Crossover Culottes – summertime!

f11

I’m a dedicated browser of BurdaStyle.com – their designs fit me really well, they add patterns frequently, and, if I’m looking for a particular style, I can usually find it somewhere in their collections.  And, IMHO, their summer patterns are much more creative and interesting than those being offered by the Big Four (boring boring boring). My latest find is this really cute culotte pattern,  2018-06-103A.

envelope-down

BS6770 Line Art

 

 

The ‘look’ reminds me of the Burda 6770 wrap pants (posted here).

I made a couple pairs of these last summer, and wore them out. Now I think I need some more! but that’s for later.

Back to the culottes…

These are not skorts! Check out the super nice crossover tab element, the subtle front pleats, and the big pockets.

f22

Sewing notes:

  • This lovely cotton twill is from Fabric Mart, the elusive ‘NY Designer. It is so soft and doesn’t really wrinkle, just rumples a bit. I drafted my pattern with 1/2″ seam allowances and serged all of them after cutting, since twill tends to ravel.
  • I thought the fit might be a bit tricky, so I drafted my first version in size 40, using the Burda size charts. My muslin was much too large in the hips and waist, although the crotch length and curve were fine. Rather than adjust my tissue, I went back and drafted size 38. Bingo!
  • Even the back fits really well. Whew.

b11

  • The pattern has an invisible zipper in the left side seam, but I simply cannot wear zippers against my skin. So I used the left pocket and snaps for access and closure. This is the only change I made to the pattern.

collage

  • The instructions are typically cryptic and worth reading several times before starting the project 🙂
  • A tip: there are a lot of seams, folds, and fabric going into the faced waistline. Clipping out the seam allowance really helps to reduce bulk. After the clipping, but not shown here, I also layered the seam allowances.

SA clipping

Parting shot: demonstrating the pants leg, with assists. Remember those Vogue pattern poses a few years ago?

f33

Ciao! Coco

Goes with jeans…

3

What to do with white french terry?

My intention was to make a robe – a fresh white robe just feels wonderful after a shower. However, I discovered that I only had 3 yards of fabric (huh, I really did mean to order 5 yards). Time to re-think this project.

I’ve been toying with the idea of a long button-front cardigan, a mix of the Ready to Sew Jamie Cardigan and the Blackwood Cardigan from Helen’s Closet. I don’t have the Jamie pattern, and the Blackwood is very slim, so I trolled the stash. Voila! Burda Style 09/2016 #119.

line art

Yes, I made changes!

  • I left off the collar and drafted 2″ wide facings for the front and back neckline.
  • The original sleeve is very wide at the armscye and connects at the natural waist. I narrowed mine by 7″ on the front and back seam, which gave a nice kimono sleeve.

8

  • I was short on fabric so I made a two-piece pocket with fun topstitching.

6

  • And I cut 10″ off the bottom, which I refashioned into a 4″ wide hem band.
  • For closure, I used 5/8″ buttons with silver #4 sew-on snaps. Easy peasy 🙂

5

I admit I sewed this with some trepidation, not totally convinced I was making something I would enjoy. But I love it with jeans!

2

I used my Frixion pens all over this as I was sewing and fitting, so I laundered it again when it was finished. The cotton terry is so soft and rumply.

4

Yes, I still want that white robe. I just ordered more fabric, because Cali Fabrics only had 7 yards left when I went looking!

Bye for now, Coco

Knit fabric – playing with ponte

model 1

I love knit fabric! and feel very confident sewing jersey in all kinds of blends – rayon, cotton, polyester, and so on. But, ponte knits have stumped me at times. It’s an interlock double knit. A bit different, and I’ve had some magnificent failures, mostly due to my lack of practice with this fabric.

One thing I learned early on is that ponte di roma tends to come in two blends, poly/nylon/lycra and rayon (viscose)/nylon/lycra. I will never sew the poly blend again – did it once – it was awful, unpredictable, crazy stretchy, and not fun.  So I stick with the rayon blend. Having several nice pieces in my stash, I decided to get with the program. I.e., work with ponte, learn how to sew it, and understand the designs with which it works best. Time for a sacrifice with a couple yards of ponte from Fabric Mart.

