Burda 6330 in Striped Linen

IMG_0552I’m really in love with the Summer catalog for Burda patterns. There are so many great styles this season. This make and my last make are both from this collection and I know, there will be a few more.

I have to say – – this dress was so fun to sew!

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Sometimes, I don’t know why I enjoy one project more than another, but in this instance, the reason is clear. It’s all about this striped linen (Joann’s). The weight is perfect for a dress, and I loved playing with the placement of the stripes.  As you all know, sometimes, stripe placement can be a headache that takes the joy out of a project. This time, it was a blast.

My pattern, Burda 6339, is unique in several ways.

The waistband has a slight curve (hard to see in the line drawings) which makes it fit so well. Also, that piece is cut on the cross grain as are the sleeve bands. So, those pieces are designed as contrast pieces which works nicely with my stripes.

The trickiest bit here was to get the sleeves and sleeve bands to match perfectly.

IMG_0510Since the pattern on this linen repeats, I had to cut the critical pieces one at a time from a single layer of fabric to insure that the placement of the would be right. Repeating patterns always make me crazy (!!) but I love the challenge they present too. I’m always amazed/surprised when it actually works out. I was able to get a good match on the sleeves, the sleeve band, the bodice and the skirt too.

The construction method for finishing the neckline of this dress is really nice. There’s a wide facing that doesn’t just face the neck, but it wraps around the armsyce too.IMG_0720

This means that after the sleeve is inserted, the facing is really secure. It won’t pop up no matter what. It provides a nice finished look to the insides of the dress to, which makes this sewist so happy!

IMG_0548I also have to give a shout out to Joann’s for carrying this lovely linen. Good linen is always such a pleasure to sew and wear, it’s the fabric I look for first when I shop. I’m fussy about the quality, and am really pleased with this particular linen from Joann’s. A few years ago, I wouldn’t have even bothered to look at their linen, but this year, their inventory is expanded and really interesting. I hope this trend continues!

Speaking of trends, my pattern stash of Burda catalog patterns is really limited. Now that I’ve made two patterns from the summer collection, I’m sure I’ll peruse their catalog next Fall and Winter rather carefully.  It’s so strange that I’ve ignored that catalog before….Hmmmm. Is it the catalog photos that don’t inspire or the fact that there are fewer sales….? Or maybe I’m the only clueless one?

As you can see, I wore my only pair of red shoes with this dress. Which do you think came first…the shoes, or the fabric?  🙂 Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

 

 

 

A Burda ‘Back Interest’ Dress for Summer

The term ‘back interest’ on a pattern always makes me chuckle, but when I’m done, I give it a long second look! That’s what happened with this Burda make. The photo on the envelope made me yawn, but then I flipped the envelope over and saw the line diagram of the V- back…Sold!

The weather has been promising here this week. We hit 100 degrees two days ago, a bit much for me, but so inspiring. Hot weather is perfect for my newest make, Burda 6439.

Usually, my Burda makes are laboriously traced from the pattern sheets included in the magazine, a task I sometimes resent. I’m so thrilled that this particular Burda pattern required no tracing at all, just a purchase at Joann’s. I made view B, because, well…the V! I made it from a lovely crinkle rayon, purchased at Joann’s as well. I love the drape of this fabric. There was a slight breeze the day I took these photos, and the fabric fluttered in such a lovely way!

For this dress, I cut the smallest size (according to my measurements) and it was still a bit big. I had to adjust the side seams and the back seam before inserting the invisible zipper. I’d recommend sizing down if you’re in the mood to give this one a try. Also, my crinkle rayon may have been a factor as the weave is loose. A fabric with a tighter weave (linen, cotton) would likely behave differently. The pattern goes together quickly ( no sleeves to set in) and the fit of the bodice is forgiving, so there isn’t anything tricky here. The instructions were very complete too, which made it such a pleasurable sew!

Love the side slit!

