Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Eye candy

Today the new Marfy 2010 catalogue was in my mailbox. What a pleasure to browse this catalogue. The design details are so special. There is a wide variety of patterns. The most recent Vogue collection had very few patterns for styles that I would actually wear. I’m just not a dress-person.

Marfy certainly has a lot of dresses too, but also other patterns that are suited for a more casual lifestyle. And otherwise there are little details that give inspiration to use on other garments. A few examples (not necessary suited for me).

ETA: this catalogue has almost 200 pages, with at least one pattern on each page. And like Nancy says in the comments: Marfy has gorgeous coats patterns.
Meli88a: I think anyone can order from the Marfy site. I can order most through the Dutch, and assume they will not have all patterns in stock, and order from Marfy too.

This skirt reminds me of the skirt in the december issue of burda, the pleat is deeper and has buttons, and like the illustration I think it would be wonderful in a plaid.

You might know I love special necklines, the blouse certainly has this and i like the accented seamlines.

Great design detail and the top is a nice variation on twist top.

Two jackets with nice details.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lengthening Burda pattern

It’s been a busy start in the new year, I can hardly believe it’s the last week of January already. I’ve been working long hours and my mind was occupied almost completely by programming code. On very short breaks I browsed the sewing blogs a bit, but mostly didn’t take the time to comment. But I really enjoyed reading all, it’s such a diversity of projects and inspiration.

With the finishing of a really important and time consuming work project, I hope there will be a bit more sewing time in the coming weeks. I almost felt my brain making space for sewing inspiration. After three months of sewing knits and pants, it’s time for a bit of a challenge.

Tonight I cut and altered the pattern for the Burda jacket from the December issue. I’m making a muslin first and made the following changes to the pattern:

  • Traced size 40 in the shoulders, tapered to 42 for the front only. So the back will remain a size 40 in the upper half. 
    The sleeves were adapted too for this: front sleeve tapered down to 42 at lowest point of the sleevecap, back sleeve size 40.
    I’m curious to find out what the effect of the changing of sizes front and back will be. I need the space only in the front and often jackets are too wide in the back.
  • Small princess seam fba (method from the book Fit For Real People)
  • Tapered front and back to size 42 at hip height
  • Lengthened 5 cm in the waist (I don’t like my jackets very short)
  • Lengthened sleeves 2.5 cm

Now to the tile of this post: in the US patterns a clear indication line is given where to change the pattern in height to make it longer or shorter. In Burda (BWOF) there are no such lines. 

Below the method I use for making the pattern parts longer, using the straight of grain lines, that are always indicated. Of course you can make them shorter using the same method shifting the pattern in the other direction.

1. This is the under sleeve, traced in the basic lines on the pattern sheet. The line with arrows is the straight grain line.

2. Mark the straight grain line at an intersecting line, this is not a line that belongs to the pattern you are tracing, just a line you use because it’s there.

3. Mark the length you want to change the pattern

4. Shift the pattern, so that the last marking is on the intersecting line you used. Make sure you keep the straigh grain line in place. Trace the pattern again in the part that you shifted to the right (or left).

5. True the seam lines

In this case there’s not a lot of difference in the seam lines, but when the seam line has a strong curve, you will have to adapt a bit more.

Do the same for the other pattern parts and make sure there you lenghten/shorten on the same level (front and back pattern for example, upper and under sleeve).

NB: when there are not a lot of intersecting lines, or no lines on the point where you want to change your pattern, mark the grain line on the pattern sheet itself, and work from there.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Jalie 2919 cardigan

Uninspired and sewing anyhow. It’s a bit of a contradiction, I know. Yesterday I looked at my fabrics and concluded I had nothing I wanted to sew. Sounds silly but I found out what is “wrong” with me: I’m longing for spring and am tired of winter fabrics and the default grey/black/blue that’s a large part of the fabrics I have. The weather has been very cold here for a long time, grey days without sun. Brr, I’ve had enough of it.

I even went to a fabric store to see whether they had some inspiring new fabrics, but no luck. There was one table with spring fabrics, but all with flower prints. Not too fond of those.

In my collection was also the print I now used for the Jalie 2919 top. Bought some time ago and soon regretted, as it was too much print. This afternoon I decided to stop lingering and make the cardigan top to test the pattern. The worst that could happen was I wouldn’t like the result.


It’s not that bad, though it won’t be a favorite top because of the print. It’s a nice long cardigan that comes well over my hips, a good feature for me.

The sleeves are very narrow (too narrow for a cardigan in my opinion) and the sleevecap is drafted symmetrical, which was not the case in earlier Jalie patterns. I don’t think this improves the fit of the armscyce and top of the sleeve. It’s not to be seen in the pictures, but fit could be better in that area.

A full review is here on PR.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Not so quick after all

The last steps on my pants took more time than I  thought. As you might know I’m pretty obsessed by matching stripes, the waistband included. Cutting, basting and sewing together took a lot of time. The result I like very much in the details, the fit in the back could be better again. This fluid, beautiful quality wool has a different effect on drape than the black pants I made recently.

