Burda Style 06-2016-101B – Knit Top


I made this top a couple of months ago and  finally got around to taking pictures of it. I’m trying to catch up on my blogging before the end of the year.


This lightweight sweater knit was gifted to me by a dear friend last Christmas. I wanted a simple style that took advantage of the stripes but had a minimal amount of seams to sew because the fabric was challenging to work with. I chose to change the direction of the stripes from the top pictured in the Burda Style magazine because this way I would not have any stripes to match at the seams.

BS 06-2016-101B

I lengthened the top by 1″.  The fabric is “springy” and loosely knit so in order to prevent the sleeves from stretching I used stay tape in the shoulder/upper sleeves seams for stability.


The instructions have you turn and stitch the neckline. I chose to use packaged bias tape. Once again I wanted to add stability. This worked out great. The packaged bias tape did not add any bulk and created a nice finish.



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Butterick 5950 – Knit Dress


I like to make a new dress for Thanksgiving. It has to be a simple sewing project because it is a busy time of the year. I bought this textured double knit from Tissus Mode De l’Orme in Granby, QC last summer. It was a remnant so I was limited in what I could sew with it. I enjoy the challenge of trying to find a pattern for a specific length of fabric.


While going through my patterns I came across Butterick 5950 which is now out of print. I purchased the pattern to make view A but never got around to it. My remnant was big enough to make view C.


I omitted the zipper. This dress goes easily on and off over my head. I lengthened the bodice by 1″. I normally have to do this. I also lengthened the skirt by 1″.


This dress was not part of my sewing plans. I’ve been so focused on sewing for our vacation next year that I overlooked my immediate “needs”.

My fashion photographer and I ran outside for a quick photo shoot during a break in the food prep. I hope that those celebrating had a Happy Thanksgiving.


Vogue 8925 – Knit Tops


I need to add some casual tops to my wardrobe for a vacation we are planning next spring. This print I picked up at Tissus Mode De L’Orme in Granby, QC was so interesting that I wanted a very simple style to showcase the fabric. Vogue 8925 fit my needs. I like the princess seams in the front as well as the neckline.

For the blue print I made a shorter version of View C.


I like the depth of the back neckline.


I made a second top with the same pattern but this time I made View B with its applied neckband, lapped princess seams and raw edge finish on all edges.


I chose to sew the sleeve to the top with a regular finish rather than the lapped seams shown on View A and B.


I found this knit at Fabric Outlet in San Francisco (known as Cali Fabrics on-line). My fashion photographer and I happened to be in the Mission District so I decided to pop in and check it out. The store is currently in a temporary location while they undergo some remodeling. Even in their temporary space I found the store to be well organized and easy to get around.

Both of these tops were quick and easy to sew.


This cutie decided he wanted to be part of the photo shoot.


I made the tunic version, View C, last fall.


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Burda Style – 05-2017-111 Cross-Over Bodice Dress


I purchased this stretch suiting at Stonemountain & Daughter in Berkeley, California last year. I’m attracted to plaid fabrics but don’t often buy them because I don’t enjoy sewing plaid. The process of cutting out the fabric takes me FOREVER and I’m nervous the entire time. Once the last piece is cut I heave a sigh of relief.


I looked through my patterns for a dress that would be appropriate for plaid and didn’t have too many pattern pieces. I came up with this dress in the May 2017 Burda Style magazine. I found the style simple and sophisticated.


The pattern is well drafted. The instructions were more detailed than normal for Burda Style. I like that the dress is fully lined.


With this dress I’m officially on my way to sewing fall/winter clothes.


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Grainline Studio – Morris Blazer


The Morris Blazer is already proving itself to be a great addition to my wardrobe.  Living on the Central Coast of California requires an assortment of layering pieces in your closet in order to deal with the swings in temperature.  I’ve admitted previously on this blog that I am “layer challenged”. I’ve never been good at layering and am always struggling to add layering pieces to my closet that are versatile enough to wear with jeans or dresses. The Morris Blazer meets that criteria.


My choice of fabric is a medium weight stable knit. The pattern also recommends medium weight woven fabrics with a bit of stretch. The jacket is unlined so choosing a fabric with a enough body to hold its shape is important.


I lengthened the jacket by 1″. I have a long torso and thought the extra length would look better on my 5’7″ frame.

The pattern is well drafted and comes together without any fuss. I was surprised that there is no mention of tacking or sewing the facings on the inside of the jacket. I read reviews online and this was something many sewists complained about. I chose to sew the  facings at the neck by turning the facing under a 1/2″ and hand stitching the facing to the back neck seam. This was enough to keep the facings in place while wearing the jacket. Some sewists chose to stitch the facings to the front of the jacket but I didn’t see a need to do this with my fabric.


I’m glad I added this pattern to my inventory. It’s going to be one of those go-to patterns when I need a simple jacket. It’s also a bonus that I found it to be a quick sew.


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Butterick 5526 – Striped Shirt


I haven’t made a button down shirt for a few years. It was time to add some shirts to my wardrobe. After spending some time reading reviews for various shirt patterns I settled on Butterick 5526. For my muslin I chose to use this striped oxford fabric that my neighbor gave me a few years ago when she was going through her stash.


The collar seemed a little wide for my liking so I narrowed it by 7/8″ at the points tapering to nothing towards the center. I’m very happy with the altered collar. Below is my modified pattern piece on top of the original collar.


The other change I made was to add back darts. I’m glad I did because I think it gives the shirt a flattering shape.


I added interfacing to both front edges. The pattern has you simply fold the front twice. I did this but wanted a little more stability so I added some lightweight interfacing. This shirt is a nudge short for me to tuck into my jeans. It would be fine with most of my dress pants because they have a higher rise than my jeans. I’ll probably add some length to it next time.


I found the pattern to be well drafted. Now that I have my muslin sewn up I’m ready to make more shirts. This pattern offers interesting options.

Butterick 5526

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Vogue 9201 – Bow Tie Dress


I originally purchased this polyester crepe georgette with the intention of making a blouse. The fabric was wider than I thought and I realized I had enough fabric to make a dress. While looking through magazines for inspiration I came across a few dresses with bow ties. I had not made a dress with a bow tie for myself since the 80’s. I was due for one.


The pattern has you press the skirt pleats but I chose to leave them “open”. Besides being difficult to get a “hard press” in polyester georgette, I thought that leaving the pleats unpressed would add to the fluidity of the skirt.

Vogue 9201

The back has soft gathers creating a blouson effect at the waist. The front has princess seams which line up with the pleats in the skirt. I think it all comes together to create a very flattering look. I like that the dress has a side zipper so as to not “break up” the back. I need to remember this when I’m making dresses with a zipper in the back where I would prefer a smoother look. It’s easy to move the zipper to the side if I plan for it during the cutting phase. So often I’m blindly following directions and not thinking ahead.


This style of dress is classic and a great addition to my wardrobe.


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