Sunday, May 24, 2015

Butterick 6024 Pintuck Blouse in summer white

Good morning!

I've decided I'm on a summer white roll...this is the first of several white tops I've been working on in the loft. Good timing on this one - I just got an email from McCall's extolling the virtues of summer whites, this pattern included!

This interesting little pattern has been hanging around in my stash for a looong time. It really took the right fabric to get me going. I recently found this lightweight, 59" wide cotton shirting at JoAnns, and I grabbed all that remained, about 4 yds. I love the alternate faggoting and embroidered lines. Something a little different from a woven stripe or eyelet. And the stripes are 1" apart - so convenient for doing pintucks and matching things! You can really see the fabric in this pic of the shoulder seam:

Of course I mixed things up: the back is from View A, the front from View C, and the sleeves from View B. They mix and match beautifully, no pattern issues at all. I admit I feel really trendy and a bit brave going with the long shirt tail back. But it's so cute!

Sewing notes:
  • Some reviewers found that the top runs large, and it sure does if sewn just as it comes. The Medium (12-14), my usual size, worked great as a starting point for me. Note that 'starting'...
  • To avoid a gaping neckline: I pinched out about 3/8" in the sides of the front neckline, slashed and flattened the change towards the lower armhole. It was such a small amount of fabric that I did not take any of the change into the shoulder.
  • To widen the shoulder: I added 1/2" to the inside edge of the shoulder. On the front, I carried the 1/2" all the way around the neckline. In the back, I cured the extra width into the original neckline, which gives it a little more curve.
  • To narrow the back: The back was way too wide for me - I took 1 1/4" out of the center back, top to bottom. And cut my fabric on the fold instead of with a seam. There's no curve in the seam, why add a seam...
  • To finish the sleeve: I added a 5/8" wide cuff, instead of using elastic in a self-faced casing. 

    I did not change the length at all!

I made one change that I sort of anticipated -  what about that pesky little notch in the center front of Views C and D? Ever notice how the corners of these notches tend to flop around, not stay up? Can't stand that. But I gave it a go, hoping to combat the flop with a well-interfaced placket. I really disliked the result! All I could see in my slightly sheer fabric was that placket...

There was plenty of room in the bodice to change it - I took out the placket and ran a 5/8" seam all the way down the front. Better...

The hem was pretty easy, especially since I hemmed the front and back separately! It's so much easier than trying to hem that curve at the side (and would not be an issue with the straight hem, as in Views B, C, and D). 

I am totally happy with this pattern! It's just fun and funky to wear.

Ciao! Coco

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

BurdaStyle 03/2012 #108C Knot Front Dress

A fumble. I don't often write about a wadder (how depressing), but this dress is worth a look, wadder or not. I'm in a really fair mood this morning - but it's because I've already cried and fussed over this one.

I love this look! and had such high expectations. There are some really cute makes out there in blogger land. My favorites are this one by Deborah at The Tropical Sewist, done with an embroidered fabric. And these chevron print versions by Make Me Studio and The Selfish Seamstress .

And check out the RTW versions I found:


Dries Van Noten 

So I went for it. There was a huge investment in prepping this pattern. I used the download PDF, which meant I did a lot of paper cutting and taping (which I enjoy. I also love paper dolls, even now). Then came the drafting of the pattern pieces. The front piece goes from shoulder to hem - it's long and wide! Thank goodness the back has a separate bodice and skirt. The pattern also has lining and facing pieces. And, yes, it ate up 5 yards of 55" wide cotton lawn.

I finished the dress up to the point of basting the side seams, and then I stopped. Without a side zipper, it's too tight to fit over my dress form, but I can put it on over my head without a problem.

And actually it's very pretty. I just can't stand how it feels - it's the futzy, fussy knot business at the front! So I don't want to model it.

Because it is a nice pattern and might work really well for someone else, here are my sewing notes:
  • The pattern is sized for 'tall' ladies, perfect for me at 5'7". I sewed the 84, which is corresponds to regular size 42. I usually cut a size 40 in BurdaStyle, but this pattern is slim through the bodice and upper skirt, so I sized up. 
  • The back bodice is a little wide for me at the neckline. Maybe by 1/2", which could be fixed easily.
  • The front armhole is reinforced with a narrow strip of bias interfacing. Burda refers to this as Vilene/Pellon G 785. Mystery to me! I used 1/2" wide strips of bias-cut tricot knit fusible interfacing - worked fine.
  • I used Symphony broadcloth for my lining. A more slippery lining would definitely make the twist knot easier to form and adjust.

Front lining, also showing the interfacing strip on the armhole edge.
It was HARD to find the right side of my fabric, both sides have dense color.
I put a small pin on the right side of each pattern piece as I cut it out.

Front bodice inside

Back bodice inside

Burda gives this pattern an Intermediate difficulty rating, which I think is about right. The design is also available in a short version, BurdaStyle 03/2012 #108B, which also includes a free download PDF of the sewing instructions. The patterns themselves are the same. The instructions might be good reading ahead of purchasing the pattern :-)

And I'm off to other projects!

Ciao - Coco

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

McCalls 7164 More fun with summer pants!

Continuing the search for summer pants! McCall 7164...

So cute! Soft Surroundings has had these pants for a couple years, and I've always liked them. Now McCalls has a pattern that is almost a replica. I had to make these.

Here's the line art. Bonus with the pattern: full, loose pants and shorts. I love this!

The back side...just plain, elastic waist, easy fit.

Sewing notes:
  • I sewed View D in size M (12-14).
  • And added to the length, 1" on each of the gathered middle pieces, and 2" to the other pattern pieces. It turns out I don't need the extra length, and I'll leave it off on my next version.
  • The seams are faux flat-felled, as on the Soft Surroundings pants, everywhere except the inside leg and crotch seams.

