Sunday, 18 June 2017

Orange is the New Black

I am very proud of myself as for once I am sewing the things from my wishlist. I think this dress was on that list for like two years, maybe even more, as I own the Burda with this model since I started sewing 3 years ago.

It is a simple shift dress with interesting inserts (therefore a simple one-colour fabric) and little decoration just for the fun. I really love how these cute details completely change the dress, while keeping it simple still. The model is n° 117 from June 2013. People might not like Burda, but honestly, there are real jewels in this magazine.

All the fitting is done thanks to the inserts, so the fitting changes can be a challenge. Fortunately, my Burda adaptations are always more focused on the shoulder area, and on the general lengths of the dress, which was totally doable.

I used some dark orange linen bought last year during sales period. I only had about a meter but that was all what was needed. I was hesitating about the lining. Black would be the obvious option, but then I discovered this flowery silk lining in my stash which fits perfectly with the orange and that was it. There was no way I would add black lining once I saw the colour combination. And it is my little secret in this dress.

Sewing with linen, I was very careful when ironing and stabilized properly all curves, I have now learned my lessons :o) Also many seams were catch-stitched, just in case.

As for the decorative top-stitching, I had originally bought dark brown embroidery floss, but in the end, I went back to pick up something clearer. And I do not regret.

To be honest, the end result is much better than what I have expected, the fit is OK, the colour nice and the little top-stitching is just what had to be added.


Saturday, 3 June 2017

Another Jumpsuit?

Upps, I did it again.... Actually, I really liked my first jumpsuit and jumped immediately in another jumpsuit project. 

I do not have much viscose in my stock, as I do not sew from it much (and there is a good reason for that). However, I bought this full red viscose back with little whte triangles in 2014, I think it comes from the first batch of fabrics, I actually took it because it cost only 3eur/3m telling myself that it would work for muslins. What a crazy idea, but I was young and inexperienced then... Of course, the fabric got never used for muslins and slept in my stock, so I decided to use it for this rather funny project.
I am not used to sewing with viscose and honestly, after these 2 project, will definitely not do it again, so I am very careful not to buy it anymore. Both viscoses are very soft on touch and extremely comfortable on the skin, no issues with that. But sewing them is a nightmare, the fabric was moving in all the directions, it did not want to go under the machine and I had to be very careful not to stretch it. Stabilizing became my favorite verb - I put vliseline everywhere - around pockets and around all the openings. It paid! All the time I was screaming: "please give me some silk mousseline to work with!!!!". Really, what is the point of putting the effort and ending up with a viscose piece of clothing when you can put in the same amount of pain and effort and end up with a splendid silk garment. Just a question...

Coming back to my jumpsuit.
The pattern is 124 from Burda 04/2016, I omitted the waistband and the back zipper and put in an elastic in the middle. I changed the back opening to 2 hooks and eyes instead of the laces - with long hairs it is much less fussy. And of course, I sewed a short version, an pockets - yes I have pockets.

Sorry for the overexposed pictures, but it was too nice not to go out for the pics. 
As for my previous jumpsuit, this one is also a success and will make a cute piece for holiday season.


And promised, this is the last jumpsuit of this season, I am starting my dress serie now.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Where is the World Going?

America voted for Trump, Britain to leave the EU, the French had an extreme right candidate in the presidential run off and I made a jumpsuit! And I am really considering wearing it.
Ok, I know these are not very comparable, but the French presidential elections were rather stressful for myself, being an EU citizen living in France, an election of Marine would have serious impact on me staying or not staying in France in the future.

So while watching the "Grand débat"- big discussion between the 2 candidates which was extremely hard to follow, I needed a project to occupy my hands. And while my sewing queue is full of little dresses in order to prepare summer (in case we have some this year), I decided to sew up a jumpsuit. Yes, you hear me well, I sewed a jumpsuit.

Just to explain little bit: for me jumpsuit is like wearing pyjamas outside and even though I have seen cute and very elegant ones (on real people, not in the fashion magazine), I was rather skeptical. Also: how much time do you need to spent at the toilet taking it off and on again?

