Sunday, 22 July 2018

Hippo pyjamas

I have seen this pattern so many times before. I mean, Carolyn pyjama from Closet Case patterns has become extremely popular (as probably all of their patterns are). However, I was never really tempted by it. First, I do not lounge in pyjamas at home and second, it is never cold enough where I live to justify sewing a proper pari of pyjamas. Of course I have sewn a set of homewear, which I still wear, but I was pretty much ok with the Burda patterns I used. Also, I am not the biggest fan of indie patterns.

Till this July when my mum offered me two big bags of old sheets to use as muslin which contained my sister’s favourite sheets – “the hippos” (favourite when she was a kid, just ot be clear). These sheets were kind of mythical in my family, and even if they were sometimes replaced by “the elephants”, “the hippos” were the best.
I knew my sister was going to visit me mid-July, so I wanted to surprise her by letting her sleep in “the hippos” one last time, but my dear BF had a much better idea – why not sewing her a pyjama from “the hippos”. Well, challenge accepted!

Now I only needed a good pattern and that’s where I immediately thought of Carolyn pyjamas. I bought the pdf and printed it out instantly and could start sewing. Fortunately, my sister is the same size like me, just little thinner, so since I would be between sizes, I chose the smaller one. I shortened the pattern as I would for me in any case and that was it, I just hoped for the best.




I had a complete one-person sheet with hippos, so quite enough to sew a top with long sleeves and a pair of shorts (even the long version would be feasible, but I chose this option. The good thing is that the sheet fabric is rather used up, so it is much softer than it used to be. The violet colour is no longer so deep, but it remains kind of nice.

I cut out everything without paying too much attention to pattern matching (except for the little pocket) and actually cheated little bit by adding piping. The black piping was actually a great idea since it gives the pyjama kind of a class look – well as long as it is class to have hippos on your garment ;-) For the top I used some sort of faux piping which is not always attached perfectly around the corners, also it was my first time using piping, but it works and looks ok. For the bottoms I created my own piping and that worked actually much better. Lesson learned.
I also added contrasting topstitching and black buttons and somehow really like the result.

As for the pattern, I was really surprised how little adjustments I had to do so that it fits me (and my sis). Of course, the pattern is supposed to be large, but it was pretty good in the shoulder/collar area, my usual problematic zone. So definitely worth the money, as I quite hope these will not be my only pyjamas sewn.

Because now, I would like to sew the pyjamas for me as well, and no, I am not going to use “the elephants”, but rather some nice satin. Also, the shorts pattern fits me quite well as well, so maybe some new homewear shorts to put on a to-do list.

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Red Cut-out Dress

I must admit, I just love the pictures of this dress, they scream summer and sunny days to me. This was and was not a quick make for me. I saw and liked this pattern (Burda 110-04/2017) last year and was convinced I would make it, but originally, I was thinking more of some black/grey/oranotherdark fabric.

Then I do not know what happened, this year I saw this red fabric in my stash. It comes from a shopping craizness in the US, very early in my sewing life. It is a quite stable cotton, and I never really knew what to do with it (I am not much of a home dec sewing lady). So it was sleeping in my stash till this summer when I decided to make this cute shift. So yay, for deep stashbusting!!!


And actually, I think it was a perfect match. Since the fabric is already rather sturdy, I did not line it, I only hongkongseamed all the seams and bias bound the sleeve heads.

Of course, the cutout was not easy. As recommended by Burda, I used a their pattern in calico fabric to make sure the cutout lies properly, but in the end, I had to adjust the different pieces and I am pretty sure I did not use all the attachments. But, the result is important, the cutout lies properly and I like it. This part was really tricky, but I am really happy I took time because it was so worth it.

Also, I was not lazy this time and inserted pockets. It requires some more time, but it is a always a big plus.

I would have never thought that wearing a red dress would have such an effect on me, but anytime I wear it, I am just smiling teh whole day.



Sunday, 24 June 2018

Swallow Dress

This dress was definitely an example of totally unprepared sewing.

First the fabric. I bought this fabric beginning of this year over internet (Sew over it), as I liked the swallows, however, the weight was not at all what I expected. The fabric was much stiffer that I had thought, so my original plans were cancelled. Also, I think it was the first time I ordered something and had no follow-up afterwards - no delivery progress, no follow-up on the order. Quite a disappointment, I ended up e-mailing them only to know that my fabric has been sent and it actually arrived the other day. But for somebody used to amazon, that was strange.

