11.02.2018

Mini-capsule wardrobe item #5 | a Re-fashion

Do you have that odd piece of clothing that doesn't fit your needs anymore..... that maybe hangs isolated in the closet, never to see the light of day?  This skirt began as one of those not-so-loved-anymore garments..... but not now!  This cutie is already much loved and will be worn.... lots!! 
The idea for this skirt began percolating in my head as I planned the mini-capsule wardrobe for this Fall, knowing I needed a fitted skirt in the charcoal gray color scale to be worn with tops tucked in/or out.  When I saw the Burda 02/2017 #117 Skirt pattern here, here and here it made me think of the elastic-waist NewLook 6192 skirt  I made back in Fall 2016, fully lined with in-seam pockets, and though it was worn from time to time, it always felt a little 'clunky' so it's been hanging in my studio..... taking up valuable real estate on the rack, just waiting for the right project to come along to transform it into something useful.   My weight is down more than 15 pounds from 2016 and the elastic waist felt bulky and all bunched up, particularly in the back where my back is narrow anyway..... so a re-fashion into this cute Burda skirt seemed like a good plan.  But oh my goodness, I had no idea how much (extra!) work a re-fashion could be!
Everything from the old skirt was incorporated into the new skirt..... even the waistband.  I began by unpicking the elastic waist waistband to preserve the fabric in both the skirt and waistband.  The NewLook skirt was already a little short and I did not want to go any shorter.  Then I carefully cut apart the side seams and laid everything on my newly traced Burda pattern pieces.   I traced a size 36 waist, graded to a size 38 at the hips flaring out the hem just a little.  This is a pencil skirt pattern with a vent and I wanted more of an A-line skirt with no vent.  The faux pockets and the diagonal seamlines act as a sort of curved dart to help with shaping, so these had to be cut from a leftover piece of this fabric squirreled away in the stash as my NL skirt did not have enough.  Initially thought about eliminating these and make a simple skirt without these features, but thought the shaping would be nice.  It is.
Decided to use a center lapped all-purpose zipper instead of an invisible zip because of not feeling confident of sewing an invisible zip without that darn pucker at the end.  Kind of proud of this zipper application here.  One thing I really like about Burda patterns, is  that their back skirt pieces are always narrower than the front.  For instance..... when this skirt is hung on a hanger, you cannot hang it by centering the skirt off the side seams.  The front is a little wider overall than the back.  I need this type of fit.
This skirt was a roller-coaster ride of emotions.  First I thought it was going to be too small..... then I just knew it was going to be too big..... all to find out when the lining was installed it fit just right.  Goldilocks Syndrome in a good way!!  I used the old NL skirt lining pieces eye-balling where the darts and shaping were and simply turning them under.  The only thing I did not think about is the extra flare at the NL skirt's hem.  You can't see any of that here, as the lining behaves itself well under the skirt, but I can feel the swishiness of the lining's flared-ness enclosed by the now much narrower skirt and may go back in and slim up the lining's side seams at a later date.  By the way..... the more I sew, the more I understand the importance of lining a garment.  I have a half slip, and once the waistband was partially installed I considered finishing this skirt as an unlined piece..... but wanting to stay true to my original plan went ahead and finished incorporating the old lining into the new skirt and found the entire fit was a more superior fit and finish.  Lining affects the fit and wearability of a garment in a big way.
A little note about the waistband..... the Burda waistband pattern was shorter than my skirt's top by a good couple of inches, so I unpicked the waistband side seams of the NL skirt and custom measured the Burda's skirt finished measurements both front and back and cut the new waistband off those measurements adding seam allowances at both sides.   And before I forget..... Catia, The Petite Cat's blog post about her cute version of this skirt, was most helpful in constructing my skirt.  I followed along with her photographs and that was nice to have a sort of visual help in making a Burda pattern.
Aren't these silver buttons perfect?!  Recently an elderly lady at church tearfully gifted me her beloved button collection.  She had realized she was unable to sew anymore and wanted her collection to go to someone who might understand their value and use them.  She evidently had made fitted business suits and jackets for herself back in the day and most of her buttons are of beauty and quality.  These are from her.
One of my goals for 2018 was to sew more fitted garments for myself, which meant I needed to learn how to better fit myself.  I've learned a lot this year and feel this skirt shows the improvement well.  An overall look of the skirt paired with the Burda top.  Our weather has been up, down and all around lately with today being rainy and gray outside, thus trying an indoor shot.
This completes another 2018 Burda Challenge for November....
.....and a Make a Garment a Month Challenge.
Almost done with the mini-capsule wardrobe.  Got an Itch-to-Stitch Hepburn Turtleneck and an Ottobre Cardi to go...... but in the meantime finishing up a Blank Slate Pattern/Melly Sews Women's V-neck Tshirt free pattern  because I desperately need new workout shirts and this is the type I like to wear.  It's all done but the neckband.
Happy Sewing All!  :)

