First there was this beautiful sequined jersey I bought some time ago. I always knew that it should become a skirt. After some research and several nightmares I read about sewing sequined fabric I decided that it has to have no more seams than absolutely necessary. My fabric has metal sequins. I was afraid that they would kill everything that touches them… needles, blades, scissors. I found this tutorial on a single seam skirt made after your own measurements. Perfect. So I drafted the pattern, cut my fabric, removed the sequins from the seam allowance and stitched it together. Well…I added some centimetres for the hem on top and bottom. But I forgot to add the actual seam allowance to the centerbackseam. It could have worked since my fabric is a knit with a good amount of stretch. But the thread that holds the sequins isn’t elastic. I would not declare myself beaten that fast. I ripped the seam for about 10 cm from the top so I could get into the skirt and sewed some hook and eye closures to it. Since the skirt got quite tight without the proper seam allowance, they held the skirt together but you could see my skin in the spaces between them. Finally I found a small zipper I had removed from some old pants. I sewed it in by hand. First because zippers on jersey tend to get wavy and second because I didn’t want to have to remove so many sequins again. After I knew that I could actually wear this skirt I invested some time in sewing the waistband and the hem by hand. For the hem I used the un-sequined selvage of the fabric. So the sequines wouldn’t stick to tights I will possibly wear with the skirt when it’s colder.
The actual cause for finally starting to sew the skirt was the invitation to a wedding. Because I couldn’t attend the event just wearing a skirt I had to make a matching top. It was not going to be made of the sequined fabric too. That would have been to many sequins (and to much work ;) ). I chose a lightweight jersey from my stash. I used it before for one of my hi-low dresses.I wanted something simple with only a little bit of sparkle. Therefor I drafted this V-neck top. It’s the same in the front and back (the advantages of having small boobs). The sparkle comes from a necklace I attached at the shoulders and in the center with some stripes of the same fabric. I had this plan before I had the necklace… I wanted it to be rosegold to match the skirt and the sequins. The desired colour limited the number of choices. Almost out of despair I bought a necklace at H&M that had several rosegold strings held by one closure. My plan was to remove some strings to make it look lighter. When trying to loose them from the closure I realised that each string was made of little elements that hold each other like the fingers of a hand. That way I could have one necklace and adapt it to my desired length by joining two strings to one. I almost did a little happy dance.
I even managed to make a little pouch out of the very few remnants of the fabric. It’s just a tiny sack with another part of the necklace as the handle.
Later this year there was another wedding invitation. Since it wasn’t that warm anymore and because I decided that it might be better to cover the areas where the skirt sits a bit too tight, I made another top. The fabric is a goldish shiny jersey. Not the best quality as I discovered while sewing it, but it matched the skirt and it was cheap. The pattern is a peplum top from Burda (#114 08/2012) I made it before as a top and twice lengthened to a dress (1, 2) I shortened the front of the peplum to show more of the skirt. Because I’m short I have to be aware of proportions to not look like a dwarf as much. Again I didn’t use the original sleeve. I used the one from my last Burda easy dresses ( like here: 1, 2, 3 and 4). I just like the little pleat in this place.
Meanwhile I wear the top more often than the skirt. I pair it with tight black pants and a cheetah printed head scarf.
This is a shot from the wedding photographer. I don’t have a name or contact to link to. But this picture is her work and she did a great job on this day. It is also nice to show you some details. The pleat on the sleeve, the necklace that I made out of the remnants from the first top’s necklace and the headband I covered in the sequined fabric to match the skirt. It such an easy hairdo. Just tucking your hair around the head band and securing it with some bobby pins.
Doesn’t I just look like I belong to this villa in the countryside back in the 1930ies ;)
My Christmas outfit makes progress. I finished two of three garments. Plaid flanell is involved in everyone of them :) Meanwhile the latest issue of the magazine “La Maison Victor” arrived and I can start with the last one.
How is it going with your festive sewing?
Well, it was a bit more needing than dreaming :) In summer I was invited to a big birthday party with dresscode ‘white’. I don’t have a white dress in my closet because I thought I am very white myself and I probably look like a corpse when wearing white. The dress should definitely have a bit of colour as a little accent and to proof that I’m not naked. I did some sketches and hacked it from the well tested ( 1 , 2 and 3) Burda easy dress. Which means omitting the drapy front thing, altering the neckline to a round one and adding the triangles of contrasting fabric.
I even got a picture from the dress in action on the dancefloor. I really like my white dress but it was a strange feeling beeing around all these white dressed people. It felt a bit like accidentally getting into a sect.
To insert the triangles I cut them from the pattern piece and added seam allowance to both the white and the coloured pieces. I thought it would be a nice feature to end the skirt triangle some centimetres above the hem. Therefor I hemmed that pieces before sewing it onto the white skirt pieces.
As I present my projects not only here on my blog but also on Burda Style it happend that I got chosen to be featured, with my laced up Pants and my wrap blouse. It is not the first time this happend and like always I didn’t even notice it myself (because I usually don’t scroll that far down the front page). But some kind Burda member notified me in the comments.
