Monday, August 29, 2016

Quick Burda Easy SS 2014 halter top. Make one. You will be smiling.

As a palate cleanser amid my problems with the Serenity-blue linen jumpsuit, I whipped up this Burda Easy Spring-Summer 2014 halter top out of a good quality cotton batiste print for an Italian family wedding. Not for the ceremony, obviously, but for the endless befores and afters.

We stayed at the famed Cenobio dei Dogi hotel in Camogli outside Genoa. I say 'famed' with my tongue in my cheek because I think the UK's brilliant Steve Coogan made it famous in a comedy road movie about traveling through Italy. It was an amazing hotel and, although I'm not in principle a fan of in-law events that last three days, the hotel swimming pool, breakfast buffet, stunning beach views and luxe atmosphere were all a big plus.

So this 'aunt-in-law' suddenly needed a true hot-weather weekend wardrobe—not usually a high-priority for Swiss mountain village residents. I took far too many long white shirts and skinny white jeans for day, but my off-the-shoulder silk Carmen dresses from Burda's Spanish issue years ago, were up-to-the-minute chic for the evenings.

Back to this halter. I think people often underestimate the style quotient of Burda Easy. Their latest Autumn-Winter 2016 magazine has me drooling over their quick jogging pants, culottes, waterfall coats and vests and paperbag waist skirt, because I think my appetite for complicated projects has faded for the moment, yet I too want a quick jolt of autumn fun. I might add a lining or two to the outerwear, but generally, I never regret my Burda Easy makes, even as I am turning my nose down in snobbish memory of years spent on Vogue Designer YSL and Ralph Lauren patterns from decades ago.

Life is short, kids. And if Vogue still produced breathtaking patterns like those, I'd go back in a shot.

And to my own shame, I never learn that it's a mistake to ignore Burda Easy's trend signals. If I'd sewn that quick Carmen top or jumpsuit from this last summer, I'd have been right on the money. I felt like a million bucks after copying the Burda easy zebra fur mini with motorbike zippers (despite my seniors' movie discount card) two years ago. My first-ever Burda Easy project was a tulip skirt in quality gabardine that felt just right.

And this top is not only easy, it's practically debile, as the French say. It takes one hour, maybe two, if you drink tea while you sew. I chose the option with a simple hem, but there is a banded version, (pictured.) I didn't even need to do a proper fastening at the upper back, but finished it with two very neat squares of interfaced fabric, as directed, on both tie ends and then sewed them down for security. I can slip this over my head with no problem. btw This is a strapless bra number and the armholes run deep, so be warned before you cut the side length and measure it up if you think you might be risking too much side-boob.

To add insult to injury for those of you who think one has to labor hard over the needle, these white pants cost only a few francs at the Swiss army surplus store. They are actually drawstring waist medical white cotton scrubs to which I added buttons/buttonholes on the fly. I also have a Swiss Army super-mini-knife, always in my bag, for cutting flowers along the road using the honor-pay system can, and a Swiss army khaki jacket for 5 francs that is Woodstock festival ready. Love Swiss Army surplus.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Burda Jumpsuit 01/2016 #110B rather epic fail


I had rather high hopes for this jumpsuit, considering how I usually experiment and fudge with less expensive fabrics. (see the Burda cotton shirt below costing about 5 francs) and invested far too much money (for me) in a quality blue linen. It was even the Pantone color of 2016, Serenity Blue.

But I should have listened to my daughter whose yoga trousers I made from the same pattern and ended up far too low in the crotch. I ended up hoiking up the bottoms a full two inches which made the leg length just right and the rather baggy bottom sit more comfortably around the hips.

BUT this was nothing to the problems I encountered with the top. As you can see, on the silk model the top just drapes nicely around the elasticated waist, but with a linen, I look like I need to tuck the shirt in.

The cutting out of the plastron also gave me problems, because the pattern requires you to cut the bodice on the fold but is very unclear as to whether you need a seam margin added to accommodate the button placket. I ended up not knowing whether it was inserted into the bodice with a 1.5 seam or a 10 cm seam or 'seam included' in the fold or what?

Then the upper bodice, which I had cut at my usual 38-42 pear shape, was far too tight across the upper half after I inserted the &*%$^ plastron, so I ended up taking out the front shoulder seams to within a micrometer of their life and zigzagging over the seam interior for security. Normally, I never have to do that with Burda.

All of that was discouraging, but I finally overcame wadder depression over the Sf100 francs spent on fabric and finished it, only to realize that linen doesn't travel well. Creased City. Believe me, this was ironed before departure and hung on the car's backseat hook, not packed.

Suffice to say, when I donned this outfit for a morning walk around the beautiful mountain resort of Verbier during our visit to see fiddler kid play in the wowza annual classical music festival, my husband asked, "Why are you going out to lunch in pyjamas?" As this outing was something I had been looking forward to for months, I felt a little, shall we say, blue?

Not good. Though child was very kind (we were, after all, buying him a much better lunch than the musicians' canteen has on offer,) and said, "There's a violinist in my section who has one of those outfits.'

The jumpsuit is very comfortable, but that's because I'm essentially wearing something far too baggy and ill-fitting. Luckily, we had wonderful music to enjoy. Here is our fiddlerkid backing a rather well-known Welsh god of singing, and the only reason I don't put his name here is far from disrespect, but because I don't want this awful jumpsuit photo to pitch up when fans Google B**n T***f***l!