Thursday, March 19, 2020

Hello Spring. New season, new style

It's a bit weird to sit down and write a blog post about sewing a new top when the news is so dire. I want to acknowledge that and say I hope everyone is well and doing what's needed. We can all emerge someday (hopefully soon) and show off what we made while stuck at home. I've actually not done all that much sewing since our stay-in-place order was issued. Faced with at least two weeks at home I made a very long list of house, garden, sewing, baking and closet cleaning. Joking with friends I said if I get through all that I will be amazed as it is easy to get distracted by a book or talking on the phone.

That said I will try to provide some sewing content here as we are looking for things to occupy our minds and hands - it keeps us off the news feed, right? News overload doesn't really help and I'm so glad to have the ability to entertain myself with sewing and to share with fellow stitchers all over.

This is my attempt to try a new style or silhouette. I was going for that boho look and not sure if I got there, but I do like this top. The colors are my favorites and it will go with plenty in my wardrobe.

Blue rayon top 4

It's a Burda pattern. What else?  Are you getting tired of reading about mostly Burda magazine patterns? It's just that they are so convenient! and now with two years of magazines I have what seems like a dress, top, jacket for any look or shape I want to sew. Let me know in the comments if there are some other patterns that you would like to see me make and how you feel about my steady stream of Burda magazine sewing. I think it doesn't make any difference as clothes are a collection of collars, closures, pleats, sleeve styles etc and any pattern company is going to mix and match in similar ways (eventually).  This one is Burda August 2018 #103  here it is on their website.

Burda stripe rayon top drawings

I really tried to get the stripes to line up and it's reasonably well matched, one side is a bit better than the other but across the sleeves and body it lines up. It has a separate button band so that needed to match as well. a bit wiggly in places. I didn't really pay attention to what the pattern did with the sleeve cuffs, I just decided to go with the a channel for elastic. Which at least means that when the sleeves are bugging me I can just push them up to the elbow to shorten. (by the way I always think of these sleeves as pirate sleeves - it seems in movies, pirates always have these floppy shirt sleeves)

blue rayon top front

Yeah, this expression says "I'm not really sure about this style on me".

Blue rayon top and jeans

blue rayon top back on form

I bought this woven rayon fabric at Piedmont Fabrics back in October on that beautiful day when I met Yoshimi and Carolyn. So I will wear it and think fondly of them and how great it was to meet in person.

I have a obsession about button sewing, in that I can't stand it when the buttons are not spaced correctly so that one spacing is off and it creates a ripple or makes the hem uneven at the bottom. Although I usually sew on the buttons before I hem and then sew the hem so that it is even at the button band. Told ya, obsession.  So here is a button sewn on, button it, and then mark the spot for the next one.

Blue rayon top button sewing

A closer look at the neckline, it has a very narrow shaped band and a couple of pleats on either side. I would make this again in a cotton voile maybe, or a silk crepe de chine. But for now it will go in the pattern binder as I have plenty of other new patterns to get to.

blue rayon top close up front

Blue rayon top back view

Back view and wearing with my most recent version of the Ash jeans. I think that pattern is great. They aren't hemmed yet. Maybe when they are they will get their own blog post.

Blue rayon top 6

There I was trying to show of those sleeves. Still  not sure about them. In fact now that I look at it the whole thing looks a bit "old-fashioned nightgown" in shape. But I do like the fabric!

We finally have had some rain after not a single drop in February, so the plants are doing better. The pink jasmine on the fence behind me is about to burst into bloom.

Blue rayon top 3

Up next, I'm making a boucle jacket with some interesting sleeves. I'm only a year behind with the year of the sleeve, right? I think this is the year of the ruffle based on what I've seen with the latest spring patterns (was their a McCalls pattern without a ruffle?) I stopped into Stone Mountain Fabrics on my way home from teaching what turned out to by my last class for a while and got a couple of great fabrics for tops that go with the jacket. So my stay at home sewing is at the ready.

I hope you are doing well, staying safe and I'm so appreciative of our online sewing community. Seeing everyone's blog and Instagram posts is cheering and inspirational.

