Sunday, September 30, 2007

McCalls 5512 size

This was a great sewing day, I did a lot of work on my wintercoat and will soon post some pictures. Welt pockets and bound buttonholes take a lot of time.

Right now DD is tracing McCalls 5512, a Hilary Duff dress, which she wants to make in the version with sleeves. I bought the pattern in size range 4-10, assuming my daughter would need 10 (bust measurement).

I've not a lot of experience with McCall's patterns, but I read somewhere that they run large. Large? Large!!

My DD has a bust measurement of 87 centimeters, which according to the size chart would even be size 12. But after measuring the paper pattern in size 10 it would be 104 centimeters at bust level! That's 17 centimeters more than bust measurement! Of course some ease is needed, but not that much if I see the model in the picture.

And yes, I did remember to take off the seam allowances. First I forgot, so it seemed even worse.
(It's confusing working with patterns with (all American patterns) and without (Burda, Marfy) seam allowances.

After careful measuring also for the hip width, we settled on tracing size 4. I find this odd. Is it?

Friday, September 28, 2007

A partial band bra

For a long time I've wanted to try the technique described in the article The Bridge Engineer - The Keyhole on the Bra making blog (unfortunately no recent entries any more).

In the past week I tried it, and this is the result, it's not exactly what is described, I gave my own twist.

Important is that you can only do this on a partial band bra. I've used my own pattern and converted that to a partial band bra. I'll write a post on how I did that later.
Instead of paper as described in the article, I used a piece of washaway stabilizer.

A picture to illustrate this.
The idea is that you can change the shape of the center front tab as you like and use paper (or washaway stabilizer) to help you to keep everything in place while constructing the bra.

It's made of a few pieces left of a lingerie set I made two years ago, this is a very wearable muslin. However, it's not completely what I wanted. I made a change to the upper cup, to try to make a more horizontal line, instead of the diagonal from center front to shoulder strap. Must try again with a lace that has less stretch, that might make a difference.
Searching for the right change, as I have a RTW bra in mind that I want to copy.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Knip skirt finished

Two weeks ago I posted a picture from the Octobre Knip with a great skirt and I had to make it. In my wardrobe plan it takes the place of the other Knip skirt I intended to make. This is the result. I tried to make the pictures clearer, but the lines simply won't show.

I like the skirt, but not the fabric I used. It wrinkles very easily, so I'm going to make it in a better quality soon. A full review I'll post on PatternReview.

And yesterday I went shopping with a friend in the lovely old city of Leiden: great fun but what did I find: jeans that FIT! Very dark blue jeans, I don't have to alter anything and can wear it without a belt if I want to. That is a rare find for me, I can tell you that there's nothing so frustrating for me as trying skirts or pants, if they fit in the hip area, there's a huge amount of space in the waist.
Gone is the need to try to make my own jeans very soon. Out is the McCall jeans pattern for the moment. Will make it some time, but not now.

Other things I'm working on:
  1. The wintercoat. Yesterday two books I ordered were finally delivered, from which I hoped to learn more ways to make bound buttonholes (and a lot of other things too, a post on the books later). I did once do those buttonholes, but years ago. Now I have 3 different instructions to make them, and I'm figuring out which way works best for me. I'll let you know.
  2. A lingerie set, in which I'm exploring a few new things, also to be continued later.
  3. A top/jacket for my DD. She wanted a short jacket, which is so in fashion here now. She saw 90 Euro jacket in a shop, that we're trying to copy. Burda 09-2007-106 is the starting point. It needs to be shorter and DD wants a few pleats in the front. So this is the altered pattern piece for the front.

Monday, September 24, 2007

I've been tagged

Nancy tagged me and now I am to tell 8 things about myself that you probably don't know (don't worry Nancy, I would have said no to this if I didn't want to).

