Burda Challenge February 2015 Kasia Skirt

Hola everyone!

I love Burda patterns! I buy them every time they have those half price sales and so I have amassed a sizeable stash.

Enter Dawn who blogs over at Two On Two Off. She is hosting the Burda Challenge on top of being a super prolific maker all sorts of lovely garments for herself and her kids. She also won the Pattern Review sewing bee contest last year which is how I came upon her blog.

There challenge rules are:
“Each month we will attempt to make at least one garment from that month’s magazine (January garment from the January 2015 Burda magazine). You can also opt to stick with the month but use whatever year you want. (January garment in January, but from whatever year you choose)”.

It looks like it will be fun and motivating so I am taking up the challenge but am  making it my own own ;-). . So I am bending the rules a little to suit my own style and skill level. I don’t actually subscribe to Burda although I did buy the December UK edition to see what it was like. I am going to challenge myself to make the Burda patterns I already have. In that spirit I present my  February Burda garment which only costs 99p! The Kasia skirt ! Ta dah!

It was freezing cold when I had this picture taken! Brrrr
It was freezing cold when I had this picture taken! Brrrr

Lately I’ve been expanding my wardrobe with more skirts. I have already made two Hollyburns.

So technically speaking I started making this skirt last year around November and mostly finished it except for the buttons and I just sort of fizzled and moved on to a newer shinier project ;-(. Kasia has been sitting in a blue carrier bag for all this time. This was before my reformation so I am doing right by her this time. I realised in all earnest that I couldnt emabrk on this challenge with a Burda make waiting to be finished.

I dug her out and dusted her off. Sewed the buttonholes and buttons and BOOM!

The front flap. I used an anti static lining.
The front flap. I used an anti static lining.
The back view. It has a slit.
The back view. It has a slit.
Interiors are not  too bad. A close up of the flap.
Interiors are not too bad. A close up of the flap.

To be honest I did work on this long ago that I cant remember specific details. I know that I made a muslin but I didn’t finish fitting the muslin because I just thought I could wing it. Looking at the side seams it looks like I took them in by quite a lot so I didn’t fit the muslin properly. The hem was finished using fusible bondaweb. I handstitched the waistband in place.

Still – Yes I am happy with this garment.  However..my only issue with it is my choice of fabric means that its very challenging to style it. I just don’t have anything that I can wear over it and I think that’s why it probably wont get worn as much as my other me made skirts.

If I had to make this again next  time I would move the zipper to the back of the skirt and  the buttons would merely decorations with the front flap is sewed to the skirt. Or I would omit the flap and pockets and kept the gathered side yoke for decorational purposes only.

Happy sewing everyone and I hope you are having better weather than me right now!

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Crochet a block a month February

Hi everyone,

Have I mentioned how I love to crochet. I do but other things have been taking up my time but I decided to do something about it.

I joined The 2015 BAM CAL on Ravelry.  (Block A Month Crochet Along)  Basically starting in January and ending in December they will have 3 squares each month, a main square (picked by the moderators), a filler square (which will be nominated and voted on by the members) and a 6” square (also selected by the moderators).

Its a chance to go slowly making a big thing. I plan on making an afghan for our lounge. I am calling it my Slow Crochet! Anyway here are my blocks so far.

I will be posting my blocks once a month as I go along.

JanFeb

What did you think? Which one immediately drew your eye?

Happy making everyone!

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My Purple Haze Parisian Top!

Hi!

How do you make a sweatshirt that’s (i) easy to make, (ii) comfortable, (iii) yet still cute enough to go  out in and (iv) fulfills a sewing challenge?

Well you make a Parisian top from Go To Patterns! Of course! Tadah!!!

Top front
We literally had the sun come out twice the whole day so my eyes are not used to the brightness!

I bought this pattern aaaaages ago when I saw it on Kollabora. I was mainly attracted to the peter pan collar (I went through a stage where I was buying any pattern that had a peter pan collar). It also sort of looked easy to make (I was still a sewing baby then). How right I was! This top has three quarter sleeves and cuff and a hem bands.  With the banded cuffs and hems, it makes the finishing so quick, so easy, plus I didn’t have to get my twin needle out.

collar
One side is bigger than the other – but only slightly. Not bad for my first attempt at a peter pan collar with a slippery shifty fabric!

I jazzed it up by adding the paisley contrast cuffs and collar (from the stash). That collar makes it a standout. I held up a few different contrasting fabrics for the collar, but when I tried the purple paisley, sparks flew.  Yep I lurve this top.  It’s stylish, yet so comfortable.

