Sunday, November 11, 2018

Burda 04-2018-105 shirt with dart details in cotton print

As any Burda subscriber knows, it's one thing to have the excitement of receiving that new issue in the mail, to page through it and imagine all the possibilities. It's then quite another to actually trace out and sew a pattern. Not that I don't want to - but there is a tiny bit of hesitancy.  The folded sheets are so neatly stapled, and not at this point likely to get lost. The other patterns on my shelf are calling to me. Those lovely tissue patterns from Vogue or McCalls which I can just open up and cut into without searching among the multi-colored pattern puzzle that is the Burda magazine sheet.

But in the end I convince myself to detach the staples holding those sheets, and search out the necessary pattern pieces for my selected item. And I'm always surprised that it takes me less time than I expect to find and trace. However - if the pattern of my choosing is "red lines" (you Burda users know what I mean) then I often think twice about it. The red seems the most difficult to trace. If my selection is the black lines I give a small yeah! of triumph. It's the small things in sewing that often give pleasure, right?

This is a long way round to say that I just sewed up a shirt from the April 2018 issue. One that I traced back last spring, actually started on another fabric, determined the fabric wasn't suitable and changed mid-construction to a different pattern. Which was the right decision for that silk.

But this pattern still interested me so I've sewn it up in a fabric that is really nice however again I have a slight issue - because the details are lost in this busy print. As soon as it was finished I resolved to make it again in a solid. Time will tell :)


blue shirt front on form

I bought this fabric 2 years ago at Mood in NY, it's a lightweight cotton, I suppose a cotton lawn but with a tiny bit of body and crispness which is perfect for a shirt. I love the color mix and find it works with so many things in my wardrobe, including this jacket which I've been pairing it with this week for an unintentionally patriotic look.


Burda blue shirt 2


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Here's the detail from the magazine, so you can see that this shirt has this interesting dart detail down the center front which would show a lot more in a solid.


Burda version dart blouse

From the technical drawing page in the magazine and this light blue version from the Burda website you can see the dart detail. Another interesting feature is the sleeve, which has a seam at the elbow and then the lower piece flares out quite a bit so it can be gathered into the cuff. As I was tracing I wondered why it had the seam in the center back but looking at this version you can see that the seaming lines up in an interesting way. I wonder how it would look if I used two different fabrics and did a color block version?  Will have to give that some thought.


blue shirt sleeve detail

I didn't copy the cuff pattern pieces, I rarely do - I just make one up as I go along after I decide the length and see how wide I want the cuff.


blue shirt darts inside

Perhaps here you can see the dart detail a bit better. I have a really beautiful dark fuchsia color silk charmeuse which I got at Stone Mountain a few months ago, it would show off the details nicely however it is a stretch silk and sometimes crisp details like darts don't do as well with a stretch silk. I'll have to do a little test on a scrap.


blue shirt back view on form

blue shirt 5

Different day,  more pictures. Some days I take photos against a blank wall on the patio which has a covered roof that lets in 50% of the sunlight - at certain times of day the light is just right for photos but if I miss it by just a few minutes then the shadows are there. So I ran outside yesterday to take some more photos. This one was taken at high noon - yet no shadows at all due to the sky being covered with smoke. The sun was a red ball in the sky and it was so strange to see the whole bay area covered with grey - unfortunately the 2nd time in about a year this has happened. Last year with the north bay/Napa fires and this time the one near Paradise, Ca. The devastation is shocking and it's heartbreaking to see what people are going through.

Blue shirt with darts close up

This fabric has so many colors it in, I really like this type of abstract or splatter prints.


Burda blue shirt back view

blue Burda shirt close view

unintentionally matching blue nail polish :)

So that's the latest on my Burda magazine sewing. This morning I just stitched up a version of something from the November issue !!  Same knit top as KS_Sews has made. I like it a lot although I changed it to a crew neck instead of a wide boat neck (always cold neck so I like more coverage). Also this afternoon I'm teaching a knit top class at Hello Stitch Studio and I wanted to change the neckline to show how to redesign the neckband.
All my classes at Hello Stitch for the remainder of the year are sold out! We have LOTS on the schedule for Jan-Mar and I wrote about them in my previous post. If they're not listed on the website yet you can always call or email the studio to sign up.

ok, gotta run!


blue shirt 6


Happy Sewing, Beth

today's garden photo, a penstemon that is probably in the wrong place in the garden. Winter will bring some rearranging - at least if it ever rains around here.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Current projects and updates - a lot on my sewing table!

