Posted in sewing

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!

Posted in sewing

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.

Posted in sewing

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!

Posted in sewing

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 🙂

Posted in sewing

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.