Sunday, April 27, 2014

Comparing fit in the back


The shirt I was working in my sewing/fitting class is finished. The initial fit was quite good, only the sleeves gave a bit of trouble. Too much fabric in the back part. Must be my figure, as it’s the same problem I often have with Burda sleeves.

I compared the shirt with the back of a few shirts I made in the past years. I can see quite an improvement, even when I was quite happy with those earlier shirts too when I made them. 

This shirt was not a lot of work making the pattern for based on the sloper. Once I’ve finalized the sleeve I might not need another shirt pattern and use this sloper as the base.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Instant gratification top – McCall’s 6513


On recommendation of one of the sewing friends in Paris, I bought this pattern at Tissus Reine. I did not know they sold individual patterns, it was a happy surprise to be able to buy the pattern right away.

It took only an evening to make this, including my pattern alteration (FBA). I made no other changes then tapering it a bit wider at hip level and it fits well. It provides a lot of information on how to alter for bust size, sway-back etc. and which measurements to take to choose the size to start with. In one of the reviews I saw a remark on it being too long, but I like it that way. Finally a top that doesn’t need lengthening.

I made it from a knit I already had. A bit warm at the moment to wear it, but I’m quite sure I will make more of these later in the year again.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Burda dress – more photos

I hope you all have had a lovely Easter Sunday. Here it was a lovely day. We shared the day with friends having an Easter lunch. It’s an old tradition with friends from my student days, which we normally do on the Monday (in The Netherlands the Monday is called 2nd Easter day).

This year we changed it to the Sunday and I wore my new dress. DD took some photos before we left. I shortened the dress by 3 centimeters after the Paris trip which made it look much better. Considering this was the first pattern that I drafted from my sloper I’m quite satisfied. I’m especially happy with the neckline, as it doesn’t require a camisole underneath. I can see myself wearing this a lot.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Knip mode dress – quick muslin

The dress got priority and tonight I’ve sewn a quick muslin of the top part. It isn’t that difficult, just a lot of pleats to fold before stitching the shoulder seams. As long as you mark all notches carefully, this is easy. I made this in a little over an hour (cutting and sewing).
But…. again I think they didn’t try the pattern before publishing. The right shoulder is ok. It will be difficult to sew the facing  and I would have constructed it a bit different, and will do that when I sew it in fashion fabric. The left shoulder is not good.  In the photo of our queen wearing the dress you can see that the left shoulder is a bit upright, but moves down again in the back.
I found this picture too, where the left shoulder is folded over.
Knip Mode’s version: very high and the edge of the  facing (which of course is not added to this muslin) would be visible and there’s not enough room for folding.
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My enthousiasm for the pattern has gone a bit. I like the right shoulder but would have to redraft the left shoulder part and the neckline. What do you think? Should this be a “normal” shoulder with perhaps one or two pleats. Would it make it more wearable? I know I have to add some space to the body, it’s too tight and the armholes have seam allowances that I did not cut off. With this result it will definitely not be ready before Easter.

My head is spinning

Having bought so many new fabrics in the past months, especially in the past month and having met with sewing friends my head is now spinning with ideas/garments to sew. I just don’t know what to start with. Do you know that feeling? There’s a knit top, a knock-off skirt, another blouse, a bra set all fighting for priority but the next thing will probably be another dress.

In my drafting/sewing lessons I drafted a shirt after a Marfy pattern and it looks I’m getting there with the fit far more easily than before.

A peek of what I’m working at. The lines in the front are even, just not properly done at the dressform.

Marfy inspired blouseMarfy line drawing front Marfy line drawing back 

Yesterday I bought the May issue of Knip Mode, which was an issue to give me a lot of inspiration again, especially a dress I must make.

This will most probably be my next dress, the pattern is traced, fabric decided upon. I will compare the pattern pieces with my draft (as much as I can, they are complicated pattern pieces). I might even try to sew it before Easter. I’ll need a quick mock-up for the top. It’s one of the patterns that is inspired by the dresses our (new) queen wears, showing photos of her rather then of the dress sewn up. This always makes me wonder whether the pattern has been tried by Knip Mode themselves. They had some patterns like that in the past that were not very correct. Only one way to find out…. make it.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Paris (2)

This photo was already part of the slideshow, but I’d like to show it here once again. Same pattern, very different dress. The other versions were not finished yet and one is made by someone who was not able to come to Paris. I hope to show those in a later post as I’m sure they’re very different again. Joana made hers in a ponte knit with white trim and added a triangle in the neckline. It shows the pattern pattern. My version is a tad too long, there was no time left to make the hem a little shorter, will do that later.

