Burda Magazine 12-2010 No. 102: Alexis Carrington Dress

There are several patterns from Burda I’ve had my eye on for years and years.  This wrap dress with the drapey sleeves is one such. I sewed it way back in August to wear on my dativersary. But, it seemed too late fall for what ended up being a warm summer night. Plus, I thought it was more mid 80s corporate takeover than va va voom.

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I meant to wear it and take some photos before two months passed. But, wonderful and terrible things happened at the same time and now I’m just getting around to actually wearing it and taking pictures!

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I was drawn to the drapey sleeves and the wrap style (totally flattering on me) and the relatively straight skirt.

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For this dress, I went in to the Carol Collection and chose these blue with purple maple leaf motif. Do you like that my dress has maple leaves and there are maple leaves on the ground? Do you? Yes? The fabric is a polyester print with a thick silky hand (confirmed by my burn test).

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It’s totally Alexis Carrington from Dallas, no? I also considered naming it the Oh, Canada Dress by virtue of the maple leaves.  I loves it!

I didn’t change too much here. I made a FBA (and of course forgot to make the same adjustment to the facing). Yep. I  sewed the facing too. I don’t know why I’m not hating facings like I used to. On this, I love the smooth and firmness of the wrap. I reinforced the neckline, armholes and waist for support.

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The hems on the sleeves and skirt are finished on my blind hemmer

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I don’t have terribly much to say other than I really love this dress. You’ll never find something like this in the store. And, it’s somehow ‘dressier’ than my other work dresses.

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I don’t think my sleeves look anything like the draft nor the model’s. Mine don’t seem quite drapey enough.

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And, the obligatory photo of the back

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Nice pattern. Will def be making it again in the future. Especially since it has sleeves!

Burda Magazine 5-2011-111: Purple Friday Wool Tunic

I’m on to my second Purple Friday ensemble for this football season. Hey there Oona… how about that game on Sunday?

In Baltimore, we wear purple for our American football team the Baltimore Ravens on Fridays. Why? Well, they mostly play on Sunday and Purple Fridaysare a way to show pride and support in the team. Did I mention my house is right behind the old Memorial Stadium?

Every Friday of football season is PURPLE FRIDAY!!!! Proudly wear your purple to work or school to support the Ravens! — Ravenstown

This is the true color of the dress

I wanted to make a simple shift for Purple Fridays that could also be worn on the weekend during winter. I want more casual clothes   that look nice and not ‘I rolled out of bed and threw on yoga pants’.

I started the shift dress from the May 2011 Burda Magazine during Superstorm Sandy. It was a simple project that I could complete in a day. And, I did. A few hours actually.

But, I’m salty about the fit with those fold lines under my bust. I’m not sure if the need for an FBA would solve the problems.  I know it’s a another sack dress but the folds are A-nnoying. Maybe one fold for each 1/4 inch I should have adjusted for?

I asked a few friends that are smaller up top to try on and the folds go away.

Here on Trena (obviously three sizes too big for her too) and below on my B Cup dress form.

I decided to forgo the facings and use a woven bias binding. This is my first time doing this kind of finishing technique on a woven and I’m really pleased. I also like leather and contrast bindings I see on RTW and now I have a good way of doing them consisently well.

The material is a wool in a violet shade of purple from the Carol Collection. I originally thought I’d make a skirt in the fabric but Purple Friday called and I thought this shift would be fun.

Oh, here’s a photo of the back. I omitted the ties (and the pockets). I can kind of picture metal chains instead. Hmm, maybe a T-back shirt in black too (my bra definitely shows without). Ooh, a lacy T-back would be hot.

I’m wearing the dress with leggings. It’s too short for me as drafted to wear with pantyhose.  I’ve already altered the paper pattern for a FBA and a swayback adjustment. Why didn’t I when I started? I thought it just wouldn’t matter :)

The dress looks pretty good in movement and I think it works well with the leggings and boots. It’s fun because the front is simple and all the interest in really in the back. It is just the look I wanted. Casual, but styled.

