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.

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.

tayla coat 8

 

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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.

tayla coat 1

 

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!

 

Work in Progress Wedesday

Today, I’ve been making trousers.  When the November issue of the Burda magazine finally landed in my sticky little paws, I wasn’t exactly inspired – not as much as I have been with previous issues.  But one or two patterns did look appealing.  I rather liked the trousers 117.  I just happened to have a length of russet coloured stretch denim a friend sent me from the States…  It was meant to be!

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Burda Trousers 117B 11/2018

The pattern requires fabric with stretch, but doesn’t say what percentage.  However, as one of the views was made in jersey, I figure it needs a fair bit.  My denim had that fair bit, so I decided to wing it and see what happened.  I’ll not go into fitting and toiling details here, I cut the 44 and shortened the leg length by 4cm.

The trousers in the magazine have a decorative ribbon down the outside leg seam and piping in the waistband, the jersey version has piping on the waistband.  Initially I thought this was just a sewn on detail, but the outer waistbands are actually in two pieces, an upper and lower.  So now you have somewhere to stick that piping!  I wasn’t going to bother, I figured I’d just use the inner waistband pieces and cut two of each, but…  I had piping in the stash, so might as well use some of it up in a practical manner.

I didn’t follow the order of work in the instructions.  By the way, has anyone else noticed there is no longer a cutting layout?  It was there in the October magazine, but “poof” no more!  I started with the fronts, overlocked the edges and made up the hip yoke pockets.  I used a left over piece of Liberty poplin for the inner pocket bag to reduce bulk.  I’ve used that left over piece quite a bit now, I wonder if it will ever get finished!  The pocket bag is understitched along the opening edge to keep the cotton from rolling out.  Once the pockets were done, I sewed the centre front seam from the top edge to just above where the crotch curve starts.

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Liberty poplin for the front pocket

Then it was the back pieces.  Darts first, then pocket.  I realised, when tracing out the pieces, that the welt on the back was faux, just for show!  Now I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to all the trouble of interfacing and cutting my trousers to insert a welt, I want a pocket to go with it!!  So that’s what I did.  I like to put my phone in my back pocket, that’s where it basically lives.  So I measured it and cut two rectangles from the poplin the width of the pocket welt and the depth of the phone plus a few centimetres.  Basically 14×18.  Then I cut two welt pieces, one to use for the actual welt, and one to sew to the top of one of the rectangles as a facing. I made the welt pocket up as standard.  I’m quite chuffed with it, it’s the perfect size for my phone, but if you want to use it for anything else, you’d better make yours a little wider, add a cm each side of the opening and all pieces.

collage pocket bags

collage welt pocket rust
Top left: Pin welt raw seam to placement line, draw on stitching line & end lines, baste & sew. Top right: Pin pocket piece with facing right side down, stitch along placement line. Bottom left: Make sure you haven’t caught the welt when stitching the pocket bag! Bottom right: Cut through the trouser down the middle of the stitching lines, cut triangles at the ends, right to the ends of stitching.
collage welt pocket rust 1
Top left: Welt and pocket bag pushed through opening, pressed. Top right: pin lower pocket bag to welt seam allowance and stitch. Bottom left: Stitch lower pocket bag along welt stitchline. Bottom right: press lower pocket bag down, away from welt.
collage welt pocket rust 2
Top left: fold the trouser piece to the middle of the pocket and pin the side and bottom seams of the pocket bags. Top right: Start at the triangle, stitch carefully so you don’t catch the trouser front. Bottom left: finished pocket! Bottom right: Finished from the outside.

Once that was done I sewed the centre back seam as I had done the front, then moved on to the waistband pieces.  The piping was added to the upper seamline of the lower waistband, then the upper waistband was sewn on top.  I graded the seams to reduce bulk and clipped to allow the curve to lie flat.  When I clip a curved seam, I always do it on the bias, the theory is that the fabric won’t fray or rip on the bias.  If you cut with the grain, it might rip through your stitching.  Not that I’ve had that happen in the past, but just in case, right?  I made up the front and back waistbands and then attached them to their trouser legs.  Then I inserted the invisible zip in the left side seam.  It needed a little fiddling to make sure the piping and waistband edge lined up, because of the bulk it wanted to move down when I sewed, so I ended up unpicking a couple of times, and using loads of pins!

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Attaching the piping to the lower waistband piece with the piping foot.

After that it was all downhill, the remainder of the leg seams were stitched and pressed, the inner wiastband pieces interfaced with a lightweight fusible and sewn to the top of the outer pieces.  I understitched the waistband and trimmed the lower edge before folding the remaining seam allowance under and stitching in the ditch from the outside.  Then it was just the hems and voila!!  One new pair of trousers!  I do like that piping detail, it’s just a pity no-one will really see it.  I don’t tuck my tops in, so the only people to see that detail will be you guys now, and me later!

