Monday, November 13, 2023

Summer blazer in Bright Blue: Burda 07/2023 # 122

 Let's see if I remember how to do this blogging thing! Slight joke there but I have certainly been slow in my posting this year. A lot of other stuff going on and actually less sewing than usual. However I have been teaching a lot of classes and private students which has been great. Plus a trip to NY and teaching 2 classes over that weekend at Urban Sewciety in Westfield NJ. It was a great trip and of course I did some shopping so I will write about that soon plus my fall sewing plans.

Meanwhile I did make one more blazer to add to my needless collection of too many blazers. But when I saw this pattern in the Burda magazine I just really wanted to try it as the pocket detail is interesting and different. 


Also I had bought this stretch cotton fabric at Stone Mountain because that blue works with my wardrobe and becomes a jacket that you can wear with jeans (instead of a double denim look). It might even be this fabric that they still have but I'm not certain. I really like the result although I had planned to make a different style - more of a longer unlined jacket with patch pockets. Well maybe next spring in a different fabric. 

Here's a better look on the dress form. I think this fabric is just a tiny bit too stiff for this style (despite washing/drying) although it might soften up with wearing.

Blue cotton blazer1

I don't think I took any photos while I was sewing. But I did post a few videos on my IG stories back in September and I took this still image from a video. It shows how the pocket works with the top pattern piece of the jacket extending into the pocket and then it is seamed across to create the edge of the pocket. I love pockets that are designed into seams. Just this morning I downloaded a Patrones pattern for a coat which has the most amazing seaming/pockets. No idea if I will get to it this year but I wanted to see the pattern pieces. 

Burda pocket

Closer look at the pockets.

blue cotton pocket

Here's a look at the line drawing and image from the Burda Magazine. July 2023 Pattern 122. I think I will consider this pattern again if I have a softer jacket fabric sometime, like a wool flannel. 

Blazer 072023

Here it is buttoned up, which is actually something I rarely do.  Wearing my favorite Ash jeans. I made those about 4 years ago? and they have been in constant rotation since. I should do a post on the items that I've made that I wear most frequently, it might be interesting to evaluate what ends up being the most useful items. 

Blazer blue1

Slightly wild print lining. I'm not a fan of the novelty lining and most always prefer a solid color that matches or coordinates. But one not so important casualty of the pandemic is the difficulty in finding nice bemberg rayon lining. In fact they used to have about 4 basic colors at Joanns and I regret not stocking up like crazy but I haven't seen it there is a couple of years. Even at Britex they told me they had to find a new source. So I've been ordering from Mood, their Lucidum Bemberg Lining  which is 60" wide and comes in just about any color. But my stash of lining which used to be well stocked is diminshed now and I will be on the lookout for bargains. This print lining I did order from Mood and it adds a nice pop when the sleeves are rolled up. 

Blue cotton blazer3

Blue cotton back

Back view, you can tell it's a slightly stiff cotton and even with pressing there are a few wrinkles but it probably looks better when worn and lived in. 


So that's some end of summer sewing accomplished, I have some other interesting things to blog including a top I copied from RTW and made for my friend Heather which I think you will find very interesting. 

No classes scheduled for the rest of this year - with the holidays I think people are busy with other things. I'm just finishing my online blazer class and in January I will do an online trouser class. And a few in person classes yet to be determined. 

Sewing plans - they change daily although I have a lot of test versions of things in process now so maybe a color blocked coat for me and some new items for Heather. 

Happy November Sewing,

Here's today's garden photo, they are just finished blooming but these aster plants are real winners and look so pretty at the end of summer when everything else is running out of energy to bloom. Time to divide them soon and make more plants!

Asters 2023

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Update on Fall Classes and a quick summer top

It took a while for our summer weather to arrive after the June gloom, but the "too hot to sew" time has finally arrived. It's been a busy few weeks, there's always plenty of work to do outside, plus I've been trying to swim more often. Which feels great at the end of a 100+ Fº day. July was also bathroom remodel month which is a bit disruptive - although it came out beautifully. 
In early August I was rummaging through my stash fabrics and came across this 1 yard piece, which might be a cotton/silk blend or maybe just cotton but it is very luxe feeling. No idea where I got it, and didn't even remember it was there. Perhaps on the remnant shelf at Stone Mountain? It looks like the type of thing I would buy if I saw it there. Turning to my new favorite way to keep my patterns in one place, the Freeform App on my Macbook and I saw a pattern which is super simple and didn't need much fabric.Burdastyle 10/2021 114
It's a good thing it was simple as I finally caught Covid after avoiding all this time, and so I was recovering but still a bit limp, and of course stuck at home. FYI all better now. It was a good excuse to catch up on sleep and watch foreign language TV. (note: I am hooked on all the French detective shows - they are not that different to the American ones but the clothes are so chic and the scenery is fantastic (streaming on Mhz channel if you are interested). I also watch the Italian ones which I can do when sewing as I can understand but for the French I need the subtitles - should have studied more French. 
Anyway, back to sewing, here's a look at the pattern from the magazine. 

