If only I’d sewn these up in July! I could have used them for the Smarty Pants challenge at Monthly Stitch. Alas, these were finished in June.
They are pretty Bananas. I’m not sure about Smart.
And I’m posting them in November. Oy.
These are purple rayon palazzo pants. They’re totally ridiculous. I can’t justify any kind of need for them. But I love them so.
The pattern has an invisible side zipper, an angled front yoke, and some truly roomy front pleats. I needed most of 2m of rayon to cut these out. But they are truly delightful to wear. It’s like having an air conditioner on my butt, they’re so light and cool. This was great in July and August, though it’s not so great in November. Maybe I’ll make these again in something a little warmer? We’ll see.
Slash hip pockets–and I wasn’t as careful as I was with the final version of the pink pants–so there’s a bit of gaping. Sigh. And I think one of the back legs is a bit off grain. They’re pretty swishy so the only time it’s visible is when I’m standing still, posing for pictures.
I can’t even tell you how much time I spent fussing with the hem. I’d press it to what seemed like the right length, pin it, try it on, and one side would be crooked or too long or short. Then I’d do it again. I’d compare one side to the other and mark a line where they should be equal, press and pin, and try it on again, and they’d still be uneven, so I’d do it again. And again. Etc. Hemming pants on one’s self is a PITA at the best of times; and there’s a lot of fabric here to hem. I thought I might spend the rest of my life on that one step. But here we are, hems done and, if not quite perfect, hard to see what with all the purple rayon swaying about my shoes. Good enough, I say.
According to the Burda size chart, I should be a size 40/42; these are a 38/40 (waist/hips) which for me is standard in Burda sizing. I made my standard corrections to the crotch curve and depth; otherwise, they’re as-is.
We’re coming to the end of the summer projects, Dear Readers. I have, I think, one more in the queue, and then it’s off to fall–pretty much just in time for winter. But I haven’t been doing as much sewing this fall as I normally would, at least not for myself; I made one (one!) garment for me in September, and so far in October have nearly completed one (one!) more. They’re both on the complex side, and I’ve been sewing a few things for Frances some of which are also on the complex side, but still.
With all of my newfound free time I’ve been reading up a storm. I’ve read ten books since the beginning of September, including all three of the recent “women and anger” releases, which you may hear about here soon since I am full of thoughts and have a paucity of completed sewing projects. In the meantime, if you’re looking for something surprisingly inspiring, I recommend Coyote America: in which we threw our most advanced biological weapons, poisons, aircraft with guns, helicopters, and scalpers for decades at them, and they largely rolled their eyes at us, expanded their range, and increased their population. I mean if you’re looking for a poster animal for extreme resiliency, coyotes would be hard to beat. The US literally has spent millions of dollars on eradicating coyotes, and they’re basically like, “whatever. We hear LA is nice. See you in the hedgerow!”
Anyway. Summer sewing project: a faux-wrap dress and shirt. I love wrap dresses, but the FBAs for them are such pains in the ass, particularly if your boobs are situated a bit higher up on your rib cage, that I normally don’t bother making them.
And this is a petite pattern, but as I’m a bit short in the torso I thought I could make it work, and the nice wide band on the neckline looked very promising for making a faux-wrap top less scandalous than they normally are.
I tested it out with a very cheap poly jersey ($3/m) from Fabricland in the dress view without doing anything but an FBA. It worked well and went together nicely and has a bit of a waist tilt in the front–not surprising. Otherwise it fits.
And you can definitely see me coming on a dark night. It’s a very bright orange/pink/white geometric print.
The second try was a rayon jersey–also on sale from Fabricland for, I think, $3 or $4/m–with this very cool stripe/botanical combo print. It’s super soft and very comfy. This time I altered the waistline to bring it down just a smidge centre back and about 1 1/2″ centre front. I think it was a bit too much, mostly because the rayon jersey is so much softer and more stretchy than the poly that it hangs farther on its own, without any pattern alterations.
Generally, both garments stay closed centre front and cover a regular bra.
Both made up very quickly on the serger with the coverstitch for hemming.
This is a size 19/20 with an FBA. Petite size 19/20 is equivalent to regular size 38/40, which is my standard in Burda.
I picked up this blouse pattern for the sleeves and simplicity rating, and decided to make it up in a silk-cotton voile I got on sale at Fabricland. Not a normal test fabric, but I bought a bunch of it for 75% off, so I figured it was best to just go ahead and make the blouse with what I actually wanted, rather than doing a test first.
I’m glad I did. It worked out really well, I like wearing it and it’s so lightweight that it’s perfect for super-hot summer days. By the time you read this, we will likely not be having too many hot summer days–at least not here–but I really appreciated it in July.
And there’s so many colours in it that it matches everything.