Is it Thanksgiving yet?  I feel the need for a vacation. Or just a week of doing nothing. Well that actually qualifies as a vacation...and the weather around here had been decidedly vacation-like. Around the bay area October is the month of year for clear skies, minimal fog and the optimal time for taking those gorgeous SF skyline and bridge photos with the beautiful setting sun giving everything an extra touch of the golden state glow. So I should not be at all complaining, but I am. Most days I can go outside for some exercise wearing shorts (no joke - it's turning all SoCal around here, climate change is the real deal) So complaining about being ready for a change of season, mild thought it might be. And ready for some rain...oh we always need the rain.  Meanwhile I'm sewing and teaching and thinking about when I can escape to Hawaii.

Speaking of travel - I am convinced I need to make it to London to see the Dior exhibit in 2019. Sounds like an amazing show so that is my plan for next year. Is it too early to talk about a sewing meet up in London? or even doing some sewing/fitting classes when I'm there? Let me know if you're interested. I haven't decided what month I will go yet so plenty of time to plan.  

As for sewing - I've been doing SO much lately. Although almost everything is in a state of semi-completion. For this post I thought I would show you all the stuff that is nearly done or planned for the remainder of this year. Although as of yesterday one of these is done and will be my next blog post :)

thread trace pleats

OH this silk wrap dress for Heather is dreamy.  It is all finished except for the hem and she is coming over tomorrow afternoon so I can mark the hem and stitch it up.
I did a more detailed post on fitting this dress a few weeks ago, here's the link.  This pattern Vogue 8784 is made for wovens and needed some fit adjustment plus I changed a few of the pattern details. I promise a full blog post with photos of her wearing it soon.

Another finished item that I will photograph tomorrow is this dress, also for Heather. I absolutely love it but I'm sure a heavy wool dress might not be for everyone. But the color is beautiful in person and she does a lot of business presentations to some very serious folks so it will be a perfect work dress.  This fabric is from our Britex shopping trip last spring.

Blue wool short sleeve dress for H

Speaking of Britex, we just went there again 2 weeks ago and one of the sales associates took this very nice picture of us. She was very specific about where we should stand and after I could see why - that's some very nice color coordination and contrast there!

At Britex

She bought a few fabrics, a wool for a blazer which might not show up in this image, it is very much a mixture of burgundy, blue and some flecks of other colors. Plus an amazing lining and some matching buttons.

Britex wool and lining

Also some silks for blouses and tops. I have some interesting patterns planned for these, including a Butterick that like so many is uninspiring on the pattern envelope but turns into a really pretty top.

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Pattern for the blazer, I'm using the McCalls 6172 jacket. I am really  impressed with this pattern, it's a basic collar and lapel jacket but I think I mentioned a few weeks ago - it has the roll line marked and a few other nice details which make it very straightforward to sew.

I used a wearable muslin version in my Jacket construction class last weekend at Hello Stitch. I did one welt pocket there and then was working on the 2nd one yesterday. And I almost !! made it about 1 inch longer than the first. Don't ask...I got my marks mixed up and was just about to sew it when I couldn't figure out why the pocket flap was so scrawny. Duh! Hey I make mistakes although usually I can correct them and luckily this was a "just before I sewed it" realization so not a mistake.  You can see that the pocket markings on the lower one are longer, extend further beyond the seams. Perhaps looking at it in the camera is what made me notice it. Anyway I redid my markings and error averted.

blue welt pockets


Hey what about me? Yes I have squeezed in a few personal projects - including this Burda shirt which had a abbreviated audition last spring until I pivoted and stitched this instead. 

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That's a sneak peek and you can see the dart details. Unfortunately the fabric I chose all but obscures them - the good news is that I really like the pattern and will make it again in a solid so the details are visible. This is the one that I finished the other day and have even taken photos, blog post soon.

The last couple of months I've taught quite a few classes, I think when fall arrives people are kind of done with vacation and travel, they are around and ready to do concentrate on new projects. I just did the Jacket construction class this weekend which is really fun for me - you know I love jackets and love helping people make them.

Weekend jacket making workshop collage

I was so busy all weekend and took very few pictures  - but I demonstrated a bunch of techniques and tips on interfacing, markings, welt pockets and pressing pressing pressing!  In the top left photo Susan is modeling her Yates coat in process, and I did a lot of adjustment on the sleeves for a perfect fit. The sleeve is just pinned on there but it is looking so good.

