Thursday, September 30, 2010

My favorite pattern

Every day I think about it a little more but it's crazy that I haven't sewn in two weekends and seriously I don't know how to live like this!  I have a small list of garments that I want to sew...I just need the time...and I'm definitely making time this weekend...

So I'm going to finish the black doubleknit Simplicity jacket first and in the meantime, I've thought of some changes to it that will, of course, make it different than the envelope cover...but then it wouldn't be my garment if I didn't change it up, right?

And I'm going to make one more version of my TNT dress out of the embroidered plaid tropical wool fabric...which inspired me to go back and put together a pictorial of all the dresses I've made using this pattern.  You can see them in this flickr album.  I was a little taken aback to realize that since 2004, I've made 40 dresses using this pattern and that's not including the ones that didn't work out.  Anyone remember "The Cheerleader Dress" and the colossial failure of The Architectural Dress?!  But most amazingly, all but 2 or 3 of these dresses is still in my wardrobe and still being worn!

Here is one of the very first dresses that I made using the new and improved pattern:

I bought the fabric from Paron Fabrics.  I remember that I paid $75 for 5 yards of vanilla wool crepe.  My thought was to make a dress and a jacket from the fabric.  I think I only made the dress...but I do remember that this was a huge chunk of my paycheck at the time...and the dress was very special to me! 

Next are my favorite top five dresses from this pattern:

The Chanel Dress

The Dior Dress

The Chadwicks Dress

Variation on a Theme Dress

The Macy's Dress

Honorable mention goes to the navy blue princess seamed dress from this year's SWAP...

Even though I've used my TNT dress pattern to knock off a few dresses, I love that it worked for these that are special just because of the fabric:

My Little Black Dress

The Museum Inspired Dress

The Black 'n White Dress
(or LindsayT's choice)

The Printed Pleated Dress

The Ralph Lauren Dress

I have sliced and diced this pattern.  I have made it from bright colors, prints, plaids, wools, silks, linens and cottons.  I have piped it, embellished it, lined it and sewn it as is.  But mostly I can't believe that I've made 40 dresses from this pattern...and after this weekend 41. always, more later!

Monday, September 27, 2010

I love Dancing with the Stars - USA Version!

...and I watch it faithfully!  I love how they pick a variety of athletes, actors, comedians and actresses to dance.  They've had some interesting people dance ~ the guy from Jackass (SteveO), Kate Gosselin, George Hamilton...and I've rooted for several of the winners (Kristi Yamugichi, Nicole Scherzinger) and a few of the non-winners (Mya, Mario Lopez).  I've also been surprised by how light of foot quite a few of those huge football players (Jason Taylor, Emmitt Smith & Warren Sapp) have been!

Now I'd like to suggest a few participants for a "professional" season of Dancing with the Stars...

  • Jennifer Lopez
  • Janet Jackson
  • Ciara
  • Vanessa Williams
  • Usher
  • Justin Timberlake
  • Justin Bieber
  • and my personal favorite Snoop Dogg (seriously wouldn't it be funny to watch him Jive!)
Okay I know this has nothing to do with sewing unless I talk about the amazing costumes that they make for the stars each week... but if you like Dancing with the Stars ...who would you like to see dance on the show!?

BTW, I think Jennifer Gray has it in the bag for this season!

...more later!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

What do you do with yours?

CarlaF in Atlanta asked that question in the comments section several posts back.  She was referring to her fabric scraps.  I wrote a post about this in March 2008 and have linked to it here.  But I have to tell you that was two years ago and in the meantime I've managed to accumulate two shopping bags of scraps that I just didn't have the heart to throw away.

There's a 1/2 yard of the Liberty of London print in there...some vanilla silk crepe scraps...and other pieces of fabric that are 1/2 yard to almost a yard of fabric that I just couldn't bring myself to throw out.  I know that it's two shopping bags full because during the great closet changeover, I found the first bag and added the second bag to the top of it.  Thinking to myself, that I would handle that during the next fabric changeover! *LOL*  Yeah right ~ there will probably be a third bag by then!

So the question of the day is, "What do you do with your scraps?"  Even though there were several great answers two years ago, I'm asking the question again because maybe like me your answer has changed.  Tell me what do you do with yours?

...more later!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ten Things About Me...

