Monday, March 31, 2008

Burda World of Fashion 2/2008 #123

I made these tops a couple of weeks ago and finally posted them. I am not going to do my standard review form but point out some highlights.

First top I used some leftover knit from another top and used solid black for the bands. I did not have enough of the black or the print ot make the rolled collar. I just used a bit of black as the binding and I am pleased with this.

Second time, just like the picture but my rolled collar is not wide enough. The fabric is a lovely rayon jersey from Joann's. I wore this last night with a khaki jacket, chunky necklace and felt very chic. This is a fun, fast top.


Thanks all for the wonderful comments on my daughter's trench and my skirt. For some reason, I am unable to respond to your comments. I want you to know I read each one of them and thank you for taking the time to post.

Here are a few responses - first for the skirt:

Keely wrote:

Would a line of stitching down the very edge of the pleat work? I think this would work perfectly, in fact after I stitched the skirt to the yoke, I thought about doing this. I was too lazy to unsew and stitch down the pleats. This would be a cute look, to topstitch the first 3-4" on the pleats with the contrasting thread.

Belinda and Rose:

Pointed out that none of the 2004 issues are in the archives for English. I can get the German site to post a picture on this blog. This is on my to-do list, thanks.

Grandma Connie's pleat suggestion

Finish the skirt as you normally would including hemming. Then on the inside fold of each pleat, on the wrong side of the fabric, top stitch just in the hem allowance of the pleat. That forces the inside fold to go the way it should and allows the outside fold to do it's own thing (which you can tame by hammering it flat and then using lots of steam and a clapper. Makes perfect sense, Connie, thank you.

Now for the Trench coat:

Lashell wrote:

One note on the sleeve, it is not your fabric it is the pattern. I'm working on the same jacket using a stretch cotton sateen and I also had trouble easing in the cap. Thanks for sharing this, nice to know it wasn't just me.

Now a bit on the color, I can't take full credit for the combination. My daughter's favorite color is orange. In fact her room has this orange and aqua on the bed linens. Think Tommy Hilfiger orange. Anytime I can find her orange, we get it! So I knew the orange trench had to have aqua topstitching.

Thanks again.

Friday, March 28, 2008

My New Jacket

No, I didn't make it. I went into Ann Taylor Loft for a quick look and this was on the sale rack. $59.99 regular price, I got it for $34.99.

I went to the mall to buy dd#2 Under Armor coldgear track tights. I did bring those home, too, and boy, did she need them for our very cold track meet tonight.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Burda World of Fashion 11/2004 #113 Skirt

Pattern Review

Pattern: BWOF 11/2004 #113 skirt I could not find a fullsize photo on Burda's website. Here is a link for the thumbnails on the Burda site, you can click on the picture. It was not working at the time I was publishing this blog post.

Description: The skirt in this issue is made of suede, so the description pertains to that: “The suede skirt also has that special something: It is outfitted with a group of pleats on one side and with a wide yoke in lambskin nappa worked like a trouser/pant waistband.

Sizing: 34 to 44, I made a 38. After completing the yoke, I tried on the skirt and felt is was too tight at my lower hips (the bottom of the yoke). I let out each side seam about ¼” and the fit was better that night. Well, after completing the garment, I feel this wasn’t a necessary adjustment. But better safe than sorry, now I can eat that bag of Hershey bars I brought home!

Instructions: The instructions are pretty good, in fact the sewing course is for skirt #112, which has the same yoke construction. The only thing to watch is the direction of the pleats (see the line diagram). I marked my pleat direction on the wrong side of the fabric but I should have marked it on the right side as per the pattern piece. I basted and then pressed my pleats only to find out they were the wrong direction.

Likes/Dislikes: I really like the construction of the yoke. The pocket piece is made of lining/quilting fabric and constructed like any yoke pocket. The like is the side hip yoke with pocket piece. This piece is the same size as the front yoke but does not have the curve out for the pocket. Your yoke looks lined from the inside. The pocket is stitched to the hip yoke piece and ta-da the pocket is hidden between the front yoke and the hip yoke. See the picture below for the picture is worth a 1000 words explanation! Can you see the one piece (wrong side) that is the hip yoke piece. Click on the picture to enlarge and you can see the stitching line of the pocket.

I also like the style, a denim skirt with a bit a dressy flair.
My only dislike is the front pleats aren’t laying the best at the hem. I might baste them at the bottom for a few days. You see that in RTW on pleated skirts, this might help hold the shape.

Changes: The fabric was my biggest change, no suede for this skirt. I did add 3” to the bottom to make sure it was long enough. Once again, I took this extra length off and hemmed it with a 5/8” hem turned twice.

Fabric: An incredible denim from Gorgeous Fabric. This is a nice lightweight denim for spring and summer and I think I have enough to squeeze out a pair of Ottobre jeans.

Conclusion: A fun skirt that went together quickly

Front picture, you can see I need to work on the pleats at the hem. The line drawing does show the pleats pressed the entire length of the skirt.