The pattern. I had bought this Simplicity 8244 at least 2 years ago and forgot about it. It is a vintage dress which can be easily modernised, I like the mandarin collar and the close-out, it is just very different from all the other styles.

So when looking for a simple shift dress to play with the swallows, I thought this one could be a nice match. And it was. There are 4 darts in the front and in the back and then the front cut-out, and in terms of cutting the fabric, that's it, yet, the dress is different from any other I have sewn so far. I was little bit puzzled with the way the facings are sewn, but this is Simplicity with all the pictures and diagrams, so no worries.

The lining. I was not sure if I wanted a lining (the pattern does not call for one), but the fabric is somehow too stiff and not so nice against the skin. In the end, I dag out this white viscose voile from my stash and played with the pattern to add the lining pieces.

The notions. I ran out of blue thread in the middle of the sewing. And I did not have blue zipper either. The dress waited 2 weeks for me to go notions shopping. I finished two other dresses in the meantime.

The notions n°2. Originally, I wanted to highlight the opening with some Chinese closings. I bought them in white, but in the end, did not like them on the dress. It was just too much between the swallows and the closings. So the dress is just finished with some press buttons.

The final verdict: simple and yet, cute. I will wear it to work, despite the swallows (I try to avoid too cute or infantil fabrics, but this one will work).

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Bye Bye Birdie Shirt Dress

After the success of my wool shirt dress (yet to be blogged), I needed a summer version. Mainly because I finished the wool one just to late to wear it this spring, or the weather changed too quickly from half winter to half-summer.

Since it was already in my plans, I just continued with the summer verison rightaway. This time, I decided to omit the sleeves and use the large skirt of Butterick 6333. I bought this cuty-cute black poplin which was just the right weight.

In the end, I think the skirt was just too large, or my fabric not drapey enough, whatever... The usual technique of adjusting would be taking in the side seams, but I have pockets in them, so I have deconstructed the back skirt and reduced the number of pleats to reduce the volume.
The skirt is still large, but I like the volume better.

My fabric was very easy to sew. I used some interfacing on the strategic places, the collar was quite easy, ok, I might be more careful on the collar stand next time, but this can only be seen when you are very close (and a seamstress). When cutting, I tried to be careful with the direction the birds are flying here.

I had hoped to finish the dress before our spring vacation, but the preparations, work stress and lack of motivation I had this March and April basically meant that the dress got constructed but without a collar. I restarted it when we came back, just forgot to buy the buttons in time, so it remained almost finished for another week. In the meantime I started 2 other dresses and finished one of them. So, on a sunny Sunday I just motivated myself to do the buttonholes and sew on the buttons.

There is a waistband which I did, but am not sure I always like the dress with that. We will see how I will wear it in the end.

I think this is a very cute add to my summer-work wardrobe and I cannot wait to start wearing it.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Beware of Ruffles

Since two years ruffles are everywhere. Like everywhere. It started with the statement sleeves, cold shoulders and ended up with ruffles on everything.
I must admit that I am not always a big fan of ruffles. It adds volume on places where it is mostly not necessary (cleavage) or is totally impractical (sleeves) of reminds me of little girls' dresses (skirt).

Nevertheless, the quantity of patterns with ruffles is such that thanks to buying Burda, I also own a few patterns with ruffles. And to be honest, I kind of liked this Burda 106-02/2017 from the beginning. I even traced it out last summer (as a top) but never got to making it.

This year, during my early spring inspiration crisis, I ordered this green flowery viscose, which I basically put in the basket with another order, just to save up on shipping costs. That's why I only ordered a meter (the shop does not allow ordering half meters). When the fabric arrived, it had actually a border print on it, not mentioned in the e-shop, which limited the sewing options even more. But then, I reminded myself of this pattern which actually existed also as a dress and was presented with a border pattern in Burda.

My inspiration crisis is faaar away now and I am in full motion, sewing through my wishlist, so I thought I could just whip up this little number in just a few days.

And that's what almost happened :o) I did a muslin, because you never know, did my usual alterations on the bodice/shoulders and also adjusted the ruffle. Then, I cut out everything from the viscose and actually, I had just enough fabric (taking into account the border print), not a centimeter more. I pondered for a while if I should add pockets, but anyhow I did not have enough fabric for that and I think it would deform the viscose.

