Saturday, February 28, 2009

Burda 02-2009 #123 Wrap Blouse

ETA: I fixed the title of this post which said 01/2009, oops! And I also included the link to the full review at the bottom of this post.

Here's my newest top. It's from 02/2009 #123. This is some of the fabric my husband bought me the last time he went to Texas. Guess where he left to go this morning??? More fabric for me! He picks good stuff too so I'm lucky. So this is a true wrap top where you have the slit in the side and the ties go around your body. It took me a minute to figure out the ties went around your back first and then tied at the front. Duh.

The front piece has a built in cowl (I'm sure there is a better term for this) that you fold over. They have you sew the shoulder seam first and then hand stitch the folded part to the seam. I just included the folded part in the seam. You finish the back neck with the piece of topstitched binding. You can see it if you know what to look for.

It looks pointy on the shoulders but I think that is mostly from where the fabric design stops. Sewing the bottom hem gave me fits with this gauze-y fabric and I finally settled on a mild lettuce edge. I like the effect in the back.

Inside slit.

Another front view. I really like the asymmetrical front pieces. Oh, and I changed the arms. The original ones go all the way to the wrist and have a damn, freaking, stupid sleeve placket and slit. I, *cough*, can never do those very well and I didn't have enough fabric to make full length sleeves so I left them off. Instead, I cut it to 3/4 length and made elastic casings.

It's a wild print but I love it. And no, my hair isn't cut but I may cut it like this so I wanted to see how it looks in a photo. I always see things a bit differently in a photograph of myself. Full review will be posted tomorrow on

Questions and Answers

Another exciting installment . . . it's probably not at all interesting unless you asked a question. :)

Cathy Page has left a new comment on your post "Jalie 2005 . . . sort of": having some troubles finding ANY boatneck patterns. ideas/references would be most welcome.

Hi Cathy, Jalie 2005 is my favorite boatneck top pattern. It is now out of print but you can get an e-pattern if you go to BWOF also has a boatneck top in the current February 2009 issue. I plan on making it but haven't yet. I don't really know of others but the folks at (in the Patterns and Notions thread) are really good at matching an idea to an actual pattern.

Lynn has left a new comment on your post "Wild Chickens and Other Fun": I hope to go one year. I love hearing you talk about your vacation and I love seeing the pictures. May I ask, what kind of camera you are using. Our only digital acts up a bit, and we are casually looking.

Hi Lynn, I use an older Sony Cyber shot. It only goes to 5.0 mega pixels so it's nothing great. You can do a lot to your photos but altering slightly with a photo editing program like I usually increase the contrast and saturation just a bit.

Kiana has left a new comment on your post "Burda 05-2005 #125 Wrapover Dress": Where can I find the dress pattern? It looks great on you!

Hi Kiana - This dress is from the May 2005 BWOF magazine. I don't think they even made this into an envelope pattern so try to snag that magazine.

Chickens Everywhere!!!

I started with the far right one and chose "solids" that went with it. This "solid" definition is not mine, it's Angie's.

Here's my first chicken backpack. I didn't buy the KS pattern, I just sort of eyeballed it. It is just a bunch of rectangles so it isn't hard to sew. This is about 12" by 14" finished. I think the straps are a bit too long but, hey, it was my first go-around.

There's about 12 inches of extra strap at the end of each tie. I made loops at the bottom of the bag and tied the straps to that. I think I may move the straps and loops in towards the center.

The inside isn't really the same red but it'll do.

I used snaps instead of a loop and button. I love my snap press. I use it whenever I can. I used small green buttons.

Here it is on girl #1. It's wider on her than I would have guessed.

Pardon her, it's morning and she's already having a bad hair day. See how the straps want to slide off the shoulders? I think moving the loops to the middle would help that.

Girl #2 thinks she likes the chicken tail.

The nitty gritty: The main floral print is a stretch sateen with heavy-weight pellon (bleh!) fusible interfacing. The other fabrics are quilting cottons. I should have interfaced the flap but didn't. I used felt for the eyes and beak. The tail is strips of felt cut out and sewed to the flap. The inside is lined with the red heart fabric and there are no unfinished edges.
I'll be making two more but first I want to sew up a BWOF top today.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Burda 02-2009 #127 Jacket

I'm glad I made a muslin of this jacket. This is a heavier weight home decor material. I wanted to mimic the actual fashion fabric. I will not be going forward with this jacket. It has too many fitting issues for me. And maybe that's part of the fit of the jacket. If it is, I'm not a big fan of it.

