UFO – Butterick 5676

This UFO was cut out in our winter and now it’s summer.

I like the design lines of this dress and after seeing other bloggers use a similar style with a lighter colour, I chose this dark colour for my first ponte dress.
I love doing jigsaw puzzles and sewing this dress together was just like a working on a jigsaw. It’s all straight sewing. If you’re not an accurate sewer (and I’m one of them) here are a couple of things that will help you along.
  1. Butterick suggest you sew the neck band onto the dress as a whole piece. I’m not good at sewing sharp corners so I changed the construction step. I suggest you sew on the neckbands the same way you sew together the side front pieces and back piece before you attach front to back at the shoulder seams. I found it easier to face the neckline and get a good v-neckline point. You can tell I have no future as a quilter.
  2. Topstitch using a matching thread colour to the fabric if you’re not an accurate sewer. I fall into this category so you can see the topstiching but you won’t notice the stitching width unless you look real close.
  3. Ditch the zipper. This is a ponte fabric so take advantage of the spandex in the fabric. Keep the zipper if you want a more fitted look.
  4. Attached the sleeve wrist bands to the sleeve before you attach the sleeve to the dress
  5. Sew the sleeve in flat to the dress before you sew the side seam.
  6. Sew the dress and sleeve side seams up last so you can match the seaming.
  7. Sew a winter dress in winter and not in summer. Or make up the summer version straight away, which I did and it took 3 hours to cut and sew.

I did a roll shoulder adjustment, sway back adjustment, slimmed the sleeve on the winter version by 2 cm, made the 10 size. I ironed this after I finished sewing it so that the fabric didn’t stretch or become shinny from over pressing. And it’s been hot here this week so that’s another reason why I shied away from the iron.

So this pattern now goes into the ‘love it’ pattern pile.

Kristy of Loweryourpresserfoot has just made a lovely striped ponte Burda dress.
Anne of Cherrypix:Sewing pix has also made her Holy batwings party dress in ponte and a fabulous print.

Pattern Magic:
Thank you for your comments about my Pattern Magic patterns. Doing the patterns has been a fun process with a few sewers around and a tutor (Angie) on hand. I’ll be keeping my hand at these patterns and reading what other sewing bloggers are working on.

The material lady has just completed a Pattern Magic workshop at Morley College. I wish we had one in Sydney too!

Single breasted trench – M5525

This pattern has all the bells and whistles for a trench coat, but I really wanted a single breasted version. I’m making View E and it will have lots of detailing, even though I’m probably a touch too short to carry it off.

So I folded out the excess from the centre front on the centre front piece and the collar. 

I’ve also used this purple fabric because it’s a fabulous colour and I’ve used red trim, so that means red top stitching – is that too much? Most of the trench will remain purple. I’ll leave the leftover cream snakeskin trim for another time. Mmmm.

DH gave me the obligatory nod to use red lining. I think he’s getting used to the decision making side of sewing. Or is he just being polite. Maybe both 🙂

What I will need is the patience for making each trench bit, so this trench might take a while to complete.


I do have a couple of knit dresses in the wings as a distraction, or to keep me motivated.
Note to self: do not rush this coat!

I did cut out a light interfacing for each piece of this coat. It’s a fairly soft fabric and I’d like to make sure this trench keeps its shape over time. Is that being pedantic?

Why is it when you’re working on a project, you see it everywhere. I’ve seen a yellow trench used here at Cardigan empire from a post about when to spend and when to splurge.

These are the trenchcoat posts:
Trenchcoat sewing
Jalie 2680: city coat trench
McCalls 5525: single breast trench
McCalls 5525: a hood in the collar
McCalls 5525: pockets
McCalls 5525: shoulder detailing
McCalls 5525: bound buttonholes
McCalls 5525: belt carriers
McCalls 5525: finished

UFO request – Vogue 8426

In June I received a PR message about this kick pleat skirt I made two years ago.
Hello Velosewer,
I saw that you made Vogue 8426 and that you mention having made a sway back adjustment. I wonder if you might be willing to share a tip on this? I’ve put together my muslin and I need to take it in somehow at the small of my back by an inch. I’d rather not take it in along the middle panels as they look so nice being straight and not vee’d like a dart but I don’t see another way. I would be most appreciative if you could tell me how you accomplished this!!!
Thanks for your consideration.
XYZ, Boston, MA
Well XYZ, here’s the ugly side of how I adjusted this pattern to fit me again. I’ve called her XYZ because I haven’t had a reply from her since I let her know that I’ve redone this skirt again to show the sway back adjustment.

This skirt took some time to initially make because I had lots of fitting issues, but I didn’t want to interrupt the curved design lines. Below are the pattern pieces in their new very hacked state as I’ve made it again and the sizing is smaller again. The curve pieces are very wide, so I’ve folded them back so the skirt doesn’t billow out. Before I use this pattern again, I will need to trace off the pieces onto new paper.

