Friday, June 15, 2018

In Progress: Burda Off-The-Shoulder Blouse 05/2018 #110

Can it really be the middle of June already? I feel as if I've barely begun sewing the items I have planned for the summer, including the multiple designs I've marked in my BurdaStyle magazines. I've subscribed to Burda Style magazine for nearly ten years, and every month I mark the ones I want to sew, but find that I don't always take time to trace, alter, and sew the designs I've chosen. Until now. One of the 2018 goals I set for myself  is to sew at least one item from every magazine issue.

At the moment I'm working on the Off-The-Shoulder Blouse #110 from the May 2018 magazine. It's also available as a downloadable pattern on the BurdaStyle website.  I choose this beautiful floral rayon challis as my fabric.

I found the fabric at my favorite local fabric store, SR Harris. It was only $6/yard (because all fabric at SR Harris is 50% off the price marked on the bolt).
I knew I wanted a floral print for the top, but was originally envisioning a fabric with less drape than this rayon challis.  However, as I near completion of this blouse, I really like the softness of the fabric with this design.

The only negative about using this fabric is the need to iron it after laundering.  I knew that before I purchased the fabric, but the design of the Burda blouse is simple enough that I'll be able to iron it easily.  Plus I really like ironing :-)

 As I was preparing to lay out my pattern pieces, I noticed "Jams World" written on the selvage.  I didn't know if it was a designer or manufacturer, but a quick Google search provided my answer. Apparently Jams World has been making and selling clothing in Hawaii since 1964. 

The only alteration I made to the pattern was to do full bust adjustment (FBA), which is one of my usual alterations.

I like the shoulder ties as it covers my bra straps (or will once I'm done).  I ended up bringing the shoulder ties in closer to the center front and back of the top than what was marked on the pattern. If you sew this I would try the blouse on and adjust the placement of the ties before permanently stitching them in place.
Here's a pic of the *almost* finished blouse - I just need to do a little hand stitching and add the snap closures.
I'm really liking it!  In fact, if I can find more of this fabric at SR Harris, I plan on sewing a pair of wide leg pants and wear the two pieces together.

BurdaStyle Influencer
As I mentioned above, one of my 2018 goals is to sew at least one garment from my BurdaStyle magazines.  That's why when I was contacted by BurdaStyle to see if I was interested in being one of their  Influencers, I didn't hesitate to say yes!  You can read more about it, and meet the other Influencers, on this BurdaStyle blog post.   As an Influencer, I do receive one downloadable pattern per month at no cost, and this was the pattern I choose for June.

Stay tuned as I hope to finish the top, and sew matching pants yet this week!

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Thursday, May 24, 2018

An Easy-to-Sew Mermaid Maxi from Tie Dye Diva

One hour + knit fabric + Mermaid Maxi pattern = A fabulous maxi skirt!
Last weekend I found myself with an extra hour on hand. (What a blessing that was! Does anyone else find their life over scheduled at times?!?)  Of course I filled that time with sewing, and was able to cut out and sew this maxi skirt in just over an hour.

The pattern is the Mermaid Maxi  and it includes a slim, straight view (the one I sewed) as well as a "Mermaid" flared view, with options of gathered pockets, flat pockets, or no pockets at all. The pattern comes in 14 sizes to fit 34" to 55" hips.
 I especially like that this skirt has front and side panels as I think it makes for a very flattering skirt. I choose to sew the straight maxi with the side front walking slit and gathered pockets.
I love this fabric!  It's a double brushed knit I purchased from Sly Fox Fabrics.  It feels wonderful, drapes beautifully, and was a dream to sew.  Unfortunately I forgot how difficult black fabric is to photograph. 

It fits nicely in the back (where I carry much of my excess weight, especially in my high hip area).
 Here's a better shot of the gathered pocket. And yes that is my puppy pictured on my iPhone peeking out of the pocket :-) 

It's important to make sure you mark all of the pattern markings on your fabric!  The first time I sewed this skirt I stitched the pockets on wrong because I hadn't been careful enough with my markings. You can be sure I double checked this time around that the pockets were sewn on correctly.
The skirt can be sewn in about an hour. Of course that will depend on your own sewing ability.  I found the instructions to be well written, and the elastic application results in a nice clean edge with no casing.

