While neutrals are decidedly within my comfort zone, bold, stand out colours are most certainly not! However. After making the gold and black Anza Dress last month, I had a bit of the fabric left over. The lady I made the dress for didn’t want the remains for herself, so it went into the stash. But not for long! Also in the stash was the remains of a decent amount of plain black viscose.
Deciding to prove my point about using Burda top 124 from 5/2015 for left over pieces of lengths of fabric, I decided those two fabrics would be perfect. There was enough of the print for the front and sleeves, the plain black was used for the back. This time I didn’t cut the keyhole opening but instead converted it to a slit, like the sort you’d get on a shirt cuff. The bias for the bindings was cut from the print viscose, plain grey sections for the slit and the coloured sections for the neckline.
I really like how it’s turned out! Although it feels longer than the other versions. That might just be because of the startling band of colour at the hem. Otherwise, it’s great! I’m not sure how much longer we have to wear short sleeved, lightweight tops this year, the weather has turned decidedly autumnal and it’s nowhere near the end of August yet!
An update on the other sewing, the 1920s sequin dress only needs a hem. After many, many hours of cutting out sequins and then sewing them back on again, I think I’ve had enough!! I’ve also finally started working on my Morgan Jeans, having done two and a half toiles last month and actually cut it out 2 weeks ago. Hopefully they’ll be finished this week. There are other things still on the cutting table, but I’ll get there – eventually!!
So, this post should have gone live last week, but it seems I’m unable to use the scheduling tool properly….
It’s another make for daughter No 2 to take to Madeira. The pattern is Burdastyle, #106 from May 2012 (unfortunately not available as a download on the website). She’d put this pattern on her list of “wants” for this year. Luckily she’d had a good wardrobe clear-out, helped by her sister, last summer. So now, instead of me just making what I think she’ll like, I’m sticking to The List.
While routing through my fabric stash at the same time, she chose this grey bird print cotton for the skirt. It was what was left over after making a gorgeous vintage dress I’d made a couple of years ago. There is pretty much nothing left of that fabric now, so I’m chuffed that’s another piece properly used up!!
We love the high waist on this skirt, and the pockets have received the thumbs up as well! The skirt consists of front and back panels, as well as side panels, all gored to provide a decent amount of fullness that ends below the knee. The centre front consists of a concealed button stand, the instructions for which were a little odd – the next time I make this I’ll be doing it very differently.
The pockets are a doddle, the welts could provide for a design feature, using an alternative grain or fabric to emphasise them would look good. Piping could also be inserted at the join. I used black buttons from the stash for the majority of the (hidden) buttons, and two grey buttons for the visible buttons at the waist.
I took the waist in to make it similar to the culottes I’d just finished, but for some reason although that works just fine, on the skirt it’s a little on the tight side. Of course, we only realised that after she’d taken the skirt away! So when it comes home with her before she heads off back to Uni in September, I’ll let the waist out again. I’d love to make another version of this pattern, that mustard in the original photograph is still lurking in the back of my brain…
I need to get on with photographing all my June makes, I’ve been quite happily wearing them all, but no photos just yet! In the meantime, The Monthly Stitch will be kicking off Independent Pattern Month again in July and I’ve decided to take part again. I’ll do anything to get through my stash faster! Anyone else interested?
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.
It’s good to be pushed out of your comfort zone sometimes. I joined in with a Facebook Group sew-along that started in January where the challenge was to make 8 items using patterns already in your stash. The idea, to look again at what you had bought and never got round to using. Those poor patterns you buy on impulse because you like the cover, or you’ve seen someone online make it and you liked it but for some reason you just haven’t committed.
It all came to an end at the end of April, and my 8th submitted item was these trousers. The pattern is Burda 6689, I think I bought it about 3 years ago, intending to make Daughter No 1 a pair. Needless to say we never got round to it, so it was the perfect pattern to finish off my collection of tops. The fabric is from Fabric Godmother. Thank goodness there wasn’t a stipulation that the fabric all had to come from the stash too, because I’d have lucked out here!! Although, this is the only new piece I bought to complete the challenge.
I initially toiled the 46, then realised, as usual, that it was too big. After making the 44 the crotch depth had to be reduced by 1cm, crotch curves had to change (come closer to the body) and the back crotch scooped out a little more. The crotch length in the back was decreased, bringing the waistband down about 1.5cm. The inseams were taken in on the back only. That seemed to work, the toile hung straight and there were minimal drag lines. There was a hope that the final fabric, having more body than the toile fabric, would hang well and all would be good!
The fabric itself is yummy, quite soft and subtle with a decent stretch. However, I think it’s one of those fabrics that will lose colour on folded edges so although I ironed the front crease in well for the photos and first wear, I will not continue to do so. I think I will end up with a nice pale line down the front of my pants. I used a piece of left over Liberty city poplin for the pocket linings and inner waistband. This stops the waistband stretching out of shape with wear.
