Saturday, September 20, 2014

October Burda Style is Here!

The October issue of Burda Style arrived today.  What a great issue!  There are a ton of things I want to make in this month's magazine.  Here, in no particular order, are my picks for October:

Coat 125:

This is gorgeous.  I love the wide lapels and the wide pocket flaps.  I probably would not use patent leather and I'd leave off the stripe on the sleeve.  The shoulder seams extend to the back- beautiful style lines back there.

Jacket 120: 

This jacket is simple, but has some great details such as the belt and the epaulettes.  I love the plain V-neckline with no lapels.  It also has side panels with modified princess seams

Dress 114:

I love love love this simple knit dress with front and back overlay just as it's shown in striped fabric.  It's offered in dress and tunic length.  I would buy extra fabric- that overlay piece looks rather large in the pattern pages.

 Dress 130:
 I would make this as a tunic/top.  The yoke and shoulder insets give this one some interest and I think this would make a nice alternative to a sweatshirt or sweater on weekends.

Biker Jacket 108:

This is a nifty little jacket, which I quite like in the ethnic print shown.  I would use a darker color- maybe black or navy for the contrast pieces.  The metallic gold is a bit garish to me.  This was also shown in a toned down grey and black combo, but the Princess and I both like this version.  It's a petite pattern so I would have to do some serious adjustments to make it work for me, but it would probably work for the Princess without too much trouble.  I may need to do some fabric shopping...

Waterfall Dress 111:

I love this one.  It looks like just another cowl neck dress (it's also offered as a top) but the neckline folds are cleverly controlled with some pleats sewn at the corners.  I imagine that would make the neckline more modest and suitable for work.

Dress 101:

I really like this dress, but as of now, I have no plans to make it.  I love the horizontal section seams and the clever use of fabric in the model photo.  However, I have made a couple of Burda dresses with these horizontal seams and although I love them and wear them often, fitting is rather finicky to get the seams in the right spots and I'm just not up for that at the moment.  That doesn't mean that sometime down the road I won't come back to this one...

Egg-shaped Dress 127

I am quite surprised at how much I love this.  The dress is shown on the model with a turtle neck underneath and what appear to be tights or leggings.  I would probably wear skinny jeans and boots with it.  Made up in a snuggly fabric, this looks like it would be warm and comfortable and would be a great option for casual Fridays and weekends.  I love the sleeve shape and I'm really curious how this would look made up.  You may see this one soon.

Babydoll Dress 124:

Okay, I actually hate the photo.  I don't like the ribbon around the waist and I'm not crazy about the fussy black lace over the nude lining.  But I think the tech drawing is adorable.  I love the shift sillouette and the way the bodice is gathered onto the yoke.  I'm going to set this one aside until next spring- I think in the right fabric this could be a great dress for warm weather.

Flounce Jacket 122:

Gorgeous.  What else can I say?  Burda shows this with the ruffle edges left raw in a stretch gabardine fabric.  I kind of like it.  It would be so easy to finish the ruffles, though, if you wanted to.  Once again, the design is simple but the impact is high.

Dress 105:

This is probably my favorite look in this issue.  Yes, it's just another simple cowl neck knit dress, but I love the shoulder seams that are extended to the front and the higher, more subtle drape of the neckline. (I even love the textured fabric shown on the model.)  I have a stash fabric in mind for this and you may see this dress made up here soon.

Wrap Coat 113:

I would really love to make one of these "waterfall coats" before the trend dies and this one is a really nice specimen.  The folds in front are very generous and the back looks to have a subtle "swing" shape to it.  I need to find just the right cuddly fabric for this- it would be a perfect alternative to wrapping myself up in a blanket to keep warm at the office.

Sixties Dress 139:

This is my other favorite from this issue, a fabulous shift dress with interesting seaming offered in plus sizes!  This could be so snazzy- fit just right it would be flattering and amazingly comfortable.  It's shown in wool crepe, but I think I might try it in ponte knit.  Color choice will be critical- it needs to be something light enough to show off the seam lines and topstitching.  And in a knit, I could even leave out the zipper.