As I recently shared here, I had a few aha moments about what I like to wear during Me Made May. I was surprised to discover that if I have an option, I choose pants over dresses. Upon further reflection, I think my wardrobe choices during May are often weather driven. It’s never as warm as one would like in Oregon. Now though, the weather situation has shifted dramatically. Yesterday, it was so hot, I wore a dress and was so happy I did. So, I see no immediate reason to abandon my passion for sewing dresses…I’ll continue to do so but with more intention. This dress has already attended a barbecue and will likely go on a summer vacation as well.

This is my second make with crinkle rayon and I love wearing it! My fabric stash is loaded with linens and cottons, but this make renewed my love of rayon. It breathes and feels like silk against your skin. It’s always nice to remember there are lots of lovely fabric options. I also love wearing longer lengths in the summer. Mid length is such a nice option in rayon because the fabric breathes!

My fabric stash is huge right now, so I’m back to enforcing my rule that I must sew 3 stash projects before a fabric purchase can be made. I’m going to Italy and London this fall and must have my stash under control before I visit those lovely fabric stores:).

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

The Kitty Dress winner is….

Thanks to all who participated in the Sew Over It Kitty Dress giveaway last week! Your comments were so lovely and I really appreciated them.

And now without further ado :)….the winner of the free Kitty Dress pattern is LindaNiceDressThanksIMadeIt! I can’t wait to see what you make with this fabulous pattern! Please use the contact form below to give me your email address so that Sew Over It can send you your free pattern. And thanks so much to Sew Over It for making this giveaway possible and for designing such a versatile pattern. And, in case you missed it, here’s the post on my kitty dress.

I’ll be sharing a new project here in a few day and I hope to see you then. Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

Pattern Giveaway: Sew Over It Kitty Dress

A couple of weeks ago, I shared with you my new Sew Over It Kitty Dress, Sew Over It’s lovely new pattern. I’ve worn my dress several times and absolutely love it so I’m thrilled to be able to offer a Kitty dress Giveaway. It’s a PDF pattern with several view options that make the dress so versatile.

Love the mix and match options!

To enter, just leave a comment here between now and Saturday midnight, and I’ll put your name in for the drawing. I’ll announce the winner here. Good luck…and thanks for stopping by!

Butterick 6592 Three Ways

Me Made May has been so revealing! My pledge this year was to wear the me-mades that were taking up valuable closet space, but weren’t getting much use. That lead to some ‘aha’ moments. 1. I prefer tops made of rayon, jersey knit, cotton lawn or linen (I hate stiff cottons!). 2. I love wearing skirts, pants but dresses…? Not so much (but I love to sew them!) 3. I do not enjoy wearing sleeveless tops or dresses not matter how hot it is. Yes, I have a few, but I never wear them! I’ve always had a thing about my arms, that less is more, LOL. 

That last conclusion led to one of this post’s projects. I pulled all of my sleeveless tops from my closet, determined to add sleeves. Easier said than done.  As you all know, that remedy relies on a stash of remnants that includes pieces of fabric from past projects. I used to have buckets of remnants, but that was before my commitment to ‘tidy up’. I was convinced those remnants weren’t giving me joy, so I discarded/donated most  of them a month ago! What I wouldn’t give to have them back again!!

The good news…I was able to locate enough fabric to add sleeves to this first version of my new favorite pattern, Butterick 6592. Yes, the sleeves are tiny, but I do love this top now.

I used Butterick 6592 for the three tops in this post, and it has alot to offer.  

The bodice can be made with or without a peplum, and there are three sleeve options, which makes the pattern a good value if you ask me. It’s a simple pattern to complete. The bodice is shaped by darts and the neck opening is finished with a zipper. Fit on this one is easy. I cut my usual size according to my measurements and it fits like a dream without tricky modifications.

This is view A, and for this version, I used a vintage linen table cloth that I picked up at a estate sale. The trick here was to place the cut out details in the right place on the bodice and sleeves. I used the scalloped edges of the table cloth as the finish for the sleeves. this is the second top I’ve made from a tablecloth, and it was so fun to sew!

The loose fit makes this top really comfortable and cool. Yes, it wrinkles easily, but that’s linen for you! I know this will be one of my favorite tops this summer.

This last version of B6592 is made from a remnant of silk I found last summer in the bin at the Mill End store here in Portland. It doesn’t photograph that well, but the blue is really lovely, with contrast bits of gray and off-white.

