26 December 2016

Finished: Burda 7942

I need to sew more Burda.  Why it's taken me so long to come to this conclusion I don't know.  This pattern fit nearly perfectly out of the envelope with NO adjustments. o_O

What wonderful sorcery is this?  Okay, so it's not sorcery.  But still.  Folks have always raved about the superior drafting of Burda patterns:  crotch curve, cup sizes, sleeve cap ease, etc.  Save for the sleeve length, this pattern is close to perfection. 

About the expression on my face.  The center front is destined to be wrinkly for two reasons:  (1) the side front gathers and (2) the center front is weirdly curved.  It is just impossible to sew the buttons on without puckers and believe me, I tried.  Five times.  Five.


Maybe I needed more buttons or something.  There aren't many reviews of this pattern and of the ones that do exist, they show a similar wonkiness with the center front - though mine seems to be next level wonky.  Meh.  It doesn't look this bad when I'm wearing it. 

I cut a size 44 and made a 1/2" FBA on the side front panel.  I didn't add the extra length to the center front since that piece is gathered.  I figured I could just not gather as much so that the seam lengths match.  I didn't do a swayback adjustment, though I should have.

(shown with New Look 6274)

The instructions were fine with no Burda surprises. Even the continuous lap turned out okay - despite my struggles with sewing it.

 (right: shown with New Look 6274)

My only regret was not cutting the cuff on the cross grain so that the stripes run horizontally rather than vertically.   They look okay as is, but most of the stripes don't match and I think it would just look better the other way.


Sewing this pattern motivated me to try more Burda woven shirts.  In fact, for mypre-Burda-a-month-2017 sewing challenge, I cut out and started to sew 6-2007-129.

I cut a straight 46 thinking that this would be big enough so that I wouldn't need the 1/2" FBA.  Wrong.  46 is most definitely not my Burda size; the shirt is huge and unsightly.  I'll share my thoughts on this nightmare in a future post.  Suffice it to say, there is a lot of unstitching going on and I may even scrap it.  It looks really good too.  Le sigh.

More on this later...

Up next:  I want to do a 2016 sewing-in-review post, though I need to get pictures of the things I sewed.  

Is anyone else OVER 2016?  I mean, really, this year can fuck right the hell off.  Come on 2017, let's do this!


29 October 2016

Goings On

Long time, no post.  The start of the school semester is always busyPlus, I'm also having a hard time and the stress is taking its toll on me.  Sewing happensBlogging, not so much.

I managed to finish three of the four items from my "upcoming sewing plans" list.  The fourth item is in progress.  Win!

McCall's 6654 (knit skirt) & Simplicity 1072 (knit top)

For the top, I cut a straight 16 and shortened the sleeves two inches.  I didn't do any other adjustments and the fit is okay.  The top is rather boxy, so I nipped it in at the waistline at around 0.75 inches, tapering to nothing at the armhole and hip to give more shape. 

The good

Sewing sequins wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be.  Both my sewing machine and serger handled the fabric well.  I used a 70/10 microtex needle in the machine, regular needles in the serger, and sewed slowly.

Since the sequin knit was sheer and scratchy, I underlined it with black jet set (from Joann Fabrics).  Once the two fabrics were hand-basted, I treated the whole unit as one during construction.

The pattern calls for the neckband to be made of the body fabric.  Since I used ponte, there was no way the neckband was going to have enough stretch and recovery to sit flat/flush against my neck.  So I used black cotton rib knit for the neckband, hem band, and sleeve cuffs.  I cut the ribbing 80% of the neckline circumference, without seam allowances and stretched to fit.  I've done this before on previous necklines and found that it works well. 

The bad

In some serged areas, the sequins poke out from behind the knit lining and cause awful chafing.  I need to think of a way to bind this area to prevent the irritation.  Otherwise, I could never wear this top without a turtleneck. 

The meh

I added sleeve cuffs, but I don't think they're wide enough.  Eventually, I will cut off the cuffs and make new ones that are wider to balance with the hem band.  But for now, meh.


The skirt was a an easy and quick sew.  The only thing different with this version is the length.  It is about two inches longer than the others and I am not quite sure why.  I used the exact same pattern pieces.  Hmm...