Everything matched up and went together well. The zipper gave me conniptions in the back; even with interfacing, it did not want to lie flat. We got there eventually.
I love the all-in-one facing. It matched up to the pattern pieces perfectly (note: I did have to retrace the front portion after the FBA) and, once sewn in, stays put beautifully. The facing, incidentally, is sewn in white silk-cotton voile scraps.
There’s not much else to say about the construction. Seams were sewn, then finished with the serger. The fabric pressed beautifully and behaved well.
This blouse is my Burda standard 38 with a 2″ FBA on each side. Body measurements should put me into a 40/44. The only change I would make is to lengthen the sleeve over the shoulder so it’s even front and back.
I’d initially bought this ponte to try out a boxy, unstructured jacket pattern. But I kept running into the fact that I hate boxy, unstructured jackets, so it languished in my stash. Part of it became one of many tries at pink pants, and what was left was just enough to make up this Burda knit blazer pattern. [in June. That’s the size of the project backlog, Dear Readers.]
It’s not hugely complex, so there’s not a lot to say about it. Everything went together beautifully and it only took a few hours using the serger. And it is a perfect match for the pink in this dress, so when I want a nice comfortable combo for work that looks professional, this does it. I’ll be making more.
Standard for me with Burda: size 38, graded to size 40 at hips, FBA on the bodice.
In this case, I traced the shoulder line both back and front out to the largest size. In the back, I scooped it back to the 38 by the bottom of the armscye. In the front, I kept it out, and then traced it back in a size or two from the bottom of the armscye to the waist. I then made the dart bigger at the waist seam to remove the rest of the excess. It worked! I have a bit of excess fabric around the shoulder, as you can see, but otherwise it fits just right.
This shirt pattern had so much to recommend it: the cool twist, the interesting sleeve construction, the simplicity. But in the end I can’t see wearing it much.
The fabric is a lightweight rayon/spandex jersey that is super soft and drapes beautifully.
I can’t comment on Burda’s instructions, since per usual, I didn’t look at them. It wasn’t hard to put together, though, and wouldn’t take more than an hour if you have a serger. No bands so the edges are all hemmed.
And it does look pretty neat when you first put it on, but here’s the problem:
As soon as I move my arms, the neckline bunches up.
You either need to accept it as a gathered cowl-like neckline, or be constantly pulling it back to where it’s supposed to be. But it doesn’t stay put.
Standard for me with Burda: Traced out a 38 grading to a 40 at the hips with an FBA in the front (and that was a fun time with this pattern). Overall fine, though I did end up taking it in a bit through the sleeves to get them to stay up when I rolled them up.
Regardless, in linen, the Winter Skirt is very summer-appropriate. Thanks to Dressmaking Debacles for her recent inspiration. Her version was so lovely, and seemed destined to be made up in this fabric.
(It might not be recent anymore by the time this is posted. We shall see.)
The linen is a Nani Iro from my favourite local fabric store. It wasn’t cheap, but it’s Nani! Iro! Linen! The print is so gorgeous, and it’s a lovely light linen. The only downside is that it is a smidge narrow, so to cut out the front pattern piece I had to go selvedge to selvedge, and so there is a smidge of text from the selvedge on the lower right front of the skirt. Worth it, though.
The pattern went together beautifully, as Burda patterns do. The pockets are high enough to be stitched into the waistband on the inside, which is a nice touch–I try to modify pocket pattern pieces to do that where it’s not included, because it’s a good anchor that means the weight of anything you put in it is hanging from the waist instead of the side seam, which looks and feels a lot better.
I can’t comment on the instructions as I didn’t look at them, but it all worked out. The seam allowances are serged to prevent raveling. The hem is blind stitched.
Happily I have several shirts in my wardrobe that go with the print nicely, so I’ll be getting a lot of wear out of this skirt.
As I usually do, I sized down by one from where the body measurements would put me in Burda: instead of size 40/42, this is a size 38/40, and it worked out beautifully.
You know how sometimes you have a sewing project in which every mistake that you can make, you do?
Dear Readers, this poor skirt. I tortured this fabric to within an inch of its selvedge. That it exists now as a skirt is testament mostly to my stubbornness.
I bought this (mariner cloth? This is a thing? I googled it, and the top four results relate to online games. It seems like Final Fantasy and Allison Glass have a monopoly on the term between them) because of the lovely, textured, colourful stripes, which are made of something like a thick floche fibre that is woven into the thinner threads. It’s a very lightweight cotton, almost gauze-like, but the thicker fibre stripes give it weight and body. And I thought it would be perfect for this skirt, which I made a couple of years ago, back when I was both a bit heavier and hadn’t yet figured out I need to size down by one in Burda. So that skirt is a bit big, though I still wear it.
Regardless, and wordy prologues aside, the point of the skirt was to play with the direction of the stripes: vertical in the body, horizontal on the waist and hem bands.
