Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fuchsia wool flannel skirt, Burda 06-2010-112

I mentioned having made 2 purple skirts in my last post.  I didn't realize I had so much purple fabric, or realize that I'd made 2 purple skirts until I'd gotten halfway through this one.  It's made from a Vera Wang fuchsia wool flannel that I got on crazy sale last winter for, like, $1.99.  This skirt uses less than a yard so I have a little bit of this stuff left over.  Maybe it will be a hat?  It was dreamy to sew with, it really pressed nicely and didn't slide around or misbehave.  The Slapdash Sewist also bought some of this in that same sale, and made this lovely fitted jacket with her piece.  One of the things that I like about sewing is the possibilities that can come out of a piece of fabric, and seeing what other people do with the same material as me.

I really wanted to wear it today, but it was really warm.  Of course I also wanted to wear boots.  All of this was too much bundling for the unseasonable 70F (that's about 23C for my non-U.S. friends!) weather we had today.  I'm not complaining though, because I'm not looking forward to a return to the normal cold weather we have at this time of year!  I ended up wearing a cotton tank I'd made with Simplicity 2593 with it. 

The pocket lining peeks out.  I'm thinking to bar tack either to top or bottom of the pockets, but haven't decided which would be better.

I used a lapped zipper in the back with hook and eye on the waistband.  One day I might try doing the lapped zipper with the waistband as well.

I'm actually surprised that this design works with a wool flannel.  Eugenia used a linen for her version, and I was afraid that this would turn out stiff.  Not a completely irrational fear as I have experience with cartoonish skirts
I have Eugenia to thank for tuning me into this skirt.  It doesn't look so great in the magazine photo.

Burdastyle 06-2010-112 line drawing

You can probably tell immediately that one of the things I changed in my version of this skirt was to leave off the patch pocket.  I was going to put it on, but because I shortened the hemline by 2 inches (I typically petite skirts and pants by 2 inches) the pocket looked enormous even though I had petite-d that by one inch as well.  Because the flannel was so thick the pocket just wasn't going to work.  I think my skirt looks all the better without it.  (Another thing that the thick flannel wasn't going to work for was folding the hem band over, so I cut a lining piece and turned and stitched it in the ditch from the right side.)  At first I thought I shouldn't have petite-d the skirt so that it would be close to knee length and more suitable for winter wear but (a) what's done is done, and (b) I'm happy with it.  The other thing I did was add a rayon lining using this Threads tutorial called "Adding a Lining to Your Custom-Pleated Skirt".  It was super easy, but I think that because only the waistband is pleated rather than the hem line being pleated as well, the lining is too big.  It tends to peek out when I sit.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Brocade mini skirt, Burda 02/2010 104

I've been sewing but I haven't been blogging about it, I'll have more posts coming soon.  This is one of two purple skirts I've made -- I realized I had no Fall or Winter skirts.  A travesty I tell you!  So I went ahead and made two skirts, realizing after I'd cut the material for the second one that I now have two purple skirts.  When it rains, it pours.

I wasn't sure what my size was, as in the past I've always thought I was a 38 and made petite adjustments accordingly or gamble over whether a size 36 would fit me.  I haven't been running because of an injury that isn't really worth getting into here other than I was pretty sure that lack of exercise would make me heavier and thicker.  It turns out that since I've replaced running with going to the climbing gym more frequently, I've gained weight but lost a few inches.  Who knew?  I took new measurements a few weeks ago and learned that I'm a now a size 36.  It pays to take your measurements regularly!

I wanted to test how a 36 would fit with no adjustments, and wanted a simple skirt that could use a cut of fabric already in my stash.  This is 3/4 yard of 45" wide brocade that I bought at least 6 years ago with plans to turn it into a purse.  File that under What Was I Thinking.  I can't imagine having a purse made out of this stuff.  It snags and sheds all over the place.

The skirt is fitted in the waist through hips, I ended up having to make the back seam 1/2" instead of 5/8" due to snugness.  I'm not sure if it's due to the pattern design, the unforgiving nature of the fabric I chose, or the shape of my runner-turned-climber butt. 
This is really shiny.

Front.  There are slant pockets with self bias binding.
Back.  I had no idea it could get so wrinkly without sitting.  I used an invisible zip.

Side.  You can see the pockets a little better

Inside.  I underlined it in silk organza.  The waistband lining is a poly lining material.

burdastyle's version in cotton.

burdastyle 02-2010-104B

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I cut off-grain and it's obvious!

Here is the yoke on the back of what would have been a new shirt.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Faux fur leopard print jacket, Burda 09-2009-127

Getting back to my sewing plan, I've just finished the leopard print jacket.  The photos don't show the furriness very well.  It's a short nap fur called "minky."  Not sure what "minky" means, but it's easy to sew with, presses well and doesn't shed.  The fabric has been in my stash for about 2 years, I bought it for a different jacket but figured it would be a great fit for this one.  Another note about this fabric: I noticed in my stats that several people have made their way to my blog with the search terms "make buttonholes in faux fur."  So here is some advice to people who are looking to make buttonholes in faux fur.  Because the nap was so short, I didn't have to do anything special to make buttonholes.   I have made buttonholes in fur with longer nap, and as I'm sure you've noticed if you've tried to do this -- the hair gets in the way.  What you need to do is separate and lay the hair away from the area where you are going to put the buttonhole, so that you're stitching on fabric rather than on the fur.  Hols the fur away from the stitching area with your fingers as you're stitching the buttonholes.  Depending on how long the nap is, you might want to trim around the buttonhole, but I've never found this necessary.

The jacket is unstructured and fits a lot like a sweater  It's double breasted with cropped sleeves and very mod.  I lined it almost to the edges, which makes it feel very sweatery to me. I am not sure about the fit.  It's princess seamed but the princess curve falls above my bust line so that there are wrinkles in the upper chest and a rather boxy fit through the rest of the torso.  I suppose that this is what I get for not having fit a muslin first.

Here's a picture of it in the magazine. They used a wool, which lends their version a lot more structure.  The collar in this photo falls better than mine (I have to adjust it when I put the jacket on) and I wonder if my collar would behave better if I pressed it more.  As it is, I've left it kind of shawl-like.
I was a bit torn about what to do for buttons.  I didn't have 8 large buttons in my stash so took the jacket to Windsor Button in Downtown Crossing to figure out a good fit -- in my mind, 8 bright white buttons would fit with the mod look I was going for.  But when I laid 8 white buttons on the jacket they were way too bright.  The clerk and I had some fun matching buttons to the jacket and I ended up with 8 shell buttons, which are the most expensive part of this jacket... I think that the fabric was less than $10 when I bought it years ago! 

In all, I think the result is very cute.  I don't know how much I will wear it, though.  Do you wear animal prints?  I had all kinds of ideas for outfits that this would complement but now that it's done, it just seems too loud for my lifestyle.  Maybe I could have worn this regularly when I was in my late teens and regularly wore fishnets, mini-skirts and baby tees.  Is there a way for grownups to wear faux fur?