Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Cashmere coat to start the sewing year, Burda 02/2010 #126

What a way to start off the sewing year, with cashmere! This fabric is so gorgeous, and while I typically don't like neutrals this warm camel color just begs to be a coat. Or in this case - a vest. But for some reason I just can't call this a vest, to me it is a coat without sleeves, probably because of the traditional shaping and collar/lapel.
In any case - this delicious fabric was not mine - it was purchased by my friend Alice on our New York adventure back in October at Metro Textiles (#wineandcheesewithKashi). There is even a photo of her in that post with the actual bolt of fabric. I think a few other people purchased some that night as well and I am looking forward to seeing what have come up with.  Alice nor I can recall where we got the idea but somehow came up with this style of outerwear, a long straight sleeveless coat and I think it has turned out just as we imagined.

Alice coat 4

What a weather week we are having here in N. California - plenty of rain (finally) which didn't help with our photo session. The sky opened up about 5 minutes after we started but I did get all these pictures - it helps when your model/muse/friend  looks good in almost anything :)

Alice coat3

I think this is one of those styles that perfectly suits the wearer, so I am really happy how it turned out. The fabric was a dream to work with and pressed so beautifully. However - I barely had enough fabric - not sure if we weren't thinking clearly when we bought it or I just miscalculated but it had mere scraps when done cutting out. In fact a tiny area is pieced but I'll get to that later.

Some sewing details: here's a look at it on the dress form. It may look slightly lopsided but the wearer has asymmetry in her shoulders and my dress form is very crooked.

camel coat on form front full length

The pattern is Burda 02/2010 # 126 Three Button Coat. No matter what I am looking for I seem to be able to find it among the Burda PDF's available. I think because they don't do the "discontinued because Out of Print" that the big 4 patterns do, and make available styles from the past 5 or so years purchasable as PDF patterns that the selection is so good. Plus they are just great at coats and jackets.
I really wanted a super simple coat with no seaming, just straight cut and sleek looking with a traditional lapel. Here's the pattern photo and the tech drawing.

Burda 3 button coat pattern photo

Burda 3 buton coat tech drawing

I omitted the welt pockets as I didn't want anything to break up the front of the coat, so I put side seam pockets instead. As for the collar, I made a muslin and was disappointed in the shape of the upper collar, it had a slightly pointy strange shape and you can see the horizontal edge of the upper collar portion, I prefer it to be at a more 45 degree angle so I changed the design. Also there was not a different upper and under collar piece, so no accounting for turn of the cloth or cutting the under collar on the bias. No No No - that was a deal breaker for me so I tested on a 2nd muslin a bias-cut under collar and then a slightly larger upper collar and it worked fine. Also changing the angle where the collar and lapel meet, maybe just by shaving off 1/4 inch but I could see the difference.

camel coat dart

For shaping the coat does have one dart under the lapel.

More sewing details, I did my usual catch stitching of all the seams, and used Pro-Weft Supreme fusible interfacing for the upper portion of the coat and the under collar. I had tested using the Medium weight Pro-Weft but it took away some of the softness and drapeability of the cashmere so the lighter weight fusible was a better choice. I always planned to sew the lining in by hand so I turned up the seam allowance around the armhole as well and catch-stitched that down. Because the interfacing is there the stitches are completely hidden.

camel coat inside interfacing

We bought this Ambiance rayon lining at Stone Mountain Fabrics, any excuse to go over there and I always know I will find the perfect color of lining. I omitted the back neckline facing and extended the lining up to meet the collar seam. Hand stitched in the lining around the collar facing as well as the armholes.

camel coat inside back neck lining

Now we get to the part where I had to piece the fabric. The cut of fabric had a section that was dirty so I had to cut around that, leaving the front lapel facings about 5 inches too short. Look at the bottom near the hem, I had to extend the facings by sewing on another piece there, on both sides. I was really careful when pressing as I didn't want that seam to show through on the front.

camel coat inside view

Back view, completely plain with no darts, however there is a bit of shaping in the center back seam. And that long vent, necessary for walking and it just looks cool in a full length coat of this style.

camel coat on form back viewcamel coat inside back vent lining

This is the "let's get going it is starting to pour" last photo but her smile makes it.