This is view B, the peplum bodice with a modified sleeve (no ruffle). Silk is so fabulous to wear – – I don’t know why I don’t treat myself to its luxury more often. I like this peplum because it isn’t too flouncy. For this version, I shortened the waist by 5/8 of an inch because the peplum is supposed to hit above the waist.

It’s always so fun to see how a single pattern can be used to create different looks. Any pattern that provides so many fun options, gets a big thumbs up from me! Besides that, it only takes a couple of hours to complete — Make it this weekend! I searched Instagram and Pattern Review for other versions of this pattern, but didn’t find much. I’m not sure why it isn’t popular, as I can see more versions of this in my future.

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

New Pattern: Sew Over It Kitty Dress

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As a Sew Over It Pattern Insider, I had the opportunity to test Sew Over It’s latest pattern, the Kitty Dress. I love a good shirt dress (here and hereand this one is perfect with lots of design details and options that make it unique – a shawl collar, a gathered or paneled skirt, and your choice of sleeves or no sleeves at all.

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It’s the design of the Kitty dress that makes it tick all the boxes for me. It’s so versatile- – two bodice and skirt styles that you can mix and match!  You can choose a princess seam bodice or a two-dart bodice. Both choices can be paired with one of two skirts: either paneled or a gathered option.  Both skirts feature in-seam pockets, and all versions are cinched in at the waist with a waistband, which makes them look great on everyone.

If I had to rate the difficulty of this pattern, I’d say it’s a great option for an intermediate sewer, or for a beginner who wants to learn some new skills. The instructions are detailed and helpful, so it’s easy to dive right in!

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It’s no secret that I love sewing patterns that give you options so that you can play and modify as inspired. At first, since I’m a fan of a bodice with princess seams, I was drawn to option 1, but when I made my fabric choice, I changed to option two. My rayon print is colorful, and I felt the princess seam detail would be lost in the fabric’s design. So, instead, I paired the double-darted bodice option with the gathered skirt.

I love long flow-y dresses in the Spring and Summer, so I made my Kitty dress from a lovely rayon from Joanns’. This rayon has a bit of texture to it, giving it a casual crinkled look that I love. The drape of this rayon is perfect for my mid-length Kitty because it gives the skirt some swish! For added style, I chose the shawl collar, which has a bit of a vintage vibe.

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The double darted bodice was easy to sew – -just two pattern pieces, both shaped nicely by bust darts and waist darts. Because I have a large waist relative to my bust measurement, I made a test version to make sure the fit was accurate, and I’m glad I did.  I quickly realized the darts needed to be widened slightly to compensate for my non-standard waist.

Fitting the gathered skirt was easy. I used my hip measurements to choose the size to cut and it worked great without adjustments. Gathered skirts are so forgiving and so easy to sew!! I love the way this skirt looks and swishes in the mid-calf length. It’s all I was hoping it woud be.

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I love my Kitty dress, so much, version one is in my sewing queue( princess seams and sleeveless), maybe in a cotton lawn or linen for summer. The updated version of the Kitty is available at Sew Over It now.

The weather here in Portland is improving – I hope to take my Kitty outside for a test run soon!

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by.

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The Saraste Shirt, my Me-Made-May Hero

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When I completed the Saraste shirt, I wasn’t totally ‘in-love’ with it. In fact, I immediately pushed it to the far right side of my closet, the place where the ‘never to be worn’s’ go. It’s a sad corner and it makes me feel a bit guilty. It’s all the me-mades that were fun to sew, yet, when all was said and done, I couldn’t imagine actually wearing it.

That was the sad story of this recent reject, but everything changed when Me-Made May rolled around. This year, my pledge was a bit different. Since I already wear me-mades every day, I pledged to wear the ones that I abandoned, and try to analyze why. This is one of those makes.

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It might be the fabric that put me off. It’s a floral print and, when I purchased it, I thought it was a random print. When I laid it out on my cutting table, I discovered that there’s a strong repeat….pattern matching would be involved! Ugh. That discovery made me a bit cranky as I wasn’t sure I’d purchased enough fabric to make this work, but I managed to pull it off, carrying the pattern through on the sleeves and the back.