On the way, I unconsciously decided to experiment with my tolerance for making mistakes on nice fabric, mostly inspired by Burda’s terrible welt pocket instructions.
How do they do it? I’ve sewn single welt pockets dozens of times. Yet, somewhere between the terrible wording and the flat-out inaccurate illustrations accompanying them, not only could I not make heads or tails of how to install the welt pockets in this skirt, but the instructions somehow rendered me completely unable to comprehend any written instructions on welt pockets. I cracked open all of my sewing reference books, and it was as if the English in them had been replaced by Lithuanian. You might as well have told me to shake a unicorn’s horn at the fabric while chanting Grimm’s fairytales by candlelight. And while attempting to figure it out, I sewed the welts on backwards, sewed the large pocket pieces to the welts, sewed the large pocket pieces in the wrong direction, each occasion for seam ripping bringing with it some little fabric tears given how soft and spongy the fabric is, and, for the coup de grace, at one point cut the pocket opening on the wrong side of the welt, creating a five-inch gash in the fabric of the skirt, and inspiring some inventive new curses for the instruction writers at BurdaStyle. I sorted myself out by watching this youtube tutorial. I have no idea who this woman is, but bless you, Diane.
I then patched up the gash with fusible knit interfacing, a lot of handstitching, some more cursing, and then sewed the pockets the right way. Then later on serged a side seam to the skirt front, but thankfully without cutting anything, so it was just a mess of seam-ripping rather than a new catastrophe. (Cutastrophe?) (Ha!)
So the one pocket is a bit of a dog’s breakfast and the inside is super messy (seams finished with serging after sewing because this fabric is super ravelly), but it is so pretty! On the outside! And so lightweight! And I will wear it with joy.
I bought mariner’s cloth in the weight/neon pink colourway too, that I’m hoping to turn into a top, preferably with fewer issues than the skirt presented me with.
In Burda’s sizing, based on body measurements, I should be a 40/42 skirt. This is a size 38/40, and it fits perfectly. Sizing down by one is standard for me in Burda patterns.
Back in my ignorant youth, I would roundly ignore the ends tables at Fabricland. Why would I bother? I wondered. Clearly the ends table was where they stuck all the crap they hadn’t been able to sell previously, and it would be ugly and awful.
I can’t remember how it happened, but one day I found some really nice wool suiting on the ends table for an unbelievably good price, and I couldn’t remember it ever being for sale in the store generally. And the clerk, when I took it to the table for cutting, confirmed that; it turns out that Fabricland regularly gets ends from other fabric suppliers and they just go straight to deep discounts in the ends sections. I’ve found some really great stuff there over the years for really great prices, but my favourite finds have been the silks.
This one, a bright yellow silk noil, was $8/m. And for the fabric illiterate among you, a generally cheap price for silk is maybe $20/m; a standard price for a decent silk is around $40 or a bit more; and you can find good silks at $100/m or more. So $8/m for silk anything is like a new hardcover book for $2. You don’t think about it or look at it too hard. You just get some and trust that you will find a use for it in good time.
I think this skirt was a pretty good use for it.
The pattern uses about a metre, so including the lining and the zipper, this is probably a $15-$20 silk skirt. And it’s yellow! Making it my third yellow handmade skirt, which is probably excessive, but … yellow … and silk … and a pencil skirt.
Also, while this isn’t a faux-wrap skirt, I think this is close enough to one of the projects in my 2018 Make Nine list that I’m counting it.
The pattern was picked up for the very cool seamlines. And one of the things I found out after I got it that made me like it even more is that the separate lining pieces are basically a standard darted pencil skirt, so if you are missing one of those, you can use the lining pattern for a basic pencil skirt.
The silk isn’t the highest quality (but for $8/m, can you complain?). It’s a bit flannely, it’s very soft, it creases easily. You can see the wear from a day or two of office work in the pictures, and you can also see some weird drag lines on the back that were not at all apparent until I saw the photos. I’m going to blame the camera and lighting because I seriously can’t see them in real life.
For the cost (and the colour!) I’m not going to worry about it too much. I’m just going to love it. Also it gives me the best reason ever to wear the blue floral blouse I made last year. Yes?
At any rate, I loved the pattern so much I got some nicer fabric and made it again.
This was picked up at The Wool House in Toronto, which is lovely, and never ever on a deep discount. My conversation with the shop owner went something like this:
Me: I’d like a yard of this one please.
SO: (Unravelling from the bolt) There are 2 pieces of 1 3/8 yards each left on the bolt.
Me: Oh! I’ll take 1 3/8 yards then.
SO: If you buy both pieces, I’ll give them to you for the price of 2 1/2 yards.
Me: That’s tempting, but I really only need one piece. I’m just making a skirt.
SO: Or I could give them to you for the price of 2 yards.
