The Tuxedo-Inspired Suit

If you’ve been following along, you’ll remember that my grandmother visited the Pendleton woollen mill in the 1960s and bought two 2 yard remnants of 100% wool navy blue suiting fabric for $6 each (so $12 total). In August, she gave these to me, saying she’d never got around to sewing up anything with them and she thought I’d make better use of it.

I’d already finished the jacket portion of this tuxedo-inspired suit (the show piece from my F/W 07 Collection), and you can see the first photoshoot of that here.

The trousers were far more straightforward than the jacket, however, so they didn’t take nearly as much time or seam ripping to complete! I wanted to tie together the satin accents of the two pieces so I opted to add a thin stripe of navy blue satin ribbon to the outside seams of each trouser leg, which I think gives a subtle sheen as I move. The integral belt/waistband of this pattern really evokes a sort of cummerbund, too, and raises this design above just a normal trouser suit.

Burda magazine August 2012

I’ve been buying Burda magazine (formerly “Burda World Of Fashion”, now “Burda Style”) since 2005, and I’ve seen its greatness come and go (and then come back again) in waves. It’s been getting steadily better over the course of 2012, but this August issue is the best one in a LONG time! Definitely the best this year (along with May 2012), but possibly it ranks up there with September 2010 and August 2006 even in my own personal Burda Issue Hall Of Fame!

I pretty much love everything in this feature with the white background, but let’s take these one step at a time.

First up is this blue tuxedo with slim trousers and a great jacket with interesting, non-standard lapels. How could I not love this, when I’ve already made a blue tuxedo with slim trousers and a jacket with interesting lapels back in 2008 (and also from Burda patterns)??! LOVE.

I really love the shape of this dirndl-inspired dress, with its cap sleeves and interesting bodice seams, but part of me is also concerned by the sharp seaming – they look awfully similar to the seams on a Burda slip pattern I tried that really didn’t work for me (ahem, pointy boobs) so I’d want to definitely muslin this bodice before going further.

Manequim July 2011

Hooray, the latest issue of the Brazilian pattern magazine, Manequim, has arrived! Even though our seasons are reversed, I’m finding plenty of styles in this issue that work well for English summers, even moreso than Burda magazine, which is aligned with our seasons (though is anyone else excited to see the return of Burda’s designer patterns? There were actually TWO patterns in the July issue that I’m tempted to make. Please oh please let this be the end of Burda’s slump!).

Manequim have started doing a little section at the front where they get a seamstress to help a poor damsel in distress to alter a Manequim pattern from a few months ago to suit their needs. I let out an audible squeal when I saw that this damsel loves my blouse so much she wanted help grading it down to a size 38! The skirt is apparently from an earlier issue, too, but it clearly didn’t make much of an opinion as I can’t recall it.

First off, I really like this blouse and the trousers here – it’s hard to see, but the trousers have a high-waisted band with piping that really reminds me of the waistband on my tuxedo trousers (which are stored safely in a garment bag now while we build our new bedroom and wardrobe). Both are offered in multiple sizes, too.

A spring turtleneck in cream wool jersey

I bought some beautiful cream wool jersey from A-Z Fabrics on Goldhawk Road last time I was there, and I figured it’d be the perfect all-season fabric for layering or for wearing alone. By the time I bought it, though, my funds were a bit depleted, so I only grabbed a meter and a half as it was quite pricey at £10 a meter. I was instantly imagining it as a turtleneck but without any fully formed details in my mind. Then I was reminded of BWOF 08/08 #118 (an issue I’d previously overlooked) and saw that this was definitely what I had in mind, albeit shortened to a top.

Patrones 276

I’ve just received the new Patrones magazine, and, after a few issues filled with shorts and vests in the middle of winter (???), I’m happy to say they’re back to some more wearable styles! I don’t think this issue is quite as good as 272, but that’s not to say it’s without its gems!

I’ve added the technical drawings and pattern pieces to their magazine photos below so you can get a better idea of the pattern. I find it quite difficult to discern the details from just a fashion shoot alone, so I always need to flip back and forth to the tech drawings!

First up, I love this green yoked blouse from the magazine cover. It’d be a great use for small lengths of silk charmeuse, and the ribbon across the front is a good way to break it all up, too.

Reprinted Burda patterns

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…

My tweed kick skirt is now Burda 7895

My tuxedo inspired suit is now Burda 7762

You're it!

No, we’re not back on the school playground, but you’ll now see tags all over FehrTrade. I’ve been wanting to add more flexible linking for a while now, so I installed this plugin for Textpattern so I can now add any number of tags to the end of each post, and you can see a cloud of all the tags on the left, under the Google Ads. And another new addition over there is the search box, which should be working now across all pages (but if you find a circumstance where if looks weird, please send me the URL as I probably just missed a template!). I spent quite a while going through all my old posts and tagging them appropriately, so I apologise if you suddenly get a bunch of old posts in your RSS feed reader (mine still seems to be fine though, so fingers crossed!).

Anyway, enough of this housekeeping nonsense, what of the sewing, eh? Well, I’m going full steam ahead on my Porsche dress, and I carefully cut our the pattern pieces last night, taking note of the best possible placement for all the pieces.

Do You Speak Sewing?

I finished hemming the Pendleton wool tuxedo-inspired trousers last night, using the very, very last of my navy blue thread, so we should hopefully be able to have the photoshoot tonight and you’ll see the completed suit tomorrow!

In Patrones news, I’ve been very busy tracing off a bunch of patterns from the December and October 2007 issues that my wonderful East London benefactor has lent to me. So far I’ve traced off 6 patterns and scanned and cleaned up images for 11. My Type A personality is really shining through here, but what I’ve done is put the traced pieces (I usually use brown kraft paper but for some reason the same paper in green was half price so who am I to argue?) plus a scan of the fashion photo plus a scan of the technical drawing and instructions all into a gallon-sized ziploc bag. Hopefully this means I won’t lose pieces or forget what I have when I go to choose a project…

Going through all the instructions made me yearn for something like Naaipatronen’s Dutch sewing terms list that I’d be able to use for all these Spanish sewing terms. I don’t really need much, but I found it necessary to at least know the type of fabric required before starting off, so knowing things like punto means knit is invaluable. Using a variety of online sources I’ve managed to cobble together a small list of Spanish sewing terms, but it’s nowhere near comprehensive and, not being a native speaker, probably has a bunch of errors in it. But I can keep it as a work in progress, so if you speak Spanish and have any corrections or addition, PLEASE send them over and I’ll update the file.

Download my Spanish – English sewing terms translation list (in pdf format)

The Most Worn Awards

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.