My immediate boss was a fan. She said I was dressing rather chic lately. I realized after she said so that she never wears prints and for work only wears black, navy and sometimes white. Her clothes are very tailored and architectural. She also specializes in large earrings and big jewelry. I like her style.  I wouldn’t say this was chic exactly. But, very minimalist. I have about three garments she’s really complimented. Hmmm, that might make an interesting post!

I think I’m going to make two more Purple Friday items. That let’s me get through a month without repeating.

 

I hope you (Americans) have a Happy Thanksgiving! I’m not going to see my parents this year (Can you say $600 tickets!?!?!) and I’m a little pouty about it. But, as I detest traveling on the holidays (chaos and stress) there is a silver lining to hanging out with local friends. Plus, I get to put my new *pink* Christmas tree up as soon as I digest my Thanksgiving dinner :-)

Stack o’ Tees: Burda Magazine 4-2011-122

One of the holes I’ve noticed in my closet are ‘dog walking clothes’. I have lots of nice things for work. But, very few things that are casual ‘throw them on’ items. I don’t even own a pair of non-running shorts!

For the Seersucker Social, I went more seersucker than vintage. I knew I wouldn’t have time to make a new outfit. But, I was kind of disappointed in myself. Part of the fun is dressing up! I looked like I was heading to the office.  The skirt is a Burda from June 2009 edition. The top is a new item, from the April 2011 Burda. The fabric is a butte yellow tee shirt knit from PR Weekend in Philly. I did promise myself I would start wearing more yellow!  Once I made up the yellow version, I thought the pattern was good enough to use on some leftover knits.

Red link version from my four year old knit tunic. Fabric originally from Metro textiles in NYC. I would love to do all of these with some contrast binding next time.

Paisley version left over from my four year old maxi dress. Fabric originally from Gorgeous Fabrics and still one of my all-time favorite prints. Yes, the designs are right on my bust point, LOL.

Red/ White / Blue colorway from my HP top from the Carol Collection.

I have a navy blue and black version in mind too. These should go a long way in getting through summer. These shirts were all cut in one evening and I sewed the binding on all in about an hour.

The pattern is definitely better suited for beefier knits. It will help the facings keep the funnel collar shape better.

I omitted the zipper and made a slight FBA. And, no swayback adjustment.

The binding uses this technique from Sarah Veblen posted on the Threads Magazine page. Be patient. Walk away from the computer. The video sometimes takes an eternity to play.

I don’t know that this is ‘stash busting’. But, it’s nice to reach into my drawer and have an easy top to wear. I’ll do this again with another simple pattern with some other shirts soon.

I have really got to work on some shorts or capris now….

Write up on PatternReview.com is here.

Hot Patterns 1015: Riviera Once, Twice, Three Times a T-Shirt

While I have a stack of Hot Patterns’ that I’ve purchased, the Once, Twice, Three Times a T-Shirt came from a friend.

Almost true to the name, I made two of the three versions of this shirt. If I had a coverstitch, I probably would have made the third too.

In HP, I measure in a 12 (Glamour Girl) on top and a 14 (Slinky Girl) on the bottom. I’ve read HP is closer to RTW sizing. I’m telling myself they are close to UK RTW sizing. I buy an 8 in US RTW.  Based on reviews and the line drawing, I knew I wanted a snugger fit and cut a 10 through the upper body, an 8 at the waist and tapered back to a 12/ 14 at the hip. I also wanted a shorter version than drafted and took out six inches at the waist. In retrospect, I wish I had just done four inches for length.

The PR Reviews noted some errors in the directions. But, I didn’t follow them. The shirts have very basic construction.

All that being said, here’s the first version (note the French nauticalness of the red, white and blue). This style is based on a  $500+ Chloe shirt (I do not follow fashion. I only know it’s Chloe because Erica B. pointed it out four years ago!).

