Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Playing with the Plus Sizes Burdastyle 134-07-2013

I love Burdastyle when it is innovative and they take a leap off the bridge, stylistically speaking. Nested in the midst of a run of predictable/simple/boxy in the regular sizes sometimes they lash out with wonderfully experimental offerings. I found one of these in the plus size section of July 2013 Burda. It is a bit of a 'what the' top or dress with gathers on one side and a dart on the other side. Not being one to let the occasional experiment pass me by I decided to cut out a bit of pale cream ITY Jersey but cut the front on the fold so that I had under bust gathers on both sides. I scaled it to my normal Burda 42. I brought in the back neck by one cm  and the side necks by a half cm. I took 2cm off the centre front curve of hem.

I made the mistake of snipping the gather all the way to the point, thereby elongating that seam by 2cm.
This was a mistake, along with assuming that, going by the line drawing, the gather would fall relatively snuggly under the bust. It does not! On my short stature and moderate boobage it is almost a waist gather. I suspect that even on someone taller these gathers would sit fairly low.

Or does Burda magazine assume that all plus size ladies are six foot tall amazons with full busts?
Can someone tell me?

Regardless, I present exhibit A. Thankfully it works, when tucked in.

Skirt purchased several summers ago at my favourite place in Sydney to shop for a bargain, designer outlet  Birkenhead Point. I love this skirt and happily this style is having a resurgence. Op Shop shoes. I really like to mix it up!

I have to admit I am feeling tempted to go the full quirky and make it with a dart on one side as drafted but shorten the whole thing to my proportions and do it in stretch lace as recommended and line it.

Or, I could keep the silhouette of it and eliminate the dart and gathers and just ease it in at the sides at the bust. Or just use darts.

Is your creative process like this. Do ideas circle like a flock of birds till one of them lands? Or are you more organized than I am?

Here is a diagram from the magazine.

 I've got some white lace somewhere in the stash... gargh

Happy musing,


Thursday, 17 October 2013

Easy Sewing

After all those pants I needed some quick, easy sewing that soothes the mind and restores the sewing mojo. Just cut it out and make it. No puzzles, no mad experiements. No bleach. (My bathroom and floors have never been cleaner, recycling that stuff!)

I made a sort of A line/circle skirt. It is a bit less than a quarter circle when laid out flat, front and back the same, with a zipper and elastic through a narrow waist band. The straight of the grain is through the centre front and centre back.  the back has a centre seam to save on material. I could have done away with the zipper, it is just wide enough to pull over my hips.

I had forgotten how nice it is to wear a skirt with a bit of swish.

The material is a cotton sateen from Spotlight in black with jewel colors and a black grid pattern on top.
Have you ever looked at a material on the roll and thought, no, won't work, then you see it draped it over a dummy in the store and see the possibilities? This was one of those. It may have been too  much as a dress but it works as a skirt.

Oh and that boxy T based on Sim 3775 from my previous post?

The material is quite thick, with not much stretch but I like the neckline and the modified cap sleeves (extended by two inches and straightened across the hem) and will be using the idea again.

Off to put on the flippy skirt and go shopping..

Yesterday afternoon much of Sydney was covered in a pall of smoke that looked like a brown and purple bruise as the soot and debris of bush fires was carried on 89K winds. Fires ringed the mountains to the east and south. The temperature was a freaky 36 C. This followed two dry hot months. My commiserations to any one affected. On the news it says about 200 homes have been burnt down and it is not even summer yet. No lives have been lost, so everyone is counting their blessings.


Tuesday, 15 October 2013

A tub of bleach and a revamp of NL 6251

Hello People,

In my previous post I made New Look 6251 cargos from chambray and I wrote about how they just didn't come out how I wanted. While my daughter's reaction was 'ditch them!' I was convinced it was the color that was the problem. I had a bottle of bleach and had bought some olive green dye. I experimented a scrap of the chambray in a little bowl and poured some bleach into it, went to work and later in the day this was the rather interesting result.

