Thursday, April 10, 2014

Burda Style 08-2013-119 Tunic Update

Wow.  It's been two months since I announced on March 1st that I was working on this project.  I finished it last weekend, and I've been waiting for warm, dry weather to snap a few photos.  So here she is- Burda Style 08-2013-119:


The "To the Point" chiffon blouse:


I wish I had noticed the word "blouse" in the description, because really that's what it is.  Yes, it's long like a tunic, but the fit through the shoulders and upper arms is closer than I was expecting.


I think I was sucked in by the dropped shoulders, the curved yoke seams, and the length.  It's not quite as loose and easy as I was wanting, but it will do.


So here it is.  I cut a 42 yoke and sleeves and a 44 lower bodice.  I graded out to a 46 at the hip and then added another inch on each side at the bottom for insurance.  I also omitted the cuffs and shortened the sleeves by 1.5 inches.


I used a semi-sheer poly chiffon from stash.  I LOVE this fabric.  It's turquoise with green medallions and has an Asian vibe to it.  I think I got it at Hancock Fabrics, oh, maybe 10 years ago.  It's been marinating in the stash waiting for the right pattern.  I figured why not this one.  (I still have several yards left, too.  I must have really liked it at the time!)

Because my fabric is semi-sheer, and I wanted an opaque top, I made some changes to the pattern instructions.  I read Burda's directions, and they were okay, although they seemed tedious.  My changes allowed me to not only have an opaque blouse, but they actually made the construction easier (in my opinion.)


I cut two yokes (front and back) and two bodices (front and back.)  I began by sewing the front and back yokes together at the shoulders.  Then I sewed the outer yokes to the inner yokes right sides together from the joining point on one side all the way around the tie, the neckline, the other tie, and to the joining point on the other side.  I had sewed a line of reinforcing stitches right where the yoke and bodice meet (under the ties in the photo) and I clipped my seam allowance right there and turned the right sides out.

The I stitched the underarms and basted the sleeve seam edges and the yoke seam edges together.  I sewed my side seams and finished the hems.  Then I put the inner and outer bodice sections together with right sides facing and stitched them with the yoke sandwiched in between.  When I turned it all right side out, the seam was hidden inside the bodice layers and the blouse was finished inside and out.

At that point all that was left was to add the sleeves, which I finished with a narrow casing and 1/4" elastic.  It sounds like a lot of work, but I think it was easier and faster than trying to narrow hem that entire edge around the ties and the neckline and tapering allowance toward edges of allowance, which is what Burda would have had me do.


The finished blouse is quite unique.  The depth of the V in front can be somewhat controlled by how you tie the front.  I've got it pulled up rather tight in the pictures (maybe too tight!)  But I found that even after only a few minutes of wear, the weight of the ties starts to drag them down and the V creeps lower.  I think when I wear this out to road test it, I'll wear a cami underneath for insurance.  The blouse also tends to slide forward on my shoulders.  I'm sure the weight of the ties is the issue, especially since I used a double layer of fabric.  It would probably behave better if I'd made it as Burda intended.

But having said all that, I'm pretty pleased with my version.  It's distinctive and comfortable and I think I'll get plenty of wear out of it.

Back when I first blogged this project, I also mentioned I was working on this:


I'm happy to report this one is almost complete, too.  I just need to finish the sleeves and it will be done.  Stay tuned for an update.

And I also cut out this one last weekend:


This one is a fabulous, relaxed tunic which I'm making from a delicious chocolate brown gauze with embroidery.  I can't wait to get this one done.  Of course if it takes me as long as the two above, I'll be lucky if I get to wear it for Fall!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Butterick 4724: The Story of My Saint Barbara's Day Dress

This morning I was relaxing with a cup of coffee while I surfed the internet, and I wandered onto my favorite vintage pattern site, Mom's Patterns.  It's always fun to find a pattern that I had back in the day, even more so when it's a pattern I actually made.  Imagine my surprise and delight when I found this, Butterick 4724 in the "just arrived this week" section:


From the website:  1990, 90s Glamour, Retro Evening Clothing Patterns - MISSES' DRESS Close-fitting, lined, boned dress, mid-knee or evening length (center back) and above mid-knee (center front), has princess seams and back zipper. A: tapered, short sleeves with boning and elastic. B: stays with attached, contrast ruffles with side front seams. B,C: inside belt. C: bias drape with bow and pleated knot and self-lined skirt. 


