Friday, 17 February 2017

Style Arc Nina Cardigan

A big thank you to Jen and Valerie for the photography tips, I have a decent, if aging a bit, Sony compact digital and I will definitely take the time to explore more of the white balance & snow settings.  I hope neither of you are going to be too disappointed in my efforts in this post, I experimented a bit, but realised I have a lot to learn and it's going to take time!

So, this is another Style Arc pattern I have been interested in for a while and finally got around to trying, the Nina cardigan, a waterfall style cardigan with a draped front, waist seam and a fitted back.  I do find some waterfall styles a bit shapeless on me as they add volume everywhere so I wanted to try this version.

Style Arc Nina

It is incredibly quick to make on a serger.  I got a bit confused by the instructions referring to a hipband, but there aren't many pieces so it was easy to figure out -this is the lower back piece which wraps round to the front and I can't come up with a better name for it so hipband it is!

I love how this turned out, it is exactly like the illustration shows.  There are a couple of things I would (will!) change  next time:

  • lengthen the upper bodice slightly, the waist hits a bit high on me, only a problem if I want to wear a belt with it
  • I didn't like that the front and hem edges are just serge finished, I turned and stitched mine, but I'd like to explore self facing the front neck band entirely 

Difficult to see, but the front band is sewn on last and you need to pivot where the waist seam and hipband meet.  This is what gives it the nice drape at the front while still keeping some waist definition.

You can see here that the waist seam hits above the natural waistline where the belt sits.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

BurdaStyle 3/2016 - 121 Dress

I'm very behind on my blogging and this post is not terribly exciting as it is a dress I've made before here and it's also another purple thing, what can I say, I have a bit of a problem!

03/2016 - 121

I made this version in a ponte knit which is nothing like the stretch crepe per the magazine, but a similar weight to the fabric I used in my previous version so I knew it would work.  My original post has more construction detail that I won't repeat here.  Once again I left off the zip and swapped the facings for bindings.

Changes I made this time were to sew up the slit and I scooped the front neckline a bit lower.  I also swapped out the sleeves.  The original is a one piece cap sleeve, the pattern piece is sort of rugby ball shaped and it does tend to stick out, which is OK, but I wanted something different this time around.  I just searched for cap sleeve on the BurdaStyle website and picked 01/2012 - 113, a 2 piece self lined cap sleeve.

The original sticky-out cap sleeve
My replacement sleeve

These dress form photos show the colour quite accurately, one that keeps popping up here!

As usual I had real problems getting the lighting right when it came to taking photos on me and I couldn't figure out why they came out so differently to the dress form ones.  

I came to the conclusion that as I'm using a self timer and have the camera on an automatic setting,  the settings are determined by my empty frame and then don't apply once I've dashed into position (so far I've looked in vain for a compatible remote which would fix things I think).  I've no idea if this is true, but I tried again with a manual setting and despite a couple of shots like the ones below I did sort of get somewhere in that the lighting is better although the focus is off a bit.

I really blame my photography for slowing up my blogging, but I'm getting a better idea of what to look for when it's time to get a new camera.  If anyone has any recommendations or tips though please do share them.  I know people really like to see the clothes on a real life body and I have to admit that it is really useful for me to to see things a bit more objectively.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

BurdaStyle 01/2014 - 104 Fake Fur Jacket

This is the second Christmas gift I made for my sister.  Her style is quite different to mine, more quirky, vintage & bohemian - she's quite arty and also loves baking.  This fabric reminded me of some of her cupcake piping so I bought it and then figured out what to do with it.  It feels divine, so soft and looks like pink roses.

Fake fur is easy to sew, but my goodness it makes an unbelievable mess!  I had pink fluff everywhere and was so relieved once the lining had gone in.

As I mentioned in my last post, I had to use a pattern where sizing wasn't crucial which is quite easy in outerwear.  This one is from 01/2014 Burda, I didn't want too many seams to break up the look of the fabric  so I eliminated that waist seam and made it hip length in case a whole coat of pink roses was too much!

01/2014 - 104

I lengthened the sleeves as an afterthought by adding cuffs, it would have been better to lengthen the sleeves from the beginning.  I had originally thought the 3/4 (7/8?) length sleeves added to the vintage look, but then decided they are not that practical for a furry winter jacket.

I was really happy to find these large pink snaps in the Hong Kong garment district, not surprised necessarily because I suspect you can buy anything there, but it can be like looking for a needle in a haystack.

I also decided that a fun jacket like this deserved a special lining and I found this flamingo printed cotton which looks great, the seams are topstitched in bright pink too.

This project was so much fun to make (pink fluffy mess aside) and my sister adores it, it is a totally original piece and suits her personality perfectly.

Friday, 13 January 2017

McCall's 7243 Top

I bought this pattern last winter and never got around to using it which I am a bit annoyed about now because it is a great pattern.  Still, better late than never!

McCall's 7243

I made view A, the long sleeve top, from a lightweight sweater knit in a colour I love - somewhere between cobalt blue and bright purple.

Construction is very straightforward, t's quick to make, the instructions are clear and the pattern is nicely drafted.  I made a straight size 12, my usual big 4 starting point for tops.  The fit in the body is really nice (the pattern is described as close fitting which is accurate I think).  If I make the dress I will size up below the waist as I suspect I'd find it a bit clingy for my personal taste (and bod!).

I will definitely be making this again, the options available make this a very versatile pattern - top, dress, sleeves, no sleeves and contrast collar / sleeves.  I tried the top on before inserting the sleeves just to check the bodice fit and really liked how it looked so I'll be giving that a go in jersey for summer.

I had a right time of it trying to get photos of me wearing it so I've had to adjust the exposure on these so you can see anything, I think the dress form photos show the colour more accurately.  But anyway, you get the idea!  

You can see that in real life wearing, the collar shifts up a bit though this is partly due to my fabric, I think a slipperier jersey would behave a bit differently.  The overlay also looks slightly deeper on the model photo which I'm sure is due to bust size so if you normally do an FBA then the collar would probably need to be made deeper too.  

BurdaStyle 09/2016 - 118 Long Waistcoat

This is one of two garments I made for my sister, now that Christmas has been and gone I can share them here. Not that I think she reads my blog, but I didn't want to risk it.  

I wanted the gifts to be a surprise, but I also don't know her exact measurements, just her sizing relative to mine so I chose patterns that weren't close fitting.

I loved this whole look in the magazine and may well make this for myself, it would be great for the between seasons weather we are having.

I used a lovely knit boucle in variegated black and white.  The pattern is easy to put together, I just changed a couple of things in the construction:
  • I used Sandra Betzina's Power Sewing book for the side seam pockets, the Burda instructions send you off to another pattern entirely which is understandable, but annoying.  I'd forgotten what a great book this is, her methods are always reliable.  My notes say that she has you sew the pockets first and then the side seam rather than stitching the pocket and side seam together. To be honest I don't know why one method works better than the other for me, it would be interesting to try both methods and compare them, but I find the SB method easier to get everything lining up and laying flat.
  • I added narrow belt loops into the side seams before sewing them instead of doing handworked ones at the end.

I wish I had paid attention when cutting the collar so that the stripe effect ran in the other direction, but otherwise I am really pleased with it and more importantly so is my sister!

I think you have to be a bit careful styling this so it doesn't look like a bathrobe, which it kind of does on my dressform and I didn't think to style it on there when taking these photos before gift wrapping it.  

I like how Burda has it over a dress and I think skinny pants and boots would also be good.  I've no idea what my sister has been doing, sorry I don't have any photos of her wearing it!