Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Burda 8/2008 pants

I've just returned from an eventful trip to a fabric shop to buy a zip.  

My normally trusty car decided to die on the way there, and, true to the laws of breakdowns,  picked the worst place possible - a busy overpass at the traffic lights in pouring rain.   The car has now been towed to a mechanic's.  I squelched home by foot. 

R.A.C. Breakdown Service is a wonderful thing!   There are also some lovely blokes out there who will stop and offer help.  But I still don't have a zip.  

No zip, but there is more fabric!  I've been avoiding more fabric buying (I have heaps) but I couldn't resist this Stretch Cotton Sateen from Fabric.com on special for US$3.49 yd (and a further 20% off with a coupon from RetailMeNot).  Bargain! ...I'm good at deluding myself when it comes to fabric!
I ordered Moss, Olive, Forest Green and Cadet.  There is some variation - the moss is a lighter weight than the others and the forest green is more like a stretch moleskin than sateen.  I'm not terribly keen on the feel or look of the blue, but it is ok.  Overall, the quality of these is excellent.     

These fabrics are calling "cargo pants"!  I' was mooching around David Jones Department Store and saw a pair that reminded me of a Burda August 2008 pattern.  Isn't one of the nice things about sewing when you can scoff at the pricetag and think - I can make these!
I'd never looked at this pattern before, mainly due to this photo which suggests the pants are skin tight.  
Luckily, the pattern is slim fitting but nowhere near tight.  
I used the forest green fabric.  I'm really pleased with how these have turned out.  They are comfy and the pattern is a really flattering cut with interesting design details.
I switched these with the linen pants in my Pattern Review Wardrobe, they go far better with the other items.  
Not quite sure what to make now.  I'm off to Melbourne for Grand Final Weekend and I've got a wedding to go to in a few weeks - both meriting some sewing.   I'm prowling the mail box hoping the post office will bring me some new pattern magazines and some inspiration.....

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Miffed at McCalls!

Indulge me with a giant gripe!

Dear McCalls,
I have loyally purchased my Vogue/McCalls/Butterick patterns from your US site for years.  You have such good sales. I love Vogue patterns.  I buy heaps of them.  You have always been so good to me.... UNTIL NOW!   

You have new charges unless I am mistaken, and you are seriously slugging us poor international customers.  

I assume these are new charges as I made a purchase from you 3 weeks ago.  The postage for 7 patterns then was just under US$25 to Australia and all I paid was the cited cost of the pattern and the postage - no 'handling charge'.  But you say your new charges are:

Shipping and Handling Charges 
No.                                U.S. and Canada                                    International
1-3                                  $4.00                                                                    $20.00
4-7                                  $8.00                                                                    $40.00
8-15                                $12.00                                                                  $70.00
-20                                  $16.00                                                                  $100.00

I could be completely wrong but I just checked your postal company calculator and the actual postage charge doesn't seem to have increased.  Hey, I'm in Australia, I expect postage costs to be high.  But not this high!  So, is the increase a 'handling charge' for international customers?   

Please explain?

Yours sincerely
Disgruntled International Customer.  

It's not an easy job being a sewer these days is it?  So many of the fabric shops have disappeared, Burda is mucking around with us, and I have wondered from time to time whether the days of paper patterns are numbered.  What I didn't expect was pattern companies deciding to discourage international customers from buying their patterns! 

What a weird business decision.   Why don't they just increase the cost of the patterns or not reduce them so much on sale, rather than charge international customers a separate fee?  

Grrrrr McCalls.... Grr..... 

Woo Hoo!

My Pattern Review Wardrobe entry is finished!   Woo Hooooooooo! 

The aim was to have a wardrobe of casual clothes that all worked together as I was really lacking in that department. 

It's very satisfying looking at the rack of clothes and seeing that I do now have things that mix and match and it is lots of fun trying them all on.   With the benefit of hindsight, if I ever tried a  SWAP wardrobe again I would go for less detailed items as I took such a long time and was really uninspired by the end.    Even my tax return was starting to look enticing! 

