Wednesday, October 31, 2018

A Rose Gold Sequin Maxi Skirt With Burda 12/2015-115

I love me some sequins. Although I usually wear them in small doses, like a sequin tee peeking out from under a blazer.  No more!  I'm going bold with my sequin maxi skirt!
Burda 12 2015 #115 sequin maxi skirt
I love how the light shimmers off of the skirt.
Burda 12 2015 #115 sequin maxi skirt  on Sharon Sews blog
 The skirt is a faux wrap, which is only apparent when I walk.
Burda 12 2015 #115 sequin maxi skirt
The fabric is a beautiful rose-gold baby sequin knit I ordered from Fabric Mart Fabrics. I originally planned to sew myself a pair of wide-leg pants.  However, after placing the order Fabric Mart emailed me to let me know the fabric was flawed (and the price would be reduced, yay!)  Because of the flaw, I scrapped the idea of pants and decided to try this maxi skirt instead. And I'm so happy I did!

The skirt is BurdaStyle 12/2015 #115, which can be purchased and downloaded here.  Here's the pic from the website.
Burda 12 2015 #115 sequin maxi skirt  from

 It's hard to tell from the photo, but the skirt has a yoke, waistband, and back zip.
Burda 12 2015 #115 sequin maxi skirt  line drawing from

Because my fabric is so sheer I decided to add a half lining. I even had the perfect color of silk charmeuse in my stash.  I was able to treat the sequin fabric like a knit. I had no problems sewing it on my sewing machine, and ended up finishing the seams with my serger.  I only had enough silk to line it to just above my knee.
Burda 12 2015 #115 sequin maxi skirt inside lining
Each of the two front skirt pieces fold back to form a facing.  The two pieces then overlap one another to create the faux wrap. It overlaps enough that I don't need to be concerned about the skirt opening up and exposing more than I'd like!
The waistband is 2" wide Petersham ribbon folded in half. I only had off-white and black ribbon in my stash and without time to order matching ribbon I choose the off-white. 
Burda 12 2015 #115 sequin maxi skirt petersham ribbon waistband
An invisible zipper is in the back of the skirt.
Burda 12 2015 #115 sequin maxi skirt petersham ribbon waistband and invisible zip
By the time I was done sewing this skirt I had tiny sequins scattered all over my house!  The floor in my sewing room was especially sparkly as so many had landed there while I was cutting and sewing the fabric. 

As soon as my skirt was complete, I modeled it for my husband.  Oh, if you could have seen the look on his face!  I was laughing inside as I watched him trying to find the right thing to say.

So maybe my husband isn't as crazy about my new sequin skirt as I am. But it sure does look fabulous!
Burda 12 2015 #115 sequin maxi skirt worn by sharon sews
 This is my October Burda Influencer project, and I received the PDF pattern at no cost.

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Sunday, September 09, 2018

Vogue 9330, an Easy-To-Sew Oversized Pullover Top

The moment I saw the illustration for this oversized pullover I knew I wanted to sew myself one...or two...or a dozen.

I know it doesn't look like anything special. And it might not be, but I LIVE in big, comfy pullovers paired with yoga pants all winter long. Well, at least at home I do. I still have to dress professionally in the office :-)  This top is perfect for my at-home winter attire.
Vogue 9330 Loose Fitting Pullover Top Review on Sharon Sews sewing blog
I picked up this lightweight terry knit (with a hint of sparkle!) at Hobby Lobby a few weeks ago with the intent of trying out this pattern.  It's soft, so the shape of the collar and sleeves are not apparent.  And the metallic thread makes it a wee bit scratchy at the collar, but I don't care.
I have to tell you - this top is soooooo big!  I know, I know.  The signs were all there. The pattern description says “very loose-fitting” and I could have paid attention to the measurements printed on the pattern pieces. But I didn't.  Instead I cut my usual size, ignoring the amount of design ease. There is a silver lining though as I didn't have to do a FBA!

The sleeves are quite wide, especially around the wrist area. There are darts to draw in some of the fullness, and after I tried the top on I went back and made those darts even deeper. Bur I still think the sleeves are too loose.  I will also remove some of the width in the body of the top.  In the middle of winter (when we hit our series of below zero temps outside, and our temps inside the house remain pretty chilly) a top that is loose at the wrists and lower body like this will just let the cool air flow around my body. I'm getting chilled just thinking about it! (Ha, ha - I'm not real sure what I was doing when my hubby captured this pic, maybe we were talking about the football game?!?)
Vogue 9330 Pattern Review Sharon Sews sewing blog
The collar!  It’s my favorite part.  It’s cut with the grain, which meant the stretch of the fabric does not go width wise on the collar.
I thought it might be a mistake as I was placing the pattern pieces on the fabric, but I think that might be how the collar stands up so nicely!

Another cool design feature is the side panel that is sewn to the front and back of both the body and the sleeve. I was curious why the pattern description said “sleeve in three pieces” and now I understand. I think that panel could make for interesting colorblocking. For example, I was thinking of sewing the top out of a Ponte Knit and using a faux stretch leather for the contrast panel.