This is the second top I've made with those cut on cap sleeves and I really don't like them. I prefer just a regular sleeveless top. But otherwise I do like this top and it goes well with my Mirambell skirt from Pauline Alice patterns (blog post here on that skirt).  And this image shows why I mostly look at the line drawings - the styling often obscures the pattern. Which is not a problem unique to Burda but they seem to specialize in wacky photo shoots that hide the garment details. 

BurdaStyle 10-2021  # 114

I think this could also be sewn in a lightweight knit which I might try. But up next I'm sewing some cotton jersey sent to me by Minerva (gifted). The quality is so nice. Anyone have feedback on shipping charges to the US from them? All the items I have received have been as a Minerva ambassador so there were no shipping charges. I'm curious, as I would order some more of this knit if the shipping were reasonable. 

CLASSES: some good things on my calendar including an East Coast weekend of classes at Urban Sewciety in New Jersey. I am so excited to be going there in October to teach 2 days of pattern fitting classes. It will be an all-day workshop offered either Sat. Oct. 21 or Sun. Oct 22. Here is the link to their website to register.   And I will be in Manhattan during the week prior for shopping/fun with my pal Heather. 

NJ class

And fall means Jacket time, right?  I will be running my online Jacket-making class again starting in September. I love doing this class and talking about collars, lapels, interfacing, seam grading, welt pockets etc. Here's the link to register.  note the dates when you go to the link - we will skip a week for my travel and another week for Halloween - which is unbelievably big in my neighborhood. So that means more time to work on your jacket :) 

Blazer class

I also have an in person class with Hello Stitch (in Oakland) to sew the Lander Pants - that isn't until Oct. 8 but it is on the way to selling out so if you are interested sign up soon. Here's the link. 

So that's the latest - I haven't really sewn much this summer as I have so many items I made the first 2 summers of the pandemic that got little wear, so I am enjoying wearing those items. I do have a fall blazer in mind and am about to start an upholstery project for friends (shudder). Which has prompted me to think about reupholstering one of my couches. But that will wait until gloomy winter. Until then it's time to be outside! 

Here's another look at my Burda top, a little silly but I get a thrill when they repost and with a garden theme too!

Burda IG page 

Happy Summer Sewing

Today's garden photo - finally some modest success with Dahlias.  

red dahlia 2023

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Cashmerette Auburn Blazer: 2 versions

Did I intend to have 2 months go by since I posted on the blog? No, I think I've just fallen out of the habit but I really wanted to share this pattern and the jackets I made for my friend Heather. Here is the most recent version, in a summer color and fabric. 

Light blue blazer 2 on H

This is the Auburn Blazer from Cashmerette Patterns. It's the first pattern I've sewn from this pattern company although I have been looking at them with great interest ever since they started. Below I will discuss some of my thoughts on this pattern. 
It has princess seams front and back, plus side seams, 2-piece sleeves and a slanted single welt pocket. 
Here's a look at the winter version I made back in the autumn. This is the most gorgeous wool from Britex Fabrics, so soft it feels like cashmere. 
Blue blazer1

Here's a look at the pattern photos and their technical drawing. 

Auburn blazer pattern image

I took a picture of the  PDF of this pattern as I was really impressed. I think this is one of the best PDF patterns I have worked with.
  • every page is numbered and lettered so it is easy to put together
  • the printing is bold and clear
  • the pattern pieces are labeled distinctly
  • the size labeling is easy to find
Blazer PDF example

I did a real combo of sizes and while it is great that the jacket comes in various cup sizes I had to do some reshaping of the bust area. While Cashmerette is marketed to full busted sizes I often notice a few fit issues on both their samples and on garments that people make and show on IG or blog. My impression is that on some their patterns, particularly ones with a distinctive waist, the waist seam is too high, and there is not enough length in the front bodice, even though it fits around the bust area.  I just made the Upton dress and came up with the same issue and I think it is due to the center front piece being the same for all cup sizes. So only the side panel changes. That doesn't seem quite right to me and I did change the shape of the princess curve a good bit. But in general I liked the fit of the jacket pattern and chose a starting size based on body measurements with good result. On a tailored jacket I will always make a muslin and fine tune a lot of things before cutting out the wool.  I did shorten the longer version with the pockets. 