Although..... some of the earlier items seem to have shrunk!  Oh no!  Being on holiday, not walking to and from work and being so close to the fridge is having the inevitable result.  There have been glimpses of spring in the air... .. it is time to get outside.

Now, while I ponder that, these were the patterns I ended up using for the Wardrobe. 
And these are the finished items.
The photos of the last 2 things I've made are a bit saggy and baggy looking but I like them more in real life than the photos suggest.  

For the last top I was totally out of inspiration so made a very simple trapeze tee, but it is in cream silk jersey so feels lovely.   The pattern is from Patrones #272. 
The pants are from Patrones #294, in a washed medium weight linen so are very floppy - and impossible to photo. The feature is the back, which has lovely seaming.   I did have to remove one of the pleats - 3 pleats was just way too much volume. 
Aaahhhh... what to make now I'm back to Sewing Without A Plan?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

2 BurdaStyle Lydias and Patrones pants

Now, a quick question - can you see the link to send comments on this post?  Comments is enabled and it worked briefly for my last post and I had a comment and responded... and then it all vanished.  All is looking ok on the settings but when I look at the blog there is no comments link.  Mysterious!   I wonder what I have done?

I've been a bit slack on the sewing and blogging front but I do have a pair of Patrones pants and 2 tshirts finished.   Only 1 top and 1 bottom left to do for the Pattern Review Wardrobe.  The closer I get to finishing the slower I am going!

I've never tried any Burdastyle patterns before but this downloadable 'Lydia' pattern may become my go-to tshirt pattern - with some tweaking based on this very useful article from Threads Not your ordinary tshirt.   
As recommended in the article, I lowered the front 1/2" and added a bit to the seams at the bust line in lieu of a full bust adjustment.  Tshirts have the annoying tendency to slide backwards over my shoulders so I love the quick solution suggested  - raise the back neckline and shoulder and take a bit off the front shoulder - works a treat.

Version 1 - made in a very light cotton jersey with a tea stain pattern.   The embellishment on the shoulders is a fabulous camouflage sequined fabric from Tessuti. 
I made this a bit looser than the basic pattern as the fabric is thin and shows up every flabby bit if tight. 
Each shoulder embellishment is 2 half ovals with a seam the shape of the shoulder line.  I removed the sequins within the seam allowance and tacked a small hem, then sewed it onto the top.  That looked a bit harsh so I also zigzagged a thin strip of the fabric around the outside to soften the line.  

Version 2 is made in a black rayon spandex jersey from Beautiful Fabric WA.  I changed the basic pattern bottom to a tail shape.  The shoulder embellishment is the same fabric but this time I just hand sewed on an oval lined with the jersey.  

And the jeans in the pictures - these are from Patrones #285.
I was a bit unsure about the topstitching - I'd prefer it to be a bit more subtle.  I did think about dying them but then realised the topstitching thread is polyester - so light coloured topstitching it is!

One more pair of trousers and one top to freedom!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Vogue's autumn patterns

I am officially 1 month and 11 days into my long service leave - and being very lazy.   I think I am getting cabin fever!  I made a long list of 'things to do' and have been avoiding them.   It does have dreaded things on it like - 'do tax return' and 'go to dentist' but it also has good things like 'get someone in for new built in wardrobe' and 'plan a trip', and I haven't got around to those either. 