And here it is, View C, made up in Artillery Red Satin for Saint Barbara's Day.

Saint Barbara is the patron saint of Field Artillery and St. Barbara's Day, which falls on December 4th, is recognized with a military ball.

I made this dress for the 1990 St. Barbara's ball.  We were living in Germany at the time, and I had the pattern, but I had to have my mom send me the materials for the dress from the states.  If I recall correctly, it was about 7 yards of heavy satin, lining material, boning, zipper, etc.  She also got the shoes for me and had them dyed to match the dress fabric.  The fabric had to be just the right color- Artillery Red- for this special occasion.

I was very proud of this dress.  Other than my wedding dress, it was the biggest project I had made up until this point.  It was also the first time I made a length adjustment to a pattern... or really any kind of adjustment to a pattern.  I didn't know a thing about fitting.  I was young and relatively slim, so I just made things straight out of the envelope and assumed that the less than perfect fit was something I had to deal with just like RTW.  But I had noticed that dresses were often too short through the body, and I figured I could fix that.

I had never heard of a muslin, or a toile.  But I just decided to pull some ugly fabric out of my stash and cut just the bodice out and sew it up to try on.  When I got it on, I pulled it up so the bust was in the right place and I drew a line right onto the fabric right at my natural waist.  Then I tugged it down so the hips were in the right place and drew another line at my natural waist.  The distance between the two drawn lines, if I remember correctly, was about 1.5 inches.  So I cut my pattern pieces at the waist and added that much length.  The finished dress turned out perfect.  And I've been making that adjustment ever since.

While I was working on this dress we found out that my husband's unit was going to be sent to the Persian Gulf right after the new year.  The St. Barbara's Day Ball was canceled due to the preparations for deployment.  I finished the dress anyway and he left in January 1991.  Operation Desert Storm began on January 17, 1991.

My husband returned safely later that spring.  By the time December 4th rolled around again I was pregnant with our second son and I couldn't squeeze into my red dress.  I made a cute little baby-doll dress from a Vogue pattern that year, and the red dress sat in the closet.

It wasn't until St. Barbara's Day 1992 that I finally got to wear my dress- two years after making it.  That's when the photo above was taken.  It's one of my favorite pictures of the two of us.

I think I wore that dress for one more event a year or two later.  And I still love the look of that pattern. And I still like to wear red.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

What time is it? Tunic Time!

The thing that I was afraid would happen has happened.  I was so productive during the Christmas holidays when I was off from work- both sewing and blogging.  And then the holidays were over and I went back to work.  The hours have been long, the days have been short, and I just don't get anything done here at home.  It's all I can do sometimes in the evening to just leaf through an issue of Burda Style.  I'm hoping that with the days getting longer and Daylight Savings Time starting next weekend, that things will improve.  I seem to have more energy during the long summer evenings than I do in the cold dark winter.

I have so many projects planned.  There's the Vogue dress out of teal ponte, the herringbone print ponte that is still deciding what it wants to be, the Traveler Dress that sits unfinished on the ironing board.

But last weekend, I turned my attention to tunics.  We have casual Friday at work and it's nice to trade the pantyhose in for jeans.  The problem is that I have so few "nice" tops to wear with jeans at work.  The things I do have tend to be close fitting, and sometimes I just really want something loose, long, and comfortable.  Yet stylish- don't forget stylish.

So I turned to a stack of Burda back issues that were sitting out on a shelf.  I didn't even dig into my whole stash of magazines and I was able to find several patterns that looked interesting.  I spent last Sunday evening tracing in the hopes of getting a couple of muslins made this weekend.

The first contender was this one, number 119 from the August 2013 issue:


It's got the simple shape and length that I want and I love the curved yoke seams, the dropped shoulders, and the front yokes that extend into long, wide ties.  The sleeve cuffs with buttons are very nice, too, but I'll probably opt for elastic.  It will be simpler to make, and will allow me to push the sleeves up.  (Plus, the "cuff-less" pattern pieces look like just the right length for my little T-rex arms!)


