Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Menswear and sleeves, Burda 08-2009-128

I swear, the August 2009 Burda is my favorite.  I've sewn so many things from this issue, now including this dress.  The only part of this dress that I'm not doing absolute cartwheels over is the front of the skirt, which is probably due to operator error rather than the pattern.  No matter how much I press it, I can't get the seams or the hem to stop rippling.  All I need to complete the picture is a belt...

There is a half lining for the bodice only, though you could line the skirt too with a straight lining.  I used a glen plaid wool and rayon for the lining.  The only alteration I made was to shorten the skirt by 2 inches.

I have a feeling I didn't pull the lining down in the front before taking this photo.

I put in a center back lapped zipper.  It's a metal zipper that tends to get stuck.

No pooch from the side!
I opted against the bow belt.  That would be a little too twee on me.
Burda 08-2009-128 line drawing

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Why hello, Butterick.

I am a sucker for advertising.  Though I'm sure that their designs are well developed, I always steer clear of Butterick and Kwiksew patterns.  It's just that the pattern illustrations look so dowdy and frumpy.  So by extension, I assume that the clothing to be produced from said pattern will be dowdy and frumpy.   Perfect for, say, making robes as gifts.  Not so perfect for what I want to wear everyday.

I am also weak.  I am completely out of black and white thread, so decided to stop by Joann Fabrics after climbing since I would be in the suburbs anyways.  It turns out that there is a $0.99 Butterick pattern sale, so I had to check out what was available. 

My preconceived notion that Butterick patterns are intended for a Woman of a Certain Age has been turned on its head.  Or perhaps, I have reached a Certain Age myself (I actually think that chronologically speaking, I have about 10 or 15 more years to go.)

I got two dress patterns. A Maggy London design, Butterick 5559 and a retro design, Butterick 5281.
Butterick 5559.  I love the front and back seaming details.

I will probably make the elbow length sleeved dress as shown on the model.
Butterick 5281 with interesting seam details.

I am actually a little worried that it may be on the matronly side in real life.

But the envelope illustration (and I am a total sucker for this) looks amazing!

Butterick 5292 almost came home with me as well.  I love the asymmetrical collar on the jacket.  But I decided that I need to be honest with myself -- I have a long list of projects already, and don't need more patterns!

Butterick 5292 line drawing.  The jacket of interest is C.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A dress for any occasion: Burda 05-2009-117

Now that I've figured out that I'm truly able Burda size 36 rather than a size 38 with endless petite adjustments needed* I whipped up two dresses this month.  This is the first of them, and I love it.  I'm seriously thinking of making it again in the spring with a solid fabric to show off the constructions lines and front drape.  This is a cotton printed stretch sateen from Gorgeous Fabrics.  It was a delight to sew, and unfortunately for anyone who may feel inspired to search for it... all sold out.

Hopefully I will one day have a job where I can wear this to work, but until then I'm happy to wear it to dinner, a wedding, a funeral, or even a work cocktail reception (which I did a few weeks ago.)  It's flattering, a discreet length, the surplice bodice follows your chest so that there's no peekaboo, and all it needs is a red belt.  I have no belts, but that problem (and the red belt issue) is going to be solved shortly.  The only changes I made were to shorten the skirt by 2" and move the zipper from the center back to the side.  I really like having zips on the side if the design allows, because I find zipping up the last 2" of a back zipper can be tricky and I don't really care for having a seam down my back.

Burda 05-2009-117
 The construction lines are pretty great, aren't they?  I'm not going to lie.  The front and back princess seam godets were a little tricky, I found that it was best to sew from the point down and then clip to the stitching to make everything lay flat.

*In an upcoming, whining post (don't say I didn't warn you!) I will complain about the difference between the Burda "half size petite patterns" and Burda full size patterns that supposedly have the same measurements but result in completely different fits.

Muslin fail: this just isn't for me.

I consider myself pretty cavalier when it comes to sewing.  Until recently, I rarely sewed a muslin and so would end up tossing something or just wearing something slightly ill-fitting or even worse -- completely ill fitting.  You know, there's a certain pride in having sewn something... or maybe it's inability to recognize a sunk cost.  Anyways, I decided I wanted to sew some interesting Fall/Winter shirts. 

In September, I think, Fabric.com had a $9.95 sale on Hot Patterns.  I'd had my eye on the Wong-Sing-Jones Mandarin wrap top so decided to give it a try.  I even bought some black rayon for the shirt. 

I love the envelope illustration.  Drapy, interesting.  Possibly flattering.
Well, I am so glad that I took the time to make a muslin.  This being the first time I've sewn at Hot Patterns pattern, I wasn't sure what size I would be or how it would fit.  It turns out it fits.  This is a size 6.  I just couldn't make it look like the envelope illustration, though I did use drapy lightweight fabrics and when my hands are on my hips like the models' it is somewhat fitted in the waist.  When I don't have my hands on my hips... Hello, fabric sack!
The overlay just doesn't drape as much as in the illustration. 

I like it much more from the back but unfortunately, I spend most of my time facing forwards.