Without further ado, a lot of pictures. Matching stripes on the inside was not intended, and hand sewing (the lining to the fly) is not my strongest point.

A small zigzag stitch on the pocket, the pocket is a bit wide and this prevents gaping.

The waistband, cut on the fold like in my last pants.

Side view

Inside with lining

Another picture of the waistband

Hemming with the blind-stitch foot

Wearing i, at this moment the hem was pinned to check the length and the button not yet attached.



Next project? No idea yet.

Friday, January 8, 2010

A quick project

There is very little sewing time for me at the moment. The new year started hectic again with work, which is not too bad. As I’m self-employed there always are periods with a lot of work and periods with less. And I’m happy that in this difficult time my business is doing well. As a consequence of all I do have business appointments more often, and I need a few more outfits for those occasions. Not too formal, but dressier than just jeans and top.

So: no serious sewing time but in need of new clothes, especially pants. I’ve been intending to make more pants, had bought all I needed for at least 3 and then the sewing mojo left me somewhere in December. It’s still not back, I’m uninspired and looking at my fabrics doesn’t even help. But finding a good fitting pair of pants in rtw is practically impossible, that’s why I started a pair of  pants yesterday evening.

Tomorrow the waistband will be added and then only the hemming has to be done. A relative quick project for which I used the same pattern as the last pair of black pants.

The fabric is dark grey with a white pinstripe and some blue, as you see in the selvage of the fabric

Fly front zipper, some chalk is still visible in the picture. I can’t see any on the pants anymore.

For the pocket I used one of the drafts that came on the dvd of David Page Coffin’s book “Making trousers”. Of course I had to match the pinstripes.

And I received an e-mail announcing the Knip Mode February. America’s first lady has a worldwide influence on fashion! Knip Mode made patterns for this outfit.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Threads magazine archive

I see this dvd as a sort of birthday present. My birthday is in February, but I still had some money from last year that I didn’t spend, as I wanted to do something special with it. This was what I bought (thanks mum):

image   image

It’s the Threads archives, containing all Threads magazines from 1985 till the last issue of 2009. It arrived yesterday and of course I had to install it almost right away and take a look at the contents and possibilities. Installation was easy, first time I started the program it gave an error message, but haven’t had that one again and it works without any problems.

WOW, what information! All of the magazines is there, all pages, including the advertisements. I’ve not yet read whole articles in depth, but already know this was worth the investment. Funny to see that on the early issues there are no internet addresses. Time flies, I can’t think of life without internet any more.


I tried the Search option and it’s very fast. Type “Chanel” as word you’re searching for and you get the results below: complete articles on Chanel, but also issues where a reference to Chanel is made. Double clicking on the page opens the issue at that specific page.


By default the word(s) you were looking for are highlighted.

image  image

Another great possibility is to add an article or page to your Favorites. You can even rename an article to your own preference. The first favorite in below picture first just had a reference to a page number, and I renamed it to be more specific.


Browsing is easy, you can easily move forward and backward through the pages, and zoom in or out. Printing is also possible.

As you can see from above, I’m very happy with this dvd and it will certainly suit my “needs”. I’ve bought several older issues on E-bay, which is quite expensive with shipping costs, and now I have them all. There’s one thing that’s less good: the resolution of text and pictures is not as high as in the original magazines, and some details of the pictures are a bit less clear than in the magazine itself (I compared with an issue I have). But I can easily live with that.

I’m looking forward to take a break occassionally from work and browse these magazines.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy new year


I wish you all a very happy new year, may 2010 bring you what you wish it will.

Above picture is from the London Eye, taken by my son. We were in London on New Years Eve , together with my sister and her family and watched the fireworks. We had a really good view, and the fireworks were spectacular. For us it was the first time we spent the “old and new” as we call it not at home or with friends. It was fun for this once, but no next time for us.

I didn’t do any sewing in the past two weeks and have no firm plans for this year. I’ll be taking sewing/pattern drafting lessons from February to improve my skills.

Further I would like to be sewing more garments that go together well. My feeling is that I do have too little of that. I’ve been buying a lot of fabric recently and don’t even know where to start with sewing. Below a picture for 7 fabrics that are to be 3 bottoms and 4 tops. This time a lot of grey in the fabrics. There is no jacket planned in this series, as I find that I always wear jackets with a plain top. Somehow I always get stuck in a wardrobe plan when trying to incorporate a jacket that has to go with all tops. Either the jacket will not go with all tops, or all tops are boringly simple. Perhaps I’m fussing too much about that, but my plan is not for a contest, so I’m not incorporating a jacket now (though I still will make a jacket soon I hope)

More details on the patterns to use later. I’m going to catch up a bit on blog reading (there’s over 300 unread posts, that’s what you have after 2 weeks not reading your bloglist) and trying to decide what to do sew first.

Finishing this post with a big Thank You to Kat, for whom I was the most inspirational blogger of last year. It’s great to read that my posts were so inspiring for her. Hope I can be inspiring to some of you this year too.


I’ve put comment moderation on. (too much trouble for me) I remove comments that have links to non-sewing related websites, even if you seem to read my posts and comment on the content of it. Advertise in another way please, don’t use my blog for it.