Victoria, who authors the blog, Ten Thousand Hours of Sewing, nominated me for the Beautiful Blogger award. She said some really nice things about me and even though I no longer believe in passing on blogger awards, I thought I would share ten things about me anyway...

So here goes:

1.  I am AFRAID of snakes...deathly afraid!  When I was a small girl we use to go to my grandparent's farm in South Carolina and there were always snakes.  My grandmother would pull on her rubber boots, grab her hoe and stride out into the yard and chop the snakes head off...can we say nightmares...which leads me to item #2.

2.  I use to sleepwalk until I got to college.  I would sleepwalk after every snake killing incident and once in high school my Dad caught me trying to walk out of the house whilst sleeping.

3.  My mom paid me to read the dictionary when I was around 10/11 years old.  I read the thing from beginning to end and earned $100.  She also offered me money to read the encyclopedia from A to Z but I only made it to the C volume.  I think one of the reasons that I spell so well is that early foundation from reading the dictionary.

4.  I don't have a favorite color.  I'm attracted to bright, strong jewel toned colors but I don't have a favorite.

5.  I can't jump double dutch...never could.  Just couldn't get the hang of jumping in between the ropes.

6.  I LOVE television and can sing the theme song to almost any show that was on television while I was a child.  I don't understand people who think television is evil or a time waste.  Do you know the things you can learn while watching TV?  What experiences you can share?  How much fun it is to laugh at something totally stupid?  Yeah, I love TV and now is my time of the year - new episodes!  I'm happy as a pig in slop!  *LOL*

7.  I'm a indoors kinda girl.  Seriously, I like warm weather ONLY because the days are longer and the sun shines more...but I don't necessarily want to be out in it.  Give me some air conditioning and my a-p-t anyday!  And don't get me started on the cold and the snow...hate, hate, hate the snow!

8.  I have three daughters but I always wanted 4!  What is wrong with me?  Raising those three dayum near killed me!  *LOL*

9.  I look like my mother...which encourages me because my Mom looks fabulous and she's 71!

10.  I bought fabric today...yeap...8 yards of double knit from Kashi at Metro Textiles.  See I can't even keep a fabric pledge for more than a week!  *LOL*

Please feel free to share ten things about yourself on your blog...I won't call out any names...but I sure would love to know 10 things about you that you haven't shared before.  Just link back here so that I will know that you did it, okay?


On the sewing front...I will finish the Simplicity Jacket this weekend along with either my TNT dress or the B5147 dress in the embroidered tropical weight plaid. 

Some of the double knit that I just purchased will be used to make a Maia Jacket as part of the Memorial Sew that is being discussed on Stitchers Guild.  I'm using a strong royal navy blue...something that passes the bright test but will actually be work appropriate.  Now that I've bought fabric (and no I didn't have anything in my collection to use!) I'm thinking through how to make this jacket fit so I'm sure there will be lots more about this later.

One of the things I love about commuting especially when the weather is nice is seeing what other women are wearing.  The other day I saw this woman wearing a glen plaid dress with black topstitching that looked exactly like the dress in the Simplicity 2958 pattern.  And I realized that I've only thought about that dress as a spring/summer garment when it will make an excellent fall dress.  During the great fabric changeover, I found (don't laugh) a glen plaid with a yellow plaid in it that would work great for this pattern, so I think that will be my next garment when these are finished.

Well that's it for tonight...more later!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

So I peeked...

I didn't mean to...I really meant to mind my own business and keep it movin' but somehow during the great fabric changeover I ventured onto and all was lost...just lost I tell ya!

I did restrain myself enough that I only looked at a couple of of the spring collections, Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrara, Chado Ralph Rucci and Michael Kors - you know all my go-to, would love to own my own personal piece of designers!

Of the ones that I did peek at I have to tell you that I loved the Spring 2011 Chado Ralph Rucci collection...loved, loved, loved it!

There's this dress which was my all time favorite!  I will find a way to do that type of embellishment on the front of one of my fall/winter dresses!

Love the kimono sleeves and sheer embellishment on this one!

What a different silhouette for a work suit!

A new way to do a safari pantsuit!

The detail on the jacket is beautiful and it's done in classic black & white colors!

If I was going out...this would be on the top of my list!

