Lavender Tops

Back in the spring DD3 expressed frustration with the lack of choices in her wardrobe, specifically in the tops department. I must confess, after the last few unsuccessful projects that I made for her, I wasn’t very keen on risking more failures. They have seriously affected my sewjo.  BTW, this post was originally drafted in May……

I sent her shopping for RTW a few weeks ago,and told her to try on e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. she saw, even if it looked silly on the hangers, just to get her ideas flowing, and to take a lot of pictures so I could we what she liked. She came home with a $100 top from Wilfred, made of beautiful Japanese polyester, but the fit was off, and I didn’t care for the cost:product ratio. So she returned it, and went off to see what she could find that tickled her fancy in the Burda magazine collection housed in my sewing nook.

And I, browsing through my local Fabricland while purchasing thread for several new jeans projects for myself (I may not be trendy and stylish, but I love my me-made Jalie jeans and made three new pairs recently) stumbled upon a pretty lavender polyester satin crepe with a hammered finish. I purchased a 1.5m length, as it was the right shade of lavender i.e. not very pink, washed it, and set it on one of the sewing tables.

And she noticed it. And liked the colour. So I cut out two of the designs she had ear-marked, and suggested one that I had made for myself a while back, which she liked after she’d tried on mine.Burda 4-2016-114The first one is BurdaStyle 04/2016 #114, a very simple top with cut-on sleeves and a deep V neckline in the back. There is a band across the back shoulders which helps keep the wide neckline in place. There’s not much to say about this top. It’s very simple to make,  the most difficult part being the adjustment of the back band to a length that sits properly. In retrospect, it would fit her better if I’d done a square shoulder adjustment for her swimmers shoulders.Burda 4-2016-114 backThe second top is a repeat of Burda 04/2015 #103, which I’d made for me in 2017.  I had her try it on and she liked the style. Burda 4-2015-103It’s another simple sew, although getting the centre front V to sit properly took some very careful cutting. I have plans for at least two of these tops for myself. Burda 4-2015-103 frontThe last of the lavender tops used up some stash silk: lavender chiffon and a darker habotai for the longer layer.Burda 5-2014-128 silk It’s BurdaStyle 05/2014 #128, and DD3 wasn’t very sure of the design, but I loved the longer gathered back, and thought I’d take a risk while sewing up the stash fabric. I was prepared to thrift it if she didn’t like it in the end. Burda 5-2014-128 backThis top is short: I added a full 10 cm to the length.  Burda’s instructions are good and easy to follow, for once! I followed them to the ‘T’.

Burda 5-2014-128

I hand rolled the hems.

Burda 5-2014-128

And there we are: three new tops for her to wear. Funnily enough, the one she reaches for the most is gathered-back top. She’s going to wear it out first, mostly because the chiffon is rather fragile.

Vogue 1412: Zig-zag chiffon

Vogue 1412

Sometimes you hope fabric and pattern design work out, and you end up with a winner. This is a winner, in my books.  The fabric is from my stash, and again, it’s from EmmaOneSock’s roll end page.  It’s a lovely silk chiffon with a myriad of colours – my favourite fabric for tops because they will coordinate with any number of bottoms, colourwise, anyways.

There’s only two reviews for this blouse (View B) on Pattern Review, and I cannot figure out why.  Maybe the style isn’t for everyone, or the pattern version is off-putting?  Anyways, I love my version!Image result for vogue 1412I did find the instructions for the front a little bit confusing the first time I read through them, but I told myself that if I can decipher BurdaStyle’s cryptic English translations, then I could do this.

Here’s the inside of the front before the folding, buttons and buttonholes have been completed. I used silk organza for a stabilizer, something Vogue doesn’t suggest, which is ridiculous if you’re adding buttons and buttonholes.

Vogue 1412 interior

This is what the front looks like once it’s all been completed while being worn.

Vogue 1412 buttons

I did a sloped forward shoulder adjustment and an FBA. And I’m pretty chuffed about how I managed to match the bands of colour for this top. There were literally unusable scraps left.

Vogue 1412 back

Oh, and the trousers are the first pair of the slim Burda 01/2016 #135 trio that I made; this pair is made from a stretch cotton sateen purchased at my local Fabricland. I absolutely love the quality of this fabric.

