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BurdaStyle Summer Sewing Contest: I’m in the Top 10!

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I’m so excited to have made the top 10 finalists selected by BurdaStyle’s judges. Now the winner is selected by votes over the next few days. Please vote for my Retro Rocker Playsuit (based on adaptations of 2 BurdaStyle designs) here – my user name is darkhorse and it’s the blue striped and black playsuit:

http://www.burdastyle.com/blog/summer-sewing-challenge-finalists-vote-for-your-favorite-submission#read-on

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x Rena

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Rockin’ Retro Romper – BurdaStyle Variation Playsuit

My finished romper playsuit.

Here’s my entry for the BurdaStyle ‘Summer Sewing Challenge’ – I’m calling it the ‘Retro Rocker Tonia Playsuit with Cut Out Bustline’. The romper is a bit big for my mannequin, but I’m camera shy, so please forgive me.

The front of the romper in all its glory.

I have had visions of retro style playsuits dancing in my head for ages. When I saw the challenge, I thought it was time to step it up as a self-taught sewist – more than anything, to challenge myself and the limits of my poor sewing machine (did she ever yell, whew!). This has been the most advanced project I’ve ever dared take on. Suffice it to say there’s been blood, sweat and tears poured into this project that’s obsessed me – with no small amount of heart!

BurdaStyle’s full skirted dress with cut out bustline.

BurdaStyle’s Tonia shorts.

I fell in love with the retro style dress on BurdaStyle with the cut-out bustline, and I knew that had to be the base for the bodice. I’ve also been coveting the Tonia shorts for a long time. I decided to put them together for a custom playsuit romper based on these two patterns as a true variation and did some sketching. The playsuit prep involved some pattern grading (up) and pattern adjustments to unify the two patterns – and to the right size. I also wanted the romper to have some real edge so I added black shorts for contrast with black piping and a black external zipper, along with lavender and blue striped shirting fabric.

My playsuit sketch based on the two patterns.

The playsuit is fully lined and I used fuchsia Hong Kong seam finishes to keep that rock and roll feel going. I added extra pleats at the front of the shorts and an extra pair of darts on the reverse of the sorts. I eliminated the fly due to the rear zip. I added the striped shirting to the hip yoke for fun and also the shorts cuff.

My striped fabric rose pin.

I also made a fabric flower pin that I think looks great with this playsuit! I might be addicted – I want to make a 4-5 gore wrap skirt to go with this based on the cut out bustline pattern. I’ll be sure to post it when I get to it – what retro style playsuit wouldn’t look awesome with a cover-up wrap skirt?

And FYI here’s my BurdaStyle page on the project.

Exposed zipper on the playsuit.

Happy summer romping!

x Rena

PS – If you want to see more pics or have any questions, just leave a comment!

Bomber Jacket Update: Who Needs Two Sleeves Anyway?

My bomber jacket in progress. No need to correct your screen: there is only one sleeve.

I’ve ambitiously taken on a sewing project to sew myself a lightweight spring / summer bomber jacket. If you’re following my blog, you may have heard already about this escapade. You can read about the project launch here if you’re curious and reading this blog for the first time!

As already stated, I’m an intermediate level sewer at best. And jackets turn out to be tricky, especially when making modifications. It’s the first time I’ve ever tackled a sewing project of this scale. I used this Burdastyle pattern as my base. As an aside, any fur you may or may not see in the following pictures is courtesy of my cat Ben, who kindly slept on my project.

Zipper goes up.

Zipper goes down.

I had to face my zipper fear early on in the project to make the pockets. And thanks to the helpful tutorial I found (and linked to in my other post about the project), I would say it went fairly well overall with minimal trauma. I also decided to change the jacket from asymmetrical to symmetrical since it was a better fit for me. I’m making size 44 which is the maximum size available on the pattern. So yes, count them – that’s three entire zippers! Not bad for someone with a zipper phobia. I think the pockets make the jacket so far and make it feel more bomber-ish.

Hood goes up.

Hood goes down.

There’s lots of shaping, darts and top-stitching on this jacket, which has kept me busy. I also attached a hood, my other major modification. I like the hood, although I’m not entirely sure about the attaching part. I might need to revisit this.

And, amusingly, I’ve only attached one sleeve so far. I will get to attaching the second sleeve. I do have two arms after all. Doing the set-in sleeve business does take a bit of patience and wrangling. It’s very easy to pucker the fabric during the seam sewing for the sleeve, I discovered, so there were a couple of fixes. I did try on the one attached sleeve and it’s a tight fit for my bicep. Must be those muscles, ha. In hindsight, I probably I could have used a larger size, which the pattern unfortunately didn’t have.

Nice hood. Now about that other sleeve…

What’s left? The other sleeve, obviously. And the fun pink polka dot lining too. I’m debating whether to change the cuff closure as well, from a button called for in the pattern to a zipper for a more bomber look. Yes, I also have a fear of making buttonholes! But I can face that down if need be. What do you think?

x Rena

PS –  After this, I think my next project will be a sleeveless dress, ha!