Showing posts with label BurdaStyle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BurdaStyle. Show all posts

Friday, 29 November 2013

Retro ladies wiggle skirt - Burdastyle Jenny

My latest make is a bit of fun.  One of those times when a fabric just leaps out at you and demands to made up into something very specific.  This is a cheap Spotlight cotton print at $6/m.  I has a black background and a purple tinged grey silhouette of a retro lady.  It creases like crazy.   These photos were taken after wearing and sitting in this skirt for several hours.

So, how is it, the eagle eyed amongst you may ask, that this skirt is not a mess of wrinkles across the hips?

Well, I am glad you asked.  Here is a technique I stumbled across while learning some couture sewing techniques and the reason why I buy metres of this stuff in whatever colour I can get my hands on whenever I see it on sale.

Silk Organza Underlning!!!!  This is truly the stuff of miracles and converts a cheap creasing cotton into something that feels, looks and wears like a  much much more expensive and better quality fabric. 

Anyhow, the pattern is my trusty TNT pencil skirt - the Burdastyle Jenny, this time with the waistband omitted and a simple black bias binding for the waistband instead.  I used a centre back lapped zipper and added a ruffle to the bottom because I just like it and was missing my old self-drafted ruffle skirt that I made a couple of years ago and is now about 2 or 3 sizes too small (oopsy). 

For those like myself who love the "guts" pictures here are some pictures of the inside bits:

The ruffle hem is finished with some hot pink bias binding, that just a flash of here and there is seen when I walk.

The centre back seam showing the organza underlining.

 The ruffle is made from three pieces of fabric joined together with french seams.  Here it is from the wrong side.
 And here it is from the right side.  The pattern matching was not too hard as I could seam fairly easily down the centre of the solid black part.  It makes the seams almost invisible though.

 Mmmm.  Ruffle.

The best shot I could get of the back.  I am happy with the centre back seam, I managed to get the pattern matching spot on (yay).  I didn't even attempt to pattern match the sides as I do plan to take this in again when I get my fitness back on track.  Until then, its worth the effort to have a properly fitting dressy skirt.  I do notice that even a couple of sizes up it really doesn't show as long as my clothes are properly fitted (and not tight in the wrong places).

Cost: $8 for the retro print cotton, and about $5 for a short length of organza for the underlining.
Pattern I have used twice before and everything else is from stash.  

Monday, 24 June 2013

Two new tops - a Hummingbird and a boat neck tee.

I've been doing the Hummingbird Sewalong this week and enjoying the social atmosphere over on the Flickr Group page.

The sewalong is for the latest Cake Patterns "Hummingbird" pattern, which is for a knit peplum top and a woven princess seamed skirt with an option for a back flounce or tailfeather.  HELLO!! You had me at "back flounce".

So I'm working on the skirt at the moment but here is the first version of the peplum top, with my fitting notes to get the next version right:

The top is ok and looks good in this photo.  However, I cut the bodice at 16" length - it's WAYY too short and hits a good inch above my actual waist (you can see where my hand is sitting the seam is above it).  I did not have any fabric left to lengthen it (mainly because I had already cut out another tee in the same fabric) so I just went with it.  The versions I have seen that I like the waist actually sits at or just below the waistline and I think this works better for this type of peplum.

I took out just over an inch wedge in the back for a sway back adjustment but I could have taken a smidge more.  The fabric is a medium weight jersey labelled "Japanese Knit" from Spotlight on sale for I think $10/m.  I'm not that keen on the colour but I thought it would be ok for a first try.

From the side you can see the bodice is not quite snug enough for a good fit and also the front rides up - too short, too short.  You need to really zoom in on the photo but I also need to do a forward shoulder adjustment - the seamline is sitting at the back of my shoulders and needs constant readjustment when wearing.  The underarm wrinkles are also a bit more obvious in this photo. I need to lower the underarm curve by 1/2" or more.

Cutting Notes


This version is a size 30 bodice, with a 28" waist, length 16", with a size 40 length and a wider cuff cut 1" shorter than the width so it fits nice and snug on the arm.

Adjustment Notes

So adjustment list for self for next version is as follows:

  • Forward shoulder adjustment 1 cm / 3/8"
  • Sloping shoulder adjustment (already did this one and it needed it bad) 1 cm / 3/8"
  • Cut 18" length (2" longer than current)
  • Lower underarm curve 1" to be safe
  • Sway back adjustment - start with 1" and work from there.
  • Try in a more drapey/lightweight fabric

While I was working on the Hummingbird I also knocked together a modified BurdaStyle Lydia T-shirt using the Cabarita neckine for a boat neck and the Hummingbird binding technique/binding width for a narrow bound neckline and sleeve cuffs.

Its a baggy tee with elbow length sleeves (not enough fabric for full length) and the hemline is from the Scout Woven Tee pattern, which dips down in a flattering curve at the back.  It just adds to the casual everyday wardrobe.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Refashioning: 80's Dress to vintage inspired separates

Recently, Zoe wrote a post about the importance of refashioning and stashbusting, and I couldn't agree more. If you haven't already read it, I highly recommend it as a thought provoking and possibily confronting read.

