Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Burda Challenge - 04/2016 #119

Thank you! Thank you! THANK YOU! for the wonderfully supportive comments on my girl's prom dress!  It was quite an experience that was totally worth it when I zipped that zipper up and spun her around! 

Though I've had longer absences from the blog than this, this one was brutal and I had to unplug from everything. Too much life happening but I am definitely in a better place now. Deep breath out...


After completing the dress, my next project was supposed to be "quick". But you know me...Because I didn't get a chance to make the dress for the jazz concert, I moved right along to another item that caught my eye. This dress has fun seaming, is fitted, and looked pretty cool in a stripe.

After seeing it reviewed on PR, I knew I had to go for it! 

FYI: To search for Burda on PR you want to enter the date as 04-2016 for example. If you want to look for a specific pattern, like this one, it would be 04-2016-119.

But the striped version!

So for this one, I used a striped ponte that has been in the stash for a couple of summers. Once I received it, I wasn't completely sold on the color. It is absolutely perfect for a casual summer version of this pattern! (stashing works)

Burda is awesome. Mostly because their drafting is usually precise and their sizing is uniform. And they draft for a C cup! I used size 40 at the neckline, shoulders and armhole, grading out to a 42 for the rest. I also did a 3/8" swayback adjustment -- I typically need less with Burda than Big4 -- I could have gone for 1/2".

I used my doubled tracing pencil with 3/8" seam allowances. After tracing the back skirt, I added an additional 3/8" using the pencil (e.g., traced the new cutting line, making it the seam line). 

I should have used my 5/8" pencil! Hahaha! My bottom is a 44 in Burda and this IS a fitted skirt. Whew!

I was having a no-nonsense kind of day so excuse my "over it" expression

The pattern pieces fit together beautifully, cause, Burda. 

I know the prevailing wisdom is that those of us of fuller-body shouldn't wear horizontal stripes (yawn), but I don't like vertical stripes most of the time. So I rotated some pattern pieces because, that's why I sew! Also,  "ain't nobody got time" for zippers in casual knit dresses. So I made sure most pieces stayed on grain so the stretch would be used appropriately. 

Did you see how closely I matched stripes at the waist seam? Didja? :)

Hey, I warned you it was a little "booty-tight" as we say in my house.  I was so focused on matching the side seams of the skirt as best I could that the waist seam (front to back) does NOT match on either side. Oops. 

I decided I was not going to stress myself out during cutting trying to match the darts after stitching AND the CB seam. So I kept it as even as possible so it's unmatched, deliberately. 

The facing is all in one and is beautifully done! It gives a clean finish at neckline and armholes. I had no knit interfacing on hand so I didn't interface. It mostly stays in place just fine except for a small portion in front. And yes, it does bug me a little :/ 


The overall look/fit, the seamlines, the length, and THE BACK NECKLINE! Swoon. I really like it!

I don't love the front neckline. I could have given myself a smidge more butt-room and would actually prefer this with a straight skirt instead of pegged. Pointed out because I was whining not long ago about lack of pegged pencil skirts on patterns.

Worn to the annual band banquet (DD didn't sport handmade this year)

Next up is Simplicity 8138 (to appear on the Fabric Mart blog later this month) and M7386 is cut out and ready to sew. I'm going to try to fit my May Burda in too.

We have a band concert tonight, senior award ceremony tomorrow, orchestra concert Thursday. Beyonce concert next Monday, my daughter is conducting her first concert on Tuesday and we have a scholarship recognition ceremony next Wednesday. Plus I need to get my house in some kind of order before people descend upon it the first week of June for the graduation. And someone should order a cake for the grad party. Bueller? Bueller?

Okay so perhaps my May Burda will appear in June...

Saturday, May 7, 2016


WHEW!!!!!! That was a doozy!!!

(in the first pic the belt had twisted around! haha!)

The inspiration

Copied from PR (cause I'm tired!)

I actually combined the bodice of Burda 03/2013 #133 with the skirt of Simplicity 2442. I decided to put the review under the dress because the bodice was more what I was going for than the (relatively simple) skirt of the Simplicity pattern.

This pattern is from the March issue; so it's the wedding issue! While I have good sewing skills; I do not draft or drape and needed to find a pattern to mimic the bodice lines and went straight to the March issues of the mag! AND I already had this issue in my collection. SCORE!

Pattern Sizing:

Burda tall sizes 72 - 88 (36-44). I used a size 36 with adjustments.

