Sunday, November 29, 2009

Another top and answering a few questions

Just before the working week starts again I finished my last of the “production line” sewing of tops. I do like Jalie tops for their basic, good fitting patterns, but leave it to BurdaStyle (trying to get used to the new name of BWOF) to make more special knit tops. In my opinion they don’t have knit top patterns often enough and could do some change to the designing of armhole and sleevecap. BurdaStyle instructions always tell you to to sew the side seams first and then set in the sleeves, like in a blouse. In the black top of yesterday I changed the armhole and sleevecap to those of Jalie 2449 and have sewn the sleeves in flat (shoulder seams - then sleeves -under sleeve and side seams in one go).

In this top (June 2007, no 110) no side seams at all. I used red embroidery thread for the lower thread in my coverstitch, and topstitched from the wrong side. Quick and easy pattern, but you have to pay attention to the construction of the sleeves. I might not write reviews on PR for these tops, all these have been reviewed often.

Nancy K: the way Debbie “cheats” with the sizing is exactly what I do for BurdaStyle tops like this. I start with size 40 at shoulder height and taper down to size 42 at the lowest point of the armhole. In this way I create the space I need at bust height, and have less in the shoulder area.

Answering some questions:

Meli88a: the band of the cardigan is attached with the serger and topstitched as described above for this top. A review of this cardigan (grey version) is here, with links to more pictures. Debbie: the shoulder certainly isn’t drop-down, it’s a normal shoulder width.

Tina asked whether I used Pam’s interfacing for lingerie too. The answer is no, I never used it for that, but think that the tricot interfacing might be suitable.

Thrillingfindz: the purple jacket is August 2008, no 115.

Today I browsed the December Burdastyle again. What do you think of this picture? Leisure time is the subject: do you do your knitting standing?


Saturday, November 28, 2009


I made a few tops the past days. One evening I traced the patterns, the next evening I cut them all and then I threaded all machines with black thread, put in new needles and started sewing in a few sessions. The result:

Jalie 2805 in two versions

Basic black top with V-neckline



With overlapped V-neckline (buttons not yet on, must have some good ones somewhere, just can’t find them)



BurdaStyle 01-2009-110


A bit more detailed in the lighter picture below


And earlier this week I made the New look cardigan. The buttons reflect the light different. They really are purple. It’s difficult to take good pictures right now, it’s dark so early.



Looks like easy pieces, don’t you think? The Jalie tops and the cardigan were, but my seam ripper did come in action for the Burdastyle top (nothing to do with BWOF, my fault)!

I started using decorative elastic at the edge. It gave puckers with topstitching and I was not too happy with the result in general, too much pajama-look. That was the point I picked up the seam ripper, took half the top apart, just cut off the elastic and gave it the neckband as shown above. Now it’s great, I tried it on and DD said it looked like I just bought it from a special store. Quite a compliment.


The black fabric was from an online store that I can highly recommend to my Dutch readers if you’re looking for quality fabrics: JerseyFashion. I bought two meters, it’s 1.60 wide, not cheap, but very good quality. I managed to get two tops from this, what in the end wasn’t even that expensive for two tops. They also sell the red/white/black fabric, which I bought earlier elsewhere. Different structure, but also very nice quality.

Next: Finishing the wrap top and one other top from this series and then back to the pants. I keep postponing.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009



Trying to visualize the effect of two patterns with different fabrics. I’m not too good at using the more advanced functions of Paint Shop, but I did well enough for my needs. I don’t want to use more time on this than I did.

I love all the jackets that I showed in last post, but have a preference, like many of you, for the first one. I think it is a good pattern to use, even though I’m not using a plaid. It will be not casual though, that is clear by this way of looking at it. The motorcycle jacket is a good second, and something I just want to try, either in the blue fabric or in the tweed/bouclé.  So these two are the jackets that I’m planning to make this winter (though I could always change my mind). I’ll keep the others in mind for another time.

And Kay, you had to laugh because of the preference we have for the same patterns, I had to laugh when I saw that you had the same thought for the buttonholes as I have. I read Brigitte’s review of this jacket yesterday, and saw your comment on this.  So it may be a transatlantic sew-along, though it will be a week or two before I will start on this (with a muslin).

Monday, November 23, 2009

Planning ahead

This week I'm working on the cardigan, t-shirt and pants fitting. Thank you Nóra for the suggestion of the BWOF shirt pattern. It's a nice pattern, but with the horizontal line in it a bit more complicated to get a good fit. Enough on my hands with the pants fitting for now.

But in the meantime I’m planning ahead. Two years ago I bought this beautiful fabric from EmmaOneSock. Wonderful fabrics Linda has, and if shipping wasn’t that expensive I would buy more there. With one exception (Pam’s interfacing) I stopped buying overseas, though I’m regularly tempted, because I can’t help myself browsing the site.

The fabric is black/brown and I finally want to use it, giving more accent to the black than the brown, which was established last year not te be one of my good colors. But which pattern to use? I like making jackets, though reality is I don’t wear them too often. I thought about using a jeans jacket pattern, but that’s just a bit too casual perhaps. This is my shortlist. What do you think?

In combination with black fabric for the strip at the seams?

Always like a different collar/neckline.

Think this one might be too formal, but love the neckline.

Not my usual style, but one can’t always make the same thing, can’t you? 
Don’t you think this is the same pattern as the next one? Burda re-using the pattern with a twist.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Patrones blouse no 63 – issue 284

The line drawing from the magazine

The picture and my version beside.

