Burda 120-11-2013 top half

Is it a skirt? Is it trousers? No, it’s Burda 120-11-2013!

Burda 120-11-2013 front

Burda describes these variously as crossover trousers and wrap trousers. I’m not sure what I’d call them, but I like them. They are made from a satin-backed crepe I’ve had lurking in my stash for a while. It was originally intended for an impractical Pamela Rolland designer dress that I never got around to making. These, err, lower body coverings are a much better use for it.

This is a Tall pattern and it really is one for the long of leg. I normally have to lengthen Tall patterns, never mind the regular ones, but not these. What you’re seeing here is the length as drafted less about an inch. I could easily have hemmed them shorter still, but I quite like the slouchy effect.

Part of the cause of the extra length is that they’re slightly too big. They are drafted to sit above the natural waist but mine definitely don’t. Another time I’d go down a size at the waist in these. I made what should have been the right size for me but made the mistake of not double-checking the waistband length in the pattern itself. It doesn’t help that the many folds of fabric in the crossover mean there’s a lot of weight hanging off that waistband and pulling it down so you need it to fit closely.

For trousers these are a fairly easy sew. There’s no fly front and the pockets are inseam pockets. I’m finding I get a bit of gapping with the pockets. It doesn’t really matter in practice because there’s so much else going on at the hips with these, but I notice that in the magazine photo the model has her hands in the pockets so perhaps it’s the pattern. You can see the gapping in the side view below.

Burda 120-11-2013 side view

The back is completely plain. Normally I think it looks a bit odd not to have back pockets on trousers, but with these it doesn’t bother me, probably because they are such an unusual shape.

Burda 120-11-2013 back view

The closure is just a couple of snaps. I wasn’t convinced that a snap would be secure enough to hold these up so I switched the outer snap to a hefty trouser hook and bar. Under the wrap section there’s a narrow slot in the right front so you can get in and out of them. I was deeply unconvinced by Burda’s directions for the slot: the pattern has you cut down the centre line of the slot and across at the ends, and then turn the edges of the cut under and stitch them down. That leaves the end of the slot completely unfinished. The end is where the maximum stress is; I can’t see that lasting long without tearing! I faced my slot instead and also interfaced the shell fabric in that area so it ended up looking like this.

Wrong side (before top-stitching):

Faced slot wrong side

Right side:

Faced slot right side

So how do these wear? So far, surprisingly well. They can do some strange things when you sit down, as can be seen below, but they’re really comfortable. The acid test will be whether I can cycle in them which I have yet to try. They’re plenty warm (all that fabric around the hips) so I should get a lot of wear out of them this autumn and winter. In fact strange as they are I can see myself making a second pair at some point.

Burda 120-11-2013 sitting


Apple peel

06Sep14

Apple Peel leggings front view
I made these leggings a couple of weeks ago but have only just got pictures of them. They are the Apple Peel leggings from the Pattern Magic 3 book. Pattern Magic doesn’t provide you with patterns, rather instructions for drafting your own pattern from a block. I drew up a stretch leggings block from Metric Pattern Cutting for Womwn’s Wear and used that as the basis for making the pattern. The rippled effect comes from adding length to the outer leg so that the shape of the leg ends up like this. Hence the name.

Pattern Magic Apple Peel Leggings flat

The style is obviously intended for two-way stretch knit fabrics, but mine are made up in a very stretchy mystery stretch woven fabric which I happened to have on hand. I probably should have used a knit. The draft needs fine tuning to fit my legs and the woven is less forgiving than a knit would have been. As it is, they’re more than a little tight on the calves. They’re also slightly too loose on the thigh to keep the ripples firmly in place there, but I suspect they’d become uncomfortable if I took them in.

Apple Peel Leggings back view

They’re very easy to make up. I did all the sewing on the overlocker in this order: inside leg seam, crotch seam, outside leg seam, waistband, hems.
You can’t see it in the pictures, but the waist is finished with a straight waistband with elastic inside. The waistband folds over to enclose the elastic and then the whole thing is overlocked onto the waist. I didn’t have any wide elastic on hand so I flatlocked two narrower lengths together on the overlocker. That worked well enough from the point of view of making a functional waistband, but unfortunately the flatlocking shows though the waistband fabric so I’m only going to be able to wear these with a top that covers the waistband.

I also used a flatlock stitch to do the hems. This is a finish I hadn’t tried before. I found this tutorial while I was working out how to deal with the elastic, and gave it a go. It worked OK, although being a first attempt and on a very small circumference it’s not perfectly even. However it has stood up to a couple of wears, and I wasn’t confident a twin needle hem would have lasted beyond the first try on. I’ll definitely use the technique again.

Apple Peel Leggings front view


Jumpsuits

30Aug14

After making four knit dresses in a row I finally feel like tackling a woven project. I am also still in need of interesting clothes that I can cycle in. I’ve been gradually improving my cycle friendly wardrobe over the last year, but I find myself wearing my Burda jeans a minimum of once a week. And then I need tops to go with them. Putting on a dress involves so much less thought than finding separates that go together.