The pattern is traced and ready to go, but I'm still mulling over some construction ideas.  I'm going to deviate from Burda's instructions...

The second pattern that I traced was chosen because I've long liked the look of dress #107 from the February 2012 issue:


It's super, super simple.  I could have just used that to make a shorter top, but Burda kindly provided a shorter view:


I love the simplicity here.  Burda used the play of the shiny satin against the matte wrong side of the fabric to make it interesting.


I went ahead and traced view A, but depending on how the muslin turns out, I think I may want a little extra length and I may play around with adding a contrast band at the bottom like the dress.

I have a pretty apple green satin picked out for this.  If all goes well, I can see wearing it with a statement necklace and white jeans this spring.  (This is the year that I plan to add white jeans to my wardrobe, darn it!)

And if the top turns out, I may even make the dress.  I even have coral satin in my stash!  I've always just admired this dress and then turned the page thinking that I couldn't wear a straight boxy dress with my figure.  I discovered last year that I like straight and boxy- and the worst that could happen is that I might make a muslin and not like it.  So what, right?

So I'm off to dig around in the stash for muslin fabric and to find that green satin.  Do you like tunics?  What is your favorite tunic pattern?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Burda Style 11-2013-109

My knit dress has been finished for over a week.  It's been way too cold and dreary here to take photos, however.  Today was the first decent weather day we've had in a while.  So even though I felt awful today- frizzy hair, puffy face, bloating, and just all around feeling blah, I seized the opportunity to get a couple of pictures.


This is dress #109 from the November 2013 issue of Burda Style.  It's a fabulous issue with several other dresses I'd like to make.  This dress caught my eye and I thought it would make a comfy, warm, work appropriate piece and would look great in ponte knit.


I used this gorgeous plum ponte from Fabric.com.  I love this color.  I wish I had bought more.  It's a great weight and it sewed up very nicely.  Ponte is one of my all-time-favorite fabrics.  Burda used a stretch wool twill to make this dress, so stretch wovens would be suitable also.


I cut a 42 at the shoulder, 44 at the bust and waist, and eased out to a 46 at the hip.  I had to grade up because the pattern only goes up to 44.  (It's offered in 36 to 44.)  I made my standard adjustments- 1.5" of extra length at the waist, and a 3/8 petite adjustment above the bust.  My muslin told me that I needed some additional adjustments and extra length.  You can read about all my pattern doctoring in the previous post.


I'm pretty pleased with the finished dress.  It turned out a little bit looser than I expected.  It's probably because I made my muslin out of cotton and then the finished dress in the ponte.  I had to take it in from hip to sleeve about about 1/4".  If I made it again I would just cut a 42 from shoulder to hip and then a 44 from hip to hem.

It's still a little loose, but it's very comfortable and I didn't want it to be too fitted.  I've already road tested it by wearing it to work and it was not only comfortable, but kept me warm in the office, and I got several compliments.


It's hard to see in the photos (and it was too windy and I felt too irritable to take close-ups) but I wore the dress with a gold choker and matching bracelet that belonged to my grandmother.  They are probably from the 80's and have a Dynasty vibe to them.  I thought they looked fabulous with the dark plum fabric.

I'm glad I made this dress.  I like that from far away or at a glance it looks rather plain, but once you really take a look, you see all the criss cross seaming.  It was challenging to get the waist seam in the right place, but in the end it turned out fine.  I recommend the pattern, but if you normally make length adjustments (lengthening or shortening the waist) I recommend a muslin to make sure the horizontal seams are in the right places.

And now I'm off to take another look at the February issue of Burda.  There are a couple of things in there calling my name.  Happy sewing!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Knit Dress Update- Boy, Am I Glad I Made a Muslin

My latest knit dress project is well under way.  I traced my pattern on Saturday and made my standard adjustments.  For a few minutes I toyed with the idea of skipping the muslin and just cutting into my fabric.  After all, I've made tons of Burda dresses and I know how they fit...   Boy, am I glad I came to my senses.


