Top 5 of 2018 The Misses

 

It’s harder to find misses than it is to find hits!  But it seems they’re all my projects, and they’re not Burda patterns….

The first one is the jumpsuit I made in the summer.  This was sort of a wearable toile.  I had toiled it, made adjustments to the leg length and graded between sizes for the hip-waist-bust areas.  I used a 3m length of border printed viscose.  I haven’t even blogged these, never managed to get photos, which is a shame.  They’re good, but still need many adjustments, not least of which is to shorten the crotch depth and lift the point of the v neck.  I also need to find a lightweight invisible zip.  The one I used is too stiff really for viscose.  However, it was super cool and comfy to wear in the long hot summer we had this year.  I hope I’ll be able to make the pattern again next summer and fix the issues this jumpsuit has.

This top had various issues, I’d self drafted a copy of a top in one of the Kana’s Standard books, and initially I thought it was good, but on wearing more, the neckline is too wide (I did that on purpose, but it’s not right) and it’s just a little too billowy at the hem.  I’ve put it aside to recut and reuse in some way.

Another attempt at a copy of a Japanese pattern was this top, I’d used a Burda pattern and altered it to get the flare.  But it was too long and too flared and I wasn’t all that comfortable in it.  The colour’s not quite right either, it’s a beautiful viscose in a silvery grey, but I think it needs to be darker.   It’s joined the above top to be sorted, but I’ve yet to get to it.

It seems that the issues were to be had with me trying shapes I don’t usually wear, and finding those a little “not me”.  They’re not disasters by any means, and can be fixed in some way.

Top 5 of 2018 The Hits

Gosh, the end of another year – how do I decide on just 5 here?  Especially as I have yet to blog all the projects I finished…  I’m joining Gillian on the round up of projects for 2018.

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I’m not going to rank my favourite projects, but I am going to start with this, the paprika linen wide leg Burda trousers I made in June.  They sort of top the list because it’s the first time I’ve made myself anything that is this colourful!  I already knew the pattern would work, I’ve made it a fair few times.  But the colour!!  It’s worked so well with everything, and I found myself looking for them as soon as they were washed to wear again!

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I’m going to say the next best thing was the windowpane wool culottes I made daughter no1 in the Autumn.  She just loved them and has apparently worn them every week!  The fit is great on them and the colours work brilliantly with the rest of her wardrobe.  Actually, that pink-copper trench would look fabulous with those culottes!  The warm tones would just be great together.

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Staying with the girls, Daughter No 2 says her top make was the linen stripey shorts, she can’t wait for the summer again to be able to wear them to death.  She’s also put her blue and white linen shirt dress up for consideration.  She loves that it can be both a dress and a jacket.  And that she has worn quite a bit.

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The last project is one that really isn’t just one.  Rather, it’s a pattern.  I’ve made a good number of Toaster Sweaters since November last year, and it’s been the one most requested whenever the girls decide they “need” another warm top for cold weather!  I’ve actually made them each another one for Christmas.

I’ve made so many good things this year that it’s tricky to choose just 5, but I think these are a good selection!  I’ll now try to decide on which projects didn’t quite live up to expectations.

Blackboard

 

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Last month I finally got the chance to reuse a pattern I’d drafted 4 years ago.  At the time I had wanted to make another, but I had the usual story of too many other patterns and projects jumping the queue.  I bought this black and white viscose with a 60s inspired print from Minerva Crafts that I decided would be just right for giving that pattern a second chance.

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Self drafted blouse in viscose

I left out a couple of details this time round.  Because of the print I didn’t include any of the tucks that were on the first blouse, & I didn’t use the concealed buttonstand.  I used French seams thoughout, so it’s all nice and neat on the inside.  A post of the construction details can be read here.  The buttons are vintage, black faceted glass balls.  They are maybe a little heavy for the fabric, but I like the way they catch the light!

 

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The viscose is light and drapey, and it’s just what this pattern requires.  I wanted something that would flow and be comfortable to wear now in the winter, and again in the summer with linen trousers.  I like how it works with the jeans and trousers in my wardrobe now & am looking forward to wearing it in the summer.

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I can’t quite believe it’s Christmas in just over a week, and there are still so many projects that I’ve not blogged yet!  Time to pull my socks up!

All About the Tees – Part 5!

 

More tees!  Whether they’re shortsleeved for the summer, 3/4 for just about all year round or long sleeved for the cooler months, you just can’t beat tees for filling wardrobe gaps.  They don’t take much fabric, certainly don’t take much time to make and are a very satisfying, sewjo boosting project to whip up!  I’ve recently added 3 new tees to my wardrobe, and added 1 to Daughter No1’s.

 

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So what patterns did I use this time?  Let’s start with the Uvita top from Itch to Stitch.  As said before, this is a free pattern when you sign up to newsletters.  I really rate this pattern, it just works so well.  I bought a piece of blue and white jersey from Rosenberg & Son at the Knitting and Stitching Show in October, this was my first victim!  I love the swirly white dots.  I ran up the Uvita in an afternoon and it’s been in constant rotation since then!