I made this tee up in two cotton jerseys from the Carol Collection. I always knew these were going to be a tee with contrast! I have narrow shoulders and hate things that feel like they might drop off, so I shaped the neckline by one inch, tapering into the shoulder. As drafted, it’s more like a slit.  I didn’t bother with the facings and just turned down the allowance. I also moved in the shoulder line by about 1 inch on each side (1/2 inch too much IMHO) to prevent my bra straps from showing or having the shirt slip off the side.

The pattern doesn’t note pocket placement and I don’t like where I put it. A little over and further down would make me happier. I sewed everything on my serger, hemmed with a twin needle and interfaced all the edges with tricot interfacing. I didn’t make an FBA either.

 

The front and back are the same

I *like* it. I don’t love it. It should have been longer and slightly more fitted to flatter my figure.

My yellow version is based on a $1200 Roberto Cavalli top.

I was totally not drawn to this style until I saw Christina’s version while checking reviews.And, now that it’s made up, I am 100 percent in love with it!

For this one, I moved the should line only 1/2 inch. This fabric is left over from my Burda 6-2010-123 sack dress. I bought in during PR Weekend in Philly. I still have enough left over for a fitted tee! I think I thought it would be a wrap or maxi dress when I first  bought it.

I didn’t hem the sleeves, but did finish the neckline and hem with a twin needles stitch in white.


The front and back are the same, I didn’t make my usual swayback adjustment


This sews up so fast it’s hard not to love. Each of these was made on a weeknight while watching TV. In the future, I’ll make it a little longer (I took too much length out). And, will have to try and resist not turning every slinky knit I have into one of these shirts. I think this pattern is good value for your dollar. You’ll get three tee shirts in one envelope. It’s awesome for a beginner too.

My review on PR is here

Butterick 5522: Trina Turk Inspired Dress

I like that it was my frequent companion’s birthday dinner and I made a dress for ME! Yes, that’s right. Part of my gift to him is to look awesome. I think that is not only fair and equitable, but simply the law of man.

Butterick 5522 (above) is inspired by designer Trina Turk. I only know this because Cindy did an ah-Mazing job knocking it off before the pattern even came out.

I know there is the occasional chatter on not posting reviews on PatternReview.com any more because of the lack of comments. I’ve been remiss in not posting reviews lately too.  I still find the reviews incredibly helpful. Well, good reviews are incredibly helpful.  Reviewers generally noted the lack of shape in the dress. But,this is not something I found. As I noted in my earlier post, I made a dartless FBA. I suspect I either could have made a bigger adjustment (as told by some folds pointing to my bust) or actually put in darts. Also, I could benefit from teeny shoulder pads in this dress.

I didn’t find the dress tentlike at all. Perhaps because I’m sewing a size I wore a few years and pounds ago (!). But, more likely because I measured out the pattern  :) The color of this double knit is a blood red. This piece is another gem from the Carol Collection. The color is brighter in these photos because my beloved SLR is in the shop. So, I’m working with a point a shoot for the next few weeks.

I made a 3/4 inch swayback adjustment and omitted the zipper. I could easily have done 1.5 inches and had a nicer fit in the back. The poly doubleknit is super stable and I do a bit of wiggle to get the dress on.

I hemmed by two inches from the length. Interfaced the hems and edges and used a twin needle to top stitch the hem. I really kind of wanted something shorter. In retrospect, it’s not gonna really be work appropriate at this length.  But, I wasn’t thinking about work when I sewed it!

The sleeves are somewhat bell shaped and pieced together.  I didn’t find them to be crazy large. Maybe in a drapier fabric they would seem more elaborate. I think I would have like a larger bell. But, again, I’m a dramatic kind of girl.

Overall I am very happy with this dress. It works super well on my figure and gives a lot of fashion impact with minimal effort. What’s even better is I’ve seen some women in the RTW version of this. Heh.

Finally, here is a photo with the birthday boy. Don’t worry, we didn’t have dinner in a basement. This is the afterparty with his friends.

