Archive for the 'Sewing Ideas' Category

Bishop Dress

March 30, 2013

A dress for Sonia.


I’ve taken inspiration from the Romanian folks wear, the traditional stitches and colors found on blouses.


The pattern is a little smoked dress, also known as a bishop dress.

I debated doing the hand embroidery and smocking…vs machine made…this time, the machine won.

For anyone with a great embroidery machine, here are some more designs I wanted to try…could no longer launch my Windows virtual machines, where the PED Basic was installed…oh well will have to re-do it one day.

Pattern: Burda

Fabric: white poplin

Fabric stabilizer: starch spray

Thread: regular sewing thread for the embroidery, no shiny stuff

IMG_0607 IMG_0605  IMG_0600 IMG_0604 IMG_0603



May 18, 2011

Silk and wool keep you cool. They are all natural fibers, renewable, fast drying, moisture wicking. I enjoy sewing and wearing silk for summer, nothing compares to it, feels so airy and almost naked like. People worry about washing it, or are afraid of it thinking that it can only be dry cleaned. I prewash my fabric before cutting, so it handles great even after it is sewn together, a quick hand wash with hand soap and line dry does the trick. It is amazing how fast it dries. A great source for silk is online at the fashion fabrics club, really good deals.

Fabric: hammered silk charmeuse

Pattern: Burda 06/2009 model 123 with the 122 sleeves and no frills.

The blouse in the magazine has some great sewn beads around the collar and along the frills, but I could not get the frills to be as delicate. The pom poms are made out of fabric strips, wrapped around two round pieces of cardboard with a hole in the center, then cut in between the cardboard pieces and tied together through the center. I’m not going to write another tutorial for this, there are plenty online. Here is my favorite: Awesome blog by the way, the techknitting.

This magazine does have some other great patterns that I keep on my list of things to sew, like the 128 dress

the 102 top that I have sewn and love, that would look just as good as the 101 dress.

108 is also pretty nice as a top or a dress and I just have to match it with the right fabric.

113 is also on the list from a jersey I got a while back in Israel.

Plus, it has a shirt dress, from the cover and many great plus sizes patterns. Great Issue!

Do you sew from “old” magazines? I think Burda patterns are too classic to go out of style and use old issues all the time.

Green Fleece

November 14, 2010

Green Fleece, originally uploaded by fmirela.

Fabric: Polartec PowerDry found at fashion fabrics club
Pattern: Burda 12/1997 – modified from a Dress, kept the top part, removed the darts added the zipper.

Photo taken on anniversary trip to Zion National Park.

Dance for Rain

November 14, 2010

Dance for Rain, originally uploaded by fmirela.

UV protective synthetic fabric. Really keeps me cool ;)

Pattern: Burda WOF Magazine 08/2007. Love it!

I used pearl snaps on this one.

Weather Proof Jacket

November 14, 2010

Hoodie, originally uploaded by fmirela.

I had this fabric for more than a year. I started work on this at about the same time…just finished before an anniversary trip to Zion National Park this October.
Some would think of this one as a softshell…I think the fabric is rather stiff.

The fabric from Rocky woods mentioned in a previous post.
Gore® Soft Shell with microfleece liner – Grey
Water repellent, smooth woven face
Waterproof Gore-Tex membrane
Microfleece back
No stretch
I glued the stitches with Seam Grip to weather proof the little holes my sewing needle makes in the goretex membrane.

I used the reflective zippers and sewn zipped pockets, takes some time, but it is actually easier then it “seams”.

Finally happy with the coat and the fact that I got to see some colder weather and wear it.

Outdoors fabrics

August 5, 2010

My order from fashion fabrics club just arrived! Amazing fabrics from Patagonia!

Polartec PowerDry

Wool Jersey

This is just the softest light weight jersey ever.

These would make great hiking gear, but i can now envision a wool jersey dress too…I have never sewn with this kind of fabric, always thinking it will be itchy and too warm…

Hopefully I get to sew at least a blouse this weekend, before vacation.

Where do you get outdoor fabrics and what kind?

What is it?!

August 4, 2010

Hem, originally uploaded by fmirela.

It is my coat, or bits of my coat for the BurdaStyle Book. I hope I’m not showing too much, just the details of the stitching that went into it in 5 days. Actually a day and 4 evenings.

Back vent and hem details
Back vent and hem details

Lining Pleat detail
Lining Pleat detail

Hanger chain
Hanger chain

Hem facing

I did read a lot before sewing this coat, I posted some of the links already, but just to keep it next to the photo so I’ll know what to do next time.

Nameless tutorial 2 shows how the hem facing is done:

Have a look at Tany’s lining next to back facing and hem facing and lining.

Back vent and hem – should have sewn the hem by hand a little looser, I think I can see the sewing from the right side…
Back vent - right side
Piping and snaps
lining piping

Piping and Snaps

I made the piping myself and it is one quick and easy project:

Belt – I have to admit I’m not proud of this one…meaning, I would have liked to find some cool belt bucket or do some leather macrame, something special…oh well..

