Saturday, November 1, 2014

Pattern Review: BurdaStyle Magazine 02-2009-118 Yellow Striped Knit Top

Still playing catch up with posting the rest of my summer makes! We have been busy with homeschooling and blogging has taken the back seat. 

Another one of my summer wardrobe pieces is the BurdaStyle yellow striped top from the BurdaStyle issue 02/2009. The dropped shoulders, curved yoke and puff sleeves are actually what sold me on it. This top has been on my must make list for years but I never got around to making it this summer. Better late than never!
Now that it's finally made, I can't wait to try the dress version soon, provided I find the fabulous fabric Burda used for this one below. 

The instructions for this top are confusing even in French so I was glad to find quite a few of reviews on PR. I used Kay Y's review and I must say, her pictures were very helpful and allow for a neat finish. It is crucial to note all the markings on the sleeve and bodice pieces, transfer them to the fabric and keep the pattern tissue very close for reference. It made a world of difference. It sews up really fast once you understand the construction. 

I used a thin yellow and white striped rayon lycra knit fabric from my stash. I got it from the remnant bin at Hart Fabrics in Santa Cruz a while ago. I cut a 42 but should have cut a 40 as the rayon I used is quite thin. I wouldn't be surprised if later I need to take it in as I did with some dresses I made with lightweight rayon knit. 
I lined the upper bodice by cutting the yoke out of a remnant yellow cotton lycra knit also from Hart Fabrics and used it as a facing thus eliminating the need for a neck binding. 

I also underlined the bodice with an off-white chiffon/mesh mystery knit from my stash after the top was nearly finished. Ugh!!! My bra was showing through when I tried the whole thing on before coverstitching the hem! That meant, carefully unpicking the upper bodice and sewing it up again with the underlining. 
On the bright side, I got some extra practice with sewing the yoke back on, in case I make this pattern again as a dress.

ETA: I wore this top a lot during my summer trip and as I suspected, the neckline stretched out. So, back it is on my sewing table for a quick(who am I kidding!!) alteration. 
Lesson learned: cut one or two sizes smaller when using lightweight rayon stretch knit fabric.
Until next time!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Pattern Review: BurdaStyle 02-2010-104 Yellow Linen Skirt

Homeschooling has already started for us and in my spare time I've been trying to catch up with posting the rest of my summer makes. One of my wardrobe pieces is the BurdaStyle yellow linen skirt from the BurdaStyle issue 02/2010.

Worn with the Colorblock lace top

It was pretty easy to put together. Cutting and sewing took about an afternoon to complete. I cut a 42 but could have gotten away with a 40 since it's a little loose on me.
Worn with the striped floral applique top

I usually get the French Burda because the instructions are easier for me to read in French. The French Burda instructions are okay but they could be better.

I used a yellow linen blend from my stash which I believe I got from Joann from a while ago. I had bought it for a colorblocking project and changed my mind so it has been sitting in my stash for the longest. 
Now I wish I had more yellow fabrics in my stash. With this summer wardrobe I went a little out of my comfort zone with colors especially since the floral fabric I used goes with so many solid bright hues. I love this skirt and the fit is perfect.

The Burda skirt pattern doesn't call for a lining but I added one by cutting the front and back pattern pieces in bemberg lining fabric. Interestingly the lining is blue. After trying several color linings from my stash under the yellow linen and the only color that didn't show through is the blue lining. Go figure!

Skirt worn with the famous Burda 02/2009 puffed sleeve top

I am planning on sewing this again in stretch denim for Fall.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Inspired by... Part 3: The Lace Colorblock Top/ New Look 6483

  The Rachel Roy Knock-off.

When I saw the Rachel Roy top, I knew I wanted to make it. I have a lot of lace fabric sitting in my stash begging to be sewn so I thought this top would be a great addition to the wardrobe. 

I made view D of the New Look 6483 which I modified heavily to achieve the Rachel Roy's top look. I used it as a sloper kind of. It is a great basic pattern. Very versatile. I used rayon challis for the front, lace for the overlay and black crepe for the contrast back. They all came from my stash. I cut the lace front piece first and then trimmed it diagonally aroung the floral lace designs. I cut the front floral piece next using the New Look pattern 6247 as a guide, omitting the yoke and adding a lace yoke to the back and a back keyhole button.

This top ended up being my happy accident number 2. Just as the shorts were too tight, this top turned out too small because of my carelessness in cutting the slippery fabric. So I removed the back which was cut out of the floral fabric and replaced it with the same black crepe fabric I used for the contrast on the tuxedo shorts. I then took a wedge out of the front shell and added it to the back piece to cut it as a whole. The result was a roomier top. Phew!!!!! 

