Sunday, October 31, 2010

Working on a shirt

I’ve had quite a productive weekend. I made one knit top that I’ll show you later when I have a picture of me wearing it.

Further I’m working on Vogue pattern 8689, a new pattern for a basic shirt.


I learned to sew using Burda and Knip Mode patterns, without seam allowances. And till now, almost 40 years later, I'm still not used to working with patterns that have seam allowances. I miss the feeling for size, the curves and most of all: how the seams fit together. I've been sewing the collar and the sleeves already, and from the blue marks, that will fade away with water, you can see that I marked the seamline where the cuff has to meet the sleeve.

That was needed, because I used the method to attach a cuff as described by Sherry from the blog Pattern, Scissors ~ cloth. The cuff is not sewn to the sleeve first, but the sleeve is put into the cuff that is sewn together already and then topstitched. By the topstitching the cuff gets attached to the sleeve. Pretty neat method.

When cutting the pattern pieces, I wondered about the front part having a corner, but thought that that would be corrected when the seams were done. I find that patterns with seam allowances often have strange corners, that upon sewing the parts together turn out well. This time something strange is happening. Don't you think this is strange?

Of course I first checked the pattern pieces. I always trace my patterns, so I could have made a mistake there, but no, I used the correct pieces and traced them correctly too. Then I drew the actual seam lines on the pattern pieces and pinned them together. Same corner is showing.

In the drawings of the instructions, a smooth line for the armhole is drawn. Don’t you hate it when you encounter something like this? It stopped me for the moment. I will continue later, and see what happens when inserting the sleeves. The pattern is so new that there are no reviews yet. I’m curious if someone else has found this to be a problem.



Parting shot: I couldn’t help myself, going to a shop to buy some sewing notions I needed, I fell for this bouclĂ© fabric and it came home with me. I plan to make a short, simple jacket from it, Chanel style, but not with the elaborate original construction method.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What's next

Wow, what a lot of nice comments on my coat. Thank you! And it feels good to have all things finished, though that wasn’t for long. I’m making pants again. I still don’t have a TNT pants pattern, so that’s what I’m working on now.

I’ve sincerely thought about making another coat (from the september BurdaStyle magazine), but decided against it for the moment for various reasons, the most important one being that I need a few more basic additions to my wardrobe right now.

My next projects will be pants, shirts and knit tops. Barbara from the blog Sewing on the Edge is doing a white shirt project, followed by many in blogland. Though I’m planning a few shirts, I won’t join, as not all of my shirts will be white. I’ve some striped fabrics I want to use, and a combination of fabrics. But I’m looking forward to see what everyone is coming up with, I hope to be inspired to try a new pattern or technique as well, and probably I’ll sew a complete white shirt too.

One shirt I will be making is a remake of the shirt below. This summer Threads had an article on combining fabrics for shirts and it reminded me of this shirt, that I made last year. I wrote a review, but made it during my short time leaving blogland so I never showed it here.

It’s was a very nice shirt, but I only wore it once. The first time I wore it was on a day I had two business meetings. The first meeting was with someone I’ve done projects with for many years. After a while he went out of the room to get us coffee, and upon his return he told me (in a very careful, gentle way) that my shirt was tearing in the back! One of the seams had come loose, how horrible. I was lucky he knew me well enough to mention it, so for the next meeting I wore the scarf that went with my coat over my shoulders and back. Completely not matching, but at least covering the ruined blouse. I thought the fabric was a good quality, but the weave was not stable enough for the narrow seams I had used.  Live and learn. But since then I have wanted to make another version.

I’m thinking of using this cuff/placket again, which I made 2 years ago and still like.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Last UFO done

Last week I finished my coat from the September issue of Knip mode. With this there is no unfinished sewing project any more. Feels very good I must say.

The pattern did not provide a back facing part. I made that myself, which is very easy of course, but the way it went together with the front facing was not so easy now. Wish I had realised that earlier in the proces. But anyhow, I’m very happy with the coat, so is DH, who likes it very much.

The pictures (and excuse my face, it shows how I feel, chilly and not very well). The coat is wide enough so I can wear a jacket underneath.


Fully buttoned up

The back, I think I will attach the belt with a few stitches, it tends to go down too far as you can see, while it was carefully pinned by someone else at the right length.

Inside, I love the red lining.

Piping detail. I think I’ve done almost all the piping details twice. When I tried the coat for the first time, I thought the sleeve tabs were too short, so I took them out and made new ones. For the back one side came out more narrow than the other, one of them had to be done again.

Wherever possible, I used another fabric at the backside to prevent too much thickness. Absolutely necessary with this thick wool.

