Sunday, October 19, 2014

Burda Challenge - Burda 10-2014 #105 Cowl-Neck Dress

I knew I would make this dress from the very first time I saw it in the Burda magazine. I love simple easy dresses like this. Put on some tights and boots and you are ready to go. This dress is just three pieces and super simple to make. Before I put all the pieces away, I plan on making another one out of stretchier fabric (and crazy print).

This fabric is wicking merino wool. It’s super cozy and warm. However, it does not have quite enough stretch for this particular pattern. Well, when you see the back you’ll know what I’m talking about. Doesn’t it look cozy and warm? It’s only 38 degrees out when I was taking these pictures. Brrrrrrrrrrr. No snow yet. Well we did get some, but it melted. That doesn’t count.
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Here’s the line drawing from Burda. See? Simple cowl-neck dress. The back piece extends onto the front to make these interesting panels on the front.
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You can see in particular that the arms are very tight. You can also see a drapier fabric would have been better here. The cowl-neck doesn’t want to drape beautifully. It wants to stick up. I may tack it down with a stitch or two. You can barely see that this fabric has a subtle herringbone pattern (there is still more of this fabric up on Etsy).
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Here you can really see that it’s snug. I’ll still wear it certainly. I really like it, in fact. I think a stretchier fabric will be perfect. I also should add a CB seam and fix the swayback. But I won’t. I’m lazy like that.
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Next up: a killer shirt. Get it? Killer? Yea, my students never think I’m funny either. This is a blood-splatter lace from JoAnn’s. It has very little stretch also. I used my Jalie 2805 t-shirt pattern to make a basic long-sleeved t-shirt out of the fabric. I made it one size larger than my normal t-shirt size.
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I should have made the shirt about two inches longer. Other than that, it’s a win. My students, especially in my forensics class, will love this. I have to wear a tank or t-shirt under this as the lace is very see through. Halloween is my favorite season. Yes, season, not holiday.
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Next up: I think another Burda dress. Oh, and my hand-made Halloween costumes for the children that must dress up like book characters.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Another Jalie 3354 Leotard

I’ve made this leotard before for my daughter. But, I have made other leotards for The Cousin. The Cousin says she needs MORE. She wants them blingy, fun, and bright. That, my friends, is something I can do. Fo’ sho’.
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(This is my daughter modeling The Cousin’s newest leotard – it is too big for her). Here you can see that it is leopard, pink glitter metallic, and black metallic. I think it fits all of her requirements nicely. I changed the legs to be boyshorts by looking at my other Jalie pattern. I feel like it’s a little more modest for a girl of eight. It probably doesn’t matter when you are in gymnastics.
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I like that the back is a little lower while still covering everything up and not moving around. There is no chance of this slipping off a shoulder or anything.
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I love the black trim/elastic pieces. It makes it very structurally stable and it also really highlights the accent fabric you use on the shoulder.
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Front
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Back. Here you can see it’s a bit lower. I hope she loves it. I’ll be mailing it in the next day or two.
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On a totally different note: My wonderful husband bought me a new camera lens. I think it takes delightful pictures. I’m thinking this year of doing our own holiday portrait. Do I dare? I’ll keep you posted on how that works out. I may just be setting myself up for frustration and irritation. We’ll see. We were at the park the other day. I can’t believe how big they are getting. I even got a great picture of The Boy, and I never get good pictures of him!
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Up Next? I have my Burda Challenge for October all sewn up. I just need to hem it. I also made a killer t-shirt. Get it? Killer? You don’t get it right now, but you will when I show it to you!!!!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Papercut Patterns - Ooh La Leggings

I really needed a quick knit project after two topstitching-intensive wool projects. Also, it’s getting chilly-willy outside. The mornings when I run are in the low 30s right now. Brrrrrrr . . . . I have this wool/nylon doubleknit that is warm, cozy, thick, and stretchy. I figured it would make great running pants. I have not taken them for a test drive yet. I ran about eight miles this morning with some lady friends, but that was before these were done. I’ll run with them tomorrow and let you know. So far though, I’m loving them. I’m wishing I would have added some black piping to the front and back seam to show off the fun seaming details. Has anyone used this type of reflective piping? Do you like it? Or, does anyone know where you can buy reflective knit fabric? I’m on the hunt.
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Here’s the line drawing again. Obviously this time I made the full-length version. My other version is the 3/4 length.
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I added reflective trim to these and, apparently, I’m very excited about it. Some of these pictures are taken with a flash to emphasize the reflective trim and because it’s a cold, dark day outside.
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Here’s the back. I didn’t change anything on the pattern this time around. Last time I made them, they could have been a little tighter. The double knit doesn’t have quite as much stretch as the nylon I used last time. I left the pattern the same and it seems to fit better. I didn’t topstitch everything like last time, but maybe that would have helped emphasize the seaming.
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Oh wait, I did change one thing. I used 1” elastic this time instead of 3/4”. Also I lowered the CF a half inch and it’s perfect now. I guess I didn’t take a picture of the front with my top up. Oops. I like the back high like this. There is nothing I hate more than my shirt puffing out and cold air getting on my lower back.
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I angled the reflective trim because a) I like the look of it, and b) it is non-stretch and I figured I didn’t want it to be completely vertical since it would stop the stretch in that area. 
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Here they are flat. The green/gray is the wool/nylon double knit and the black is the Nike fabric from last year. This Nike fabric has an almost-terry cloth finish on the inside.
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Here are my reflective stripes. I’m almost always running the dark, so these will be helpful.
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I did add small pockets the back. I basically just sewed a rectangle (with a straight stitch) with a stretchy top (zig-zag stitch) and attached it at two points. I attach it like this so the pocket can still stretch around my body. That helps keep the top closed.
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It’s big enough for my iPhone in one pocket and two Gus in the other pocket. And a shout out to Salted Caramel, the best flavor of Gu out there.
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I used the thinnest ribbon that is on the bottom. I ironed it on and then also stitched the two edges with black thread. These babies aren’t going anywhere.
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I really and truly am searching for some reflective fabric. I’m loving all the ones on this page, but I can’t figure out if they sell to individuals or large companies. I can’t find any fabric stores that sell it either. Here is another company that sells some cool reflective fabric. However, I think they only sell it by really, really large quantities.

