Saturday, February 24, 2018

Border print

This fabric is a fabric that caught my eye, ordered it and made it up within two weeks. I made the dress for a dinner I had with friends on the occasion of my birthday. I finished it the evening before the event, which was lovely, but then the flu got hold of me. Nasty flu, been years since it got hold of me but this time it was my turn apparently. Haven’t sewn a stitch in two weeks, but now the energy is coming back. Time to show you the dress.

This border fabric was sold by panel, only 1.20 meter long. Which is not a lot to make a dress for someone with my height. It worked, though I had to cut the facings with a seam.

The pattern is based on my Suzy Furrer sloper, combined with a neckline that was inspired by New Look 6184. Thanks Viv for suggesting this neckline!

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I don’t have this pattern but it was easy enough to rotate the shoulder, armhole and bust dart to these neckline darts. I left the waist darts in place, as that’s better with my figure.

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Pictures from the zipper and lining. All done by machine with good result. The front and back of the dress were sewn first, leaving the shoulder seams and part of the neckline open. I love this way of construction, which I learned in Sara Alm’s class on facings.

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Saturday, February 10, 2018

Twist detail

Twists in garments have been around quite a while now. I believe it started with a famous Burda top in 2004 and I made my share of garments with a twist. Not very many, maybe 2 or 3. Now I did two in a row. This post is about a StyleArc pattern: the Sadie top.

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This time the twist is not in the bodice but in the sleeve. A detail I immediately loved and wanted to try. I don’t know when this pattern was released, but I only noticed it a couple of weeks ago. I ordered the pdf pattern and one thing I noticed was that the front was not a complete pattern but half, to be cut on the fold. It’s been one of my little irritations that StyleArc used complete patterns when you could just as well cut the pattern piece on the fold. It saves a lot of paper and it also means less tracing/taping of the pages. Hope they do it for all patterns now. Great improvement!

Sadie sleeve detail

The sleeve detail is really nice. You definitely need a thin fabric with good drape for this. My fabric is a viscose (rayon) and perfect for it.

It’s a loose fitting top, can easily be worn over a pair of trousers like in the photos of me wearing it, but it’s also very good tucked in.

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The pattern is labeled as medium/challenging and the sleeve isn’t for beginners. The rest of the pattern is easy.

I’ll try to illustrate my take on sewing the sleeve. Photos taken with my phone in the evening, not the best.

My first step was serging all seams, without cutting any fabric off, so that the seam allowances remained.

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The hem of the sleeve must be finished till the notch on the pattern. I folded the serged hem twice and stitched it (stitching not in photo)

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In the curve I used the same approach. The advantage to me was there is no clipping of seams this way, which might make for holes or fraying of fabric.

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After twisting as in the illustration in the instructions it looks like this:

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The seam is sewn till the twist and then it’s almost a sleeve like any other sleeve. Stitch the sleeve seam and insert in the bodice.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

When you don’t do things as you advice

A while ago I wrote a post on hemming knits with a coverstitch, showing a way in which a row of basting thread helps you to stitch accurately. Definitely a method I recommend and I do it that way most of the time.  Last week though I was a bit in a hurry to finish a dress and thought I could wing it. The reason I thought this was that the fabric was very stable, with no tendency to wrinkle or distort.

Well, it didn’t happen as I hoped. Most of it went right, but there was about 20 centimeters of a loose hem.

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For the rest it was a nice hem and I didn’t feel like undoing the stitching (do you know that feeling that when you don’t want to unpick a coverstitch hem comes out very easily, when you want to unpick it takes forever?).

A piece of hemming tape was the solution. I cut away a bit of one side to make the stitching on the tape closer to my hem.

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Ironed it and my hem was done, with great stitching on the front. Nobody will be the wiser seeing this dress.

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The resulting dress, Vogue 8946, which I made more than 3 years ago in a print. It was a dress I loved to wear, but had reached the end of its life cycle. For this version I lowered the neckline a tiny bit and brought the shoulders a bit more in to the neckline. I made more photos but it’s ever so difficult to get good photos of this black fabric.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Museum visit–back drape dress

Yesterday afternoon I visited the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, one of the most beautiful museums I know as a building and one of the few Dutch museums that have regular exhibitions on fashion.

