Sewing Classes and Lessons

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Style Arc Dotty Blouse and Burda 6879 Skinny Pants

Listen children.  It's time for a sewing story.  Sit by the fire with me, and I'll tell you the story of how three flat, lifeless pieces of fabric became my new favorite winter outfit. With a little help from the elves at FabricMart, Burda, and Style Arc, I whipped up this outfit just in time for the holidays.


Chapter 1.  The Dotty Blouse


Silk charmeuse.  Aahhhh.  Just the thought of it brings me bliss.  Is there anything so light as a feather, shimmery as a star, fluid as a mountain stream?  All wrapped up in one glorious fabric.  Sometimes I look at the prices of clothes in the stores, and wonder "Why am I sewing? ".  But one touch of silk charmeuse and I remember. This is the stuff that you can't buy a top made from for less than $200, but you can make it for $50 or less.

When I saw this stylized animal print silk charmeuse at FabricMart, I grabbed up 3 yards of it right away.  One of silk charmeuse's best qualities is it's drapability, and I'd been looking for a fabric with fabulous drape to make a crossover draped front blouse pattern from Style Arc- the Dotty Blouse.

Dotty is really designed for a fabric that looks the same on both sides, as the pattern piece for the front is just one piece that flips at the hem.  Since my fabric is different on the reverse, I decided to split the pattern piece into two at the hem level, add a seam allowance, and sew them together. 

Now, when it folds back on itself, you'll see the right side of the fabric.  The bottom doesn't lay perfectly straight, so a little bit of the wrong side does show, but I'm okay with that.

Cutting silk charmeuse can be tricky.  Here is my go to method:

 1.  Lay a layer of tissue paper underneath the fabric, and pin the fabric to the edges.  (Save all that tissue from your gift bags!)

2.  Use fabric weights that have pins at the bottom of them to hold the pattern in place.   These are by Olfa.  I don't think they make them anymore, but if you ever see them at a garage sale or ebay, snap them up, as they work remarkably well!

3.  Change the rotary cutter blade to a brand new super sharp one.  Silk fibers are very strong, and if your blade is not 100% sharp, you'll end up with uncut fibers.   

4.  Cut firmly through all layers.  And voila!  You have a beautiful cut edge.

The fronts are finished just by folding back a facing.  The instructions didn't indicate how to finish the back neckline, so I decided to use a bias strip of self fabric before sewing the shoulder seams.
 I hemmed the back bottom edge using a technique called the Baby Hem.  It's my favorite way to hem delicate and slippery fabrics.  


Finished Baby Hem.


Chapter 2:  The Skinny Pants

Since Dotty is so loose fitting, I needed something form-fitting on the bottom.  I found this soft black and tan stretch denim at Fabric Mart to go with Burda 6879- a skinny pant with pockets and a back yoke. 

I have a hard time making pants, as my waist measurement is 2 sizes bigger than the hip measurement.  So, I blended between sizes, and crossed my fingers, hoping for a good outcome.  They were no where near as skinny as I had envisioned.  I kept on sewing the side seams a little bigger, and a little bigger, until I got the fit that I was after.  I probably ended up taking off about 1-1/2" on each side.    I wanted them to be super snug at the legs, but comfortable at the top.

Chapter 3:  The Faux Fur Vest

The faux fur vest is made from Burda Style pattern magazine issue 11/2012, #103.  What is this model doing wearing fur on the beach with a sleeveless dress?

You can see, that there isn't much to this vest.  And that's what I wanted.  Sewing with faux fur is messy, and I wanted as few pieces to cut as possible.  The vest is lined, and really quite warm.  I bought the dusty pink faux fur from FabricMart a couple of years ago.  It's super soft and fun to wear.



Chapter 4- Putting them all together
So, that's the story of how each flat piece of fabric became something new and exciting to wear.  Now, altogether, they will be worn to a Hanukkah party, a Christmas party, a New Year's Eve party, and probably many more times this winter.  As long as I don't eat myself out of fitting into these skinny pants! 
Now, if I can just beat my husband at chess....


THE END


Happy Holidays Everyone!!!  Here's wishing you a wonderful New Year!

-Ann

6 comments:

  1. Beautiful outfit and perfect for the holiday season (or any season). Thanks for the tips, too. Merry Christmas

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lori! Merry Christmas to you and your family as well!

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  2. Should have tried the Stylearc Elle pants - stretch! Great outfit, must look at getting that blouse pattern. Merry Christmas!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Vicki! I will definitely check out the Elle pant. Waiting for January to see what new releases they come out with!

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  3. Gorgeous Dotty and a great overall outfit! I love the fur vest!

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