I topstitched the lace down on the front piece of floral fabric, used self made bias tape from the floral fabric just like the inspiration top for the neck and armholes. The contrast bias binding add a nice touch to the black lace. I cut the front a little shorter than the back for a high and low look.

I'm soooo glad I was able to save this top. I like mixed media coloblocking overall look of it now. 

Inspired by... Part 2: The Tuxedo Shorts.

This is Mini Wardrobe piece number 2: the tuxedo shorts. They were on their way to be a wadder but I was able to save them from the discard bin. I call them a happy accident. In my attempt to replicate the Sachin+Babi look I wanted to make shorts out of my floral fabric. 
I didn't manage the fabric cutting very well I must admit. I had 2 yards of fabric to work with and started by cutting out the flowers for the applique instead of the shorts. I had to figure out how to make the most out of the leftover fabric and still make sure that the flowers would be place properly on the shorts.
I am not a big fan of short shorts so I wanted to try New Look 6100 view B because it looked longer than the average short length.

I did a muslin for the New Look shorts but for some reason they were too tight in the floral fabric. So I had to come up with plan B which is the McCalls Fashion Star pattern 6707.

McCalls 6707

 I thought adding side panels will help with the xetra width I needed. I believe the floral fabric must have shifted during cutting since I only used pattern weights and didn't pin the pattern to the fabric. I read somewhere that you need to lay fabrics that tend to shift on tissue paper first before cutting them. The fabric is sandwiched between 2 layers of paper. So, I pinned it like crazy. Cutting was a breeze after using that method and there was no shifting. Because I was trying to save the fabric I kept the pockets from the New Look pattern so the pocket lining is not cut out of the contrast fabric as on the McCalls pattern. I was relieved!!!

The floral fabric was bought earlier this year from Fabrics R'Us in San Jose. I believe it's rayon challis. The black contrast fabric is crepe. Both are from my stash.
I cut shorts instead of pants. I lengthened the back crotch by slashing and spreading. The front crotch length was fine. I cut a 14 since the Fashion Star patterns tend to run small. I had to draft a fly facing and a fly shield so I used the Grainline Studio maritime shorts tutorial to make the fly front zipper. It went together smoothly.

Tuxedo shorts worn with the Lace Mixed Media Top.

Tuxedo Shorts worn with the Striped Applique Top

I like the McCalls tuxedo look better than the plain shorts look I was going for at first and I am so glad I didn't waste the floral fabric.

Inspired by... Part 1: The Floral Applique Striped Top.

I am finally back from my trip to Africa! I was there mostly to celebrate my Mom's 80th birthday. I had a great time but it's good to be back. It was the second time that I was travelling without the kids and they were really sad to see me go. 
I was very productive before I left since I was participating in the PR's Mini Wardrobe Contest. I am especially proud that I finished everything a few days before the contest deadline and only used my fabric and pattern stash.
The first piece of the wardrobe is my favorite. It has everything that I like: stripes and flowers. I am a huge fan of Sachin an Babi. Their 2014 resort collection is absolutely amazing. I knew I had to make the stripe and floral top. My inspiration for the contest started with this top.

I used McCalls 6571. I love this pattern. I love boatneck tops. Don't know why I waited so long to make it. It is definitely going in my favorite patterns' bin. 

McCalls 6571

I made a 10 grading to a 12 at the hip. The pattern includes lots of fitting tips and adjustments for full bust, sway back, rounded shoulder, etc. As a PR reviewer mentionned, it is important to add the facing the way they instruct because the facing is incorporated into the armscye seam and makes a clean finish.

I had some medium weight stripe viscose blend knit in my stash that was perfect for the top and a floral mystery fabric that I bought from Fabrics R'Us in San Jose earlier this year. I believe it's rayon challis. 

I did the swayback adjustments per instructions. I cut a 3/4 sleeves. I cut out the flowers and appliqued them unto the striped fabric using Steam a Seam Lite an iron-on fusible fabric web. Then I tried all kinds of zigzag settings on my machine and finished the edges with the zigzag stitch I liked best. 

I wonder if I could have used something lighter than the Steam a Seam light because the top is a little stiff on the sides. I had to topstitch it down at the sides so it would lay flat. 
The top itself went together pretty fast after I was done with the applique. It is truly a great pattern.

Top worn with tuxedo shorts

Top worn with yellow Burda skirt.

