Color Block Inspiration

Hi!

I think in the world of sewists on social media we inspire and get inspired often even subconsciously, the beautiful makes of others affecting our fabric and project choices without us realizing. And then there are moments when inspiration hits like a hammer and we know very clearly that we want a pattern or a fabric or a combination of these exactly as someone else just posted.

So this happened to me when I saw Keira´s (https://islandsewcialist.com) color block shirt back in February on her Instagram account. I screenshot the image and started looking for matching fabrics in terms of weight and color to straightforward copy her shirt. But I was unable to find this beautiful lemon shade of yellow and eventually opted for light pink, lilac, mint and blue cotton poplin that I finally found from Abakhan. That was really convenient as well, because they had just offered me a second collab, so the fabrics were bought using the allowance they kindly gave me and this is also the second post of the three that I said that I would write as a result of this collab.

I apologise if it is getting boring for you, but yes, I did choose a pattern from Style Arc once again. You have already heard the reasons for this so many times that I am not going to count them all here again but I particularly loved the back detail of the Roxy Shirt because I realized I could play even more with the color blocking thanks to this.

So after some head scratching on how to place the different colors on the pattern, I made the shirt and I am happy with the result. I didn´t really enjoy the instructions that stated one thing in the text and other on the drawings, but with some help from my Burda book, I managed to sew the sleeve plackets perfectly. The pattern instructions were all Greek to me, but the Burda book that is actually in Greek, was quite clear, haha!

Soon after I finished the shirt, an event was announced on the biggest Estonian sewist community on Facebook and the theme was “Inspiration”- in order to participate you would have to show the inspiration photo and next to it your own creation. I had finished the shirt but did not have suitable pants to match and so my entry is technically the pants only, but I know that the shirt steals the show 😀

Keira so kindly gave her permission to use her image for the purpose:

As you can see, I didn´t make jeans although that would have been even cooler, to try to copy the whole outfit, but I wanted to make a second pair of Liana Stretch Jeans from Itch to Stitch patterns and my jean fabrics were not stretchy enough for the purpose, so I used a dark blue stretch fabric that I bought in October from a warehouse sale paying 2 euros per meter if I recall correctly. It is of excellent quality but does not handle close up photos well, so just two of these which are heavily edited to resemble reality at least a bit.

Today was a perfect spring day that actually felt summery and as the day proceeded, the temperatures rose even higher so in the evening we went out to a children´s playground by the sea and basically wore short sleeves. But it was quite windy and as I took the photos during the day by the seaside, my tripod tripped over several times, my hair was flowing in the air and my shirt ballooned in the most unflattering way… the struggle was real! And the whole “photoshoot” was cut short by the battery dying… !

After all this winter stuck at home (and we haven´t really experienced serious lockdown as in terms of mobility restrictions and curfew) and despite knowing how lucky we have been to still have our jobs that allow us to work from home and not having any close family member catch the virus, after all this, this beautiful day felt so deliberating and I also felt that I looked good after a long long time, because I somewhat dressed up wearing this shirt. I even attended an afternoon online webinar wearing it although I normally opt for a decent jersey top when working from home.

My 3 year-old daughter asked me later in the evening: “Mommy, are we getting closer to the next winter?” and I felt goosebumps just because of the fact that the statement is true. But thankfully we are still in spring, I want to enjoy it to the fullest and wish you the same!

Me enjoying the sun-warmed car. No seatbelt because I am not driving and taking selfies at the same time.

Burda Colourblock Dress II

Ever since finishing the first Burda Colourblock Dress, I have had various colour combinations on my mind for a second or even a third version of this pattern – Burda 02/2012, model 117b.

I have been and still continue to wear the first version very often and it is very likely that the new dress will be one of my favourites as well:

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As the pattern had been tested before, it was even easier and quicker to sew it up this time. The only time-consuming detail is changing the threads – when connecting different colour blocks, I use different colours of upper an lower thread accordingly.

The size I cut is the same as always for Burda patterns – size 38. The material is ponte knit – exactly the same quality and weight of fabric in different colours. I think this is also the most difficult part in colour blocking – finding the same fabric in different shades (and more than 2!) is not always easy.

