It amazes me that I have had Grainline Studio’s Archer shirt pattern printed, taped and cut for over 2 years! I faltered at the step of pairing it with a fabric. Still better late than never. I finally used it for my December MCBN make. When I opened the package with the fabric, it immediately clicked for me that the twill weave cotton would be an Archer. I am mildly irritated with myself for taking so long to make this pattern but that’s something I want to tackle in 2019.
The thing I was most scared of sewing was smart work trousers for my husband. I have sewn him T shirts, jeans, hoodie tops, shorts, shirts, a coat; but trousers for work? That felt like out of my league. As the year has progressed I have been trying to push myself out of my comfort zones. I had to try it before the year was out. And here I am – feeling like I can finally call myself an advanced seamstress because not only have a made him trousers for work – they are the best fitting pair of trousers he has owned. Ever! Thats my November Minerva project. I am calling it my levelling up project (any World of Warcraft players here?) :-).
I have been feeling like I am in a rut of late. Though I love sewing, it’s been feeling a bit episodic. I felt a longing to shake things up and realised that I was seeking adventure in my sewing life. Enter adventure sewing. Here is an excerpt from my September post
I came across the term “sensation seeking” the other day. Sensation seeking is a trait we all have and includes the search for complex and new experiences; this month’s project is a perfect example of my sensation seeking trait. I have decided to call this “adventure sewing”. Let me start from the beginning….
In March I decided to sew up this interesting shirt dress pattern from the March Issue of BurdaStyle Magazine. The March issue itself was not that awe inspiring to me and I struggled to select styles to sew. I ended up with 2 things this dress and the panel skirt here.
The shirtdress has a twisted bustier which piqued my interest – if only to see how it sews up. The skirt is wide with some sections of gathering and the bodice is accented with the casual twisted bustier that has the look of a bikini top. This style gives the traditional shirtdress a playful makeover. Here is the line drawing:
The fabric recommendations were lightweight cotton dress fabrics, with stretch blend. I used a shirting cotton that I bought from SewDown Dewsbury here. It has a twill weave which makes it reversible – its raspberry pink on one side and pale pink on the other side.
I thought the fabric could work even though it doesn’t necessarily have any stretch in it being a woven cotton. It is crisp and I felt that might look good with the full skirt.
The process of sewing it was quite easy. It is the featured sewing course in the issue which means it comes with full instructions supported by illustrations. The magazine instructions say the pattern pieces to be traced are shaded in but there is a printing error. It is actually the green lines of sheet A.
The only change I made was to remove the long sleeves and keep it sleeveless. In my head I was imagining this as a summer wear, especially with the pink fabric so I just couldn’t fit the long sleeve with the my vision. All I did was to not sew in the sleeve and used a satin bias binding instead to finish the armhole. It has side zip and it fit like a dream when I made it. I sewed size 38.
I love the dress – I positively feel like gliding and bouncing everywhere when I am wearing it! Here is my YouTube video review of the dress so you can see it in motion.
It so funny how the March issue was one that really struggled with and yet it has produced two really outstanding garments for me! Goes to show that sometimes you don’t have to be madly in love to try something.
This heatwave has been so good for our allotment. Berries have never sweeter, pumpkins have never grown as large, our bounty from the allotment is the best we have yet had in the 5 years of allotmenteering! It seemed only fitting that this would be the year that I finally made my OH some coveralls to protect his clothes when he does all the outdoor work. Here are some pictures from the allotment taken on Saturday and…..
Blue skies, bright shining sun, birdsong. I love summer, the light grants bright vibrant colours. This July we have been out at dawn and dusk to catch the perfect light for photographs. I love how the linen shirt I made for my July Minerva make is in harmony with the current beautiful weather we are experiencing here in the North of England. Its almost as if when I ordered the fabric 3 months ago, I also ordered the perfect weather to wear it in once finished!
June is quite possibly one of my favourite months of the year! All the plants in my garden and at our allotment are green, verdant and lush. If nature did a dance every month, June would be the crescendo of the dance executed with energy, aplomb and passion. This months project inspires such feeling in me – especially with the green jersey that we selected for the raglan sleeve tees I sewed up for Mr. SNS and junior. I also learnt a few interesting things about the heritage of the raglan sleeve which you might find interesting too…..
Up next is a dress that has been “marinating” for a while. I traced this out when the magazine came out as soon as I saw it because I was smitten with the one shoulder style and the peekaboo circle at the shoulder.
