Pink

Pink fascinates me and I now have a pink Burda Style coat, using affordable pink poplin from Minerva Crafts. If you’ve never attempted a coat before, Burda Style 6772 has all the bells and whistles plus good instructions.

 I actually enjoyed seeing this coat come together.


The lightest coat most people choose are unlined chino coats. I decided to combine this cotton poplin with this light-weight anti static lining. They stock 127 colours in this lining.

The colour was my focus and the detailing in this Burda pattern had me sold on this project when I put my order into Minvera Crafts HQ.

Did I mention they have 37 colours in this poplin? Sorry, make that 39 cotton poplin colours.

I’m not a fan of adding seam allowances so having the seam allowances included on the paper pattern makes my job easier. The coat hems have 4cm hems. All the patterns have the lining lengths on the fashion fabric pattern.

Now I almost got caught out when I cut a fashion fabric piece using the lining fabric hem line. When this happened I quickly put the side panel on the fabric mistake and I was then able to not waste a scrap of fabric because of my mistake. Phew.


The sleeve details, collar and belt were the details I interfaced. When you look at the belt buckle, it’s a great match to the fabric. I used the sleeve buttons from View B on my coat.

This was easy to match using their website.


Of course I did my usual piping finish on the inside of the coat using premade bias.

Where the instructions easy to follow? Yes. They kept me on track while I assembled this coat.


The other aspect that kept my sewing accurate was marking the notches using these handy Prym products. The tracing wheel is ergonomic. The paper marks on easy. These marking chalks are good for writing on your fabric in an array of colours too.

This coat won’t ward off the cold, but I do feel like a secret agent when I wear this.

It’s a classic style I can certainly have fun with.

Thanks Minerva Crafts!
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Floral malliot bathers

It’s hard to resist a fabulous lycra print that is a heavy weight and supportive, hence my newest malliot. Pitt Trading still has more great prints, including this print ‘wild rose’ in store.

Finished: fully lined, double straps and includes bust support with cups.

I’ve used the basic Spaghetti strap swimsuit pattern from Kwik Sew’s Swim & Action Wear book by Kerstin Martensson published in 1995 (ISBN 0-913212-18-0 if you want to get this from a library). This is the first time I’ve used this book.

The information is still accurate so if you don’t have an overlocker, you can sew swimwear on your sewing machine.

This is my 4th bathers I’ve made this week and love this pair the best because I made this as close to RTW as I could.

The back has a centre back seam, perfect for shaping to your curves. 

Below you can see the sewn in cups to the bust shelf lining layer. 

Using double straps was an idea I had because my shoulders slope downwards.
I’ve also moved the straps closer to the centre back seam, again for more shoulder safety.

This test version shows how I’ve set up the lining so you can remove the lining. In reality I’ll probably use this feature to change the cups, as required. This shelf area is also where you’ll have to remove the sand if you actually wear these at the beach.

I count this as my 3rd pair of bathers.

Above is my test pair using stash fabric. The powermesh lining from Pitt Trading used on this pair was sewn in at the side seams but I found this pulls a bit so on the floral pair, I’ve only sewn the lining at the elastic edges.

On the pattern I exaggerated the curve on the rear to cover my rear better. After wear the test pair, I raised the back neckline by 1.5cm. This was personal preference. The book is filled with lots of designer touches to help you be creative. I like the idea of lowering the back and adding lacing!

I do love this pair the best, paired with sun-kissed skin.



Thanks Pitt Trading for getting in great lycra prints. Love your power mesh too #supportive.

Blood moon jacket

This jacket took 4 days to make under the blood moon in September, hence the name Blood moon jacket. 


Using Vogue 7764 and some ‘wine’ corduroy from Minerva Crafts with a few neatly placed metal buttons, this jacket was a warm layer when we traveled in October.


She’s lovely to wear and this is the third time I’ve made this pattern with some final tweaks.

This cord from Minerva Crafts is quite thick and firm but easy to manage especially when sewing in the sleeves. If fitted sleeves make you lose your cool, this cord will keep you humming.

If you’ve yet to make a lined jacket, the fun is finding a great lining to go with the look you want. I bought this lining from ‘Clear It’ in Melbourne.

I uuhmed and aahed about adding shoulder pad where the epaulets were but I added them in for a firmer fit and a more military look. 

The jacket detailing above were made on day 1.

I so enjoyed correctly putting these pocket on the front. I really did – true ‘sewing geek’ material.


