Saturday 21 July 2012

Finished Burda 06-2012-121 spencer jacket and halter top

When sewing up Burda's June issue spencer jacket for my daughter last weekend, we didn't do the two-tone thing shown above, but bought lining for the inside and enough extra exterior fabric to cut out the inner lapel piece. To my surprise, completing this project took the entire weekend, mostly because I cut a 38 and had to trim it down to a 36, then fit, trim, fit, trim, etc. but also because of all the buttonholes—and I didn't even do the bound buttonholes suggested by Burda which make this a difficult pattern.
As the hours crawled by, I was upset to think that it wasn't working out because, besides making her a jacket, I was trying to demonstrate that sewing gets you exactly what you want, and not something on the rack in the wrong color that costs you an arm and a leg to boot.
Instead, I was demonstrating that sewing is a frustrating, fruitless, thankless and unproductive task. Until it was done and (whew!) she pronounced it something "she would actually wear."
High praise indeed.
We decided that using all the buttons Burda suggested across the front of a white jacket, would make her look like:
a) a refugee from the pre-revolutionary Russian Czar's naval officer corps,
b) an orderly in a mental home, or
c) a waiter.
Now that I'm sure she is still a 36, despite the worst university food in the world, I am tempted to make a second one. I didn't care for the serge we used. It was both soft and coarse. Notice the pull around the waist. She's more a 35 there and wanted it very fitted.

She seems very happy with it, and showed me how to intends to style it for the Proms in London next week. Those are jeans, not tights, although you wouldn't guess from these photos. Please, don't even ask about those shoes/boots. With them on, she's more than six feet tall. Apparently this is desirable.

Meanwhile, the halter chemise took about ten minutes and it's gorgeous— with cream silk lining on one side and champagne charmeuse on the other, it's completely reversible (I fudged on the instructions.) She promises to send photos of that in action once she gets "home" to London. She wanted the back elastic looser than I expected, and the halter ends up pretty much "backless" on her. I'll be very intrigued to see how she solves the bra problem.

The big excitement is that she has to go back early to act in an indie horror movie shooting in Scotland later this ummer. It's a largish part, e.g. she doesn't meet the deadly monster until fairly late in the script. Or she is the monster. Or something. After four summers of theatre summer school in London, including two at RADA to study Shakespeare no less, this is progress?


  1. She looks fantastic in the jacket! Then again she'd probably look fantastic in a brown paper bag, lol. It looks totally different sewed up in white with shiny gold buttons. Sort of edgy formal.

    1. Dear Karin,
      Love to wake up to your comments. Thanks. I agree on the edge formal assessment. Amazing what fabric choices can do!

  2. The jacket looks great, your daughter looks lovely, and I loved, loved, LOVED "A Visit From Voltaire"!

    1. Dear Eliza,
      I love to get feedback from readers—it really makes my day and when they use CAPS, I'm over the moon.
      Thanks so much. It's comments like yours that get me to my desk each morning. Writing is a lonely job and six novels in, it doesn't get easier without readers like you!
      Warmest regards,

  3. This is a fabulous style and you have made a great version of it

  4. Lovely jacket. Fits really well

  5. Very elegant, and great shoes too!