I’ve really fallen for this pattern. It’s been made in three different fabrics so far and I love each & every (very different) one. The pattern is culottes 104 from the February 2017 Burdastyle magazine. Made late last month for Daughter No2 to take on her holiday to Madeira, she chose a linen viscose blend new to the stash bought from Fabric Godmother earlier in the year. It was advertised as khaki, but was far more brown when it arrived, so I didn’t want it for me. However, Daughter No2 was happy with it.
The innards are all overlocked, but I used the sewing manchine for the construction. Unlike the two versions made for Daughter No1, this one has the original front fly zip, belt loops and long tie belt. All the elements work on this one. All I eliminated was the back flap that hints at a pocket there, but has none. I might add an actual pocket to another version as it’s usually handy to have a back pocket for your phone.
The construction was pretty straight forward, the facings and fly zip guard construction is the same as another pair of Burda trousers I’ve made hundreds of times so the instructions didn’t phase me as they seem to have done for some other makers of this pattern. I made the 36, but ended up taking the waist in so much it probably ended up being a 32! I graded out to the 38 over the hip and then back to the 36. The crotch depth was lengthened by 1cm. Daughter No2 is pretty tall and the finished length was perfect.
She’s having a fabulous holiday exploring Madeira and eating her way around the island! She is definitely entering the right profession, food is central to her day! I am going to have to put Madeira on my list of places to visit, her photos have made me very keen to do my own exploring.
In addition to the culottes, I rescued a left over piece of green linen from the scrap box and made the shorts version as well. There was enough on one piece for the front and back, and thankfully I found another piece for the pockets, facings and turn-ups (they aren’t supposed to be separate but I had no choice…).
It was only when the shorts were 99% finished that I realised that it wasn’t a trick of the light, or my tired eyes that made it look like there were two shades of green on the shorts. OOPS!! The other piece of green linen wasn’t the same! Oh dear, I hope it looks like it was supposed to be like this, a design feature!! The perils of using scraps I guess! I’m very slowly working on reducing the stash of fabrics, both whole pieces and those pesky scraps and left-overs.
Summer time is for pretty dresses. Neither of my girls require any new dresses, this year or the next. So what’s a frustrated fabricaholic to do?! Sew for someone else, of course! I decided I’d use up a bit more stash making a summer dress for my best friend. I also used stash fabric for the toile, hoping it would work out pretty well and be a wearable toile.
We decided the perfect dress was Pauline Alices’s Cami Dress. I had the perfect summer fabric, bought from Croft Mill Fabrics last year, or maybe even the one before…. According to measurements, I needed the 38. My friend has broad shoulders, so I knew there would be an adjustment needed there, I just needed to know how much.
The toile was made in a pretty floral printed cotton sent to me by another friend in America. This is the same friend who sent me the Paris print and the grey plaid from the previous post! She has a good nose for finding pretty fabrics. The toile fitted pretty well , the shoulders needed to be 1.5cm wider, the sleeves needed a couple of centimetres in width and the waist needed to be one or two cm wider, for wearing ease. I also needed to make the skirt longer, by 5cm.
The adjustments were quick and easy to make. But, as I knew it would happen, my friend loved the fabric and wanted me to see if the toile could be made to fit better. I changed what I could and added a false hem. I also finished off the seams on the inside, neatening where ever I could reach. I picked out some simple dark grey buttons from the button box to complete the garment.
This is a lovely dress to make, it goes together nice & quickly. The instructions are clear and concise, pattern pieces are on a good quality paper which is easy to tape down and trace from. The only thing I would (and did) change, is to apply the collar before sewing the side seams. It’s always much easier to sew a collar on with the garment flat, ie no side seams!
Best bit about the dress? The pockets! Best friend was chuffed to bits to find two decent sized pockets in the side seams. She chose the buttons, after digging through all the blue/green/grey options, best friend found these little pink satin covered buttons. Perfect!!
The dress has recieved loads of compliments already, and I’m really happy to have made her something she loves and feels happy in.
Happy New Year to you all, and a belated Merry Christmas, if you celebrate. Boy have things been quiet on my sewing table, but now is the time to rectify that! I’ve been very busy with a different line of work over December and now that that has quietened down I can get back to my sewing. I’ll fill you in later on what I was getting up to, but if you follow me on Twitter, chances are you spotted a few plant & flower related photos… That’s the clue!
Anyhooo, I bought a decent amount of fabric online while on the sofa watching movies with the family on Boxing Day, as you do, and it has started to arrive! Soo exciting to get new fabric! I am determined not to let it accumulate in the stash, so here’s my first project. I have a 3m piece of olive crepe backed satin that arrived from Fabric Godmother – I know, olive green! No black, grey, white or blue… I’m being brave this year. From my Wardrobe Architect board, I have identified this palette from Design Seeds with the olive as something I might actually like to wear, so this is a start at coming up with a selection of garments for it.
