June 29, 2012

Burda 6/2010 #118

Oh this dress...
It took me awhile to finish this one.

I got this fabric from Ebay for pretty good price.  (Maybe $10 for 3yds?)
Ever since I saw this print I wanted to use it for Burda 6/2010 #118.
I didn't think it was that hard...
It was actually going well in the beginning.
I did the paper muslin, adjusted everything, and it was flowing fine.
Then when it got to the gather, it just went downhill...
I used one big rectangular piece for the skirt, and it just got so poofy below the bust!
I knew what I had to do...
Take it apart, and first cut the big piece into three...  one front piece, two back piece, and attach the zipper.
Then make it a tier, so it's not too heavy...

But I just could not get motivated.
I just hate ripping seam process, and I hate gathers.
I thought I lost my sewing mojo all together.
I had some other stuff I wanted to make, but I felt like I had to finish this dress...
Or else it'll just sit in my closet, unfinished, and I loved this fabric too much to let it happen.

I was venting it out on the sewing discussion, and everybody advised me to take a break...
So I did.
I went to sleep early with the kids...
I actually did some other sewing for my daughter, because I've made those over and over and could make it without too much thinking.

Then yesterday, both kids actually took a nap together, and I had some energy so I decided to finish this dress.
And I love the finished dress.
It's cotton, so it breathe well, and very comfortable.
I'm not too crazy over the shoulder "wings", so I think I'm going to make it into big straps instead.
It looked good in the magazine, but it just looks like an armour!
I'll be writing a review soon...

June 15, 2012

Burda Magazine 6/2010 #110 caftan top

I make alot of dresses because they are cute, and realized...that I don't have anywhere to wear them!
I realized that I should make more tops that I can wear for everyday.

I wanted to start using the fabrics I got from fellow sewing.patternreview member.
I like a flowy top, especially flowy sleeves.
After looking at few options I decided to give Burda magazines 6/2010/#110 a try.
This is the caftan that's shown on the cover of this issue.
Just by looking at it I never thought I'd make it...
But when I saw the line drawing, it's a pretty interesting design, and thought I can make it into a top without too much sleeve volume.

Here's the result.
I'm not sure if I like it so much now.
It's wearable but it's just kinda weird??

I wrote a long review on patternreview so I'll just post it here.

Pattern Description:

Pattern Sizing: I made size 76 overall. I should've graded it to about 80 around the waist as I always do, but I thought it was a caftan pattern and probably has enough ease... Not really. The flowy sleeves makes it look like a loose top, but the bodice is pretty fitted. Although I can still wear it my waist feels a little snug.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Somewhat. I made alot of modifications

Were the instructions easy to follow? As usual I just glanced at the instructions. Burda instructions normally just confuses me.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like how this pattern actually has a bodice with sleeves attached separately. I've made a batwing shirt and didn't like how the sides are open and you can see through the camisole underneath. Although I still need to wear a cami under this because the fabric is see through, I like how you cannot see it from the side. I didn't like how the bottom edges of the sleeves are open. I stitched together the front and back edge about 3 inches so it doen't just flap open everywhere.

Fabric Used: I think it's a polyester chiffon, got it from a fellow patternreview member.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
-first of all I had to shorten the bodice since this was made for tall sizes. The bust darts were about an inch below my bust, so I shortened above it, and made an armholes wider.
-As I mentioned, I just glanced at the instructions, so I didn't even realize that the back pieces were actually cut two pieces and required an invisible zipper.
I already cut it as one piece, folded at the centerline. Luckily because of the deep v-neck my head went through.
I wouldn't try to install a zipper on a chiffon!
-Then I narrowed and shortened the sleeves. Although it was a caftan pattern I wanted a top.
-I also shortened the hip band. If I made it according to the pattern it would've been below my butt, and I just wanted it to be a hip length.
-Lastly I finished all the seams with french seam. It takes longer but much neater with sheer fabric.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Since it's a pretty unique design I probably won't sew this again. I do recommend it to others if you want to try a unique outfit but it might be better to keep the length a little longer. I think mine looks too square.

