Late Summer Sewing

Catching up on all those clothes I sewed for the girls last month!  You know the trend for paperbag waistlines in skirts and trousers?  Well this is that, but at the neckline of a top!  It’s another one of the “wants” on daughter no 2’s long list.  The pattern is 121A from the November 2015 issue of BurdaStyle, shown in the magazine in green satin.  Daughter no2 chose black cotton voile from the stash.

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The pattern itself is deadly simple, only a couple of pieces required and an afternoon to sew and you’re done!  I French seamed the insides for neatness and double turned the hem.  The paperbag neckline is formed by inserting a bias cut drawstring into a casing formed at the base of the self-faced collar.  Gathering the collar gives it height and texture, you just need to rearrange the folds in the top.

It’s turned out quite well, despite my initial misgivings when I finished it and arranged it on Betty.  But it looks great on and she loves it!  I delivered it to her 3 weeks ago now, and apparently, she’s worn it loads (sometimes not bothering to iron it first…)   I guess you could say that’s a good sign!  So that’s another #BurdaChallenge2018 project done.

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By the way, this gorgeous skirt she’s wearing was one I made last year!  I ended up putting an invisible zip in the centre back seam because she found the concealed button front so annoying!

I have many other projects made during the last month, such a backlog to show you!

 

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So I’m adding a pair of shorts to this post!  Daughter No2 is really happy with them and has announced that next summer, if I’d like, I can make many more of these!  The pattern is 107 from July 2016 Burda.  I cut the 38, but graded back to the 36 from the high hip to the waist.  No other adjustments were needed.

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Details

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The fabric came out of the stash, and it had been waiting a good couple of years for the right project to come along!  I’d bought this 1m remnant piece from Clothspot in a sale thinking I’d make a skirt for the girls, but no…  It’s a crisp blue linen with white stripes.  The pocket pieces are lined, but instead of using fabric I didn’t have, and increasing linen-ey bulk, I chopped up one of the other half’s no-longer-wearable shirts and used that instead!  I did have to make sure I lined up the stripes on the pockets and front pieces properly, it would have stood out too badly if I hadn’t!

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The fit is fabulous, I’m really happy with that, and the length is just right too.  The cuffs and tie make them a little more casual than they could be without.  So I can definitely see more of these coming out of the sewing room next summer.

 

 

 

Work in Progress Wednesday

I realise that all of the posts in the last few years have been completed projects. I used to photograph as I sewed, I even posted as I worked, with the finished project at the end, nicely modelled on the daughter for whom it was made. So I thought, I might start that again! I’ve been working on a jacket for daughter no 1 using a 1m length of Linton Tweed. I like mixing things up a little, so I suggested we make a biker style jacket with the fabric, rather than something more predictable. That got the thumbs up!

I’m using the same Burda pattern as I did last year when I worked on the Refashioners project. This time, however, I’m not changing the pattern, because I don’t have to! 😀 So how far have I got? Well, I’m almost done… I cut and interfaced yesterday, block fusing so if there was any shrinkage it wouldn’t affect the pieces too much.

Pockets!

Today I did most of the construction, I thought I wouldn’t get as far as I did because I had ordered the zips online from Jaycotts and wasn’t sure when they’d arrive. Luckily, they came today! I used a black piece of wool for contrast and bulk reduction in certain areas, the welt for the pocket, facings, inner cuffs, waistband pieces & inner collar.

Setting the sleeve

I think it’s worked rather well! I needed the bulk reduction, this tweed is chunky! I’m actually using the wrong side here, we decided it was less busy, and more likely to be worn this way around.

This is what it looks like tonight, with just the lining, waistband, cuffs & snaps to go. Now my eyes are tired and it’s time for bed!

Mid-Century Inspired Jacket

I’d marked this particular jacket in the August 2016 issue of Burdastyle when it first came out, but wasn’t sure I had the fabric, or who to make it for!  It’s got a lovely 50s-60s look to it.  In the photo in the magazine, it looks loose, big and comfy, but the sleeves look too long.  That worried me, so I left it – for two years!