McCall's 6884 (knit dress)

Originally, I was going to make NL6301.  After making an FBA and a bunch of other pattern adjustments, I chickened out because I wasn't confident in how I redrew the pleats.  Instead, I opted for the simplicity of M6884.

I cut size 16 and did not make an FBA.  I shortened the sleeves 2 inches and made a 2.5-inch hem.  Next time, I'll hem at 1 or 1.5 inches as I think the dress is a tad bit short.  I will also try binding the neckline edge instead of turning under and coverstitching.

I added six inches total to the ties, but they're still not long enough.  On the next version, I will add twelve inches and attach them a bit higher.  The placement dots are too low and cause weird pulling if I pull the ties from back to front.

Burda 7942
I was going to make Simplicity 2599 out of a non-stretch cotton shirting.

But, I wasn't too confident about how the stripes would look on the ruffles and I didn't have enough fabric to cut the ruffles on the bias.  Plus, this fabric leans more blue than grey and didn't quite go with the other fabrics in this mini wardrobe.

So instead I decided to make the Burda pattern, view A.

So far the fit is pretty good.  I cut size 44 and made a 0.5-inch FBA.  I am finally learning my Burda bodice size and am excited to try the MANY other Burda patterns I have.  

There is still lots of work to be done.  I need to sew the side seams (they're pinned in this phot0), attach the continuous lap/cuffs, set the sleeves, hem, and work the buttonholes.  When any of that will actually happen...well...uh...


New Plans

Every once in a while, I get the urge to sew small mini wardrobes.  For some reason, I am feeling the need to coordinate moreNext up is a small five or six-piece set comprising of blues and reds.   

I've already cut another version of New Look 6274 out of this stretch cotton border print.

Eventually, I'll add a few more garments from these fabrics:

 left:  blue floral stretch cotton poplin (skirt)
top (on shelf): navy blue wool suiting (vest)
middle (on shelf): ITY knit (infinity scarf)
bottom (on shelf):  navy/white ponte knit (skirt)
lower shelf:  ITY knit (wrap dress)

Big dreams.  Hah!  That's all for now.  I hope things settle down more, though I am not optimistic. =/

Until next time, peace.


03 September 2016

August Round Up

Mic check.  Is this thing on?

Some sewing...no blogging...blah blah blah.  Y'all know the story. =)   

I was actually quite productive in August - having sewn five, YES FIVE, garments.  Wut!  Since I'm way behind on blogging, I'll just give the highlights of each piece.

Burda 6769 (skirt)

Taking a cue from Nakisha's version, I cut a 16 front, 18 back, and did not make a full seat adjustment Because my denim is fairly stretchy, I probably could have gotten away with a straight 16.  Sewing was straightforward - until it was time to sew the back vent.  Burda ranks supreme on word salads and the diagram didn't help much because the pattern piece doesn't clearly define what is meant by the 'right side' line.  I just winged it; I think it looks okay.

 Pardon the wrinkles.  I washed the skirt, but didn't iron it.

If I make the skirt again, I'll make a horizontal tuck of about an inch to shorten the front crotch areaI've noticed that Burda bottoms are always too long in this area for me.

Here is a not-too-clear-or-particularly-helpful picture of me wearing the skirt on a boat.  The angled side seam is kind of weird, but I love the pegged hem.  The skirt is comfortable, but there is definitely room for improvement in fit.

New Look 6648 (knit top)

I've made this top more times than I can count.  I cut my usual size 16 and added an inch to the front and back neckline.  As drafted, the neckline is really wide, so adding the extra height helps to close it up a bit.

Kwik 3693 (knit cardigan)

This cardigan is part of my first group of patterns for fall sewing.  I find that if I want to "sew with a plan," I work best when I focus on no more than five or six pieces.  After that, I get bored with the colors and need to find something new.

I traced a medium in the shoulders/neckline and a large everywhere else.  I shortened the sleeves ## inches.  I did not make a muslin.  I probably should have shortened it all around as the length on the dress form looks longer than that on the model.  I'll probably always wear it belted.

Simplicity 1321 (skirt)

This is one of two skirts for my fall sewing plan.  I've had this pattern in the stash for a while and decided to sew it when I saw this pattern review.  Her outfit is simple, yet very stylish. While I didn't make mine in a colorful wool, I definitely plan to do so later.

