Roads Untravelled

And patterns unmade!  There’s one problem with buying Burda magazines every month for the last 20 years.  I have loads and loads and loads of patterns that I thought I’d make but have not got round to.  During Me Made May this year I spotted a rather nice top on my IG feed.  Turns out the pattern was one from a Burda magazine that I’d marked to make – you know the rest!

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top 124 Burda 05/2015

Having identified a lack of white tops in my wardrobe, it was decided to make the pattern up in some gorgeous white viscose voile from Croft Mill.  This fabric is to die for, just beautiful (but no longer available!).  Having bought 2 metres and found just how lovely it was, I immediately got another 3 to hide in the stash!  I know I’m supposed to be clearing it out, but this will be a useful stash, white never goes out of fashion.  *whispers* and I could always die it…

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The pattern is 124 from May 2015, available from the Burdastyle site as a download here.  I traced the 44 and added just the length part of a FBA as there was plenty of width for me.  I used the seam across the bust to add a total 3cm in length.  Seems to have worked pretty well.  Necklines too close to the neck aren’t usually my thing, I feel like I’m being strangled!  Scoop and v-necks are more my look, but this works.  The keyhole opening gives interest to the front (no mono-boob) and there’s enough room at the neck not to feel choked.

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French seams and double turned hems keep the insides all neat and tidy and the bias edges are lovely for the neckline.  I’ve worn this top at least one a week since making it, pretty much as soon as it’s clean and ironed, I’m wearing it again!  I think I need more white viscose voile tops!  The button is a vintage glass find from a local antique shop, so pretty!

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The silk version

I think it’s a good pattern for mixing and matching too, using scraps and odd ends of fabrics.  Just to test that theory I made another from stashed fabrics.  This top started with a piece of devine blue silk satin bought from Rosenberg and Son years and years ago (it was one of those you have to get, despite not having any idea when you’ll use it).  It was narrow and I’d cut bits out of the one end to use in a blouse about 5 years ago.  funny, that exact fabric is what I’m using in this top!  That blouse was the thinnest silk satin devore and it holied up pretty quickly.  But, as usual, I hadn’t thrown it out.

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My new top would combine fabrics again, but with the plain silk satin as the dominant fabric.  The back yoke and sleeves were cut from the larger areas of the original top and the blue fabric made up the rest.  It’s beautiful!!  The satin is heavier and drapier than the viscose voile, which has the effect of pulling down more – making that keyhole opening lower..  it’s fine while standing and walking, but when sitting, it’s a little too low.  Either I live with it or I do something about it, but I’m not sure what without totally ruining the look.

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Contrast fabric forming the sleeves and back yoke

French seams were not on the table this time round, the silk was too thick and would have left bulky evidence on the right side, so the overlocker was drafted in.  Hems aren’t double turned either, this stuff is slippery as all heck and a nightmare to turn on a tight curve!  Thankfully the bias behaved itself.  I really like this pattern, why did it take me two years to get round to making it up after marking it as interesting??

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I’m definitely going to be making more, it’s a pattern that could be useful for using up all sorts of smaller pieces of fabrics, and for playing with bias yokes – thinking stripes here.  I might even change the sleeve to a three quarter length and have some for my winter wardrobe, it’s about time to start thinking of warmer clothes now, like it or not.  And coats!!

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Blue Tropic

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Blue Tropic, #138 Burdastyle 8/2011

Making a start on delivering on my revised sewing plans for the last 1o days in March.  I might have been ever so slightly optimistic about what I’d get through when I changed tack in my last blog post, but we should always aim high…

So of the 7 projects I had on the new list, I managed 5.  I’d have done better but a nasty cold (man flu) held me back badly and no sewing at all was done for at least 4 days!!  That would definitely have been enough time to finish the entire list.  But no matter, those projects will be on April’s list instead.

