October 28, 2014

Burda Style Book Blouse #3

Burda Style Book Blouse

The Goal: This shirt, my first version of this pattern, is my most worn and most favorite shirt I own/have made. I sewed it back in August of 2012 and it's starting to show it's age. If I didn't wear that top so much it would probably have a longer shelf life.

Burda Style Book Blouse

A few weeks ago I noticed the fibers pulling away from the stitches on the center back seam so I sewed the seam allowance a little tighter but that fix doesn't help the problem of fabric straining on that spot. The fabric is just getting worn down.

I know eventually that seam will be the death of my beloved shirt so I decided I need to make a replacement.

Burda Style Book Blouse

The Pattern: The base blouse pattern from The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook. Having made it twice already I was pretty confident I could make it again easily. For the number of pieces in this pattern it came together remarkably quickly.

I love the longer sleeves and the peplum. Most of all I love that it's a peplum shirt I can put on without a zipper and adjust the drawstring however I want.

Burda Style Book Blouse

The Fabric: A cotton voile from Form&Fabric. It's City Lights Night by Leah Duncan for Art Gallery Fabrics (look who saved her selvage...).

Burda Style Book Blouse

The Changes: The cuffs are slightly shorter than the original pattern. I combined the front and back yoke pieces into one so there's no real shoulder seam.

Burda Style Book Blouse

And I cut down the top of the sleeve cap because it seemed so tall. On my first version I kept the original sleeve piece but I usually have to iron down the gathers else I get this high shoulder pouf that I don't like.

Burda Style Book Blouse

To accommodate that back seam strain that I had in my first version I added a little more width to the center back and sewed narrower seam allowances.

Burda Style Book Blouse

Also, this isn't really a change but I wanted to use a ribbon rather than cutting bias strips and sewing my own drawstring. Unfortunately I didn't have any black ribbon long enough. This green one is just temporary until I buy a replacement.

Burda Style Book Blouse

The Results: Just like my other two, I love this shirt! And I hope it will last at least as long as the others in my wardrobe.

October 18, 2014

By Hand London's Holly Jumpsuit

By Hand London Holly Jumsuit

This is quite possibly the most hipster thing I will ever sew. I mean, it's a rayon romper in a slightly 90s-esque print and color scheme. I don't think I'm quite Coachella enough for this outfit.

The Goal: I was pretty busy when BHL asked if I wanted to test the Holly so I passed. But after they released the pattern and I saw a bunch of finished versions I was intrigued. Could I pull off a playsuit? A romper? An adult onesie? Without looking like a five year old? We'll see...

The Pattern: The Holly Jumpsuit. I made the short version with the sleeve cuffs and button front.

By Hand London Holly Jumsuit

The Fabric: A rayon from the Common Thread. I'm pretty sure it's by a designer but honestly I don't remember who. It's got a tiny chevron print with lots of brown and earth tones in it. I think the soft drape of rayon worked well for this pattern.

By Hand London Holly Jumsuit

The silver buttons were some leftovers from another project that I had bought in Dallas last year. I think the slight southwestern look of them really adds to the overall super-hipster factor.

By Hand London Holly Jumsuit

The Changes: I only had four of those buttons so mine has far fewer buttons than the pattern calls for.

By Hand London Holly Jumsuit

Also, I kinda forgot to sew the back darts on the shorts. Oops. Which makes sense now 'cause I was like "why are these back pieces longer than the back bodice?" I ended up sewing a line of stay stitching and easing in the excess. Only after finishing the whole garment did I realize my mistake.

By Hand London Holly Jumsuit

Possibly because of that dart mistake I stitched the back waist seam tighter to fix what I thought was a sway back issue. I usually need to make some kind of sway back adjustment anyway but had I paid attention the back waist might have been smoother. Oh, well.

By Hand London Holly Jumsuit

The Results: I like it. I really do. But having never been a romper wearer it's an unfamiliar look for me that I have to get used to. Like, you really gotta ooze confidence to sport a more stylish version of toddler-clothes.

The first time I wore it was to a sewing meet up where I felt comfortable dressed in whatever I've made in front of my friends but afterwards some of us went to a restaurant and that's when I suddenly realized "I am wearing a romper. In public."

An yet the Earth did not implode. AND even Justin said it was "cute" (I'm going to print out that sentence and frame it). Maybe I can pull off this look?? Aww, look at me - branching out in my personal style. I should give myself a pat on the back for that, right after I figure out the easiest way to use the bathroom while wearing a onesie...

October 15, 2014

Simplicity 1419 with Smuggler's Daughter Fabric

Simplicity 1419

Amazingly, it's been kind of chilly the past couple days which made me think - how can I style a sleeveless dress for this frigid 60 degree weather we're having? So I paired it with some tights and a long sleeve shirt and a, uh, winter necklace, I guess? FASHION!

But then you might be asking: "Dixie, if you dressed up for cold weather why didn't you take these pictures outdoors?" and I would say, "Are you insane!? It's practically a new ice age outside! But no matter, it's now nap hibernation time."

Onward to the dress -

Simplicity 1419

The Pattern: Simplicity 1419 is a Lisette pattern that is pretty much your standard fit-and-flare design with skirt pleats and a darted bodice. I thought the simple style would be a good way to show off this border fabric. Plus, I've never used this pattern before so I wanted to see how well it would turn out.

Simplicity 1419

The Fabric: This lovely lavender linen from Smuggler's Daughter. It's a mid-weight which made it substantial enough for a dress. What I really loved was the wide, embroidered, cut-out border on one edge.

I did the pretty standard choice to place the border on the hem but you could add it to other places like a front or back yoke or even use it for lace-y short sleeves.

The fabric is wide so I was able to cut out the whole dress in two yards with quite a lot of fabric leftover (at one point I thought I was going to add sleeves but then decided not to, even with sleeves cut out I still had a ton of fabric remaining).

I didn't line the skirt because I like the open effect (I think it looks really good with the tights). But you could line it with a complimentary color for a little bit of pop at the hem.

Simplicity 1419
(I don't really know what I'm doing in this picture but here is a side view.)

I worried the embroidery would be difficult to sew over but it was fine. On the side seams I sewed a normal straight stitch then serged the seam allowances. If you don't have a serger, you could zig zag or bind your seam allowances with something like Seams Great.

Simplicity 1419
(Pockets, yay!)

The Changes: Only a few. I shortened the bodice by an inch. Normally Simplicity patterns hit my waist at the right spot but lately I've been gravitating towards a slightly higher waist. Not sure why. It doesn't look like much of a difference in the pics but I can tell when I wear it.

Simplicity 1419

I also took a little bit of fullness out of the skirt at the curved hem to make the straight-ness of the border less noticeable on the finished dress.

The pattern has you add a tiny button and loop at the top of the front neckline, making the slit into a keyhole. I left it off. I like the open look. Plus, I hate trying to turn tiny tubes (there's a lot of alliteration going on in this post, sorry).

Simplicity 1419

The Results: This is quite a cute dress and bonus points for taking it from summer to fall! I love love love the eyelet at the hem, especially from a distance where you can see the full pattern. It's a solid color so it goes with many other garments but the eyelet makes it stand out. A little cake with your frosting, if you will.

Big thanks to Smuggler's Daughter for this wonderful fabric! And if you want to save on your first Smuggler's Daughter order you can like them on Facebook for a coupon code worth $10 off!