I cut a straight size 16 and made a 1" full seat adjustment.  The skirt was too tight, so I sewed 3/8" seam allowances on all seams - except seam containing the invisible zipper.  I had already installed it before realizing that the skirt was too small.

I finished the waist with petersham and lined with black Ambiance Bemberg as usual.

The fabric is a lightweight bouclĂ© and is hanging weirdly here.  It didn't look as bad when I tried it on.

I haven't decided on what buttons to use.  I'll probably use the one on the one on the left for the sheer fact that I have exactly two of these in the stash.  I have three of the one on the right and would feel weird with having one random button left. 

Ugh those seams!  I swear I pressed them.  Must be the polyester.

New Look 6053 (skirt)

The second skirt is a new favorite.  This pattern is super simple with only two pattern pieces (four if you include the facings). 

Again this is a straight size 16 with 1" full seat adjustment.  I didn't include the facings,  finished the waist with petersham, and inserted a lining.  The fabric is also polyester bouclĂ©.

I have a love-to-hate relationship with polyester.  It can be terribly hot and sticky and pill horribly, but it's washable.  As I usually am covered in chalk by the end of the day, I need more clothes that I can toss in the washer.  

Upcoming Sewing Plans 

To finish up this mini wardrobe plan, I hope to make these:

 Simplicity 1072 (knit top with sequined front panel)

 Simplicity 2599 (sleeveless tank with three-tiered ruffled front)

 McCall's 6654 (double knit skirt)

 New Look 6301 (knit dress)

Because I know I can put off things that are challenging, I started working on the knit sequined top first.  I have never sewn with sequined fabric before and was intimidated by all the prep work.  Most info I found on sewing sequined fabric suggested removing the sequins from the seam allowance first and sewing as normal.

Yeah.  Well.

There are 5,974,842 sequins less than 1/8" in diameter in the seam allowance.  I tried to pick out some sequins on a scrap piece of fabric and nearly lost my mind.  I took the same scrap to my sewing machine and sewed very slowly using the sharpest needle I had, a straight stitch, and then a small zigzag stitch.  And you know what?  It worked.  I didn't break any needles and no sequins came flying out from under the presser foot.
Picking all those sequins?  So not happening. 

If I work really hard (read:  at all), I can finish the top today and post pictures tomorrow.  t's also the last weekend of freedom before...dun dun dun...school starts.  So I might chillax and watch Netflix.  =)

Until next time, peace!





29 July 2016

The Outfit of Opposites

I call this the "outfit of opposites" because it illustrates the word 'opposite' in every sense. 

Old vs. New:  The jacket is Simplicity 2341 (OOP) and the skirt is McCall's 7253 (released this year).  

When this jacket first came out, I was unimpressed.  Though the pattern envelope leaves much to be desired, I bought it anyway because it had front and back shoulder princess seams.  I figured I could use better fabric and leave off the shoulder fins shown in view D.  This is an example of relying heavily on the line drawings and the Internets to bring out inspiration.

The skirt has pleats and can be sewn with or without a waistband.  Views A and E have contrast bands.  I just noticed that the zipper is placed at the center back.  I completely missed this while sewing and placed mine at the left side seam. 

I stayed away from pleated skirts for a very long time until I saw people with a similar shape sew and wear them.  So I gave this pattern a try and happy with the look.

Structured vs. Free-flowing:  The jacket has very defined lines by nature of its military style.  I used metal buttons on the front panel and denim topstitching thread along the princess seams, collar, and hem.

 (hmm...need to resew that third button on the right (facing) side)

The skirt, by contrast, has eight pleats that give it lots of volume and flow.  I roll-hemmed the skirt because hemming this joint any other way gave me fits!  More on that in a moment.

Stash vs. New Purchase:  The denim is from the stash and the animal print cotton voile is not.  I bought the voile with the intention of making a pleated skirt and to pair with this jacket.  I had an image in my mind and am happy to see that it worked.

Lined vs. Unlined:  After making the Jamie Christina coat, I had NO desire to line another jacket.  

 (poly fleece sleeve head)

The skirt, however, is flat-lined.  The voile is very sheer and definitely needed lining.  Again, more on that in a moment.

