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Monday, January 30, 2012

Jacket - Burda Style Magazine 01/2007 - 119

I chose this fairly classic style jacket from the 01/2007 issue of Burda magazine - I'm not sure why I had to go back quite so far to find the details I wanted, but it made tracing out the pattern much easier than the newer issues.  It is actually a pattern for tall women, but I made it with no alterations so if you are tall through the torso then beware!  I am 5'6 which I think is average or at least not tall.



Since tailored jackets are rather involved I'm splitting this post into two parts - here is my usual summary and photos.  For those who are interested in the inner workings of the jacket I will do a separate post showing photos from the inside before the lining went in.

My fabric is either a loosely woven metallic tweed or a boucle, I'm not sure where you draw the line between the two.  Anyway it looks like this:


And my lining looks like this:


Not having made a tailored jacket for some time I was a bit rusty and referred to the Singer Tailoring book I won in Pin Queen's giveaway last year and also to some notes I had from a speed tailoring course I did years ago in London with the English Couture Company (also available as a DVD).  

So I didn't even look at Burda's instructions for this jacket, but other than use speed tailoring techniques, the only changes I made to the pattern were:
  • Changed the pockets to double welt pockets with a flap just because the instructions for these were better in the book and I liked the look of the visible welt.  
  • Swapped the under and upper collar over so that there is no centre back seam on the top collar - I don't understand why but despite following the grainlines it just looked really strange and instead of seeing a sort of chevron pattern I could distinctly see one side of the collar with horizontal lines and one with vertical, I don't know if my fabric slipped while cutting or if it was just my eyes / imagination, but the easy option was to swap them over.  (You can sort of see the stripes that show in certain lighting in the fabric in the pocket photo above).

Overall I'm happy with how this came out, there are definitely things that could be done better and though I'm not going to lose any sleep over them, I'll cover those in my inner workings post coming up next.

I've styled the jacket very simply here so you can see it on me, but I think this can work in lots of different ways, either toned down as a grey jacket or spruced up a bit to bring out it's silver side.  I'm looking forward to experimenting while it's still cool enough to wear it.







Friday, January 20, 2012

Sneak Preview

To all the giveaway winners who have sent me their addresses, your patterns were posted today in a rare fit of organisation.

It's Chinese New Year next week and the way the days fall mean we have holidays here from Monday to Wednesday so a nice long weekend ahead to celebrate the Year of the Dragon.  In theory I could get lots of sewing done, but in reality I will probably get less done than usual so I wanted to give you a sneak preview of what I am working on.

Despite jackets being one of my favourite things to wear I haven't made one in ages.  All that is left to do is buying a button, sewing the buttonhole, hem & lining, but here are the bits that look finished!  This is, or rather will be, a BurdaStyle magazine pattern from 2007 made up in a grey metallic tweed.  I'll post full details when it is finished.






Kung Hei Fat Choy!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Pattern Giveaway Results

Thanks to everyone who responded to the giveaway and helped me make some room for new patterns!  I can see more pattern giveaways in my future.

Here are the results, please can you send your mailing address to me at alchurchman AT gmail DOT com.

1) V2463 ELMO
2) V2588 Coffee Addict
3) V2513 Sunny Optimist
4) V2679 Beth (Sunny Gal Studio)
5) V2074 Lynaeve
6) V2362 Ringadal
7) V9907 Meigan
8) V7682 Debbie Fox
9) B5173 Christine
10) B3397 Heather Rose-Chase
11) V7648 MAD14kt

Friday, January 13, 2012

Vogue 8379 Wrap Dress

I finally got around to making a successful version of this very popular wrap dress pattern - Vogue 8379.    My previous attempt was a bad mix of pattern and fabric placement although I did salvage a skirt out of it which I still have and wear regularly.  


I used a black, white and red zig zag printed ITY printed jersey, again from Fabric.com.  



I only had 2 yards of fabric and the long sleeved version required 2 3/4 yards and while I find I can usually use less fabric than the pattern envelope says, this was a big difference and some miracle working was needed.  As it turned out, on me, I prefer this dress with the changes I made.  I also think it looks more like the current Diane Von Furstenburg wrap dress shape.


Here is a summary of the changes I made;
  • Folded a large triangle out of the skirt pieces to make it less full at the hem but keeping the waist the same
  • Cut the skirt on the cross grain - I didn't need the stretch there and it actually looks better with the zig zags running vertically
  • I pieced the underlayer of the skirt front, the seam is hidden under the wrap
  • Eliminated the bodice facings like most people who have made this dress, I just turned and stitched
  • Shortened the skirt by around 4 inches and did a very small hem
  • Finished the skirt front edges with facing strips from the scraps
  • Left off the collar and cuffs
  • Not a fabric shortage issue but I took out some of the sleeve cap ease
This is an easy dress to make up, even I managed to finish it in an afternoon and I am really pleased with the end result.  The pattern is drafted with good wrap coverage both in the bodice and the skirt so is very wearable for a wrap dress.  Now for the photos!















Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sequinned T revisited

I wore my sequin t a few times over the holidays, it was a great item to have in my wardrobe.  There were quite a few sensible questions in the comments and I just wanted to answer them here so that they don't get missed even if it is a bit late to whip up one for New Years Eve.  Or you could just be very early for 2012!

On a related note what do people think is the best way for dealing with questions - should I put the answers as a comment, edit the post, send a reply to the commenter or put replies in a later post?

Jane - TNT means tried and true, basically a pattern that you have fitted and can use over and over.  I used the term here to mean that you can make a sequin t from any basic t pattern, you don't need to use the same one I did.

