Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Random Threads # 30

Hello and how are you? It seems like a good day to write a Random Threads post since that is about as much energy as I can muster today. Whatever bug is going around has landed on me this weekend, so I am mostly laying on the couch, listening to podcasts and snoozing. It's so annoying to get sick, especially as I have so many other things I would rather be doing. Although I have accomplished a clean up of my desk and started a folder for tax stuff that is starting to arrive in the mail so I call that a win!

Finishing up a zillion projects that are in progress. I am making the Hemisféric coat from Pauline Alice Patterns for my friend Heather's daughter, in a beautiful burgundy wool coating we found at Stone Mountain. Also making a dress for Heather from Burda. They have an event on Feb 3 for which both these things need to be finished - so it's a good thing I started a while ago.

Hemisferic coat in progress

Here's a sneak peek at the coat. It looks a bit limp on the dress form and it partly basted together pending another fitting. Also I'm changing out the front zipper for a hidden button closure. I have tried it on myself as well, and it just might need some teardrop shape shoulder pads to keep the shaping of the shoulder seam just right. You can see that I never take out all my tailor's tack threads until I am done, once things are sewn up and with handling they start to fall out anyway. That is one thing I notice when I'm teaching sewing classes, everyone focuses on a different thing and some students are super fussy about stray threads, or some other detail that doesn't effect the task they are working on.

Wardrobe/Make 9/Sewing Planning:  oh my, this is the time of the year when everyone commits to some challenge or other, or takes a deep dive into sewing planning. That just seems like way too much to think about, and while I do plan or schedule in some areas of my life, with sewing I just go where my mood and the fabric finds take me. I feel the same way about gardening - some general ideas in mind but nothing carved in stone, and who knows what gorgeous plant or design idea I will come across. I find I get more accomplished riding a wave of new enthusiasm instead of trying to carry through on a concrete plan. So if I see a pattern I just must sew, well then I drop everything and do it. Reading lots of blogs and IG posts I am sure that making a sewing plan is helpful, particularly if you are trying to build a handmade wardrobe or have limited time and want to make the most of it. But no plan here - random sewing all the way.

Pleated Pants: đŸ˜± nooooooo! please don't tell me they are back. Perhaps some like the style but I think they rarely look good. I mean you can have a sophisticated trouser that is not a close or slim fit pant, but pleats, why why why....I have seen a couple of pairs in my new Burda mags and somewhere else, maybe an indie or Simplicity? anyway you will not see me sewing these up this year or any year.

Burda Magazine: I'm quite glad I subscribed and wondering what took me so long. Although I will still be forever a fan of Vogue/McCalls/New Look and all the rest of the traditional American envelope style sewing patterns with their parchment colored tissue pattern paper and the light grey/dark grey instruction sheets. Partly that is familiarity but now that I've sewn with a lot of other pattern brands I think they are still really good (ok the best). Definitely you run across some quirks and instructions that are not easily understandable but I find that if you look at the diagram absolutely literally - to the point of placing your cut out pattern pieces with the pattern piece still attached near and at the same angle as shown in the instruction diagram, then walk your self through the maneuver they are diagramming you will find that it works.
Back to Burda - I just made a silk blouse using Burda Jan 2018, #117B, shown in two versions in the magazine, a pink silk one and a tan cotton one.  I scrutinized the photos closely, decided I liked the pleats and curved yoke, and sewed it up. Here's a sneak peek, and in an upcoming blog post I will discuss what I missed, until I reread the Burda instructions at the end for I can't remember what reason. Maybe you will spot it :)

Burda silk blouse sneek peek

Speaking of Burda magazine, I just got my February issue in the mail and already have picked out my favorite from this issue. Tunic dress # 109. I might just have to find a similar fabric too. pattern love!

Burda pick Feb 2018

Under the category of I just knew it: Did you see this dress on the Tessuti fabrics blog.Vogue 9237 (although their illustration is...not good)  I love the summery style of so many things I see on their blog. But when I saw that blog post I said HA! I knew that was a cute pattern and I included in a Pattern Whisperer post on loose-fit dresses last summer. And she did exactly what I would have done, which is to reshape the armhole in a more cutaway style, it looks more modern and less blocky that way. But so cute! now I have to get this pattern and try it out. I think fabric choice is key so this will take a bit of pondering.