This is my work in progress on the second day/night before I left my sewing room to sleep off this detailed work.

Day 3 took a bit more guts as I had to sew in the lining.

Below is the finished jacket with the sleeves sewn in.

Here’s the finished jacket first worn at Port Macquarie in October. I was fortunate enough to go to SewBusyLizzie Sewport weekend in October. 

The timing to make this jacket was also perfect as I’d entered this jacket in Pattern Review’s Sewing Bee challenge. I made it through Rounds 1, 2 and 3 but didn’t get through to the final Round. 

On our first morning in New York, it was just cool enough to wear this jacket in Central Park.

Below is the reworked back lining pieces as I got some good sewing advice at McCalls HQ


The back lining was bothering me so I asked the experts for their advice about making the lining ‘sit properly’ as this pattern doesn’t have lining pieces. I ended up following their advice and sewed the back centre waist seam of the lining to the jacket centre waist seam.

The other thing I changed was my belt buckle.


I forgot to order a belt buckle from Minerva so I picked one up from New York’s textiles area. The original buckle was a ‘stash’ buckle’.

Thanks Minerva Crafts for this corduroy fabric and buttons. I love adding metal notions you stock.

Quart Coat: Autumn

Finally Autumn has arrived and I’ve jumped into coat making – Paulinealice Quart coat.

I hope you’ve already read Sewmanju’s Quart Coat review. Or maybe Claire’s review. There are a bunch of great Quart Coats around now. Beth’s reviews have lots of good.


Paulinealice Quart Coat is certainly distinctive and requires good sewing skills to achieve but she’s done the leg work with her pattern pieces (separate lining pieces with wiggle room) and since the Quart Coat was launched last year, Pauline has developed a few more distinct styles from this pattern.


Did you see her biker jacket version? She’s such a helpful designer that Pauline has posted a ‘how to‘ so you can create your own biker jacket version.


Pitt Trading

The first Autumn fabric haul at Pitt Trading was too good to ignore and coats are something I adore making because of the work that goes into them. Each coat extends my sewing skills – or at least that’s what motivates me to keep making coats and jackets. Thank you again Pitt Trading for these fabrics and notions.

If you’re looking at planning posts, Sewmanju, Claire and Beth have great posts to learn from.


Dualling coats

I did test this pattern on some navy wool fabric I purchased in New York two years ago. Let me clarify this. I wanted to test and practice bound buttonholes, the pleats, check the centre back seam and following the sleeve zipper instructions correctly on the real version. 

The test navy coat

I do make a lot of mistakes and my handy unpicker saved me on a number of occasions as I wanted to get the stitching right. Having a test coat prepped at the same time as the real coat let me relax a bit when I started working on the ‘real’ fabric. So I was sewing ‘in parallel’.

Once I had constructed the sleeves and bound buttonholes I got stuck into the real coat. The real fabric from Pitt Trading was much easier to work with. There are lines in the weave so I used this as an additional sewing guide.


Bound buttonholes
The technique Pauline suggests is easy to follow. You can make this coat without bound buttonholes but I decided to include these. After practising on the navy test version, my bound buttonholes became more accurate. Both fabrics had varying thicknesses and movement so when I sewed machine buttonholes on the epaulets, they were a welcome relief. Making bound buttonholes means I have to be accurate (#anxiety) and hand stitch them closed (#sorefingers). 


Swayback adjustment

On the pattern, the centre back is cut on the fold. To cater for my sway back, I’ve created a centre back seam to follow my curve ie no fabric pooling. Yay.

Epaulets

I love epaulets. I added a longer epaulet to the centre back waist as an additional military feature. Pauline suggests using the lining as the underside of the epaulets. I did this on the grey version but I used a lighter weight dark purple for the navy version.


Pleating

On the test version, the pleats threw me. They have to point to the back so by the time I made them with the real fabric, they worked out.
The ironing press made these pleats a whole lot sharper. I’ll be using the old ironing press again for a future pleated project #hint.
As Beth did, I initially sewed the lining onto the pleats and then I took them off.


Petite change

The only change was to make the pocket bag shallower, but still keeping the bag part, if that makes sense. 
I left the coat length, sleeve length and collar width as is. When is frightfully cold, this coat style is going to come into it’s own. 

The main part I focused on was getting the shoulder positioning and kept the lengths as is.

Excuse my ‘zipper in sleeve’ joy.

