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DID IT MYSELF: Rosy Jacket (+Burda pattern review)

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Hello Everyone!

This jacket is very special for me, as I have been eyeing this pattern from Burda Style magazine since I started sewing, but never felt I had enough skills to make it or a right fabric never came along. Luckily, on my trip to fabric store two weeks ago I spotted this beautiful rose-color fabric and immediately knew – the time has come to tackle that jacket!

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The pattern is from 06/2007 Burda Style magazine (you can find the pattern here) and at the time it was only the second sewing magazine I purchased – I was still at school and not with the budget for such things, but the designs in this particular issue looked worth the splurge.

While I loved the style of the jacket, I made two big changes in the design: eliminated the double collar (the fabric I chose was too thick, but also I am not a big fan of this design feature) and fitted the back, as the pattern suggested unfitted one (and on me, as a pear-shape figure owner, it’s never a good choice).

The jacket is fully lined (even the pockets!) and it gives extra-nice feeling when wearing it.

I also would like to give you a sewing tip that I find very useful: always hand-stitch the garment and try it on to check the fit, before you bring it to the sewing machine. This allows you to make needed fitting alterations much more efficiently and saves from many seam ripping later on.

All in all, this jacket is truly a winner and it adds to the work-wardrobe very nicely!

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DID IT MYSELF: Classy Vest (+pattern review!)

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Hello Everyone!

Throughout my sewing “career” I have made quite a lot of items: mostly dresses, several skirts, jacket, even a pair of awful pants (I am yet to come across a nicely fitting pair of pants – no matter if RTW or handmade, the just-don’t-look-good on me). But out of all the things I ever made, I never made a vest – in fact, I don’t think I ever even owned a vest. Just not my style, and that’s that.

Having that in mind, I surprised myself BIG time, when I woke up one Saturday morning, looked at a little scrap of fabric that was left from previous project and decided to go for the vest, for the first time ever. To even bigger surprise – I loved it! (though I must admit it took me a week, until I finally gathered myself into wearing it to work – yup, even little style changes takes time for me to accept, am I the only one like this?). And that red lining? Oh, just something to give it some “Louboutin” feeling (or – more believable – it was the only lining I had on random early Saturday morning, ha!).

The pattern is from Burda Style magazine, issue 11/2012 (you can see the drawing, as well as styling photos from the magazine here).

Changes I made in the pattern: shortened the vest by 5cm; the armpit was way way too low, so I added about 4cm to it; and added two pockets, as well as did my usual fitting for pear-shape figure (the pattern was very nice to fit, because of all the cut in the front and back).

Do I recommend the pattern: I would recommend it to others, as it is a great vest! I especially liked the unusual sleeves and the fitting.

A few posing photos, to show-off the fit (really happy how the back fit turned out – it’s usually the most difficult part for me!):

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And a little “behind the scenes” from the making of the vest (I just looove how lined items look a complete mess before you turn them out :))

Productive new week to you all!

Your truly, Julie

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DID IT MYSELF: Blue Party Dress

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Hi Everyone!

Though I like making dresses, party dresses are not my thing – I’d rather spend time making something that I’ll get use of wearing every week to work, thank spending same time on a dress I’ll wear once or twice for a celebration. That being said, I have a rule to own at least one party dress at all times, so that when I get the invitation I can easily pick it from the closet without spending extra time thinking “what to wear”. Through all special occasions last year I wore this red number, but when the celebrations started to repeat itself (like annual companies party) I needed a new one and this is how this blue beauty came to be.

The dress is made from stretchy fabrics, so I had to include extra constructional steps (such as interfacing, lining and stabiliser) to give it a more defined shape and make it look like a special occasion dress, rather than an everyday dress. Sewing tip here is simple: when adding interfacing and lining to stretchy fabrics, make sure they all are stretchy, otherwise it will be recipe for disaster.  

This pattern is drafted by me, but if you would like to make one yourself,  Burda has a very similar one here and I also posted a tutorial on adding a high-low hemline half circle skirt to any dress here.

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And here are a few photos of me wearing the dress in the event:

Have a nice Sunday evening!

Best regards,

Julie

 

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DID IT MYSELF: Red Ladylike Dress

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Hello Everyone!

While it’s a popular saying that every woman should have a little black dress in her closet, I would extend it to “every woman should have a little black dress and a red ladylike dress. Really, having such dress in my closet helps BIG time: a date night? I will put on my red dress and wow the man. Need extra confidence boost at work? Let’s grab that red dress of mine and get things done! Dinner with friends in the city? Okay, where is my red ladylike dress? And the list goes on and on – really these dresses are so versatile, that I find an occasion to wear it several times a month (and always look fabulous, by the way)!

As this dress is made from my own drafted pattern, I will not be able to give my comments about it (because, well, I would probably rate my pattern 10/10 – no objectivity here 😀 ), however, this dress uses one tutorial I posted earlier –  HOW TO SEW: half circle skirt to any dress, please feel free to check it!

Best regards,

Julie

For the hemline, I overlock the edge of the fabric (to avoid it from falling apart), fold it and simply stitch on top – I find this technique to be the best way to hem the half or full circle skirts.

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The neckline is finished using techniques I talked about on my blog post for favourite dress and my basic techniques for dresses video

Half circle skirt tutorial

I love adding half circle skirts to my dresses – you can check a tutorial on that in my recent blog post.

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DID IT MYSELF: Instantly Favourite Dress (+ Sewing Tips!)

