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Monday, 7 August 2017

BurdaStyle 12/2011 - 108 Skirt

This is a really simple skirt from BurdaStyle, there's not a whole lot to say about it really, but it is ideal for using the vibrant prints I can't seem to help buying.  I just wanted a basic a-line midi skirt and went through my stash of Burda magazines until I found this one.

12/2011 - 108 PDF Download



It is however designed to be cut on the bias and I've come to realise that I really don't like bias cut things on me; I find they cling and emphasise bits I'd rather disguise.   I cut the pattern a bit wider at the hips since bias has some stretch which is lost when you change to straight grain.  I totally forgot to consider the hem circumference and while it is OK I do need to be careful if I take big steps.

I made this twice - the first in a silky peacock print, I'm not sure what the fabric is to be honest, but it's a bit sheer so I wear a slip under this one.




The instructions have you interface the top of the skirt pieces and then finish with lace edging.  I simply finished the waist with a strip of interfaced fabric - basically a narrow facing - and topstitched in place.   The original pattern has hem facings also cut on the bias, but since I changed the grainline my hem is just serged and turned up.



The second version is made from a linen/cotton blend with brightly coloured parrots printed on a black and white leafy background.  I loved working with this fabric, so easy to handle and it doesn't crease as much as pure linen.  

I changed this version a bit by adding a waistband, a centre back seam (I much prefer a centre back zip than a side one to fine tune the fit) and added a small split in the centre back to make it easier to walk in.  I didn't have any invisible zippers on hand so I did a centred zipper instead.  I think I last did one of these about 20 years ago, but it turned out ok!







I took both skirts on a short vacation to Singapore which is where the photos below were taken.    They coped with the heat and humidity brilliantly which is more than I can say for my hair!


Wednesday, 12 July 2017

BurdaStyle 5/2010 - 105 Knit Dress

I have made this dress so many times that I'm already on my second versions of them in black and navy which just get worn all the time!  It takes only around 1.5m of jersey, sews up in a couple of hours at the most, dresses up and down easily and is great for travel.  




So, I've made two more to add to my collection (currently up to 5!) - a deep red ITY version and a black textured knit version.

I always add a bit of extra width to the skirt, but if you have less hips than me this dress would look even better with a narrower skirt.




Here I'm wearing it a bit dressed up with gold accessories, but I frequently wear them with my skechers pumps for a casual daytime look.





This is the fabric I used for the black one :





The only change I made here was to use a scrap of plain jersey for the neck binding and I decided to leave it visible instead of folding it to the inside just to reduce bulk a bit.  So this one has a slightly higher neckline.



I don't have any photos of me wearing this one yet, but I'm flying to Ireland for a wedding soon and both of these are packed (along with jackets and raincoats!) so weather permitting I will get some photos on vacation.



Friday, 30 June 2017

Palm Print Jersey Dress

This is a dress made from two different knit patterns, I've shown exactly which ones below, but really you can consider mixing up any of your favourite patterns.  Since this one has an elasticated waist casing and it's in a knit fabric there isn't any special drafting to do as the bodice and skirt can easily be made to fit together.

I used two patterns I have made before, the top is from BurdaStyle 08/2011 - 126 which I've made several times as a top with a peplum band and a raised neckline.  I also eliminate that centre back seam.  You can see a couple of versions here.

08/2011 - 126 Link to pdf dress pattern

The skirt is from McCall's 6744 although I changed the length to midi.  I'm finally coming around to appreciate this length now, maybe in a few more years I'll be wearing flounce sleeves and jumpsuits!

McCall's 6744 (out of print)


I used a green and black palm print ITY jersey - this didn't even get to live in my stash, I just knew what I wanted to do with it and bought and sewed it within a week.  Often I can get a bit paralysed by procrastination so this felt good!






The elastic casing at the waist is around 1 inch wide as I had that sized elastic to hand.  I also had enough fabric left over to make a self fabric belt so I have an option of wearing it both ways.


Part of the reason I made this up so fast was so that I would have it to wear on a short trip to Singapore which is where the photo below is from.  I always seem to decide at the last minute that I need something new for any trip, but at least I've learned to make something quick and easy!








Thursday, 22 June 2017

Style Arc Summer Cover Up

It seems that cover ups and kaftans/caftans are popping up around the sewing world at the moment.  Closet Case Patterns have just released one and Goodbye Valentino recently posted how to draft your own.  It makes sense, they are pretty easy to make and you can go quite wild with prints and trims!  I made this one a few weeks ago for a short resort holiday to celebrate my birthday.





I know I say this a lot, but the fabric was another "oh my gosh I must buy it and figure out what to do with it later" purchases.  It is a silk printed with a sunset and palm trees with an ombre effect.  I actually decided to use the reverse side which is more matte and with more intense colours.

