Month: December 2013

The Schwarzwald Skirt Collection Autumn/Winter 2013 – Skirt Two -‘Forest Foliage’

This is the second skirt from my ‘Black  Forest’ skirt collection using Burdastyle 12/2012 #105 skirt pattern. This pattern has only two pattern pieces, is beginner friendly and can be made from less than one metre of fabric which make it pretty fab IMO!

Burdastyle skirt pattern 12/2012 #105
Burdastyle skirt pattern 12/2012 #105

The autumn coloured leaves in the forest inspired me so this skirt is aptly named ‘Forest Foliage’.

The Black Forest foliage, Germany
The Black Forest foliage, Germany

I used a wool knit by Italian designer Missoni bought at this year’s Hollander Stoff Markt in Germany. I love the autumnal colours!

P1280743 I wasn’t sure whether a wool knit would work for this pattern but I didn’t alter anything and it seems fine. Phew!

P1280729 I used the same Petersham ribbon for the waistband as I did for my first version of this skirt. I also lined it with a viscose lining using the same pattern pieces as the outer fabric.

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My main concern with this fabric was whether I could match the stripes up at the seams, but I think I just about pulled it off on the side seams!

The misbehaving back seam!
The misbehaving back seam!

The stripes on the back seam with the zip refused to play nicely though! I unpicked the zip a few times but couldn’t get those deviant stripes to behave themselves and sewing invisible zips into wool knits isn’t a barrel of laughs I can tell you! Finally I surrendered to the wonky stripes!

Clingy fit!
Clingy fit!

Overall I’m happy with how this skirt turned out! The fabric is really comfy to wear and importantly for this time of year, it’s also cosy and warm! The fit of the skirt in the knit is a bit clingier than the other two skirts I’ve made from this pattern – as you can see in this semi-action photo above.

A bonus of using the Missoni fabric was that I could use the selvedge edge as the hem which eliminated a step in the sewing process and speeded up the making of this skirt. Much appreciated! Cheers Missoni!

To round off this ‘Black Forest’ skirt collection, I’ll post the final of the skirt trio next week. Until then, here’s a sneak peak of ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Skirt’!

'Twinkle, Twinkle Little Skirt'
‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Skirt’

Later!

Christine

The ‘Schwarzwald’ Autumn/Winter 2013 Skirt Collection – Skirt One – ‘Wild’

Ralph Pink Patterns ran a competition earlier this month to create a mood board for a couture collection. I didn’t enter but it sounded like a lot of fun, so I thought I’d get into the spirit of theme creating for this collection of three skirts using one pattern – BurdaStyle 12/2012 #105.

The theme is the ‘Schwarzwald’ or ‘Black Forest’, inspired by the region of Germany where I live, where France, Germany and Switzerland meet.

BurdaStyle 12/2012 #105
BurdaStyle 12/2012 #105

This first skirt is ‘Wild’–  in German these are the game animals resident in the Black Forest. Such as this critter –

'Wildschwein' or wild boar
‘Wildschwein’ or wild boar

and these!

Deer
Deer

And if you aren’t lucky enough to bump into these on a forest walk, then you can always eat them in the local restaurants!

BurdaStyle 12/2012 #105
BurdaStyle 12/2012 #105

The beauty of this BurdaStyle pattern in my opinion, is its simple style. It’s the perfect blank canvas to showcase fancy fabrics, such as this wool with this interesting raised animal print texture, bought at the Hollander Stoff Market in Germany.

Petersham ribbon waistband

Petersham ribbon waistband

It is a beginner-friendly pattern that has step by step pictoral instructions in the Burdastyle magazine. The design couldn’t be simpler with only four darts at the back and four at the front and an invisible zip in the back centre seam. There is no waistband to make, just attach Petersham ribbon and add a hook and eye closure to the top of the zip and you’re done!

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I lined the skirt with a viscose lining attached at the waist of the skirt. I did this by sewing the skirt and lining with right sides together along the top edge of the waist, then I flipped the lining over to the inside of the skirt, ready to attach the ribbon waistband.

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I didn’t need to make any fitting alterations to the pattern either – always a bonus I think!

