Peacock Collection ’09: BWOF 07-2009-118

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Pattern: BWOF 07-2009-118 Dress

Pattern Description:A shirred bust section, a wide hem flounce, a halter-neck strap plaited from cotton tape – this dress of lovely printed batiste is irresistable and you will be too when you wear it!

Pattern Sizing: Burda sizes 34-42.  Increased to a 46 and again in hips to a 50.

Fabric Used: Lightweight cotton and silk from Downtown LA

Notions Used: 1/2″ Bias Tape

Pattern Alterations: Increased to a 46 and again in hips to a 50. Eliminated the bottom hem flounce.  Added 7 more rows of shirring from 9 to 16.  Used elastic thread instead of zigzagging over elastic.

The Good:

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  • Loved the Fabric.  I found this fabric in Downtown LA at one of the shops I frequent (name escapes me).  I had seen this fabric last season and wanted it then, but resisted.  When I went earlier this season I had seen a woman buying it and decided that I had waiting long enough.  Luckily for me he have a little over 2.5 yards left.  PHEW!!  This is definitely one of those fabrics I would have regretted NOT buying.  It is lightweight and so soft…I wish we had feel-o-vision as I would love for all of you to touch it.  It also have a lovely sheen that makes all the vibrant colors pop just that much more.

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  • Easy to make.  I had never done shirring before with elastic in the bobbin but it was quite easy.  I even wound my bobbin using the machine…shhhh don’t tell.  Actually the key was to skip the tensioning disc and instead go from the spool, through the first step as if to thread the machine and then to the bobbin.  This will give just the slightest tension and the machine will do the rest.  This is hard to explain but I will show a picture if anyone needs it.   The hardest part was braiding the straps, which was not that hard,  but did make my OCD flare up.  I have not braided in years, even then I only braided hair, and now we know just one more reason why I wear my hair o’ natural…LOL!

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  • Strapless bra again.  I mentioned with my last dress the strapless bra phenomenon at Chez Chic.  This dress was actually my first foray outside sans bra straps.  It was totally fine but I would have never worn this style without the backup safety plan of the halter straps.  The shirring was tight enough, but not for my liking.  Given my liking would have probably produce suffocation so halter straps prevented such a fashion faux pas 🙂

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  • Shirring.  Once again, easy and quick with great results.  I have some other garments in mind in with shirring involved.  Especially because I bought two spools of elastic and barely scratched the surface on the first spool.

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  • Straps.  Despite the fact that this drove me a little batty and finally required me to have a “good enough” attitude, I love the straps.  They are made out of folded 1/2″ single fold bias tape that you then make into 1/4″ by folding.  At first I was kinda mad as I was thinking “why didn’t Burda just say buy 1/4″ double fold bias tape?  But then I thought about the uneven folding of the tape and recanted…a little.  If you are not as OCD maybe trying the 1/4” double fold bias tape would not be so bad.  After braiding I gave it a good steam to flatten them a little.  They turned out very nice and sturdy

The Bad:

  • Not having a size A bra cup required the addition of shirring lines.  The pattern only called for 9 lines but that barely made it to the middle of my bust.  In the end I ended up with 16 lines of shirring but could have probably gotten away with 12-14 lines.  Either way, make sure to compare the front AND back lengths of the shirring to make sure it fits your bust.  Mine was a little too long in the back with the shirring that is why I say 12-14 would have been optimal.

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  • One of the main reasons I liked this pattern was for the front panel detail.  It is a little panel of the unshirred fabric with a piece of the braided strapping tacked down at the top and bottom.  Afterwards I realized a few things… The inside of the flat panel edges are unfinished and the braid piece likes to shift.  To solve this dilemma I tacked down the strap to the fabric panel and then did a loose slip stitch to tack the flat panel to the shirred bodice.  I think Burda should have told you this, but then again they don’t tell you to finish your edges either so I guess they thought we would figure it out.

The Ugly:

  • I had originally intended for this dress to be a maxi dress as well.  However, while cutting I didn’t quite measure the length right.  Given I made the pattern exactly the same length as the 116 without flounce but it would have been nice to have yet another maxi.  I love this fabric so much that I saved the cut off portion and will be using it to line a little purse I plan to make.  Waste not Want not.