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Hello Everyone!
If you have sewing for a hobby, you know that there is always that one (or more… ups!) fabric in the storage that is just sooo beautiful, but you cannot find a right pattern for it, and it ends up laying around for ages… For me, this gorgeous plaid stretch fabrics was exactly that – I had in for almost a year, until I finally got the courage to take the scissors and cut it (for me, it’s a LOT of time, as I don’t like storing fabrics at all). But the result was totally worth the wait, as this dress instantly became one of my favourites and I always grab it from the closet if I need extra confidence boost (yes, the saying “Look good – feel good” is actually true)!
I would like to also share with you some tips that I learned in my sewing school (second and last year here!) – hope they will be as helpful to you, as they were for me!

And here we go with the sewing tips – let me know if you find them useful!

SEWING TIP No. 1: when cutting plaid, don’t fold your fabric – draw and cut each pattern piece separately (this will help to match all lines nicely together; also, will prevent from any deviations or some weird line miss-placings (seriously, is there more annoying thing than realising you cut pattern with one plaid column being 1cm away from the center of the dress?)).

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SEWING TIP No. 2: before sewing invisible zipper (or any zipper, for that matter) don’t forget to add fusible interfacing on the wrong side of the dress, all along the zipper placement (placement is marked with arrow in the photo below). This will stabilise the fabric for the zipper and it will be much easier and more accurate to install it.

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SEWING TIP No. 3: to make a nicely round neckline, I use following tricks: leave 3-5mm for seam allowance, not more (this allows the neckline to be nicely shaped and round); use fusible interfacing (stabilising band), when stitching the dress and neckline together (arrow pointing on the right photo is showing the fusible interfacing; this secures the neckline and prevents it from stretching); make one final seam stitching together lining and seam allowance, along the neckline (arrow pointing in the left photo below; this secures the lining in the wrong side of the garment and prevents it from appearing on the good side).

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DIY Look – Special Occasion Dress (+ Pattern review)

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I believe that each woman should have a “special occasion” dress in her closet, so that when any event is coming up, she can easily grab it, put it on and be ready to go, looking good and feeling good. To me, this red dress is exactly that – I made it over a year ago, and it followed me on several special occasions, helping to avoid the big headache of “what to wear”.

My favourite part about this dress is definitely the back – a true “head turned”, which is exactly what you want in a special occasion dress!

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The pattern that I used is from Susanna Moden magazine (issue 2016/08) and it is a perfection: the fit is good, there are many alterations in the issue available and is relatively easy to make. This pattern for me is a true winner (worth buying entire magazine just for it) and I used it a few times already! I am not sure if this magazine is available to find, but if you do come across it – I highly recommend to get it!

Pattern used: Susanna Moden magazine (issue 2016/08).

Changes made: none

Do I recommend the pattern: yes, this pattern is very versatile and the fit is great!

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Closer look to the back 
Photo of the model in Susanna Moden magazine – highly recommend it! 
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DID IT MYSELF! Perfect Office Skirt

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To be honest, skirts are not my favourite item to make – I am more of “Yes, I already have many dresses, but I don’t have a dress in this color and in this shape” kind of girl. So when I decide to make a skirt, it usually goes to the bottom of “To do” list. Same happened with this skirt – it had to wait a looong line to be made; but let me tell you when it was finished, it soon became one of the favourite pieces in my wardrobe! Seriously, it’s easy to style (both color and shape can be effortlessly matched with every top I have), it’s very comfortable (made of heavy knit, thus I feel good in it even after a workday) and it looks good on me (A-line skirts and pear shape figures are match made in heaven). To me, it falls under every checkbox for “Perfect Office Wear” and I find myself wearing it for a few times every week. It’s most definitely a classic piece to add to your wardrobe!

Pattern used: self-made basic pattern.

Techniques used: to speed-up the process, I used the basic skirt pattern that I always have by my side (it saves a LOT of time to always have a ready-made pattern nearby). The invisible zipper in the back. The skirt is not lined, so inner seams are overlocked.

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DID IT MYSELF. Navy Blue Dress

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My style is rather conservative and classic – this dress is no exception, as there is nothing more classical in work wardrobe than navy blue color and sleek design lines. For me, dresses are No. 1 clothing for office wear that frees from morning headache “Will this top match this skirt” and allows to look well put together throughout the day – what can be better than that? Oh, and this dress is made from very comfortable knit fabric – definitely a winner!

Pattern used: La Mia Boutique pattern.

Changes made: added a wide ruffle at the bottom.

Do I recommend the pattern: absolutely – it’s very easy to adjust to your figure, simple to make and looks timeless. Highly recommended!

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DID IT MYSELF: Tropical Paradise Dress

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What comes first – the chicken or the egg? Let me rephrase that: what comes first – the fabric or the design? In case of this dress, the fabric most definitely came first – the moment I saw it I knew I had to have it. Finding a design was a much bigger headache: as the print is very “loud” (is that even a thing?), the design had to tone it down a little bit and yet not be too boring – not an easy task I can tell you! After weeks of thinking (yes, that’s right – weeks of thinking!) I finally decided to go with a trusted Burda 7/2014 pattern 113 and here it is – the Tropical Paradise Dress, ideal to wear during winter when after months of snow all you want is some flower power!

Pattern used: Burda 7/2014 pattern 113 (you can check the pattern here).

Changes made: eliminated the front zipper (umm, that just looks weird – why was it even there?).

Do I recommend the pattern: yes. I made this model few times already and was happy with results every time – very practical piece of design, I can tell ya!

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