Sunday, August 28, 2011

McCalls 6288 tshirt and Burda 7/2011 trousers

A croaky groan..... I've had the cold from hell for the last 2 weeks.  Explaining why all I can make just now is clothes for lying on the sofa. 
First up McCalls 6288 View C/D - the big, baggy tshirt.  The front of the tshirt is in 9 sections.
The grey version is in a thin modal spandex from Potters Textiles Outlet store.  It is a very large tshirt style. I made a size 14.

The pattern calls for french seams on the front panels.  That sounded a bit boring on this so I sewed the seams on the outside using wooly nylon on the bobbin, and then using a double needle, sewed down the seam on the outside.  When you wash the top the edges curl round. 
The black version is also in a modal spandex jersey.  This one is made the way the pattern suggests and the panel in the middle is a drapey silk.  I'm not sure that was very successful as it isn't stretchy enough for the other fabric.  Oops.
My only issue with this tshirt is that my shoulders are narrow and this has a very wide neck, which was even wider in a very thin stretchy fabric.  I had to try and pull in the neckline quite a bit with the neck band and sew on strap holders which makes it look rather crinkly round the neck.  

And for the bottom half - the baggy trousers from July Burda (worn above in the photo with the grey top).  Burda make them in a number of permutations from batiste to jersey.  They are basically a peg leg trouser with a wide jersey band instead of a waistband.  
On the plus side these have to be the easiest and quickest pants in the world to make. On the minus side, they aren't terribly flattering on short people like me. But my, are they comfortable! My version are in silk charmeuse with cotton/spandex band.  My advice would be to make them in something very thin and drapey or they make your hips look huge.

I had to take in a cm on the side seams and a fair bit from the waist band as it was too loose.  Otherwise, I can see myself wearing these heaps at the weekends.  

Monday, August 15, 2011

Burda 5/2011 Model 103 and the new plaything

It's time to part, old cantankerous ElnaLock!  It's been a long relationship.  I wish I could say it had been a harmonious one.  But I can't.  You've chewed your last tshirt.  Even a service didn't perk you up.  
After the final chomping, I gave up and paid a visit to Kennedy's Sewing Centre in the city.  I found this second hand Bernina overlocker.   If only I'd known!  There is a world of smooth, snagless overlocking out there.     
Ooh it's nice.  I love the thread catcher thingy too.  Very useful.      

Meanwhile, something without any overlocking.  Sorry for the fuzzy picture.

Eked out from the remnants of the rather disastrous Burda July bias top (see below for the black version on me), this is Burda 5/2011 with the sleeves from the Butterick 5561 top I just made - with the cute tuck.    
Now I wasn't very on the ball when I made this. First - the underarm sleeves. I measured the length of the seams and armholes and thought "how convenient - they fit".  And then realised when I attached them that they fit if the sleeve underarm seam is an inch out of alignment with the bodice underarm sleeve. But then again how often are people going to be looking at ones underarm seams? 
And the second 'not paying attention' feature. I did the pleats the wrong way. I think from the photo in the magazine the middle pleat is meant to be on the outside rather than the inside.  I may unpick the neck a bit and redo them if they bother me.
The only other difference is that I used a bias strip on the neck rather than the facing.  
This is a nice pattern and super easy top. No surprises here. The pattern is rather long, that is the only thing I can think of.   The fabric is a silk satin from Textile Traders. 

The prototype, made in a poly remnant is made as the Burda pattern.  The fabric makes me think of printer ink commercials.  It needed a bit of tweaking - I needed a full bust adjustment as it rose up at the hem, and my facing didn't sit quite flat so I decided to do the bias edging instead.
And finally....I took a photo of the bias top from July Burda.  Bit shapeless and unflattering isn't it.  After seeing the lovely versions by We Love Sewing and Slapdash Sewist who, unlike me, sensibly rejected Burda's advice to cut it on the bias, I think straight grain may be the way to go.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Butterick 5561 top

Ah bliss.... in contrast to the tussle with the not-at-all-easy 'Easy' Burda top in the last post, Butterick 5561 is a dream.  I bought this pattern some time ago but had never tried it.  It's definitely worth a try.
Envelope Description: Loose fitting tops have front neckline gathers, raglan sleeves with shoulder darts and deep front pleat. I made view A with short sleeves with pleats. 

I plan to wear it with narrow black trousers rather than a skirt but they were in the wash for photo time.
I made a 16 but would try a smaller size next time as it is a very roomy top.

It takes 1.3 m of 150cm fabric.  I've used a silk charmeuse that was a find on half price sale at Textile Traders Balcatta.
The front has a fold and gathering. 
Particular likes:   It's very easy and quick to make and needs next to no fitting.   And the sleeves are very cute with an interesting tuck feature at the hem.

Dislikes:   As a matter of pattern drafting the front gathering is clunky.   You make the large fold then put the gathering stitches through the 3 layers.  So you end up with a very thick gathered piece.  I had to catch stitch under the fold where you can't see the stitches, to get it to lie flat.
My one other reservation was that I maybe didn't do justice to the fabric. The back looks so nice.  The pattern is probably best for plain fabrics or the fold and gathering get a bit lost.
I'll definitely be giving this pattern another outing.