Thursday, September 03, 2020

All Dressed Up and No Place to Go - the Burda 06-2020 #101 Jumpsuit

When the June 2020 BurdaStyle magazine arrived I knew I wanted to sew the jumpsuit on the cover. And I don't even like jumpsuits.

Then I picked fabrics that were not even suggested! I know, a sewing rebel, right? LOL.

BurdaStyle 06-2020 #101 Jumpsuit Black Sequin and Knit worn by Sharon Sews

The jumpsuit is designed to be sewn in lightweight wovens, like a rayon challis. I loved the fabric of the sample shown on the magazine cover and really, really wanted to sew mine in something similar. Well, truth be told I wanted that exact fabric!

When I realized I wouldn't be able to find something even close, I put the idea of sewing this jumpsuit out of mind.

That is, until a sewing challenge on Instagram popped up. It was called a #sewingbowlchallenge. When you expressed interest in participating, the organizer pulled out components of the challenge from six little fishbowls (which is how the name came to be).  My challenge was to sew 1) from a magazine or book 2) a suit, 3) in a neutral, 4) using colorblock, 5) with my choice of fabric, 6) in three weeks. 

I was stumped at first as I kept thinking business suit.

But then I had an ah-ha moment and decided to make it work by sewing a jumpSUIT (#2) from BurdaStyle MAGAZINE (#1), in BLACK (#3), using both a sequin and solid knit COLORBLOCK (#4 and #5). 


BurdaStyle 06-2020 #101 Jumpsuit Black Sequin and Knit worn by Sharon Sews

I love this jumpsuit! And as I eluded to earlier, I'm not a huge fan of jumpsuits. In fact, the 80s was probably the last time I wore that trend.

However, the knit makes this one very comfortable, and the sequin on top makes it pop!

BurdaStyle 06-2020 #101 Jumpsuit Black Sequin and Knit worn by Sharon Sews close up of bodice

The top of the jumpsuit is not attached to the waistline, something that was not obvious to me when I first looked at the photos. The top portion is attached to the side seams and the front ties are crossed once the jumpsuit is on. As you see in the above photo it does leave a small gap of skin showing. But hey!  Cutouts are supposedly a trend for Fall 2020 so I'm right on trend, right? LOL.

BurdaStyle 06-2020 #101 Jumpsuit Black Sequin and Knit worn by Sharon Sews showing front ties open

The pant length is designed to be cropped, just above the ankle. Construction is simple with the neck and sleeve edges finished with a knit binding and an elastic casing at the waist. 

The back is scooped with a small slit opening that closes with a hook and eye.  Yea, let me tell ya...that is not exactly easy to re hook when you need to use the restroom. I may change that to a small invisible zipper which I think would be easier for me to use. 

BurdaStyle 06-2020 #101 Jumpsuit Black Sequin and Knit Back View

The sequin fabric was a "mystery knit" from Fabric Mart Fabrics. The black ponte knit was also purchased from Fabric Mart Fabrics.

While its an impractical garment for the current environment we're living in, I do love it. I can hardly wait till all restaurants reopen so I can wear this out to dinner with my hubby. 

BurdaStyle 06-2020 #101 Jumpsuit Black Sequin and Knit worn by Sharon Sews

By the way, this jumpsuit was included in my July Makes video on YouTube if you want to see it in action. 


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Wednesday, September 02, 2020

The NEW Itch to Stitch Antrim Dress - a Fit and Flare Knit Dress in Florals and Stripes

I like the easy comfort of a knit dress and this one has the added bonus of a flattering cross over bodice (no gaping!) and waist detail (that gives the illusion that I still have a waist!)

This is a new release from Itch to Stitch and I must say this will likely become another favorite! The waist detail is slight ruched, the flared skirt is a flattering, and there are pockets!

 The Antrim Dress was released on Sept. 1, 2020 and will be 20% off for one week (through Sept. 7, 2020. )

Itch to Stitch Antrim Dress worn by Sharon Sews in a DBL striped knit

This striped version was the first one I sewed. It's a double brushed poly knit that I found at Walmart of all places. It was one of those pre-cut bundles they offer for sale. I purchased it to use when testing the fit of a knit garment. 

After sewing the dress I realized I rather liked the final dress and added it to my closet. 

This dress pattern, a PDF by the way, is available in sizes 00 to 40, with multi cup sizes.  Well you know how I love a well-drafted pattern than allows me to eliminate doing my own FBA!   And I think it's fantastic that the designer has expanded the size range as this dress appears to be flattering on everyone.  Have a look at all of the tester photos in this blog post!

Itch to Stitch Antrim Dress in striped floral DBL knit worn by sharon sews in front of garage

I've always been a bit hesitant about wearing cross over bodices due to the potential for - ahem - over exposure. If you know what I mean :-)   The beauty of the multi-cup sizes on this knit dress pattern means I can be comfortable leaning over knowing I won't be sharing more than I wish with the world. 