10.11.2018

Mini capsule wardrobe item #4 | Burda 9/2018 #109 Jacket/Vest

A cut-on collar jacket/vest that couldn't be any easier to sew..... Burda 9/2018 #109 Jacket/Vest will be a great addition to the handmade wardrobe.
Meh... not thrilled with the way it looks closed but will probably appreciate this option on a cold day.
Feels much better loose.  You can see a little of the snaps in the photo below.  No pockets though.  My hands keep searching for pockets.  That is something that would be easy to add, but I'm calling these 'done'!
The last time few times you saw the vest/jacket it looked like this......
..... and this... all done just waiting for closures.  These are the snaps I used with the pattern only needing 2.  Also, I don't think I was supposed to sew the front facing seam all the way down to the hemline..... but I did because I did not want the insides flapping around.  There is no interfacing in this.  Super easy.
Kind of a boxy shape that is more boxier from my fluffy fleece being a little thicker fabric than the pattern's intent, but oh what a gloriously comfy, cuddly wear this is!!
Got my camera a little off screen, but think you can still see the overall fit of the back view.
Burda shows this jacket/vest in a soft pretty look that caught my eye from the September issue.
Burda 09/2018 #109 Jacket line drawing shows how I should have stopped the collar top-stitching at the neckline.  I made view A, size 36 with no modifications.
But what really gave me pause was piece #1.....
....the line drawing of course does not show seam allowances and by the time you add seam allowances the area of the collar dart/shoulder seam at the small #1 gets quite confusing......  at least to me....
.....particularly when the instructions have you 'clip allowances into corners, close to last stitches'..... only after 'stitch darts in fronts, not stitching across allowances at shoulder edges.'  I got stuck here for a bit.
Pondered a while, measuring, matching shoulder seam pieces finally decided to simply follow the instructions to 'stitch darts in fronts, not stitching across allowances at shoulder edges'.  So I stopped my dart stitching at the little 1 there in the corner.  Then clipped (look for the 'snip here' on my pattern) a vertical snip, through the seam allowance that was not stitched, 'close to the last stitches' on the dart.  Worked great!  Phew!!
Not much else to say about this cute little jacket/vest.  Think it will be a fun piece to wear...... when temps begin to cool down!!  Today's temps at the time of these photos were mid-80s F and climbing.  Hot and humid.  Surprisingly we were under a Tropical Storm Warning from Hurricane Michael coming up from the Gulf of Mexico.  So strange considering we live inland and in the mountains of South Carolina no less.  We are a very long distance from the Gulf of Mexico!  Shows how strong that storm was.  Most of it went around us but many in our surrounding area were without power, lots of flooding, downed trees and mudslides.
This completes an October Burda Challenge 2018......
..... and a Make a Garment a Month Challenge for October.  This is the 4th piece of my mini-capsule wardrobe AND the fabric has been marinating in the stash for a long time.
I'm deliberately trying not to photograph the mini-capsule wardrobe pieces together until all of them are complete, then I'll do a big wrap-up of everything.  In the meantime got a few more pieces to go...... like unpicking this lined elastic waist skirt that feels clunky to wear and re-making it using Burda 02/2017 #117.
Today's photos include the Itch to Stitch Hepburn TurtleneckOttobre Mini Skirtand Ottobre pants.

