Monday, 18 March 2019

Green Wool Jersey Dress

Is it just me or is the general offer of jerseys in a terrible mix of polyester and viscose, at best? Sure, there are many cotton jerseys as well, but chilly as I am, for winter I need something warm. Ok, apologies to everybody living in the really cold countries, but I tend to be chilly all winter long and I learned one thing: warm clothes are a basis for my everyday comfort.

So, when the winter seemed to have started here (I know, I know, we are having -1 to 3°, so nothing even compared to where I grew up), all my sewing plans fell away and I just needed a real wool dress. At the same time I found this double interlock which has 50% wool, mixed with some viscose and poly, and in addition, in this amazing dark-green colour. Actually, I was little bit worried for the shade, because with internet pics, you never know. When it arrived, I just loved it, it is a perfect colour for me!!!

Also, I just had an occasion where I would put it on - some in-laws coming over - so that would make this perfect comfy, yet, nice dress. I ordered the fabric on Sunday evening praying would ship it ASAP and I would have it before the next week-end. In the meantime, I had enough time to work on the pattern. My inspo picture comes actually from Burda, but I figured that the pattern is not difficult and I could easily recreate it with some pattern I already own. I found this Burda dress 110-08/2017 - it is a tall pattern, but with some muslin playing, that should work.
I shortened the skirt a lot, but kept the top almost as is, as it have me some more volume there. I shifted the shoulder/sleeve line easily 8cm higher, kept the sleeve length, but shortened the cuffs according to my inspiration picture.

Once the muslin was done, my fabric washed and ironed, the construction was rather quick, as with all jersey dresses. I even added a stretch lining, hopefully this will help with the tights-sticking issue.

I was not sure on how to finish off the neckline, so finally, I only sewed in a strip of fabric and turned it in. For the hem, I used a different stretch stitch, as on my ponte dresses, the double needle stitch tends to break in the end.

Ok I finished this dress about 30 minutes before the in-laws were supposed to come (but you know, we are in France, so I had plenty of time to pack all my sewing stuff, prepare the dining table etc.), so no stress.

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Discovering Knipmode

I have heard about Knipmode (FashionStyle in France) several times before, but never got really interested in it. For me it fell in the category of “other sewing magazines available on French newsstands with very basic patterns”, like Mode &Travaux, something very very far away from Burda and the reason I like Burda a lot.

But then 2 of the bloggers I follow did a review of this autumn issues and I went to check their Dutch site to see the patterns in detail. And I was rather positively surprised by the original patterns and some good ideas. Also, they tend to present one pattern sewn with very different fabrics which really show up its full potential. Then I found the paper versions and checked again and really liked the Oct and Nov issues and bought both.

I had had plans for at least 2 dress patterns in them, but strangely the first pattern I sewed was a skirt. I got a French version of the magazine, so normally, I am supposed to understand, and therefore read, the instructions, but honestly, I did not bother. They are as short as Burda ones, only written with bigger font and the skirt was rather simple. Also, for zip insert, waistband and lining I just followed my gut and sewed as I thought was the best way.

I used a very soft violet corduroy (this season, I am falling in love with violet and honestly, I start thinking it is actually a neutral colour!), lined with a remnant of the lining from my coat. The fabric was fraying all the time and I had violet pieces all over my living room, so I zigzagged all the seam allowances. Most of the seams are topstitched, which helped keeping them in place.

As for Knipmode, I would have a few remarks/comments:

  •        They do not separate normal and plus sizes which is a great one. I always envy the plus sizes dresses in Burda which never exist as normal ones. It makes tracing out more complicated, as there are many more lines, but they also start at 34 (and it fits) even though they say they start at 36...
  •          They do not do petites – I can understand that there are not many petites in the Netherlands, but I am and before sewing any dress, I will have to do many adjustments
  •          They have a surprisingly many patterns for stretch fabric. Even this skirt was supposed to be sewn from something very stretchy and with elastic in the waist – well, my corduroy is only sliiiightly stretchy and I stabilized my waistband a lost. Such a pity for such a sharp design. Also it does not look like that on the photo.
  •          There are less patterns in one issue than in Burda – it goes back to them showing one pattern in many fabrics
  •          Their “fashion comments” are as bad as Burda’s. But then, writing these comments must be a quite tiring job, so I just will not look at them and all will be fine.

So will I try it again? Probably yes, as I am trying to sew more jersey things and as I quite like their novelty patterns.

PS: sorry for the bad hair day, it was very windy today...