The jacket on. Because of the color, you may not be able to see the details. I highlighted them in the following pictures. Again, I think this isn't a great pick for me. The angle of the lines makes me look bigger on the bottom and narrower at the top. Not a pattern for my pear-shape.

Here are the major seam lines. Look at that shoulder seam. I graded down to a size 34 which is my normal BWOF size. I did my petite adjustment and that's it.

Here are the major problems. There are inches of folds above my bust and the shoulder seams are waaaay down off my shoulders.

The shoulder area, between the arms, looks okay but the waist and lower back . . .? Not so good. I do like the idea of the released pleats at the shoulders.

Oh well. At least I didn't use any good fabric on this.

I Am Making These

There is an older thread on about the Summer KwikSew patterns. I must have missed it but someone bumped it up recently. I love these backpacks and I'll have to plan out a couple for my kids. I don't do much crafty type sewing but every once in a while I get the itch. I've really had the itch since I saw the sponsor link on Cidell's blog. Fabricworm has cute fabrics. I think most of them are quilting cotton type fabric. These might be super cute for the lining.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Is it Friday Yet?

I thought I would give you guys a heads up about what I am currently working on. I don't usually have multiple projects going on at once. And, really, I don't have multiple projects going on. I just tend to trace several things at one time.

02/2009 #127, traced, muslin cut and half sewn. I love the simple styling on this jacket. I wanted to sew up a muslin because it looks really loose and big. I graded down to a 34 so we'll how it goes. They have you put the sleeve in flat so that's a little weird for a woven jacket.

02/2009 #108 - Boatneck top, traced. This should be an easy one to whip out when I feel a hankerin' for a quick knit top. I love boatneck tops.

This is 12/2008 #112, traced. This is the last installment of my F-ing Cold SWAP. I haven't really needed it because it's been pretty warm. Of course, I'll wait until it gets really cold and I need it before I start sewing on it.

12/2008 #118, traced. This is such a cute skirt. I loved the one Karen made and I'll steal borrow her idea of using a side seam instead.
That's all folks! Happy sewing! Hopefully I'll have a muslin to report tomorrow or Friday.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Wild Chickens and Other Fun

Kauai is covered in chickens. They are wild there. I never could get a straight answer from anyone about whether you could kill and eat the chickens. Not that I was going to kill and eat one but coming from a family of hunters, one is curious about this sort of thing.

We did several fun hikes. This one was about 5 miles round trip.

I couldn't resist going to a fabric store. It was mostly quilting cotton and all of it was Hawai'i inspired. I came out empty handed. The fabrics were beautiful but not my cup of tea.

This was a leafy corridor on our 5 mile hike. The trees seemed to be closing in around you.

You've got to click on this one to appreciate it. It another panoramic my husband took. If you click on it and see the whole thing, you'll see the people on the observation deck which puts everything in scale.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Burda 08-2008-135 Girl Top

Here's the replacement top for the beat-up, ruffly, too small pink top my daughter loved. This one is about a 4T so it is much too large for her. You can really see it in the shoulders. Oh well, it should take her about 15 minutes to grow into it. I used Polartec 200 so the gathers are very stiff. You can see that the thick gathers make the front yoke pop up a little strangely. I'm okay with it because she loves it and won't take it off. The full review is below.

The ribbon is mostly peach with teal and read dots. The teal in the lycra is the same. I'm trying to take a page out of Angie's playbook by mixing colors so different. I think Angie would have spoofed it up a bit and made it look really cute. Me, I can make it look so-so. I'm still learning about all this embellishment stuff. An embroidery machine would have come in really handy here. I can totally imagine a few butterflies or flowers coming up the side of the dress and one on the yoke. How cute would it be?