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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Burda Challenge - Burda 09-2014 #122 Seamed Dress

How fun is this pattern? I thought about changing it up and putting some contrast fabrics, but I chickened out in the end. Sometimes I’m not so good at the “taste factor” as Tim Gunn would say. I like BRIGHT and LOUD and METALLIC and sometimes that goes wrong quickly. I got rid of the front flounce and I changed the hem to all one length. It went together really nicely.
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Oh look, black. I lightened some pictures below so you can actually see the wrinkles and pull lines. I’m nothing if not honest. Anyway, I think I’ll get a lot of wear out of this. Basic black and white. The black is a wool flannel. It’s really cozy.
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Yes, there are bats everywhere in our house. I have four kids. We love bats. I can see this getting worn quite a bit like this or with a cardigan over it. (I love these boots.)
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Oh look! A washed out picture! You can actually see. Obviously I added white topstitching to all the seams. I used white Gutterman upholstery thread for the topstitching. I added no SA for the length and I wacked off a good three inches for this length. I’m 5’5”, for reference.
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I really like the back too. Lots of visual interest.
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Here you can see the back is not flawless. It looked great until the wool caught a hint of steam from the iron. When I get new wool fabric, I always treat it by washing it gently so it won’t shrink when I’m making my garment. I’m almost 100% sure I washed this wool. It looks washed. Anyway, I am not going to unpick the zipper. Not happening. It doesn’t look this bad in real life either, I think I’m causing it to wrinkle a bit with my hands too.
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I love those unusual hip darts. They are on the front and back.
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Here you can see the wool shrinkage. Dammit.
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But does the lining make up for it? How fun is the lining? 
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If you look closely, you’ll see the lining doesn’t have as many seam lines as the dress. They have you put two of the pieces together since they are just design lines, no fitting or shaping with these pieces. Thank you Burda! This lining material was a pain in my buttocks.
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Next up? Something for warm running! Maybe another pair of Oh La Leggings? It’s been getting in the low 30s at night. When I run at 5:30am, it’s cold. Flat ass cold.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Burda 05-2011 #113 – Cropped Wool Jacket

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Wool? Red? Cozy? CHECK! I’m loving this jacket. I’ve had it finished for almost two weeks, but with coaching (I get home late) and our decreased light (we are losing six minutes a day!), I haven’t had time to take good photos.
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I love all the buttons and topstitching. Last time I wore it, I wore a long white tunic over skinny jeans and boots. I think I may have like that styling better although, I like it with these jeans too. There’s just an awkward gap between the tops of my jeans and the bottom of the jacket. I love this darker red color. This is a very accurate representation of the color. I had a hard time getting true color photos in the pictures below.
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I think it’s slightly too wide in the shoulders and you can see it in the picture. No, I didn’t make a muslin *hangs head*, but Burda sizing is always so solid. I could probably could have gotten rid of a 1/2” of length in the arms too.
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I lined it with the rest of the fabric from this dress. It’s a polyester charmeuse from JoAnn’s. It’s fully lined using the Thread tutorial on bagging the lining. This was painless and easy.
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This jacket in the magazine was not lined and only had a facing pattern piece. I just made my own lining using the jacket pieces. I added a 1” vent to the CB for movement.
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See how the color goes all tomato-y when the coat is by itself? I don’t get that. Red and bright pink really screw with cameras.
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I love the buttons and the topstitching. I used dark brown Gutterman upholstery thread for all the topstitching.
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This is what the hem looks like on the inside. You can see the topstitching thread.
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I only hand stitched three places. This section on both sides, and then a 5” slit in the lining. It was really easy.
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So. Many. Button. Lots of hand sewing on the buttons though. In the end, I think it was worth it. I love it!
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The buttons are from JoAnn’s. They are dark brass in color and real metal. There were so many fake metal buttons there. Blech.
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Sqeeeeeeeee, I love this jacket. I’ve been waiting to show it to ya’ll!!