Sunday, July 17, 2016

Replicating a RTW top - Burdastyle 11/2011-114

A flashback to 2009...

I blogged about this skirt in 2009, but it is the top I wanted to show you.  I loved this top and wore it heaps.  It was a RTW top and wore out eventually but I have been wanting to make another like it.  I have been making New Look 6150 and it is a great pattern for this style of surplice top, but recently I spotted this Burdastyle pattern - 11/2011-114A.  The photo on the model doesn't look exactly like this top but the line diagram does and when I checked the reviews the neckline did sit more like the line diagram.  

Bingo!  I found the pattern I have been looking for!

I actually had in stash a fine knit in a dark brown which is really lovely and soft and I remember it was bought on sale but I am not quite sure where from.  I had bought heaps of it as it was quite cheap and I remember thinking I might make a drop pocket Jalie cardigan from it (which is a great pattern, but a fabric hog).  

So the sewing gods were smiling on me to find a piece of fabric so similar in colour to my old top, in the right fabric for the pattern and to have enough of it!  

The pattern is the illustrated sewing lesson so had great instructions and I actually learnt a new technique for thread marking lines.  I have used tailors tacks for dots before but had not come across this technique for lines.  You use doubled sewing thread and long running stitches  to sew through both fabric and pattern tissue, along the lines, leaving a thread loop about 2cm (3/4") high, after each stitch.  Then you cut the centres of all thread loops and carefully remove the tissue.  You end up with a lovely dashed line of thread on one side and the feathery tails on the other side.  Worked really well, especially for this fine knit fabric.

The only alterations I made to the pattern were to not add hem allowances on the body and sleeves.  This top is meant to be long but that would have been way too long on me.

The front pieces are interesting as they wrap to the back and form a yoke which is sewn to the back piece so there is no shoulder seams.  You get an interesting back neckline too.

I am really happy to have this great basic back in the wardrobe and in such a lovely fabric!  I think I may have to look for fabric to make another one.

Oh! and the sewing gods... they really were smiling on me.  I used a bobbin that was partially used of brown thread and this was how much thread was left after I finished the whole top. 

Ciao for now, kittens!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

More winter sewing - Paprika Patterns Jasper Sweater

I was not very happy with my winter wardrobe last year so have been spending my sewing time trying to add pieces, that I love, that are warm and suit my lifestyle.  This latest piece is a winner on all those fronts.  I have made the collared version of the Paprika Patterns Jasper Sweater before for the Pattern Review sweater knit contest (review here). 

This pattern is not really intended for a sweater knit and it did work but I must say, making it in a fabric more suited to the pattern has had much more success... who would have guessed?! 

The fabric is a french terry knit which has merino in it bought from The Fabric Store last winter.  Looking in the online store, they seem to call it  loop backed sweatshirting.  I did find a fault in the fabric when I was preparing it but had heaps of fabric so it wasn't an issue.  I think when I bought it it was noticed and they gave me extra, as I don't think I would have bought such a long length as I had.

I made the version with the hoodie as I am really loving hoodies in this cold weather and starting to really understand their attraction.  This time I left the body length as per the pattern and shortened the sleeves by about 1/2 an inch.   

The only other change I made was to line the hood.  I tried the suggestion in the pattern to overlock the seams and top stitch, but my overlocking thread is a green darker than the fabric colour and I didn't think it looked neat.  Luckily I had plenty of fabric to cut two more hood pieces.  I inserted the lining by hand which gave a neat finish to the hood and covered all the visible seams.  There is probably a way to do it by machine, but this worked so all good.  I also hand picked a few spots along the hood seam in the ditch to hold the inner and outer hood together.

I used another cute striped fabric for the pocket lining as I love little hidden contrasts.  This fabric is from Crafty Mamas and is great quality.  I made this top from it in 2014 and it is wearing really well. 

Pocket lining
Lovely details in this pattern and there are tutorials on-line for all the the more complex parts, like the welt pockets, hoodie, etc (they can be found by scrolling down to the bottom of the pattern page.)

Details (bottom band not added at this stage)

Well I haven't taken this sweater off since I finished it.  Total love and think I have hit the trifecta... pattern- fabric- colour that all works for me.

Ciao kittens - I hope those of you living through this bitter winter weather are keeping warm!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Burdastyle 11/2012-128 Sweater

My latest make is a sweater from Burdastyle magazine 11/2012-128.

I used a beautiful textured silk cotton knit from Italy, which I bought from Knitwit.

My full review is here.  I made my "regular" size but found it ran a little big, even for a slouchy loose top. I am a bit disappointed at how wide and low the neckline turned out. I probably should have spent a bit more time perfecting the fit before I made it. 

Saying that, I like the style of the neckline and the hem bands. A casual pullover with a bit more style.

I sewed the bias in the neckline a little differently to the instructions. I used a purchased satin bias binding. My order of construction was:

  • sew both shoulder seams
  • sew binding to RS of neckline leaving a little free at the start and end
  • match the free ends to the length required for the rest of the neckband and sew them together using a bias seam
  • press that seam open, then finish sewing the bias to the neckline.
  •  turn binding to the inside and hand stitch the other edge of the binding.

Well saying all that, I still like wearing it and it has been in high rotation since it was made.  I like it for work with a knit pencil skirt and I look forward to wearing it with jeans on the week-end.

And I do have a cowl that fills that open neckline when I have to brave the cold.

I did make a second one.  This one is from a sweaty knit (tracksuit fabric) and I made it a size smaller and totally rejigged the neckline to be narrower and higher.
I made my own binding for this one from some quilting cotton.  I love the little touches.

This is the photo on me when we went away for a very cold week-end at Stanthorpe hoping to see a great frost or perhaps snow... 

No snow but I was warm in my new trackys.  The pants are another pair of Papercut Anima pants in sweatshirt fabric that I made for the week-end too.  I really need to get some cuter sneakers to go with this type of outfit though! 

Ciao kittens...