I’ve Gone a Bit Dotty! (and Burda Challenge update and plans)

I’ve done a little sewing during the past couple of weeks, but must confess that my Burda Challenge has gone seriously off the rails.  I just cannot muster up any real enthusiasm for it – mainly, as I posted back in February, because I have too many clothes and not enough space.  I’ve still got unworn summer clothes that I made last year that I haven’t managed to wear yet this year (mainly because we haven’t really had any summer weather).

On the sewing front I have made another Burda 05-2012-110 cowl neck top:

I cut this one on the straight grain of the jersey fabric and it came out fine, although the cowl doesn’t hang quite a nicely as it does on my first version which was cut on the bias. However, the white spots on the dotty fabric are some sort of fabric paint which makes the jersey quite a lot stiffer than my first top so that could account for the difference.  If I sew this again, I will definitely be cutting it on the straight grain because it is a lot easier (more on that later in this post) and uses less fabric.  Because I cut this one on the straight grain, and I had bought 1.5m of fabric, I was able to squeeze a simple, elastic waist, A-line skirt out of the remainder of the fabric. I just used the skirt pattern pieces from a previous dress I’d made.

If I put them together I get a faux dress:

I think I’m going to make more faux dresses from now on.  They are easier to sew, seem to use less fabric, are much easier to fit than a proper dress and have a lot more wearing options.  I’m now going have to trawl charity shops to increase my belt collection.

The other reason I am not going to cut this top on the bias again if using jersey fabric is because of this version that I made today:

Now, I know you are possibly wondering what is wrong with it – well I’ll show you:

(back view)

and a closeup of that lovely back hem and pulled back side seams:

Yes, it is hanging straight on the hanger – the hem is just that badly out of shape.  I must have stretched the fabric when cutting.  The whole back just looks and feels strange when I try it on.  I’m going to stick it through a wash and then let it dry on a hanger to see what happens. It’ll probably be wearable tucked in, but I wanted it as a loose, airy, top.  I do have yet another bias cut version already cut out waiting to be sewn, but that one is cut from a woven so it’s a mystery as to how it will turn out. More on that below.

On the Burda Challenge front I have made one thing.  For May 2010 I was going to make this dress:

(With all the mucking about on the Burda sites, I’ve realised that it is easier to photograph the magazine page with the fabric I’m planning to use.)  However, I made a muslin and it didn’t really work for me.  It was one of those dresses that I found myself fiddling with as soon as I put it on and I prefer clothes to be comfortable enough that I forget about them.  Still, as before, I am counting the muslin as a made garment for this issue.  I haven’t got a photo of the muslin because I used a dark green stretch velvet that just refused to be photographed!

I also have some vague June and July plans for the challenge but nothing really set in stone yet (even though I am aware that June ends on Saturday!).

06-2007-123 – skirt (poly-viscose). I made a muslin of this last year but I think I need to wear it for a few hours because the way the skirt is cut it feels as though it is twisting around on me when I try it on.

06-2009-109 (cheap, shiny, polyester crepe-de-chine). If I make this it will be more of a wearable muslin than a final, want to wear all the time, garment.

06-2010-101 (a crepe-de-chine of some description).  I think I like the idea of this dress far more than I’d like the reality, so this one is unlikely to actually get made.

07-2008-108 (crepe-de-chine)

07-2009-105 (viscose).  Again, I’m not sure about this one on me – maybe I’ll manage to get a muslin made. I may even use this fabric for the muslin as it’s a viscose that went completely limp when it was pre-washed, and creases as soon as you look at it. It’s been in my stash for at least four years so perhaps it’s time to just use it and hope for the best.

07-2011-114 – wrap-over top (black lycra jersey)

There are also a couple more issues that I should sew from but haven’t picked a project yet.  I probably won’t sew anything from June or July 2012 because nothing in either magazine particularly grabbed me.  I’m beginning to regret continuing my subscription for six months (July to December) because so far this year the only issue I really liked anything in was May.  I definitely don’t see myself renewing at the end of the year.

