Friday, May 30, 2008

Burda - 05-2008-105 Jacket

This is a super cute pattern. This is my "muslin" for my real wool one I want to wear over my party dress next week. This thing is so comfortable and nice-fitting. I'll give it a real review tomorrow on PR but thought that ya'll would like to see the progress so far. You gotta love pleats, raglan sleeves, bias center band, and cuffs.

I used the same cheapy (but cute) fabric as I used on this Burda WOF skirt. BWOF says to use lightweight blouse fabrics with some body and this fabric seems to work create. My wool is a twill that had a soft hand. I think it will be perfect. I put the center band on the bias for some interest.

It is the details of BWOF that I love. This jacket has 4 pleats up top and elastic inserts in casing that give it shape in the front and back. The buttons that are on it are not the real ones. If you noticed, they are all different versions of white/bone buttons. I think I'll use a neutral bone colored button but use a bigger one. BWOF isn't any help they just say, "three large buttons."

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Burda - 05-2008-104 Dress

Pattern Description: Need an easy-care travel dress that can be worn day or night? Then pack this style in your suitcase! It has a sexy cinched waist, a plunging V-neckline and extravagant waist gathers that are accentuated by a buckle.
Pattern Sizing:34-42. I made the size 34. When Burda uses a knit, I'm a 34 and with a woven I make a 36 for my shoulders.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?Yes, except I used a tab instead of a buckle.

Were the instructions easy to follow?Actually, yes. I don't know if I'm just getting used to them or if this is better than average. I love the bodice facing/lining pieces. I am using this technique on my other lined bodices. If you made this and skipped that part thinking, "I hate facings on a knit" you should glance at them so you have this technique. I almost skipped it and just did a knit binding but I'm glad I did it their way. Here is the inside. You can see all the serger tails. Oops. I did not finish the bottom on the lining because it will not ravel and I didn't want it to show through on the outside.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?I love this style. I'm not sure about this knit for this dress. I really like the belt draping part and you can't really see it with this fabric.

Fabric Used:A Gorgeous Fabrics poly/lycra knit. I really like this fabric.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:I made my usual high-bust tuck of 1/2" between shoulders and bust. I chopped about 2 inches off the hem so it is just knee length. After I put it all together I took out another inch off the side seams tapering to nothing at high hip. I also made this little tuck right above my butt. I am thinking more and more that I should be doing a swayback adjustment for dresses. What do you think? See my profile here. Isn't this basically what I did on my dress? I'm asking because I'm not sure. I raised the neckline by an inch and a half after reading the other reviews. After wearing it, I am thinking it would look better a little lower. I can go back and re-sew that part if I decide to later. I could go down the entire 1.5" and it would be fine on my "non-girls". Here is the back. I made a pintucked/topstitched woven tab to pull the waist drape together. The jury is still out whether I like it or not. I wanted to emphasize the waistband and I figured that the same busy fabric would not work. My JoAnn's only had crappy buckles.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?Yes, I would love to do a print with a dark contrast band across the stomach. And yes, make this dress!

Conclusion: Another Burda hit. Love them! Oh, and my husband did get me a subscription for Mother's Day. Wooot!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Coat Sew-Along Muslin with Tweaks

Here is the muslin tweaked a bit. I'm not sure why the pictures are so dark.
  • I took in the back, right above my butt, about two inches and tapered to nothing at the hem and mid-back. I think this is similar to a sway-back adjustment but I'm not sure about that either. That way, it is more snug around my back but leaves ample room for my backside too.
  • I shortened the length by two inches. You can see the horizonal line running behind the bottom set of buttons. Obviously that line will not be there on the real version. I left the belt loops alone since making that two inch tuck made the loops higher. I really like where the belt is now. The belt is at high hip.

I wanted to make sure that the "butt-grip" factor was not an issue today. This is unlined because it is a muslin and it kept bunching up. Today I wore a long tricot slip to act as a lining. I pulled it up to my armpits and let the bottom act as a "lining" for my coat. It seemed to work well except it was too long and kept hanging out the bottom.

