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!

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.

Having finished the Boy’s jeans, I simply had to dive into yet another attempt at making a garment on Sunday to wear on Monday. This time, I’ve had a vision of black skirt with pink godets in many seam openings.

I traced the pencil skirt pattern that I made for the disastrous blouse-dress/pencil skirt project, since I did actually manage to make a decent pattern shape for that skirt. Instead of the darts at front and back I made seams to piece things together. Then I began to lay it out on the remainder of black twill that I used for various & sundry things, because it was quite a nice twill. Except – wah waaaah – with the seaming, there wasn’t room to lay out this pattern on what was left of the twill. Sooooo I dipped into the stash and found a black floral print linen I’ve been harbouring for a year (that is actually a very short period of time for me to stash something). The pink fabric is a piece of (honestly) god-awful polyester that I picked up at a fabric swap almost as a joke. Turns out the pink matches the flowers in my linen print perfectly and the weight of the fabrics is a good match.

After putting together the seamed pieces for front and back and inserting another quite-decent invisible zipper with my new invisible zipper foot, I realized that I’d made one extra panel for the front and it was quite a bit too big. So I took out the side front panels and stitched it together, leaving the bottom 8″ open for the godets. I have finished the seams with black serging because this is linen and it will fray like nobody’s business.

I’ve inserted two godets now. The first was a bit of a nightmare but blessedly the linen print hides plenty of sins, and the second was a bit better.

I’m just taking a break for dinner at the moment and then I’m hoping to finish the godets and put in a lining. I’m really tempted to line the skirt with the pink polyester because I’m pretty sure I have no black lining at the moment.

Oh you want pictures?

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Update – All it needs is hem!

The rest of the godets went in pretty smoothly (literally) using a serger so everything is tidy and finished. The lining was quickly drafted by taping together the pieces from the skirt and laying it on the pink fabric. The trick is going to be what kind of hem to use, because the linen will like a simple finish-and turn but the godet fabric is lighter and possible needs a rolled hem which gives me a headache just thinking of it. And I want to hem it before going to work tomorrow…so doing one treatment all the way around would probably be preferred.

So it might not make it to work tomorrow. Better plan for something else!

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Hem This:
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I’m pretty satisfied by how the print florals lined up after sewing the pieces together. Essentially the seams took about 2cm out of the pattern at each seam but it still looks okay.

By the way, the waistband uses one of my favourite garment-sewing tricks… grosgrain ribbon between the layers! I tend to stock up on neutral colour grosgrain (or petersham as it’s called in wider form) whenever I find it on sale, and in this case I’m glad I did because this looks best without a waistband but it needed some firm hold at the waist, without interfacing.