Continuing on in our theme of Patterns Nobody Has Sewn, I present to you: The Convertible Sundress!

Burda 7512 Front and Back Summer and Winter Style

Burda 7515 Sundress Front View

Not only can you convert it for the seasons, but I used a knit fabric!  You may or may not know, but knits and I have not always been the best of friends.

Crinkle Knit Fabric

Crinkle Knit Fabric

This one is a 70% polyester, 30% rayon crinkle knit with a lovely wavy creased texture to it.  I used another Burda pattern, that I do believe NOBODY has ever sewn before, Burda Style 7512. 7512_SB.indd I really liked the line drawings, but not so much the way the dresses fit the models, nor the fabrics they chose, so I was not sure what the result would be.  But, I think the crinkle knit was an excellent choice!  The cowl back drapes nicely and it top stitches with a twin needle well without stretching at the wrapped cross-over front, and the hem.

Burda 7512 Back Views Summer and Winter

sew sundressThe fabric colour and texture and the fact that it is a knit, really allow it to span the seasons as being either a spring/summer or fall/winter fabric.  So, that’s how I used it!  Summers here are so short (and this one has been cooooollllllddddd!) so I really like a wardrobe that is easily converted for the seasons.  This dress is my contribution to Heather’s Summer Sundress Sewalong.

Burda 7512 Front Views Summer and Winter

The style reminds me of the new Colette Patterns Myrtle dress, except the cowl drape is in the back and the front is a cross-over style which I think adds a bit of joosh.  The pattern calls for Vilene Bias Tape to be used on hemmed areas, at the crossover front, armholes and bottom hem, but if you can’t find this, you can just use knit stay tape or even cut knit / tricot interfacing into strips.

Check Out the Twin Needle Top Stitching!  And, I Used Matching Over-locking Thread, Booyaa!

Check Out the Twin Needle Top Stitching! And, I Used Matching Over-locking Thread, Booyaa!

For those of you that like sewing with knits because it is faster, this may not be the pattern for you.  You cannot sew the whole dress on your overlocker, and you are constantly switching from a stretch stitch to a twin needle on your sewing machine.  You can’t save up all the twin needle topstitching until the end.  Also, there are six straps as fabric tubes to sew and turn.  Six!

Burda 7512 Side Views Summer and Winter

I asked around on Instagram if anybody knew how to care for this fabric and consensus was that I sew test stitching samples.  Good advice, but it sounded really boring.  So instead, I sewed a yoga skirt with a slight A-Line and added fold-over elastic at the waist.  This way, I could practice my stitch lengths, twin needle stitching, pressing methods and use of knit stay tape and still end up with a wearable garment.  Bonus!

Test Samples as a Knit Yoga Skirt

Yoga Skirt Instead of Test Sewing Samples

Stretch Yoga Skirt

Burda 7512 Autumn Knit Dress Front View

Psssst, did you happen to notice the change of artwork from spring/summer to fall/winter?  It’s the little things…. :)

If you haven’t voted yet on ‘what is your favourite fabric to sew with’, be sure to go here and add it to the comments section!  Chart forthcoming…

See you next time!

 

 

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!!

 

“Ohhhhh, OK. I totally thought she was dead.” No…And, I SEWED something!!! (It has horsies on it)

Burda Style 7221 front view with shoulder straps

Hi everybody!  I have been MIA for quite some time now, and I have genuinely missed you all and the sewing and blogging world a lot!  Where was I?  Well, stuff happened and this and that and the other thing and then, yadda, yadda, yadda, I sewed this dress!  :)

I might blog about the lull at some point, but right now, it’s a sewing blog, so onwards and upwards!  I can’t wait to see what all of you have been up to!  Feel free to leave a link in the  ‘comments’ section of your favourite recent activity, if you like.

