I said I’d do it and I did!! Tank top version of the Burda Horse Dress. (Plus some Questions for Y’all!)

Burda 7221 tanktop side view

Well, since barely anybody else has sewn this pattern (Burda Style 7221), I thought it only appropriate that I sew it twice (first time sewing a pattern more than once!)  I made version B, the tank top.  To see version C, the dress, go here.

Burda 7221 tanktop front view

The upper bodice is a lightweight quilting cotton and the lower bodice is a striped silk in different textures that I purchased at a thrift/op shop.  I loves me a thrift store and always find such sewing treasures there!  (I’ll be writing a blog post on my haberdashery and sewing book thrift-ed finds soon).

Burda 7221 tank top sideview

I used the same front and back upper bodice pattern pieces that I used for the dress version.  I had already altered them before sewing the dress, so I ‘knew’ that it would fit.  Right??  WRONG.

When I sewed the upper part in the quilting cotton, I did not take into account that it had a vastly different drape, hand and thickness than the white rayon-blend fabric used for the dress, and the fact that this version was sleeveless.  And… it did not fit.  At all.  The neckline gaped considerably in the front and back (forgot to snap a pic, sorry).  Thing is, I had already completely sewn the entire top (and it is self-lined) so altering it became something of a creativity contest.

Burda 7221 tanktop back view

This is what I did:  I added a long dart in the centre front and centre back, ending at the seam that attaches the lower bodice.  Then, I pressed the darts open, not to the side (without cutting them first, so that everything was still finished off inside).  I then hand sewed the top of the darts to the bodice.  It worked beautifully!  Who knew? Although, it may  have slightly altered the straightness of the empire waist seam. Since the darts extend the length of the upper bodice pieces, it looks like a 2-piece bodice with CF and CB seams.

Darts Added into Centre Front & Centre Back and Pressed Open

I sewed darts into the CF and CB, then pressed them open. How would YOU fix this fitting issue?

What would you have done?  What would the sewcialists / spoolettes do?  (#wwtsd)  (Besides, of course, the obvious of re-fitting before sewing).

Hi Kitty!  "Off to my catnip garden..."

Hi Kitty! “Off to my catnip garden…”

One thing that did not go unnoticed was how easy it was to sew with 100% quilting cotton.  It’s such a breeze to put together, but obviously doesn’t have the same drape and qualities that you might want in your finished garment.  This poses more questions for you:

  1. What is your favourite fabric to sew with and why? 
  2. What is your favourite fabric to wear and why?  (They can be the same fabric or not).

I’d love to get an idea of who is sewing with what, discover any fabrics I may be missing out on and perhaps I will even generate a chart (CHART!!!!) with the results.  Thanks for playing!

Oooooh, I get MUCH better cellphone reception if I move my giant hat like this!!

OOOOOOOH, I GET MUCH BETTER CELL PHONE RECEPTION IF I MOVE MY GIANT HAT LIKE THIS!!

 

It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant, I felt very, very small

Deer and Doe Plantain FrontThat was Neil Armstrong observing the Earth and finding it blue.  February was #BlueFebruary around the sewcialist world where we had to sew with the colour blue.Badge  Blue is the favourite colour of all people.  This is not surprising and likely why I found it so easy to complete this challenge.  I would be stunned if any of you do not have blue in your wardrobe or fabric stash.  But, there must be at least one, so go ahead, stun me!

I sewed the free Tee pattern, Deer and Doe Plantain.  And, for the FIRST time, the knit fabric I chose, did not cause me horror, (OH, THE HORROR) and distress.  Yippee!  Gillian will be so proud, sniff.

The navy/indigo is a cotton knit, thicker than a jersey and the spotty blue fabric is a 4-way stretch cotton jersey, the same fabric I used for one of my Diane Von Furstenberg dresses.   I also added sleeve bands, the same width as the neckband and a hem band, double the width, to make it look more like a tunic.Deer and Doe Plantain Tee trio

The one issue I did have was with the neckband.  I raised the front neckline 1.5″ (4cm) before cutting and, therefore, shortened the neckband accordingly.  I also interfaced just the neckband with stretch knit interfacing to try to keep it from stretching out too much.  But, when I attached it, I’m not sure why, but the neckband was way too loose.  I had to remove it and cut out a new neckband that was about 2″ (5cm) shorter, but same thing.  So, I removed and shortened it by 4″ (10cm)!  At this length, I really had to stretch the neckband to fit the neckline, but it was the only way I could get the neckband to lie flat.  Is there a special trick to knit neckbands that I am missing?  Please do share.

Garment Inside:  overlocked seams and ribbon stay tape added to shoulder seams.