  1. I learned English in high school where we had to read 25 books for our exams and there my love for English books started (we also had to read books for German and French, but that never became languages that I read books in for pleasure, my French is only on holiday conversation level).
  2. Books that have influenced me greatly (clearly showing my age I guess): Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook and quite a few others by her, Marilyn French The Bleeding heart and Her mothers daughter and Simone de Beauvoir Memoirs of a dutiful daughter and All men are mortal. I don't read much any more, which I find a pity, but there is not enough time (I can sew in little time blocks, but not take up a serious book and read for only 10-15 minutes).
  3. Bedtime reading is either a sewing or cooking book, a BWOF issue (always new things you have not seen before in a line drawing) or a detective story.
  4. Besides sewing, I love cooking and collecting recipes from all over the world.
  5. I did teach: learning people to work with a computer and working with word-processors, spreadsheets and databases. Started in the time of WordPerfect and Lotus. Anyone remember those, before Microsoft dominated the computer world? And I have written (and still write) tutorials for computer programs.
  6. I only watch television for about half an hour a day, to see the news mainly.
  7. I'm claustrophobic, have been since a child, when I always took the stairs instead of elevators. Therefore I don't like flying or long tunnels (like to see the end of it).
  8. I've never been outside Europe, but on the wish list of my family and me is a trip to the US, but I wish we could skip the flight, at least 6 hours on a plane, grrr.
  9. Spend too much time behind the computer screen, so now I really quit, with a parting shot of myself. Because my skin is very often red because of a skin disorder, I don't like pictures of myself, as pictures seem to enhance the red color. I'll make an exception this time.

That's in one post more information about me than in my 5 months in blogosphere. Next post is definitely on sewing again.

Do you have anything to share? Are there books that had influence on you? I won't tag anyone specifically though.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fly front zipper - how to make it

Edited to add: I've made a pdf file for this instruction. You can download this here.

Regularly I read that constructing a fly front zipper in a pair of pants is something that is considered difficult. It's not. There's a very good method by Sandra Betzina that can be found on the Taunton site.
Until my last pair of pants I used that method, but have now blended that method together with two other methods I found (one in Threads and one in Ottobre magazine). The advantage for me is that the facing of the fly is in this method from the start and that the front is not sewn together first, but only pinned.
I really recommend using a facing to prevent damage to your undergarments, but if you want, you can omit it from this. I use a zipper that is longer than needed, this is what I really like about Sandra Betzina's method, as you don't have to bother with the zipper stop, and it gives a very finished look when the waistband is added.

The pictures are made with a scrap of fabric, non matching zipper and thread.

1. Mark the center front by basting, add a fusible interfacing to the right (overlapping) side (picture shows wrong side)

2. Press the left side almost 1 cm (5/8 inch) from the center front (picture right side)

3. Stitch from start of zipper to inside seam, but leave enough room to stitch the inside seam of the pants later.

4. Stitch the zipper to the facing on the right corner to secure the zipper.

5. Stitch the zipper with facing to the left part of the pants, close to the zipper
This secures both zipper and facing to the pants.
Don't go down to the very end, leave a bit of space to fold away the facing later for the topstitching. I did it right by accident when writing this, but later did this part wrong and ended up taking out a few stitches.

6. Press the overlapping side on the center front line.
Pin it to the left side, matching center front.

7. Turn to the other side, pin the zipper to the fly extension, do NOT pin the fabric on the front

8. Stitch the zipper on the extention, again NOT the front.

10. Fold away the facing and topstitch on the front of the pants (sorry, I did not use a guide or template, this is a bit wider at the bottom, but you see what I mean)

The inside, I could have made the facing a bit shorter.

Important: do not cut off the extra length of the zipper until you have sewed the waistband. I did this once, and ended up starting all over again!

Edited to add these pictures, I realised that I forgot to make a tack on the bottom part (as often seen in RTW). This tack fastens the facing.

On the inside I added an extra tack to secure the facing (and yes, the facing is shortened too).

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Pants finished, new projects started

Today I finished the last part of the Burda pants, the complete review is posted on PR. In general I like the fit (as always good with BWOF), but it will be the only time I sew this pattern.

To complete here two pictures of the pants (I was looking for a black belt to go with these pants, and then realised that went to the dustbin some time ago) :

Meanwhile I have started two other projects, one the Knip skirt that I posted on last week, and the other my Marfy wintercoat.

The coat is really an ambitious project for me, and will probably take quite a bit of time to complete. This is only the second time I make a Marfy pattern, and the first time in many, many years that I make a coat. So I'm going to read all information that Laura gave in her post of today, in which she shows such a wonderfully made jacket.

This is the pattern picture (remember Marfy, this is all the information you get, no linedrawings or instructions!) and the fabric that I'm going to make it with.

The paisley like print will be the collar and the cuff.