Tracing and adjusting was as far as I got on Saturday.  Mr. Frogs and I went to the big city for a concert and didn't get home until late.  But Sunday I decided to test my pattern by making a muslin, and I am sooooo glad I did.  Turns out I needed some additional adjustments to make this dress work.

After throwing together a very quick and dirty muslin, I found that I needed additional length through the waist.  That is, on top of the 1.5 inches I already added by slashing and spreading the lower bodice just above the waist seam, and the upper skirt just below the waist seam.  To get the waist  seam in the right place and have adequate length, I had to add an additional 1/2" to the bodice and 3/8" to the skirt. That's a total of 2 3/8"!  That's more than I've ever had to add before, which leads me to believe that this pattern is drafted on the short side.  Or maybe it's just that I normally go for vertical seams, which are much more forgiving.


I also had to do a modest FBA, adding 1/4" to the bottom of the upper bodice and to the top of the lower bodice.  That horizontal seam goes right across the bust-  just FYI, in case you were wondering.  The pattern pieces are shaped to incorporate the bust dart in that seam.  (And yes, I raised the neckline 1 inch for modesty's sake.)

I also had to do an "FBA"or full bum adjustment, to the upper back skirt piece.  That horizontal seam across the backside seemed to ride up when viewed from the side, so I used the same basic adjustment I made to the bust, just upside down, to lower that seam line into place.

I also found that the straight part of the skirt is shorter than expected and the flounce begins higher than I thought it would.  No problem, though.  The overall length looks good... now that I added all that extra at the waist.  Oh, and the sleeves are loooong.  I actually used the shorter sleeve from a different view and they turned out a little bit more than full length on me.

I just noticed, looking at the tech drawing that I made a mistake in my lower front bodice pattern piece and in my cutting:  I didn't put it on the fold!  I am going to have a CF seam on my lower bodice!  Which helps to illustrate my next point which is, even though this really is a simple dress when you get right down to it (all the seams are straight or gently curved, there are no darts, pleats, or inset corners, and everything goes together very nicely) you have to pay really close attention when putting it together.  There are separate pieces for lower front bodice, lower back bodice, upper skirt front, and upper skirt back, which are all very similar, but need to be sewn together correctly to get the shape right.

My dress is all cut out now and ready to be sewn.  Unfortunately, I'm too tired tonight to start.  I think I'm going to go find some snuggly pajamas and head off to bed.  Tomorrow is another sewing day.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Anticipation...

I haven't sewn a stitch in the last two weeks.  I've wanted to, but between the long hours at work, feeling tired in the evenings, and getting laid out flat this past weekend with a bad cold that's been lingering all week, it just hasn't happened.  Now that I think about it, I did put a few stitches in the Traveler Dress last weekend, but I felt so fuzzy headed and uncomfortable from the cold, I decided to just put it aside before I made some terrible mistake and ruined it.

I do plan to get back to that little dress this weekend.  I also received a shipment of ponte knits in the mail this week and I think my first project from that shipment will be this dress from the November issue of Burda Style:


I loved this dress on first sight.  It has that sleek sheath silhouette that I love, plus some pretty fab seaming, and a flippy little flounce at the bottom to liven things up.


It looks like it will be pretty easy to make my standard adjustments, and other than raising the neckline, it shouldn't need too much done to it.  The gorgeous dark plum ponte knit I have picked out should guarantee a pretty good fit, and comfort, too.  And the long sleeves will be very practical for my frigid office and the miserable cold we've been having here lately.  And since I'll be leaving out the center back zipper and the wrist zippers, it should be a pretty fast sew, too.  I anticipate having a new dress to wear next week.

In other news, I think I'm going to have to bow out of the Shift Dress Sew Along.  Sigh...  I was really looking forward to making a "winter/office" version of that cute pattern, but unfortunately, I just haven't found a fabric that spoke to me.  I shopped several online sites and my local Hancock's and I just couldn't find what I was looking for.  I don't want to force it.  The right fabric and the right pattern have to work together.  I've made the mistake before of settling for a fabric to go with a certain pattern, or vice versa, and it almost never turns out well.  The garment just ends up hanging in the back of the closet, never being worn.  I have too many other projects in queue to waste time making something that won't get worn.  You will see that dress again- I have a pretty, seersucker plaid earmarked for it for spring/summer.  I just don't feel like making a seersucker dress right now when it's below freezing outside.

