Daily Archives: July 1, 2011

Happy Leftovers

I’d been eyeing Burda 7508 for a while.  It just looks cool.  I mean beyond the asymmetrical neckline, it just looks like you won’t expire in it in 100 degree heat.  I like the princess lines too and it seemed like a good pattern to venture out of my normal comfort realm of knits and start figuring out how to dress my changing body.  And, it’s too hot for knits.  Thank goodness for cotton and linen in the heat.

When I got around to working on a muslin, I noticed I was a little low on my usual stash of old sheets and I’ve been a bit tired of them with the whole pants muslining business.  I thought I’d look in my leftover fabric stash to see if I could put something together.  As luck had it, I had more than enough of this leftover poly-I’m-not-sure-what-you-call-it-but-it’s-pretending-to-be-silk from JoAnn’s that I had had for a blouse that I made for my art teacher friend I used to teach with.  Black and grey aren’t normal colors for me, but hey, if it turned out bad, it’s a muslin, and if it worked out, it’s a wearable top for a night out with my sweet husband.

Burda 7508

What I learned:

Princess seams and the full bust:  I’ve said it before that traditional FBA’s don’t work too well for me because of my waist being smaller.  When Lorraine Henry came last year to the sewing expo and showed the seam method’s way of dealing with princess seams, I was intrigued.  It truly only adds across the bust, and it fits great.  On my muslin before this one, I slashed across the bust line between the side front and front pieces and allowed it to spread to where it relaxed, which was about 3/4″ on each side.  On my pattern, I cut along the seam line and spread it the same width at the bust level.  To get the pattern to lay flat, you cut it at intervals to but not through the cut line and overlap as you need to.  Here’s what the whole thing ends up looking like:

See how much rounder it looks?  It makes sense that it would fit better, right?  On this particular top, I need a little more room.  It fits, but there’s not enough ease to be comfortable for day to day wear.  I added an extra 1/4″ to the side front and front pieces for version two.

CB seams and zippers: I hate hate hate side seam zippers.  Did I mention that I hate them?  I sew them poorly and they bubble out on my body and they poke my underarms.  Argh, but I dislike them intensely.  So I added a CB seam instead and moved the zipper.  You can’t finish the yoke via the most excellent and cool burrito method (or can you?), but it still works well.

Poly fabric masquerading as silk is horrid:  This shouldn’t be a big surprise, but this fabric is awful.  It frays unattractively, it stretches as it is sewn, it gets needle marks (so your construction has to be 100%), and it’s hot.  This version is not getting out of the closet in the summer for sure.  I did forego my pattern weights and pinned my pattern pieces while cutting out which was slow but did allow me to not have a cry fest over slippadeedoo happening while I was cutting out the pattern.  But given that this is leftover fabric, I wasn’t going to be too picky.

What I want to learn how to do is finish the vents more nicely.  I just kind of guessed at the whole matter and did what made sense to me, but I’m sure there’s a prettier way to do it.  I feel like vents are like mitered corners–one of those things that make your sewing look so much better when you know how, but something that takes a little practice to get good at.  But maybe they’re easier than I think.  Does anyone know a good source for finishing vents?

I haven’t reviewed the pattern yet as I just finished the *real* version last night, so it’s forthcoming.