Flounce Dress BurdaStyle 01/2017 #112A

 

I will preface this by saying how much I love this dress! So I will go right ahead and show the pictures before all the talking.

Burdastyle 01/2017 #112

BurdaStyle 01/2017 #112

 

Now, the talking bit.

The flounce dress includes a bold flounce to drape in front – which piqued my interest. Initially, I was going to use a cobalt blue crepe, however, at the last minute, I remembered this bright pink wool fabric that I had bought from Fabworks. It is a lightweight wool fabric, similar in texture to pashmina shawls. I found it washed well in a cold water wash and low tumble dry.

Sewing it up was a treat. The fabric is a joy to work with and responds beautifully to a steamy iron. Since the style doesn’t have a zipper – it sews up quite fast. The only tricky bit is when cutting out the pattern. The pieces have to be cut single layer and it is important to mark the seam numbers.

The pattern is a Burda Tall size which is drafted for taller persons. I selected my size based on my bust measurement which put me on size 76. I didn’t change the length of the dress but I did reduce the sleeve length by 2″ to maintain the bracelet length sleeve.

My favourite part of this dress is the flounces at the front. My least favourite is the back fastening. I am considering redoing that back closure and inserting an exposed zip instead. I wore it quite a lot these past 2 months but the back wasn’t an issue since I always wore it layered over a roll neck top. The other annoying thing is that the wool has started pilling where my coat would rub against it :-(.

I definitely want to make this again and do some contrast blocking with the flounces.

This was one of my January #burdachallenge2018 planned makes.

Thanks for stopping by!

Hila

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Burda 06/2016 #101C Wool Jersey Dress

This is a dress I made for my February #burdachallenge2018 project. It wasnt a planned make – I reacquainted myself with the dark blue wool jersey that I bought from Fabworks in Dec 2016.

When I bought the fabric I recall that I wanted to make a Talviki sweater. Alas, with only 1 meter, it was not enough. Enter Burda 06/2016 #101C dress. Here is the line drawing which shows the simplicity of this pattern.

101-062016-m_large

 

Since 1m was not enough for the mini dress – a fact I realised after cutting out three of the four pieces; inventiveness meant that I used a navy ponte for the front yoke – a design feature bourne out of necessity.

For the neckline, I just folded it under and zig zagged. I think this is a finish you can get away with when the fabric is of a more substantive weight like the wool jersey.

The picture shows how I wore it most of the time- with tights and boots and sometimes with a roll neck as well. Wool jersey is very warm and cosy which served me well for the colder days. The pictures were taken during the big snow days that ground Britain to a halt.

Burdastyle 06/2016 #101

 

This is quite a versatile pattern – it works for summer with a lighter fabric like this one that I made here and can work for winter with a thicker fabric.

Thanks for stopping by!

Hila

SWAP2017 Pt 5: Ansterick Holsten Sweater and an Experiment in pre washing yarn

Last year I was working full steam on a SWAP2017 wardrobe. You can read some of the previous SWAP2017 posts here <link here>:

For one of my uppers – I opted for a  knitted item. The inspiration was based on a Bella Freud 1970 Jumper . This jumper retails at £300.

The pattern I used was the Holsten jumper by Anstrick

Once I had selected the pattern the next challenge was finding the bright red yarn colour. Someone on Ravelry recommended Cascade Ultra Pima Cotton DK yarn. The yarn has a lovely lustre to it and it had a lipstick red shade that looked promising. I ordered several balls of different reds from various brands but this was the one that nailed it. Luckily they also had the black and white of the same yarn.

The next challenge was how to prevent bleeding. From the many posts that I read where people had knitted with red and white or black and white – there was a bleeding issue when the garment was washed. After ruminating on the issue for a while I thought that maybe I could try pre-washing the yarn before knitting to reduce any bleeding potential in the same way we prewash fabric for sewing.

Luckily the yarn comes in skeins. My first attempt was a bit of a travesty because I didnt do anything to prevent the yarn from tangling. On my second attempt, I loosely tied the skein at 4 different points so that I could easily reconstitute the skein.