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Piped waistband, hip yoke pockets and invisible zip. Nice details!

I’ll be sure to get photos asap, along with pictures of my new tees!  Yesterday I ran up two stripey 3/4 sleeve Lark tees, the perfect colours to go with these new pants.  I am really looking forward to having these pants in my wardrobe, just like the paprika linen pants I made in the summer!  It’s nice to have that splash of colour to play with in amongst the blues, back and greys.

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Piped back waistband and useful back welt pocket!

P.S.  I have finished both coats for the girls, and I hope to have photos of those, modelled by the girls themselves (instead of on Betty the dummy) in a week or two.  In the mean time, I now have all I need to get cracking with the coat I’ve been promising to make for Mr W for over a year.  Tomorrow, I start cutting out!!!  Wish me luck…

Work in Progress Wednesday

I hadn’t thought I’d have a post for today, thought I’d have finished off my epic two-coat run.  But nope, I’ve been a little slow this week!  So here’s what I’ve been working on for the last 2 weeks, two versions of the coat 103 from February Burda 2017.

The fabric is a pinky-copper coloured cotton twill that I bought either from Croft Mill or Fabworks earlier in the year.  I bought 5m because I liked the colour so much, and it was only £5/m!  I figured I could dye it if certain people didn’t like it, so I was quids in.  Turns out both girls liked the colour and then they both wanted the same pattern made up with it!  I needed to do something to make them a little different from each other, but I think the chances of them wearing the coats at the same time together are pretty slim.

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I have done the usual interfacing, using Gill Arnold’s weft insertion the the t-panel, sleeve heads, upper back and under collar.  I used the polyester fine sheer fusible for the facing pieces, tabs and upper collar.  I altered the pattern pieces too.  First, the non-fitting changes.  I traced the collar to make one whole piece and added width of 2-3mm to the short sides and outer edge to accommodate turn of cloth.  The under collar had its grainline changed to the bias, but stayed the same size.  I also added 2-3mm to the revers on the facing pieces, tapering down to the original stitching line at the breakpoint.  The front piece had 2mm added to the front from the breakpoint to the bottom.  This all helps to roll the upper layer of fabric to the underside so you don’t see the seamline.

Fitting adjustments were relatively simple.  Both girls wanted it longer, so I added 4cm to the skirt length.  Daughter No1 needed a forward shoulder adjustment of 1cm, so that was pretty simple.  Her coat was made first!  Daughter No2 needed the sleeves 4cm longer, a broad shoulder adjustment of 1.5cm and the belt tabs needed to be lengthened by 1.5cm.  As this needed more cutting up, her coat was made last.

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Inside Daughter No1’s coat

This pattern wasn’t supposed to be lined, the raw edges are treated with Hong Kong finish, but we wanted something nice on the inside, so the hunt was on for nice linings.  Printed “proper” linings are expensive, so we went off-piste.  Daughter No1 has a William Morris inspired cotton poplin lining in her coat.  The large print looks great peaking out, and I know she’s going to love it!  The sleeves have a white and grey stripe “proper” liningso that her clothes aren’t bunched up in her armpit when she puts the coat on!  I still have to find/choose buttons for this coat, otherwise it would have been finished early last week!  The colour of the fabric makes it tricky to find the right stuff, and having no haberdashery shops within a 15 mile radius doesn’t help.  I raided the charity shops in town on Monday and found buttons with potential, but we’re not sure…

Daughter No2 has a viscose print for her lining.  I had originally thought of a geometric monochrome print, in pale grey or dusky blue, but she found the perfect stuff at the rag market in Birmingham for only £2/m!  The gold/beige tones in the paisley print work well with the copper tone of the shell fabric, so it works, despite the blue paisleys!  I found enough dark blue “proper” lining in my lining bag to use for the sleeves.  This coat does have buttons!

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Pink mother-of-pearl buttons from the stash

In my charity shop raid I found 3 vintage plum coloured buttons to use of the front of the coat, they go on the belt tabs and to close the coat in the front.  I had to use different buttons for the sleevetabs, and had lovely dark pink mother-of-pearl shell buttons for that.  I tried just about every type of button from the stash for these coats, and nothing worked.  What’s the point of a large, full button box if nothing is right when you need it??!

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Paisley lining for Daughter no2’s coat.

So today I need to make up the lining for the second coat and get it in, then finish off the buttons.  And maybe I’ll find something that works for the first coat too.  Fingers crossed it’s all done today, I’m really keen on making a nice snuggly Toaster Sweater for myself, and there’s a pair of trousers in this month’s Burda I fancy too!

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The best buttons so far, but are they too big? Too bland?