I know that silk is probably not the most practical choice for a cover up, but the reality is it won't get worn that often and it just felt like this was the perfect use for the print.  I would like to make it again in the shorter version in a more practical cotton someday.

Reverse side
Right side
I made a couple of minor changes to the pattern.  I raised the neckline around 2cm at the base of the V tapering to nothing at the shoulders.  I know I'll be wearing it over swimwear so it doesn't really matter if it shows, but that's just my preference.

I also eliminated the centre front and back seams on the bodice, but getting a nice sharp point on the front neckline would probably be much easier with a centre seam so I will leave it in next time.  I also didn't want any stitching showing round the neckline so have just secured the neck facing at the shoulder seams.




The waist seam of the bodice has a 2.5cm seam allowance to form the casing for the drawstring so unfortunately I lost some of the ombre effect and there is quite a difference between the colour of the bodice and skirt.  It's not quite how I envisaged it, but I still like it.



Here I am wearing it swanning about at a resort in Vietnam - hopefully it won't be too long before I can pull it out again!



Friday, 2 June 2017

Style Arc Imogen Maxi Knit Skirt

I really need to stop making sweeping statements on my blog.  A couple of posts after saying I always wear knit dresses all summer long, lately I have only been making skirts!  Here is one of them, a knit maxi skirt from Style Arc.  I am fairly sure I received this pattern as one of the monthly freebies with a purchase of any pattern.  I mean, I do really like it, but it's such a simple pattern I doubt I would have paid full price for it.

Style Arc Imogen

I had quite a lot of fabric left over from my black and white knit dress and I didn't want another dress in the same fabric so it seemed like a good opportunity to try out this pattern.

I didn't have quite enough fabric for the folded yoga pant style waistband so I just made a regular waistband with elastic inserted in it to fit my waist and making sure it would stretch over my hips.   In reality I will probably always wear tops untucked so this may be a better choice of waistband for me anyway.

Construction is very easy and very fast, it's one skirt pattern piece, cut 4 times and sewn together.  However the cut is lovely and I really like how it is quite sleek at the top and satisfyingly swishy round the ankles.

The fabric pattern and folds created a pattern that my camera did not like at all, but anyway....




My cats were obsessed with getting under the skirt which is sort of helpful for seeing some of the flare I suppose.




At full price I admit this is quite an expensive pattern for how simple it is, but I do love the drafting of Style Arc patterns if you don't need much in the way of instructions.  There must be similar offerings out there from other companies - among the big ones I found McCall's 7386 , a similar shape, but without the centre front and back seams and McCall's 7130 with even more seams.

I will definitely be making this skirt again soon, it's perfect for summer which is well and truly here in all it's humid glory!




Tuesday, 23 May 2017

BurdaStyle 05/2017 - 110 Top

Burda frequently come out with slightly odd patterns that I am a bit unsure about, but when they are quick and easy, curiosity can get the better of me!  So I decided to try this simple tank top with ties from the May issue.

One of the versions in the magazine (110A) is shown in a poplin with the bands tied very loosely and it looks pretty awful to be honest.  However the other view - shown below, looked better and it helped me decide to try this in something quite lightweight and drapy.  I chose this very intensely coloured stretch silk that I bought in China a while back.  My weakness when fabric shopping is definitely buying striking prints with no thought whatsoever on how to use them.






Unsurprisingly it is very fast and easy to make especially since I left off the back neck opening because I could easily get the top on without it.  I sewed the tie bands slightly wrong so my topstitching is visible as I did it after I had folded the bands towards the centre again, but it doesn't really matter.




I like the top more than I thought I would, the tie bands and the back section seams give it a nice shape, like a cheater peplum top.  I think the fabric choice is important to make this work because the fabric just falls into folds over the bust.  I don't know if I will make it again, but if I do I'd consider lowering the tie bands a bit.  It's probably a good (and very obvious) idea to pin them and try the top on first.

I had some cotton twill in my stash that matched so I also made a skirt, this is 02/2014 - 109/110 which I was pleased to discover I had already traced ages ago, although I don't recall ever making it before.   It's a basic, classic pattern.


As usual I used Sandra Betzina's method for the fly front.  Somehow I managed to sew and serge the centre backs together the wrong way round and in fixing that I had to borrow some seam allowance from the side seams so it is a bit on the snug side.  However even though this fabric has no stretch it does soften and after half a days wearing is OK, but I am annoyed at my stupid mistake!  Hmm it also looks like my fly is the opposite way to the pattern drawing....oh well.










I also tried it on with pants, these are Burda 03/2012 - 126 that I made back in 2014 apparently.  I should make these again so that you can actually see the interesting seaming on them, but I really like the fit on these and they are more lightweight than my regular jeans so work for summer.



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