Anyhow, I bought the May Burda (looking into my archives I buy May Burda every year, there must be something about it then) which featured 2 jumpsuits again, one for standard and one for plus sizes. Started thinking, looked into the previous Burda magazines which ALSO feature jumpsuits (is it like: February - carnaval, September - dirndls, May - jumpsuits - go figure...) and found my favourite.

So mine is a model 129 from May 2013, with a simplified bottom from this year May Burda. I was rather surprised by how little adjustments were needed. Basically I only shortened the length of trousers and closed the cleavage by 2cm on each side.
I found this blue/turquoise viscose in my stash. It was originally bought for some homewear/pyjamas. I tried to sew a shirt from it two years ago which was a pretty bad idea: the fabric is slippery and stretches very easily. For the jumpsuit I interfaced the front diagonals, as well as pocket openings, I also staystitched the sleeve curves and it worked magic.

I did not put any pressure on myself, this was supposed to be more of a wearable muslin, if it turned well. And actually I kind of like it. It looked fine already without sleeves, but eventually, I decided to set them as well, any protection of my shoulders against the sun is always welcomed.

The end result is pretty good: it is comfortable, the viscose is very light and feels nice against the skin, it has pockets and the colours suit me well. I put a little snap to keep the cleavage closed, just in case.

The worst thing: I am actually thinking of sewing another one, as I have another piece of viscose in my stash I do not know what to do with it :o)

Sunday, 14 May 2017

I Made a Jacket!

Or a blazer ... whatever... it is tailored, lined and fits!
While I am very confident in sewing and fitting dresses, the jacket/coat thing has always been a little mystery for me. I had tried sewing a spring coat 2 years ago but without much success, the whole thing ended up being thrown away. So this time I decided to do things right. I was offered 3 sewing courses by my dear BF which did not have a specific topic. You just came with your project and asked as many questions as necessary. Of course, all this meant I had to be sewing in between the courses to bring my jacket-work-in-progress at the right time: fitting the muslin, inserting sleeves, inserting the lining. I was under pressure and sewed till the late hours several times but it was definitely worth it.

So here it is: my very first jacket, from Burda 103-04/2014, a model with detailed instructions in the magazine. I used some cotton-linen, as this should be a summer light jacket, lined with black silk. The fashion fabric behaved very well, I also interfaced the whole front which helps avoid some linen-creasing. The lining is probably too light so was not so easy to sew. However, once in, there is nothing to say.


In general I am very happy with the jacket: maybe the fit around the shoulders could have been a little tighter, but on the other hand it feels really comfortable like that.

A few details:



So what did I learn during my lessons: I need to be more precise when sewing this kind of things and pay attention to the markings - one of the teachers kindly requested I resew my sleeve and she was totally right.
Jacket is no longer an issue, I am actually planning to sew another one, on my own now :o)

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Scrap-busting

This spring I manage to sew a lot, and did not have much time to go fabric shopping. So most of my sewing actually happened based on my stash which not only got me on 2015 levels (yay!!!) but, and I think I am even prouder of that, I managed to use some remnants from previous projects.
I am not done yet, and main scrap-busting projects are still to come, but I am really happy when I see the little pieces gone from my stash.

Most of these were rather simple projects, based on TNT patterns, so I will not bother you much, just show a few pictures.

Yellow top: pattern  based on the Anna dress By Hand London, yellow cotton-silk in double layers


Green top: Burda 116-04/2016, green linen mix, underlined with black cotton-silk


Black top: Burda 115-07/2015, black silk


However, I went also little bit out of my comfort zone by sewing Burda 110-05/2017 bound top.

When I saw this top in the magazine, I thought it does not make much sense. I have read a review on one of my favorite blogs where it was rather criticized. At least, it made me thinking. Then I saw this kind of tops on the fashion shows (a sign, that this is not some Burda craziness, but actually a trend, hahahahha). So I just figured I would give it a try and I definitely do not regret.

The violet cotton was great for sewing, it has just the right amount of crispness to show off the features of this top. I have a ambiguous relationship with violet, though. I like the idea of violet with my hair colour, I like it on myself, but I do not tend to reach for violet clothes often, so hopefully this top will help to change my mind because I just love it!
First, the top is sewn very quickly, I only made minor adjustments in the shoulder area (a must for Burda for me) ad shortened it. On the waist, any adjustments are done with the binding. The top is a fabric hog, though, as I needed almost the whole meter I had, quite a lot for a top for me.
But most importantly, I really like it in real life. It looks muuuuuch better than in the magazine. I just need to sew some white shorts or trousers to complete the outfit.