Alice coat closeup

I love this and hope she wears it all the time! It looks best unbuttoned and moving as she walks. Alice is not always freezing as I am so the idea of a coat with no sleeves to wear over some other layers is OK with her. Plus she looks so fantastic.

Alice with coat

Next up I'm not really sure - perhaps during these grey, stay indoors days I will have another go at pants.

Yesterday I received one of my gardening magazines proclaiming spring - the shivering birds outside my window will disagree.

Wherever you are I hope you are surviving these dark days of winter by sewing something fun. Of course if you are in the southern hemisphere then from my blog reading it appears you are enjoying sunshine and summer vacations (so jealous!!)

Happy January sewing,

today's garden photo - one last fiery red rose that bloomed in mid-December. Making it the last one for 2016. Now it is time to get out there and prune back all my roses but not until the rain stops. Maybe this weekend?


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year and a look back at 2016

Happy New Year to all!  But I can say it doesn't really feel like New Year's Day to me - what, no Rose Parade? No Rose Bowl today? It seems they have a never on Sunday rule but with leap years etc. it actually doesn't happen that often. So I can't recall one however today was one such day. It is an odd New Year's day here. Probably not so odd to the rest of you but strange to us. And don't even get me started on the college playoff system. I like the old version of the Rose Bowl. Oh well - not that important in the scheme of things.
And while 2016 was a strange year who knows what the next will bring. Not going to think about that now - let's talk about sewing instead. A topic that I am always able to talk about with anyone!

As usual I didn't have any particular theme or goal - just went where my whims and pattern inspiration took me. Though it was definitely the year of the shirt - I made a lot of them. More on that in a minute.

For now I have to say 💗 Thank You  💗 for all the very nice words on my last post of 2016, the Vogue 1526 Paco Peralta jacket in holiday red. I was bowled over with all the compliments, here and on Instagram and I really appreciate it. Also thank you for mentioning how much you like the sewing details, on all my posts. I enjoy doing them and it is so interesting to see what sparks some comments or conversation. Plus it gives me ideas for future posts. Here's a picture I didn't use on the previous post - where I am dreamily looking skyward (actually trying to not be such a dork when my photo is being taken, haha).  And I have to note I had a comment from Paco, the pattern designer who said he loved my version so that was quite a thrill.

red jacket walking 2 edited

In fact I am looking at this pattern with fresh eyes and wondering if I can create a pattern piece to make it a long sleeve. One of these days I will give that some attention.

Since my sewing was, as usual, wherever my mood or whim took me during 2016, my stats don't really tell much.

For myself I sewed 33 garments, which include one or two items that I made as example items for my Craftsy blog posts. Wearable but more for experimentation or working out some technique. By far the biggest category was woven tops - due entirely to the fact that I made a number of shirts including silk blouses. This is the year that I decided to not treat anything as too nice to wear - and if I ruin a silk blouse with a drop of salad dressing or some such thing, well then I will just let it go and sew up another one :)
pie chart 2016 garment sewing

Here's the breakdown on pattern brands that I used. Simplicity for the win because I used my trusty Simplicity 2339 to both make long sleeve shirts and as a basis for any other shirt, including designing a popover version.  

Pie chart sewing by pattern brand2016

There is no doubt that I have become a fan of Burda patterns as I sewed up a few of those - both envelope patterns and PDF downloads from the BurdaStyle website of the magazine patterns. I almost put a subscription to Burda Magazine on my Christmas wish list but then gave a good hard look at those pattern tracing sheets and decided that despite hating the PDF taping process it was far better than trying to trace. It is a bit like knitting for me, I just can't get the hang of it. Thank goodness for regular envelope sewing patterns printed on the tissue paper. I prefer them and if my favorite companies discontinue them someday then I will do all my sewing from vintage (and recent vintage) patterns that I will scour the listings of eBay for. Because as I have said many times - there are no new patterns!   (based on some of the indie releases recently that is a fact you could carve in stone! Seen it, sewn it, either wore it in high school or hated it when in style the previous time). Eek, I have been sewing a long time but I will remind you I started when in about 3rd grade so that is a good while for styles to cycle around. That is my story and I am sticking to it!