I really like this fabric. It is a cheapy Joann's acrylic/poly blend. I may try to get some tweedy wool to make this coat because I like how the striped chevron on the back and princess seams.

Now, I am going to leave this project a alone for a while and sew along with the Coat Sew-Along folks. I have a hard time stopping when I get going on a project.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Coat Sew Along Muslin

I don't want to be the first to post my coat over at the main blog for the coat sew-along so I'll post it here instead. I am intimidated by such sewing prowess the ladies (no gentlemen, right?) over on that blog exhibit. That, and muslins are happening in June. I jumped the gun a bit. So, I'll post my muslin here and then post it there when I get brave . . . tee hee. I know, I'm a dork.
So, overall I like the pattern but something has to be done about the belt. It crosses at my widest part. That can't be good. The shoulder area, where I always have problems, fits great. I cut a 36 grading to a 38 in the hip region. My "buttons" are black circles I made on my computer and printed out. These are 1.25" but I made some larger and smaller to test drive the sizes.
The back is really bad because the belt sits right at the top of my butt. Everything wants to bunch up on top of it. This does not have a lining so part of that problem will go away when I line it. Now it is grippy and rides up. But look at how nicely the shoulders fit.
This is where the belt sits when I pull it down and hold still for the camera. Improvement but it makes my butt look large.
This is below my natural waist but above the pattern placement. I think it is an improvement.
This is on my lower back but above my butt.
This is the jacket all buttoned up.
Here it is at natural waist. I like it up there but then it messes up the buttons. What do you guys think?
Here is the shoulder region. I did a .25" tuck for a high bust and forgot to take a tuck out of the shoulders. I did that after I cut. That is why there is a strange fold on the shoulders. These sleeves were actually easy to set in. I am just as impressed with the Burda envelope patterns as I am the Burda WOF patterns. The fit is nice. I just have to figure out what is going on at the hip region.
And yes, I'm still waiting for my May Burda WOF. sniff.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Great Coat Sew Along

Yes, I joined and I'm happy that I did. Like many of you, I don't sew clothes until I need them right now. I am hoping that this coat sew along will help me make a nice quality coat with some tailoring. I plan on using this Burda pattern. I really like the lines of the coat. I plan on making view B, the thigh length coat with the belt.

I like view A too. That's the long coat.

This is my tweedy fabric that I bought from the red-tag clearance bin at joann's. I wanted to make sure that my muslin material was thicker so I could really see how it would fit. I didn't even bother to wash it because I plan on drawing all over it. I will never wear this coat for mare than fitting.

This is one of the few envelope patterns that I did not trace. Thank goodness. This is all the pieces layed out on my floor before I pinned them. Look at how much tracing I would of had to do. I chose to do a size 36 for the shoulders with a 38 at the hip.

Next stop: Muslinville.

Bitch Fabric. Really?

So, probably most of you guys don't know I run a side business called Cabin Baby Designs (not a plug but I figure some of you will want to see). I make baby slings (pouch-style carriers for those of you who know about baby wearing). I get samples from several warehouse across the country periodically. I buy bolts (30-40 a year) of stretch twill and sateen bottomweights. So I am constantly getting samples in the mail of the new fabric they get in. This fabric showed up in my mailbox last week. Really? People would want this as a pair of pants?
Weird and funny, eh? This is a bottomweight stretch twill in two very bright colors. Yikes.
BTW: I haven't been doing much garment sewing because 1) school just ended on Friday, 2) a large order of slings just came, and 3) I was a bit fuzzy (read: hungover) for a day or so after our year-end "no-more-kids" bash.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

This one's for Paula . . .

