Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Me-Made-Mittwoch #10!

Here is one of my "Classics". The blouse and skirt are both from a travel set from 1953. You can read a little more about it HERE on this blog, or a little more about it in my BurdaStyle studio HERE. They are both made of fancy silk fabrics and a treat to wear. The pattern for the sunhat comes from the June 2009 issue of ANNA. As much as I have fallen in love with hats, I'm not sure I will wear it today. I like the shape, but not the fabric I used. It is too "country-side" for the city :-) I think I will make it again in about a dozen solid colors though.
I took the picture yesterday evening, and yes, of course I ironed the skirt today before putting it on...

Cat-and-Kascha came up with this idea, and you can join us anytime!
And if you want to see the other me-made-Mittwoch outfits (Mittwoch = Wednesday), click HERE.
Have a lovely Wednesday everyone! I will be terribly busy again, but I am looking forward to visiting your blogposts this evening!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Me-Made-Mittwoch #9!

First off, I want to apologize for not having answered, commented or even looked at any of the Wednesday outfits last week. What shall I say, busy schedule.... I am writing this on Tuesday evening since Wednesday will be busy again, but I hope I'll have some time later in the day to see the other participants creations.

This Wednesday, I am only wearing a single Me-Made garment: The Maddy top, based on the Celeste pattern. I made it a long time ago and don't really wear it very much - even though I think it is quite nice. The reason is probably that it is hard to combine with anything. You can buy the pattern online from BurdaStyle HERE.
I have posted three new garments on my blog this week, so I think wearing only one today is ok. :-)

As mentioned before, I am writing this on Tuesday evening and I even took the picture this evening when it was already getting dark -The pants are actually purple and match the stripes of the shirt really well. At least I won't have to worry about what to wear when I am still half-asleep in the morning. I will see then if I can actually wear those open shoes or not, as it has been a bit rainy lately.

And here is a back shot. Why do I always take back shots? Well, not only to show you the pieces of clothing from the back - but I seem to worry overly much about what I look like from the back and I like to check it before I hit the street... All too often you see women with great outfits, but then they turn around and you think: "Wow, I bet she has no idea how unflattering it looks from behind, or she'd have never put that on...".

Anyway, that was my Wednesday wisdom. Written on Tuesday evening. Good night and good Wednesday to you all!

As always, thanks to Cat-and-Kascha for organizing - there are lots and lots of participants by now! - and HERE you see what they are wearing this week!

Monday, May 16, 2011

My 1938 Coat: RTW Tailoring sew-a-long - FINALE!

May I introduce to you:

This is the coat I made for the RTW-Sew-along that Sherry from Pattern-Scissors-Cloth was posting. It was an AMAZING sewalong and I cannot give her enough credit for it. This is probably the most precisely constructed/sewn garment I have made so far. And that coming from a pattern from 1938 really means something. I have written two previous posts:

First: RTW-Sew-along THE MUSLIN - where I wrote about some fitting issues
And: RTW-Sew-along ALMOST THERE - where I wrote about the things that I learned and all I had left to choose were buttons.
From the original illustration it seemed like they were using Chinese Frog buttons:
Source: Deutsche Moden-Zeitung, Heft 25, 1938

First of all, thanks to everybody for your input here and on the Flickr group! I really appreciated it and it helped me decide! I first toyed with the idea of making my own. I found some instructions, especially for the button part, but I worried about it a lot. I find buttons can easily make or break a garment, and as I was already liking my coat a lot at that point, I didn't want to risk anything by putting on scraggly little hand-made crooked frogy things. (If this is all you see from this post now, click on the "read more" sign below. It's small and I like to point it out...)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Free Blouse Pattern and How-To!

Alright, here is my first pattern/how-to/tutorial! This blouse is part of my 10 piece winter travel set and I came up with the pattern myself. Here I will show you how! It is super simple and you can adjust it to your own measurements.

