Tag Archives: By Hand London

A Blast from the Past: BHL Flora/Elisalex Hack

Can you believe I just discovered pictures from this summer on my laptop – I’d completely forgotten about them!
But waste not, want not, I’m posting them now that the first snow is forcast for the weekend, because I want it to still be summer.

Can you believe I wore this dress once this summer? Our summers are just too short!

At least I can say that I hemmed it before wearing it out, not leaving it unhemmed with the overlocked edge for the world to see like in these pictures.

The dress is the BHL Flora skirt with the Elisalex bodice. There is nothing wrong with the Flora bodice other than the fact that I’d already used the Elisalex a couple of times before and had it fitted to me already. I lengthened the front bit of the skirt, therefore the mullet hem is much less pronounced than the pattern originally called for. I don’t know about you, but I tend to find mullet hems where the front shows half of the thigh a bit childish. Or maybe it’s just me getting old-fashioned in my old age, I’ll leave that decision to you.

I used some cotton shirting which is delicious to wear, but with its wide wrong side it wasn’t really the most inspired choice for a dress where the skirt shows the wrong side… Oh well, I’ve decided it’s a feature now, so all’s well.

Finally, a big thank you to all dear readers who commented so kindly on the state of the photography on this blog. I couldn’t leave you without a bonus picture of one of my posing special skills (along with gazing into the middle distance): twirling!

Have a nice day!

 

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BHL Kim: The Waxprint Dirndl

It’s been the day of our local festival again, and noone who’s ever been to Bavaria will be at all surprised that beer plays a major role.

However, I stuck it out with the kids and not a drop crossed my lips! Instead I went to show off my nex wax print dirndl, which started life like this:

The blouse and apron were recycled from my rtw dirndl, which you can look at in more detail here, if you are so inclined.

The story of this dirndl started last year, when I got obsessed about the thought of making a dirndl in non-traditional fabric. Now, although I live in Bavaria I don’t live a traditional kind of life and consequently don’t wear a dirndl more than once or twice a year (and, on a side not, dirndls were never really traditional attire, but started life in the 19th century as the kind of dress the towns people wore when they played at being peasant, much like today).

In order to make the dress more wearable I decided I needed to make one that was wearable on its own, with out the dirndl trappings.

So I decided on using the By Hand London Kim dress pattern for the dress. It’s cut a lot higher than a normal dirndl, which, worn without the blouse would be somewhere between undecent and undressed.

I took a lot of trouble on pattern placement and matching. The front bodice is made up out of strips of half-circles across the border of the print that were painstakingly matched to make up the full circles. At the same time this creates the criss-cross effect that on normal dirndls is normally achieved by threading a metal chain or ribbons through loops in the princess seams. Oh, those seams are piped to add an extra little embellishment

Here you can see the border of the skirt – rotate it by 90 degrees and you get half of the bodice centre.

I made the dress last year in autumn, but never got round to wearing it, so this summer it had its first few outings. I have to say I prefer the dirndl look, with the apron – I’m not crazy on a plain dirndl skirt on me, I prefer something slightly more tummy skimming. Having said that, the dress is just a lot of fun, and because the wax print I used isn’t quite as heavy as most, the dress is swishy and very, very comfortable so if the nice weather continues I’m sure it’ll get worn loads.

The Jumping out of Summer Jumpsuit

I realize I might be going on a bit about this – but I loved our recent holiday to Mallorca! Of course, I had a suitcase full of newly made clothing with me, mainly because our summer here in Germany had been quite cool and so my plans of wearing all my new clothes all summer long had been frustrated.

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Case in point is this crazy patterned jumpsuit. I only wore it once before showing off in an old castle overlooking the marina of Palma de Mallorca!

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But when I did take it on its first outing it was to a worthy destination: the city of Bamberg’s rose garden. I know, this blog seems to be turning into a travel blog all of a sudden. But I’m sure normal service will resume shortly, once I’ve overcome the realisation that German autumn and winter is a 5-month-long reality against which resistance is futile…

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The jumpsuit is a hack of one of this summer’s little frilly tops that Burdastyle was full of and the BHL Holly bottoms.

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The bathroom question was solved by adding a back split and tie. Please excuse the bra – I didn’t have a strapless bra with me on holiday…

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So with this I’m jumping out of summer and hope to be able to blog about my autumn sewing soon.

BHL Holly: Mission Accomplished

Flight Lietenant Said&Done here for one last mission: to hand over the controls of Team JumpingintoJune to Holly:

IMG_1636Yes Ma’am, this is Holly taking over!

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If your are unsure what all this madness is about, look no further than here. This is what #jumpingintojune is all about.

IMG_1633This is my second jumpsuit for June, after going almost 46 years without any (well, come to think of it, let’s take off the first two years, there will have been babygrows involved…). I almost made the BHL Holly, just chickened out on the flatfront bottoms and added a pleat for extra tummy room. Only that I then decided tummy pleats aren’t think either so I sewed them down. Could have stayed with the straight Holly…

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Yes, those legs are too long – I rather overestimated the height of my heals… There is a lot of silliness going on in the back croth to lower back area.

Wait, magic fix:

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See, that’s a lot better. So while I wait for someone to bring me a cocktail  I’ll leave you to consider all the other jumpsuits (a summary post of which I’ll compile once I’m back from an impromptu holiday) that made the jump into June.

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IMG_1635GOTCHA!!!

You didn’t really think I’d go quietly into the sunset, did you 😉 !

BHL Holly – Half Circle Skirt Hack: The “Don’t Dare to Jump Just Yet” Dress

#Jumpingintojune is coming closer and closer! Remember, some of use decided (some of us against better judgement 😉 ) to sew jumpsuits for June. If you are into this kind of thing there is till time to join – after all June has 30 jumpworthy days!

