While in Holland last weekend, I managed a very quick run through Utrecht’s amazing fabric market (every Saturday on Breedstraat, with 100+ stalls of every fabric imaginable) and got a bunch of red velour for another (secret!) project. I finished the other project and used to offcuts to make this very warm and snuggly top, just in time for winter.
A few months ago Rosie (aka DIY Couture) gifted me this crazy, mind-melting lycra when she was moving house, saying it looked like something I’d like! It definitely falls into the “fabric I’d run in” category rather than my normal wardrobe, I’m sure you’ll agree, so I knew I’d make leggings from it!
As it happens, I needed to test out KwikSew 3636 for a leggings class I’ll be teaching soon (yay!) so I thought I’d whip up a quick pair with this lycra, which I’ve decided is an acid trip in lycra form. In reality like it’s even more loud than the print itself though – because it’s actually wet look, too!
I mean – who looked at this fabric and though “Nah, not enough. How can we make it CRAZIER? I know – add some wet look shimmer!”?
If you’re a regular reader, you know I don’t often sew with Big Four or envelope patterns much these days (and especially not for something I draft myself, like leggings) but credit where credit’s due – I was impressed by this pattern, actually! It’s a one-piece pattern with two different fit options – one at 100% of body measurement, and the other with negative ease. Clearly I went for the negative ease one!
I was also impressed that they finish the waistband in my preferred method, which I’ve never, ever seen on a pattern before!
Cutting out the pattern made for some stomach-churning moments – don’t stare directly at the fabric! Lucky for me I only had to cut out one piece, and the construction was so quick I was wearing them in well under an hour.
During the photoshoot, James asked why I was “going all Sasha Fierce”, ahahahah! Blame it on my acid leggings, I suppose!
“Oh”, I hear you think*, “another one of those Burda turtlenecks?!?!”
Endless others have already made this, and I admit I was hesitant to make it myself because:
- When a pattern gets made a LOT, it kinda makes me want to sew it less (maybe it’s shades of “I sew so I don’t wear the same thing as everyone else” coming through?)
- I love love loved the Burda September issue and it almost feels like a cop-out to make the super easy pattern from it first when there’s just so many great patterns in there
But in the end, I still really needed more long sleeved tops and I already had the fabric and the overlocker and coverstitch were still threaded in the right colours. So it’s fate.
OK it seems I’ve got a brief respite from my fever right now (although not the headache) so I’m going to take advantage of it to finally show you the lavender knit dress I made my mom while she was staying with us this summer.
She bought the lavender interlock when she was still in America, and then had a leisurely stroll through my huge archive of pattern magazines for a style she liked and I thought would flatter her nicely. So together we decided on KnipMode Aug 2009 #20, which has a surplice top with shawl collar and pleated skirt in both back and front. We were originally going to shorten the sleeves to elbow length, but after trying on the dress, she decided she liked them long and could easily push them up if she needed to.
Once or twice a year, KnipMode produce a few patterns that come in Petite, Average, and Tall patterns, with a few of the pattern pieces changing shape, though as Arielle pointed out, Knip don’t publish their Petite or Tall body measurement charts anywhere! Any Dutch speakers care to volunteer to sort out this mystery for us? They don’t seem to understand it when we email… In any case, I just made the average height for my mom here, as she’s about 5 foot 6 with fairly normal length proportions.
I had a few metres of black microfleece leftover from interlining my winter coat and I thought I’d put it to good use since it takes up so much room in my limited stash (and as you read yesterday, I have lots of new fabrics coming in!)
(My neighbour Lucie was hosting our mooring’s craft night so I thought we’d do a photoshoot in a finished boat for a change!)
I’m a huge fan of Burda World of Fashion magazine (BWOF) (elsewhere in the world known as Burdamode), but because the patterns are only available for one month only, sometimes it’s frustrating to miss a really good pattern when you seen it sewn up months later. I’m guilty of that myself, but Burda thankfully choose a few patterns each year from all the hundreds (if not thousands?) published in the magazine to reprint and repackage as Burda envelope patterns.
Burda envelope patterns have the same drafted patterns as appeared in the magazine, but they include seam allowances and have much better sewing instructions, with helpful diagrams and tips. The good thing is, these stick around for much, much longer than just one month, and are sometimes easier for people to buy in stores than the magazines.
So in the interests of friendly
copycats inspiration I thought I’d fill you in on some of the garments myself and others have made from BWOF that are now more widely available in case you missed that magazine issue…
At the beginning of the month, I thought it’d be an interesting experiment to document exactly what I wear to work over the course of a month in order to observe how much of my wardrobe I actually wear, and how much of that I’ve made. I made a really informal attempt at this in the form of my Most Worn Awards last winter, but I felt it was high time to do something slightly more scientific and allowing FehrTrade creations to go head-to-head with ready to wear.
I didn’t include weekends into this because my clothing choices are usually the same grotty work clothes for doing boat DIY, and also because I change a few times during the day which would complicate things. I made a real attempt not to let my experiment influence my clothing choices in the morning, and I think I’ve been as impartial as I could’ve been.
Monday 3 Nov – brown twill trousers and Uni Qlo white cashmere sweater
Tuesday 4 Nov – green corduroys, brown sleeveless turtleneck, and mom’s vintage mustard cardigan
Wednesday 5 Nov – chocolate brown bamboo wrap dress
Thursday 6 Nov – Thames jeans and beige cashmere sweater
Friday 7 Nov – stretch jeans and blue KnipMode twist top
First was a top I saw as a user-submitted pattern on BurdaStyle, but it was only uploaded as size 36 and would’ve required lots of grading on my part to get up to a 42. Luckily though, she also submitted How To showing exactly how to draft her design from a standard knit sloper! Hurrah!
I’m nearly finished the tuxedo-inspired trousers which are made from the same vintage Pendleton wool as the tuxedo-inspired jacket – I’ve just got to hem and turn up the bottoms and they’re ready for a photo shoot! But in the meantime, if you’re a Pattern Review member, take a second right now to go vote in the One Fabric: Wool contest in which said tuxedo-inspired jacket was entered. Go on, I’ll wait.
So finishing up such classy threads has made me stop and think about which parts of my wardrobe I actually wear most on a day-to-day basis. I absolutely love making the smart ensembles and special occasion wear, especially since the aim of my FW/07 Collection was to increase my business attire, but I tend to wear a lot of basics in my otherwise very casual office. I think looking through the garments I wear most often might help to give me some focus as I start mentally planning what I’ll be sewing this spring…
Fehr Trade Most Worn Awards
(in no particular order)
- Black leather handbag – I use it to haul all my supplies, lunch, mittens, iPod, and everything else around every single day. I wouldn’t change a thing.
I’ve broken my self-imposed ban on sewing fleece. I blame the 90s for making me think it’s the most unfashionable fabric on earth, only worn in big, boxy cuts by soccer moms and awkward preteens.
But the heating on our boat still isn’t sorted yet, and I’m sick of seeing my breath while I eat dinner every night, and sewing with quite literally numb fingers (my metal shears are so cold they hurt to touch them!). So I got the boyfriend drunk and convinced him to order 5 metres of navy blue fleece to make us some warm lounging clothes to only wear around the boat.