This one was my test top.  Now that I know what I'll do differently, I’ll be keeping my eyes open for the perfect fabric for my new (dozen) stay-at-home pullover top(s).
Before I leave, here's a pic of the pattern envelope and a link to the Vogue website where the pattern can be purchased.

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Monday, September 03, 2018

A Splash of Blue to Welcome September: A Review of Vogue 9329

I live in Minnesota, and September signals the unofficial end of summer...sigh.  The weather will fluctuate between hot and muggy and cool (cold) and windy.  Of course, that can happen here in the middle of July too, LOL.

Since I’m out quite ready to say goodbye to summer, I’m quickly stitching up some of my colorful fabrics that I will use to slowly transition into the fall/winter season.Such as this bold blue and white abstract animal print!
Vogue 9329 Dress Pattern Review on Sharon Sews sewing blog
This is is a new pattern release, Vogue 9329. The Marci Tilton pullover dress design features a handkerchief hemline, cut-on sleeves (two lengths), and pockets.
It's not obvious from the pattern envelope, but the dress is designed to have a partial contrast back. You can see it in the line drawings. I eliminated the contrast.  Instead I took the back pattern piece, folded it in half, and cut one back piece on the fabric fold.
 I like that the pockets are single layer and stitched in place to the front of the dress. I finished the edge of the pocket, pinned it in place, and used a contrasting thread color to baste it in place.
Vogue 9329 Dress Pocket Detail on Sharon Sews sewing blog
 Vogue 9329 Dress Pocket Detail on Sharon Sews sewing blog
I then stitched on the right side of the dress just to the side of the basting.The contrasting color made it easy to remove the basting after the pocket was stitched in place.
Vogue 9329 Dress Pocket Detail on Sharon Sews sewing blog
The dress is described as close fitting through the bust.  I checked the finished bust measurement printed on the pattern and decided to add two inches. I used a pivot and slide method so there is no dart.  It provided enough extra room so that the knit doesn't pull across my bustline.

The sleeves are cut-in-one with the bodice.  I choose to sew the shorter sleeves, which hit just at my elbow. The sleeves are finished with a band (meant to be contrasting fabric). The neckline is finished with an interfaced facing that is topstitched in place one inch from the neckline. The pattern provides good instructions for mitered corners on the hem.  I'm not sure exactly what I did wrong, but my miters are not as nice as I would like them to be.
Vogue 9329 Dress Pattern Review on Sharon Sews sewing blog
The ITY knit fabric was one I picked up about three years ago from SR Harris Fabric . I'm glad I decided to not sew what I had originally planned (knit top and wide leg pants) as I really like the fabric in this dress!
Vogue 9329 Dress Pattern Review on Sharon Sews sewing blog
If you follow Carlos Vogue Pattern designer on Instagram, he shared a black stretch velvet version of this dress as one of his "closer look of this pattern" posts. It was lovely and I plan to sew myself one to wear this winter with tights and boots.

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Thursday, August 30, 2018

BurdaStyle 07/2018 #120 Pants with Embellished Bottom Bands

"I need these midi-length pants!"
BurdaStyle Pants 07/2018 #120 with Sheer Bands and Ribbon Trim on Sharon Sews Blog
That was my immediate reaction when I saw these.  Look at the details!  The length, the slight flare, the pocket detail, the side zip, the narrow waistband. All of these spell winner in my book. Here's the line drawing.

I was especially intrigued by the idea of using the bottom portion of the pants as a design feature. Because it is stitched to the pants separately it was easy to come up with a variety of ideas.   Here's some of my sketches.
BurdaStyle 07/2018 #120 Pants Design Sketch Ideas on Sharon Sews Blog
On my first pair I used a sheer embellished fabric for the bottom. I debated whether or not to use it as a sheer or as an overlay on the black fabric.  After consulting my incredibly fashion-savvy friend (hey Jude! I'm talking about you!) I left it sheer.  I really love it!  I think wearing it with flats helps tone down the "fancy".
Sharon Sews Modeling BurdaStyle Pants 07/2018 #120 on sewing blog
Next I started working on a denim pair.  I inserted floating rick-rack in the seam between the leg and bottom portion.  But before I could take pics and post here and on IG, a floating rick-rack tutorial from the Bernina We All Sew blog popped up in my blog feed.  Grrrr...I decided to wait and share the denim pair later as I didn't want to appear as if I was copying that post.  Isn't it funny how some ideas in the sewing world all come out at the same time?!?

I quickly changed gears and decided to sew a pair of black pants with beaded ribbon trim inserted into the seam.  I LOVE them! And I'll probably wear them more often than my denim with the rick-rack trim.
BurdaStyle Pants 07-2018-120 Linen Blend on Sharon Sews Blog
The black trim on black pants is subdued enough that I can wear these to the office. If you're following me on Instagram (@sharonmads) you may have seen a sneak peek of the trim in one of my IG stories.
The fabric on this pair is a fabulous Donna Karan stretch woven purchased locally at SR Harris Fabrics.  Note the price of the fabric is always 50 percent off of the marked prices on the bolt. I didn't do a burn test, but I'm guessing it's a linen blend.  I can tell you it was a dream to sew!

