Tag Archives: sewing

Burdastyle 12/2016 #107(ish): The Look Behind Me Top

What can I say – long time, no see and all that… I blame Instagram: after not getting it at all for years I suddenly really started enjoying it and have been snapping away on it rather than making the effort to write a proper blog post. (My Insta handle, or whatever they call these things is Said&Done Chris by the way, in case you’re interested).

But anyways, I have been sewing loads, absolute loads!! I’ve had quite a slow time at work, which is unusal for me, but is all part of a big plan, because I’m going to take a sabbatical FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR!!! starting from August. How amazing is that??!! It’s not exactly a surprise as such, I’ve been working towards this for five years, as my employer has this scheme where you can work overtime for a number of years in order to get back the hours accrued during the sabbatical, which means that I’ll be ON MY USUAL WAGES.

Yes, let me just repeat this: I’ll have a paid year off! Funnily, my colleagues don’t seem to enjoy me discussing this fact with them anymore, I can’t think why, so I thought I’ll share this with you 🙂

Anyways, I digress, sewing:

I made a little linen top, something to wear for the warmer weather that we had a couple of weeks back. I love the front with the pleats and all that – but look at the back: it has bum-ruffles:

Just thinking of bum-ruffles is enough to put me in a good mood! In fact I’ve been known to laugh out loud on the train when considering the bum-ruffles.

The pattern I used is loosely based on Burdastyle 12/2016 #107

Obviously I moved the side ruffle towards the back and left off the sleeves. And of course I didn’t make it a dress. That’s because I didn’t want a dress, I wanted a chance to use bum-ruffles. But also I wouldn’t have had enought fabric because I was refashioning this dress I made a while ago.

Again, clearly not this exact dress, but that one – I just thought you might want to look at the dress as it actually looks. It turned out to be one of the makes I really liked the theory of, but that I never wore in practice. The dropped waist just isn’t for me, I guess.

So there, back to the top, inclusive of an honorary appearance for the Brexit Coat, flamingos and all.
(Excuse the hair, by the way. Don’t know what happened there…)

The front yoke is self-lined and I even handstitched it down. And two gratuitous pictures of the bum-ruffles, because this is how I roll. And really, do you know why they are there? Because I didn’t have enough fabric to cut the back as long as I wanted it. What a lucky coincidence, ey?

Merken

The Brexit Coat Part IV: Is Brexit a Success?

Public Service Announcement: If you are the kind who doesn’t like to listen to experts you may proceed straight to the end of this post where the ballot box awaits you.

With all things Brexit clearly there are some stormy times ahead and some nay-sayers have maintained that Brexit couldn’t be a success – however, I beg to differ, at least as far as the Brexit Coat is concerned!

The Brexit Coat is finished now (apart from the buttons that I still couldn’t make a decision on, so I have given me a protraced transitionary period in which to make further decisions. I’m hoping not to crash out onto No Button Status in two years’ time.)

During the pre-Brexit negotiations it was felt across the board that a true Brexit Coat should harbour something unexpected. Well, I was at a loss what that could be, given that I was using a very nice, but borderline boring boucle fabric.

So boring, in fact, that unbelted the coat reminds me more of Eastern European decorator’s attire than is healthy for any true Brexiteer.

So naturally …

I put some flamingoes inside!

It might just be a touch silly, but then, maybe I can inspire any other Brexit process with a little dose of silliness. It might be taking itself rather a bit too seriously, imho.

Dressform pictures:

Just some boring facts: I used Burdastyle 9/2013 #103 and I’m forever grateful to Anne, the Compulsive Seamstress who traced the skirt portion for me in the spirit of international collaboration. I significantly streamlined the sleeves, as per taking back control of the overblown mess they had become. Because it’s a Brexit Coat, you know!

The boucle is from a local shop, the flamingoes can be had from Stoff&Stil. It’s not really a dressmaker’s fabric, rather a calico, but then: flamingoes! In order to make the sleeves more slippery I cut them and the yoke in a lining fabric from my stash rather than the calico.

 

Now, I don’t want to come across all Lib-Dem, but I thought no Brexit Coat could be complete with a second referendum:

Now that you see the full terms of the Brexit Coat, is it a yes or a no? Please do vote, even if you are young or haven’t registered yet.

I’m hoping or a strong and stable verdict from you good readers, so I can keep the upper hand in the future wearing of this coat!

Merken

Merken

Burdastyle 11/2016 #109: Isn’t it a great time to be alive?

Well, of course I know that there are many things in the world that don’t make life all that great, both on a political and personal level. But then, so many things are good about the world and my heart is overflowing with these right now!