This month Burda offered some items for "bigger" kids in the children's' section.  A quick check of the measurement chart shows that these are suitable for the Princess.  Here is what she picked out...

Trench cape 146:

I was surprised that she likes this, but she does.  I think it's adorable and I should probably make it up quick so she can wear it for fall.  she would be the only one at school to be sporting a cape!

Pullover dress 144:

She really likes this one, too, and so do I.  It's really just a sweatshirt, but the section seams and multiple fabrics take it to a whole new level.  Again, with jeans or leggings, this would be perfect for school or weekends.

What an awesome issue!  So many great patterns, so little time.  What's your favorite this month?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Burda World of Fashion 01-2008-110

I will never ever ever make these jeans again.  At least not exactly as drafted.

Once again, in a quest to make some jeans for the Princess, I turned to my stack of Burda back issues.  I found this pattern, described alternately as drain/stovepipe and equestrian styled, with knee to ankle zippers and a slim fit.

 They appeared in the magazine three times but were pictured full length only once...

...and the fabric choice and lighting make the details difficult to see.  That's okay, though, the tech drawing appeared to tell the story.

What you can't see in the drawing or the photos is the "lightening bolt" side seam line:

The front pocket ends at the top of the upward pointing zig zag.  There are two inset corners to sew within a two inch span.  In denim.  Where the pocket meets the side seam.  Needless to say, marking and precision sewing are key here.

My seams did not turn out perfect.  But I pressed and then top stitched the living daylights out of those seams and the finished jeans aren't too bad.

That said, I will never do it again.  I might be willing to alter the pattern to take the seam straight from the pocket edge to the waistband- smoothing it out into a gentle curve, but no more lightening bolts for me.

Here the Princess has her hand in the pocket and you can see the stress right there at the point.  I hope that point holds.

I cut a 36, which is one size larger than the Princess's measurements.  I wanted her to have growing room and I also wanted to make sure the pants didn't fit too "skinny."  I ended up taking the center back in about 1/2".  The waistband is contoured and I had to let out the sides about 3/8" on each side.

In addition to the curved, jagged front/side seams and the back seams, there is a separate section attached with a horizontal seam below the knee.  I removed an inch of length above the seam.  I also rotated the bottom so that the seam aligned with the inner leg seam and I left off the zippers.  They are a cool feature, but I didn't have any on hand and didn't want to have to go shopping or agonize over finding the right length.

The fabric is a nice medium weight denim with a tad of stretch that I found at Walmart.  I topstitched all the seams with a rosy tan thread and added a jeans button at the waist.

The Princess is pretty pleased.  She likes the color and style and she says the fit is good.  She's planning to wear them to school tomorrow for a road test.  I'm just happy they're finished.

I'm taking the day off tomorrow and hope to get some sewing done.  I spent yesterday afternoon cutting out my next two projects- knit dresses.  All the seams should be straight or gently curved.  I do not want to see another inset corner any time soon!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

New Look 6144 A Ponte Knit Dress for Fall

I wanted to make a new dress this past weekend.  I had this new ponte knit ready to go and I had McCall's 6988 adjusted and ready to cut out.  I could have just screamed when I started laying out the pieces and realized that they were never going to fit on my mere 2 yards of fabric.

So I rooted through the pattern stash and pulled out about half a dozen patterns that might be able to be squeezed out of 2 yards.  I finally settled on New Look 6144.  It looked like it would work in a stable knit, it had only 6 pattern pieces including facings, and it was the approximate style that I wanted.

I settled on view C with the double pleat at the neckline and the longer sleeves.

It was a surreal experience.  I wanted to make a dress, but this wasn't really the dress I wanted to make. I don't know why I had it in my head that I must use this fabric.  It's not like I don't have plenty of other projects I could work on.  But once I got started, I just couldn't stop.  And during the process I was never really sure I was even going to like the finished object.

So.  On to the details.  This is a really nice, heavy ponte knit that I picked up at Hancock's a couple of weekends ago.  It was regularly $19.95/yard, but I found it marked down 50% on the clearance table.  I suppose the color makes it a "summer" fabric and it was put on clearance to make way for fall fabrics.  I really like it.  It's coral, but reads more orange in some light.  And the heavy weight is going to make it perfect for fall and winter, not to mention my meat locker of an office.  The texture is really smooth and I hope it doesn't pill.  I have had good luck with some of the ponte knits I've purchased at Hancock's so I have hope.