Okay Paula. Here is the plan for the vintage vogue dress. It will never be a favorite but I think this will make it wearable. I am planning on making a cropped jacket to go over it and make a belt out of the same fabric. I will be using the Kwik Sew cropped jacket that I used before but will add these ties from this Butterick pattern. I have the Butterick pattern and could just use that instead but there is quite a bit more ease than in the Kwik Sew pattern. I used the XS on the Kwik Sew pattern and it had plenty of ease. I really like the ties from view A. I am going back and forth on how long the sleeves should be. The fabric on left is the dress. The fabric on the right is the jacket fabric. I plan to underline it with black broadcloth (? maybe batiste? it's in my stash) because it is a loose weave. I think I'll hand baste the two together and then just treat them as one layer.
Butterick pattern. I'll be making the view A ties on the Kwik Sew body.
Kwik Sew pattern, I'll make the longer version view A but maybe with the shorter sleeves.

On another note, I got a pair of strappy silver sandals for my blue and silver dress. They are pretty dang cute if I do say so myself.
ETA: I finished the March Burda organization chart in If anyone wants a copy of it, I'll email it to you. It is in that format but it is just one file. I put the different pages on different layers and you can just click through them to see the different pages. There are 4 in all. I put the kids stuff on a separate page because I will file all of those together in my 3-ring binder. Also I put 3T-6T on the kids' page because Burda does different size ranges for their kids' section. In June they do Girl's sizes 6-12. Just let me know. You do have to have the program to open the file. And, my own notes are on there but you can erase them and change it.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Thank You Shannon!

Thank you Shannon at Hungry Zombie Couture for setting up such a great way to organize Burda patterns. I currently only have one magazine so it will be easy to "catch up" on my organizing. I am including model picture, line drawing, fabric suggestions, yardage needed, and notes for myself. I'm on the fence over this though. When they show more than one view of a pattern, do you think I should put both on there or just keave it at one? The line drawing would be the same but the model photo and maybe the yardage would be different. I think what I will do it pick my favorite view and use that one. I don't want to make two photos in one box because they will be too small and it will ruin the format. Yes, I'm that way. I've only done one page but I am loving it so far. I love organizing. Well, organizing sewing stuff, my house is a disaster. I have given up trying to have a tidy house. Too many "helpers."

Impatiently Waiting for May Burda

Ugh. So I've been waiting for the May Burda. I ordered it through Sew Baby about 14 days ago. I hope it gets here soon. In June my subscription starts so I'm excited about that. For you Burda WOF folks, when do the subscriptions usually come? Middle of the month? I have a wedding to go to on June 7th so I hope I have enough time to make the dress and jacket from the May issue that I want to wear. I am planning on this dress in a knit from Gorgeous Fabrics and this top/jacket in a tropical wool from, who else, Gorgeous Fabrics. It is technically summer but the wedding it on the hillside in Anchorage and it can get chilly up there. Since the dress will be thin knit and sleeveless, I figured I needed something warm to go on top. When my May Burda gets here (clearing throat, drumming fingers) I am hoping to whip them out in a few days.
Mostly I've been spinning my wheels and working on a few UFOs because this is the project I want to start. Some of you will be happy though because I finally decided what to do with that vintage vogue dress that was that hideous color. Details soon.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

What Do I Really Wear?

Dana over at Lean Mean Sewing Machine posted a challenge to all sewers (sewists?) about what we really wear in a week. I thought my average for handmade clothing would be about 70-80% in a week. I took pictures of everything I wore this week (I know it isn't Friday yet but I wear the same thing every Friday). I can never remember during the week to take the pictures so I put them on the floor tonight and did it. I was disappointed. Only 8/12 are things sewn by me. I was hoping for a higher number.

Monday: Jalie top and Jalie 2000 pants. 2/2 So far so good.

