Monday, August 18, 2014

Burdastyle 08/2010-108 slim pants

Pants are one of those things, you know. You need them in your wardrobe, but fitting them; well, it just ain't always fun!
I made these as a wearable muslin of sorts. I really am happy with the Jalie jeans pattern, but it is for stretch denim, and I have a ton of bottomweight fabrics without stretch that I would like to turn into pants. This particular piece is a heavy-ish non-stretch denim that has been in the stash for quite a while.
So I went hunting in the pattern files and pulled out this Burda (08/2010-108) It is extremely basic, with front and back darts, side seam pockets and back pocket flaps - no actual pockets back there. There is a shaped waistband and front fly zipper.
This extremely flattering shot gives you a glimpse of the higher rise, and waistband. You can see the itty bitty front darts. I usually despise front darts, but they work in these pants. I did make the waistband a smidge wider by adding 5/8 seam allowances and then only sewing 3/8. This gave me an extra half inch or so, which was enough to justify an extra snap. I like the look of doubled snaps, and they feel very secure.
As far as fit goes, I actually made very few changes. Other than widening the waistband, I scooped out and raised the rear crotch hook slightly. I compared it to my Vogue 1059, which I've made 3 times with good results. I did eliminate the side seam pockets. These pants have very little ease at the hip, so the pockets gaped horribly.
Sadly, that means that the pants have no pockets, which means they are unlikely to become a favorite pair. I thought about adding rear welt pockets, but since I wasn't sure I was going to be happy with them, I didn't want to waste the effort.
And when it really comes down to it, I'm still not sure how I feel about these. They're comfortable, fit well and are serviceable, but I don't love them. The shape of the leg feels a little dumpy to me, and I can't decide why.
I think I'm going to have to wear them a few times and decide if I'm going to use this pattern again. I do like how clean the lines are. Maybe I just need to alter the fit of the leg?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Lovely Lolita Blythe dress

Ruth told me in no uncertain terms that she was tired of me sewing for Barbie and she wanted a new dress.
Don't let her sweet face fool you. She rules the roost. So of course, she got her new dress.
Ruth has a Pullip type 3 body, so she's considerably smaller than Barbie. Fortunately, Pullip enthusiasts are a crafty bunch, so there are tons of detailed sewing patterns available.
This is the Lovely Lolita Puffy sleeve dress, designed for Blythe, but you can see it works well for the Pullip body also. It is a bit large in the waist and short in the skirt, but I think that contributes to the sweet look.
Since I wasn't sure it was going to work for Ruth, I modified the pattern to simplify it just a little. As designed it has a doubled sleeve that has the appearance of an undershirt/dress combo. I skipped the undersleeve/cuff and also omitted the belt.
Of course, I had to keep the sweet little collar, even though it was a bit fussy to turn. I added a line of yellow buttons to the bodice as well.
The pattern also includes an elastic waist crinoline, which Ruth is a bit embarrassed to show you. There is a pattern for socks/stockings included, but I didn't think they would work well on Ruth's longer legs.
The crinoline really gives the skirt a nice poof, but to add to the volume I also underlined the skirt panel in silk organza.
The bodice is also fully lined, as per the pattern. I used silk organza here as well. Lining fabrics at this scale can add bulk, but this isn't a problem with organza.
Ruth and I are both pleased with her new dress. It's terribly sweet, and it suits her well. As a bonus, it fits Skipper too, so now I know that I can use Blythe patterns to sew for Skipper. Very cool.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Cole's Creations Spirit Jacket

Since I didn't get a chance to help out with testing the Katy Panda dress, I was thrilled that I got an opportunity to try out Nicole's next design, the Spirit Jacket!
It is such a fun design and a super fast sew. It's a raglan sleeved jacket with a snap front and front pockets.
I wanted to emphasize the letterman jacket look, so I used faux stretch leather for the sleeves. The body of the jacket is a furry knit-backed velboa, so it's cozy, comfortable and cute. I used ribbing for the sleeves.
The collar is shaped so it rises high on the back of the neck, but without coming too high in the front. The jacket closes with snaps. I used black pearl snaps, which turned out really cute with the leather and fur.
You can see here how the collar hugs the neckline, which still being comfortable.
The hem edge of the Spirit Jacket is finished in the style of a letter jacket with a nice snug hem band and two snaps for closures. It helps keep it cozy and in place but still comfortable.
I made Myra a size 6 and it is a great fit. The length is good on her, but long enough that she won't outgrow it next week. The fit through the body is easy enough for playtime, but not large enough to look slouchy. And if you're wondering if the pattern comes in the size you need, the chances are it does! All sizes 1/2 to 16 are included!!
The Spirit Jacket is designed for cozy fabrics like fleece, velour and heavy knits, so even though it is unlined, it is still nice and warm. You could also make it up as a lightweight jacket for layering.
It's such a versatile style, I can see it made in so many different ways, and embellished to suit every opinionated youngster. It'll be great for my boys, too. (And yours!)
Myra loves her Spirit Jacket, and I had a really fun time sewing it. If you are nervous about sewing jackets, this would be a great starter, and if you're more experienced, it's fun to whip out. Head over and get the pattern now! It's on sale until tomorrow for $2 off, which makes it only $6.95!