Sunday, April 29, 2018

Closet Orphan - Burda Scuba Paneled Top 11/2017 #119


I think I have made a sewist's version of a closet orphan. A garment you love, but that proves very difficult to pair with other items. It seldom gets worn because it doesn’t play nicely within the context of outfits.  





There are various way a closet orphan get into a non sewers closet. Purchased because it was such a bargain or for the fantasized version of a lifestyle, size or image. The sewer's version can be sewn  for the same fantasized items, but some other things, at least for me, can also contribute.   The first is being inspired by a garment pattern with an interesting style or detail that I want to try sewing, and the second is having the same or similar fabrics, used on the garment in the pattern photo, aging in my stash.    I  really need to think about  the questions below, and give myself  honest answers.

Is it a good style for my body?
Does it fit my lifestyle?  Reminder this is 70 %  office casual for work, 28% weekend, 2% special occasion
Appropriate fabrics in stash?
Are the fabrics in flattering colors. Another reminder, some fabrics are in your stash cause they are colors that are not flattering to you.
Wardrobe versatility  - will it play well with garment in my wardrobe now? Not ones I could sew in the future.

The color blocking  and seaming  of this top caught my attention. I thought the style was one that would work for me. Peplums are okay  and raglan sleeves are okay, but require alterations. Fabric, well because of my ginormous stash, I had the appropriate fabric. Wool jersey knit purchased because "it was such a bargain" (Fabric Mart,  I know there are others out there that bought at the same time, I remember the discussion board enabling). The colors tan, brown, and orange coordinate and used in the light to darker order in the top create a slimmer silhouette. Are they flattering colors for me? Not so sure. Well the beige is the best color to be near my face. Better  than the orange or the baby sh*t brown ( bad babysitting memory) or milk chocolate as I believe it is often called.




I sewed this top back in January. I  enjoyed the process  and seeing the top come together. There were lots of long narrow pattern pieces that tended to curl up because my tracing paper is stored on a roll and evidently has a shape memory.  Lots of seam edges to add 5/8 inch seams to. I altered the back bodice and raglan sleeves for upper back curvature.  I sewed the top together on the  sewing machine using 5/8 inch seams. And only after making sure it fit well and all alterations were done did I serge   the seams to remove extra fabric from the seam allowances.  Before sewing in the sleeves,  I  hand basted them to the garment to match all the points where the color bands meet.  I didn’t use the recommended exposed back zipper, instead opting for a small slit at the neckline with hook and eye closure.

I love the fit and comfort of this top, but the peplum is very flared and ends right at my body's widest area.  I am not real thrilled with the look worn with slim fitting trousers.   Maybe a skirt would look better. A pencil skirt in the beige or brown wool or an orange/ brown tweedy fabric. A skirt I don't have. So for now I will put this top in my closet and I will revisit  it in the fall. Spring sewing project are queueing up.



Furball Photo Bomber

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Any sewn orphans in your closet?

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Burda 6456 Blouses - Stripes

I  purchased Endless Sea Embroidered Border Cotton Fabric 45"-Blue & White Stripe ( JOANN Fabrics) to make  a multipurpose tunic style garment for a recent warm weather vacation. Something that could be worn as a swim suit cover up or as a tunic over leggings for drinks /dinner.







 “CheapO” me had only purchase 1.5 yards, so I needed a fairly simple tunic pattern that used minimal fabric.  Burda 6456, with some modifications, met my requirements.   “These Misses' blouses feature a shoulder yoke and a stand collar and can do without a fastening, thanks to a slit in the center front seam! View A, the longer style, also has side slits and simple cuffed sleeves. Sleeveless View B is adorned with flounces in front.







For view A, the longer style, I had to make a couple pattern modifications to reduce fabric usage .

• Eliminated center front seam and made a facing for the slit area of the front neckline.
• Folded out tucks in sleeve head and added a bit of height to shoulder cap. Shortened sleeves to above elbow length.
• Trimmed the embroidered border on the sleeve. 

The finished garment worked beautifully for its intended purposes. Only complaint is the fabric is rather lightweight and when wearing with white leggings I needed to wear a white camisole to eliminate the easily seen  color difference between white legging and my skin at the waist.


Burda 6456 tunic




Burda 6456 - in cruise ship cabin



Here are other ideas for tops made out of similar fabric




 I also cut out and sewed  view B, the  sleeveless flounced version, out of some large scraps of striped menswear shirting. The center front seam is definitely needed for this style.  The bottoms of the flounces are sewn in the center front seam up to the point where the neckline opening starts. Then the flounce and garment front  SA’s are clipped to the seam line stopping point and totally flipped over before being sewn to finish the neckline slit. It is one of those sewing techniques that throws up a mental “proceed with caution” warning for me. One overzealous snip and you have an unfixable hole.