Pattern Description: Who says a flowered dress has to be conventional?! This one could look just as saucy worn over casual shorts as over leggings. Mixing various types of patterns is typical of Liza Korn, who would surely also team this dress with the checked jacket (style 133).
Pattern Sizing: Child heights: 104 - 128. This converts to about US sizes 5-7. I graded down to what I think is about a 4T. My girl is 2.5 years old so it's big on her.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, it looks similar although I used a much different fabric. Were the instructions easy to follow?I didn't really follow the directions. They used a woven, I used a knit. They used buttons on the back, I didn't.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I really like it and think it's very cute. There is nothing that I dislike.
Fabric Used: I used Polartec 200 in a cheery red color. I was trying to channel Angie.a and use bright colors that contrast but still "go" with the fabric. The ribbon is mostly peach with teal and red dots. The teal on the collar is the same color. There is a little too much poof to the gathers in the front but that is to be expected with the thick fabric I used. I will be making this with a woven fabric because it is cute.
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I used a lycra binding for the neckline. I cut the back on CB fold and omitted the buttons. Next time, I will probably not use buttons either. I want to be involved with them getting dressed as little as possible. Buttons on the back would mean they would need me to help them get dressed. Better moms are probably into that. Me? I'm just about surviving the "getting dressed in the morning" experience.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I will sew this again and I do recommend it to others. This was made to replaced a badly stained, too small, pink ruffly thing my daughter likes to wear.
Conclusion: Very cute and she likes it. I guess it's a winner. I can see lots of permutations of that yoke section.

Repair Man Joe

Today I'm Repair Man. I thought I sewed nice, tough garments. Yea, right. All you have to do is give it to a four-year-old for two weeks to see if you can really sew. That boy can flat destroy things. So today, I'm a'fixin' things that need fixin'. It's always humbling.

Repair #1 - This is one of the tops I made him for Christmas. It's KS 3234 and I have used that pattern multiple times. The coverstitching had been mangled so I just stitched over the top of the existing stitches. I am perplexed about why is broke in so many places. I can understand if it breaks or comes apart where I tied it off but it also broke several other places. That seems more like a stitch or thread malfunction.

Repair #2 - This is the Green Pepper coat I made him in September. This coat is worn just about every day and he plays outside in the cold 3-8 hours a day. He plays hard. He's a boy. The armpit had started to come undone so I just stitch it back together from the right side. I folded the seams in and topstitched. Pretty? No, but it's in his armpit and this coat is about function, not fashion.

Repair #3 - This is a store bought cotton shirt and I have no idea how he ripped it like that. He has recently moved into the top bunk of a bunk bed and things seem to get snagged on his ladder. Of course, he doesn't use the ladder but instead jumps from the top of the ladder. Who cares if the shirt is stuck between the ladder and the bed? Not him, that's for sure.

I used a knit interfacing and then stitched from the right side using matching thread and the three-step zigzag stitch.

From the front side.

Repair #4 - This one is a biggie and not pretty at all. I made him a rockin' snowsuit January of last year. Actually, I had no idea it was so long ago. I thought I made it this year. I had to go to PatternReview to find the date. It was a little long when I made it for him so the crotch hung a little bit low. Well, you can see what happens when a four-year-old has a saggy crotch. It totally rips out. In this picture you can see there was a lot of damage. From the bottom of the zipper to the knee area is completely torn out. There was no way I was going to take it apart to sew just the outer shell.

I pulled the seams into alignment and topstitched it all together. The purple lines below show all the places I had to stitch it back together. I did a little bit of hand sewing on the horizontal line below the zipper placket. It was too thick and bulky and there was no way to get in there with a sewing machine.

Repair #5 - I have a very independent twin and I have a very girly frou-frou twin. The girly one loves pink and loves ruffles. Her favorite shirt (below) is a turtleneck with a ruffly bottom. The ruffle is coming off and it's a size 12M. They are 2.5 years old so the shirt is very tight now. At one time it was supposed to be a dress but now we use it as a top. I will probably repair this top but then it will "disappear" so she can't find it.

In it's place, I think I will make her this BWOF top (09-2008). It's for a woven but I think I'll use fleece. She has another pink ruffly top that is pink/dark pink tiger stripes (oh yes, she's a fashion goddess) and it's a fleece. I don't have any pink fleece but I think I can make her happy if I add some cute beads or embellishment (see, this is why I need the embroidery machine!!!!).

I think there is lots of room for embellishment with that top yoke.

That's my Saturday. That and laundry. Whoop-eeeee.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Burda 7761 Knit Jumper

I decided to listen to you. Probably it looks just fine the way it is. I did, of course, have to rip it out two other times and re-attach the pleats in different ways before deciding that it was okay. It's kind of a dark eggplant-y purple. The tiny horizontal stripes are grey/white.