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Itch to Stitch Uvita Top

Next up, another blue and white fabric from the show, this time from Montreux Fabrics.  I’d bought some of this earlier in the year, and was hoping they’d have more on the stand, because it wears so well!  I made the Lark Tee, v-neck with 3/4 length sleeves in this.  The drape of the fabric is perfect for the shape of this pattern.  It’s slightly flared from the waist, skimming the hips (and tummy area).  Usually I breeze through this pattern, even with that v, but this fabric has polyester modal content, so it was just slightly slippy – and it kept moving!!!  I had to do that v a few times before I thought I’d better leave it.  I also pinned and basted the side seams 3 times to get the stripes to line up!  They just weren’t playing ball so I left them after the third time, having seen little to no improvement in the pattern matching.

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Grainline Lark v-neck tee

 

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The third of my tees is another Lark Tee, v-neck with three quarter sleeves.  This time my stripe fabric is a blue/grey with narrow white stripes, bought online from the Frugal Fabric Shop.  It’s lovely and soft and great to wear.  I had the same problem with the v on this one!!!  But the stripes were more accommodating.

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All three tees are the perfect colours for fitting into my colour palette and will undoubtably be worn loads over the winter and spring.

 

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Now on to Daughter No1’s tee.  I had some navy pique jersey in the stash, bought earlier in the year from Montreus Fabrics again, and I offered it up to her.  She chose the Lark  boat neck tee with long sleeves.

 

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Blue pique boat neck Lark Tee

If I make this again I’ll raise the neckline for her, it’s quite low cut for a boat neck.  It also needs a swayback adjustments.  You can see the fabric pooling in the small of her back.  But she loves the length and is happy with the neckline for now.

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In the mean time, I have a nice 3m of black viscose jersey I got from Croft Mill Fabrics earlier in the year, and I have plans to turn that into a long sleeved Uvita for Daughter No1.  She’s also in line for a long sleeved scoop neck Sewaholic Renfrew.  It’s a teeshirt pattern you don’t see much of online anymore, but it fits her well.  The last tee will be a Basic Instinct Tee, and that should use up all 3m!  They will need to be done in the next couple of weeks, because they need to go under a certain tree….

 

The Trench Coat Edition

 

The trench coat 103 in the February issue of Burdstyle 2017 has been on my “to sew” list since it came out.  There was just something about the style, length and simplicity of the design that appeals.  Daughter No1 was very keen on having it, and I really wanted to make it in one of her fabric designs, but the price of doing so was just too much.  I still hope that one day I will be able to do that, but in the mean time she has her coat, and she’s still happy with it.  And so is Daughter No 2….

 

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The spy coat!

I guess I’d better explain!  🙂  Both girls liked the coat, and both wanted a version.  So I went looking online for suitable fabric and found a rather nice pink/copper cotton twill at Croft Mill Fabrics for just £5/m.  I bought 5m, which was a real bargain.  I wasn’t sure whether the girls would like the colour, but as it was cotton, I was quite prepared to dye it to whatever colour they wanted.  As it turns out, however, they were both perfectly happy with it!  That makes it easy for me then!  My Work in Progress post will take you through all the construction details.

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I traced the 38 and toiled it in an old duvet cover from the charity shop.  On trying it on Daughter No2, we noted the following alterations:

  1. Lengthen sleeves by 4cm
  2. Broad shoulder adjustment 1.5cm
  3. Lengthen coat by 4cm
  4. Lengthen belt pieces 1.5cm

For Daughter No1, these were the alterations:

  1. Forward shoulder adjustment 1cm
  2. Lengthen coat by 4cm

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chace coat 2

So, I was going to make Daughter No1’s coat first with her alterations, then reverse the shoulder adjustment and make the adjustments for Daughter No2 and make her coat. The coat itself is pretty straightforward to make.  Although Burda call it a “gathered trench coat”, there’s actually no gathering.  The waist is formed with dart tucks in the front and back, and the belt piece starts in the back panel seam to be fixed in the front with a button.  It does have the effect of  cinching the waist in a bit, but definitely not gathering.  The button is sewn through all the layers, there is no buttonhole.

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I did make them slightly differently, the coats have topstitching in different places, and Daughter No2’s coat has no shoulder pads.  I used shoulder pads in Daughter No1’s coat because of her posture.  I halved the thickness of the pads, she didn’t want “Dynasty shoulders”, but she did need the shaping they give.  Can you tell that the shoulders are different?

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Linings for the coats were chosen for each girl.  The coat wasn’t intended to be lined, the Burda instructions have you use Hong Kong finish on all the raw seams, and that would be fine for a Spring/summer coat.  We wanted these to be warmer, so I needed a lining.  I’ve not used traditional lining fabric for the main body, but I have used “proper” lining for the sleeves.  There’s nothing worse than your sleeves getting bunched up under your armpits when you put on a coat!

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I’d found the cotton poplin William Morris inspired print at Fabworks and knew it would be perfect for Daughter No1.  Daughter No2 needed something more contrasting, and I was looking for something geometric with a grey and white colour but was coming up empty handed.  Eventually I found a blue and white paisley print with bronze detail at the Rag Market in Birmingham.  It is viscose and cost a mere £2/m!  It was the right choice and Daughter No2 approved.