Positive reinforcement works: It must be the holidays, and end of year reflections but I have received some amazing emails from blog readers thanking me and telling me how much they have learned or laughed or just enjoyed reading. I appreciate it so much and the feeling is mutual, I've met so many great people due to blogging and joining in with the online sewing community. When I say positive reinforcement works, I mean that I'm going to try and do more blog posts this year. Last year kind of got away from me, starting teaching at Hello Stitch, writing more posts for the Craftsy Sewing blog and a few other projects meant that I didn't do as much on my personal sewing blog. But I have a renewed interest lately and quite a few things already sewn and ready to write about. Just have to take the pictures - what else is new.  Speaking of photos,

How many photos is too many? Is it just me or do you kind of laugh when you read a blog post and it has 20 photos. Of the same garment. On the same person. And they all look just about the same. I scroll faster and faster looking for information, thinking Ok already I see the dress/top/pants whatever on you and now I want to know some sewing details. (hey it's not a real Random Threads post if I don't get a bit cranky about one or two topics).

Cardigans: what is it about cardigans? Do you have a garment that you can't stand? I'm sure everyone has one type of garment that they just don't like and cardigans are it for me. They look nice on some people and I can see the utility, also a good way to complete an outfit but will never wear a cardigans. And now people are sewing them, eek. I bet if you think about it you have some type of garment which you don't like and will never wear. A wrap skirt? Peasant top? dirndl skirt? even one of my favorites - the blazer jacket is probably an anathema to some of you. Confess - what is the garment style you can't stand?

Sleeve mania: Shows no signs of slowing down. Most of the new pattern releases have had tops and dresses with even more sleeve volume and variation that I could have predicted. I saw this top in Macy's over the holidays and it is kind of interesting. To make it I think I would sew all the pin tucks in a piece of fabric and then cut out the sleeve. Might try it as I have not made anything with crazy sleeves yet. Mostly because I know they will bug me and I will regret it. But I will still probably try it out. Can't help myself.

Blue pleated sleeve


As for recently completed items, I've actually worn my faux fur vest a few times and I'm starting to like it more - so cozy.  Next up I might get to that blue two-sided wool I bought at Mood over a year ago, I already finished the silk blouse which goes with it. And we have Frocktails coming up, with the Bay Area Sewists in a couple of weeks. Now I should have something in my closet already right? but you never know. I could wear my Aldaia dress  although knowing me I will want something a bit warmer. On another note I have to thank those of you who got all my Spinal Tap references in that Aldaia dress post and commented - sometimes I think of things to say in these blog posts but worry that people will think "what is she talking about?" Ok now I know at least some of you will get a laugh at my goofy references.

What else is next? Planning for our spring classes at Hello Stitch Studio, the schedule should be on their website in the next week. I think we will have a dress class, garment copying, pattern fitting and some mini classes on specific skills. The February schedule is on line now and includes my new favorite class, Pattern Basics - How to Read a Sewing Pattern. Which is so much more than it sounds and even if you are have been sewing for a while it could be a good review. But perfect for someone just getting started or who has been away from sewing for a while.

Stay warm and well everybody - spring is just around the corner. At least let's tell ourselves that, right?

Happy Sewing, Beth 

We can't complain here in N. California, although it would be great if we could have some more rain. But the first daffodils are already blooming in my yard.

Burda pick Feb 2018

33 comments:

  1. I just dug myself out of 11” of snow. I can’t be convinced yet that spring is coming!

    Love cardigans—hate boleros/shrugs and peasant tops.

    I don’t mind a ton of photos. Include em all! But include some actual, useful information. I don’t want to just look at photos. :/

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  2. I too like cardigans, though I'm thinking of ponte blazers too this year, comfortable to wear but a little smarter. I' I'm not much of a dress person though I have a few.

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  3. That burgundy coat looks great! Hmmm, I love cardigans. They're my substitute for a jacket when I'm at home. I'll never wear shorts, not even when I'm gardening. Or heavily pleated skirts that turn me into a barrel lookalike. Not to mention pleated trousers!

