Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Little repeats for the end of summer

My sewing time for the last week or so has been dedicated to tidying up the loose ends of my summer sewing queue. A few things never made it out of the planning stage, but it was actually a pretty successful season of sewing for me overall. I did have three little easy projects that I wanted to finish up before I officially called time on summer sewing for 2016.

Very easy repeats: Liberty print PJ shorts and a white tee
The first two are multiple repeats and very dull. I made a pair of Liberty cotton print PJ shorts using my TNT (tried 'n true) pattern Ottobre 05-2011-02. Using Liberty cotton for PJs probably seems decadent, but I actually bought the fabric for £5/m at the factory shop in Lancaster.

I also had already cut out a plain white tee (using my basic tee pattern based on New Look 6150) but I was being lazy about re-threading my overlocker & coverstitch machines. Since I happened to have re-threaded for the white blouse I made last week, I got my t-shirt pieces out and ran it up quickly. I don't know why I always act like re-threading my machines is this terrible onerous chore that takes hours of my sewing time. I've timed myself before and it rarely takes more than five minutes.

Some pins from my Pinterest board that inspired my last project
The last thing on my list is one of those "inspired by my Pinterest board" projects. I like to scroll through some of my boards sometimes and see if I can spot any trends or patterns in what I'm pinning. I noticed I'd pinned a lot of lightweight woven or woven/knit mix raglan tops with patterned or textured body pieces and plain sleeves (or occasionally vice versa). It struck me that it would be useful to figure out a nice TNT pattern for that kind of top because it could potentially be a good way to use a small piece of fabric and/or tone down a really dramatic print.

I picked out a plain white and a white/green patterned viscose from my fabric stash to try this out and then I went pattern hunting in my stash. Can I just say again how much I love my magazine collection? If I'm looking for a straightforward pattern I'll always find one somewhere in my magazines.

Burda Plus S/S 2013 #433 Raglan sleeve tunic -- images from

As it turned out, I had actually totally forgotten about this pattern, from Burda Plus S/S 2013, that I tried out once waaaaay back at the beginning of my garment sewing adventures. I think it might have been the first thing I ever actually finished from Burda. At the time I did all sorts of wacky adjustments, about which the less said the better, and I think I only wore the top about twice.

Burda Plus S/S 2013 433 in green and white viscose with white viscose sleeves
On this occasion I made more or less a straight size 44, as is my current wont with tops in Burda. It's a long top as written -- 76cm at the centre back. I cut the length much shorter and also drew in a shirt-tail hem, very slightly longer at the back than the front, which I stole from a shirt pattern I made some ago, the Pauline Alice Carme. I almost never tuck any of my tops in so my hems are always visible. I've taken to using shaped hem patterns or drawing my own in almost every time because I think it looks more interesting (and probably more flattering) than a straight horizontal hem. I'm pleased with my fabric combination and I do think the top as a whole is quite pretty.

However, overall I don't think the shape of the neckline is particularly flattering to my shoulders -- too wide and shallow -- and I don't especially like how the fabric drapes around my bust. A lot of the alternative woven raglans in my stash have a ton of gathering and are very voluminous, in the peasant-blouse style, and I liked that this particular pattern is more streamlined. However, I've found a sort of middle ground pattern that I might try next, Burda 10-2014-135. The neckline is more of a scoop and has a couple of small pleats at centre front. I really like the way the sample blouses (there are a couple of variations in the magazine) drape at the bust on the models, and while I do know that relying on the modelled images is a fool's game, I think I might give it a go anyway.

If I do, I'll be making my top long-sleeved, as I am now going to embark on my autumn sewing. My sewing queue for this autumn is heavy on outerwear because I still don't have much and I am determined to fill that gap with sewing rather than RTW. I'll also be going back to work on trousers imminently, this time armed with the world's largest supply of gingham fabric and hopefully some new ideas on how to approach my fitting problems.


  1. Once again, I love your new top, and I also love your Pinterest inspirations. I might just have to copy your idea. I'm sure you won't mind as we live on different continents. 8-)

    1. Since I stole the idea from elsewhere originally, I could hardly complain if you borrow it too! :D Look forward to seeing your version(s) when you sew them!

  2. Love the fabric choices. Very pretty and I am a sucker for a raglan shirt. But I think you are right about the neckline. Maybe you need to go down a size? I really like the Linden view B for this style.

    1. Unfortunately that's the smallest size unless I grade. It's definitely off on me, the more I look at the photo, though not enough to stop me wearing it. I think I will try the scoop version next instead.

  3. Basics are fantastic, and liberty shorts don't sound decadent, they sound like the reason for sewing!! Agree on the neckline, but overall I think it's a lovely top. If you revisit the top, you could always scoop out a little more in front.

    The top you plan on making from 10/2014, I have on my mental list too. Spurred by some inspiration on a real-life pin board, I got a bee in my bonnet a few months back and tracked that issue down specifically for that top. Of course I haven't done anything like make it up yet, but thanks for the reminder! I hope yours turns out lovely!