Tag Archives: burda

A Handbag or: How to hide a chocolate box

Each year in April there is a flea market in the old city of Berne. Not only the people living there are selling the stuff they found in the attic, but also many of the shops. This year a tailor sold many fabrics he didn’t use anymore and also scraps that were left from custom orders for next to nothing (if you commission something tailor-made, you of course need to pay the fabric used. To prove that the fabric you bought was really used for your commission, the tailor will give you all the scraps together with the finished garment. As most of the clients don’t need them, they don’t take them with them).

I resisted and didn’t even look at the bolts of fabric, but had a quick glance at the scraps bin. What I took with me was some grey merino wool fabric and burgundy virgin wool fabric, both in amazing quality and I think I remember paying something like CHF 5 for the two. It wasn’t enough left of them to make complete garments out of it, but I combined the two and turned most of the grey merino wool into a skirt with burgundy accents. The skirt had been on my want-to-sew-list for a while, it is a pattern from Burda Magazine 9/2010 and still available for download (as it is a modern pattern I won’t go deeper into it).

To use the last bits of the grey dream that calls itself merino fabric (it is amazing to sew with it!) I went through some of my magazines and found some tutorials for boxy handbags. I always connected these casket-like, solid handbags with 1950s fashion, but obviously they started getting popular in the late 40s. In fact, they are presented as a novelty in a crafting magazine from May 1948, from which I took the tutorial for this purse.

Besides the two fabrics this handbag contains the remnants of a deep-frozen food cardboard package for the bottom, a chocolate box for the top frame and the lid and some stabiliser in the bag’s body, not the worst reincarnation if you lived as a chocolate box, don’t you think?

Scan taken from: Frauen-Fleiss, issue 107, year 9 (=May 1948), p. 9

Jedes Jahr im April lädt die Berner Altstadt zum grossen Altstadt-Flohmarkt. Neben den Bewohnern beteiligen sich auch viele der ansässigen Geschäfte und verkaufen, was sich im Keller so findet. In diesem Jahr war unter anderem ein Schneider dabei, der zum einen seinen Stoffvorrat etwas dezimierte und ballenweise Stoffe anbot, aber ebenfalls Reste von Kundenbestellungen verkaufte (Wenn man etwas beim Schneider bestellt, bezahlt man auch den verwendeten Stoff. Um dem Kunden gegenüber transparent zu bleiben, übergeben Schneider mit dem fertigen Kleidungsstück auch die Reste. Die meisten Kunden wollen diese aber nicht und lassen sie doch da.).

Ich blieb standhaft und würdigte die Stoffballen keines Blickes, warf aber doch einen kurzen Blick in die Restekiste und kaufte ein Bündel grauer Merino-Reste sowie dunkelrote Schurwolle. Beides sehr gute, sehr feine und sicher einmal sehr teure Stoffe für zusammen etwa 5 Franken (genau weiss ich es nicht mehr). Es war jeweils zu wenig für ein ganzes Kleidungsstück, aber aus der Merino-Wolle bekam ich mit ein paar roten Akzenten die Jupe aus der September-Burda von 2010 genäht, ein Projekt,  das schon länger auf meiner Liste stand (Der Schnitt ist weiterhin als Download erhältlich. Da es ein moderner Schnitt ist, werde ich zur Jupe nicht ins Detail gehen).

Um auch die Reste dieses grauen Traums von einem Stoff zu verbrauchen (wenn sich doch alle Stoffe so nähen liessen…), suchte ich nach einem kleinen Projekt und stiess auf eine ganze Gruppe von kastenförmigen Handtaschen in einer Handarbeitszeitschrift. Bisher hatte ich die immer mit den 1950er Jahren in Verbindung gebracht, aber sie scheinen bereits etwas früher aufgekommen zu sein. Im Mai 1948 werden sie jedenfalls in dem Handarbeitsheft, aus welchem ich die Anleitung habe, als Neuheit präsentiert.