I chose to use Burda Style 01/2018 #119. size 36 (it’s pretty boxy). It’s a hooded jacket, with a front zipper, and curved hems. I really like this pattern! and think it would be lovely in pink sweatshirt fabric. Check out that pleated dropped sleeve…

Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 6.28.45 PM-side

I modified my pattern to move the side seams to the outside, but kept everything else. I’ll use it again, but my focus here was on the fabric, not the pattern.

Sewing notes:

  • Technicalities: I used a size 80 universal needle in my sewing machine, and size 90 in my serger. I released the presser foot pressure on my sewing machine, since ponte is a bit thick, and used longer stitch, 2.8, and 3.0 for topstitching.
  • Also,  I sewed all my seams on the SM, and serged the seam allowances to finish. Ponte wants to stretch at the serger.
  • The pleated sleeve on my jacket – so easy., what a great design detail. I stitched the pleats down a bit to avoid ‘ballooning’ at the seamline.

sleeve pleats

  • I decided to stabilize curves and critical straight edges with knit tricot interfacing. On curved edges, I cut the interfacing across the horizontal, the stretchy pitch of the interfacing (neckline and curved hems). On straight edges (front edges, shoulders, and the straight edges of the hem), I used interfacing cut on its grain which has almost no stretch. On the pic below, the shoulder interfacing is cut on the grainline, while the interfacing on the neckline is cut horizontally.

stabilize 1

  • I drafted front and back neckline facings, also stabilized with interfacing. The facings a look so nice – no exposed seam lines, tape, or serging where the hood is attached to the jacket.

front inside

back inside

  • Some results! The front edges are super nice, no waving, and I could easily have inserted a zipper.

front

  • The lined hood is lovely and not too heavy for the jacket.

hood

  • This curved hemline is so pretty and reflects a lot of trial runs. In the end, I stabilized the edges, turned them up 3/8″, and topstitched them. Note: the pattern has bound hemline edges. I can’t imagine doing that with sweatshirt or any other fabric!

curved hem 1

stabilize 2

  • The sleeves – I ran out of fabric, so I just worked with the cuff and shortened sleeves.  The pattern has the sleeve gathered into a cuff, usual for a ‘sweatshirt’ style. And it worked out really well.

gathered cuff

  • Out of curiosity, I did two more tests: a cuff the same length as the sleeve edge, on the left, and a cuff with the sleeve edge stretched to fit. Interesting.

straight fit-side

  • On to buttonholes – a hoodie has them on the underside so that a cord can be inserted. I got the best results by using a piece of mid-weight non-woven fusible interfacing over the area on the inside, and stitching with the fusible facing the needle and the fabric against the feed dogs. Buttonholes in ponte are iffy anyway, because they tend to stretch out and take on an urban decay look.

Buttonhole

Last shot – I always have the TV in the background in the loft, usually a movie I’ve watched a gazillion times.

model 2

I’m really glad I did this, all 4 days of it! But there’s a payoff 🙂 And I hope you find this useful,

For now, Coco

Burda Style Wrap Coat and minky madness

emile

What was I thinking!

I’ve really been enjoying my fleece fabric adventures this year. So I went for the full Monty. During my recent trip to Orlando, I managed a visit to the Sewing Studio Super Store in Maitland. And in the Annex, I found this black minky plush, a real bargain at $4 a yard. Irresistible.

Note on the store: high-end knit and quilting fabrics, ditto the trims and so on, and more built-to-purpose specialized sewing machines than I’ve ever encountered in a fabric store. The Bargain Annex is spotty, and I felt lucky to go home with a piece of fabric.

The store put it in a big bag, and once home, I pulled it out to an absolute flurry of fleece fluff. As a starting point, here’s a pic of my constant companion during this project:

vacuum

I already had a pattern in mind, BurdaStyle 09/2016 #119 – a beautiful design, simple and elegant. I had recently worked on a muslin in sweatshirt fabric, so my confidence level was high.

line art

It’s so nice! I know it’s hard to see the details in black, but please squint a little.

