunning in person.

purple

And that’s all, for this round of Miss V’s sewing.  Keep stitching!

A silk Cambie

Cambie front

DD3 needed a new Christmas dress this past season because she is growing like a weed.  She’s 11 years old and is 5’6″.  Apparently, according to an interactive exhibit at Science North, she’s going to be 5’11” by the time she’s finished growing.  Lucky girl!

She chose a beautiful turquoise/black shot silk shantung, and the Sewaholic Cambie dress.

Cambie back

I muslined the bodice (much more satisfying experience than sewing for myself, I confess), and should have made more adjustments than I did.  Am I the only person who hates vertical bust darts?  I can NEVER get the bodice to fit well when a bodice is drafted like this.  *roar of frustration*  I obviously don’t know what I’m doing.  However, in order to keep this simple and not drive myself crazy, I rotated a necessary side dart into the original dart.  I probably should have done an FBA properly, but all her measurements point to fitting the bodice perfectly without adjustments for the bust.  UGH.

Cambie bodice muslin

I underlined the bodice front, back and the sleeves with the muslin.

silk Cambie bodice interior - Copy

I lined the bodice and waistband with cotton voile, and hand picked the understiching along the bodice edge.

Silk Cambie finishing details

I also added a waist stay and hanging ribbons. I know the muslin is strong, but the ribbons will just keep the stress of gravity on the waistband instead of the sleeves.

silk Cambie waist stay

I decided to bind the hem with bemberg because I had nothing suitable in stash and didn’t feel like running to the store.

silk Cambie bound hem

She loved her dress, and looked so grown up in it.  This is the only picture I managed to snag of her in it, awaiting the arrival of family for the big Christmas Eve celebration.

DD3

Sewaholic Love

Cambie winI’m finishing up all my summer sewing so I can start on the fall things that I’m wanting to make.  In my stack of items was a Cambie from Sewaholic Patterns.  I bought this because it’s a Canadian company, and I will support everything Canadian made as much as I possibly can, and Tasia drafts for a large hip:waist ratio which I wanted to check out.

Well, peeps, I really like this pattern.  This is the first pattern EVER that I have not had to alter from the waist down.  It fit as a straight size.  I’m still rather in a state of disbelief.  Really?  I don’t have to alter anything?  And it fits without tweaking!!!

Cambie loveI did have to completely redraft the bodice, which was easy to do with my DT double.  Drape, slash, add gingham and transfer to paper pattern.  Why did I sew for so long without a double?

I used a lovely cotton batik with bemberg lining, both from my stash.  And the zipper was from stash, too!  Bonus!  This was a very straight forward sew.  The instructions were easy to follow and the dress went together perfectly.  The only change I made was to eliminate the pockets from the skirt front. Pockets are not a necessity in my life, and I don’t like the extra padding around my hips.  So I used the front skirt lining pattern as my skirt pattern, and it worked brilliantly.

I wasn’t 100% sure about the sweetheart neckline on this dress.  I’ve read every review and looked at probably every single Cambie in SewingBlogLand, but I just don’t see myself as a sweetheart type of girl.  This dress changed my mind!.  Nothing sickeningly sweet about this neckline at all.  It’s modest and there’s no gaping, and the shape is flattering and soft, unlike a straight neckline would be.

The proportions are good on this dress, too.  I am super pleased, and look forward to more Cambies in my closet.  And more Sewaholic patterns are in my queue. Cambie blue