The fabric on my sheer band pants is also from SR Harris. The black is a lightweight stretch wool blend that I purchased years ago, but the sheer I purchased specifically for these pants.
Here's a closeup of the bottom of the pants. The two side seams on the bottom band are finished with French seams and I used the scalloped edge of the fabric for the hemline.
Sheer Embellishment on Pants BurdaStyle 07-2018 #120 Sharon Sews sewing blog
Here's the back view and closer look at the bottom of the black linen with ribbon trim pants.
BurdaStyle Pants 07-2018-120 on Sharon Sews sewing blog
I left the pleated fabric pocket detail off of both of the black pants as I think the lower edge deserves all the attention!  Plus I rarely tuck in my shirts so that pocket detail would be lost.

However, I did add it to my muslin. I wouldn't normally take time to add a design detail like this to a fitting muslin, but it was so cute I had to see what it looked like!
Burda 07 2018 120 Pants Pocket Detail on Sharon Sews Blog

Speaking of muslins...I rarely do them, but I've gained some weight and am still trying to figure out what size I should be using when I sew. For my muslin I used a stretch linen blend that's been in my stash for years and quickly stitched them up with no zipper, no bottom band,and no waistband.  I'm glad I did as I ended up identifying where I needed to make adjustments before sewing my "real" ones.  I just might take these apart, make the adjustments and sew them, although I still haven't decided whether or not I like the stripe changing direction at the bottom.
The waist band is narrow - about 1" - which I really like. The pants close with an invisible zipper and a hook and eye at the waistband.
 Here's a pic of the design from the BurdaStyle website, and the link to the pattern which can be purchased as a PDF (yay! no need to trace!) on the BurdaStyle website.
With my short legs, I really didn't think that the midi-length pant trend was one I would like, but these pants have changed my mind! 
Sharon Sews wearing Burda 07 2018 #120 Pants with Sheer Trim
(This PDF pattern was provided to me at no charge as my August BurdaStyle Influencer project.) Pin It

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Vogue 9253: A Bold Floral Maxi Dress with a Really Deep V!

First things first.  Why did I wait so long to sew this dress?!?
Floral Maxi Dress sewn using Vogue 9253 on Sharon Sews blog

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I must be the only one in the sewing world who had not sewn this pattern! Vogue 9253 was an almost immediate hit when it was released last year, with dozens of beautiful versions filling my blog feed.
Vogue 9253 Pattern Cover on Sharon Sews blog
I shied away from sewing it because of that REALLY deep V!  Having been quite - ahem - blessed since my teen years, I don't always like to draw attention to that part of my body. And let's be honest. I KNEW it would require a full bust adjustment (FBA) and I wasn't sure I knew how to alter this bodice correctly. 

So I continued to admire every version I saw, telling myself over and over that my large chest combined with all the weight I've gained would make this a very unflattering look on me.

I finally stopped telling myself how horrible it would look on me, and gave myself permission to sew and wear something OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE that would make me HAPPY!  So I did :-)
Vogue 9253 floral maxi dress on dress form on Sharon Sews sewing blog
I was able to add more room in the bust by doing an FBA. It may or may not be "correct" but it worked.
Vogue 9253 Bodice FBA by Sharon Sews
The fabric I used is a polyester print purchased at SR Harris. I was looking for solid colored silks (for another project), but fell in love with the colors and floral print on this fabric.
Construction was so simple! I think trying to figure out how to do the FBA was the most time-consuming part of sewing this dress.  With my serger in for repair work I finished all of the seams by wrapping them with Seams Great and stitching it in place.

I missed the step of sewing the tie ends to the center back before inserting the zipper. Instead I created thread loops at the side of the dress to help keep the tie in place.
 Look at the seam matching for the invisible zipper.  Looks pretty good if I do say so myself!
Vogue 9253 Invisible Zipper Seam Matching Sharon Sews sewing blog
The pattern pieces are so large that I went to the floor to cut this dress out. Fabric and patterns, especially on the floor, are a new experience for my sewing buddy Tandy. She made my task a bit challenging as she really enjoyed flipping the fabric around. I cut her some slack as she's only eight months old.  She's our latest rescue. We adopted her in February, a few months after we had to put my beloved Sophia down. 
I've worn my maxi a few times already, and each time received compliments such as "I love your dress! Where did you get it?"  I smile sweetly and say "Thanks! I made it!"

Oh, did I mention that the V on this dress is REALLY DEEP!!!  I could just carry Tandy with me every time I wear this dress...
Sharon Sews Holds Tandy While She Wears Vogue 9253 Maxi Dress
On second thought, I think I'll just wear a cami instead.
Pattern Review for Vogue 9253 Maxi Dress on Sharon Sews sewing blog
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