Thursday, July 30, 2015

Burda – April 1993

“Who saves something, has something” is a Dutch saying. The English equivalent is “waste not, want not”. I found an old Burda magazine yesterday evening when rummaging through a pile of magazines, searching for something else. I should be de-cluttering but this magazine is a keeper! I never made something from it, the pattern sheets were still attached. Probably because in 1993 I was pregnant with my first child and for a long time after that I did not really sew for myself.
Some things look so current (or classic?) that I would like to make them. I’m still undecided as to what my next project will be, so perhaps???
DSC_1330 DSC_1324
DSC_1323 DSC_1322

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A new bra

bra front

It turned out to be very difficult to make good photos of this bra. These are the best shots I madebra side detail

The seam in the lace is hardly visible, don’t you agree?

bra shoulderstrap

I like the result but it was a pita to use this lycra for the bra. In my previous set I used a lycra with less stretch for the bra and this lycra only for the accompanying panties. Should have done that here as well. This lycra is thin and very stretchy. Add to that I had not the usual stable fabric I use to interface the under/side cup and used “old fashioned” tulle and there’s a recipe for difficulties during construction. Wearable, but a few pleats that I’d rather not have when this is on my body.

One panty to finish and then this set is ready.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

One pattern, many looks

Could also be titlted: variations on one pencil skirt draft.

This is a skirt I made in past week. Also inspired by a rtw skirt, I’ve seen various variations on this theme in the past year.Initially the pint on my right side was deeper, but I didn’t like the look of it. The fabric on the sides of the zipper is interfaced, it must be my body that makes it curve.

 skirt zipper 2 skirt zipper 1

I nice project after such an intense one that my blouse was. I used a riri zipper that I bought 5 years ago in New York at a meetup with both Robin and Nancy. I thought it better to use it then to keep it in my stash forever as a too special zipper to use.

The base for this skirt is my skirt block/sloper. The next skirts were all made based on the same block, really one pattern, many looks don’t you think? The one with the ruffles is the knock off Marni skirt from last year. I can’t remember a blog post specifically on the other two, but they were based on a Knip Mode pattern that I adapted using my block.

red skirt marni skirt denim skirt

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Blouse with woven strips of fabric – part 6 / finished

Let me first post a reminder of the original top that I was so inspired by.


Followed by my version (looking a bit tired and no make-up after a run earlier). I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking.

finished blouse

  Side blouse Front detail blouse side back

As mentioned earlier I used a water soluble layer under the strips. This is just before I cut most of it away. A little anxious moment as I was unsure how the strips would behave without the stabilizer to hold them together. As you can see in the pictures of the blouse on me, they hold well. A word of caution if you use the water soluble fabric: don’t use steam with your iron. I forgot at some point and immediately the layer started to dissolve (I press a lot during sewing and it irritates me to see the (altered) back dart not pressed well).
How it will be after laundry is another matter.Ironing will probably be a difficult task.

construction detail

Thank you all for the for the nice comments. Carmen, it really is a pity sometimes we all don’t live closer to each other, it would be so nice to be able to (get) help with fitting. Thank you for the link on the shoulder slope and I will definitely study it more closely later.

Laura Arhire asked “your shoulder seems to be a bit forward, but the shoulder seam doesn't point to your shoulder cap. Does that affect fit at all”. Yes, my shoulder is a bit forward, though it’s mostly my arm that tilts forward (or is that the same?) It does affect fit and perhaps I should even set in my sleeves a bit more forward. For the moment I’m satisfied with the sleeve in this blouse, but I do see room for improvement.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Blouse with woven strips of fabric – part 5

Just want to share my progress, I’m so happy with the result of the front. Apart from the strips the placket was a challenge. I did not want the hidden placket till the neckline and figured out how to make a partial one. Might be worth a tutorial at some point. 


hidden button placket

Enough time spent in the sewing room this morning, I’m really longing to finish it but with a gathering of friends later today at our house I now have to close the door to it and prepare some food, take a shower and change. The saga of this blouse will be continued soon.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Blouse with woven strips of fabric – part 4

strips ready

It’s getting serious. I’m working in the fashion fabric. I pinned out a little in the back, resulting in both a better fit in the back and the sleeve fitted better at the same time. I will post a picture of that last muslin phase when I have one ;).

This morning I made the final pattern based on the original pieces and the muslin. Like Holly said in her comment on my last post: it’s not a project to whip up in an afternoon. The strips for the front took me about 2 hours and I took a huge shortcut. Though it’s only a shortcut from what I originally planned, there are no instructions.

I planned to make strips in the conventional way: sew on the wrong side and turn the strip. When thinking about that I already saw a problem in pressing the seam open as I did not want the sewn side on the edge.
After cutting the strips I encountered another “problem”. I wanted all sides of the strips to have the black on the edge (ocd, I know). Difficult to get right. Change of plans then: all the strips were ironed in the way I planned and initially I thought to close them with hand sewing. WHAT??? Hand sewing all these strips? I’m not a great fan of hand sewing and avoid it if I can.

