Finished: Stylish Cat Lady Blouse and X-mas Deer Blouse (Burda 6909)

Burda 6909 with lots of alterations:

Among which: underbust shaping; horizontal dart at the waist; arm hole; sleeve; a lot less curve at the back princess seams and a shorter shoulder seam.

One of the things I left alone was the collar. Burda 6909 has an attached collar. I don’t understand it though. I haven’t figured out how to sew it neatly.
Must be my lack of experience again.

The instructions on the Burda leaflet were not enough for me, even though there are pictures. I did exactly what was prescribed, my sewing looked exactly like the pictures. Still the blouse looks wonky at the right angle the shoulder seam makes with the collar. Both blouses, on all four shoulders.

Next time I want a conventional collar. One you attach. One with four pieces.

By the way, I didn’t use fusing to strengthen the collar, I gave it an extra layer of fabric. It just sits between the outer fabric. I love collars, making them all neat. Turning them, pressing them, topstitching them.

That’s why I’d really like a nice collar stand and collar attachment to my blouses/dress shirt.

At the front the pattern has a long facing, running all the way up to and including the attached collar. After completing the blouse I sewed the facing to the inside of the horizontal dart to keep it into place:

I take it that on the original pattern, with button holes, it doesn’t flap.  I used a zipper because I’m sewing on an antique foot treadle machine that only has a running stitch and I don’t feel like making x button holes by hand.

On the X-mas Deer Blouse I was so focused on getting the zipper done right, and I figured it had to be done at a different stage of the sewing, way before sewing the side seams, that I forgot to put in the dart in the front panels.

So at this blouse the facing flaps around and annoys. Nice blouse though. The zipper looks great! Totally level on both panels, really nice overlap. This is the best zip tutorial I know. It’s for a lapped zipper but it shows very clearly the steps in any zipper sewing. Thank you ScruffyBadger!:

I still need to do the hem on this one. And it has some minor faults in the sewing. But I’m not correcting these, this is a fun blouse, to be worn when feeling carefree and enjoying some winter company.

One of the sleeves has been put in annoyingly bad. I may be taking it out and resew it…

But for now I’m really happy with the zipper, the shaping, the upper back, the topstitching, the top part of the collar and the fabric.

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Green skirt in progress: misunderstandings

I marked out where the zipper was going to end. I’ve determined the waist band will be 3 cm wide, just over an inch. This is how it will sit and where I’ll stop sewing at the bottom.
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Following Corinne Leigh’s tutorial at youtube Craftovision channel about sewing an invisible zipper. I did fine. Put it in:

Sewed shut the side seam. Noticed error.

Clearly I had not understood the tutorial well. The white “lips” of the zipper are peaking out from the seam.

Here’s where I did something wrong. Corinne says to start sewing the side seam as close as you can to the point where you stopped sewing the zipper. I must have misunderstood where that’s supposed to be exactly.

I took out a bit and tried how it was supposed to look before I sewed it like this:

Much better!

But now I had been a tad enthousiastic and sewn a bit more higher up than supposed to. The zipper will boink into the stitching and not into the zipper stop at the bottom of the zipper. It’s only a question of 1 mm but still enough to harass that stitching, especially that one lone stitch:

It needed some fortification. I took the left over thread after I snipped it after sewing and thread it through a needle and whipped it through a couple of times. Only through the white zipper fabric, not the green fashion fabric.
It’s a zipper stop of some sorts. Just enough to fortify that lone stitch at the picture above.

Here you see it from the inside:

Next. After fitting I saw that the fit was good. So I pressed open the seams.
No need to finish them, they are already finished.
The first side seam shows I’m still getting used at working with broad (= 1/2″) seam allowance. Here I was squeemish:

At the other seam I had grown bolder:

Next: the darts.
My projected darts would work fine: both front and back would have two darts, each 3″ from the centerline.
Front darts would each have 1/2″ in width and 2″ in length.
Back darts would have 3/4″ width each and 4 1/2″ in length.