I mean, how great is to have a quick drink down the ice cream parlour on a Saturday morning with Child 3, who, I feel, is camouflaged enough to warrant a rare appearance on these pages.

And how fab is it to be able to give an outing to the blouse that has been lingering in my wardrobe for about 6 months waiting for warmer weather.

What do you think of Child 3’s qualities as a blog fotographer? Not doing badly, don’t you think?

And my qualities as model are unparalleled, as has been discussed many times. Look how versatile I am: I can even look the other way!

But back to the blouse: It’s Burdastyle 11/2016 #109. I’d actually traced the corresponding dress pattern and then decided to make this into a blouse, so the hemlined is eyeballed rather than what is intended by the pattern.

I’m wearing a cami underneath because I felt it was still a little cold. But even without one the neckline feels perfectly fine to me, and that’s though I’m not always at one with Burda’s opinion that where there is  a neckline there’s a belly button.

The blouse is plain in the back. I used a lovely silk cotton woven. It’s quite sheer and it would have been a bugger to cut and sew if I hadn’t given it my gelatine treatment.

I also gave an outing again to my Rosa jacket – still one of the light jackets I reach for most often.

Because of the sheerness of the fabric I took some time over the interior finish. All seams are French and the neckline is faced in self fabric.

 

The sleeves are a little wide for my liking, but they have an elastic finsh and I can push them up and out of my way, so that’s fine with me. I like the little vintage touch of the front yoke with the gathering.

Let me just leave you with a few impressions of this perfect morning that made me smile!

 

Merken

Merken

Merken

Burdastyle 8/2016 # : Pleat Front Trousers

To those of you who are waiting for news of the Brexit Coat: Rest assured that the project is in strong and stable hands and the Minister for Sewing the Brexit Coat would like to stress that while the difficulty level of choosing those buttons is in another galaxy the project is nevertheless  progressing at an appropriate speed.
But as I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be able to keep up Brexit-related analogies, let me give you some light relief: In a departure from my usual style I made some pleat front trousers.

They are one of my #sewdowndewsbury projects – in fact the only one that I went to buy fabric for specifically. I used a non-stretch woollen suiting, and when I say non-stretch I mean absolutely no give whatsoever, neither across nor perpendicular to the grain. I was a little worried about this as I’d never made or even worn trousers so relentlessly non-stretch, but it’s turned out well.

I used Burdastlye 8/2018 #111. The trousers are quite high-waisted (please note that I am high-waisted anyway, so they look rather “normal”, but on someone with a figure that corresponds more to the norm the trousers do come up high). Also the pleating is rather more pronounced than is usual. I am never sure whether this is wise on a pear-shape like me, but yolo, I’ve decided to embrace this.

I didn’t make any changes to the pattern other than scooping out the crotch curve a little. I normally add some extra room to the back, but this was not needed in this pattern – I guess the roomy front takes care of any booty issues. I think the pocket opening should move further down, so if I ever make these trousers again I have a good change of forgetting to make this adjustment ;-).

Next up: further procrastination on the Brexit front in the form of not one but three shirtdresses. Buttons pending, so don’t hold your breath!

Merken

Merken

Burdastyle 3/2013 #103: The Brexit Coat Part III: Some Leadership!

Well, what can I say? I sure didn’t think that the connection between sewing and political life was quite so direct. But in view of the event of the day I decided that some leadership was needed and put a collar on the Brexit Coat.

Yes, I know I asked for your vote on no collar or Peter Pan collar. But what can I say – listening to experts is not what should be done on a Brexit Coat.

But let’s look at the poll first:

Clearly, no collar won over Peter Pan collar – and a notched collar was nowhere on the ballott sheet. But that’s what you are getting, suck it up, you lost! (Well, you didn’t loose, but I’m not sure that matters)

I other news it seems that the outward looking option of a snazzy lining seems to be ahead in the voting process rather than the make do and mend option of the plain lining. However, I considered my stash and realised that there might be another option hiding in there. Which one that is I’m not going to reveal at this stage as I like to keep my options close to my chest.

What I really enjoyed is the addition of “Other” – the almost Goove-ian subversiveness of this addition becomes the whole project, I think.

Now, when I started on the notched collar I realised that it is a lot more complicated than I was expecting! Somehow, I cut the facing piece too short and only realised what the problem was after I was missing what I should have had. This will forever go down in history as the Welsh Farmer move.

So I had to add another little piece to the facing to make up for the subsid — ahh, piece that I had cut off.

So I almost wonder if no coat might be better than a bad coat?

But I took heart from Nigel Farage (and no, I never thought I would say that), thinking that if the Brexit Coat didn’t work out I could simply go and buy myself a RTW coat – of course not without making ALL OF YOU have to wear the coat that I botched up,  mwahaha.