My main fabric was a ponte roma (love love ponte) in purple, the contrast collar is a lightweight shifty viscose (not so keen on this). I am glad I used medium weight interfacing on the collar cause that fabric was a slippery as an eel! The construction was straight forward. The instructions are good. I liked that the narrow binding as facing meant I didn’t need some bulky interfaced neckline facing.  Instead of a cutting a fabric facing from my ponte I used some pink jersey bias binding I had in my stash. My interiors are not too shabby either 😉 Innards

Why make it now when I have had this pattern for so long? Well I realised that my colour for The Monthly Stitch solids February Challenge was purple. Plus I had this purple ponte for ages in my stash so…. Yeahy!! Stash busting! Go!

The Results: Another win!  I love it. It works well with jeans and leggings. There are a lot of options for differentiation. I could see myself making this up again! I mean you don’t even have to … now this is a big one … finish the edges!!  I serged this one up and finished it quite quickly. Love that! I think I need to do a broad shoulder adjustment. Though it is perfectly comfortable, looking at the pictures it looks like the shoulder is small… grr..parisian toptop backtope

Collage
Serger tails? Whats the deal? How can I deal with these neatly?

Speaking of serging – how do you deal with your serger tails (sergtails)? Mine look loopy cause I turn at the end and go over so it doesn’t unravel…Do you have a neat trick that makes everything looks nicely situated? Share please 😉  My next TMS challenge is Inside Out whereby I have to challenge myself to have super neat innards.

Happy sewing everyone and thanks for stopping by!

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PS I love the twin needle finish BUT it is still fiddly.

Holy Smoke! Its another Sewaholic Hollyburn!

Hi! How are you doing? ;-D.

I am good thank you! Thought I would do a post about the fastest turnaround I have ever had with fabric. Its also a tale about my um…. second Hollyburn. I really REALLY love my Hollyburn the First! So I decided that I needed a second one in a different colour – a mustard-y colour. Lucky for me I had to go into the city to get  my son’s violin fixed so in that context I was able to bypass the stash and go straight to the fabric shop 😉holyb 2

Saturday  Decision made – go after hubby and kids get back from swimming and music classes. My 4 year old comes with -( he loves all things fabric, glittery and sewing ;-). Choosing the fabric was easy my 4 year old is so incredibly decisive. “We are getting this one mummy now I need to go wee” and well that was that! In all fairness it was a good choice. I love the sack clothy look of this fabric. The fabric merchant said its a tweed look wool mix fabric – it washes and dries in the normal way I treat my clothes;easy care! The mustad-y colour is gorgeous. Plus I’ve had in mind a mustard -y winter skirt for a while now. Headed back home by 3pm. Fabric washed and tumble dried by 7pm. Kids in bed by 8pm. Pattern pieces for view B cut out before an early night at 9pm. Instead of a size 8 I cut a size 6 to achieve a more snug fit around the waist since I wasn’t planning on wearing this one with a belt. Meantime I realised that skirt will need to be lined- quickly ordered 2m  of lining off Ebay.

Sunday  Fused different weights of interfacing to see which had the best structure for the waist. The firm/heavy fusible interfacing ticked all the boxes. Found the closest matching thread in my thread stash that lives in the attic. Next I worked with interfaced scraps of fabric to determine the thread tension and stitch length. I was surprised that this fabric sewed best with a low thread tension and short stitch length. I kept trying till I got a combo that didnt pucker or have loops. Once that was sorted I moved on to topstitching settings. My plan was to topstitch either side of the seams to create a neat super flat look.

Playing around with different stitch lengths  on seams.
Playing around with different stitch lengths on seams.

Monday  Sewed up the pockets and pocket lining then attached to the skirt pieces. For the pocket lining I used fabric from one of my husbands old M&S shirts. Its a lovely pale salmon pink and the cotton is a lush double cotton. Finished the front seam. Attached back pieces and staystitched the waist. Sewed the wasitband on.

Tuesday Luckily the lining arrived in the post today. Pieces cut out. Even remembered NOT to cut the pocket shaping on the front skirt piece. Darn that lining is slippery!! Took forever to pin it and even then it still shifted when I was sewing! Attached the lining to the waistband.Found this tutorial on My Messings.

Weird angle showing lining attached to skirt.
Weird angle showing lining attached to skirt.

Thursday Big day! Invisible zipper going in! Went in without a fuss at all. Finished off the main fabric back seam and lining back seam. Hemmed the main fabric first followed by lining hem.I was going to make view B with the tabs but when I made up the tabs  and pinned them on I realised I preferred the clean simple look of the waistband. Stitched in the ditch to hold waistband in place. Missed Great British Sewing Bee ;-(PicMonkey Collage

Friday Sat down when wee ones were napping to do a spot of handstitching the lining to around the zipper. while catching up with GBSB on Iplayer. By the end of the episode I had a skirt!!!!!holb

In less than a week I bought fabric and made an actual skirt I am wearing! Well pleased with myself.holyb 2

My handstitching has come a long way since this A line skirt I made last year. I am not proud of that hem though.  In a rush to finish I didn’t handstitch the hem opting instead for machine hem. It looks chunky. Ah well.

