Thursday, June 16, 2011

Butterfly dress for graduation ceremony, Burda 115B, April 2011

Here's the other graduation number I sewed, in case (impossible!) it's hot as blazes on the day of the university ceremony of the eldest for whom thankfully I haven't had to sew since I made him a bathrobe ten years ago. He's a history major and a rower, and heads off to India this summer under a sponsored "entrepreneurial" scheme, then to Japan for an intensive language course. You can't keep a good Swiss-American down on the farm. Last summer he did a stint with NYC US Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney who sponsored and finally got  the 9/11 health care bill for the rescuers/responders passed.
 We love her for her determination to see justice done for the heroes of 9/11, and were thrilled that son was in the House to see that bit of history made. If you watch her presentation on YouTube, Kid made the US maps showing health-giver locations. Carolyn Maloney Zadroga Bill. Check out the Big Map!
Everybody in London is talking about Kate Middleton's influence on the popularity this season of white, but at my age I look like a mental-home nurse in all white. We'll pass over the fact that I feel like a mental-home nurse these days. Anyway...cruising Zara with daughter last April in Lausanne, I recognized a butterfly-patterned silk as coming from Thai Silks, made up by Zara in the neckline featured in dress and blouse versions in the April Burda.
Ain't that sweet, only if it were me and my kids, they'd be the ones leaning over me...
 I didn't like the unbound neckline used on the cover photo at all, but did like the variations with bound necklines and armholes. I ordered up the silk thinking to replicate the blouse, but found I could squeeze a whole dress out of my shipment. I made a second dress (just a column, really) from fine white silk and then bound the two together at the neck and armholes, finally stitching a tunnel for the elastic using the two layers of silks. Easy peasey.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Summer events need happy clothes, Burda's lace tunic, 118 March 2011

I'm hoping that— unlike my last trip to England (see previous disaster saga in archives from last November about visiting my conducting kid) which started with a six hour delay for snow and ended up with me heading home one day late to the wrong city, again for snow— my trip to see eldest graduate from university will happen, and happen on time, without me waking up in a hotel in the wrong country.

This will also be a chance to host post-graduation ceremony two best friends who've always been there for me and my kids, because Dad won't be able to fly for health reasons. He himself will be limping to attend, on crutches, the simultaneous high school graduation of our daughter in Switzerland. Two graduations on the same day in different cities.

Just our luck, right?

I'm not sure which outfit to wear, but one item for the days in Cambridge/London is the lace tunic from Burda's wedding issue, which they ran up in a lurid green. I found a lovely remnant of lilac lace and, as you can see from the photos, made one style change: I used the finished lace edging as a style feature at both the hem and the sleeve edges by adjusting the layout. Less sewing for me, and more couture for the result.

Btw, I was surprised to see that this tunic was long and covers a lot of sins around the hips! To be worn with white trousers and a flesh-colored cami underneath.


I finished with French seams and bound the sleeves and neckline with flesh-colored satin, as the lace allows the finishings to be visible somewhat. 
I'm hoping that the color isn't too "old-lady," as I suspect that's why this piece of wonderful stuff was on deep discount. 
A really easy basic pattern that, as you can see, can go very formal with no work at all.

Back to editing my third volume of mystery thrillers for re-issue in paperback/Kindle. The garden is tempting me...

Friday, June 3, 2011

July Burda preview. I thought we were starting June, but...

Now some of you might have thought I disappeared down the same rabbit hole as the Selfish Seamstress and Bugglegum for Breakfast, two bloggers I heartily miss. No, I've been commuting all these months to a re-adaptation centre where my husband is recovering from three spinal operations. A long story, and nothing to do with sewing. The latest Burda has caught my mood, exactly:



 Burda has gone into mourning, as you can see. At least, that's all I can conclude with their July preview of black, black and as Henry Ford said about the Model T car, "Any color, as long as it's black." I suppose we should have seen this hot-weather-black coming in the Italian issue some months back which featured a lot of black cotton Dolce Vita numbers.

I've been sewing in my little free time, and I'll be posting a lace tunic from the bridal issue and one of the dropped-waist numbers Burda are so into these days next. I'll be wearing them over the weekend of my first-born's university graduation ceremony in the UK, which sadly, I have to attend alone. Dad can't fly, and we're all feeling sad, but that's life.

In the meantime, I'm also reissuing three Asian thriller mysteries this summer, The Handover Mysteries,  in paperback and e-book. (The second volume was published by Carroll & Graf in New York some years ago.) For reasons that are complicated, they're coming out in reverse order, so watch this space. . .

Happy Summer, Everybody!