Conclusion: I did not sew them but fused them together, the sewing police may come and fine me. Serged one end and used narrow strips of vliesofix to close the seam. I used vliesofix because I had that available, it works the same as wonder tape but that is not readily available here and can only be ordered online. Vliesofix is sold by lengths and it’s easy to cut narrow strips with a rotary cutter. I’ve used it before to cover padding with the right color lycra.

vliesofix strips serged on wrong side

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Blouse with woven strips of fabric – part 3

Good progress in my opinion. I’ve closed the center back pleat and have sewn the darts as well. Still a little bit too much space as the result of making the body sloper wider. This style of back suits me better than the wide one of the inspiration piece. The main attractive feature is the front(as Vicki commented too’). I’ll make a back that I like better.
For the sleeves I reverted back to Suzy Furrer’s class. The result is so much better now. A little pleat in the back and I will see what happens there when I pin a bit of space out of the back. For those doing Suzy’s classes: it makes a difference how you draft your curves around the square size, the N-T and N-M lines. I had to flatten the upper curve but of course that depends on the pattern you’re making and your figure. Just something to consider when you’’re working on it.
A few tweaks and then I hope to be ready to finalize the pattern.  It’s a fun project.
side back side sleeve
Thank you for the comments letting me know that you like these posts. I know there is little time in a day and don’t comment myself as much as I used to do. Reading blogs on my phone is a great way to keep up to date, but it’s the worst platform to comment (I don’t like typing on my phone, it’s so slow (being used to typing without having to look at the keyboard) and errors are easily made. So I really appreciate if you take time to comment and even (like Renee on my last post) to give tips and advice on drafting. Thank you Renee! She mentioned that the original has a dropped shoulder and I’m aware of that, but choose not to make the shoulder dropped.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Blouse with woven strips of fabric – part 2

muslin front muslin back

Sorry to show you again such boring fabric. Sometimes I think I’m only publishing posts with muslins ;). They serve a purpose though and I like to document what I do in my blog too. Muslins can be the first part of a real garment but also be part of my progress in drafting patterns and (of course) a muslin can help decide it’s no use to continue on a project because the style does not work for me.

Not so for this blouse, I like this so far.

My interpretation of the front waist pleats is sewing the dart partially. I’m not sure yet how to proceed with the back. The original has a waist seam in the back that continues to halfway the front. My guess is that the wide back is gathered to the waist. I’m not so sure I would like it that way on me and consider leaving out the pleat center back and use partially stitched darts as in the front. Any thoughts on this?

imagemuslin on me

Analyzing the fit and design I need more curve the front placket . I like the opening at the neckline of the original and drafted it almost wide enough, but forgetting the width of the placket extensions. The neckline is fine and does not need any changes. The shoulder needs to be half a centimeter wider. It’s a lesson in checking and re-checking, as somehow I’ve lost that half a centimeter compared to my sloper.

   muslin on me

The right sleeve was the first I made and it does not have ease. Too tight and feels uncomfortable.

muslin on me

I widened it and it now has a bit of ease. Feels comfortable but the fit is not as I want it to be. Í will try to set it in differently and see whether that helps.

muslin on me muslin on me 

The main body was drafted based on the sloper made in Suzy Furrer’s Craftsy class. The sleeves are a combination of the Danckaerts method of drafting and then adapting for shirt sleeve as described in the book by Helen Joseph Armstrong. In her book she makes a distinction between patterns for dresses and for blouses/shirts. Can you have too much information? Perhaps it would be better to stick to one method. Alas, it does not work for me that way. I have taken real life classes, I’m watching Suzy Furrer’s classes and also reading the books. Hopefully not too much information to digest. 

Perhaps I will try Suzy Furrer’s draft for sleeves after all for this blouse. My main concern is the lack of height of the sleeve cap in her way of drafting. The shirt style has a lower cap and is wider. Why do I realize something like that after doing it in a more complicated way? And that is a rhetorical question.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Blouse with woven strips of fabric – part 1

When inspired like this I want to continue and despite the heat I started working on the muslin. The main focus point of this design are of course the woven strips at the top, I think it’s difficult to do this right without using a layer to fix them during construction. For the final product I plan to use water soluble fabric (Avalon) for this. In the muslin I opted for a thin fabric that does not add bulk and which I will cut away later. It’s thin and fluid so I starched it. I traced the pattern piece on this “temporary”  pattern piece with carbon tracing paper on both sides. In that way I can see the actual seam lines adding the strips of fabric and in construction.

For the weaving I used fabric strips of different width as in the inspiration piece.


When woven and pinned I turned the pattern piece on the carbon tracing paper again and marked it.


Then I cut away the extra length of the strips.


There is a little room between the strips but not a lot. On to the next part and sewing the muslin together. To be continued…..

Saturday, July 4, 2015


All of a sudden the inspiration was there today. I was on Pinterest and saw a pin from my friend Valerie and immediately knew that I wanted to try to make my version of it. It’s a Nina Ricci blouse and I simply love the line of the placket, the stripes, the weaving of the strips of fabric. I’ve started drafting already and will make a quick muslin when I can get myself to sewing again. At least the inspiration is there, that’s step 1.


 image image

Friday, July 3, 2015

Not sewing related (again)

As we are having an exceptional heat wave here in The Netherlands (and in most of Europe) I’m not sewing. It’s just too hot. That’s from someone who lives in a very moderate climate, I know.

I mentioned before I was knitting a mystery shawl pattern (Xanadu). It’s finished and I like it. It was a difficult knit with lots of cables (at least stitches that were knitted in a different order, which is how cables are knitted). I did not use a cable needle and love that way of doing them. I had a difficulty with the pattern, as in the knitting patterns I’ve done in the past two years a blank square means a knit on the right side and a purl on the wrong side. Not so in this pattern, it was the reverse, which got me confused very often.

During my holidays I had a finished shawl with me that I used regularly in the evenings and on the chilly days. They do give that little bit of extra warmth, I’ve come to like them a lot (though until two years ago I never knitted or used one).


Blocked and unblocked.