Vogue 1412 zigzag chiffon

And, just because I hated the samples of the machine-stitched narrow hem, I did this shirt by hand.

zigzag hem

Still need a lot of practice, even if this is macro shot!

Marfy 1913: Pretty In Peach

Marfy 1913

I’m finally taking pictures of my sewing projects since April.  This is Marfy 1913, the blouse that everyone made a few years ago when Marfy released it as a free download.  I’ve made several for other people, including modifying the pattern so it’s dress length, but this is the first one I’ve made for me.

The fabric is from EOS.  It’s a silk crinkle chiffon with the prettiest floral design. There was just enough fabric that I could make the blouse double-layered, and match the colour design of the fabric.

Marfy 1913

Like everyone else who has made this pattern, I have plans for others. It’s not difficult to make, requires very little fabric, and is simple to alter.

peachy

The trousers in this outfit are Burda 1/2016 #135. https://i.pinimg.com/originals/31/96/bb/3196bb8eb848d56817516c5184f12091.jpg I’ve made three versions of them, which I’ll be sharing with you. I love the details, and I love how they fit. I’ve always shied away from slim fitting trousers, being a curvy shape. I dread looking like an inverted pyramid, but these seem to fit perfectly and they’re fun to make with all the seaming details.

Burda 01/2016 #135 seam details

The denim is an Italian denim is from EOS. This also was a roll end. I was pretty pleased with the quality when I made these purple jeans, so I jumped when I saw this roll end available. There was just enough to squeeze these trousers out of 1.3 yards.

B 1-2016-135 back

This denim has a lot of body to it, and feels quite different from the softer fabrics I made these trousers in, which changed how they fit. You’ll see this next time when I post pictures from Drumheller! I went on a road trip through my childhood haunts in Western Canada. These pictures today are at my grandmother’s farm in Alberta. It was a great trip, although I didn’t purposely photograph what I packed and wore. Anyways, it’s great to be back!

LATH Wardrobe: Burda 4/2011 #114 Chiffon Top

This is the final piece of my LATH wardrobe.  I wanted to use up the little bit of chiffon left over from trimming the various pieces in this wardrobe.  I was hoping that it would be dark enough to not require a cami. Burda 4-2011-114 topIt’s a cute little top.  It just fit on about 1 yard of fabric.  It’s the cover top on the English version of the April 2011 Burda magazine.  There’s three tops (nos. 112 – 114) that are essentially the same with minor variations in finishing.  I chose to use the longer length (model 112), but finish it as per the instructions for model 114 (above) with neckline and armscye facings.  I didn’t want raw edges.silk chiffon facingsI used silk organza to interface the facings, but after facing the neck edge, I decided against doing anything other than bias facing for the armholes.Burda 4-2011-114 armscyeThe organza had just that little bit extra body that didn’t quite work for the chiffon in this design.  In fact, I ended up cutting out the facing on the front neckline because it wouldn’t lay properly and created more of a funnel-neck look, which I didn’t like, and it just would not lay flat.  In the end, it looks better just with the narrow bias facing tacked into place underneath the tiny pleats formed by the neckline gathers.  But it does sit high around the base of the neck.Burda 4-2011-114 necklineI left the facings in on the back neckline.Burda 4-2011-114 back facingI spotted a roll end at EOS of this gorgeous 4-ply silk crepe to make up a camisole for underneath this.  What a dream fabric.  I had exactly 60cm of fabric (a little over half a yard) for this cami.  I considered another Ruby, but decided against the seamed bodice, and chose the simple bias slip in this OOP Vogue 2784 by Donna Karan.  V2784, Misses' Dress and SlipI managed to cut the front and back with a length 3 inches below the drafted waistline, which was a little short.  So I pieced together bias pieces for a band around the lower edge.Vogue 2784 camiWorks well, the added length is perfect, and it’s that little something that was missing under the chiffon top.  I’m thinking I can wear both of these tops with other pieces in my closet and not limit them to LATH wear, too.

Well, folks, that’s a wrap!  I didn’t get every piece of the Burda capsule made, but there are enough pieces here to keep me lounging nicely for a while.  Until soon!