I located them, drew them, pinned them, sewed them.
Then this.

The silk had not stayed close to the fabric. Not at the point of the dart.
I tried the skirt on and though the width is ok, the darts end in ugly puckers now that the actual fashion fabric doesn’t receive the start of the dart in a smooth curved angle.
So these have to come out.
And I used a tiny stitch width to make for extra nice looking darts…

Wearing a skirt with pockets.

It worked! I now have a skirt with pockets.
Front:
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Back:
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In real life it’s more straight, I’m standing weird twice to take these pictures (and I may have cut the lower ends of the side seams a bit too flaring…)
Also: I did not press the skirt yet. I wanted to show it in all its natural behaviour.

Indeed, no extra wearing ease is needed when using the widest circumference in the method of Marina von Koening.
The darts work like magic. The fit of this dress is very good!

Look at how long those darts are in the back!
I cut the hem a bit round.
Pockets are neatly tucked away in the side seam.
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Excuse the laundry in the back…

The front (and more laundry). With short darts.
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Again the hem is cut a bit round. Next skirt I’ll cut the waist a bit round too.
In this one I thought I had to raise the back a bit because of the small of my back. You can see the difference between the front and the back panel.
In wearing I see this was not neccessary.

Pockets!
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The darts did all the shaping.
They are very short in the front, just 6 cm (2,3 inch). Because I have a belly.
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The darts is the back are very long! More than 20 cm. (8 inch!)
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Two darts I put in before putting bias band at the top. Then I found out I needed more. I just put in two more darts without altering the bias band. I’m practical. In a next skirt I’ll do all the darts first and then finish the waist band. I’ll even do a facing!

On the left -in above picture- you see the side seam coming in.
The front panel has less width than the back panel. Because I have buttocks.
But at the waist the front panel and the back panel have equal width.

When wearing the side seam is perfectly vertical.
Or perhaps not… but look at that fit!
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I thought the sideseam hung straight when I looked in the mirror. I may not stand straight in this picture. Or the seam might not be straight at all, after all it is weird to have the back panel wider than the front. Will check again.

goes to mirror

takes a picture

doesn’t alter it in any way, showing shamelessly the mess in “the wool room” and the ear muffles I wear most days and my handknit sweater.

And a straight side seam:
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I’m sure this mystery will be solved in the future.

Also: see how low those pockets are. I’m on a learning curve, I am.

I still have to finish the ending of the zipper. Really, I had no idea what I was doing when I put it in without a seam. Still don’t.
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Here are some other things I’ll do different next time:
– curve the waist band a bit
– no need to make the back higher
– a zipper without a seam needs a bit more planning than just slash & sew. Here are some good answers.. Ooh, here’s a good one too! With reenforcement in the back.
– make my own biasband. Found a lovely tutorial for people without a bias band maker tool.

I’ve already cut fabric for the next one. It includes a waist band facing. oooh, fancy
I found some nice tutorials how to put it in and get a nice finish at the top.
Tomorrow I’ll go to town to get a zipper (and bias band). And perhaps some more fabric for a next skirt? I dug through my stash today but there wasn’t really much fun fabric for a skirt. The good fabrics are all for dresses.
Really, I should just throw out all the fabric that will never make me happy… It would clear up at least 3 curver boxes.

Doing this skirt, I learned some new words that will help me in the future:
“exposed zipper”, I do not seem to mind them.
“in seam pocket”, I love those! I like them invisible too, with different fabric on the inside, like a little inside giggle.

One more illustration of my learning curve: the first run at the hem I thought I’d be smart, I’d stretch the fabric because it had to go round. Logic.
The result:
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Not smart at all. I took out the seam and redid it, very gently and not pulling at all. Now the hem is straight. Albeit a bit flared at the side seams.

All in all a good practice skirt and I will wear it. It is in sturdy canvas and I enjoy that fabric very much when working here in the woods. Still have to fix the end of the zipper though.