Three Is Company

Happy New Year!

I have to start the new year with some old news – once again no chance to take photos until now, although I finished and wore the set below on December 21st already.

photo credit: Markus Sein

I usually make a dress for the annual Christmas celebration with colleagues, but this year I knew I was going to be short of time and I thought I would only make two super easy things – a pencil skirt and a sleeveless little top to go with it.

The top is McCall´s 7601, view A and the skirt is Burdastyle 8/2012, model 111 (I have used this pattern before). I must say that this is the one pattern that does not need any adjustments, I need to remember that when planning another pencil skirt!

I used lightweight cotton sateen for the top and I had it in my stash for some summer pants. But when I discovered how well it goes with the brocade I knew I would have to combine the two somehow. The top doesn´t look like much, but it takes surprisingly lot of fabric so basically no leftovers from the yardage I had for pants as the top ate up 1,6 m of fabric!

The front slit is very deep, I raised it by about 5 cm and could raise more but then the bust area becomes too tight. Thankfully there is the bow so it covers up the occasional view of the bra. The next time I would also raise the armscye because I had to choose the bra very carefully for it not to show from there as well.

I am hoping to wear the top in summer as well, with some casual pants and probably not tucked it. For the pencil skirt, I think the tucked in look is better.

Then the idea of a jacket came along while I was making the former two items and I still tried to keep it simple – the pattern is originally without lining. I even decided I would only serge the seam allowances to save time, but couldn´t help it in the end and just two days before the party, cut and sew the lining as well. It is just so much more comfortable and looks fully finished this way, I am super happy I took the time to do it!

The pattern is Simplicity 1421, view A.

As you can see, I omitted the pockets since I think they are a sporty detail and I wanted a more classy look. I think this pattern is great! It sews up really fast (the fabric worked extremely well, too) and is flattering. I might use this one again soon for maybe a more relaxed look.

Overall, I am very satisfied with the outcome as instead of one dress I now have three separates that can be combined with other items I have.

The brocade fabric is simply wonderful, I ordered 6 meters from Italy and if anyone is interested, I have over 3 m of it left and would happily sell it! The composition is 50%PL, 29%VI, 13%MD, 8%CO. The width of the fabric is 144 cm and weight 320g/m. I paid EUR 34/m for it, but I am willing to sell at EUR 30/m! Let me know if you are interested!

Hopefully you have had a great start of the year 2019!

The Copycat Skirt

Hello!

Summer holidays are done for this year and so seems to be the summer – the moment August turned to September, it started pouring rain and it actually looks as if we have skipped a month and landed in October all of a sudden.

The second week of my holidays I was being just totally lazy at my parents house, staying up late, getting up late, meeting a few friends and also doing some easy sewing. Thankfully I had my brother take the photos of my new pencil skirt straight away, as it would be impossible to do it now when the weather has turned so bad.

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I must admit that I got inspired for this look by one of my favourite, if not THE favourite sewist and blogger, Erica B, more specifically by her post, which I now realize is a few years past already!

My fabric is a quite elastic cotton+polyester+elastan mix and not brocade as hers, but I really liked the look of some fancier fabric combined with a simple denim shirt, so I just… copied the look! Hence the Copycat Skirt!

A certain cat was involved as well (pun intended) – my parents´ Käbi (Pinecone):

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I used the pencil skirt pattern from BurdaStyle 8/2015, model 118:

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The length of the pattern suggests that the skirt should be worn with heels and I would totally love the longer look, but my reality is that most of my day at work I actually wear a polo shirt and sweatpants, just being properly dressed during the first few hours of the workday. So if I really wanted to wear it daily, I needed to shorten it to make it look nice with flats, as heels would be way too much for those few hours. This is why in my case the slit in the back would actually not have been necessary at all, but I still kept it, although together with the skirt, it got a lot shorter.

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I cut the size 38 at the waist and widened it to 40 at the hips. The skirt is very well-fitting and comfortable to wear. I especially like the high waist, which I think gives a more feminine shilouette than the lower fitting versions.

The fabric was bought on my trip to Berlin in July. I like that it goes well with the denim, but also with dark blue, white and even cognac-coloured tops, giving lots of possibilities for mix and match.

The Hourglass Set

The peplum top and skirt set in Burda August 2012 issue caught a lot of attention (in Estonia they sell both, the English and Russian version of Burda and I never understood, why they chose another model for the Russian cover, because the yellow set is really eye-catching) and has been made by a lot of sewists already. This is the pattern, models 113 and 111 C:

As I said, many have sewn it already, some really nice outcomes can be seen here and here. So far my absolute favorite is by SachiDespic, her version can be seen here. On her kind permission, this is her creation:

I was slightly disappointed, when I finally saw the technical drawing of the pattern, because it is more detailed than the Vogue version (Vogue 8815) that I instantly WANTED, when I saw it, especially when Erica B made it in synthetic leather and simply rocks in it. Here are the Vogue 8815 pattern drawings:

At first sight the patterns look nearly identical, but the difference is that in Burda´s version, the seam line of the peplum is curved up int the front (convex) and down in the back (concave). It is no big deal really, but I think the Vogue  looks more casual and Burda more dressy. I have too many dressy clothes already but not too many chances to wear them, so I was considering ordering the Vogue pattern. But of course my impatience (it takes ages for the pattern to arrive from the States) made me trace the Burda top and give it a go.

Well, it gave me a lot of trouble, truth be told. I don´t know what went wrong and if other people have had problems with this pattern, but mine was huge, which is very uncommon with Burda. In fact, it has never happened to me with any of the Burda patterns.

I cut my normal Burda size 38, but I had to take in at least 3cm at both side seams! And I promise I haven´t lost weight 🙂 It doesn´t sound like too much trouble, but because of those curved seams, after cutting my 3 cm off, the curves didn´t match at the side seams anymore! It looked horrible, so I had to pick the seams again and sharpened the curve on the back, so it would match up with the front.

I omitted the sleeves and the facings, because my fabric was quite a thick knit. I bias taped the armholes, the neckline and the peplum hem. I really like the outcome, but I guess I still have to order the Vogue pattern, because as you can see below, my result is far from casual.

Of course, it is my own fault in every way, because I made the skirt as well. When I went shopping for the fabric, I was planning to make the whole set in the same colour, but when I saw the pink knit, I decided that I should avoid ending up looking like a huge pink piglet. As I was looking around the shop, I came across a PERFECT match for the pink – a black knit with slightly glossy alligator print on it. I thought it would cool down the Miss Piggy theme and make a nice contrast.

The skirt was really easy to make, a quick and enjoyable project. Once again I let go of the facings and just used bias tape.

I played around a bit and used pink bias tape to finish off the hem seam allowance

The hem of the peplum

The last photo shows the set styled with my self-made obi-belt. I think the whole thing looks good with a black belt, but maybe a simple narrow one would work better?

Now about the shoes. These are not the shoes I intend to wear the set with, because I have a perfect match back in Athens, which I will post pretty soon, as my long holiday in Estonia is coming to an end, next week I will be back in Athens.

The reason why I rushed and posted the top and skirt project now is that I am not sure if I will be able to make myself get into these knits in Athens in August. Even if it is for showing off my beloved shoes. So most probably I will just make an update on the shoes and hope for an early autumn in Greece. In the meanwhile I will keep an eye on the Vogue pattern, because as soon as it will go on sale again, I am so going to grab it!