My biggest problem with the challenge is that I have just too many projects not made for the first six months of the year.  I’m not quitting, but I do know that I’m not going to completely succeed.  There are also just too many non-Burda things that I’d like to sew and I don’t want to not sew those because of a silly self-imposed challenge.

I’ve also managed to increase my stash, yet again.  This time every fabric has a plan so at least it isn’t just random stash building.

A linen-look poly-cotton.  I really like this because I love the look of linen but I can’t wear it because it feels like lots of teeny pins prickling my skin.  This is for a pair of PJ pants from what is, probably, my most used pattern – although I haven’t yet made the PJ pants from it.

A poly-cotton for another pair of PJs.

I’ll still need some sort of top to go with both these pairs of pants, but I can either buy fabric, or over-sized t-shirts.  I have had some success using my serger to make a lettuce hem on both the bottom and sleeves of one of Mr RTS’s old t-shirts to wear as nightwear, so I may do that again with new men’s t-shirts.

This is a lovely, floaty crepe-de-chine.  I’ve already cut the top out (on the bias) and also managed to squeeze a simple skirt from the remaining fabric so this could end up as another faux dress. It’s not clear from the photo, but this is a very dark navy with a cream print.

This top has stuck in my head because it is so simple, so I’ve bought even more fabric to make another one.

I have a previously made a skirt in the pale dusty pink colour that is a bit of an orphan in my wardrobe unless I wear it with black or white, so if this works I’ll get more wear from the skirt.  I also have a gorgeous pair of pink sandals that I’m hoping will be a match (although they are currently stored in the attic so I’ll have to wait and see).

Last is a grey suiting with a bit of stretch.  I am seriously lacking in trousers in my wardrobe and have recently wished I had at least one or two pairs to wear.  I’ve seen good reviews of the pattern on PR – it’s Simplicity 3688.

I was trying very hard to not break the 300m mark for my stash – but I failed.  It’s now at 315m – oops!


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9 Responses to I’ve Gone a Bit Dotty! (and Burda Challenge update and plans)

  1. Amanda says:

    Oh, I love the skirt and top = dress spotty combo! What a way to extend your wardrobe! And now shame at all with the extra fabric- I just about double my haul post NYC. We should start a support group 😛 Can’t wait to see the trousers be made!

  2. prttynpnk says:

    Wow, so many great plans, I’m envious of your organization!

  3. I love, love the polka dot top/skirt.. How pretty and it can become a dress.What a great idea..
    I love all your sewing plans.. So organized.. Love all the fabrics ..so pretty.. Makes me want to head to the sewing room to sew.lol
    Happy sewing.

  4. Cathe says:

    I agree with Judy, your cowl shirt/skirt=dress is lovely. I’m inspired by your plans. I too feel derailed, the want is great, my actions are slow out my outcome is…well…not much, so you have to be doing better than me!

    I love the Burda top with the front pockets!

  5. Cathe says:

    Oops that should have been “and my outcome”…it’s late Friday afternoon…

  6. CherryPix says:

    Great polka dot top/skirt! A very good ‘dress’ look – and more versatile. Of course you can change plans – the Burda challenge is a great idea but not if you really don’t want to sew those items! I chop and change ideas all the time!

  7. T. Sedai says:

    Love the faux dress idea – definitely something I will have to consider in the future (especially when I am debating if a fabric should be a top or a dress). Your fabric/patterns selections look great – I look forward to seeing your future projects, even if they aren’t Burda-inspired.

  8. Sam says:

    I love the spotty faux dress, what a fabulous idea. I love dresses and always seem to end up wanting to make them, but sometimes separate tops and skirts are more useful – this would give the best of both worlds! Thanks for the idea.

    I also love the blue spotty fabric you were thinking of using for the May 2010 Burda dress, very pretty.

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