The keen eyed among you might have noticed that the waistband is about an inch less thick. Kudos if you picked up on that. Nomatter what I did the band would come away from my tummy. It fit perfectly around my waist but above it it sort of gaped. For this reason I kept reducing the thickness of the waistband till it sat nicely on my waist. Which meant losing about an inch or so. I think it works well though and its super comfortable.Holly Must

Nothing much more to say except that I love it (again). Before I started writing my blog I used to lurk about other blogs and used to wonder why sewers made the same thing more than once ~ yep I get it. I think I may finally have what the sewing community so insatiably call “My TNT” Quick question ~ does it stand for “tried and tested” or Tried and true”?Side view

Hollyburn featured imageOne final thought I did have the same issue of a sudden immediate desperate desire to start a new project when all the big stuff was done – around the time when the zipper went in. I had to be very strict with myself (even recruited hubby to be my accountability partner)  but my gaze was already wandering onto other patterns. I even started using affirmations to try and help. Do you have the sudden overwhelming urge to begin another project when you have nearly but not quite completed a project? How do you deal with it? My willpower is waning..

If you got this far thank you for taking the time to read my wondering post. On the radar I have another skirt in the works , no its not a Hollyburn 😉

Selfish Sweater Knitalong my cropped winter sweater

On boxing day I cast on my next knitting project – a sassy cropped winter sweater. Yet another design by Andi Satterlund. It is a cute colour blocked design. I wasnt in the mood for cabling thats why I choose something simple. The best part is is a free pattern! Can’t go wrong there ;-). I used my yarn of choice; Red Heart Aran which I bought online at a bargainous 99p per ball. Having used this yarn before on my Marion cardigan. I know how it handles being washed and dried – I am happy with its performance. It acrylic which suits me just fine. Plus the Marion acted as a gauge swatch.

We had a spot of sunny weather in the afternoon.
We had a spot of sunny weather in the afternoon.

 

back

The instructions are very easy to follow.The only mistake I made was not reading the errata which I now know to be of importance. Basically errata is a list of corrected errors appended to a pattern. I sort of just rushed into casting on without following that sage advice of reading through the whole pattern before you start. Here is what happened with the armhole cast on and placement of the markers. I did about 50 rows of the sleeve cap and armhole but when I tried it on it looked weird. Like the back of the armhole was at the front (thank goodness I tried it on then otherwise I could have knitted to the end before realising something was wrong. Anyway I went back to look at the pattern and spent ages trying to figure out where I had gone wrong. To cut a long story short it was right at the bottom of the pattern and I was like DUH! So yes I unraveled it all  so I could begin picking up stitches again!

Neck edge
I bound off the neck in the main colour purple because I ran out of the brown! Looks good though.

I am most proud of my improved ability to pick up and knit stitches on the armholes and neck. Because I now know how to wrap it looks so much neater than my Marion cardigan.I struggled a bit with the colourwork but I got through it. The first colour work is uneven with long floats especially on the waist. By the time I got to the sleeve cuffs though I was much neater. For the sleeves I added a decrease repeat to get the length I wanted otherwise for the design they are just past the elbow. Another interesting thing I noticed was just how much gauge can change just by using different needles. For the first sleeve i used magic loop on 16 inch circulars. On the second sleeve I used the smaller 10 inch circulars and one sleeve is longer and wider than the other. Clearly I need to be consistent.

porttrait
A happy bunny in a me made outfit. I have worn that Hollyburn so many times!

Verdict.

I love it. Its a cute warm sweater to wear with my Hollyburn skirt. Since I am making more Hollyburns it will be well worn. It works well with jeans as well. It took me 5 weeks to complete it but it would much less if I knitted more often. I knitted this mostly on Fridays during our family movie nights. We have been watching the Pirates of the Carribbean films over the last 4 weeks ..so yes each time I put this on I instantly recall the “He is a Pirate” theme.

A fun easy to knit sweater. Now in to my next knitting project an Owlets sweater for my 5 yr old boy who has been begging me to make ‘yarn’ him something.

Happy knitting everyone and thanks for stopping by.

 

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More New Look 6016 for Kids Clothes Week

Quick post. More makes for Kids Clothes Week! Yay! So I finished off the leggings and knit t shirts using New Look 6016 < I have some serious love for this pattern>. Promised a short post so here are the deets 😉

utfits
The outfits in theory!

