Featured Slider

Playing with Proportions

Burda Plus 01/2020 401
Left- shortened top by 2-1/2" and repositioned tie.                                                Right- Original length

One thing about blogging that I love, is photographing the clothes that I sew helps me to know how things REALLY look on my body.  Often, I'll think something looks great in the mirror, but then when I see the photos for the blog, it doesn't look nearly as great as I thought!  Sometimes it's fit, sometimes it's color, but in many cases, it's a matter of proportion.  The photo on the right is one that I took of a new top that I made.  I loved the color, got a good fit on the bust, which was exciting, but then, it just looked dowdy in the photos!   So, I thought about it, and the next morning, I got up, took 2-1/2" off the hem, took off the tie, and re-attached it so that it didn't wrap around the waist, but just tied at the front.  Then I paired it with a slightly longer skirt- and that is the photo on the left.  Isn't that an amazing difference?  I've heard that clothing looks more pleasing to the eye when it is in 1/3 proportions.  So, in the left photo, the outfit is about 1/3 on the top, and 2/3 on the bottom.  The one on the right is more 1/2 and 1/2. 

Burda Plus 01/2020 401


Here's another top that I decided to play around with the proportions on.  The photo on the right is the original.  I paired it with full length wide leg pants, and I felt that it looked like just too much fabric- both the top and the pants were full. 
Burda Plus 01/2020 404
Left- shortened top by 3-1/2"                                                                  Right- original length
 So, in addition to playing with proportions from top to bottom, there are also the loose fitting/ close fitting proportions to consider.  I decided to take up the hem  3-1/2" on the front only, and then I paired it with a more narrow legged pant- that's the photo on the left.  In both of the outfits, I think the proportion is 1/2 to 1/2, which probably isn't the most flattering.  Probably the most flattering would be the narrow shorter length pants with the longer length tunic.   I think either look is okay, but I feel a little more comfortable wearing the one on the left because I'm not drowning in fabric. And most of the time, comfort is my top priority!

In case I change my mind, I just turned up the hem 3-1/2",  rather than cutting it off for a narrower hem.  Rayon has a tendency to continually shrink in the wash, and this way, I can reverse my decision if I it shrinks considerably.

So, let me tell you details about the tops!

Burda Plus 01/2020 401

This is style #401 from the Burda Plus Spring Summer 2020 issue.  It was originally long sleeved, but I didn't have enough fabric to make the sleeves full length.  I think it would be cute sleeveless too.  It went together quite easily- it looks like a wrap, but it's a faux wrap.  The bodice overlaps, and so does the skirt part, but they are sewn together at the waist, so there is just a faux wrap beneath the waist.   I need more fullness in the bottom section- it's just not flattering on my shape as designed.  If I make it again, I will slash and spread the lower sections so that there is extra ease around the middle.

Burda Plus 01/2020 401

But, taking off just 2-1/2 inches off the bottom, and moving the belt, makes it look a whole lot better.  Plus, I really like it with this lime green linen skirt, which has been an orphan in my closet since I bought it!


Burda Plus 01/2020 404

The next top is also from this Burda Plus issue, and is style 404.  It's a basic tunic with bell sleeves and side slits.  I made mine from some rayon challis that I bought at Hancock fabrics before it closed down.  Oh, how I miss that store!  The fabric matches my chair cushions- I guess I am predictable in my fabric choices!

Burda Plus 01/2020 404

I left the back hem at the original length, so the hem has a stair step effect, just to add interest to a plain style.  This top is REALLY easy to make.  It does have a neck facing, but no other tricky parts.  You could add a lace or other decorative trim if you have a plain fabric.   I can see making it many times in my future!  I made the size 46, and I will need to do a narrow shoulder adjustment next time.   What I did for this one was I just took a single 1" tuck in the center of the shoulder seam crossing from the front to the back.  You can't see it in the photos, but it took it up just enough that the sleeve seam rests on my shoulder.

Burda Plus 01/2020 404

So, I guess what I want to tell you is if you sew something and then are not quite thrilled with it, try playing around with the proportions- maybe just a different length, or a narrowing the silhouette is all you need to turn it from frumpy to fabulous!  I do it with my thrift shop finds all of the time too.  Don't you just love the power that sewing give you?

Happy Sewing!

Ann


Cool Blue and White Work Wardrobe

I am off work during the summer, so this is the perfect time for me to sew what I want to wear to work once school resumes.  I am being optimistic that we will eventually be able to work in a building with other people.  I realize that I am kind of putting the cart ahead of the donkey by making these items when I really am unsure when I will be able to wear them in a work setting.  But, I think the styles and colors will be just as good in 2021 or even 2022, if that's how things turn out.  I just have to make sure that I stay the same size- which is good incentive for me to not snack all day long!  Exercising has not been working out for me- I tore a quad muscle doing yoga at home, and once that healed, I hurt my back gardening.  So, I just decided it was safer to stay inside and sew!  So far, no sewing injuries this summer!  Sewing is my sport of choice and this month was my decathlon.

Firecracker Shirtdress with McCalls 7351


It's almost the 4th of July! Even though there will be no fireworks this year where we live due to Covid 19, I still made a dress that would be something that I would wear on a typical 4th of July.  This is a shirtdress using McCalls 7351 for my pattern and  stretch poplin with a border that reminds me of a string of firecrackers!
I used View C hem, and View D sleeves to get this combination.
This is what the fabric looked like before I cut into it.  It had a solid red border on both sides, and a slight stretch.  I was perplexed as to how to use the solid red in such a way that it would accent the main fabric,  and decided to have one solid band down the front, at the sleeve hems, and the other solid band on the sides of the handkerchief hems.

This meant turning the grain of the skirt pieces horizontally.  Here it is on my dress form in progress.  I would have loved to have made the collar in the solid red too, but just didn't have enough of the red border left.


Here you can see how that handkerchief hem works if I hold it out.  When it falls, the stripes really seam to be more diagonal than anything, but they aren't.


I tried it on with several different belts- mostly solid black, but they just didn't feel right- they detracted too much from the print.  I had this piece of red and white striped webbing, and I attached it to two gold rings that the interior opening was the same width as the belting, and made my own belt.  I also have the same belting in green and white, so now I'm on the hunt for a green fabric to make a dress from to go with it!


Here are the buttons- they are from Fabric Mart, as is the fabric, and were a great match.  How lucky was that!  If I had to go to a Joann's, I probably wouldn't have found anything quite as perfect.


I would recommend this pattern- it's quite straightforward to make.  I had to make my typical adjustments to get a good fit.

What are you doing for your 4th of July?  I'm making homemade sourdough hamburger buns for the first time, and am looking forward to a nice burger, sweet corn, and watermelon for dessert- just my husband and I.  Typical Americana 4th of July food in a very non-typical year.  Stay healthy and enjoy your 4th of July!

Happy Sewing!
Ann