This is my second time attempting a PDF pattern garment. The first was a Burda dress and let’s just say it didn’t go too well. Just looking at pictures online doesn’t give me a sense of whether something will look good on me… I find when I’m in a fabric store and I can take out the pattern instructions and look at the shape of the pattern pieces, I can get a better sense of whether I’ll have fitting challenges.

But I digress.

Today, I’m attempting the Colette Sorbetto. It’s free, it’s simple, and it’s what I need to fit under my Burda 6801. I’ve purchased a white rayon and I’m going for simplicity. The first thing I did after printing and assembling the pattern was trace it out onto Burda tissue paper (if I sound like a Burda fan-girl, I am, and I don’t even get paid to be).

I’ve traced the 18, because in Big 4 patterns I’ve been making 18-20 for the top and 20-22 for the bottom lately. However, I just checked the Colette sizing chart and realized my measurements (bust 41.5″, waist 36″) make me somewhere between a 14-16 so I’ll watch my sizing carefully and be prepared to take things in, or give healthy seam allowances. I’m planning to use French seams for this.

There are a few fitting question marks which come up for me… These photos illustrate how this pattern doesn’t seem to make sense right off the printer:

What's with the shoulder seams not being aligned? I have the pattern pieces pinned to my centre front and back on the straight grain.

What’s with the shoulder seams not being aligned? I have the pattern pieces pinned to my centre front and back on the straight grain.

The bust point is obviously a bit higher on me than the pattern model, so I'll have to redraw the bust dart.

The bust point is obviously a bit higher on me than the pattern model, so I’ll have to redraw the bust dart. I’ve marked a dot where my bust point is (thanks to my Uniquely-You dress form) and where I think the dart should stop to avoid dimples.

The Colette patterns are drafted for a C cup, so fortunately there seems to be enough fabric here around the circumference of the bust. I might redraw the armscye so it provides a bit more coverage, because once I’ve done the bias binding, this will probably come a little further down than is necessarily appropriate or flattering for work.

Onwards I go to fix these things… Will update the post later!

All Looks Composite

What do you do when your hair is BLUE? You wear BRIGHT orange and blue clothes, of course.

In this case, it was all part of my Pattern Review Wardrobe Contest adventure (contest rules here in case you’re interested).

This contest started February 1 and ends March 31 (but I am leaving on vacation March 20, so I had a shortened time frame to complete). The idea is to make a ten-item coordinated wardrobe with two tops, two bottoms, 1 topper, and 5 free choice items. Everything has to “go with” everything else, and of course everything must be sewn during the contest dates.

I mapped out the concept using Polyvore first, using ready-to-wear items that represented the garments I thought I was going to include in the wardrobe: (click on the image to go to the Polyvore set)

polyvore concept

As things went along, the colours of fabric I had in my stash weren’t really lining up with these colours, and I was afraid to make the palazzo pants. (There: I said it. Orange palazzo pants are nice in theory on a skinny model, but on me I think they would be clown-like).

And then sometime in early February, I watched the movie “Inside Out” and fell in love with the hair on character Joy. Wouldn’t you? I thought to myself: my hair kind of has that shape… on a good day… a very good day. What if I dyed my hair blue? Wouldn’t that be fun? And since I’ve never done anything remotely adventurous with my hair before, aside from cutting it pretty short, I decided to go for it. And once I had blue hair, well there was no holding back on the wardrobe. It HAD to be as bright and joyful as possible, while also being comprised of things I could actually wear after going back to a normal hair colour.

I only bought three pieces of fabric specially for this wardrobe, and the rest were from stash and at least six months old. Well, the striped cotton was from someone else’s stash and acquired at a stash swap. But free. The fabric I bought was the graphic knit print, the cotton jacquard for the skirt, and the denim for the pants. It turns out the denim was narrow and shrank more than expected, so I wasn’t able to make wide-leg pants at full length. Ergo I invented a new pants style – wide-leg high-waters! Wheee!

Here is the wardrobe, hanging on the rack:

On the Rack

And of course, what you’ve all been waiting for, is the pictures from the photo shoot.

Here is a composite image:

All Looks Composite

Click on any image to see it larger. Many thanks to my awesome co-worker Helen for taking these photos, and the lovely Aeryana for scouting the location and doing model coaching. Normally I feel like a prat while modelling, but this was a lot of fun!

Enjoy!

