Burda Reversible Jacket #120 from the 01/2016 issue in Paisley Faux Suede

I have made a new jacket.
On this beautiful Spring day, surrounded by blooming dogwoods, I have finished one of my winter planned items.  Sewing for winter?  In March?  Ahhhhh!  Guess one can look at it that I'm really really late for this year's season.... or really really early for next year's?!  ;)  With our South Carolina transitional weather, it's a wearable item right now.  Today I am wearing it with a rtw top and one of the Ottobre no. 14 pants.
Anyway, this is another Burda Reversible Jacket #120 from the 01/2016 issues in washable faux suede.  A boxy jacket with simple lines, you can read more about its construction details here in the post I wrote when I made my first one.  I again, made a size 38 with no modifications.  You can also find the pattern online here
Photo credit Burdastyle
Burda made their jacket out of faux fur.  I like the top's collar at the neck they paired with this jacket and may keep that in mind for a future top.
Photo credit Burdastyle
I like this pattern because it finishes as a fully lined, all seams enclosed jacket, not because it can be 'reversible'.  This jacket will only be worn paisley faux suede side out.
The lining fabric is inexpensive satin purchased at my local WalMart for $1.97 yard.  Beware, this stuff shreds!  You don't even have to touch it to watch it shred!  But living in a small rural town, I am so lucky to have a WalMart nearby that has a fabric department.... and this satin was a perfect color match!  I chose to sew the matte side as the 'right side' of the satin for my lining, as I knew the fabric would be seen and did not want the shiny shiny look peeking out.  The washable paisley faux suede came from Hancock's.  I have to confess, I did hold my breath as I pre-washed this pretty faux suede wondering if I was ruining my fabric, but it washed well and was even dried in the dryer.  Now that the fabric is a jacket, I'll be washing it in cold water, on the delicate cycle of my washing machine and hanging to dry.  I'm much more brutal on my fabric pre-washing/pre-drying than after the garment is made.  If the fabric is going to shrink, fade, become misshapen or whatever, I want it to happen during the pre-wash/pre-dry process..... not after pouring time and effort into the garment to see the fabric misbehave.
Side view.  I did a better job of setting in the sleeves on this jacket as I wasn't in such a rush to finish this one.  :)
Back view.  Not sure why my camera did not focus properly here, but at least you can see the jacket's back shape.  I did a better job of finishing the back on this one too.  Burda has you leave @7" opening in the back hem for the turning of the jacket and finishing of sleeve hems, then you slip-stitch it closed.
Using my threads Sewing Guide book to learn the finer details of the Slipstitch hand sewing method, instead of haphazardly sewing the seam closed, produced a beautiful finish.  Because of the satin's severe shredding, and not wanting to leave any needle holes on my lining, I (finally!) thought to use my Clover Wonder Clips to hold my work.  Why has it taken me so long to use those?!
The faux suede gives this jacket a little more body, but it still feel like an unstructured, informal easy to throw on and go jacket.  Haven't put a closure on this one and not sure I will.
This pretty dogwood, along with distant mountain views, was my backdrop today.  We have a second story deck that wraps around our home and it's such a treat when this particular dogwood blooms, as it grows right next to the deck and you can simply look down and enjoy its blooms.
Like this.  :)
Happy Sewing Everyone!