Sorry for the mispellings, grammatical errors, or rushed thoughts as I am babysitting today.  To anyone who knows me is looking incredulously at the screen right now and wondering if I have gone insane, however, I am still and auntie of 10 neices and nephews so I can babysit when in a pinch.  However, my family knows they need to mark their calendars as this is a truly rare and special day…LOL  🙂

Peacock Collection ’09: BWOF 07-2009-116

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Summer is here and I have been itching to make some summer dresses, especially a Maxi Dress.  Enter Burda with the July issue and I was off and running.  With fabric in stash, this pattern was cut and sewn almost immediately upon receipt of the issue.  Although some BWOF devotees did not find the July issue inspirational, I am in LOVE!

Pattern: BWOF 07-2009-116 Maxi Dress

Pattern Description:The perfect dress for your dream vacation. It‘s long, flowing, sun-backed and colorful. Contrasting straps trim the plunging V-neckline, creating a pretty décolléte.

Pattern Sizing: Burda petite/half sizes 17-21.  I made a 23.

Fabric Used: Knit fabric found at M&L in the discount section.

Notions Used: None

Pattern Alterations: I increased the size to a 23 and then again at my hips to a 25. Took in the top portion of the bodice by 1″ and took off 5″ of length at the bottom. Did not use the suggested zipper in the side seam

The Good:

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  • Burda patterns are made for me.  They only takes minor adjustments unlike the Big Four patterns.  Although I had to take in the top portion of the bust area by an inch and flaring back out to the size 46 at the skirt connection point and shorten the pattern by 5″, I still call this a winner.   Just wait until I actually get GOOD at making these adjustments.  Then there will be no stopping my rampage through my Burda magazine collection.
  • I love the fabric although the colors have been hard to match jewelry wise.  I got this in at M&L fabric in the discount bin.  The colors did not sing to be at first because Black is not really a color I love, but the border print was fantastic.  I wish I would have done a better job cutting the pattern out with the print in mind, but originally this was supposed to be a muslin.
  • Maxi stylings.  Ok, I know that some fashionistas do not like  Maxi’s and especially dislike them on petite women.  However, I absolutely love the style and had to have it.   It just feels so comfy to me.  Probably because it is only a step or two away from being a nightgown…LOL!  Anyhoo,  I am hoping the abundance of  skin up top balances out all the fabric on the bottom half.  I tried to get the suggested day wear ankle length for my maxi but after 3 adjustments with the hem, I gave up so it is not quite as short as they suggest.

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  • Strapless Bra.  Ok people.  I am 32 and this is my first time sporting a strapless…LOL!! I just have a major fear of wardrobe malfunctions and the girls, if let loose, are probably liable to hurt somebody…LOL! However, this dress called for it and it is one of my 101 in 1001 goals so here I am!  I actually wore another dress out already with strapless stylings (soon to be posted).  This dress is particularly good because essentially the bust area works as a second bra of sorts.  SCORE!

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  • Super comfy.  Did I say that already?  That is because it is so true!

The Bad:

  • Excessive Length.  I have already told you about the 5″ that I cut off, but I reiterate because this is a petite sized pattern made for 5’3″ women.  I am 5’3″ and 1/4 inch and the original length was dragging the floor.  I was especially sad because I cut the pattern with some really cute details at the hemline that had to be hacked off in order to make the dress wearable.  Ah well, still cute 🙂

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  • A little maternity in the side view.  Yup, kinda looks like I am a stubby stick from the side.  I probably could have adjusted the bust more at the bottom to have it cinch in the front a bit more, but then I think I would have needed the zipper to get in and out of it.  Laziness won over fit this time.

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  • The strap thickness is thinner than what is shown in picture.  I actually thought I made a mistake and kept looking closer and closer at the picture.  The models straps just look much wider than mine.  Once again, still cute, but not what I expected.
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The Ugly

  • While making this dress I decided to google “sewing with twin needles” where I came across an excerpt from Power Sewing.  While perusing the advice my eyes fell on a passage regarding sewing knit fabric with the blue banded twin needle instead of the red to prevent skipped stitches.  WHAT?  There is a difference?  Why yes!  So I went out and bought one at my local sewing shop, as Joann’s did not have them and/or I have never seen them there, and it sewed like a dream.  All inspired by the ease of it all I decided to attach my straps with the same needle.  One spool located thread snarl later and SNAP!  No more twin needle 😦
  • I adjusted the gathering in the front to be a little more gathered in the middle.  The original design was just a little bit of gathering and evenly dispersed.  I ended up getting a little bit of a weird gathering where the middle black part starts.  Nothing big, just a little personal pet peeve.

