Posted in sewing

Pattern Review: BWOF Blouse 1/2008 #108

You Gotta Have Friends

It’s not often I am completely thrown by Burda directions. But, I couldn’t understand the placket directions for the life of me. Luckily, I was able to call DVMCindy in California. For some crazy wonderful reason, she had written all of the notes and directions out for this pattern and walked me through construction on the phone. Awesome.

This makes FIVE patterns I’ve sewn from the January 2008 Burda Magazine. Five! That’s a record for me. This swiss dot with brown polka dots was a pleasure to work with. And, I just love the polka  dots! It’s so fun and youthful!

I used hand basting to underline the blouse with cotton batiste. Both the batiste and swiss dot were purchased in NYC. I did not do French seams as many other sewists did. Why not? Because I don’t know how to do them. I know they are easy, but I’m not inspired to learn just yet. Besides, with the underlining, you couldn’t see through and my serger served me quite well.

I didn’t alter the sleeve for the bicep. But, I did sew the sleeve band with a 1/2 inch vs 5/8 inch sleeve allowance. It’s a touch snug. But, I can live with it.

I did make a 1/2 inch FBA using the Princess Seam Method from Fast Fit. The buttons are light pink from my ages old Fabric Mart $5 bundle.

The skirt is part of my China capsule. It’s the April 2002 BWOF pattern I made a few weeks ago. This photo was taken after several hours of sitting at my desk. The linen wears very very well. Overall, the blouse is a terrific pattern. I love it. But, I think it’s slightly too big on me. I recently started sewing a 40 instead of a 38 with a FBA. But, I think I should stick with the 38, make a FBA, a swayback adjustment and increase the hip width. The nice thing about it being slightly loose is that it will be that much cooler in China. I’ll likely wear it untucked while traveling. But, tucked in like above for work. This blouse also provides enough ease that I can cross my arms without feeling like I’m in a straight jacket.

In my last post I said I was done with my East Coast to Far East China capsule, but I lied. I’m trying to sew one more dress (I leave in just less than two weeks). I thought I could use something a touch more professional for the meetings I have to go to.  It’s all cut out, lining too. Let’s see what I can get done this weekend!

Posted in sewing

Pattern Review: Wide Leg, High Waist Trousers BWOF 4-2002-122

I realized yesterday while hemming my Burda World of Fashion 4-2002-122 trousers that I am essentially sewing a Chico’s travel wardrobe. This is the part where I should say that there isn’t anything wrong with Chicos — just not my style. But, there *is* something wrong with Chicos. I am first, 15 years shy of their demographic no matter how young a model they choose. Second, I’ve always thought their clothes were better suited for cruises. What’s odd though, is I’ve had two boyfriends buy me jewelry from Chicos as gifts. I remember the last time it happened my heart sank when I saw the big  block lettered CHICOS on the box. I thought,”‘Crap. This relationship isn’t going to last. He doesn’t know me at all. What about my personal style says, ‘cruisewear’.” The earrings were just as ugly as I imagined them to be and we broke up a week later. Coincidence? I think not.

I say I’m sewing a travel wardrobe from Chicos because everything I’ve picked is loose, not tailored and easy to wear / care for. That, IMHO, is Chico’s style.  At least my stuff isn’t animal print. Don’t get me started on animal print. Which, I will say is just not my style. Animal print doesn’t personally offend my sensibilities. Except when black models are photographed in editorial fashion shoots wearing it. But, that is a Woman’s / African-American Studies paper on its own. I digress.

These are the pants unironed from my sewing machine. I did press them before cutting out and during the sewing. But, no final press. I wanted a sense of what they would look like washed in my hotel room sink, LOL.  I’ve heard the linen can stretch out. So, I took extra care with this garment. Using Sandra Betzina’s Power Sewing as a guide I

  • Interfaced the zipper side seam
  • Used twill tape in the crotch seam, sewing it twice
  • Used twill tape at the waist line
  • Interfaced the hem allowance
  • Used boning in the front, back and side seam

What I didn’t do, was interface the upper edge of the waistband and it stretched. And, it looks like another 1/2 inch more for my swayback would have been good.

So, the waist line is kind of wonky especially in the front. But, trust. I will never wear something tucked in to these. If I wasn’t sucking in for this photo, then my pants wouldn’t have fallen, and you would see that the pants sit above my waistline.

I will probably shorten these another half inch before I go to China. But, I’ll be wearing them with heels to work in the meantime. The pants are crazy wide! Power Sewing mentions that unless you are very tall you shouldn’t wear wide leg trousers. Oh, well. My driver’s license says I’m 5 ft 7 and I’m both calling that tall and sticking to that height.

I suspect because they are so wide, that my protruding seat adjustment wasn’t critical. But, it worked well for my swayback. I’ll let you know tomorrow how the pants held up at the end of the day. Hopefully, they won’t have stretched out to my ankles!

I was so motivated by the not hideousness of these, that I muslined a pair of Hello, Sailor! pants from Hot Patterns last night. They are altered and ready to cut from the good stuff. They’ll be my more tailored pants. But, more on that later 🙂

Posted in sewing

My Big Fat Alteration

** Edited to add book title

First, to all in the USA, Happy Fourth of July!! In honor of the holiday, I did a theme manicure. Which is funny because I’m not huge on nail art. I don’t even really do things like french manicures. If you’re interested, you can skip to the bottom of this post.

I finally got started on my muslin of Burda 4-2002-122. I started with 42 and made a ‘large buttocks’ adjustment and the fit was great. I could possibly next time start with a 40 and adjust from there. These are possibly too baggy, but that’s the style. I thought I would show the adjustment here (That knee line might not actually *be* my knee).

There were three options in my book (Fitting and Pattern Alterations. A Multi Method Approach. Ann just wrote about it). But, I chose this one because

  • The horizonal slice and spread is what I was going to do for my swayback. That’s about 1.5 to 2 inches
  • The left most slice and spread adds width where I was going to for the ‘full inner thigh’ (what I call “chub rub” adjustment
  • The widening of the dart is what I was going to do for a swayback

So, this on alteration covered my problem areas. You can see that I also added less than a 1/4 of an inch to the outer thigh. Not needed at all though since this style is so baggy. Here’s hoping it all works out in the linen too!

I’m off to the fireworks tonight at the Inner Harbor. But, I should have these sewn up tomorrow!

And speaking of fireworks:

I copied this look from here. The stamps are available here. Holiday Fun!