Wednesday 30 January 2013

BurdaStyle 01/2011 - 126 Jacket

Thank you everyone who commented on my jacket, and to those of you who patiently waited for it to get finished.  Next it was time for something easy....

I recently decided that my fabric stash needed some plain sensible things in there so I stocked up on some black, red and grey crepes.  This is all well and good for my wardrobe but the reality is I much prefer buying and sewing with prints and unusual fabrics.  So I allowed myself to get two fun pieces, this blue / rainbow boucle sweater knit and a crazy cloud print fabric that you will see on here soon.  Maybe.

With our winters being so short I thought it would be smart to get onto the sweater knit straight away, I knew I wanted a cosy cardigan and went through all my Burda magazines till I decided this one was the best suited for me (01/2011 - 126).  I love the look of waterfall cardigans on other people but I've had to come to the conclusion that they do me no favours so this straight fronted one was the winner.

Evidently I had decided this way back in winter 2011 as when I pulled out the magazine I found it was already traced.  This of course was a nice bonus, but I could have saved myself more time if I had remembered.  Never mind, it was good to make sure nothing better had come along since, right?

I shortened the pattern considerably, to around 30" in total so it was more a jacket and less a full length coat.  Otherwise it is a very quick and easy sew and there is really nothing to say about it construction wise other than I decided to hand hem it so no stitches would show.  This was probably a waste of time of this fabric, but at least the hem didn't get stretched out and I didn't have to be too neat with my handsewing anyway.

There is plenty of ease in this jacket - partly what makes it so easy to make - I made a 38, my usual size and could probably have gone down a size, this is not a sleek slimming cardigan but it definitely fulfills the cosy brief.  I just have one regret that only dawned on me when taking these photos and trying to find something to do with my hands - I wish I had added pockets!  (Tough - I have no spare fabric left and I do not fancy unpicking anything on this fabric).

Thursday 24 January 2013

BurdaStyle 08/2008 - 115 Jacket

I FINALLY finished my jacket.  I expect you need a reminder of the pattern, it's this one from BurdaStyle 08/2008, and what I love about it - all those details and buttons is also why it took so darn long to finish.

This pattern has only a partial lining which seems daft in a wool jacket so I drafted my own based on the partial lining pieces and the full pattern pieces.  That's really all I am going to say about it because I either did something very wrong or my silk lining moved during cutting because I had a heck of a time getting it in without causing the outer shell to pucker.  In the end I handsewed the hem of the lining to the jacket and made it work, but the result is not pretty!  I underlined the peplum piece so that bit at least is OK.  I also like the two coloured lining, although I fully admit that was because I didn't have enough navy to hand.

The lapels are cut as separate pieces from the jacket (rather than having a roll line) which makes it much easier to get a nice looking collar but it does create some bulk in the seam joining the jacket to the lapels.

I left out the front pockets because I knew I would never use them, but I still did real buttonholes everywhere, which my machine was not happy about in some places.  I even made 6 buttonholes in the front before noticing the instructions only require 3 - you just sew one column of the buttons onto the front of the jacket and fasten it inside with a single button.  Oh well.

All that said, I really like the finished jacket, it's a classic - especially in navy wool - with a twist in the details and the back peplum.

And now to get to all those other things I have been tracing and cutting....

Saturday 19 January 2013

Up and Running

I finally have my sewing room ready for operation!  Aesthetically there is plenty of room for improvement, but practically it is great.  Have a tour....

My new desk, it's wide enough for 2 (or even 3) machines, but not very deep so I can put the presser foot cables down the back, and there is plenty of room in the front drawers for various sewing notions.  I think I will make one into thread storage if I can find the right dividers.  Quite proud of myself for managing to put this together - if the people who wrote self assembly furniture instructions moved over to Burda we would all be much happier!  I'll probably get a chair on wheels in the future, but for now our old kitchen stools work fine and can be raised if I want to sit at the higher cutting table.

I'm making good use of the bay window area as a pressing station.  Admittedly it's a bit of a Heath Robinson arrangement with a folded ironing board propped up on a spare folding table, but it is stable, at the right height and saves space.

The other corner for my dressform, and those are full closets all along the right hand side for storing everything.  One has been pinched by my husband but that is probably a good thing and will stop me filling it up with fabric.

I'm making progress on my jacket, I'm at the slow and boring end bit, feel free to give me some virtual encouragement / kick in the pants to get it finished!

Thursday 10 January 2013

More cutting table photos

For those of you interested in the cutting table I gushed about, I have taken some more photos for you here.  I purchased this in the UK back in the 90's and I'm sorry I don't have a clue who I bought it from, I think I met the supplier at a sewing expo.

I am sure these days there is more availability  - a quick google search for folding craft table brought up this lot.  Also people have done some amazing DIY and come up with designs of their own, lots of examples on the rather brilliant Ikea Hackers site here. (I promise I am not on Ikea's payroll!).

My table is quite large, the centre section is 21 x 40 inches and each folding bit is 26 x 40 inches.

The middle section has a slot for cutting mats - mine has mysteriously vanished in the move but it is a really useful place for stashing rolls of tracing paper etc. too.  There are also drawers - one side has 5 drawers, and the other has two drawers and a cupboard with a slide out bottom for a machine.

The legs are gate leg style on casters for easy folding and the centre section is also on casters.

Wednesday 9 January 2013

Awards & My New Sewing Space

Firstly a huge thank you to Cennetta at The Mahogany Stylist and Piakdy at The Overflowing Stash for the Lovely Blog award.  Now I am quite late to getting around to these so I am going to cheat a bit on the rules - I have enjoyed reading others top 5 inspirations for 2012 posts so I want to point out 5 that have a bit of a Burda twist in case you haven't come across them already.  This is how my blog reader has an almost unmanageable number of feeds, but I wouldn't have it any other way.  So in addition to the two great blogs above you should also check out;

Aventuras de Costuras - This talented lady not only blogs in two languages she makes some amazing clothes, check out the BurdaStyle designer coat she made here.

Made by Meli88a - A bit of Burda, a bit of Vogue, a lot of everything fabulous, like this electric blue dress.

Sew Skate Read - The monthly reviews of BurdaStyle are superb and I often spot things I had overlooked, or just enjoy sharing a laugh at Burda's moments of madness.  There is even a year end wrap up here.

Chanel no6 - Great writing, as you would expect from an author and perhaps less expected, wearing LBD's in the snow!

Burda Addicts - a collection of reviews of Burda patterns, it's in french but you can see the photos and the pattern numbers which is good enough even if you don't understand a word.

I've made some progress sorting out my sewing room / guest room.  Actually I even tried to palm off the guest sofa bed into my husband's study, but that ended in near disaster with me trapped in the study and the sofa bed wedged in the doorway for about 30 panic stricken minutes!  I don't really have anywhere to put my sewing machines yet, they are just propped on a bay window which makes for very uncomfortable sewing, but It is lovely to have my folding cutting table back out of storage and while not much sewing has been happening there has been lots of tracing and cutting.  I've ordered a desk from Ikea which is due to arrive next Tuesday and then I'll be properly back in business.

I love this thing so much I can overlook the 1990's pine.  It travelled with me from London in 2001 and has spent the last 4 years of it's life in a storage warehouse.  Welcome back old friend! (note the deceptively large sofa bed lurking in the background!)

Um yeah, currently a mess but only till next Tuesday, assuming my self assembly skills are up to the job.