Monday, June 27, 2011

Linen and Lace with Burda

I couldn't resist the urge to make another pair of linen/rayon blend, beachy, flowing pants.  My boys think they look like PJ's.  I can tell you they are as comfortable as PJ's, that's for sure, but hopefully I can get away with wearing them in public without too many funny stares.  I'm not sure the lace top from the previous post really works with them.  You'll recall this is an experiment!  I'm stepping outside the box a little bit here and you are welcome to chime in with your opinion.  So without further delay may I present Linen and Lace.
The Pants: Burda 7400
This is a pattern for pants made with a woven and a knit.  It is rated a one out of four for ease in construction.  I found this to be true.  I am anxious to make view B, but for this outfit I made view A in a size 8/10.  This is the first Burda pattern I have used where two sizes are combined in one.  The pattern goes up to a 32/34.  I used a lightweight linen/rayon blend for the legs and a cotton/lycra jersey for the waistband.  I made two minor alterations.  I lowered the back crotch by 3/8" and added 2" to the waistband.  I think my pants look very similar to the pants on the pattern envelope.  One thing to note is that these sit pretty close to your natural waistline.  In future versions I will cut off 1/2" - 1" off the top of the pants before I add my waistband, because I think I would prefer them to sit a little lower.  

One thing that got me chuckling about this pattern is I believe women will either love the wide knit waistband or hate it.  I was thinking to myself, I would probably have hated it if I had just had a child.  I remember feeling that the last thing I wanted to wear was pants with maternity panels after giving birth, even though it was a necessity for a while, and this waistband kind of reminds me of one.  But now that I am 7 years past my last pregnancy, I rather like the comfort and sleekness of the wide knit waistband.

The pants have wide legs, side seams that are shifted forward slightly, and on seam pockets.  The instructions were clear, and I learned a new technique for on-seam pockets.  Rather than sewing the pockets together right away, they have you press them open and topstitch the front pocket edge first.  It worked out pretty well and the pockets are nice and roomy.  Here are some detail shot of the pants.  
The Top: Burda 7509
This is a pattern for a lightweight shell cut on the bias with diagonal bust darts.  It is also rated one out of four for ease in construction.  Perhaps if I had made the pattern the way it was intended I would agree.  However, even if I had, I would not try to cut my front and back pieces on the fold, especially when the fold is on the bias.  When I make this again, I will trace an identical front and back piece and tape it together so that the front and back can be cut in one piece rather than on the fold.

I knew that I would be laying my pattern out on the straight grain, because I planned to lay lace over my fashion fabric.  The lace is something gorgeous from Gorgeous Fabrics.  It has a wonderful drape and a pretty silvery sheen.  My fashion fabric is a light-weight cotton sateen, also with a nice drape.  Since the shell is not cut on the bias, it doesn't have any stretch from side to side.  Therefore I had to insert an invisible zipper on the side seam.
Also, the neckline and armholes are finished with bias strips.  I didn't want any topstitching to show, so I hand stitched all the bias strips to the fashion fabric only, not the lace.  The directions did not tell me to under stitch the neckline or armholes, but I did anyway so that the bias strips would gently pull the seams slightly to the inside.   
Thankfully, you can't see how messy the point at the bottom of the v-neck is from the outside!  This top is not closely fitted, but I am happy with it.  I wasn't sure if it would even work out, given the fact that I used a bias cut pattern for a straight grain top.  I am pleasantly surprised by how nicely the diagonal darts work for my bust, in particular.  Here is the top shown with a suede skirt.  I found the skirt on a clearance rack at a greatly reduced price many years ago while still living in Oregon.  There was only one problem.  It was a rtw size 14.  Good thing I knew how to sew, because I was able to alter it to a perfect size for me. 
Overall, this was a fun experiment in fabrics and textures.  Both pieces can be mixed and matched with many different things, even if I don't end up wearing them together.  Thanks for stopping by and having a look!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

How Exciting III

A Swinging Hike Give-Away

In went all the names.....
...and out came one lucky winner!
Bells and Whistles, Drums and Crackles, Confetti and Balloons
Congratulations Kat!  You have won the Enchanted Blues market bag give-away.  And thank you everyone for taking part in the give-away and stopping by to read and comment!

Burda 7509
In other sewing news, I have completed my rendition of Burda 7509.  I veered so far off course regarding the directions, I won't be giving an official review.  However, when I finish the whole outfit I will share how this top came together.  Even though it looks simple enough, there was a lot of hand sewing involved and an invisible zipper on the side.  I hope to have a complete post on it Monday, June 27th along with the project for the beachy linen in aqua stripes.  Yesterday we had a birthday celebration for my oldest DS, and today I am off to spend the morning with friends from the mainland.  Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sneak Peek #9

Aloha!  I am so glad you enjoyed the little journey in the last post.  I'll try to post more virtual tours as the summer progresses.  I had some business/gift sewing to catch up on these last few days, but I thought I'd show you a sneak peek of the fabric for my next project.  So....Do you think fancy lace (Gorgeous Fabrics) and beachy stripes (FFC) can live in harmony?  We shall soon find out!
In other sewing news, I'm a little embarrassed to share, but I went on a pattern buying bender.  In my defense, how could I pass up half off on Burda patterns?  I love Burda patterns, and they rarely go on sale here.  So when they do...well...I crumble. Here are my newest additions, several of which I am quite anxious to get at! 