When I bought this fabric in Paris last year during the Pattern review weekend, I wanted to buy 3 meters. There was another 1.5 meters left on the bolt and I got the full 4.5 meters at a discount. I thought I could make a skirt from the remaining part. This pattern calls for 2.8 meter of fabric, but by matching plaids and cutting the front on the bias, I used the full 4.5 meters of fabric, with only scraps left.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My sewing space

Most of you will have seen that Denise of the blog The Blue Gardenia does a series on sewing spaces, and guess what? Today she features my sewing space. Take a look, also at the other sewing spaces she shows (most of them far more organized than mine) and at the beautiful vintage patterns she sells. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

BurdaStyle February 2010 - 113

The blouse is finished and I kept all details from the pattern, including the cuffs. I wore it today, worked on it at my computer and they didn't irritate me. I won't make a jacket with zippers at the sleeves for example, because I know from experience that these are disturbing me while I'm working.
I'll write a review later, but I don't have time for that now. I've taken no detail pictures yet either. It was an easy blouse to make. I used french seams, and this gives a nice finish to the inside too.
The fabric is linen in a quality that makes it easy to work with, collar and cuff interfacing is from Pam, wonderful quality as always.
The main thing I altered were the buttons on the cuff. In the pattern the buttonholes are inside the cuff, but I made them in the double layer of the cuffs, so the buttons are visible on the outside of the cuff. It was clear that the cuffs would ‘fall down’ when done as described.
You can see that from the BurdaStyle picture too, a detail of that picture is below. I changed the picture as it is a white blouse on a white background, in which the details are hardly visible. This is a link to the picture on the Burda website.

The length is in between the length of blouse no. 114 and 113, which are basically the same patterns. 
It’s good to make a few of these quick projects. I’m mentally preparing for pants again.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A few things in between

Thank you all so much for all the comments on my jacket. So many of you took the time to leave a comment, which is very much appreciated.


I found lining for my coat, but will finish the coat a little later. Perhaps strange, but I felt like a few simple things in between.


This weekend I did make a new set of lin gerie, something that is to me (certainly compared to jackets and coats) easy and uncomplicated to make (yes, it really isn’t that difficult!). I tried a Merckwaerdigh pattern, BHST2 for the first time. I adapted the pattern for the upper cup a bit, but otherwise I mainly used the pattern as it was.


To complete the set I made a panty from another Merckwaerdigh pattern, that I used before. Both were finished in one afternoon and evening, quite a contrast to the previous project.


Now I’m working on a Burda blouse from the February issue.


It’s quite a fitted blouse, and my initial reaction to the pattern was to make the collar and stand smaller and not make the special cuffs. Then I realized that I was planning to make it again to a very basic blouse without special details anymore. Well, I decided to go a little out of my comfort zone regarding blouse styling, and used the high stand, larger collar and the special cuffs. Though I’m not quite sure yet whether the cuffs are there to stay.


The instructions (which by exception I obligingly followed ) say that you have to make the slit in the sleeve with one side overlapping the other side. No Burda, not with this kind of cuff, no overlap needed! You can see it in the technical drawing too. Of course I only realized that after I had sewn the first cuff to the sleeve. I can’t remember I ever made such cuffs, so this is not something I know by earlier experience. Burda should know. These are for cufflinks, as the instructions tell you to make with two buttons.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Jacket pictures

After the initial muslin was made in July, the jacket is finally finished.

The selftimer pictures I took yesterday were all aweful, so I asked DD today to make them. I had quite a few issues with this fabric, which was difficult to work with. Though being the matchy-match type, the lines are not continuous in the sleeves, as I was a little short of fabric. I cut the sleeves later, thought I had quite enough, but not enough for plaid matching. I’m lucky it’s not a very distinctive plaid, so it’s not very visible.

Seeing the pictures I must check whether it’s just the way I stand: it looks like the buttons are not evenly postioned.I was convinced I sewed them on right.


I like the way this jacket is on jeans. It makes it a bit less formal.

In answer to what Robin said on my last pictures: all pieces were interfaced with fusible interfacing before proceeding with construction. The back stay is a piece of muslin cotton.
The shoulder stay was applied to the fusible interfacing for the front before applying it (the interfacing as you would use for a jacket for which no stabilizing interfacing was used).

This pattern is rated in the magazine with 3.5 dots. I checked a few Burda magazines, but couldn’t find a pattern with 4 dots. This one certainly qualifies I think: the band, welt pockets with flap, notched collar, bound buttonholes are all special. What does a pattern need with Burda to have 4 dots?

To conclude: I like this jacket very much, fabric and construction gave me some headaches and frustration at times, but it was well worth it. The ‘history’ of the jacket, my meeting with fellow bloggers in New York, and the fitting session with Kenneth King, makes it a special memory jacket.