Floaty

I’ve got a bit of a backlog of projects still to show you, most of them items I made for Daughter No 2.  And a couple of my own.  Today’s offering is a blouse that I’d been putting off making for a while (I’m not a glutton for punishment!), but eventually I had to give in and get it made.  Daughter No 2 had asked for this blouse to be made in a piece of burgundy wine coloured fabric we bought from the Fancy Silk Store a rather long time ago now.  It’s polyester (so doesn’t like the iron), is drapey, floaty and slippy.

 

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Blouse 130 from Burda November 2013

The pattern is 130 from Burda November 2013.  (The link is to the German site, the usual one is still hinky, and I don’t think it will ever be as good a resource for archive patterns as it was.)  I traced the 36 and didn’t toile…  I figured it was a loose fit anyway, so will be ok.  I decided to French Seam everything on the inside to keep it all lovely and neat.  The front and back opening slits were both shortened, the front is now 15cm long, otherwise it would gape and show underwear, and that’s something Daughter No 2 did not want.  The back was also shortened, but not as much as the front.  Unfortunately, in the photos we took, none are of the back opening!

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The neckline is bound with self bias, as are the openings.  All would have been fine, but I shouldn’t have followed the instructions in the pattern to cut the bias strips to just 2cm wide.  It’s not quite enough, I should have cut 2.5 as a minimum especially for the neckline and the cuffs.  So if you’re planning on makng this blouse, that’s my reccommendation, cut wider bias strips!  Because the fibre content is polyester, it really didn’t want to stay pressed, which was a bit of a pain.  I used a lot of pins!

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Another thing to be wary of is the width of the sleeve band.  The sleeve edge is fully gathered into the bias band, and it does come up a tad narrow.  Thankfully Daughter No2 has narrow hands and skinny wrists, because we’d have come unstuck otherwise!  So check that measurement over your hands, because you might just get to that point and not be able to get the blouse on.

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But, I’m really happy with how it turned out, and might be persuaded to make another, but in a natural fibre this time…  That sleeve really is the best part of the whole top!  It’s basically a deep pleat, and is only secured with a few small stitches.  I reinforced the area with a scrap of fine sheer polyester fusible interfacing before stitching the pleat in place.  I hope it will give the area enough stability.

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In the mean time Daughter No 2 really loves this blouse and, funnily enough, has plans for me to make another…  But NOT in polyester!

Did You Miss Me?

Heavens, it has been a while, hasn’t it??  Thing is, when you don’t write these post for a while you quickly get out of the habit of doing so, and kinda forget how to write!  I have lots to show, and very few photos!  But last week I made a thing, and I even managed to get the other half to take some pictures for me – miracles!!

So, what’s the lucky garment?  Well, it’s a blouse.  I have only used this pattern once before, it’s a Burda pattern – as you may well have guessed, based on my history!  I made this first blouse (way before I had even heard of blogs) in silk satin in a gorgeous wine colour.  (See it worn in this post)  I loved it, but soon it was too small and I relegated it to the “unwearable” box in the loft.  This summer it came out and I decided that, as I didn’t wear it anymore, I’d see if it could be recut and refashioned into something else.  It sat in that pile until last month, when I ironed it before cutting.  Then I put it on, just to see…  And it fits again!!  Woohoo.  I love how it feels, the batwings and floppy collar.  After the second wear while I was organising the summer fabrics to go back into the boxes for the winter, I came across a piece of cotton voile I’d bought from Fabric Godmother about 5 years ago.  A brainwave hit and I thought, I finally know what pattern to use for this fabric!  The same one that I’d used for the silk blouse, 118 from October 2008.

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Burda Blouse #118 October 2008 worn for Me Made May 2014

Unfortunately it’s too old a pattern to be found on the database on the BurdaStyle website, and the magazine with the instructions and line drawings is in a box in the loft, so I cannot show you any details!  But thanks to helpful commenters, and the Russian Burda website, here’s a link!  It’s a simple pattern, the back is cut on the fold, sleeves are kimono style/batwings, so they’re grown on.  You do need to make sure that the fabric is wide enough for the pattern, the back is ok, but the front has grown on button stand and facing, so it’s wider overall.  The sleeve is gathered into a wide cuff and finishes at the three quarter mark.  There are no darts for shaping, but it’s not a billowing, shapeless style.  The collar is just the stand part, and the front has fullness that is gathered into the collar.  It makes for a soft, draping top that’s easy to wear.  I used fine sheer polyester fusible interfacing on the buttonstands, cuffs and collar, and French seams throughout.