Here is a close-up of the bodice. You can kind of see the fabric here.

This is the view that I don't like at all. Oh well, I guess I don't see that side very often. It does bug me though. I think that this is a design feature. There is no way this could be fitted through there with those loose hanging pleats.

This was one of the ways I tried it. Hee, hee. When my husband took this picture he said, "You're not gonna liiiiiike it." When he says something like that, it's gotta be bad. And it was.

This is the current (and final) version. We are done. Done. Man, I need to run some miles. In all fairness though, I think that this style may not be best on a pear-shaped woman. It makes my shoulders look narrow and my hips look large. When you're a pear you don't need to emphasize that. Your body does it all by itself. But, I like the jumper anyway.

Her's the review:
Pattern Description: A sassy jumper/pinafore dress in the style of the sixties. Radiating pleats form an intriguing accent while the high band is an authentic detail. When worn solo, the deep V-neck reveals an enticing glimpse of lace.
This is also in the 09/2007 BWOF magazine. It's pattern #121.
Pattern Sizing: 32-42. I made a straight 34.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, it looks very similar to dark grey version on the pattern envelope. I wish I could see the back of the pattern on a model. I can see the line drawing but I want to see it on the model to see how it fits her butt. That's the only place I had some issues.
Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions from the pattern envelope were top notch and illustrated!!! They were much easier than I imagine the BWOF directions were to understand.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the bodice and the hip pleats. It's a cute pattern that needs to be worn with something underneath. I dislike the ballooning bottom section but I think it's just me and my swayback.
Fabric Used: This is a wool/blend knit from one of Ressy's coops. It's a dark eggplant with grey/white striped on it. In the pictures it looks like a heathered brown.
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I did nothing to the top except for my normal 1/2" petite alteration. The back section gave me fits where it attaches to the empire band. I did several rip-out and re-attach sessions before I got it okay. I changed it from two large pleats to four smaller pleats. I'm still not perfectly happy with the back but I think that this pattern just has that as a design feature. That is why I would really like to see the model's butt. Well, the dress covering her butt, I guess.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I may sew it again. I love jumpers and this one will be perfect for spring and fall. It might work for winter but I'll have to wear a slip if I want to wear tights. Otherwise we are going to have some serious creepage going on.
Conclusion: It's cute. It's certainly not a 10 because of the butt area but I give it pretty high marks.

Too Picky?

I need some assistance. For the new year, fitting is really one of my goals. I usually do a swayback adjustment but couldn't quite figure out what to do with this back skirt bottom. I finally decided to take up a bit of the CB seam so the middle is a bit shorter at the top. I tapered to nothing at the side seams. I also changed it from two larger pleats to four smaller pleats. They take up the same amount of space so I have the same amount of ease back there. From the back, it looks okay.

From the side, I look a bit strange. Am I being too picky? I think maybe this is supposed to be a looser style. It hangs straight from the waistband. I drew in my natural curve.

Here you can see it a bit clearer.

What do you guys think? I may try it on with heels and a few different tops and see what I think about it. The front is totally cute.

Another Installment

There is a sewing update at the bottom of this email if you want to skip the pictures. My husband is a great photographer (IMO) so I want to add some of his pictures over the next few posts. Skip to the bottom when you get tired of looking at them. :) Some of them are wider than Blogger will allow. If you click on them, they will show up whole, I promise.

This is Pakala Beach. Miles of coconut palms, crabs, and sandy beach to ourselves. Red, red, red dirt there.

One of the few couples shots. He balanced it on a log so it's kinda crooked. I like it.

This is where a river and the ocean meet. This was on our way to the Pools of Mokolea.

These are the Pools of Mokolea. I had to be careful to not walk too close to the surf. I guess several people have died by getting sucked into the "pools". This is a panoramic view. My husband's will take three pictures and stitch them togeter automatically.

The Kilauea Lighthouse. It has the largest clamshell lens ever used. It has been replaced by an electric powered version now.

I have the Burda jumper almost done but I have a bit of tweaking to do on the swayback part. There is no CB seam so I think I will change the way the pleats lie on the back. I may do something like Adriana of The Princess Seam and make four pleats instead of just the two. The two seam far out to the sides and they stick out strangely. Pictures tonight?