Monday, July 27, 2009

Burda's August issue - my picks

Bored with these yet? Sorry, but I love my Burda subscription. In fact, I just renewed for another year.

Up first in this cute skirt 107. I love everything about it and the back is just as fun as the front. And y'all know I adore all that topstitching, right?

This next one is top 117. I already have a semi-shear light pink on pink polka dot fabric in the stash that I think would be perfect for this design. Except I think I'll add an elastic casing around the waist for some definition, then wear it with a skinny belt.

I can't resist this feminine little jacket with ribbon and bows for trim right above the pockets. I'm thinking the gray wool also already in my stash would be nice, with maybe black velvet ribbon for the trim. Although I'll have to check first and make sure it's not too scratchy.
And lastly I really like the skirt from this duo, 121. If my scanner was working I'd show you a picture of the back. It's got a triangular yoke and center back seam under the bottom point. I love the front as well. No fabric ideas yet.
Cape 111 certainly does intrigue me, but I can't see myself wearing it. I also like the velvet dress, 113, but it seems really plain to me. Perhaps I'll get inspired by one of you to make it up. Did I miss any of your favorites?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

BWOF 7-2009-124A - Pink floral knit wrap top

Hey, I actually got this made the same month of its pattern publication! Of course, it was super easy, I'll give you that. And no, I did not make these pants. I wish!

Ooh, I just love the back wrap detail. But Christine is right, it is low, and my bra strap keeps showing when I make the slightest move. Consequently I just purchased one of those backless and strapless stick-on bras from Ebay that had great reviews. I'll probably be making this as a knee-length dress as well.

Here's the neckline close-up. The tie around the neck is very comfortable in a knit. (I tried it first with a ribbon to check the fit - ouch!) This ITY knit was purchased from and rolled like crazy on all the selvages.

I did accidentally sew the thinner part of the tie to the side seams with the wider part in front. Oh well, it doesn't look much different.

Are you wondering what ever happened to Vogue 8553? This is as far as I got with it (ignore the wonky neckline):

Which I didn't care for at all! It's not a bad pattern, but I think the black contrast was a mistake. It was too dark and made my bust look super small. Also, this turned out to be quite big in the waist. I cut the top in an 8 because it was so big, but should have cut the entire thing in an 8. I might make this again without the contrast in the smaller size. For now it's going back in my pattern drawer. I was able to harvest the fabric, though, so I'm not counting it as a wadder.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

4-2009-101A - Navy skirt w/ white topstitching

Remember when I made this skirt back in May and used a cheap fabric that I should have known better about? I was determined that it would be navy and spent the past few months looking for the perfect fabric. I finally found some navy stretch sateen at and ordered it. Here it is all made up!

I love this skirt. Seriously. I think it is in the my top 10 favorite things made by me. The fabric is the perfect weight and has just a touch of lycra to give it some stretch.

I love to topstitch. People always ask so I'll not forget to mention this time around - I use a heavy weight polyester thread in the machine and regular navy thread in the bobbin. I also use my walking foot so the fabric stays even on the top and bottom. These little pockets were sewn and topstitched with buttons sewn on, and then slipstitched to the skirt. I'm not sure how the instructions had you do it - I didn't make much sense out of them. Isn't the front yolk fun? It actually opens and closes, but I use the invisible zipper on the side to put it on.

This skirt took a whole package of bias tape. I put it around the top facing and on both sides of the side zipper seam. On the right you can also see where I slipstitched the pocket down with needle and thread.

Here in the inside of the front yolk. As I mentioned before the instructions weren't too helpful, so I just did my own thing with it. Once it was sewn to the front skirt panel, I covered the seam with more bias tape. All facings were slipstitched down. I used french seams for all vertical seams except the zipper seam. I made them wider then usual so I could topstitch from the front and have something to stitch into. To make a wider french seam you make the first seam about 1/8" wide and forgo any trimming, then turn it to the inside and take 3/8 to 1/2" seam for the second.

This is my typical blind hem with the top folded down to eliminate any exposed fraying.

It was a lot of fun to make! I cut the side seams 1/4" bigger from the waist to the hem, but otherwise made no changes to the pattern.

*Update to the black eyelet blouse I finished a few days ago:*
After wearing it around for half the day yesterday I was feeling a little choked. The neckline was too high for my comfort zone. I have issues with necklines, people. I took out the elastic, undid the front stitches, and clipped 3" off the center front, tapering it down to the sleeve tops. And I am much more comfortable and happy with this version.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Burda 8517 - Black eyelet top

I whipped this little ditty out in only 3 days! That's heavy with sarcasm in case you can't hear it in my typing. It should have taken me a few hours. This is one easy pattern. Sometimes life (and a trip to the library) can complicate things.

I've had this top planned for over a year. I'm trying to sew some of my backlog instead of just the new and the now. And what did it turn into but the perfect match to this recently sewn skirt. One of the things I really like about this top is the ability to adjust the under-bust gathers. That way it doesn't end up looking too maternity.

