Wednesday 20 March 2013

BurdaStyle 02/2013 - 126 Knit Top

I like to give my posts simple boring titles so I can easily go back and find what I want - an added bonus is that the spambots seem to be less likely to find it.  Anyway a more complete title for this post would be:

BurdaStyle 02/2013 - 126 Knit Top + Print Fabric Binge + Reader Testing Update + Award

but that would be silly.

So, first the top - this is proving to be a very popular make from February's BurdaStyle magazine, and with good reason.  It's quick and easy to make and has just a bit more interest that your average t shirt with it's gathered raglan sleeves, a simple but effective detail.

I used up a leftover piece of knit in my stash which always feels good.  I made a straight size 38 which fits well, but I found it to be really long so chopped a good few inches off the hem - you can see above that the garment looks a lot longer than the line drawing.  After wearing I can also say I should have pulled the neck binding in a bit tighter, but I can live with it.  Other than that there is not a lot to say about the construction, I definitely recommend giving this pattern a try, I'm sure I am going to make it again.  

Sleeve detail, the neckline is bound with self made binding.
Fabric binge
Do you remember last time I went to the fabric market in Sham Shui Po I bought sensible solid pieces.  Perhaps that wasn't a good idea because I went print mad this time.  But you never know what you are going to find so you just have to snap these pieces up when you can.  That's my story and I am sticking to it!

Love this collageit application, clockwise from top left we have:

  • the whole pile - I plan on using these next so they can stay out
  • bird prints (a bit 2 seasons ago, but I don't care!), really love the cotton on the right
  • slinky jerseys, the one on the left is now almost a dress, the middle a top
  • grey/black/white, I really like the digital printed pansy silk in the middle, actually what am I saying I love them all!
  • my favourite, if you took a photo of a parrotfish, blew it up (the photo not the fish) and printed it on silk this is what you end up with
  • a bit more up to date - this season's emerald colour leopard chiffon and a mint cotton lace

Reader experiments
It was great to get all your feedback on the last post and I'm also getting lots of information on other blogs.  I am currently using Feedly which now I have worked out where the menu and preference settings are (3 little lines on the left and wheely thing on the right respectively) am finding it OK.  At the moment - but not after 1 July obviously - it grabs data from and syncs 2 ways with google reader.  Unfortunately I hadn't fully grasped this in my early experiments and inadvertently marked as read a bunch of posts I had saved to comment on later and of course now I can't recall whose they were.  So now I am just sticking with feedly for the time being.  Gail, I will try and add a subscription thingy to my blog.

Last but by no means least I was lucky enough to get a Lovely Blogger award from Sewing in Athens.  Thank you!  These awards are always such a great way of finding new blogs and this one is no exception, I love her tagline "How many dresses are too many", a question I should probably ask myself more often.  Go check out her blog here, the latest post is for a gorgeous Patrones pussy bow blouse.

Friday 15 March 2013

Just testing readers

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I have no idea why I need to do this, but am roadtesting some new readers thanks to those buggers at google.  This is bloglovin which looks like it will drive me nuts since you can't see whole posts in the reader and have to go clicking off on each one.

I'm also testing feedly and I tried newsblur but hated that at first glance, I don't want to see whats on youtube, twitter and wikipedia thank you.  Anyway I'll be keeping an eye out to see what everyone else is trying and praying someone out there comes up with something that is just an exact copy of google reader by July 1.


Thursday 7 March 2013

BurdaStyle 02/2006 - 114 Denim Skirt

I decided my wardrobe was missing a denim skirt, specifically a denim pencil skirt.  I feel that denim needs topstitching and therefore seams so I dug around through previously made patterns till I found this one from 2006.  it has a few variations none of which exactly match mine - this is the closest, I just left off the front pockets.

My denim has a bit of stretch to it and the topstitching is a silver-grey rayon thread just because I happened to have it on hand and it stood out well against the denim, I hope it will be strong enough.  

Other than switching threads on my sewing machine this is like most pencil skirts, a simple sew.

I finished the inside of the waistband and also the pocket linings with a printed cotton fabric to reduce bulk in those areas.

I think the fabric will benefit from a few more washes to soften it up a bit, it's a bit stiff and prone to wrinkling at the moment.  Nevertheless I think this is really going to fill a hole in my wardrobe, I can just pull out this neutral skirt and pretty much any top and be ready to go.

Look, real pockets, albeit rather useless ones.

The top in these pictures (not that you can see it) is the popular gathered raglan sleeve t shirt from 02/2013 more to come on that next.

Friday 1 March 2013

BurdaStyle 12/2012 - 112 Dress

This was the cover dress from the December 2012 issue, I am a sucker for these kind of draped details and funny shaped pattern pieces so it went on the seemingly ever growing list of things to make.

This pattern was the sewing course for the month so it has (relatively) detailed instructions and diagrams.  While this was pretty helpful, I did get the impression that whoever wrote the instructions started off very detailed and then either got bored, ran out of time or ran out of space.  This is a 3.5 dot pattern which Burda describes as "Advanced level sewing, with special features", but a lot of space is devoted near the beginning to putting in an invisible zip, which even if you didn't know how to do is pretty generic and can be looked up easily.  Then you follow lots of diagrams which suddenly go from a picture that vaguely resembles a dress front to one that looks completely finished!  Still I did manage to follow it - I think - so I shouldn't complain too much.

This is a tall pattern, but it was too difficult to figure out how to alter the bodice so the only changes fit wise I made were to the sleeves which were extremely long and tight (I just swapped them for another Burda sleeve) and to leave off the hem allowance on the skirt pieces.

I must admit I was pretty ambivalent about this dress, verging on disappointed even until I put it on and took the photos below.  This is one of those rare garments that I feel looks better in photos than in real life - it would really benefit from a lining, but drafting one to fit is a bit beyond my skill level / patience threshold.  My fabric is a poly crepe which has the right sort of drape, but still feels a bit flimsy without a lining.

Hemming this was a challenge, I used the hem marker attachment on my dressform for the first time ever and it turned out OK so if nothing else I discovered something useful.  I just did a narrow machine hem on the skirt - I'm going to go back and do the same on the sleeves which currently have a hand hemmed finish but it isn't as smooth and invisible as I'd like.

Despite all these picky points, I think the dress will grow on me, I just need a gap between finishing it and appreciating it!