Burda Style 7221 front view 2

A sincere Thank You  to everybody who asked about me on twitter, instagram, email and even through the post and in person and kept me in mind!  It was so very sweet of all of you.  (I must give a special shout out to a few people:  Anne, other Anne, Caroline, Shannon, Kat Eldridge, Kat and Mel).  I can’t begin to tell you how touched I am by this and how much it cheered me.  I feel loved.  :)

BurdaStyle 7221 front view

7221So, in the meantime…..I finally sewed something! :)  BurdaStyle 7221.  If you follow my blog, you know, I loves me a good research project, and I always research the pattern I’m about to sew.  Well, I found absolutely nothing about this dress blogged on any sewing blog and only ONE (1) review on Pattern Review.  Anne always says that she selects sewing pattens that others do not, but I have to say, I may have won the “Has Anybody Sewn This Pattern?” prize!  And… I like the pattern and the resulting garment!  If you’ve sewn this pattern, or if you own it, or even if you’ve had a drunken-stupor induced dream about it, I’d love to hear from you!

BurdaStyle 7221 back view

Mono SewnHorse FabricI used black and white fabric as my entry into July’s The Monthly Stitch Mono Sewn challenge, where we shun colour and sew garments in monochromatic, only black and white.  Have you checked out the monthly sewalongs by TMS?  They are just getting better and better!  Also, to celebrate the Year of the Horse, I used black and white horse fabric for the skirt.  To find out more about Chinese New Year and the Year of the Horse, go here.

Kitty.  Looking Dramatic in Monochromatic.

Kitty.  Looking Dramatic in Monochromatic.

Burda Style 7221 back view close up

Model Poses.  Model Pose 1:  Look far off into the distance at something interesting and/or an emergency.  Result:  Well, kind of an uncaring raving lunatic, standing there doing nothing but looking at an emergency off in the distance.  Model Pose 2: Come Hither Look / Bedroom Eyes.  Result:  Fairly self-explanatory.  Extremely tired and/or really stoned.

MODEL POSESPose#1: Look far off into the distance at something interesting and/or an emergency. Result: Well, kind of an uncaring raving lunatic, standing there doing nothing but looking at an emergency off in the distance.  Pose#2: Come Hither Look / Bedroom Eyes.  Result: Fairly self-explanatory. Extremely tired / bored and/or really stoned.

Burda Dress 60s Hippie Style

The dress has a bit of a 60s vibe. At least when it kind of hikes up as I raise my arms. In the Garden of ridiculously enormously tall flowers, I totally feel appropriately dressed! (PEACE!)

The Inside Story

The pattern has a self-lined bodice and unlined skirt, but I underlined the skirt horse fabric with the same white fabric that I used for the bodice.  This white fabric and I were not friends.  It stained SO easily.  I bought it in the ‘ends’ bin, so once again, I don’t know exactly what it is.  Likely a rayon/linen blend with something else.  It has a tonne of lovely drape and is textured.  But, I transferred pattern marks with sewing chalk and it stained permanently, I couldn’t wash it out.  So, I had to re-cut everything but the sleeves.  Even just ironing it, would sometimes leave a brown/yellow stain, so I had to use a press cloth.  I have no idea why it absorbed everything so easily, but it will likely make it difficult to wear.   The horse fabric is a cotton voile, so very transparent, hence the need to underline it.

Burda Style 7221 side views

How do you eliminate wrinkles on a garment made with very drapey fabric with a self-lined bodice with darts, and an underlined skirt without creasing the under layer?  Well, you can’t really use the iron, since you would have to spend a lot of time shifting, smoothing, straightening, etc.  So….you use your new Rowenta Steam Iron!  It works really well for getting out wrinkles without creasing the second layer.  But, with my model (Rowenta Ultrasteam GS2010), you do have to refill the water reservoir rather often if you have a lot of wrinkles.  I got mine on sale for a good deal and do highly recommend it!  I will definitely be using it for most of my ironing needs.  (Keep in mind, you still have to ‘press’ your just sewn seams, the steamer would be used for removing wrinkles afterwards).  You also don’t require an ironing board and it is Kitty-safe if he happens to knock into it!

