I’m Obsessed With Cowl Necks I

Side Gather of My Newest Dress

Side Gather of My Newest Dress

Can you believe I made two other projects with a cowl neck and asymmetric side ruching? What can I say, I love those design elements combined.

Naturally, when I saw pattern 118 in Burdastyle magazine 10/2012, I wanted to make it. I’m in the feedback group for the magazine and get asked a few questions about the patterns 4 times a year. Embarassingly, I never really succeeded in making any of the patterns within the time they give you (3-6 months) and couldn’t really give feedback apart from “like” or “dislike”. So this time, I went to town! (Literally)

I had seen a nice blue/white wool bouclé in the remnants bin at Eurokangas some weeks before and hoped a) that it would still be there, and b) that it would be enough for this dress. I was lucky on both accounts (I even have some left over that I intend to use on a Sewaholic Cordova). Here’s a first picture:

Burda Style 10/2012 Dress 118

Burda Style 10/2012 Dress 118

As this was wool I didn’t like the fact that the pattern is unlined. After a lot of deliberation and some sleepless (well, almost) nights I started googling lining sources. In the end I was confirmed that basicall you cut the same pattern pieces out of both the fashion and lining fabrics. I sewed the facings on top of the lining pieces, which is a techniqu recommended in “Easy Guide to Sewing Linings” (Amazon link). Because I didn’t want to add bulk and the fraying fabric was quite difficult to turn under anyway, I enclosed the edges in black bias tape that I had laying around:

Back Facing and Zipper Detail View

Back Facing and Zipper Detail View

A note on the lining: I cut the front part mirrored to the fashion fabric to reduce bulk at the side gathers. Also, instead of gathering the lining, I pleated it at the gather line.

Pleat Instead of Gathers - bulk reduction

Pleat Instead of Gathers – bulk reduction

Also also, I cut the front lining only up to the facing, for the same reason. The edges are enclosed in bias tape here as well:

Cowl Facing

Cowl Facing

Then I was faced with a construction problem. Burda has you treat the folded front section as one piece, which would have resultet in a raw edge at the armscye. Plus, I wouldn’t know how to attach a sleeve lining to that. Moreover, I prefer to set in sleeves in the flat, it’s so much easier. So I followed Burda’s instructions only sporadically. So here’s how I did my construction (no pics, as I was eager to finish that dress FAST):

  1. Attach facings to lining pieces
  2. Gather both lining and fashion fabric as indicated and instructed by Burda
  3. Sew back darts, both on lining and fashion fabric
  4. Attach back facing to back pieces
  5. Sew shoulder seams as directed by Burda
  6. Set in sleeves, both on lining and fashion fabric (do each sleeve half seperately, starting at the shoulder seam, as this seam connects fashion fabric and lining)
  7. Sew sleeve hems of lining to fashion fabric sleeve hems, right sides facing
  8. Sew side seams from bottom of fashion fabric all the way along the sleeves to the bottom of the lining
  9. Now’s a good time to do fitting adjustements if you haven’t made a muslin (though, tsk, you totally should! (However, I only did a body muslin to see if the size and bodice length was right, not to do tailoring))
  10. Attach the back zipper (I used Tasia’s method for a neat finish)
  11. Finish the hem as you prefer. (You could leave the lining free hanging to avoid hand sewing.)

It’s a bit confusing, I guess, especially points 7 and 8. If there’s interest I’ll make a tutorial with pictures, just leave a comment here or on Burdastyle.

EDIT: I made a post explaining steps 6 to 8, see here.

Anyway, more pictures of the finished dress. Here’s how I finished my hem:

Hem Finish - close up

Hem Finish – close up

First I enclosed the fashion fabric edge with bias tape, which I then blind-stitched to the desired length. Then I made a machine hem on the lining fabric. I could have left it as is, but both fabrics are fraying like crazy and I wanted to enclose everything, which is why I hand stitched the lining to the bias tape. (I pulled the lining up for the picture).

Then some backside views:

Back View - nothin exceptional, really

Back View – nothin exceptional, really

Inside Back View - all neat and stuff

Inside Back View – all neat and stuff

Some notes about pattern changes: I only did minor alterations, lengthened the bodice 4cm and changed the skirt to a slight A-line, as I have some saddlebags to accomodate.