I saw & pinned a blouse pattern by Lolia Designs called Natalie to my Wardrobe Architect board on Pinterest a while ago. I liked the idea of the “panel” in the centre. They call it a pleat, but it does nothing a pleat is designed to do. It’s a folded back extension of the front so it flaps around a bit I would think. I haven’t bought the pattern, it is not in my size and I’d like to change a few things. I’m combining the idea of that central detail with the sleeve from my placket blouse, but deepening the cuff. I’m also going to re-use but slightly alter the hem from the black & white spotty silk faux placket blouse.
So the pattern was started in the evening of the 30th, the toile started yesterday afternoon (New Year’s Eve!) – yeah, not going out, and I’m finishing it off today. I hope it turns out the way I imagine, the result should be available by the end of the day!
I’ll do some round-ups of last year’s projects in a bit, I managed 92 projects to the end of November, so I’m quite chuffed at that, I still need to see how I did on the Stashbusting front. I know I used a lot, but I’m not sure I managed to stick to my 1 in for 2 out policy…
In the meantime, I hope you’ve all had a wonderful time with family over the holidays & are ready to tackle this new year with a vengance! Also waiting with baited breath to find out who I’m partnering with for Jungle January 2015!
I’ve finished another self-drafted blouse! I really needed more tops & blouses, Me-Made-May has shown that pretty clearly! I have enjoyed it so far, especially showing off what Daughter No2 has in her wardrobe, but I’m having to repeat stuff.
I used some of the pieces from the Midnight Blues blouse for this. The back yoke & collar, neckline and front bands are the same. The fabric I finally chose is a Liberty City Poplin. It is pretty sturdy and very crisp, so perfectly suited to a more structured style. I love the colours, the flowers are off-white and the ground is a blue-grey. The pattern has alternating bands of small & larger flowers, so I lay the pattern pieces so that the smaller flowers lined up with the waistline. The hope is that it looks like I have more shape in that area – not sure if that’s worked!
The front has a yoke at the shoulder that the bodice gathers into. I converted the large shoulder bust dart into 3 areas, first the gathers at the yoke, then a 5cm underarm dart & the remainder went into the waist dart. This was sewn as a dart tuck instead of a full double point dart. I wanted more of a relaxed look, this fabric is quite sturdy, and while that lends itself to a more structured style, I wanted to be able to relax in it!
The back also has a yoke, but there are no gathers here this time. A central back panel & two side panels make for a fitted look, something you need when using a sturdier fabric. This stuff does not drape! I curved the hem a little more than I have on previous patterns, mostly because it was going to be closer fitting.
I love how the blouse looks with my dyed linen trousers, it also looks good with jeans but slightly all too pale with light linen. Perhaps I just need more summer, that’s when the pale colours work! I recon this is a good pattern, now I have another two still to toile, not to mention all sorts of other things to make.
Another Bellatrix Blazer finished! What a shame Papercut Patterns aren’t participating in this month’s Sewing Indie Challenge, hosted all over, because I’d be entering this little number – for sure!
I’d almost finished it in the last post, it was just lacking a front facing & upper collar piece which I was going to cut from a black cotton stretch satin. Before committing to the order online though, I had a quick rummage through my silks & satins stash box and I found a piece of black stretch satin – not strictly cotton either, but who cares! By using this piece I tick off another stashbusting box and I get to finish the jacket over the weekend – bonus.
I really do love the contrast of solid black on the collar, none of the other versions have contrasts on the outsides (insides are a different matter altogether!) so this makes it a little different. The peplum pieces are all cut on the cross (weft) grain so the stripes are perpendicular to the rest of the jacket, this also means they have no stretch.. no matter, across the back the is great movement which is supported on the inside with a stretch lining.
I don’t like stretch linings, they feel funny but they do do a good job on a project like this. As usual, the project went together really well, I used fusible canvas on the undercollar to give extra support, and used a lightweight fusible on the remaining pieces. Now Daughter No2 just needs to decide what to wear it with when she goes to school next!
Next I’ll show off the dress I cut at the same time as the jacket, yes, Daughter No1 came home quickly this long weekend & tried it on. Thankfully it fits beautifully – and she loves it! The boyfriend was suitable appreciative too… 😉
I left you with a little hint of what my next project was to be, a self drafted 50s inspired wiggle dress for Daughter No1. The fabric is a John Kaldor print stretch cotton satin that is just absolutely fabulous to work with. I’d bought it ages ago, so chalk this project up as a sash-buster! It had always been intended for something for my eldest, but we never could agree what exactly to make.
Anyway, it’s done now, but I can’t show it to you properly just yet as she’s gone back to Uni! I’m hoping we’ll see her & the boyfriend on Monday as it’s Bank Holiday in the UK & I fiugre we can do lunch or something & I can get her to model the dress for me (and you!)
Here’s what it looks like on a hanger. Just the front, the back is something special.
I can’t wait to see her in it! 🙂
While I was laying out the pattern, I happened to notice I had a bit left over. I though about what I could use it for – a skirt? Too short. Shorts? Not the right fabric. *brain racing* A jacket??? I dugout my Bellatrix Blazer pattern – just to see. I worked out that with careful placement, I could cut another Bellatrix! 🙂 So I did and this is what was left of the 2m of fabric once I’d chopped it all up.