Considering this it seemed wise to make a muslin first. This I cut already two weeks ago on an evening, traced the seam lines on the cut pieces and yesterday put it together.

The pattern pieces laid out to check (not ready to cut, no seam allowances added).

The fit of the muslin was fine, until I realised that I was only wearing a t-shirt underneath, and that in winter I often wear a jacket or something with more body than a cotton knit! The sleeves I compared to the sleeves of another coat and they too were too narrow.
So all seams had to be altered, but now it is OK. Only on the back there is a little problem where the sleeve is inserted. A bit too much fabric in the back (and I did not widen the back seams above waist level, as my back is very narrow).
I will alter the muslin and evaluate then.

Pictures of my muslin (and you should have seen the face of my husband when I came into the room wearing this. He really thought I was making a pink coat! Guess what, he would not like that).

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Pocket for BWOF 09-2007-115

As promised in my post on Saturday, I have made pictures from the second pocket for these pants, that are now almost finished. Hemming to be done tomorrow, and the belt loops still to be made.
Not my favorite pants pattern, (though I love BWOF pants fit). I will not make it again. Apart from the pocket/side panel construction I think it is easiest when you don't need to make size alterations in the waist/hip area (for me there is 2 sizes difference).

This is what I did in the end (and I'm not saying it's the correct way, just found this way by ripping all seams first time, there might be a better way, if you know, please tell). Some pictures have a different color/contrast, this because of trying to show the details.

1. Sew the side seams first

2 Inforce all corners on the front and back pattern, they will be clipped. I did this with fusible interfacing.

3. With right sides together, stitch the pocket from the side seam to the marking on the front (be accurate)

4. Pin the other pocket part, right sides together to the side panel, marking on the pocket matches marking seam on side panel. Stitch between the sideseam and marking.

5. With right sides of pocket together, pin the sidepanel to the back and stitch from pocket to the corner of the back.

6. At the front, clip the seam at the marking

7. Turn pocket to inside, topstitch and make buttonhole

8. Pin front and side panel together at sides, stitch to marking.

9. Stitch pocket seam, together with the front pleat (this is one of the points I don't like so much on the pattern, part of the pocket is hanging quite loose on the inside)

10 Inside view, you can see the pocket and pleat attached together.

11. And finally, the finished pocket.

Monday, September 17, 2007

A Knip top

Some of you may already seen my review on PR, but DD wants to learn sewing. I love that these skills are passed from mother to daugther. My grandmother sewed a little, my mother a bit more, and I can't seem to stop, so where does that lead my DD in the future?
Though it does not always work, my sister can't even sew a new seam in a pair of RTW pants, she just never was interested and still couldn't care less about sewing. Am I lucky with my daugther.

Besides that, DD is trying to knit. That's something I've given up on a long time ago. I can do it, and even knitted complex patterns, but after a serious RSI problem 10 years ago I stopped, and don't feel like starting again.
But it is very nice to see how the seed of love for fabrics, yarns and patterns grows (but primarily in the female line).

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Burda 09-2007-115: difficult

On Friday I hoped to have enough time to sew a new Burda pants this weekend. But it does not alway go as you want. First I have a presentation on Monday morning of a program I'm making for a new customer, and yesterday afternoon a part of this did not stand the test at a second computer here (did I ever tell you we have four in our house (which is also my office)!). This meant working today, instead of a lot of other things, one of which was sewing.
But fortunately, the problem was solved this afternoon, so I'm confident that the presentation will work out well and I could clear my head and think of other things.

Tonight I managed making a tiny part of Burda 09-2007-115 pants, which I like for the special pocket. I sewed one pocket in an evening! It's a difficult construction, and the way they tell you to do it is probably right, but without pictures it was difficult to make sense of it. I did everything wrong and ripped every seam at least once. Then when I made the buttonhole, that went wrong too, after the first on a scrap of fabric was perfect! Just not my lucky weekend I guess.

Will try to make pictures of the construction when I make my second pocket, which might be helpful for others who want to make this pants.

Friday, September 14, 2007

All my Ottobre shirts

Just a small image of my combined Ottobre shirts. Something went wrong again and the picture became quite small.
It seems like a lot of work done, but it did not take a lot of time, the last one only took me an hour.
If you want to see one of the shirts in more detail, you can find the pictures here and the PR review here.

