Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May Wrap-up and June Plans

Is it that time again? Before you know it we'll be halfway through the year! How crazy is that?!

Perhaps you don't know, but I count yardage as "out" once the project has been cut. Couple of reasons for that:

1) I don't really buy extra yardage. So once a project is cut out it's near impossible for it to become something else.
2) I HATE having large scraps. The exception are nice cottons that can be used for pockets, facings, bias tape, etc.

So I have a couple WIPs here but there's no turning back! :)

This month I sewed 10 3/8 yards:
  • Burda 04/2016 #119 dress in striped ponte - 1.75 yards
  • Simplicity 8138 top in olive crepe georgette - 2.5 yards
  • McCall's 7386 skirt in floral rayon jersey - 2.5 yards (wadder)
  • Burda 6769 skirt in denim - 1 3/8 yards (WIP)
  • McCall's 7167 jumpsuit in peach poly crepe - 2.25 yards (WIP)
At the end of April I had 4 projects planned for May; I got 1 done (S8138) and 1 in progress (M167). I had doubts about the May Burda project and I think I'm going to pass on that for now. Maybe after I see a few more sewn up. The other dress, I didn't get to because I chose to make the maxi skirt over the M7350. Boooo!

Favorite: Right now I'd have to say the striped Burda dress. I am loving how the jumpsuit is looking so far so we'll see how that goes.

FAILS: The maxi skirt just doesn't work for me.

Accomplishments: 1) I made that Simplicity top work 2) I am kicking butt on my denim skirt, I have a feeling this will be love. 3) Even though I like to sew fast, I really took my time with the bodice of the jumpsuit and it looks amazing so far. 

For June, I have a few things in mind (of course!). The jumpsuit is to be worn Thursday so I have to get that done asap. The denim skirt is being entered in the PR contest which ends 6/15 (I believe) so that'll be up next. Otherwise...

I have not been into the off-the-shoulder trend. 1) Narrow shoulders 2) strapless bra (I DO have a good one; I just do not prefer to wear strapless!!!). And then...(You know where this is going, right?) I saw that Very Purple Person made the new Style Arc Cara Top

So uhmm yeah, I was SOLD!  I am going in with mid-range expectation. If I hate it, I won't be sad (OMG DO YOU SEE HOW LITTLE FABRIC IT TAKES?!?), but what if I love it? 

Uh-huh. What if? 

I imagine I want a fabric with a little bit of drape (but not too much) and stable enough that the band won't do anything too weird (challis: you are not it). So I'm thinking voile or lawn...in a print. (I'm secretly giddy! Shhhhh. Don't tell my cautious self).

Also, I am making this Burda dress for my June --Burda and Fabric Mart-- project and as my (work) birthday dress!
06/2016 #105

I really want to hold firm on sewing from each Burda mag this year so from May I'm going to make this pattern, but to be used as a nightgown (I really need a couple more for summer), not a dress:
05/2016 #113
I saw this new In-House pattern and just had to have it. I am going to try to sew this for the Natural Fibers contest on PR:

I think that's plenty. The Burda shift dress has a ton of detail so I am going to give myself some time for that one. And the Sophie dress less so, but it is fully lined.

(thinking out loud...Jumpsuit --> denim skirt --> Cara top --> June Burda --> Sophie dress...and the nightgown will fit in wherever it fits in).

My *BABY* graduates on Thursday, family and friends will be hitting town Thursday/Friday, party is Saturday. It's been a year (whine) since I've seen my mama's face in front of my face! And a year and a half for my dad (WHIIIINE). So I may be on IG a bit but won't be back in blog-land for about a week! Until later!!!! 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

All the things...

WIP! FAIL! Success!!

I decided to enter the Pattern Review skirt contest because 1) I need more summer skirts and 2) it's sponsored by Fabric Mart (what?!). I decided on Burda 6769 in a dark denim.

I haven't had a ton of sewing time the past 2 weeks but got started on this last Sunday. I'd gotten the front pockets done and for some odd reason thought I would finish this on "cat lady Friday" (that's how I now refer to Friday nights as both kids normally work til close!). What on earth was I thinking?! Pfft. All that top-stitching AND my old machine is being a bugger and so I have to switch between regular and top-stitching thread. Boooooo!

Last night I got the side seams sewn. I really wanted to top-stitch them because of how they wrap around to the front but not sure I can sew inside the tube neatly. And THEN I ran out of top-stitching thread. Sheesh. So I have to grab more today and hopefully can get it finished.

I took a TON of photos while this was in progress so be prepared for a hefty blog write up.

Progress shot posted on IG

I need to get started on M7167 if I'm going to have that ready to wear on Thursday. I also need to get more party stuff and get a bunch of boxes out of the dining room (that's the only room that isn't fully unpacked).

One of my May items was this M7386 skirt. I just loved the look of it and thought it would be cute. Well, this is not the first time I've tried a maxi skirt on me and hated the outcome. Maxi dress? Sure. Skirt? Meh. This fabric (from Fashion Fabrics Club) was awful too. Which I'm sure doesn't help.

I cut out a size L and sewed it up.

And then went back and removed about 3" total from the side seams. I didn't finish the waist before taking these pics because I won't wear it. I just don't like it at all.  I may finish it for my mom though. But I'd have to lose like 3-4" from the length and I don't know how that'll affect the shape of it.  We'll see if I get around to it...

Do I have curves? Yes. But I am still quite rectangular in shape. And this OVER emphasizes that. I don't fancy looking like a column. Even when it's pretty flowers ;-)

Win some. Lose some.

Lastly, I sewed up S8138 in an olive crepe georgette and wore it to see Queen Bey! last Monday. Read all about that project over on the Fabric Mart Blog.

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! :)