My absolute favorite pattern of the year was one of those not vintage but not new patterns that I stumbled upon, New Look 6677 which is a simple yet elegant tunic top I have used 4 times and will probably make more versions next spring. It works in a lot of different fabrics and has no closures so super quick to sew. Pattern Love !  I also used New Look 6374 which is a new pattern and that one will see some repeats as well.

blue eyelet top front viewpurple silk top on form 2

I tried to limit my coat sewing this year and succeeded which is great because I already have way too many wool coats that I love and a girl can only wear one at a time, right?
Another pattern repeat, this is Simplicity 2311 which is a great basic pattern and just right for this lovely green wool coating. And I have had more than a few strangers comment on how much they like the coat and color when I am out and about. Those are always a jolt of pure happiness, right?

green coat view2edit

So jewel tones, lots of tops, and pattern repeats (including this Vogue dress which I always wanted to sew again and finally did this past summer.) Emerald green, purple, royal blue, bright coral, and a smattering of denim. Those are my hues and I am sticking with them! A few striped items, including a striped dress in predominately black which I am sincerely meh about, although I love the pattern. (A lot of readers liked it so I will give it another try when the weather warms up) Maybe it will go to a friend of mine and I will remake it in a fabric I like better.

I have to mention my Random Threads posts - it appears I wrote nine of those this past year and they are some of my most popular posts with people who don't ordinarily comment doing so. I love that! It's great to have found a way to get a bunch of topics (and nitpicks) off my chest and into a discussion. Or at least know that things strike the same chord with so many of us. If you think of some other topics I can include in a Random Threads post send 'em my way - I can produce an opinion on most any sewing topic (oh who can't, right?).

This past year I have had the pleasure of teaching sewing to more individuals and I look forward to meeting more of you in 2017. Plus it's great when I hear from some of my previous students - send pictures - I love to see what you are sewing.

And of course a big highlight was my trip to New York - which was 5 days of pure fun, fantastic shopping and great food. Getting the opportunity to meet people who I knew were already my friends  - although we had not met in person previously - proved the power of the internet and all our various ways to connect. It was more fun than I could have imagined and I will definitely be back.

As I have said every year, the very best part of writing this blog is getting to know other people who sew, and in fact meeting people from all corners of the globe who share my passion for the art. 

If you had told little 3rd grade me way back when I was sitting in front of my Singer sewing machine, struggling to put in a zipper that someday I would make friends all over the world because of what I was doing at that very moment it would have been hard to imagine. I'm so glad that I figured out how to put in that zipper and I'm so glad to meet all of you, whether in person or on the blog. 

Wishing everyone happiness, health and good fabric finds for 2017!

Happy New Year,

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Vogue 1526 Paco jacket in holiday red

My plan was to skip doing a blog post this week and settle down next week with any remaining items I have sewn. Plus do a year-end wrap up and analysis then, with some pattern usage pie charts which I always find entertaining. However something in this color deserves to be shown off in week before Christmas, don't you think?

red jacket walking

I am sure I could not have found a better fabric and color for this pattern if I had tried. Which I did not! As it happens I bought this fabric in New York in October at Metro Textiles (Kashi's gem of a store) The color was so beautiful and it is unbelievable soft - a double faced wool that feels like cashmere (although it is not). There was just a small amount so I bought it and figured I would work something out one day. Then I bought Vogue 1526, the interesting new pattern created by one of Vogue's newest designers: Paco Peralta from Spain. The seaming is fantastic and I love the simplicity of this style.

Figuring this fabric would work perfectly for this vest I pulled out the pattern pieces and had a good look at the envelope  - where I saw that the fabric required for this jacket is 2 1/4 yards for 60" fabric. Eek! What I had was 1.3 yards cut with a slightly crooked edge and a few marks on the fabric. I pondered it for a couple of days and then worked out that if I removed the cut-on facings along the center front I could just squeeze it on the yardage I had. This does make the lining show near the collar when not buttoned but it looks better buttoned up anyway so I will try to wear it that way.

red jacket front view 1

Here's the Vogue pattern envelope. I like the whole outfit but I'm not likely to make that shirt, and the pants I'm wearing are something from my closet that was so similar to the silhouette shown that they work well. I tried the jacket on with some skinny jeans and the proportion seems slightly off.