The pattern is one of those cute little understated sheath dresses that New Look seems to issue like clockwork.  I finally chose it because it only has 6 pattern pieces and it didn't look like it would need a lot of length added to it.  (I think the McCall's pattern didn't fit on my fabric because I added so much length- at the waist and to the skirt.)  I really like the raglan sleeves, which are easy to fit and (I think) look good on me.  The neckline pleat is also a great detail.

I cut a 14 through the neckline, a 16 through the bust, sleeves, and waist, and an 18 at the hip.  I added 1.5" of length to the waist, and 3/8" of length to the bust- a "cheater's FBA" which I made by slashing and spreading the pattern straight across the bust and then easing the extra into the side seam.  It worked great...  I just don't think I really needed it now that I see the photos.

What did I particularly like about this pattern?

The front is one big piece with a left and a right- no cutting on the fold.

The raglan sleeves are two pieces, front and back.

I did not have to lengthen the skirt- this pattern is knee length.

The neckline is wide enough to not require a zipper (in a knit) but not so wide as to show bra straps.

What do I not like particularly?

The sleeves are an awkward length.  It's my fault completely.  I know I have little T-rex arms and I should have checked.  They hit me right at the crook of my elbow and bunch and wrinkle from me bending my arms.  I should have gone 3/4 length and narrowed them a bit.

The center front neckline is a little wonky- once again, completely my fault.  I should have considered that this beefy knit would be hard to pleat and then sew a facing to and have everything lie smooth when turned under.  I did the best I could with careful trimming and a lot of steam, but it will never be perfect.

The front is a bit loose.  I didn't really need the FBA and that could be part of the problem, but I think I am going to take the front darts in a bit at the top.  Just a smidge, mind you.

I am going to have to give in and wear some shape wear with this.  The fabric is heavy, but in this color, you can see all the bumps and bulges.

Now that I'm seeing the photos, I'm liking this.  It's not my favorite dress, but I will get some use out of it.  I need some different shoes, though.  I'm wearing it with nude sandals in the photos and although I like the look, these shoes are not comfortable or practical for work or for cool weather.  Black just seemed too "Halloweeny."  Maybe some nude pumps or perhaps gray?

When I bought this fabric, I also bought two yards of the same knit in a marine blue.  So now I have to choose another pattern that will use only two yards.  At least I already have a selection to choose from.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

McCall's 3037 Pattern Story

I was surfing the web this morning and came across this awesome blast from the past, McCall's 3037:

I made this pattern back when I was in high school.  I think I was about 15, so it would have been the summer of 1984.  And I thought I was super fabulous in this!

Looking back, the amazing thing is that I knew absolutely nothing about fitting.  I just picked a size and made the shorts... and they fit just fine.  That would never happen today.  In addition, I decided for some reason that I didn't want shorts, so I lengthened the pattern to capri length (my first attempt at pattern alteration.)

I made the pants, which closed with velcro on either side of the front waist, and the camp shirt with buttons.  My fabric was similar to the pink fabric in the drawing or in the photo below- but it had a white background with "comics" on it in very 80's shades of pink, blue, and lavender.  My lining was pink broadcloth which showed at the hems, pockets and waistband, and the cuffs of the sleeves.  I seem to recall wearing my shirt tucked in because even back then I was conscious of trying to accentuate my waist.  And I accessorized this wild look with a pair of big earrings and some gladiator sandals.  I wish I had a picture.

It looks like McCall's also did a special release of this pattern, P970, which featured live models on the cover instead of drawings.

I love the girl in pink, but that poor boy in the blue shorts on the right just looks... ridiculous.  Why is his shirt hiked up?  And is it just me or does the contrast waist of his short make him look like he's standing there in his underwear?  And that headband is not helping anything.  Gosh, I love the 80's!

Did anyone else out there make this gem?  Or something similar?  Please share your story!