Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Burda 6829:The Little Red Dress Project

The last thing I thought I would make is a red velvet dress, but at the Harrogate knitting and stitching sew I sew this fantastic stretch velvet on the Bombay Stores stand at only £6.95 a metre, so I decided to join the little red dress project after all. 

As soon as I got the fabric I was sure that I had seen the perfect pattern, Burda 6829.  I had 2  metres of fabric and easily got this shorter version with a bit to spare.  The velvet was a little  heavier than  ideal for this pattern, the main problem turned out to be the facing.  As you can imagine around the neck facing with two layers and (stretch) interfacing it is pretty bulky.  Even with my usual understitching the facing would not stay down and I have had to use my twin needle to top stitch to solve the problem.

What I really love about this pattern is how figure flattering it is, it definitely minimizing the tummy area, which I had worried might be accentuated by the gathers it definitely isn't.

I did my usual changes, raising the waist by 1" and  reducing the width of the shoulders.  I cut a size 12, in a lighter more stretchy fabric the fit might be a bit too loose.  Shame about the folds at the back waist I really need to sort this issue out for the future.  The other change I made was to fit the sleeves in flat.  I'm not sure why they have you fitting these after you have done the side seams.  The way they have you doing the hem (front first then then the back later) was a real pain to line up, both the length and lining up the twin needles, so I will look if there is a way to do the whole hem at once.

So there we are a red Christmas dress and I will be posting it as part of Renata's Little Red Dress  project (#THELITTLEREDDRESSPROJECT) when loads of red dresses will be appearing this week.  I do really like this pattern and will made another less dressy version.

So that is probably it until after Christmas.  If you celebrate Christmas have a great one.  I have my boy home so I'm happy and planning to take it very easy indeed!

Friday, 9 December 2016

Butterick 6388

Time for some winter sewing ..... and I made two in a week.  This is Butterick 6388, a relatively new pattern.

I love this pattern, it is so cosy and is completely different in the different fabrics.  The first one I made is  from a sweater knit, bought from Abakhan at Preston.  If you haven't been to this shop you don't know what you are missing, most of the fabrics are bought by the kilo.  This was incredibly light so 2 metres cost less than £8 and is a fabulous duck-egg blue, my favourite!

I cut a size medium initially, and as you can see this version turned out quite loose and could probably have been a little more fitted.  I found a vintage button to put on the neck.

You can see more of the details on the second version (which I really love).  The fabric is probably the best quality ponte I have every bought.  It is from Fabric Godmother, not cheap at £16 a metre (so much more expensive than the last one) but it is so thick and warm and I know I will get loads of wear from this dress.  I think it would make a good Molly for those of you wanting a substantial version and I have already made a Coco from a black stripe similar fabric .... perfect.


Using a stripe means you can really feature the back yoke and the side panels, which I cut on the opposite grain.  I also cut the sleeves originally on the vertical grain, only to find that the stripes now followed the shoulder stripes and that wasn't what I wanted.  The back yoke was a little fiddly but I love this extra detail.  The collar is pretty easy to achieve, the hardest bit making sure you stretch it just right.

I also love the dropped sleeves (makes fitting for those of us with narrow shoulder easier).  Because of the roominess of the first version I cut it a little smaller .... mistake!  The fabric made the fit completely different and it was much tighter, so I ended up with a 3/8" seam rather than a 5/8" seam at the sides to give a little bit more ease.    This is my argument against toiles.  Unless you use pretty identical fabric the fit will be different in any case.  I do make toiles but so often you think the fit is OK and made up it just isn't the same.  I hold a lot of store in sewing shoulders/any front or back seams and then basting the remaining seams to try.  I also know that for most patterns I need to narrow the shoulders and the neckline (though not in this case), raise the waist, and lower the hem!

I will usually wear this dress with a belt, as I like the extra shaping.  I wore it to the Harrogate Stitching and knitting show last month.  My sewing friend Gary and I went and we had a great time.  I spent a fortune; camel coating, dragonfly lawn, teal blouse fabric.   My favourite stall was Fabrics Galore, I bought this gorgeous Italian double crepe, it's very busy but I'm going to colour block it in a dress with black crepe.  I also bought some fabulous mustard wool jersey, but it doesn't seem to be on the website.  If you live near Battersea I would definitely recommend a trip to this shop!

So definitely recommending this pattern and it is easily made over a weekend (mm a red one would be rather fantastic for Christmas and comfortable, plenty of pie space).