V1326 vest pattern

How about some sewing details?  The pattern actually calls for you to completely fuse all the jacket pieces with fusible knit interfacing but that would have been too much as this fabric is a bit thicker than the recommended fabrics which are wools, crepe, flannel or gabardine. This red is more like a coating since it is double faced. Although the edges and hem definitely needed some structure so I interfaced as I would on any jacket.

red vest interfacing SaveSave

I also put some lighter weight interfacing around the sleeve hem edges and put pieces of lining selvedge along the shoulder seam to stabilize that area. I love these buttonholes in the seams!

Which deserve their own photo. This asymmetrical collar is surprisingly comfortable to wear. I found these buttons at Joann's and bought them as a possible - but they are just right. So nice when that happens.  All my pressing tools were used - I admit it is not easy to get the edges crisp on a thick coating but I'm super satisfied with this (if I do say so myself :).

red vest collar closeup

I really wanted to make a gif or short video with all these images but instead you will have me being silly and saying "why yes my new jacket does have a satin lining. Also how it looks unbuttoned.

lining red jacket composite

The dress form picture shows that I removed the facings and just lined it to the edge. The lining is a poly satin that I found in my big box of linings - the color is not exact but seems complementary.

red vest lining view

red vest lining hem

Sewing the lining as the facing on the front edge actually made this very quick to sew, since I wasn't sewing the entire lining in by hand - as I usually do. I did leave a generous pleat at the hem so the lining would lay flat and never pull up at the back during wearing.

red jacket back view 2

And pockets - oh yeah I wasn't going to omit those. By the way another sewer who I admire very much also made this pattern - Tany of Couture et Tricot also made this pattern, all 3 pieces and her version is beautiful, plus she has a lot of construction details if you are interested.

red jacket front view 3

red jacket hands in pockets

red vest front view on form

This picture - with all the reds and greens - I was sorely tempted to photoshop in a red hat with white fur trim and some pointy ears onto my head - this is my demented holiday elf photo.  Or perhaps one of those people who works at the Santa Land at the department store. Anyway - I do like this interesting collar. And I put on my holiday pin just for you!

red jacket closeup2b

I am really happy to sew this Vogue pattern which reminded me how much I like their designer patterns, So many gems there.

Tomorrow will include some baking, gift wrapping (which I always leave until the last possible minute) and a few last minute stitches on some stocking stuffers.

Up next I will be cutting into some cashmere for a very special item, but I will leave that until next week.  And a special thank you to my friend Alice - photographer extraordinaire who takes all my best photos.

So I will wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and I hope your holiday is peaceful, healthy, happy and filled with joy.


Saturday, December 17, 2016

Random Threads #25

Time for another Random Threads post as I have a lot of things scribbled in my notebook. Unfortunately some of my jottings are too cryptic to decipher. Bad habit I have - making a one or two word note which makes sense when I write it down but when I go back I have no idea what it is referring to. The one on the page this time is "velvet". So I must have had some idea about velvet for this post but not sure what I was thinking at the time.
However velvet is such a great fabric this time of year. I made a black velvet shift dress for a 10 year old girl a few years ago, and I think with absolutely no change in style the same dress and shape would look great on a woman Classics - they endure for a reason.