Also wagte ich mich an eines der Modelle und bin mit dem Resultat sehr zufrieden. Neben den Stoffen und Garn verbergen sich in dieser Tasche eine Kartonverpackung von tiefgekühltem Backkäse, eine Pralinenschachtel und etwas steife Stickunterlage. Also ein nettes Projekt, um den Altpapierstapel zu reduzieren :-D.

dress (worn as shirt): kookai, 2nd hand – skirt: by me after a Burda pattern – shoes: what for – brooch: fleamarket – bangles: gifts – handbag: by me after Frauen-Fleiss 5/1948

See you soon, alles Liebe

ette

Silk flowers don’t age

Some projects do take their time. This is definitely one of them and that definitely not because of its complexity, but my fear and afterwards my lazyness.

First there was the fabric. I showed it on this blog when I bought it (in march 2012!), but this was under a different name and a different URL, the post doesn’t exist anymore and I doubt anyone will remember.
It is a border-printed pure silk satin, beautifully shiny and soft and…so expensive! I can’t tell you the exact price anymore, but I know that it was the most expensive fabric I ever bought (I think it was something like 80 CHF for the pattern repeat). I had no idea what to make from it and wanted to avoid cutting it. So my initial thought was to turn it into a dress, something like a simple gathered layer on top of a boned bodice. But this dress never left the planning level.

In march 2015 I spent my holidays in Iceland and visited the largest fabric shop I have ever been in, Virka in Reykjavik. But apart from two fat quarters for my English quilt I didn’t buy any fabric. Instead they had a lot of patterns on sale and also a lot of american sewing books that are not easy to come by on the continent, so this is what I spent my money on.

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One of the patterns was this Burda vintage re-issue. And as we got a wedding invitation for the following September, I knew that I needed to sew something for this event. Searching for the right fabric I stumbled across my treasured satin and thought “why not?”.  To avoid cutting it, as I still feared that, I did close the fabric to a tube, matching the pattern in the centre back, and only sewed the darts without cutting them (but unfortunately I used a coloured chalk that is still visible). Due to this the upper fabric is a little wider than in the original pattern, but as the upper edge was meant to be gathered it didn’t alter the dress , but made it only a little more blousy. The silk is very thin and I had to add a lining which, unfortunately, is 100% synthetic fibre.
For the belt and the yoke I used anthracite coloured silk I still had in my stash (and that I bought together with the printed one). I still have enough left if I decide to make the matching jacket.

As the silk for the yoke is very stiff compared to the printed silk, I thought I wouldn’t need interfacing. That was a mistake, as I discovered later. When I wanted to give the dress its final press, my iron spit some not so clean water on it an I panicked. I didn’t want the stains to dry, so I put it in the bath tub and washed it cold. It helped, the stain was gone, but as a result I had to iron the dress again and the water had caused the silk gum in the stiff silk to vanish, therefore it is now kind of wobbly. I am still not sure wether to replace it with a new, interfaced yoke.
Another downer after this was when I finally tried it on. The shoulders just stood up and looked ridiculous. I didn’t want to undo the yoke before the wedding, but I wanted to get rid of these wings, so I threaded some elastic in between the outer edge and the topstitched seam and pulled it down a little. Now it looks kind of unevenly gathered but I can live with that.

Since the wedding I haven’t worn it again, that’s why I never came to blog about it and only show it now, only 10 months after I finished it.

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Manche Projekte brauchen ihre Zeit. Dieses hier jedoch nicht weil es so anspruchsvoll ist, sondern weil ich ängstlich und faul bin.

Am Anfang war der Stoff. Gekauft habe ich ihn bereits vor einigen Jahren (März 2012) und sogar hier im Blog vorgestellt. Damals hiess er noch anders und war auch unter einer anderen Adresse zu finden, lang ist es her und wahrscheinlich erinnert sich niemand mehr daran.
Es ist ein bedruckter Seiden-Satin, er ist weich und glänzend und…er war sehr teuer. Ich weiss es nicht mehr genau, aber es ist der teuerste Stoff, den ich je gekauft habe (ich meine es war etwas um 80 Franken für den Musterrapport). Ich hatte keine Idee für diesen Stoff, aber ich wollte ihn ungern zerschneiden. Also schwebte mir vor, den Stoff als Kleid über einer Art Korsage zu drapieren. Über die Planungsphase kam dieses Projekt nie heraus.

