Tuesday, 26 June 2012

The spotty skirt

I have a thing about spots. And stripes. But at the moment it's spots! I
think they are lovely for summer.

As soon as I saw Gertie's tutorial for her full gathered skirt I knew I
wanted it to be in navy with white spots.

I really enjoyed making this one. Gertie's directions are really clear and
the pictures really helped. I also learnt a few new techniques with this
make. I had done some traditional gathering using the bobbin thread on some
of the clothes I made for N but Gertie suggested a different way using a
crochet thread and zig zag stitch, as per the tutorial here. It was really
easy and I think given the volume of gathers in this skirt, it was much

I also inserted my first invisible zip, which I found much easier than
expected! The random lump of plastic that was the invisible zipper foot I
had went on easily and did the job perfectly! I used this method to insert
it and I'm very pleased with the result (altho it doesn't actually pull up
past the bottom of the waistband so a hook and eye is needed). Not sure
what I did wrong, but perhaps I needed to move the zip out slightly at the
joining of waistband and skirt?

As the actual sewing was so simple, I though I'd give it a little twist
with a bound and handstitched hem. Note to self: when comtemplating a
handstitched hem, think about the circumference of the skirt first! But I
really love the flash of red and the deep hem. Looks fab with red shoes!


Sunday, 24 June 2012

More Burda, less burden

Completed my second Burda top that I had planned. This one was considerably
simpler than the previous one - they really weren't joking when it was
marked "easy" in the magazine! 2 pattern pieces, 4 seams and a hem. But it
was great as my second foray into the world of knits.

I did have (as ever!) a small disaster with cutting. This is my least
favourite part of sewing - I think I'm just not very good at it and it
seems to hold me back from getting on with the actual sewing. This time, I
didn't lay out both pattern pieces onto the fabric before I started and of
course on cutting the front, hadn't left enough room for the back to be cut
on the bias as it was supposed to be. I got around this but cutting on the
grain (since the back didn't really need to be drapey) and taking about an
inch off the length (it's a long top so this was fine).

Having not properly read the notions before buying the things I needed, I
had totally missed the fact I was supposed to use Vilene stay tape and had
bought normal twill tape. But undeterred I soldiered on and attached using
a wide zig zag stich onto shoulders and back of the neck.

I stitched the shoulder and side seams and realised that as with the
previous burda one, it was miles too big! I ended up taking it in about 4
INCHES in circumference, which must be at least 3 sizes down from my
measured size. In future I'll be taking Gertie's advice about measuring the
pattern and comparing to a similar item that I like the fit of. It was hard
to tissue fit this due to the stiffness of tissue vs the drapiness of the
jersey. But still, why Burda? I have also read about sewing using the high
bust measurement rather than actual bust so that's worth considering too.

Given the taking in I had to do, the top has more of a sleeve than in the
picture as I had to curve the seam under the arm to avoid unpicking the
shoulder seams (lazy me!). But I'm happy with it.

And my first successful attempt at hemming with a double needle! It's not
perfect but I think it's OK. There are a few bits where the edge curled and
it didn't catch and you can't see as you are sewing on the right side - I
think perhaps improving my cutting accuracy would help there.

So that's one item on my summer palette done and blogged!