This fabric was supposed to be realised in a different pattern, but when I made the toile of 115B 8/15, I just didn’t like it.  It was too straight, too long and I wasn’t convinced it would take me into spring and summer.  So I nicked the pattern that was supposed to be made in the cotton voile.  It was the right decision!  I just love the fabric.  It is viscose, but like no other I’ve had before.  It’s fluid and soft and has a cool touch, not to mention a fabulous sheen that makes it look like silk.  The colour is just stunning too.  The fabric was bought 5 years ago from a shop called Tatler’s in Derby.

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The front of the top has been lengthened by 10cm and the line flows well into the dipped back hem.  I also omitted the opening on the back, only having the button loops on the yoke.  It isn’t necessary to open the buttons or to have the extended opening to get the top over your head.  Those are the only changes made to the pattern.  Usually I would have used French seams on this fabric, but in the interests of a quick make, I overlocked the lot.  I do love this pattern, having made a fair few versions over the years in different fabrics.  This might just come close to beating my up-to-now-favourite, the black and white spotty silk version.

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Narrow rouleau loops encircle bronze flower buttons from the stash.
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Soft gathers from the neckband are very flattering
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Caught chatting, this is a very comfy top!

I’ve no regrets at all about switching patterns on this top, the cotton voile will be allocated a different pattern, perhaps one with ruffles….  There have been a load around on Instagram and although I’m not a ruffly person, I’m ever so slightly tempted….

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I must remember not to wear my new things too long before getting the photos taken, creases!!

Stick around, the other items on the list just need photographs (although I’ve worn a couple already).  I am missing my resident photographer and am in the process of training up Mr W.  It’s a slow process…..  😉

Welcome to my Jungle!

Jungle January - Welcome!!
Jungle January – Welcome!!

So here it is, at last!  I luuurve my new blouse, it’s everything I wanted!  After all the fuss & hassle I think I have something I can work with, put in different sleeves, add collars & mess with the shoulder line.  Overall, this is perfect!

DSC07062The print is just right, I don’t like them too big, or too busily small either.  (I sound like Goldilocks…)  I even found a photo today of another blouse in the same fabric, it’s on my Wardrobe Architect Pinterest board 🙂  The colours will go perfectly with my current & future trousers & jackets.

DSC07059So what did I do?  I moved the shoulder seam on the back forward 5cm so from the front it looks like there is a shoulder yoke.  I transferred some of the fullness from the shoulder dart into a 4cm underarm dart & converted the remainder into gathers to go into that “yoke”.  I eliminated the waist darts on the front & back & took in the side seams one extra cm so it wouldn’t be too unshaped on the sides.  I drafted a grown-on facing for the front v-neck & instead of a collar, made a long narrow tie to be sewn onto the back neck & left free from the shoulder seam.

Pattern Lay
Pattern Lay

The sleeves were slashed from the hemline to the sleeve head in two places, front & back & spread 6cm at the back hem, 3 at the front.  I also curved the hem of the sleeve 5cm outwards (downwards?) to make more of a “pouff”.  The sleeve hem is gathered into a narrow band.The hem of the blouse is shaped like a shirt hem, with the sides being 5cm shorter than the centre front & back.  I like a shaped hem, it gives the impression of more shape underneath!  🙂

DSC07065-1For the construction, I used French seams throughout, little squares of interfacing under the buttons & buttonholes & double turned hem.  I didn’t want any part of the blouse to have structure, keeping the nature of the viscose to drape & hang.

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Now I am full of ideas of how to use this as a basic pattern from which to make all sorts of variations.  Problem is, I’m pretty sure I need to go fabric shopping because most of my fabrics are meant for the girls, not me!  This could cause a bit of a problem as I signed up for the big stashbusting effort with Lelie from Bouquet of Buttons.  I did fairly well with my stashbusting efforts last year, but I still have plenty to get through.  I will do the same as last year, using 2 pieces from the stash before being “allowed” to buy one new piece.  Unfortunately this leopard print is not from the stash!  I bought it this year specifically for the Jungle January project.

So I guess I’d better make more for the girls, or use some of the stash for my Vintage Belle projects so I can free-up some fabric shopping for me!  🙂