Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Burda Jacket 02-2011-109 – UFO!

Last year, I began participating in Sherry’s RTW Tailoring Sewalong, making this fitted jacket in denim as a first go. The line drawing (I didn’t add the ribbon edging on my version):

line drawing of 02-2011-109

Just to recap, here is jacket muslin #1:

2011-04-14 001  2011-04-14 003

It was way too tight! For a jacket, that is. So, muslin #2 (poor back shot, but best I could manage):

2011-05-06 00.48.45  2011-05-06 00.50.45  2011-05-06 00.51.01

This felt better, I could live with this. So, fabric cut and got as far as inserting the lining, and doing sleeve vent buttonholes.

2011-05-19 15.20.17  2011-05-19 15.21.17

2011-05-19 14.33.19

I stopped when I couldn’t decide how to finish the hem! Bagged hem? This would be great, simple, if the hem didn’t have the back slits…I think. Or, can I bag a hem with back slits? I can’t get my head around it, so it just occurred to me (only 7 months later!) that I should just suck it up and hand sew the hem! Any ideas? I’d LOVE to hear some other ideas!

Anyway, the plan was to make a black version in a light weight suiting fabric from my stash, fibres unknown, and a matching skirt - the first pieces in my core wardrobe, à la Fashion for Dummies. But now I’m not sure I want to tackle this pattern again. Once might be just enough!

I’m determined to finish this damn jacket for spring though…only a year late!

Burda Skirt 12-2010-124

Update (Jan 27): added some detailed pics of the second skirt.

This is a great skirt! It’s quick to sew up. I did make a muslin, and I’m glad I did, as there were several fitting issues: hip line, front horizontal darts, sway back, etc.

Here are the line drawings for the long and short versions from the magazine (I find these are still at the German site under “Archiv” – archives.)

pattern line drawing - long version  pattern line drawing

The long version was designed for a felted fabric, and the front darts are on the outside; I sewed them on the inside as in the short skirt version.

The first skirt I made was more or less a wearable muslin (after the initial real muslin). On a quick side note, I just read about making wearable muslins in the preview of Sarah Veblen’s book, The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting, which is high on my priority list now. She recommends doing this for everyday clothes, just to see how they actually feel while moving around. So, for this skirt I used a very stretchy, lightweight grey denim from my stash – another Fabricland remnant. And even after sewing it up I had to take in the waist/side seams a lot; not sure why, perhaps it’s the stretchy fabric?

2011-11-10 002  2011-11-10 003

Unfortunately I didn’t line it, but I’ll probably add one soon. It’s not a bad skirt, just not the best fabric.

The second skirt was modified by rotating the front darts to the top, and slitting the front through the new darts to create three separate panels. I also topstitched the two front seams mainly to keep it flat, and flared the bottom by about 5 cm or so on all seams. Here’s the modified line drawing:

pattern line drawing - long version modified #1

and here’s the skirt, made from a nice medium weight rayon/nylon/spandex knit. It’s got great drape. (OK, ignore my lovely socks! My Oma actually knit them and I’m very fond of ‘em!)

2012-01-19 001  2012-01-19 002

This time I lined the skirt with a knit lining, I think the bolt end said “Interknit Lining”, that I found at Fabricland for $10/m. It’s like a medium weight slippery knit, and it feels great!

I didn’t follow the Burda directions exactly, instead I followed the directions from an article in the November 2011 issue of Threads (No. 157), Easy-To-Alter Waistline, page 62, in case I need to adjust the waist/hips later on (I keep hoping to lose the baby gain, but I guess it’s an uphill battle.) I also followed Sherry’s tutorials on inserting an invisible zip and then facing it; it’s the 2nd time I used them and they’re so easy to follow. Since I also lined the skirt, I just sewed the lining to the zip almost all the way down; it looks nicely finished off.

2012-01-27 004  2012-01-27 001

The flared hem had to be hand sewn, and I used a lock-stitch that I found in How to Use, Adapt, and Design Sewing Patterns.

2012-01-27 005  2012-01-27 006

This was also the first time that I really altered a pattern for a very different look, and now I’ve done it I feel I could make this into a TNT skirt pattern. I’ve been wanting to do this ever since I started reading Carolyn’s blog, she uses her TNT patterns a lot and makes fabulous outfits. I am in awe, truly. Thank you Carolyn, for your inspiration.

More posts coming up, I’m hoping to catch up on about 7 months of sewing!

Kid’s Tool Belt

My little guy is 4 1/2 years old, and LOVES tools. Daddy’s tools are way cool, but he knows better …now! He does have loads of toy tools, and a real toolbox that Dad gave him, but no tool belt. He’d often come into my sewing room when I’m there (and when I’m not!) to see if he can use anything (yep, found the pins and took one down to the playroom for some reason). One day he came in and wanted a tool belt, right away, and picked up a selvedge strip of fleece I had on the table, and asked me to tie it round his waist. Tucked the tools in, but of course they just fell out after a while.

I decided I should make one for Christmas, and spent an evening looking around the web. There are a couple of cute tool belts, one tutorial which was great. But I wanted something a little more like the adult style. Google images are great for getting ideas, and I found hundreds of photos of tool belts, all kinds. Here is the one I made:

2011-12-26 011

And here it is on my little guy, boy was he THRILLED when he unwrapped it on Christmas morning! It was folded up pretty small, but he knew what it was straight away. Wore it ALL day! (Those pyjamas were also a Christmas present I made using my favourite pattern, KS 3234.)

