Thursday, January 24, 2008

19 Buttons- ON!

Apologies for blurry pictures! I snapped these in a rush just before I left the house for work today. My buttons arrived from Atlanta Thread and Supply so I got to sew on all 19 buttons last night. Today is the first time I am wearing a complete outfit sewn by me, YAY!
Since LauraLo asked, here is a picture of me wearing the burda coat 129 from December 2007 issue. For fun, I posed just like Laura poses when she puts up pictures on her blog :)

The 19 buttons went onto burda wof blouse 106 from January 2008 issue. Here is the fruit of my pattern-alteration labors: The back, especially in the shoulders, fits me. Big Yay.

And from the front:

Happy Sewing!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My fitting adjustments for Burda WOF shirts

So, why go to all that trouble when I already have a tried 'n true shirt pattern? I could have easily sewn a pleated front panel to my existing pattern.
But now I have the alterations I need on any burda bodice. That's my hope, anyway!
Here it is: I finished the shirt yesterday and I love the fit. I will post photos as soon as I have sewn on the 19 (yes, 19!) buttons. I was too lazy to go out and buy them yesterday- I ordered them from Atlanta Thread and Supply. (cheaper, too!)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Burda World of Fashion #106 01-2008 PIC HEAVY

Before I talk about sewing, I want to say it feels good to be an American today.
We have two viable candidates for president of the USA whose lives' work would not have been possible if not for the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King. It is the best memorial to Dr. King I can imagine. Regardless of one's political leanings, this is a big deal.

On to sewing!
I sewed a white shirt featured in the January issue of Burda World of Fashion. I am still somewhat new to sewing burda patterns and I am settling into a method. First I get out the yellow marker! The booklet filled with directions tells me to find sheet E and look for black pattern lines. Size 44 will be a solid line. I will need pieces 1-6 and 9-11. On the sheet, there are black numbers along the edge that correspond to the pattern numbers. Once I have highlighted the pieces, I can trace them easily on the paper (I use the examining room paper found in doctors offices). I chose this style specifically because it is so similar to my tried 'n true shirt pattern. I know I will need alterations and I intend to find the differences between burda and my TNT.
I start by marking my TNT pattern with the stitching lines.

Then I traced and cut my TNT pattern pieces.
I did not include seam allowances on the burda or the TNT pattern. Those will be added at the end.

Now I lay the burda pieces on top of the TNT pieces. The differences can be seen readily, but the good new is that size 44 sure looks to be the right size overall.

I worked my way down from the center back seam and first adjusted the shoulder seams. I carry my height in my upper body, so I need to add more at the shoulder seam. I cut and taped extra paper to make it match the TNT. The princess seams are in different places on the 2 patterns and that's OK, I'll leave that alone. As long as I have the correct shoulder seam, I can move on. For now, I will leave the armscye alone. I'm moving down the pattern and checking the width at the waistline, then hips.
All along the way, I make sure my center back seams match and make adjustments to the burda patten along the side seam if necessary. Remarkably, I needed no changes to the side seam or to the length. I don't have a picture to show it, but I did adjust the armscye on the burda pattern to match the TNT.
Once the front and the back pieces were adjusted, I had to fix the sleeve. For this, I started by drawing a horizontal line where the armscye begins and I matched these on the TNT and the burda. From there I needed significant adjustments to the sleeve head. My shoulders are narrow and my bodice has to be reduced in the area around the front and back of my arms. So the burda sleeve needs to get bigger in these places to accomodate my arms. The sleeve cap didn't change.
Once I had the new, adjusted pattern pieces, I went ahead and cut them out of my white shirt fabric. I didn't sew a musin, since I am pretty confident of my TNT pattern and theoretically, I have made the correct alterations, right? Besides, this has been anough work already! WHo wants to sew a muslin!
I put the pattern pieces on the fabric, held in place with weights. I used a regular pencil to add seam allowances and cut. Sewing it together was the easy part!
More in my next post.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Recycling Stuff

One of these days I will sew this jacket using the free pattern I earned by posting a fabric review at Timmel Fabrics website. Haven't you always looked at these sporty jackets and thought, "I can make that!" Well, if you are reading my blog, you have probably thought that. (Most normal people probably do not think that!)

Anyway, the hardest part of these proejcts is finding the proper notions, so .... I will recycle zippers and such whenever I get the chance.

The vest that used to contain the zippers was a real lint magnet and it drove me crazy. When I see the perfect fabric for a new jacket (or vest) I will grab it, knowing I have the right zippers and elastic draw-string thingie.

In other sewing current events, it occurs to me that I love to do alterations for the kids. It is one of the very few ways I can give a little gift that is truly appreciated. (You know it is hard to shop for a young adult - they have very specific tastes). Kelly got an adorable dress at Ann Taylor Loft that needed a little extra shaping- it took me about 45 minutes. And Laura wanted to turn her flare-legs into narrow-leg jeans. I taught her how to use a seam ripper and she removed the seams & pressed them. Another quick win. Too bad I didn't think to take before & after pics!

We came to the conclusion that seam ripping is a pretty relaxing activity, hence the recycled zippers!

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

clothes for a Downtown Date

This is my SWAP storyboard and this is what I will be sewing for a while. Next up is a white shirt from the current issue of Burda World of Fashion magazine.
Concurrently, I am taking a class at patternreview on "How to Build a Better T-Shirt" taught by Shannon Gifford. Those t-shirts will sew up fast.

Thank you all so much for your comments on my new coat. I love wearing it and I hope this is a harbinger of things to come. I feel like I spent most of 2007 learning. I am off to a good start in 2008 on actually sewing something nice that really works for me.

Off to the races!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Burda 12-2007-129 coat finished!

This coat comes from the December issue of Burda World of Fashion magazine. It is style 129 in a size 44. I'd say it took me about 20 hours to make it. I think I will start keeping track of the time I spend on each garment.

This is a big deal for me- I have never sewn a coat and it intimidated me. Also, I have not done much tailoring. Nor have I mastered fitting. But I am very happy with this.
I used very lightweight fusible interfacing based on the instructions in the current issue of Threads Magazine. There is a great article written byAlison Page. Also, I added a lining. I just concocted my own way of getting it in there.

I'll get a lot of wear out of this coat. This and the paisley pencil skirt are the core of my SWAP. Next I will make a variety of solid colored blouses and knit tops that all match the skirt.
It feels so good to have this ready to wear now!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Have Scissors, Will Design

I felt concerned that my fabric is not quite supple enough to mesh with the design. Volume is OK if the fabric is drapey. So I went for a shorter length (looks cute with the straight skirt, too!) and no belt. I have pinned on the pockets, too.

When I cut it out, I was glad I had changed the length because I didn't have enough for the knee length anyway.

Well, it is back to work for me tomorrow. When I am telecommuting, I have lots more sewing time, but, alas, I don't get to work from home as much as I would like.
Oh well - I need a place to wear these clothes I am sewing, right?

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!! 2008 Goals

Yes, I suppose I do have some goals for 2008. Only, it's kinda like I am planning my indulgences, not reining in my bad habits. Honestly I don't think I have any bad habits.

  • I want to visit NYC to shop at all the great stores.
  • I want to take time for Home Dec. sewing. Instead of slapping a blanket up as a curtain (because it is already hemmed on 3 sides out of 4!) I want to take my time and sew some beautiful draperies.
  • I want to sew separates for myself that mix and match and suitable for year-round office wear. As close as I can get, anyway. Obviously there will still be wool in the winter and linen in the summer.