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!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Speedy Black Tie Outfit ; BurdaStyle 07/2004 - 134 Long Skirt

We were invited last minute to a ball due to a cancellation (I'm not proud, if someone wants to give me a free ticket for a do at the Four Seasons, I'm in!).  We got invited on Thursday for the event on Saturday and my first thought was that it was a shame I didn't have time to make a new outfit as I love making stuff for special occasions.

This was soon followed by an impulse to make something anyway, just a simple sheath dress, but in a great fabric, maybe a nice brocade or lace.  Before dashing off to the fabric stores I thought I had better have a dig though my stash first just to check I didn't already have anything and I remembered this amazing stretch velvet I bought in Sydney back in February.  My husband was astonished that I could have forgotten about it so quickly, but hopefully you understand better!

This fabric is a stretch embossed jersey (I think, it looks like a burnout velvet, but I think the velvet is stuck on rather than a layer being taken off, if that makes any sense) so I changed my plans completely, but still needed something quick to make and not requiring muslins or tricky fitting.  The base is a deep indigo and the velvet spots are a raspberry through purple ombre effect - really difficult to photograph, but just gorgeous.

This is what I came up with.  The skirt is from way back in the archives - 07/2004 - 134, without the godets and the top is yet another version of the one in my last post (08/2011 - 126).  I knew I could make this fast.  The skirt is part of a completely over the top outfit, but if you just focus on the line drawings it is possible to see beyond the gold satin crop top!

Despite it being a quick make, I love how it turned out.  Admittedly the fabric is doing a lot of the work, but I really like the cut of the skirt, the shaping of the centre back seam makes it drape really nicely.  The skirt is lined with a non stretch silk so I needed to insert the zipper otherwise it would have been even quicker.

The only change I made to the 3rd version of my top was to eliminate the centre front seam so I didn't have to think about matching the dots.  The pattern is quite large and I doubt I would have had enough fabric anyway.  I finished the neck edge with a drafted facing of lightweight knit lining, clipping right into the v and topstitching to keep everything in place.

I was really comfortable all night, yet felt dressed up.  I have no idea when I will get to wear the whole outfit again, but I will be able to wear the top with other bottoms for less formal occasions.

This is a snap in the hotel lobby, I wore it with black satin sandals, pink sparkly earrings and a pink satin woven clutch bag.

Friday, May 1, 2015

BurdaStyle 08/2011 - 126 Dress (or not...)

Delving into Burda's archives here while I wait for 2015 issues to be more to my taste or for me to catch up with fashion.....

08/2011 - 126

This is one of those dresses that looks like a skirt and top, which after cutting out I decided to make into a skirt and top anyway!  Bit bonkers I know, but as I was putting it together two thoughts kept nagging away at me:
  • I never wear pencil skirts with the top tucked in
  • The skirt fabric I chose had such a great collection of colours that it seemed a shame to commit it to one top forever

I always maintain that you should try new things now and then so I did go so far as tacking it together and trying it on before confirming my gut feeling that my fabrics would be better off as separates.  Luckily this was an easy fix after unpicking the waist seam.  The top just needed a yoke band added onto the hem.  I had already raised the neckline by a massive 13.5cm, even Burda styled this with a cami underneath!

The recommended fabrics for the bodice are softly draping fabrics and the pattern has a side button fastening so it can be used with a woven, although both of Burda's versions and also mine use a knit - so I omitted the fastening.  You can see from the dressform side and back photos that there is quite a pronounced blousing effect.

I liked this top so much I immediately made another one from some leftover knit in my stash, I love clearing out those little pieces!  I cut the yoke band on the bias so I didn't have to worry about pattern matching (and, due to the bias I suppose, I see that I need to take it in a bit at the sideseams).  I did match the pattern down the centre front seam though.  I'm interested in trying it in a woven too.

The skirt is a basic pencil skirt, you could use any one.  I made a couple of changes from the pattern.  My skirt fabric had quite a large repeat and I didn't have enough to be able to match across a centre back seam so I eliminated that and shortened it a bit so that I could walk in it without needing a slit.  The zip is collapsing in on itself in the hanger photo below - it is a normal, symmetrical shape with a body in it!

I did a very lazy finish on the waist, I just added a strip of interfacing, folded it down and topstitched in place.  We'll see how robust it proves to be, hopefully it won't stretch out, I do like how completely unbulky it is.

I did quite a deep hem and planned it so that the machined hem almost disappears into the black part of the fabric.

As I mentioned above the colours in the skirt make this piece a great jumping off point for a mini wardrobe - black, navy, cobalt, cream, light blue and bronze.  I already have black and navy tops, need to work on the rest.....

Friday, April 17, 2015

Style Arc Jessica Dress

I know I should be over twist tops and dresses by now, but I still find them kind of fascinating and since I tend to live in jersey dresses in the summer, decided to give this one a whirl.

This fabric is a little thinner than I would normally wear for dresses, but for some reason I have a lot of it and there's only so many tops you can have from the same fabric.  It is about the same weight as the swatch that Style Arc provides with the pattern though and it feels divine - like silk jersey although I'm sure it isn't.

As usual for Style Arc the instructions are brief, but perfectly adequate for anyone with a bit of sewing experience and there is a diagram for the twisty bit.

I made a straight size 10, but I did need to add some stitching at the centre front neckline to keep it closed although now I see it in photos I think I will take it a bit lower.  With a less slippery fabric I think the twist would hold everything in place and it wouldn't need stitching at all.  I also think I am very short in the neck to chest department, necklines are often too low for me.

This is a bit longer than I usually wear my hemlines, but I'm trying this length out first, I can always shorten it in the future.  It goes together pretty quickly and I'd like to make another in a solid - when that will happen I don't know, I'm a bit of a magpie when I go fabric shopping and can't stay away from prints!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Jalie 3245

I knew it wouldn't be long before I tried out the sleeved version of this pattern as a casual top instead of workout gear.

This is view A in a very soft printed cotton jersey from the stash.  High fashion this is not, but it is an immensely practical and comfy wardrobe item (that makes me sound very old I know!).

Cutting out my sort of uneven striped fabric and focussing on pattern matching I stupidly cut two fronts by mistake and then didn't have enough to match the sleeves, it's not what I originally planned but it's OK.

Again I made a straight size V, but I raised the neckline at the centre front by about an inch tapering to nothing at the shoulders.  I also did a different, and to me, more conventional binding treatment on the neckline than the sporty look per the pattern instructions.  I simply finished one long edge of the binding on my serger and stitched it right sides together to the neckline.  Then I folded it to the inside and stitched it down with a twin needle - very easy to do and it lies nice and flat.

I'll say again this is a great pattern and it's also reminded me that I have a few more Jalie top patterns in my stash which will probably work for both casual and workout wear too.