Although I still have some garments sewn but not posted I started working on my Christmas outfit. The sketch is ready, I have all patterns (2 of 3 already traced) and fabrics are chosen. I even finished the first garment. Hope to keep the pace so I can finish it in time. Do you have Christmas sewing plans? Are they maybe already finished or do you still work on it on Christmas Eve?
As you might have noticed I’m a repeat offender when it comes to patterns that I like. But not every repetition ends up in my own closet. This is another garment for my mother. I did the dress from Burda easy Autmn/Winter 2013 in a caramel coloured rayon and in black jersey with a flowery accent.
My mother wanted the skirt to be longer and the neckline to be higher. I added elastic to the sleeve hems so she can wear the sleeves high or low. Both fabrics are lightweight jerseys.
Now we just have to wait for the summer to come back so we can wear out comfy and chic dresses again.
No big surprise, just the very popular Burda Wrap Blouse. At the moment it has 752 downloads on the international Burda website. Like almost everybody I fell for it the moment I saw it in the preview for the April issue of Burda magazine. I had many fabric combinations in mind but in the end I decided to start with a remnant of rayon from my caramel dress. It was a quite small piece of fabric, not even enough to do both front parts. I used some black chiffon for the lower layer. It is sheer but it doesn’t show much. But anyway there was just enough fabric for the smallest size without seam allowance. I thought this is no big deal since I almost always use the smallest size without seam allowance and it is described as boxy (that equals roomy in my world…). Well, but I almost always use knit fabrics with stretch. And the construction of the front is not made for just dropping seam allowance. The edge of the front panels is supposed to sit right beside the shoulder seam. But my shoulder seam moved a bit inwards and I had to be careful not to catch the edge when setting in the sleeves. Another issue was the corner of the front parts. I saw many people just overlapping the fabric and stitching it in place. My mission was to do this one thing properly. I read the instructions from Burda on how to do this ‘envelope corner’. Please don’t think that Burda instructions are clearer in German. At some point (after consulting Google and looking at some pictures) I thought I unterstood how to do it. Then I realised that this corner is no right angle… just ignoring the knot in my brain I went for it and it worked somehow. I’m quite pleased with the result (Although it brought me some Star Trek comments on Facebook and in real life) And as if there weren’t enough problems with this ‘supposed to be easy’ garment, it shrank when I washed it (the pictures were taken before). At the moment I’m considering wether I will rescue it somehow (because I think it might be a nice companion for the laced up pants) or to give it to some little girl (in this case I maybe have to hurry before the girls I know won’t even fit into this anymore)
But I wasn’t scarred enough not to try this pattern a second time. My mother liked it too when she saw it in the magazine. I bought 1m of some satin-like rayon in grey because I liked it’s pattern. I had to make some adjustments. My mother wanted it to be longer. I also added the seam allowance and some ease. I did the backpiece on the fold for the first one. This time I went with the center back seam because I could fit the pattern pieces on the fabric better this way. Although I was totally prepared to use some other fabric for the sleeves I could squeeze it all out of my 1m of fabric. I had a hard time setting the sleeves in …Seems like I had went a bit to far with my alterations… In the end I hemmed everything by hand. No needle, thread or tension adjustment worked to get a smooth result with this fabric. Sometimes I like to do some sewing by hand because it gives me the freedom of doing it whereever I want. The only difficulty was to space my stitches evenly. But only until I discovered a simple trick on Pinterest. Just mark the desired spacing on your thumb with a pen and by holding the fabric you can see exactly where your next stitch has to be.
I don’t know whether I will have a third try on this… but on the other hand I really would like to have a wearable version for myself :)
It didn’t take me a lot of patience to do these pants. But you had to have quite a lot of it until you could read something new from me.
My most recent pants are from Burda 6991. This is a very easy pattern. The only challenge is to choose the right size. According to my measurements I had to make a 36. This is size S which is usually to big for me and I read that these pants are huge in the waist. Finally I decided to make size 34 (XS). The only alterations were to shorten the legs (about 10cm) and to move one side of the closure some centimetres closer to the outer seam. So I could tie it tighter. The recommended closure ist a stripe of leather or ribbon. Since I used some casual mystery fabric I imagined some so called ‘fat laces’ for this purpose. Back in the days I wore my sneakers with them. Well it seems they are out of fashion now. I couldn’t find them in any store. So instead I used two regular laces. Somedays after I finished these pants we shot a fitness DVD and I thought the set might be a nice backdrop for sportive pants.
You can never have to many bows in one outfit :) I didn’t wear my bow earrings so there are only 4 bows this time.
detail of the closure
line drawing from Burda Style
These pants weren’t the first I’ve ever made. My first pair was ‘Vilma’. My friend gave me some issues of the german sewing magazine CUT for christmas. These pants seemed to be simple (I never did pants before). I bought very cheap fabric and some elastic band to try it. I made it a bit smaller than the smallest size and had to take it in at the thighs. I also added two pleats in the back and sewed them in place to reduce the paper bag effect. I added inseam pockets and lining at the hem to have another colour when I turn it up. Although the fabric was cheap it has a nice soft touch and is comfortable but a little bit to sturdy.
pants ‘Vilma’ from CUT magazine no. 3
I have at least 7 garments waiting to be shown here. I hope not to tax your patience that much again :)