Fabric Used:

I used a satin from Hancock Fabrics in bone, antique gold lace and nude illusion both from Vogue Fabrics.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I cut the sleeve length in the muslin phase to give this cap sleeved look. I cut the bodice pieces in all 3 fabrics, changed the neckline of the satin to a sweetheart, and cut it down so that the illusion was featured. I cut the lace to mimic the sweetheart (3 cheers for applique scissors!!!).

After getting it sewn and ready to do the final fitting, the back was too small. I was going to leave a keyhole in back but the top would not meet. DD has a VERY broad back. So while the muslin was just fine, in the fashion fabric it was off by a good 2 inches.  So I cut the back to a V-shape and again, mimicked that with the lace and illusion. It worked very well.

She has on jeans under the dress here. 
Crazy kid!
She got tired of me making her get undressed to try it on!

The fix! 

I couldn't quite figure out how to do the satin waistband and tulle skirt integrated into the dress so with Catina's help (thanks!) I made the tulle overlay a separate piece. I measured the waistband and used the satin to make the belt. It is full interfaced and is closed in back with hook and eye.

I cut strips of the tulle about 8" wide and 'draped' it on the dressform. When I went to transfer this to the belt it looked wimpy. So I added another layer beneath with very wide pleats. Still too wimpy. So I add several panels of gathered tulle. "Make it work!" :)

I added 6 inches to the skirt length (Yes. 6"!). DD was wearing heels but moreso because she has a 34" inseam. I used a 1 1/4" hem on the skirt.

On the bodice I had to trim out a couple of inches in circumference. E.g., it would have worked better had this come in a size 34. I also removed about an inch in length from the bodice AFTER doing the adjustment to bring this from tall to regular. She has a short torso and long legs.

Lastly, the zipper goes up to about mid-back (just over the bra strap), as I didn't want to deal with a zipper in the illusion. In the end it really worked out great because of turning the back to a v.

To hem the illusion, I folded over the seam allowance (finger pressing works fine), sewed at 3/16" and then *VERY* carefully trimmed away the excess. Tedious but it gives a neat finish.


I had some serious moments of doubt and panic that I could give her what she wanted. But I am SO glad that I took on this task! The dress is so pretty on her and I am very proud of my work.

More pictures!!!! I posted some on Instagram too. I've cut out the friends for the blog post photos. though.

I really love how the illusion hemming turned out! 

A glimpse of the back!

I mentioned Catina from PR helping me with some logistical stuff. But a special thanks to Jess who blogs over at Sometimes Sewist. She's gotta have a hundreds text messages about this danged dress! :) Lots of suggestions, lots of encouragement and lots of listening! :)

Friday, April 29, 2016

April Wrap Up and May Plans

This month I sewed 2 5/8 yards
  • McCall's 7246

It was my Fabric Mart contribution for April. I used their Kit, which I got pattern and fabric for free. I really do like the dress though! You can read about the project on their blog.

I thought for sure I was going to be able to squeeze in the Burda dress but alas...no time. My sweetheart of a daughter pleaded with me to "take in Ks dress just a little bit" at the bust. So there goes any time I would have used to work on my dress!  Soon though as that was intended to be my April Burda project.

For May, again, plans are being kept pretty light. I have a little more free time as DDs uncle (on dad's side) generously sent money to cover lots of her end-of-senior-year expenses. So she purchased outfits for some of the events she has coming up instead of having me sew some things.

I feel a disconnect right now from sewing (I know, I know...it happens) and just can't motivate myself to even make a sewing plan! (isn't that sad?!). Even looking at all of my newly acquired patterns isn't doing it for me.

So I'm going to keep it easy and say that in May I plan to sew:
*My Fabric Mart contribution

S8138 (from the latest release) in a textured olive crepe

*An outfit for graduation and/or the graduation party

For graduation I'm thinking M7167 with the solid back in crepe

For the party I'm thinking easy/relaxed flowy sundress - M7350

*My May Burda

I love this dress!!! 

*An outfit for the Beyonce concert

I scored cheap-o seats so DD and I will go. My May Burda or the FM project (over white skinny jeans) may be one in the same as the concert outfit...We shall see!

We had a little prom dress mishap but I have a recovery plan. Here's a (dark and tiny!) sneak peek

There'll be an overlay with the illusion attached to a belt from the satin. So I have to make the overlay (won't take long, no hemming of the illusion is required - yay!), fix the back (I'm going to change the illusion to match the 'v' of the lace), hem the illusion neckline and sleeves and DONE!

That's totally a lot! Prom is a week from Saturday. This has to be done, for my sanity, before I go to bed on Sunday.