So while I ponder that thought, I wll give you the cold sholder and think of my sewing programme.

Burdastyle 9/2013 #103: The Brexit Coat Part II: A Plea For Help

The Brexit Coat has come on in leaps and bounds from its inception as a distraction from other things that should have been more important.

Remember when in my last post I confessed that I had started without a plan to such a degree that I didn’t even own the Burda magazine that the coat came from anymore and so didn’t have the option to trace the skirt pieces that I needed to make the Brexit coat a success?

Well, miracles do happen! Anne, the Compulsive Seamstress, came to me in my hour of need and offered to trace the missing part for me (she has a comprehensive Burda collection and clearly doesn’t do things as short sighted as throwing out old magazines just because she thinks a little tidying should be done). And she didn’t only offer and then retract her participation as is customary for the Brexit process. On no, she followed through:- only  a few days later the beautifully traced pattern pieces arrived in the post, making this the perfect Easter present! Thank you so much, Anne!

So this is where I am now: Bodice and skirt completed.

I rather like the sleeve construction where the raglan sleeves form a front and back yoke:

And look, this Brexit Coat has pockets – if that doesn’t send a message to the politicians I don’t know what will (although I do admit I have no idea what that message is, but I have a feeling that doesn’t matter in all things Brexit):

 

But now I’ve stalled again, and like last time when Anne gave me a helping hand I hope you, my dear readers, will now. Because I have more Brexit decisions to make and I don’t quite know what I want. Collar or no collar? Do I want a hard border between my coat and my neck?

On the left there is the Brexit Coat’s older, but little sister (and if you think that is a contradiction you’d better not believe anything that’s written on the side of a bus!). Do you think I should use that Peter Pan type collar again? Or maybe leave it collarless?

And how about buttons? Self-covered buttons like on the Little Sister Jacket? Or should I try and find something exciting?

And the the lining: Should I go with a plain white or light blue lining to match the colours of the fabric? Or use something snazzy? The biannual fabric market comes to town next Saturday, so I could find something there. On the other hand I have white lining in my stash and surely any Brexit Coat should be about self-sufficiency? Especially given that most vendors on the fabric market are in fact foreign?

I realise that my little blog doesn’t have many readers, much like the EU commission’s sadly under-appreciated 2004 leaflet “How to avoid mass immigration from Eastern Europe if you feel it’s not the right thing for your country at the present time”. But I’m still hoping for at least 27 votes on all the important issues for the Brexit Coat. Anybody can vote – you can add your own options and you don’t even have to have a dubitable human rights record in order to share your values with me.

In order to appeal to my British readers I have created a little referendum for you. I appreciate it’s a little more complicated than you are used to, because it has many options. But on the other hand you can click as many as you like and it will be my job to glean from your choices the Will of the People (TM) in order to deliver for you a blue white and blue Brexit Coat.

So please: Do vote! You know your vote counts! Just please, don’t delived a 50/50 verdict!

 

Merken

Merken

How to finish a knit neckline: A quick tutorial

Now, probably have been finishing knit necklines like this forever – in this case, simply chuckle sagely.
But if, like me, you’ve always been struggling a little with how to make a knit neckline look good, may be this is of interest for you.

  1. Start off with a 4cm/ 1 3/4 in strip of self fabric. I mostly cut along the grain, but you can cut perpendicular to the grain too. In a knit it is not necessary (and in fact more difficult) to cut a bias strip.
    Here, I need to finish only the back neck, so I don’t need to sew the strip into a circle. But of course, if you want to finish the neckline all the way round, sew the strip together along the short sides and then press.

 

2. Sew the strip to the neckline, lining of the edge of the foot with both strip and neckline.
I use my serger, which results in the flattest finish, but  sewing with a stretch stitch on the sewing machine works too.

3. What you see is what you get. You can see that the strip is a little shorter than the neckline, thus resulting in little puckers. They will disappear later.

4. Fold the strip over to the right side and press. Only just cover the seam allowance with the pressed side.

5. Sew the strip into place on the right side. I use my coverstich with either a single or double line of stitching, depending on how conspicuous I want the finish to be.
You can also use a double needle or a zigzag (you probably want to experiment a little bit what size of zigzag looks best.)

6. Done!

You get a nice clean finish on the outside and on the inside with no seam allowances showing.
The puckers from step 3 will be absorbed by the ease of the knit once you wear the garment (unless you made the strip a whole lot shorter, then it doesn’t work. Your pattern will tell you what length strip to cut).

Here, you can see the finished neckline on my Hila top. I’ve used this method for loads of knit tops and it has always worked a treat.

I hope this is useful for you. If you don’t use this method, how do you finish a knit neckline?

LOTILDA

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