Upcoming classes at Hello Stitch, we have spots open in our Kimono Jacket class on December 1 (use any Kimono jacket pattern you like) . The rest of my classes for this year are sold out (Thank you!) and we have lots scheduled for Jan-Mar of 2019.  I'm doing  a jeans weekend workshop at the end of January- so during December I will be stitching up more jeans for myself and test out a few ideas I have. Also we will be doing some classes in Series - fitting/ dressmaking (intermediate) and a beginner series.  Plus Lander pants again (so popular) a Garment Copy class, Fitting Workshop,  and a Quilted Jacket class (Grainline Tamarack pattern or McCalls 7695)  All the details on these classes will be on the Hello Stitch website in the next couple of weeks, check their Garment Sewing Classes page.

So that's the latest - I have plenty to do, don't I?  This Saturday is a Bay Area Sewists meet up and this one is a Fabric Swap. Even thought I don't need any fabric it's always fun to go, see everyone and also just perhaps trade for the perfect fabric. Maybe?

Happy Sewing, Beth

here's today's garden photo, I can't recall the name of this plant but it has really interesting flowers, they start out as very tight white buds and slowly open to this golden center. I bought it a few weeks ago at Annie's Annuals in Richmond but I still haven't found the perfect permanent spot for it.


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Saturday, October 27, 2018

New Look 6560 top in Liberty cotton

What do we call if it you intend to make a wearable muslin but end up making the real thing? Also will I ever overcome my aversion to organization and labeling so that I actually know what is what in my fabric stash? Someone may have an answer to the first question but the second question probably has no answer.

In any case all's well that ends well for this project. I sewed a top for my friend Alice, in a roundabout way.

teal top on A1

Take a look at that lovely blue fabric - which she said she bought at Mood NY on our trip there a couple of years ago and she thinks was Liberty cotton. Ok, if you say so 😊.  Because I went to try  to this pattern for her, as an audition for a different fabric of hers which has been living in my stash (a solid color cotton/silk sateen which a luxurious sheen which we bought who knows where, also teal color).  So I bought this New Look pattern which ticks a number of boxes for her, style-wise. Wrap top, cut on sleeves, V-neck. And decided to give it a try.

Some late night rummaging in my spare bedroom fabric closet and I came up with this. A couple of yards and I thought "oh that's nice - I wonder where it came from, probably one of my $2 fabric finds or a swap sale." And if I use this and make it for real (meaning reasonable nice finishing with all facings etc.) then she can wear it.

A close up look at this very nice fabric.

teal cotton fabric closeup


Here's the pattern.  I made view C, same as shown on the model. I also like the long sleeve version which has a set-in sleeve although I could do without the neck ruffle which in combination with the sleeves is making it veer into pirate costume shirt territory.

NL6560 pattern photo



Here's a look on the dress form.

teal cotton wrap top

If you look extra closely you might be able to see that I added a 2" band around the bottom of this top  as it is definitely on the short side. Alice is quite tall but I tried it on as I was sewing it (of course) and thought it was short on me as well. I think that is part of the style but it seemed out of proportion for a top these days. Fortunately I had enough fabric to add that band which also gave a nice hem finish.


teal top on A2

teal cotton wrap top back

teal top on A back view

NL6560 tech drawing

Conclusion - super easy top which is great for a woven fabric you have lingering in your stash.  Check the length if you don't like tops on the shorter side.


teal top on A in sunshine

And still we have sunshine and weather worthy of white jeans! Not complaining, other than the fact that we (always and forever it seems) need rain. And it's too warm to wear a wool coat!.

But that doesn't mean you shouldn't make a coat or jacket with me next weekend, at my Coat/Jacket construction weekend class at Hello Stitch. I know for a fact that some people who are allergic to wool are making heavy cotton or corduroy jackets. All kinds of tips and tricks and construction details apply to any coat or jacket. Here's the link to register. 

What else am I working on? I am on the home stretch for Heather's silk wrap dress Vogue 8784 which will have a full blog post when I can take some photos of her wearing.

And I found a jacket in the closet in my sewing room - which I vaguely recall starting last winter for a previous session of my jacket class, and I guess spring intervened so I put it away unfinished. But now I sewed up a pair of stretch cotton jeans (using my own pattern copied from RTW jeans) and the color of jacket and jeans are an amazing match. Too suit-y? I will have to finish it after next weekend and see.

merlot jacket inside and out with jeans

By the way, in my class I will be demoing a lot of construction on a blazer jacket. I chose this pattern as it has a lot of details which are great to learn, such as welt pockets, lining, numerous darts, setting in a jacket sleeve etc.
I made a muslin to test style and fit for Heather - so will be making a wearable muslin in a solid navy wool as a practice run for sewing up the wine color tweed she recently bought at Britex.

IMG_4420 Jacket muslin for H

And then it will be on to some selfish sewing  - my Burda magazines have been piling up and I've seen a few really cute things I want to do. Plus it would be fun to participate in the #sewfrosting on IG which means I need to decide on something slightly frivolous and fun.