The prewashing process involved filling the sink with hot water and soaking for about an hour, gently wringing the water out and repeating until the water ran clear. For the red this took approximately 4 soakings, the black took 6 soakings to run clear. I also did the white twice because I needed it to have a similar texture to the black and red.

After drying out the skeins I then had to wind them into yarn balls. There were a lot of online tutorials to help. I used a kitchen roll tube and spent several hours balling up the skein. It was tedious but I think it was worth it in the end. 

Dryng the prewashed yarn

Pre washed and un washed side by side
Prewashed on left. Has a ‘fuller’ look and feel. Unwashed on right.

 

I swatched with 3.75, then 3,5 but it was 3,25 that got the correct stitch gauge. I should have done some mods since the pattern calls for fingering 4 ply but my yarn was DK. However, I still do not understand these things so I went on ahead with the proviso that I would be trying it along the way to see what I need to change. On the whole this worked, I think I managed to get away with it :-).

This pattern knits up quite quick since it all stokinette stitch. It was also a great opportunity for me improve my Portuguese knitting skills. I think the fit is quite good. Yarn feels comfy against my skin.

The prewashing seems to have worked. When I washed this there was no bleeding.

And here I am wearing it last year.

The pattern instructions were very clear and well written. I learnt some new techniques like the saddle stitch for the raglan sleeve. It may not be the best but I had a great time knitting this. I’d have liked to do add in a HILA motif on the white section but my skills are not yet there. I am still very happy with this jumper.

Finally, I used just under 5 skeins of red and less than 1 skein each of black and white. The total cost of the yarn was £50.48. Not bad considering the inspiration retails at £300. Win!

Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the internets. Until next time, happy knitting!

Peace and love,

Hila

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for stopping by this corner of the interwebs.

Peace and love,

Hila

Offset Jersey Tops BurdaStyle 02/2018 #107 #burdachallenge2018

When I received the February issue of BurdaStyle this pattern immediately jumped out at me. I could see this working well for a beautiful multi colour fabric that I had bought with no particular pattern in mind. Here is the line drawing

BurdaStyle 02/2018 #107

The line drawing doesnt the top much justice so here is the fashion photo

The front and back pattern pieces are nearly identical but you have to absolutely make sure to note the seam numbers on the fabric for when you have to put it together. Otherwise, like me, you might get into a bit of a muddle. But once you have everything properly marked (and traced – when I traced out the pattern pieces I forgot to put on the seam numbers so when the instructions said to sew seam No.1 – I had no idea where it was) its actually a very easy garment to sew up.

I made 2 of these tops. The first one was not as successful because of incorrect fabric selection. I used a medium weight 2 way knit fabric. I felt that it was didnt have enough drape for the pattern and given that the hip is snug on this pattern it wasnt what I envisioned. 

The hips are snug on this, which would have been fine in my much younger days 🙂

It better when I move the hem up to my natural waist.
Its a shame because I really liked the fabric but this was totally wrong pattern for it.

 

Not to be deterred I immediately dug into my fabrics and found a grey 4 way stretch viscose jersey that I thought might work better. Having learnt my lessons before – it took less than an hour to cut and finish this top.

BurdaStyle 02/2018 #107

As you can see this fabric was more suitable for the pattern. I love this top and I have worn it so many times already. By the time we did this photoshoot (indoors because it was the big snow week) it has been washed about 4 times already. Here I am wearing it with my DP Studio Skirt

This is a pattern that I will definitely be coming back to. I need it many different colours. It makes a nice alternative to a normal T Shirt. This was one of my February #burdachallenge2018 makes.

Thanks for stopping by and until next time – Happy Sewing.

