Tuesday 23 August 2016

BurdaStyle 08/2016 - 128 Pencil Skirt

This is skirt 128 from the August issue, another great release in 2016, I am just loving Burda this year having hated 2015!  There is also a view (129) with a deeper waistband and a curved hem that I may try.

I made this in a stretch denim and for some reason I really wanted to make it midi length so I just lengthened it from the hem.  This should work well in cooler weather too.

The curved panel seams are topstitched with a grey topstitching thread so they stand out, but regardless the seams give the skirt a great shape and fit.  That said, I've only just noticed on seeing these photos that on my dressform you can hardly see the upper yoke pieces in the front view.  I think this is because I cut a 38 at the waist and a 40 below and then adjusted the side seams to fit me.  Somehow on me the side seam is at least in the right place, but I guess I have lost a portion of that upper piece which is the same pattern piece for all sizes.  I think I will retrace the front and side front in a size 38 and only add a bit extra at the side seams.  

(Funnily enough Burda, in its own unique way, calls these wandering panel seams and mine do appear to have done just that!).

Those upper yoke parts are the only slightly tricky bit to sew - I stitched a line just inside the seam allowance on the yoke and then clipped into the seam allowance.  You can then straighten out that curve and easily join it to the side front panel.

The back is comparatively plain although I did also topstitch the seams there.  

It turns out that dark denim is as hard to photograph as black so despite lightening these photos it's still kind of hard to see anything, sorry!!  But don't let that put you off making this one up, it's a great pencil skirt pattern and I will definitely be making it again once I've retraced those front pieces - I'll let you know if my theory is right!

Friday 5 August 2016

BurdaStyle 02/2013 - 103 & 104 Halter Dress

My dress is a hybrid of these two versions of the same pattern.

BurdaStyle 02/2013 - 103 or 104 (same pdf pattern)

This is another one of my China fabric purchases, a bold panel print in what is allegedly a silk linen blend.  You have to take some of these descriptions with a pinch of salt, but it seems like it could be right, it feels like a softer, slubbed silk organza.  In any case it was the print I fell for, it reminds me of a blown up digitised flower, but who knows?

Here is one panel of the print, it's big, I had to stand on a chair to capture it!

I originally intended to make a sheer kimono type jacket, but I couldn't find a pattern that was just right.  Instead I rediscovered this simple halter dress I've long admired that would show off the print without breaking it up.  I made the version with the front slit, but used the full width of the fabric as the length which ended up being a long midi.

Being sheer fabric I lined it with an off white silk satin and I used french seams in both layers.  After sewing the arm and neck bindings, I hand finished it on the inside by just catching the bindings to the lining so no stitching is visible on the outside of the dress, except for the hem where I just did a narrow machine hem.

This is an easy dress to sew, but fitting the bodice gave me a lot of trouble.  Something I've noticed before is that I am shorter from the bust to the shoulder than Burda's sloper.  Burda has some famously low necklines anyway and I alter those almost as a matter of course, but for most styles it doesn't matter.  It did for this one.  My dress form was a godsend here - before I attached the neck binding I pinned and altered until it fit. I ended up taking around 2cm off the top of the front bodice pieces. and gathering it more than suggested.

Of course the dress form is great, but it doesn't move and I am finding there is still a bit of gaping above the bust when I am not standing like a soldier!  In a moment of experimentation I tried it on backwards and it seems to be much better which makes absolutely no sense at all, but whatever works!  

Maybe I got confused while making it and cut the slit in the back as for view 103 rather than in the front?  It's definitely possible, I'm sure I messed up the length of the neckline binding as it's much too short and there is no way I can tie it in a bow like the line drawing.  Another good reason to wear the dress "backwards"!

You can see where I still have a bit of a gaping issue on my left side here.

I decided not to do the shirring only because I thought with the lining it wouldn't work very we'll, instead I will wear it with a belt.  

Despite the fitting problems, I have to say I love the finished dress, it's quite a different style for me, although really the print is doing all the work. 

And here it is on backwards!  Or the right way, I'm really not sure anymore.