And this is red carpet at it's best! had this to say about Ralph's collection:

"Ralph Rucci skipped a proper show this season in favor of one-on-one appointments. That meant there was no Martha Stewart or Whoopi Goldberg to gawk at, but there was something better: the opportunity to examine the couture-quality workmanship that is this designer's calling card. Rucci admitted that despite his wealth of blue-chip clients, the recession has been difficult for his business. For Spring, he's made adjustments, turning out more pieces in less precious fabrications, including an on-trend cotton jumpsuit and an easy cotton and suede sleeveless shift with blousonlike volume on top.  On the other hand, Rucci has also kicked up the exquisite touches."

Peeking was so worth it to experience the awesomeness of the Chado Ralph Rucci line!  BTW, I also went back and looked at all my favs Fall 2010 collections for additional inspiration ideas...and I've got quite a few!  Look for them in some of my future fall/winter garments! always, more later!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Evening...

Well as predicted, I got no sewing done.  This is the limit of the sewing I did this weekend:

I hemmed four pairs of school uniform pants for my 7 year old nephew.

I did get the fabric changed bin in my bedroom (not as small a pile as I wanted):

and another bin and a shot of the cleaned up fabric closet in the corner of the living room:

Next...I would like to thank you for your support on the SABLE post.  I loved reading your replies and realizing that I'm not alone in possessing enough fabric to open my own little fabric store.  However, when I said overwhelmed I didn't mean paralyzed or wondering what to do.  I know the answer to that, stop buying for a minute and sew more!  *LOL*  I guess I'm really just amazed that I've maxed out my storage space.  I could figure out more storage but I'm not going to.  It's time to work with what I challenge myself and to let my creativity flow.

Also, thanks for all the comments on the Sewing Conversation post.  Many of your responses touched me deeply and I'm thrilled that you understood what I was trying to say.

Finally there were some questions:

Shams asked:
"How do you sew so much with a little one?"
I'm sorry I guess I should post for the newer readers that the Little Prince is my second grandson.  He and his mother are living with me while his parents get their act together...though I will admit that I'm gonna miss him when they move out!

Harriet asked on Simplicity 2958 - The Jacket:
"How did you know this would fit?  Did you measure, tissue fit, or just sew it up and to see what would happen?"
Actually Harriet I have a set of finished measurements for actual measurements plus what I like in ease...and I compared them to the finished measurements printed on the pattern.  By that determination, I realized that I wouldn't need to alter the pattern.  I am a measurement girl all the way.  This generally works for me without too many issues because nothing is foolproof...but it's how I work.

Kathryn asked on Simplicity 2958 - The Jacket:
"How do I copy one pattern from the Burda one sheet master pattern?  Is it traced?  If so what do you use for tracing material?"
Yes, you have to trace the patterns and I use a tracing paper from Dick Blick recommended by Ann of Gorgeous Fabrics.  To determine what pattern to trace, the Burda instructions tell you what sheet to use and the pattern numbers.  In the older magazines, it even told you what color line to follow.  I don't know if this is still true since they've changed the format on the newer issues.

I have to tell you I wondered why after last year's sewcation, I didn't sew another garment until October ~ now I understand why.  The great fabric changeover takes an entire weekend and then social obligations probably ate into my sewing time.  Next Saturday I have a baby shower to attend and will only be able to sew on Sunday.  Hopefully I will be able to finish the S2958 jacket and the accompanying be made from a beautiful embroidered plaid that I found during the changeover.

Well tomorrow is work (and the beginning of Dancing with the Stars!) so I'm off to prepare... always, more later!

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Stash Accumulation Beyond Life's Expectancy or UNCLE!

I've more than reached it by most people's standards but today as I pulled out a Rubbermaid bin to stand in the midst of the closet I realize that I've reached it even by my standards...

I'm officially overwhelmed by my fabric collection...well in all honesty I noticed it the week of my sewcation because there is ALOT of fabric in my apartment!  But today as I went about the annual fabric changeover, I realized that if you ask me if I have that fabric...I probably do!  I have about 12 yards of black wool crepe - so no need to buy any more of that any time soon! *LOL*

Need some gray in any fabrication...I've got that!  Need some beautiful silk crepes in bright colors or a solid black or gray...yeap I have some of that!  Need interesting knits in cotton/lycra, rayon/lycra or silk jersey?  Yeap I've got that too!  Pinstripes, plaids, floral prints, border prints, polyesters, linens, silks, cottons, wools (crepe, flannel, gabardine) yeap...I've got that!