Hila

XoX

The Great British Sewing Bee From Stitch to Style: The Breton Dress

It gives me great pleasure to share this dress with you. Its from the book, The Great British Sewing Bee From Stitch to Style

The Breton jersey dress attracted me with its wide boat neck line. It also looked simple enough to make and yet it took me nearly 18 months between tracing out the pattern and actually sewing it. Here is the picture from the book:

Sewing the dress was a pleasure as it is instant gratification of the best kind. And to end up with something that makes me feel like a stylish well considered adult, well, that’s just the cherry on the cake! The sewing instructions in the book are really good. Plus the sizing was spot on. This size was selected based on my bust and without any alterations at all this is what it looks like.

Great British Sewing Bee: From Stitch to Style. Jersey Dress
No. I did not stripe match.
I love how the neckline is finished.
I get such a buzz from putting my name on my clothes 🙂
Going for an artistic pose…….(please ignore the holey tights)

If I had to nit pick I’d say that there is a swayback issue on the back but honestly I asked my husband what he thought and he earnestly said that the behind was fine. And that is good enough for me :-).

Fabric was from Jacks Fabrics in Leeds market, bought last year so I am quite pleased at how quickly this fabric was turned around :-).

Overall there are many things that pleased me about this project.

The book only cost £9.99 on Amazon with free P&P. Its great value given the number of patterns that come with the book (27 I think). There are a few more patterns I want to make from there. I did make the Japanese top already.

 

I have already traced out this skirt which was the reason that I bought the book. sewing-bee-book-a-skirtAfter seeing Beth’s version I was very inspired to make it.

Thanks for stopping by. Happy Sewing!

Peave and love,

Hila

XXX

Vogue V1486 Pt. 3 Skirt in Bright Floral Scuba

This is a skirt that I have made 2 times already (bright floral here) and (cobalt scuba here). I always said that I wasnt done with this pattern and it still feels accurate even after this 3rd make.

Perhaps its how easy it is to make the skirt that attracts me so. Or it might be the shape of it – not quite a plain A line skirt, it has the drama of the side box pleats on the lower skirt section. left out the back zip and cut the back piece on a fold. Scuba has great stretch and recovery.

 

Size wise I traced a 10 based on the finished garment measurements (I am normally a 12 on Vogue patterns). I did this because the scuba has some stretch in it. The fabric was an impulse online purchase from FC Fabric Studio . One of those posts you see on IG and click away and before you know it, you are receiving a lovely package of fabric. And it really is lovely, just look at it. Continue reading

My #makenine2018

Late to the #makenine2018 party but here we go. After much thought and consideration, I decided that I wanted my make nine to help me with a challenge I had set myself last year – get out of my stash. I only managed to use up 2 pieces of precious fabric last year and it felt so good. So my #makenine is to use these 9 fabrics. Bring on the tears people! I have to cut into my preciousnessess

  1. Lemons. 100% Cotton. 2m

2. Hydrangea. Satin. 2m

3. Liberty Tana Lawn 1.5m

4. OutBack Wife Barkcloth 1m

5. Vivienne Westwood. 100% Wool. 3m

6. Cotton and Steel. 100% cotton. 2m

7. Liberty Tana Lawn. 2m

8. Ralph Lauren  Sailboats. 100% Linen. 2m

9. Liberty Wool. 100% wool. 2m

Wish me luck! The process of selecting the 9 was fun. But it also made me realise that there is too much lovely fabric sitting there! If you’d like to see the drape and handle of the fabrics the YT video is below.

Thanks for stopping by! Until next time, Happy sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

Better Late than Never Blazer : BurdaStyle Blazer 03/2016 116A #burdachallenge2018

This jacket has been waiting a long time to be made. I bought and cut this fabric over a year ago, changed my mind about the style and left it in my UFO box, forgotten. Until I was browsing all my March issues while planning my #burdachallenge2018 makes for this month.

Reaching for my UFO box is never a nice experience. I like to pretend it doesn’t exist. You understand don’t you, gentle reader, that being confronted by your own personality defects must be avoided? Especially if said defects might justify a fabric fast?

But I reached for it, if only to refresh my memory of the project.