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Burda blouse #118 October 2008
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Gentle gathers on the front into the collar

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I’ll have to get to Birmingham for photos of other projects, or get daughter no2 back home!  And while we’re photographing her new clothes, she can do mine for me!  I’ve had a great weekend sewing, cut out 4 projects, of which 3 are complete and one is waiting for bias binding – but it’s in silk and I’m having a day off from fancy fabrics…

We went to Cornwall at the end of September – and got thoroughly rained on – and I took lots of patterns with me to trace in the evenings.  I made good progress and only didn’t manage to trace the Lander pants.  I have stuff for me & stuff for each of the girls traced and now ready to toile, including the Tosti Utility Jacket, finally!!!  It WILL be made this year!

Wavy Black Blouse

Daughter No2 has persuaded me to make another wavy back blouse, this time using black embroiderie anglaise that we bought in South Africa earlier this year.  We bought 1.5m, which was just enough!  Because the back is cut as one piece, whole, and the flounce is huge, and also cut flat, we weren’t 100% sure it would actually fit in.  So fingers were tightly crossed…

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Blouse 111 from Burda February 2018

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As it was, there was a teeny tiny problem that I only discovered when I was about to attach the flounce piece to the back.  In order to get the pattern piece tertis-fitted onto the remaining bit of fabric, I’d turned the pattern piece upside down.  Yeah.  And it’s asymmetrical.  M-hmmm.  So I pulled out all the tailor’s tacks I’d put in the back piece to show me the attachment line for the flounce, turned the back piece upside down and tailor tacked again.  So we have a flounce that goes the opposite way to that intended, but thankfully it’s no train-smash, if  I hadn’t told you, you wouldn’t have known! 🙂

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All other making-up is the same as the last time, including sewing the sleeve facing to the inside of the sleeve.  She didn’t want the piping details, so it’s not missing out on anything.  There’s a small black pop-stud about 6cm up from the base of the front placket to stop wardrobe malfunctions instead of a button to keep everything cleaner and more “minimalist”.  If broiderie anglaise can ever be called minimalist!

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This is one of those tops that’ll transition nicely into an autumn wardrobe, and as long as the sleeves of your jumper are wide, no reason why you can’t make one for winter too!  But I’m not planning on making another one in a hurry, the list of other patterns is long and growing.  I have started toiling the autumn stuff, once it’s all fitted & adjustments made, I cang et started.  I’m kinda looking forward to making the warmer stuff!

White Waves

I’ve finally been able to photograph a number of items I’d made for Daughter No2 this year.  I’ll try not to do it all in one go!  This first project is a top I made back in March, she’d marked it as interesting back in 2018 – February, to be precise.  The pattern is the Layered Back Blouse 111 from Burda February 2018.  She bought the fabric, an off white cotton with white spots, from Croft Mill Fabrics.  They’ve since sold out of that fabric, but it’s the right sort of weight, it has some body but is lightweight enough to cope with lots of layers.  This is a petite pattern, but we decided to make it up without any adjustment, having taken a finished back measurement and pronouncing it a suitable length.

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Blouse 111 Burda 02/2018

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The pattern is relatively easy to make, the magazine has detailed instructions for this blouse, so it’s easy for a non-experienced sewist to construct the front placket.  We eliminated the piping and I sewed the sleeve bands on the inside, rather than on the outside.

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That pretty, wavy back

The back, while looking tricky is ok if you make sure you have marked the stitching line on the back carefully.  I trimmed the seam allowance of the flounce piece to 7mm and overlocked the raw edge, before folding it over to align with the stitching line.  I then pinned (with the pins in the stitch line) the flounce onto the stitching line, making sure the matching points were lined up.  I think that’s the only tricky part – stitching slowly and slightly stretching the fabric to get around the corners and not get any tucks.

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Daughter No2’s favourite part is not just one.  She loves the wide sleeves, the wavy back – naturally, and the front placket.  The fabric is cool and light and being white, she can – and does – wear it with everything!  She’s had a few compliments while out and about in it, and has therefore decided she’d like another, and has earmarked a piece of black broiderie anglaise we bought while in South Africa.  But – she also wants a pair of shorts with that fabric, so I’ll be cutting the two out together just to be sure there’s enough fabric!  Fingers crossed…

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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!

