Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pattern Review: Burda 05-200-116 Tulip Skirt

OMG! I found the Burda archive loop-hole! For some reason, on Burda Style's new website, none of the previous magazine issues can be viewed (at least I have not found a way)... until now. On a whim, I typed in "Burda archives" in my google search bar and I was brought to the old Burda site with archives still intact. This is the only way I know how to post pictures of technical drawings from Burda besides scanning the magazine which doesn't turn out that great. I know others have had this same issue so I hope this bit of advice helps you out!

Changing the subject- I am so excited because we are having the landscape in our backyard done and work starts tomorrow. As you can see from my pictures lately, the new house has a backyard full of dirt, and a tree. In a couple of weeks there should be a lot more greenery! We love to hang out in the backyard. And as a bonus... I will have better backdrops for my photo shoots!

Pattern Description: This is a knee-length tulip skirt with front pleats, front buckle, and side zipper.

Pattern Sizing: The pattern comes in sizes 34-42. I made a 42.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, very much so!

Were the instructions easy to follow? This skirt is so easy to make- you probably won't need to depend on the instructions for much. Because I have made skirts with side zippers before, I was fine with the instructions.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Plaid is all the rage and I particularly was drawn to this skirt when I saw it made in plaid. I love, love, love the tulip shape! It is so cute. And the buckle detail adds a little something extra. No dislikes.

Fabric Used: I used a cotton seersucker from Denver Fabrics. . I purchased 2 yards for a total of $10.50 and I still have some fabric leftover. I also used an invisible zipper and a 1 1/2" buckle.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I had to let out the waist sides by 1/4" each side for a little extra room. I also shortened the skirt by about 1".

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? There's another version of this skirt in the issue with a big tie bow instead of the belt in front. It looks like it would be great for a holiday party skirt... I might make that one in the future. I would recommend this one.

Conclusion: Fast and easy skirt that looks very RTW... what's not to like?

I am not including my instructions for this skirt, as I did with my last Burda creation because I think most people won't have a problem. But if you get stumped or have a question- feel free to ask me!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pattern Review: Simplicity 2865 Henley Tank

It's a scorcher today... I think it got up to 95 degrees! And it feels almost as hot inside as it does outside. This top would have been perfect for the sweltering heat. This one is almost a wadder... I will wear it as a p.j. top so it's not quite hopeless.

Pattern Description: Misses' knit dress, mini dress or top. I made the top.

Pattern Sizing: Sizes 4-20 are available. I cut a 16.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Pretty much.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, the instructions were fine. It's actually a fast and easy top to make.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I think what drew me to this pattern was the faux henley style. It's simply just a rectangle shaped piece sewn over the center front with buttons sewn on top. I think it's a cute touch. I also like the back- it's almost a racer back which is also very cute.

Dislike- do not like the side panels at all. In the pattern photo, it looks like this panel is almost hidden, like it folds inward. Well, on these shapely hips they do not. They look like chicken wings and they accentuate instead of flatter one's curves. I know... it's probably not THAT bad, but I don't like it!

Fabric Used: This bums me out because I really like the fabric. It's a clearance bin find at Joann's. I scooped up the last of the bolt for like $2.00 a yard. It's a knit in pink and gray stripes with metallic thread running through it... so cute! Unfortunately, I probably won't wear this one for anything other than a pajama top.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: The only alteration I made was to go down one size than recommended.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I really like the shape of this top other than the chicken wings. So I will make this one again, but do away with the side inserts. If you are pretty slender, give it a try with the side inserts, they may look more flowey than they do on me.

Conclusion: Love the henley and racer back style. Hate the muffin top holders!


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Pattern Review: Simplicity 2701 Jacket and Skirt

First of all, thank you for all of your kind comments on the last outfit. I might be hallucinating but I could have sworn that there were more comments and some of yours have gone missing. I just wanted to assure you that I have not removed any of them deliberately. If you have removed them yourself- that is of course OK if you chose to do so. Just didn't want to hurt any one's feelings. Silly computers!

