This week on the vlog I share my latest makes. Two super easy sews but two very different looks, both of which I have been wearing loads! Hear all about the patterns, the fabrics and my tips and techniques used to create them.
Hi everyone welcome to the Sew Essential vlog. I'm here today to bring you one of my favourite types of vlog which is to show you my latest makes.
It's always fun to show people what you've made and talk about how it went. I'll be sharing all of that with you.
The patterns and the fabric I mention are available on our website and the link to the website is below.
There's usually in depth detailed blog posts about my makes as well so you can find the link to the blog below as well.
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I'll talk you through each of the garments - anything that I took into account with sizings and adjustments and construction and hopefully that will give you plenty of information to go on.
Burda 6609 in Textured Jersey
So the first one I want to talk about is this lovely shift dress, which is a Burda pattern, it's Burda 6609.
It's a really simple shift dress. It has a seam which runs down the front, which is a design detail.
It is supposed to have a zip in the back, but I omitted that because I made it in this lovely ponte fabric which has got a slight stretch to it so I knew I wouldn't need the zip in the back. I did make a toile first to check that was going to work.
It was super, super simple to make.
It should also have pockets on the front here, but I wasn't quite sure about the pockets. I did cut them out and tried them against the dress, but I wasn't 100% sure and thought I can always add them at a later date if I change my mind. I know there are a lot of pocket lovers out there so it's just worth mentioning that to you as well.
There's a short sleeved version with one single kangaroo pouch type pocket on the front and then I think there's a sleeveless version as well.
It's a great little pattern really easy to make, really quick to make and really simple.
Size wise I graded from a 10 at the top to a 12 at the bottom because I am bigger on the bottom!
Any other adjustments I made - as I say I omitted the zip at the back. All I did there was I just put the back bodice piece on the fold, but I trimmed 5/8" off the back seam first - I knew I wouldn't need it because I wasn't putting the zip in.
Also I did do a forward shoulder adjustment. Sadly I didn't do a high round back adjustment and I'm regretting that now.
I don't know why I didn't do one, it was just one of those things. I made the toile, I thought it looked ok and now it does feel a little bit low at the back. And the shoulder seams do look like they could have done with coming forward at the neck end as well not just a the shoulder end, which I did with my forward shoulder adjustment.
I also raised the bust darts on this as well because I often find that bust darts are a bit low for me.
I did that, but unfortunately I got that slightly wrong as well because I put the toile on, marked my bust point on the toile laid my pattern piece on top and marked the bust point on the pattern piece and then I moved the dart in realtion to that bust point.
In hindsight, what I should have done is i should have unpicked the dart on the toile first because obviously that alters the shape of the toile and then I shoud have marked my bust point.
You live and learn and to be honest the bust point, darts sorry, are a little bit high on the dress - they are in the wrong place but it's not the end of the world I still think it's better to have them higher than lower and I learned how to raise them properly as well. I followed a tutorial to do that and that worked well if i had got them in the right place in the first place!
I think that's all of the adjustments I made. I made it all on my overlocker because I omitted the zip that was really easy.
The neckline is just finished with a simple facing so that was really easy. I had to put the facing for the back neck on the fold as well so it didn't have a gap in the middle where the zip would have been.
Other than that I don't think there's a great deal to talk about with this dress. I think it's a lovely simple, easy to chuck on comfortable dress which is always a nice thing I think. I'll wear it quite a lot to work, would probably wear it if we went to friends for dinner or if I went out shopping on a Saturday or out with the girls somewhere for lunch. It's just a nice easy to wear dress and I definitely, definitely would make this pattern again. So yeah I'm pretty pleased with this one.
Burda 6632 in Crepe de Chine
So the next make I wanted to share with you is another Burda pattern. I've been having a bit of a Burda moment recently, but I do think a lot of their designs if you look at the line drawings and you can see past sometimes the styling on the packet I do think they do some really up to date fashionable styles.
I really do like the sizing with Burda as well I always think that is quite good.
This is Burda 6632 it's a simple blouse pattern. I think there's a sleeveless version as well in the pattern that you can choose from.
It's got some really nice features - I like the fact it is a V neck because I think V neck blouse patterns are very, very difficult to find. There's loads of round necks but there's not very often V necks. I just find that more flattering on me.
It's got little shoulder pleats here as well which on a small bust like mine I find quite flattering as well, it kind of makes me look like I've got a bit more upstairs which is always a nice thing!
It's loose fitting. It was supposed to have cuffs but I decided to omit those and make it a nice simple sleeve. I just copied a Zara blouse I've got at home where that's the case and for a going out blouse I just felt that was quite a nice finish and kept it nice and casual.
Then it's got a yoke and some pleats at the back.