Happy Spring Sewing,

Yes, it's the first day of spring and the garden is starting to look that way. I hope this beautiful tulip is another bit of cheer for you.

ruffle pink tulip


  1. You'd look pretty in anything, but as much as I hate to say it I agree, it does have a bit of that "old-fashioned-nightgown" look.
    HOWEVER, the last photo where you've pulled the side up a bit over your hip had me thinking. What if the hem were changed to a shirttail? If it were just a tiny bit less full around the body (narrow, princess style darts front and back?) it would look less "blocky", and I think the sleeves should be a shorter and a less full. That's what I'd do anyway, for whatever it's worth.
    You're slim and look fine in it but I'm a size 16 and would never wear it. I'd look like a house.
    In my (off-center & sometimes wacko) opinion, this is a style that should be worn only by individuals who are your size or smaller. Having said all of that, I like the fabric too - it's delightful.

    LOVE your tulips!!!

  2. I actually really like this. The fabric is beautiful. These are very weird and difficult times. I am so grateful for sewing and (now long distance) teaching to keep me distracted from the news. We just need to take precautions, stay in, and stay well. Happy sewing! (P.S. I love my Dawn jeans I made in your class!) They are so fun to wear, even at home!

  3. I also call those pirate sleeves!

  4. This is beautiful, and from my perspective, the opposite of "old-fashioned nightgown." It's very modern in both design and fabric. When you're accustomed to wearing classic styles like your beautiful fitted jackets and shirts, it can be an adjustment when you try a blousy bohemian look. But it looks lovely on you and is perfectly in line with what you might see in the shops or on the runway. Except much more nicely made!

  5. I like the style and the fabric a lot! The sleeve hem ruffle does date it in my opinion. You look great:)

  6. It is so cute and especially love the colors! I recently made a dress with a similar sleeve finish and meh. I wonder if you'd like it more if you did a simple elasticized sleeve hem.

    You know I'm 100% pro Burda mag! :-D

    It is easy to feel that blog posts feel indulgent but also...sewing is so meditative...such a stress reliever. I've sewn so many things in the last week. Oy! My most recently finished make was supposed to be 'slow sewing' but it was a sleeveless top so no matter, it just didn't take that long. I'm about to trace off the dress (pinafore?) from Burda 2/2020 and muslin it. That may be a nice, slow project :)

    Stay safe!

  7. The neckline and the raglan sleeve and shoulder look very good on you! I'd call this a win and wear it all the time!

  8. I think this is a lovely style on you! I like the sleeves, but for me, I would have to shorten them, otherwise, I'd be fussing with them all day long! And, just my preference for more of a 3/4 sleeve. Love the fabric and the colors, and the expert sewing! I like to read your blog to see what you're making (and to see what's blooming in your part of the world - I'm in Texas!). Stay well!

  9. It is a beautiful style on you! The fabric is fantastic and a perfect choice for this pattern. You look wonderful and ready to enjoy spring.

  10. It's a beautiful blouse Beth and these colors suits you very well :)
    I fully agree with you that we need something to keep us busy at this moment...
    Take Care ♥

  11. Beth this is lovely and as always you look great in shades of blue ( also a favourite colour of mine). I have a similar top and I finished off the sleeves by gathering them into a narrow bias binding style a bit like the neckline finish on this top. I find cuffs flapping at my wrists really annoying. Anyway, keep well, enjoy the spring blooms and thanks for reaching out and sharing your sewing 🙂🌸🙂

  12. I looked at a Burda magazine the other day in JoAnn, just out of curiosity. The magazine itself is very impressive, and seems chock full of great tips, fashion, device, photos are lovely, so many patterns, etc. but those colored lines crossing on the patterns themselves, wow, I just can't get passed the idea of tracing through all of that. I just have to accept that I am not gonna make that happen. But I am happy to read your reviews about them.

    This top definitely says smock. I think it looks good, but it is so different from your usual style. I too would rather make a new style than even try on new styles in a shop. Because I will wear it, because I put a great deal of work into it, and eventually I become accomstomed to seeing myself in that style and then it is not so jarring. Especially if the style is comfortable to wear, as this one obviously is. Great choice of fabric too.

  13. Beth,
    Everything you make and post is great IMHO! The shorter sleeve without the ruffle might look nice too; hide the ruffle up inside the sleeve and look at it as a 3/4 sleeve. Then you'll know whether that would work. OAN,
    I live in Brookline MA and come and see my daughter and grandkids in Oakland a few times a year. I was thinking that maybe I could plan to take a class with you on one of my visits.. Do you have a schedule? If so, could you send it to me at The kids live in Rockridge, so not too far from SM&D.
    Thanks, Mary T

    1. Hi Mary, thanks for the nice comment. As for my teaching schedule - no way to predict when classes will restart but I am hopeful that things will be returning to normal soon. You can always look at the Hello Stitch website as my classes are all listed there.