And I’m Back! With a BurdaStyle Blouse

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Yes, I have returned! With a new computer! That I got, like, today.

First of all, I was thisclose to finishing my new pattern when my old laptop gave out and I have yet to install Adobe Illustrator on this computer to finish it. Luckily I saved the pattern file on an SD card so I can work on it without having to recover my old harddrive.

So that means it’ll be a little while before that pattern is released but it is coming, I promise! Thanks for sticking with me!!

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Until then I have lots of sewing projects to show you. I’m surprised how much I got done without being connected to the internet.

The Goal: The most recent book we picked for our Bibliostyles meeting (my sewing book club) was the BurdaStyle Handbook, and me being the procrastinator that I am, I needed to whip up something quick for the meeting.

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The Pattern: After seeing awesome versions of the blouse from A Good Wardrobe I was smitten with the design. I did the original variation from the book and cut a straight size 38 that fits well.

The Fabric: Oooh, this is probably what I’m most proud of… it’s silk charmeuse (charmeuse, people!!) that I starched the heck out of to stiffen it which really helped with sewing and cutting. Plus, the starch just washes out when you’re done!

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I found this fabric in the jobber section of a Hancock Fabrics store. Every once in awhile you find a gem. I like to call it an Asian Toile. It’s got motifs of hunters, camels, deer and palm trees – kind of like a hunting scene on a traditional French toile pattern.

And I found it used in the envelope sample for this Simplicity pattern. I wish I could find more of it because it’s really cool.

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The Changes: I didn’t change anything with the fit but I did leave out the side zipper, elastic in the waist and I made my own waist tie by making bias tape rather than using the pattern piece (yes, I made bias tape from charmeuse. I’m so proud of myself!)

The Results: I love this top! I feel like I can dress it up or down and it fits well. What more could I ask?

Oh, and I couldn’t resist doing a little cataloging just for fun. This is from Vogue‘s new “hunching over in an office window” collection.

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I’ll be back soon with more!!

Last minute stitching, and “cataloging”

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Yes, I have been sewing things other than swimsuits lately. This is a top I made to go to a friend’s birthday shin-dig at a downtown bar. I needed something sparkly for party time and I had bought this fabric a long time ago with the intention of making a top like this but never got around to it. Not until about 36 hours before this get together did I decide to draft and sew this top.

Ok, let’s get down to the important bits.

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The Goal: One of my New Years resolutions was to sew clothes for specific needs. I hardly ever have to dress up to go downtown and as such I don’t have much party wear. This top is a good remedy for that.

The Pattern: I realize it might have been faster to just adapt an existing pattern but I figured this was so easy I’d just take my basic two-dart bodice block, cut a sweetheart neckline shape and leave the bottom dart open for some flare. That mostly worked except my fabric has a mind of it’s own…

The Fabric: The base fabric is some crazy poly I bought locally. This stuff is strange. It’s sparkly and textured and also stretchy, but I don’t think it’s a knit. I don’t even think it’s a woven. It’s more like some strange alien sheet of molecules unknown to man. I don’t even know if I can wash it…

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The top part is a sheer organza-thing. It’s not silk but I’m also not quite sure what it is. Rather than pre-washing it in the washing machine I put it in a bowl of water, left it for a minute and came back to find the water dyed purple!?!?! WTF?? And the fabric smelled strangely like petroleum or some car cleaning product, basically like my garage. Hmm, perhaps I ought not to wear such materials… too late!

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The Changes: Originally I had a side dart in this shirt but the stretchy fabric dragged down so much that the dart was pointing closer to my belly button than my – well, you know. I unstitched that dart and let the fabric be free.

The stretchy alien fabric doesn’t fray so I didn’t bother to hem it or finish the seams (which worked well because I didn’t have time…)

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Before trying the top on I thought it might be hard to fit it over my head so I added a back slit with a button closure at the back of the neck. Yeah, that was totally unnecessary but I guess it looks cool.

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The Results: It’s not my favorite thing I’ve ever made and I have no idea how I’m going to wash it but it serves a purpose so I’m satisfied.

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(Vogue 8817 and myself. This is much harder than it looks. I’m gonna need way more tree pose practice before I get the stability to hold my knee that far up in the air without falling backwards.)

Ok, I admit I didn’t come up with this idea (I’m pretty sure Andrea did) but the concept of mimicking ridiculous pattern company catalog poses was so funny that my last sewing group meeting resembled a crazy yoga class from hell.

I’m dubbing it “cataloging” mostly because I can’t think of a better name. Similar to planking or draping or, my personal favorite, cat breading, “cataloging” is the act of photographing oneself posed like a model from a pattern company catalog book. The sillier the better.

***Ugh, that’s all for today. I promise to be back on on Friday with the next installment of the Swimsuit Sew-along. Today I have to work on my new pattern and tomorrow I’ve got to clean up my house for a Project Runway watch party – so busy!!