Tuesday, December 8, 2009

All posted out

Well I am afraid that I have reached burnout stage from writing and photographing the wardrobe garments. Time to move on methinks!

Plus I still have flu brain fog at the moment so am not thinking terribly clearly.
If you are wondering about the last top from the wardrobe though, here is a quick peek.

It is Simplicity 2594 and I highly recommend it.

You can read my review at Pattern Review if you want the nuts and bolts but right now I need to PACK!.

I hope you have a lovely Christmas and New Year.
I am back home on New Years Day and probably won't have much time to blog or read other blogs before then.
So for now my New Years Resolution is to be more diligent at posting pics and info during the sewing stage rather than just post pics of the end result and
to t-a-k-e my t-i-m-e!

Merry Christmas!

Burda Ruffle top

Posting the last two tops from the wardrobe now before I whizz off to New Zealand for Christmas. I still have way too much cleaning and packing to do so unfortunately there won’t be much in the way of Christmas posts from me this year.

Here is the Burda ruffle top (issue 08/2009)from the Wardrobe Contest.

Burda model

This is a great top, I plan on making many more versions of this. It is quick to trace, cut and sew and is quite girly without being sickly sweet.

I bet you're getting sick of that looking at that wall by now!

I did make a few changes to the pattern and the sewing as I didn’t bother to look too closely at the Burda instructions.

Traced a size 38, but really could have gotten away with a 36 as I ended up taking 2cm off at each side seams from the hem and tapering to nothing under the arm.

Shortened length by 5cm.

Added 2 side back darts between side seams and CB, taking in another 4cm in total from the waist.

Curved the facing edge instead of tracing Burda’s corner. You can see the original edge on this pattern piece, it is the dotted black line. A curved edge is much easier to finish than a corner, especially if you are overlocking it.

I attached my button to the front of the top, Burda has you attach it to the inside.
I did a self fabric loop rather than a hand sewn chainstitch loop.

I think that this will be a great transeasonal top, good for under cardis and jackets and even over a turtleneck.

I am even thinking it could be good to extend it into a dress and run some elastic around the waist. So a big yay for Burda patterns from me on this one!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tiptoe through the tulips

I was going to call this post ‘more bottoms’ but thought that might be problematic in ending up in searches where it doesn’t belong ahem!

These are the rest of the ‘bottoms’ from the wardrobe. BWOF tulip skirt from the 05/09 issue and an OOP Vogue pant pattern.

Here is Burda’s version of the skirt.

I very rarely wear my tops tucked in so figured I could do without the waist bow detail (I seem to spend most of my time taking things OFF patterns rather than adding to them. I wonder if this is just subconscious laziness at work?).

Basically I LOVE this skirt pattern. It has only 4 pieces and gives a really great shape and peps up what is basically a straight skirt.

Here’s my version in a printed cotton elastane and a rundown of how I put it together.

Traced a size 38. Took in the waist by 1/2” on front and back and tapered to nothing at hip.
Added 1/2” s.a to side seams and hem.
Added 1/4” s.a to facing and waist edge.
Added 3/4” s.a to CB (Burda has the zip in the side but I prefer it in the CB seam as it is MUCH easier to insert a zip in a straight seam rather than a curved one. Plus I don’t need any extra bulk over the hips thankyouverymuch!).

Burda has an odd way of finishing the hem, instructing you to trace a hem facing for the front only (?!!!!). I am not a big fan of facings on hems and as my fabric had some stretch, I figured I could get away without it (the hem of the front is quite curved due to the pleats at the top).

The construction is very simple, basically a straight skirt with facing, so Burda’s sewing instructions are quite straightforward for a change.

I made a second version in a black linen/rayon blend and it also made up very nicely. I also left off the hem facing for this version and just did a narrow hem by hand and didn’t have any problems with it. So the facing is probably superfluous for this skirt in my opinion.

This skirt has really sold me on wearing skirts again. I think I will make a lot more of these. Now I just need to find a supplier of bulk self tanning lotion.

The other ‘bottom’ was a skinny pant in stretch denim.

This is an OOP Vogue 7481 pattern that has been in the stash for ages. It is an extremely simple pant and luckily for me the fit is perfect. I didn’t need to do any alterations, which is good because it was the last piece that I made for the Contest and I didn’t have time for a toile!

So not much to say on this one, except I made a size 12 (I went down a size due to the stretch factor in the denim) and it is a very snug fit. The pant has a fly front, curved waistband and straight leg (I tapered the leg from the knee to the ankle by about 2” on front and back) but that was the only change I made.

I like the fact that it has minimal detail. I am thinking of taking the time to trace this one off onto a heavyweight card so that I can use it as a pant block as the fit is so good.

But I can’t actually bear to even look at a pattern at the moment so I will see if I am still in love with them after the Christmas frenzy (and hopefully the Christmas kilos) is over.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Burda Vest

Well that title isn’t exactly going to knock your socks off is it!
Maybe that’s one of the reasons why I didn’t end becoming a journo!

This is the next item from the wardrobe, from Burda World of Fashion, issue 05/2009.
I have been wanting some kind of a vest or waistcoat for a while. I had a denim one that I wore to death and they are really handy for dressing up a simple outfit. I liked that this one had a collar but fairly minimal details (who has time to sew welt pockets after all!).