Belt Look

Sleeves in this pattern were too short for me, problem solved thanks to the cuffs:
Sleeve cuff

Puffy sleeves:
Puffy Sleeve
Note to self: Leave a lot more hem allowance on the sleeves! Lot: like 15 cm more. When I added the shoulders, the sleeves got shorted with the thickness of the shoulder…Lucky my design called for cuffs, lucky I made them big.

All about sleeve-heads:

All about shoulder pads:

After all, I ended up buying mine, time was of the essence.

Hope there images do not give away too much and the design will still be saved for the book!

Next coat

July 22, 2010

I really like how the BurdaStyle book coat ended up. It has a somewhat military trench coat feel.

It was finished last Friday and I’ll get another chance to see it again on Monday before it is off for 18 months at BurdaStyle.

I don’t think I’m allowed to post pictures of the finished product or the sketches, so you will have to wait for the Book and it is a long wait till fall 2011. I totally think it will be worth the wait. Designers working on these projects are from 15 different countries and I’m sure every creation will be very unique. Plus the book will give everyone the opportunity to alter the patterns and recreate the designs.

I have learned/remembered a lot about sewing coats. Next time I will do all the couture touches, like in the Vogue book and next coats will be a little bit more feminine.

Armani put out an extraordinary wearable collection for fall 2010, and a lot of the colors are muted beige and creamy colors, but the cut is everything.

The latest Vogue Magazine has a page describing Beige as not being so boring when paired up with leopard print or bold colors like Red, Green or Purple (not all at once).

Who else is sewing for the book?






Angela Atkin:





Julietta :












Did I miss someone? I’d like to hear who else is sewing for the book.

My Coat

July 16, 2010

Is sewn!

All I need is to add snaps and sew on the belt loops.

I realized last night that the snap fastener I have does not match the snaps I got, so this means another trip to the store.

I also need some buttonhole thread for the belt loops, I do not have the right color.

I also want to get some trim for the belt, at least where the loops were sewn in place, to cover the seam. With the visible seam it looks very amateurish.

I’ll take some pictures of it tonight.

More sewing

July 15, 2010

I have made a lot of progress yesterday on the coat, or today, cause I did stay till after 1AM.

Note to self: stop sewing so late and in a hurry… I caught my finger in the sewing machine!

I love my Brother sewing machine, but it has a defect by design. I would call that a bug, others would say it is a feature. It is programmed to stop with the needle always in a preset position: either up or down. So, no matter if I take my foot of the power pedal, the machine has a mind of its own and takes one more step, to bring that needle in the preset position. After years and years of sewing on normal machines, I still can’t get over this issue. So late, last night as I was attaching the sleeve with the lining, in a tight circle, and by machine, with the rest of the coat on my left side, creeping into the seam, as I was trying to pull out the unwanted fabric from underneath the teeth of my Brother, bang! My finger gets caught by the screw on the right side of the needle, lifted up and pressed under the machine body. Believe me, there is no room for a finger up there… It is not that bad, just a scratch and feels like someone closed the door on it. Now I know how powerful my Brother is. Funny how they designed it with all the sensors that notify you that you are running out of thread and you forgot to move something, pull a level or lower presser foot…but it doesn’t stop when a finger gets stuck. I also noticed something even more scarier about it, I hope I never get to experience that “first finger”. When you go over some very thick fabric it cannot penetrate, it tries again and again, very rapidly punching the needle downwards…what if that is was finger???? Then either the needle breaks or it stop saying some silly error message, like the protection mechanism kicked in…right.

Wish I did a muslin first.

Note to self: lengthen the bodice! you have a long torso. The pattern is designed for a 168cm high woman, I’m 171, so I figured the difference is no that big, it should work. But my torso is toooo long: now the waist line is uncomfortably high. It does not look bad, just feels weird tying a belt around my ribs.

Note to self: Leave a lot more hem allowance on the sleeves! Lot: like 15 cm more. When I added the shoulders, the sleeves got shorted with the thickness of the shoulder…Lucky my design called for cuffs, lucky I made them big.

All this agony for putting the cuffs on the sleeves, the sleeve header and shoulders, the lining with the piping…now all is left is the hem, finishing the front sides and snaps!

It looks pretty good, but I don’t know how to finish the hem line and the front sides in the center. Normally I either do a topstitch or just iron it, but this time it seems that ironing will not work, since it doesn’t lay with a smooth edge. Since the corners are round, how far do I topstitch? Could I go all the way around to the back vent? or just down till the curved edge? Any clues?


Oh, and here are the links I studies yesterday to help with the process:

Have a look at Tany’s lining next to back facing and hem facing and lining.

Nameless tutorial 2 shows how the hem facing is done:

All about sleeve-heads:

Now here I’m not sure I did it right, because the sleeves are so puffy. Another Note to self: no more puffy sleeve heads! I don’t like them and I find them hard to sew.

All about shoulder pads:

After all, I ended up buying mine, time is of the essence.

Tonight I will try to put a snap in.


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