I don't want to go overboard with too many construction photos, I did do an Instagram story "Auburn blazer" which I saved as a Highlight so if you go there you can see some construction details including a lot about making the pocket which because it's slanted is a bit tricky.


This image doesn't have the best lighting but you can see the sleeve has a nice curve. I used the regular fit sleeve which is generous and I didn't need to do any full bicep adjustment. The pattern comes with pattern pieces for a full bicep sleeve which is really nice to include. 



You can see this wool has an almost fluffy texture. And it was very tricky to press! this is the type of wool that will get marks easily from the iron and flatten the nap so I was SO careful. It also seems to pick up every little piece of lint. 

The navy blue wool jacket fabric and the lining were from Britex in San Francisco. 
For this casual version the fabric was from Mood in NY. It's a cotton pique with spandex, so to me it looks sometimes a bit rumpled but also doesn't really need pressing, it behaves like a lightweight stretch denim. 

Light Blue Blazer on form

I'm really happy I gave this pattern a try, proportion-wise it's almost perfect for Heather and I think next winter we will do a suit version with trousers. Spoiler alert - I tried the Meriam trousers for her recently and they were great (with some specific adjustments  - what pants patterns doesn't need a few adjustments, right?)

Light blue blazer front on H

So I am on the Cashmerette team for my friend Heather. It's a little ironic or perhaps fated because when I first started making things for Heather I remember showing her a picture of Jenny (owner of Cashmerette) in a black dress that looked fantastic, and I told Heather I could sew something like that for you. And now I have made so many. A truly gratifying partnership. 

Up next, I have traced a few items from recent Burda magazines but my sewing motivation is on the wane. A combination of 100ºF plus temps here, and the fact that I sewed so many items during those first 2 years of the pandemic that I am now getting to wear more. Also I'm in the midst of a bathroom remodel which is almost done but kind of hectic when the builders are here. Plus it's swimming season so that's a lot more fun than being in hot sewing studio!

You can see a peek of a silk blouse in the photo above, I copied a top (from Universal Standard) that Heather owned. It was a bit of a pattern puzzle but very rewarding so I want to post about that soon.

Happy Summer Sewing and stay cool 😎

This time of year merits more than one garden photo. White shooting stary hydrangeas, pink hydrangeas of a similar type, and a pink dahlia that I forgot about but is blooming like wild this year. 

white and pink hydrangea

pink dahlia 2023

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Sewing, upcoming classes and other projects

So much for my resolution to blog more frequently this year. I'm not sure where the time has gone but I have several completed sewing projects to share in the next month. After our incredibly rainy winter there has been a lot to do in the garden but coming on to June it's the time of year when everything is blooming and I can just sit back and enjoy it. 

Knit polo 3
A few weeks back I was looking through my knit fabrics and found this stripe that I ordered some time back. It worked perfectly for this pattern, which was slightly deceptive as I thought it was color blocked but that turns out to be their fabric, a giant stripe. Anyway I liked how it turned out and might make again. 

Burda polo top info

back front stripe polo
The fabric was from Girl Charlee, sometime in the last couple of years. 
Here's a sneak peek at something I made for my friend Heather, using a Cashmerette pattern for the first time. This is the Auburn blazer. 
Blue blazer
This fabric is a gorgeous navy blue wool from Britex Fabrics. It is SO soft. Since I finished this back in March and now wool blazers are put away until fall I suggested she have a summer version, so I am just finishing another in a stretch cotton. When I get that one done and some photos taken I will do a blog post about the blazers and this pattern. 
After several years of hiatus I'm happy to say that this May brought back our SF Bay Area Frocktails. We met at a fun bar in downtown San Francisco and it was great to see old friends and actually meet someone who has been an online sewing friend for many years, practically since we both started blogging. Next to me in the red dress is Juebejue who is a wizard of sewing garments that convert from one thing into another. It was so fun to finally meet in person after years of virtual communications. 

Frocktails 2023

Frocktails group photos
There I am on the bottom right wearing the sparkly dress that I stitched up a couple of nights before the event. Did I need a new dress? No, but I rediscovered this sparkly purple fabric that I ordered from Mood a few years ago. 1 yard. What was I thinking I could do with 1 yard? but I had some wool jersey that coordinated so I sewed it into a kind of fancy t-shirt dress. When you go to a party or gathering with non-sewing people, often the clothes are neutrals, solids or what might be called "wearable" i.e. something that people can find in the store, fits them and is suitable for several occasions. But a Frocktails party is a riot of color, styles and fabric variety, and I love it. Because everyone picks out fabrics that they love and are happy to sew and wear. Next month is a pattern swap and I have loads to unload, so I will be there. 

