Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Burda 'origami' shirt 07/2016 #114 here I go again with the weird white shirts for summer, love this one! PLUS Ten More Days for E-Book Bargains

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Meanwhile, I see you're still here, so back to sewing! Here is a quick white shirt, Burda's 'origami' shirt 07/2016 #114 that I used as a palate cleanser after quite a frustrating struggle with a linen jumpsuit. (More on the jumpsuit later.)


In the harshest summer morning Swiss mountain light, you can see the structure that is built into this shirt, although it's been ironed to appear pretty flat to the ordinary eye.

Anybody recall that last summer I went out on a limb and did two of Burda's weirder white shirts—one a Kenzo knock-off detailed here, Kenzo knock off white shirt
 and the other, a Margaret Howell 'big shirt' look
Fugly Margaret Howell big white shirt look

that I saw daringly worn only by Solange fame (or infame?) and which required some modification to keep the back pleats in place while wearing?

Okay, I've already re-worn both this summer and, heartened by the success of using cheap IKEA Ditte cotton bleached super-white for super-cheap experimental summer white shirts, I tackled this checkboard origami baby, July's model 114. What was the risk? At most, a few hours,  5 francs worth of fabric and five or six recycled buttons.

NB, once bleached stark white or home-dyed, Ditte is an excellent fabric to work with for experiments, muslins or models that are a little too memorable to be endless investment classics. For example, I used Ditte for my Celine 'painted blouse' knock-off as well as well as for a second go-round with the April 2010 grandfather shirt from Burda which I wear all the time at home year-round.

But be warned that this cheap, cheap 100% IKEA cotton is a bit spongier in hand than more expensive broadcloth. It requires starch and a strong hot ironing arm to approximate a 'crisp' look like the one you see in the blue grandfather shirt.

For this summer's experiment, I didn't have the requisite wash-out interfacing onto which the Burda people wanted me to position the pre-seamed and turned tunnels of fabric into a checkboard pattern for the plastron. So I just interwove, pressed and then machine-basted the prepared and turned pieces onto my tissue paper with the grid marked in pencil, zigzagged tightly around the edge of the plastron, keeping the pattern tissue paper free, and then carefully removed the basting stitches and paper to use for the weaving of the remaining pieces into the second side. Before zigzagging, I trimmed away all the extraneous hang-over of the tunnels for a finished look.

Before final insertion of the tricksy woven plastron, I double-checked the alignment of my checker-boarding and saw that two of the tunnels needed adjusting, so that required a little picking and restitching around the end.

The rest of the blouse/shirt was so easy that I'm tempted to do another, this time making the plastron some kind of variation, like pintucks or horizontal pleats or maybe a contrast fabric or color.

So here's my version. I luuuurrrve it to bits, worn in the photo above with the 2-2014-109 white skirt, also made for pennies from IKEA's white Lenda fabric My Ralph Lauren look for pennies

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Copying Sonia Rykiel's spring 2016 using Burda 119 from July 2014

I was noticing a NYTimes fashion piece on Sonia Rykiel's shop today which included this photo:Notice the sundress on the right? I checked Rykiel's runway for this spring/summer collection and here is another version: So...whipping out my trusty ringbinder of Burda technical drawings going back years, yup, I found it and I'm certain that any of you could replicate this look in a day or two using Burda's similar dress from July, 2014, model 119, widening the straps, lengthening the flounce by maybe two inches? and skipping the elasticized waist.

I'm tempted myself, but first I have to finish cutting out a linen jumpsuit in sky blue.
More later!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Coming up for daughter, sloppy looking yoga pants from Burda, January 2016

Update to the update below: She reported that they are very comfy and the waist is pretty perfect but hates the low crotch (might be the weight of the knit dragging down?) and the length. So I'm advising her not to cut a thing, but to hoik up the trousers at the waist and fold in the excess behind the ample ruched waistband. I'd hate to see her unpicking all the stitching and elastic tunnel holding in the waist, but she'll only be able to lift the trousers up to the top of the pockets, about 10 centimeters.
Well, we tried, but she sounded game, and two pairs are involved—at some expense. We'll see if her roommate, who actually has more experience and a sewing machine, can help out.
****

Are you still working out in tight leggings? Or running shorts?  Oh, darling, to hear my 23 year old daughter tell it, that is so 2015. She has ordered up some of these in size 35-39 but looooong, like 111 cm long.
I'm working on two pairs, in soft, flowing black poly with thinner poly knit lining and gray viscose, very drapey, with the same black tricot knit lining. These hardly seem athletic or streamlined to me, especially if you're hanging upside down in some yoga contortion, but  in this case, daughter is in an intensive MA course in film-acting in London where students are required to wear only dark workout clothing. Let's hope she's not hanging upside down, but flooooowing, like Gypsy Rose Lee's drama teacher in the unforgettable The Trouble with Angels, a childhood favorite of mine and hers. "Willllooooows, willlooows, ladies."

UPDATE, hard to say how they'll look on her, because they're sent off to London now and we'll wait for photos. I had to leave the waist elastic open in center front for her to adjust. Overall, this is a very easy pattern, except for the construction of that very high, ruched waist which has to be stitched at the sides against a bias ribbon as a stay. We'll wait to see if these are a hit or get binned behind my back! With this customer, one never knows. The gray viscose was much, much bulkier than the black poly at the waist, and I'd advise anyone trying this pattern to work with thinner poly before trying the soft viscose shown in the photo.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

In the meantime, here's January Burda!!!