  • The original crotch for my size was 27", so I added 1/2" to top edges of all pieces to accommodate my height (5'7") and personal measurements.
  • And I added 2" to the top of all pieces to create a cut-on waistband. I don't like the look of a flat waistband across my abdomen! I drafted the elastic casing all the way round and used 3/4" elastic to spread the gathers evenly, front and back.
  • No pockets - this fabric would show them too much.
And the fabric dictated a few more considerations. It is a rayon/linen (55%/45%) marigold yellow blend from Fashion Fabrics Club. It's not my favorite blend, but it has great drape, which is why it ended up in this muslin! 

After messing with the pants, and ironing every seam and stitch as I sewed, they were very LONG! I hemmed them, put them back in the laundry - and yes, they were shorter, short enough for sandals.

For these pics - ironed once again, so I'm wearing heels. aarrgghh. They are going back in the wash, I don't do heels, and they'll never see an iron again!

What's to love - these gathered insets...

And they are incredibly comfortable, different, kicky, out there...

Love them.

Now - a beauty note...

After Ashley's wedding in February, I decided to let my gray hair grow out. With the help of a product (below) that sprinkles in the hairline and really covers up any grow-out. You've seen it on me and probably didn't notice.

A week or so ago, I cut my hair back to all gray (my hair grows an incredible 3/4" a month...thank you, hair lords). And - no. With all the white scars on my face, and my fair skin, I had no features. So I re-colored my hair. But it is very short for me! 

It feels great! Not sure if I'll let it grow back, at least not during the summer. It has been in the 90's here for over a month, having short hair is so nice, so manageable ...

End of beauty note. Next - I just downloaded the new Hot Patterns Shirt-Tail Tee. And the In-House Kimono Tee. My stash beckons. 

Ciao! Coco

Monday, May 4, 2015

Me-Made one swipe

May - again. I admit I'm really not into Me-Made-May. No offense meant, but I generally bypass Me-Made posts. Just a personal preference - I enjoy posts about sewing and what folks are making. I'm grateful for the Pattern Review contests - they encourage lots of interesting discussion, even in May.

However, in the spirit of things, I'm sort of joining in - and getting past it in one go. My wardrobe revealed. Aside from intimates, winter coats, sweaters, some jeans, and a couple vintage denim jackets, everything I wear is me-made. So...




Pants and tunics

PJ tops...

and bottoms and gowns

I'm the first one to admit that things get out of hand - no way can I wear all the clothes I make. I sew for the challenge, satisfaction, and joy. Like many sewists, I cull my wardrobe every six months or so, and donate.

And now - back to sewing!

Ciao! Coco

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Vogue 9114 Kathryn Breene ankle pants - what a blast!

Gosh, I love these pants! Funky!

This pattern from Kathryn Breene is part of the new Vogue collection for summer 2015. And I missed the pants view repeatedly when I cruised the collection on Club BMV. The main view is a skirt, and I wasn't interested. Finally, another look and my mouse-over flipped from the skirt to these pants. I didn't expect pants to be in the pattern!

I've been looking for new pant styles for summer, as I'm a little tired of my typical loose linen pants from past years. My first find was the Pattern Fantastique Terra pant pattern I sewed last month - they're great. And these new pants have something of the same vibe  and appeal - fresh, different, and fun.

Top - Cropped Grainline Studio Scout Tee

The pants were really interesting to sew and are not a one-day project. That gathered cuff treatment on the lower leg has 4 parts plus a tie! The cuff is two pieces, shell and lining. Basting the assembled cuff to the pants is much like setting a sleeve:

The two pieces comprising the balance of the lower leg are stitched together and sewn in with the cuff in one step. On the inside:

Sewing notes:
  • The pant leg is a bit voluminous, so I cut a size Small, redrafted to a Medium at the waistline. About 12" of curing from waist to hip. It's a good thing I used the Medium waist - it's only 39", which almost makes these wiggle pants for my 41.5" hip.
  • I added 1" the length of all the pant pieces, which gave me just enough for a 1" hem. 
  • Because I did not want to add bulk in the gathered waist, I drafted the top of the pants with a 2" cut-on waistband. I simply finished the edge, turned it inside, and inserted 3/4" elastic. The result is a very comfortable casing.

  • I am infatuated with the curved pockets from Vogue 8712 and used them again on these pants. They don't try to flop backwards at all - floppy in-seam pockets make me a little crazy. 

I'm so sorry my inside pics this morning are so grainy...blame the weather please. Plus red is a difficult color to photograph. The true color of the fabric, which Tango Red cotton/poly rodeo from JoAnns, is somewhere between all the views on this post. This is my first experience with rodeo fabric, and I really like it. It's like a poplin, very tightly woven with an almost indiscernible horizontal twill. The weight is perfect for these pants -  just heavy enough to define those leg flourishes :-)

Speaking of flourishes...the pattern has absolutely no instructions on how to gather and tie those cuffs. What an omission! So...First, I decided to use elastic inside the cuff, rather than the self-fabric tie that's included in the pattern. 

Then I made one tie, only 1/2" wide. I used 1/2 of it for an attached loop at the edge of each cuff. It would be cute with a single knot, maybe later or on another version.

Check out those 2 pleats on the curve of the cuff - great stuff!

I have a couple more fabrics in mind for these pants - I'm so happy with them. Oh, I'm also wearing Madden Girl sandals, my idea of conservative gladiators...they don't show on longer pants, so it's fun to use them with these. 

Bye for now! Coco