On the one hand it's exhilarating!  I mean if I just shop my collection, I could make anything.  On the other hand, I have so much that as I sat in the living room with fabric covering every surface but the chair I was sitting on...I wondered how do I whittle down enough to put in a bin to take into my bedroom to work with next season?  And my other challenge is that everything else barely fits back into the closet!  *sigh*  It must go back into the closet so that I can access it when I get bored with what is already out.

I really want to be like Gigi, who keeps pulling these amazing pieces from her fabric collection to sew with because I realize that I have some gems in mine too.  Also, if I make 4 or 5 garments a month  for the next 4 months, I will only use about 60 yards of fabric...that is less than one of the many piles laying in my living room right now.

Yeah so I'm at SABLE.  I don't want to say that I'm not buying any more fabric because that will make me run to one of my favorite online fabric shops, throw some things into a cart and plunk down my credit I only want to purchase something if it will be used right away...or if I need to make a garment and only after checking the collection to insure that I don't already own something like it...cause I probably will...

So this is how my living room looks now ~ fabric on the couch:

Fabric on the coffee table:

Fabric in the closet:

Unless I stop procrastinating and get right to it...I will end up not sewing at all this weekend because of the fabric that is just everywhere...*sigh*...and I mean everywhere.

...more later!

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Sewing Conversation

Most of my posts for the last week and a half have been about garments sewn or seen out and about and after reading Myrna's post for today, I thought about a post that I'd written during the week and then thought better of posting.  The post grew out of a comment that someone made to me about one of my garments.  It wasn't a harsh comment but I could hear the undertone...and what I heard wasn't pleasant.

The thing about blogging is that you are putting yourself right out there on front street and your joy over something you made can be met with a wide variety of feelings by the readers based upon where they are in their own journey...some celebrate with you over your accomplishments, some are envious of what you've made, to others it's an example of what they can do with their gift...and to a few you're just bragging.

I would like to state right here and now that my primary reason for blogging is to share my love of sewing with others.  The secondary reasons are to encourage others who are just starting out, to share amazing resources, to be an inspiration to others and mostly to talk about something that I am absolutely passionate about.

I've met some amazing women through blogging.  I've developed some wonderful friendships through sewing and blogging...and I've learned quite a bit sewing-wise, as well as, about myself through blogging.  I've been sewing since I was 11 years old...most of it in solitude so it is awesome to find a "circle" of women and men who love sewing as much as I do.

However, after 40 years of sewing is ALL about challenging myself.  It's the nuances of exploring and learning a new a fabric handles in different situations...adding or using a new design detail...trying a pattern company that I haven't used before...participating in and sewing a SWAP wardrobe...meeting the challenge of following a proscribed set of instructions yet allowing my creativity to flourish within those constraints.

To me sewing isn't about just making clothes but also about pushing creative boundaries, learning and growing, making better choices and smarter decisions and trying new and different things.

I want you to know that I appreciate everyone who stops by to read about my adventures...who leaves a comment...who starts a conversation...who asks a question.  I so appreciate the ooohhs and aaahhhs over my garments (which are like my babies to me) and in most instances I even appreciate the suggestions you give! *smile*

And if I may, I would like to leave you with a few words of encouragement... Our sewing gift is a talent.  A talent that you should treasure and encourage to grow.  You should challenge yourself.  You should listen to your inner creative voice and feed it.  And if you aren't in a space where you can use it right now, you should nourish it and realize that you are inhabiting this place for just a moment.  Learn while you are here and use it later when you are in the space that you want to be creatively.

But never ever stop sewing!  Never stop using your talent.  It's what makes you is your God given gift...because when I'm waiting to meet my maker I want to know that I didn't squander one of the best gifts HE ever gave me.

Hopefully you will continue to share my journeys...knowing that I just have a passion to sew and want to encourage you to love it as much as I do...

...more later!

*p.s. That's a picture of how I looked during my sewcation - a t-shirt and a pair of comfy rayon pants.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Simplicity 2958 - The Jacket

I've had this pattern in my collection for years because I've always wanted to make the dress. 

