Tag Archives: tops

Burdastyle 10/2017 #119 and 9/2017 #121: Lemons in the Lady Garden

One of the problems with my lack of regular blogging isn’t a lack of sewing, but a lack of taking pictures I’m happy with (and my standards of happiness are clearly very much lower than other bloggers’ anyway).
But looking at things realistically, happiness isn’t really achievable in the world of my blog photos anyway, so I ‘ll just post this as it is rather than delaying even further.

These are two of my favourite recent pieces: The trousers are Burdastyle 9/2017  #121, which, following a suggestions from Ali , I’ve named the Lady Garden Trousers, because, of course, there is a lot going on in the lady garden area, as Ali helpfully suggested.

There is actually a lot I would normally not like about these trousers. They don’t have pockets for starters. I hate clothes without pockets as I always have stuff to carrry around with me. So I added a small front welt pocket to at least accomodate my phone. Secondly, they have a side zip, which again I wouldn’t usually chose and which I normally convert into a front zip opening.  Of course I could have changed all that, but I was short on fabric and didn’t want to experiment with a new pattern. And thirdly the fit isn’t great, they came out a bit large and large quantities of elastic were used in the waist line (I did use my usual size 42 in Burda, but I might have needed to size down).

But, but but – I just love them! The fabric just makes these trousers and it makes me feel happy every time I put them on, so they are a big win in my book.

Patternwise I’m in fact more excited about the top Burdastyle 19/2017 #119.

This is a pattern I thouroughly recommend! It’s as comfortable as any regular knit top, but is just elevated a little bit about the standard top. Admittedly you won’t wip this up in an hour, there’s a bit of precision sewing necessary around the waist area and for setting in the sleeves that personally I couldn’t have done on the overlocker. So I used all three machines: the regular machine for precision sewing, the overlocker for the rest and coverstitch for the neck and bottom seams.

I sized down one size to a 38, which I usually do in Burda knit tops and it turned out just right. I used a very hefty ponte and that was a good choice, I this the waist belt wouldn’t sit right in a flimsier fabric. Oh, and I managed to get this top out of 1 metre rather than the 1.3 metres specified. I had to shorten the arms by about 2cm, but that was all.

Regular readers of this blog will know that one of my modellig special skills is walking up and down, so I wouldn’t want to leave you without proof that I’m still at the top of my game!

See, told you so, exemplary stuff!

 

 

 

Merken

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Burdastyle 8/2015 #120 : An Almost Crop Top

I’m posting this in the full knowledge that I should try and get proper pictures, you know, with me actually inside the top.
However, I’ve managed to not get proper pictures for the best part of three months, so maybe it’s not to be for this top.

But anyway: I made a top, in my new favourite colour Blush.

The pattern was Burdastyle 8/2015 #120, without the overlay.

I had in fact made this before, but shamefully never blogged it. The fabric was a beautiful looking poly that was so static and sweaty to wear that I wore the top two or three times and sent it on to the charity shop during my last clear out where hopefully it will find another home.

I shortened it a little bit, gently curving the front seam upwards. I also put in split hems – because I could.

The back has a CB seam (because the original pattern has a button closure), but it’s all straight, so it could easily be eliminated.

The neckband is simply the same fabric with the reverse side showing. Unfortunately it doesn’t lay quite flat, but this only bothered me during the first wear, afterwards I quickly forgot to find fault with this project. Doesn’t that happen ever so often that we are overly critical with our own projects, only to be unable to identify a few weeks later?!

Merken

Merken

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

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?

The Hila and Teresa Tops #sewdowndewsbury

I’ve already written about how much I enjoyed #sewdowndewsbury and spending time with Ali of Thimberlina. Another thing I was particulary looking forward to was meeting Hila and Teresa, who I’d already felt a connection with via their blogs  and 2015’s antics of Jumping Into June.

Turns out that they are just as fantastic in person as they are on their blogs – and maybe on some cosmic level there is a connection between me and them, because we bought the same fabric in Fabworks. If that isn’t proof that we met in some earlier life or something then I don’t know what is!!

So I decided to call my makes after them – so may I introduce the Hila and Teresa tops.

First up the Hila.

This cowl neck top, one of the many Burda permutations is one of my favourite patterns. So far I had only made longsleeve or sleeveless versions of it, but a picture on Lucie‘s blog convinced me that actually it looks really smashing with short sleeves.

One thing I changed from the Burda pattern is the size of the cowl. I made it a little bit less pronounced by pinching out a little from the pattern and also by making the shoulder seem come closer to the neck. In that way the cowl doesn’t open quite as far as normal and bra-revealing accidents are a thing of the past.

See:

There’s your evidence. Yep, I follow the scientific method on this blog!

Next up is the Teresa blouse:

Fashioned from spotty cotton lawn/batiste (which unfortunately creases like a thing possessed, so much so that I’m inclined to group it with “creases are fashionable” linen).

I used the Barbara pattern from Maison Victor 3/4 2017

As you can see, the patter is acutally for a dress, so I just lenghtened the bodice and eyeballed a few changes to make it look right.

Do you know Maison Victor, by the way?

It’s the younger hipster’s answer to sewing magazines. I’m neither young nor a hipster, but ever since I cancelled my Burda subscription I feel I have leave to buy loads of other magazines. It has some nice boy’s and men’s patterns that come in slim sizes (those hipsters don’t seem to be very hungry…) so that’s good for my boys.