Zippers
Any jacket with zippers on the sleeves has me at ‘hello’. 
I collect unusual zippers and buckles because they can be difficult to get when you actually need them. These zips were just what I needed for the navy version.
Pitt Trading provided me with their zippers for the grey version.

Navy coat lining.

Lining and trims
Let’s just say, great colours under a dark cover keeps me motivated.


The fabric used for the grey version wasn’t lining fabric but when I saw it on the shop floor at Pitt Trading both Sylvia and I loved it as lining.


Hems

Pauline suggests interfacing the hems and this gives a much sharper finish. I know a good press at the dry cleaner will make this coat look less home made. 

Thank you Pitt Trading for providing the fabrics and notions for my grey coat. Their new website is being filled with fabric every week.
Pauline’s done it again with a lovely and unique coat pattern.

Jalie swimwear – part un

Activewear/swimwear is a Jalie specialty. I was given two new Jalie patterns to use with dyesplosion from Funkifabrics.
Swimshorts
Every Summer there’s usually a beach picnic and I find it a hassle to keep changing from picnic clothes to swimwear. These Jalie swimshorts (3351) suit my needs for both situations. 
A view of the swim shorts with built in swim bottoms
Jalie have used their cool side pockets (similar to their skort pattern) and this clever pattern provides built in swimwear bottoms too. You can add these bottoms in or leave them out. I’ve added these in!
I did a test version of these swimshorts and found I only needed to add 2cm to the centre back seams of the shorts and swimwear bottoms. That’s it. 
I road tested the first version at a spin class and they passed. I didn’t feel less dressed than when I usually wear tights. The gym fashion police were silent too 🙂
Side view of swim shorts with blue contrast.
The Jalie elastic measurements were spot on. They usually are.
So by the time I made my dyesplosion version, it took me 2 hours ‘tops’ to make my new dyesplosion swimshorts. This time I used a blue panel under the pocket piece for interest. I used this blue fabric for the swim bottoms too.
Crop top
Racer back tops give my shoulders a lot of relief and this Jalie pattern (3247) offers 3 crop top versions. Oh and two basic shorts version to boot!
Front view of this new swim set
This time I didn’t test this pattern. I simply went ahead and made view C with the double crisscross straps. I knew the Funkifabrics lining was going to hold me in nicely so the only adjustment I needed to make was with the strap lengths. 
Back view
The fabric has really good recovery.
Ok, so I placed the large dyesplosion on one side on the front piece. That was easy enough to do.
Inside look at the top
View B was my next choice because again, the only real adjustment would be the halter length. I was happy with the top length on View C. 

With Summer on our heels, here are some local Jalie stockists:A Little Extra With Ronwarb (eBay store)

Flash Fabrics Located in Hobart (TAS)
Glitter and DanceSew N’ Dance Located in Epping (VIC) – Figure skating, gymnastics, and dance patterns
Sew Squirrel online store – selected patterns for men, women and children
Zebra Fabrics online store – selected patterns (women, activewear)
Zigzag Sewing Located in Georgetown (NSW)
For Kiwi readers:
Pattern Postie

About the fabrics 
Funki Fabrics are a polyester print base and they are also: 
  • Ulta chlorine resistant
  • Pilling resistant
  • Shape retention
  • Two way stretch 
  • UV protective
If you’re seriously considering sewing your own activewear, read Susan’s activewear post that she wrote earlier this year. Her sewing industry knowledge is priceless.

Burda wrap dress

This is my first Burda dress (11/2012 #116) this year using Spotlight fabric and lined with tricot. This pattern doesn’t need lining and doesn’t come with lining pieces. I added the lining so there are no ‘visible lines’ or ‘clinging skirt’ syndrome.
Burda patterns provide just the pattern with no seam allowance. In the past this was a stumbling block for me. Lately I’ve been enjoying sewing patterns with 6mm seams so I’ve used my little magnet thingy to add the seams at the ‘tracing off the pattern onto paper’ stage. I then use the little magnet thingy again for cutting out those tricky fabric bits with the pattern.
Magnet thingy
While the fabric has a subtle all-over print, there is a repeat in it. Love a good repeat challenge. It adds that extra hurdle to get my sewing projects to look more spesh.
Here’s the final dress
If you sew Burda patterns then you would know the aspects I’m about to mention below. These notes are mostly for me to use as a reference for making future BurdaStyle patterns.
Burda sizing
This is a petite pattern. I chose size 20 for the bust and hips and 18 for the waist. When I checked the bodice during the project it was too big so I sewed 18 at the bust. If I’d checked the actual body ease on the pattern pieces, I’ve probably taken out the built-in pattern ease.