The pattern instructions have you hem the flounce by turning under the 5/8” seam allowance, zig zag stitch close the folded edge and trim off the excess seam allowance close to the stitching.  I prefer non raw edge hems, but thought “why not try it” especially since the fabric was high thread count cotton and the flounce hem edge is on the bias (non-fray). For now the  finish looks fine, but the true test will be how it looks after a few washes.


Burda 6456 flounce hem


Burda 6456 flounce hem trimming

Burda provides the pattern for the bias trim strip but it has a 3/8 inch seam allowance. The sleeve opening has a 5/8 inch seam allowance.  The sleeve opening seam allowance must be trimmed down to 3/8” before sewing on the binding strip.  This is in the instructions, but I never read them until after I look at the seam binding width and say “what the…, this isn’t going to be wide enough to cover the trimmed seam neatly.”

My striped flounce top is a bit cropped because of the size of the fabric scraps I used to make it.  Until the weather settles down ( 70 degrees one day, snow the next) I'll wear it with a sweater. Though I couldn't resist pushing for spring dressing by pairing it with a pair of white corduroy pants.

Burda 6456


Burda 6456 View B



Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Quick and Casual

 I am trying to bring my sewing project documentation up to date. Back in Jan, when it was cold and dreary... Oh wait it is still cold and dreary...I felt the desire for some  quick to sew, casual garments to up my weekend fashion "cred". Both sons  and their girlfriends come over for Sunday dinner ( and to use the washer and dryer). The girls always look super cute, shaming me into making more of an effort with my weekend wear.

I took See and Sew B6504 pattern  to the sewing retreat, but had no fabric.  On the giveaway table, I found a length of black and white knit for the top and some purple ribbed knit for contrast sleeves.  It is a quick to sew garment.  The circular seamed  sections seems like unnecessary sewing as they do not add any shaping or pockets like I thought they would. But in the original pattern, Butterick 6291, there is a color blocked version that makes use of this seaming. This top is very oversize . I made it in a size Small after checking that this size still provided plenty of wearing ease when compared to my body measurements.






B6504


Garments 2 & 3

Sometime I see the sample garment on a pattern envelope and just fall in love  with the fabric or color combination.  Yep, that how I felt about Butterick 6389.


I found the black and grey abstract print knit at Denver Fabrics. The green knit, used for the vest, was in my stash.  Another quick sew, especially when I left out the invisible zipper in the back of the top, My knit was stretchy enough to get over my head.




Butterick 6389


Only four more projects to blog about. Coming soon.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

BurdaStyle Folklore Jacket 1 2018 112


I finally got some "no plans" days at the end of my Dec. holiday to do some sewing.  This jacket in the Folklore Fashion section of the Burdastyle Jan 2018 issue grabbed my attention.  It was a short, slightly flared jacket with 3/4 length sleeves, stand up collar, hook and eye closure and pieced geometric panels. It was shown in solid colors of red, white and blue. I preferred a bit more subdued color blocking  and luckily I had some large wool scraps in my scrap bag that were perfect.

Burdastyle 1 2018 112







There were 5 pages of illustrated,  detailed instructions for this jacket included in the magazine.
I am glad I had  long stretches of uninterrupted sewing time.  This is not a project for “Sadie the Slapdash Sewist”.  Who is Sadie? Not a real person, but a sewing caricature in my mind who cuts and sews sloppily and then blames the pattern company for a crappy pattern. Anyway back on topic.  Careful pattern tracing, cutting, seam line marking and sewing are necessary on this project.  Those small triangles look very similar but they are not. There is some bust shaping built into the pieced area in the front, so the sides of the triangles are slightly different lengths, even the small ones that look like equilateral triangles.   The directions recommend marking the  pattern piece number, grain line arrow and seam lines, on each triangle piece. Even though I followed those directions and was very careful, I inserted one triangle sideways resulting in one front being shorter than the other.  I had to measure the sewn sides of each triangle until I found the culprit and ripped it out.   The precision quilter in me wished the pieced sections had been provided in a foundation piecing format.  A method of stitching fabric shapes to a paper foundation that facilitates precision piecing and sharp corners. The paper is removed after piecing. But that is an advanced quilting technique. Not one I would expect to see used in a Burda pattern. The pattern does include a separate front lining with no piecing. I  added a center back seam for the shaping I need  for an upper back curve.

It was a fun project and I like the finished jacket.  A bit distinctive, so not what I would call a wardrobe staple,  but a fun piece that other sewists would appreciate. And it used up some of my larger fabric remnants.





I am working from home today because of the weather. So I was able to get daylight pictures without having to wait for the weekend.  And since DH is now retired, I had a photographer.  Hooray for snow days!