Friday, 27 March 2015

Burda 7783

This is a remake!

Burda 7783 modified

I've made this dress from left over material and the skirt part of an old dress, pictured below. Click this for my review of M6069. First I removed the skirt from the top. I unpicked the skirt sides then joined the two parts together top to bottom then recut it to become the back of the new dress. I had enough of the rose material to make the front and the sleeves.

M9069 was popular when I made it and I jumped on the bandwagon. I wore the dress several times and enjoyed it but it was hard to make it work, you know, so it had been in the 'I'll do something with it one day' pile for  some time.
The thing is I  knew that I can do cowl tops with straight skirts, or simple tops with gathered skirts, just not both at the same time but I was seduced by how knockout it had looked on other reviewers. Have any of you been there?

But back to the Burda pattern, which had been in my stash for a while too. I love the lines of this pattern, just not the pocket darts or the Star Trek neck or the eeny weeny gathered sleeves. I like the curved seams going into pockets and the raglan sleeve so I simplified it to keep these elements for the rose knit. The pattern is designed for wovens but is close fitting so I made it up in the size I would normally use instead of going down a size as is recommended when you go from a woven to a knit. I unpicked the skirt of M6069 joined the two parts together then recut it to become the back of the new dress.

The back is simply cut on the fold and without the darts. I placed the joining seam across the back matching the level where the pockets meet the sides.

I narrowed sleeves at the bicep, pinching the gathering out then lengthening them. I did a bound neckline from a doubled over strip of selvedge cut 6cm shorter than than finished circumference of the neckline.

What would I change? The weight and drape of the ITY knit makes the whole dress drop a little. If I made it again in a knit I would fold out about 4cm from the midline of the front and back pieces.  BTW,  I am short and this would be a mini on most people. I wouldn't mind making it in a woven if I come across the right material in the stash. I keep finding things I forgot I had!

Have a good weekend folks,


Saturday, 21 March 2015

Change of Season Refashion

It's the reverse of spring here in Sydney, the start of cooler rainy weather and a welcome end to Summer's heat.

I've been going through my wardrobe, getting rid of things that are no longer being worn and that I know won't be worn and also making a salvage/alter/remake pile. I gave two shopping bags full of clothing to charity and am half way through filling one more.  Next I'll be sorting the winter things from the summer and making some sense of my closet.

I tend to do that at this time of year but this time my pile to keep for reuse/redo is bigger than ever. This redo project was inspired by a Emma One Sock tutorial on refashioning tee shirts. It's worth a look!

I had a zipped frankenpatterned Kwik Sew sweatshirt-jacket blogged about here  that I had worn for several winters but didn't want to throw out even though it had gone tired and a bit saggy. I took out the separating zip and the lining and serged the raw edges and stitched it closed at the front and now have a  casual but different sweatshirt to throw over jeans and tees. Perfect for this time of year.

Stormy weather. My plants are loving it.

In my mental queue there are stash knit teeshirts I want to sew..and autumn dresses, and a black jacket.. As usual I have more projects crowding my mind than I have time to sew. Anyone want some of my extra mojo?

Edited to add:  Please read this My wrinkles are my stripes over on Advanced Style. It's inspiring!

What are you all planning for your change of season?
Have fun with it whatever you do,


Tuesday, 17 March 2015

M6711 Skirt

There are reviews of every component of M6711 on Pattern Review. The pattern includes the skirt, pants, jacket, top and dress.  Pattern Reviews for M6711 I initially bought this pattern for the floaty summer dress - which of course I did not get around to making, but at least I've made the skirt! The more I see of the pants and jacket the more I think I might use this pattern for all its pieces eventually.

This skirt project started with my falling in love with the Parisian street scape print. I would see it in Spotlight and walk past it and leave it. It is a stretch cotton sateen with the print as a border on both sides facing the middle and the stretch of the material going up and down the print, in other words crosswise. Nevertheless I finally caved in and bought it. I looked through my pattern stash for a straight gored skirt and M6711 fit the bill. The skirt front pattern has three pieces, the back four as it has a CB seam. Enough to break up the big print. I did end up piecing the side sections until I got the repeat of the cyclist that I wanted, so my front ended up 5 pieces. The crosswise seams are gratifyingly swallowed up by the print.