I am a tie dyer from the 70's but the only time I had played with bleach was to do dribbly zig-zag borders on tank tops using it full strength. I had not thought of it as an agent to use on yardage until I read this post by the very creative Shams

I have other plans for my green dye. The bleach won. I laid my pants on a plastic sheet and sprayed them with a solution that was roughly half/half bleach and water and let them dry. The result wasn't pale enough so I then made up a bucket of one and a half cups of bleach to the bucket of warm water, dunked my pants in and left them for twelve hours. Then I had the result I wanted. You can see a faded version of the original color in the seam line.

The next thing to do was to take them in, mainly at the belt. I unpicked half the back seam and took out a total of one inch of the back seam and also of the belt, which I cut at the CB. I also increased shaped it in a bit. Then it fit. I left off the CB belt loop. It would have been too bulky and now I don't need the belt.

The next thing I did was stitch the pleats on the pockets in place so they wouldn't gape like pack saddles the minute I used them.

From granny pants to casual cargos.
Time for some tops, in white, something I need. This is on the sewing table.

A little short boxy T, using bits from Simplicity 3775 as a starting point. I can shape it up or trim it down as I go..

Happy sewing,

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Meh! Pants. New Look 6251

No no, give them away. Chuck them out! They make you look like grandma. Maybe you could give them to grandma!

This was my daughter's reaction upon seeing my latest NL 6251 pant incarnation. Well.. I had asked her for her opinion and honesty between us is guaranteed and cheerfully accepted. DD had already given me full approval of my previous version here with the imperative "Make me some exactly the same but at shorts level." From what material, dear? I said with a smile. Oh Anything cottony from the stash. "The stash is depleted. I may have to go into the City for a bout of fabric shopping.." "Oh, That's too bad, she said with an even wider grin. "I may have to take you to lunch to help deal with it".

In the meantime, what do I do with the latest cargos? I had made them out of a cotton chambray from the now almost-year-long-raided stash. The fabric was smooth and nice before I washed it then turned  wrinkled and slightly scratchy. Still, I thought, the plain color would show up topstitching and details, and the cotton can take a hot iron and just be thrown in the wash with jeans..

The 'meh' pants.

Modelled tucked in with an upholstery trim + plastic sliding catch belt I made to hold them up. That's the other thing..I am going to exercise classes with a friend and I am shrinking...
DD said "I like the belt but no, No!"

With the top out? Look I have pockets.. "No!"

Take them up? Take them in and lower the waist? Spray them with bleach? Dye them?
"No, bin them! Give them away" was the reply. By now it was a comedy routine.

While my daughter's reaction tallies with my own doubts, I am reluctant to give up on these pants completely even though I did not get the effect I was after but a more sombre one. They are wearable.
I have put them through a hot wash to soften them and I am feeling the urge to go up the road for a packet of dark green dye.


Next in the queue is simple skirt and a knit top or two.

Have a good weekend,


Saturday, 5 October 2013

Cotton Cargos based on New Look 6251

Dear Sewing Bloggers,

I have a dilemma. A pleasant one. I have made up some cargos using the front of New Look 6251 and the back of my pants block with a lower rise and a straightened leg. I fiddled with the front of the New Look pattern to add pockets and to make the wrap around side panels stop at the side seams. The dilemma is this, while I can blog anything and share what ideas I used and from where, at what point does this become annoying when doing a Pattern Review? Should I do one or not?

Do reviews of Frankenpatterns put you off? Or is the sharing of an amalgamation of ideas a good thing? Do the very words 'I used my pants block' send you running in the opposite direction?

Fresh from the sewing cave

New Look 6251

Lots of details that show up better in real life: belt loops, double stitching, pocket flaps, second pockets higher up instead of a line of trim.

The leg looks straight from front or back but is actually tapered.

If I do these again in a plain fabric I will do it the way the pattern is drafted with a back leg seam but still use my pants block in two parts because of my sway back. I actually didn't notice the front panel goes around the back until I had to chop a lot of the side panels and went 'what the' and had a good look at the rest of the pattern (which of course I should have done to start with, my mistake!)  I narrowed the front panels slightly as well. There was a lot of machine basting and unpicking involved but these pants are going to get worn well this summer. The pattern is a nice one with nice details. The shorts option is looking tempting.

It's a long weekend here. What are all you guys doing?