What are your weekend sewing plans?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

February Burda is Here!

The February issue of Burda Style arrived today- about 4 days before I expected it to!  What a nice surprise on a Monday evening.  February is usually a pretty good issue, and this one is no exception.  There are a lot of great pieces just waiting to be made, but here are a few of my favorites- some things you may see here later on.


 Dress 116, shown in red and white cotton satin, features a V-neck and an a-line skirt with pleats in front.  A belt attaches at the pleats and wraps around to the back where it's fastened with buttons.  The shape is simple, but has just enough detailing to make it interesting.


Dress 112 has been getting a bad wrap around the internet.  A lot of people don't like the ruffled sleeves, but I think the overall shape is great.  I love the shift silhouette, and the bias cut hem band.  The raglan sleeves combined with the square neckline look like they would be very flattering and would set off a great necklace.  As for the ruffles, Burda suggests using chiffon with a raw edge for a different look, or just leaving them off altogether.


Dress 113 uses the same basic pattern pieces, but with a longer, plain sleeve.  I thought this was a striped fabric when I saw the online preview, but it's really three different fabrics pieced together.  How cool is that?


Jacket 114 is simply gorgeous and looks like a perfect jacket for spring.  I love the raglan "over sleeves."  I could even see this made up as a short sleeve jacket (without the long sleeve portion) as a cute spring top.


Skirt 110 is a great basic skirt with cargo pockets- but thankfully "flat" cargo pockets!  I also like the yoke detail on the back.  This looks like the perfect casual skirt to pull on with a cute blouse for work or a plain t-shirt for the weekend.  I even think I have some khaki fabric in my stash.



Skirt 139 from the plus section is also really nice.  The details include pockets which are applied to the outside and a bias cut hem band with 2 buttons on the back.  Another great skirt that can go casual or corporate depending on what you wear it with.

There are a lot of other great garments in this issue- skirts, dresses, tops, you name it.  Another great February issue.  I can't wait to get started on some of these, but I'll have to wait because I still have a project from the January issue that's waiting to be made.

So what do you think?  Are any of these February projects calling your name?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Burda Style 01-2014-108

This is the first project started and finished in 2014, Burda Style 01-2014-108, the Waterfall Top.


This is what it looked like in the magazine.  Graceful, with elegant draping and form fitting at the waist and hips:


I'd love to see the back because I suspect there are some serious pins and clips back there.
Because there is no way this top is going to fit like it does in the photo with a line drawing like this:



I knew that going in, and yet I chose to go ahead and try this pattern.  And I was right.  It did not fit like the photo.

This is, however, a very cool, interesting pattern to sew.  It only has two pattern pieces to trace- the back pieces which are joined with a center back seam and then folded to the front to form the dolman sleeves, and the front which is basically a square.  The bottom band is just a rectangle that you cut to the dimensions given in the magazine.  All the seams are straight, so it is simple, fast, and easy to sew.

I used a jacquard fabric just like the magazine.  I bought this silvery floral print a few years ago at Hancock's.  I figured it was time to use it.


The problem with this pattern is that there is no waist shaping at all.  So the figure skimming look in the model photo is a complete illusion.  Unless you want to walk around with clothes pins clipped to your back!  I sort of solved the problem by adding elastic to the waist.  Now the top snugs up to my waist more like the photo... but not quite.


Another problem with this pattern is that it runs huge.  I cut a 42 front and back and used the 44 measurements for the bottom band (plus 1 extra inch to make sure I had enough ease to wear this over jeans.)  It swallows me.  There is just way more fabric than there appears to be in the model photo.  I also have a bit less drape in front because I sewed up my shoulder seams an extra inch on each side to cover my bra straps.