Garment Inside: overlocked seams and ribbon stay tape added to shoulder seams.

And, this is the very first garment I’ve sewn completely by overlocking/serging!  I used the overlocker to stitch all the seams together as well as to attach the neckband and sleeve and hem bands and also added ribbon staytape to the shoulder seams.  I have to say, it did make things go together very quickly!  I made the smallest size with no alterations and added as much length to the sleeves as I had fabric.

Layering Contrasting Banded Plantain Tee.  Me Likey!

Layering Contrasting Banded Plantain Tee with Blue Sweater. Me Likey!

Today’s Blogpost is brought to you by: The Colour Blue.  Blue is the coolest colour (as in temperature, not as in happening, hip or groovy) and is the colour of the sky, ocean, sleep, twilight.blue-sea-at-night-wallpaper

You might wonder why the Blue Tee stands out so dramatically against the orange wall.

Blue and Orange are Complementary Colours.

Blue and Orange are Complementary Colours.

Well, blue’s opposite or complementary colour on the colour wheel is orange, which will make the blue ‘pop’.  Blue gives a feeling of distance.  Artists use it to show perspective.  Blue is sharply refracted by the eyes.  This causes the lens to flatten and to push the blue image back.  We perceive that blue areas are receding and smaller.  It is cold, wet, and slow as compared to red’s warmth, fire, and intensity.  (To learn more about the colour red, go to this post.)

An executive for a paint company received complaints from workers in a blue office that the office was too cold. When the offices were painted a warm peach, the sweaters came off even though the temperature had not changed.” – Pantone

La Vie

La Vie

Picasso the-old-guitarist

The Old Guitarist

Pablo Picasso’s “Blue Period” refers to a series of paintings in which the color blue dominates and which he painted between 1901 and 1904. The Blue Period is a marvelous expression of poetic expression and personal melancholy and also contributes to the transition of Picasso’s style from classicism to abstract.

In the meaning of colors, blue relates to one-to-one communication.  Blue is conservative and predictable, a safe and non-threatening color, the most universally liked color of all and is often chosen by conservative people.  This is a color that seeks peace and tranquility above all else, promoting both physical and mental relaxation.  It reduces stress, creating a sense of calmness, relaxation and order.  It slows the metabolism and can suppress appetite.

Positive aspects: loyalty, trust and integrity, tactful, reliability and responsibility, conservatism and perseverance, caring and concern, idealistic and orderly, authority, devotion and contemplation, peaceful, calm.

Negative aspects: being rigid, deceitful and spiteful, depressed and sad, too passive, self-righteous, superstitious and emotionally unstable, too conservative and old-fashioned, predictable and weak, unforgiving, aloof and frigid. It can also indicate manipulation, unfaithfulness and untrustworthiness.

Swedish_flag_with_blue_sky_behind_ausschnitt Blue is the #1 favourite colour of all people.

53% of the flags in the world contain blue.blue-suit

Blue is the most commonly used color in corporate identity.

A dark blue suit is common professional business attire.

Blue is used to symbolize piety and sincerity in heraldry.

Blue jeans are worn all over the world.blue-jeans-1-537x402

I want to die with my blue jeans on.”  Andy Warhol

Greeks believe that blue wards off the evil eye.

The color blue in many cultures is significant in religious beliefs, brings peace, or is believed to keep the bad spirits away. In Iran, blue is the color of mourning while in the West the something blue bridal tradition represents love.

Dark blue is the color of mourning in Korea.

The god Krishna has blue skin.

Blue is for a baby girl; pink for a baby boy in Belgium.

“Prince Charming” is called “The Blue Prince” in Italy and Spain.

Chakra:

chakras-blueBlue is the color associated with the Throat Chakra  also known as Visuddha. This chakra deals with communication of how we feel and what we think and rules knowledge, health and decisiveness.

In colour therapy and colour healing blue is used to aid physical ailments such as inflammation, raised blood pressure and infections. Blue is used to treat mental and emotional ailments such as aggression, anger and stress. Blue is also used for physical and mental complaints related to the throat such as speech impediments and throat infections.