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collage chace coat

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My next problem in choice was the buttons.  I raided my button box and then all the charity shops in town.  I ended up with 3 rather yummy plum/maroon vintage buttons for the front of Daughter No2’s coat.  But there weren’t any for the sleeve tabs.  Another rummage through the button stash revealed 3 pretty pink mother of pearl buttons that would work.  So that was one done, Daughter No1’s buttons were more tricky to decide on.  She didn’t want a colour that would stand out too much, she decided subtle was the route to take.

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Buttons!

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In my raid of the local charity shops, I had found 4 beige-y/pink buttons, BIG ones!  So the colour was subtle, size – not so very much…!  But – they have worked rather well, and I found a couple of smaller similar coloured buttons in my stash that I used for the sleeve tabs.  So, there you have two pink/copper coats with different linings and different buttons for two different girls with different styles.  Although the shell colour is the same, and I used the same pattern, they do look different on.

collage coatsThat’s another Burdachallenge2018 entry for the year, and I’m glad to have made the trench coat.

 

Jeans or Trousers

 

Finally!  I have some photos of the trousers I was making two weeks ago.  I’ve worn them quite a bit since making them, mostly because I thought I’d be able to get photos, but no…  Instead I had a comfy, warm day of wearing my new pants.  I really do like this pattern, it will be good to make in a summer fabric too, linen or even viscose.  A reminder that the pattern is 117 from November Burda 2018.

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Burda trousers 117 July 2018

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They were really easy and quick to make and they’re fab to wear.  That could be because of the stretch content, of course!  😉  The piping in the waistband has the advantage of stopping the waistband stretching out.  So it looks good and has a proper purpose!  Detailed photos of the waistband and pockets are in that WIP post, link above.

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The welt pocket is also good.  Next time I’ll widen the welt and resulting pocket by 2-3cm.  The original 14 cm is fine, and fits the phone, but it could do with being slightly roomier, making it easier to access said phone.  For people with a wider phone than mine, it would also be a good idea to make the pocket wider!

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A proper, workable back pocket!

The leg length is just fine.  I had shortened the legs by 4cm and crossed my fingers that it would be ok.  I still get a break on the top of my show, and honestly I wouldn’t want more than I’ve got in a stiff fabric like the denim.  In a softer fabric, more of a break would look fine, so a longer length would work.

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I just can’t decide what these are, jeans – or trousers?

Work in Progress Wednesday

It seems I’ve been posting more of these “in progress” posts this month than showing the finished items!  I must get some photos this weekend, if it’s not too rainy.  So, what am I making today?  Well, I decided on the spur of the moment last night to use a piece of wool that a friend had found in a charity shop and gave me last month.  It’s navy blue suiting with a pinstripe and herringbone weave.  It was about 1.2m in length, so was never going to be a full length pair of trousers.  That made it easy to pick a pattern, I could use my favourite cropped pattern that I’ve used 5/6 times, or a newer one, used just twice so far.

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Everything cut out and tailortacked, ready to sew.

I picked 120 from July Burda 2018.  I have made it earlier this year, in the summer, using a linen and cupro blend.  Definitely time to make another.  I got pretty much all of the pieces onto the wool, except for the pocket lining piece.  I was slightly tempted to add the ruffley thingie on the pocket opening, but there just wasn’t the space to cut the bias piece.  Actually, it was just as well, it would only get in the way of my shirts and no-one would ever see it anyway.  I cut the pocket lining from a piece of scrap cotton print in the stash.

I cut the 44 but had graded it before from the hip to the waist to the 46.  The leg has been shortened by 4cm, this was a good length in the previous pair.  I started by tailortacking and then overlocking all the pieces.  In order to make my sewing time really productive, I pinned the darts, pocket linings to the openings, and pinned the lower front and back trouser pieces to the main pieces.  These were then all sewed up.

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Overlocking

Pockets were sewn and everything well pressed, then the front and back centre seams were sewn to just above the crotch curve.  The waistband needs to go on before the zip can go in, so that was interfaced and the front and back pieces attached to the trousers.  I didn’t have a dark navy invisible zip in the stash, but the brighter blue one I chose will do just fine.  The waistbands lined up rather well, usually I need to unpick at least once to make the seamlines line up better.

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All pinned so I can sew as much as possible in one go!

 

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Invisible zip time! Thankfully invisible zips are mostly hidden, so I can use a more zingy colour…

Next to do was all the side seams, making sure the perpendicular seamlines lined up nice and neatly.  On the whole, it worked out rather well!  I decided to handstitch the hems insead of machine them because I was using thread from the stash and they didn’t necessarily match the colour of the wool all that well.  I then decided I’d handstitch the waistband on the inside too.

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Seams lined up properly the first time! Not always the case…

I finished the trousers by 3pm, having started cutting out at around 9:30 and taking an hour break for lunch.  So I’m chuffed with that, I have a new pair of trousers in the cupboard and one less piece of fabric in the stash!  I’ve also used the remains of three reels of blue thread and taken another zip out of the zip box.  Eventually I’ll get all these “stashes” down to more acceptable levels!