Der zweite Akt begann dann in Island, wo ich im März 2015 Urlaub machte. An einem Nachmittag besuchte ich Virka in Reykjavik, wohl das grösste Stoffgeschäft, in dem ich je war. Und obwohl ich kaum Stoff gekauft habe (nur zwei Fat Quarter für meinen Quilt), habe ich doch etwas Geld da gelassen. Zum einen weil sie einen Schnittmuster-Ausverkauf hatten, zum anderen weil sie eine ganze Reihe amerikanischer Handarbeitsbücher hatten, die man in Europa nicht so einfach bekommt.

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Eines dieser Schnittmuster war Burda 7253. Im September bekamen wir dann eine Einladung zu einer Hochzeit und ich wollte dafür ein neues Kleid nähen, da kam mir der Schnitt gerade recht. Und auf der Suche nach dem passenden Stoff fiel mir wieder diese Seide in die Hände und ich dachte “warum nicht?”. Um ihn nicht zu zerschneiden, nähte ich ihn mustergerecht zu einem Schlauch zusammen, so war er etwas breiter als das Schnittmuster, aber das macht das Kleid nur etwas weiter und ändert nichts gross am Schnitt. Die Abnäher sind nur eingenäht, nicht aufgeschnitten (dummerweise habe ich die mit oranger Kreide angezeichnet, die bis heute nicht rausgehen will). Da der Satin recht dünn ist musste ich ihn füttern, an dieser Stelle kommt leider ein Polyester-Futter ins Spiel. Für die Passe und den Gürtel nahm ich einen anthrazitfarbenen Seidenstoff (den ich lustigerweise zusammen mit dem bedruckten gekauft habe), aus welchem ich wenn nötig auch noch die Jacke nähen könnte.

Da diese dunkle Seide sehr steif ist dachte ich, ich könnte auf Einlage verzichten. Nun, das war ein Fehler. Beim finalen Bügeln entschied mein Bügeleisen, dezent dreckiges Wasser auf die Seide zu spucken und versetzte mich leicht in Panik. Sofort wusch ich das Kleid in der Badewanne kalt aus und der Fleck war zum Glück weg. Dummerweise aber auch der Seidenleim, der die Passe so schön steif gemacht hatte. Jetzt ist es leider etwas wabbelig und nicht mehr so schön glatt, mal sehen, vielleicht ersetz ich das nochmal.
Bei der finalen Anprobe kam dann der nächste Supergau, die Schultern standen ziemlich unschön ab. Da ich so kurz vor der Hochzeit die Passe auf keinen Fall abtrennen wollte, habe ich stattdessen ein Hutgummi zwischen der Steppnaht und der verstürzten Naht am Armloch durchgezogen. So sieht es nicht ganz perfekt aus, aber es ist ok.

Da ich es seit dieser Hochzeit nicht mehr getragen habe, hat es dieses Kleid irgendwie nie bis in diesen Blog geschafft, aber jetzt, 10 Monate danach dann endlich.

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dress – ette/Burda pattern 7253, shoes – vintage/Amuse Brocante Bern

See you soon, love

ette

My new sewing machine – It’s 1969

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So, welcome to the first post in my serie “My new sewing machine“. As you might have already imagined, I was eager to sew something with my new Bernina. I won’t talk much about the machine again, as I have already written a whole post about her.

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The attachment list of the Bernina dates from 12/1968, the machine itself was made in early 1969, according to the serial number. So, what was 1969 like?