And, after my pontificating, I dare not neglect  my review on PR.

DC Tweed Ride 2011 Cape: Burda 8-2008-101

Guys. I was seriously just plowing through this cape to have something for the 10-mile DC Tweed Ride. It wasn’t until I finished the cape that I fell IN FREAKING LOVE with it!!! With over 900 people registered for the ride, I was definitely in a color that stood out.

I think my neck may seriously be getting shorter and shorter...

The BEST thing about this cape is that so many tweed riders were in darker fall colors. This turquoise blue just *popped*. I was nervous in general about how bright the blue is. It’s not a color I normally wear. My original fabric was a dark gray tweed, but I ran out of material and used this blue from the Carol Collection instead.

The Girls

 A good indicator of your outfit on these rides is how many people ask for photos or tell you they like your outfit. Liz is wearing my Burda jumper, 10-2009-119.

 Liz and I did *ok* during the Seersucker Social. But, we were on fire at Sunday’s ride. I borrowed the white feather fascinator from her. I’d love to be in a hat. But, my head is just too big for vintage and even modern hats are generally pushing it. 

The cape was finished on Friday. But, the buttons will NOT stay on. They are metal and shank. And, all four buttons on the opening edge have been resewn at least two times each. Three fell off on Saturday night. Two fell off before the ride on Sunday. Two fell off during the ride and now, on Monday morning, another fell off.  In fact, in the photo above Trena and I are with Claudia. She’s a DC dweller who reads our blogs. She saw the ride go by and happened upon us! Good for me, because she sewed one of my buttons back on!!

I *think* the rough metal shank is just cutting through the double strand of thread. I’m going to reattach with coat / button thread and see if that will help.

 I’m wearing a knit Burda jumper, 9-2007-121. It had a classic look with my shoes.  I lined the cape with a stunning raspberry material, also of the Carol Collection. It gives an amazing double whammy of color. The blue wool is fully interfaced, which happily did not stop me from having beautiful, crisp edges.

 

It can be worn open, and not buttoned. That does make it easier to *do* things.

Capes are totally and completely impractical, but I have a serious thing for them and trench coats. I guess it’s kind of that military influence, no?  The cape is PERFECT for this kind of ride and (I’m told) looks great while biking.

 Our ride took us around downtown DC. I couldn’t resist a photo in front of the White House. We also biked past the National’s Stadium, the Capitol Building, and through Chinatown. I’m not sure there is anyone Chinese in DC’s Chinatown….

The night ended at Smith’s just outside of Capital Hill with a live band, gin drinks and fun!

I fell in love with this guy’s vest. Someone (a UK National) recently told me I’d fetished the whole Brit thing. True Dat.

 We were wiped out oat the end of the night. I just love this photo! Liz has a folding bike so we popped that in the back seat. That’s Trena next to the bike with two more bikes out back!

 These rides are so much fun! You get dressed up, you get to bike and see the city and the people are all just incredibly cool. I’m already planning next year’s outfit!

Sometimes Purple, Sometimes Cranberry Pleated Dress: Burda Magazine 10-2009 #119

I don’t know what happened to me. This dress has just needed hemming for the last four weeks. It sat on my dressform. It sat on my ironing board. It sat on the floor. It sat everywhere but my sewing machine. Perhaps it was the bow tie business. After making the ones for work, I had an order for three. Maybe it was the pants business. I decided I wanted some black ones and muslined not once, not twice but SEVEN times. Seven times for me to still have wrinkles in my seat and a big fat bottom half. But, more on that later. It was actually a blessed relief to return to this dress on Sunday.

This is my second go round with Burda 10-2009-119 . I first made it in January 2010. I wore it consistently but shrank it in a vigorous wash over the summer. Sadly, I’m not in love with this version as I was with the first.

I started this dress over the MLK weekend. The first stretch wool version was so snug around my chest it was tough to wear with a turtleneck. Well, this time I added a full inch for a FBA.