My favorite needle:
sewing needle

This one sounds like I might give some recommendation on sewing tools - but it is much simpler than that. I just have a favorite needle. This might sound kind of crazy but I have been using the same hand sewing needle for at least 2 years. Rarely using anything else. I can tell it is the same one because it is slightly bent. Which happens to other needles I use, maybe I have incredible hulk fingers! 
I don't really fuss about needles - and I'm sure there are some very high end ones you can buy, although I haven't. I do have a stash of unused needles, some quite old. Things that were in my great-aunt's sewing stuff and I was the one in the family that got that stash. Also people tend to think of me when they clean out a relative's house and I usually accept because who know what treasures might be found in the old cookie cans with buttons, scissors, etc. If I drop or somehow lose track of the needle then everything stops until I find it. Plus since I use those magnet pin cushions the needle sometimes ends up in them so then I have to take off all the pins onto a wooden surface, spread them out and find the needle. My one trick is to never put the needle into the pincushion without first putting a length of thread onto hit, tied in a knot. Have you ever "wrung out" your pincushion? Needles do tend to disappear into the tomato style pincushions but if you squeeze it then you can find them and force them back out. Weirdly enough that is a task I enjoy. Do you have any special needle wrangling tricks?   By the way - sneak peek of my latest project which is super soft fabric and those lovely in-seam buttonholes. 

McCalls videos: 
Do you look at the videos on the McCall pattern company blog? I love them! Particularly the ones with Carlos where he discusses a specific Vogue designer pattern are fantastic and he is so charming on them. Here's a link the one where he discusses the V1523 Rachel Comey jumpsuit. Check them out - to me it is really fun to see the clothes in action. The "what to sew next" videos are really good also. Plus they make me want to go back to New York. They also appear on their Facebook page. I don't have much patience for most videos about patterns but I guess since I am a big fan of Vogue designer patterns these hit my sweet spot. 

McCalls survey: 
Speaking of McCalls, did you get the on-line survey they did recently? Maybe last week or so. If you are on their email list you might have received it. It was really interesting, asking about pattern preferences, how people feel about paper vs. PDF, what one would want to pay for patterns, etc. I can't recall all the questions but there were quite a few about independent designers. No surprise that my responses indicated that I am a fan of Vogue patterns and particularly the designer patterns. Also tissue paper patterns!!! To me so much easier to use - but I expect this is just because I learned on these and thus seem like the right way (knowing that there is really no right or wrong way).  One question that I thought was interesting was about how we felt about a pattern that had multiple views. I think this is where McCalls/Vogue/Butterick beats all other pattern companies hands down. To buy a pattern that is several garments just gives more options and makes me feel like there is value for money, versus many indie patterns that are just for one item. Particularly if it is a simple item. I just don't get the popularity. But I could drone on about that for days. Anyway I hope that McVoguerick continues to last another 100+ years. (I'll include Simplicity/New Look also do a good job with multiple views and garments in one pattern envelope).

Pantone colors for 2017:

Pantone colors 2017

Since I am wild about color in all things I like to check out the Pantone colors for every new season. Possible to aggravate myself as I usually have a very dramatic dislike of at least two of them. But this time I really like only two, the Pink Yarrow (what a goofy name) and the Lapis blue. The yellow and orange are OK, not the shades I like in those colors, and then the greens look like 70's throwbacks. Actually I have an irrational hate of their color of the year, Greenery. Just a shade of green that is not my thing. In fact the whole collection looks a bit 70's. So we are approximately 40 years on from the 70's - give or take - and are they having a revival? Overalls, pale denim, high waist jeans, poly fabrics, pantsuits. Hmmm not my my favorite fashion decade but I suppose everything comes around again. As for the pale pink and the beige color - blah, not my thing but I'm sure they could look good and appeal to someone. In fact I find all the colors a bit muddy and less than vibrant.

Best pattern survey:
Another survey out now, this one is more of a vote, on PatternReview.com to vote for the best patterns of the year. I never think there is anything best about it, as it looks like they chose the nominee patterns by the number of reviews? Not sure about that but I usually don't see many I have sewn, although this year there are one or two. But nothing I would call best. Do you look at or vote in this survey? I do think it is good to break out categories by garment type.

Mood Fabric store emails:
Now that I have actually been to the store in NY I am really a fan of Mood the store. Their emails -  not so much. I suppose I could change my email preferences but I figure oh well, they just get deleted. I find their website kind of difficult to use also. But recently I have looked a couple of things, and realized they are one of those companies that send you an email shortly after saying something to the effect of "hey you looked at this, buy it". If course using a better tone than my phrase but the meaning is the same. I just find it a bit creepy. It's one thing for the little ads for various things to follow you around your browsing but the direct follow up email bugs me. Even thought it makes good business sense for the company to use this technique. Probably like a lot of you I get regular emails for all the fabric sellers. Almost never click but instead go to the various sites when I am searching for something specific. I guess getting the emails keeps them in my mind for when I do need something.

