Thursday, December 5, 2019

A pair of trousers, Burdastyle September 2019

This is my second pair of trousers made from the BurdaStyle September 2019 issue. The first pair was made during the sewing week I enjoyed with my friends in October and as the fit was so good, I decided to make another pair.

A few notes on the pattern and the changes I did:

  • the pattern is for tall people and while I'm not 1.76 (the lenght the tall patterns are drafted for) I'm closer to that than to the average length of 1.68 of their regular patterns. I chose the size by waist circumference, hoping the pleats would give the extra room at hip height. Without any other changes, it was a miraculously good fit.
  • in the magazine 2 variations are shown, one with the pleats folded to the center front, one with the pleats folding to the sides.
    On my first pair, I hadn't noticed this, nor read the instructions and had folded the pleats to the side because that's more common. Sewing on auto-pilot. Though fine, I preferred the pleats to be a bit more away from the center, so I moved the pleats 1.5 cm to the side on my second pair. The photos are of the pair with this change.
  • Earlier this year I made a pair of trousers from the March issue, which had a slightly curved pocket opening which didn't gape. So I used that slight curve here too.
    When sewing the pocket, I used a strip of silk organza to take out any stretch.
  • I made the legs a normal length and didn't add cuffs.
  • Almost forgot: changed the straight waistband to a curved one. Straight waistbands don’t suit me. It’s not difficult to draft a new one, but I made my life easy when I was amongst my sewing friends. One of the ladies had just traced a pattern with a curved waistband. I made a copy, adjusted a bit on the length for my pattern and that was it. The happiness of sewing friends!

In my opinion a little basting helps to get a better result.

I know there are still pleats in the back, it's different with every move. I think I can't get it much better than this.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Reducing bulk - serged seam

After a more complicated garment like a jacket it often feels good to do a few less time consuming projects. This time it's knit tops for me. I've cut a few and am sewing them one at a time. Not really production sewing, as they all need different colour thread. Still very instant gratification though.
One of the garments is a cardigan, cut from a more substantial fabric. Using a thicker fabric and sewing it with a serger means seams can have a lot of bulk when you have to fold a seam. In this case it's the seam of a neckband.

My solution is clip the seam at the point where it's folded, but not clip the thread that is forming the actual seam, press in different directions and fold over . The result doesn't show that much of a bump.

For comparison I made a quick sample of the result without clipping the seam too.

The version which I made with the clip is at the bottom.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Jacket finished

The jacket is fnished. As so often there is a bit room for improvement on fit (the back mostly), in general I'm pretty satisfied though. I have to think about styling this. Because of the fabric I used it's more formal. A nice scarf would loosen the look a bit. Any thoughts?
And I love a special lining!
 I'll let the photo's do the talking:

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Constructions - part 2

Some further construction details for the jacket. I think a lot of how a jacket looks when it's finished depends on the details on the inside. Bulk reduction, mentioned in my previous post too, is part of that.
Most of the corners of seams are therefor cut at an angle.

The seam of the facing is graded. The facing is cut shorter than the front pattern piece. In general the seam allowance that is closest to the outside of the garment is longer.
For the corner at the hem I cut back as in the following picture.

I folded the corner in the direction of the facing and gave the point a good press (only the point!). After that press I unfold the corner, cut away the facing at an angle, fold again and turn. While turning I keep hold of the folded edge.

The armhole seam is trimmed to 1 cm at the upper part, only half a centimeter at the lower part. Mostly this is 2/3 and 1/3 of the height. In this case I cut the side panels to a smaller seam allowance.

For the sleeves I use a sleevehead and shoulderpads. The smallest shoulderpads that I can find (in height), as they are not used for getting height or width (the 80's are a long time ago), but just to give the shoulder area and the top of the sleeve a bit more support.
Sleeveheads are never mentioned in Burda instructions, nor were the shoulderpads part of the construction for this jacket. I just prefer to use them anyway.

The sleeve head is attached on the inside of the sleeve. I use basting thread, very close to the seam. On a tailoring course I once took I learned that basting thread was often used on the inside, because it's not slippery.

I'm close to finishing. Hemming still to be done and of course the lining. Hopefully sometime this week.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Construction - part 1

The closure for the jacket is in the waist seam line. This means you define the width of the buttonhole at a very early stage of construction, so it's important to know which button you use.
Though my button stash is limited (I don't stash buttons, most of what I have are taken from garments that were at the end of their life cycle) I still have four options. The good think about them is that they are all the same size.

The picture doesn't show the fabric too well, it has black, brown and dark blue in it.
Burda magazine did use a smaller button. I measured with one of my buttons and the green line in the second picture defines the new buttonhole length. The red marks are the original pattern marks.
Another thing to check when using a larger button is to make sure the button will not go over the edge when finished. That was ok with my buttons.

Reducing bulk

The pleat in the front is sewn and folded down. Burda gives no instruction how to handle the bulk that as a consequence is in the waist seam line. the inner part of the pleat is in the way of the buttonhole. 
My solution was to cut away part of the fold and zigzag the edge. After sewing the waistline seam I held it in place by a catch stitch. Not the most beautiful hand stitching, but it works and will never be seen. 

After this I sewed the shoulder and side seams and could put it on to see the fit. I think it's promising to be good. Too dark to take photos, especially as the fabric is rather dark.