On a tangent – my shoulders are my absolute favourite part of my body. Yes they have a forward roll and they are just a bit broader than what is considered normal for a feminine look but I love them. And so the point is that any pattern that shines a light on the shoulder is almost always something I’ll love 🙂
Back to the pattern – the one shoulder dress is one of those rare instances where it was the styled model picture that caught my eye rather than the line drawing. In fact the line drawing is really rather unattractive :
BurdaStyle 07/2017 #111
The front and back pattern pieces are more or less similar – given the size of the pieces and how much greaseproof paper they took up – I might have tried to use only one traced pattern piece of each. But its an experiance thing really. In future, if pattern pieces look similar to me I will check if they are the same and not bother with tracing another one. This has happened to me more times than I care to count.
Any how – this is a relatively simple pattern to sew up. The bit that goes across the chest is hemmed and the circular detail is finished with a casing. The sleeve seam is sewn right up to the point where it joins the casing before its artfully tucked into the casing. A tie band is then threaded through to make that oh so cut bow on the shoulder.
I was very happy with the ease of the instructions and I sewed it up in less than a couple of hours.
The fabric was bought from Fletchers Fabrics in Leeds Market last year. Its a John Kaldor jersey with vibrant red and blue flowers. I have washed it and its maintained its vibrancy.
The thing is I actually cut this out a few months ago before I did a major reorganisation of my sewing cave so I overenthusiastically got rid of a lot of scraps including the scraps of this John Kaldor. When I read the instructions on the sewing pattern pieces I missed the measured out bits that Burda sometimes has you mark straight onto to the fabric. The essence of the story is that though it may look like a design feature to have used some Art Gallery Fabric for the casing – it was actually because I had no access AT ALL to this exact John Kaldor fabric 🙂 . Still, I think it worked out well and looks good.
Wearing this dress is an interesting experience. It definitely exposes a lot of skin and perhaps it felt strange at first since I was just coming out of winter wherein covering up is de riguer. Apart from the novelty of feeling the breeze against my skin – I liked wearing this dress. The one flutter sleeve is very dramatic while the fact that it is made of jersey makes it very comfortable.
Foundation garment wise – I found that I couldn’t carry it off without a bra (I’d need to make a smaller size for that – my bust measurement is based on wearing a t shirt bra, without it I am quite flat chested). I have a strapless bra which worked just fine. I also realised that this could work well as a beach coverup, it goes on and off very easily.
Here is how I wear it – with a belt just like in the magazine style picture-
I made jeans for Mr SNS! So ridiculously proud of these as they have been a long time in my head. I think I overthink things sometimes because these were not as hard to make as I had made out in my head (SMH). Anyhow they are a big hit with the wearer so much so he did his own happy jump pose 🙂
Here is another dress that I like to call my “Go Bold or Go Home” dress. Its bright neon orange colour – the sort of orange that doesn’t blend into the background. Its a crepe jersey that I picked up at The Shuttle in Shipley for my SWAP2017 capsule. I found a better alternative for my SWAP and this had been chilling in my collection since.
When the Jan 2018 Burda dropped – I immediately knew that the orange crepe jersey would be perfect for the midi dress. Here is the style picture that hooked me:
I got excited that I didn’t fully check the recommended fabric part. This pattern actually calls for viscose crepe with elastine. My crepe jersey has fourway stretch and though more substantial than t-shirt jersey, it does have a lot of stretch. SO much so that I didnt include the CB zip.
I really struggled with sewing this dress. My initial ardour was dampened by an inability to comprehend the instructions. AT one point I put it aside and moved on but when I saw @AllisonCSewing’s version on Instagram, my ardour was renewed.
I tackled it with a single minded focus. Though I still did not get the instructions I just pinned it out. Using the magazine pictures I tried to pin it to best achieve what my eyes were seeing. This is what came out of it. The inside is a hot mess and its supposed to have a lined bodice but mine doesnt.
I really like this dress and I wore it layered with a roll neck top. I will be trying this again with a viscose crepe. Ideally I’d like to have a patterned fabric for the skirt and a solid for the bodice so it looks like a 2 piece. And I hope that the second time around the instructions will make sense to me!
Thanks so much for stopping by! Until next time, Happy Sewing!
Peace and love,
This was a planned make for my January #burdachallenge2018.
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.
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.