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Burda Jacket #114 August 2016

This year I decided it would look fabulous on Daughter No 1, sent her a photo of it and remarked that I’d shorten the sleeve as it looks a little hinky there.  The reply was instant – yes please!  I traced the 36, the smallest size and toiled in a piece of mystery content fabric I’d bought years and years ago.  It was used as toile because every winter when I brought it out of the stash, I got wrinkled up noses and doubt.  So it was obviously not going to be useful otherwise.  I’d also tried to dye it blue-er, which didn’t work because it isn’t a natural fibre…  this I found out when I tried dyeing!

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Little Details

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Long story short, I toiled quickly using scraps of previous projects for the pocket linings and the flaps, red thread so I could see where I’d sewn if I needed to adjust or unpick.  When she came home for a long weekend, she tried it on, and pronounced it perfect – almost.  The sleeves were definitely too long, but we fixed that by turning up 8cm instead of the 4 for the hem, and then turned back another 4, essentially making a fold back cuff.  The lower section of the sleeve is straight on the sides, so it’s easy to turn back more, and to make a cuff, no faffing with angles.  She also decided she really liked the toile, and could she wear that please…?

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I should have known.  How often has this happened to me?  I use a piece of fabric that’s otherwise ugly, or they haven’t noticed before, make a toile – and suddenly it’s the best thing since dairy free cheese!  There was no attempt at matching the stripes, placing the pockets and tabs in the right place to line things up, just a toile, right!?  I huffed a little – there’s no point in making out that this is easy too often, they might get the wrong idea! 😉  I found a suitable piece of lining in the stash, ended up unpicking the original pocket flaps with their red linings, as well as the pocket pieces themselves.  Then I recut the flaps and pocket linings, resewed them in and finished off the jacket.  One thing I did not do was interface.  I was in no mood to go fiddling around with already trimmed and sewed bits to do that, it will just have to do!

 

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I have to admit it looks good.  I just wish we’d all had a better idea of that fabric before I’d started that particular job! 🙂  Never mind, at least the fabric has been put to a good use, and it wasn’t wasted.  Things to note from the toile:

  • Make the sleeves shorter, 8cm hem, 4cm turn back for cuff – optional as with the 8cm hem, the sleeve is now a good length.
  • Recut the shawl collar/facing pattern pieces with 3mm added to the outer edge to allow for turn of cloth.
  • Recut pocket outer flap pattern pieces and all outer (top) belt pieces with 3mm added to edge to allow for turn of cloth.
  • Consider interfacing shoulder areas to reduce chance of stretch on the bias over the shoulder

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The pattern lay in the magazine doesn’t show any interfacing apart from  the facing pieces, and this doesn’t want to be an overly structured garment, but I felt it needed a bit more support in certain areas.  So I interfaced a 2cm strip on the back shoulders, the front, front and back facings and the undercollar.  I also added a 5cm wide bias cut strip to the hemline areas on the jacket, and a deeper bias strip to the sleeve, giving support to the area that would be turned up as the cuff, if she wanted to.

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The final fabric for the jacket came from the deep stash, and I think I originally got it from a charity shop.  It’s wool, grey on grey houndstooth.  I’d pre-shrunk it with steam, so this will have to be drycleaned.  For the lining, I raided the stash again.  The initial idea was to have something dramatic, rust or copper on the inside, but I couldn’t find something in the right shade and fabric in time.  So I dug out a piece of gold and blue shot lining I’d bought from The Lining Company to line a camel coat – as yet still unmade.  It works pretty well, is warm and still interesting when the light catches it at different angles.

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The jacket didn’t take long to make.  I’d cut out the pieces and interfaced one evening, started sewing the next morning and finished the shell in time to cut the linings the next evening and sew them in.  All I needed to do the next day was to hand sew the linings to the hem and attach the buttons, all of which came from the stash and are vintage.  So it’s a quick jacket to make, the only fiddly (time consuming) thing is the welt pocket, if you haven’t done one before.  The rest is really straightforward!