Here at Said&Done HQ I didn’t laze around cut and sewed my BHL Holly lumpsuit a couple of weeks ago. But of course it won’t be revealed yet – so to overcome my urge to show something Holly related I sewed a Holly dress.

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Obvioulsy I used the BHL Holly bodice, UK size 14,  lengthened by about 5cm, and attached a half circle skirt to it. Same principle as the Impressionist’s Dress. The fabric is from deep stash, probably on of my oldest stash residents. This fabric was supposed to be all sorts of things in its time: A shirt, a shirtdress, some pajamas – but it never really made the grade for any of these projects. It has quite a crisp hand and so isn’t ideal for the Holly either, because she wants a soft drape rather than a crips hand, spoilt girl that she is. But hey, I quite like it for this dress all the same, even if the neckline isn’t as softly flowing as it could be. I had enough left to make Child 2 and Child 3 pajama pants and now I’m down to scraps on that fabric. A stash well busted!

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So I am quietly pleased with myself as I swing out of May, only to ready myself to Jump into June.

In order to placate the Uncalled For Metaphor-Police I picked some flowers.

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In the meantime it has actually been really cold, so the even thought of strappy dresses makes me shiver.

How are your jumpsuits coming on, if you are one of the June Jumpers? And who is too cold for the type of clothes they`d like to wear right now?

Jumping Right In: BHL Holly Muslin #jumpingintojune

Jumping right in – and jumping head first into problems! But ever your servant I thought I should aprise you of my delopments in the world of jumpsuits.

In the interest of sewing honesty this blog contains some graphic muslim images some readers might find distressing 😉 .

Well, I did a quick muslin of the BHL Holly trousers (is it trousers or is it pants now? I’m all confused, so I’m sticking with trousers, because that’s what I learnt at school ca 1980).

I tell, you this is the easiest pair of trousers you’ll ever sew! And in fact they fit really well, straight from the envelope (size UK 14, no changes at all).

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There must be a cleverer way of making a belfie, but I’ve only just got the hang of normal selfies. Baby steps!

Anyways, the back is fine, I think, inspite the snug on the butt-ness the envelope scared me with.

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The fit from the side is good too – BUT it’s very high-waisted and body-fitting across the tummy. And that is, well, my problem area. I really hate drawing attention to the tummy roll, so this is a no go for me.

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The front fit might need a little bit taken out of the front crotch, but nothing drastic. But you can see the tummy problem again. Would never wear that! But that is no criticism of the pattern. In fact I’m impressed with the fit, it’s just that it clings to the wrong place for my shape.

I tried lowering the waistline so that is hits right across the tummy roll. That is a lot better, but still not great. So right now I’m wondering whether to use the Holly bodice and another pair of wide-legged trousers for the bottoms.

Maybe I could lengthen the culottes? They have pleats across the tummy and the added benefit of pockets. I see myself slouching next to some imaginary pool, cocktail in one hand, other hand in pocket, free jazz playing in the back ground. Nobody say that my interior monologue isn’t working!

So, where’s it at regarding your jumpsuits? Do tell!

BHL Elisalex/ Burdastyle 9/2007 # 116 Frankenpattern: The Siena Dress

Remember how I made the Amalfi dress especially to wear at Easter on the Amalfi Coast? Well, that didn’t happen – given that my dress was neither suitable for fog, nor for pouring rain, nor for the snowstorm that greeted my ascent of mount Vesuvio on Easter Monday.

Mind you, I was on a walking tour, so the bad weather wasn’t too bad once I had switched on the old frontier spirit: you get warm once you walk briskly enough, clothes will dry on the body, wool warms you even when wet and what gets wet will eventually get dry.

On the plus side, when I got to Tuscany a few days later to visit a dear friend the weather had turned warm enough to at least do some fabric shopping at the weekly market in Siena, thus using the get of of jail free card my stash diet rules had provided me with.

Let me tell you, there were a LOT of very nice fabrics at the market – but let me also tell you that they were asking Italian prices for them, so I only came away with 1.5 metres of a cotton pique that cost me more than any other fabric I had ever bought before. To be honest I was a little bit traumatised by the thought of ruining 50 euros worth of fabric by making a silly mistake, so the fabric stayed in my sewing room for days, untouched – not something that happens a lot at Said&Done HQ!

After much deliberation I decided on a frankenpattern of the BHL Elisalex bodice and my trusted skirt TNT pattern Burdastyle 9/2007 # 116.  I just love that skirt!

So, to cut a long story short, may I introduce the Siena dress:

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I cut a size 14 for the bodice following my measurements, but the muslin showed there was quite a bit of gaping at the back neckline which I resolved by taking out two wedges angling from the shoulder blade at about the middle of the neckline down to the armscythe. Other than that the bodice fit well, I only took out a little bit under the bust at the princess seams to remove a little bit of extra fabric.

Because Italy was too cold for a lot of ice cream I caught up on my duty to Italian culture when back at home:

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Oh yes, this neckline does fit!! Can’t quite be said about the invisible zip, which I did not manage to make disappear at the waist band where a double section of fabric just refused to bend to my exact specification. You can’t win them all, can you?!

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And because I know you come to this blog for the splendid fotography ;-), here’s a style shot!

Before leaving for Italy I said I would eat ice cream and drink prosecco and I didn’t do either of these things – I felt more like grog than prosecco. So get this:

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Prosecco at my local pizzeria! I feel quite like the cross-cultural ambassador!

So let me drink you you, dear readers who come to read this blog, to Italy – and to the Siena dress, of course!

Salute!

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