Every spring it goes on my "to sew" list usually with a piece of fabric from the collection attached to it.  Every fall both the pattern and the fabric get placed back into their respective piles to await another opportunity to be used.

After making the sewcation pieces, I kept feeling like they needed a jacket to finish off the wardrobe.  Something black...something short and flirty...just an easy little topper that would work with all of the pieces.  I thought I had 1.5 yards of the black double knit left and that I would be able to get the jacket out of it...but my first choice Vogue 1100 just wouldn't play along with me.

So I went hunting through the pattern stacks and my hand fell upon this pattern.  It had some of the elements that I was looking for and it seemed like it would be quick and easy.  It also fit on the scraps of fabric I had left to use!  If I had procrastinated a little less Monday evening I would have finished it up, that's how quickly and easily it went together.  This is where it stands right now:

Don't you hate black because you can't see any details!

I like this pattern for a couple of reasons ~ the little peter pan collar, the raglan sleeves and even the faux welt pockets could be amazing if done right.  True it doesn't have a lining but I could put one in anyway.  

But what really won me over is that as I started sewing the jacket, idea upon idea started to come to me about things I could do with this jacket...lengthen it, add a lining, add a pleat in the back, pipe the collar and faux pockets, bind the entire thing...  It also didn't hurt that the pattern fit right out of the envelope.  No sleeve bicep adjustments, no enlarging it to cover my just worked.

So I will be finishing this one up over the weekend and probably starting another one using one of those aforementioned ideas!  I love a pattern that speaks loudly and lovingly to me when I start using it!

...more later!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I screamed...

First Erica left me the link to this picture in the comments:

and then I went in search of my own picture and found this:

I sent the first link to everyone in my office and we were all screaming!!! Because the Hearst offices are one block from mine, people in my office have seen Gayle every now and then going into her office! 

My boss (the one who took the SWAP pictures for me) was walking around talking about my peeps got skillz! *LOL*  BTW, THAT is the dress I wore it was especially apropo!

Thanks Erica for sending me the link!   It made my day!

...more later!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Black, White & Red ~ Totally Work Ready!

It's Sunday afternoon and I've finally gotten the pictures taken of the last two dresses.  I have to admit that I was slow rolling with the Burda WOF just seemed to take me forever to get motivated to cut out and sew in the lining, add the sleeves and hem the thing.  But it's done and on Day 9 or the last day of my vacation, I find that I have no desire left to sew.  In all honesty, that started to occur about mid-afternoon yesterday!

You want pictures, dontcha, well that's for the few that haven't already scrolled ahead to see both dresses! *LOL*  Let's start with the Macy's Color Blocked Dress:

Some stats:
TNT dress pattern cut to reflect the color blocking of the original dress

1.5 yards black doubleknit purchased from Metro Textiles
.5 yard red doubleknit purchased from Metro Textiles
.25 yard beige/nude Sophia knit purchased from

22" invisible zipper
3 yards black knit bias binding

Some additional information:
Originally, I was going to add short sleeves to this dress.  But after letting it hang overnight, I decided to keep it true to the original inspiration photo.  Since I did not plan to line the dress, I added black knit bias binding to the armholes and the neckline.

Due to the fabric, this dress hangs a little closer to my body than my original TNT dress does.  My DD thinks it looks good this way, and you know me...I like the illusion of close-fitting, not a dress that is actually close-fitting!  So I will probably wear it with a black doubleknit Burda cardigan that I made about five years ago.

I am very happy with how the dress turned out.  It was relatively simple to duplicate and even though the dress can be purchased (and in a plus size too) it was fun to make this journey.

One more shot...

Next up is the Burda 09-2005-115 Dress

This dress was a lot of pattern work!  The actual sewing was simple but...well we all know how I feel about tracing patterns, so let's not rehash that, okay! *LOL*  We took a lot of pictures but it's really hard to get those seamlines upclose on my point and shoot...and this just emphasizes my thoughts when I was making the dress...that the seaming is so subtle, you will need to be right up on me to actually see it.  However, it was an interesting sewing challenge to grade the pattern pieces from a size 36-44 up to my size which is a Burda 50/52.

My TNT dress pattern was the starting point along with the pattern pieces from the Sept. 2005 issue of Burda World of Fashion.  This was a hand-in-hand partnership.  There would be no finished dress without either pattern.