While the sunshine holds up I will get out in the garden tomorrow - the battle with the squirrels and my tulip bulbs is continuing. And if you notice in the first photo, I'm really getting into succulents which are very satisfying - they are so easy to propagate.

Happy almost Halloween sewing,  Beth

today's garden photo, there are still have a few roses around, some years we've had blooms up until Christmas.

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Friday, October 19, 2018

Liberty cotton/silk for a new shirt

One of these days I'm going to use a different shirt pattern, but not this week. In fact I just rummaged around my pattern file and found a Burda tracing that I did last winter - which I scrapped mid-project due to the wrong fabric. That one became this top which I wear all the time. So I will try that Burda next but for this fabric my old standby of Simplicity 2339. And this might be version number 15? I've lost count but after all a button front shirt doesn't really change so why reinvent.

The novelty in this shirt comes entirely from the fabric, which is a 70%cotton/30% silk voile Liberty of London fabric. It's so light and lovely to wear, it feels like a feather. 

Purple shirt 9
So n
I sewed a shirt for someone else using this fabric which I found on the Mood website. and after completing that I had about 3/4 yard remaining. Since it's 52" wide that's a substantial amount. So I ordered another 1 yard so as to have enough to make a shirt for myself 😍 Because purple, right?
And lavender print. So garden-y.

I had made these purple jeans late last spring, and they didn't get a lot of wear in the summer as they are a stretch bengaline (I think - at least they are some type of stretch woven, stretchier than stretch denim but not a knit. I classify them as bengaline because I received a swatch of the same type from Style Arc a long time ago and it was labeled with that name.) A very good fabric for pants, but a rayon-nylon-lycra so a bit too clammy for my summers here. But just right for fall and winter so I've been wearing them a lot. I like jeans that aren't jeans - in all kinds of colors. The pattern is my own, I made a pattern from a pair of jeans I own which fit just right. I should do a post about pants copying, one of these days. It's a good learning experience.

So now I have a shirt to wear with my purple jeans. Here's a better look on the dress form.

purple liberty shirt front

Based on my usual miserly tendencies when it comes to fabric spending, this was a bit of a splurge for me. So in total I paid more than $ 40 for the fabric. More than my typical $ 5 - 10 yard!

Fabric liberty voile

I'm not a big spender when I comes to fabric and I don't really like to have a bunch around that is not specifically for projects but I'm glad I bought this as I just love the color and the lavender pattern makes me smile. Here's a closer look at the fabric of the jeans. I didn't do a bunch of topstitching on this fabric - topstitching doesn't look as it does on denim and I figured it was a timesaver to skip it.

purple pants

Here's a closer look at the front placket. I did the placket method I devised (which I copied from a RTW shirt) which is a continuous placket where a small pleat encloses the raw edges. If you look to the left of the buttonholes the shirt is actually all one piece, not a sewn on button band.

purple liberty shirt close up2

Here's a look at the components during construction. If you are really interested in this modification to a shirt front I did a step-by-step photo guide in this blog post.

purple shirt front placket examples

purple liberty shirt back view on form
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purple shirt cuff

This fabric is so soft so I thought that a placket would be a bit tricky and I opted for a bias binding on the cuff opening. I think with every fabric you have to evaluate how it will work with various techniques or design features and be willing to adjust accordingly.


purple shirt 11

So that's it for my light as a feather shirt. I think I need a dark purple coat now for winter:)

Up next, I am finishing a few things for Heather including that silk wrap dress which I talked about in my last post on fitting. And if I do say so myself - it is going to be gorgeous!!

My jacket/coat tailoring weekend workshop at Hello Stitch is coming up on Nov 3-4 so if you have wanted to sew a jacket I hope you can make it. You will spend a weekend seeing me demonstrate all my tips, plus hang out in Berkeley and meet some great people who are as wild about sewing as you are. sign up here.     Also upcoming is another session of Sew the Lander pants, and a kimono jacket class. Look at the Garment Sewing page on HelloStitchStudio.

I have some vague plans for another wool coat or jacket for myself but nothing firm at this time. Plus our weather has still been no-jacket-required so not really conducive to wintery sewing. Not complain ing about that! Still wearing shorts when out in the garden, planting bulbs under the watchful eye of the squirrels.

Happy almost Halloween sewing, Beth

Today's garden photos. Multiple photos because this was one of those magical moments. I went to take some pics of the shooting star hydrangea that had put out a magnificent bloom. And didn't even notice the visitor until I looked at the image on the screen of my camera. Glad I caught that and was able to take a few more. There's something about praying mantis, they seem to have so much personality.

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