Blue in Speech:

  • Out of the blue: unexpected
  • Into the blue: into the unknown; not knowing what you are walking into
  • True blue: to be loyal or faithful
  • Once in a blue moon: an event that occurs infrequently
  • Blue ribbon: first place; to describe something as being of the highest quality
  • Blue blood: an aristocrat, royal or noble in European languages
  • Blue law: laws about morality issues
  • Blue comedy: jokes about socially taboo subjects
  • Blue language refers to using profanity and blue films is used to describe pornography.
  • Blueprint: a detailed design of an object or idea
  • Blue plate special: a special priced meal at a restaurant
  • Bluestocking: a woman with strong scholarly interests
  • To blue pencil is to censor
  • Feeling blue or A Blue outlook: to feel sad or unhappy; offering little hope; dismal; bleak

The Blues (music):   The blues grew out of African spirituals and worksongs.  In the late 1800s, southern African-Americans passed the songs down orally, and they collided with American folk and country from the Appalachians. New hybrids appeared by each region, but all of the recorded blues from the early 1900s are distinguished by simple, rural acoustic guitars and pianos.  Most blues feature simple, usually three-chord, progressions and have simple structures that are open to endless improvisations, both lyrical and musical.

Blue Represents:

Communication:  Blue relates to one-to-one verbal communication and self-expression.

Peace and calm:  The color blue induces calm and peace within us, particularly the deeper shades.

Honesty:  Blue is the colour of truth.

Authority:  The darker the color blue, the more authority it has.

Religion:  Blue is the colour of devotion and religious study.

Wisdom:  Blue enhances the wisdom of the intellect.

Put some blue in your life when you want:

  • calm and relaxation to counteract chaos or agitation
  • to open the flow of communication
  • to broaden your perspective in learning new information
  • solitude and peace
The Blue Deer and Doe Plantain in Action:  With Sandra at Sew Be It Studios.

The Blue Deer and Doe Plantain in Action: With Sandra at Sew Be It Studio.

Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue, and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true” – E.Y. Harburgrainbow and blue sky

PS:  Tomorrow, Saturday March 8, 2014 is International Women’s Day and is also the last day to enter my Giveaway!  Go here to enter.Fabric Magazine Pattern Tote Winning Bundle

References:

http://www.bourncreative.com/meaning-of-the-color-blue/

http://www.colormatters.com/blue

http://www.empower-yourself-with-color-psychology.com/color-blue.html

http://www.allmusic.com/genre/blues-ma0000002467

A Plethora of New Sewing Skills with Gertie and Twinkle (& a Freebie)

Twinkle Sews and Gertie's Sewing Books OutfitSewing BooksI have completed my makes from Gertie’s New Book For Better Sewing by Gretchen Hirsch and Twinkle Sews by Wenlan Chia.  For both of these projects, it was my first time utilizing a variety of sewing techniques, seven to be exact!

New Skills/Techniques

  1. Invisible Zipper
  2. Skirt Yoke
  3. Inverted Box Kick Pleat
  4. Lining a Skirt with an Inverted Box Kick Pleat
  5. Side Lapped Zipper
  6. Hand Picking a Zipper
  7. Hand Stitched Invisible Hem

So, for January’s Monthly Stitch: New Year = New Skill 2014_01_badgechallenge, we are all trying our hand at new (to us) techniques.New SKills Outfit10

Twinkle Twinkle, Little Skirt

I used the Masculin et Feminin pattern from the Twinkle Sews book for my skirt, which I made from a lovely stretch silk fabric that I received from Kristin at Sew Classic.  Thanks Kristin!

Since the fabric was a stretch woven, I opted to also line it with a stretch woven.

Skirt Lining

Skirt Lining

The skirt hem was bound with fold-over elastic before hemming.  This was my first time putting a yoke on a skirt as well as inserting an invisible zip.  Having the zip extend below the yoke meant I had to make sure the fabric change points were exact.

Invisible Zip and Yoke

Invisible Zip and Yoke

This was also the first time I’ve used an inverted box kick pleat.  For the skirt, it was not too difficult, although tricky to remember which way to fold and iron.

Inverted Box Kick Pleat

Inverted Box Kick Pleat

However, when it came to inserting the lining, this is where we entered a bit of a grey area.  The pattern pieces for the lining were different from the skirt and the instructions did not seem to correspond to these pieces.  She wants you to “stay stitch a V of reinforcing stitches the length of the kick pleat as indicated on the pattern piece [it wasn't].  Carefully cut a slit in the lining to the point of the V.” This somehow did not make sense to me since there were 2 back lining pieces that you sewed a back centre seam.  So, why would you cut a slit?  And where?  And then what on the skirt are you sewing these two sides to, since this is a closed inverted box pleat and not an open vent.  There were no pics of the completed lining in the book. I had help from a volunteer sewing instructor and she did not understand these instructions either.  If anybody has made this skirt, please do share how you did this!