(all information from the above linked Wikipedia-page)
Looking back 1969 seems to have been all about space. In early  January  the Soviet union sends probes to Venus and Soyuz spaceships  into the sky, the US sends Mariner probes to mars only weeks later and uses Apollo 9 and 10 as test runs for the lunar mission. The hightlight of course being the moon landing of Apollo 11 on July 20, followed by the moon landing of Apollo 12 already in november.

While the Beatles give their last public performance in January and John Lennon marries Yoko One in march, Elvis is in the middle of his comback and Led Zeppelin release their first Album. In August the famous Woodstock Festival  turns three days into an immortal part of music history. “The Godfather” is published and the “Sesame Street” comes to american living rooms, both influencing pop culture until today.

Technical progress can be marked by the first implant of an artificial heart, the maiden flight of the Boing 747 and the first test flight of the Concorde in France, while inMoscow the Tupolev TU-44 had had her first flight already on New Year’s Eve of 1968, two months earlier. These two are the the only commercial supersonic aircrafts until today.

Politics: Richard Nixon becomes president of the USA, Georges Pompidou of France, Willi Brandt chancellor of West Germany (in the same year, Muammar Gaddafi takes over power in Libya, imagine how long all the other politicians had retired and how recently Gaddafi was ousted). The Vietnam war is present age as still is the Cold war.

Born in 1969: Michael Schumacher, Marilyn Manson (interesting side note: the Manson Family was very active later in 1969 and Charles Manson arrested for the crimes he had commited), Dave Grohl, Alexander McQueen, Cate Blanchett, Steffi Graf, Oliver Kahn, Jay Z, Richard Hammond and so many more

Died in 1969: Boris Karloff, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Judy Garland, Walter Gropius, Otto Dix, Rocky Marciano, Ho Chi Minh and so many more

So, this would be in your mind or in the near future if you had got a new sewing machine in 1969. While history knows no copyright, magazines do, so I won’t be able to show you a bouquet of 69’s fashion, but limit myself to some links: here’s what you find when you search the V&A’s online database for fashion from that year, see it as a little “défilé de mode”. The seamstress might be more interested to sewing magazines of the said year, here you can find the Burda issue of march 1969, the issue I made today’s project from.

First I thought of this project as a complete fail. I mean, when you get a sewing machine that can do so many interesting and decorative stitches, my project maybe wouldn’t be your first choice. But on the other hand, maybe I first wanted to test the sewing before I headed towards the more fancy bits, no-one said I can only write one post about each sewing machine 😛

So, this is the project I went for:

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I don’t wear trousers that much, but if, I mostly wear jeans. simply because that’s all I have, I didn’t own one single pair of trousers made from another fabric when I started this project. So I thought, why not sew something I could use better than a fancy late 60ies dress I would most probably never wear. In my stash I found navy blue trouser-fabric, a polyester-viscose-spandex-fabric with a little stretch.

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I can’t tell you much interesting about the sewing itself. The hips were much too round and I had to alter them more than once, I am still not happy with them, but it’s ok. The trousers close with a zip in the front, the belt is completely seperate and optional to wear. I lined it with some patterned Ikea-fabric, the same fabric I used for the facing inside the waistband. A leftover of plastic boning gives it the stiffness it needs, I assume the original was made from sturdier fabric.

The pattern was surprisingly short. I am shorter than the average woman and the hem was even higher as you see now and I still would like it to be a little longer.

Well, not the best fitting project, but wearable.

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And to save the best for last: Each day you can pick up a free newspaper on Switzerland’s stations (not very high journalism, but well, it’s for free), each friday the same boxes contain a fashion and lifestyle magazine. This friday said magazine told me, that the 70ies will be very “en Vogue” this year. And look what was featured in the photo gallery: Navy blue flared trousers in a polyester-acetate-cotton-fabric by miu miu. Price? 650€. Considering that my fabric cost me 15CHF I still have plenty of room (meaning money) to produce the perfect fitting navy-blue-trousers for this season and will be, for once, totally fashionable.