It worked out really well, two garments from 2m of fabric, bonus! I just didn’t have enough to cut the facing in the same fabric, so am awaiting delivery of a plain black stretch cotton satin. I decided to get cracking with it this morning so that when the black fabric does arrive it will be a quick job to finish. Here’s how far I got by lunch time.
And by the time daughter no2 got home from school at 4 I’d finished the shell and made up the lining, as far as I could without the front facing and she just had to put it on!
This is the 5th version. I did think that I just might end up making 12, one for each month of this year! Now that would be something, wouldn’t it?? 😀
In the mean time, Me-Made-May ’14 is underway with so many cool outfits on show on twitter & flickr, not to mention the new Pinterest board! Daughter no2 & I will be posting out photos on the Me-Made-May-14 page as well as on flickr. She’s using Instagram too. Are you participating?
Wow, two big things to get me out of my sewing rut & into something better and more interesting! I was in quite a funk earlier in the year & the kind comments of my readers & the discovery of the Wardrobe Architect managed to drag me out of it. I just need time and space to think of all the lovely goodies I’d like to make to suit, and then find the fabric to realise those day-dreams! I made a good start with 3 blouses, then stopped to make fabulous things for skinny daughters & catch up on a bit of vintage sewing.
Now Me Made May is fast approaching, & I haven’t done much more to sort my very teeny-tiny wardrobe. Very teeny because I switched over my winter & summer things this week. There were loads of nice things in my summer boxes, the problem is that some I really don’t want to wear anymore & others I simply cannot wear (to put it plainly, I eat too much of what’s not good for me & I don’t exercise). So it’s my fault I have only 2 t-shirts…
I do plan to make some more Plantains, once I find suitable fabric. My local fabric store has a pitiful selection of jerseys, basically a handful of plains and some Liberty’s. Not what I want! One of the “tasks” for the Wardrobe Architect sessions was to create palettes, neutrals, accents etc, that we liked, then to narrow them down to form one particular palette from which to work.
My wordrobe consists mainly of neutrals – that’s where I’m happy, but I do realise the need for a little splash of colour here and there, and with summer knocking faintly on the front door I want to inject some colour or lightness that takes up some of the black & grey I live in in the winter. That has been hard to do. Whilst I like lots of colours, I don’t necessarily want to be wearing them.
I also find prints tricky. Again, I like them, I can admire them, but wearing them…. I get scared. My favourite pattern or print is the spot. They’re safe. But I want to be more adventurous!! When I look into my fabric pile – meaning the pile I want for myself, I see spots, circles and more spots! And variations on spots & circles… I think I have an obsession.
One thing I have managed is to get more pants! Or trousers, if you prefer. There were a couple of pairs of linen trousers from the summer box that still fit – and that I still like the shape of (or can re-cut a bit). But their colours were all wrong. I didn’t take photos, not that long-sighted! One pair was a chocolate brown, like milk chocolate. I have always found them tricky to wear, even though I wanted a pair, I stick with turquoise or white on top. The other was an interesting shade… It was a shot linen, a kind of teal-green and violet. Sounds weird, but I liked the effect. Again, there was a problem of what to wear that with! This time I decided to take action, if I was to wear them, they had to change colour.
So I threw them into the washing machine with a box of Dylon Antique Grey dye and waited for the result. I love the new colours! Because I didn’t use a dye stripper first they have come out of the machine with their own take on the grey. The chocolate is now a warm, rich grey that I LOVE, the shot linen has hints of it’s original shade, but overall looks a blue/purple black/grey. They’re perfect! I will re-cut the legs of the purple/grey to make them narrower, but the chocolate grey is a perfect match for some of the colours I came up with for the colour project.
While I was dirtying up the washing machine, I also dyed a lightweight beige linen black, & re-blacked a pair black linen trousers that will also be re-cut. All in all a great result! Now to sort the tops….. I have 3 pieces of spotty silk, different weights, weaves & colours and one black & white “blob” silk-cotton blend I made a blouse from a couple of years ago that needs attention. I managed to catch the back on a door-handle or something & ripped it. So I need to come up with something that can re-use parts of it, it’s far too gorgeous to chuck out.
If you want to see where my whirling head is going with the Wardrobe Architect exercise, I have far too many ideas on my Pinterest board. While I love a floaty, not too structured blouse, I don’t want to make them all look the same. I seem to be taking the same shape at the moment, and just adding different sleeve & collar details. Will they be different enough?
At the moment, my hope that me Made May would be giving me the opportunity to really see if my new wardrobe was working properly is off to a stuttering start. I know there’s still a week left, but pattern making takes time! If only I could just decide what to make – with the foresight that it will look fabulous, I wouldn’t be stalling so much.
I need input from you fabulous sewists. The sketch above on the left shows what I was thinking of doing with the “blobby” blouse that got ripped. I had the idea from seeing this great blouse on Kollabora. I’m just not that willowy, so I need to be careful of where the contrast goes, and how much to use. Ideas??
My apologies for what seems to me to be a rather rambling post, I just need to get my head round what I should be sewing – and fast!!