Currently there are two exhibitions that are noteworthy. First there is the Art Deco exhibition. This is not advertised as a fashion exhibition, but certainly is a great tribute to the designer Paul Poiret (early 20th century). Apart from Art Deco paintings, sculptures, furniture there are a lot of garments on display. One of the designs that got my immediate attention is this dress:


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Like the Burda top I showed in my previous post it has a back drape, but of course this is a dress for a festive occasion. It shows there’s nothing new in fashion.

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A dress of which the design is made by beads and embroidery! Such beautiful details are to be seen. It’s quite a large exhibition.

The other exhibition (very small) is about the designs of Frans Hoogendoorn, a couturier who worked in The Hague until 2014. He was unknown to me, but apparently worked a lot for royals and “leading women in Dutch society” as the museum website describes.

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I LOVE the design of the red jacket. It’s definitely something I would like to make someday.

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As said, a small exhibition and nothing really spectacular but nice to see anyway.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Hilarious description

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This week I bought the January Burda issue and browsing through it this top, and especially its description had my attention. Written by someone who has no understanding of modern, functional fabrics and never goes to the gym. Don’t know whether it’s the same in the English issue of the magazine, but in Dutch it says “Sport shirts often have the disadvantage to be close fitted.  This restricts your movement. Our suggestion: make this shirt with a full draped back.

I didn’t care to check their description of sports shirts they published before, but thought this one was hilarious.

Off to trace a pattern from this magazine (not this one).

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

First project of 2018

The first project of 2018 is a blouse from Burda magazine, issue November 2017. Line drawing
A full review is up on Pattern review.
I’ve been tempted to try this style garment for a long time. I bought McCalls’s 1661 years ago but in the end doubted whether the style would suit me, being a non-fitted garment. Plus the fact that for the McCalls’ pattern you need fabric which is the same on both sides, not always an easy requirement.
When I saw this pattern in Burda magazine, I knew it was time to finally try it and get out of my comfort zone. I took a fabric that has been lingering in my stash for a long time too. I’m pretty sure I bought it at Walthamstow market in the UK, when I visited my friend Pauline. A visit I can date back to 2012!
The print of the fabric is very much me, and in the past half year I’ve made 3 garments with a combination of black and navy.
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I consider this a pattern that is very well drafted and has been given a lot of thought in the design. It has a lining in the front in camisole style, with darts to shape it. This lining and the construction with pleats at the bottom, make for a neat finish and no need for fabric that has two right sides. A big plus for that.
The instructions on the other hand are aweful, Order of construction as in almost all Burda magazine patterns but they try to tell something about the binding of the neckline (to the mark, tapering…) that I could not really get and I just bound the neckline as I would do for any top.  Next up was the instruction how to attach that lining and the front to the yoke. I could not make sense of it. What I did was fold over the facing of the front and match the armhole of the lining and the front. That made it easy to attach it to the yoke. Which has 2 layers and Burda expects you to hand sew the inside seams. Never heard of the burrito method apparently, which I used and lots of tutorials for it can be found online.
The style is something I’ll have to get used to. It isn’t bad and when the weather gets a bit warmer I’ll certainly give it a try.
It’s a pattern in the tall sizes btw. I didn’t change the length in the body or the sleeves, nice for a change.
If you consider this pattern you might want to make the neckline of the lining a bit higher. I still need to add a snap to prevent unwanted exposure.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Happy New Year

Purple Red White and Orange Fireworks Display

Happy new year to all of you!. May 2018 be all you want it to be.

I have no resolutions to share with you, I didn’t make any. Also no wrap up of last year, in which I made more garments than I showed on my blog. 2017 was not my best blogging year. I’m not committing to blog more this year, you all know that it all depends on what I sew and how much time is left for blogging. I just will be there now and again and show you what I’m working on.


I’ve put my jacket aside for the moment, I didn’t feel the love for it and I will have a look later this year to see how I feel about it then. That made room in my mind for new things and I’ve traced two garments from Burda magazines. That’s one thing I want to try again this year: use my magazines more!

Hope to see you around on my blog this year! A (late) toast to the online sewing community!

Bril, Red, Toast, Wijn