Monday, May 27, 2013

Burda 05/2013 #102 panneau print dress or...

Oh la. This pattern is perfectly sized for a dress in a panel print in satin, rayon, or silk - but I've done it in a featherweight cotton jersey from Girl Charlee. Like a wisp ...

I've been looking for months for a simple gown - something feminine. Love this.

--------------------------------------------Edited May 28 2013------------------------------

I've just realized how new this pattern is! I don't get the Burda Magazine, so I downloaded this pattern from Burda's online site. After the pages are taped together, the pattern is the same - no seam allowances - but tracing off one size is easy, since all the lines are black :-)

Here is my second version, done in a mid-weight cotton jersey (yes, just like the bubble pockets shorts!). More a summer shift than a nightie...

Both of these dresses were sewn with remnants from the stash - the pattern only requires a 40" long x 60" wide piece of fabric for the front and back panels. And a little something for the straps and bindings. 

And Burda is so nice - the pattern is marked for 05/2013 #101, the short version of this dress. Cute top for jeans and shorts...

I feel better - my first post was so short, lazy me... Ciao! Coco

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Bubble pocket shorts and ruffled skirts...

Did that title make you wonder what's up? These are the cutest shorts I've ever seen. And they're not for me, they're for my almost-3-year old grand-niece :-)  I came across the pattern one night at Elegance and Elephants, and just had to get it.

I made the size 4 in a mid-weight cotton jersey knit from Fabric  Mart. The pattern suggests wovens, but the knit worked fine. And I like the idea of knit shorts for little ones, so comfy.

Just a few little changes:

I used 3/4" elastic in the waistband instead of 1". Seems more reasonable for such a small garment and body.

The pattern suggests cutting the waist elastic so that it finishes 1.5" shorter than the child's actual waist measurement.

I checked with mom: J.'s waist is 19.5", but her rtw size 4 shorts have a waist of 20.5".  hmmm. A lightbulb - I found a great resource on the web,  childrens size chart. It has everything - all sizes, all kinds of garments, for boys and girls. And it confirmed that the waist on a size 4 is 20.5". I compromised at 20".

The pattern suggests sewing the cuff on as a band, as one would sew a neckband. However, that would leave a kind of bulky seam on the inside. 

Instead, I sewed the cuff to the outside, right sides together. Then I folded it to the inside, and stitched in the ditch on the outside along the seam line. The inside is nice and flat and smooth.

All the seams are sewn with an elastic stitch, then serged. These little shorts will hold up to lots of play!

Since I had so much fun with the shorts, I went looking for a little skirt pattern. And look what I found! This adorable ruffled skirt is free as an online tutorial from Tanya Whelan at Grand Revival Design.

It's made with four bands of fabric of varying lengths and widths, and is super-easy to cut out and sew. What a nice tutorial - good illustrations and instructions.

Fabric measurements are given for size 5-6. I reworked the numbers for size 4 with a length of 8.5" (above the knee). My numbers assume .5" seams, 1.5" waistband allowance, .5" hem allowances, and 3/4" elastic:

1 @ 4.5" x 25" Tier 1 band and waistband
1 @ 4.0" x 44" Tier 1 ruffle 
1 @ 2.5" x 25" Tier 2 band
1 @ 5.5" x 44" Tier 2 ruffle


It doesn't take much to think of ways to use this skirt pattern - applied ruffles, lace trims - oh, my :-)

So cute. I used fabrics I have in the loft, not terribly girly (although the green in the skirt is a pretty lime green, not sage the way it looks here). I'll ask J. what she might like for her next shorts and skirt. Birthday in June!

Ciao! Coco

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Two dresses & an early morning garden

What a nice Mother's Day weekend. Ashley and her companion spent Saturday (her birthday!) and Sunday with me, and my son slipped in on Sunday night ahead of a business appointment in the area on Monday. Such a treat. The sewing plaque is a made-by-Ashley, her altered media work is so pretty and special.

We stayed busy! Of course we headed off straight away to IKEA. I got out with most of my Mom's Day money intact :-) since most of the fabrics were canvas - beautiful, beautiful prints, but not what I need. Then Ashley and I were treated to dinner at a lovely little Italian ristorante near my house.

Back home and we girls got down to business!  First was fitting a dress I just finished, McCalls 6073 maxi dress. This is the second time I've done this pattern for her, and it was perfect! All we did was mark the hem. It's in a beautiful ITY from Fabric Mart.

McCalls 6073

Next we pulled out fabric bins and patterns and played 'what if' for a while. She loved the fabric I had picked out for her Butterick 5744, a chocolate and turquoise calico from Holly Lobby. A peek of the bodice below, which has a single ruffle running down the right side.

The dress is actually done now, except for hemming, and it is beautiful. It is fully lined in dark brown poly/cotton lightweight broadcloth and feels wonderful.

Butterick 5744

We also went online so Ashley could shop fabric for a mini-dress to wear over capris and leggings. Keeping in mind that she and companion go to pop culture events like comic-con throughout the year - check out the awesome Alexander Henry fabric she found on!


This morning I slipped out just after sunrise to turn on the sprinklers for my little patch of grass at the front of the house. Then I wandered around in the back garden, so peaceful and pretty. 

These two very active little guys are the first babies for a squirrel who has kept me company for five years. She is worn out :-)      Bye for now - Coco

Friday, May 3, 2013

Butterick 5881 - A Tunic Version!

The fun continues...after I sewed my muslin of the Katherine Tilton layered dress, and ordered lots of linens to do a true-to-concept version, I got to thinking. How about a tunic? See? This is why I do not sew with a plan! The top layer of this pattern makes a super cute tunic.

This is a really new pattern, so here's a look:

I traced a new top layer as my tunic. I took out the slight dip in the left side, leaving the hem even all around. And I kept both the peplum back skirt and my version of the back elastic casing (described in my first version, link above).

But that long narrow placket on the front just spoke to me - give me something besides buttons! How about some flounces...

I am so loving this look! 

My fabric is a soft cotton sateen from Fabric Mart, machine wash and dry :-) The red is very dense, so it shows through just enough to work on a flounce that shows both sides.

My starting point was a pattern from Rebecca Taylor, Vogue 1226.  The flounce running down the right side of the button placket had the 'look' I wanted.

The original flounce is shaped like a quarter-moon, pointed at both ends. Mine are pointed only at the bottom. I fitted them from the bottom of the placket and worked up, 'designing' the tops of the flounces last.

The tops of the flounces are trimmed straight across and sewn all the way up the placket, so that they are caught in the neckline binding.

The bottoms of the flounces extend about 3 inches below the placket and just softly fishtail together.

This little tunic took quite a long time to make - but it was really interesting and very rewarding.

A couple notes: my pants are Marcy Tilton skinny pants, Vogue 8859, making this a sister act! Fabric is stretch bottom weight cotton poplin from JoAnns. And yes, new hairdo! Love it, feels great.

Ciao! Coco