More fabric suggestions please…Burda Shift dress #107 09/2012

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This dress is more of a remake than a new make….. Whenever I go clothes shopping, I always check out the sale rack for any gems.  The black and white fabric design  really caught my eye – it’s a thick knit, similar to a pointe or double knit fabric.  It was a large size for a very small price! So I picked it up in the hope that it would be useful for cutting up.

I cut the original apart at the seams ( It was a plain shift shape with bust darts). I left the dress intact at the shoulders so that I could use the original neckline. After pressing, I pinned my pattern pieces with the shoulders sewing line aligning with the dress shoulders and then cut it out.

 

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I used a Burda pattern to make this: Shift dress 107

The pattern making at the back  is atrocious, but that’s the original centre back seam, including the zipper, so I’ll just have to get over it!   I also kept the original sleeves and just re-cut the sleeve heads as per the burda pattern.

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The dress has a lovely relaxed fit , without being too baggy.   The shaped darts are very flattering – but difficult to make out in this fabric (I’ve outlined a dart in red below)

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I have worn this dress so much already – it looks great with thick tights and boots and I really want to make another one (or two!).But, I’m having trouble tracking down similar fabric – does anyone have suggestions or links to a good source of thick (preferably patterned) knit fabric. I’ve found lots of plain pointe, or else more black and white sweatshirt weight fabric, but nothing suitable yet, so any help appreciated🙂

Till next time🙂

 

 

 

Simplicity Shirtdress 8014 – construction notes

I’m sharing some construction notes for my Simplicity 8014 dress that might be useful for anyone considering making it.

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Pattern Sizing –

For my measurements 33-28-38, (b cup). I cut a 10 in the bodice which I graded out to a 12 in the hips. (I don’t normally add to patterns at the hips) Yet this gave just the right amount of wearing ease for me.

If you are pear-shaped, or normally need to add to patterns at the hips, then carefully measure the pattern pieces as you may need to go up more than one size at the hips.

Construction –

I made this with french seams on the sleeve and side seams – they could also be overlocked or bound.

I found this tutorial very useful for seaming the sides with in-seam pockets : In-seam pockets with french seams.

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french seamed pockets

 

Hemming

The sleeve hems feature a neat tuck, which traps the raw edge of the hem inside the tuck.

The pattern instructions didn’t make sense to me at first – I couldn’t picture the outcome, but I followed along with the pattern steps and they worked out fine.

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Sleeve hems with tuck detail

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Sleeve hem interior

The dress hem is curved at the sides, and is finished with a shaped facing. The instructions were mostly fine, but I changed how the facing attaches at the centre fronts. The pattern step included some hand sewing.

The way I did the facing was to turn the button band toward the dress fronts,then sit the facing on top of the button band and dress hem, sew the bottom seam and turn through. The facing then gets caught with the later top-stitching.

 

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Button band folded towards front and hem facing pinned over button band and dress hem.

 

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Hem finish

 

 

Button Placement

I didn’t follow the pattern for button placement, as I wanted to wear a belt without it catching on a button every time I sat down. So I marked the button placement with pins, while I was wearing the belt.

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Using pins to mark button placement

 

I also didn’t have enough buttons to get as close to the hem as I would have liked, instead I top-stitched just below the last button, to keep the hem from flying open in a breeze!

(You might notice that the last button doesn’t have a buttonhole – it’s just stitched on through all the layers – that’s because I found that button under my sewing machine when I was tidying up after myself!)

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topstitched for safety!

 

And that’s as much as I remember, hope it was useful! I’m on the lookout for more fabric to make this again, I could see it becoming my winter uniform – layered up with boots and tights🙂

Shirt success – Simplicity 8014

This shirt-dress is one of those makes that as soon as you finish, you start planning the next version.  I made it in fits and bursts over the last two weeks, and wore for the day on Sunday. It was really comfortable, but felt and looked like I’d made a bit of an effort!

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To start with – here’s a picture of it worn with a belt and accessorised with  a cat….

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The pattern is Simplicity 8014 – I made very few changes – just adding my usual 1cm to the shoulder at the armhole edge to straighten the slope. I didn’t move the armhole up, and it doesn’t affect the fit – it probably made inserting the sleeve easier as there wasn’t much need for easing in the sleeve cap.

 

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View D

 

It’s made from a soft cotton with a pale vertical stripe – not as obvious in the pictures as in real life.  I cut a size 10 in the bodice which I tapered out to a size 12 at the hips – which I always think is pretty useless information, unless you know what size body it was made to fit !!! So, in the hope of it being useful to someone else – my body measurements are approx 33 -28 -38!. The fit has just the right amount of wearing ease – not too much extra fabric around the waist, so it sits nicely with a belt.

