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Wednesday, 18 January 2017

BurdaStyle 01/2014 - 104 Fake Fur Jacket

This is the second Christmas gift I made for my sister.  Her style is quite different to mine, more quirky, vintage & bohemian - she's quite arty and also loves baking.  This fabric reminded me of some of her cupcake piping so I bought it and then figured out what to do with it.  It feels divine, so soft and looks like pink roses.



Fake fur is easy to sew, but my goodness it makes an unbelievable mess!  I had pink fluff everywhere and was so relieved once the lining had gone in.

As I mentioned in my last post, I had to use a pattern where sizing wasn't crucial which is quite easy in outerwear.  This one is from 01/2014 Burda, I didn't want too many seams to break up the look of the fabric  so I eliminated that waist seam and made it hip length in case a whole coat of pink roses was too much!

01/2014 - 104



I lengthened the sleeves as an afterthought by adding cuffs, it would have been better to lengthen the sleeves from the beginning.  I had originally thought the 3/4 (7/8?) length sleeves added to the vintage look, but then decided they are not that practical for a furry winter jacket.


I was really happy to find these large pink snaps in the Hong Kong garment district, not surprised necessarily because I suspect you can buy anything there, but it can be like looking for a needle in a haystack.


I also decided that a fun jacket like this deserved a special lining and I found this flamingo printed cotton which looks great, the seams are topstitched in bright pink too.



This project was so much fun to make (pink fluffy mess aside) and my sister adores it, it is a totally original piece and suits her personality perfectly.






Friday, 13 January 2017

McCall's 7243 Top

I bought this pattern last winter and never got around to using it which I am a bit annoyed about now because it is a great pattern.  Still, better late than never!

McCall's 7243



I made view A, the long sleeve top, from a lightweight sweater knit in a colour I love - somewhere between cobalt blue and bright purple.


Construction is very straightforward, t's quick to make, the instructions are clear and the pattern is nicely drafted.  I made a straight size 12, my usual big 4 starting point for tops.  The fit in the body is really nice (the pattern is described as close fitting which is accurate I think).  If I make the dress I will size up below the waist as I suspect I'd find it a bit clingy for my personal taste (and bod!).


I will definitely be making this again, the options available make this a very versatile pattern - top, dress, sleeves, no sleeves and contrast collar / sleeves.  I tried the top on before inserting the sleeves just to check the bodice fit and really liked how it looked so I'll be giving that a go in jersey for summer.

I had a right time of it trying to get photos of me wearing it so I've had to adjust the exposure on these so you can see anything, I think the dress form photos show the colour more accurately.  But anyway, you get the idea!  


You can see that in real life wearing, the collar shifts up a bit though this is partly due to my fabric, I think a slipperier jersey would behave a bit differently.  The overlay also looks slightly deeper on the model photo which I'm sure is due to bust size so if you normally do an FBA then the collar would probably need to be made deeper too.  





BurdaStyle 09/2016 - 118 Long Waistcoat

This is one of two garments I made for my sister, now that Christmas has been and gone I can share them here. Not that I think she reads my blog, but I didn't want to risk it.  

I wanted the gifts to be a surprise, but I also don't know her exact measurements, just her sizing relative to mine so I chose patterns that weren't close fitting.


I loved this whole look in the magazine and may well make this for myself, it would be great for the between seasons weather we are having.


I used a lovely knit boucle in variegated black and white.  The pattern is easy to put together, I just changed a couple of things in the construction:
  • I used Sandra Betzina's Power Sewing book for the side seam pockets, the Burda instructions send you off to another pattern entirely which is understandable, but annoying.  I'd forgotten what a great book this is, her methods are always reliable.  My notes say that she has you sew the pockets first and then the side seam rather than stitching the pocket and side seam together. To be honest I don't know why one method works better than the other for me, it would be interesting to try both methods and compare them, but I find the SB method easier to get everything lining up and laying flat.
  • I added narrow belt loops into the side seams before sewing them instead of doing handworked ones at the end.

I wish I had paid attention when cutting the collar so that the stripe effect ran in the other direction, but otherwise I am really pleased with it and more importantly so is my sister!