LATH Wardrobe: Burda 1/2013 #110 – The Dress

LATH dressSuch a cute little dress.  Burda calls this “an item to relax in.”  It’s cut for comfort (I’m quoting from the magazine) and is charmingly casual.  It features a wide neckline with edging and drawcord and cute raglan sleeves. Huh.   It’s a pretty simple make, but I made it more complicated – because I didn’t want it to be form-fitting – and added about 2 inches down the CF and CB.  I ended up with a tent.  My lovely darling DD1 walked in the door from school and said, “What’s up with the nightgown, mom?”  Wait.  Nightgown?  I know this is stay-at-home wear, but I wasn’t wanting this to look like a nightgown.  So I took out the width that I’d added and I must say that I like it a lot better.  Just for fun, here’s a tent picture.tent dressSee?  A little 80’s maternity wear. Not working.Much better without all that extra width.  The neckline detail is a very wide (about 10 inches) rectangle cut on the bias with a casing sewn in for the self-fabric ties.neckline detailI used a double layer of chiffon.  It was a bit fussy to sew, but it worked out well.  And I left off pockets.  I know, I know.  But I really dislike pockets, except when they’re in jeans or outerwear.  I never use them for anything.  Hmmmm…. maybe it still looks a bit nightgown-ish.  Definitely stay-at-home don’t-answer-the-door wear.  D’ya think slippers would improve the look?

LATH Wardrobe: Burda 1/2013 #114 Scarf Cardigan

Hmmm…  When I first put this on and took photos, I wasn’t too sure about it because of the front chiffon scarf-thingy.  But today, after getting a bit chilly, I am pleasantly pleased with the warmth of the silk and how flowy this is.  I like flowy for some reason, even if it can look a bit like a sail in full wind.Burda 1-2013-114 frontI thought – when I first looked at this pattern – that the chiffon was attached to the front edge of the cardigan, in order to mimic the look of a long scarf. But it’s actually a completely separate piece  attached at the shoulder and back neck seams. See?Burda 1-2013-114  inner jacket114_0113_b_largeThis is the “scarf jacket” from Burda 1/2013 #114.  It’s an easy and quick sew, apart from hemming the chiffon.  Burda suggests a tight overcast stitch, but I used a baby hem.  The bottom is only slightly curved, and I cut the long front/collar edge on the selvedge, which made turning and stitching it simple.  The back neck is supposed to be bound with a bias strip, but I decided to fold over the chiffon and stitch it to the back neck edge and leave off the bias binding.  The fit isn’t snug, and fits well over a long-sleeved shirt.  Here’s the back view.

... still plastering and sanding the walls ....
… still plastering and sanding the walls ….

Nothing much else to say about this. It’s warm and comfy to wear. Stay tuned for the next piece in this stay-at-home wardrobe. I’m on a roll!Burda 1-2013-114 side

LATH Wardrobe: Burda 1/2013 – Trousers & Top

The first couple of items from my Lounge-Around-the-House wardrobe are done: the long-sleeved top (Burda 1/2013 #119) and the trousers with the fold-over waistband (Burda 1/2013 #112). I must say, I am really liking this shirt. I already have two more cut out ready to sew.

Burda 1-2013-112 and 119
Construction still happening around this house. Will it ever end?

sleeve pattern

I like the fit of it – it’s not too snug or too loose – and the bias ruffle around the hem and neck are different from anything I’ve seen in tops.  I like it in the contrasting fabric instead of tone-on-tone as per Burda. The bottom bias strip is about 3 inches wide.chiffon trimThe neck trim is a 2-inch wide bias strip, folded in half and stitched to the neckline edge.chiffon neck edgeThe rayon knit from EOS is just divine.  I love the quality of it.  I would be happy with a stash of it in every single colourway.  But back to the top:  imho, the best part is the sleeves. ruched sleevesThey fit beautifully – just like a second skin – not tight and not loose – and the outside ruching is a nice touch.  I didn’t quite have enough fabric for this top, so I split the sleeve down the centre on the straight grain and cut it out as two separate pieces.  That sleeve piece is a fabric hog as is. It worked perfectly.  Actually, I think I preferred cutting the sleeve this way because it eliminated the dart at the top of the ruching and running it into the seam all the length of the sleeve.  split sleeveIn my mind’s eye I can see a fussy little pointy piece of fabric that won’t lay flat at the end of the dart.  So I’m happy with my fix.  Here’s a pic of the next one cut and ready to assemble.  split sleeveThe trousers are super comfy.  I added some length through the back crotch curve, and the fit is great. I’m really loving how Burda’s trousers fit these days.  That, and the little tricks I’ve learned over the last year about crotch depth and that crucial POM 2″ up from the bottom of the crotch.  The waistband is a rectangular piece of fabric about 14 inches wide, so it folds over.  I cut it from the lavender knit as I had run out of the dark purple.  trouser waistbandDid I mention they’re super comfy?loungewearPerfect for hanging around the house with a warm cup of tea.