There are two ways you can use this pattern. Either use my measurements - I wear a European size 36, a Small usually. But I will also tell you how I came up with the numbers, and by taking your own measurements you can easily customize this pattern to your very own liking and shape. It is a super simple pattern and as it is meant to fit loosely. You will have an elastic in your waist, and an adjustable band for the top, so the measurements don't need to be super exact.

For a first overview, this is roughly what the pattern pieces will look like:

Kind of cool, right? Definitely not intimidating!

These are the measurements you will need:

If you want to compare yours to mine to see if my pattern would fit you, here they are:

1. Bust measurement at strongest point, 88 cm (34,5 in.)
2. From sternum (height of armpits) to finished hem 40 cm (15 3/4 in.) (Mine was quite short, you might want to add some)
5. Around the body at shoulder level, including the arms, about 100 cm ( 39,5 in.)
6. Width of arm at strongest point (flex your biceps!): 28 cm (11 in.)
7. Length of sleeve from shoulder point to where you want your hem: 53 cm (20 3/4 in.)

You will also need the wrist measurement and the waist measurement later.

And here is how you construct the pieces:
Ok, now you can start sewing. Sew the side seams and the sleeve seams first. If you want elastic for your wrists, you can sew the sleeves all the way and make the hem the same way I made my hem for the bodice. If you want little sleeve cuffs like mine, leave them open at the bottom by about 18 cm (7in.).
Sew the sleeves to the bodice (the raglan seams), including the 10 cm allowance at the top. Now fold the 10 cm (4 in.) allowance at the top (neck) in half (use your iron!) and zigzag it to the wrong side of the blouse:
The pin is my marker for the center
Don't worry if it doesn't look great, you will now pin and sew a band over that stitching line. Leave a little opening and fold under the ends:

Use a cord or make your own self-fabric band like I did and pull it through that channel you just made.

For the hem, I folded under the allowance (about 6 cm, 2,5 in), however long you want your blouse to be. I stitched it to the wrong side just like I did at the neck. Then in three rows, I sewed a wide elastic to the back (over the hemline), using a zigzag stitch again:

I hate tight elastics in my waist. I suggest you make the elastic fit your waist without stretching it
For the sleeve hems you can do the same thing. Or you leave the bottoms open, use bias tape for that slit or make a very small little rolled hem like me (but do a nicer job than me!):

Fold under the hem, zigzag it to the inside like the other hems, gather the sleeves to the width of your wrist (but don't forget to add a bit of ease for the button...). Now sew a band over the hem stitching line and the gatherings. You can sew in a little loop for a pearl button like mine:
I did not do a very nice job, I was so giddy to get done... The fabric is forgiving, though...
You are done!

The sleeves are hanging at a weird angle because we used the 45 ° angle (actually 135°), which makes the underside of the sleeve longer than the upper side. For this kind of blouse, this is intentional, because it gives that nice loose, flowy shape to the sleeves. I like it that way. If you don't, you can experiment with different angles. It does not have to be the same angle at the bodice and the sleeve, but the raglan seams have to be the same length, so the pieces match...

Let me know if any of this is too vague for you, please. My English sewing terms are still not really where they need to be to write proper tutorials, but try me - I can learn! :-)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Me-Made-Mittwoch #8!

Today with only a few words, because I'm in a morning-hurry...
A jacket from a 30's-pattern, more information about it here, and a me-made necklace.

Also, Cat asked us to show our fabric stashes. Until recently, this wouldn't have been possible for me - a big box was under the bed, one in the hallway, some in my guestroom etc. Now it is all in clear plastic boxes to the left and right of my guest bed:

In the hanging Ikea thingy I have some fabric rolled up that is already set for projects, along with notions in the drawers. It still all needs more organizing, but I am getting there.
Have a lovely Wednesday! Here are the other participants outfits.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My 10 Piece Winter Travel Set: 7 down, 3 to go!