Clearly the answer has to be a jumpsuit. All the convenience of trousers with the simplicity of a dress. Surely that makes up for the aggravation of having to take it off when going to the toilet.

So I went looking for patterns. This is the one that first caught my eye, from Burda April 2014.

burda 107-04-2014 tech drawing

I like the fact that it’s fairly smart, but that notched collar looks complicated. I’ve never made one, and tackling it for the first time with only Burda instructions for help probably isn’t going to produce a polished result.

Then there’s this one from Ralph Pink.

Ralph Pink jumpsuit tech drawing

I’ve seen a great version of this from Kazz the Spazz (sadly no longer blogging). I really like the style (click on the link, Kazz looks amazing in hers) but I’ll admit that the fact it’s a PDF pattern puts me off. I don’t mind tracing at all but I hate assembling A4 sheets.

I’m also not convinced I could do a good enough job with the fly on this one. The instructions say something brief at the end along the lines of ‘attach buttons and work buttonholes in your fly to match’. I’m not sure it works to wait until the very end to make buttonholes in a fly; wouldn’t you want to do it before the whole thing was assembled? Kazz left her buttons off altogether but I’d be worried about the whole thing falling open if I did that! I think this might be a pattern to leave until I’ve got some more experience.

Burda have produced many jumpsuit patterns over the last few years.

burda-103-10-2010 tech drawing

This is Burda 103-10-2010. It looked considerably less boxy in the model photo where it was made up in grey silk and worn with a belt. I think I’d take off the breast pockets. Who needs pockets right over their boobs?

burda-119-05-2010 tech drawing

And this is 119-05-2010. I like the elasticated ankles. This was styled as a safari look in the magazine. I think this one needs the pocket flaps to make the style work, but I’m not keen on sewing fiddly details that are not functional. Yes, I’m very lazy.

And finally the one I’m actually planning to make, Burda 130-09-2011.

burda-130-09-2011 tech drawing

I like the casual drapiness of this style and the turnups at the wrists and ankles. There are no really fussy details. It’s not very fitted, which is probably a good thing as I’ve changed shape a bit and will be trying a new size in Burda in future. The plan is to make it up in a brown cupro fabric I have that looks like washed silk. Fingers crossed!


Drape Drape 2 No 6 front view

This is yet another make from the Drape Drape books. This one’s number six from book two, the so-called three-piece deep cowl neck dress. Every version of this I’ve seen made up has been done in stripes to show off the grain changes, and since I found this unusual grey and brown striped knit mine was not going to be the exception.

I thought I’d got my sizing sussed with Drape Drape, but this make has come up too small for me. You can see the tell-tale creases across my stomach in all the pictures. I normally make one size smaller than the size chart indicates, but this time I should have used my true size. My fabric only has cross-grain stretch so I might have got away with it in a two-way stretch fabric. However if I ever make this again I’ll trace it again in the next size up; the pattern pieces are very unusual and I can’t quite see how to adjust the front piece to get extra width without producing a knock-on effect on the cowl.

It’s also astonishingly short. I added two inches to the skirt length before cutting out and haven’t hemmed it.

Drape Drape 2 No 6 side front view

When photographed directly from the front it looks pretty close to the version in the book. When viewed more from the side, as above, there’s a slightly pointy bit where the cowl attaches that I wasn’t expecting. However I’ve seen this in a few other people’s versions around the web so I guess it’s meant to be like that.

This is a slightly tricky pattern to sew. The diagrams are excellent, but the way the cowl is attached is sufficiently unusual that it took me a bit of head-scratching before I worked out which edges to sew to which. Around the back of the neck you sew the wrong side of the cowl to the right side of the dress, which had me confused for a bit, but the cowl part folds in such a way you don’t see the wrong side of it in the finished dress. It helps when attaching the cowl to have a fabric where you can tell the right side from the wrong side in the first place. It would have been even more confusing in a solid.

Drape Drape 2 No 6 back view

The back view is about as plain as you can get. The unhemmed edge is curling up pretty badly in the picture above. The fabric is a single knit so it’s not really a surprise. I don’t want to lose any length by hemming this though, so it’s just going to have to stay like that.

The photos above are how I’ll actually wear the dress, although with boots rather than wedges. However I did have a go with it as styled in the books, below. I won’t be trying this outside the house, even with the help of tape. It might make a nice photo when properly arranged but the cowl doesn’t stay put.

Drape Drape 2 No 6 indoors

So not my most successful Drape Drape make. It will probably get some wear when the weather gets colder.


Drape drape 2 no 7

I’ve been on a bit of a Drape Drape streak lately. After all, if you’re going to rearrange all the furniture in the living room in order to trace and cut the enormous pattern pieces from one of these designs you might as well do another while you’re at it. This is one I’ve made before: the No. 7 Tuck Drape dress from Drape Drape 2. My previous version has been worn a lot but didn’t look much like the version in the book. That was in part because I lengthened it. Here’s the first version.