I love the back pockets, initially I wasn’t going to do them, but I’m glad I did. I took my time over them, with the stretch fabric I didn’t want things going awry. I basted and whipstitched and did all those things you’re supposed to do with proper pockets, rather than just whip my way though! All the insides are overlocked, I could have French seamed the pockets but was worried about seeing the lines through the outer fabric.
Whipstitch holding the piping together while I make the rest of the pocket up
Completed back welt pocket
Front fly zip
(Click on the thumbnails to see full size images)
The finished trousers are pretty good. I think I still need to work on the crotch depth/length though. Might just be the fabric, during the day they definitely get baggier and looser around the bum area and I end up pulling the waistband up more. The front still needs work too, that’s a job for the next pair. Once I put them on I wasn’t so sure about the length! I’ve been wearing floor skimming Birkin Flares all winter so these tapered pants floating high above my ankles feel a little funny. So I unfolded the 3cm hem and dug out some wide bias tape. I’ve attached the tape with a 5mm seam and used that for the hem. So these pants are 2.5cm longer than they should be, I never thought I’d be lengthening a pair of Burda trousers for me!!!
I love the colour of these pants, they go with just about everything in my wardrobe and can switch between casual and smart with ease. If I don’t come up with anything else, I might even wear them to a wedding we have to go to in July. I quite liked using only patterns from the stash, not including the Burda magazines, I didn’t think I had all that many – turns out there are plenty, and still some I haven’t used (let alone printed off or downloaded…..). No more waste!!
For Me-Made-May this year I’ve decided to identify gaps in my handmade wardrobe and to finish them within the month, as well as to use more from my re-make/re-cut bag. So we’ll see what I come up with!
I have a bag of items to be re-cut -remade. Why? Well, some items don’t fit anymore, some items we don’t wear (either because we don’t like them anymore or because there isn’t a need for them) anymore. Clothes are like buildings, they need a purpose, and if the original purpose is no longer viable, you need a new purpose.
One piece in my re-cut bag was some black and white silk and cotton originally from Ditto Fabrics. I’d made a lovely blouse (ages before this blog existed) and wore it quite happily until I caught the sleeve on a door handle and ripped a nice big gash in it. There was no way I was going to throw it out. It languished long though, until I re-found this pattern in a Burdastyle magazine, #105 February 2016.
I carefully unpicked all the French seams, darts and pleats and ironed it all nice and flat. I had enough to piece together the side panels, sleeves and shoulder yoke. I had a piece of black viscose in the stash that matched the black of the spots. Perfect for the front and back. The yoke was interfaced with a fine sheer polyester fusible to make it stronger, the cotton and silk is a slightly delicate fabric. The polyester also makes the cotton and silk less transparent so now I can wear a black bra without the straps showing.
I love this top. Seriously, I’ve worn it 4 times since making it (first week in April) already, that despite the temperatures not exactly being short sleeve friendly. I like it with the sleeves fully down as well as rolled up, the contrast colours in the sides make me look a little thinner (BONUS!!) so just for that it’s a winner in my book! 🙂
But it wasn’t the only one I made. Back in 2008-ish, I made a maxi dress using a stunning black, silver and gold silk satin from Fred Winter in Stratford on Avon. Oh man, those were the days when there was no way I could get out of that shop without spending on fabric. Such a shame they haven’t kept their standards up. Anyway, I don’t wear dresses, and certainly have no call for a silk maxi dress in my every day wardrobe. So it sat in my re-cut bag.
I cut the back on the back of the skirt part of the dress, using the centre back seam instead of a fold, the front all had to be unpicked to make room for the front and side sections, as well as the sleeves. Facings and the shoulder yoke were slotted in where I could, but I tried to make sure the shoulder followed the right direction of stripe. I wanted it to go across the front and back, leading into the sleeve.
I used the overlocker on this make and shortened it about 5cm from the original. I also tacked the sleeve cuff to the side seams to keep the fold up. The silk is fairly heavy which means it doesn’t want to stay up when folded. It does make it tricky to iron after washing though. However, it’s another save as far as I’m concerned. I have something I will wear (am already wearing) all summer, and into the winter as well I’m sure.
My re-makes aren’t always as successful as these, but now I’m keen to get more done, that bag won’t empty itself!! What do you do with the things you no longer wear?
More stuff to show you all! I’ve made another pair of linen trousers – no, you cannot have too many, they’re like shoes and handbags, didn’t you know?? This time I used a khaki linen from Fred Winter’s in Stratford on Avon and cut another TNT Burda pattern, 102 from July 2008 magazine. This pattern needs no adjustments other than to shorten it by 4 cm, perfect!!