Back view, pleats are behaving better here.
Pocket, waistband and topstitching details.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

McCall"s 5525- Pattern Review

Pattern: McCall’s 5525

Description: Misses’ and Women’s lined jackets, coats and belt: Semi-fitted, lined, double-breasted jacket and coat have collar, lengths and sleeve variations, shoulder pads, princess seams and side front pockets. Coats B, D and E have back vent, jackets A, C, coats, B, D, E have belt carriers; jacket C, coat E have epaulets with button closure; coat E has pocket flaps with button trim, jacket C, coat E have collar tab; jacket C has front yoke, jacket C, coat E have back buttoned yoke; coats B, E, jacket C have sleeves with button bands, jacket A, C, coast B, D, E have topstitch trim, button closure, jackets A, C and coast D, E have self-tie belt. Description from the pattern envelope.

Sizing: Misses’ 8 to 16 and Womens’ 18W to 24W. I made my 18 year-old daughter a size 10.

Instructions: I really thought the instructions were quite good and the steps were in a nice order. There are many views so pay close attention to which view you are making and the correct instructions. This is the first McCall’s pattern I have made in quite awhile but found it to be a good pattern. I thought many of the basic sewing steps were included: staystiching, basting, topstitching, to name a few. The pocket instructions for the side front pockets were easy-to-follow with nice diagrams. Do note on the side front pockets, the bottom buttons are at the pocket levels. So if you sew all the way through with the buttons, the pocket will be closed.

Likes/Dislikes: I loved the style of the pattern plus all the variations you can make it your own. Just read the description again, to appreciate the variations and boggle the mind the mind a bit. The princess seams are plus for fitting needs.

I really didn’t have any dislikes. Well, one, it does take some time to cut out. Many pattern pieces for the coat, lining and interfacing.

The sleeve was very difficult to ease, not a fault of the pattern but the fabric.

Changes: I made view C but due to fabric restrictions, I had to eliminate the the front yoke and back vent. In the end, I really like the coat without these elements. I also decided to eliminate the sleeve bands and the epaulets, just too many design elements. I didn't think my daughter would want a coat that appeared busy instead I wanted a more subtle yet classic design with the bright fabric for her age.

I wanted a self-fabric belt but wanted it to stand out from the coat. I decided to topstitch the belt to make it a bit different from the fabric.
My topstitching thread is two strands of rayon embroidery thread, which proved to be a nice thickness for sewing. The bobbin is sewing thread in a matching color. The rayon top thread and the sewing thread bobbin did pose one problem. I was topstitching the front opening and realized the bobbin thread would show when the front was folded back for the collar/facings. My solution was to mark the placement of the belt on the front, I then was able to sew with the rayon thread on the right side (the side that would show) and it met under the belt. I hope this makes sense. I sewed with the facing up for the folded back collar part for the top half until the belt marking, then turned the coat over with the outside of the coat up and stitched from the belt marking to the bottom of the jacket.

Also, the pattern does not have you bind the edge of the front facing at the point where the lining will not cover. I used a bit of the lining cover and did a binding at this point. One other change, was a bit of ribbon for a hanging loop.

Finally, buttons proved to be a challenge with the orange fabric. I could not find a match for the orange fabric or aqua topstitching, solution – self-covered buttons. I interfaced a section of fabric and topstitched rows 3/8” apart.

Sizing changes:
I should have made a broad back alteration. This daughter is a softball pitcher (fastpitch) and has broad shoulders/back from all the pitching. At the first fitting, we knew she needed more room. I let out the CB seam and that seemed to be plenty. Another thing she noticed and didn’t care for were the armholes. My daughter said they were very tight, so I stitched between the notches, 3/8” deeper armholes and she liked this change.

I tried on this jacket for fitting purposes, we are very similar in size, and I would like to make this jacket for myself. I thought the sleeves ran very short, I am 3” taller than my daughter, so that is some of the difference but I would probably add 2” to the sleeve length.

Fabric: An interesting find from Wal-Mart, it feels like somewhat waterproof fabric. The fabric does not ravel and is dense. I used a 90 needle, this was due to the fabric and the ease of threading 2 rayon threads for the topstitching. The lining was a silky-type Joann’s find. I was going to use this for me but the it worked too perfectly for the jacket. I did fuse interfacing to the entire orange jacket fabric, it added some weight to the fabric and the fusible interfacing prevented the lining from showing through.

Conclusion: A fun, rewarding project that made my teenage daughter very happy. Orange is her favorite color and when I first started this project, she walked into my sewing room. Right away in a very excited voice she states, “What are you making?” I reply a jacket. I didn’t expand and say a jacket for you. The next night I tell her to come into the sewing room, then I explain it is for her and I need her to try it on. Then much more excitement and she stays in my sewing room for quite some time, asking questions about my sewing equipment and sewing notions. A fun evening for both of us, maybe I should sew another garment for her!