The dress is really ultra-simple to sew once you understand how the ruffle is fixed on the dress. Just before sewing the side seams I checked again on the fit and was rather puzzled by the ruffle.
First, I had not realize that the wrong side of the fabric would be so visible, oh well, and then, there was something wrong about the proportions. After some time of looking at it, as well as the pictures in the magazine, I realized that the ruffle is actually too wide and too long for me. The pattern piece is the same for all sizes, so if you use the smallest one like me and shorten it in addition, it is quite obvious that it will not work. I chopped away 2cm from the ruffle and shortened is as well; sewed again the side seams and finished everything with a biais, instead of facings.

In the end, I like the result: the proportions are much better now, the dress can be worn without any belt and the border print adds some more visual interest. More importantly, I love the colour of this fabric and the little flowers and the viscose is really soft and very comfortable to wear. It is rue I can still see the wrong part of the ruffle but I will just try to ignore it.

Sunday, 3 June 2018

False-Wrap Dress

After a May pause due to the two weeks of vacation and the workload in the office which followed, I am quite happy I did not participate in Me-Made-May this year because I would certainly not have enough energy and time. Also, I could not come up with a challenging pledge because justwearing me-mades is something happening almost every day now.

Buuut, I am back! And on a dress-sewing wave. And also, I am managing to sew recently bought fabrics. Ok, I am not making a significant dent into my stash, but actually, I "had to" buy some fabric to relaunch my sewjo. And it worked, I am back on the sewing track and as said, sewing from the new fabrics. So at least I know that they were not misses and they will get worn soon.

I saw this fabric by chance when I was looking for one for a specific project and I thought it was cute and easily sewn into a work-wardrobe dress. Black-and-white combination is an alltime win, right? The fabric is actually a light poplin, slightly transparent (ok, only slightly), but that meant I needed a lining (nothing new under the sun, I was going to add lining anyhow).

When going through my stash, I found this Butterick 6204 which is not something extremely special, but I bought it because I saw a very cute dress made from it by one of my favourite bloggers (it was 2 years ago so I do not think I could find her post now). And after my multiple wrap dress tentatives, I figured maybe a false wrap would really work for me.

I had somehow forgotten that the skirt was quite large and for work dress, I tend to sew pencil or A-line ones. Also, high-low hem, nooooo, not my style. On the muslin, I tried to make the skirt narrower, but even after taking away like 10cm on each side, it was still almost a half-circle one.

For my dress I then decided to use a pencil skirt (taken away from another dress) and only keep the bodice. I used a rather stiff polyester lining (hopefully I will not die in it, but it was the only black lining I had at that time in my stash) which helps the bodice to keep its form.

The construction was really interesting. Usually, in most dresses, I would construct the dress itself, check on the fit (that's why I often sew the back zip first and side seams afterwards, to have the possibility to adjust the fit on the sides), that sew the lining, then sew both together and/or finish all the hems. For this dress you basically sew parts of the bodice in the fashion fabric AND the lining, attach them together, then add the skirt and the back zipper is sewn in as the last step. However, this means that you would see the zipper borders inside of the dress, not really my style. I tried to follow this way as much as possible while still insterting the zip inside between the fabric and the lining. I attached the lining of that little waistband basically by hand to make sure everything was hidden inside.

In the end, the dress is really pretty inside, and outside as well, of course :o) I find the fit perfect and the final touches perfect. So really proud of this little number.

Ok, not my best face :o) but I am still happy I am wearing this dress.


Sunday, 22 April 2018

Africa Jersey

Now that I can sew jerseys, ha ha (and I know I can sew thick ones, but definitely will need some more training on the thin ones), I whipped up another sweat-shirt.

Actually, the red one was considered really a training/test model so I can sew a nice sweatshirt from this very cute fabric.

If you look closely, there are flowers, tigers, hearts and I-do-not-know-what-else - everybody seems to pick up on something else. However, the fabric is busy and cute and that's what counts.

I used another Burda pattern - 6046 because of the hoodie. I quickly checked the paper pattern against similar garments I own and then went for it. I only had a meter of this fabric and it was almost not enough. I did not line the hoodie, for one becase I did not have enough fabric, but also because the double layer would make it too thick and sturdy. The fabric is grey and very soft on the inside and I think it works like that as well.

I added the pockets, though, because I could not imagine a sweat without them, even though it is only to my hands in.

This was a very quick make, even too quick. I think I have cut out everything on one evening and sewed it up on the second one. I do not want to say it was almost a disappointment, but I actually like taking time with sewing and here I had a very nice piece ready in no time.

Oh well, canot have always everything. The weather has finally realized we are in April and the temperatures went up, so I am high on summer-dresses-sewing fever.