In addition, I sewed my non-stretch woven with an extra 1/2 inch at the seams. And because the sewing fairies have jokes, it came out huge. I went back in and took in the sides by everything I added and then some. But, there is just something off about the proportions. This dress could almost use a tuck in the waist so the skirt is level and the sides swing inward. Now, the sides are very curvy, wide and off grain. This makes them swing outward makes me look hippier  than I (think) I am. You can see what I mean here on the bottom right of the skirt.

Both the fabric and lining are from the Carol Collection. The Carol Collection has been a goldmine of solid bold colors for me. Again, I wouldn’t normally pick out this cranberry, but me likey.  Unlike last time, I managed to press my pleats through the front.

I’m also still on my combination facing / lining kick and did the same here.

I finished the dress with my machine’s blind hem.

I’m fine with the dress. Not disappointed enough to fix it. But, very curious about how it behaved so differently.  There are three more former dresses I would like to recreate this year.  This includes the notched collar dress, the Sherlock Holmes dress and the knit jumper.

The Parisienne Dress, Burda Magazine: 8-2009 #128


I was talking with my girlfriend Julia this week about what women are supposed to wear in the winter. She went shopping and everything and she meant everything was sleeveless.

This dress is great for winter as you can wear the long sleeves! After seeing Elaine’s and meli88a’s and knew I was going to have to make it up. I noticed on the French site for Burda the comments thought the model was a perfect Audrey Hepburn. I was thinking of this dress as very Jackie O. Funny, right?

Fabric

I started this dress over the long MLK weekend with two yards of a beautiful teal wool from the Carol Collection. This isn’t a color I normally wear. But, I actually get most of my fashion advice from you guys. You always tell me to wear more jewel tones and better shoes :) So, here I am in a jewel tone I wouldn’t normally pick and in a new pair of Mary Janes! I’m so susceptible to peer pressure :)

Luckily, the dress isn’t too poochy around the stomach. I don’t know how I feel about the tulip shape on me per se. But, I do like the gathers.

Lining

This pattern was a first for me. Burda includes facings that are meant to be sewn to the lining. Well, first let me say Burda’s lining instructions are just for the bodice — not even the sleeves. I lined the dress throughout using their facing and I LOVE how it looks! This is the way Ready to Wear dresses look (I think they do. It’s been so long since I’ve bought a lined dress from the store). The lining is from my $1 a yard buy at Jomar in Philly. Trena says it’s noisy. And, it is noisy like taffeta. You can definitely hear me coming! I bought 10 yards of it and I’m down to the last one.

I also bagged the lining on the sleeves — so to speak. I was so thrilled to finally accomplish this in my coat that I wanted to try it again. It’s nice not to have two layers shifting about.

Alterations

  • 1/2 inch FBA. I really need to get better at these when they aren’t princess seams.
  • 1 inch swayback adjustment
  • I traced the 40 and graded to the 44 at the thigh and gave myself a 1 inch seam allowance
  • Added 7 cm to the width of the sleeve. I don’t think I have large arms, but it’s a given that I’ve got to bump up with Burda.
  • Took almost 2 inches of length out from Center Front. The skirt was totally drooping on me — making the pleats incredibly unattractive.

Notions

Zipper. Which despite a 100 zippers, I didn’t have a teal. I bought this one from Sew True.  While zippers are invisible, I find that I can still see bits of them, especially at waist seams. So, I prefer them to match as closely as possible

Belt

This one is purchased from ASOS. I find the ribbon darling, but didn’t have any on hand and haven’t made it to the store. Plus, I need more cinching than I think the ribbon can allow.

I’m tempted to take another inch or so off the dress and peg it a hair more. I’ll see how I like it by the end of the day. My goal in 2011 is to SHOW MY KNEES! There are so many ways to accessorize this dress! You can rock the pearls for a Jackie O look. Brooch is perfect for business. Big earrings make it fun.  Plain belt keeps it classic. Chunky belt to modernize. Nice, basic dress. Perfect for work!

