Monday, January 30, 2012

B5392 - Red Velveteen Jacket and "Faux" Burberry Skirt

The first time I attempted to make B5392 (OOP) jacket pattern in View D last year, it was a miserable failure because the sleeves were just a little too voluminous for me once I got the jacket made.  I felt like I had a balloon on each shoulder and all I need was a puff of wind to lift me off.  I did not have enough material to cut different sleeves since I used some leftover wool flannel from a different project.  It was a wadder.

  Fast forward to 2012. I have been wanting a red velveteen jacket similar to this beauty I saw last year at White House Black Market.  I love the gathered sleeves at the shoulder, the cropped length, and just the general shape of the jacket.  It is just all together awesome!!!

I bought some Toscana Velveteen in red from at the end of 2011 with plans to make a similar jacket.  It is such a pretty shade of true red.  It is showing up on my screen as more of a burgundy but, in reality, it is a bright red.
I decided to give B5392 another try, but in View C, since the sleeves are not flouncy like View D.  It has the general shape of the WHBM jacket even though the collar is different.  I never make muslins of jackets because I just fit them as I go.  I am sure I will pay for it one day, but until then, I will just continue happily along.  One thing I learned from this pattern is--never trust a pattern that only has only drawings on the front of the envelope!!!  I had read that suggestion before, but you know how sometimes you don't buy into something until it happens to you. 
    The body of the jacket went together with no problem.  I cut my normal size and just took in a little here and there on the seams until I got the fit I wanted.  The sleeves were a different matter.  Those pretty narrow sleeves that are shown in the drawing of View C are not the case in real life.  I got them set into the jacket and tried it on and they were HUMONGOUS  and WIDE.  I had take in an entire seam allowance on each sleeve seam, tapering up to the armhole.  It was take up, try on, take up, try on until I got them correct.  I suppose it really wasn't much more work than the fitting I did on the bodice,  but it was very unexpected given the deceiving picture.  
    I made one alteration involving the sleeve insertion in that I did not do it like the pattern instructed.  This pattern has very strange instructions for inserting the sleeve.  I have seen these instructions before, and even tried this method once, but it was a pain.  The pattern directs you sew the body of the jacket and line it.  Then, you sew the sleeves together at the wrists, turn them inside out, sew the sleeve to the armhole, and then turn under the seam allowance on the lining armhole of the sleeve and fit it around where the sleeve has been sewn to the body of the jacket.  I did not do that.  I made the shell of of the jacket and inserted the sleeves.  Then I made the lining and inserted those sleeves.  Then I sewed the jacket and lining together by the instructions and inserted the sleeve lining into the sleeves (you know, the normal way).  I do not understand why the instructions give the sleeve directions the way they do.  Any ideas?  It is definitely not easier, at least for me.  
a truer picture of the jacket color

     The hardest part of sewing this jacket for me was turning it inside out.  When you sew the lining to the shell, the directions indicate to leave an opening at the bottom of the flounce.  I had the hardest time getting all that fabric pulled through.  I finally had to make the opening larger to get it to turn inside out.  Hmmmm....that may be the reason for why the pattern instructs sewing in the sleeves the way it does, so that there is not so much to turn inside out.  However, it is still not worth it to me.  
     I chose not to sew satin ribbon on the jacket like the WHBM version.  I thought it would be a little too dressy for work and I was afraid that I might have problems with ripples along the velvet where the ribbon was sewn.  Basically, I just wasn't into it.