All in all, highly recommended so you better get started so you don’t miss the summer heat 😀

Week In Chic: 6/28

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Sewing… the last stitches of the yellow jacket.   I know I know…every week I say the same but this week is the week of buttonholes and then TA DA!!! Done.  I don’t normally build this much pomp and circumstance around a project but man, that topstitching nearly KILLED me!  I have to wait until Tuesday to make the buttonholes because I hate the ones my machine makes, I don’t have the right size for my buttonholer attachment, and I am too cheap to take the jacket to the tailor to have him put them in.  Le Sigh.

Playing with… my new sewing machine!!! No, not the one you already know about…but another one!! There will be a forthcoming post all about that.

Knitting… nothing right now.  I started the mini sweater but haven’t made much progress because I am just not loving the yarn pattern combo.

Eating… crab!  my favorite food!  My mom is bribing me over this weekend with the promise of swimming and crab.  With the thermostat hitting in the upper 80’s this weekend how could I resist?  (please note: I see my mom EVERY weekend…she is so spoiled 🙂 )

Buying… more fabric!! I bought the most gorgeous and scrumptious feeling double faced wool in both a black/gray color and mustard yellow!  I had been looking for some mustard yellow wool since last season! The black and gray combo (imagine swatch below with gray instead of red because they are now all out of the one I bought)  will be used to make Burda 08-2007-111 cape.

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I don’t know what to do with the mustard yellow though.  I had planned to make Burda 08-2008-115 in a purple but maybe I should use the mustard instead

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…decisions decisions

Thanking my Lucky Stars… Not just because I have a job but because of where I work too.  My old job has laid off quite a bit of staff  and mine has yet to go that route.  It may not be the best company but I do really like it there…despite the occasional complaint 🙂

Planning… for my 4 day weekend!!! I can’t WAIT!!! It is a stay cation type of weekend but man I have so much planned in the way of crafting.  CAN’T. WAIT!

K everyone, see you later in the week!

Week in Chic: 6/14 Edition

Organizing… Everything via computer!! That has been my thing this weekend.  I pared down my blog categories and actually started using tags and I transferred my sewing pattern collection from my Peacock Chic Flickr to a Flick site of its own Peacockcouture.

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This is where I have chronicled all my BWOF and Big Four patterns so I can use tags to search my collection when planning my next project.  I love it! Especially with my iphone making the internet so handy.  If you want to use it too, go for it.  All the hard work is done…might as well share it 🙂

Sewing… my yellow burda jacket still.  I got the collar done and facings on, now I just have to join the two and do lots and lots of topstitching.  Actually I don’t know if the word “JUST” is the right term since this jacket has been an on and off adventure for quite some time.

Knitting… on my clapotis.  I am only a few rows from being finished so expect a finished object post soon.  Now I just have to figure out whether to work on WIPs or start something new

Photographing… nothing really.  My 365 set has all but fizzled out as a constant thing.  I don’t know when it happened but it just did.  I still want to keep up with the photography aspect of it so I might have to change my view from 365 to just chronically those days that mean something.   I also need to work on my grandnieces pictures that I took weeks ago and on the tulip farm pics and on the Maker Fair pics and on the aquarium pics…oy vay!

Eating… homemade microwave kettle corn!  I had a hankering for kettle corn and I cannot stand the microwave kind you get in the store (fyi –  it is made from sucralose not sugar due to potential burning…yuck).  So I merged this kettle corn recipe with the microwave popcorn in a paper bag technique and voila!  Kettle Corn!

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Watching… nothing…specially due to the digital switch over.  I don’t have cable and have been using antenna service.  I did get the digital box converter but my antenna is not the right kind to work with the new system.  Errr…now I have to get a new antenna to watch broadcast tv.  Thank goodness for TV via internet.

That’s all folks…Have a great week!

Week in Chic

IMG_3465_filtered-1All right people. I am a Macro blogger but my blogging juices are just not what they use to be. Mainly because neither is my crafting. However, I always go through the day thinking about things I SHOULD blog about, but I get mired in the details of the perfect post. So in the day of Micro blogging I figure it is okay to give you little glimpses into my mind without TOTALLY boring you to death. So I am going to try the once a week “I’m alive!” that sums up my random thoughts and activities for the week.