On a tangent, diving into the UFO was just as unpleasant as I thought it would be – too many carrier bags of projects in there. They were very angry. They hadn’t seen the light of day for a long time. I did not like facing them. I decided that I was going to have a sort through later on and chuck most of them (after all if I havent sewn them by now then I dont need to).

Back to the story at hand – once I saw the fabric I decided to have a go at sewing the jacket – It looked like an easy enough pattern. The jacket is unlined. Here is the line drawing: 

 

 

BurdaStyle 03/2016 116

I cant recall much about the fabric except that I bought it from B&M Fabrics. It has some lycra in it I think based on the cross grain stretch.

The fabric was quite nice to work with – it has that beautiful quality of letting stitches sink in and become invisible so you can unpick and mess up royally with little visible impact :-).

The jacket came together quickly. I made my usual size 38 without any alterations. The only change was to leave my sleeve band unfolded. In the instructions, the sleeve band is folded in half and sewn on to sleeve giving it a three-quarter length. My sleeve band had been cut on the selvedge so I thought it would be nice to incorporate the selvedges thereby also making the sleeve longer.

Verdict: Quite simply – I LOVE IT! Love it! Nuff said.

BurdaStyle 03/2016 #116

 

So coming back to my UFO box – I get why they are angry with me. All they want is to show me how beautiful and useful they can be. They just want to be given a chance.

Because somewhere, at some point a tiny spark of an idea had emerged and I started pulling it together.

The idea was excited about coming to fruition but then I dropped it like a hot potato.

Of Course, they are angry. And I am shamed.

Shamed into action.

I nearly threw out this project because of unpleasant feelings of shame. Well if there is one thing this beautiful spring jacket has taught me – its that it is never too late!

So do not worry my lovely UFOs – you will not be left behind. I am coming to get all of you and give you your chance! 

Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the internets. Until next time, Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

 

A Different kind of sewing….

I have a little brother who is quite fussy about his clothes. When he finds something he likes he tends to buy upwards of 5 of the same item as he hates shopping and doesn’t like ‘wasting time’ on what to wear. His clothes are all similar colours and shapes therefore interchangeable.

While in Japan, he found a jacket he liked but there was only one in his size. No problem he thought – “my big sister can copy this jacket for me and make 5 more“. Luckily he visited with us at the end of August last year with his jacket and an express desire to go looking for fabrics that he likes. I took him to Fabworks where he spent all of 10 minutes before deciding on a wool suiting in navy blue.

Original jacket sans right sleeve.

 

Now, though I was in the doldrums at the time, even I refused to just copy something and not add a little extra…….something. My philosophy is that if you are going to ask Michaelangelo to paint a ceiling – then LET MICHAELANGELO PAINT A CEILING LIKE THE SISTINE CHAPEL!!! I refuse to spend hours working on something that is just going to look …..bland. That’s not me.

At. All.

So, I stood my ground and insisted that there had to be something different to denote that it was truly a one of a kind. He agreed to look at contrast fabrics for the lapel/facing. This was huge. My brother is not one to change his mind or indeed concede his sartorial choices. He chose the Liberty Tana lawn which reminds me of a Wuthering Heights’esque moorland. Still, it was better than nothing.

Image from Vampires in Wuthering Heights

 

Did I mention this was at the end of August last year?

With all that time I didn’t come back to the project nor think about it until he asked me during a recent Skype session. Feeling bad I set to it this past weekend and copied the jacket using carbon paper and a tracing wheel. It’s not an exact science but between my pattern drafting knowledge and common sense, I made some headway.

A weird thing happened. Duty and honour (and some guilt – ok mostly guilt – that I had made him wait all these months) drove me to start on the project. At some point I started enjoying the process. It felt like the wild west (why am I saying this? I’ve never experienced the wild west nor do I wish to); but as a metaphor, its meant to say that I was excited and curious at how I would do. It’s been a long time since I have felt like that.