Drape Drape 2 No. 7

For this version I removed the length I’d added to the skirt but left the extra in the bodice. I also included the splits in the sleeves which I’d sewed shut on the original. The neckline is sagging a bit on this picture because I pulled the shoulders up just before the photo was taken. It prefers to slide off one or the other shoulder in both versions.

Drape drape 2 no 7

The fabric is a 100% cotton interlock knit from Tissu Fabrics. It’s medium weight and not particularly stretchy but very soft. Right now it’s available here. They have this fabric in a huge range of colours. This colourway is called maroon although it’s not what I think of as maroon, which would be more purple.

The fabric is very wide, which is needed for this pattern as originally designed. However when I first made this pattern I split the main piece into three to allow me to use narrow fabric, and this time I cut it the same way again because I find smaller pattern pieces easier to handle. It makes no difference to the end result because the extra seams get hidden in the draping.

Drape drape 2 no 7

I think I folded the tucks correctly this time. Everything matched up beautifully which it hadn’t on the previous one. I can’t blame the book because the diagrams are really clear. I have this one in the Japanese language edition and it’s perfectly usable for someone with no knowledge of the language. It would be nice to be able to read the fabric recommendations for each style but so far I’m managing without.

Drape drape 2 no 7

I have worn this quite a bit since I made it. I’m hoping that once the warm weather stops it will still work with a grey long-sleeved t-shirt and leggings underneath.

And changing the subject completely…after over four years of writing this blog I finally got around to getting a domain name for it. Its official home is now http://blog.cyberdaze.org but http://cyberdaze.wordpress.org will redirect to the right place for the forseeable.

Drape drape 2 no 7


P1030915

I said last week that my brown version of Drape Drape 17 was intended as a trial run, although I’ve worn it a lot. This is the real thing. The fabric is a very drapey lightweight interlock knit that I’ve had in my stash for a while. It is much more like the recommended weight for this style than the heavier brown fabric was.

Drape Drape No 17 front brown dk

This time I took extra care with the hems. They tend to flip outwards on the brown dress and I think that’s because they stretched out when I sewed them. For the yellow dress I interfaced the hems with some lightweight fusible knit and sewed them with a twin needle. They still flip out a little but not too badly. You can just about see it on the back view below.

P1030967

I’d been saving this fabric for something special and luckily I had bought three metres of it, because the dress needs a lot of fabric to make all those drapes. Every time I move all the layers rearrange themselves, but despite that it’s very easy to wear.

P1030928-001

The underlying silhouette of the style is pretty shapeless and there’s no waist to speak of, which makes it very comfortable on hot days.

P1030943

Two is enough for this pattern but I have some different Drape Drape makes coming up soon!

P1030946


Thanks so much for all your lovely comments about Vogue 1335. That project took months to complete. This next one, not so much.

Drape Drape No 17 front brown dk

This is pattern number 17 from the first Drape Drape book. I have the English edition which calls this one the Goddess Drape dress. It’s definitely got that Grecian drapery look about it. It’s an easy sew. Two main pattern pieces, front and back, and bindings for the armscyes. You finish the hems and the neckline, fold and tack all the tucks in the main pieces, and then after that it’s like making a large tank top. Once the pattern is traced the dress can be cut and made up in an afternoon.

Drape Drape No 17 back full length brown dk

My previous attempt at a Drape Drape pattern came out much larger and longer than I expected, so I went down a size for this one and didn’t add any length. I normally lengthen everything I make. I think the size and length turned out about right on this one. I made the medium size. I usually make a size 10 in Vogue, a 36 or 38 in Burda, and I’m five foot ten.

Drape Drape No 17 front full length brown dk

The recommended fabric for this style is ‘matt jersey (plain knit)’. My fabric is a viscose doubleknit from Minerva Crafts. It was described a a crepe jersey, and one side does have a slightly crinkled texture. However I’ve used the smoother side of the fabric as the right side here. It’s obviously a much heavier fabric than the pattern was originally designed for. I only used it because this version was intended to be a trial run to check the sizing. However I think it works, probably because it is unusually drapey for a doubleknit.

I couldn’t do the recommended finish on the armscyes because my fabric was too thick. Instead I sewed a binding strip right sides together with the armscye, turned it over the armscye seam allowance, and stitched it down by stitching in the ditch from the outside. This means the binding has a raw edge on the inside but the jersey does not fray so it doesn’t matter. This finish also makes the armscyes slightly smaller. With the finish in the book you’d lose the seam allowance at the armscye. The armscyes are generous even with the seam allowances intact so again it’s not a problem.

Drape drape no 17 armscye finish

One minor irritation with this dress is that the hem edge tends to flip outwards. The hem allowance is only one centimetre (3/8th inch) and it’s finished by overlocking the raw edge and then turning and stitching it down with a straight stitch. I think the fabric stretched out when I stitched it. The straight stitch also means the hem is not very elastic and so I popped a few stitches on it the first time I wore the dress. Another time I’d twin-needle the hem.

I’ve been amazed how much I’ve worn this. The weather helps – the UK is having one of its rare summer heatwaves – but I think it would work with a long sleeved t-shirt and opaque tights in the autumn too. Highly recommended.

Drape Drape No 17 side view brown dk




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