Saturday, November 28, 2009

Burda 9/2009 #105/106, take 1

In the September Burda issue, there is this shirt (106, too many ruffles):
and this shirt (105, nice but not special):

I wanted the plain fit of 105 but the ruffles on 106. In theory, the result is what I'd love to wear. Ruffles, gray, and fitted. But I think this will end up a wadder. I'm going to wait a few days and see how I feel about it.

I didn't need to make a petite adjustment in the upper bust. The dart now falls above the rack and there is a bit of fabric pulling in the top of the shirt.

The buttonholes turned out to be a mess because with three layers of shirting for the ruffles, I didn't need to put in interfacing after all. They don't look so bad buttoned, and if you don't stare at my chest (ahem)...

But I don't think this will stand up to more than a few washes.

Add this to the fact that the fabric was fragile and bruised and run in a few places. Here's a bruise on one of the shirt cuffs.

And a loose thread that turned into a run on the shoulder.

I think I'll try again but with a few changes...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Getting in touch with my inner prep: Burda 1/06 Henley jacket

...and not getting in touch with my camera. Half of my photos when taking pictures of this jacket came out like this.

I'll spare you those and show some pictures of the fixed sleeves, lining, and trim up close. As you may recall from this post, I was having problems with the sleeve hem. I ended up taking out the sleeves, trimming 1/2" around off the top (1" in the shoulder) and setting them back in. There is very little ease in the upper arms now... and I have pretty scrawny arms. This jacket is pretty cozy and it's like wearing a sweater, so I don't lament not being able to wear a sweater under it.

The fabric is a heavy wool tweed from and the trim is black crepe back satin that I had in stash.

Here is a picture showing the lining.

Here is a picture of the trim. The trim goes on the facing and front pieces, as well as the upper collar. I don't have a good picture of the sleeve trim... it's one of the blurry photos I took.

This photo also shows a little secret. I used some of the trim fabric for the collar stand on the outside. I was trying to squeeze a jacket that needed 1 3/4 yards of fabric out of 1 1/2 yards and there was no way I could get two collar stands out of it while cutting all the other pieces out!

And another little secret? The upper collar on one side of the jacket turned out a little higher than the other side. Betcha can't tell from the photos which one it is... and I hope no one else but me notices!

Patriots robe

The first of the Christmas gifts is done -- this went together very quickly. It's the third time that I've made a robe from this pattern and at this point I can almost do it in my sleep. I made a few unplanned changes this time, and if I make this again I have some additional changes I'd like to make.

Unplanned changes?
Sometimes I'm a space cadet. Sometimes I can't control what comes out of my mouth. Sometimes this converges so that when I want 3 7/8 yard of 60" fabric, I'll somehow have forgotten that I'm sewing for someone else so should get the full amount needed and blurt out "3 and a half yards please" at the cutting counter. Add the fact that the saleswoman cut each yard an inch short and I was 10" short on fabric for this project.

Not to worry, I'm not the only short person in my family! Shortness is inherited, and my dad is not as tall as the Butterick male ideal (he's about 5'7" whereas the Butterick Man is 5'10" So I could take 3" off the hem. I also cut the front facings an additional 2" short, which saved fabric and bulk -- I sewed up the hem like a facing over the facing... Sounds confusing, but here's a picture.

Changes for next time?

If I sew this again, I'd make the cuffs wider. With the turn of cloth for a bulky fabric like fleece, the cuffs are pretty skimpy. I've also made this in flannel, and the cuffs are about the right width.

Some other notes about this pattern and sewing with fleece
Butterick's pretty serious about the amount of fabric that you need. There's no waste in the layout and very little room for fudging around. I'm lucky that I could cop out and shorten the pattern pieces. The robe seems long on me (forgive the belly skin in the pic) but will probably fall just below the knee on my dad.

This fleece is such a novelty fabric... I bought it at Joann and it is Joann quality as in it shed everywhere. I've been sniffling all day from sewing with it. That said, it's still easy to sew because it doesn't fray and is stretchy so easing sleeves and the collar is very easy. I set the sleeves in flat with no problem.