As I told you in a previous post, the blouse is in the plus size range of Patrones. The smallest size is 50, and bust measurement for that size is almost 20 cm more than my bust size. Not a good idea to try to make that pattern smaller, too much difference.

But when you look at the picture in the magazine and at the cutting layout, you’ll see that this is a basic v-neckline blouse with vertical darts (picture on the left). What I did was finding a Burda pattern with the same type of dart in my size. In the March issue of 2005 I found the blouse of the picture on the right. I transferred the neckline of the Patrones pattern to this one and compared it to the neckline of another blouse I made with a V-neckline. For this pattern I traced a size 40 in the shoulder area, and tapered down to 42 at bust level. For the cuff and collar I referred to the instructions of Patrones: basic rectangles.



After showing the picture of the cuff earlier this week I put the sleeves in, and found them too puffy. So I took the elastic out and used longer elastic. Much better now.



Detail of the collar. It’s handstitched to the neckline.This picture does the color best justice on my monitor. The fabric is purple with black lines and a bit of shine in it.


Another inside picture. The instructions don’t tell you what to do with the edges of the collar and cuff, where the cords are pulled through. I made a small seam before foldeing the collar part and left them open between the lines of stitching for elastic/cords. You can see that in the picture below.

I made sure that the seam of the collar was not at one of the edges, but a little off the the center on the under side of the collar. In this way the gathering of the edges of the collar is the same, there is no extra thickness at one of the edges.

All in all a nice project to work on, and I’m quite happy with the result.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sorry about the picture

Working on several projects, today the muslin for pants.

Not the most charming view, this is my pants muslin for Vogue 2896. Same pants, only standing slightly different. It’s a muslin, but if I can make it a wearable muslin I would be pleased. The fabric is not too expensive and mainly man-made fibre.  I wanted to make a muslin with a fabric that has the same sort of drape as the black fabric that I want to use next. My experience this year was that I finally had a muslin right, and the drape of the fabric was so different that I had wrinkles again.

Now I really want to make a basic tnt pattern, so that I can make a couple of pants relatively quick. I need to make quite a few.

IMG_6709 IMG_6706

How time flies, I was looking for the picture of the last time I made this one, and saw that it’s two years ago. Then it looked like the picture below (can you tell I love pinstripes?).  I think the fit in the newer version above is better, but should I take up the inseam of the back part?

I’ve taken out width in the upper part of the back, as shown in the Threads article that Summerset mentioned in a post. She had the tip from Nancy K. Clear that the sewing community helps us.

Your advise is hightly appreciated.


Sunday, November 15, 2009



It’s been a busy weekend, but I got a little sewing done.  I cut a muslin for pants, and started on the Patrones blouse, for which I started with a BWOF pattern, as the Patrones blouse is not given in my size. The sleeves with the special cuffs are done.

The instructions are not very clear on how to make these. Berry (who I met in Paris), was so kind to translate them for me (thanks again!), but it still was not completely clear. I sewed a loop on elastic and that’s how the gathering and the closing of the two buttons are done.  The instructions called for elastic for the upper two casings, that much was clear and the lower casing has a cord of fabric. In the pattern there’s only one button, these two seemed more logical to me.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sewing queue

Once again I’m planning things to make. Most of these projects are simple and should not take more than a couple of hours each. Muslin time (for the pants) not included.

First, ready to cut is this Simplicity wrap top. Valerie (a sewing friend I met through the lingerie sew along) gave this pattern to me. She has made several already and it should be easy to make. It will be the red fabric in the picture and will be combined with the rtw skirt on the left. The flash made the fabric lighten up a bit, in reality it’s the same color as the darker red in the skirt.

Further I absolutely need a couple of pants. I’ve been postponing this as I want to try to make a basic pattern without wrinkles. Will be a couple of muslins for sure. The black and grey pinstripe will be pants, though the pattern is not sure, just took a picture to indicate ‘pants’.

The second fabric from the left has a few wrinkles in the fabric, and will be the Patrones blouse I showed earlier. The purple in the center will be a New Look cardigan. I made it a few weeks ago in the same fabric in grey and that one will probably be worn out at the end of the winter. It’s soooo comfortable that I take it out of the closet very often. And the last one is a knit for which I have not decided on a pattern yet. Something basic probably.

And something new in the sidebar: a slideshow with inspiration pictures I collected.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Weekend in Paris

Past week/weekend was the European Pattern Review meeting. I went and had a wonderful time. Due to a strike with the trains in Belgium I had to make it one day shorter than planned. I had a ticket for Thursday, but there were no trains that day from the Netherlands to Paris. I changed my ticket to Friday and was there from Friday afternoon till Sunday afternoon.

It was such fun to meet Annika, Tini, Val (from Australia!), Vibeke, Nowak, Claire, Lista, Karin, Lara, Berry, Katharine, Sheila and her friend. Talking about sewing, patterns, fabric shopping, visiting the Vionnet exhibition en a bit of sight seeing. It was a great weekend.

I’ve posted pictures in the general picture album created by Annika, more pictures of participants will hopefully soon be added.

Two pictures from a tailor window and a small box with a sewing room pictured:


And of course I couldn't resist some fabric shopping. First this gorgeous wool for a coat.

A grey pinstriped wool for a pair of pants. Nothing spectacular but very soft.


Two sheer silks. I call them my "difficult fabrics" as I've never before worked with fabrics like this.


The silk is so soft and thin, that the whole 3 meters can be pulled through my wedding ring (don’t remember who talked about that to me, but it can be done easily)


They are all future projects, nothing short term.