Well, finally finished Book 6 in my pen name historical fiction action adventure series, and now that it's up for pre-order on Amazon, etc. realized my coat pattern was still not completely traced after sitting on the library table for over a month. I feel like I've been swimming through Jello.
Got depressed when I saw that the coat style I wanted and was tracing was for sale in the shops for only 179 francs, which is not that much when the fabric I want isn't even available and would cost almost as much here in Switzerland even if I could find it.
We persevere.
Meanwhile, here is Burda bashing already into the new year with these designs for January! I've never felt so backlogged with sewing ideas, no time and no fabric!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Babies just ready for winter and the Best Baby Sweater in the World is at Work!

One of the payoffs of whipping up Elizabeth Zimmerman's famous
baby sweater is getting those photos back within a few months as winter starts to close in. Again, I recommend this pattern as incredibly fast and clever, since the lace pattern allows the sweater to expand as the baby grows for up to six months. But as you can see, some of the mums in my extended family put the sweater on many weeks too early, hence all the happily rolled up sleeves.




Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Tracing coats, but can't find fabric!

I wonder if there is a fabric market more frustrating than that of Switzerland. The customs people make it impossible for you to import from online suppliers with their ridiculous tax markups collected by the postman on your doorstep, while the local fabric store, count 'em! one!, within reach keeps stocking nothing that I want.

Navy coating in wool? Black/white boucle?
Forget it.

So I've traced two long coats from the October and November Burdas and am still hunting for the right fabrics.

Meanwhile, here is December Burda, thanks to the Russians. Their usual 'sage' Christmas dresses for family lunch, and one nice duffel coat. But as I said, looking for the right coating around here is not encouraging as it is!

Okay, I'll admit it. I'll also struggling with Book 6 of the history saga. It's hard to kill the ones you love.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Burda November 2015, technical drawing preview, any thoughts?

I keep promising that come evening, I will  trace the oversized man's coat in the October Burda for a nubbly tweed version  but then I get tired, I haven't done enough writing to reward myself with a relaxing sewing task, I think, 'tomorrow,' and already that blasted Russian Burda site has popped up with the November designs. Gawd, I can't keep up! I haven't even shown you the one-sleeved black ponte knit sheath I wore last summer to my violinist kid's performances at the Verbier Festival. Woohoo, that was a high!
Here you go, below. Any thoughts? At first glance, I'm finding the November items a little dowdy. Persuade me.  I'm missing something, I'm sure.
And they're getting too much mileage, I fear, out of a few designs this month. One pair of appalling trousers. One coat four ways? The same one-shouldered sheath we had a couple of summers ago. Some 'party frock' out of 1952. And I've done a nice black cape already… so… I will do that October boyfriend coat…soon.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Revisiting BurdaStyle's Greek Tunic T-shirt Dress, 5-2010-105 a fave redone in a blood red version for autumn

It seems that this season I've experimented with strange shapes in white blouses for an avant garde foray and then retreated into some TNT looks that I know will stand the test of time, e.g a grandfather shirt in a sky blue cotton,  a white canvas pencil skirt, and white canvas slacks for summer.

There's another thing I reach for a lot—this 'Greek draped' T-shirt dress, Burda 5-2010-105. Here's a dark red version I just stitched up a few weeks ago (yes, Allison! Great minds…) and the French blue version worn below by my daughter, (hiked up to a shocking mini-length the way she prefers.)
On me, and worn at its knee length, this dress manages to look dressed and casual all at the same time, depending on shoes, scarf or necklace. I was intending to make a second in black viscose jersey to add to my collection of black knit dresses, then changed my mind when I stumbled on this blood-red in our only fabric store within reach. (Shaaaaame, Switzerland!)

When I saw a necklace with dark red beads and jet black crystals in a shop next door, the 'look' just leapt out at me, and I was raring to go.
This is a one-day sew, I promise.

Monday, August 17, 2015

October Burda technical drawings! Sorry, bikini-clad vacationers, get out your pumpkins already!

I guess the Russians are just that much keener to get on with their coats and who can blame them? So here is the Russian preview of Burda October, and I must say, there are two choice overcoats there, as well as some other interesting items. But hey, I haven't finished my August sunbathing yet!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Protest! No, Zara, no, no, no, you poor dears. Wrong, wrong, wrong, THIS is a 'Vintage Style' Denim Skirt

Sometimes the youngsters just get it wrong, the poor little dears. I was there, in poyson—Joan Baez concerts, Berkeley demos, anti-Vietnam War marches on San Franciso, sit-ins against the bombing of Laos and Cambodia—and what Zara is advertising this season for some 40 Swiss smackers as a 'vintage' jeans skirt (see last photos) was not what we were wearing out on the streets.
You know why yours are not 'vintage' style jean skirts, Zara? Because we made our skirts from worn out jeans, and THIS is what we got. Protesting for you young'uns, I sewed one up last night to demonstrate, peacefully. What a nostalgia trip for me, but someone had to waste a few hours at her machine for the sake of garment history.
Notice what separates the true guerillas from the Zara suburban wannabe's?—not just the soft, worn uneven denim, acquired from hours of sit-ins, but also the signature inserted gore rescued from the leftover legs, the telltale pointed jog at the front and back where the leg piece was laid over the gore and the very essential not-quite-even hemline. (Ours were made on the floor of commune living rooms or in dorms on campus, not factories in Asia.)




Here are some other authentic 'wow's' from the web.





Now that I myself am vintage, I'm happy to see a great look return. But Zara, please learn Recycling Fashion from true vets of the sewing wars.
 Yours, Zara, are not 'vintage' jeans skirts or even 'vintage style.' They're sad, spanking new A-line denim skirts, period. Go golfing in it, or maybe devise a new software program in it.
But please refrain from false advertising, Zara. Or I will do my Joni Mitchell imitation outside your shop in protest. That'll give your buyers pause indeed.