I think you have to be a bit careful styling this so it doesn't look like a bathrobe, which it kind of does on my dressform and I didn't think to style it on there when taking these photos before gift wrapping it.  

I like how Burda has it over a dress and I think skinny pants and boots would also be good.  I've no idea what my sister has been doing, sorry I don't have any photos of her wearing it!











Wednesday, 4 January 2017

BurdaStyle 04/2011 - 124 Skirt & Style Arc Madeleine Top

Thanks all for the comments on my sequin top, I hope everyone had a great holiday season and that you are ready to see what 2017 brings.  I am loving reading all the 2016 recaps, not sure yet if I will get around to it, I still have things that I haven't blogged yet so I will get going on those first....

Not very sensibly, I decided in the week before Christmas that I wanted a new outfit to wear on the day, but at least I was sensible enough to use straightforward patterns I had made before which cut down on tracing, cutting and fitting time.



The skirt is BurdaStyle 04/2011-124 (previously made as a modified version in green eyelet here).  This time I kept all the seams in the skirt, the only change being to shift the zip from the side back to the side for no other reason than I didn't read the instructions!



I used this floral fabric, something like a jacquard or matelasse, it's quite stiff which works well for a party skirt to give it some structure and I love the dark, moody, oil painting-like quality of the flowers.


Reverse side of fabric showing the texture
Side zip, you can also just see the fabric texture here too


The top is Style Arc's Madeleine Ponte top.  I first made this (here)in a medium weight polyester knit really as a test version so the insides were unfinished and I really rushed it.  I ended up wearing that top until the fabric pilled like mad so a remake or two are long overdue.  This version is much more successful, mostly due to fabric choice - I guess it is called the Madeleine Ponte top for a reason!


I made a size 10 and nipped it in a bit at the waist.  Having made this before, I knew I could get away without the zip so left that off and eliminated the vertical centre back seam also.  The front band does still need to be secured in a few places on the front to keep it in place even in the recommended fabric; I just stitched in the ditch of the seam in a few places.  

I do think this would be easy enough to extend to a sheath dress and I might give that a whirl especially as I now have a healthy (or perhaps that should be unhealthy!) stack of ponte knits.

 

Here I am wearing the pieces together - despite the lack of planning and time spent on the outfit, it really was perfect for the day and it's a combination I will definitely be using again.


I think the print is quite wintery even though it is floral so I tried the skirt with boots and a jacket too for a slightly more dressed down look and to prove that this skirt needn't be just for Christmas!


Friday, 23 December 2016

Style Arc Billie Tops

I liked this unusual draped top pattern when it was first issued and I don't know why I didn't buy it, but I didn't, it went out of print and that was that.  However when Style Arc had a Black Friday sale of the pdf patterns in their Etsy store I had a browse and found Billie there so I snapped it up.  Finding anything on that site is a bit hit and miss and I much prefer to go through the main site, but if you know what you are looking for you can search for it on the Etsy store.  Here is the link to the Billie search page.


There is only one crazy shaped pattern piece (plus facing pieces which I did not use) so provided you keep the pattern piece nearby so you can figure out which bit is what, this is an incredibly quick and easy top to put together.


If you have faith miraculously it turns out exactly like the line drawing!


I made two versions, the first in a sequin fabric for the holidays and the second in a printed ITY jersey.  I think it is much more successful in the sequin fabric, partly because the weight of the sequins makes the drape hang better, but also I think this just works better in a solid otherwise the drape detail is lost in a busy print.  I have some solid cotton bamboo that I plan to try this in and I'm also curious how it would look in a drapy woven.  It definitely needs something slim on the bottom half to balance out the volume - basically exactly as Style Arc show it in their illustration.





There really isn't a lot to say about construction because there is so little of it - make a pleat and sew three seams!  As I mentioned I left off the facing pieces and just used self fabric to bind the neck and arm edges.

Sewing with sequins required a bit of extra work, but I didn't use the generally recommended method of unpicking sequins from my seam allowances.  Instead I just covered the seams and edges with some scraps of jersey, a method I have used before, so much quicker and works for me, but if you have very sensitive skin it might be better to go the couture road or underline the whole thing.  



You can see below why the print version doesn't work as well - the drape detail is lost and it just looks like an oversized t shirt.


The party version is much better!