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Auf Deutsch:

So, es hat ein Weilchen gedauert, aber endlich, willkommen zur ersten Folge meiner Serie “My new sewing machine“, was wäre wenn meine Nähmaschine neu wäre?
Da mein letzter Neuzugang die Bernina 730 war, lag es nahe, mit dieser Maschine zu beginnen. Viel zu ihr sagen muss ich glaub ich nicht mehr, sie hat ja bereits einen eigenen Post bekommen.
Während die Packliste im Koffer von 12/1968 datiert, ist die Maschine laut Seriennummer vom Anfang des Jahres 1969. Also, was passierte denn damals so? (ich habe als Grundlage für die Daten die englische Wikipedia-Seite genommen, daher verlinke ich hier zur englischen Version ).

Das Jahr 1969 stand ganz im Zeichen der Raumfahrt.  Während die Sowiet Union Soyuz-Kapseln startete und Sonden zur Venus schickte, machte die Nasa ähnliches mit Mars-Sonden und startet die Apollo-Missionen 9 und 10 als Testläufe für die Mondlandung. Die Landung der Apollo 11 auf unserem Trabanten am 20 Juli ist wohl allgemein bekannt, bereits im November landete dann die zweite Mondmission, Apollo 12, ebenfalls dort.

Im Januar gaben die Beatles ihren letzten Live-Auftritt und John Lennon heiratete Yoko Ono, Elvis war mitten in seinem Comeback und Led Zeppelin veröffentlichten ihr erstes Album. Das Woodstock-Festival im August ging in die Musik-Geschichte ein.  Mario Puzo veröffentlichte sein Buch “Der Pate” und  die erste Folge der Sesamstrasse flackerte über amerikanische Fernsehbildschirme, beide haben bis heute ihren Einfluss auf die Popkultur nicht verloren.

Auch technisch tat sich einiges. Das erste provisorische künstliche  Herz wurde implantiert, die Boing 747 hatte ihren Jungfernflug und die Concorde hob das erste Mal zu einem Testflug ab, zwei Monate nach dem ersten öffentlichen Flug der Tupolev TU-44, beide bleiben bis heute die einzigen kommerziellen Überschall-Flugzeuge.

Jaaa, Politik: In den USA wird Richard Nixon Präsident, in Frankreich Georges Pompidou. Westdeutschland sieht Willi Brandt Kanzler werden (um sich mal über die Verhältnisse klar zu werden: Alle drei Politiker sind schon so lange Teil der Geschichte. Im selben Jahr übernahm Muammar  Gaddafi die Macht in Libyen und dass er entmachtet wurde ist ja nun wirklich nicht lange her). Der Vietnamkrieg gehörte ebenso  zur tagtäglichen Wirklichkeit wie der kalte Krieg zwischen den Blöcken.

Wer wurde geboren:
Michael Schumacher, Marilyn Manson (interessant übrigens, dass 69 ebenso das Jahr der Manson-Family-Morde und der Verhaftung von Charles Manson ist),  Dave Grohl, Alexander McQueen, Cate Blanchett, Steffi Graf, Oliver Kahn, Jay Z, Richard Hammond und viele weitere.

Wer starb:
Boris Karloff, Dwight D Eisenhower, Judy Garland, Walter Gropius, Otto Dix, Rocky Marciano,  Ho Chi Minh und viele weitere

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So, das wäre also die  Gegenwart bzw. die nahe Zukunft Anfang 1969. Während Daten und Geschichte kein Copyright kennen, tun es Zeitschriften durchaus, so dass ich euch keinen bunten Bilderbogen der 69er Mode zeigen kann.  Als kleine Modenschau soll euch diese Auswahl der Mode-Sammlung des V&A dienen. Für die Hobbynäherinnen natürlich interessant, was nähte man denn 1969?  Hier ein Link zur Burda-Ausgabe vom März 1969, der Ausgabe aus welcher das heutige Projekt auch stammt.