Friday, October 25, 2019

A jacket - Burda August 2019

Change of plan, instead of showing recent makes, I'm documenting the making of a jacket, to share and for my own future reference.
The pattern is jacket number 113 from August Burda. A lovely design that I planned to make since I saw it. It's been quite a long time ago that I made a jacket and I really felt an urge to make one.

Pattern tracing and changes

  • I traced a size 40 at the upper body, grading out to size 44 at hip height.
  • Added 3 cm to the upper body pattern pieces (default change for me).
  • Sleeve length looks fine, no initial change. Decision will be taken later.
  • Did an FBA to the front and side panel.
  • Compared the pattern pieces to my sloper. Looks fine but a bit more ease might be better, so I cut with wider side seams.

Preparing the pattern pieces

As always, I'm not following Burda instructions and doing things my way. That is, the way I learned from several real life or online teachers and books over the years. 
  • The front pattern pieces were interfaced with a heavier fusible interfacing. The area for the pleat was cut out. I think it will make the pleat less stiff, but it's a "call of judgement" that I'm not sure of.
  • The side panel has an extra layer at the top.
  • The back pattern pieces have a light weight interfacing. Both the center back pattern as the side have extra interfacing at the top.
  • On the front I've added a shoulder shield, to prevent a dip of fabric in that area

You may notice there are pencil lines on all pattern pieces. Those are the seam lines and notches. In this fabric and with the interfacing on top these lines won't be visible on the outside. So I didn't bother with tracing paper or wash-away pens.  As always I prefer to work with actual seam lines over default seam allowances.

Shoulder shield

This article in Threads magazine discusses the (inner) construction of an Armani jacket. It might have been the first time I read about a shoulder shield. Later I saw it used in a Craftsy (now Bluprint) class by Alison Smith. I've used it in many jackets since. 
The canvas is cut without seam allowance and 2-3 mm inside the seam at the front/neckline in this case. A fusible interfacing is cut that is slightly larger at the shoulder seam, the armhole seam and front, but does not cover the whole canvas at the bottom. Fusing this over the canvas makes the canvas stay put.

This preparation took quite some time. I hope construction will go smoothly.

A sweater finished

I've quite a bit to show, it's been a productive few weeks :). Mainly because I enjoyed a lovely sewing week together with my sewing friends. This was the 8th time we did this and it's been so lovely again. It has evolved in a week that's almost as much about cooking and enjoying meals together as sewing. And of course chatting, sharing ideas, fitting help etc. Perfect "me" time for all of us.
Over the next week I'll try to show the sewing results, for now I'm sharing the sweater I made. It's a combination of a ziggurat pattern by Asa Tricosa, inspiration I found in another design and cables.

The cable is from the book "Knitted Cable Sourcebook" by Norah Gaughan. Very inspiring! I took one of the cable charts, flipped and rotated and came to this design.


I'm very pleased it worked, as this is more "free-style" knitting than I"ve ever done before. Something warm to wear during cold winter days.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Black beauty bra

I totally forgot I hadn't put a post up on my latest bra. It's the black beauty pattern by Emerald Erin. A bit different by the external "power bar". When seeing the line drawing I had a little doubt, as it looked a bit low on the upper cup. But that's different for my size.

For the size I went with the size 32F at first and made that cup of a remnant and sewed it into a band of a bra that was not good. Then I did the same with the 32FF cup and that promised to be ok. Isn't this a fun look ;)?

I followed the name of the pattern with my choice of fabrics and lace. The lace has been around a long time and somehow I always was reluctant to use it. Good for a trial version of this pattern. 

The pattern has several views and can also be made with foam. I did not use foam (though I might try it at some point). I made the all lace version (view B) and love the result. The instructions are very good. I've followed along, even though I've made many bras before. The only thing that could have been better are the notches/marking of the under cup. An indication of center front and upper/under side would have been good imho. 
The back is different from what I usually make, but after a day of wearing has my approval, the external power bar has a slightly slimming effect (pushing the breasts a bit more inward).

I'm very happy with this bra, there will be more variations (soon  I hope).

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Sewing lingerie again

Lingerie sewing has been on the backburner for a pretty long time. Somehow I didn't feel inspired and a complete failure with a bra last year didn't help. The bra below was finished last week. It had been cut months ago (March?) and was around in my sewing room since.

I didn't use a pattern, but copied a rtw bra that has a good fit. A good way to start sewing lingerie again, as a lot of the patterns I used before are not the perfect fit any more. So the quest for good fitting bra patterns starts again. I'm in the middle of trying a new pattern (and new to me indie designer) for a bra and I hope to be able to show you the results soon.

I went to the famous Kantje Boord shop in Amsterdam today. The best source for inspiration too. And of course lovely fabrics! My intention was to buy black based lace. Think I've succeeded ;).

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Random projects

This post contains pictures of a few projects I made in the past months. I didn't take notes of any details, so present them with their line drawing and only minor details.

StyleArc - Sadie top
I've made this before and made a verwion for myself and one for my daughter (the striped version).


Vogue 8972, also a dress I made before in plain linen fabric. This time around I made it in a print, but as not to lose the design lines, I used piping at the waistline, the neckline and the armholes. Definitely a more formal dress. Made from cotton with a touch of lycra, very comfortable to wear. One of my favorites at the moment when I need a formal dress.

This is from the July 2019 issue of Knip mode, pattern no 11. The pattern has a center front seam, but I cut it on the fold.
A trial run as the fabric was a bit brighter than I thought (online fabric shopping has its surprises). It's a nice top and I made it in plain white too.