Annemarie (of J’Adore le Cafe Sews) nailed it in her comment on my last post: there’s nothing like an easy but nonetheless exciting pattern to get you out of a sewing slump.
For me that pattern was this blouse (#118) from the 6/2017 issue of Burda. I like the version with the peplum in theory but not sure I’m down with peplums in practice. So I “unpeplumed” it and cut it out to the length of #119.
It is the simplest thing in the world. Because this is no time for muslins, I made up a “wearable muslin” (i.e. a version that might not have worked out at all) in a black cotton gauze I bought on impulse at the beginning of summer.
(More details on the skirt from the photo on the left comming soon!)
What I learned about this fabric:
- it’s too thin for human use
- it stretches out from being looked at
- it sews pretty well
- it’s awesome to wear on a hot day.
Seriously, this fabric would make more sense doubled. But I had a yard, which didn’t give me much room for experimentation.
Pattern: top #118 and hem from #119, Burda 6/2017
Fabric: black cotton gauze from Joann Fabrics (about 1 yd).
Notions: thread, bias tape cut from the remainder of the fabric.
Seam and hem finish: French seams everywhere, neckline and armholes bound with boas tape, regular machine-stitched hem of about 3/4″.
Mods: none yet, just discoveries. Namely: the armhole was cut a bit too low for my liking (and the gauze stretched out); the neckline was cut a bit too snug, especially on the front. Oh, and back cut in two pieces due to fabric shortages.
Fun fact: I traced the pattern without adding seam allowances and added those when cutting out (I kept telling myself to focus the entire time).
I love this top despite minor reservations. And it immediately set those little cogs in motion, leading me to come up with this plan:
It’s not the best sketch but it conveys the idea.
Here’s the dress:
The sketch has the most important details but let me talk you through what I did in order to go from the top to a dress.
I raised the armholes a little bit on this version and I did a forward shoulder adjustment, which moved the shoulder seam to the intended position on the front bodice (it’s lower than the shoulder point).
I added the ties to cinch it in a little when I feel like it (… and hang loose when I’m melting in the summer heat).
Because the longer version of the blouse had ample ease on the hips, I simply extended the front and back pattern pieces by about 12″, then straightened and trued the side seams. You could simply extend them from the hip down to get more of a trapeze shape, but I wanted more of a shift dress silhouette.
And that’s basically it. I’m dreaming of a linen version with a self-fabric belt at the waist, but that may not be in the cards this summer.
Pattern verdict: highly recommended.
Many thanks for the comments on the last post. It was great to bond through our shared sewing dilemmas, but you have also given great tips on overcoming them!