I have plenty of upcoming classes, both in person and online. Here are the details. 
Jeans class June 2023
In June I have an online jeans class, here is the link. to register. This class includes live sessions, video to watch later and recordings of the sessions in case you miss a week. 

For in person classes I have Beginner Garment Sewing: Top  on June 30 and Knit T-Shirt on July 21. Those are both at The Cotton Patch Quilt Shop in Lafayette. 

My in-person class with Hello Stitch on June 24 is Sold Out, but we will schedule more the following month. 

I just cut out another pair of Ash jeans, using some nice denim I recently ordered from Metro Textiles in NY.  The other day it was getting really hot and I decided that I needed a pair of lightweight crop flare jeans. Well need is relative but that's what these will be. 

Ash jeans latest version

So that's the latest, I'm ready to do some summer sewing. My other big project is a bathroom remodel which is set to start in late June. Why is it so easy for me to choose a fabric? I can decide in an instant if I like a pattern or fabric but choosing tile and paint colors takes me forever! However it is all decided, ordered and hopefully finished by August. 

Happy Summer Sewing,
The roses are in full bloom and the jasmine is flowering. As well as the orange and lemon trees covered with blossoms. Time to take it all in. 


Monday, February 20, 2023

Coat completed: Burda 7169 in camel wool from Britex

Finally it's time to show the finished coat. And well past time, as I finished it back in November so Heather could take it on a Thanksgiving trip to the east coast. We took some very quick photos on the day she picked it up so they are very casual but I like the autumn feel. Because around here we don't get all that much fall color - but do get plenty of leaves to sweep up. 

Here are the previous posts for this coat construction if you are looking for sewing details:   First blog post and second blog post. 

H coat1

The fabric was from Britex in San Francisco, on that same shopping trip we also bought a navy blue wool. With that fabric I'm making the Auburn blazer from Cashmerette and I hope to get to that project in the next month. 
I'm really happy with the lapels on this coat, they came out very nicely and the pattern sewed together so well.

Coat lapels

Just as a reminder, here's the coat that that was the inspiration.

Burda 7169 wool coat

I think with coats it's all about the interfacing. I put weft interfacing on the under collar and coat front and then lightweight interfacing on the upper collar and the lapel facing. 
Here's a few more looks at the insides. I put weft interfacing on the bottom edge, cut with pinking shears to soften the edge, and I always have it continue up past where the hem is folded. It means you can hand stitch the hem and pick up the threads of the interfacing with the thread and then the hem stitching will not show on the right side.
I tend to baste hems before I stitch them. They could just be pinned but I like to baste at the hem fold and then I can decide how deep to make the hem and trim to that amount. 



Inside hems on thick fabrics it's helpful to trim the seam allowance back so that as it is folded up and laying against the seam allowance so it's less thick and softens that edge. As mentioned I didn't take a lot of pictures so we have to make do with a blinking one but I think this coat can work as dressy or casual, depending what it's paired with. She wanted it to be roomy so she can wear a thick sweater underneath. 


Sewing room realness - complete with all the scraps that I toss onto the floor.


H coat back2

I like the detail of the walking pleat at center back and I generally hem the underneath side every so slightly shorter than the side on the outside so that it never peeks out of the bottom. Eventually these hems are covered with the lining which I hand sewed at the hem. 


So that's the latest on this beautiful coat. The fabric is SO soft to touch. 
In other sewing news I have sewn another pair of Ash jeans for myself - can't stop, won't stop :)  and I think I might make a knit top as a little palate cleanser before I start my next projects.  Including the above mentioned Auburn Blazer from Cashmerette. My first time using a Cashmerette pattern and I have Thoughts! which I will share. First impression is quite good but definitely some things that bug me - which applies to any pattern brand, I always find a few things to criticize. 
This week we are supposed to have more rain and freezing temps here, so my gardening is still on pause - and we do need the rain despite that deluge in January. But I see some signs of spring and it will be here in an instant. 

Happy Sewing,

Today's garden photo - the February reliable for N. California is camellias. They were ubiquitous here in previous decades but seem to have gone out of popularity. I can see why they were used often, very tough, green all year and need almost no attention. But they are also very messy (dropping all those flowers which only bloom for a very short time. I've taken out several that might have been here at this house way before me but I've kept a couple. Mostly due to the trouble of removing and also they do bloom when most everything else is doing nothing. Plus this one is filled with sticky nectar and the bees love it.