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!!

 

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“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!

 

Fearless February Project: Burda Style 7441

I am currently at work on my Fearless February Project.  This sew-along was started by Victoria, and her blog, Ten Thousand Hours of Sewing, is based on the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

In the book, Gladwell expounds the value of the “10,000 Hour Rule”, where success and mastery of something can be achieved but requires 10,000 hours of practice.  It makes me feel really motivated and positive about my sewing since as a beginner, I sometimes feel overwhelmed with all there is to learn.  But, with this idea in mind, I believe that I can achieve success in sewing!

I’m a fan of Gladwell’s writing and if you have not checked him out, he has published several books and they all infuse a fresh twist into the subjects of modern psychology and philosophy.

Okay, with that in mind, here is the Fearless February Project:  Burda Style Pants 7441.Burda 7441 Pattern  I began this project last year before ever having sewn a thing, and it was far too overwhelming.  And, in retrospect, it was not a good choice for an absolute beginner for several reasons: 1) The pattern is a Burda and I have been told they can be notorious for not providing the most detailed or complete instructions.  2) It is rated as a 3 out of 4 on a difficulty level.  3) Tailored pants are more difficult to sew than a simple skirt or top.  And, 4) These pants have a lot going on including, two different styles of pockets, darts, pleats, zipper.

However, with some experience under my belt, a slew of practice hours logged and a variety of projects completed, I felt ready to tackle these pants again.

All pattern pieces have been cut out, including lining and interfacing.  Pants Pattern Pieces Cut Out

The very first task (after sewing the back darts) was to construct the back welt pockets.  Wow, these were difficult to understand, the directions and pictures were not very explanatory and there seemed to be a few placement marks missing on the pattern pieces (i.e., sew lines for piping and pocket attachment).  But, with the help of my sewing teacher, and a few tears, I have now completed the back welt pockets!!  Back Welt PocketBack Welt Pocket InsideThere was a definite learning curve, and, one pocket looks better from the outside while the other pocket worked out nicely from the inside.  So, for the next pants, I should be able to construct a pocket that looks good from both the outside and inside.  I am now on to the front of the pants.  Wish me luck!