Tuesday: RTW knit top and Burda pleated pencil skirt (my first Burda!). 3/4 Now I'm at 75%

Wednesday: Jalie slacks, Jalie Cross-Top (PR mini-wardrobe), New Look Blouse (PR wardrobe contest). 6/7

Thursday: RTW knit top with Kwik Sew jumper (one of my most favorite things I have sewn). 7/9

Friday: I'm a teacher. We always wear a "team" sweatshirt and jeans on Friday. I also wear a t-shirt under the sweatshirt. Assuming it is a t-shirt I made, which is most of them at this point, my total stands at 8/12. That's a lot lower than I thought. Drat.

I would encourage all of you to look at what you really wear in a week. It is an eye-opener. My goal for next year (next school year, everything revolves around work doesn't it?) is to have all my clothing sewn by me. I am only going to keep RTW garments that look and feel great on me.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Another Monster and a Zipper Tutorial

So I made another orange jacket. This one has a red zipper. I got a comment from the last one asking if the Jalie pattern has facings. I realized that I do the zipper in a coat quite a bit differently than any directions I have seen. So I decided to throw it out there for you folks. All pictures are small sized but you can enlarge any them by clicking on them.

First, I sew together the jacket sans hood. The hood goes on last to hide the top of the zipper.

Sew on the first side. When sewing I remove the other side of the zipper. When I am done sewing one side, I put the zipper halves back together and mark where seams need to match. I used yellow chalk pencil. I circled it in the picture. I do this so the seams line up on the outside. The blue line in the above picture is where I sewed the seam. No, it is not really blue. Red thread on red zipper tape does not show up very well.

Here is the chalk dot I put on the top to mark the top edge of the zipper.

Here is the result after I sewed both sides on. The inside are just raw fleece and zipper tape right now.

I serge the tape to the fleece. Make sure no part of the jacket front gets in the way. You are just doing this to finish the edges of the tape and fabric.

Then I topstitch on the top to hold down the zipper tape. I put my needle down on the top of the fabric. Then I pull up the fabric to see where the stitch will be. I like my topstitching to hold down the majority of the zipper tape.

In this picture you can see where the needle is when I lift the jacket. I do this instead of trying to measure the distance. It works better for me this way. I do a lot of topstitching this way actually. It works well with bias binding tape.

Here is the inside after I sewed the topstitching. I added the blue lines.

Here is what the top looks like after topstitching.

Here is the inside.

I don't do anything special to the bottom of the tape.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Hideous? Maybe. Scary? Hell, yes . . .

I have been sewing a bit. Not as much as usual but a fair bit. Remember this jacket? I knew that I was going to need another one because of the cat fights between the girls. I went ahead and made it tonight. My husband likes the color, I think it may be a bit garrish? Hideous? Bright? Whichever adjective you use, the child will be easy to see. This is another version of the Jalie hooded sweatshirt. I used Polartec 200 and a green zipper. I am going to make another ORANGE jacket so the girls will be like beacons in the night.

The scary part is that we went to Whittier this Saturday. See this post to see my husband's boat. The sealions were not happy we were on their turf. Ever been chased and assaulted by a 1500 pound mammal? Damn scary. We are not that close, this is my camera way zoomed in and a very enlarged, cropped picture.

You can see the male sealion coming to "visit" us in the lower right. Those are his ladies on the mooring buoy. Needless to say, we got outta dodge pretty darn quick.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!!

Hope ya'll are having a great mother's day! I know I am. My husband took my not so subtle hints to heart and ordered me a Burda WOF subscription in my kids' names.
He's mine, don't even think about it!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Mini-Wardrobe Contest - Done!

It's done!!! I really like the tops and bottoms. I have the more casual look with the knit top and a dressier look with the Burda eyelet top. The shorts I will wear to death this summer. It is nice to have some tried and true patterns that fit me well. I can whip up a couple pairs of shorts each summer.

Are any of you as competitive as I am? I try not to be so competitive but I am. It is the root of who I am. Compete. Win. Go, go, go. As soon as they posted that they would give a free pattern and pin to the first person who completed their wardrobe, I was there. In the zone. Ready to do it.