My serger is out of commission at the moment, so I stitched all of my seams on my regular machine using a very narrow zigzag stitch.  I ran out of Coats and Clark Eloflex thread or I would have used that.
The skirt can easily be worn dressed up or down depending on top, shoes and accessories.   I can see myself sewing another half dozen of these (including the "swishy" Mermaid version!) as they'll be perfect for wearing with a tee and sandals when running errands this summer.

The pattern is 20% off this week (Here:

Jen also has a giveaway on her blog this week (where you could win  $250 in prizes) (Here:

In addition, Simply By Ti is offering readers 20% off at with code MERMAIDTOUR at checkout (good through May 28).

Be sure to check out the other stops on the blog tour as you'll see how great the skirt looks on everyone!

Monday, May 21

Tie Dye Diva Patterns - Mermaid Maxi Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Skirt Fixation - Mermaid Maxi Skirt Review
Wednesday, May 23

Sew Altered Style - Mermaid Maxi Blog Tour

sewsewilse - Mermaid Maxi Skirt Blog Tour

Chook n Duck
Thursday, May 24

Penny Sew Vintage - Mermaid Maxi Blog Tour

TipStitched - Mermaid Maxi TDD Blog Tour

Sharon Sews
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Sunday, May 06, 2018

A Floral Beauty: Vogue 9257 Off-The-Shoulder Top

Spring has arrived! Many of you may agree that it was one loooong winter. In fact, where I live we had a major snowfall just three weeks ago!  However, the warmth of the spring sun has rapidly melted the remaining signs of winter and I'm enjoying being able to finally wear something other than sweaters, jeans and boots.
I sewed this pink floral beauty the beginning of April with plans to wear it for our anniversary dinner, which is near the end of April. I was at an out-of-town work conference the date of our anniversary and had convinced my hubby to come along with me so we could have dinner together to celebrate. Lucky me, he agreed. (But only because he able to ski while I was working.) And wouldn't you know it?  The day of our anniversary it was cold and snowy in Denver! Way too cold for this off-the-shoulder top.
 When we returned home, the sun was shining so I asked hubby if he'd take a few pics for me for the blog.  With an eyeroll and groan, he agreed. (Note to self: invest in a remote control and tripod to prevent future eyerolls.)  He says he doesn't like doing it, but then he usually has me laughing so hard I can't pose for a pic, as evidenced by this outtake.

The top is Vogue 9257, an easy-to-sew off-the-shoulder ruffle top, with lovely statement sleeves.
The pattern shows the neck and sleeve ruffles sewn out of lace, but I had this fabulous semi-sheer floral print that I wanted to use for the entire top.  If you look closely you'll see it also has some texture. I purchased the fabric a few years ago at SR Harris Fabric Warehouse. At the time I intended to sew a summer dress, but am glad I decided against that as I think it worked beautifully for this top.

The statement sleeves are fun, and not overly dramatic.
I don't typically wear off-the-shoulder tops, and debated about adding straps to this, but decided to leave it as designed.  I used French Seams and hemmed the ruffles with a narrow hem.
I'm really happy with how this turned out and hope to find many occasions to wear it this summer.

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Sunday, April 29, 2018

Tassel Trim Top: BurdaStyle 05/2018 - 113

Guess what?  I sewed something from the May BurdaStyle magazine and it's not even May yet! I'm quite pleased with myself as I still have patterns bookmarked to sew from 2013 issues.  Granted this one was a simple sew, but for once I'm sewing the trend - tassel trim - before it ends.
This is a simple pullover knit top number 113, from the May 2018 BurdaStyle magazine. I don't see the pattern on the BurdaStyle website yet.   Here's the picture from the magazine.
I used a soft gray knit, purchased as a pre-cut from Fabric Mart Fabrics (appears to be sold out).  The multi-colored tassel trim I found in the home dec section at Hobby Lobby (looks like it can be found online too).  I washed and dried it first to see how it would look before using it on my top.
I fused a narrow strip of interfacing to the back side of the bottom edge of the upper front yoke. I wasn't sure if the trim would need the additional support or not since I was using a lighter weight knit than what was recommended. (Sweatshirt fabric is the recommended fabric.)