5

6

Things I love: those kimono sleeves, the oversized pockets, and the set-in collar. About the collar. No way would I use this minky for a cut-on shawl collar, one that is an extension of the front, because of the treacherous clips at the shoulder. There shouldn’t be crying in sewing…

1

Sewing notes:

  • This is a challenging fabric because of the fluff stuff from cut edges. All my cut pieces went straight to the serger, and every single edge was serged before I even began sewing. Between my cutting area and the loft, I emptied my little vacuum twice. Even so, the fluff seemed to travel with me everywhere I went in the house! Takes patience…
  • I sewed a straight size 38.
  • Great fit!
  • I didn’t line the pocket, but I did face the top fold to stabilize it.
  • I shortened the length quite a bit. The original CB length is about 44″. I took off 5 1/2″. It just seems more balanced and interesting in the shorter length.
  • Incredibly, the coat has no front or neckline facing. I added both, self fabric without interfacing.
  • My sleeve and coat hems are a little less than 3/4″. I’ve found that a deep hem on fleece doesn’t always work well.

Machine settings:

  • I sewed all my seams with a long stitch (3.2 on my Juki) and topstitched with a 3.4 length.
  • And used a 90/14 ballpoint needle in my sewing machine. Also 90/14 universal needles in my serger.
  • I also decreased my presser foot pressure, from it normal 5 setting, to 2.

I had just enough fabric to make a neck scarf. This is hanging out on my sofa, it’s so warm on my neck.

scarf

I had just come home from the grocery when I took all these pics. It felt wonderful in that cold cold store!

3

Will I ever sew minky again? Sure. It was very messy, but I really like this coat!!

Ciao! Coco

B6251 Cute jacket!

j3

It’s perfect weather for working on jackets and coats.

This was quite a project. This pattern is intended for sweater knits, ponte, and blanket knits. The latter led me to try this in poly sherpa fleece. Interesting…

It’s a nice pattern with unexpected collar options. Views A and B have an attached collar, whereas views C and D have a ‘traditional’ shawl collar (the front extends into the collar).

B6251 line art

Just for giggles, here’s the line art from last year’s B6406 – exactly the same as views B and C on B6251. Go figure.

B6402 line art

Anyway…I did a muslin of this several years ago, view A, the jacket, in a very stable ponte from Girl Charlee.

e1

I found that the center front ended right at my crotch (I hate that word). And that the collar turned very nicely in the ponte. I even did buttonholes!

e3

I tried to use that info on this fleece version, and was partly successful. I added 2″ to the length and also lowered the CF curve by 1.5″. The jacket ends in a nice place in front – but the collar is just too bulky to do a natural fold.

j1

j2

Lemonade! Actually, I love this with the collar up! It’s so warm on the back of my neck.

j4

It’s meant to have a 3-snap closure, but for now they’re on order from Wawak. No way am I attempting buttonholes in fleece. This jacket will live in my car, to be grabbed for that cold cold trip into the grocery. The place that will trigger my Raynoud’s syndrome if I don’t wrap up (pic is from last December, after shopping for Xmas groceries). I asked once – they keep the A/C on 70 degrees.

Raynauds Dec 2016 (2)

Moving on – the ponte coat fail, BurdaStyle 90/2010 #127. I love the design and style, but it is just too big for me, even after I re-drafted it. I think the issue is that I used 4-way stretch ponte. It just keeps growing. It’s not meant for a knit, but I just had to try it 🙂 It’s so pretty.

c2

Parting shot: my Three Kings Day zygo cactus. Our cool weather kicks in a little late for Christmas blooms.

p1

What next? After a rather rocky start to 2018 sewing, I’ll have to think about that a bit. Tempting me – I still have a taxi yellow fleece in my stash. Outrageous, right?!

taxi

Ciao! Coco