Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I hate wearing shorts but I decided to try making a pair using this BurdaStyle pattern. They are pleated in the front, pocketless, and zip up the side. The tiny blue and cream stripes gave me a headache while I was sewing!
Front of shorts
Back of shorts
Detail of front pleats

Bella helping with the photos

Now I just have to wait for warm weather to see if I'll actually wear them!

Marie Skirt in Blue

I gave the Marie pattern another try. This time I used a blue and white cotton canvas and didn't line it.
 Delphine is wearing it with the Green Slouchy Blouse because I was too lazy to take it off but I kind of like them together. The dark blue goes with many colors (sort of like denim) and so I have a feeling that this skirt will get lots of wear this spring and summer!

Green Slouchy Blouse

Last Tuesday was brought to you by the letter "B"! I made a blouse and baked breads. :) This blouse pattern was not my favorite. It came out looking like a uniform smock or something. The pattern is Burdastyle's slouchy blouse and the fabric is an iridescent cotton woven with tiny green and yellow flowers. The style would probably be more flattering if it was made in a fabric with more drape like a silk or rayon.  

Detail of buttoned sleeve tabs

Detail of collar
It looks much better when worn tucked into a skirt or pants.
Fresh baked boule

English muffins!

G.I. Jane Pajamas

I made these floral/camo satin pajamas as a birthday gift for one of my sisters.

Front of pajama camisole & shorts

Back of pajama camisole & shorts
I used Burdastyle's Jane pattern and polyester charmeuse from JoAnn's. The pattern was easy but I made a few simple changes. I added adjustable straps and I used bias tape to make the elastic casings instead of just zigzagging over the elastic as instructed. I think that the casings make for a neater look inside and out.

Adjustable ribbon straps
Camisole top with tiny bows
Shorts trimmed with tiny bows

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Plaid Peggy Skirt

So I know that I need another twirly full-skirted something like I need a pet pony but this one is wool so it is warm and practical! It looks like something Peggy Olson from Mad Men would have worn when she was still a secretary so it might come in handy as a future Halloween costume! I can justify almost anything...

I used BurdaStyle's Linda pattern (though one does not need to use a pattern to make such a simple circle skirt--just some math) and 2 yards of plaid wool lined with iridescent green/orange acetate from Denver Fabrics. I also added horsehair braid to the skirt hem for maximum oomph and twirl-ability.  

Skirt worn with my Poppy blouse

I did okay matching my plaids at the seams
I started this project weeks ago but had to be patient and let gravity do its thing with the bias.

This is what the hemline looked like after hanging for 2 weeks!
After I was satisfied that the bias had stretched itself out, I evened the bottom with the help of my dress form's hem gauge. I also tried adding 1/2" horsehair braid to the hem for the first time using Gertie's excellent tutorial. I'm a fan. It gives the skirt's hem some nice movement without being too stiff or puffy.
Finished hem with 1/2" horsehair braid and green lining

Close-up of the blouse colors perfectly matching the skirt!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Free Marie Skirt

Free pattern + Free Fabric = (almost) Free Skirt! 
I made this "tulip" skirt using BurdaStyle's Marie pattern (available as a free download from their site). The fabric is a cream colored stretch cotton jacquard that was a part of a free 10 yard mystery bundle promotion from Fabric Mart Fabrics. While the pattern does not call for a lining I added one using a piece of mauve acetate that was also included in my free fabric bundle. Now the skirt fabric won't stick to my legs velcro-style when I wear it with tights! This skirt was basically free to make (the zipper, interfacing, thread, and hook-and-eye were purchased but already in my sewing room so I am pretending they don't count).

This was sort of a success. I would recommend this pattern to a beginner because it is literally the same front and back, making it simple to cut out and to assemble. It's not the best look on me because I feel it's a bit bulky in the waist and the cream color is more for spring (I can just hear my grandmother reminding me about white and Memorial Day...) but I'm going to rock it anyway with black tights, black patent booties and a black long sleeved embellished t-shirt! If I'm going to break Grammy's fashion rules then I might as well make the offending garment front and center. :) 

A Good Learning Experience
This was the first Burda skirt pattern I have made and I was not sure which size to select. I made a 40 and it is way too big to sit at my natural waist. I will alter this skirt some day when I'm in the mood. When I made my next skirt from a Burda pattern I cut a 38 and the fit was much better (I haven't blogged about that one yet because it has been hanging for a few weeks to let the bias stretch before I hem it). I also reached a milestone with this Marie skirt--my first invisible zipper to be properly installed on the first attempt! I did a little happy dance. 
Successful invisible zipper!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Karl Lagerfeld Ruby Skirt

I finished this skirt today after a lot of swearing:

 I used the Karl Lagerfeld pattern available on Burdastyle and some red polyester suiting. It has elastic in the back, in-seam side pockets and fake front pocket flaps. I omitted the front zip because I wanted to reduce bulk in the tummy area. I also added 2 inches to the length because other sewists had warned that this was a very short skirt. They must be a lot taller than I am because those 2 extra inches were not necessary! I am still deciding whether to take it apart and shorten it....

This is a close-up of the fake pocket flaps and the fabric-covered buttons I made. Making the buttons was definitely my favorite part of this project!
An overexposed photo of the button-covering in progress on the ole ironing board!

My frustration with this project was mostly due to the fabric I chose. I had to be very careful not to melt the poly when ironing the hem turn-up and front pleats. If you make this skirt please use natural fibers like cotton, silk, or wool!