Sunday, January 29, 2012

Burda World Of Fashion 10-2008-116

I finally finished this little knit jacket. I'm ashamed to say I started it back in November and it's taken me this long to get it done.

The magazine photo:

The technical drawing:

I used a teal green Sophia Knit from for this project. It seems pretty comparable to the ponte knit I've been getting from Hancocks, it just comes in better colors.

Burda offered the pattern in sizes 38-44. I cut a straight size 44 and made my usual petite adjustment above the bust and added 1" of length at the waist, and then I went back and did a 1/2" sway back adjustment as indicated by my muslin. The fit is pretty good. I could take the back in just a smidge for a closer fit, but I plan to use this as a layering piece, so I don't want to overfit.

I'm not thrilled with the zipper. I ended up using a black zip. I like the silver one pictured in the magazine, but I couldn't find anything remotely similar, so I just went with the black. It will have to do.

I'm pretty pleased with the finished jacket. I seem to have pretty good luck with Burda's raglan patterns. I like the princess seams combined with the raglan sleeves and the yoke. The lines of this jacket are very nice.

My only quibble is that it's hard to get a good, crisp pressed edge with this knit. It was also hard to reduce bulk at some of the seam lines, most notably at the corners of the neck yoke in front.
They don't want to lay perfectly flat when the zipper is down. Also, my zipper is just a tiny bit ripply, even though I interfaced the jacket front and the facing. Oh well, who is going to notice besides me?

Still, being made of knit, this is basically just a glorified sweat jacket. And I love it. I think I'll get a lot of use out of this over the next several months.

Did I mention it's been a little windy around here?

I hope your weekend was good. Did you get any projects finished up?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Burda World of Fashion 11-2008-133

I am so happy to have this dress finished. Have you ever had one of those projects?
This is BWOF 11-2008-133, from the plus section. It's a shame all the best details are hidden in the photo:

You really have to look at the line drawing to see all the great details: the awesome pleated collar and the funky seaming.

So here's my finished version made in a blue and black "leopard" ponte knit from Hancock Fabrics.

I cut a 44 from shoulder to hip and a 46 from hip to hem. I made my standard petite adjustment by folding out 3/8" above the bust, and added 1.25" of length at the waist.

The dress turned out way too big. I should have graded down to a 42 on top and traced a 44 on the bottom, but I was lazy.

I ended up taking in all four princess seams about 1/4" and the center front about 5/8." It worked out okay. I did get a tiny bit of rippling at the underarm curves, but it's not too noticeable. Taking in the CF also raised the V-neck a bit, but I like where it ended up. The pattern featured a godet in back, but for some reason, I just felt like it didn't really "go" with this dress. So I left it off and left a back walking slit instead. I also left out the zipper. Duh- it's a knit. Oh, and the dress is drafted long. I chopped 5" off the bottom before hemming to make it knee length and I'm average height.

My photographer thought it would be a good idea to climb a hill to take pictures.

And then we climbed higher...

At least I get to show the dress in action.

Almost at the top.

The dress was kind of a pain to put together. I'm not one to complain too much about Burda instructions, but the lack of diagrams really put me at a disadvantage with this pattern. I could not for the life of me figure out how they wanted the collar pleats to go together. I played with it and folded it this way and that for a couple of hours. I even slept on it last Saturday night. Finally, I just did what I thought worked. It turned out okay. It looks like the line drawing, so I must have been close.

I recommend staystitching the curved edges of the front and side back (at the underarm) and then clipping the curves when you stitch them to the side piece. Burda doesn't mention doing this, but it made that seam much easier to sew.

Artsy shot:

I was so tired of working on this and so happy to have it done. I wore it to work last week to road test it and it performed great. It was comfortable, and in my opinion, it's flattering. I still feel like it's a tiny bit big on me (the princess seams are still too far apart at the bustline,) but perhaps a trip through the washer and dryer will help with that. I'd rather have it a bit loose than a bit too tight anyway.

After wearing it, I decided it might be nice to make the tunic version. ( I know, I know, it was a pain to make, but now that I've done it once...) I really like what this dress does for my shoulders. Something about those pleats at the collar really works for me. And wouldn't the top version of this make an excellent alternative to a t-shirt or sweatshirt on weekends?

In other sewing news, I finished up the Burda knit jacket yesterday. Stay tuned for a review of that one soon.

Has anyone else finished up a project this weekend?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Shepherd's Cottage Update

Slowly but surely, I'm making progress. This is what Shepherd's Cottage looked like last Sunday:
And this is what it looks like now, after several nights of stitching this week:

The house, including the smoke and the moon, is done, except for the flower beads that go on the little potted plants. I need to check my online source to see if I can order the right beads. If not, I might stitch some flowers. I'm really in the mood to finish this up.

The front gate and the bushes are complete. I love the little pop of pink that the flowers provide.

I love these stylized trees. They were so soothing to stitch. They are done in Weeks Dye Works Cypress and I just love the subtle shift of color. I still need to add beads to them as well.

As you can see, this little piece is stitching up nicely, and it would be a pretty quick project, too, if I could just work on it consistently. I hope to get the border done and add the little sheep this weekend.

What are your weekend sewing/stitching plans?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

February Burda- My Faves

This past week has been one of the most difficult I have experienced in a long time. There has been no time or energy for sewing or sewing related activities. I haven't touched my machine or my needlework project since last Sunday. The one bright spot all week was the (early) arrival of the February issue of Burda Style. Sheesh! And I haven't even made a thing from the January issue.

