I’ve been silent for way too long! That doesn’t mean that I haven’t been making things… more that I haven’t been able to convince my hubster to take great pictures of the things I have made. Really, I should just use the self-timer more.
So, since I last posted, I’ve made myself a burgandy stretch velvet skirt, an awesome pair of jeans (which I then grew out of, I must do something about that) and most recently a pair of dress pants for work.
For the latter, I started with a Burda pattern (Vol 8/04, adapted from style 105). For length, I cut to the line for style 104, I didn’t make cuffs, and I didn’t add the front pocket flap either. The back features faux pocket flaps – I wanted the detail without the fuss. Because I’m carrying a little extra weight at the moment, I also made some changes to the actual pattern pieces. The style went up to 42, which was fine for the waist (in fact, I had to remove some material from the back waist), but I have chunkier hips and thighs. Instead of playing with the outside leg seams, I made the adjustments on the crotch and inner leg seams, effectively scaling them to a 44 from my wider bits. In the past I’ve done this using the marked pattern lines, and just rejoining them, but as this style didn’t go up quite big enough, in this case I actually had to do the measuring and drafting work myself on those seams. So I can tick off a new skill!
I think these pants are a success. I don’t have a pic to prove it, but the fly is very nicely done.
Purple silk top from Veronica Main, shoes from Hannahs, handmade earrings by zippitydoodah.
Kitty model is M from next door. Hobbes was hiding (and I needed to distract M from stealing his food).
I made myself a new dress for work from freebie houndstooth, and conquered my mental block on sewing bodice linings.
I have long struggled with trying to work out how on earth a fully lined neckline and armholes work. Wanting to make myself work-suitable dresses meant that I really needed to get over this.
So when one of my colleagues gave me some black and white houndstooth crimpolene(!) that her mother was clearing out of her stash, I decided it was time to face this conceptual block once and for all. This dress made up like a dream – apart from a few weeks in the middle of making it when I got a bit busy with other stuff…
I had to alter the pattern (Burda issue 01/04, style 111) somewhat, as it is quite fitted through the skirt, and while my top half might fit a Burda 38 well, the lower half is something more like a 42. There are no side seams on this dress, rather princess seams front and back, and long underarm darts for shaping. I didn’t get the adjustment quite right on front panel, so I had to take those darts in a little more. I’ve still got a little too much fabric across the front waist, but nothing that I can’t cover up with a belt or cardie.
The seaming through the back on this style is really nice. I realised as I was cutting that the darts had slightly different shaping on each side, so I marked them carefully with chalk and basted by hand, matching up the lines before stitching. I’m sure this helped with the overall fit and finish, especially for the side darts. You can’t really tell from this image, but the invisible zip is near perfect :-). I love how they are so much easier to insert and I especially love that you don’t have to handstitch the lining to them in the back. Because you don’t topstitch like you do with a normal lapped zip opening, you can just flip the lining over so you have the right sides facing, and then stitch the lining into the seam allowance along the teeth of the zip.
And it turns out I had nothing to be worried about with the neck and arm edges. I followed the directions in the Burda magazine for pushing and pulling, and got a really neat finish, even without using a wooden spoon!