Sunday, November 29, 2015

My Dress is Finished ...Burda 6988

Well , I finished my dress and it turned out really well but for some  reason , I decided to leave out the yoke. I thought I'd prefer the neckline plain so I could wear necklaces but now I wish I had included the yoke !  Isn't that always the way ?

I sewed the facings as I explained it in this post on Diana's Sewing Lessons.

I do think the navy panels makes the dress slimming. I actually sewed the panels over the scuba knit and the fact that there is a double layer of fabric along the sides hides a multitude of flab. I cut the panels 3.5 " wide and if you want to know the method I used to sew them over the base fabric . please look here.

I had a lovely metal teeth zipper and I love how it looks . I think it really added a fashion forward touch to an otherwise simple dress.

I sewed the zipper  from the inside so no stitching line shows and it really turned out great. I used a 1" strip of interfacing on each side. I calculated that since the closed teeth of the zipper measured 1/4 ", I could add 1/8 inch to the seam width on each side. I clipped the bottom of the seam to form two right angles to ft around the bottom of the zipper. (I hope that makes sense ). I then pinned and sewed from the wrong side using my zipper foot.

I hemmed using Steam -Seam and since I don't wear my dresses very much, I left it at that.  If you use lots of steam and hold for 15 to 20 seconds, I find that  S-a-S holds quite well.

I think that what I like best about this dress is that it fits me as perfectly as I'm ever going to get a fit.
It's my fourth time using this pattern and I want to experiment with changing the neckline next time.

FYI, I usually cut a size 12 in most patterns but usually add  1" to the sides ,just in case. I always make a full bust adjustment, a sway back adj. ,an upper round back adj., and a narrow and sloped shoulder adjustment . For this Burda pattern , I made all my adjustments except I didn't do an FBA. Instead, I tried using the French dart for Size 14 and that worked for me ! 

Do you find that happens to you that one pattern company fits you better than others. I want to try a Burda pants pattern next time to see if I'm on to something.

Next up, I want to sew something for Christmas but I don't know what yet. What are you sewing for the Holidays?

Happy sewing from

Friday, November 27, 2015

A Big Thank You and About Fabricville.

Thank you so much for coming to my aid. The vote was almost unanimous ! 40 to 1 for the navy/ print combo ! My dress is well under way and I'm really liking it.And those side panels are really slimmimg too.

Tut asked where I get my lovely fabrics and the answer is mostly Fabricville , their online fabrics are limited ) a big chain store in eastern Canada. Its counterpart in Ontario and western Canada is called Fabricland

I do buy fabrics occasionally online but with the high cost of shipping these days in this country, I've decided not to do that anymore. I also go to Montreal every couple of years to shop for fabric on Rue St. Hubert and just recently , I was lucky enough to shop for fabric in Paris in the Montmartes district I'll identify those fabrics as I use them ,which will be soon.

Now about Fabricville. I have to give the buyers a lot of credit because in the last two or three years ,
they've really stepped up their game.Among the many really wonderful collections, I've found  great pieces including the beautiful textured knit for this skirt .

 Simon Chang, a popular Canadian designer used this very  fabric in his fall collection for this vest. .

Last winter, I found the popular quilted look knit that Marcy Tilton also carried and made this coat.

And look at this gorgeous textured leather look bought a couple of years ago.

The scuba knit for this dress  also came from Fabricville.

This year, there is a really nice quality collection of medium weight rayon jersey that I've bought but haven't used yet. And if it's knits you want there are many. Some are textured like this

..some are sweater knits like this and this collection has many choices for colours.

some are printed, like this one which is destined to be this ,

and some are plain like the beautiful Barcelona collection of matte poly jersey..
And of course there are coatings , suitings cottons, wools a bit of silk, faux furs,etc.

So fellow Canadians, if there is a Fabricville in your area, go take a look for yourself.
I think you'll be glad you did.

Please have a look here again Sunday or Monday because my dress will surely be finished by then.

Happy Sewing from

Monday, November 23, 2015

Could you Please Help me Decide ?

I had a clear vision of what I wanted to do with a printed scuba knit , bought last winter. It was this.

The pattern choice was so problem. Burda 6988 of course.

I had a royal blue plain scuba knit to use for the yoke and side panels but I wasn't sure about that combo so I made this top  (V8856)  to try out the  two fabrics.

 I like it but I'm still not sure about the dress. The royal blue is a bit brighter than the blue in the print.

 I took pics of the print with royal blue and the ptint with a  navy blue knit . I was wondering if you, dear readers could vote on A or B to force my hand. I'll go with the one that gets the most votes so here goes.