Monday, April 25, 2016


So by now, everyone knows Hancock is kaput. Well mostly. I still see posts on Facebook that are all "omg!". My Hancock store is amazing. Well organized, well stocked and has fantastic customer service. All in direct contrast to JoAnn. Yesterday was the first time I stepped foot in a JoAnn store since last August or September. It was just as bad as I remembered.


[I had to pick up a zipper for le prom dress! It's gorgeous!!!!!!!! Today I'll get the zipper in and do a final fitting -- side seams are still open -- and then get 'er finished. Prom is next Saturday (May 7), so stay tuned that second week of May for photos!]

Anyway, I stopped in the Hancock by my job a couple times last week and grabbed a small stack of patterns:

$.75 each (except the McCall's - oops. It was supposed to be $1.50)

$1.50 each

Then I was minding my own business (haha!) and was sent a free shipping code for Fabric Mart (premium members) and grabbed 2.5 yards each of these:

Both were on sale and I've been wanting to try out a bamboo jersey...and I've had my eye on that lawn for awhile.

Then while I was in JoAnn (blergh), McCall's were on sale for $1.50 and I picked up these:

7387, 7391, 7388, 7386

And then (!) I had all but forgotten about the out of print sale at BMV, mainly because it is usually a struggle to browse and check out when they have these sales. I had no issues last night and bought 6 Vogues:

9001, 1359, 1282
1218, 1250, 1338

25 new patterns for someone who has managed 1 garment this month! Ha!!! I may find some time to sew in May. Maybe. Perhaps. I hope!!!

Prom dress will be finished this week.
The big jazz concert is this weekend.
Prom and Mother's Day is next weekend.
PR Weekend and my DDs band banquet the following weekend.
Two "free" weekends including Memorial Day (totally relaxing that day!). But not really free because I'll be hosting a graduation party coming up!
Then graduation and open house. 

So yeah... I'm exhausted just thinking about it all. 

P.S. The new Simplicity / New Look catalog was released. Total snooze fest for me. There's one pattern from each brand that I want:

Just as well considering the pattern acquisition spree I just finished :)

Friday, April 15, 2016


I've started my first sewing project in April! Yay!

Besides work on the prom dress, I haven't sewn anything since finishing the skirt (from my last post) which was March 19th. Whew.

I'm working on McCall's 7246 in a ponte for my Fabric Mart post. Watch for that on April 23rd!

I plan to have the prom dress finished by 4/24, and then hopefully I can get my Burda dress sewn that week. I think sewing 2 things in a month will be some kind of crazy record for me.

Good thing my fabric shopping has slowed down too! 

I have made a purchase or 2 (really 2 max) outside of Fabric Mart, but looking at my order history there, I placed orders on:

March 18
February 22
December 19
September 8
August 11


Looking a little further back, I placed orders on:

July 21
July 10
July 1
June 5
May 31
May 27
May 13

Hahahahahahaha! 5 orders in 7 months vs. 7 orders in 10 weeks. 

I'm reformed!!!  ;)

I've been buying some RTW lately - spring tops - and have remembered how much I like Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor Loft!

I ordered this drop shoulder sweater in coral, in a size Medium, and LOVE it:

I also ordered this tee but it doesn't work. I'm too short-waisted for the design feature. It's a really snug fit too (size L)

 Me standing up nice and straight:

Me standing how I normally stand:

Hahahaha! So this one is going back.

And I picked up 3 (YES! haha!) of these sleeveless shells. The front is a rayon crepe-type fabric and the back is rayon knit. So comfy and so cute! I got a teal with navy polka-dots, black and this stone blue. I wore the blue with my Lekala skirt and got tons of compliments!

I had to skip out on the Wardrobe and Bargainista Fashionista contests, unsure I'll do the Endless Combinations (which I really wanted to do), and now the pants contest is starting up and I'm not sure I'll have time to do that one. WAH!!!! I like the PR contests so much! 

Guess I'll just be looking forward to Me Made May! Are you doing MMM this year? I enjoy it and more importantly I enjoy following the hashtag on Instagram! I do wear handmade almost everyday, so from that perspective, it's no longer a challenge for me. I don't even know if the 'no repeat' thing is really a challenge for me! I won't say I won't repeat for the entire month because...there are just things that I love too much and are wardrobe staples for me...but I will be looking at it from a style perspective. Mixing handmades in new ways (e.g. vs always wearing top A with pant B, etc) and mixing my handmades in with RTW.