Yes just a really nice easy to wear blouse.
I'm absolutely in love with this fabric it's a John Kaldor crepe de chine, we do it in purple and black as well and it is just so silky soft, it's so luxurious. It just feels like I don't know I put this top on and I feel like yep I'm ready to go out, I'm going out I mean business I'm going to have a good time and that's quite nice.
I'm wearing it with wet look trousers/jeans or whatever they are and then I wear it with these cage heels as well to really dress it up and go for quite a night on the town look.
So yeah that's the blouse.
In terms of making the blouse another super easy make in terms of construction. There's no fastenings, it's straight over the head it's very, very simple the only details are the yoke and the pleats at the shoulder and at the back.
Obviously working with crepe de chine made it a bit more challenging because it is very slippery but I wrote a blog post all about the tips that I used for sewing with crepe de chine. You can find the details on the blog here.
The main things I did were cut on a single layer rather than folding the fabric because obviously the fabric does move around a lot when you're cutting out and that can be very frustrating and cause you a lot of problems.
I cut on a single layer, which meant I had to remember to flip the pattern piece if I was cutting two of the same piece to make sure I got opposites. Or if I was cutting a piece that would normally be on the fold I had to flip the pattern piece. Cut round one half leaving the centre intact that would normally be on the fold and then flip the pattern piece over and cut round the edges of that.
Another fantastic tip that I used which was really, really helpful when I cut the neck facings out. I think I cut one out and it was a completely different shape to the pattern piece and Angela advised me to cut out my interfacing first iron that on to the fabric and then cut round the interfacing as my template. That was so much better and gave me the perfect shape and gave me real precision so that was an excellent tip.
I used my walking foot throughout the whole making of this blouse as well and I think it would have been a nightmare without that. I mean there is no doubt the fabric would have been slipping around and the stitches would have been in the wrong place, the fabric wouldn't have been lined up properly so that was really, really important.
We sell walking feet for most brands of machine on our website and you can find links to that here.
I also sewed French seams so one of the things I'm really proud about this garment is I did really take the time to get a lovely finish on it because I wanted it to feel special, I wanted it feel like a special occasion top.
I sewed French seams, I hand sewed the yoke into place rather than top stitching it down, which is what the pattern suggested. I also hand sewed the neck band on the inside as well - again just because I wanted a really nice neat finish on it.
I'm just trying to think if there's anything else I did in terms of it being a slippery fabric. I think those are all the tips I used.
I know some people like to use a rotary cutter when they're cutting out slippery fabrics. I'm a dressmaking shears or scissors girl through and through so I always stick to that but I know some people do find a rotary cutter useful so that's worth mentioning as well.
There's a few other tips which you'll find on the blog if you're interested, but I just found it a really enjoyable challenge working with this fabric actually.
I think a lot of people are probably quite put off by these sorts of fabrics and think oh it will be a nightmare and you know it will just be too much hard work, but actually if you follow the tips and you've got the right tools - you've got a walking foot - it's a real pleasure learning to control a different type of fabric was what i found. I enjoyed the challenge that brought and i enjoyed stopping and thinking carefully about things and i enjoyed giving it that really luxurious finish and it's got a really luxurious feel so I'm very pleased with it.
In terms of the fit I did a toile in a size 8 because I read the pattern was really generous on the sizing because it is supposed to be a loose fitting blouse.
The size 8 I could just tell straight away was far too small round the armholes but was ok everywhere else so I decided to size up to a 10 and i knew that would be ok.
One thing I did notice though as well on the toile was that there were supposed to be i can't remember how many pleats there were on the back i think it was three either side and there was just, i felt, way too much volume in the back of the blouse. I decided i wanted to reduce that a bit so all i did was just removed one of the pleats so it's just got less pleats at the back less fabric at the back and i think now i'm really pleased with the amount of volume in that and i love the dipped hem as well which is a feature i didn't mention. I just think generally it's got a really nice modern feel to it and a modern aesthetic. Obviously the leopard print is so this season so im sure i'll be wearing this a lot over the next couple of months.
I think that' pretty much everything i wanted to mention about this one. It was just a really nice project to do it's a super easy pattern to make.
If you want to give yourself a little bit of a challenge you could make it in a dressy slippery fabric like i did but there's lots of other fabric types you could use as well that would be a lot more straightforward.
I think you could get a very different look for this blouse as well if you used something like just a normal crepe or a viscose or a polyester you could go for something that would make a really nice every day blouse for work as well but i just chose to go for the dressy fabric and go for a dressy top.
So i hope you've enjoyed seeing what I've been making recently as I say full details of these are on the blog - the patterns and fabric are available on the website and i'll be furiously beavering away to make some more new things to share with you next time.
Have fun sewing!
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