Tuesday 12 July 2022

Burda sun dress April 108/4/ 2022 and matching quilted cotton jacket, 120/2/2021

Not the most flattering photo in Italy by my husband, showing I should wear the dress lower on the waist, but otherwise it turned out well. I think the placement of the casings as marked doesn't take my short waist into consideration. Lesson learned.
Also I used a very soft fabric which delivers a less crisp effect than the cotton used by Burda which gives a nicer result with the pleats around the neck, but the dress was almost weightless to wear in the midday Italian heat. 

I'm especially proud that the dress and its matching jacket were both squeezed out of 3 metres of double gauze cotton purchased for practically nothing from Coupons de St. Pierre online. 
One of the dirty fixes as I ran out of fabric was to use elastic for the interior of the two dress ties that finish at both hips and only use the main fabric for the ties outside the casings.
I made two alterations to the jacket—I added pockets using bits of the IKEA cotton that I dyed pink years ago for a T&T Burda shirt pattern and second, I lengthened the sleeves to eliminate the knit wristbands. I just dislike knit wristbands or any bomber jacket references.

The patchwork lining for the jacket will look familiar to anyone following this blog. Some of the pink silk came from the wedding kimono I sewed some years ago, other remnants were from the slew of three pink dresses I made last year.
 I tried using a binding foot to make the finishing job easier, but the quilting padding got stuck and I wasn't willing to hot-press the seam margins flat, so in the end, only hand finishing the second edge of the binding gave me the quality finish I wanted.
I covered three large snaps with the pink gauze fabric but the fabric is just too thick for the snaps to 'take.' I may come back to this if I'm convinced the jacket needs closures but on a summer evening, I can do without.


Tuesday 5 July 2022

My thoughts on Fibre Mood, with a debut dress "Harmony," Book 14 2021...not entirely a success but instructive


I've been eyeing the Fibre Mood fan club here in Europe for some time. They use a lot of linen and broderie anglaise and give off an artistic, somewhat bohemian vibe, drawing on loose, blousey artistic silhouettes evoking lofts in Amsterdam, country walks in Provence, and Paris galleries. You couldn't imagine anything farther from the fitted Dior New Look or tailored Chanel bourgeoise lady look or the classic Ralph Lauren Hamptons look or the Armani Milanese suited executive or the New York activewear mood if you tried.

The Harmony blouse might have been the wrong choice for a woman of my age--the nautical look was meant for four-year-old English princes and Shirley Temple. To offset the Lord Fauntleroy effect, I should have stuck with the Fibre Mood fabrication for women over 50--plain linen or lightweight denim.

But no, I saw a quilting cotton online for pennies with a tiny anchor motif on a navy background and thought, why not? I used a discarded pillowcase for the white trim and red buttons on the fiddly neck closure on one side. The result was a cool, light dress for early buffet breakfasts at an Italian hotel over the last few blistering hot weeks, (photo above in Liguria) But the dress looks too twee for Geneva city wear and too seaside for Swiss mountain wear.

My first take on using a Fibre Mood pattern? I was less than thrilled with their diagrams' very fine lines, fiddly unfamiliar colored notation system, but most of all, with the disappointment of having no written instructions inside the magazine's printed manual. I had to keep checking and rechecking explanations for the complicated construction of the bodice framing trim insertion on my computer. (That is not a proper sailor collar you see, but an inserted trim.) I was raised on the bold, black and white diagrams of the Big 4 patterns and when I buy a pattern, I expect the instructions to be included. I think Fibre Mood do it online so they can offer multiple languages beyond Vogue's English and French.

Fibre Mood also advises a 10 cm seam allowance to be added, but again, I'm used to adding 1.5 cm to everything. What with the computer here, the big book there, and still not understanding how I was supposed to turn those corners, flipping here and there, it was a muddle. I also found the construction of the neck placket hard to read for the same reason of unfamiliarity with their system.

I suspect this is a problem of simply not being used to such a different style of colored graphics and the need for a computer. Their styling is growing on me and their latest magazine is very tempting. As the French say, I may 'crack' again.