Wednesday, July 13, 2016

BurdaStyle 01/2016 - 106 Maxi Skirt

Thanks everyone for the comments on my faux wrap dress, I definitely want to make that one up again.

I had this lovely lightweight cotton, again purchased in China, in a sort of mosaic / bohemian print that I really wanted to use to make a floaty maxi skirt.

It took a while to find the right pattern - this maxi skirt is hidden in the January 2016 issue (I associate maxi skirts with summer, but maybe that's just me) and was made up in a rather dull / odd colour blocked jersey.

However the pattern lines were exactly what I wanted, fitted yoke with lots of drape below - actually it reminded me of the Sewaholic Gabriola skirt pattern which would certainly have better directions than Burda if you needed them.  That said this is an easy skirt to put together.  I did take a bit of width out of the bottom of the side panels so that I could fit them onto my fabric and it's still plenty full enough.

Of course in this print, you can't really see the yoke seams at all except close up, but they do give the skirt a nice shape.  You can see one of the side panels here.

 I just about had enough offcuts left over to squeeze out a tank top.  This one is from the April 2015 issue, those side pieces make it great for using up odd shaped offcuts of fabric, you could even use contrasting material.

The neckline was extremely low so I raised that and lengthened it so I could tuck it in easily if needed.  I completely messed up the neckline and mine is more of a scoop than a v, oh well.

Again in this print you can't really appreciate the details, but the little shoulder tuck is a nice touch.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Butterick 6054 Maggy London Wrap Dress

I do love a wrap dress, but I don't love the potential for wardrobe malfunctions that they have so I made a few changes to this wrap dress pattern.

Butterick 6054 Maggy London

I had this interesting double border dot print jersey.  I really wanted the lighter part of the fabric, which is in the centre, to be at the top and bottom of my dress though as I thought it might make the middle of me look bigger otherwise  So I needed a dress with a waist seam  and chose the one above.

(Oops I should have added that I bought the fabric in China - in Lowu shopping centre just across the border from Hong Kong which is probably of no use to anyone, sorry!)

This worked out better than I imagined to be honest and I love the way the print looks in the finished dress.

This would be a simple pattern to sew, but I made life difficult for myself by changing it to a faux wrap.  I extended the left underlay of the skirt so that it is joined at the right side seam - so basically it is a skirt with an overlay.  I didn't have to extend the skirt piece very much to do this so I think it is quite generously cut and next time I might just go with a proper wrap version.

The bodice is also stitched down to the centre front only as I wanted to keep the tie end free.  Joining the bodice to the skirt with their different wrap treatments required a bit of mucking about with pins to make sure I got the finished effect that I wanted.

Hopefully these photos make that a bit clearer....?

The pleats at the top of the wrap skirt are quite bulky, but they look good when they are finished, I wouldn't recommend making this in a heavy jersey though.

I did raise the front neckline, quite a common adjustment for me and this is one adjustment I will definitely also make again.  I really like the shape of the dress and I think I will try it again as a proper wrap which will be a much quicker and easier sew than this version!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Butterick 5753 Knit Top

Whenever I take advantage of one of the BMV sales to order patterns online inevitably I end up buying a few "fillers".  If the shipping is the same price for 4 patterns as it is for 7, well I will find 7 patterns (which I am sure is the whole idea).

This is one such filler, it's a pretty basic top and I probably have something similar in my years of Burda magazines that I could tweak, but I know myself well enough by now to know that I won't get around to it.

I made view C with the tie front, it looked pretty roomy so I cut a size smaller than my usual pattern size and used the Small.

I added a seam to the centre back, purely to fit onto my fabric, a deep sky blue knit that I had only bought a small amount of to match an orphan skirt (more on that later).  I also stitched up the side seams quite a bit higher than the pattern indicated to make the armholes smaller - I think around 8cm.

This is a very easy pattern, but the pattern instructions just say to do a 5/8" double hem on the neck and all around the hem and ties.  The neck is probably wide enough that you can get away with this treatment, although I used a strip of fabric as a mini facing instead.  I think if you try and do their suggested hem treatment around the ties it would be an exercise in major frustration with a messy result.  I did a kind of narrow hem treatment instead which is much easier, albeit not perfect.  I stitched a line all around the hem and ties just a presser foot width from the edge, pressed up against this line , stitched again and then trimmed away the excess close to the stitching.    

The front piece, can you imagine trying to turn 5/8" on that hem?
As I mentioned the neckline is very wide so I attached some lingerie straps to keep it in place.  I'm slightly embarrassed to confess these are purchased, but it's really easy to make your own with ribbon and press studs.  Hey at least I sewed them in instead of using the little safety pins they came with!  

If I make this again I will make the neckline narrower, views A&B appear to have a smaller neck.  I'm also intrigued by views A&B, the notch in the sleeve looks a bit weird, but the colour blocking will be good for using up some up my many leftover bits of jersey.

Here is the skirt that I made a while back and have neglected due to a lack of tops to wear with it.  It is a very simple straight skirt from an ancient Burda that I like because it hangs straight,  yet doesn't need a walking split.  There is a similar one in 05/2016 - 120.  Both originally have a side zipper, but I move it to the back if I can as it's much easier to fit as I go that way.

I love the print on this fabric, sort of a close up gemstone print. and it should be easy enough to find other things to pair this with.  The fabric is a silk crepe so I underlined the pieces in silk satin to give it a bit more body.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Victory Patterns - Satsuki Top and Dress

You can tell I am starting to think about summer with all these loose, drapy patterns.  I've liked this one for ages and finally got around to downloading the pdf version.  While I find it a complete drag to print and tape pdf patterns it is fantastic to buy it and receive it moments rather than weeks later.

Satsuki (autocorrect keeps changing to satsuma, one is bound to sneak in this post) can be made as a top or dress and there are is also an unbelted version with a ruffle.  The shoulder cut outs are optional too so there are a few different variations you can make with this pattern.

I started with the belted top with no shoulder cutouts using a blue printed cotton and although it has a kind of stripe effect I didn't have enough fabric to match so I just ignored it, I figured it wouldn't matter too much in this style.  I raised the neckline a bit, but probably didn't need to, I think it would look better lower.  I really liked the print when I bought it (obviously!), but made up in this style it is in danger of veering into sort of tacky loud shirt territory.  Maybe with shorts and in a resort setting I will feel a bit more enthusiastic about it.

Against all commonly accepted rules, I find the best fabric for me to wear in our hot, humid summers is jersey which is why I boringly make lots of repeats in easy knit dresses, this is what I live in for half the year.  If the fabric has a print that isn't going to show up any sweat marks (sorry for TMI!) then even better.  So I was keen to try the dress version out in a printed ITY jersey.

I love how this dress feels to wear, but again it does feel a bit like a kaftan / pool cover up and I think it will take a bit of getting used to wearing in the city.  The pattern is really simple to sew and there are some great versions out there, I just don't love it yet as much as I wanted or expected to.