Today I bought the new Knip mode magazine. This pictures shows a great combination from a Dutch designer, and I'm definitely going to implement the skirt in my wardrobe plan. But I think it will be better without the horizontal line (at least for me), so I will draw it without.

But what about this skirt? It's not my style, but that's not the point. They definitely took a model that does not fit into the skirt. I hate it when Burda doesn't show the details properly (hair before the neckline,or bag before the skirt with a special godet etc.) but this is worse. Who would be tempted to make this with these pictures? It's not flattering at all.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wardrobe storyboard

In the last couple of days I gradually made a storyboard for my wardrobe plan. I did not intend to do so, as it takes a lot of time. But doing it bit by bit (and I'm behind my computer many hours a day anyhow) made it word, and it was a lot of fun. Plus I liked to think about what to do with all these fabrics.

The colors for the bottoms are not very good, this is the best result I could make of my pictures. Some patterns are new, some I have sewn before. The Ottobre top is finished too. That makes 3 tops finished.
Now to make one or two pants first. Today I'll trace the bottom right one, from the September Burda issue.

Rocking girl blogger - Me?

Just saw that Laura from Laura's sewing room has nominated me as Rocking girl blogger. Thank you Laura.

What can I say, I'm very surprised. My blog is only a few months on the web, and it feels good that it is read.
Just like to share my sewing experiences, and like very much to read other blogs on sewing, as there is really nobody in my family/friends circle who sews. Blogging myself, and reading other blogs makes me feel that I'm part of a sewing community, and I'm grateful to all who share their experiences that way.

I believe that I'm supposed to name 5 others, this seems a bit unfair, as there are more than 5 blogs that I read regularly. But I would like to name (in alphabetical order, and probably some have been named more than once,):

And a special thanks to all sewing bloggers for sharing experiences!

Monday, September 10, 2007

FBA for Ottobre t-shirts

Life is chaotic at the moment, the new school season started and the sport season too. And although this means that during the daytime I can work reasonably undisturbed, it also means a totally new schedule after schooltimes, requiring a lot of planning. Unfortunately 3 times a week we can not manage to have dinner together. This last I feel as a loss, it's such a great time as family together, to share news and talk about the little and more important things in life. But alas, training schedules are in the way.

But luckily I do manage to sew a bit in the evenings, although not very complicated patterns at the moment. I'm doing a lot of t-shirts from the Ottobre patterns, but with alterations.

I liked the fit of the first Ottobre t-shirt I made, but do not want all my tops with a gathered neckline, so I combined the shirt of two patterns.

I took the first as a start, with the long sleeves and ungathered neckline.

Then I drafted the neckline of the second pattern into the front of the first pattern, as I like the neckline of the second one better (first measured the width on the pattern that was used for gathering).

After measuring the width of the pattern, I found that it would be very tight, as there was 6 cm short at high bust level. And I don't like my t-shirts very tight, so I made a FBA as described in Sandra Betzina's book "Fast Fit". She describes this method on this site.
To prevent the pattern to be too wide above the bust, I have drawn the original armhole in the pattern and adjusted the shoulder seamline. (Pattern is without seam allowances).

The end result of this adaption.

If I find time to hem my tee's, I'll post pictures.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Links for Burda Exclusive schnitte

On Laura's blog she shows a special Burda magazine. I tried to post a few links I found in the comments there, but that does not work. Therefor these two links here:

Burda Exclusive Schnitte

This information tells it is available (in Germany I guess) from September 7.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

A (almost) 2 hour top

This is one of the knit fabrics I bought Tuesday. The colors of this fabric go with the bottom colors of my wardrobe plan, and with some other clothes I made earlier. It has a special layer with shine, which makes it a bit more special.
As we have a birthday party this weekend for our daughter who became 14 this week (time flies) I wanted to make a top of this right away, with no questions on fit. After considering the Ottobre tee and consulting DD, I decided on the Jalie wrap top 2449, which I made before and like to wear so much. (My review for this top here).

The top is very quick to make, from cutting to finishing it took me 2 hours. Actually a little bit more, as the topstitching was a problem, with very many skipping stitches. In the end I used a Schmetz stretch needle and tissue paper to cover the fabric. This worked reasonably well, but I lost stretch in the hem. Serging the top was no problem at all with this fabric.

The end result, with two combinations from my closet (the linen pants I wore whole day, thus the wrinkles).