Stay tuned for Skirt Two – ‘Forest Foliage’ coming soon!

Enjoy the weekend,

Christine

Burdastyle #130 10/2013 Coat Muslin

This year I thought I’d give coat-making another go and chose this pattern.

Burdastyle #130 10/2013 coat pattern
Burdastyle #130 10/2013 coat pattern

I chose this because:

1 – The pattern is in short sizes 17-21.

Burdastyle has two pattern sizing charts – size 34-52 designed for women height 168cm and short fitting sizes 17-26 for women height 160cm. I’m 162cm, so short sizing – CHECK!

2 – According to Burdastyle this coat pattern is designed for women with small busts and wider hips – so again – CHECK!

3 – Burdastyle also recommends using a patterned stripe fabric and I’m using this:-

'Chanel' wool coating fabric
‘Chanel’ wool coating fabric

So again – CHECK!

I bought this fabric at this year’s autumn Hollander Stoff Market in Karlsruhe, Germany and the vendor assured me that it’s by designer, Chanel. Not sure if this is really true but the guy who told me this does have designer fabrics so maybe it is, but either way, I really like it.

I’d decided to replace the hook and eye fastenings used in the pattern for a double ended zip because for a winter coat, that just makes more sense to me.

Stripe 'Chanel' wool coating fabric with zip options
Stripe ‘Chanel’ wool coating fabric with zip options

So far so good! I thought I’d hit upon a perfectly designed pattern for me and my fabric.

The thing I was wary about was the gathering on the skirt. How would that work in thick wool, I wondered?

I thought it wise to do a coat muslin first and thanks to a tip from Crab and Bee , this old bed sheet has now been reborn!

old bed sheet used to make coat muslin
old bed sheet used to make coat muslin

But check out that gathering! Words fail me! Next time, I’m going to ignore the model pictures in Burdastyle magazine because on one page the model is wearing the coat for shorties (height 160cm/5ft 3ins) and on the other page she’s wearing a top designed for taller women (height 176cm/5ft 9ins) and she looks good in both! Go figure!

I include the following shot for your entertainment only!

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l know, I know, I look like an extra from the Harrison Ford movie ‘Witness’!

And just to tickle your funny bones even more, here’s a back shot!

P1280371So happy now that I only subjected an old bed sheet to this and not my precious wool!

On the upside, the fit of the bodice is quite good so I’ve cut the extra peplum pattern pieces to make this jacket instead:-

Burdastyle #129 10/2013
Burdastyle #129 10/2013

Only question now is, do I still use the same fabric, bearing in mind that I have just less than three metres of it? Or do I use that for another longer coat and if so, which pattern?

I think this wool would be nice as this jacket and maybe I could squeeze a skirt out of what’s left.

What do you think? I’d be very grateful for suggestions, thanks!

BREAKING NEWS – Lebenskleidung Scoops Global Sustainable Fashion Award 2013!

I’m very pleased to announce that one of this blog’s favourite organic fabric suppliers, Lebenskleidung was honoured with a SOURCE AWARD 2013 this week – a Global Award For Sustainable Fashion.

I’ve long been a fan of Lebenskleidung and I congratulate them on this win – they fully deserve it and have more than earned it! To give you a taste of the lush fabrics they offer, I’ve peppered this post with some examples of things I’ve made using their wares.

Minikrea hooded sweater dress using organic sweatshirt fabric from Lebenskleidung

Minikrea hooded sweater dress using organic sweatshirt fabric and organic cotton batiste from Lebenskleidung

The SOURCE Awards put the spotlight on best practice in the fashion industry, from field to final product.

The SOURCE Award Winners 2013

On Tuesday 3rd December, inspiring fashion pioneers, press and key industry figures met at the House of Lords in London, for the 2013 SOURCE Awards Winner announcements, hosted by Baroness Lola Young, OBE and Founder of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Ethics and Sustainability. Winners were selected by an inspirational judging panel, including: Dolly Jones, editor of Vogue.com; Brigitte Steppitus, Head of Couture at Vivienne Westwood; Summer Rayne Oakes, social activist, eco-model and co-founder of Source4Style; Amber Valetta, American supermodel and sustainable fashion spokesperson.