The Vogue fall patterns were released recently.  There are some really enticing styles.  From other sewers' blogs it seems we all wait for the $3.99 sale and get a nice pile at the same time.  Some of my choices are practical, some probably not.   Anyway, my picks:

this Michael Kors dress is a favourite with lots of us by the looks of it.   Dresses tend to languish unworn in my wardrobe so I might make it as a top. 
And this DKNY dress, also really practical and wearable.
And these 2 Donna Karan patterns - although these are in the 'love but maybe not very practical' box - both great but look like very tall person's outfits.   I bought them for the skirt for the first one and the jacket for the second.
And, this Tracey Reese top and skirt would be great for a summer work outfit. 
With this Issey Miyake pattern, the fabrics they have chosen on the envelope are a bit distracting but it has possibilities.  The jeans look like a nice shape.  The 'tunic' I would shorten, maybe as a short jacket. 
And finally, I added a Butterick pattern which looks lovely in the reviews I have seen on Pattern Review. 
Today I am happily making tshirts and will post some pics when I have finished my latest.  It is raining and wintry today so no excuse not to hit the sewing machine!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Burda 6-2010 pants, Patrones #285 jacket and pants

A few finished projects to catch up on... I've been plodding away with the Wardrobe Contest sewing. 

Burda 6-2010 trousers

This capri pant pattern appears in the June Burda mag. 
I've lengthened them to a full length trouser without the curved hem and they are made in a shimmery stretch poly-cotton from Fabric Gallery in Perth.

This is a really nice trouser pattern.   I love the pleating/pockets. And... they are easy and quick to make which is always a big plus!

Patrones #285 Jacket

I wish I knew how to take decent pictures of black clothes - my photos all look washed out.  This is the Patrones #285 diagonal zipped jacket worn with the Burda pants.    

As mentioned in an earlier post, this is truly a bare bones pattern. There are no facings and the lining is the same as the other pattern pieces.   The pattern didn't have anything after the zip on the right hand side in the photo, which looked funny, so I drafted an underlap.  

The pink part is the existing pattern piece.  I laid tracing paper on the pattern piece and drew a straight line at a 90 degree angle from the point at the bottom to the mid neck.   I then placed the back shoulder pattern on the tracing paper and copied the whole shoulder line.  I drew a freehand line to the mid neck point and seam allowances were finally added to the seams.   
Patrones #285 skinny jeans

And last but not least, I have another item for the Wardrobe Contest - only one more bottom to go now.   Patrones #285 was a very worthwhile buy - lots of yummy patterns and this is my 5th item from this mag.  And there are still loads of things I'd love to make.   This is the picture on the impossibly tall skinny model.   They have knee inserts and lots of topstitching.   
  And this is my effort, on the back of a door.  
These were a pleasure to make.  The pattern fitted really nicely with a minimum of changes and they are very comfortable in a stretch denim.  I am a bit iffy about the topstitching colour - it isn't exactly subtle.  Is it a bit OTT?   I want to make these again in a black denim with black or dark grey topstitching.   It is such a great pattern.  

Bit sick of trouser making at the moment so have moved on to t-shirts, working off  Burda Lydia.    

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

2 Patrones Mags

Yesterday was a pretty perfect day... gorgeous weather, long lunch and not 1 but 2 Patrones magazines landed on my doormat!  I subscribe to Patrones through Mode Info, although they have increased their fees so much recently that I am going to try subscribing direct through Patrones next time.   The magazines get here faster when ordered direct which is a bonus, plus the very reduced cost.

So far I've only had a skim through Patrones # 93 and #294.  I aim to peruse them thoroughly tomorrow, over my morning coffee.  Nothing much is grabbing me so far - but that is usually the case with summer editions.  I never get very enthused about summer clothes, particularly in the middle of the southern hemisphere winter!
Patrones #294.  Lots of floaty smock tops, chiffon tunics, shorts, bikinis, a few capri pants.  Hmmm nothing I can imagine myself wearing.
I am rather taken with these trousers though.  I have the perfect olive linen.   Wonder how baggy they are - they look reasonable on the model but she is probably 6ft tall. 

And Patrones #293 has more interesting things but again nothing that I'm very inspired to make.   A few sarouel pants and nice basic pants and more safari styles.
I'm hanging out for the next edition... Autumn.... usually full of yummy styles.