Animal Print: Vogue 1245

Vogue 1245I bought this fabric a couple of seasons ago from a sale table of silk georgettes, mostly because DD1 really liked the print.  Then it sat on a shelf, and I would periodically ask what she would like to do with it.  Well, earlier this summer I asked again, and she confessed she didn’t really know and that she wasn’t really sure she’d wear this particular fabric anyways.  😀  More for mommy to wear, said I, and got down to cutting out this Alice + Olivia top.
Vogue 1245 backI purchased the pattern about 3 years ago in DD1’s then-current size, and need to grade up one size for me.  I didn’t do any other adjustments to this pattern – I just sewed it up as it was drafted.  Rationale:  flouncy design, flowy fabric and a busy print would probably hide any picky-perfectionist fitting issues.
Vogue 1245 AWell, the top was made up quickly without any hassle other than the usual extra time required for accurately handling lightweight silks, and then it hung in my closet until this past week when I finally decided to wear it and take pics.  We’ve been having lovely warm fall weather and this was perfect to wear on a warm fall day.
Vogue 1245 detailThis top is super comfortable to wear, although the ties are quite long even pulled into laaaaaarge bows and kept getting in the way of unloading groceries, making dinner and general kids-are-home-from-school time chaos.  It’s light, floaty and it’s fun to wear something with flounces.  My green Ruby camisole is perfect underneath and added that little extra bit of warmth that’s always desired in the fall.  The cami is also modesty insurance.  I don’t know if you can see it, but the neckline has a narrow-hemmed slit opening at the CF, and it’s low.
Vogue 1245 frontIt’s nice to finally blog this top.  I enjoyed making it and was pleased with the result on the hanger, and wearing it was a lot of fun.  And may I just add this disclaimer:  the pattern matching on the front hem flounces is a completely random occurrence.  Every time I try to think through and analyze pattern placement it’s hit and miss.  When I just go with the fabric, it works.  Luck, or proof positive that over thinking things without the benefit of a scientific mind doesn’t work.
And peeps, I made a pair of jeans.  I can’t wait to show them to you, because I am dayum proud of myself!

Vogue 1247: The top this time

Rachel Comey ensembleWell, after making three of these skirts, I thought I’d try the top.  I’ll be honest:  I wasn’t really interested in this top because it’s so loose and shapeless, and I have a hard time with loose and shapeless on myself.  I think loose and shapless is flattering on figures that are less curvy than I am.  I was curious about the top, especially with the interesting seaming on the front. I really love Carolyn’s version in orange linen.  I mean, c’mon.  It’s orange and it’s linen! But what really made me want to give it a go was seeing Merche’s pretty version during MMM’13.  The stripey fabric made me start thinking about this top seriously, and I started fingering and considering and rejecting fabric specimens from my stash.   Enter a piece of silk chiffon that has been languishing since it didn’t make it into a sundress years ago.  I had originally earmarked it for DD1, but she didn’t care much for it, so I smiled broadly and set to work.