To finish the seams, I mock flat felled them with a zig zag stitch. Here is a picture of the upper collar and shoulder seams.

And I bartacked the belt loops. I hope that they're in the right place. When I've made this robe for myself, I've had to move the belt loops up by 3". You can't see it in the photos either, but I bartacked the cuffs in place. The pattern instructions tell you to hand sew them, but I'm no sucker. If I can find away to avoid hand stitching by taking a machine short cut, I will!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

this up next: Fleece robe

Thanks for the compliments on my jacket and ideas for what to do about the sleeves. When I read A Sewn Wardrobe's idea about a stray string getting caught in the sleeve (and so making it bunchy) I was so hopeful that it would be that easy a fix. It wasn't. I sucked it up last night and opened up the jacket, took up the sleeves at the shoulder. In all, I took out 1" of shoulder ease and 1/2" in the rest of the sleeve. It didn't completely fix the problem (it's still a little bunchy) and now the sleeves are kind of snug on my upper arms. But it looks much better and the half hour of ripping stitches and pinning (pins in armpits are no fun, ask me how I know!) was worthwhile because now I'll actually wear this jacket. I'll post pictures this weekend.

The next thing I'm sewing is this robe as a Christmas gift for my dad. [Aside: Isn't this envelope hilarious? It's like the Bennetton sleepover and that glasses guy with the little red book is going to end up falling asleep first and getting toilet papered.]

With this fabric which I paid an embarrassing amount for, just because it has the Patriots print on it.

It was twice the price of unprinted fleece! But this is for my dad, and I'm willing to put my biases aside... I don't really sew with Butterick -- so dowdy looking! I'm a total sucker for good illustration. And I don't really care for football, unless we're talking about the Steelers. But that said, I know this will turn out well and will be something that my dad will like.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

So close...

This is the jacket, from Burda 1/2006, that I'm basing mine on. I didn't really pay much attention to this jacket when the magazine came out because the fabrics are not what I'd choose.

I'm almost done... I thought I was done until I tried the jacket on and the vents are all wonky so that the sleeves don't fall smoothly. I'm at a loss for how to fix this except for folding up the sleeves, which works well and all but I do want to be able to wear this jacket without adjusting the sleeves. Any thoughts?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sewing sort of with a plan

Lee and I went to the Big Deal Halloween party and my costume was a hit, but I have to say that the guy who dressed up as the Balloon Boy took the cake. Seriously, his costume was awesome. And I'd show you photos of the dress in action, but somehow I managed to only show my back to the camera (in the photos that I've seen) so there's nothing new to see unless you want further proof that I really need a haircut.

I am slowly, slowly working on a tweed jacket for myself. The lightweight jacket that I was thinking of earlier this Fall has kind of gone by the wayside. It was freezing here in October, and I decided that I didn't want to mess around with a cotton jacket (although I did make a muslin). Because I am IMPATIENT and have to have everything NOW I cut right into some heavyweight wool tweed for a jacket similar to this:

You can get one for a cool $425 here. And I hope you won't be making a pissy face like the model when you wear yours. The trim on the jacket is turning out to be really fussy, one of the most tedious things I've worked on in a while.

In other news, I've decided to make Christmas gifts for everyone on my list (my immediate family and Lee.) I figured I should start planning now because it seems that almost every week this Fall I've either had guests or been heading out of town (I am just returning from another work trip tonight) which means almost no time to sew! This is the first year that I'm making an effort to make all my gifts. I have made gifts for people in the past, and to be honest I am a bit gunshy of making things for others. Most of my friends are truly gracious and a joy to give to; they make you feel like you've received a gift yourself! It's the few people I've made things for who are very critical of my gifts that make me unsure of giving homemade gifts. They can't be returned, unlike a storebought gift, so if it doesn't suit the recipient's taste they're kind of stuck with it (until they unceremoniously throw it out.) The part that really gets me, though, isn't so much the critique of what I've chosen for them but the waste of my time in making something that garners me a load of complaints. I know, I'm whining, but that's time that I could have used to make something for myself or for someone who actually likes what I make!

What about you? Do you make gifts to give? Are you making gifts this holiday season?