# 1 fitting mistake:

Vogue pattern measure

Here is some unsolicited sewing advice - measure the pattern! I always feel bad when I see a garment somewhere and the sewer says "I really like it but it is just a bit too tight around the bust/hips/waist". Do you measure the pattern? I think this is an essential step, check the pattern circumferences and adjust if needed. My advice: take out "fit insurance" a lot of the time and always on a new pattern I add 3/8" to the existing seam allowance on all side seams, resulting in a 1" side seam. Which gives you a total circumference addition of 1.5" to play with. I often take most of it back out but but sometimes a garment feels better with a bit more room. Particularly with a woven fabric (no stretch) like silk duppioni or wool gabardine. Things with no give. I'm writing a blog post for Craftsy on how to choose the pattern size so I'll go into more detail there and post a link when that is up.

New patterns for Spring:
Already?  it seems we are just starting to wear winter clothes here so I'm not thinking about spring. But I am on the hunt for just the right pattern to use for the two-sided wool that I bought at Mood.

Here's the wool fabric (photographed with a piece of leather purchased as well) It looks black and blue in this pic but it is all shades of blue.

two sided wool

I saw two patterns recently, one in the new McCalls release. It's really cute but I do prefer a slightly longer jacket and collarless is not my favorite.

McCalls7549 quilted jacket pattern env

then I saw this one on Butterick. Which is good for two fabrics but also has a slightly geriatric vibe to me. Is that a weird thing to say? It has potential but some of the proportions look wrong. I might buy the pattern and play around with it.

B6421 pattern env

Lastly I saw this pattern for both a dress and a top. (multiple views in one envelope, woo hoo!). This one I will definitely try in the springtime.

McCall env template rev2
When I finish these Random Threads emails I read them through before publishing and think - wow I sound like a complete curmudgeon but hopefully not. Most of my friends don't sew - so I have to vent  or share somewhere, right? Also it amazes me that these are among my most popular posts, which tells me that a lot of people who occupy the online sewing world want to talk sewing stuff too!

That's all for now, time to evaluate my holiday sewing and make sure I am caught up on any gift sewing I need to do.  The sun is shining this afternoon after a glorious rainstorm earlier this week so I might just head out for a good walk now, with apologies to those of you feeling the polar vortex. Hang in there - spring is coming, the pattern companies say so!

Happy sewing, Beth

not much in the way of garden photos - this time of year I am happy I planted pansies and begonias for a little pop of bright color. 


Sunday, December 11, 2016

Medley of knit tops

For months and months I had a Burda PDF pattern hanging on the wall of my sewing room. I bought and downloaded the pattern on a whim ages ago. I even taped it together and added the seam allowances, then set it aside. A while ago I was trying to figure out how to deal with PDF pattern pieces, particularly these that consist of taped together paper. Folding them up is just not a good option since they take up so much space and get all crumpled. The best storage for me is to hang them up somewhere so I generally punch a hole through the stack, tie a ribbon there and then just stick them on a hanger. One day I was looking at the big sliding closet doors and thought "usable space" so I stitched up a big fabric rectangle, mounted it on those 3M removable hooks and now I have a great space to keep PDF patterns our of the way and still available, plus no wrinkles or curled paper. Its basically a big fabric bulletin board.

Thus this space is festooned with a constant rotation of patterns, yet this one t-shirt pattern sat there, unused and fading into the background. Then one day I was looking for something else and actually noticed it. Interesting! So here it is.  This fabric is dreamy... I got it at Stone Mountain this past summer. They might still have it and I had to restrain myself from getting all the color options.  
blue stripe Burda top 2

Here is the info from the Burda website. The pattern is Burda 02/2013 # 126, here's the link to this short sleeve version, I took the photo from the long sleeve version as the model is wearing a jacket which obscures the cute sleeve detail.  Super cute, huh?  I love a t-shirt that has some interesting detail.