Construction for the top required setting in the sleeve after ease stitching. Ick!!! Too fiddly on these tiny garments using a lightweight super drapey fabric. Flat construction on the next tee and boom!Grey knits spotty knits

Again, the sizing is spot on. The only problem is my lack of patience. Though my patience has (significantly) improved since last year I found myself really wanting to start the next project once the major stuff was done. However one of my sewing musts now is absolutely no new project till one is finished, done, finito!…grrrr <sigh>. I did stick to my resolution though I desperately wanted to move on to my second Hollyburn. Determined to start my Hollyburn on Monday, I finished these off Sunday night. The hemming won’t win any awards. It will do though. NOTE TO SELF. Find resources on hemming fine knits for future reference.

Simple zigzag for the hems. I was pleased that the neckline did not stretch out. The interior look neater than my last knit makes ;-) So yes Progress!
Simple zigzag for the hems. I was pleased that the neckline did not stretch out. The interior looks neater than my last knit makes 😉 So yes! Progress!

Anyway am so happy with how these turned out that I kissed the pattern envelope said

Thank you. You have done good!

Before putting it away. Challenge done – I can go back to selfish sewing!

Happy sewing everyone!
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#kidsclothesweek

Kids Clothes Week! New Look 6016.

Kids Clothes Week is here! It’s when you work a little each day on kids clothes setting aside an hour a day for one week. I joined because you all know I love working to a challenge 😋. There were some lovely kids patterns that were …..vaguely on the queue but this helped me to take concrete steps towards making them.

Planning began a couple of weeks ago, when I decided on which pattern to make, selected the fabric and notions. Having learnt that its best to plan outfits when sewing for my twins I decided on New Look 6016. You get a lot for your money with this pattern as it includes a knit shirt, leggings, jumper with various embellishments, and purse. Its very similar to one of my favourite kids dresses patterns McCalls M6727 that I have made before using Grumpy Owls and Scooters fabric. The main difference is that M6727 is reversible.

New Look 6016 is such a wonderful design for kids, its roomy and cute allowing for freedom of movement. This was one of the first patterns I bought when I seriously got into sewing about a year ago. I paid FULL price!!! Eeeek! In my defense I now know better…..

All patterns go on sale eventually….you just have to be patient.

Biikes dress
Not sure why one looks bigger….

It does go up to age 4 so I reckon I will get a fair amount of use.

Construction wise – the instructions were really good until I got to the yoke. I tried their way at first. I didn’t like it so with the next yoke I tried something else. For their instructions you have to interface the front yoke piece then sew it, right sides together, to the dress front. You then press the seam allowance under the non interfaced yoke piece before you stitch it to the interfaced yoke then turn rightside out and slipstitch to close. You have to construct the yoke on the dress.

Well I wasn’t having any of that. So I decided to make the yoke first then attach it to the dress. This concept is similar to how the Carme blouse collar is sewn. I made a ‘burrito’ with the yoke then inserted the dress like so:

1. Block interface the front yoke.

2. Stitch interfaced yoke and non interface yoke together. Trim allowances and clip curves.

3. Turn right side out and press forming a burrito.

4. ‘Tuck’ the dress into the opening between the dots. Pin in place, baste.

5. Topstitch ensuring that you are catching both ‘lips’ of burrito.

Et voila!

Yoke Tutorial
The burrito was more fun, way faster, less fiddly and neater :D.

I absolutely adore how they came out! Of course they need the under layers to make them wearable while the weather is still a bit cool. I am making leggings and t shirts in a lightweight jersey. I actually reluctantly unwillingly had to re thread my overlocker for this project.

Me (before rethreading): “OMG! I cant do this”

Me (after rethreading): “Is that all? Really! Come on it must be tougher than that!”.

Turns out its surprisingly easy to do! Go figure! I really wish I could say it was intentional. However my once (I have only ever done this 1 time)  used technique of tying the new thread,crossing my fingers and holding my breath did not work. Shout out to Theresa at Navy Blue Threads for inspiring me to do something with my overlocker! I actually changed the thread tension dials! And the differential feed ;-). Joy!

Bikes dress front
Mmmmm I wonder if I could make myself something like this? Love them so much 😉
bikes dresses back
The back of the dresses.
new look 6016 Collage
Very pleased with how the inside is relatively neat.

As always here are some gratuitous shots of the complete dresses.

Verdict.

Great toddler dress.  Super easy to sew up .  Adding embellishments can take it to the next level and give it a boutiquey feel. I shall most definitely be making more 😉

Happy sewing everyone and thanks for stopping by!

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#kidsclothesweek

 

P.S. Buttons going in tonight but wanted to get this post out before I get super busy from tomorrow onwards 😉