Oh people, I am excited - my ten piece winter set is slowly but surely coming together. I can already combine a few pieces differently and come up with several outfits!
UPDATE: I posted a full tutorial for this blouse HERE.
Here are my pieces number six and seven:

 A dotted blouse and black shorts. The blouse pattern is made by me - I will share a little how-to on this blog hopefully by the end of this week! - and the shorts are actually the Karl Lagerfeld skirt from BWO 10/2010, turned into shorts.
If you want to look at a few more pictures and get some details, click on the little "read more" button right underneath...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Me-Made-Mittwoch #7!

This post is a little bit later in the day than usually, because I had to actually sew a little underskirt this morning to be able to present this knitted skirt... This is why I love me-made-Wednesdays. Not only do I have to find new combinations (I try to wear more than one me-made piece), but it makes me actually wear some of the things that have been lying in the closet...

I called the blouse the forgetful-seamstress' blouse in my BurdaStyle studio, (click the link for details) because if I had remembered how difficult whimsy fabrics are to sew, I would have never made this blouse...
I also admit that I would not knit this skirt again, it took FOREVER.
And another confession: I will probably wear those way-less-cool shoes that you see on the floor next to me when I go out for a meeting this afternoon. As much as I love them, I find the ones in the picture too "party"...

A little update: This combination didn't pass the MMM-fashion-police! :-) So maybe finding new combinations should be done with a little more thought... I have to smilingly admit - I felt much better after putting on a regular pair of jeans before leaving the house. But there is this saying: "Wer wagt, gewinnt" (roughly: "you can only win if you try") - maybe next time?

Here is the link to the other Wednesday-outfits! Anyone want to join the fun? Cat-und-Kascha is the one organizing it. Thanks Catherine!

So this is what I actually showed in public... Only a me-made-blouse...

So besser?

Versus this original outfit...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

RTW Tailoring sew-a-long - Almost there!

Readers, I am thrilled! The RTW-Sewalong from Sherry over at Pattern-Scissors-Cloth has been absolutely fabulous! We are almost done with our coat - some people even went ahead and finished! - and I want to show you some details before the final post. I will tell you some of the most important things I have learned...
As you see in the first picture, when sewing the muslin I didn't even bother about easing in the sleeve correctly, as the fabric had zero flexibility. I was wondering though how on earth I would be able to ease in that much fabric and was quite worried about it...
Sherry writes such smart little things like "let the feed dogs do the work". Wow, I never knew about my feed dogs abilities! I admit that I am guilty of having stretched and yanked at my shorter piece of fabric like crazy in the past... woops! I will never do that again! It even once happened that I eased too much, because the feed dogs were so hungry! :-)
Now would you look at this fabulously gathered and eased in sleeve...
 In the picture above, I left the collar up, so you can also see another great thing - how the upper collar is "rolling over" the seam... you know, I DID know about cloth allowance before, but we actually made two separate paper patterns, while in the past, I would just sort of cut the upper collar a bit wider...
If any of this is interesting to you, go check out the sewalong. It is full of really great, professional sewing knowledge.
Making the paper pattern really took a long time and put my patience on a test. But it was so worth it! Especially when working off a vintage pattern, which can be a lot of guess work as it is...
We made an extra paper pattern for all the lining pieces, too. We determined how long the hem will be and calculated it all out beforehand. But don't be scared, she explains so well!
 This is a bit of my inside, shoulder pad and sleeve wadding, as well as facing...

Here is the collar and lapels... A bit of magic after all the planning: the roll line really just fell into place automatically, just as Sherry promised it would. Cool. I think it is pretty grand, though I do have to give it another session at the iron. I have what another sew-alonger calls a dimple at the gorge line...

So now it comes down to buttons. In the original illustration they seem to have cord buttons - I believe they are called Chinese Buttons in English (German: Posamenten-Verschluss)? I am looking for instructions and decide on how to make them, if anyone has suggestions, they are highly, highly welcome! Has anyone of you ever made them yourselves?

I will surely make another jacket and go back to those posts - my coat was relatively easy, as it has no pockets, and no sleeve vents. I have lost all fear of coats and jackets now and will move on to even bigger things, ha!
Hopefully I will be back with the final post very soon.