Steaming with Rowenta

I added white iron on interfacing and then sewed all around it, to finish off the raw edges of the folded straps.  It adds strength and ensures that the black horse pattern does not show through the white bodice after I sew on the straps.  I overlocked the seams and hand sewed a blind hem.  I was able to stitch the hem to just the white underlining, so that it was truly invisible on the right, horse fabric, side.

Self-lined bodice and underlined skirt; overlocked seams; hand sewn blind hem; interfaced raw edge straps.

Self-lined bodice and underlined skirt; overlocked seams; hand sewn blind hem; interfaced raw edge straps.

The sleeves were a bit wide and did not touch my shoulders, plus I found them to be really boxy.  So rather than just taking in the seams to make the sleeves smaller, I added a dart to the centre of the top of the shoulder on the sleeve, to alter the fit, and to provide some roundness and shape.  I have no idea if this is the ‘right’ alteration to make, but it did work out perfectly!  The sleeves fit great on the drop shoulder now and have more of a round shape to them.

Kitty indicating darts added to shoulder area of sleeves.

Kitty indicating darts added to shoulder area of sleeves.

Drop shoulder, straps detail.

Drop shoulder sleeves and straps detail.

Next time, I will narrow the sleeves.

Next time, I’ll narrow the sleeves.  They’re looking a tad too boxy and wide.

In the Future

The only alteration I would make for future Burda 7221 garments (and I do believe there will be more as I’ve already cut out the pattern for version B, the tank top) I will narrow the sleeves by about 2 cm (3/4″) as I felt they were a bit wide on my twig arms.  Also, keep in mind, the pattern runs long.  I shortened the bodice by 3cm (1″) and the skirt by 6cm (3″).

I find this dress easy to wear and fairly casual without looking sloppy.  I’ve no idea why practically nobody else in the world has sewn it!  But, perhaps it’s a testament to my, ummmm, fabulously avant-garde style??  Yes, that’s what we’ll say.

 

Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty.

Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty.

"Help Me!"

Kitty!!! “Help Me!” -Kitty

The Garden where literally hundreds of tomatoes are forming.

Me and my Burda dress in the Garden where literally hundreds of tomatoes are forming.

Ooops, sorry a little distracted by my tomato plants; Oooooooooh!; An almost ripe one!!

Ooops, sorry a little distracted by my tomato plants; Oooooooooh!; An almost ripe one!!

Black Cherry Tomatoes (will turn a merlot wine colour); Roma Tomatoes; Zebra tomatoes (these are huge, can't wait to see what colours they turn).

Black Cherry Tomatoes (will turn a Merlot wine colour); Roma Tomatoes; Zebra tomatoes (these are huge, can’t wait to see what colours they turn).

Kitty's Eye View of the Garden.

Kitty’s Eye View of the Garden.

 In Conclusion

So, to sum up:

  1. Black and white is über chic
  2. I love my sewing friends
  3. We heart horses and horsie fabric
  4. If you are in the ‘hood in the next 2 to 4 weeks, drop on by and we’ll have bruschetta, gazpacho, pasta marinara, Bloody Marys/Ceasers and caprese salad.

Looking forward to it!

 

Kitty’s Log: Stardate 12252013, The Quest For Power

Stardate 12252013: Things have taken a turn for the worse here on Day Three of the Power Outage / Blackout. The temperature outside has dropped to minus sixteen degrees Celsius (-16C / 3 degrees Fahrenheit) and inside the Enterprise, it is now 5 degrees Celsius (41 degrees Fahrenheit). I can see my breath when I exhale and there is no hot water.

Pig in a Blanket.  Hold the pig, add a Kitty.

Pig in a Blanket. Hold the pig, add one Kitty.

I am up to wearing two sweaters (jumpers) and am now too ‘girthy’ to fit through the kitty door.  My frozen raw food meal has been served to me….still frozen.Bundling UpWe suspect that we will either starve or freeze to death.  An emergency Away Team has been mobilized.