Me: (Quickly calculating in my head if 2 3/4 yards is enough to make a skirt suit) Sold!
It’s a lovely orangey tweed blend of silk, wool and linen. It feels wonderful, sews beautifully, and will make a gorgeous suit for when I need something more formal in the summer. And it’s perfect for a structured skirt pattern. It also means it wrinkles as soon as I put it on; believe it or not I ironed this before I took the pictures. But I can live with that
Both skirts are lined with bemberg.
I highly recommend reading the instructions through on this one. The first time around I did my usual figure-it-out-as-I-go thing and, while it worked out fine, the front dart would have been a lot easier if I’d done it in the order they recommended (which I did the second time around).
This is a great pencil skirt pattern. Highly recommend it if you’re looking for something classic but with interesting seamlines and construction.
And now I need to dig up a nice summery collarless blazer pattern.
The sizing is consistent with Burda magazine; I should be a size 40/42 and this is a size 38 grading to 40 at the hips, and it fits perfectly.
Preamble to prologue: I owe you all a Miss Bossy post, I know, but April kicked my butt three ways from Sunday and I’m still working on the dress. It is coming, and I will post it. In the meantime, lots of other things are done and ready to share.
Just in case you were wondering: in the case of this pattern, 2-way stretch definitely means it needs to be equally stretchy everywhere, because the pattern pieces put the hip and waist on a different grain.
It’s cute, and the pleats are nice, and the flounce at the bottom is fantastic, and there’s no stretch at the waist because this jersey is definitely only stretchy on the horizontal, not the vertical. I can get it on, barely. But I do mean barely.
I had about 1.5m of this fabric, and it was enough to make the skirt, even with the pleats and the flounce. Construction wasn’t too hard, though it was a bit time consuming and the pleats–all sewn together on one side–do make for a lot of fabric. Something to keep in mind, depending on the capacity of your sewing machine or serger. I ended up cutting away some parts of some pleats so that there wouldn’t be quite so much to put under the presser foot.
That said, I would make it again, if I had something that was very stretchy in all directions and hefty enough to make a skirt without being too hefty. It’s cute and it’s pretty simple.
And I’ve already borrowed the flounce for an upcoming dress project, so you’ll see it again soon.
I should be a size 40/42; in this pattern, I cut out a size 38, 40 in the hips, and it worked out fine. The waist is a bit loose, but I think that’s more to do with how hard it is to get it over my hips, given that the waist ended up being cut in the not-stretchy direction. Woops.
It’s pretty gratifying, because this is the same size combo I use in Burda magazine patterns, so it’s nice to see that it’s consistent and translates over well.
This is made from a polyester charmeuse, which isn’t something I normally go for, but it was so soft and drapey and didn’t feel plastic-y at all. And when I saw the December 2017 Burda blouse, it seemed like the perfect match.
Of course, it took me four months to sew it up. But here it is, finally, and worth it. It’s a really lovely blouse, and if you’re looking for something drapey, but not shapeless, and with some interesting details, this is a good pattern.
A few details are kind of fussy:
The shoulders are meant to sit back from the joint, as you can see; I didn’t adjust the seam because I didn’t want to end up with the shoulder seam too broad and mess up that bit of puffiness, but as it turns out, it really would have benefited from a bit of an extension. It’s just a bit snug.
I did the FBA and ended up with my usual enormous side dart, but didn’t add a waist dart–I kept the blousiness instead. I think it works but your mileage may vary. As per usual I basted the dart and left it unpressed so that I could shift it if I needed to–and I did. The dart point was several inches too low so I ripped it out and moved it up. A lot. It took about five tries to get it right–oy. Mostly this is because the FBA was 2″ per side so things moved around a lot, what with all the cutting and pasting; but I find bust darts on most patterns too low for me.
Burda has general pleat instructions, consisting of the number and size. But the last thing you want is wobbly, crooked, uneven pleats on the collar, so a few suggestions:
Pin each pleat securely.
Baste through the top and bottom of the whole run of pleats
Pin to the collar piece from the top of the pleat piece rather than the bottom
Baste, and be prepared to rip out stitches to pull pleats in or push them out to keep the top of that piece even
I recommend using a zipper or other foot that allows you to get very close to the bulk of the pleats when attaching it to the collar
I made my ruffled collar a bit shorter than they suggested as I don’t like a lot of bulk around my neck.
I used a very lightweight tricot fusible interfacing on this blouse to keep the drapeyness, and it worked; cuffs and collar are finished with handstitching this time to minimize visible stitching. Seams were first sewn with a regular machine and then serged to prevent fraying. A french seam would have worked, but I’m just not putting in the effort for poly, no matter how pretty it is.
I’m not sure it’s the kind of shirt you make more than once. I would recommend it, though. It’s pretty and different and works very well with a very fluid fabric.