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I cut the tabs on the bias this time, and I like it!

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Both jackets have been really well recieved.  We had a full house with both girls home for a weekend, and the jackets got well and truly drooled over.  The colours work brilliantly with her wardrobe of neutrals (much like mine) and they look fabulous with her strawberrry blonde hair.  I know they’ll get well worn this Autumn and Winter, a real winner!

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Soul Time

I know you’re expecting to be seeing my nice new dress today, but instead of sewing this weekend, I decided to spend the time with my girls.  The dress will come, but first, here’s a project I finished last week.

Chippping away at the long list Daughter No2 has left for me to make up, I decided to make a couple of the tops this month.  The pattern is 106A from the February issue of BurdaStyle, 2017.  The fabric chosen is a lovely warm grey polyester something or other left over from her 6th Form Leavers Ball dress.  It has a lovely drape and weight, but one massive disadvantage.  It will not be ironed.  If you were to make it hot enough to press, you’d melt the fabric.  So – fun with flounces in a poly fabric that won’t iron flat….

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Burda Top 106A February 2017

Luckily I didn’t have to fight for space to put the pieces on the left over fabric, there was a decent size piece without awkward bits.  I had decided that all the insides would be French seamed to keep it all nice and neat.  One thing to be carefull of when you make this top, the neck facing isn’t attached until you’re finished faffing with the flounce, so it’s easy to stretch that v out.  Make sure you stabilise it before you start sewing anything else, otherwise you’ll be cursing…

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The flounce is hemmed before you attach it to the body, and it goes on in sections.  I have to add that I was really greatful that it was the pattern with illustrated instructions in this issue, I don’t think I’d have got the placement of the flounce right without it!  Once the flounce has been attached, the facings go in and the side seams sewn.  Then you’re pretty much on the home stretch.

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I used every pin in my pincushion to keep that flounce hem in place and decided to hand stitch it in place because I didn’t want the curve to stretch out.  So it all took a while to finish.  Because I hand stitched the armhole bias binding too – of course!

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I love how the flounce drops, the box pleat in the centre front gives great shape and the length is just perfect.  Daughter No2 came home this weekend and was really looking forward to trying on her new clothes!  This top looks great on her, the colour (as we already knew) suits her and, being grey, goes with just about everything.

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But will I make another?  I’m in no particular hurry…

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Leaving you with a pic of my two monsters. All growed up.

 

I Can’t Help Myself

July’s Burda magazine was pretty good, I thought.  There were a fair few patterns I marked as interesting to make, either for me or the girls.  One that stood out immediately for me to make for myself, was the cropped, slightly flared trousers, 120.  The only thing I didn’t want from the pattern was the pleated detail on the hip yoke pockets.  It had similar details to the cropped trousers I’ve made heaps of so far, the rusty linen was the last pair.

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Burda flared trousers 120 July 2018

I had some turquoise washed linen I’d got from one of the stands at the NEC in March that I decided was perfect.  I had the right amount of fabric, which was a good start!  I did make a toile, as I always do with trousers, I need to know just how much length to take out of the leg, and whether or not to grade out from the hip up to the waist so I can close the zip.

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Burda trousers 120 July 2018

 

In the end I removed 4 cm from the length of the main pieces in order to get the knee line to line up with my knee, I left the lower trouser piece intact.  I also graded out to what would have been a 46 at the waist, because I go straight up from the hip.  The waistband pieces are straight, which is perhaps not ideal.  I recut them so there’s a centre back seam, which helps with getting a better fit.  Although, I have to say, looking at these photos, that I could probably do with making them a little shorter, about 2cm should do the trick.  And I need to take them in a bit, they do look rather big in the thigh area, I’m sure I could loose a bit of fabric there easily.

