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.


Thursday, 11 May 2017

McCall's 6744 Dress (out of print)

Knit dresses really are my everyday go to in our hot humid Hong Kong summers so I'm always happy to try a new variation.  I realise that goes against conventional wisdom to only wear natural fibres, but I've found that this is what works for me.   They are also fantastic for travel because they pack up pretty small and don't crease.

I picked up this pattern in a recent clearance sale and it is now out of print.  It seems to have been a popular pattern based on reviews I read, but I guess they've got to make room for the new stuff that is always coming out.

McCall's 6744

I wanted to make view C, another wrap dress, but I swapped out the wrap skirt for the plain one.  I made it twice actually, one knee length and one maxi, both ITY jersey fabrics.  It is basically a knit version of the dress in my previous post so I suppose this is the shape I am going to be wearing all summer!

When I took out the pattern pieces they looked huge so for once I checked reviews before cutting anything and most said that this pattern had a lot of ease and recommended going down one or two sizes.  I checked the actual measurements on the pattern pieces and decided to make the XS which is ridiculous as I am nowhere near that size (I'd usually start with a 12).  I know the big 4 used to get a lot of flack for having too much ease in their patterns, but I haven't found that to be the case in their newer releases (interestingly Beth said the same thing in the comments on my last post).

Once the sizing is sorted out this is a very quick and easy make - there's not a lot to say about it really.  I made the shorter black and white dress first and it feels a tiny bit high waisted for me.  On the second maxi version I ended up pressing and sewing the elastic casing down into the skirt rather than up as per the pattern instructions and that seems to be enough to sort out where the waist sits so I will make the same change in the future.

I need to remember to stitch down my seam allowances in the casing area before forming the casing as it was extremely frustrating when my elastic attached to a safety pin kept getting stuck underneath seam allowances!  I also stitched the bodice closed at the overlap by sewing on top of the existing line of stitching.

I can definitely see this being a staple in my wardrobe - long, short and with all the different neckline variations, both for the approaching hot summer days and with a light jacket over for in-between seasons and fierce air conditioning.