When acquiring a new skill set there is joy/exhilaration when you first learn to do new techniques. But, as time goes and you gain more experience that sense of fear/anxiety/exhilaration that keeps you on edge is gone because you get to a point where you know how to do this that or the other. It becomes easier to execute a vision and the high is never is as good as that first high of nailing a fly front or easing a sleeve for example. Which is not necessarily a bad thing in itself…..

But this was new territory for me.

Not only was I making it for someone else who has a very clear expectation of what he wants; I also had no pattern.

Figuring out grainlines, forgetting notches, not adding ease to sleeve cap………so much minutiae of things I forgot to do but I carried on. Lessons learnt. Falling forward.

To frame the time period here:

August 2017 – Assignment given and materials procured

15 March 2018 – Casual enquiry about jacket over Skype

18 March 2018 – Copied jacket, cut fabric and sewed up body

19 March 2018 – Sewed collars and sleeves.

20 March 2018 – Hems, buttonholes and final pressing.

This is the toile. I had no fabric that was similar to this wool suiting to use and since he wants 5 of them I reckon by the time I get to the fifth one, it’ll all be gravy.

I have written this before I send it off to Switzerland tomorrow. He will now have to feedback to me before I embark on the next one. I am at peace and in calm within myself. I tried my best.

Hand on heart tried my best. And thats good enough for me.

Thread chain to anchor facing
Bias bound back seam with vent

 

Even if he doesn’t like it – it doesn’t matter to me any more – it won’t affect my sense of pride and achievement in this. I had tried to express my feeling that I feel now but last night as I read the closing chapters of Bartlett and the Ice Voyage (a great book btw) to my kids Bartlett said the words for me so I will share them…

For a long time he (Bartlett) gazed vacantly at the last two pieces of pale iceberg. If the ice melted, if the melidrop thawed and rotted, then everyone would say that they had failed. But hadn’t they really succeeded? He and Jacques, together with Gozo, and Captain Wrick, and Mordi, and Michael, and all the others who helped along the way, had captured an iceberg, and towed it across thousands of miles of ocean, and preserved a melidrop for weeks. No one had done any of these things before. Did it really matter now if the melidrop reached the Queen?

Thanks for reading this far if you have. Ramblings sometimes take over…sometimes 🙂

Until next time,, Happy Sewing!

Hila

 

Burda 6602 T-shirt Sewing Pattern Review #burdachallenge2018

Recently I discovered a new fabric shop in Leeds called Fabrics for All. I went there to investigate and came away with a bagful of fabric despite the fact that I had only gone to suss it out and get 2 pieces of Christmas themed fabric t make tree skirts. I was impressed with the quality of fabrics they had and seriously restrained myself from buying more fabric.

The selection of jersey was so good but when I saw this print – I knew that this had to be a T-Shirt for my hubs. His dinosaurs one get loads of wear and another one was due. He got really excited when he saw it – we are watching all the Star Treks – movies and TV series – as long-term goal together. 

Though I have a drafted a T Shirt for him I really wanted to try out Burda 6602. It has been residing in my collection for a long time. Burda drafting has always impressed me so I was curious to see how my drafting measured up.

I cut size 40 based on finished bust measurements. View C has the short sleeves and I managed to squeeze this out of 0.75 meters of fabric. I had no luxury of pattern matching.

The crew neckline is made using contrast black cuffing. The pattern does call for using same fabric but I like the contrast.

Burda BD6602 T Shirt Sewing Pattern

BurdaStyle 6602 T Shirt

 

The fit was perfectly spot on – I made exactly zero alterations. Sewing it took under an hour. If you are used to sewing T-shirts this is an easy make. I definitely prefer this armhole to the one I drafted using Winifred Aldrich’s book. It had far too mach ease.

I tried something new for the hemming by using the extra long zig zag stitch. Its something defferent isnt it?

Here is he is wearing for casual Friday at work. He loves his new top and what more can I ask for :-).

This is the first make of my #burdachallenge2018 March makes. Paper/PDFs/magazine patterns all count for the challenge :-).

