Friday, 16 September 2016

Pattern Review Sewing Bee round 1 - Burda shorts

Remember those shorts I made not so long ago? Well I loved them so much that I instantly wanted to make a second pair before the summer ended.  I had only just convinced myself that it was really time to do more winter-appropriate sewing instead when I noticed that the Pattern Review Sewing Bee contest was about to start. And, guess what the first challenge was?! Yes, a pair of shorts or capris. Well fate had intervened, time to sew up Burda Style pleated shorts 02-2013 #129 again. One last summer sew before autumn/winter sewing begins.
Although I've been a member of Pattern Review for over a year I really heard about the competition last year through seeing Hila's gorgeous entries on her blog Saturday Night Stitch. I've started using the Pattern Review website a lot more since I started quilting, it's such a good source of advice and everyone is so friendly. I'm sure most of you have already heard of it and used it but if not I'd highly recommend it for sewing and quilting, it's free to sign up though they do have a paid option too. I've included my review from the contest below as it gives all the relevant information but I've added in a few extra photos.
UPDATE: I got through to Round 2 - yay!! I'm very pleased I got through as the competition was tough! At the moment you can see all the contest entries together but I think this is only up for 6 months after which you can view everything in the general review gallery.

2016 Sewing Bee Round 1 - Shorts or Capris
Pattern or style used and how it fits the criteria: Pleated shorts with hip yoke pockets and side invisible zip.
Fabric Used-Material Content and Yardage:
Just under 1metre of a brocade style cotton fabric gifted to me by a friend. She bought it at a fabric sale of left over sample fabric at her work - a high street fashion store.
Describe your closure: Invisible zip in the left hand side seam.
Describe the other components you used (e.g. buttons, zippers, trim, pockets, contrast, etc): A 9" invisible zip in the side seam. Two yoke pockets, pleats on the front and back darts. I love both sides of the fabric so I used the reverse for the pocket yoke piece and the waistband. I was very short on fabric so I had to piece my pocket facings together from scraps.

Contrast pockets & waistband, and a pretty good invisible zip
Describe the fitting technique(s) you used to achieve shaping: I have made this pattern up before so I knew the shorts fitted as given but I used a facing not a waistband the first time.  So this time I measured my waist and instead of cutting the waistband to one of the lengths given in the instructions I cut it exactly to fit my waist, with added 1.5cm seam allowance (if only I'd remembered to add seam allowance to the width as well). I still basted the side seams first to check fit before sewing them as this fabric has no stretch whereas last time I made these I used a stretch cotton.
waistband interior, with added fabric to make waistband the right length
Indicate here that you included the photos required - Remember one photo MUST be on a live model (although head may be omitted/obscured) and blog links are NOT allowed:
1.            Front [Required]: yes, on model
2.            Photo shown on the model [Required]:yes
3.            Closure detail [Required]: yes, invisible zip
4.            [Back]: yes
5.            [Optional]: pocket detail close-up
Describe what you like most about your entry: I just love this fabric so much and I am really pleased with the look of the contrast waistband and pocket section as I think it really makes the shorts stand out (as if wearing neon shorts wasn't enough!) I am also very pleased I took the time to hand stitch both the waistband and the hems with s blind stitch.
Describe your biggest challenge in sewing these shorts: I've never fitted shorts or trousers before so I was worried about getting them to fit properly. I found the waistband really hard, mostly because I forgot to add the seam allowance so I had to sew on extra fabric to the reverse of the waistband to make it wide enough (I had less than a metre of this fabric so couldn't just recut a new waistband. Also, sewing to such a strict deadline is a huge challenge as I'm usually quite a slow sewer with woven fabrics and, with a toddler and part-time work, don't get much time to sew.
What other information would you like to share about this project and your process?: I had heard how sparse Burda instructions could be and experienced it for myself with this pattern. For a beginner sewer like me you will probably need other resources as well - I found a tutorial someone wrote online on adding the pockets to these shorts, and used my Colette sewing handbook for a refresher on sewing in an invisible zip.  I found the process on this pair more difficult than my first attempt at this pattern, which was with a stretch cotton. It really emphasised to me the differences fabric choice can make to fit and appearance of the finished item. I am so pleased with these and am hoping it will stay warm enough to get some wear out of them before autumn arrives properly!
So, on to Round 2 of the Sewing Bee now - the challenge is to sew an item cut on the bias. I'm going with a skirt, another summer fabric so maybe this will be my last summer sewing?!

Saturday, 10 September 2016

One Week One Pattern 2016

Have you heard of One Week One Pattern? It's a sewing challenge started in 2012, then in 2014 and now, September 2016. This time round it is hosted by Hannah from  Cinderellis Sews. The challenge is to wear a Tried and True pattern - one you've made lots of times, wear all the time etc - every day for a week. Well, I feel I'm cheating a bit, or at least not following the rules really, as I'm using the Megan Nielsen Brumby skirt, which I've only made once. But bear with me please, I do wear the one version I have a LOT! Like at least once or twice a week. So to my view it's already a Tried & True pattern. I've also got my second version halfway sewn, and fabric for my third washed. The fitting took me quite a while to sort out but I think, hope, on this second version it's going to be spot on.  So hopefully this will give me the push to get sewing!

This is my much-loved Brumby. I Blogged about it before but to recap, I won the pattern on a giveaway by Amelia on her blog Veronica Darling and I bought this gorgeous pink twill fabric from Ray Stitch.
I wear it so much, I love the weight of the fabric, the big pockets, and of course the colour (I wear & sew a lot of pink!)

So I'm pretty excited about following along & seeing everyone else's makes. I'm sure they will be a lot more innovative than mine but I'm hoping this gives me a push to finish up the versions I have planned as I'm sure they'll do me into autumn too. Anyone else playing along?!