2 yards of raspberry light-midweight doubleknit fabric purchased from
2 yards of raisin lining fabric from the collection

22" invisible zipper

Additional construction information:
I did add the short sleeves to this dress.  I used the sleeve pattern from my TNT dress cutting it with a center seamline and leaving a 3" opening at the bottom to add a little interest to the sleeve.  I also topstitched both sides of the sleeve and the hem.

I added the sleeves because I want to be able to wear the dress either alone or with a cardigan. 

Like the original pattern, this dress is lined but only the body of the dress not the sleeves.  It's a really pretty dress and works well with the last Burda cardigan that I made.  It will work with quite a few other cardigans and jackets in my wardrobe, too.

Here's a photo of everything I made during my sewcation:

3 dresses, 1 top, 1 cardigan and a pair of pants.  Not as much as last year but then this time I wasn't going for quantity, I was sewing what interested me.  All pictures can be seen here.  There does appear to be a theme to these pieces, that was totally unintended.  Black, white & red ~ totally work ready!

Melissa had this question:
"Where do you get your tracing paper? The last batch I got from Nancy's Notions and it's thicker/heavier than I would like, especially for fitting."

The tracing paper is from Dick Blick.  I bought it upon Ann's recommendation.  Follow the link's on her post and you can order some too.  I bought two rolls of the tracing paper and boy am I glad that I did.  I went through a lot of it this week and it was wonderful to use.

One last piece of business and I'm out to veg on the couch and watch The Lord of the Rings trilogy on TNT...Denise who authors the blog, The Blue Gardenia, is doing a sewing book giveaway.  Surf over and see which one of her favorite bloggers book she is giving away!

Well that's it for me...hope you made it this far!  Cause I have a parting shot to and The Little Prince who will be 18 months old this week! always, more later!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Burda 9-2005-115 - Construction

My first thoughts upon getting the dress cut out and the front assembled was, "it's a lot of work for such a subtle effect."  Seriously, I think if I'm standing  on the corner all anyone would see is the raspberry dress. You would have to walk up to me to see the seaming detail.  So this exercise has been more about the sewing challenge than the end result...unlike the Macy's dress where you can clearly see the effect of the fabric piecing.

Exhibit 1 
The dress front constructed and hanging from the closet door:

I guess I need to ask if the time and effort was worth it?  I would say yes for a few reasons. 

1.  I survived the dreaded Burda tracing experiment.
2.  I did actually take a pattern that was sized much smaller than I am and enlarge it to fit me, thereby proving to myself that it can be done.
3.  The actual shell of the dress is very appealing on.
4.  It will be a different type of sheath dress than is presently in my wardrobe.

So do you want to see how the dress looks so far?  Here is a close-up of the front on me:

Here is a back view:

(I think it's reading truest to the color in this pic)

Some construction changes:
~ You know that I opted to only cut the front pattern pieces for the dress.  Because of the fabric requirements in the magazine, I thought that the 2 yards of raspberry doubleknit I had would make the dress...well it didn't.  I had to creatively cut the back.  So I added a seam at the hip area.  I think it works okay...and if you think it doesn't, that's okay.  I'm wearing it this way! *LOL*

~ I am going to add short sleeves to this dress.  The sleeve will be made with a seam down its center and a slight opening at the hem.  Hopefully this will go with the pieced affect of the dress.

~ A lining will be added to this dress.  This is a lighterweight doubleknit than the Macy's dress and I think the lining will help with the overall look of the dress.

Some thoughts:
Putting this dress together was a step by step process.  I couldn't miss a step or everything would have been out of whack.  And as I stated before this was definitely more about the sewing challenge than about the dress.  I'm lucky the experiment worked.  It easily couldn't have.

Finally you had some questions:
Laura asked:
"Would you mind terribly doing a tutorial on how to grade up a pattern using a TNT dress pattern?"
You know this is a really simple process if you start with a TNT pattern piece.  I traced the Burda pieces, then laid them on top of a traced copy of the TNT dress front.  Each Burda pattern piece was then elongated width wise.  Here's a pic to show my starting point more clearly:

And here is a picture of the pattern pieces after they've been elongated and seam allowances added:

You can refer to my last post for more information on the process or the pictures in my Flickr Album to see the entire progression.  But really I didn't do anything extraordinary or something that you couldn't do yourself with a TNT pattern.