I really like how this top turned out. It is going to get a lot of wear. I sewed another one already and will post it as soon as I get pictures taken.

I got 4th place in the Mini Wardrobe Contest. I will be posting the rest of the wardrobe soon.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Simplicity 1665 - The Frida Kahlo dress

So, my friend Mamie suggested we should sew something special for the Frida Kahlo tribute on the Sewing on my Kichen Table Google+ community. I was only able to finish mine a few days ago because I wanted to add a built-in bra and it took longer than I expected. Happy belated Frida!
Built-in bras are my latest obsession. A friend of mine has a beautiful halter dress from Athleta that I wanted to replicate so I've been experimenting with adding built-in bras to some of my dresses. I spent hours at REI examining dresses and how the bras were sewn into them.
For the tribute, I chose the Simplicity 1665.

I have been wanting to make this pattern since it came out and after I saw Art Attack's dress on Pattern Review. The pattern is made for woven fabrics and lightweight double knits. I liked the colorblock option of the pattern and decided to use a medium weight rayon knit I bought last year during a fabric shopping spree in Berkeley. For the contrast, I used a matching purple rayon knit from my stash.
I have been doing great staying away from fabric stores since I am participating in the Quirky Peach Summer Stashbusting Challenge.
My stash is out of control so I am glad I stumbled upon Sally's blog and working on reducing it. I still have fabric from 15 years ago when I used to live in Paris!!!!!
Anyway, since the pattern was made for woven and lightweight double knits, I cut a size 8 grading up to a 10 at the hip. I had to trim it down another inch to make it fit properly. So, it is better to go down 2 sizes if you decide to make it in a knit. I added about 19 inches to make it a maxi dress because I love maxi dresses and I envisionned this dress as a maxi.

I lined the straps with some power mesh fabric from my stash since I was afraid the weight of the print fabric would make to top part of the dress sag. It worked perfectly.
For the built-in bra, I cut the front and back piece again using the length of my own sport bra as a reference. I cut one out of the purple fabric and one out of the power mesh. I left an opening on each side to insert bra cups and finished with an elastic. I bought bra cups at Joanns and unfortunately they were too light to provide a good coverage, so I used foam bra cups from one of my sports bras.

The contrast fabric is hard to photograph. It is actually purple but it appears blue.

I am pretty happy about the result. I will be making more dresses with built-in bras in the future.

I have been sewing up a storm. I am participating in the Mini Wardrobe Challenge on Pattern Review. I figured it would be perfect for my trip  to Africa. I am super excited about my color combinations. I went all mixed media with stripes, flowers and lace.
Stay tuned.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Et de deux!!!(The bullseye dress)

I finally finished my second dress. Another knock off. I'm on a roll especially since I am going to Africa again in a month. I need basic pieces so I will try not to sew fancy dresses for the closet like my hubby always says. I will also try to just follow a pattern from start to finish. Who am I kidding!
I saw this dress on originally and had to make it. It is made by Dolce Vita and was priced at $242. Aside from the price which is way out of my budget and the skirt which I didn't like, I loved the uniqueness of the bodice. Sooo I had to knock it off.
I wanted a pattern with a yoke and no darts on the front bodice. I went through my stash and was almost ready to draft my own bodice when I found Vogue 8944. It indeed fits the bill. I cut a size 12 but next time will cut a 10.

The rayon striped fabric is from my stash. I got it at Hancock on the clearance table fro $3.98/yard. The cutting went fairly quickly because matching the chevron with a 1 inch wide striped fabric is easier than on a fabric with smaller stripes. I did recut the yoke a second time though because I mixed up the sides.
Since I wanted to recreate the V in the back, I modified the back bodice and added an exposed zipper. I followed this Pattern Runway method for sewing exposed zippers. It was my first time sewing an exposed zipper. I had to be careful to match the stripes but the Pattern Runway instructions were so clear that it was very easy. Interfacing the seam allowances make all the difference.

The dress is fully lined since the rayon is really thin and see through. I decided to try the Colette Pattern  method on how to line sleeveless knit dresses and actually liked it better than my own method. So from now on I will use the Colette Pattern method. It saves time. I had to take the dress down completely right before putting in the zipper when I realized that I cut the yoke for the lining to short and it was actually showing through the striped fabric. Ugh!!!!! I hate undoing serged seams. The construction went faster the second time around.  

 I wore the dress this week to a girls night out and got a lot of compliments. My friends called it the bullseye dress. It can be dressed up and down so what not to like.

I am such a sucker for stripes that my next project is another striped dress. 
A bientot!