My only concern is the fabric is prone to wrinkles, this might drive me crazy each time my daughter wears it. I hope the wrinkles give the appearance the fabric is suppose to be that way!

topstiched belt, covered buttons, topstitching:
Hanger loop from ribbon:
Lining and the binding on the facing:

One more note, this jacket too all week and a weekend. I snuck into my sewing room each day to work on it. This was a fun project, that was quite challenging. I do believe I am ready for a quick knit shirt but first I need to finish a BWOF denim skirt. Review soon!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Burda World of Fashion 1/2008 #122 Artist's Shirt

Pattern Review

Pattern: Artist’s Shirt from BWOF 1/2008 #122

Description: From Burda’s website: This wide blouse in sporty polo-shirt style is ideal for wearing over trousers/pants. The wide 3/4-length sleeves have narrow cuffs to gather in the fabric and conjure up a restrained "boule look".

Sizing: 36 to 42, I made a 38

Instructions: The instructions were really pretty good for Burda World of Fashion. You can find Pattern Review
for this shirt on Pattern Review and I suggest taking a look at these for helpful hints. I did go to Brigitte website via a link on Pattern Review for help with the placket. Brigitte has a very helpful tutorial. I decided to thread trace the pleats and used different color of thread for the pair. Here is a picture:

This made the construction of the pleats very easy. I also traced the sewing lines on the bands. The placket and the front bands are an important detail on this shirt and I wanted my bands to match and be the same width.

Likes/Dislikes: I love the style of the shirt and the way it goes together. It does help if you trace and cut out all the pattern pieces. I left out one of the sleeve pieces and was so happy I had enough fabric to cut it out. My only dislike it the placket is last. The most difficult part of the blouse and you could ruin the entire blouse on the last step!

Changes: I had the pleasure of interviewing Susan Khalje for the Episode 25 of the Sew Forth Now Podcast and her enthusiasm for couture and finishing details inspired me on this top. I flat felled the seams and I have to say the inside of my top looks incredible. There were times during the construction, I would really have to look closely to differentiate the right and wrong side. Take a look at the wrong side:

I also added 1" to the sleeves and 4" to the length.

Fabric: A wonderful shirting from Fashion Fabrics Club

Conclusion: Very fun pattern, it was a bit more difficult to construct. I did enjoy the process, at time BWOF is similar to putting together a jigsaw puzzle, you can’t wait to see the end result. Speaking of end results, here is mine:

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

One More Present

My niece's first present was mailed today. I am so excited, it should reach her in time for her sleepover AG party with her little girlfriends. Won't she be excited to wear her new pajamas and have her doll match, too? I can't wait to see pictures. How fun for her.

I hurried home from work this afternoon to make one more present for Miss J. I made the blouse from Ottobre 2/2005 # 11. The doll top is Simplicity 7083 view I. Fabric is Denyse Schmidt, I am liking these polka dots.

Close up of doll top. I added the shirring to the waist area. I wanted to match her top.
Waist detail on Miss J's top. Two rows sewn with elastic thread in the bobbin. I had just a bit of light blue ribbon. My lucky day.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Birthday Present

My wonderful niece was 9 this past weekend and I am late getting her present in the mail. I asked her what she wanted - AG doll clothes or Bratz dolls. She does like the matching outfits. I just finished some pajamas for her and her AG doll. I was going for that boutique look, not quite there but they are pretty cute. I used Ottobre 4/2005, #18, nightgown. I cut it off more at tunic length, made the sleeves short and added some touches. I did make the top a couple of sizes bigger, that pattern is for a knit and pjs are suppose to be comfy not tight. This project went together so quickly, plus I had all the extras I wanted/needed. Pink piping for the yoke, ribbon for the pants, black snaps for the top and all the right widths of elastic. My lucky day! The pants are from a Simplicity Lizzie McGuire pajama pattern. I had cut them on a size 8 line and my niece needs about a 10-12 so, I just graded up.

Close-up of yoke:
I am going to make her another top from Ottobre and a matching doll top but I want to get this in the mail tomorrow.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Pink Polka Dot 4076

Another quick project. Simplicity 4076 with the crossover view. My pink polka dot fabric is from Needle Nook. I wanted to use the black knit as trim that would be pleated and then be more like Anthropologie top

But I am missing the screw from my ruffler and my black knit is too lightweight to do this. As I was working with the fabric and deciding what I wanted to do, the ruffle was laying against the fabric. Perfect. I sewed the ruffle wrong side to right side of fabric and then cut another strip to bind the edge, making it a bit smaller to pull the neckline to the body.

It was a beautiful day here with a strong breeze, my top is blowing in the wind by my window. Like the arm movement?

Close up

Now to answer some questions from past comments:
Lindsay wrote (about the BWOF latest tunic top):
Is the copy of this top in the mail to me, your east coast twin? 'Cause I want one just like it.
Lindsay, I knew I was forgetting to do something while making this top. I forgot about making two!
Design Dreamer asked about my twins sewing, when they started sewing.
M is the only one who sews, she has been sewing for about 1-1/2 years. I enrolled her in a kids' summer sewing school, one week session in the summer and she loved it. I also bought her a basic Pfaff at this camp. The dealership offered a fantastic deal and M paid for half.
Donna asked if this was the same twin that likes to cook and bake?
No, the younger twin, K, likes to do the cooking and baking. Sewing is of no interest to her. It is nice they each have their own thing. Plus, I love sweets!
Sorry it has taken me so long to answer the questions. Thanks for all the comments.