Hope you all made it over the Wednesday hump.  My youngest DS has made it over his swimming "hump".  Yes, in 2 1/2 weeks of daily swim lessons, he is now swimming back and forth, unassisted, across the short length of the the pool.  I am so proud of him and his amazing instructors/volunteers.  We still have a week and a half to go, but my biggest concern for him is over!  Sweet Victory!
I thought this was an interesting combination of geology and botany from our Swinging Bridges hike.  Hey if nature can make an unusual pairing, why can't I ;)

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Swinging Hike

Would you like to come with me on an imaginary journey?  Since it is getting late, we will need to park outside the gate and walk along the taro fields to get to the entrance.  There we will pay our fee and begin our 2 1/2 hour hike through the luscious, Waihee rainforest, stream valley.
We will enter several dream worlds filled with exotic plants and trees along the trail including but not limited to swamp mahogany, banyan trees, bamboo, kukui trees, and ginger.
We will cross three shallow areas of the river and negotiate two swinging foot bridges before we reach that which we've come to get lost in.
Shallow water crossing #1

Bridge #1

Shallow river crossing #2
Shallow river crossing #3
Swinging foot bridge #2
Don't look down!
Just a little farther now and what do we hear?  Rushing water.  And what do we see? A time-worn concrete dam with waterfalls in the mountains above and refreshing, deep, clear, water below.  Oh boy, I'm getting in.  How about you?

Did you enjoy the journey?  It gets better...this hike is real and if you ever make it to Maui it's a trip worth taking.  Do you know what else is true?  It's time for another reader appreciation give-away.

If you are a follower of this blog you can leave a comment saying you'd like to be entered into the random drawing to take place this Sunday, June 26th.  Be sure to leave an email, like this: upcountrymom"at"yahoo"dot"com, where I can reach you if you are the lucky winner.  Also, it's not required, but if you would like to help promote my Aloha and Linen Etsy shop, please click "like" on Aloha & Linen's Facebook page here: Aloha & Linen By clicking "like" you will see every new bag that goes into the shop and be notified when I am having a sale or special.  I realize that most of my readers sew themselves and can make their own bags, but if you know of someone who doesn't sew and might be interested in the style of bags I sell, feel free to share my link.  Mahalo and good luck!
Give-Away: Enchanted Blues market bag, honu notepad, Butterick pattern, Maui beach towel, and a bag of macadamia nuts.  Everything you need for a real journey!

Friday, June 17, 2011

New Look 6035

Aloha!  Thank you for your thoughts on the beach pants.  I wore them one day this week and they were great.  It was hot that day, so I ended up rolling them up for the last half of the day.  Maybe my next pair will be shorts!  I don't know about you online ohana, but even though it is now summer break, I have been busier than ever.  One thing that is occupying my time is daily swim lessons for my youngest DS.  He is the only one who can't swim, and he needs too!  You must be able to swim if you live on an island for goodness sake.  He is 7, so he is definitely capable and thankfully ready.  One of the local swim clubs offered a free 4 week "Learn to Swim" session.  We are meeting every week day at 6:00 pm for 30 minutes.  Tonight will be the end of two weeks.  I am so pleased with the progress I've seen.  Also, I just have to say a big "Mahalo!" to all the volunteers who are offering this class.  On to sewing...   

I decided to break the pants roll and make up an older dress pattern I've had in my stash for quite a while. I had a cut of rayon batik from The Sewing Studio, which I picked up during their end of the season clear out last fall, that I felt would be perfect for this pattern.  I made view A in a size 10, and only ended up taking the center back seam in about 1/2".  This dress has about 2" of ease all around which I like.  It feels cool and it's easy to move about in it.  The only other design change I made was to set the straps on the back closer to the center so I wouldn't have to worry about them falling off my shoulders.

Let's talk about construction.  The dress says "Easy Options" on the front, and this truly is an easy dress.  The bodice front is cut on the bias and is the front and front facing once you fold it in half.  Here is the drawing. 
New Look 6035 front bodice.
I am amazed that the dress doesn't gape open with the slight cowl neckline.  I feel totally comfortable wearing it.  This is where your fabric choice is crucial.  A stiffer fabric and it would stick straight off your chest! 
Here is a close up of the front.  The instructions would have you stitch the straps to the front of the dress once the bodice is finished, but I decided to sandwich them into the front and facing seam, then hand stitch them to the back.  The back has interfacing which gives a bit more of a stable base to stitch the straps to, since you will want to stitch them so they are invisible to the outside.
I also skipped the directions for inserting a lapped zipper and inserted an invisible matching for a change zipper instead.  It is evergreen in color.  I have another rayon batik in my stash and I will make this pattern again, but I will probably try the halter style of view B.  I like that one too.

