Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Have you ever seen a skirt with such a jaunty bow?

Remember the skirt I was working on from this April's Burda?  It's finished!

I'm also much happier with the color than I expected to be-- I didn't use this poplin for so long because the rust color reminded me of place mats from c. 1974.  As it turns out, it's a nice color when styled properly!

This was such a quick and satisfying sew.  I highly recommend the pattern.  If you like the pattern but are concerned about the different sizing (Burda calls this a "tall" pattern), read the tall size chart and then go ahead and make a muslin.  It was hard for me to tell what makes this pattern different from the standard sized ones-- I should think that subtracting 1-2 inches from the hem would make all the difference.

The only glitch that delayed the arrival of my rusty skirt was a tension issue with my machine (see photo below).  I am the proud owner of a Pfaff 1475cd, and though I love it dearly, sometimes I just can't figure out why it throws these temper tantrums.  This particular issue was fixed after several test swatches, readjusting the bobbin tension, changing needles, and finally upping the tension to 6.0 (In the past, I've never had it set above 3-4).

[loops of pain]

I should also mention that I made the top I'm wearing too!  It's from Burda 2/2009, one of my favorite issues.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Navy Blue Dress

It's been a very relaxing weekend, though I must say I have not completed as many projects as I had hoped.  All that remains to be done on my navy chiffon dress is a hand-finished neckline and hem.   I have snapped some photos to show my progress on the dress, but will take proper ones once it is finished. 

One other tiny detail is that I don't have a proper slip to go with this dress.  That is why I bought this lovely slip pattern: 

This plus 2.5 yards of nude colored silk satin from Gstreet Fabrics, and I should have a practical silk slip to go with my (growing collection) of unlined dresses.  While the idea of making a practical foundation garment like this one may not seem strange at all, I should mention that the original idea was born when I decided that I could afford to make more dresses if I didn't put a separate lining into each one.  I would be interested to know what you think-- is making one multi-use slip a practical idea, or will this just enable me to buy fabric for three more dresses instead of one?

I have been slowly chipping away at the other projects mentioned last time, and should be able to show my finished skirt later this week.  In addition, I have been gathering inspiration for a new jersey tunic, and was rather taken with this Vivienne Westwood number found at

From what I can tell, it looks like an asymmetrical dolman top, with ruching on one side.  It also looks like the front and back are cut from the same pattern piece.  I'm still working out the details in my head and on paper, and hope to have more direction for a project by the end of the week.  I really can't wait to work with the violet-hued jersey I have in mind for this tunic, though.  I finally broke down and purchased 4 yards of jersey from highendfabrics on ebay.  The name and storefront of this seller are not terribly impressive, but they sell some leftovers from LA designers like Rachel Pally, for a mere $5.90/yard.  Priority shipping was really fast too, even though I live on the opposite coast from LA.  If you're looking for some basic modal jersey in nice solid colors, I recommend checking this seller out.  Just leave some for me, please!

Also, in the spirit of crafting, check out this WSJ article about truckers who are taking up knitting and quilting.  I always like to see more men taking up knitting!