The other questions were all on the same theme;


Blogger a little sewing said...


Did you sew through the sequins, or did you pick them off on the stitching line

Blogger Cennetta said...


Question: What type of needle did you use?



Blogger The Slapdash Sewist said...

Any tips on not wrecking your scissors or machine with sequins? Did you have any trouble stitching over? Were you using a metallic needle? I just did a project with a knit mesh with a few sequins sprinkled on it and even those few sequins caused much groaning among my equipment.
Well this is a bit embarrassing, I am going to out-slapdash the Slapdash Sewist!  I did nothing special at all, just ploughed ahead without thinking to be honest as I wanted this to be a quick project.
  • I just hacked right through the sequins with my scissors (admittedly they will probably never be the same again, but they seem to be working fine.  (If yours are precious definitely use some old ones!).  
  • I shook off the sequins that came off easily, but certainly didn't diligently pick them all out of the seam allowance.  You would have to with beads which are more 3 dimensional and would definitely break your needle.
  • Speaking of needles, I used a bog standard universal needle, just what I already had in my machine and changed it afterwards.
Sorry I know this doesn't help very much!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Burda Style 02/2008 - 103 Knit Dress

This is one of the fall knit dresses I was pondering making at the end of 2011 and after reading your comments I decided to take the plunge.  I made the long sleeved version as shown in Burda's photo below, mine is a slightly quieter print!


 The only change I made to the pattern was to extend the underlayer of the skirt front all the way to the side seam so it is now basically a mock wrap.  There didn't seem to be much of an overlap and my big fear wearing a wrap dress is that a gust of wind will reveal everything so this seemed like a good solution.  This made hemming a bit fiddly, I needed to finish the hems before I could stitch the right side seam completely closed.  I confess I only realised this after I had stitched the right side seam completely closed!



The fabric is an ITY knit from fabric.com, I think I would prefer this dress in a heavier knit so that the collar had a bit more structure (and maybe the front twist would have more of a corset effect), but overall I am happy with how this turned out and I'm sure it will get lots of wear this winter.

Close up of raglan sleeves and collar

Close up of front twist detail - bit lost in this print

I really really tried to do a different pose but they just looked silly so it's back to the old standby!

Next Vogue 8379, the classic wrap dress with some modifications due to severe fabric shortages!

(For those of you with good memories, I am still determined that the Burda 11/11-119 3.5 dot dress will not become a UFO, the sleeves are off which I hope will fix my fitting problems).

Friday, January 6, 2012

2011 Year in Review

I'm really enjoying reading the 2011 reviews posted by other bloggers so I thought I'd go back over my blog and jump on the bandwagon.  What an interesting exercise - for me at least, I learnt a lot.

This year I am not going to make any grand statements about making wardrobes or listing out the next few projects I have planned because it seems I never follow them through!  I also need to branch out a bit from black and blue!
(Link to album here)


I've never done this before but think it will be interesting to compare with next year so here are some stats of completed items.  For someone who thinks and reads about sewing a lot, 28 completed items seems kind of low, either I am even slower than I thought or I am a bad blogger and have missed a few things out.


Unsurprisingly, 2011 was the year of the dress continuing on from my discovery last year that dresses don't necessarily have to be dressy.  They are now a major part of summer dressing for me, this year I am going to incorporate them into my winter wardrobe (uh oh was that a grand statement I made there, never to be fulfilled?).

I thought this was a fantastic year for Vogue designer patterns and not such a good year for BurdaStyle.  My count is still quite high thanks to back issues but I am optimistic this year will be better if the last few issues are anything to go by (hopefully not another grand statement!).













Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year Giveaway

Happy New Year everyone, here's to another great sewing year.  I've just got back from my trip and have a huge amount of blog posts to catch up on.  I don't want to miss anything so I will try and look through them all but forgive me if comments are a bit thin on the ground for a while.  I'm especially loving the 2011 annual reviews.


Having been the lucky recipient of 2 giveaways at the end of last year I thought I would kick off 2012 with a pattern giveaway.  Some of these are the wrong size for me, duplicates or just no longer fit my lifestyle.  No rules, no restrictions, I'd just like these to go to someone who will use them.  Leave a comment with the pattern you would like to win & I'll do a random draw if there is more than one name per pattern.  I will do the draw on Monday 16th Jan Hong Kong time so get your comments in by Saturday 14th to cover all timezones!

Just one thing to note - a peek in the envelopes tells me all these patterns are uncut, but I haven't opened them all to double check.


1) Vogue 2463 Bill Blass Jacket & Pants, Size 14-16-18

2) Vogue 2588 Calvin Klein Jacket & Pants, Size 14-16-18

3) Vogue 2513 Guy Laroche Jacket & Skirt, Size 12-14-16

4) Vogue 2679 NYNY Tops and Pant, Size 8-10-12

5) Vogue 2074 Easy Options skirts and tops, Size 14-16-18

6) Vogue Wardrobe, Evening pieces, Size 12-14-16 (envelope in a sorry state but pattern & instructions are fine).

7) Vogue 9907, Jacket/Coat, Size 14-16-18 (some damage to envelope)

8) Vogue 7682 Vogue Woman Jacket, Pants, Skirt, Size 8-10-12

9) Butterick 5173 Maggy London knit dress, Size 8-10-12-14 (This pattern was reissued due to a printing error, this is the revised & corrected version).

10) Butterick 3397 Fast & Easy Basics, Fly front skirts, pants and shorts, Size 14-16-18

11) Vogue 7648 Wide legged mock wrapped pantskirt (or long skort if you like), Size 12-14-16