Sunday, July 19, 2015

Style Arc Jessica Dress

I made a printed version of this pattern recently in a slinkier knit and promised to remake it in a solid.  Often these promises come to nothing, but this time I did keep it and have made this twist dress in a plain purple ITY knit so you can see the lines much better.

There are a few changes and observations from my first version;

I took the bodice up at the shoulders instead of securing the low neckline, obviously this raises the waistline up, but it seems to work for me.  I made a 10 again, and took it in a bit at the waist.  The bodice is quite roomy, if you usually do an FBA you may not need to with this pattern and vice versa you might need to downsize.

I shortened the hem to knee length.  On both my versions and looking at examples online, the asymmetric pleats in the skirt make the hem not hang straight so I trimmed it while on my dressform to straighten it out before hemming.  No one else seems to have mentioned it so maybe I'm being fussy.

This is two projects in a row where I think the drawing does not match the pattern, and now I'm starting to doubt myself!  In this case the way the front knot is illustrated is different to the instructions, I ended up following the instructions, maybe I did it wrong, I don't think it really matters.

The knot is quite bulky, although this does help keep it all in place.  I'm wondering if it's possible to shape the bodice extensions so that they are narrower where they wrap around each other?

Line drawing

This colour does make it quite a dressy dress, albeit a comfy jersey one, but I think I can dress it down with a casual jacket when it gets cooler.

Unrelated to how I feel about this dress, I've got to say my sewing mojo is just not there at the moment.  I don't know if it's because it's the middle of a hot summer, my current lack of enthusiasm for new pattern releases and general apathy towards fashion or what, but I hope it passes soon!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

BurdaStyle 03/2014 - 104 Skirt

I'd wanted to make this skirt for a while and tested it out in some cotton twill left over from another pair of Thread Theory Jedediah shorts for my husband.  Not going to bore you with a third pair of those, but I promise you we will never wear our matching outfits at the same time!

I got thoroughly confused putting this together and I am convinced that the technical drawing is wrong, but the pattern pieces are correct.  I think that the image on the left above is the back and on the right is how the front should look, with the zip switched to the left side.  So watch out for this if you make this pattern up.

I also found that it is very close fitting in the hips, I had to let the seams out in the front and I still don't have the fit right there as you can see from the wrinkles I am getting across the front as soon as I don't stand like a soldier, but I ran out of fabric.  I do like the skirt so I'll cut wider seam allowances next time, go up a size or look into full front thigh adjustments.  I even tried it on backwards in case my theory on the technical drawing error was garbage, but that made things worse!

I'm wearing it with the Style Arc Madeleine top which I was a bit non plussed about when I made it, but now I love it and wear it all the time.  I think I just got annoyed with having to fuss around with the band, but it's amazing what a bit of time in the old magic closet can do.


BurdaStyle 06/2013 - 111B Shorts

I don't often make or wear shorts for the very simple reason that I don't look very good in them, but on vacation I chill out a bit and care much less about these things!  So I decided to add a new pair in a colour to my extensive 2 pair shorts wardrobe!

I used this basic pattern from 06/2013 - 111 in a bright orangy red lightweight cotton sateen.  I think it is a bit too lightweight for this pattern and the legs stick out wider than the line drawing would suggest, also due to the fabric choice I suspect. I might take them in or I might just accept that these won't get worn very often and perhaps try them in a better fabric.  They also wrinkle like crazy.  That sounds like a lot of complaints, but I think the pattern is good and well drafted.

I left off the back welt pockets which just seemed like too much work when I'd never use them.  Wish I had put in side seam pockets though.  Fit wise they are to Burda's usual great standard for pants, I cut my usual 38 at the waist, 40 elsewhere and didn't need to make any other adjustments.  Once you've omitted the pockets, construction is really easy and these did not take long to make at all.

Here are some pics of me wearing the same outfit on a recent short trip to Hoi An in Vietnam for my birthday.   I have to admit that I am not so mad on my striped top now that I see it in photos, unless you are close enough to see the knot detail, the stripes do make me look a bit lopsided!  So not quite an outfit fail, but not one I can get overly excited about.  The holiday was lovely though!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Butterick 5283 Knit Top

I dug out this old knit top pattern (sorry to say it's no longer available on the Butterick website) to find I had already cut out View C in a size 12.  I have no idea whatever happened to that, but am guessing it was too big and probably attempted in the days when I couldn't find decent knit fabric.  Time for another go.

I trimmed down the pattern to a size 10 after looking at the finished measurements on the pattern tissue and pulled a navy and cream stripy knit from the stash.

I didn't realise until I got started that the whole front is a double layer (for Views A and B just the bust part is doubled) and I was short on fabric so I broke all the rules, cut the front off grain and pieced it so it had an on grain portion at the hem that lined up with the horizontal stripes on the back.  This was a bit of a risk, but seems to have worked, stripes and twists are always quite fun to play with.

Once you have cut it out properly it goes together quite easily.  The instructions are written well (except for the usual serger existence denial), but they do jump around a bit between views so you have to take care not to miss a step.

The double layered front means that the neck and front arm are finished neatly and the back neck and arm are just turned and stitched.  This makes it quite an easy sew if you have trouble with t shirt bindings.  If I had the smarts I should have stitched the back neck in navy thread, oh well, I'm not unpicking it and risking it stretching out.

As it turns out I didn't need to make any alterations from a size 10 although the shoulder seam falls forward a bit, this might be partly due to the extra weight of the fabric in the front.  Anyway I am quite pleased to have rediscovered this little gem in my pattern stash and will be trying this and the other views again.

So I guess my twist obsession continues, after I posted my Style Arc Jessica dress, PatsiJean commented to let me know about Studio Faro, a really interesting blog that demonstrates pattern manipulation.  I don't know when I will get around to experimenting with it, but it makes fascinating reading.  Has anyone seen this already and tried something inspired by it?

Photos of me wearing it coming in the next post - shorts.  Bright red shorts.....

Here are my new sewing room companions, I only let them in when I am there, which of course makes it the most desirable place to be.  Unsupervised they can open drawers, pull out all the contents and cause havoc with my serger threads.  I think their legs and ears have finished growing, the rest of them still needs to catch up!

Friday, May 22, 2015

BurdaStyle 04/2013 - 120 Tie Blouse

This top is a simple over shirt with front ties made from a slightly sheer black cotton jacquard(?).  It just has a single button fastening and I will always wear a cami underneath it so I didn't add any lining.

I thought this would work well with different skirts, pants or even over dresses in the summer as both sun and over enthusiastic air conditioning protection.

The magazine photos look quite different to the line drawings showing it tied much higher and exposing the midriff, I probably would never have made this if I had only looked at the photos.  You don't have to wear it like that, it naturally sits at the waist, but hey if you have the abs or the confidence go for it!

Coincidentally this pattern (or more accurately the view with ruched sleeves, but it's the same pattern) has just popped up on the Burda blog as part of a new pattern bundle, which is great because it saved me hunting around to find the pattern picture, or you can get the single pdf pattern here if you don't have the magazine.

I'm making a few summer separates at the moment so I will post photos showing this and the other garments on me in a later post.

In totally unrelated news, we have recently adopted these 2 troublemakers!  They are 6 months old and were rescued from the streets, they are coming around to us and their new home, but are still completely terrified of strangers, poor things.  Everything is a big adventure and any item is a toy so I really have to keep my sewing room tidy or the door closed.  Meet Max & Monty, they are difficult to photograph at the moment because they are usually either hiding or running round at 100mph!