Another Plantain and Ottobre 02/2015, no. 14 loose-fit pants

Spring seems to have finally arrived in our beautiful mountains of South Carolina so Tom and I hiked the 1 mile Oconee Bell Nature Trail at our local Devil's Fork State Park this past weekend specifically to see the rare Oconee Bells in bloom.  This trail is very wooded and descends to a meandering creek where the moist area is always cool, so my new Plantain and Ottobre no. 14 pants kept me warm without suffocating me.
These endangered lovelies are what brought us into the woods this day.  They are one of the rarest wildflowers in America and are only found in certain locations in the Southern Appalachians.  We are blessed to have them thriving nearby.  If you are interested in seeing more photos, click here to take you to my South Carolina Photo Journal site.
The Plantain, a free .pdf pattern download, seems to be my go-to long sleeve tee pattern at the moment.  It's a 3/4 sleeve pattern that's easy to lengthen.
 I'm not sure it's the most flattering 'look' on me, but it's a quick sew with only 3 pattern pieces, serged seams and flat sewn-in sleeves.  I used my sewing machine's decorative stretch stitch again for hemming.  This technique seems to be working out well on knits.  Much better than a twin-needle stitched hemming which usually channeled and pulled the fabric.  Sewed the size 38 with 1/4" serged seams, raised the neckline 1/2" and finished the binding a little different this time.  Can't seem to find the tutorial I used, but with this stretchy knit fabric, I was afraid my neckline would be too stretchy so after I cut the binding pattern's piece, I hand-walked it around the neckline, added my seam allowances, subtracted @15% then cut for length.  This way you are in control of how your neckline will lay depending on the stretch of your knit.   Applied the neckline binding using Deepika's Narrow Binding on Necklines in Knit Fabric tutorial. It is the prettiest finish.  Fabric was purchased at Hancock's.
This also seems to be the season for Ottobre's 2/2015 issue elastic waist no. 14 Loose Fit pants.  Love 'em!  Sewed size 38, 1/4" serged seams, with my skinny leg version.... narrowed and lengthened 2 ".  No topstitching on these as the fabric was so heavy.  Also no full butt adjustment.  Yay!  After Christmas, when I got my Fitbit, I decided instead of modifying patterns to fit me, I needed to change a few areas of my body with healthier eating and exercise.  The Fitbit has been a great tool for me.
The pants are out of the best fabric for hiking that I bought at Wal-Mart for $2.50 yard.  Used 2 yards.  They are a thicker woven, with a little stretch and the inside is flannel.  So, on a chilly morning in the mountains, you are toasty warm and when bending down to take photos of pretty flowers your pants don't ride down in the back.  Double win!
Here I'm wearing the pants with a rtw hi/low top..... and not so sure I like the front of this top after seeing these photos.  Photographing outfits has been incredibly helpful in seeing myself as others see me.
The self-fabric in-seam pockets are made with the flannel side toward the pocket's interior to keep my hands warm.  It makes for a little bulky look at the sides, but that's okay as this pair of pants is more a knock-around/hiking pair of pants and not necessarily a go-to-town pair of pants.  The inside serged seams shows what happens when one doesn't have proper serger thread.  I kind of like this look though!  No one but me knows the 'insides' match my outfit too, right?!
With this Plantain being my 4th version and pants my 5th..... methinks I've met this month's Make a Garment a Month's challenge.  Definitely 'more'!  :)
And after our hike, my husband and I enjoyed a thermos of hot coffee sitting on these rocks looking out over Lake Jocassee.
My sweet husband, who is not at all keen about cameras, took these photos of me on the trail.
Happy Sewing Everyone!


