Monday, May 30, 2011

June Burda Picks

Boring. Voluminous. Simplistic. Those are the words that come to mind to describe this month's design offerings. I've said it before - I'll not be renewing my subscription when it expires in August.

T-shirt 120 is a nice basic top that I may make if I ever need a basic T in a specific color and can't find it at Target. I probably never will, though.
Top 124 is pretty in the sheer white on page 31. I probably will make this one as I'm always wondering what to do with sheer fabrics.
And... that's it.

I'm still working on the white floral silk dress I started the first of May. More white Ambiance had to be ordered from Vogue fabrics (who has a fabulous selection of Ambiance, BTW) so I won't be able to finish the lining until that arrives.

Here's a picture of my beautiful Rachel, who is 9 months old today. Can you believe that?!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Butterick 5562 - Taupe floral knit top w/ gathered sleeves

Wow! It has been three weeks since I've posted anything. I wish I had something really special to show you, but unfortunately I've not had the best luck lately. The dress I was making for the Celtic Women concert had some problems and I ended up wearing this dress instead. Then I thought I could whip out a little little refashion of a RTW skirt that was too tight in the waist, but botched that as well. I finally got some pictures of this top I finished a week or so ago. The first photo shoot was yesterday but I realized I had red lipstick on my teeth so had to retake them. Whew! Anyway, here's the pattern picture. I have made this design before using a different view.

I made this top because I was sad about first the dress and then the skirt not working out, and I wanted to have something new to wear to church last Sunday. It was to match this skirt, but as is fairly often the case with sewing, I did not like the them paired together after the top was completed. Actually, this outfit looks more fall then summer to me. At least it turned out and didn't become another failure.

This fabric is a thin polyester floral purchased from JoAnn's a few months ago. I liked the pop of blue leaves amongst the gray and have also recently discovered that I can wear brown toned tans.

The sleeve treatment is what makes this top special. I made an small through the shoulders, graded in to the XS through the torso and out to the medium at the hips. But see on the side view how the neckline is drooping out? This SO bothers me. I really need to figure out how to finish a neckline with clear elastic. Next time I will make the XS all over and take out a bit at the center front fold during cut out as it is very wide at the shoulders too.

I used the bias tape finish for the neckline and even went back to cinch it in more in order to eliminate the drooping. Didn't work, though.

I didn't get a picture of it but I used clear elastic and a zig-zag stitch to make the sleeve gathers. The hems were done with a twin needle and walking foot. Oh, and I used french seams for all seams except the sleeve/armhole.

I do like the pattern and want to remake it using a solid color. I may even make the long sleeve version for winter.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Vogue 8711 - Red bamboo knit skirt

I like to wear lots of knits during the summer, and I love interesting design lines, so this pattern was right up my alley.

Picking a fabric for this pattern was not as simple as you might think. With the front and back yokes being double layered, the folded waistband casing and skirt with gathered overlay, there are sometimes 4 layers of fabric being sewn together. Also the back is very fitted and I wanted something slightly substantial back there. Hmmm... beefy but thin with good draping ability. I decided to use a bright red bamboo knit purchased from

I tried to pair this skirt with a looser top and short heals to avoid looking like a tart. And just in case anybody wants to know, I'm wearing seamless vanishing edge boy shorts under this, but some sort of spanx would work as well. I cut my typical size 12 and the fit is spot on with some great negative ease.

Unfortunately most of the interesting design lines disappear on this fabric. One change I made was to sew the front and back yoke side seams together first for the top layer and then for the bottom layer. I also stitched the side seams of the skirt fronts and back together before attaching the yokes. That created far less bulk at the sides and enabled me to grade the seams easier. Another change was to start the gathering of the overlay right under the first pleat, and not extended above it.

This is not a skirt easily whipped up with a serger. Here you can see where I graded the 4 layers of fabric along the yokes and waistband. Some intense pressing was also a necessity.

I like the look of the lace option, so may make this again. Fabric with some texture might make this a little less bottom enhancing.

Up next is a slightly fancy dress for a concert we'll be attending in 2 weeks. I was going to use Simplicity 2253 for it, but I think it needs some sort of fitted corselette attached to the bodice, and I don't feel like expending that much effort at the moment. I'll be using an OOP Vogue that I've had in my stash for nearly 10 years.