Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Mini houndstooth skirt - Butterick 5566

Butterick 5566 Skirt
Isn't she lovely? I spent a few hours sewing her last week. Butterick 5566 - I heart her. 

(image from Butterick.com)

I have plans to sew all of the views, but for my first one I choose to sew view A. The one with cool dart detail

And did you notice that I even picked the same fabric as the cover illustration? Sometimes I amaze myself with my ability to think outside the box.

Here's a closer look at those darts. There are three that radiate out from the waist in  different lengths - short, medium and long. 

Also, that front piece is an overlay.  Here I'm demonstrating how NOT to sew the overlay. I had sewed the darts on the inside of the overlay and didn't realize it until I was ready to add the overlay to the skirt front. Oops! Back to the machine to rip out those gorgeous darts and resew them correctly.

The bottom of the overlay is finished with a mitered corner.  The instructions for the mitered corners are not included with the pattern - here's how I do mine.

One change I made was to add a lining. Because the skirt had a front overlay it easy to add a lining. I simply cut my lining pieces (a few inches shorter) using the front and back skirt pattern. After sewing the lining darts and side seams I matched the upper edges of the skirt and lining (with wrong sides together) basted along the waistline. Then I sewed the facing per the instructions.  Next time I might do a petersham ribbon facing as I like the thought of a little less bulk at the waistline. 

The other change I made was to use an invisible zipper with a fabric tab on the inside.

I'm loving the skirt. It's basic and unique all at once.

True confession time. After eight hours hours of sitting, standing and walking the skirt  is looking a bit rumpled.  Not too noticeable from a distance.

But - look at what's happening at the waist!  A ridge formed from the upper inside seam. 

That, dear readers, is why I should probably think underlining my skirts in the future. 


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Monday, January 03, 2011

Where to buy the top pattern Burda 7444

That seems to be the question of the day.  Well, at least the comment of the day for the post on that top.  It is a really cool top isn't it?  Anyway, what you really want to know is where can you buy a copy so you too can sew yourself the perfect top for walking out in style.

All sizes are included in one envelope - from size 6 (32) to 18 (44).  Unlike the Burda pattern magazines the printed patterns do include seam allowances. The instructions are more detailed than what is included in the magazines. 

I purchased my copy at a local Joann's just a few months ago.  Not only does Joann's carry Burda patterns, the price seems to always be 40% off of the list price. 

I'm sure if you have any independently owned fabric stores in your area, but they would also be very likely to carry Burda patterns. I know Treadle Yard Goods, which is in my neck of the woods, carries Burda (as well as many other of the independent designer patterns).

As far as internationally or online - with the exception of PatternReview and SewingPatterns.com I'm not sure. I've purchased from PatternReview before but not SewingPatterns.com.

Good luck with your search  - and I can't wait to see what yours looks like.

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Saturday, January 01, 2011

Cowl neck + Turtleneck + Drama = Burda 7444

The perfect marriage of a cowl neck and a turtleneck with a little drama thrown in for good measure.

Burda 7444 pullover knit top
The turtleneck is pretty obvious. The cowl neck is hinted at with the front drape.

The drama? Well, that's the back shoulders, baby.

All in all it's a pretty simple top to sew. Tedious, but simple.   I managed to cut this out and sew it all today. And that was in between helping my husband rip up carpet and prepare the floor for our new flooring.

The front piece is gathered along the shoulder line and wraps over the shoulder where it is gathered and attached to the back like a raglan sleeve (as shown above). 

The instructions have you run two rows of long machine stitches along the shoulder line and the back side edge. 

Next you pull the gathers up to a specified measurement. In my case it was 7-1/2" for the shoulders and 10-1/4" for the back side edge. To keep the stitches from pulling out when I was gathering them I pulled all the threads to the back side and tied a knot.

Instead of sewing a ribbon to the wrong side to stay the gathers (per the written instructions) I cut a piece of clear elastic 7-1/2" and sewed in place down the center of the two rows of stitching.

I did the same thing to stabilize the side back edges, even though the instructions called for strips of fusible interfacing.

Once the front is sewn to the back you get this awesome design detail.

There's no need to add the zipper unless you use a fairly stable knit. Which you don't want to do as you'll loose the great gathering and draping detail.

I used a soft knit - probably a polyester - that had been purchased about two years ago at Hancock Fabrics for this design, Butterick 5146 (now OOP). While I did begin sewing the long kimono style jacket I decided it really wasn't a look for me.  I think this Burda top was a better fit for the fabric (and me).
Butterick 5146 (photo Butterick.com)

While my love affair with the cowl neck continues this Burda top is a good option for those days when I like the additional comfort of fabric around my neck.

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