Sunday, 10 January 2016

Burda projects of the month: 11/2015 #108 (fail!) and 12/2015 #121 (winner!)

Apologies for the blog silence - we've been away on a holiday and then had house guests which left me little time to sew or blog. I managed to finish my December Burda project just after Christmas day and then managed to ruin my November Burda project on the morning of the 31st so I guess that counts in last year's tally, right?

I really liked the patterns in both the November and December issues, but since they are all winter clothes and it's so hot here at the moment I always struggle to make something - I just can't bring myself to handle wintery wool fabrics when I'm feeling hot and sweaty. I definitely plan to revisit these issues when the weather cools down around here though, because there are some lovely tops in there.

Let's start with the good project first. I made this lightweight summery shirt dress style from Burda 12/2015 #121:

Burda 12/2015 #121 gingham shirt dress www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

Burda 12/2015 #121 gingham shirt dress www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

In the magazine this dress is made from a silk, with long sleeves but I made mine with with shorter sleeves finished with elastic so I could scrunch them up higher when need be. The fabric I used is a lightweight polished cotton in a check pattern (it's not actually gingham) which is very badly off grain. I tried all I could to straighten it which didn't work, but I figured that using a contrast band meant that the patterns didn't need to match, and the loose style cinched in with a belt would disguise it somewhat.

This is a very loose style without any shaping to it at all. Without the belt, it sort of looks like a nightgown:

Burda 12/2015 #121 gingham shirt dress www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

Burda 12/2015 #121 gingham shirt dress www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

It definitely needs a belt to give it shape:

Burda 12/2015 #121 gingham shirt dress www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

Burda 12/2015 #121 gingham shirt dress www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

I didn't have very high expectations from this dress given it's a style quite unlike what I usually make, but I've worn it a few times during the last two weeks and it's been great for the hot weather. I didn't make any changes to the pattern, although I left off the patch pockets at the front because it looked a little too heavy in the contrasting black fabric but too disjointed in the checked fabric. It was pretty simple to make, and I can highly recommend this pattern if you use a lightweight, drapey fabric.

I did have high hopes for my November Burda project - I wanted to make a light, floaty top to wear to a New Year's Eve party but of course when I am rushing to make a project for a specific occasion it always goes wrong somehow. I used Burda 11/2015 #108:

Burda 11/2015 #108 lace top www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

Instead of lace I used a crinkly polyester chiffon that has been in the stash for a very long time and was originally bought from an op shop so no great loss that it didn't turn out well. I started out making this properly, using French seams with was tedious with all those seams and the slippery fabric that wouldn't hold a press. It turned out that the top was too tight under my arms (not discovered until all the seams were sewn and the sleeves set in) which is not something I generally experience with Burda patterns. I couldn't bear the thought of unpicking all those seams in chiffon, so I decided just to finish the top to put it in the donation pile.

But a bit of careless overlocking while attaching the collar completely ruined it - the collar band folded up and got caught in the stitching as well as cutting it beyond repair:

Burda 11/2015 #108 lace top www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

So this top ended up in the bin after all. But for the record this is how it looked:

Burda 11/2015 #108 lace top www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

There were a few things I didn't like about this pattern anyway. The pattern is the same as pattern #109 which was sleeves with ties so it has a two piece sleeve - totally unnecessary if you aren't making the tie end version and would be much better if it had a one piece sleeve instead. I also don't like the centre front seam - lots of Burda patterns have keyhole necklines with either facings or plackets which would have been preferable.

And in case you're wondering, finishing these two projects does not mean that I finished my Burda challenge for 2015 - my May project is still in pieces after I pulled it apart to fix some fitting issues. My one and only sewing resolution for this year is to complete at least 10 UFOs this year (trust me, there are more than 10!), so I plan on finishing that one soon.

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