I have been thinking alot about this subject myself and it is a big reason why I started to sew again after many years, as there are so many items in my (and my mothers) wardrobe that are great fabric and quality but due to being too big, too small or a dated/ugly style are not worn.  It just seems like such a waste.

So recently I raided my mum's wardrobe and my first refashion of bringing new life to an old moth eaten skirt is here.  I am so thrilled with it, especially as when I wear it I love that I am wearing a piece of our family history.

Enter this polka dot dress from the 1980s. It was a size 16(AUS) and a shapeless shirtdress with footballers shoulders, complete with massive shoulder pads.

Mmmm, nice.  The photo is me wearing it is after I had taken off the shoulder pads and the massive sleeves.

But I adore polka dots and navy so I knew I had to have a crack at turning this into something wearable.  So with Mum's blessing I took it and got work.

Here is the result:

Polka Dot 80's dress refashion
Polka Dot 80's dress refashion

Oh, I'm very pleased.

I cut the dress in half and used Burdastyle Jenny to recut the skirt, leaving the centre back seam and vent untouched.  Everything else is remade.  I added a lapped side zipper and used the bottom part of the huge 1980's sleeves for the waistband.  I didn't have enough fabric to overlap the waistband so I just added hooks and eyes.

Polka Dot 80's dress refashion

For the top I overlaid a bodice pattern that fitted well and recut the shoulders and armholes and sleeves, resewed the side seams and put in darts front and back to make it a bit less blousy and slightly more fitted.

Polka Dot 80's dress refashion
Polka Dot 80's dress refashion
Polka Dot 80's dress refashion

I removed the scary 1980's buttons and replaced them with self covered buttons.  You can just see in the bodice shot above the piecing I had to do in the underarm seams as the arm curve run out of fabric at the side seam (due to me cutting a smaller armhole into a much larger one) so I had to add in a triangle of fabric.  I doubt anyone but me (and other seamstress) would notice though.

The other thing is I had to patch a bit on the skirt as it was where the original button placket extended to.  It looks a bit odd close up but from a distance is not visible as I matched the dot pattern as closely as I could.

The only parts of the dress not redone was the centre back seam and vent on the skirt and the collar, yoke and button placket on the blouse.

The fabric is just some kind of polyester but it pressed beautifully and was lovely to sew with, other than extreme fraying, which my serger promptly tamed.  (Thank goodness for sergers/overlockers - this would have been a bit of a nightmare to sew without one due to the fraying).

As this is now a skirt and a blouse I can also see myself wearing this as separates.  I love the kelly green and navy combo and I am currently making a couple of things in kelly green which I think would look cute.  I am also doing a refashion of an ivory blouse from Mum's wardrobe as well, which I think will look good with the polka dot skirt.

Oh, and because the original dress came with a belt, I shortened the belt (easier than I thought) and can also wear the blouse untucked and belted for a peplum look:

Polka dot Peplum

Thank you Mum for your lovely dress and once again, I love that I am wearing a piece with our family history.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Burda Jenny Skirt

I've been eying off the Burda Jenny Skirt for a while ever since I did a Google Image Search of this pattern and was struck on how lovely it looks on everyone.

Burdastyle Jenny Skirt
I came into a fabric stash bonanza last week when my husband went to Vietnam on a business trip and went out of his way to go to the fabric district/street and went fabric shopping for me.   Having no idea about fabric he sent me a few bewildered text messages while I frantically tried to point him in the right direction via telepathy.

Anyhow, he managed to do an excellent job.  I have enough fabric to see me out for a few projects.  Love that man, I really do.

One of the pieces he bought was a length of what feels like a stretch twill/drill in a dark olive green/khaki.  Not sure of fabric content.  It feels nice, and a natural fibre not synthetic. 

I printed off my Jenny pattern and set to work.  I had just enough to make the skirt but not cut the waistband on the bias.

I am loving this pattern, I did make a couple of tweaks...

- I tapered the skirt in a little from hip to hem, about an extra 1/2" for a total 2 inches overall.

The red line is the new side seam tapering in for a
more fitted pencil skirt.  I also halved the waistband width.

- I only cut 1 of the waistband pieces and then folded it over to make it half the width as I didn't want the really high waistband look.  The top was siting out from the body a little too much so I pressed the fold so I had a clear crease and then stitched some cotton tape next to the fold mark, pulling the tape as I stitched and easing the waistband in as I went.  This worked so nicely: it stabilised the waistband beautifully and also brought it in snugly against my body for exactly the fitted look I was after.  Will do this again.
- I added a back vent as per Sunni's tutorial, a much classier look.  Sunni has also done a pencil skirt sewalong which is brilliant.

Waistband finish
Back vent and hem finish.

I used some leftover silk bias strips to finish the waistband so I wouldn't have bulk from turning the seam under and also to finish the vent seams and hemline, which just looks pretty on the inside.  I didn't line it as I wanted to fit it closely and take advantage of its natural stretch unhindered by lining.  It is a heavy weight fabric so sits well without lining although I may go back and add some later (maybe cut on the bias so it has stretch as well??).

