Thursday 24 October 2013

BurdaStyle 06/2008 - 109 Zip Top / Jacket & Patrones 272/48 Skirt

It seems that taking photos of myself is the bottleneck for this blog, I need to schedule more vacations!

Here are two pieces I made recently, not necessarily to be worn together.

First is this top / jacket from BurdaStyle 06/2008 - 109.  I had a remnant of black doubleknit and a fun patent zipper that needed using up and this pattern seemed to be the perfect match.  This isn't the kind of thing I would normally make or wear, but this was so much fun to put together and looks very RTW sportswear.

This is a very easy pattern to make, although to get Burda's results a coverstitch machine would be nice!  I made a size 38 with just one alteration.  The instructions are to simply turn the neck edge, but I decided to draft a facing which I topstitched down - my fabric is probably heavier than the one they used and I felt I needed something with more structure.  Although my zip was the perfect length in total the teeth come a bit short and the neckline on this top was already pretty low so I wanted to use the whole zipper length.  Alternatively I could have shortened the hem band I suppose.  The opening at the neckline does look a bit unfinished, I might look out for an interesting closure to fill the gap.

Confession time - after I had carefully sewn on the exposed zip, feeling rather pleased with myself at my straight stitching I zipped it up only to see that my pockets were horribly misaligned!  Unpicking the zipper would probably have left holes in it and I didn't fancy unpicking one of the pockets in this fabric either so I cheated and put some tape over the seams, offset to look they they match and added another row of topstitching where needed to make the two sides look the same.  

The neckline on this top is very low and loose fitting, there is no way you can wear it without something underneath it which is a bit annoying, but overall I am glad I used up fabric, zip and got to try something completely new (to me).

I'm still figuring out ways to wear the - what, top, jacket, cardigan?  I think it will work best as an hoodie alternative to throw on over workout clothes although the short sleeves probably rule that out for half the hemisphere at a time!  For the purposes of killing two birds with one stone I'm wearing it here with a simple stretch jacquard pencil skirt.

This was a remnant of some stretch fabric I picked up on a recent jaunt to HK's garment district (the rest of the fabric is a simple sheath dress, in the blogging queue).  The two sides of the fabric are different and I decided to play this up and use alternate sides on the centre and side panels, although the effect is quite subtle and can't be seen in my lousy modelling photos at all.

The fabric is so stretchy that I omitted the zipper and just did an elasticated faced waistband, using the exact method shown here.  You can see my chalk marks on the elastic below that I used to divide it into quarters and match to side and centres of the skirt.

The pattern is a panelled pencil skirt from Patrones issue 272 - #48, but it is such a basic skirt shape there are plenty of similar patterns around.  You really can't see the skirt details at all below, but here is the whole outfit.  I'm predicting this will be a workhorse skirt in my closet and I'm even starting to look forward to cooler weather so I can wear it with boots and a sweater.

Thursday 10 October 2013

Patrones 305/4 - Shorts

Here's something you don't see everyday on this blog - shorts!  In fact I don't think I've even worn shorts for about 10 years, but there is something about vacation dressing that I find quite liberating so I thought I would give it a go.

This is the same fabric that I used for my khaki pencil skirt so it has a bit of stretch to it.  The fabric remnant only cost me around US$ 5 so I was pretty happy with being able to squeeze two garments out of it, and aside from having to invest a bit of time this was the perfect fabric for a bit of experimentation.

To take it one step further I used a Patrones magazine pattern, pattern 4 from issue 305.  I have a couple of years worth of these Spanish pattern magazines and they do seem to like their shorts, this particular style came with a large photograph in the magazine which helped me figure out how to make them.

 I started with a size 42 (the sizing is different to Burda where I am a 38-40) which required very little alteration and I lengthened them by a good few inches.  Not ready for short shorts just yet, baby steps!

I speak practically no Spanish so I just winged it on the construction, but these went together fairly easily.  The only part that gave me trouble was the front waistband detail, I couldn't figure out how to get a neat and bulk free finish with the 3 separate pieces.  Then I realised that since the shorts have a side zipper I could just fake the look of the front.  I redrafted the waistband as a single piece with just a pleat where the buttons are, topstitching the edges of the pleat to mimic the original design.  This worked brilliantly if I say so myself, sometimes having no instructions can be a good thing and make you think for yourself.

These are the last of my Italy modelling photos, I do have a couple more things I made for the collection that didn't get worn so they will be coming soon and I will try and engineer some more interesting Hong Kong photos than the back of my front door.


Cats everywhere, I don't know who feeds them but they are all fatter than my own stay at home, do nothing all day moggies.  I realise this is a BurdaStyle kind of photo where you can't see the shorts at all, but well, cats!

This is inside the grounds of the Palazzo Pitti in Florence, one of the residences of the Medici family.

Thursday 3 October 2013

BurdaStyle Magazine 02/2006 - 113 / 114 Skirt

This is the 3rd time I have made this seamed pencil skirt, this time since it was in a khaki fabric I added the little, somewhat useless, but functional in theory, pocket at the hem.  (My husband looked at the finished skirt while it was on my cutting table and asked me where I was going to put the pocket.  Er, there.)

This version is actually a hybrid of pattern 02/2006 - 113 and 114 seen below though I can't recall which is which now.  I used the small, low pocket with the plain hemband.  I also left off the waistband and just drafted a facing by placing the finished fronts and backs onto fabric and cutting curved bands to fit.  The back is very plain with a centre back seam and invisible zip.  My pockets are lined with some scraps of silk.

I don't know why I didn't already have a khaki skirt in my wardrobe, I love it, so easy to wear, in fact I wore it on 2 days during the trip.

First waiting outside our hotel, which was about 3ks outside the city, for a cab to take us into Florence. these are the practical shots where you really get to see how the skirt looks.

In Florence outside a random giant door.  You probably can't see but I was feeling very pleased with myself here for finding a copy of La Mia Boutique at a news stand, it was the September issue and came with a free issue from November 2011.  I snapped it up and carried it around sightseeing the entire day.  Of course it turns out you can buy the magazine pretty much anywhere, I was able to get October's later in the trip too although I was a bit smarter and didn't buy it first thing in the morning.

My well travelled magazines! I'm a bit embarrassed to say that this was my only sewing purchase on the trip, sorry fabric fans!

I also wore the skirt on a half day trip to Pisa.  It seems I have gone from a person who did not understand the point of pockets, other than in coats, to not being able to keep my hands out of them.

You can't see the skirt here, but I thought I would include the obligatory leaning tower shot for fun!