I like the silk chiffon for a couple of reasons.  It’s floaty and drapey and it works on my figure for garments that aren’t particularly shaped by providing something resembling fit to an otherwise unflattering cut through it’s skimming qualities.  And because it’s sheer, it means my curves kinda maybe get hinted at without actually having to make the garment follow them to a “T”.
Vogue 1247 top back
I read a lot of review on PR about this top, and was a little concerned about how negative they were, but after poring over each one, I came down on the side of the designer:  it’s supposed to be a very loose-fitting garment, and that’s what I both liked and disliked about it.   However, I thought I didn’t have much to loose making it out of this bit from stash.
My one stupidity in the cutting was not grading it out a size at the hips.  Well, I actually didn’t have enough fabric to do that even if I’d wanted to.  So it catches on my hips.  I cut the straight size as dictated by my chest measurement, not my bust measurement.  I did not do an FBA, although I did cut the CF higher by about 2 inches.  Once it was partially sewn up, I did have to take in the CF an inch on each side, tapering to the horizontal bust darts, in effect giving me the equivalent of an FBA without any forethought.
Vogue 1247 top sideBecause it’s sheer, I wear it with my green Ruby which goes with everything sheer in my closet, interestingly enough.  The only other little addition to this pattern were bra strap keepers.  The neckline isn’t extremely wide, but it’s open enough to warrant something to help keep it in place.
Vogue 1247 top

Verdict:  I like my “very loose-fitting” top.  I may be tempted to try this again.

Baby Blue and Navy Blue

Vogue 2396It’s done and on its way to Alberta.  I couldn’t be more pleased with this outfit – simple, chic and I’m so happy with the way it came together.  The ice-blue sheath is Vogue 2396.  Here it is without the lace shirt.Vogue 2396 sheath dressI pre-washed the linen when it was purchased about 12 months ago (longer, maybe?).  I had originally intended to simply underline it with silk organza, but it was a little on the show-all-possible-undergarment-lines semi-opaque, so I also lined with bemberg.  Vogue 2396 interiorI added a small kick pleat at the CB, since my DF isn’t a fan of hemline slits.  This is such a lovely simple design that it will be wearable for many occasions.  I faced the armholes and neckline with a self-drafted facing instead of taking the lining to the edges as per Vogue’s instructions.  I think this finishes up the edges in a much nicer way, and the support afforded by the self-fabric keeps everything in shape properly during wear.  Isn’t that icy blue such a pretty summery colour?Vogue 2396 facingAnd now the nitty gritty of the lace top.  I folded the lace in half, matching the scalloped selvedges, laid the front of the dress pattern over top to get an idea of the neckline shape, took a massively deep breath, and slashed from the centre front out to the shoulders.  I’m sorry I don’t have pics of this process, but it was pretty simple, and I’m hoping I’ll write well enough for you to follow along.  Then I put the lace “top” on over the dress as it was on Ms. Vintage, adjusted the shoulders so that the hem hung horizontally, pinned it to the shoulders of the dress, and carefully trimmed away the excess to match the dress’s neckline.  Then I tried using my silk ribbon to bind the neck edge.  I’ve not pictures of that either, and for good reason.  It was an atrocious ugly mess.  Of course, I can hear some of you more experienced sewistas muttering, because silk ribbon is not bias, and therefore will not shape smoothly.  Yup.  Stitch and learn.

So I tripped down to the fashion district last Friday and matched the lace with silk chiffon (since French navy silk organza is NOT to be had anywhere in this town and I’ve not tried dyeing anything and didn’t want this to be the start of a foray into that art form).  I cut long 1″ wide pieces of bias and made a couple of yards of narrow bias binding.  Not the most fun job in the world with chiffon, but it worked.lace shirt chiffon edgingThen I carefully trimmed away all but 1/8″ of the uglified silk ribbon neck edging and stitched the chiffon binding around the neckline by hand.  I didn’t trust my machine.  Once the neckline was all finished, I put it on Ms. Vintage again and started draping the side seams.  I ended up trimming 2″ off the front and backs at the sides, tapering to a short sleeved kimono shape.  Then I bound each long edge, back hem to front hem, and fell-stitched 8 inches of the edges together from the hem up to create the shape of the shirt.lace shirt sleevesThe bias binding is not uniform in width, but it’s complementary to the variation of widths in the design of the lace.  I think so, anyways.  It’s a pull-over style, and I’m hoping it will get worn with a myriad of other outfits. When my DF picked up the dress she was wearing a backless spaghetti strap black maxi dress. She tried on the lace shirt and it looked amazing with the dress she was already wearing. And here’s a final shot of the back.  This was a fun project.  I love working with linen and these sorts of garments are what make my sewing heart leap with giddy joy.  Next up:  boring snoring cake for DD1 and another go at the Vogue 1039 skinnies pattern.  *yawn*Lace shirt back