Scotty Cat

Scotty Cat

Three of us make up the Away Team (including myself) and we will head out on the next shuttle in search of heat and food. Two of us will stay on board the Enterprise, attempting repairs. We expect the worst but hope for the best.

We bit adieu to the Home Team (with an unspoken belief that they will perish) and begin our journey.

After some searching, we locate a cooperative race with power/electricity in an adjacent galaxy. The natives are friendly and welcome us inside.  Some resistance is met by the residing Grey Queen, but we put aside our conflicts for the sake of the mission.

The Grey Queen

The Grey Queen

The locals posses a tree equipped with dangly items hung all over to play with, and they provide us with fresh catnip!!!!  Joy. :) We are offered hot food and a place to sleep.

It's a Catnip Christmas, Charlie Brown.

It’s a Catnip Christmas, Charlie Brown.

Stardate 12262013: We venture out with the natives to explore this new galaxy. We encounter strange yet friendly races and interesting scenery. I  document our travels.

Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland

Nice Boy and Squirrel

Fine Young Lad with Squirrel

Friendly Locals

Friendly Locals

Stardate 12262013PM: We are contacted by the Enterprise. Repairs have been successful and power has been restored!!!!!!!!!!! We will head back tomorrow at 0900 hours.

Stardate 12272013: Our journey back to the Enterprise is not without obstacles.  Our shuttle sustains damages and we must wait for roadside assistance to arrive with aid.  I remain in the tiny box within the shuttle. I am not a fan of the tiny box, but as lead of the Away Team, I stay stoic.

Flat Tire and Kitty in a Box

Flat Tire and Kitty in a Box

I am unsure at this time, who or what is trying to thwart our success, but suspect it may be the Borg.  Rest assured, we will not be assimilated and we will persevere!

Repairs are made to the shuttle and we continue our journey. FINALLY, we arrive at the Enterprise, equipped with heat, power, hot water and internet. We rejoice as we are reunited with the courageous Home Team, shaken, but okay.

Sadly, casualties were incurred.  Several houseplants could not withstand the temperatures and did not make it. We honour their bravery and reflect on the oxygen and beauty they provided us. (Then, I eated some of their leaves, ooopsie! :) )  Mission Successful!  Kitty out.

YES!!

YES!!

Deer and Doe Belladone

Deer and Doe Belladone

(Thanks Kitty.  In other news, I can now sew!!  And, will be able to finish my Belladone (I’ll blog it next week) for Sunday when we will celebrate Christmas at our house.  So, if you are in the area, drop by for some tofurkey, wine, gifts and good conversation.  Thanks everyone for your concern, help and well wishes and I hope you all had a terrific Christmas and Boxing Day!)

Army Fatigue Jacket Made Cozy, Cozy, Cozy.

Army Fatigue Jacket Unzipped

Army Fatigue Coat Front Zipped and OpenThis month’s challenge for The Monthly Stitch was to sew something from a sewing book.  I have SO many sewing books, where to start?  Actually, I began with Gertie’s New Book For Better Sewing, and am at work on a project from it as well as a review.  Next, I also have the sewing book, Twinkle Sews and began work on a project from there, in addition to a review of the book.Army Fatigue Jacket Hands in Pockets

Sew Stylish Magazine Front and Back

Sew Stylish Magazine, Fall 2013

But then, the latest issue of Sew Stylish came out (Fall, 2013) and right on the back cover was a photo of an army fatigue jacket with the pattern and instructions included in the magazine.  So, since it is officially snowing here and I happened to be VERY cold at the time of purchase, I immediately went to work making the jacket out of a cozy wool blend, that feels soft, like a sweater blanket.

Army Fatigue Jacket Front and BackI opted not to add the inner drawstring channel and cord, since I thought it looked crisper and more tailored without it.Army Fatigue Jacket Front collar down"Model Pose"....or something....Work with me

“Model Pose”….or something….Work with me

I wanted to bind all the edges in the fuchsia pink, but this type of fabric has thick woolen threads weaved into it in order to create the flecks of colour and it raveled as the long threads separated from the raw edges almost immediately. Jacket Fabric and Separating ZipperSewing on the bias tape then resulted in many failed attempts as the threads pulled from the edges of the fabric, taking the bias tape with them.