Considering the fact that I made my own pattern (based on the Burda pattern!) I’m quite happy with the result. I’ll keep drafting, a shirt is nearly finished.


You can’t go to Paris with sewing friends visiting fabric stores without buying fabric, can you? One of us could, but she will be moving house transatlantic soon, so did not feel the urge to add to the stuff to be moved. I was not strong and added quite a bit to the stash. Time for a stop to buying fabric? I’m not committing myself ;)


My haul consisted of some trims:

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And fabrics. Some as basic as a simple black fabrick but of a beautiful quality in a mix of cotton and silk. White linen in blouse quality. I have not made pictures of everything but will share a few: black and white cotton that could be used in various directions. I want to make a summer dress of it and as it’s a “coupon” of 3 meters there might be enough for a top too.

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This wonderful silk. Not my usual colors but fresh for summer.


Remnant pieces of silk in different qualities. This was on the last moment, just before closing time. They were only 3 euro per piece, also good for learning to sew silks better. I did not often do that yet. Just enough for a tanktop or something similiar.



Hope to show finished garments of some of these fabrics soon.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Back from Paris

Pictures say more than a thousand words. It was a fabulous weekend:
If you don't see the slideshow, this is a link to the album:Paris album

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Dress finished (with 3 hours to spare)

The story of this dress:

  • 3 weeks ago I ran with sewing friends, we had seen this dress in the online previews and all liked it. The idea was born to all make the dress for our upcoming trip to Paris (this weekend) and see all the different takes on it
  • Nice idea, then the dress turned out to be petite sized, not my sizing :(
  • I started following a sewing course recently for fitting and started pattern drafting
  • Thought: I can do this, re-draft the pattern for me on my own measurements, plenty of time (not a lot of experience, but hey, should/could be better than trying to alter a petite size, I have to alter patterns anyhow.)
  • Two drafts and muslins made (see previous posts)
  • Last week: making the dress, plenty of time, my work agenda is not as full as usual
  • Reality: last minute work jobs come into my planning (what’s new my family is asking), my train to Paris is leaving Thursday afternoon
  • Wednesday thought: I can finish the lining tonight… the small work job I wanted to finish took a bit more time, at 11 pm I’m not up to attaching a lining any more
  • Thursday morning: the lining is attached, 10.30 am the dress IS FINISHED, with 3 hours to spare, ENOUGH time to print the tickets for the train (done), write a quick blog post, pack my bag (I have a small list of what not to forget) and go off to Paris…..

To those of the group who could not make it this time: we will miss you!

If you think of making this dress: Burda instructions are very difficult and hard to follow, I’ve already uploaded my construction photos here. I wanted to make the front and back separate and sew together in a later stage than the Burda instructions. The crucial thing is that you have to attach the front facings earlier than normal. I chose to leave the top part of the seam of the facing open till later, which made construction a lot easier . Burda gives this pattern 3 dots for the difficulty level, but I should certainly give it 4 dots. It’s complicated.


See you later with stories of Paris, hopefully photos of the dress on me and maybe other variations, I’ve already seen a preview of one which is showing the pattern details better than my version.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Step by step

My week started with a lovely meetup with Pauline. She had to be in The Hague at her company’s office there and I was lucky she had time on Monday evening to come over to me. We hadn’t seen each other for a while, so we had a great time catching up.


(the glasses are not permanent I hope, I had an inflammation on my eye that made wearing my contact lenses impossible).

The other evenings were spent sewing. I did sew the panties to the bra I recently posted and made progress with my dress. On the panties I used the same embellishment as on the bra adding a little touch of red.


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The front of the dress is constructed. Normally I don’t mind the sparse instructions of Burda, but they could have made this dress to the monthly step by step pattern. And changed something in the order of working. It just doesn’t make sense to me to install an invisible zipper in a partially constructed back,and in a later phase complete the back and insert the zipper for the rest of the length. Really??? To me that sounds like the road to failure.

The instructions (for me in Dutch, so can’t know how the translation in English worked out) were almost incomprehensible. I made pictures during my construction and later I’ll check whether they make sense enough for an illustrated post on this.

I did not make a muslin of the skirt part, did cut extra seam allowance to be save so hope I’ll be allright. The most difficult part is over now. Keeping my fingers crossed that the fit will be ok.