     I lined the jacket in a basic red lining fabric bought from my local fabric store and I used a button left over from a previous project.
please forgive wrinkles--I took this pic after wearing it for 12 hours

   I find velveteen to be a little challenging to work with in that it is hard to press.  I used a cotton towel in between the velveteen and my iron.  I also used a walking foot.  I am getting to where I use a walking foot on a lot of projects in addition to knits.  It just feeds better through the sewing machine for me.  I will show you my outfit pic at the bottom of this post, but first let me tell you about the skirt.  
    I live in a small town and work in a town that is only slightly larger.  Needless to say, there are not alot of great finds at thrift stores, except for one in the town where I work.  There is this one thrift store that is fabulous!!!  I find tons of stuff every time I go in there.  I don't know where they get theire clothing, but it is wonderful.  I was walking through a few months back and spied this skirt that looked just like Burberry material.  I almost had a spell right there in the store.  I grabbed the skirt and looked at the tag inside.  Needless to say, it was not a Burberry skirt, but it sure looks like one.  Even though it was too long and two sizes too big, I bought it for a whole $2.50, took it home, and altered it to fit.  Compare the swatch of Burberry fabric below to my skirt.  They are virtually identical.
Burberry swatch
my thrift store skirt

I most definitely saved the part I cut off to shorten the skirt to use for a "Burberry" scarf in my future.  

Here is the outfit as I wore it to work:
brown camisole: Walmart
tights: Walmart
bow tie booties: Old Navy
Until next time,  Happy Sewing!!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Come to Mama...New Vogue Patterns

Not to enable anyone or anything (Heh! Heh!) , but the new Vogue patterns are available at, they are on sale!!!   I decided to go over there to look for a pattern to knock off a dress I saw on Net-a-Porter (more about that later), and there they were.  I could not control myself.  I will show you what I ordered to whet your appetite.  This is not by far a comprehensive list of the new patterns, so I will let you browse on over there for a closer look.

Up first is V1280, a Donna Karan creation.  It calls for a two way stretch knit.  I love the interesting lines in the dress and I can see amazing color blocking possibilities.
V1280 - Donna Karan
 (line drawing below)

Next is V1281, also a Donna Karan.  I initially thought that this was also a knit, but it calls for crepe or charmeuse.  WOW is all I can say!!!
V1281 - Donna Karan
(line drawing below)

Lastly, as far as the new patterns, I ordered V1286, a Tracy Reese design.  This dress shows too much cleavage for my taste, so I will have to raise the neckline a little, but I do love the lines of the dress and the back of just fabulous.
V1286 - Tracy Reese
(line drawing below)

Lastly, I remembered to put the pattern I went to look at originally (before I was overcome by the new patterns) into my shopping cart.  It is M6028.
I have been salivating over this dress I saw on Net-a- Porter and went to BMV to look for a pattern that I might could use to make a similar dress.  I am thinking the first view of this pattern might give me what I need to make something similar to this beauty:
But, then again, it is on sale for $2,274 from an original $6785.  Since it is a third the original price, I suppose I could just buy it---are you kidding me?!?!?!?!?  In the words of Swamp People's Troy Landry, "I don't tink so."  Until next time, Happy Sewing!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Burda Style 8-2009-12: Purple Leopard Double Knit

Readers, thanks so much for the kind comments and welcome back comments on my previous post.  It feels so good to be back blogging.

And, we have another installment of a garment made during the time I wasn't blogging...

I actually wore this dress to church yesterday, so I thought it would be a good time to snap a pic and blog about it.   I have long loved this dress pattern that appeared in the August 2009 Burda Style magazine.
line drawing
I just adore the shape of the dress.  I really like the fabric that is used in the magazine, but I already have two dresses out of similar fabric, so I figured I didn't need a third.  I just let the magazine sit and bake until I found the right fabric.  Well, sometime last year had a knit sale and I fell in love a purple leopard double knit.   I love purple and I love leopard, so it was the perfect marriage. I was not sure what to make from it at the time, but I knew I had to have it.  Then Jessica, at Green Apples, decided to make a sheath dress from it. 
As soon as I read that, I knew immediately that I would make my long, loved Burda pattern from this fabric.  A sheath dress from double knit had never crossed my mind. 
      I had never sewn a double knit until this one.  I was kind of nervous, but after 12 years of sewing, I figured it was time.  I read up on double knits.  One of the best pieces of info I read is Gertie's Field Notes on Double Knits.  The fact that I could treat a double knit virtually like a woven was helpful.  This fabric has a little stretch to it, but not alot.  I just plunged in and cut out my usual Burda size.  This fabric sewed up easily and I did not have to make any alterations except that I omitted the zipper.  Since there is a little stretch to the fabric, I decided to just pull the dress over my head.  The dress is not lined so I wore a slip.   I chose not to line it since I was working with a knit and I hardly ever line my knit dresses.  I wore a black patent bow belt I bought a few months back from Forever 21 instead of making the one that comes with the pattern.
   I LOVE this dress!!! Double knit fits very well.  It is a little warm, though, because in deep south Alabama where I live, we have been having a winter heat wave.  It was 74 yesterday and it supposed to be 78 later this week. 
On my monitor, the purple is showing up kind of gray-ish, but it is really not.  It is actually a very pretty shade of purple.  
  Speaking of Burda Style magazine, I let my subscription lapse over a year ago, but I am so impressed with the new February issue, that I am thinking of resubscribing.  I will give them a couple of more issue, though, before I decide.  Happy Sewing!!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Well, Hello....New Look 6327 - Pink Leather Skirt

