Tuesday, January 01, 2019

A Short Jacket Vest in Wool and Faux Leather - Burda 09/2018 #109

I changed jobs recently, and one of the negatives is my new office is C-O-L-D!  Not only am I adapting my work wardrobe to be more casual, I've discovered I need multiple layers to be semi-comfortable in my office.  That's why I choose this pattern for my December BurdaStyle project. 
Image of Sharon wearing BurdaStyle 09-2018-109 Short Jackets
It's described as a short jacket, although I think of it as a vest.  I made two versions. One from faux leather (on left) and the other from a medium-weight wool. I have a third version cut out from a sheer fabric, however I haven't sewn it yet.

The wool fabric is black with small taupe flowers. It's actually reversible but I wear more black than taupe so I went with that as the "right" side.  The fabric was purchased locally at SR Harris - of course :-)  And there was still some left on the bolt when I was there last weekend...just saying.

Oh my goodness! This fabric is so beautiful in person, but yikes, what a challenge it was to sew. It raveled like crazy. And of course my serger started acting up just when I needed it to finish those unruly seams.  Grrrr....I was able to serge some of the exposed edges so they looked halfway decent, but ended up using some Seams Great to finish the shoulder and side seams.
Image of Closeup of inside seam finished with Seams Great
This short jacket only consists of two pattern pieces. I sewed my normal size without any adjustments.  I found the design to run generous and I probably could have gone down a size.  Although I didn't do an FBA, I did add 1-1/2 " to the center front tapering to zero at the side seam to prevent the front pulling up at the hemline due to my full bust.
Image of Sharon wearing wool BurdaStyle short jacket, 09-2018-109, on sewing blog
The only tricky part about sewing this was stitching the self-facing and cut-on collar. There's a dart at the top that needs to be clipped carefully so the facing and collar fit nicely.  I had to be extra careful due to the fraying of this fabric.
The pattern called for snap fasteners, but I choose to add two buttons and buttonholes. I used two beautiful black vintage buttons that I had found in a thrift store a few years ago.

Here's a pic of the pattern as shown in the magazine and on the BurdaStyle website.  It is 09/2018 #109.
I wanted to sew a version using mohair (as shown in the pattern pic), or a lightweight faux fur, but just could not find anything locally that caught my eye.  Seriously, how could I not find something at my beloved SR Harris?!?

The second version, the red faux leather, was not one I planned on sewing. Over the past few months, hubby and I have been on a major "clear out the excess" kick, donating and giving away things we no longer need or want.

As I was going through my fabric stash looking for pieces I no longer wanted, I came across this red faux leather and decided to sew myself another short jacket. I'm glad I did as I really like this one. (Although now that I'm looking at the pics I can see I'll need to be careful with my styling so it doesn't look like part of a costume.)
This time I didn't have to worry about fraying fabric, and topstitched the shoulder and side seams just for decoration.
On this red one you can see the neck dart detail more clearly.
I didn't want to attempt to stitch buttonholes in this faux leather so I added an unusual metal closure I had in my button stash.
The closure was one of two I had purchased from Hancock Fabrics about a decade ago. (See why I need to go through my "stuff" and clear it out?)  I am not positive if I sewed it on correctly, but it stays closed so I guess it doesn't matter does it?
As I took photos for this blog post, the temps were hovering around 10℉, (but sunny!) and I was trying to get done as quickly as possible.  However the cold temps certainly didn't bother my two girls, who both were curious as to what I was doing and kept photobombing my pics.
 
This short jacket is the perfect layering piece for the cold weather, but I can also see it working in warmer temps out of lightweight fabric layered over a tee.

This PDF pattern was provided to me at no charge as my December BurdaStyle Influencer project.

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Sunday, December 02, 2018

Floral Velvet Dress with Contrasting Waistband - Burda 11/2018 #103

I think a touch of velvet is always stylish, especially during the winter months.  My latest floral velvet dress could be worn at the office with tights and booties or be dressed up with fancier accessories and strappy heels for a dinner date with hubby.
Image of Sharon wearing Burda 11/2018 #103 Floral Stretch Velvet Dress
The pattern is BurdaStyle 11/2018 #103, a panel seam dress designed for knits.  The fabric for my dress is a stretch velvet purchased within the last year or so, although I don't recall where.

I choose the dress pattern for a number of reasons: the ability to easily do an FBA, the hi-low hemline, the comfort of knit, and the fact that this was a "tall" BurdaStyle pattern, which meant the waistline would likely hit my waist without an adjustment.  Spoiler alert: it didn't.
BurdaStyle 11/2018 #103 Photo www.burdastyle.com
As you can see from the line drawing, there are a number of great design details. The Dior dart (that short dart from the side panel), the darted elbow, and a small pleat at the center front of the skirt with adds to the fullness of the skirt without a lot of bulk, and the waistband defining the waistline. 
BurdaStyle 11/2018 #103 Photo www.burdastyle.com
I wasn't sure how to do the FBA on this type of dart, so I approached it like a princess seam.   This is what my full bust adjustment pattern alteration looked like.
Image of FBA Full Bust Adjustment Pattern Alteration for Burda 11/2018 #103 Dress
It might not be the correct way, but it worked!

I debated about using a contrast fabric or the same fabric for the band at the waist, and you can see I went with the contrast. I thought since my waist has completely disappeared this year (sigh...) the contrast might give the illusion of a waist.  Alas, I don't think it does the trick.

Also, since I didn't add length to the bodice (except what was added with my FBA), the band hits my almost 2" above my actual waistline.  Now that I see photos I think the same fabric might have helped camouflage my lack of waistline better.

Oh, a note if you sew this dress. The waist band is interfaced and lined so there is a lot of bulk at the waistline when stitching the side seams and the adding the invisible zipper.

Speaking of invisible zippers...
Image of BurdaStyle 11/2018 #103 dress back band invisible zipper close up
I think I did a pretty good job of matching that waist band at the center back!

As I mentioned earlier, this is one of BurdaStyle's "tall" patterns, designed for 69-1/2" instead of their usual 66-1/4".  Instead of checking the pattern, I made an assumption that the bodice would be long enough that I wouldn't need to lengthen it to hit my natural waistline. Well, I should have remembered what my mother always said about making assumptions, LOL!

I also discovered the sleeves were too short, which I found odd as I typically have to shorten sleeves. I simply added a small contrast band.  I did, however, shorten the skirt by 3".

All in all, I'm pleased with the dress. The more I sew BurdaStyle patterns, the more I appreciate the designs and the drafting.  While the instructions are limited, the pattern pieces always seem to go together perfectly.

One final shot on this cold,winter day as I'm loving how the blue velvet pops against the backdrop of fresh snow.
Image of Sharon Sews in BurdaStyle 11/2018 #103 Velvet Dress
Note: This is my November BurdaStyle Influencer project and I was provided the PDF pattern at no charge.   You can purchase the pattern here: https://www.burdastyle.com/pattern_store/patterns/panel-seam-dress-112018 Pin It

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 Burdastyle.com

 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 Burdastyle.com

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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