And even though I used the same type of fabric that the pattern called for, I think this fabric has a little bit too much body for this design.  The pictures make it look even worse.  It was very windy out and the breeze just picked up this fabric and inflated it like a balloon.  That combined with the shiny finish just looks awful.

I really think this pattern is screaming to be made up in a knit... with either a shaped band or at least a band cut with negative ease so that it fits the hips and waist better.  A knit would also flow better and give it more of that "waterfall" look.

I'm going to have to call this my first wadder for 2014 (might as well get it out of the way early, right?)  I just can't see myself wearing this.  I enjoyed the process of putting it together, but the finished product just isn't flattering.  Maybe someone else can take my experience and use it to make this top successfully.

There's more to come.  I have another top to share that was completed during the holidays, and I successfully muslined a dress from a back issue of Burda which you will see soon.  I'd also like to make a successful project from the January 2014 issue, so stay tuned for that.

Happy sewing!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

McCall's 6787- The Last Finished Project of 2013

This is the last thing I finished before the new year.  I think I put the last stitch in on December 31st.  The problem is that it has been excruciatingly cold and wet here lately and today is the first chance we've had to get outside and take pictures.  It's nice and warm today, but very windy...


Anyway, this is McCall's 6787, a girl's pullover knit dress with a gathered neckline and elastic waist:
 I made the size 14, the biggest size in the envelope for my 12 year old.  I added 1/2" of length to the bodice, and 3 inches of length to the skirt.  I also added an additional 3/8" to the waist seam allowances so I'd have a wider casing inside to use wider elastic.  The pattern calls for 1/4" elastic, but I thought 1/2" would work better.


The dress pretty much looks just like the drawing.  I used a colorful "paint splotch" knit print that I found at Hancock Fabrics.  The Princess picked it out and she was thrilled to find that it matches her favorite shoes- the emerald green flats she's wearing in the photos.


The dress was easy to make up.  I do have a couple of quibbles with the pattern however.  First, McCalls did not see fit to provide a separate pattern piece for the overskirt.  I'm not sure how I was supposed to lay the whole dress out at once with both skirt pieces being on the same piece of tissue.  I suppose I could cut the underskirt first and then lay out the over skirt and cut, but then what if I wanted to make the pattern again?  My under skirt piece would be gone.  So I had to trace the overskirt so I'd have both pieces.  Now I trace Burda patterns all the time, but when I buy a McCall's pattern I expect all the pieces to be there and I should not have to trace anything.  Hmph.

My second quibble was with the instructions for finishing the armholes.  Why yes, McCall's, I'd love to narrow hem a tiny little, extremely curved armhole by turning the seam allowance under and then turning again!  I'm sure that would look nice and smooth and neat when it was done... uh, probably not.  So I cut binding strips from the fabric and used those to finish the armholes.  It was much easier and looks great from the outside of the dress.

Other than those two things, it's a great pattern.  The pieces go together perfectly and it's pretty easy to sew.


When I make it again, and I will because I want to make the peplum version above, I will narrow the bodice a bit.  It seems a little bit wide on the Princess.  But then, that has been my experience with McCall's kids patterns- they are drafted short and wide.

The Princess was adamant about wanting the sleeveless version of this dress and I went ahead and made it because it will be easy to put a shirt and tights under it during cold weather.  I expect her to get plenty of wear out of it during the spring and summer, too.  We are planning a shopping trip this week to find some tights/leggings and a cardigan to go with it.  I did not make the self fabric belt, because the princess has an emerald green belt that will go perfectly with the dress and match the shoes.

I've already begun the next Princess Project- the Lisette Traveler shirt dress.  I hope to finish it up this week.  It will also go with the emerald green flats.

There is more in the pipeline, too.  The Christmas holidays gave me a chance to recharge my batteries and my creative juices and I have lots of motivation to sew.  Not as much time, now that I've gone back to work, but the mojo is there.

So how is your new year shaping up?  Are you feeling motivated?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

McCall's 5190

The first finished project of 2014 is McCall's 5190.  Actually it was done before the new year except for the buttons, which I finished sewing on Thursday.


Please excuse the shadows in the photos.  My photographer is only 12 and it was freezing outside- much to cold to quibble about the photos and definitely too cold to re-take!