The main area that needed adjusting for the sway back was in the back pattern pieces. I did a bit of thinking and research before I had the guts to make this adjustment. Sherry does a good explanation about sway back analysis and adjustment.

The pieces that needed changing were essentially the back yoke but the adjustment was graduated through to the centre back skirt piece and the straight back skirt piece. I did have to adjust the curved side skirt pieces as part of the fitting process and not because of my sway back. Below is how this skirt looked after wearing it to work last week.

If you love this skirt design, then be prepared to make the adjustments you need to get the skirt  to hang right. It’s not hard to do but it’s worth the effort for a classically designed skirt.

Below is my pattern review.
Pattern Description: Skirt with shaped seams, back zipper, self-faced yoke and back pleat variation. I’ve made skirt A with a back kick pleat. This has a single pleat underlay that works really well if you’re wearing this skirt to work.
Pattern Sizing:
6 – 10 and I think since I’ve adjusted it twice, I’ve made the 10.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes it did.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
They were.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
The lines on this skirt are wonderful. I love the back kick pleat.
You have to be careful with the curve lines on your hips.
Fabric Used:
Linen blend with rayon lining. This pattern doesn’t have lining but I’ve added lining to keep the fabric color solid; remove the sheerness of the fabric; and generally help the skirt have less creases.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
The skirt  length was shortened.
I did a sway back adjustment on the back yolk.
I also took out the fullness I added in the first time I made this 2 years ago.
I’ve folded back the full sides of the curved pieces.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes I would.
I love this design and it can be adapted for solid fabric colours, especially if you are short.
Conclusion:
Thumbs up.

Quick topper

The mags and books that I bought from Taunton’s arrived yesterday. The box they came in was a bit worse for wear and the Postie shook the box when he handed it to me and asked me what was in it. Funny guy. He then asked me if I was a teacher.
I bought Sew Stylish Spring 2007 #1, Fall 2007 #2, Winter 2007 #3, Summer 2007 #1, Winter 2009, Winter 2010, Little Green dresses and Betzina’s Power Sewing on sale.
Ok, so this morning  just after 5am I had to check that our work website was updated. And it was. It was a major update. Yippee. With my excitment, there was no way I was going to get more sleep so I decided to trial a topper (bolero style) from Sew Stylish (Spring 2007) that I’d read yesterday. Below is the fabric folded in half 50 inches by 30 inches. Then it’s folded in half. The side cut is my attempt at the sleeve curve – freehand. 

The instructions suggest you then fold it into ‘quarters’ and then cut the sleeve curve. Below is how it’s folded in quarters. Then you only need to cut the sleeve underarm curve. The style I chose was the dancer’s sweater.

I love the colour of this fabric but it’s not a favourite fabric, so I’ve used this fabric to see if the instructions and my adjustments worked. The finishings of such a small and quick piece still confounded me so after rummaging through my notion stash, I decided to go with no trim at all. Just a simple single fold and straight stitch.

Instead of 50 inches long, mine version is 45 inches long. The width is 30 inches but the side view pic shows that the back has some bulk, so I could make this about 28 inches next time.
This shot is supposed to show you the arm shape, but I feel like I’m about to start dancing the Zorba. WOopha!

Chanel No 2. Phew.

McCalls 5007 wasn’t too hard to make up. The fabric was a Pitt Trading remnant and this is a toile, so it’s kind of an orphan at this stage.
I like the retro styling and the fabric has it’s own interest so I’ve used a plain black zipper as the enclosure. The lining is dark blue and there are no shoulder pads. The sleeves are 3/4 length. Angie added long darts on the back of the jacket for a more fitted look. I’ll taper in the front seams once I have something to team this with.


Boxy jacket no 2 – McCalls 5007

Here’s a pattern that’s now OOP but I’ve only just opened it. Isn’t that always the case?
McCalls 5007 is another jacket that I thought was cute and could be handy.


I used Angie’s help getting the fit of this right too. This was my first choice for a chanel jacket. Oh well. Now I know that I have to wear more structured clothes.

The back now has darts so that it fits better at the back.
The fabric was a Pitt Trading remnant, so I’m not sure of its makeup but I loved the colour and the embellishment.

Reality adjustments

Here are the other two tops I am making up for my SWAP.

Butterick 5283 is the one I’ve just done twice (spots and grey).
This fabric below has different properties to the other two.
I like the colour of this fabric because it goes with my darkness theme. I wore the grey one top to work and it was comfortable and looked good, so I know this is top is a keeper.



Diary of a sewing fanatic raised some good points about how to SWAP. They were points that I could understand.

I don’t have a storyboard, I just have a theme.

The pattern below is a new pattern so I’ve got the energy to adjust it to work for me. The fabric didn’t cost much but it’s dark but can be matched to other items in my wardrobe.

Life’s too short to make ill-fitting clothes.