Friday, March 29, 2013

Burda Style 02-2013-127 Top with Raglan Sleeves

As soon as I saw this top I knew I had to try it. Those ruched raglan sleeves seem to draw the eye upward and widen the shoulders. And after seeing some others appearing in the blogosphere it clinched it.

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I decided to leave the hem alone, the fabric just rolls like crazy.

We had a really nice day last week and finally I didn’t have to wear winter boots! I love these brown boots, and they’re great for the shoulder seasons, they seem to go with many things too. Like grey! I love this combination. (Next time I’ll smile a bit!!)

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And instead of the standard binding for the neck, I sewed one long edge to the inside first and then folded it over the front and topstitched without turning under, so the raw edge would roll over the stitching. I really like it! The only thing is that the binding is a bit too short and pulls the neckline. But oh well! Next time.


So fabric, I used another piece of fabric from stash, one of two pieces – different colours, same type - bought at the same time with the intention of making the same top. (This is also how I buy RTW, in multiples.) It’s a cotton/spandex and handles very nicely. I really like this grey colour, it’s becoming one of my basics, and I like how it goes with other basic colours.

As to the pattern, I made quite a few alterations. Even though I went with a size 38 for the upper chest/shoulder area it was really loose on my muslin (yes, I did a muslin!) and even when I tried it on too. This is an old T-shirt, it has no spandex so not a lot of stretch.

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Oh right, I’ve decided to name my dress form Annie! It came to me in a flash, maybe a bit lame, you know,… I’m Steph and …she’s Annie…Winking smile

Anyway, there was a lot of fabric in the shoulder area (on me and my dress form) and  started by pinning out across the front, a typical forward neck tilt alteration for me. But I see from the photos (I realize only *now* how this is useful!) that I removed this, and then tried a few different things (I LOVE having a dress form!) and ended up doing a bit of a full bust adjustment. NEVER in my life have I done this before, I never thought I needed it. But it seemed to help reduce the pulling. I have to mention, someone commented to this effect last year on my Sorbetto tops.

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I slashed the upper back and raised it, also a standard alteration for my forward tilting neck (photo at left). Then I tried to minimize the sway back (right photo), but this didn’t translate well on the finished garment! Different fabrics sure behave differently! The sleeves got a big fisheye dart taken out too, but in hindsight this might not have been a good move because it changed the raglan seam from a straight line to a curve.

line drawing

The altered pattern pieces look like this (back, sleeve, front).

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After looking at the photos again, I might just nip in the waist a tiny bit. Overall though, I really like this top. And I’ll make another one soon too! Need more tops.

Next time I’ll reveal the Maria Denmark Day to Night top I made from the leftover red fabric of the Pavlova. This was such a nice quick make! And soon, soon the Beignet skirt…it needs a belt, and I have to make one.

Happy Easter everybody!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Pavlova Wrap Top

…is finished. I finally managed to follow along with a sew along! It’s great to see everyone else’s versions coming to life. (Updated March 29 with better pictures.)

Pavlova Wrap Top with Talbots wrap skirt copy

Pavlova Wrap Top with Talbots wrap skirt copy

Pattern:  Cake patterns #0169, Pavlova Wrap Top and Skirt. I just made the top.

Description:  Ballet style wrap top in jersey ties at the natural waist while the back tucks into the skirt as a 'muffin cover.' The top is cut all in one piece with the sleeves, which may be cut longer or shorter. The four-piece circle skirt makes optimal use of fabric, zips up the back and features a pintucked patch pocket. A strong, simple, neat double binding finishes the waist edge of the skirt.

Sizing: I was on the bottom end of size 35, but went down to a 30 and made some alterations.

Fabric:  From the stash. It’s a pretty stretchy cotton/spandex knit from Fabricland, bought over a year ago. I used approximately 1.2 m of 140-ish cm width.

Alterations:  Since I went down a size I had to lengthen the top by 1.5 inches, and increase the circumference of the sleeves by 1 inch. I ended up lengthening the top in 2 places, splitting the increase, and the higher increase also incorporated the sleeve width increase.

Likes/Dislikes:  I do like this top, especially the back ‘muffin cover’! It’s very comfortable to wear. But because this top stops just at/below the waist, it is best worn with skirts/pants that are waist high (unless you don’t mind exposing your belly!) I don’t have any high-waisted pants or jeans, just a couple of skirts.

Steam-a-Seam!! I’d never used this before, can you believe it? It’s amazing stuff! This made sewing the loooong front facing so easy, as NO pins were required.