Conclusion: This is actually the caftan on the cover of this issue. I liked the design of it but didn't want the caftan... So I made few modifications to make a top I can wear for everyday. I 'm not so sure if I like it...  it's just seems a little weird?

June 14, 2012


When My sister-in-law left to mainland few weeks ago, she left us their carpet cleaner.
Since I was thinking about renting one, I was delighted and decided to use it.
Whoa this sucker was heavy!!
But it felt so good to see the clean carpet, I did the whole house.

...and ended up straining my back. :(
For few days I could still move around with Motrin, but I guess I pushed myself that On Wednesday I could barely get up from a chair.

Luckily(?) my husband was sick on Tuesday and decided to take some days off.
But he was feeling alot better by next day so he helped me around the house.

To be honest I wasn't expecting much help from him...
In the past, he took a day off when I got sick, and ended up just watching TV all day and I still took care of the kids and did everything..
It just added to my irritation to see him being no help at all.

However this time he has been such a good help.
I guess seeing me take about a minute just to get off the couch made him feel bad?
But he's been feeding the kids, changing the little one's diaper, taking them out for grocery, etc... And now he's playing with them outside.

Around lunch time, he finally gave a small complaint...
"geez, I get no break with these kids!!"
And he thought it was easier to stay home. Bwahahaha.

When we get in an arguement, Few times I hear him say "Do you want to go to work and I stay home with the kids? How hard can it be? Just give them paper and crayons or playdoh, and they're set to go."
I always bit my tongue because I knew only someone who has been a stay-at-home-mom/dad can understand the hardship of it.

Today, my husband gave them a paper and crayons.
My older son, three, would draw one circle and says "can I get another sheet of paper?"
You tell him no, and you end up with a whole new conversation with "why?"
While my daughter, one, is trying to crawl over the table to get to his crayons, or tries to get out of her chair because she's done.
You put her done, and you get "not yet".
You put her back on the chair, and she drops a crayon and tells you "get it!"
That's what you get from "just give them a paper and crayons".

However, while my husband was complaining, he also had this warm smile on his face.
Yes, this is why I would rather stay home with the kids even if you get no break, your own time, or eat in the kitchen because it's just easier than sit down and get back up to serve the kids request.
No matter how demanding the kids are, it's just so precious and joyful to watch them grow and get to see every minute of it.

I'm so lucky that I can stay home and share these moments with my kids.
For this, I thank my hard working husband.

Happy almost Father's day!

June 10, 2012

Stripe floral maxi dress

Awhile ago I got some destash fabrics from a lady from www.sewing.patternreview.com.
One of them was white floral stripe. I wanted to make a dress but didn't know what kind... I looked online for inspiration and found this.

I love how the stripes are criss crossed at the bodice.
When I saw the fabric I could only think of using the vertical stripe but I like it horizontal.
I'm thinking about using Butterick B5319.
Just lengthen the hem, and maybe reduce the volume of the skirt.
I have a love and hate relationship with this pattern...
I really love it, but I tackled it when I was a just-starting-to-sew beginner (I didn't even know to press!) and the ones I made all came out wonky.
Now I know a little more, I'm hoping it'll come out a little better.


I started a muslin of 5319.
I looked at my past review of this pattern (how embarrasing!) and noticed that I made size 12 at the time using my measurement.
Now I know that I'm probably 10 in Big 4, I made it in size 10 and it fit me pretty good right off the bat.

One thing to note...
I noticed that this happened in the past as well...
When I match the front pieces at the centerline, the front piece length doesn't match the midriff length.
In the past, I thought it was somehow my mistake, and just cut off the extra length of the midriff piece.
But because the front bodice was too tight this way, I readjusted the matching point.
It turned out that the notches at the bottom of front pieces and the top of the midriff match, and the length matched as well, although it shifted the centerline about 1 inch.
But since it fits, I'll keep it this way, and I have to remember this.
I don't know if it's Butterick's error?
I didn't see anyone mention it in the reviews of this pattern.