 

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sideview ….with bonus cat-

 

 

I cut out the self fabric belt and didn’t sew it at first, but after seeing the pictures, decided it’d be good to have the option of the matching belt, and then I managed to find a leftover piece of fabric big enough to make a pocket, and attached that as well.

 

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The sun has washed my skin out so much that it looks like I’m about to blend into the wall!

 

I did try wearing it without the belt – I liked the loose fit (and really love those pockets!) – but my daughter thought the combination of the pale blue colour and shape, made it look like a night-shirt!

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wandering around in a nightie…as you do…:)

It was great to get such a wearable result without the effort of a muslin – I’m honestly too impatient to make one, unless the pattern pieces are very complicated – it’s just easier to measure the paper pieces and compare the shape to patterns that I’ve already made.

I had also planned to get some pictures of my finally finished burda dress while the weather was so nice, but I ran out of chocolate to bribe the little photographer -” ah no, do I really have to take more pictures?” (… said with an eyebrow in the air and a look of misery!) … they were getting more crooked and out of focus with every minute that passed , so I quit while we were ahead🙂

I pink it might be summer….

At least I’m pretty sure it was summer …we swam in the sea and used sunscreen for the first two days of this week…..but right now it’s raining heavily on my wetsuit that I left outside to dry!!

I’m happy to say that I made it outdoors before the rain to photograph my new top –
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Made using Simplicity 2599 – I also used the same pattern here and here. On my first version of this pattern I straightened the shoulder slope to match my shoulders, and it’s now my favourite pattern for a quick make.

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For this top I rotated the bust dart to sit horizontally across the centre bust ,and left the extra  drape that this created at the lower front, so that it is pretty loose-fitting
from the bust down. There is a useful explanation of rotating a dart on Megan Nielsen’s blog .

 

I stitched the dart from the right side so that it would add a bit of interest to a pretty plain

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The fabric is a very lightweight cotton that was cut from an old dress that didn’t fit anymore. The armholes and neck edge are finished with bias strips and the side seams are french seamed.

It’s good to finally have some sewing to show. I’ve also pulled out a few UFO’s to finish… does anyone remember this dress? After seeing a lovely orange version made up on Catherine Daze’s blog, I went back to my blue version – and now it’s almost done , so fingers crossed that I can get outside on a dry day for some pictures!

xc

Knitting – Intarsia Design

Hi there:) It’s a long weekend here in Ireland, and for once I don’t care that the weather is dull and dreary – I’ve spent it indoors, studying (or cramming to be more truthful!).   I have exams coming up and I cannot wait for them to be over, and for normal life to resume. Sorry if you come here for sewing – it will resume soon -I promise! Unfortunately, the only sewing I’ve done lately has been in my dreams.  There are a few knitting projects on the go – very slowly though – they were a way to unwind over the last few months.

I have a knit tee that I have wanted to copy with a while.(It’s the larger orange top below).  I made an attempt once before , but it derailed into a completely different top – (that would be the much smaller yellow top below!).   The yellow top is still being worn – sometimes knitted clothing magically grows along with the child wearing them!

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I’m planning a second attempt, this time with better calculations and more suitable yarn!

Intarsia designing

 

These are some of the colours I’m going to use –

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I’m going to do some type of intarsia design on the front (mixing in different coloured yarns). A quick guide to doing intarsia can be seen here – Intarsia instructions . If anyone has some links to modern/geometric intarsia patterns, please share – I haven’t been able to find any beyond some dodgy eighties styles!

I haven’t found any charts online that I like.  So in typical D.I.Y fashion… I’m attempting to make my own chart. First I knitted a sample swatch using some of my yarn – and counted my rows and stitches over 10cm.

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I used my knitting gauge to choose the best size paper.  Ordinary graph paper isn’t suitable for making Intarsia charts, as knit stitches are short and wide instead of perfect squares. Knitters Graph paper can be downloaded for free here- Sweaterscapes Knitters Graph Paper . .

Intarsia design on Knitting graph paper

Intarsia design on Knitters graph paper

It’s a very rough draft – I want to knit a sample to see the actual scale, before I plan it properly.

Plotting an intarsia design

Adding more colours

I’ve cast on another swatch to try out the triangles and see if I like the size – hopefully when I get some time back, I’ll start to make some progress.

Ps – I’m not the only one working on an Intarsia design of my own – another example can be found here :)