Neat vs. Hot Mess:  The jacket looks as good on the inside as it does on the outside.  I used my serger to finish the princess seams together before topstitching and used the serger to finish the raw edges for the side and shoulder seams.

The skirt, on the other hand, is a mess!  At some point, I lost track of which way I pressed the pleats, so they're going in all kinds of directions on the inside.  Fortunately, it's not too obvious from the right side.

So about flat-lining and the rolled hem...

Usually I cut my skirt linings the same length as the skirt and then hem the lining after I've hemmed the skirt.  It's not convention, but it works for me.   While I LOVE flat-lining, I ran into an issue with how to hem the skirt and lining.  

In flat-lining, the garment and lining are treated as one unit once attached.  Since the width of the skirt at the hem is SUPER wide and my lining shifted during sewing, it was nearly impossible to turn up the hem and blindstitch.  IMPOSSIBLE.  After stitching and unstitching many times, I gave up and rolled hem the skirt and lining separately.


It is not pretty at all!  There has got to be a better way to do this.  I'm thinking that if I intend to flat-line, then I should cut and hem the lining first and then proceed as normal.  That way, the lining is finished before the side seams are sewn.  Hmm.  


Sewing/Fitting the Jacket:  I started with a size 16 jacket after comparing it to other princess seam patterns I sewed.  I made a 1" swayback adjustment and added 0.5" to the bust area tapering to nothing above and below curve.  I did not make a muslin.

Everything else was pretty straight forward - except for the front button panels.  The instructions have you cut only two pair of panels (one for each side) and stitch them to the front.  There is no mention of how to finish the edges or if they are to be turned under or remain raw.

I did my own thing.  I cut fusible interfacing using the same pattern pieces.  Then I stitched the interfacing to the panels, right sides together, using a 1/4" seam allowance. 

After trimming the seam allowance, I clipped the curved area, turned the facing to the inside, and pressed into place - taking care to roll the interfacing to the underside.

Doing it this way ensures that the panel is interfaced and the raw edges are finished.

The sleeves are freakishly long.  I guess the line drawing shows this, but still.  I didn't expect them to be this long.  After pinning the length I wanted, I lopped off 1.5" from the bottom and then sewed a 1.5" hem.

I didn't include the front zippered pockets or the back tab.  I cut and sewed the tab, but didn't like how it looked.

I sewed the buttons to the front before attaching the facing so that my stitches didn't show.

Sewing/Fitting the Skirt:  I sewed a straight 16 - my usual size in McCall's.  At first I sewed the pleats smaller than the pattern since I wasn't sure how it would fit at the waist.  I didn't need the extra width and stitched everything as designed.  I didn't a full seat adjustment nor did I make a muslin.

The waist is finished with 1.5"-wide petersham.

Wut?  That's TWO garments in a row that were made without a muslin.  Somebody call a paramedic.


I am really happy with how everything turned out - messy insides and all.  I was concerned that the military jacket looked out of proportion lengthwise with the skirt.  I wore it on Tuesday and got several compliments.  I felt good and ultimately didn't care about the proportions. =)

I paired the skirt with three other tops and think they're all fine.  Here they are for comparison:

 left:  Kwik Sew 3558 (denim jacket)
center:  New Look 6704 (chambray shirt)
right:  Simplicity 2341

I can see another version of both patterns in the future.  I'm thinking of making the skirt in a light-to-medium weight wool woven for fall and maybe another view of the jacket in something equally fall-appropriate.


Up next:  Burda 6769 and planning for fall.

I've had this on my radar for a while. After seeing Nakisha's version last month, I moved it to the 'want to sew now' list.  I'm almost finished and hope to post a review soon.

I'm pulling fabrics and finding fabrics to begin sewing for fall.  Waaah!  Summer...don't go!


Edited to add:  Thank you for responding to my question about Instagram versus blogging.  I like using both mediums and will likely continue doing so.  My blogging has fallen off substantially for a number of reasons (some sewing-related, some not).  I was wondering if it had to do with my activity on Insta and if others were experiencing the same.  The general consensus is that people like reading blogs for information about projects; so do I.  I enjoy reading details about what worked and what didn't and largely speed past the 'here's what I made' posts that give no information.   I hope to be better at blogging so that I can contribute to what I like to the community that I like. =)


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