My JacketCoat: Burda Magazine 10-2010-107

While sitting at my desk wearing my Jacket/Coat, the scheduler says, “Oh, you still have your coat on. I guess your not planning on staying.” Hillarious. Yeah, it kind of looks like a coat. But, I’m wearing it as a jacket!! The fabric is really not that thick, but it is fulled so it appears to be thicker than it is. Later, she told me the contrast shawl collar looked like a scarf to her. Ha!

The pattern calls for wool velour. I’m not quite sure what that is. And, I honestly didn’t check the fabric suggestion before deciding to use this plum wool. I purchased it with Carolyn and Metro Textiles back in November 2007 at my first PR Weekend. Holy cow. I’d never spent so much money in my life on fabric. Hmm, happy to report that I’ve sewn all of those knits. And, now — just one of those wovens.  Oy.

My roots are awful. I swear I'm coloring them this week.

The pattern calls for a split collar. I’m not sure the design feature is noticeable enough to pursue it in future. I made mine in a contrast wool from the Carol Collection as I was short on material.

The entire coat is interfaced with a light knit fusible interfacing. The pattern called for the pockets, fronts, underams and upper sleeves to be interfaced.

Ha! I look like a flasher.

I did line the jacket. It’s not pretty (up close) but it’s done.  I don’t often make jackets nevermind line them. Mostly because of this hot mess. Maybe that’s why it’s taken me two years to try another.

The shoulders were too long on me by one inch. I reduced them 1/2 inch. That’s about the only alteration I’ve made (and could have taken more out of the right).

I made a two inch swayback adjustment.

From the side, it’s clear you are all right and I need to add length back to the bottom.

Carolyn is right. It’s so warm and cozy. Yet professional looking I don’t care if it looks like a coat or not :)

Pattern Review: Burda Magazine 2-2010-127

Considering I started this Burda 2-2010-127 dress well over two months ago, it feels like a joke that I’m *just* finishing it this morning! Yeah. So, here’s the thing. I traced it during the big snowstorm. Then, things got busy and I would work on it every so often. Then, the sleeves were too small and the collar lopsided. After I recut the sleeves and re-sewed the collar, it started warming up and I figured I wasn’t going to wear long-sleeved blue-grey wool dress in summer. I mean, it was 90 degrees last week! Well, today — barely 50 and it was 30 something overnight. So, this morning I got up and figured I could insert a zipper, hem the skirt and sleeves all before leaving for work and wear my wool shirtdress one time before the season was over.

I LOVE THIS DRESS!! But (yeah. There is always a “but”). I didn’t line it because I was lazy and wanted to finish up faster. That means it wrinkles much easier than something lined would. And, when I recut the seams, I caught some moth damage on both sleeves. I didn’t realize it until way too late. And, it’s on both sleeves. I’ll back it with some interfacing tonight and make this a dry clean only dress.

The dress has a side zipper, which I’m starting to love. I can’t tell you how often I get to work and someone tells me my dress isn’t zipped up.

Of course, there is my NOTCHED COLLAR. My FIRST. I’m shouting, because I’m tooting my own horn so loudly over a NOTCHED COLLAR that I can’t hear myself think.

I did my usual swayback adjustment. Which was perfect for this since it already had a CB seam. I also was lucky enough to use fabric from the Carol Collection. So, this dress was pretty much FREE!!

Here it is without the belt. I do think it needs the belt for shape (unless you are very slim / straight on the bottom. Which, we all know I’m not). I don’t have a skinny belt.

The pattern calls for elastene fabric. I did cut a 40 — which I think is pretty much my new mid-30s size. IT fits. It’s snug across my rear. But, well, everything is. Seriously, this summer I need to learn a better adjustment for my thighs. Again, I shaved the hip curve down. But, still need more depth at the thighs.

Whew. Two finished projects in one week! What is the world coming to? Now, seriously. I have to sew for some other people. At least that  boring duvet cover for a friend.