(A)...royal blue

or (B)

Please help me out !

Monday, November 16, 2015

A Reversible Topper- ( V1465 by Donna Karan, sort of )

I've had a beautiful two sided knit bought on line at for about a year now, trying to decide what to make . IMO, a two sided fabric is useless unless you show both sides and that was the dilemma. I have two other pieces of two sided knits on my shelves as well and I'm having the same problem in deciding how to use them.

As soon as I saw this beauty from Vogue's Fall patterns (V1465 ), I knew I would make it my own.

The problem I had was that I thought I should make a reversible garment with my fabric and for me that means as few seams as possible. I had the idea of blending the two front and two back pieces together to make one front piece and one back piece.

I was hesitant because of the princess lines but I overlapped the front pieces and traced , repositioning the side front as needed. When I was finished, I wasn't confident that the new front would hang properly. I remembered this pattern, M 5937, now OOP, that I made up here.

The collar was too extreme but I thought I could compare the front piece with my newly drafted one. Guess what. The two were almost identical except for the collar. The McCall's front piece had a bust dart which I drew onto my draft and all I had to do was add 10" to the length and I was all set. I used the back of the Mc Call's pattern  which had very moderate princess seams and was easy to blend and
I also used the McCall sleeves.

Here is what I came up with .

And on the reverse side

How did I make my topper reversible you ask!

By using flat felled seams and lots and lots of Wonder Tape and when I ran out,  lots of Steam-a-Seam.

Have a look at some of my seams.

Every seam I sewed , including the top stitching on the collar . got a little help with one or the other of the above mentioned products.

I should mention that The Donna Karan pattern had a great way to deal with mitered corners and I even used that technique when I decided to face the hem so the grey side would not have black showing. I do admit that mitering that corner was not necessarily a good thing in retrospect. But the corners were cut like this, you see

and I intend to use this again next time I want mitered corners.

I really am happy with this jacket and I really prefer it open.

and it will be in my closet for many years to come.
However, someone has to stop me from making more black, grey or red clothes ! I seem to be obsessed with those three colours !

This is how I'll wear this piece.

I guess you can tell I prefer the black side!

On to doll clothes making now for my Riley's birthday.

Happy sewing to all.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Sewing in Outfits (Again) V1247, S2339 and B5789

Happy Halloween everyone! We don't get many trick or treaters where I live so I've gotten away from my former enthusiasm for this holiday so no, I don't have a costume to show you !

Instead, this week, I completed the third piece of an outfit which I know I'll wear a lot, both together and separately with other things in my closet.

What do you think ?

The shirt is S2339 , now OOP but it's one of those patterns with the ABCD cup sizing that we well endowed ladies love because that's one alteration we don't have to make. I used the Cup size D front piece and the fit is really good. However I did do the rounded back, sway back and narrow and sloping shoulders alterations  which I do for almost all my garments.

The fabric is cotton poplin.

I made V1247, the ever popular Pamela Roland skirt for my bottom piece. The fabric is a very textured, gorgeous , medium weight polyester from Fabricville ,which , BTW, carries fantastic fabrics , nowadays .

To make the stripes match , I had to pin at the beginning and end of each stripe, baste and use a walking foot but I won in the end.

I changed the pattern  a bit. I  reshaped it to a narrower width at the bottom because it seemed to want to really be A-lined and I moved the pockets closer to the sides. I omitted the pocket bag and simply stitched down the pockets. I left out the zipper and used elastic in the waistband.

The cardigan is my take on View E of B5789 for which I added 6" to the side seams as well as the diagonal front. I straightened the back as I don't like the dipped back look on me. The fabric is a polyester sweater knit.

 For the front , I overlapped  the pattern piece for the band to the pattern piece for the front  to make it all one . I drafted  a facing piece which I sewed ,under stitched, and used Steam- a- Seam to hold in place before I top stitched and that turned out really well.

I also made the sleeves extra long so I could fold back the cuffs which is a look I really like.
Oh and the sleeves are very roomy in this pattern.

Although I like the whole look ,including tucked in shirt on my dress form, on me, not so much. As a matter of fact , i don't like it as an over blouse either with the skirt.

But when I styled it this way, I like it a lot.

But to tell the truth my favorite way to wear this skirt is with this rayon/lycra top made using Burda 6988.

And with the cardi

As for the shirt, I'll mostly be wearing this way (scuba knit palazzo pants made using Silhouette Patterns Yoga Pants. )

Well, that's a lot of pictures but ....

I do hope you found time to sew this weekend.

Happy Sewing from