I ended up altering the back lining pattern pieces to be mirror opposites of the skirt back pieces and sewing an inverted box kick pleat in the lining.  I then sewed the line of topstitching that lies horizontal to the top of the pleat to include all the layers of fabric of the lining and skirt, to hold the lining in place.New SKills Outfit Back2The book divides the projects according to difficulty and this skirt was classified as a ‘beginner’ project.  I’m not sure I agree with that as there were many aspects (yoke, lining, inverted box kick pleat, invisible zip, waistband, lace overlay, working with slippery satin fabric) that are not necessarily beginner skills.

Another noteworthy aspect of this book is that there are:  no construction pictures; no technical drawings of any kind; no diagrams, just text.  This does make it more challenging to follow along if you are a beginner or a visual learner.New Skills Outfit8The book includes a cd with all  the patterns included in pdf form.  One thing to watch out for:  sizing.  To find your size, according to the author, you need to measure your hips and then add 2″ for seam allowance and then 1″ to 2″ for ease.  (For tops, you measure your bust, add 2″ for SA, then add 3″ to 5″ for ease.)  Now the thing is, I did not realize nor do either of these measurement add-ons before cutting my skirt!  I found my measurements on the measurement chart and printed out that exact size.  The skirt fits me rather well, and, while it’s true I made the skirt from a two-way stretch woven with a small to moderate stretch and the pattern called for a non stretch, I still think the skirt would have been really huge if I had added on an extra 3″ to 4″!!??

I plan on making one of the tops next, but I don’t think I am going to add the extra 5″ to 7″ (for tops) as specified in the book. This seems really extreme, especially since the skirt fits without my adding any SA or ease.

The book, however, does have some simply beautiful garments in it.  They are all very creative and interesting, constructed from a variety of different fabrics and styled nicely, as well.  This is what immediately appealed to me when I bought the book.

Some exciting news:  Threads magazine has one of the dress patterns from the Twinkle Sews book available for free!

Click here for the free pattern of this dress.

Click here for the free pattern of this dress.

So, if you don’t have the book and are interested in sampling it, here is the link to download the free dress pattern and instructions.

A Portrait of Gretchen’s Blouse

The top I chose to make from Gertie’s book was the Portrait Blouse.  The pattern was fairly easy to put together and included some nice touches, such as hand sewn invisible hems

Hand Sewn Invisible Hem

Hand Sewn Invisible Hem

for the sleeves and bottom as well as a hand picked side lapped zipper.  It is sewn with a wool / cashmere blend, or at least that is what I was told by the vendor at a sewing expo where I purchased it in the ends bin for $5.00.

Hand Sewn Invisible Sleeve Hem and Bound Seams

Hand Sewn Invisible Sleeve Hem and Bound Seams

The instructions for the side lapped zipper did seem a bit lacking, as I could not completely understand how to insert it just using them alone, so researched online to find tutorials.  I noted that each tutorial was a bit different in their approach.  Does anybody have a favourite tutorial or way of inserting a lapped zip?  Please do share it!

Side Lapped Zip

Side Lapped Zip

The zip was ‘hand picked’ or hand sewn using what is really a very tiny back stitch.  I also hand sewed the hems, using a slip stitch.  I really enjoyed the hand sewing aspect; time moved nice and slowly and precision was so much easier to achieve than by machine and the stitching did, indeed look invisible afterwards.

Hand Picked Zip

Hand Picked Zip

Gertie’s book includes drawings for each step within the instructions, as well as a one or two sentence synopsis of the written instructions.  It includes paper patterns for all the garments.

The book also provides a plethora of information regarding pattern alterations, sewing techniques and, because this book is a take on the 1952, Vogue New Book For Better Sewing, it gives you a lot of insight into vintage patterns.

I thought that this top would be ‘untuckable’ due to the zipper at the hem, but actually it tucks in fine and the zip is not bothersome!

Tuck in your shirt!  And, stand up straight!

Tuck in your shirt! And, stand up straight!

Road Testing With the Sewcialists / Spoolettes

I also ‘road tested’ the skirt at a recent Sewcialists / Spoolettes meet-up.

The Twinkle Sews Skirt in Action

The Twinkle Sews Skirt in Action

Spoolette Meetup

Yours Truly, Gillian, Clare, Sara and Andrea. Hi there, Sewing Sisters!!  Cheers Clare! ‘clink’

small spooletteSewcialists

This was not the first time I’d seen these fantastic lovelies in person and each time it gets better and better.  I can’t wait till the next outing.  Who knew that my new-found hobby/past-time would bring me such joy, not only in solitude, when sewing, but socially as well, through social media, the blogs and, the best part, in real life!!

And, look how happy we all are! :)

I leave you with Wonder Woman…

Da na na na na na na Wonder Woman!!

Da na na na na na na Wonder Woman!!