Here is the pattern picture.  I made View A, the tan jacket on the upper left:



 I should know by now to be wary of patterns that don't show real photographs.  But more on that in a moment...

I deviated a tiny bit from my standard pattern sizing for this project.   Usually I cut a 14 through the shoulders, a 16 at the bust and waist, and an 18 at the hip.  But I figured the fit on this jacket would be somewhat similar to the fit on M5859, which was very close through the body.  I wanted to be sure this jacket would fit over a blouse or thin sweater, so I cut a 16 through the shoulder and bust and eased out to an 18 at the waist for the muslin.


I made my standard pattern adjustments:

1.5" of additional length at the waist
Shortened the sleeves 1"

The muslin turned out okay.  I tried it on over a sweatshirt and decided I needed to add an additional 1/2" at the side seams.  I also decided to do a 1/2" FBA.  And I trimmed the shoulders back to a size 14.

Why on earth I didn't notice at that point that this thing is too darn short, I don't know.  The waist is in the right place and the hip shaping is, too.  I just need a couple more inches at the hem for it to really feel right.  Notice in the photo above that the hemline and the cuffs are almost the exact same length!  Compare that to the pattern illustration.  Notice how the sleeves are so much longer than the body of the jacket in the drawing.  I really can't tell for sure from the drawing if this is supposed to be extra short or not.  It would be great to have a photo of the jacket on an actual human to have a better idea.  In any case, my length adjustments didn't help the proportions.  But that's the way it is, or rather, the way I am- my torso is long and my arms and legs are short.  Really short.


The fabric is "cordless" corduroy from Hancock Fabrics.  I purchased it several years ago, I'm not sure for what, and I finally decided to just use it and get it out of my stash.  I love the color, but the napped fabric was kind of a pain to work with.  I thought it would be easy, but it wanted to shift around a lot more than I expected.  All the seams are topstitched, and it shows up nicely.  I did a test swatch to check before starting.  The buttons are silver toned plastic also from Hancock's- completely machine washable and cheap.  I think they were $1.00 for a card of two.   There are ten buttons on the jacket so they only cost me $5.

Here's a shot of the back.  I borrowed the "belt" from a different view just to give the back a bit of interest.


Seriously, if I had just added another 1.5 to 2 inches at the hem, I think the proportion would be so much better.  On the other hand, the stand up (mandarin) collar is perfect.  I was worried when I saw the pattern piece that it would be skimpy, but I think it turned out just right.


There are no pockets in this jacket.  The pocket flaps are decorative only.  I moved the bottom set up one whole inch.  When I pinned them on at the pattern markings I felt like they were way too close to the hem and they looked odd.  There may be no pocket under there, but it should at least look like there could be one, right?


I pretty much followed the pattern instructions as written.  The jacket is fully lined- I used a coordinating cotton print for the lining and the underside of the pocket flaps and belt.  Normally I wouldn't use cotton to line a jacket.  I'd want something more slippery.  But I didn't have anything just right in my stash and this cotton print went with the blue fabric so perfectly I just had to use it.


This is not a difficult pattern, but it does take time to put it together.  There are a lot of pieces to cut and sew together.  If you're looking for something quick to sew, this is not the right project.  But if you want a cute (short) jacket with a military vibe, this is it.  A beginner could make this jacket with some patience and attention to detail.

I love this jacket on the hanger.  On me... well, I wish I had added more length.  But I'm still going to wear it.  It will be perfect to stay warm in the office and it will certainly look better than wrapping myself in a blanket.  And when I start my next jacket project (yes, there will be more) I will be paying extra close attention to not only the lengthwise fit of the garment, but the finished length as well.

Will I sew this again?  Well, I've learned to never say never.  It is a cute jacket.  I love that it has a military vibe, but it's not over the top.  There are some other nice views.  But I think I've had enough of this one for a while.  I have tons of other jacket patterns to try, so I'm moving on for now.

I'm off to finish up a simple top that I started the other night.  Then I'm going to dive in and trace a new Burda project... a knit dress.  What are you up to this weekend?