Burda T-shirt 02-2013-126

And you have seen me wearing this one - on my New York trip back in October.  At Eately, the great Italian food market and restaurants. I was thinking of them today as I spent the morning baking Panettone, theirs smelled delicious and I almost bought one when I was there.

me at counter

Actually before I made the blue stripe version I made a quick test version - as I had bought this fabric also at Stone Mountain. They now have all kinds of bargains upstairs so $ 3 per yard, I bought a bunch just for knit experimentation. Consequently I will have an array of this color in my upcoming wardrobe 😉.

green knit Burda top

More random knit tops, I had this fabric which I bought in SF at Fabric Outlet (which is the actual store which operates Cali Fabrics). It is almost a tissue weight knit. Maybe not really suitable for my usual stuff as it is really thin and I prefer a bit more heft in knits. But I wanted to try out this pattern in a knit fabric. Not sure it is successful but I will wear it around the house.  This is New Look 6374, my previous version was in silk.

knit tunic top

And then I still had more of this fabric so I tried out the Presto Popover top from Naughty Bobbin patterns (formerly Savage Coco) which was gifted to me a while back when I had the pleasure of meeting her in person. This is a good layering piece and I like a top to be really snug around the back of my neck (short hair - always chilled there) so I stitched the center front up as high as I could with still being able to pull it over my head. So now it has a bit of a keyhole effect and is a good layering piece under a fleece jacket or a sweater. As designed the sleeves were a bit long for my extra short arms but I like the effect so I just left them that way. Also after I saw this picture I decided to shorted the top a bit and I can't remember if I lengthened it when I cut it out.

presto top

Onward to the next one, which is this color block top/dress pattern from Burda. I had the burgundy color sweater knit leftover from this top. I bought this Burda pattern thinking I can use it for refashioning some old cashmere sweaters.
Burda maroon color block top

Burda 6851 Pattern envelope

The pattern envelope - it does have potential. You can see I used only two colors instead of 3 as they show. Also I put a t-shirt style binding on the neckline, in the pattern envelope they have it as a faced neckline. The grey fabric is a knit I bought at Joanns, surprisingly nice. I actually like the fit better of a different Burda raglan t-shirt pattern that I have, which I have made a number of times. (here and here.

color block knit top on

Don't let that hazy sunshine fool you - we are having rain, YAY!  and it is such a treat.
I had a small piece of fabric remaining, so I made a scrunchy turtleneck accessory which I can wear with this top - very handy.

Burda knit top with turtleneck

And just one more knit, this one is a pattern mashup. The same knit fabric as the first one in a different color way. I think there is a pink also - I might need that. Anyway - the body of this top is McCalls 7046 which is a surprisingly well fitting t-shirt, with or without the side gathers. But I included it because it is kind of interesting. Although I have realized that this type of shirt needs to be close fitting around the waist/hips or it just looks sloppy. And then the cowl neckline is a slightly reduced version of the Sewaholic Renfrew neck grafted onto this McCalls top.

green stripe knit top

I did make another version of this frankenpattern last year from a very cosy knit and I wear it a lot.
Here's the previous version of this top, sewn about 1 year ago.  I love to do the stripe matching on these t-shirts. Hey everyone needs a hobby!

Pink striped top

Ok that's the latest on knit top sewing, next up I might sew up a shirt from one fabrics I bought in NY.

Last year at the very end of winter I finished this Burda shawl collar jacket and posted one quick look at me wearing it - well I wanted to say that I wear this jacket ALL the time. It is so cosy and warm.

plum coat

Plus this jacket has one of my favorite features, in the seam buttonholes. Something about that always appeals to me. In fact - my current project has that very feature. Stay tuned :)

Up next - the project that is in the works, and a crack at some of those fabrics from NY. And a good amount of holiday baking. As mentioned above, today I made my first panettone. Which was surprisingly good. A few more practice rounds and I think it will be great. If I do say so myself!

Happy holiday sewing,

and in the garden, my latest obsession. Succulents. Which are perfect for our climate and super interesting once you start to dive into all the info available. More to come of these.

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