I also like the length of the sleeves as they are great for transitioning into cooler weather.

Itch to Stitch Antrim Dress in striped DBL knit back view worn by sharon sews

The waistline detail is created with two waistband pieces. The outer waistband is gathered at the side seams and basted to an inner flat band before being sewn to the bodice and skirt.  You'll want to make sure you choose a knit that isn't too heavy as there is a bit of bulk at the seams due to all of the layers.

Use a light to medium weight knit fabric with 50% to 60% stretch and very good recovery.  The DBL knit fabric worked well for this dress. It was also easy to sew. I don't typically like double brushed knits as they are warm to wear, but I figured it would be great for a season transition dress.

After sewing this one I decided to try the dress out of an ITY to see if it fit differently.  I had this floral ITY in my stash, a previous purchase from Fabric Mart Fabrics. 

Itch to Stitch Antrim Dress in Floral ITY Knit from Fabric Mart Fabrics worn by Sharon Sews with Skirt blowing in wind

I love the look of this floral moving into the fall season.  This particular ITY was rather slippery and difficult to sew. I've only purchased a "slippery" ITY knit one other time. Usually it's a breeze to sew - and wear. 

The neckline was more difficult to finish with this knit. Again I'm sure it was due to the nature of the fabric. You do have an option of using a knit lining for the neckline facing band, which, in retrospect, I should have used. 

If I pair this with boots and a cardi, I'll be able to wear this through the winter season also. 

Itch to Stitch Antrim Dress in Floral ITY Knit from Fabric Mart Fabrics worn by Sharon Sews

Did I mention the pockets?  I like that they are deep - you can fit your entire hand (or phone) inside - and they are attached to the front waistband so they don't flop around inside. 

Back view Itch to Stitch Antrim Dress in FLoral ITY KNit worn by sharons sews

This dress is another favorite to add to my growing list of favorite Itch to Stitch designs!

I like the designs so much that I am now an affiliate. That means if you purchase an Itch to Stitch pattern using my affiliate link I receive a small commission - at no extra cost to you.

Here is the link to the Antrim Dress pattern.

By the way, I did receive a copy of this PDF pattern at no charge because I was a pattern tester. The designer only asks for feedback on the fit and construction as well as a photo that can be used on the Itch to Stitch website.  Writing this blog post is not a requirement. I do so because I love the dress and want to share it with y'all!

Wishing you a blessed day!

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Monday, July 27, 2020

My New Favorite Summer Dress ~ The Celeste Dress by Itch to Stitch

After months of casual at-home attire I was ready for a comfy, yet cute look! When a testing call went out for the new Celeste Dress by Itch to Stitch I applied.  I liked the design lines and knew this would be something I could wear in place of my current at-home attire.

Okay, let's get real. My casual at-home look had gotten rather sloppy.  On a daily basis I was donning cut-off jean shorts, tees and skipping the hair and makeup.  I mean with no reason to leave the house it was easy for me to slide into a sloppy look under the pretext of being comfy.  Yes, it was incredibly comfortable. But so is this dress.  Plus wearing a dress makes me want to fix my hair and add some makeup. 
The dress is described as " a relaxed-fit dress with flattering lines. It features a pleasing V neck, feminine princess seams, high-waisted center-front gathers, ample pockets and breezy short sleeves."  Here is the line drawing.

I was a bit concerned about the center-front gathers wondering if they would make that skirt section pouf out. I'm happy to report that I found the gathers over my tummy to disguise rather than emphasis my tummy area.  I do think you need to pay attention to your fabric choice as too thick of a fabric may not drape as nicely as mine.
The dress is designed for light- to mid-weight non-stretch woven fabrics, including linen, linen blends, cotton blends, chambray and poplin.

My fabric is a rayon print from Hawaii Fabric Mart. You may recognize the print as it's identical to the one I used to sew my March Maxi Dress challenge. Just in a different colorway.  (That dress was blogged about here

One thing that attracted me to this pattern was the multi-cup sizing. After 20 years of doing FBAs, I've become pretty proficient at that alteration. That being said, I do appreciate a well drafted pattern that allows me to skip that alteration. This designer's patterns fit me pretty well with minimal adjustments as long as I choose my size based on the measurements provided.
I did sew a muslin, something I usually don't take time to do.  Mainly to check the fit in the bust area.  I choose my size based on the measurements and after putting on my test garment, I decided to go up a size. The decision to go up a size is based on my personal preference of looser fitting clothing.

Here is my fit my dusty mirror ;-)
There is an invisible zipper in the left side seam, that extends from under the arm to the top of the pocket. Most of the pattern testers found they could easily get the dress on and off without the use of the zipper. I can also, but with my large bust it's easier to use the zipper.  I would suggest basting the side seams and testing if you can get this on and off before taking time to add the zipper.