Am Anfang dachte ich,  ich hätte eine totale Fehlentscheidung getroffen. Wer so eine Maschine mit Zierstichen bekommt, näht doch keine Hose?! Nun ja, vielleicht mag ich sie erstmal kennenlernen, die Zierstiche kommen dann später 😛 Sagt ja niemand, dass jede Nähmaschine nur einen Post bekommen darf.
Da ich nicht viele Hosen trage, aber wenn dann Jeans (einfach weil ich nur Jeans habe) , dachte ich es wäre an der Zeit für eine Stoffhose.  Einen dunkelblauen Polyester-Viskose-Spandex-Hosenstoff hatte ich noch da und los ging es.

Über das Nähen kann ich gar nicht viel spannendes verlieren. Die Hüften waren viel zu rund, ich musste die Naht mehrere Male ändern, inzwischen geht es, auch wenn perfekt was anderes ist. Die Hose wird ganz normal mit Reissverschluss in der Mitte geschlossen, der Gürtel ist optional. Mit dem gleichen Blümchenstoff  wie innen im Gürtel habe ich auch den Beleg in der Hose gemacht. Damit die Ecken nicht umknicken ist er mit einem Rest Plastikkorsagenband verstärkt.

Der Schnitt ist auffällig kurz. Ich bin ja schon kurz geraten, aber die Hose wie ihr sie seht ist schon unterhalb der eigentlichen Saumlinie umgenäht und ich hätte sie sogar gerne noch ein Stückchen länger gehabt.

Im grossen und ganzen nicht perfekt, aber tragbar.

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Und das Beste zum Schluss: Jeden Tag gibt es hier in der Schweiz an den Bahnhöfen eine Gratis-Zeitung. Nicht grad die hohe Kunst des Journalismus, aber dafür eben gratis. Freitags liegt anstatt dessen eine Mode-Lifestyle-Zeitschrift in den Verteiler-Boxen. Diesen Freitag sagte mir das bunte Papier, dass die 70er in diesem Jahr absolut im Trend wären. Und was war auf einem der Fotos zu sehen? Dunkelblaue Stoffhosen aus einem Polyester-Acetat-Baumwoll-Gemisch von miu miu. Der Preis? 650€
Der Sitz von meiner Variante mag nicht perfekt sein, aber da ich für den Stoff auch nur 15 Fr. gezahlt habe, bleibt mir reichlich Spielraum um  das Höschen zu perfektionieren und nur ein einziges Mal komplett auf Höhe der Mode zu sein. Wahnsinn…

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blouse: Nine Bird (via Fizzen) – trousers: made by me using Burda magazine 3/1969 – shoes: vintage (via Fizzen)

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Soviel für heute, alles Liebe

So much for today, see you soon,

ette

Bow Neck Blouse Sewalong contribution

Due to my years I worked as a shop assistant in a fabric and haberdashery shop, I own a large number of patterns, most of them I never turned into garments.

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Now, when Seamstress Erin promoted her Bow Neck Blouse Sewalong on Wesewretro.com a few weeks ago, I decided to join almost immediately. I only owned one Bow Neck blouse, a store bought black one, but every time I wear it, I get many compliments and I love how the bow adds the final bit to the otherwise standard blouse outfit (you can see me wearing it in this old post).

So, why not sew a second one for my wardrobe? I was lazy that day and though I discovered some beautiful patterns in my 1940ies Lutterloh-Book I went for one of the neclected patterns that only needed to be cut out. Once known as Burda 7777 but gone out of print years ago, it is now available again as a download pattern.
I already feared the result before having started. I mean, pussy bow, puffed sleeves, very blousy cut? This is too cute to look reasonable, especially when being a too short, too young looking women like me anyway.
But better to try the pattern to throw it away afterwards than to store it for another five years without ever daring to throw it away (“but maybe it would be pretty in the end?”).
Well, maybe there was a chance to make it look good, I like the two plain coloured variants in the links above, they look as if I could wear them.
Now, I moved very recently and was shocked by the amounts of fabric I keep in my cupboard, some I haven’t seen in years. So I decided to actively reduce this masses. Choosing one of the few plain coloured fabrics in this collection would have been wiser consindering the cut, but instead I went for a striped viscose farbric I have had for years, I don’t even know anymore where I bought it.