Sewing…BWOF 02-2009-112 in yellow! The dark purple I originally had planned was a little too lightweight and shiny. I am making good progress

Knitting…my clapotis. I think I am going to make it longer than 12 repeats so expect to see this on the list for a while. I also started a February Lady Sweater which I have mixed feelings on. I have basically gotten to the buttonholes which is only row 7, got stumped and then stopped.

EatingSoy chorizo! This is my new favorite foodie compromise. I love chorizo but haven’t had it for years due to the fat that oozes out when cooking it. Imagine my surprise when I saw it at Trader Joe’s. I even saw it at the mexican market which says something. I am totally hooked

Listening toContagious on ipod during crafting. This is really a good audiopod series that became a book. For all you scifi/thriller readers I highly suggest it, for all those who don’t read, try out on audiopod.

Lost in Crafty Hedonism

So my number 1 fan, also known as BFF or Jguyver, reminded me that I was slacking on my blog posts.  Given I had already been feeling the twinges of guilt from not posting for a while.  However, lately I have been very me focused to protect my sanity 🙂  Too much to do makes for a crazy Monique.

Said selfishness, or should I say hedonism, has resulted in lots of TV watching, quite a few pounds gained, and surprisingly enough…knitting!

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Yup people I have actually finished something.  Well, it was half finished since last week when I ran out of yarn.  I ordered it last Friday and it came today after being miss delivered to my neighbor so you will be seeing an FO soon!

While I waited, ate everything, and watched countless hours of TV, I also started a Clapotis! This is being knit double stranded with some Knitpicks Shadow that I snagged during our yarn swap last year.

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I am normally not one to start something when I have a perfectly good project already on the needles, but I do believe that 2009 is going to be the year of the knitted accessories.  I am in need of that instant gratification that only small projects can give and I just don’t have time for the lovely sweater patterns I have been eying.  Besides I have other hobbies that have gone neglected as of late. Sewing for instance…

This weekend I plan on tracing and making a muslin for this beauty. BWOF 02-2009-112112 I have some deep purple cotton sateen calling out to this pattern.  There are so many great things in the February BWOF!  These are the issues that make me love BWOF so much!!

Peacock Collection ’08: Burdastyle Franzi Vest

Pattern: Burdastyle Franzi Vest

Pattern Description: Cropped Lined Vest

Pattern Sizing: Size 34-44, I upsized to a 46 and petited the pattern using BWOF measurements

Fabric Used: A woven with stretch and poly for the lining

Notions Used: 3/4″ buttons

Pattern Alterations: Petite Alterations, left out the faux pockets

The Good:

  • I love Love LOVE this vest.  I have already worn it two times and need to make more shirts that match it so that I can wear it even more.
  • This pattern was easy peasy despite the fact that it took me forever to finish because of my need for the perfect buttons

  • Speaking of perfect buttons, I searched high and low for buttons and finally just settled with the buttons I have.  However, I was not in love with them until they accidentally fell over upside down on my vest and I saw the near shimmery, near perfect color match on the underside.  BINGO!! So the secret is…turn over those buttons, you never know what you will get 🙂

  • The pattern is FREE!!!  Gotta love free and the gracious nature of the Burdastyle designers.  I think the fit and sizing is almost, if not exactly, the same as BWOF.  I know I petited a cropped vest, but if I hadn’t it would have really hung low on me like a real vest.

  • I like my contrasting topstitching and the turned out lapel.  I contemplated not turning out the lapel and going with the more subdued gray but then I realized that this was a cropped vest so showmanship is the way to go.  I think it really makes the vest

The Bad

  • My lining fabric was a little hard to work with, nothing major, just had to really pay attention to not snagging or running the fabric while sewing.

  • Bust darts.  I really hate pointy bust darts.  I used to think it was my sewing ability and would sew and resew in the hopes of the point going away.  However, this I stumbled on this tutorial and I thought OHHH Duh!  I am still working on getting them right but practice hopefully makes perfect.
  • The roll line on my lapel was a bit of a pain because I did not mark it at all because I wasn’t planning on turning out the lapels.  Not a biggy at all.

The Ugly:

  • That this vest has thrown be into a vest spiral.  I have to make more MORE I TELL YOU!!  More of these and more of others.  I have a slew of patterns to get to.  I hope this vest craze does not die out too soon 🙂

P.S. If you haven’t figured it out yet, you can always tell how much I love a project by how many pictures I take.  I figure it is more temptation for you to make it 😀