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Sunday, January 26, 2014

BurdaStyle Downloadable Blouse 130: first attempt

    Moving forward with more BurdaStyle downloadable patterns, I sewed up Blouse 130. (See photo) I love this blouse; however, getting the perfect fit had been a challenge. (I think I have it now, but it took 3 muslins and this wearable muslin to get it right)  This particular blouse pattern has lots of ease, and has a very boxy cut; which doesn't look too flattering on my shape.  However, I still wanted one in my closet, I think it is so elegant. 

     Fashion fabric for wearable muslin:  Ivory/Cream, crepe back satin with the satin on the inside.  Sewed with French Seams.

Wearable Muslin 130/ Cream/Ivory Crepe Back Satin

     Here are my notes to get a better fit: First things first, I needed a bust dart.  Seriously, lets create some definition.  On my test muslin the placement on the bust dart was correct; however, on my wearable muslin, I drew the wrong lines and placed the bust dart too low.  Darn it.  (I should have used a different color for the correct bust dart lines on my pattern, but now I know.)

     I took out around 2" on both side seams, and created a curved seam instead of a straight line seam.  I think if your body has curves, then put some into the pattern.

    Now lets talk about those sleeves. I love the pleats in the beautiful. Also, I had to shorten the sleeves 1 1/2" inches, but I do have short arms.

    I raised the neckline an inch; however, after I sewed it up and tried it on,  I realized the neckline needed to be raised a little bit more.  I ended up slip stitching the front neckline so I wouldn't be flashing anyone. The back slit is the perfect length.

    The bias tape for sleeve hem and neckline.  Ok I tried to sew with a 3/4" inch wide bias tape; which is what Burda suggested......but with all the gathers in the sleeves, I couldn't get that dam bias tape to fold over neatly, and it came out not high quality but more home-made. Now I know, for me, stick with 1" bias tape, that is the narrowest I wish to sew. 

     For the hem: I did cut off about 3" from the bottom.  I know that I will only wear this blouse tucked in, so why have that extra fabric bunching up in the hip area.  Also, I used cream (store bought) bias tape and made a Hong Kong seam............I love this look it is so clean and neat.  

Bias tape on hem

     Things I still need to do:  I wore my wearable muslin blouse one time and in some spots the bias tape on the sleeve came un-done.  Obviously I missed sewing some I need to hand slip stitch them together. I do need to fold up the hem 5/8" and hand -stitch. 

      Already I have cut out eggplant crepe fashion fabric to sew up my "real" blouse.  Now with all the corrections: I should end up with a beautiful blouse for my closet.  More photos to come when both blouses are complete.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Completed BurdaStyle downloadable 125

      I did it! I completed my first BurdaStyle downloadable pattern, dress 125.........known as my B-day dress. Also, sewed a matching belt.  Check out the (not so great) photo:

Dress 125 with matching belt

       Fashion fabric: black crepe back satin (satin on the inside), and for the front yoke, an inexpensive lace from Hancock. Here are my notes for sewing the dress:  Sewed using french seams and Hong Kong seam for zipper seams. I over locked the edges of the lace.  Also, sewed bias tape to bottom hem edge and slip stitched by hand the hem. ( I think a blind hem stitch would have been better, oh well).  Oh, I did add a 45 degree back vent; which I think looks neater and you don't have to worry about it ripping.  Lengthened the torso 1 1/2" (typical for me). Tapered in the bottom portion of the skirt.  Lengthened sleeves and added an upper arm adjustment. Raised the front yoke a 1/4".  (I should have worn a strapless bra, but didn't realize that till I looked at the photos the next day).  Added a little more fabric to the princess seam bust area but not to the waist. Check out the photos: 
Inside of dress

Inside of dress /detail of lace

back vent with hem

sleeve detail
        A couple of things I learned about sewing with crepe back satin with crepe side as 
the shell fabric.  Any basting should be done by hand with large stitches.  I had made some machine bast stitches and when I went to rip them out the crepe started to pucker and run.  Use silk pins and pin fabric together parallel to seams....this didn't create any puckers or runs. 

      I don't think this particular style dress looks great on me.  BUT having a matching belt defines my waist, so I knew I needed to make one, after trying on my muslin.  For the matching belt I used a Maxant 2" belt buckle and belting.  I used Casey's  technique for belt making.  However, I used a scrap of fabric to do a test run and guess what, I couldn't get the eyelet to grab the fabric.........So I went to my fabric book for help, Handsewn and there is a technique for hand sewing eyelets.........and that is exactly what I did. Check out the photo:

Matching belt /handsewn eyelets

   Glenn and I had a wonderful time celebrating my B-day.   I am looking forward to my next sewing project, BurdaStyle downloadable 130 skirt and blouse.  Now I have to clean up my sewing area and machine.  Yeah, it is a disaster right now! 


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Look out BurdaStyle patterns

       The New Year has me dreaming of sewing up new patterns. More specifically,  I am determined to sew up some BurdaStyle downloadable patterns.  I must admit, I have put off sewing their patterns because I didn't think I could figure out how to tape them up and then the harder part of actually sewing them up.  The directions don't have any pictures to reference, so you have to comprehend their short sentences.(Not my strong point, hey I am a visual artist). Also, I wasn't sure of the sizing. But in the end I couldn't resist....I mean check these patterns out or should I say check my dream patterns: 

     For my first attempt at sewing a BurdaStyle  downloadable, I choose dress 125.  The reason I choose this dress first is simply because I already have a pencil skirt pattern that has a great fit, and I knew I would be able to use it as a template. AND I am practically a pro at princess seams, cause I should did a lot of them last year.  Also, did I mention this is my B-day no pressure. right!   Yeah, Glenn and I are going to some fancy bars in Asheville and I wanted a knock out dress. Check it out:


     To start, I downloaded the pattern to a disk and went to Kinkos and had them print out the pattern.  You end up with about 20 pieces of paper; which you tape together and then trace onto pattern paper.  Ok I trace my pattern onto inexpensive freezer paper. Check it out:

     Then you add your seam allowances to the pattern. However,  read the instructions carefully cause in certain instances there is no allowance or it is smaller then 5/8".  Also, I don't think you add allowances to the fold side of the pattern. (but I could be wrong).  Thank goodness for the pencil skirt template, cause I was able to simple lay it on top of my burda dress.  Moving along: I made a muslin with zipper.  Check it out:  

muslin for BurdaStyle 125

     I made a few adjustments to the muslin and now I am sewing up the "real" dress.