Mah Bias Binding Matches Mah Mittens

Mah Bias Binding Matches Mah Mittens

But, I did manage to attach the bias binding to the edges that mattered, ie, the facing and hem, areas that you would see easily if the jacket were unzipped.  The remaining raw edges were over-locked.

Bam!  Fuchsia binding.

Bam! Fuchsia bias binding

The jacket has a long two-way separating zipper, (i.e., it can unzip from the bottom and the top) and deeeeeeeep patch pockets.

Warm, cozy, deep patch pockets

Warm, cozy, deep patch pockets

Some notes on enlarging pattern pieces:  First, number both the sides and top and bottom of the grid on each pattern piece.  Next, photocopy each pattern piece separately, then trim around the outside of the piece.

Fatigue Jacket Pattern PiecesThis way, when you go to enlarge the pieces and need to tape the multiple pages together, you can easily match the corresponding numbers on the top and sides of the grid.  You can also opt to copy the pieces either bigger or smaller than the intended size.  I photocopied mine so that each square was 6/8″ instead of the intended 1″ square, in order to shrink the overall size of the pattern.

Snow.  Wheeee!!!!

Snow. Wheeee!!!!

Snow WheeeeAre free magazine sewing patterns recommended?  It depends on what you are attempting to make.  Simple items, where little can go wrong are likely better than something with more complicated pieces.  Also, I don’t think the same amount of editing, thought and care goes into the instructions and pattern drafting for the free magazine patterns as there would be for independent or larger pattern company patterns, and therefore errors can definitely result.  For this jacket, one of the diagrams was wrong, causing me to insert the zipper backwards.  (I had to re-do the whole thing and it’s a 32″ zip!)  I also made my cape out of a free magazine pattern and found that the instructions to enlarge it were wrong.  I would recommend that you not be a complete beginner and have some sewing experience before you use one of the free magazine patterns.  That way, you can tell beforehand if/when there is an error and correct it.

Army Fatigue Jacket Unzipped

Hello Kitty!  In his sweater knit by Gramma.

Hello Kitty! In his sweater knit by Gramma.

Stay tuned for Blogpost Part 2, which I will post next week, where I will have, hopefully, completed the two projects from Gertie’s and Twinkle’s sewing books.  Edit:  Both completed and blogged here!

Kitty Photobombed

Sweater-Kitty Photo-bombed

That 70s Dress: Diane Von Furstenberg

Designer Diane von Furstenberg at Home

Diane Von Furstenberg looking like art. source: Corbis

The September Monthly Stitch vintage-challenge-badgechallenge was to sew something from Vintage Patterns.  I chose the iconic 70s dress maven Diane Von Furstenberg’s knit dress pattern from Vogue (V1547).  There was also a challenge called Fall For CottonFallForCotton200where you were to sew a vintage inspired pattern using only cotton fabrics.  So, I chose only cotton knits for both of the dresses. Diane Von Furstenberg Knit DressesIn the 1970s, Diane Von Furstenberg launched her signature versatile, easy-breezy wrap dress, that came to symbolize freedom and strength for a newly empowered generation of women.  It symbolized the New Woman, the then-revolutionary concept of competing in a man’s world while looking feminine.

Diane Von Fustenberg and Andy Warhol.  source:  Harper's Bazaar

Diane Von Fustenberg and Andy Warhol. source: Harper’s Bazaar

By 1976 she had sold over a million of her signature knit wrap dresses and landed on the cover of The Wall Street Journal and Newsweek, the latter dubbing her “the most marketable woman since Coco Chanel” (http://www.dvf.com/timeline-70s.html).