This skirt has my best fitting waistband yet.

Closeup of my butt - invisible zipper and I love the classy back vent

This will definitely be my TNT pencil pattern.  I plan to make a few versions as I really love this look, plus its such a great quick and easy project to knock out, which was a relief after the many hours I spent fluffing about with my Juniper pants.

My firsts for this project: 

  • First back vent
  • First time using binding to finish waistband facing instead of turning under.
I'm wearing it here with my new Simplicity 1872 blouse.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Pale Green Burda Lydia

I had a great Saturday afternoon where I actually managed to escape suburbia for a brief couple of hours and trekked across Sydney to my new favourite place: Sydney Remnant Warehouse.

I did go just a little crazy and stash shopped like a mad-woman, stocking up on a whole heap of 1m lengths of very good quality italian cotton jersey in lots of colours to make a whole series of BurdaStyle Lydia long sleeved T's for this winter/autumn.

First off the rank was this pale green version.  The Lydia I made up in a size 34 but I did taper out to the smallest possible seam allowance at the bottom to cater for my pear shape.   This is such a fast easy project and results in a RTW looking top.  I used my twin needles to do a mock coverstitch to finish the hems and neckline and I am pretty happy with the professional "non homemade" look it gives.

I had some trouble with my twin needles last time I tried it but was able to work out the kinks (it all came down to how I threaded it, on a Janome you treat the two threads as one and thread together down until the little hook thingy just above the needle, the main thread goes in the little hook on the left as normal and threaded through the left needle, the second thread goes into a little hook on the right that I have never noticed before and threaded through the needle on the right) and it worked perfectly this time.

 It was perfectly acceptable when I made it but then I decided it looked boring and so I used this ruffle tutorial and also some ideas for the flower from this one as well to add ruffles:

Ruffled Lydia
My attempt at ruffles lasted less than a day....
After wearing it like this for half the day I decided that the look just wasn't "me" so off they came again, and I am left with a plain basic long sleeved T.  The flower broach was fun to make though.  I have starched it to stiffen it up to help it sit properly and I can use it on its own when I feel "fancyness" is in order.

Adding a bright scarf is more my look I decided.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Burda Lydia #3197 - Long sleeve T-shirt

I need some long sleeve T-shirts so decided to try the BurdaStyle Lydia pattern after seeing it online.  I especially liked this version with a peter pan collar (current obsession, love them so much) which showed how versatile the pattern can be.  And only $1.00. 

After reading some blogs online that recommended to cut a size down from my usual Burda size, I cut size 34 in the top grading out to a 36 in the hips.  By the measurements I should have used a 36/38. Next time I will cut a 34 all over, it is already cut for a pear shape body and I don't need the extra in the hips in this pattern.  If I wanted a more fitted look I could even cut a 32 on a more stretchy jersey fabric.

I cut a size 38 neckline as a lazy way to get a higher neckline.

Took an inch off the length as the waist seemed a little long for me but I also didn't really need to do this, I think it is now just a tad short.

All up, I made it up in an evening of sewing and I am very happy with it.  Looking forward to making a few more off this pattern.

Just as a note to Janome: what's with the not including twin needle instructions in the instruction manual for the Janome 6260QC????? Huh!!!!! HUH!!!

Anyhow, for my future reference here are a list of the most useful twin needle tutorials I found:

You Tube Video Useful Tips for Twin Needle Stitching
YouTube Video - Detailed Threading Info (not sure if relevant to my Janome)

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Wistfully Wishfull

This is my shiny new and sparkling blog, dedicated to sewing and other stuff. Don't know how "bloggy" I am going to be but I decided to try out the for a while.

Now, for my current thoughts...

I wish I had more hours in the day to do everything I need to do.

Currently I crave to sew, its my newest addiction.  I have a collection of projects and patterns to make and a whole new world of sewing blogs to pore over and admire the enormous talent of all these amazing amazing women who sew.

Sewing, its my happy tranquil meditation place.
But real life keeps interjecting: dishes to wash, cleaning cleaning and more cleaning, children to feed and play with and nuture and then there is the laundry!!! OMG the never ending MOUNTAINS OF LAUNDRY!!!!  Oh, and a bit of work here and there to keep my hand "in" and brain still working.


On my list of projects are:

Something from my newly arrived Colette Sewing Handbook, first up the Taffy Blouse and the Meringue Skirt.

Something from my uber-feminine Sew Serendipity book, most likely a dress, still haven't decided, I think it will depend on finding a fabric that speaks to me.

Something from the just-ordered from Amazon, and currently winging its way towards me, estimated delivery not until mid January, Burda Style Sewing Handbook.  I ended up buying this on a whim whilst browsing the other night (the dangers of one-click ordering function) after I saw a post on it on this blog, which was a great review and really let me see the book properly.

Plus a huge pile of ideas for dresses, tops and skirts for my lovely 5 year old and 1.5 year old daughters.

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