First of all, let me thank you for welcoming me back in such a nice and warm way. Believe me, I missed you and missed blogging a lot. I especially want to thank all the new-comers and delurkers. I'm glad that you are here and hope you'll visit and "speak" often. So a hearty welcome to Dei, Catherine, Rose, Gwen, Lelah, Ingrid, Chris, Christy, another Rose, Tracey.
And now let me show you what I made lately, only the skirt was made during my silence period, the rest was done after that. I wanted to sew dresses because I love dresses and I have few. It's more versatile to have blouses and skirts for the office. But I decided to remedy that, with the help of my beloved Burda - I love this magazine, the patterns are so well drafted and I rarely need to do any changes at all besides a petite alteration.
This skirt that I made (please forgive the very poor quality of the picture, I tried to lighten it in Photoshop so you can see the topstitching better, but with very bad results; you'll see the close-up which is a lot better; as I've told you before, my camera takes strange pictures when on self-timer and in artificial light) was the beginning of a capsule that I wanted to make. A summer capsule inspired by this mix of colours in a Burda magazine:
I love these strong colours mixed together and I am going to sew that capsule at some point (not now, because the capsule will be rather for office and everyday life and right now I want to sew for my holiday at the seaside!). The colours are going to be burnt orange, purple, green and turquoise blue. I have fabric for 6 tops and 6 bottoms, plus a viscose chiffon in a print with all the colours mentioned above.
Without further ado, here's the skirt - Burda WOF 02/2008, skirt 111:
This skirt being an important piece in my colourful capsule, I decided to topstitch the bands with the colours of my wardrobe - green, orange, purple and turquoise. I used topstitching thread for that. Unhappily when I graded down from 36 to 34 it seems I didn't grade the front band very well (see it in the close-up below) and the last lines of topstitching don't go all the way around but stop somewhere in the middle (the band was a bit wider at the center than at the end, arghh, why didn't I think of checking that after grading down??).
The photo includes one of my favorite bags, that will go nicely with the entire capsule. And here's a beautiful necklace that will also go with everything.
The fabric is a stretch cotton sateen. A word of caution if you think of making this skirt: you need quite a bit of stretch in your fabric because it is a pencil skirt with no back slit or pleat and it is quite tight around your knees. I like the skirt as it is and it is not uncomfortable, but the next one will have a center back seam and a slit or kick pleat of some sort.
The next dress is a very easy dress from Burda WOF 07/2008, dress 120.
It is made of silk jersey, a beautiful panel bought of UK ebay. This was my first time working with silk jersey and I strongly recommend reading this factsheet on emmaonesock. Very useful tips. If only I read that before pre-washing the fabric! In my ignorance I line-dried the fabric instead of drying it flat and I managed to distort it. It took a very careful steaming and pressing to get it back in shape. See, I told you practice makes perfect! After so many weeks without sewing, I made a mistake at almost every garment that I've sewn.
The front is cut on fold, but the back has a center seam. I wanted to match the motifs on the remaining pieces as well as possible.
And here's a close-up of the not perfect but alright match in the back, as well as the teardrop beads that I used to embellish the end of the string that ties the dress around the neck.
The upper front is self-lined and I also inserted bra cups. I cannot imagine wearing such a dress without a bra and I don't like strapless bras so much. I always feel they are not exactly secure on me (maybe because I'm a B cup). Normally I would have lined or underlined the entire dress but this is a dress for dancing and for hot summers (summer is really hot in Bucharest) therefore I didn't want a tricot lining or underlining and I didn't have silk jersey to line it. So the dress is left unlined.
I also inserted clear elastic in the back. I did remember to stretch the elastic a few times before inserting it (to eliminate some of the stretch) but I still would have liked it to hug my body better especially after some hours of wearing. So next time I will insert regular elastic, or clear elastic, but sewn to the already hemmed back - this way, the clear elastic is in direct contact with the skin and it tends to adhere to it (I know because there's clear elastic sewn to the top of the cups, with this purpose in mind).
To insert the bra cups, I used this very useful tutorial by Diva Gigi on the Sewing Divas blog. I attached the cups only partially (the black lines in the photo below show you where the zigzag stitching stops) because I needed to check if the cups won't prevent me from sewing the ring. I had indeed to cut a bit from the front part in order to accommodate the ring.
Despite the need to match the motifs and the insertion of bra cups, it still was a quick dress. I love knit projects, they are so rewarding! Tomorrow I'll show you two other dresses, both knit. You can easily whip one in one evening.