Another thing is, the neckline is a little too low for my taste.
I want to raise about 1/2in, but I'm afraid it would just gape open, instead of raising the neckline.
I posted a question on patternreview discussion site.
I hope someone can help me...
Or else I'll just have to wear a cami, but since this dress is already lined, I want to avoid wearing another layer.


So I raised the neckline by 1/2in and shifted the shoulders inward by about 1/2in.
I was advised I might need SBA for the neckline to gape, but SBA seems too complicated and I'm scared of it, so I decided to just see what happens without.
The original shoulders were almost falling off, so I shifted inward ajd it fit much better.

I cut the fabrics according the revised pattern and started sewing...
And bumped into few obstacles that actually happened in the past.

First, because the outside fabric is much lighter than the inner lining, the outer fabric seemed to stretch and shift.
I noticed it when I was pinning it together, the outer fabric was sticking out almost by one inch.
I remembered it happened last time, and that I just cut the extra off and kept going.
But this time, I knew that I cut the fabrics correctly, so I repinned it, by pinning the edges of two pieces together first, and eased the outer fabric to inner lining.

Then when it was ready to turn over, I clipped all the curves... Which is not mentioned in the instruction and I was too much of a beginner to know last time I made it.

So far I just finished the bodice and in the middle of attaching it to the midriff.
I feel like I'm doing it correctly and it seems promising! I'm excited for the result.

Oh, by the way... I DID make a mistake.
I wanted to make this into a maxi, but I accidentally cut the lining piece according to the pattern and ended up with knee length.
I might try to attach a strip of outer fabric undrrneath and see if I can turn it into a tier, but depending on hot it looks, I might have to keep it knee length. Darn. :(
Because I have two kids, I hardly wear knee length nowdays. Too much bending up and down!
I like the maxi length so I don't have to worry about my underwear showing.


Ok, I'm almost done with this dress.
Unfortunately i didn't make it a maxi length as I wanted.
The contrast of the lining sees through the fabric, and it just looks odd.
I just need to make it a below-knee length. (is it called a tea length?)
Plus with this print, if it was long it makes it look a little like a toga, so I think it's better off short.

Overall I do love this dress style.
Just as suggested, I do need an SBA!!! (small bust adjustment)
With normal garments I never do an SBA.
But I guess when it comes to wrap style top, it just gapes open because there's so much fabric around the bust, I should fix it.

SBA seems complicated... Especially on a wrapped top?
But I guess it's time to learn...

June 7, 2012

Burda 4/2012 #110 Jumpsuit

I thought this jumpsuit was really cute when I saw it on Burda 4/2012. I really liked their grey georgette version, but isn't georgette see through?? So I made it in jersey. First let me say that this jersey was sooo nice! It feels smooth and soft to touch, and it was even easy to cut. No shifting around. It's actually reversible... Stripe on one side and solid on the other. So I made the top using the stripe and solid for the pants. I made 36 graded to 40 toward the waist and 36 again for the rest. I'm glad I mad the muslin using sewable tracing paper. For some reason the back top was HUGE. I had to cut off almost half of it!! That was very odd. Alteration. -I added a drawstring to the waist, as my waist changes drastically during the day so it's easier to control with the drawstring on top of the elastic. -I also added straps to make it a halter. Having a one year old, I'm sure she'll be pulling down on my top, and strapless is just dangerous. But I don't like how the straps look... It makes the top band wonky. :( Is it a placement issue? Overall I LOVE this jumpsuit! It's just soooo comfortable, and although it feels like a pajama pants it's stylish enough to wear it outside. I'm not sure if I'd wear it to a store, but I wore it to a park with my kids this morning and it was so comfortable. The only thing is, it's such a hassle to take off everything when I go to the bathroom...