Burdastyle No. 128 Dress using organic cotton batiste from Lebenskleidung
Burdastyle No. 128 Dress using organic cotton batiste from Lebenskleidung

There were 4 SOURCE Awards categories: 1. SOURCE: Design Leader 2. SOURCE: Sustainable Brand (Split into 9 Sub-Categories) 3. SOURCE Retail Award (Split into 2 Sub-Categories) 4. SOURCE Sustainable Supplier/ manufacturer (Split into 2 Sub-Categories) – Winner ‘Lebenskleidung’

Vogue dress using organic cotton batiste from Lebenskleidung
Vogue dress using organic cotton batiste from Lebenskleidung

Lebenskleidung, a Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified Textile Agency from Berlin, Germany wholesaling fabrics won the fourth category for Sustainable Supplier/Manufacturer. This category recognises pioneering suppliers that are combining real impact in social and environmental terms with outstanding supply or production services.

This award was open to suppliers and manufacturers of all sizes from fair trade groups to production units, factories and fabric suppliers, globally. The award recognizes sustainable practices in the supply chain, both social: empowering workers, sustainable livelihoods, poverty reduction, and community impact, and environmental: from low energy to organic and eco- innovation, combined with a high standard of service.

Organic cotton sweatshirt dress - fabric from Lebenskleidung
Organic cotton sweatshirt dress – fabric from Lebenskleidung

To celebrate this win, Lebenskleidung is offering 10% DISCOUNT on orders placed until December 15th 2013 with the voucher code AWARD2013 (the offer does not appply to linen and leather).

Burdastyle blouse made from organic cotton batiste from Lebenskleidung
Burdastyle blouse made from organic cotton batiste from Lebenskleidung.

Lebenskleidung have some very exciting new fabrics in their range including organic leather and linen both from Germany.

(Dear Father Christmas, if you happen to read this post, I’ve got my eye on the linen jersey and I’ve been a  good girl this year – just so you know! Thank you!)

Baby, it’s cold outside! Coat Review Burdastyle #103 10/2012

P1280316It’s minus ridiculous degrees here and like lots of other blogging sewists in the northern hemisphere, I’m turning my sewing attention to outerwear and warm and cosy things!

This is a wrap coat that I made last year from Burdastyle pattern #103 10/2012.

Burdastyle #103 10/2012
Burdastyle #103 10/2012

You need a double-sided fabric or at least a fabric with a decent looking reverse side to make this unlined coat because the reverse of the fabric shows on the huge collar. I used a dense, slightly felted wool knit fabric that I found at the Hollander Stoff Market and even though I needed the best part of three metres to make this, the coat is still lightweight.

Coat worn with hand-knitted cowl from
Coat worn with a cowl that I knitted

The construction of the coat was relatively easy. The only challenging part for me was hemming around the outer edge and getting the mitered corners finished off nicely. A quick check of my ‘Reader’s Digest – Complete Guide to Sewing’ on mitering soon remedied that though – it’s easy when you know how!

Side-seam pockets
Side-seam pockets

The pattern has some nice design features such as the side in-seam pockets and front shaping darts.

In-seam side pockets and collar
In-seam side pockets and collar

As is often the case for me with Burdastyle, the sizing was a bit generous. This is the smallest size 36 and the fit is ok on the shoulders, but I feel this style swamps my smaller frame. I didn’t alter anything, although the sleeves need shortening by a good five centimetres – I’ve just got them turned in here.

widen self fabric belt
widen self fabric belt

I’m not satisfied with the self fabric belt either – I think widening it would make it look better, it just isn’t balanced as it is.

I hope I’ll have better luck next time! I’m finishing off a coat muslin that I’ll post later this week.

Have you made a coat this winter? Are you happy with how it turned out?

Collegien Giveaway Winner!

Our resident ‘random number generator’ (read – my eldest daughter!) today selected the winner for the Collegien Giveaway.

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A number was randomly selected.

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And without further ado, the winner is –

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Congratulations Walter Valentine! Keep an eye on your inbox for your Collegien gift that’s on its way to you.

Thanks to everyone who participated and I hope you’ve all been good this year, and get what you’re wishing for in your Christmas stockings!

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