If you've missed the Mini-Capsule Wardrobe posts, you can find them here:
#1 - McCall's M5890
#2 - NewLook 6164
#3 - Burda 09/2018 #121 Faux Wrap Top

Happy Sewing All!  :)

10.08.2018

Mini capsule wardrobe item #3 | Burda 9/2018 #121 Faux Wrap Top

Pulling together a mini-capsule wardrobe piece by piece..... a faux wrap top will be a great addition to the collection.  Burda 9/2018 #121 Draped Jersey Shirt filled that need well.
Having made Ottobre Faux Wrap Dress earlier this summer, photo below... and dealing with a faux wrap that does not stay closed well..... I was super worried about the wearability of this top.  If you notice in the photo below, Ottobre's 'wrap' ends off-center anchored in the front skirt piece... whereas the Burda top's 'wrap' ends in the side seams... so that gave me hope.  I do absolutely adore the Ottobre dress and have enjoyed wearing it.... with a cami underneath!
There are 2 different views Burda shows of this cute top.... one here, and the second here.  When I first received my September issue, this cute top immediately caught my eye but feeling so wary about the gaping issue, was hesitant to make it.  In Burda's photo below left, you can see how the faux wrap ends in the side seam.... but under the waistline.... more in the hip area.... and that concerned me.... until I recently came across Hila from Saturday Night Stitch's YouTube video version of this top where she shows her first version that looked like she may have moved the 'wrap' up higher... to hit more under the bust at/above the waistline and really liked it.  (Her 2nd version is a lower hitting 'wrap') She also spoke of the tightness at the hips and tightness in the arms.  She's so little and in such great shape, she didn't need to modify any of that.... but I knew I would need to so graded from a size 36 bust/waist to a size 38 hips.  I did not add anything to the arm width because my fabric has a wonderful 4-way stretch but did take Hila's thoughts into consideration and only serged that seam at @1/4" seam allowance.  All my other seams are a 3/8" seam allowance stitched on the sewing machine using a walking foot, then run through the serger to 'neaten edges of allowances together'.  Oh, and I shortened the sleeves to 3/4 length and shortened the length of the top by 2".  But the biggest modification I did was to raise the wrap insertion in the side seams to at/above waist.... just under the bustline.  It wasn't hard to figure out and REALLY like the security it affords.  I've worn this top for the last 2 days to check out the modesty factor and have to say it's fantastic.  No problems at all.  Stays nice and shut without feeling restrictive.
Isn't this cut-on collar a delightful touch.  It will look terrific under jackets and cardis yet doesn't feel overwhelming around the neck.  Having just finished the cut-on collar construction of the Burda fuzzy fleece jacket recently, the instruction of cutting into the seam at neckline and shoulder seam didn't seem so odd.  Need to blog that jacket soon...... bad blogger!!
https://www.burdastyle.com/pattern_store/patterns/draped-jersey-shirt-092018
Burda's 9/2018 #121 Faux Wrap Top  is a fairly simple pattern to make.... once one gets over the hurdle of step #1. To cut into one side of the inner wrap to reduce bulk at the seam line.  I agonized over this step because as we all know.... once your fabric is cut, it is cut.  But remembering to trust in the pattern, as I seem to have to remind myself with each make!, the fretting stopped and the cutting began and step #1 was complete, then the next, then the next.... until the top came together and all made sense.   A couple of things I did do different than the instruction..... I did not gather to ease the sleeve caps.  Because of the stretch of my knit, and using lots and lots of pins, (and pinning carefully and accurately at sleeve cap points) I s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d the armscye fabric to meet the sleeve caps and was super pleased at how that turned out.  I am lousy at setting in sleeves using gathering stitches..... so this was a great alternative and am pleased with the result.  Hems were zigzagged.  No twin needle.
Fabric was purchased at my only-open-once-a-month fabric textile outlet All About Fabrics and it is absolutely divine.  Feels silky against the skin with the most lovely drape.  Here I am wearing it with a contrasting skirt to (hopefully!) show the top better.
And don't care one hoot about the pooling in the back because look at that awesome fabric pattern matching!!  Yes!!!!!  When purchasing the fabric I thought it had a generic non-repeat pattern..... but nooooooo it was a most definite eye-catching pattern in this fabric that was very prominent when trying to cut everything out.  Great care was taken in placing all pieces..... though my hair covers a bit of the back, you can still see the image is centered.  And notice how the back of the arms even match!  I am so happy!!  If you scroll back up and look closer at the front photos, you'll see how they are symmetrical too.  :)  This top will gets lots of wear!!
This top completes a make for the 2018 Burda Challenge  .....