The fabric is a cotton eyelet I picked up at JoAnn's. I made the elastic around the neckline tighter so it wouldn't be so off-the-shoulders as the envelope examples and would be bra friendly.

The pattern calls for eyelet lace around the ribcage but I couldn't find any in red. And I'm telling you, I was stuck on it being red. Should I buy some in white and dye it? Then I ran across this this interesting trim and thought it might work. Ta Da!

I used my typical bias tape finish around the sleeve seams and french seams everywhere else.


Currently Vogue 8553 is giving me a bit of trouble with the neckline. It's a great pattern, don't get me wrong, I just made a few mistakes of the costly time kind. Hopefully it'll be done sometime this weekend.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Big sigh, I've ruined it...

It's wash day around here and I put this skirt in the machine, on cold of course. (I was planning on letting it drip dry.) Except I should have put it in a garment bag on the gentle cycle, because look what happened:

The fabric has raveled out into the skirt body and there's no way to fix it. Guess I'll salvage the zipper and trash it. Gosh, that was so dumb! Anyway, just letting you know because I promised to post pictures of it this weekend but won't be able to now. :(

FYI: Burda previews

Did you know the German Burda site often displays the new month's Burda designs days before the American site? You can't read it - unless you know German - but that never bothers me. Here is a link for anyone interested.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I'm totally diggin' this new Vogue lineup!

Here's the new Vogue fall collection. A whole lot of these new designs offer fitted garments with interesting construction lines. Y'all know by now that is my favorite combination. I like a bunch of them but decided to be very picky. After all, how many dress patterns can one gal make up in a lifetime?!

This is 1118. Love it. LOVE. IT.

1121. Gorgeous! There are tons of pieces to this fitted number, and I especially like the back pleat. But where do I find a buckle that can be covered with fabric? Any suggestions?

This is one great suit, especially the back of the jacket. However, it seems really high waisted. I'm okay with high waisted dresses, but when you are nipped it at the ribcage and the waistline, it looks a little odd to me. I think if I can lower the waist inset to my natural waistline, it will be a real winner.

Dress 8593 looks simple and elegant. And as I have hardly any long sleeve dresses in my wardrobe, it is a definite buy.

This little sheath dress is awesome!!! Check out those construction lines!

I'm noticing those are all dresses with one suit. Yikes! Maybe they'll have more casual designs later in the fall. What do you think? Did I miss any of your favorites?

In other news, I have removed the tabs from my pleated ivory linen skirt. I like is so much better! Our church is having vacation bible school this week, so I'll post pictures of it this weekend.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Vogue 1026 - The Secret Secretary dress

I've had this dress planned for over a year, and finally got around to it. I love this pattern - it's fitted shape and interesting construction lines. I made the matching belt, but wasn't in love with how it looked, so opted for a skinny black belt instead.

I ended up going back and sewing the front pleat closed down to the pocket line. The pleat was flipping up a bit more than desired. Now I think the side view is much more flattering.

The back. Those pesky Christmas pounds are making this look a little too snug. They will be gone ASAP.

This pattern is rated as easy, but making sure the front contrasting bands were all the same width and the sharp corners of the bodice was not what I would call simple.

Aren't these flap pockets cute? The fuchsia fabric is polyester shantung and the black a thick satin.

Here you can better see those sharp corners of the bodice and where I sewed the pleat closed.

The black bands along the neckline extend to the back as well. I decided to use a black zipper because I couldn't find the right shade of pink for a perfect match. All you see in the pull tab anyway, and that ends at the black neck bands.

I did find the right shade of pink for the lining though. I love that this pattern included separate pieces for the lining, and the front dress lining piece is straight across and not pleated.

Inside lining:

So, kind of a weird title for my post, right? I never name my clothing, although I know many people do and it always makes me chuckle. However, I made this dress to match these shoes, and they were called "Secret Secretary", which I think is a hysterical name. I know they're pretty flashy, but I love them. I am hoping the reserved design of the dress downplays any naughtiness from the shoes and makes the outfit appropriate for church.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

BWOF July issue - My picks

I seriously thought this month's magazine was lost in the mail. I can't remember ever receiving it on the 2nd of the month! Oh well, it's finally here, I can stop stalking my mailbox.

Pant pattern 102 is my favorite design this month. I have got to put my fear of making pants to rest. The perfect blue linen is already in my stash...

Shorts 107 are super cute. Making shorts doesn't seem that fun to me, but I can't find any RTW that I like or that are flattering. The stores carry only capri's or daisy dukes. I use to always wear the daisy dukes, but now that I'm in my 30's I don't feel comfortable in them.

Maxi dresses are all the rage, right? I'm loving 116 for its super cute neckline. If I sew some bra cups in the top I can wear it without any undergarment issues.

You might think me nuts, but I like this little top, 120. Especially in a shear fabric. Asymmetrical necklines really appeal to me.

Ooh, love top 124. I expect to see a bunch of these made up soon. They are so simple and summery.

We are taking our boys to the circus tonight and then will be out and about for the 4th. I hope you all have a wonderful Independence Day!!!