Thanks so much for stopping by! Until next time, Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

Links used in post

Fabrics for All Haberdashery and Fabric Shop

Burda 6602 T Shirt sewing pattern

BurdaStyle 01/2018 #107 Leggings #burdachallenge2018

I made these leggings at the beginning of the year and already they have become my go-to for yoga. By the time I got round to taking blog pictures (during the snow days), they had been washed about 5 times already.

In the magazine they are described as ; So practical: To keep these leggings from pulling during a workout, we’ve sewn wide ankle cuffs at the hem. The front waistband has an overlap that is not only comfortable, but stylish, as well. 

Here is the line drawing:

BurdaStyle 01/2018 #107 Leggings

The leg cuffs piqued my interest – I have Reynaud’s Syndrome which means I really feel cold in my feet and hands all the time. I do ashtanga yoga which is a dynamic yoga practice and you are not supposed to have socks on during the practice (for safety reasons as they can slip). So this simple idea of covering some of my foot while the crucial parts that grip on to the mat are left able to do just that, was a tantalising prospect.

Before reviewing them I wanted to see how well they did in situ and I am converted! Though my feet still feel cold, I don’t feel it as acutely as I did before. The leggings performed exceptionally well because of the high waist. There are a lot of forward bends in Ashtanga and low rise leggings constantly need to be pulled back up. But not with these ones. Not once have I felt the creeping chill of an ever lowering waistband. So yeah the verdict is that I LOVE these leggings! Plus the wrap effect band is quite stylish too :-).

BurdaStyle 01/2018 #107 Leggings
BurdaStyle 01/2018 #107 Wrap effect wide waist band

 

I traced my usual Burda 38 and without any alterations at all. The fabric is a jersey that I was given by a friend. It is not a drapey sort of knit but it has more heft than T-Shirt jersey but less than ponte. I used my overlocker for all seams except for the hems on the foot cuffs. The instructions were good on this one. Well done Burda!

This was the first of my January #burdachallenge2018 makes. More coming soon as I race to catch up with all my unblogged makes.

Thanks for stopping by and until next time, Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

Links:

BurdaStyle 01/2018 #107 Leggings Pattern

 

 

Vogue 9259 Tropical Jumpsuit: Pattern Review

This is a long wide legged jumpsuit that I absolutely loved wearing last summer. Pardon me for posting such an obviously summery make in winter but bear with me, please. Spring is on the way and I am very excited about moving on to sewing with lightweight fabrics so this is whetting my appetite.

I knew that I was getting Vogue 9259 the moment I saw it. Unfortunately, I had to wait months before collecting my patterns while we visited the USA. It was worth the wait though.

It has a criss-cross halter neck front. Here is the line drawing:

The line drawing looks like the band is at the waist but I found that for me it was a smidge higher than my natural waist. I looked at the model pic and it also looks a bit higher than the waist. It is not uncomfortable or anything but it does make me look like I have very long legs.

Although we only had a few days where it was hot enough to wear this on its own I cant tell you how lovely it was! I loved the feel of the sun on my back and the breeze against my skin.

My initial worry about making it had been than my breasts wouldn’t be secured and that I would constantly be tucking them in. But this was not the case at all. I found that there was no gaping (to be fair I am not very endowed in that area when I am braless so I might not be best placed to recommend this if you are a larger cup size than B). On other days I wore it with a lightweight black elbow length cardigan.

I took my son to a birthday party that had a bouncy castle which I snuck into while everyone was singing Happy Birthday and had a go. No escapees. They were safe and secure. 

These days I am trying to qualify myself when I say that something was easy to make. As an intermediate seamstress, I found this to be a straightforward make that was easy to sew and get a good fit on. I cut my usual size 12 for Vogue patterns and made no alterations.

I do like the lightness of viscose. It was a swish factor that I love.

Verdict: Its a winner! Deep pockets and comfortable while making me look like I made an effort.

Thanks for stopping by, until next time, Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

xox