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Please excuse the creases, I’d been sitting too long already!

The linen pair are great!!  I made them in the first half of July, just after we got back from our Cornish break.  The colour is almost a neutral, but has enough colour to stand above.  The linen is a bit thicker than I’d really like for the sort of summer we’ve had this year.  On the day I delivered the shirtdresses to daughter no2, I wore these trousers – that’s when I finally got those photos done.  It was easily the hottest day of the year, it got up to 32C in Birmingham, and I thought I would melt.  I’d also sat on a train for 45 minutes, then walked for another 10 in the heat.  I was already uncomfortable way before taking photos!  No matter, apart from that, they’ve been lovely.  I had to make them a little tighter where I’d let the pattern out!  The linen, of course, stretches with wear and they ended up hanging a little low, so I took 7.5mm out of the centre back and 1.5cm out of the side seams, necessitating the removal and re-insertion of the invisible zip.

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Lovely enough to make another pair!  Your remember I had some inky blue linen/cupro from Fabworks a couple of months ago (probably longer than I’m thinking).  I’d expected a soft, floppy fabric, and got something with lustre and sheen (like a silk) and a lot more body.  So it went on the backest of back burners while I decided what to do with them made something else.  But then this pattern said, “give it a try”.  The body of the fabric would hold the shape, and it’s thinner than the turquoise linen.  I had two metres, so why not!  Just a note, this particular colour has sold out, but they have other shades on a special offer…  There’s also a post with information on how to care for this particular fibre partnership.

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I stuck with the original enlargement, this stuff has NO STRETCH!  It was the right call.  They fit really nicely into the waist and do not fall down during the day, just right.  Again, I left off the pleated detail, you’re really never going to see it anyway, and it’ll just make bulk under my tops.  More bulk….

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So I’m really happy with this pattern, I think it could easily be made in wool for wear with boots and tights in the autumn/winter, in fact, I rather thought this last pair would be slightly transitional.  While we’ve certainly had the most amazing summer weather, just how long will it last now it’s August already??

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I have another pattern to make quickly from the July Burda, top 117 looks interesting, and I think I’ll make it with one of the pieces of fabric I got from Seasalt.  But I just need to finish a couple of tops on order from daughter no 2 first…

 

 

Esenciales

A little sewing procrastination happened after that mad “help me” post from a couple of weeks ago.  In order for me to get all my thoughts in order and ducks in a row, I decided a quick detour would be a good idea.  I had a piece of red and white viscose crepe left over from a blouse I’d made in January for the Burdachallege 2018.  I also had a pattern I’d traced 106 from April 2013 Burda, it’s only got 4 pieces, quick and easy!  I’d rather liked the look in the magazine when it first came out, but never really got round to making it.

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Top 106 April 2013

This year, while I was tracing a pair of shorts from the same magazine for Daughter No2, I remembered this top and traced that too.  A quick toile revealed it was too long for me (5cm) but didn’t need anything else, no FBA! Yippee!  Now one thing to remember, if I were to go by measurements, the 44 would not fit me.  In order for the top to look on my the way it does on the model, I’d need to go up 2-3 sizes.  But there’s no way I’d want to wear it like that!  All I want is a loose-fitting top with a bit of ease – not a tent!  So bear that in mind when judging how tops look on me, compared to someone who’d normally fit into any size bracket.

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The pattern pieces fitted on the remains of the fabric easily, neck facings were interfaced with fine sheer fusible from Gill Arnold.  You could, if you preferred, use self-bias binding for the neck edges instead of the facings.  The style is a loose fitting top with pleats at the front neckline with slight drop shoulder and no sleeves.  The pleats were basted in place and steamed to hold the shape until I sewed on the facing.

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I used French seams throughout and double turned the hem edges on the sleeve openings and the hem of the garment.  It’s turned out really nicely and I like that I have another red top for the summer!  I have worn the original red top from January loads of times, it gets compliments all the time.  So now I have a summer one!  Thankfully the shape is great for the current weather, and now I want another.  I’m sure I have some small pieces of fabric lurking in the stash that I could use in this pattern, but first….