Burda 1/2016 #120 Reversible Jacket

This quick and easy jacket has already been put to hardworking use in the wardrobe.  Not only has it been worn to my niece's Florida wedding, chosen and sewn to specifically be worn with the Newlook 6261 classic sheath dress you see here, but worn as a nice casual jacket for these warm, yet still cool South Carolina Spring days.  Okay, almost Spring days.  I am sooooo ready for Spring!  This jacket is from the January 2016 Burda issue labeled #120 Reversible Jacket.
This color makes me feel happy. 
Hmmmm, not sure what happened here.  Looks a little sloppy.  You can see this is a boxy shaped jacket. 
Can you believe this is the photograph in the magazine, below?!  A really cute reversible faux fur jacket.  The European Burda magazine is not available in my local market, so I had ordered the January 2016 issue from a Canadian Etsy shop.  Perfect timing!  This was a first to make a garment from a Burda magazine.  Their lines are drawn differently than Ottobre's, but after a while your eyes adjust, sort of like looking at an optical illusion drawing, and your pattern 'emerges' to trace.
Photo Credit Burdastyle
Looking at the line drawing below, you'll see I chose this jacket for it's simplicity, boxiness and classic, with a twist 'look'.  3 pattern pieces, bust darts, sew one out of your fashion fabric, sew another out of your second fabric..... sew together following Burda's very specific instructions (these were easy to follow) and voila..... you've got a reversible (lined) jacket in a few hours.  You can find the pattern here. I sewed a size 38 with no modifications.
Photo credit Burdastyle
The sleeve hem, particularly, turned out really nice.  It sort of rolled over on itself, like this below, and finishes off nicely at your wrists.
The wedding event was February 27, and this was begun February 24 and finished on February 25 in 2 afternoons of furious sewing.  5/8" seam allowances serged in most places except for the hem.  Those edges were serged then stitched at 5/8" because of the way the jacket is finished.
These lovely sleeves from the Newlook 6261 were what I kept in mind when choosing the pattern for the jacket.  No one wants their pretty sleeves smooshed!  Because Burda had shown the jacket as outerwear, I figured that meant the jacket sleeves would be roomy enough to accomodate some sort of sleeves underneath..... and it was.
A side view.  The bust darts blend nicely with the chevron texture.
The pretty corals coordinates well with the birds.
Burda has you finish the closure with a snap, but I chose this pretty pin-on brooch instead.  Thought it added to the 'formal' look and with it being a family piece, most appropriate to wear to my niece's wedding.
The biggest mistake I made, in my haste, traced 5/8" seam allowances on the center back fold AND had cut out my fashion fabric before I noticed my HUGE mistake!  See photo below.... that seam allowance should NOT be there at the fold.  :(
This was already a roomy boxy jacket and the last thing I needed was extra fabric in the back.   Of course I'd already carefully placed the chevron textured design to be centered in the back.  *insert big cry here* 
Just as I was about to cut into the fabric and make a center back seam, I thought to check my scraps and be still my heart but there was juuuuust enough to cut a new back with the chevrons, again, carefully centered.  *insert big squeal here* :)
The textured crepe fashion fabric was purchased from Hobby Lobby's clearance table for $3.00/yard 60" wide.  I bought 2 yards.  There was a great search to find lining fabric to coordinate with the fashion fabric and was happy to finally find it at Joann's.  Most times I try to snap a photo on my iphone to remind me of fabric information and this time I did not forgot. 
Inside out to show all the lovely finished seams.  That is what I wanted..... the inside to be 'finished' with no seams showing. 
This jacket will probably never be worn 'reversible', but it's satisfying to know how pretty the inside is finished.
Love, love, love this coral color!  The jacket, coupled with the dress, was most comfortable at the outdoor Florida wedding venue and I look forward to wearing this ensemble to church, as well as wearing the jacket as casual wear sans brooch.
Happy Sewing Everyone!


