Monday, May 18, 2015

Burda Style 02-2015-128

A while back I was on a sweatshirt kick and I new the minute I saw top #128 in the February 2015 issue of Burda Style that I had to make it.  Seeing one of my favorite bloggers make a cool, color blocked version of it also helped.

I love the boxy, relaxed shape of this top and the angled seaming intrigued me and added interest to what is otherwise, a simple t-shirt.

You can't really tell from the tech drawings, but this top has a 2 piece sleeve.  There is a normal seam that runs under the arm from wrist to underarm, and an angled seam that runs from the back shoulder around the top of the arm to the front of the wrist.

There are also normal side seams.  The diagonal back seams match up to the lower front seams at the side creating a line that travels from the back neck around under the arm to the front hem.  The bust darts add a bit of shaping and help to balance the diagonal lines.

I nade a straight size 44.  The only adjustment I made was to add about 1.5" of length to the hem, which I did by tracing the pattern a little bit further down (this pattern is also offered in a longer dress version.)

Although this is a great pattern for color blocking, I chose to use one fabric, this basket weave textured knit I found on sale at Hancock's a few months ago.  I love the look of it, and it has just the right beefy texture (similar to a ponte) that I wanted to give this top a sweatshirt look and feel.  But it's a very "plastic" feeling polyester.  It doesn't breathe at all so it isn't very comfortable to wear.

Oh, well.  I will definitely make this again in a better fabric.  I also want to have another go at those inset shoulder seams.  The ones in the front turned out pretty well, but the ones in the back aren't quite sharp enough.  I also think I might need a small FBA to add some length in the front.

I love the look of this and it was relatively easy to make.  The inset shoulders require some careful sewing and clipping, but nothing too difficult.  The neckline is finished by top stitching the seam allowances of the slit and then binding the neck edge, but you could easily draft a facing if you prefer.

Over all I'm quite pleased with this pattern and I'm tucking it away for fall.  It will make a great sweatshirt alternative for cooler weather.

Monday, May 11, 2015

McCall's 6713

I finished up McCall's 6713 about a month or two ago, when it was still really too cool for a sleeveless dress.  Today was my second time to take it out on a test run to work.

I can't really say for sure what I was thinking when I chose this pattern.  I picked it up in a 99 cent sale at Hancock's and I had just received an order of fabric in the mail, and I guess I just got sucked in…

The line drawing is much more exciting than the pattern photo.  I don't know what possessed me to make view A, but that's what I did.  

I cut a 16 and added 1.5" of length to the bodice.  I did not make a muslin, but just eyeballed the pattern pieces in front of the mirror.  Now that it's done, I wish I had added about an inch more.  It's wearable, but I find myself tugging it down every now and then.

This is me holding up the skirt drape.  The interesting thing about this pattern is that the bodice is completely self lined and the drape is also double thickness- so the wrong side of the fabric does't show.  That means a lot of bulk at the waist seam, but my fabric is thin and it doesn't seem to cause any problems.  More on fabric in a minute…

I pretty much followed the pattern instructions.  I eliminated the elastic at the waist, although I may go back and add it.  It might help keep the bodice from riding up a little bit.

I also topstitched the entire neckline a scant 3/8" from the edge forming a casing through which I threaded 1/4" elastic.  It works just like adding clear elastic to a neckline and helps prevent gaping.  You can see some slight gathering at the center back neckline in the photo above, but it doesn't bother me and it's usually covered by my hair anyway.

I think I added a little bit of length to the skirt, too, but I can't find the pattern right now to double check.

The neckline is ever so slightly too deep to wear to work, so a safety pin is a necessity.  (I don't have it pinned in these photos.)

My fabric is an ITY "Mosaic" print from  I loved this fabric the moment I saw it and I think that's part of why I chose to dive into this project so quickly- I wanted to use this gorgeous print.  The fabric itself isn't that great.  It's thin and slippery, although it worked well for the double thickness of the lined bodice and the drape.  A good, stiff wind will blow the skirt around, though, so I do have to be careful.

I'm not completely in love with this dress and I can't really say exactly why.  Maybe it's because the bodice length isn't quite right and because I can feel it, I think others can tell as well.  Although that's irrational- no one notices and in fact, I've gotten a few compliments on this dress.  Maybe it's because it's sleeveless and I feel self conscious about my upper arms.  That doesn't make a whole lot of sense either because I have worn an aqua colored cardigan over over it to ward off the chill in my office.

I can't help but wonder if I would have been happier with view C or D.  Straight skirts seem to be more "me."  And perhaps a solid fabric would have been better to show off the draping and gathering at the shoulders and waist.  Maybe one of these days I'll give this pattern another chance.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Burda Style 06-2011-105

When the June issue of Burda Style arrived back in 2011 I remember being disappointed.  There wasn't much in it that interested me- nothing that I wanted to make.  It's funny how sometimes I come back to an issue that didn't inspire me at the time it was issued, but now I find hidden gems just waiting to be made.

Case in point was dress #105 which I ran across while surfing the Burda website looking for something else entirely.

I was intrigued by the unusual take on the shirt dress.  the crisp white linen and contrasting satin cuffs and hem band added to my interest.  I immediately went to my back issues and found the magazine.

Do you prefer the clear and concise?  Then you'll love this dress with it's straight cut and wide satin bands.  As a whimsical touch, the buttons continue along the neck edge.

I chose view B with it's ventless cuffs and top stitching on the yoke seams, which are the shoulder seams brought forward.  There are no darts in this design.  The bust fullness is caught into soft gathers at the yokes.  The button band goes all the way around the neck.  Really, it's just a simple button up shirt with a solid hem band at the bottom extending it into a dress.

Although I love the white linen version, I really didn't want a white dress.  I'm way too accident prone and I could just imagine dripping ketchup or barbecue sauce down the front!

The fabric I chose is a wine colored linen/rayon blend from Joann's.  It's not exactly a summer color, but it's pretty and I like it with my skin and hair.  I chose to use the same fabric throughout and not try to match satin for the cuffs and hem band.

The fabric was a dream to sew- soft but stable.  I washed and dried the daylights out of it in the hottest water and on the highest heat cycle, twice, to preshrink it and ensure that the finished dress would be wash and wear.  These photos were taken after a long day at work.  There are a few wrinkles, but not too bad.

I cut my "usual" Burda size- 42 shoulder, 44 bust, and 46 hip.  No grading was required because this dress was generously offered in sizes 38 to 46.  My adjustments were minimal- 1 3/8" of length added at the waist, 1 1/2" of length added right above the hem band, and a 1/2" FBA with the excess taken into the gathers at the yoke.  I made a muslin and the pattern, as drafted, ran short for my taste, hence the extra length added above the hem.  I also narrowed the shoulders by 1/4".

The V neckline is deep, but because of the way the shaped button bands are cut, it feels modest enough for me.  I wore this to work without a cami and felt fine all day.

The pattern is drafted well and all of the pieces go together perfectly.  It's a 2 dot pattern and a beginner could make this with careful attention to detail.  Attaching the neckband involves some convex curves sewn to some concave curves, so stay stitching, clipping, and careful pinning is required.

Although I like this dress, one is quite enough for me.  I could possibly see making the blouse version, which is just the dress minus the hem band, and with vents in the side seams.

This is a great pattern for a loose, comfortable, unique take on the shirt dress.  If you are looking for something a little different give this pattern a try.  And if you have any Burda back issues that didn't do anything for you at the time they came out, give them another look.  You never know when you might find something you like that you didn't notice before.