Sunday, April 26, 2015

Cullotes and Construction

My latest sewing projects are a pair of culottes and a jacket. I wore culottes many years ago and remember liking them a lot.  The patterns is from Burda 4 2015, pattern 113.

Burda 4 2015 113

The fabric is a tropical weight wool blend, 97% Wool 3% Lycra purchased from Roz at Sew Much Fabric . It is a lightweight fabric with some body, which was the Burda fabric recommendation. This pattern has deep pleats in the front and the longest darts I have ever seen in the back. They actually ends below butt level. They look okay though.

The culottes are definitely comfortable to wear. For some reason the "legs" of my culottes look much wider than those in the magazine pictures. Ah well, perhaps because I am shorter and wider than most models. The waistband is about 2" high which is great if you want to wear cropped tops without flashing skin. I made a semi fitted, waist length jacket to wear with these culottes. The linen print fabric was also purchased from SMF. The colors, white, gray and a light chartreuse (greenish yellow) are so fresh and calming. I liked everything about this fabric. The pattern is one of many McCall's NY NY Collection patterns in my stash. They all have garments which were a little different from the popular styles back in the 1990's, when they were issued, so I think that saves them from reeking heavily of that era.
McCall's 8611
Cropped tops seem to be very popular now. Ror the last couple years, Burda magazines has had patterns for many of them,  but they are all too boxy for my narrow shoulders and the shapelessness overwhelms my top half. My "over 55 years old" interpretation of this trend is a semi fitted, cropped at the waist top, like this jacket.  The jacket is unlined. I serged all the edges of the garment pieces to prevent raveling. This jacket was a fast, fun sew.

Burda 4 2015 113
What is the  construction in the blog title?  DH has been working every weekend for the last month, removing the dark paneling in our 35 X 15 ft. dungeon   family room and replacing it with wallboard. My weekend sewing, cooking, cleaning activities were constantly interrupted to help him bring in wallboard from the truck, or hold it in place while he screwed it to the studs. I was only too happy to help. Next we get to do the fun stuff like picking out paint colors and buying new furniture. Anyone want a 35 year old sleeper sofa?

 Using the wallboard as a backdrop for my pictures also serves the purpose of showing other family members where we are on the project. And I liked the purple color or the waterproof wall board. ( near a shower)
Something is not level. Yeah, the sawhorse the camera is sitting on.
No more dark paneling!


Monday, April 6, 2015


Have you ever been fascinated by something because of its ugliness or because something seems off- kilter about it.

"He had a big head and a face so ugly it became almost fascinating."   Ayn Rand

Vogue pattern 9096 is like that for me.

Vogue 9096

I like the faced rounded shapes on the jacket. But their placement on only one side seems a bit heavy (especially on the longer jacket)  and the square bottom corner of the LHS  is jarring to me.  I like asymmetric designs, but they have to flow in some way. Is it just me or does anyone else find this design unbalanced? 

There was no sample jacket of View A on the Vogue website. Just the pattern drawing. I couldn't stand it, and on an impulse, I decided to make the short jacket. In red just like the pattern envelope picture. The fabrics were  red poly/rayon linen look and  mystery fiber  lining material from my stash,  both circa 1980. The  pattern  has two piece raglan like sleeves and the  front of the jacket extends into a standing back collar. The pattern come in sizes Y(XSmall-Small-Medium), ZZ(Large-XLarge-XXLarge)  Equivalent to Size 4 to Size 26.

I made a size M (size 12-14)  The pattern is rated easy and in general, based on pattern pieces and sewing skills needed, it is.  However it is lined to the edge. The lining is assembled separately, as though it were a second garment, placed inside the garment, wrong side to wrong side, and attached along the edges, it provides the garment with a perfectly smooth inside finish.  With this method the lining is not cut larger that the fashion garment to provide length and width fitting ease ( generally at center back, armhole, hem edge, elbow, sleeve hem, shoulder) like a tailored suit lining is.

So inaccurate sewing, seams slightly bigger in the lining construction for example, are a recipe for disaster. I consider myself an experienced sewer and these types of lining are not easy for me.   To up the chances of success, I interfaced the edges of the front pieces and the collar as these are all cut on the bias. I also added a center back pleat to the lining and cut the lining about 1/8 inch bigger that the garment pieces.


Top Stitching with edge stitch pressure foot

The curved side overlaps the straight front side. But the front did not hang neatly, overlapping as shown in the pattern drawing.The pattern does not call for a closure. When I tried to add snaps to keep the pieces overlapped, the fabric puckered and  pulled. I believe, in part, because one side is heavier than the other.

lining and snaps

puckers , yuck

So for the time being I will wear the jacket  it open. I am tempted to add a curved shape to the LHS. It would satisfy my need for a repeated design element. And  I cut two of that piece, not paying attention to the "cut 1" on the pattern piece.  I do think the technique for applying the shapes on the longer coat is interesting and could be used on another  project. It also reminds me of the all the Lois Ericson patterns I have in my stash.  She used faced shapes on her art to wear garments.