In other sewing news...I have to show you another card of buttons I found on Etsy.  I have no idea what I am going to do with them yet.  But I fell in love with them.  Oh the possibilities!  Enjoy your weekend! 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I'm on a Pants Roll - Burda 7534

As I begin to type this I am amazed I'm still awake!  It's already Saturday morning; 12:04 a.m. to be precise.  Maybe it's Saturday night where you are.  All I know is that it was Friday night just a few hours ago, and I had the privilege of hearing Scott Darlow, an Australian singer, songwriter, and didgeridoo player lead worship at our church last night.  He and his mates are very talented.  I think he said that they are kicking off a world tour.  Many people will be blessed to hear them, I'm certain.  But I digress...Oh yes, I was going to write about pants, Burda 7534.  Here is the pattern cover:
I LOVE this pattern!  The pants came out fitting so well.  Burda's fit is now quite predictable for me, so I usually just have to do a few minor alterations to be happy with the outcome.  On this pattern, I again lowered the back crotch by 1/2", and I took 1" out of the hip width by cutting 1/2" off the side seam on the back piece only.  The finished hip width on the size 36 was 39.5", and my preferred hip width, on a comfortable pair of pants, is 38.5".  I also cut 2 inches of length off the legs before turning them up for a 2.25" hem.   There are a couple of nice details on these pants.  First, the fly front with a low, but not too low waistband, and a drawstring.  Second, the welt pocket on the back.  Third, the deep hem.

Here is my second ever welt pocket:
Added across a dart.
     A close-up of the front and deep 2.25" hem:
I had the snap and the drawstring in my sewing stash.  The drawstring came from a tossed out ill-fitting pair of rtw pants with a similar beach vibe as these pants.  I forgot to mention that you sew a channel for the drawstring in the middle of the waistband which makes that "paper bag" look when you tie it.

The boo boo... yep I had one.  I was so excited about the prospects of making another welt pocket that I completely forgot about matching the stripes on the back crotch seam when I cut it out.  All I was thinking about was the welt pocket and matching the stripes on the front pockets.  Oh well, these fit so well, I will still wear them. 
All in all a fantastic pattern for a great looking pair of beachy linen pants.  I have many tops that will coordinate well, but here they are with the hoody top from this post.

I hope your weekend is off  to a great start!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

BurdaStyle and Jalie Another Outfit

Aloha everyone.  I enjoyed reading what you all are up to with regards to getting your sewing "jumpstarted" for June.  This morning I got up early and participated in a 5K, my first one this year. I met a new person from Alabama, here on vacation, and enjoyed visiting with a couple of other people I know through VIRR and through my boy's sports programs.  I think that is a nice thing about Maui.  No matter where you go, you almost always run into someone you know, and almost always have the opportunity to meet someone who is here visiting.  I've posted the t-shirt from the race.  I don't know if I met my personal goal, because they didn't post the times, but in a couple of days or so I should be able to find out on the VIRR website.  At mile two I was happy with how things were going, so that is a good sign.  The race was to benefit the Will Smith Foundation, and I am glad I could be there.  Also, the course was nice and flat.  Bonus!

Now on to sewing!  I just finished a pair of cropped pants from the April/2011 BurdaStyle magazine and Jalie 2921.  I know a lot of you have made the Jalie pattern, and it has been on my "to make" list for a long time.  The scarf collar is a clever detail.  As with most scarfs, it makes for a perfect backdrop for a pretty pin too!

For the trousers I used a gray, cotton-lycra, suiting, fabric from  It feels so good on.  The top is made from a medium-weight, sage-green, rayon jersey that I purchased from Gorgeous Fabrics around Christmas time.
Let's start with the pants.  They have slant front pockets which I lined with a white light-weight cotton.  The pockets are a smidge shallow.  There are supposed to be two front darts, but front darts don't work on my shape, so I generally don't include them.  The back has 4 darts and I included those.  There is an invisible zipper on the side and I opted to make a button tab at the top.  The pattern calls for the waistband to be made from petersham ribbon, which I didn't have, so I basically cut a curved waistband from the red Vogue jeans I made last year.  I love that waistband, and tend to use it a lot.   I cut a size 36 and lowered the back crotch about 1/2" and added about 2" to the waist.  Between the fit and the cool cotton fabric with just a touch of stretch, I am very pleased and will wear these often.   
For the Jalie top I cut the size "S" and added about 4 inches to the hip line.  However, in the future I will pull the circumference of the hem in about 2 inches.  I'd like a little bit of negative ease here, which I don't have on this version.  The instructions are clear and other than the unique way you make the collar, this is a straightforward t-shirt pattern.  The medium weight jersey I used might be little bit heavy for the scarf, so I'll probably go with a lighter weight fabric in the future.  I am showing my top with a marcasite pin I've had since my early 30's.  I think it's a nice alternative if you don't have a buckle.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.  I haven't had a good block of time to soak in the Pattern Magic books yet, but it will come.