Checking for bodice fit

Burda notches

Even with my dodgy tracing skills, the notches were spot on.
Back view

Petite

The Burda sizing /proportions for a petite like me were also spot on. There are two petite modifications I’ve made.

Pocket petite: I made was to cut the pocket bag to a smaller depth. I don’t adjust the pocket opening, just the depth of the pocket.
A shorter pocket

To keep the pockets from bagging, I’ve used seams great a tricot trim on the pocket seams. The pockets are sewn into the skirt side seams. 


What is clever is the top of the pocket piece is also sewn into the waist seam, so the pocket doesn’t flip backwards.

Sleeve petite: I’ve shortened the sleeve at the elbow so that the wrist width is at my natural width. If I’d lopped it off at the hem, the wrist width would have bagged out. 

Adjustments
Roll shoulder adjustment across the whole shoulder and on the sleeve head.
Sway back adjustment on the back bodice and the back skirt pieces. That’s why my version has a centre back seam – to add the shaping I need.
Back bodice view
Lining
This pattern isn’t lined but I prefer lining. So the easiest way to make the lining pattern was to trace off the bodice pieces again minus the facings. That’s the beauty of having a pattern with no seam allowances.
The skirt has the facing built into the skirt front so I had to sew the lining in a few stages, in between three coffees and a good night’s rest.
Aligning and hand stitching the hem with the lining on the floor.
Hem
My fabric was too wriggly for a mitre corner. I’ve hand sewn the hem onto the lining. I’ll try this again on the next version. If the next version is also very fine, I might interface the corner so it’s easier to mitre.
Cutting out the collar pieces
Detailing
The sleeves have two versions – one with a cuff and one without the cuff. There’s a belt and belt loops. The closure used are two snaps. I’ve used three – one clear snap at the bust because this is a work dress. If this wasn’t a work dress, I wouldn’t add that third safety snap.
Matching the print on the sleeve pieces

What didn’t work

I tried to add piping on the collar and the fabric was way too thin to handle the extra weight without adding additional layers of fabric. Piping is not part of this pattern. It was a feature I wanted to add. Oh well…
Ready for work
Wrap top or wrap skirt
On the pdf, there are some lines on the front bodice indicating it could be for #115 of the same issue. I don’t have Burda 11/2012 so I can’t confirm this.
So I’m guessing it’s for a wrap top pattern. The back pattern pieces can be modified if I decide to remake this as a wrap top. That’s what I’m thinking.
Which also means I could easily use this pattern for the wrap dress, a wrap skirt and a wrap top too.

I have another four BurdaStyle patterns to make and you’ll see these over the coming months: 
Cigarette pants 02/2014 #129
Split neck dress 09/2014 #101
Structured peplum top 02/2014 #115
Asymmetric jersey dress 05/2014 #115

Jackie: Lining, collar and facings

Lining:
This black acetate is a medium weight fabric and will add to the coat weight. It’s lovely and smooth.
Sewing black fabric can be a pain to see so I use a dark contrasting colour thread to help me see and unpick seams easily. I’ve used brown thread on black in the lightened pic below.

I use the pins to remind me to stop and leave a side seam gap for later. Can you see what I’ve done? The crosswise pins act as my reminder to leave a gap.

The lining sews together really quickly and is then easy to sew onto the facings.

Collar and facings
Preparing the collar and facings starts off lovely, then becomes messy, then is lovely again.

The back and front facings are sewn together. That’s looking clean enough.

Then I added a trim along the facing edge that joins the lining. This is not part of the instructions. This is my ‘take’ on making jackets.

Here’s where the mess begins.

I’ve trimmed the collar to facing and the cut away pieces always make a mess but this trimming helps these layers to sit flat. 

If you look closely, I’ve used two layers of interfacing on the collar. This keeps the collar structure without it being too stiff.
And here’s the inside view of the collar sewn onto the jacket. Messy looking but it all sits flat.

This story does have a collar and lining happy ending. It’s neat and clean.

 Here’s how the collar with lining now sits nicely. The black trim worked too.

I found some Craftsy writers that have some good information to keep in mind when you’re at this stage.

  • The beauty of understitching facings by Linda Reynolds on Craftsy.
  • Andrea Brown on Craftsy shows how to sew a double welt pockets the way Roberta taught me years ago when she used to teach at the Sydney McCalls warehouse.