Back to the Teresa:

I love the scoop neckline – I know that choking high necklines are all the rage, but all the do for me is give me a rage (plus they look ridiculous on me, my head seems to be twice the size when I wear a very high neckline), so I was pleased about this variation. The blouse has a gathered back bodice and a yoke with I lined in a remnant because I was worried the dots of the fashion fabric might show through to the front.
I think the rick rack makes this – just breaks up the fabric enought to add a little bit of interest.

The blouse was a big hit with my students today (“Oh Miss, you look very pretty today” “Hush, don’t tell her that, tell her she looks pretty all the time” “But she looks particularly pretty today” – sometimes you just gotta love teaching 🙂 ), so I am pleased to have scored in a young person’s world. Maybe there’s a hipster in me yet?

So, Hila and Teresa: it was lovely to meet you in Dewsbury and I’ll think of you every time I wear these tops!

 

Burdastyle Wide Leg Trousers: Feel Free to Laugh Out Loud

Actually, the trousers are fine – no need to laugh at the trousers (though if you feel you want to laugh at them, go right ahead, I won’t be offended).

But I had to laugh at myself and my embarrassing attempts at posing. You see, I while back I promised I was going to get the lack-of-photography situation on this blog under control. To this avail I bought a new camera – nothing fancy, still a point and shoot, the Sony Cybershot RX100 III. But it can be remotely activated via the mobile, so I am able do do my own photoshoots and don’t have to rely on my long suffering husband who enjoys photoshoots as much as I do a visit to the dental hygienist.

But boy, this posing lark is a learning curve!! I’m fully accepting of the fact that I won’t look any prettier on photos than in real life – but I would be really pleased if I didn’t look a whole lot worse. So I read up on “how to shoot good blog pictures”.

All the technical side is still a bit above my head, so I decided I might have to work with what I’ve got.

Making long lines is what I’ve read one should make – judge for yourself in the picture at the top.

 

Or may be “creating angles” is where it’s at?

 

or alternatively no nonsense what you see is what you get?

I’m really working this, girlfriend, don’t you think?

On a slightly more serious side note, can you see how my cowl doesn’t gape?! More about the Hila top in another post!

I even arranged a photo”studio” in a corner of my sewing room: (and oh my god, I just discovered how to do these fancy circles!!!)

And on a by-note, may I introduce this top from Fashion Style 5/2015 which I suppose is not going to make it onto a separate blog entry. Win some, loose some, ey?

 

So there, you may stop laughing now!

How do you cope with posing? Is is something you enjoy? Find as awkward as I do? Do you have any tips? Mind you, beginner’s tips will suffice…

 

Merken

Knit Fever!

I don’t know what it is, but after a hiatus of a few years when I did very little knitting I really enjoy it right now. So much so that I even stopped making UFOs – instead I made two projects from start to finish since the beginning of December without any procrastination at any stage.

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Exhibit 1 is this cardigan.

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The pattern is Vitamin K by Heidi Kirrmeier. It’s a top-down cardigan with waterfall front and without closure. I apologize that I can’t show you any better pictures, but this is the second attempt of photographing this cardi and it was ever so cold (plus I was prancing about outside the restaurant where my dinner was waiting for me which didn’t exactly increase my posing motivation).

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The waterfall is created via increases at the front so that it forms a triangle that flows down in rather a pleasing fashion when you don’t keep hold of it 😉 . This picture is from my first attempt (sub-zero temperatures, both outside and for the motivation of my photographer).

Underneath you can see a dress to blog – but I just can’t bring myself to step outside in it again while it is quite so cold, so this might have to wait for another couple of months.

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I loved knitting this! You start at the neck and work your way down. The eyelets serve as increases which help you get the width you need for the waterfall. The sleeves are knit straight after the shoulder section (I knit them flat because I hate knitting in the round with small circumferences, but I’m sure it would be perfectly possible if you are a fan). After the sleeeves the body is finished in one piece – which means that when you are done knitting there is hardly any seaming to do (only the sleeve seams) and tadaa- you are done! Perfect!

While we’re at it, let me show you my most regularly worn garment of 2016:

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Yep, it’s this simple boring white T-shirt.img_5873

It’s a slight hack of one of the Burda patterns, I don’t even remember which one. While there is nothing special to it, it seems to have hit a nerve because whenever I put it in the wash I miss it immediately.

By the way: The jeans are RTW – shock horror! I’m kinda over skinnies at the moment and while I haven’t found the perfect non-skinny pattern I’m stuck with RTW… But hope is in sight, the latest Fashion Style (which I bought yesterday) has a boyfriend jeans pattern, so I ordered fabric and will try the pattern asap. Marianne of Foxgloves and Thimbles did a really interesting review of this edition if you want to know more. I bought it for the boyfriend jeans which are unusual in as much as the front pocket extends towards the back in one pattern piece, thus forming the yoke. I’ll report more once I know how it has gone. There also is one more pattern that struck my attention: a shirt-bodysuit. It’s a straightforward fitted shirt with a bodysuit attached so that your shirt will never ever untuck itself. I’m not sure I’m going to sew this because I wear shirts quite rarely, but I still like the idea of having this pattern in my stash, so Fashion Style/Knipmode 2/2017 get a definite thumbs-up from me.

Otherwise I haven’t been sewing that much recently. It might be because my sewing room is quite cold, it may be because I’m really waiting for spring now, but the temperatures are far too cold to even contemplate wearing spring clothes just yet, or maybe it’s just that I enjoy knitting more. Hopefully my sewing mojo will pick up again soon – and if it doesn’t the Dewsbury sewing meetup will surely give me new motivation. Can’t wait to get there!

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