Monday, 14 November 2011

Butterick 5602 - the shapely shift!

As my last two makes were useful wardrobe basics I gave myself permission to indulge myself with another dress – I just love to make dresses! Since finishing my Chanel inspired dress (blogged about here) I have been eager to make another version of the pattern. Here’s what I came up with

Butterick 5602 shift dress

This is the pattern

Butterick 5602 pattern envelope

Last time I made the one with sleeves, this time I made the version pictured on the right (but without the bow at the neck – it’s not that I don’t like bows, I do, but I just didn’t want a bow on this).

The fabric is a wool challis, called ‘Stingray Frieze’ purchased from Vogue Fabrics. I love the print and it has a beautiful (in the words of Vogue Fabrics) “featherweight weave” and “alluring drape” - it certainly is lovely and light to wear. I used a plain black wool challis for the neck and hem bands and I lined it with my favourite bemberg rayon lining.

There’s not a lot else to say about this pattern – it’s a simple shift dress, nicely shaped and fairly fast and easy to make. So, moving on, I’m going to reveal what I’m working on right now, which is this skirt from the October issue of Burda Style.

Burda Style October 2011 #119

Despite liking lots of patterns in Burda Style magazine I haven’t actually made one for a while. I think that what has been putting me off is that since they have been printing twice as many patterns on each of their pattern sheets it is a REAL PAIN to trace them. (Hello, people who run Burda Style – did you hear that?) But I bit the bullet and got on with it. However, I do have a tip to make it a little easier. Before you lay the tracing paper on the pattern sheets, take a brightly coloured highlighter pen and go over the lines for each of the pattern pieces in the size that you want to trace.
The pattern pieces I want are highlighted in yellow

If you do this, it is much easier to identify through the tracing paper the lines that you should be following. It’s still a pain, but not quite so bad! Now the worst bit is over, the skirt is coming along nicely. So, more about that soon …

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Black jeans and a flower-power t-shirt!

Much as I would like to spend my time making Chanel inspired dresses (see my last post) I really felt that it was time to get down to creating some autumn casual basics. And for that, of course, you can’t beat jeans and a t-shirt.

Vogue 8536 & McCalls 5894

When making this outfit I was aiming for a casual but ‘put-together’ look. For the jeans I chose a black cotton lycra twill fabric, it’s sturdy but has some give for comfort. I added brass rivets and a brass button

Black jeans with brass hardware

The pattern is McCalls 5894 – it’s the second time I have used this jeans pattern, so for more about the pattern, and my tips for making jeans, check out my earlier post here.

The t-shirt is made from Vogue 8536

Vogue 8536

I have to say that I LOVE this pattern, it has some great shaping. What the pattern envelope pictures (or my photograph) don’t show very clearly is that the front has a little gathered section at the side seams at bust level. You can (just about) see in the line drawings what I mean

Vogue 8536 line drawings

I added some extra ease by doing an FBA that created a ‘dart’ but instead of sewing the dart I just incorporated it into the gathers at the side seam. The effect is subtle but it makes for a much better fit around the bust, especially if, like me, you are ‘curvy’. Another design feature of this pattern is the deep hem with side slits –

Deep hem and side vent

I think that this makes it look a little dressier than the average casual t-shirt and it means that the hem sits very nicely when worn with skirts. The fabric I used was a rayon lycra mix, purchased from Vogue Fabrics - I was attracted by the fun flower print. I can see me making this pattern several times more and I think it would be very lovely and luxurious made in a silk jersey.

I feel that I have made a very slow start on my fall sewing but in the last couple of weeks I have worked out lots of plans for clothes that I am eager to make. I do hope that your sewing for this season is going well?
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