Notes:  The neckband application is a bit unusual, and I stared at the instructions for quite some time (other participants mentioned the same thing). Steph C (the designer) added more photos and tips during the sewalong, which were invaluable in figuring it out!

There are a few things that need tweaking: the sleeves need to be longer OR shorter, they’re right ON my elbow and it’s rather annoying. Another 1/2 inch added to the sleeve width would also make it more comfortable. I’d probably also add another inch to the body length, so it’s not so snug on my shoulders.

Conclusion:  I’d probably make one more top in another colour, maybe two more. I just like having multiples of the same things! It would be interesting to make this in a slightly warmer/thicker fabric, as long as it has great drape. I’m just a bit concerned with the amount of fabric at the waist, it’s not a place where I need more bulk! Merino wool knit sounds fabulous, I just don’t know where to find this in Canada.

One thing I have realized is that I won’t be making the skirt. There’s a lot of fabric there, and being the pear shape I am, it will only make me look more so!

So there you have it! I have been quite busy sewing and there are two more finished objects: a ruched-raglan sleeve Burda top 02/2013 #127 and the Colette beignet skirt. You’ll be able to see those next time.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Burda 09-2010-121 Top – Revisited

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So Google Reader will be no more in 3 months  :(   I am attempting to “claim” my blog at Bloglovin, and as of yet I have NO idea what that means, but it seems important. If anyone knows what this is all about please leave a comment.

And before I go on, thanks for the comments on the buttons for my beignet skirt in the last post. There was a pretty unanimous vote for the swirly ones. After trekking to two Fabricland stores I found enough and some spare. Hopefully I’ll be able to show you this skirt before the end of the week!

Well, back to the main story. Ever since my first post on the Burda top, there has been a steady flow of readers to it from 2 bloggers (that I can see from googling) as they have mentioned it in their post and provided links. I have to say a huge thank you to them for believing that what I wrote made sense! Anyway, even when I wrote the post, I felt that the photos of how I sewed the neck were too small. Last year I started to add the text to the images, and finally republished the post.

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Bigger pictures with text and arrows pointing to key things are so much better! I hope these still make sense to future visitors.

Next post I’ll show you the new Burda top I just finished, and one that’s making the rounds. (I needed a quick fix from the beignet!)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Beignet Button Dilemma

I’m stumped! I can’t decide which buttons to put on the skirt. The top buttons are the ones I initially got for the other cotton twill wearable muslin that failed. I went back for more ideas and came back with the other three. (Sorry, this fabric is tricky to photograph, and my lighting is horrible!)

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Now, on a side note, as you can see, I managed to do the buttonholes after all! I was in a bit of a panic about the buttonholes. Eventually I stopped being silly just tried one. To my utter astonishment, the buttonholes actually went in a breeze! I really was not anticipating this at all. My machine did some pretty decent buttonholes, especially with some thick thread under the stitches, sort of corded.

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I also tested my old Greist buttonholer attachment, and found that they looked best when stitched around twice, with a larger stitch on the second round. This time using it was much easier with the corduroy (last time was on denim and it had a hard time keeping a grip on the fabric.)

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Right, getting back to buttons. Here are the close-up shots.

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So this is my dilemma. Which buttons look best? What do you think?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Beignet Progress and Panic

 This has to be one of the most involved makes for me in a while, and while it’s not difficult, it is beginning to get to me. I have reached that stage where you tell yourself to just get on with it!

This is it right now, with the hem half sewn. (I am so relieved with how invisible it seems to be.)

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But it’s the buttonholes that’s got me in a panic. Should I have made bound or corded buttonholes? They’d be stronger and look really neat, but it’s way too late for them now.

After much googling and searching for tips, clues, ANYthing on making buttonholes on corduroy, I found this post by Vicki Kate Makes on her own beignet. Holy crap, her buttonholes turned out FANTASTIC!! And they’re machine-made.

The buttons were originally meant for my wearable muslin, but the heavy cotton twill fabric from IKEA (a neighbours old curtains) ended up being ripped ON the seam due to a nicked machine needle. ARRRGGGGG!

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So, they’ll go on this make instead. I can’t face searching for more buttons again!

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And the fabric used for the facing is a piece of cotton home dec remnant I’ve had in stash for a couple of years.

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It’s nothing special, but the purple fibres running through the fabric (grid design) matches the corduroy and bemberg lining really well. It’s functional.

Oh and those are hanging loops up there. In Sandra Betzina’s book, More Fabric Savvy, she recommends adding these to bottom pieces instead of using the clips on hangers which leave marks.

So there we are. The end is in sight. Must push on!