Well…yes…all I can think of is a walking candy cane…

Maybe I should talk about the blouse first, before lamenting what problems I have with it.

Sewing went without any problems, a straight forward size 36 with no alterations.

Because it would have been too busy using the stripey fabric for the bows (and because I didn’t have enough fabric), I made the bows on the collar and the sleeves from white batiste.

The pattern asks for two open darts on each front side. As you can see I didn’t turn the fabric around to mirror the pattern on the two front parts. I have to admit that I completely forgot it while cutting, but the fabric wouldn’t have been enough anyway. So I can blame it on having too little fabric.

The sleeves are cut in one part with the bodice parts, so there is no seam at the shoulders. The sleeves are pleated double before the ends of these pleats are hidden in another pleat, sitting orthogonally to the others. This gives the effect of a sewn on sleeve, but it is in fact only a few centimetres long.

And no, I didn’t manage to match the pattern on the other shoulder seam 😉

The back, unspectacular and blousy as foretold.

The little bows on the sleeves. Those puffed sleeves are enormous. The remind me of the sleeves worn in the 2nd quarter of the 19th century.

Because the width of the fabric wouldn’t have been enough to place all three cut parts side by side, I had to omit the facings (which were included in the front pattern part as well) and make them seperately, using again the white batiste.
Because the pattern is already that busy I decided to take advantage of the three layers of the facing and went for an invisible closure using press fasteners.

Oh yes, much too much. I can easily imagine myself selling popcorn in an early 20th century circus, strolling around the streets of Bioshock Infinite’s Columbia or acting as a female stand-in for Bert singing “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” next to Mary Poppins.

And it is not even fit for every-day-use! I already managed to tear the fabric during an attemp to catch my cat (only a tiny bit, I can fix it).
(if you wonder why my feet look a little bizarre in the photos: in the old flat, we had a laminate floor, now we have real parquet floor and I have to be careful not to leave marks with my heels, so I am standing on tiptoe)

Ok, seriuosly: Maybe I will wear it with jeans or a very simple jeans skirt, but still it won’t become a wardrobe favourite of mine, it is way to cute, girly, bizarre, whatever.
But the bottom line is: I tried the pattern, I reduced my fabric storage by one, I participated in a lovely SewAlong and I have a new blouse, so what?

See you soon, love

ette

Colourful Corduroy

Normally, this isn’t a blog where you expect to see children’s clothing, or at least only very occasionally (I once showed you a ready-made-shirt, but already looong ago, the post doesn’t even exist anymore).That is because I am no mother myself, neither are most of my friends and my brother’s daughter lives very far away, so we don’t have much contact and normally I hesitate to sew something for her. Not only because I can’t check the fit on her, but also because her mother is not that cautious with clothing and wouldn’t pay attention on how to wash a hand-sewn garment. She is one of those “buy cheap and often”-girls, so it is not that important to her if a shirt discolours or shrinks. That is not meant to be offending, but is only a completely different attitude than my own. So before I make something for my niece I always have to question myself “would I be disappointed if this were destroyed in the washing machine after being worn once?”.