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  4. I also made the Burda pleated blouse and did the same as you, buttons not snaps. I am making an attempt at the #burdachallenge2018 which is to make one garment from each issue during 2018. Wish me luck!

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  5. That is going to be a beautiful coat. Love the colour. If what you missed is changing snaps to buttonholes that's not something I would consider "missed". I would have done the buttons/buttonholes by preference, even if I had read the instructions.

    Love cardigans too, as well as some pleated trousers. But can't understand the over the top sleeve trend at the moment. I prefer less dramatic details.

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  6. I love the burgundy color of your new coat, I'm on my tiptoes waiting to see it. I confess myself a fan of both cardigans (yet I knit them, not sew) AND pleated trousers, though there are quite a few misses in some of the shapes. Do share if you see some interesting patterns, I discovered the Terra pant from Pattern fantastic but the leg looks a bit to wide to look good on me.

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  7. I love the great post! These tips are always inspiring. Lucky your friend's daughter! It will be a great coat.

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  8. "hate cardigans".. I'm intrigued! Do you wear thermal tops under all your shirts/T shirts? Or Blazer jackets about the house? Or keep your heating on way up high? True I was brought up to the idea that cardigans were not smart enough to wear outside the house (very old fashioned idea, that) and I did always wear a jacket, not cardigans to work, but now I wear them (woolen ones, obviously, not cotton knit which quickly gets shapeless) most of the time from October to May and quite often even through the summer.
    I can't imagine ever wearing a jumpsuit/dungarees - just too unflattering and inconvenient!

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  9. I used to dislike vests but now that I'm retired from the corporate world (jackets every day) I love them and wear them almost daily. I only have one cardigan which is in my favorite color so it gets worn this cold winter. The new burgundy coat will be lovely. Karen

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  10. A wrap skirt? Peasant top? dirndl skirt? Top my list! hahaha NEVER would I wear any of these three - maxi dresses/skirts are up there too. Shortening skirts (I was born in 1954) was freeing - why go back to those long dresses/skirts that flap around your legs and ankles and restricting your ability to run, walk the way you want (I'm 5'8") and have admittedly a long stride. I agree with you too that pleated pants are not for me either. I have this Hemisferic coat pattern on its way to me right now! I was excited to see yours under construction! Love this pattern.

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  11. I like a nice cardi, I'm a knitter so it's another thing to knit. What I hate are these blouses with the shoulder cut outs. I've never seen anyone who looked good in them, and really, what's the point?

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  12. Another great post, as always, thank you Beth! It has been a fun sewing year and I have yo!u to thank for rekindling my interest. I've enjoyed working with you and love your classes at Hello Stitch. I hope to see you more in 2018

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  13. Glad to hear that you are enjoying your Burdastyle subscription. I find that it doesn't have the basics that I sometimes want, but it's a bit more "fashion forward" than the Big4. I suppose that months publication allows for that.

    Pleats are coming, oh yeah, and skinny jeans will be soon out. Pleated pants are well-established in Japanese RTW fashion already, a bellwether for both U.S. and Europe. They seem to be mostly tapered, very reminiscent of a certain point in the 80s. At first I was horrified, but I figure that now that I know how to do pocket stays across the whole front, I can use a similar method to prevent that unattractive "pouf" that sometimes happens with pleats. A challenge!

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  14. Wearing pleated trousers right now :-) I agree they’re tricky though. These are really wide legged which helps.

    The coat looks lovely.

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  15. I like some cardigans, if they are long enough. I will not wear pleated pants, cold shoulder tops, dirndl skirts and skinny pants that make the wearer look like an ice cream cone.
    It would be great if you taught a 2 day class. I would drive up from LA.

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  16. You make incredible coats and this one looks to be another one. I like your fabric better than the original. It's crisper and I like that.

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  17. I love hearing all the things going on in your world, and hope you feel better soon! The coat is gorgeous!!!
    And I have noticed the pic thing too! :) Balance is key. But if it is a project that is complex and awe-inspiring, PLEASE show me every detail!! LOL!