Von Furstenberg has been the president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America since 2006 and the year before was honored with their lifetime achievement award.  A 1970s DVF knit wrap dress is represented in New York’s Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

My mother, in the 1970s, used a DVF wrap dress Vogue pattern 1549, with collar and cuffs, to sew a dress for herself in a geometric black and white printed knit.

DVF 70s collared and cuffed knit wrap dress

My mum’s DVF knit wrap dress she sewed in the 1970s

Her version is almost identical to one DVF wore on the cover of Vogue Patterns magazine from 1976.

DFV on Vogue Patterns Magazine

DVF on the cover of Vogue Patterns, 1976

V1547 – Version B

For my short-sleeved belted version of the dress, I used ‘Germania’ by Jay McCarrol for FreeSpirit, Westminster Fibers brown geometric polka dot fabric.  It is a cotton knit that I purchased in the quilting section of a home decor fabric store.  And, after sewing the dress, I do wonder if this fabric is more suitable to quilts, blankets, etc. because I had a horrific time while sewing it.

DFV brown polka dot knit dress front and backTrying to unpick a stitch resulted in an almost immediate hole or would leave an obvious white spot from the needle holes since the back of the fabric is white and it also kept stretching completely out of shape.DVF brown polka dot knit dress Go Kitty (2)I could not get the overlocker to sew it properly, it kept jamming the machine, so I used a sewing machine.  But, using the triple stretch stitch or the knit stitch, the sleeve bands stretched 2 inches while I was sewing them on.  So, they do not lie flat and are not tight enough. When I tried a regular straight stitch, it would not hold together and slid back and forth on the thread as if gathering and then would break almost immediately.

Hello Kitty!

Hello Kitty!

I decided to wash the dress and put it in a hot dryer (even though I had already pre-shrunk) to see if it would help tighten up the fabric.  No, it did not.  But, what it did do was wrinkle like the dickens.  So, I had to iron every inch of my easy, breezy, simple knit dress.  Does this sound almost like blasphemy?  So, all in all, it did not turn out the way I had hoped, but it still works for a very casual, almost sweatshirt-like dress.  If anybody has any ideas about using this kind of fabric for fitted garments, or if indeed, it is not meant to be used for this purpose, please do share.

Reasons to Love the 70s.  Can You Think Of Any More?

Reasons to Love the 70s. Can You Think Of Any More?

V1547 – Version A

DVF blue knit dress front and backFor the long-sleeved version with the scarf tie, I used a four-way stretch cotton knit jersey.  I was nervous that it would be too stretchy and have even worse problems than the brown fabric, but it actually sewed up just fine and drapes really well.  It feels fabulous on, the fabric is very thin and silky with a heavy drape and ‘swishes’ nicely when I walk.

Oooooh, Swishy!

Oooooh, Swishy!

I am going to make a buckled belt for it out of the same fabric to offer up an alternative silhouette.  DVF blue knit dress front with scarf tie vintageThe scarf tie is perfect in this fabric, with such a heavy drape, it stays around the neck and being a thin fabric, folds easily and neatly into place.  DVF blue knit dress scarf tie (2)DVF knit wrap dress side with scarf tieAlthough you won’t be able to tell, I’m wearing Oscar de la Renta perfume, a classic fragrance that debuted in 1977.

DVF blue knit dress cat bombed polaroidWho Loves Kitty? DVF brown polka dot knit dress Who Loves Kitty (2)