Well, Hello,  I have a blog.  First, to all of you who have continued to read my blog these past 4 months I haven't posted, bless your sweet souls!!! And to the new followers I have gained during the months I haven't blogged, bless your sweet souls too!!!  I actually did blog a couple of weeks ago, but I deleted it because I was unhappy with the way my hair looked  my blog post.  I thought about not explaining my absence, but the truth is that I had such a stressful semester at work at the end of last year, something had to go.  My stress put me in a funk so I just decided to (wo)man up and get through it.  I had so little extra time that I decided to use it all for sewing.   It was sewing or blogging that had to go, and well I did not want to give up sewing.  I did not want to give up blogging either, but if I don't sew, then there is nothing to blog about.  I actually was very productive in my sewing.  I sewed a lot of clothing.  I have alot to show you in the upcoming days and weeks.  This semester is going SO MUCH BETTER so far, so I plan to get back to regular blogging.  I have not commented on the blogs I follow as I should have due to the very little time I had, but I plan to be better.
   Well, let's get onto what I have to show you.  Last year during Fabricmart's huge leather skins sale, I bought the most delicious lt bubblegum pink lambskin leather that you have ever seen.  It sat, and sat, and sat in my stash because I was afraid to cut it.  I did not want to mess it up.  After studying up on sewing leather, I decided to take the plunge.  I wanted to use a simple pattern, so I chose New Look 6327.
I sewed the view that the model is wearing.  I cut out the pattern pieces and traced them onto the back of the leather.  I held them down using cans of vegetables.  Then I cut out the pieces.  Then I sat down because I thought I was going to faint--not really,  but that was a huge step for me.  
   I used paper clips instead of pins to hold together the pieces as I sewed.  A size 14 leather needle was used.  I did not have a teflon foot and did not want to buy one, so I used a tip I read about on patternreview. I put scotch tape on the bottom of my sewing foot to give it a smooth surface.  I did not use any special type of thread, just what I had in my sewing box.  I took a deep breath and started to sew.  It went like clockwork.  I never broke a needle--I could not believe it.    Let me tell you, this leather is like butter.  I saved every little leftover piece I had.  
   I did not make a muslin (I know that was stupid),  but I figured I could just adjust the skirt as I went.  Fortunately, it worked out.  I did find this skirt to run big.  I cut my usual size 12 and had to take it up alot.  I probably could have made it two sizes smaller.  I was not about to install an invisible zipper in my first attempt at leather, so I just did an exposed zipper.  

Here is how I wore it to work today.  
Outfit details:
olive cardigan - Alloy
ecru blouse - JCrew outlet
leopard belt - Spiegel
brown tights - Banana Republic
tan booties - Go Jane
(please forgive the wrinkles--these pics are after a full day at work-I didn't have time to take pics this morning)

Update:  The last post I did was about a dress failure.  I just decided to chalk it up to a bad sewing experience and not worry with it anymore.  I am going to try and salvage the fabric for something else.

Happy Sewing!!