2011-12-26 007  2011-12-26 004  2011-12-26 002  2011-12-25 006

I started out the design with a paper mock-up using graph paper, then measured the pieces and added seam allowance. A few minor adjustments were made to the design as I went along, but overall it was pretty straightforward and I’m really happy with the way it turned out. The green fabric is a sturdy cotton/poly twill, not too heavy, and the yellow fabric is a cotton flannel.

2011-12-15 001

I was wondering about putting this together as a pattern, if there’s anyone else who would want to make this? I’d love to hear from you!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pants: to do or not to do?

That is the question! Steph C over at 3 hours past is starting a pants block project and will be making this available as a service; I love that! Since I made my jeans last year I’ve only been able to wear them in the summer as they’re a bit too short (I forgot to add to the back calf the amount I took out from the back thigh for curved legs). And the front crotch still didn’t look right after a ton of tweaking (you should see the muslins I made, so many alternate stitching lines!)

2011-04-16 12.48.34  2011-04-16 12.48.41

One day soon I’ll make another pair of jeans, and hopefully make a TNT pattern for pants and jeans. Last year I started thinking about getting a core wardrobe made, and pants, both jeans and casual/dressy, are on the list.

Check out Steph’s post about the pants block here. From all the comments she got, there are a lot of us who’d love to do this.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Double layered neck warmer tutorial

[Update: 17-Oct-2016]

The last two times I tried to make a neck warmer I sewed the wrong seam first, and ended up with the tube running sideways! So, I made notes and took lots of pics …I’m not making that mistake again.

2012-01-08 020
This neck warmer is made from a double layer of lightweight fleece, so all the seams are nicely hidden.

Finished dimensions for the neck warmer, which should basically go over your head without too much ease (W x H):

Small Children, aged 4+ 10 in x 8 in 25 cm x 20 cm
Large Adults 11 in x 9 in 27 cm x 22 cm

Cut out a rectangle of fleece, with the maximum stretch running widthways, as follows: double the finished dimension, for both width and height, plus 1/2 in (1.2 cm). All seam allowances will be 1/4 in (6 mm).

Small 20 1/2 in x 16 1/2 in 51.2 cm x 41.2 cm
Large 22 1/2 in x 18 1/2 in 55.2 cm x 45.2 cm

2012-01-08 002With the rectangle laid out widthways, fold the top edge of the rectangle down to bring the long sides together; in the pic to the right the fold is at the top (this will be the top of the neck warmer):



2012-01-08 006 Using a 1/4 in (6 mm) seam allowance, stitch along the bottom using an almost medium width zigzag with a medium stitch length. The seam just needs to be stretchy enough so it won’t break when it’s stretched. Notice how the bottom layer is peaking out just a bit, this is just so I know where it is! It helped as I’m not using any pins to hold the layers together.

Put your arm through the tube, and grabbing the other end, pull it inside until it meets the other end, matching the ends of the long seam. Sometimes it helps to put a pin in at the top to stop the layers shifting around.

2012-01-08 007           2012-01-08 008

2012-01-08 009Starting just before the long seam, stitch the two round ends together leaving a 3 in (7.5 cm) gap so you can turn it right side out. I sewed the seam with the bottom layer peaking out a tiny bit again.



The pins in the pic below are only to show the opening, you can just eyeball it like I usually do, but you’ll need at least that much to be able to get your hand through and pull out the rest of the fabric.
2012-01-08 011             2012-01-08 012

Now the fiddly part, put your hand through the opening to turn it right side out with the opening on the outside (shown in the pic on the right).

2012-01-08 013           2012-01-08 014

[Update: start]

We’re almost finished. Next we close the opening on the inside side seam, this will be hidden. I forgot to take a picture of this, but it’s just an edge stitch along the opening using the same stitch settings as before, and making sure the seam edges are folded in.





2012-01-08 019

 [Update: end]

You can see here how it still lies quite flat (ignore the bottom edge for now! I did it in the wrong order.)



Turn the neck warmer right side out so the stitched opening is on the inside.

2012-01-08 015Last thing, topstitch the bottom, and you do it in one of two ways; I think I like the second a little better. Roll the bottom seam around a bit so it’s on top (on the inside of the neck warmer), and still using the same settings, stitch 1/2 in (1.2 cm) from the edge.


2012-01-08 021The second way is to roll the seam on top by 1/2 in (1.2 cm) and topstitch over the seam. If you fiddle with the seam allowance layers on the inside you should easily be able to open them flat and reduce a bit of bulk.


2012-01-08 023This way gives a nice round edge on the bottom, as you can see in the comparison pic at right. The one on the left is the first way, and the one on the right is the second way.



2012-01-08 020And voila! Here’s the finished neck warmer ready to wear. All you need now is to sew your very own label on it. This whole process took less than 10 minutes, that’s how fast they go.




You could make variations for different looks or for using different fabrics:

  • make a single layer with heavy fleece,
  • make a two-coloured neck warmer, with a different colour on the inside (this means a seam at the top which works very nicely too)
  • make it taller, in a single layer of lightweight fleece, so it’s scrunchy
Have fun with this! It’s too easy to not make these for yourself …and everyone else.