Heavens, has it been that long? Two posts in one week at the beginning of the month, then radio (blog) silence! Sorry guys, been too busy sewing – and knitting – and crocheting.. I’ve been distracted, basically. I finally picked up and dusted off my ancient knitting knowledge and persuaded a friend to help me learn again. So we started with a pair of cable knit fingerless mittens. As you do! And I’m hooked! But that’s a post for another day!
So while I played around with knitting and crocheting, there wasn’t much sewing going on. I had intended to try two of the blouse patterns from the February 2018 Burda, numbers 108 & 120. After tracing the 44 and toiling, I added an FBA to 108 and decided to skip the elastic in the sleeve bands and level off the hem lengths. The tie back blouse, 120 didn’t need an FBA, but was too long, so got shortened by 7cm. Fabrics were to come from the stash, yes, there is still enough in there…
So after shaking myself and telling me to just get on with it, I finally started work on the two tops/blouses. For the first project, I picked out a piece of Indian raw silk, hand dyed and blocked with resit. I’d bought this fabric from a fellow student in my City & Guild days in about 2004/2005. Yes, you read that right, not 2014. She’d gone to India that year, as she’d done every year for ages, and brought back goodies for the rest of us to drool over and – buy! But I never did find the perfect project to use it on, I’d not be getting more in a hurry!
After last month’s success with the spotty silk, I thought I might be onto something, and decided to use it for top 108. The fabric was rather narrow, and the pattern of elephants runs parallel to the selvage print border, so that dictated the fabric be folded on the cross grain. I used the selvage for the hem, no point cutting anything there just to turn it up. I used French seams throughout to keep it all neat and tidy.
The neckline was a pain, on the toile it had stretched out and looked awful, so this time I knew to treat it with extra care. The neck finish consists of a neckband with facing and a long strip gathered to fit the outer neckband. I interfaced the outerband with some fine sheer polyester fusible, marked the halfway points and set about gathering the long strip which I also cut on the border. I’d marked the centres and quarters there too, so gathered in between the points and pinned very carefully! It seems to have done the trick as the band sits flat against the body and there’s no stretching out.
I did not insert the elastic in the sleevebands this time, I just don’t think the silk would like it very much, and I didn’t really need any more gathering. I like the result, especially having made the front and back hems the same length. I kept the little slits in the side seams, gives a little detail. I think I’ll make another of these, possibly a viscose, but I think a fine linen for the summer would be yummy too.
The second top for February is #120. The toile fitted just fine without any bust adjustments, but it was way too long for me, so I chopped 7cm off the length of the pattern pieces. It also showed that the bias cut band for the neck finish neede to be stretched quite far to fit, so I needed to make sure I didn’t stretch out the neck while sewing the pleats in the front. The instructions for the opening in the back for the tie are, I think, in the wrong order. I did that bit before sewing the side seams in the final top. It gets fiddly and there’s rather a lot of fabric you’re trying desperately not to stretch if you do it in their order.
So the final top – I stretched that neckband to fit, just like they say, and made sure all the balance points lined up, and still managed to fluff it. I must have stretched more in one direction than the other, or maybe the band wasn’t exactly on the bias. But the band has twisted in the front. Damn. Well, I wasn’t going back, so now it’s a “design feature”.
I like this top even with that open back! With this week’s “beast from the East” Arctic/Siberian temperatures I will not be wearing it, but as soon as it warms up again, I think it will be in constant rotation. The fabric is navy viscose from the stash, I think I bought it 2 years ago from Minerva Crafts, and there’s a bit left over that might be used for some sort of colour blocking with another “leftover” to make sure it’s all used up!
So, February 2018 has been a good issue, I’d have made more if I had the fabric. One problem with shopping your stash is that eventually you’re looking at pieces that have limited uses. I also have two boxes of fabric I “can’t” really use. That’s because they have been allocated to each of the daughters for clothes – when they decide what I’m making.
I wonder if they’d notice a few pieces going missing…