My niece turns three in September and somehow I went mad. I did not only decide to sew her something, but it also turned out to be one of the tidiest projects I ever made.
Normally you don’t want to see the inside of my garments. I always plan to serge the cutting edges but after having closed a seam I often skip it and go on assembling the garment. In the end, I often end up with a completely non-serged garment on which I have to remove loose threads from the raw edges after every washing.  Not very beautiful and I am not content of this. But a few days ago I discovered Laura Mae’s Blog and was speechless seing the insides of her garments. So perfect and tidy. This lead me to rethink my own sewing-practice: Of course I sew because I like to create new garments, because I want to control what I add to my wardrobe and not to be dependent on shop-bought clothes. But what for if I blush everytime someone catches a glimpse of the inside of my hemming, if I have to pay attention not to dress in self-made clothes when I know I will have to change clothing when others can see me?
Of course, finishing all the cutting edges with bias binding or only serging them properly means more time and more material goes into the garment, but after all, sewing is my hobby, I like to do it, so why shouldn’t I do it properly. Maybe that means I will sew less, not only because it will take longer to finish a project but also because it will cost me a little more. Or maybe I will sew more, because I will love my clothes more than before, because I will be happier when wearing them. Who knows?
So, to cut a long story short: I want to change my sewing habits, I want to pay more attention on how I sew and not only what I sew and how long I sew. Funny enough, the first project I tried this was the dress for my niece. You may call this casting pearls before swine, paying so much attention to a garment that may not survive long, but I wanted it and maybe this additional seam finishing will help it survive longer? To be honest, I don’t care. I hope my niece will be happy when seing it and wearing it for the first time (ok, first of all I hope it will fit her), all the rest is of minor importance to me, après moi le déluge.

Now, let’s talk about the dress. I chose a 1970ies burda-pattern for a children’s pinafore-dress. I asked my mother to measure my niece, but she said size 92 would be safe, because now she wears a 86 (her birthday is in less than a month) and she doesn’t grow very quickly at the moment. I waited nontheless to give my mother the opportunity to measure her. A week later I called her again, but she hadn’t seen her the whole week and advised me to stick with this size, even though I was a little concerned because of the age of the pattern (we all know it from women’s sizes how they changed during the past decades, I don’t know if it’s the same with children). We only had a short chat because my elder sister was with her and I didn’t want to disturb the two. In the evening, after I had spent the afternoon copying the pattern and cutting the fabric, my mother called again and said that my sister would advise me to make it one size larger (98), so that she can wear it a little longer. Well, too late, I had already cut everything. Please, kord

please, let it fit her!

I chose a purple and orange patterned plaid corduroy. I love it because the plaid is only visible on the woven ground whereas the pile is completely purple. I bought it years ago to make a short plaid skirt from it, but I won’t sew such a skirt anymore and I imagined it to be perfect for this dress. Secondly this gave me the chance to face my plaid-paranoia: I only made one plaid-project ever and this turned out to be a catastrophe, so I avoided plaid fabrics afterwards. And this time it worked, I managed to understand the principle, how to match the pattern at the seams, I am so happy and I am confident to work with plaid again soon. So this little children’s dress was exactly what I needed to overcome my fears, hurray! Unfortunately I didn’t manage to place the pattern properly on the upper front piece, I tried to centre it (the plaid is sligthly off-centre), but it is a little askew horizontally, too. You can tell when you look closely.

The buttons once closed an orange winter-coat of mine, now they found a second life. The buttons on the pockets have no function, but are merely decorative. I decided a gainst buttonholes to close the straps, but went for large snap fasteners instead. So to be honest, all visible buttons are merely decorative.

If you compare my version to the envelope drawing you will see, that my straps don’t intersect in the back. That’s because I made a mistake when attaching the straps to the bodice, leaning them in the wrong direction. I hope this won’t turn out to cause the straps slipping from the shoulders.

The upper front part, the pockets and the straps are stabilized with fusible interfacing. For the facings and the pocket-lining I used leftover bits of an Ikea-fabric I found in my stash.

All seams are finished with orange rayon bias-binding, using the purple thread I made the whole dress with. I also used it to hem the dress, because the major concern of my sister was that it would be too short for her. With the bias binding I managed to lengthen it at least a little bit. But it stays a very short dress, as was already visible on the pattern envelope.

(maybe I will shorten the straps a little, because of the lacking intersection they are a bit too long)

Yeah, centre back zipper, that’s it. I will add the other half of the snap fasteners when I will meet my niece the next time, so I can adjust the straps properly.
(I hope it will hang differently when worn, so that the hem will be straight and not shorter in the back as in this photo)

I hope you like it, love

ette