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I do love the fit of this shirt! The Saraste shirt is a pattern from Named Clothing’s book,  ‘Breaking the Pattern’.

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I’ve made several of the patterns in this book now (here), and they’ve all been fabulous. The Saraste shirt is one of my favorites with many elements I love: princess seams down the front, a back yoke, optional sleeves and a small collar that fits my short neck. The surprise detail is small cut- outs at the shoulder, which I love.

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They were a bit of a challenge though. My tip is to be sure to trace the pattern carefully, noting all of the markings accurately. I hadn’t done that and had to go back and add them in. Once I had that accomplished, it wasn’t too hard to make everything work. However, I’m a bit disappointed that the cut-outs don’t show that well in my print. I’m going to have to give this lovely pattern another try in a solid colored linen, so that those slits can shine!

My Me-made analysis – – I do love the print now, but at first glance, I wasn’t too excited about it in this shirt. However, I have worn it many times this month and have discovered that it goes with everything in my closet. The fit is perfect and the shirt is easy to wear. In fact, people compliment me when I wear it:)

Lesson learned…my first take on a make shouldn’t be my last.   IMG_6959

How are you doing with Me-Made May? Any new revelations?

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

A Spring Jacket with Triangle Bound Buttonholes

IMG_6299For years, my sewing bucket list has included “Jacket with Bound Buttonholes.” Well, this jacket has triangle shaped bound buttonholes and I’m saying, close enough! Yes, they were a bit fussy to sew, but I’m glad I took the leap to do them on this project. I will admit that the first two were ‘nail biters’ for sure, made possible only by the able hand-holding of my jacket class instructor, the Marvelous Marla! I was so fortunate last week to attend a three-day jacket making class lead by her. She makes everything so easy. If you ever have a chance to attend one of her classes, I highly recommend them.

I’m always attracted to peplum style jackets and shirts (here and here), so when this Simplicity pattern was released last Spring, it was an immediate add to the ‘must-have’ list. The front of the jacket is simple, so I decided it was the perfect opportunity to try a new buttonhole. IMG_6228

Triangle shaped buttonholes are very much like bound buttonholes. Marla taught me the method that’s in the Palmer Plestch Couture handbook.  Also, there’s a good explanation on-line at the Seamworks website, as well as a few U-tube videos on the subject. cfc8da3ec10d207d781d2a9d04676495e052556dThe good news…Creating a triangle bound buttonhole isn’t that hard! The bad news…There is a bit of unavoidable risk when you have to actually cut into your fabric to create the hole:) I recommend that you try out the process using scraps of fabric to start. It is a bit tricky, but very worth it, if you ask me.

IMG_6351I love this fabric, a lovely cotton boucle’ from Bolt Fabric,  but it was not ideal for this project. The weave was so loose, it unraveled at a mere glance. However, I knew it would be perfect for this pattern so I was highly motivated to push through the challenge! I used my serger to finish the edges but had to be careful not to cut off any seam allowances as I did so. I also had to be careful not to stretch the fabric as I pressed the jacket seams. The front of the jacket is completely interfaced and I lined the jacket with a simple rayon lining.

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The fit of this pattern is a bit tricky as there is a side seam panel, rather than straight side seams.

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That being said, the jacket fit great without alot of adjustments.  I chose my size based on my measurements and it was really close! I shortened the waist a bit (I’m short waisted) and made a slight shoulder adjustment, but that was it. I had planned to add a mandarin collar, but when I basted it in, I didn’t like the look so left it off.

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The construction of the jacket wasn’t hard at all. In fact, if you’re looking for an easy, first jacket pattern to try, this would be a good candidate. The pattern instructions are edited by Threads magazine so they include finishing tips that are quite helpful.

I love my new jacket, but to be honest. I’m not really sure about this color. Melon/orange is a new color for me, but I decided it’s high time I stretched my wings a bit. I’m wearing this jacket with jeans because I couldn’t figure out what other colors would work with it. Ideas?

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Next on my sewing ‘to do’ list is a trench and a new Sew Over It Pattern Insider project that I’m anxious to share. Stay tuned.