Meredithp asked the same type of question that Laura asked:
"Did you get the curved pieces that you enjoyed tracing so much, and just draw them on your TNT?"
Hopefully the picture explains it.  If not, please feel free to ask a more detailed question.

Couturearts stated (btw, is this you Claudine?):
"A suggestion, if I may. You might want to consider incorporating the bust dart into one of the horizontal seams. It will look more elegant that way."

Here is a picture of my top with the dart:

The way that Burda instructs you to cut out the pattern pieces, there's no dart.  I don't know if it's included in the seam or not.  However, since mine is not a precise duplication, I did include the dart from my TNT pattern into the piece, figuring that it would help but that no one would notice it but me.  If I were to make this again, I would definitely like to include it in the seam but would have to seek out some expert advice on how to do that.

Several of you stated that I would get better at the tracing if I did it more.  Ummmm, I don't think so.  This is the second Burda pattern that I've attempted in 10 months.  Does that tell you something about how I feel about tracing patterns?!  *LOL*  Gawd, I have a boatload of Hot Patterns and still haven't made one yet because you have to trace them!  Sad, I know.  I'm still working on that part of my journey...okay!?!  ROTFLOL!

So I have to add the lining, cut the sleeves out from the scraps and hem the dress.  I probably will have fashion shots of both dresses tomorrow.  I just wanted to give an update on this dress' progress. always, more later!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Burda 09-2005-115 - Pattern Alterations

First let's get it out of the way...the Macy's color blocked dress is finished. However, after spending the day out I'm just not in the mood to get dressed up and take pictures.  So I promise I will have pics of me in the finished dress soon.

Before I left this afternoon, I worked on the Burda dress #115 from the September 2005 issue.  Let me remind you of how Burda WOF (that's what it was called then!) showed it:

This is the description, "Elegant but not showy - this Sixties-styled sheath dress is quite typical for the Lady Look.  Newly interpreted with curved waist seams, this classic looks ever so modern and is extremely figure flattering.  Our illustrated sewing course for this style located in the supplement will guarantee your sewing success."

I need to start out by saying that even though I love the design on this dress because it is so ladylike and classic, I HATE tracing the pattern off those pattern sheets.  *sigh*  I need to say this again...I HATE TRACING THE PATTERN OFF THOSE SHEETS!  Okay I'm feeling a little better...

So after I traced all those dayum pieces off the pattern sheets, and there are a lot of pieces, I had to alter all of those pieces because this pattern is size 36 - 44.  Yeah, I think I wear a 50 or 52 in a BWOF pattern. *sigh* I was ready to toss this project in the garbage at that point and go look for a very easy top to make.  But I realized that I started the tracing too late last night and that a fresh perspective in the morning would help.  

This morning the tracing was a little easier but again I wonder how do you Burdaphiles do this?  Anyway, my starting point was once again my TNT dress pattern.  Please, there was just no way that I was re-inventing the fit process with all those tiny little dress pieces!

After the front dress piece from my TNT pattern was traced, it was used as a basis to enlarge the Burda pattern pieces. 

The Burda pieces were lain on top of the dress front.  I then enlarged each pattern piece to meet my fitted TNT dress pattern.  Each piece was cut out and 5/8" seam allowances were added to the edges of each one.  

Then to double check and make sure that the pattern actually reflected my TNT dress front, I laid them back onto the pattern, checked them again and made additional corrections.  After all of the pattern work on the front of the dress, I've decided that I will use my TNT back pattern pieces.  The thought of doing this process all over again for the back pieces and then matching the sides seams, started me to trembling and wasn't good people! *LOL*  So this is where I left the dress when I went out to lunch with my Mom and my daughter. 

BTW, the BWOF magazine shows the dress two ways ~ in a tweedy fabric and in a smooth tropical wool fabric.  I wasn't sure what fabric I was going to use when I went out but when I got home and saw the Macy's Dress hanging, I realized that a doubleknit would really showcase the seaming...and even though I thought I had a gray one on hand...

I'm going to go with this raspberry one.  If I'm gonna put this much effort into the pattern alterations, well d*mnit, you're going to see each and every one of those seams in a boldly colored dress!  I can always tone it down for work by adding a black or navy cardigan.

I'm off to cut out ALL of those pattern pieces...

...and as always more later!



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