Also, I have decided to go by my real name from now on in my blog instead of my pseudo name. I have confirmed that most of you are not psycho stalkers and are in fact sweet ladies who I consider friends within the sewing community. You must finish reading the post, or skip to the end to see the name:)

These are some fun pieces. I realize that a skirt suit can age oneself instantly. I will probably wear the pieces separately.

Pattern Description: Misses' jacket with front, collar and sleeve variations and skirt. I made the jacket with the v-neckline and three quarter length sleeves. I also made the skirt.

Pattern Sizing: This pattern is available in sizes 4-20. I made a 16 for both pieces.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, very much so.

Were the instructions easy to follow? I found the instructions to be fine. As with other Project Runway patterns by Simplicity, the instructions jump around quite a bit depending on the "designer details" you are adding. For example, there are two pocket variations you can do, or three sleeve variations. So if you are very dependent on the instructions, you must pay attention to which details you are doing.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I thought that this was a very spring time looking combo. I like the three quarter sleeves of the jacket and the unique pockets. It's difficult to see from the photos but the pockets kind of have a bagged look to them. I also like the shape of the skirt... it almost has a tulip shape. No dislikes here.

Fabric Used: Both pieces of fabric are from Joann's. I used a loosely woven tweed that cost $23. I love the weight- it is really light and breathable. It is a bit difficult to sew with because it does stretch as it hangs. I should have let the jacket hand over night before completing the hem. I didn't and it dips in the back- something I need to go back and fix.

I used a stretch poplin for the skirt. Don't have the receipt for this one, but it had to be under $10.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I went down my usual one size from what the pattern recommends based on my measurements. I put in an invisible zipper on the skirt because I just like the clean look of an invisible zipper. If you haven't done so yet- I highly recommend an invisible zipper foot for your machine, it's worth every penny!

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I could see making a different view of the jacket from this pattern. I also really like the skirt- could make a few more for the warmer weather.

Conclusion: Great separates that look good together or with other pieces. I love the skirt- it's so simple to make and looks great with a tank and sandals! I do recommend this pattern to others, with all the different variations, there are lots of possibilities!

~Jenny (the gal formerly known as Byrdie)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Pattern Review: Simplicity 2443 Dress and Jacket

Sorry to keep you waiting! I finally have pictures of this outfit. If someone could come up with a camera that gives you perfect lighting, takes off twenty pounds, and gives you the perfect facial expression- I would pay a pretty penny for it... lol! I could not make this outfit look good indoors or out on camera. Maybe it's the hot pink color... I don't know. I'm still not satisfied with the pics but I give up!

Pattern Description: Misses' dress with knit bodice and jacket or vest.

Pattern Sizing: Sizes 6-22 are available. I made a 16.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes!

Were the instructions easy to follow? I found that the instructions for both the jacket and the dress were fine.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? The jacket- I really love all of the details of the jacket. The pockets are really cute. I like the sleeves with the banded hem. I like the loop and ribbon closures.

The dress- I love the shape of the dress. It almost looks like a ballerina style dress. I love the banding along the neckline and arms. I also like the back- it comes in like a racer back.

I don't have any dislikes.

Fabric Used: For the dress, I used a hot pink jersey knit from Fabric.com. It cost me $10. I found that the knit was just a little too thin for my liking. Next time I make the dress, I will use something with a little more weight.

For the jacket, I got a navy linen blend with metallic threads in it. That cost me $6- it was on clearance at Joann's. I really like the metallic in the jacket- the pictures don't do it justice.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I shortened the dress by about 1-2". I did not put in the pockets. I did put in the zipper but I find that I could have gotten away without it because of the 4 way stretch in the knit.

I did not make any changes to the jacket. The one thing I would change if I make it again is to lengthen the arm bands. I find that I have to do this for any garments with arm bands because I do not have pencil arms. Sometimes I forget to make the adjustment. It looks OK, but would be better lengthened.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I definitely want to sew the dress again. I could have this dress in ten different colors- I love the style and it is perfect for warm weather dressing. I also like the jacket a lot. I think I would like to make it in a tan or gray khaki next time so that it has more versatility. Yes- I would recommend both pieces.

Conclusion: I love this outfit- I wore it out to dinner with my hubby for his birthday!