Were it not such a atypical top, I would try to sew another one! Frankly, a great win for me here!

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Me Made May 2017

Which I am not participating in this year and here are a few reasons why:
- I already wear a lot of me-mades mainly because they represent a big part of my wardrobe (even bigger when it comes to dresses, skirts and tops), so making sure I wear me-mades every year is not a challenge
- I often get tired of thinking I need to take a picture of myself every day
- as every May I will be travelling little bit which makes taking pictures every day more complicated

Also I am currently on a good sewing wave so I do not want to break my rhytm:
I am sewing almost constantly since February
I managed to use up a lot of small pieces of fabric in April sewing mostly little tops (more on that later) and I am really happy about that.
I managed to use up a few pieces of fabric I did not have much ideas on what to do with it and the result has more than surprised me every time.
For your illustration, here is the evolution of my fabric stock, I am only 1.3m from the stock level of April 2015 for a total of 114m. If all goes well, I might even get under 100m this year!

I still have a few ideas for the scraps, including a quilt blanket, so hopefully this good vibewill continue.
Also, on my sewing queue:
Burda panel dress

Kay Unger summer dress

Some basics like this one
I might need to get to sewing some shorts because GAP just stopped selling basics for petites.

And then whatever I might come across between now and summer...

Saturday, 29 April 2017

International Dress

This was supposed to be a surprise b-day present for my sister, so I was worried about whether she would like the style, the fabric and the colours.
I was pretty clear on the pattern to use (Burda 115-04/2016), it is not particularly fitted, I have already sewn it as a top, so just a few slight adjustments would be needed and the dress would be OK.

The fabric is a real batik bought two years ago in Indonesia and therefore, it was a nightmare to match :o) In addition to the flower pattern, there were big eagles every 30cm or so.

So I decided to cut the front and back in two pieces and avoid the eagles which somehow did not go well with the rest of the fabric. But a sewing line in the middle of the dress meant pattern matching. Pattern matching supposes you have a regular fabric, and I had everything but...



You can see that on the detailed photos: sometimes the regular flower intervals become ... just less regular. I did my best, but on a close view, the matching is not always perfect. For the record: the sewing line runs horizontally in the middle of the photo, but you can also see the fabric irregularity on the horizontal line.
There were two lines on the fabric where the flowers were much closer to each other than on the rest.

I also wanted to add pockets and as you can see, pattern matching on the sides was out of my possibilities - somewhere it worked, somewhere it worked less.
Closed
And open

The pockets and the back neckline are stabilised with vliseline, and I did not bother to hem the dress, as I cut it on the fabric selvage.

Overall, the result is not so bad.
And the fit seems fine.

So here we have a dress made from Indonesian fabric, made in France, travelled to Czech Republic, on order to be worn in Berlin

Sunday, 23 April 2017

50's Red Flower Dress

This was just a quick make before attacking a big-blazer-project (finished now, but yet to be photographed).

This pattern appeared in the February issue of Burda and even though it seems simple, I kind of liked it. In the end, I only used the top from Burda and cut out a 3/4 circle skirt, which I drafted directly on the fabric.

The fabric is a very light cotton, pretty suitable for the almost circle skirt.
The top is self-lined, I very much like the V neckline and the little coverage of shoulders - this comes always handy to protect them from the sun and not to freeze at work. The skirt is sewn with French seams, all others are covered by the lining.


There is not much more to be said about this dress, it was extremely quick to be done. I might have taken it in a little more around the waist in order to accentuate the contrast between the full skirt and and the bodice. At worst it will be worn with a belt, we will see.

As there is not much to be said about this dress, I will at least show you my stash level evolution since the beginning of the year, as I am extremely proud of this.

Minus 10m since January, at this speed I will soon be entering the levels not seen since some time. Strangely though, it is less visible on my stash storage which seems to be full the still the same way. I will try to take some time to re-fold everything which might help as well.