The second project that I mentioned at the beginning of the post is another Eva dress (my 1st version here). I’ll write about that after Christmas, though, this post here is waaaay too long to add another project.

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The First Semester – It’s Done!

Well, almost. I managed to do all course assignments before they were due, except one, which isn’t due yet, so I guess I’m on my way to the above statement being true. (<- what a long sentence) All in all being back to school was considerably less pain- and stressful than I had anticipated.

However, what is truly completely done is my procrastination project. The one I mentioned in an earlier post. Also, the second procrastination project mentioned there is finished (it actually was finished the next day…)

Here is my first knitted wearable garment (though I’ve made socks, hats and scarves before):

St. James Sewater

St. James Sewater – Ravelry pattern here

It’s the same from the front and the back, so it’s easy to wear. I’m mostly happy with it because the horizontal fit is great, but it’s a bit short. I got inspired to make it after I read a post by super cute Tasia from Sewaholic Patterns. (When I grow up, I want to be her.) I liked that she said it was super easy and when I found out that the sweater is knittet all in one without seams, I was entirely convinced. Then I found this nice (though acrylic) yarn at Sokos for 2€ a skein (I only needed 3 skeins) and on I went. So this sweater is a first try to see if it would fit. I’ll make it in a nicer yarn some day, maybe even this winter, who knows.

The second procrastination project is a Sorbetto from Colette Patterns. I love this independent pattern company, even though they serve a body type that is different from mine. I made another pattern by them before (the Crepe, here’s my post on Burdastyle about it) and it is entirely too large in the bust. But hey, it looks blousy and sometimes even intentionally so… But here is my newest Colette make:

The Sorbetto top - it's a free download, but you probably knew that already...

The Sorbetto top – it’s a free downloadable pattern, but you probably knew that already…

Sorbetto Back View - sorry for the wrinkles

Sorbetto Back View – sorry for the wrinkles

It calls for bias tape, and again, I made my own (following Sarai’s tutorial). Originally the bias tape would be topstitched in place, but I liked the clean look without topstitching and I needed some procrastination time. So I sewed it on from the inside by hand with catchstitches. Here’s how nice and clean it looks from the outside:

Sorbetto Closeup - ain't it neat?

Sorbetto Closeup – ain’t it neat?

Unfortunately the pictures are not so good, so you will have to believe me that the front pleat and bias tape are the shiny side of the silk, the rest of the top is the matte side.

It seems that if I keep myself busy, I will be more productive. Or at least that’s what I’m trying to establish so I don’t feel so bad about doing non-necessary stuff. I’m in a sewing frenzy at the moment, trying to catch up with the sewing I didn’t do during the last half year. I already finished two more dresses, but I’ll write about them later, because this post is getting awfully long…

Winter Is Here

So, yeah, what it says in the title. On Monday a week ago we still had relatively warm temperatures (meaning in the plus degrees section). But then on Thursday and Friday, just when my Mam was due to arrive, a snowstorm hit. I have to confess, though, that I didn’t really experience it, as I took off of the duty of going outdoors for half an hour those two days.

We were obviously not the only ones getting snow. My Mam’s flight was  already one hour late departing from Switzerland, due to snow. In Helsinki, where she had to change planes, the delay increased to two hours. In the end she arrived at our home at 3.30 am instead of around 1. Saturday was freezing! As was Sunday. We got temperatures around -20°C. It wasn’t the first time I experienced temperatures like that, but the first time when I actually had to do things. Let me tell you: I don’t like it much. Here’s why:

Frozen Lashes - *shiver*

Frozen Hair and Lashes – *shiver*

Strangeley enough my Sicilian PB seems to enjoy it at lot:

Yay, snow! And Ice!

Yay, Snow! And Ice!

However, on the upside, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday the sun shone all day (which currently lasts from 9.30 to 14.30), so I took the opportunity to get some vitamin D and to take some sugary pictures:

View From Livingroom

View From Livingroom

One of the Cutest Houses in Town

One of the Prettiest Houses in Town

Sun is Already Setting - at two thirty...

Sun is Already Setting – at two thirty…

Jyväsjärvi - somewhere under all that snow there's a lake

Jyväsjärvi – somewhere under all that snow there’s a lake

Before Sunrise on Saturday

Before Sunrise on Saturday

Well, it’s gonna be better soon, in only 3 months I will be enjoying the warmth again. Though it won’t be in Finland.