Friday, 12 January 2018

BurdaStyle 01/2018 - 102 Knit Top

I've decided to hop on this years BurdaStyle challenge bandwagon.  I really want to get better use out of my Burda magazines this year instead of just talking about it.  I still have a ton of things I still want to make from 2017, but let's see if I can manage at least one thing from each issue this year.

I cannot resist twisted, drapy details so choosing this top was a no brainer!

01/2018 - 102

I also like the dress, 101 (not on the BurdaStyle website yet, the image below is from the Russian site).  Interestingly it has a separate upper bodice pattern piece because the neckline is quite a different shape.  Apart from that the pieces are identical so you can swap them around depending on your preference.  Personally I prefer the wider neckline and narrower shoulders of the top rather than the more close fitting jewel neckline of the dress so I'm glad I made the top first or I may not have realised from the line drawing.  The dress also has a centre back zip which might be needed if you make the narrower neckline, but definitely doesn't need to be long if you don't mind putting things on over your head!

Being a print fanatic, my stash of plain jerseys is very limited, I used this dark brown colour, I'm not sure yet what to wear it with other than jeans, but that is a good start I guess.  I think the pleating and twist detail shows up better in solid fabric, but I might try the dress in a print anyway.  (I also really want to use more of my stash fabric this year!).

I used my usual size 38, grading out below the waist (it's a little big on my dressform, well I should say I have grown larger than my dressform - another resolution for the list).  You do need to have the waist fitting closely to keep the twist in place.  The back is plain, but the centre back seam gives it a bit of shape.

I found the instructions pretty good, of course the only potentially tricky bit is the twist pieces so I took some photos during construction.  However I think the top (or dress) actually looks quite good even without the twist overlay if you want to keep things really simple.  I just roughly pinned the front onto my dressform so you get the idea.  

Twist construction tips 

Keep the pattern piece in front of you when you make the pleats in each draped piece, each end is different.  The notches on the top edge mark the centre and on either side of that is the slit marking.  The bottom edge self facing has been turned to the wrong side and basted in place along with the pleats.

Fold one piece in half right sides together at the centre notch and stitch from the slit marking to the pleated edge, this will leave a small hole in the middle.

 Turn right side out and open the piece flat, the seam you just stitched is across the centre, the top and bottom edges are faced and you have a small hole between the slit markings (on the left in the photo below).
 Thread the other draped piece through that hole.

Fold it so that you can stitch this draped piece in the same way as before - from the pleated edge to the slit marking, right sides together.

It should look like this from the front when finished, you may need to manipulate the twist a bit to get it sitting neatly.  The seams you sewed are across the centre now and the faced edges are top and bottom.

And from the back - kind of a mess!  For non fraying fabrics, which many knits are you don't really need to finish the facing edges, they all end up hidden on the inside.

As I mentioned it is really important that the twist is taut across the front of the top or it will droop below the waist seam.  I need to properly road test it to see if it may also need a couple of invisible stitches to hold it in place at the centre when it's being worn.

I had to edit the exposure in these photos so you can see the details.  The pants are Jalie Eleanor in stretch denim.

Friday, 5 January 2018

McCall's 6069 Jersey maxi dress

I feel bad for posting a summery maxi dress with bomb cyclones and storm Eleanor wreaking havoc elsewhere, but the reality is this dress won't see the light of day until at least May by which time I will have forgotten all about it.  Stay safe and warm out there.

I spent the holidays in Phuket, Thailand to celebrate my husband's 50th birthday with his large family who came out from the UK.  Of course I wanted to make something new to wear, but also something easy and not too dressy.  I used McCall's 6069, an easy knit pattern I've made several times before.  The pattern envelope calls this a 1 hour dress, but I don't think I'd ever be able to make anything that quickly.  Maybe 3 in total?

I made the sleeveless cowl version, but changed the skirt to maxi length and left a slit in one side seam.  The ITY jersey fabric is from China and has all my favourite colours in it so I'm glad to have used it for this special occasion.

I added a strap across the back (as shown for view C, the square front neck version) otherwise there is a tendency for it to fall off the shoulder with the deep cowl in the back.


Here are a couple of pictures of me before the party and I have only just noticed now that the back strap needs to be a bit shorter!  Oh well!

Unfortunately this pattern has been out of print now for a while, but if you like easy knit dresses I'd recommend it if you can find it somewhere, I've got good use out of it over the years and am sure I'll use it again.  I'm wondering now why I haven't yet made the long sleeve version....

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Style Arc Halle Stretch Pencil Skirt

Firstly thank you for commenting on the knit waistcoat on my previous post - it turns out that the pattern is designed for "wools or blends, boucle" which says woven to me and may explain why I had so many issues making it in a very stretchy knit!  Onwards, and paying better attention to suggested fabrics....

I picked up this pattern in the recent Thanksgiving sale, to be honest it probably would be quite easy to draft it from a knit pencil skirt pattern, but I do really like Style Arc's designs and I am 100% sure they are better at drafting patterns than I am!

Halle pdf pattern / paper pattern

I made this 3 times in a week so it turned out to be quite good value and clearly a fast and easy pattern.  It's designed for ponte & stable knit fabrics.  The crossover is quite generous so even when you sit down there is still decent leg coverage.

There's not a lot to say about the construction, the front skirt pieces are shaped so that the mitred corners are really easy to do, you just need to pay attention to the seam allowances which are marked on the pattern.  I added a bit extra at the side seams so I could fit on the way and I figured I might need more than the 3/8ths/8mm allowance to play with - I did this on each version as I find all fabrics behave a bit differently.

Here are my 3 skirts :

Version 1 Navy/Black
This is from a heavy black ponte with a navy, slightly sparkly, almost snakeskin print on it.  Really hard to photograph, but I love this fabric.

Version 2 Colourblocked
A contrast blocked version from remnants which is always very satisfying.  The left front and whole back are plain black.

Version 3 Panel Print
I thought the print would look odd with the asymmetric front so I just used the plain back pattern piece for both front and back.  I found it to be a bit clingy from static so I lined it with a stretch mesh lining before attaching the waistband elastic.

This simple skirt is so quick and easy to make that I can see it becoming a bit of a staple in my wardrobe and the plain version will probably be my TNT stretch skirt pattern now.  My versions are all for cool weather and quite formal, I'd definitely like to try it in a more casual look like the illustration too.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

BurdaStyle 09/2016 - 118 Long Waistcoat & 110 Stretch Trousers

Two pieces from the 9/2016 Burda worn together!

I first made this long knit waistcoat as a gift for my sister and planned to make one for myself. (previously blogged here).  It only took me a year to get around to it!

09/2016 - 118 Long Waistcoat

I actually made the trousers at the beginning of the year, but they proved so impossible to photograph that they didn't justify their own blog post.  I do want to highlight the pattern though because it is a good one.  Designed for stretch fabrics and with front and back seams, a back yoke and a centre back seam in the waistband, you can really easily tweak these and get a great fit.

Mine are in a black ponte and I left off the ankle zips.

Back to the waistcoat....the version I originally made for my sister was in a knit boucle, a much better fabric choice than this one in a very soft sweater knit which stretched like crazy!  I had put the pockets in, but they ended up somewhere near my knees and were quite bulky so I removed them.  I also had to trim the collar down considerably and you can see that the hem is wavy also.  I might fold it up again and see if that helps.

This really should have been a quick and easy project, but ended up being incredibly frustrating to make.  It is great for our current in between weather though so I am trying to forget all the annoyances!