Superhero Checklist: Cape…check. Pantone Fall 2013 Colours…check

Cape and Collar Scarf TieThose wonderful and talented kids from Wellington have done it again and now Kat, Mel and Juliet have created The Monthly Stitch where a new sewing challenge is issued monthly.  The August 2013 Challenge was to sew a cape!  I have always, always, always wanted a cape.  I’ve never sewn one, never worn one, never owned one.  So, this was the perfect opportunity to Make It So.  There have already been some fantastic makes in this challenge, it was very inspiring to see the cape in all its forms.Cape Front View CollageI used a pattern by Christine Haynes from a Quick Stuff to Sew, Winter 2011 magazine that I had. Quick Stuff To Sew Magazine ArticleI loved the deep side slits as they allow for range of motion, i.e., you can actually move about and DO things while wearing your cape.  There were some issues with enlarging the pattern.  If you followed the 980% instructions, then the 1 inch squares became too big.  So, I wasn’t sure which was correct, enlarging to 980% or having the squares measure to 1″.  In the end, I tried on the ‘paper muslin’ and enlarged it to a size that worked for me.Collar Tie and Cape ViewAnd, more exciting news, the Sew Weekly Challenge has returned!  I had not even begun sewing yet when they were blogging and issuing sewing challenges the first time around, so I’m delighted to be able to participate now.  The August 2013 Sew Weekly Challenge was to make something out of the Pantone Fall 2013 Colours. 2013-Fall-Color-Trend-PantoneThe colour I chose for the cape is called Vivacious and the fabric is a medium/heavy wool blend.  According to the Pantone Fashion Color Report, Fall, 2013:

Vivacious is an unruly and wildly deep fuchsia, and adds an ebullient sensuality to the palette.

Sounds too fabulous, yes?  How could I possibly resist the lure of that?!Cape BackCape and Collar Tie Side View I underlined each cape piece in a deep navy/indigo bemberg lining fabric and finished off all raw edges with navy bias tape.

Navy/Indigo Bemberg Underlining and Bias Taped Edges

Navy/Indigo Bemberg Underlining and Bias Taped Edges

Cape Open CollageI was originally going to make 1″ bias tape for the necktie, as the pattern called for, out of navy fabric to match the lining, but being part of a Pantone Colour Challenge, it began to feel a bit one-dimensional.  So, I chose this lovely silky smooth cotton which incorporated the Pantone colours: Vivacious Pink, Acai Purple, Linden Green, Deep Lichen Green and Carafe, all together.  Cape Collar Tie FabricThe colour combination of pinks/purples/greens and olive-brown complement each other so beautifully.  Pantone Fall 2013 Colours UsedColour Theory:

On the colour wheel, the Vivacious shade of pink (red/violet) is opposite the Linden green-yellow shade and is ‘complementary’.  Side ViewThis pairing creates contrast and keeps things lively and animated.  The acai purple (violet) is adjacent to the pink on the colour wheel, (these are called ‘analogous’ colours), which creates harmony and mellows things out.  The two greens are also analogous to one another, lending a calming effect.  ColourWheelThere is a mix of warm and cool colours which ensure the palette doesn’t become too one-dimensional.  The olive-brown colour is actually what you would get if you ‘mixed’ all these colours together and, therefore, fits effortlessly into the colour scheme.  The indigo/navy lining has enough purple in it to coordinate with these colours, and is also analogous to the acai purple/violet colour.  It is a very deep and dark shade, and so creates a grounding effect and provides a good backdrop for the other colours. This is what I’m hoping, anyway.  It all sounds good.  ;)

One Tie Over Shoulder Collage

One Tie Over Shoulder

Both Ties Over Shoulder

Both Ties Over Shoulder

For the collar/tie piece, I wanted something more lush than bias tape, so I interfaced the fabric with a fleece, to make it thick and cozy and similar in weight and thickness to the cape fabric.  I then cut and sewed two rectangles together with angled ends and just sewed it to the cape, all the way around the top.  Cape Closures and Collar Tie 2I had no idea how to make a collar/tie like this, just had a vision of what I hoped it to look like, but it did seem to work out well!  By adding this style of tie, it creates different options for wearing it and is also warmer.  I also wanted the cape to stay closed so sewed on some metal closures down the front.  And, what do these metal closures look like?  Little capes!  :)

Cat Bombed On the PhotoSet Collage

Who Let The Cat On the Set?? CAT ON THE PHOTO SET!!!

No Treats?  I'm Gone....

No Treats? I’m Gone….

And, the very best part of having a cape instead of a form-fitting jacket??  There’s always room for one more…  Always Room For One More