a perfect dress to wear to a wedding - the classic sheath | Newlook 6261

This dress.  What to say about this dress.  I LOVE it!  Newlook pattern 6261 did not disappoint!  A lovely figure hugging silhouette with plenty of room to move, this classic sheath dress is a star in my book!
The outdoor wedding in sunny Florida was this past weekend and, *gasp*, not one photo was taken at the wedding with the exception of a lone selfie.  I hang my head in shame.  So today, I'm wearing exactly what I wore to the wedding to show you.  Isn't the coral jacket a terrific addition to this dress?!  It was a quick make that I'll talk about it in the next post later this week, because today I want to talk about The Dress.  (You can read about the jacket here)
Pearl earrings, bracelet and necklace add to the formal nature.
The little sleeves were just right.  This was the only design modification I made to the pattern.
Love the colors..... and the birds!  This dress was supposed to be my muslin, but instead became The One.  :)
This terrific pattern was purchased at my local Wal-Mart for $2.97.  A deal!  There are a couple of variations of necklines, length and sleeves.  The banding around the waistline is popular now, but I chose to aim for a 'classic' look.  The 100% cotton Waverly Inspiration Fabric also came from WalMart and cost $3.97/yard.  This dress only needs 1 5/8 yards.  You can read reviews about this pattern on Pattern Review here.
My measurements fall between a 12 bodice and 14 hip, so I cut a straight 14 thinking I was leaning more to that size and in hindsight, think it would've been smarter to cut a 12 in the bodice and grade to a 14 hip because I ended up taking the bodice in under the arms with a slightly wider seam allowance in the shoulders to bring up the bust darts.....
.....and added darts in the back neckline on each side of the invisible zipper because the neckline seemed large on me.  I used an Ottobre sheath dress pattern I had on hand that had back neckline darts to trace.  Oh, and why did I have an Ottobre sheath dress pattern on hand? you may ask.  Because I was fretting big time that this dress would not look right for a formal wedding and spent an entire afternoon tracing the Ottobre pattern, prepping fabric and readying to change gears!!!  I'm glad I didn't now, and settled in to making this dress work.  You can see one of the darts in the photo below.  Come to think of it I also narrowed the center back before inserting the invisible zipper.  The facings are interfaced and stitched and then turned right-side out for a nice clean finish with no raw edges.
I must have a narrow trunk and a narrow back? as the front seemed to almost need a pleat, there was so much fabric floating around.  Asking for help through Instagram, the consensus agreed with the lovely Carolyn to definitely not add a pleat as that would alter the classic sheath look.  Barbara suggested a slight gathering eased into the facing and that is sort of what I did.  I cut the facing a smidgeon (how's that for specifics!) shorter than the neckline and eased it in when stitching. 
The neckline still seems a little wide, but definitely wearable.  Thank you so much to all the sweet ladies who helped me with this!  I appreciate each and everyone who took the time to think about a solution to my problem.  :)
Let's take a look at the short short sleeves.  The pattern's short sleeves still seemed a little longer than what I wanted, even though initially I thought I wanted a sleeveless dress.  It's a woman' perogative to change her mind, right?! 
So I shortened the short sleeves.  You can see, in the photo below, I used the grainline for the new bottom of the sleeve.  The new traced sleeve pattern is to the bottom.  Truth be told, I thought it was going to be more like a cap sleeve than a short, short sleeve, but I like the way it turned out.
Sleeves are also lined with a crepe backed satin fabric that gave them beautiful shape.  You can see better with the dress turned inside out below. 
Little birds were carefully placed on each top edge of the sleeves facing me because I thought it'd be fun to add a whimsical factor to a formal dress. 
Not only have I never made a fitted dress before, but I've never inserted an invisible zipper..... and what in the world has been wrong with me as this was such an easy zipper application compared to a regular zip. 
One thing that has always given me pause, is that I do not have an invisible zipper foot for my machine.
Using these resources below, it was oh-so-easy to put in.  I especially liked the basting first idea from SunnyGal.  That sort of stabilizes everything for the final stitching.

Sew Serendipity:  Don't fear the invisible zipper tutorial

SunnyGal Studio: invisible zipper you don't scare me

Inside out front and back.  Seams were 5/8" and the edges were serged then ironed open.  I wore a slip underneath as there was not enough time for lining.  Added a little hook and eye at the top of the invisible zip.
One last thing, the hem.  The pattern has a shorter and longer length choices for the dress and I wanted the longer version because this was a formal affair and thought it'd give me room to decide on the perfect length for me with a nice deep hem.  Welllllll, for some reason I cut the front for the 'shorter' and the back for the 'longer' length so that messed up that!  So be careful and double check that you are cutting on the right line for the length you want if you make this pattern!  Not wanting to see a serged edge, I encased the fabric in a ribbon for hems and blind-stitched hemmed on the machine.  If you've never tried the blind-stitch setting on your machine, please do as it stitches an almost invisible hem oh-so-fast. 
Knowing we had a 10 hour car trip ahead of us, and wanting everything to be ironed all fresh and neat before wearing..... not only did I not iron my dress and jacket before we left..... but also left Tom's crisp white shirt to be ironed at the hotel.  And this is what I had to work with at the hotel!  We've stayed at Hampton Inns many times, and there's always a full-sized, stand-up ironing board in each room.  Not this time. Surely, oh surely the front desk could provide me with a full-sized ironing board one would think.  But oh no.  I was told this, below, was it.  It is sitting on the bed and I put my shoes on there for a size reference for you.  I thought I was going to cry. 
If that wasn't bad enough..... while I was trying to manipulate the garment around to iron it..... I noticed a long stray thread that kept pulling out.... more and more.... at the bottom of the invisible zipper where there is a lot of (ahem!) pressure!  I'd neglected to lock my seam at the bottom of the invisible zipper and it was continuing to pull out..... and I'd not brought any needle nor thread with me.  This time the front desk came through and provided me with this little sewing kit.  Whew!  Wardrobe malfunction averted!  Note to self, always pack a little sewing kit from now on.  :)
This dress completes my Make a Garment a Month Challenge for February
And the lone selfie taken at the wedding.   :)
I'll be posting information on the jacket next.
UPDATE 3.02.2016:  The jacket post has been published and can be read here.
Happy Sewing Everyone!