....... and a make for Sarah Liz's Make a Garment a Month.  :)
So to recap the makings of this mini capsule wardrobe to-date.....
Mini capsule wardrobe item #1 M5890 top
Mini capsule wardrobe item #2 NewLook 6164 Skirt
Mini capsule wardrobe item #3
I'll try to finish the new fuzzy fleece Burda jacket to share details soon.  Been going back and forth on closures for it, otherwise it is complete.  Tried to sew a sample buttonhole the other day and this fluffy fleece is way too thick.  Then experimented with snap fasteners that use a pliers kit and again, afraid this double layer of fluff is just too thick.  Don't want to ruin this cute jacket right at the end, so think I'll just succumb to sew-on snaps.
It's continuing to be hot and humid here with temps consistently running 10 degrees F above normal.  I am so ready for Fall.  Not necessarily winter..... but Fall would be nice.
Happy Sewing All!  :)

9.26.2018

Mini capsule wardrobe item #2 | NewLook 6164 Skirt

How I did not know I needed a gray knit skirt in my wardrobe before is beyond me, as this little gem is easy to wear and goes with so much.
NewLook Pattern 6164 has been around for ages and looks like is now out of print.  For those who've been reading blogs for a while might remember Shannon, who used to blog at MushyWear Sewing Blog, who clearly felt this was a favorite by making up all the components of this pattern at one time or another.  That's why I purchased it so long ago, maybe early 2013?, having only made the cardigan back then way too big and not in a great choice of fabric print.  To be honest I'm not sure it's still in the closet today.  But this post isn't about the cardigan, but the skirt.  This is an elastic waist, 'for knits only' pencil skirt with a back vent.  My body shape does not wear pencil skirts well, so I modified the pattern by flaring out the sides a little and shortening it considerably.  Cut a size 12.
What drew me to the pattern was how the elastic waist seemed to lay nice and flat without any gathers in all the line drawings.  My waist is small compared to my hips, so mine seems to gather a bit in the waist area.  It doesn't really bother me as this skirt will always be worn with a belt or something like a cardi over the elastic waist.  I'm wearing the Ottobre Sculpture top with it today sans cardi to show you the details and fit.
So afraid I might look 'dowdy'..... I might've shortened the skirt a little too much?  Oops!  If I make it again it will probably be lengthened an inch or two.
The gray pontiroma from WalMart was in the stash, also from long ago, probably cost @$6.00.
A super quick afternoon make! 
Cannot seem to find the time to post the mini-capsule 'plans'.... but this completes item #2.
Already in strong rotation wearing it with Item #1 the McCall's M5890 top and a rtw cardi......
.....and the Simplicity 2188 Top.  After taking this photo the other day, I realized I'd neglected to iron it well.... thus the odd vertical lines.  That's all taken care of now...
..... and this is how it's worn today.  Thrifted rtw cardi and Ottobre top.  I've always like this little top and it's always looked better tucked in, than out.... so was thrilled to see I could enjoy wearing it again.  All because I needed a simple gray little skirt in the wardrobe.... just didn't realize it!
Coming up soon will be item #3 for the mini-capsule wardrobe, Burda 9.2018 #109 Jacket out of the comfiest furry fleece.  It's all done, just needs buttons/snaps.
Happy Sewing All!  :)
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