10 Years in the Stash

This project is a brilliant stash-bust!  You know when you buy a piece of fabric that you just know can only be used for the perfect project.  It’s that piece that may not necessarily have cost a lot of money, but it’s valuable, non the less.  I have a couple of those, and this last week I finally used one!  It’s a piece of ivory silk satin with grey, black and putty coloured spots.  I recon I bought it at least 10 years ago, probably from Rosenberg & Son!

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Silk blouse, 114 01/2016

I regularly haul it out of the silk box, pat it, promise it a pattern one day, and return it to the darkness.  But it’s been out of the box since the Autumn, I was determined to find something!  And that something is Blouse 114 from Burdastyle January 2016.  The red version I made a couple of weeks ago has been a welcome addition to my wardrobe, I love the sleeves and the overall feel of the top.  So I went for it!

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Checking the channel I made is right for the grossgrain ribbon I’ve used for gathering the “shoulder” seam
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Gathering the long edge of the sleeve into the narrow (by comparison) cuff takes a little while…

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I added 3cm to the length of the original version, which followed the length for version A in the magazine.  I also changed the hem depth to 2 cm so it would be easier to double fold.  The slit in the centre front was lifted 3cm and I’m much more comfortable with that.   Then I added 2cm to the bust depth, inserting a small dart in the side seam to keep the shape and length even.  It’s worked pretty well, and for some reason feels roomier, width-ways, than the red top!

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Details. Gathered channel on the forward shoulder seam, bias neck binding and tostitched front slit, back yoke with gathers in the lower back piece

It feels amazing to wear, the silk is just so drapey and lovely.  The seams are all French seams so there’s no fraying, and that stuff did fray!  I hand stitched the bias binding to the inside of the neckline.  I figured that was one place I could do without wobbly visible stitching, and if there was a place my stitching would wobble, it would be there!

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So that’s it for the January edition of the Burda challenge 2018, I have my sticky little paws on the February edition already (recon my phone calls to the manager of my local WHSmiths must have lit a bit of a fire under her chair) and have grand plans!!!  I also have loads of knickers to finish…  phew.

Hila has done a round up of some of the challenge projects done so far in January, go and take a look, and join in if you like!

 

Red Monday!

The weirdest thing happened to me this weekend.  I had traced off the Burda blouse #114 from January 2016 and was ready to toile.  In the stash, lurked a length of red and white viscose crepe, kindly swapped by Del almost 2 years ago.  I never could think of what to use it for, but I thought this time, try for a wearable toile.  I had already checked width measurements etc, so was sure the pattern would be 75% fine, I just needed to know what changes to make to make the pattern 100%.

I cut the straight 44, version A length.  The pattern makes up easily enough, there’s nothing complicated in the instructions.  I opted not to have the buttonhole in the yoke to allow the drawstrings out, instead I pinned the cord in place until I was ready to bind the neckline.  By then I knew how much pulling up I wanted.  I’m not sure I really want dangly bits on the final blouse either, to be honest.  There’s an awful lot of gathering on the lower sleeve, it’s a good idea to mark the half and quarter and then line that up with the half and quarter on the bias “cuff”.  That way you’ll get equal distribution of the fullness.

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The finishing touch of adding a loop and buttonhole to the neck binding has been left off, I wanted to see what it would look like without that, and how much the front hangs open!  I think I’m more likely to wear it this way than buttoned up anyway, so I’ll raise the point for the slit by about 3-4cm.  I like my bras, but I don’t really want to be showing them off to all and sundry when I lean forward!

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So, now that the toile is done I know the width is perfect, I do need length in the front though.  The front bust depth needs about 3cm added, so I’ll do that on the pattern pieces, adding a dart in the side to control the extra length.  I also think it’s a little short for all purposes.  While I’m wearing the blouse with my jeans (high waisted Birkin Flares) it’s fine, but with a pair of Morgans or any trouser that sits lower than the natural waist, I’ll be showing off bits no-one needs to see!  So the overall length needs to increase by about 5cm to make me happy and comfortable.  Apart from that, it’s all good!!

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And the weird thing that happened?  I’m wearing a red blouse, and I love it!!!  Now to make some more versions of this pattern, I’m thinking navy viscose for sure, and I might even finally cut my spotty silk.  That’s been hiding in the stash for at least 10 years, only comes out to be patted now and then!