The front bib area is completely interfaced and faced. It makes for a nice clean look inside the garment.  The instructions for the v-neckline ensure a sharp vee at the center front.
As is pretty common in the sewing community, I'm a fan of pockets. This dress has pockets sewn to the upper and lower side pieces.
That back view. 
I made no alterations to this dress. For reference, this is designed for someone 5' 6", and I'm an inch shorter.  I'm pretty pleased with the fit and am extremely pleased with the cuteness and comfy factor.

I plan on sewing myself another, probably in a linen. After all, it is still July and where I live we will likely experience another two months of warm weather.

Blessings from Texas!

P.S If you purchase the pattern through my affiliate link I receive a small commission - at no extra cost to you! Itch to Stitch Celeste Dress pattern (affiliate link) ~
P.S. As a pattern tester, I received a copy of this pattern at no cost, however I was under no obligation to write a blog post or film a video review.  As a tester, I provided feedback to the designer on the construction process and fit.

P.S. I did put a video review on my YouTube channel if you want to see the movement of the dress.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

A Video Tour of my Sewing Space

If you're like me, you enjoy viewing where others create. You know, seeing where the magic takes place! Since I like viewing those YouTube videos where others have so generously shared their space, I wanted to give back and share my space with the sewing world.
For many, many years I sewed out of a corner of a dining room or bedroom.  I stored fabric on a rolling cart (probably designed to serve cocktails or appetizers), and sewing notions in cardboard shoe boxes. I hung bobbins on nails on the wall (hmmmm, guessing the landlord wasn't too thrilled with that idea) and pinned the pattern instructions to the wall behind the machine. You make do with what you have and this sewing arrangement served me well for more than 20 years.
To have an entire spare bedroom  dedicated to my craft was a dream come true. This room is larger than the spare bedroom I used in our home in Minnesota. And I have tell you - it's an amazing space. I love spending time there.
Grab a cup of coffee - or a glass of wine - and sit back and enjoy my video sewing room tour!

Here's the link to the YouTube video: Sharon Sews Sewing Room Tour

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Tuesday, July 07, 2020

A Pink Cape Back Top - McCall's 7541 Pattern Review

Over the past few years I've sewn - and purchased - a few tops with an attached back cape design feature. Such as the blue Butterick 6490 top  and the black Vogue 8907 top, that were both sewn and blogged in 2017.  My latest cape back top is this one sewn from a pink knit.
McCall's 7541 in Pink Knit worn by Sharon Sews
This is McCall's 7541, released in 2017 and now out of print (OOP).
McCall's 7541 Pattern Cover
It's a loose-fitting, pullover top with an attached overlay aka the cape. 
McCall's 7541 in Pink Knit worn by Sharon Sews
The fabric suggestions are challis, crepe de chine, crepe, and stable knits.  I choose to sew this in a light weight stable knit I purchased two years ago from SR Harris in Minnesota.  Because SR is a fabric warehouse, fabrics typically do not have the fiber content listed. I purchased the end of the bolt of this pink gingham knit and tucked inside was this fabric tag.
There are four views to choose from and as you can see they are pretty similar.
McCall's 7541 Line Drawings show four views
I sewed View B, the one with the shorter, curved "sleeves" and the longer back overlay with no darts or pleat.
Back View of McCall's 7541 Cape Top Sharon Sews

The front of the top is also an overlay. Meaning there are two layers in the front. The front and back cape are attached to the bottom layer (top) at the neck seam and side seams. The bottom layer is basically a sleeveless top.
Front View with arms extended showing overlay of McCall's 7541 Sharon Sews
Because the front and back overlays are separate pattern pieces you could sew them in a sheer fabric for a different look. Also keep in mind that the wrong side of the fabric will show.

I have to admit that I messed up where the "sleeve" portion of the overlay is attached to the front of the top. I didn't mark it clearly and ended up being off when I stay stitched and clipped. I tried to fix it a couple of times and finally gave up telling myself it was good enough. And it is. Honestly, unless someone sews the chances of them noticing this slight pucker is pretty minimal.
I choose to not do a full bust adjustment based on the description of "loose-fitting" and the flat pattern measurement at the bust line. I will do a small FBA next time as this top pulls up slightly when I wear it. I think I'd be more comfortable with a little extra room.
McCall's 7541 in Pink Knit worn by Sharon Sews
Although the top is really fun to wear (as in I want to spin around and around and around) I should have realized that a 100 percent polyester knit top would be incredibly uncomfortable to wear in 90 (and above) degree temps plus high humidity.  Even indoors, unless the a/c is set really low. Which ours is not because then I have to pay a high electric bill and there is less money for fun stuff, like fabric :-)
McCall's 7541 in Pink Knit worn by Sharon Sews
Since this pink one is a bit too warm to wear right now, I guess that means I will just have to sew myself another one!

Check out the twirl factor of this top - along with the other tops I sewed in June - on my YouTube channel Sharon Sews.

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