Wednesday, 24 February 2010

BWOF dress - finished!

And I’m pleased to say that I like it a lot. In fact, I really love this great pattern – it’s from Burda Magazine, November 2008, pattern no. 111. I love the pleats at the neckline and the waist. Here’s a picture

And here’s a reminder of the line drawing
I think this style lends itself well to being made up in two different fabrics. I used a silk charmeuse for the bodice, which means that it drapes nicely, and a wool crepe, which has more body, for the skirt. Both these fabrics were purchased from New York Elegant Fabrics during my visit there last November. If you’re thinking of making this pattern you can have quite a lot of fun going through your stash and coming up with some interesting fabric combinations – I’ve already got one or two ideas for making another one. And, of course, it would also look great made up in one fabric.

You will notice that I didn’t make the belt that goes with this pattern, mainly because I’m not a big fan of those thread loops that you have to sew on the dress to carry the belt. I don’t think I could manage making one that didn’t look nasty and I always think they look messy if you decide you don’t want to wear the belt. But, hey, that’s just my opinion – you probably make them much better than me!

This pattern is not very difficult to make – Burda give it an ‘easy to sew’ two dot rating and, as long as you feel up to darts, pleats and putting in a zipper, this would be well within the scope of an adventurous beginner. I did, however, make mine a little more complicated by putting in a full lining, which the pattern doesn’t give instructions for but, if you’ve made a dress lining before, it’s not too difficult. To deal with the bodice pleats I attached the bodice lining pieces to the neckline facing pieces, pleating the front lining in the same way that the outer fabric was pleated. I ditched the armhole facings and just sewed the lining up to the edges of the armholes. Here’s a peek inside the bodice

Now that’s completed, I’ve already got a couple of spring things cut out and ready to go. So, more soon …………

Friday, 19 February 2010

BWOF dress - fitting a bodice with neckline pleats

As I mentioned previously, I decided I am going to make one more dress in a winter fabric before I plunge into my spring sewing. After flicking through an enormous pile of Burda magazine back issues I have decided that this is the one

It’s pattern no. 111 from November 2008. I have had my eye on this pattern for a long time but wasn’t quite sure how I would go about altering it to fit. I usually need to do an FBA and the bodice pleats had me a little puzzled. However, I armed myself with a lot of tissue paper, some coloured pens and the book Fit for Real People, by Pati Palmer & Marta Alto, and came up with the following.

This is my original tracing of the pattern for the bodice front (as I usually do, I traced a size 36 round the neck and shoulders, grading out to size 40 for the rest of the bodice).

These are the alterations I made (I have given the page numbers I referred to in Fit for Real People).

I drew a line on the pattern where a horizontal bust dart would normally be (Altering No-Dart Fronts, page 147)

Then I made the usual alterations for an FBA (Full Bust Alteration, pages 142-143) but I didn’t fill in the bust dart in with tissue.

I drew a straight line through the centre of each of the pleat marks from the neckline to the point of the open horizontal dart. Then I rotated the bust dart into these by closing up the horizontal bust dart and opening up the pleat marks (Moving Darts, page 136). I filled in the gaps between the pleat marks with tissue and taped it all down.

The finished pattern piece had more bust width and bigger pleats at the neck. I also made my usual petite alteration above the waist and I raised the armhole by 1/2”. The final pattern piece looked like this

That’s quite a lot of alterations, isn’t it? But I've learnt that if that's what the body I've got needs, then that's what has to be done!

I decided to get creative with my stash and I’m making this dress up using two different fabrics – a black wool crepe for the skirt and a printed silk for the bodice. I hope to be finished and posting pictures soon ..........

Thursday, 11 February 2010

BWOF jacket - finished at last!

I have finally completed my Burda magazine jacket. Here’s a full length picture

Here’s a close up, so you can get a better look at the construction details

And here’s a picture on a hanger so you can see the crazy lining – it’s bold but I thought that it would be fun!

This is the line drawing of the pattern (which is no. 120 in the August 2009 issue).
As you can see, I omitted the front flaps. Because the wool fabric I used is quite thick, I decided that these flaps (which actually serve no real purpose because there are no pockets there) would just add more bulk than I wanted to have around my waist.

Fitting this jacket wasn’t a problem. I made my usual FBA but that was the only alteration I had to make. I did, however, reduce the sleeve ease. When I made my muslin I noticed that there seemed to be a lot more ease than I felt I could neatly get into the armhole, so I altered the pattern to take out about ¾” ease from each of the sleeves. I did this the way that Sandra Betzina recommends in her book Power Sewing. You draw three vertical lines from the top of the sleeve cap to the hem of the sleeve (one in the centre and two about 1½” either side). Then cut down these lines leaving a small hinge at the hem edge. Then overlap the pattern at the sleeve cap at each of the three cut lines (losing ¼” per cut) and tape it all down. It worked very well – I had no trouble getting the sleeves in smoothly.

