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


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