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I must get on with reducing the piles of fabric and pagazines/patterns on the table in my sewing room and covering the bed in the guest room!  I can say that I have made one of the items I rambled about last time, that inky blue linen/cupro blend.  And it’s made fabulous cropped trousers!  Will be showing those off soon…

 

Express Yourself

While I dither get on with my sewing, I realised I had some photos taken in Cornwall of yet another top I actually did make.  There’s something to be said about making patterns you’ve made before.  You already know how to make them, how they wear, and how they’ll look.  So just before we went to Cornwall I made two new tops, intending to take them both with me, for photo opportunities and to wear.  We only went for 3 nights, guess how much I decided I had to make to take…

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Burda top #108 February 2018

So the first of those is another version of the top 108 from February Burda 2018.  I made one back in February, using some long held stashed fabric.  This time I thought I’d put the elastic in the sleeve cuff, but just to be difficult I used one wide piece instead of the required narrow width.  I also knew to be aware of that neckline.  The first time I made it with the silk, I took care not to stretch it out when applying the gathered band.  I made sure I didn’t handle it too much, used staystitch and interfaced asap, all to add stability.

So I did that again this time, and managed to stretch it out.  Or did I.  The cotton has more body than the silk could dream of, and therefore is thicker when gathered, stiffer when layered three deep.  Once attached to the neckline of the top it was immediately obvious that it wasn’t sitting flat.  I put it on Peggy, my dressmaker’s dummy and there it was, standing away from the body.  Damn.  I took two pinches out on each side at the shoulder seam, and did the same in the paper pattern.  I’m not really wanting to take that apart and ajdust again.

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So a word, you can do everything you can to stop stretching a neckline, but sometimes it’s just not going to work for you.  It’s a combination of fabric and baggy drafting….  After all that, the top is dead easy to make, I used the overlocker so it was nice and quick.  I was so busy wanting to  make it quickly that I made a rookie mistake with the cutting out.

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The fabric was purchased from Maven Patterns at the NEC, it’s hand block printed cotton, really nice to wear and I love the colour.  But as it’s hand printed, it’s not exactly perfect, and the pattern isn’t centred.  And I didn’t check that when I folded the fabric and pinned on the pattern pieces.  Like I said, rookie mistake!  Luckily, I don’t see the off centre print, I’m on the other side!  🙂  I wonder If I could call it a “design decision”, and get away with it??

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I’m happy with my new top, it made it to Cornwall, and I even wore it!  And I’ve worn it frequently.  The fabric is actually lovely, nice and cool in the temperatures we’ve been enjoying in the UK this summer, and what a summer!  It’s been summer since the beginning of May!  Now you in other countries might wonder what the miracle is – well, our summer is usually 2 weeks, and they are not necessarily two consecutive weeks.  It’s usually a few days here and there that add up to two weeks.

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Cool as a cucumber in Cornwall

And that’s why I need to get cracking with my other sewing, there’s still a month of predicted SUMMER to come!  And…  I had an epiphany this morning.  Yesterday was spent toiling two patterns that I really liked in the Burda magazines, but once made and on, they were just NO.  Why?  PleatsBig pleats.  I already know that with my tummy, I cannot wear pleated things (unless the fabric is soft and floaty and the pleats are small).  So why in heavens name did I think I could get away with these??  In an effort to remain nice and cool today, I’m wearing a pair of long, floaty, viscose trousers – with pleats!  But they work – why?  Because the viscose drapes so well, the pleats are small, and – this is the important bit – they do not start at my waist!  So I’m going to make that dark blue and white fabric that was-going-to-be-a-top-and-now-wants-to-be-bottoms in the culotte length version of these trousers!  YES!  And please let me remember that big pleats that start at the waist are NO GOOD.  phew…