To add the trim to the front, I placed the trim along the upper front yoke edge right sides together. I used a zipper foot to baste the trim in place, making sure my basting line was right at the 5/8" seam allowance. I then used that basting as my guideline when stitching the yoke and front together.  
The edge of the trim shows, which I like as it really pops against the gray fabric.
The back also has a diagonal yoke, and the two seams match up at the dropped shoulder seam.
 The side seams are sewn before the sleeve band is added.  I found that I needed to clip the side seams inside after adding the bands to keep the underarm flat.  

This top is very loose-fitting so I did not do a full bust adjustment (FBA) except to add about 1-1/2" to the center front. I just eyeballed it and curved the bottom edge back to the side seams.

If I were to sew this again (who am I kidding? Of course I'm going to sew another!) I would go down a size in the hip area. There is a bottom band on the top, but it does not fit snug against my hips as I think is intended.
Did I mention the great tool I have for tracing seam allowances for my Burda patterns? It's the SA Curve Pattern Drafter ruler.  I purchased mine (the 5/8" size) on Amazon about nine months ago and it's been such a time saver!  (Link here - no affiliate, just love the product.)  I plan on purchasing the other sizes also.
Time to sew this top was minimal. I would guess it took me about two hours, including cutting out the fabric.  I had to stitch it completely on my sewing machine as I managed to break the lower looper on my serger a month ago and I haven't brought it in yet for repair.

Fingers crossed the snow has finally left for the season, which means I can get back into nature for my photos (we had more than a foot of snow fall in one day only two weeks ago!)

This top is my participation in Faye's Sewing Adventure 2018 Tops That Pop! Pin It

Monday, April 16, 2018

A Beautiful Spring Skirt: The Belle Skirt from Wardrobe by Me

Spring. Warmth. Sunshine. Flowers. Are you awaiting the signs of spring as eagerly as I am? Like many other areas of the country, winter is refusing to leave this year.  I've been waiting for a beautiful spring day to photograph my beautiful new Belle Skirt, but I may be waiting a long time! 
I want it to warm up so I can wear this lovely Belle Skirt from Wardrobe by Me, a new to me designer/pattern company.  As soon as I finished sewing this lovely skirt, I had my hubby take a few pics. I may be smiling and wearing a sleeveless top but I was f-r-e-e-z-i-n-g! The temps were below freezing, the cold wind was blowing, and you can't see the snow around me as I'm standing on a patch of our sidewalk we had cleared.

The fabric is a silky polyester from the $4/yard bin at my favorite local fabric store, SR Harris.  It is lovely made up, but was a bugger to stitch together. It was so slippery and frayed terribly!

But the colors are so vibrant! And the movement of this skirt is divine.  There are three tiers, with the back longer than the front.
The skirt takes almost four yards of fabric at least 55"  wide.  The graceful sweep is created by the tiers being cut in the round.  It adds fullness without gathers which I really like.  That bottom skirt tier is BIG, which is one reason this skirt uses a lot of fabric.

Also, the front of the waistband is flat, but the back has wide elastic.  Notice how you can't really see any gathers in the back?  Another great design feature in my opinion!
The belt loops are stitched into the waistband and they hold the tie belt in place nicely. I did add extra length to my tie end, and will add more on my next skirt,.
By the way, did you notice my shoes? I was flipping through the May 2018 Threads magazine, and there on page 38 were my shoes modeled with jeans :-)
(The shoes are Dafadil Bootie by Betsey Johnson that I purchased online at DSW.)

Here's a line drawing of the PDF Bell Skirt pattern so you can see the design details more clearly.
I did struggle with stitching the curves of the tiers together, but that was due to my fabric, not the design.  Like I said, my fabric was slippery and raveled a lot, so I had to stay stitch and clip.

You can really see the fullness of the skirt in this picture. Instead of stitching a narrow hem on my sewing machine, I used the narrow hem stitch on my serger.

I'm really liking this skirt!  I haven't decided on the fabric for my next one, but I need to decide quickly.  With winter lingering as long as it is, I suspect our spring/summer season is going to be rather short ... and I want to make sure I get another Belle Skirt sewn.
Disclaimer:  I've recently discovered the world of PDF patterns and some very talented designers through groups on Facebook.  I was given a test copy of the pattern when I applied to test this pattern.  The skirt pattern comes in sizes 0-24 and can be purchased at Wardrobe by Me.

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