Pic from Burda Fashion

The only things that I was bit iffy about were the sleeves; if you look closely the shoulder is cut quite high above where the natural shoulder is, so setting in a sleeve would be a bit odd. I wondered how well the sleeve would actually fit and be comfortable to wear on such a high shoulder line so just left them out.

Pic from Burda Fashion

I also rounded the front edges of the vest, you can see this in this pic, as I thought that a rounded shape would work better design wise with the curved collar.

The only other change was to ditch the lining; I didn’t really have anything in my stash to use for lining, so instead I drafted an all in one facing and chose to finish the inside seams with a commercial bias binding.

I like the facing but I don’t think that I will do that seam finish again in a hurry. While it looks very show offy, it’s fiddly to do and just adds extra thickness to all the enclosed bits. Overlocking the edges would have been fine. It’s not like I go around flashing the inside of my clothes to strangers on the street (except online of course!).

And just to show BWOF that you don’t need weird long winded instructions this is how I put it together.

Traced a size 38. No alterations to pattern sizing at all.
Added 1/4" s.a to all faced edges including neckline, centre front, armholes and collar.
Added 1/2” s.a to all other seams.
Traced front and back facings from front and back vest, making sure that facing was clear of dart points.
Curved CF and hem edges.

Fused collar and facing pieces.
Sew darts in front and back, press.
Sew shoulder seams on vest and facing, press.
Sew collar, leaving neckline edge open. Clip seam, edgestitch on underside, turn through and press.
Finish facing edge.
Stitch collar to vest neckline.
Stitch facing to vest, neckline and armhole seams. Clip seams, edgestitch on facing side, turn through and press.
Sew side seams, press.
Finsh hem edge, turn up hem and sew.
Finish buttonhole and button.

Overall, a very well drafted vest that fits according to Burdas measurement chart.
My fabric (a cotton drill) was just verging on being too thick, so any lightweight fabric like linen, cotton, satin or a lightweight wool would be fine. Although if you go with a lining instead of a facing you could probably get away with a thicker fabric.

Disclaimer: you will note that mine doesn’t have a buttonhole. I am planning on getting this done professionally as my button is quite large and I think professional buttonholes always look better in this instance.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Frankenskirt (or how to turn a pant into a skirt)

Our household has come down with the dreaded lurgy so things have been moving in slow motion for the last few days, but I promised more info on the individual pieces from the wardrobe so here is the first.

In my original plan I had trousers and shorts for all of the bottoms but when we started to get temps of 40 degrees in November (!) it occurred to me that skirts might be a better option.

But as I haven’t worn as skirt in say, at least 15 years, and even then it would have been with thick black tights, I wasn’t quite sure what shape to go for.
I played a lot of sport as a kid and as a result have quite muscular legs, so anything above the knee is out, and full, girly styles don’t work on me. I realised that it is quite difficult finding a skirt that isn’t corporate or a bit nanna or a bit bohemian in style.

Because I like the McCalls harem pant so much, I thought I might be able to bastardise the pattern and make it into a skirt, and whaddayknow it worked!

All I did was find the CF and CB on the pattern at the waistline (which was quite conveniently marked, thank you very much McCalls) and rule a line straight down, parallel to the grainline. Then measured the length I wanted and squared across from CF and CB to the side seam.

I also needed to reshape the side seam as it was tapered in on the pant. Then cut the front on the fold, added seam allowance to CB for the zip and voila a new skirt pattern! All the pieces for the pockets and facings remained unchanged.
I also shortened the waist by 1.5cm as it was a little too high waisted in the pant for my taste.

Here’s the finished result. It’s made up in a dark denim chambray.

Frankenskirt on me

I am sorry that I don’t have any pics of the pattern pieces, as in the whirlwind of getting everything done I just made the adjustments in pencil on the original pattern and hoped for the best!

If you would like more specific instructions on how to turn a pant into a skirt just send me an email.

I am still debating whether to do any topstitching though.

Frankenskirt on the other dummy

I usually avoid topstitching, as if it isn’t perfect it can look very home made, but then again without topstitching it also looks a bit unfinished (denim always seems to need topstitching for some reason). Any thoughts?

Overall I am pretty happy with this one, although it doesn’t quite fit what I was aiming for in a casual denim skirt, as I think the high waist makes it look quite dressy. But I think with a T-shirt and flats I can get around that.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I'm done!

Well I did finally manage to complete the 10 required garments for the Wardrobe Contest yay!

Some details were sacrificed in the name of meeting the deadline, like topstitching and buttonholes, but who needs fastenings anyhoo! I am happy that I got to use up some of my pattern and fabric stash and now have some nice new things for the Christmas holidays.

Here’s the composite pic of all the pieces together. I plan on posting info on the individual pieces over the next few days but if you want more info check out the review at Pattern Review.

And just for a laugh, here are some outtakes from the photoshoot, where I am sporting a lovely big cut on my lip and a freshly sprouted pimple on my chin!

Miss C demonstrating this seasons must have accessory...the leg scarf!

Hands on hips Mum, good girl!

Don't forget to show them the back Mum!

Where did my model go?

C'mon Mum, lets see what's on the refreshments trolley!

And what did I do today with all my spare time? Bought more patterns of course!