Friday, May 29, 2015

Burda June 2015 dress

In January I decided I had missed my Burda magazine long enough, and decided to renew my subscription after a 3 year lapse. After 6 months I finally found something that I HAD to sew.
In fact, I was flipping through the magazine when it arrived, and Mitch looked over my shoulder and said, "That dress is so you!" so I had to make it.
He's right, of course. It is very me! Comfy knit, with cute details and a swingy skirt is definitely my style all summer long.
The pattern is from the current (June 2015) issue of Burda Magazine. It is number 120, which includes both a top and dress version of the style and is made up in both knit and woven fabrics. Very versatile!
The pattern itself is really interesting, It only has one main pattern piece for the dress! Which made it manageable to trace on the crazy pattern sheets. There are no shoulder seams, only side seams and a center back seam.
There is minimal shaping at the side seams, so most of the shape of the dress comes from the front tie. There is a casing which is stitched onto the front of the dress just under the bust. A self fabric tie is called for by the pattern, but I used wide grosgrain ribbon instead.
In back, the neckline forms a pretty V that echos the front. I raised it about an inch, but as drafted it is actually pretty modest. I did take in the center back seam as there was no shaping back there and it looked very sack-like without some curves.
I also elected to bind the neckline and armholes with my coverstitch, rather than do a bias tape finish as the pattern called for. I like the bright white contrast there, and with my binder on the coverstitch machine it was super easy. Since there isn't a seam at center front, I darted the binding there to form the V. One thing I would change for the future would be to raise the armhole. It gapes open a bit too low, as you can see from this pic.
I also added pockets, of course, I regretted it at first, since they gaped a bit and made my hips look huge, but once I took in the center back, that tamed the pockets and they lie nicely now. I cannot wear a dress without pockets so I'm glad they worked out!
While there are a few minor things I would change should I make this again, I am really quite pleased with my first Burda make in several years. Maybe I'll tackle that pattern sheet again! Once I've recovered from this time...

Monday, May 18, 2015

Vogue 8575

It's getting warmer, which means all the dresses! This fun pink printed ITY from FabricMart was begging to become a summer dress! I decided to try out a new pattern this time, although it isn't dramatically different in style from my usual favorites, it does have a few fun features.
This is Vogue 8575, now OOP. It is dated 2009. The pattern has a wrap bodice with shoulder princess seams. The bodice is gathered into a front band just under the bust which has ties attached. The skirt is in two lengths and is also gathered at center front and back. There is both a set in and kimono sleeve option.
It's hard to see the details in my busy print, so here is the line drawing. I really like the details, especially the bodice princess seams, which make for easy fitting.
I made view C, mostly. I did end up chopping 4 inches off the length after I was finished. The skirt hit me an a supremely unflattering spot, and just looked dumpy at the longer length. A few more inches and it would have been a graceful maxi, but no. The only other alteration I made was to do an on-the-fly princess seam FBA to add width to the bust. Since I usually have to shorten the bodice on Vogue patterns, I didn't add length for my FBA, and I think the seam falls well under the bust.
I also added some elastic to the neckline to pull it in snugly to the chest. The neckline finish is quite nice. The pattern uses the center front and back panels as self facings, so the front and back bodice are double layered. The finish is nice and clean, inside and out. You can also see that the kimono sleeve is a fairly slim and sleek one. Not too much fabric billowing or bunching under the arm.
In back, there is a tie that attaches to the sides of the front midriff band. There is no band in back - the bodice attaches directly to the skirt. Both bodice and skirt are supposed to be gathered to a specific length and then just stitched together, which seems like not a great plan, so I gathered the back waistline with clear elastic in the seam.
Overall, it's a fun, cheerful dress to wear, and I feel great in it. I'm so glad Me Made May has helped me jump start my mojo. New dresses are so fun!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Kitschy Coo Comino Cap top

Yesterday I was feeling like a quick win, and I really wanted to use up this scrap left over from Logan's PJs. Because skulls are cool. Since the Kitschy Coo Comino Cap top is so great for using up scraps, and is quick and fun to sew, it was a natural pairing.
The scull printed fabric I used for the upper panel is an interlock from Nature's Fabrics. I used black rib knit for the bands. The body of the top is a very lightweight jersey from my stash. No idea where it came from, but I thought the vaguely blood red color suited the skulls themed interlock nicely.
The only think I don't love about this tee is that the burgundy colored jersey is quite thin, so it tends to accentuate lumps and bumps. You can see the waistband of my pants in most of the pics, although it is a fairly flat waistband. Jeans would be quite obvious.
I'm wearing it today with my pleather and ponte leggings, made with a very altered Jalie 2709. Man, I have gotten so much use out of that pattern!
Despite the thinness of the jersey, or perhaps because of it, this top is quite comfortable and cool, which is essential now that I am back in the South and summer is upon us. I'm very confident this top is going to get tons of wear. Especially since Logan got such a kick out of us having matching tops this morning.
Logan has gotten to the age where he groans at me when he sees a camera, but he totally let me post a selfie on Instagram this morning! Super win!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Simplicity Maxi Mashup

Summer is all about maxi dresses for me! I love them and I wear them all the time when the weather gets warm. So, when I got this fabric from Heather, I knew immediately what it was going to be.
My favorite maxi dress pattern is Simplicity 3503, which I have made a couple of times. I really do love this pattern, but it is a bit distinctive, and I didn't want a bunch of the same dress in my closet. My favorite thing about this pattern is the skirt. The front gathers are flattering, and the length is perfect. And it has pockets. Easy to add, I know, but it's so convenient when they are already a part of the pattern!
I decided to use the bodice from Simplicity 3678, which I've made before and really like the fit of. The only dislike I have about this pattern is that the midriff band is a bit skinny. I have a long torso, and it looks unbalanced on me. The midriff band from 3503 is perfect though, and it fit onto this bodice really well.
From the back, you can see that the bodice is full coverage, unlike the surplice style of 3503. The tiny cap sleeves are cute, too.
The only real change I made to the bodice (which I also did on my last version) was to finish the neckline with a snug band. I love how this fits the surplice top to my chest. No worries about gaping or wearing a camisole, and I can leave my safety pins at home.
I also ought to mention that I've decided to participate in Me Made May this year. I probably won't post more than just a roundup here on the blog, but you can see my outfits each day on Instagram. I'm hoping this helps boost my flagging mojo. Since I already got a dress made this month, I think it's working!!