Susan 035

This is another rendition of my simple top block with a drapey collar added in to it. In this project, I re-traced the pattern pieces because they were starting to get a little wrecked. I lengthened the front and back and then added pockets to the side seams because who doesn’t love a dress with pockets?

The fabric is an orange heathery knit, and it’s lined in simple knit lining. The collar isn’t lined, it’s just cut and folded.

Front of dress. The top of the bodice got a little wrinkly where I put the lining and outer fabric together with a sleeve hole binding.

Front of dress. The top of the bodice got a little wrinkly where I put the lining and outer fabric together with a sleeve hole binding.

Back side!

Back side!

Here is the collar. It's a shaped pattern piece, wide at one end and narrow at the other, cut on a piece of fabric that is folded in 4.

Here is the collar. It’s a shaped pattern piece, wide at one end and narrow at the other, cut on a piece of fabric that is folded in 4.

Maybe one day I should properly analyze this pattern to see what it would be like to make it available as a PDF. Gah that sounds like a lot of work though. And it’s not really what I’m doing this for, anyway.

My orange and blue wardrobe project continues and I may be on track to finish all ten pieces on time!

This project is part of the McCalls 6711 coordinates wardrobe that I started in hot pink a little earlier this year. I’m not planning to use these together, of course. I thought this would be a useful “topper” to go with the ProjectReview.com Wardrobe Contest, and happened to have some polished cotton in the stash – plenty enough to use. I have enough left over to do a skirt or pants or dress too, but not to wear together. This is HELLA orange.

Here’s what I was making:

Pattern envelope picture

Pattern envelope picture – McCall’s 6711

I only used interfacing on the front edge pieces of this project, and a light crepe as the lining (also from the stash, woot).

Here’s the finished product:

image image

This jacket is referred to as “semi-fitted” so it is a bit loose around the body. It calls for a hook and eye closure at the lower edge of the front but I figured that would look really weird so I left it off. It doesn’t look very flattering on the mannequin, does it? I’ll be doing a photo shoot in a few days when I finish the whole wardrobe, so we’ll see how it goes on the body.

I keep having real issues with getting the lining and the body fabric to be the right length for each other. When they don’t line up, the hem of the jacket won’t hang properly. Since the cotton is fairly stiff, it’s kind of poky-outy at the hips. I think as I’ve worn this more, it will soften up and become a little more like a cardigan.

 

My past two projects have been self-drafted garments – a pencil skirt and a knit top with a draped collar. I don’t know quite how to describe it, so I’ll just post pictures.

Oh yeah… There’s something a little different about my hair.

image image

As you can see, I got some blue boots.

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Here’s the neckline of the top. I drafted this top about five years ago – in fact, the first time I made it was December 2011. I put sleeves on it that time. This is the 6th version. Some of them end up with sleeves. One became a dress with a fabulous Pucci-esque print. Anyways, this is a simple tank top out of this terrific print.

The skirt is a cotton jacquard. Photographs don’t do justice to the jacquard pattern. It has some stars and flowers and a variety of great vines and other wonderful things. I’ve lined it with a crepe of unknown fibre that was in my stash. Putting the lining together with the walking pleat at the back was really hard. I had to re-sew it by hand three or four times before it would hang properly.

Anyways, this outfit is the epitome of what I’ve been trying to do with my Seasonal Sew Wardrobe in blue and orange. The other pieces haven’t yet lived up to my expectations, but I’ll keep trying.

Onwards towards the Seasonal Sew Wardrobe! Here is my second project in the capsule wardrobe of ten looks which I’m attempting to complete by March 15. I’d say it’s 50/50 as to whether I’ll finish things.

Today’s project was Burda 7082, a dress that looks like it has a wrap front (but it doesn’t).

Pattern envelope photo for Burda 7082

Pattern envelope photo for Burda 7082

When I was putting this together on the dress form, it really looked like it was going to turn out sad, droopy and awful. I’m using a deep blue textured knit from stash. I don’t normally wear this colour, but I bought it when I acquired the heather / leaf knits that I used for the cardigan sweater. A crossed-over bodice is often challenging to fit properly so you don’t end up with sagginess or gaping which ends up showing off more of your ladies than you’d like. With the addition of some non-stretchy interfacing (Armo Weft) along the facing, I think I have succeeded with this project.

The whole look

The whole look

Close-up of the crossed-over front and the criss-cross front detail.

Close-up of the crossed-over front and the criss-cross front detail. Thanks to the weird lighting in front of my door, this actually makes me look as pale and stiff as a mannequin. Odd.