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Isn´t it amazing how the shoes can change the whole look? I love high heels, but due to my work and lifestyle I cannot wear them as often as I would like to.

In March I will spend a short holiday in Paris with my mother and obviously the sportier look will be my choice. The edgy sneakers are from my trip to Portugal in September.

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I think the pattern contains endless options – in addition to playing with different colours, one could also combine the same colour but different textures or materials – say, black ponte knit and faux leather? This would also be a solution if the same fabric cannot be found in several colours, as I pointed out earlier.

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Burda Colourblock Dress

In winter and early spring we had a very rough time because of a serious health issue in the family and the general situation in crisis-hit Greece, so I didn´t have the time and energy even to look at Burda Style magazines for a couple of months, and of course when I finally came around, they had suddenly come up with some great patterns in February and March!

I managed to order these issues from Abo Press, France eventually and it seems they will be my favorite Burdas for a long time. It was also nice to get them in English, it is way easier to follow the instructions, because although I read Greek, the Burda instructions are notorious and I can certainly decipher English better than Greek.

One of the patterns that made me go through the whole ordering process was this colourblock dress, Burda February 2012, model 117b:

I also loved Amanda´s version and actually I was pretty sure that I would not copy the Burda colour scheme. But as I was fabric-shopping in Estonia in summer, I saw a suitable jersey in lime and changed my mind.

I made the last stitches on this dress on my birthday. The plan was to show the dress on the blog and then forget about it for some weeks at least, because it is too early for it here in Greece. But surprisingly enough, the chance to wear it came already yesterday!

I had arranged to meet my friend Anastassia, who happened to be in Athens for the weekend (another christening!) at 10 AM for a coffee, and although getting up early in the morning has never been my strong side, it was even more difficult yesterday, because it was raining outside, the air was cool and getting out of my cosy bed seemed not an option. But then it dawned on me that this could be the first chance to wear my new dress and out of the bed I was!

Because of the grey weather, the photos are not the best in terms of colour and clarity, but I hope they will do.

The dress was quite easy to make, apart from some stupid mistakes I made during the process. The mistakes were mainly due to the fabric looking exactly the same on both sides and so I managed to sew up something like a colourful chessboard, before I realized I had joined the wrong backs and fronts. So, it was easy to make but took me longer than it should have.

I omitted the tucks on the shoulders, as I liked the way they were without them and used an invisible zipper instead of the exposed one that the pattern calls for. I like the exposed zipper idea in general, but because I used it on one of my dresses already, I decided against it this time.

Another change that I made was omitting the snap fasteners in front. Since the dress has a zipper on the back, I don’t see a reason for leaving the front open at all. So the final stitches I made, was sewing the front yellow piece onto the beige from the inside, on the outside it still has the overlapping effect. I feel that this way the dress fits much better as well.

I cut size 38 and the fit was perfect, which was a relief, because otherwise it would have been difficult to make the colour blocks run smoothly at the side seams. The hemming was done by hand, so the stitches are not visible on the outside.

I am thrilled with the dress, because it is SO comfortable and I think it can be dressed up and down very easily by changing the footwear. Yesterday I wore it with black/silver leather flats in the morning and since the shoes got soaked, I ended up wearing the dress in the afternoon with wellies (rainboots), to meet another friend! The wellies were a bit extreme I guess, but I hate to have wet feet, so I didn´t really care.

The shoes that can be seen in the photos are Pump & Circumstance Nadine leather flats, very comfortable and although I purchased them last year from Amazon, I have noticed that metallic cap-toe shoes are around a lot recently.  I guess the silver leather toes of my shoes kind of fit the trend as well!

Another idea that still has to wait for colder days to try out, is to wear the dress with black matte tights and these Calvin Klein Karla booties that I absolutely love:

I don´t know why really, but the pewter-silver footwear seems to be the best for this dress, maybe because of the grey skirt-block.

By the way, I am so happy with the outcome, that I already got fabric to make the same dress in another colour combo! But that will have to wait a little, since right now I am working on Stefania´s dress and keeping fingers crossed for a good result!