I had a bit of a crisis over the fastenings. At first I decided to use no buttons, just five covered snap fasteners, like Burda used on their other version of this jacket (pattern no.119). Then I decided not to cover them because I decided that the gold snaps would add something. But once I’d sewn them on I didn’t like how you could see the outline of them on the outside and I felt that when done up the jacket looked too plain and kind of ‘so so’. Finally, I sewed on six decorative buttons and, at last, I was happy!

All in all, as jackets go, I don’t think that this was a very complicated one to make. The Burda instructions were, as always, pretty skimpy but, with the exception of their collar joining method (where I did my own thing!), I managed to follow most of what they were saying.

I’m hoping I’ll get a lot of wear out of this jacket. It’s nice and warm (I’ve underlined it as well as lined it) and I think that the shapely style means that it can be worn with dresses as well as more casually with a pair of jeans.

So, jacket done! Next up is yet another dress………

Saturday, 6 February 2010

planning for spring sewing

Firstly I would like to thank everybody who left me comments of sympathy over my dose of flu - I really did appreciate your kind words. I am happy to report that I am feeling much better. In fact the last few days have been rather pleasant because I no longer feel terrible but my status as recovering invalid has allowed me to wallow on the sofa, eating hot buttered toast and Digestive biscuits brought to me by my lovely husband. Whilst doing this I have had beside me a large box of patterns and a huge pile of Burda magazines and have been planning all the wonderful garments I am going to make!

I’m think I’m having a bit of a Burda thing at the moment because I have just bought these new patterns from their catalogue. This one, Burda 7557 is a fitted dress -

Then Burda 7628, which is a looser fitting dress with a jacket -

Lastly, Burda, 7509, for a really easy top which I think will be nice in cotton, linen or silk -

Also some fabrics that I had ordered from Gorgeous Fabrics before I got the flu made a timely arrival to cheer me up. Yes, I know that I have lots of fabric in my stash but I really had to have some lovely new, colourful spring fabrics, didn’t I?

From left to right. Multi-coloured cotton with some stretch. White cotton sateen, also with stretch, which I think will make a nice lightweight jacket and/or a skirt. Linen with a waffle texture called “arrest me red” (how can you resist a fabric with that name!). Turquoise linen with a huge green and pink flower print - I know that as a short person I shouldn’t really choose large prints but, there it is, I have and I like it!

So, here is my plan. I’m going to finish my white wool jacket (I have made some progress on that). Then I’m going to make one more dress from my winter fabric stock. After that I’m going to start sewing up at least some of my new fabric purchases using my new Burda patterns and one or two designs picked out from old Burda magazines. I want to make some quick, casual clothes ready to take on vacation. I’m feeling quite excited by it all – it looks like I’m going to have to get up off the sofa and get busy.

Have you made a spring sewing plan or are you still working through your winter stash?

Monday, 1 February 2010

I love to sew but ........

Here’s some good advice for everyone – if your temperature goes above 100 degrees, step away from the sewing machine! I hope your week has been better than mine because I’ve spent it in a semi-delirious, coughing, sneezing wretched state caused by the flu. Not the “oh I’ve got a touch of flu” kind of flu but the real, authentic, “I’ve never felt so ill in my life!” wailing kind of flu. However, although I am still feeling extremely vulnerable and very pathetic, my temperature has now returned to normal and I can at least see the vague possibility of life returning to what it once was.

But enough of my self-pity, let’s talk sewing! I have, of course, achieved nothing in the last week but in the couple of days before my viral meltdown forced me off to bed I had begun work on the jacket that I have mentioned I was planning. After much indecision I chose this pattern

which is style no. 120 from Burda Magazine, August 2009. I’m using some wool coating fabric in ‘winter white’ and I’m lining it with the fabric that I showed you in my earlier post. I’ve traced the pattern, made a muslin, cut the fabric and hand basted an underlining to the main pieces.

This was my first time using a Burda Magazine half size pattern and, when it came to fitting, I was quite excited because, although I still had to do an fba, I didn’t have to do my usual petite adjustments (for short waist, short arms etc). Hey, at only 5’ 2” tall, – I’m a half size! Now I know this, I’m going to be taking a closer look at Burda half size patterns in future.

It’s very frustrating seeing my jacket in pieces and being too feeble to get to my sewing machine but I’m hoping there will be some progress with it very soon. In the meantime, I think it’s going to have to be back to the sofa with a big box of tissues, a hot drink and yet another undemanding, made for TV, movie!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...