I don't often line skirts but I lined this one to prevent bagging out at the rear as the stretch goes up and down the garment. I also took care not to make it too tight for the same reason.

The back has a little slit for walking ease. The pattern is short and as I changed my mind about having it that short 'finished length 23 1/2 inches' I ended up with a small hem using bias tape.

A lined skirt would have been too hot throughout the summer we've just had but will be an ideal in between weather item. I will definitely be using this pattern again but with a non stretch woven.

Here's a close up of the print.

Have a good week,


Monday, 16 March 2015

Watson Lingerie as Swimwear

Readers, I spent a lot of time last month being frustrated by the Cloth Habit Watson Bikini Set. Don't get me wrong, it is a really cute pattern. The bra is a soft cup seamed bra without underwires. It depends on stretch for support, much like the 'training' bras I can remember wearing as a teen. If you google Watson you see images of many successful bras made up by many people.

I, who had never made a bra in my life, jumped in the deep end and agreed to make it into a swimsuit  for DD. Her idea!  She wanted a retro type bikini top to go with the black lycra Jalie pants I had made her earlier, blogged here

I wasn't going to blog about any of this at all. I'd come up with a wonky garment that didn't work and didn't fit and then there's all these perfect-sewing-goddesses Posting Perfect Underwear. With never a failure in sight. Maybe I should just let it languish in the closet never to be spoken of again?

Well, then I read Anne's hilarious "Beware the Valley of the Unbloggged' about a few unloved pieces and also this  After 5 years of failure I can't take it anymore.. thread that is running hot on Pattern Review.

So here it is, I present to you  the wonky lycra and scuba knit failure swim set.

Poor Watson! A note about fitting. This is a bra that depends on negative ease to work. There are instructions for taking your measurements and figuring out what cup size and band you need. It's a nice pattern with good instructions. However, for DD who fell between two sizes I had to go to the smaller cup size and the larger band size for it to work, so like all garments you have to take body variations like breast position/broad back/ ribcage into account. The only way to do this is a muslin as flat measurements will only tell you so much. The 'give' of the fabric also has to be taken into account. It was exhausting!

The knickers ran big. I cut them out, went 'what the?' then took an inch off the sides. As an experiment  I had added 6cm to the top and a 10cm doubled over band as my take on retro swim bottoms to go with the top. On DD they sat at an awkward height. She didn't like the leg line. Oh well.

A note on elastic. There's a great tutorial on Cloth Habit about doing the elastic as you go by the feel of the stretch. This is daunting to say the least but I understood her point about not over stretching the elastic. Over stretching even a small section will give you ripples. I found that if I measured 6 inches of garment  to 5 inches of elastic and pinned one or two sections at a time then held onto it as I sewed it gave me a more even outcome.

The tutorial,  tips on sewing elastic is part of the Watson sewalong.
In fact it's a good technique to know. The material goes on the feed dog teeth and you hold the elastic and stretch slightly but smoothly with an even amount of give as you go. It works!
She also recommends using a normal type zig zag not three step for a more even finish as the three step is best on harder elastic. Who knew?

My story does have a happy ending. After I figured the fitting issues I made the bra for DD again. I lined the back stand with black and the front bra and stand with scuba knit to prevent cold water nipple strike through. I finished it like a regular bra with clasps and straps, it worked and DD liked it. I don't have photos of the success because I thought it would make a return trip to be organ harvested for parts but it didn't. 

The bottom did the return trip and will be cut down into knickers for me. DD likes the leg line of the Jalie better. 

I will make a Watson bra for myself sometime in the future but there are other things nudging into the queue first. Like a grey print autumn skirt..

Happy Sewing
love your failures, they teach you things,