Anyway. The February issue is usually a good one for me. And I wasn't disappointed this year. I have to say my top pick from this issue is the asymmetrical color blocked dress: I absolutely love it and I have to have it! I prefer the color blocked version, but the solid version is pretty, too. Unfortunately Burda shows it in black and the zig zag seaming is all but invisible. I would prefer a lighter color to show off the pieces.

There is also a skirt with the same seaming:

I love this one, too. It's knit, so you could probably leave off the exposed zip if you preferred.

I also like this little Asian inspired dress. The magazine shows it in black with gold trim, but I wonder how it would look in a print.

I was surprised to find one of my favorite projects in the plus section, which is devoted to bridal fashions this month. But this little dress is just too perfect:

I love the front and back seaming. It's a simple shape, but that seaming just kicks it up a bit. This would be the perfect dress for spring going into summer. It's even shown with a coordinating little jacket:

I thought the Color Blocking feature was pretty, but none of the garments really grabbed me until I took a second look at this jacket:

It looks feminine and pretty and would make a nice alternative to a more structured jacket.

And I have to give an honorable mention to this dress. I would never make it for myself- the boxy cut would make me look like a fire hydrant- but I absolutely love the coral dress paired with the aqua green shoes!

So, there you have it. My favorites from the latest Burda. Unfortunately, it will probably be a while before I can make any of them.

My current project, the knit dress from the 11/2008 issue, is almost done. I still need to finish the sleeves and the hem and then wrangle a photographer to take some pics for me. The way things are going, though, it might be next weekend before I get around to it.

In the meantime, Happy Sewing to you, and may your bobbin thread never run out in the middle of a seam!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Finally. Some Progress

I cut out BWOF 11-2008-133 last Sunday night, but I didn't get around to working on it until today. I've finally begun stitching it together and so far it's going well.

We had a little cold snap here this past week. We even got some snow Wednesday night. The lower temps really have me wanting to get this dress finished so I can wear it. Between the high collar and the beefy knit fabric I'm using, I think this dress will be quite warm and comfortable. I can't wait to find out.

I wanted to share a photo of the front pattern piece. This shape is very unusual- different from anything I've worked with before.
Once the pleats are folded, the neckline/shoulder area should fall into place and look more like what I expect a dress to look like.

Sigh... I still need to mark my pleats.

I'm off to sew some more. Does anybody else have big sewing plans this weekend?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Warning- Garment Sewing Ahead

I've had this dress, from the November '08 issue of Burda Style, on my mind for some time.
This past weekend, I picked up a couple of new fabrics and I think the one on the left, the blue and black ponte knit, will be just right for this dress.

It's a basic princess seamed sheath, but with a couple of interesting details, namely the pleated collar.

The sleeves are also constructed a little differently. The upper sleeves are cut in one with the front and back, and then there is a third under sleeve piece which is attached at the underarm.

I can't wait to get started on this. I've been wanting to make it for a while, but I was waiting for the right fabric. I'll need to tweak the pattern a bit- 44 is the smallest size so I'll probably have to grade down one size through the shoulders, but that (hopefully) won't be too much trouble. The real problem will be finding time to actually work on it since I am working nights... again.

Oh, and the other fabric in the photo? That's a nice grey suiting I picked up (Hancocks was having an awesome sale!) It has metallic pink pinstripes! I was thinking it would make a nice pair of plain pants, but now I'm thinking maybe a dress? We'll see...

In the meantime, here is a progress shot of Shepherd's Cottage:

Not bad after only two nights of stitching. Too bad I probably won't touch it again until the weekend.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Fresh Starts

Last night while watching football and the New Year's Eve festivities with DH and the kids, I decided I wanted to stitch. I do have several WIPs I could work on, but I decided I wanted to start something new. It is the New Year after all. This is what I got done:
Eventually, it will be this, Shepherd's Cottage from Elizabeth's Needlework Designs:

I first fell in love with Climbing Rose Cottage (below) which was featured in the Jan/Feb 2001 issue of Just Cross Stitch.

I love the little cottage ( I have a thing for stitched houses) and the little satin stitched sheep. Shepherd's Cottage was also pictured in the magazine article and when I found the chart at my LNS, I just had to have it. It's been 11 years, but I'm finally getting around to stitching one up.

I'm using the suggested DMC and Weeks Dye Works flosses and a very similar substitute fabric (32 count raw linen.) There are beads on this piece, but I will have to check my stash for something suitable. If I can't find the same beads or appropriate substitutes, I will have to order.

Elizabeth's Designs also has some other pretty little cottage patterns. I like:

And there are others. Elizabeth is also the designer of one of my favorite pieces, Nature's Alphabet.

And as if starting a new needlework project wasn't enough, I also spent the afternoon piddling around with some quilting cottons. Remember back in 2009 when I made the pink/yellow/green Spring Spirit top? Well, I still have a ton of pink, yellow, and green fabrics in my stash. I figured I'd drag them out and play around with them.

This is what I have so far. Just a simple block in 3 colors.

I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do with them. I figure I'll just work along on them whenever I need an easy straight line sewing project.

And hopefully by the time I've got enough squares to make a quilt, I'll have cleaned out some of these fabrics from stash.

I hope to get back to garment sewing soon. I have a couple of WIPs to work on and several items on my "to do" list. The holidays have just been so hectic and I've been stressed out with family and all the holiday activities, that it's just more than I can handle to fit anything and sew a garment right now. The needlework and quilt piecing is keeping the mojo alive, though, so maybe soon...

Happy New Year! And here's to successful sewing projects for everyone all year long!