Feb Burda challenge skirt

Hi there! Just as Feb ends I’m finally posting my finished skirt…

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It’s been finished with a while, but I’m a bit meh about it to be honest.
First the good – I love the wrap style (faux wrap in honesty). It fits well and I can see myself making one in a different fabric and slightly shorter.

The back has a lovely fit…sorry forgot to snap a picture! The back pleat gets stitched closed halfway down so it’s a flattering shape.

But between the light blue colour and the front pleat it just makes me think of a uniform skirt….

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See what I mean? !!

I think I’ll add the pockets and shorten it a little before I decide whether to send it to the thrift shop!

In progress – Feb Burdastyle Skirt

I made a start on my wrap skirt yesterday, either side of watching the second episode of The Great British Sewing Bee. The challenges were all based around childrenswear which a few of the contestants had never sewn. The Elephant costume was a well deserved winner for garment of the week. It was a pity to see Alex leave – I had picked another person as being likely to go. Sewing while under pressure is no easy task !! I also thought Lorna should have come first instead of second for the waistcoat challenge!!

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Wrap skirt front view

I love seeing sewing on Tv, it’s bringing sewing to a whole generation that was never taught. ( I was one of only 2 girls in my entire year at school, who knew how to sew). But I do feel bad for the time pressures put on contestants –  It doesn’t make sewing seem like the relaxing and rewarding pastime it can be. 

But back to my skirt! –

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Front right

I overlocked the split, and folded back the least amount I could. Then top stitched in place:

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I prefer a shaped waistband, so after cutting the strips as instructed, I marked where the waistband lined up with the skirt darts:

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Folded the band at that point ( marked with yellow pin)

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Then marked and stitched a small dart:

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I snipped the dart at the center to balance it out before pressing:

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Waistband with shaping

I added belt loops to keep the waist ties in place – they are trapped between the waistband and skirt:

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They are left free at the top for now:

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But once the side seams have been stitched on the waistband, I will top stitch the loops across the top.

My latest knitting project and can “one size fit all”‘?

After a look back at my 2014 knitting, I decided that this year it was time to try writing my own pattern ( a very simple pattern !) I own a shop bought T-shaped top that looked like a good piece to try to re-create (ie..knockoff!)

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It’s waist length and made from just two pieces. The sleeves are knit in one with the body pieces. It’s made in stocking stitch so seemed like a good choice for my first attempt at pattern writing.

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I swatched with some aran weight yarn and checked my gauge over stocking stitch. I measured the sweater and made some calculations on how many stitches and rows I would need to do.

But after doing the ribbing at the hem, I decided now would also be a good time to practice some cables…… first mistake there.  Cables will of course make everything narrower so I should have increased my stitch count.

I checked my knitting against the original :

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In the above photo I’ve had to really stretch out the yellow fabric to make it line up with the orange top.

So really I should have gone back to the start. But…. a small child took a liking to the yellow colour and asked if it could be for them? The unstretched knit looked to be a nice size, with some wearing ease. So I carried on knitting, while sizing it up against said child when they passed by. And this is the result:

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I’d like to say I only made one mistake… but I’m happy to show my second mistake because (I think !) I rescued it pretty well.

Here’s the inside back:

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And here’s the inside front:

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Can you spot the difference?  I was happily knitting away when I got to the neckline and saw I had forgotten to increase for the sleeve fronts!! So I knit two separate pieces and then used kitchener mattress stitch to seam them to the fronts.(edited as I mixed up the names!)

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I also used mattress stitch for the side seams. I’m delighted I finally took the time to learn how to properly seam. And should probably make sure I have the basics perfected before I get carried away with pattern designing!

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So although it may not have turned out the size I wanted, I did wonder how much stretch it had and couldn’t resist a little try-on….

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Ha ha…. so technically it fits. .. but with a bit too much negative ease for my liking!!! Heres a comparison with the original top:

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The useful thing is that now I can see clearly how many extra stitches and rows I will need for my next attempt. ….yes there will be another attempt :)
*eta* – The tutorial I followed for mattress stitch can be found hereMattress stitch tutorial

Jan Burdastyle – 107 01/2015

Just in time….. I finished my top from the Jan Burdastyle Magazine. Everyone commenting agreed that it needed the pocket, so that stayed put:

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I’m wearing a black top underneath, so the neckline shape looks like a triangle – but it’s actually the bound split as per the pattern:

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I cut a size 34 ( I’m closer to a 36 with burdastyle but didn’t want it to be too big). It fits well, its cosy, and I’ve been wearing it all day…but… I’m not overly keen on the way the drop shoulders look.

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These are the most flattering of the pictures to be honest. When I see this in the mirror I want to change the shoulders. So, we’ll see – it might get reworked. Because I really like the loose boxy style.

I’m also pretty happy with the high-low hem that Dawn suggested :

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Not scratching my head here...!

Speaking of reworking… I took a seam ripper to my shirtsdress. I had worn it twice, but found the belt/sleeves a bit bulky under jackets so I removed them:

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I also tweaked the back waist a little so that it would sit better against the curve of my back:

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So next for the Burdastyle chalkenge….? I bought the Feb issue of Burdastyle this week and have my mind set on this skirt:

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Skirt 109 Burdastyle 02/2015

I loved the pleats at the front and the large pockets. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it’s a wrap skirt!

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It’s always good to have a bit of wiggle room with a skirt waist :)

I’ll leave it there for tonight – apart from one last look at the top ( which I only just realised – unintentionally fits with the whole Jungle January theme I keep seeing on blogs ! ! )

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Burda Challenge 2015 – Style 107

Hi there – hope you’re cosy and warm wherever you are! The Irish weather has turned very cold the last week and I’ve needed extra layers to keep warm. Most of my sewing so far this year has been to tweak some previous makes as there were a few things stopping me from wearing them.

For future making, I need to fill some wardrobe gaps. I’ve noticed that I don’t own many sweatshirts or slouchy jumpers, so some new sewing was in order!

I’ve started on a top from January’s Burda magazine:

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Style 107 Burda 01/2015

The other day I signed up to the Burda Challenge 2015 which Dawn who blogs here has organised. The idea is to sew a garment per month from that months Burda Magazine (either a 2015 issue or a previous year).

This months make is a pretty simple style , made in a thick fabric in the magazine :

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My fabric is much lighter – it’s a woven wool mix fabric that I’ve mixed with a black pointe (as I didn’t have enough on it’s own)

The sleeves are in two pieces and are attached to the body before sewing the other seams.

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They are then sewn together across shoulders and down the sleeve in one pass

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The neckline is bound with a strip of the pointe fabric

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After a try-on , I wasn’t sure if I liked it! The drop shoulders exaggerate the width of my straight shoulders. I also thought the length was a bit dowdy! I’ve pinned it shorter and am thinking of adding a patch pocket – here’s where it stands so far –

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I haven’t decided if I’ll bind the hem yet but I think I’ll keep the pocket! Either way it’s good to get some sewing started for the new year :)