Friday, March 14, 2014

New and old sewing projects

I finished my robe. It's the shawl collar version of the (long out of print) pattern #2000 by Stretch  and Sew that I used for my husband's robe.

The fabric is a chenille-type knit that I've had in my stash for a long time. I may have bought it from don't remember. After my near disaster with the too-thin fusible interfacing, I ended up using a thicker, non-woven, fusible interfacing, which I also think wasn't the right choice. I probably should have used a knit tricot fusible, which that did have in the fabric store, but it was pricey (8 €/yard). As it was I spent 5 €/yard for the stuff I did use, probably more per yard than the fabric. Oh well. I didn't want a too floppy collar and the interfacing did prevent that, and it's not too stiff, so it worked out ok.

The old sewing project is one I'd forgotten about and don't think I ever blogged about. The review was sitting as "unfinished" on, and only needed the final picture. So I took one today and finished the review.

Burda #103 from May 2005 issue
The pattern is from an old Burda issue - May 2005, but I actually made it in 2011. I've worn the top a few times but with a camisole or long sleeve t-shirt underneath because it is quite low cut.

In case anyone has access to this old issue, here's my review:

This top is why I keep my old Burdas. I keep a binder of copies of the pages that show all the line drawings so that I can more easily find patterns. I wanted to make a stretch poly/lycra top that wasn't too plain, didn't cross-over since I have quite a few of those already, and didn't have too much going on because I wanted to be able to wear it under a cardigan. This pattern seemed to have just the right elements. Click here for a line drawing of the pattern. There is also a version with a sash and there is a dress version.

Sizes: European sizes 36-44

What I like about the pattern: The gathers make the top blousier so it's a little different than all the other poly/lycra tops I have

What I don't like about the pattern: The V-neck is too low. I should have raised it, but I didn't so now if I wear it to work I need a camisole or t-shirt underneath and if I wear it out and want the plunging neckline I need to make sure I wear the right bra. Also, I didn't like that it was so short. I hate tops that are too short so I added about 5 inches to the length.

Things to note about the construction: I used fusible straight tape on the shoulders. I accidentally positioned the front pleats so that the openings on the front pointed away from the center. The pattern shows the direction of the pleats toward the center and that's how I thought I basted them but I actually basted the fold of the pleat on the wrong side in that direction, which resulted in the fold on the front side to point in the opposite direction. I made the pleats at the bottom of the top go in the same direction so the fabric would fold nicely across the front. I thought I'd use my serger for all the construction but I ended up using the stretch stitch on my sewing machine for a lot of it. If your machine has a stretch stitch, it's the one that goes forward and backward as it sews - it may look like double lines on the stitch selector. I found this stitch to be a lot stretchier than the overlock stitch and it gave me better control when I sewed on the front facings. I used my serger's cover stitch to top stitch the facing and then trimmed the excess.

Final thoughts I recommend the pattern and would sew it again, even with the low V-neck. I tend to layer a lot of my clothes anyway, so wearing a long sleeve t-shirt underneath is not a problem.

Next on my sewing project list: sleep pants for my husband and a knit top for me. Both use Burda magazine patterns. I've made I think three pairs of sleep pants for my husband using a Kwik Sew pattern but since he lost weight, they are all too large for him. So I thought I'd try the Burda pattern since it has less ease. The knit top for me is from a recent issue - January 2014. The issue is all in German but fortunately the pattern I'm using is the one they highlight as a sewing lesson with more instruction and pictures.

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