The linen is great, a soft, medium weight that won’t get all crunchy and crisp after it’s washed. As the overlocker was still out from the last pair I zoomed round all the pieces leaving everything nice and neat. It’s a really quick pattern for me, they were done and dusted in a day. They have a straight cut leg and angular pocket, just simple trousers really!
Apologies for the creases, I decided to wear them before photographing could take place, and we all know linen loves to wrinkle. I must learn not to “wear” my makes before showing them off!
To go with them I thought I had to make another of the Burda tees I made in the blue Ikat jersey. I had 1 metre of “shatta” jersey from Fabric Godmother which, although it’s all madly patterned and in a lot of colours I don’t wear, I liked it. It looks great with these trousers and I’ve tried it with darker ones too, with positive results!
I took no chances with the stretch though, ironing Vilene bias tape to every single neckline and sleeve opening edge. This jersey drapes beautifully, is soft and light and was not going to be allowed to get away with being naughty. The stabilisation worked a treat, although I may have overdone it a bit, the stock of bias tape has been much depleted.
I like it so much I’m tempted to order a metre of the blue version in the same jersey!
I have at least 2 more pairs of trousers to make up, in linen of course, but I need to get cracking with Daughter No2’s prom dress first! If you follow me on Instagram you’d have seen my toile progress so far, and I think it’s looking good! So watch this space, sometime before the 3rd July there’ll be a (hopefully) gorgeous dress to show you all.
Cracking on with sewing for me, I’ve been on a real binge! I cut out two pieces of linen for trousers, one a khaki linen from Fred Winter’s in Stratford on Avon, and the other the most beautiful blue and white slubby herringbone from Fabric Godmother. I couldn’t avoid buying the herringbone, the minute I spotted it online I just had to have it, and I knew exactly what I wanted it for!
Bringing out my tried and tested Burda trouser patterns, it had to be my favourite wide swooshy style, 116 from Burdastyle magazine 3/2004. I made a bit of a boob though, and I hang my head in shame… You can only buy whole metres from Fabric Godmother, and this pattern calls for 2.2m You need that extra length because of the width of the trouser pieces, especially in the larger sizes. There is no way to get them pieces next to each other. So knowing I had 20cm less, you’d have thought I’d be really careful in cutting out.
Well, I put the fabric on my cutting table, which is shorter than 2m, so I carefully folded the piece that would otherwise have draped off the end, and proceeded to place the back, pocket pieces, facings, yoke & zip underlap in the space next to that piece. Then I happily cut it all out. Then I moved the folded fabric to the centre of the table and unfolded it. You can guess what happened next, can’t you… There wasn’t enough length left to cut the front. I think my cries of anguish could have been heard in the fields surrounding our little town. Then came the sound of me trying really hard to kick myself in the butt. Man I was cross, what a TWIT! A cup of tea and lots of deep breathing later I decided to wing it. I couldn’t buy another 2 metres just because I was so unrelentingly dumb that day!
I decided I’d have to piece the front, with the join as low down on the leg as possible to minimise anyone noticing. I hoped that the vertical pattern in the weave of the fabric would make it less obvious that there was a horizontal line where you didn’t expect to see one. I marked a 1cm seamline and on the paper marked the position of a dominant “stripe” in the weave to line up with. Once the main piece was cut I moved the paper over and cut the remaining 25cm, lining up those markers. Then it was just a question of pinning really carefully to ensure the patterns and stripes lined up as perfectly as possible.
For the construction I overlocked around everything pretty quickly as the fabric was rather prone to fraying. Because the weave is loose and the fibres slubby, this cotton and linen blend frayed more and quicker than a “normal” linen. I took my time lining up the pattern on the lower leg, and I think it’s worked out pretty well, I have to look for the horizontal line, so I don’t think anyone else will notice it when I’m out and about!
I do love this pattern, the way the yoke fits in the hollow of the back is perfect and this is the one pair that doesn’t pull down in the back, unlike all my other trousers. One thing I’ve noticed after wearing them for a day, as the fabric is a little on the heavier side, I could probably take the width of the legs in a bit.
They’re also pretty long. I have already shortened the pattern in the leg by 6cm but I think I need to take the hem up another 1.5 to 2cm. Which would be a bit of a pain, because I decided to support the inside of the hem against being rubbed by shoes and the ground by stitching in a piece of seam tape to the inside of the hem. So before taking it up more I’d have to unpick the tape.
But I luuuurve them! What I will need now is a white tee or two, I have plenty of blue ones! Tia Dia posted 3 tees she’s made recently, I’m quite tempted to use some of the patterns she’s tried as they look so good!