Saturday, 30 January 2016

BurdaStyle Easy 1/2014 1a Blouson jacket

After last weeks finish of the shift dress I wanted to remake this jacket that was done a couple of weeks ago in the corduroy fabric.  I used the left over fabric from the shift dress, using the cotton sateen for the front and back and the crepe for the sleeves.

I've seen this style in the shops done in lightweight fabric for a cool summer cover up.  As it has a quite heavy zip ideally I should have created a front facing to support it.  However I didn't have enough fabric for that, so instead I used an interfacing on the front panels instead.  As the crepe is very stretchy it wouldn't be any good for long sleeves as my elbows would soon stretch it out of shape, so I used view A for the short sleeves.  I lengthened the sleeves by about 1 1/2 inches.

I made a boo-boo on one of the sleeves.  The sleeves are in 2 pieces, a front side and a back side. As both sides of the crepe are the same, I managed to sew one sleeve wrong sides together instead of right sides together.  This meant when joining to the bodice the seam was on the outside of the garment.  By the time I'd discovered the mistake  I'd sewn the outer seam and the inner/underarm seam and overlocked them.  To unstitch I'd have to undo both my sewing and overlocking and then work with a very narrow seam allowance.  As the crepe is thin and stretchy I didn't think unstitching would be successful, I'd stretch and poke holes in the fabric.  So my other options were either to go shopping for more fabric to redo both sleeves, or to find some way to disguise the fact that the seam was on the outside.  I elected to go with disguising the seam.  I found some blue trim in my stash and sewed that to the outside of both sleeves.  I'm quite pleased with how that worked out.

 Overall this has worked out as a nice cool casual summer cover up.  Ideal for when the mornings and evenings cool down a bit.

More photos

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Burdastyle 09/2015 #108B Shift dress

I have made this shift dress from BurdaStyle.

 The original pattern was to be made in a wool fabric but I wanted to make it as a shift dress for summer.

BurdaStyle describe it as: " This classic shift dress features hidden pockets, which will come in handy more than you will ever think. There are no sleeves and a slight boatneck."  It has an invisible zip in the back and their version is lined.
Their photo:

My version was made from cotton sateen for the front and back and crepe for the side panels. I am worried about the crepe has it has more stretch than I had realised and it may not wear very well as the centre panels may stretch out of shape.  As I was making this for summer, I wanted it light weight so did not want it lined.  This meant I needed to make a neck facing and used bias binding on the armholes.  I also needed to change the construction from the order given to take these into account.   In the pattern, one pocket piece is attached to the lining, so I needed to cut 2 extra pocket pieces to make a pocket 'bag' to put in the seam.

After seeing scalloped hems on dresses in shops I decided I wanted a scalloped hem.  I searched the internet for tutorials and found this great one on Colette.  

I practiced first to get the size of the scallops right.  The first step is making a template for the scallops.  The first one I made was too small at 1 1/2 inches wide.  When I tried it on my first test fabric, it just looked like a hem gone wrong.  I increased the size so they were 4 inches wide and that seemed to work just fine.  I think if I do another scalloped hem I may make them a bit deeper/ higher, but overall I'm satisfied with how they turned out. I finished the hem by handstitching as recommended on the Colette site.

The photo shows the 2 templates.  The top one was too small, the second almost right.

If anyone is wanting to try out scalloped hems,
 give it a go. It is easier than it looks.

More photos:

This will be a comfortable loose fitting cool dress for summer.  It  is quite possible I'll make another of these.

I have enough fabric left over to make a jacket, using the cotton sateen for the front and back and the crepe for the sleeves.  I don't have enough cotton to do the sleeves as well.  Given the stretch that the crepe has, I will make it in short sleeves, so my elbows don't wear bulges in the crepe.

The cotton sateen was from Centrepoint, 1.5m for $29.90 and the crepe from SmartDress fabrics for $10 for 1 metre.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Burda Easy 01/14 Jacket

In the run up to Xmas Burda were putting up a special advent deal each day.  They offered this pattern free, it was originally in BurdaEasy 01/2014, 1c.

It comes with welt pockets, as shown, patch pockets and a short sleeve version.  I used the long sleeve version with patch pockets.


This was my first attempt at  using corduroy.  Now corduroy should always be cut on the nap - all fabric pieces pointing in the same direction.  It is kind of like stroking a cat.  Stroke the cat one way and all their fur will lie in the same direction.  However if you stroke part of the cats back toward the tail, and part to the head it will lie in different directions and look different.  The same is true of materials like corduroy and velvet.  I had bought my corduroy on special and it was a fairly narrow width.  This meant I was just too short to cut all the pieces on the same nap.  However I was determined to use this fabric with this pattern regardless.  I had to place the front sleeve pieces the wrong way up.  I also accidentally (my fault entirely, nothing to do with fabric shortage), placed the pocket pieces the wrong way around.   However I think I will probably be the only one who notices the error, or possibly other sewers.

The pattern was simple to make. However I did have problems when I started.  The first thing to be made was the pockets.  I found the corduroy moved around so much it was difficult to line them up properly.  Even pinning they shifted.  So I switched to the walking foot on my sewing machine.  I'd say this is essential as this made things so much easier.

Here are some other views of it.

As it is unlined I wanted it reasonably attractive on the inside, so finished with a Hong Kong seam finish.  I made the bias binding from leftover rayon that was used to line my voile dress.

As I was making this I had to wonder about my timing.  It is the middle of summer and temperature in the high  20's with humidity in the 90 - 100%.  I won't be able to wear this for a few months.

Anyway, next to be made is a sleeveless shift dress that will be perfect for summer.

A special friend gave me a heart blackboard on the weekend.  It now hangs in my sewing room, with Tim Gunn's famous words for inspiration.