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  18. i am in love with the purple coat!!! time to think of purple wool :)

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  19. Nice to read that someone else sews with no plan. All these beginning of the year plans and lists are making me dizzy. I'm still catching up on my list from 5 years ago.

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  20. You have a lot of wonderful projects underway. Pauline Alice patterns are great and so is your coat.

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  21. I like cardigans, but will never wear anything with a high-low (mullet) hem.

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  22. The blog photos with 20 photos and very few comments other than how fun this was! drives me nuts. I want to see insides, tricky seams, etc.

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  23. That coat pattern is gorgeous and it’s going to look wonderful in your fabric. So happy to hear that we’ll be seeing more Burda stuff from you, look forward to seeing your shirt in more detail soon!

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  24. Another cardigan lover here. Not a fan of most (all?) hi/lo hems. I'm also not super keen on blog posts with 20 of the same/nearly-same photos, even if they are beautiful photos. I like photos, but mix them up, please. Show me details, give me information/instruction/narration/something.

    I enjoyed the post, even the crankiness. :-) Keep them coming, and feel better!

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  25. That coat is looking beautiful! Never will I ever wear...pleated pants or midi-length skirts; it's at the knee or at the ankle for me! I also find blog posts with tons of the "same" pics annoying...pick your favorite and delete the rest! I love information, pictures of how you did things, pictures of the inside, etc. A few pictures to show off the garment - of course! I think you always have a good balance of pictures and info! Looking forward to see what you blog in 2018!!

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  26. PS I am working on my oldest granddaughter's birthday dress, and I'm going to sew the sleeves in the round per the instructions...only because you mentioned how lazy the other method is in a previous RT post. We'll see if I revert to "lazy" after this one or not! :-)

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  27. Um...what I can't stand? Actually, it's faux fur vests. :) And I love cardigans. They're pretty useful in my climate during the winter when you don't actually need a jacket (and certainly not a coat). I also find they can cover a number of sins! I also love how you sew as the whim takes you. That's me, too.

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  28. Hello Beth, I have been reading your blog for a long time but never commented. This seemed the right time to join the crowd and say that I too enjoy your posts very much and I think they are super informative and fun. Also I think you are very generous with sharing your expertise with us! I am looking forward to seeing the burgundy coat finished, I would never wear anything with spaghetti straps and I love cardigans... why don't you consider them as very unstructered jackets? ;-)

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  29. Thank you so much for yet another great post. I love them not only for the sewing bit, reading your English for me a non-native English speaker is also very enjoyable. I agree about Burda, as long as
    pattern magazines are concerned, my heart belongs to Burda.
    what is it you dislike so much about cardigans? I have yet to sew one, but I can think of doing it. Of course, I do have a type of garment I would never sew and wear, and that is undies - knickers - in colourful t-shirt knit remnants, they remind of the knickers I used to buy for my girls when they were 4-6 years old...;)
    Have a lovely end of winter and get healthy!

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  30. Totally disagree about the cardigan, but OMG! blog photos that are just the same thing over and over annoy the crap out of me too!!!!!

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  31. This coat is going to be such a stunner!! I'm amazed at how selfless you are, there is no way I could give this coat away...

    Make9 planning, I think what makes it even less useful for me is that I want to do it just because every one is doing it at that time, not because I know exactly which 9 garments I want to make.

    Pleated pants are so hard on the silhouette I think. To me, flat front wide legs are much more flattering!

    I also want to blog more this year (although I'm already not doing a great job...) and yes yes yes on your observation on the number of pictures in blogposts. I usually put 5-8 (including details shots) and that already feels like a lot! Also, I could never get 20 decent looking pictures...

    I have a couple of cardigans I wear on occasions (a nice linen knit one and a helmut lang with interesting drape) although that's definitely not something that would make it on top of my to-sew list! A bit boring maybe?

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  32. I agree with KS_Sews about pictures.

    The drought is very concerning because it covers most of the western US.

    I like pleated pants for the extra ease in the thigh. I have relatively large thighs from my days as a competitive volleyball player. I really need that room.

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  33. i am in love with that purple coat. Very classypattern making idea and I bet its very comfy!

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