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

 

 

 

Sew Over It Meredith Wrap Dress

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I was so pleased to be invited to be a Pattern Insider for Sew Over It patterns. I’ve been in love with their designs (especially the awesome Cocoon Coat here) so I’m excited to have the opportunity to show your their new release patterns here.

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The Meredith Wrap Dress was love at first sight for me. I do love a good wrap dress and this one did not disappoint. It comes in a short and love version with sleeve length variations.

I made the longer version, probably because the weather has been so cool here lately. As summer heat rolls in though, I might be inclined to shorten this hem a bit.

IMG_6130I’m so impressed with the fit of this dress! There isn’t a gap at the front and the neckline is just right, not too low like some patterns. I cut the size my measurements indicated and it fit perfectly, without any adjustments, always a win if you ask me:). Assembling the dress is pretty straightforward. Unlike some other wrap dresses I’ve tried, this pattern has one long front facing which makes it easy to stitch this dress together quickly. The two front bodices are mirror images of each other (rather than one bodice cut wide and one narrow to make the wrap), so the wrap closure is secure and comfortable to wear. The sleeves set in beautifully.  The tie is attached to the front facings before they’re stitched together.

 

IMG_6085I made my dress out of a soft jersey that I found at Modern Domestic here in Portland (also on-line). It’s the loveliest fabric to wear and sew with – – if only I could wear this dress all the time. It has just the right amount of two way stretch for the Meredith Dress. Really, any stretchy knit will do! I could imagine this in a silky rayon knit, or in a scuba knit too.

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The Meredith gets a big thumbs up from me, and there will likely be more of these in my future. I love my print jersey version, but could see this working well in a solid color. It would make a very elegant little black dress don’t you think?  Hmmm… The Meredith was just released, and it should be up on the Sew Over It website now.

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by.

Disclaimer: As a Sew Over It Pattern Insider, I receive a free pdf copy of the pattern in return for my review, but the opinion expressed here is mine:)

A wrap shirt from my first Japanese pattern book

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A wrap shirt…Looks tricky, doesn’t it? Actually, it’s all in how the shirt is buttoned up!  If you want to, you button it up the traditional way.

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But why would you want to, when you can do this?

A simple modification makes the wrap possible. You add a loop to one side seam, a button to the other, and viola! You have a wrap shirt.

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I admit it. I bought my first japanese sewing book because this cute shirt was on the front cover. I just had to give it a try.

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I can’t tell you why it’s taken me so long to experience the world of japanese pattern books. Perhaps, it’s because I assumed the patterns would be hard. This book, Simply Sewn, written by Michiyo Ito, shows how wrong I was. It has a variety of patterns in them, none of them especially tricky, but all of them stylish and interesting. collage

 

I’m so intrigued by both the hooded jacket and the cropped polka dot jacket. Now that I’ve tried one pattern and loved it, those are next on the list.

To be sure, when sewing with a pattern book, there are challenges to be faced. You have to trace the patterns (ugh, but I am getting better at it), and you have to select your size, in this instance, either S, M, L, or XL. The sizing is a bit different than what you’d find in a Big 4 pattern, but there’s a chart and a thoughtful explanation of how to choose your size. You also must add a seam allowance, a easy detail to deal with. The good news…unlike some others, this book includes full size pattern pieces and the pattern markings used are straightforward.

IMG_5778Based on my measurements, I chose a size small, and found it to be perfect. There isn’t alot of ‘fuss’ to the instructions, which I often find confuses me more than helps. They were complete and easy to understand. With each style, there’s a pattern layout chart, and construction steps with a few diagrams. Everything was pretty straightforward on this pattern so I didn’t find any challenges. The sleeve is finished with a cuff, the button tab is folded fabric, and the collar is simply drafted and sewn in place.

I really love this book and the styles there, so there will likely be another japanese pattern book in my future. Here are a few I’m considering….

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There are so many to choose from, a huge new world of possibilities.  I’m so glad I took the leap and gave this pattern a try! I know I’ll wear this shirt constantly this summer, both wrapped and buttoned up.

Have you tried Japanese pattern books? Do you have a favorite?

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!