Friday, October 22, 2010

This blog has moved.

Hi all,
I've done some restructuring. You can now find a new and improved version of this blog at
See you there,

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My morning

Wonder why am I so tired (I went to bed at 7). Decide I need to take my B-12 shot. I don’t have any clean syringes. I’ll use an old one that I put in Corey’s diabetic biohazard bin. Get syringe. Put on clean needle. Draw vitamin from vial. Stick into arm. Needle unknowingly slides out of arm fat. Inject contents which then spray all over shirt and bathroom. Stick dirty needle back into vial. Draw more vitamin. Attempt to stick into other arm. Push needle. Won’t go in. Push needle. Won’t go in. Push needle harder. Goes too far (into muscle). Ouch! Pull back out a little. Inject contents. Clean up mess and hope my shirt isn’t stained by the fluorescent pink B-12 liquid. Look guiltily at dog because now there is no time for a walk. Hope that I haven’t contaminated by B-12. Go to work.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Burda 09-2010-122

Here I am vamping it up in my new dress. It's kind of hard to see the details so I played with the contrast on this photo. Hopefully it helps.

Pattern Description:
The much talked about cover dress from the September issue.

Pattern Sizing:
This came in petite sizes, 17-22, which equal regular Burda sizes 37-42. I made the 22 but with adjustments.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, indeed.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Surprisingly they were. The only part that was confusing was attaching the armbands, but I figured it out. The instructions said to sew the ends of the arm bands together, then clean up the edges. However, the edges of the arm bands are perfectly straight. I finally figured out that they meant to clean up the edges of the dress where they arm bands get attached. There were some extra triangular pieces that needed to be removed.

Once they were removed, you pin the arm bands to the arm holes so that the ends of the arm bands extend past the seam. When stitching and you reach the end of the arm hole, you keep stitching just the arm band. Here is a photo showing how the arm band edges extend past the seam. Then you should probably attach the extending pieces to the dress by hand with invisible stitches, but I didn't. I think it looks okay without.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I loved this dress from the moment I saw the preview. As they say on Project Runway, it's sexy without being vulgar.

I dislike that Burda made this a petite pattern.

Fabric Used:
Gorgeous teal heather wool jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics. The fabric is a bit more green than it looks in the swatch. It's more a teal than an aquamarine. It's not too stretchy and sturdy--like a double knit. It was easy to sew.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I should start by saying I made this way harder than I needed to.
Burda issued this as a petite pattern. At 5'7" I am not petite. Standard Burda patterns usually fit me perfectly. Burda says that petite patterns are three inches shorter than standard, so I set about to add the three inches back in a way that didn't disrupt the proportions of the dress. There are five seams on the front of the dress. I added a half inch at each seam, plus a half inch at the hem, making up three inches, and then added the length to the back as well.

After adding a half inch to the topmost front seam, I pinned together my traced pattern and put it onto my dressform. I then made a mark on the back pattern piece even with the topmost front seam.

Then I took the pattern off the dress form, cut the pattern at the mark I just made and added 1/2 inch to the pattern at that point.

Then I repeated this for each of the four other front seams. Here is the back to the pattern with add the additional length added.

I made up a muslin. The placement of the seams across the bust were perfect--one above and one below my...uh...rack. I saw a couple versions of this dress on Burdastyle where both seams were above or across the bust instead of, well, framing it. The waist was a bit too low on the muslin, so I brought it up an inch so the curved seams hit me where they do the model in the magazine.

Even though I usually wear Burda size 44 and this was essentially a 42, I needed to make both of the side seam allowances 1.25 inches to get the right fit, so it seems like there is some ease built in.

I also widened the arm bands from 4.75 to 5 inches and interfaced them. I didn't want them too floppy. I think they could even be stiffer.

Because there is no center back seam, I couldn't really my usual swayback adjustment so there is some fabric pooling at the back, but it's not terrible.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
This is pretty distinctive so I probably won't make it again. My advice to those other non-petite ladies who haven't made this yet because of the petite sizing - add a half inch to the seams above and below the bust and leave the rest alone. Be sure to add the length to the back side too.

Love, love, love this dress. It was actually quite easy to sew. The curved pieces go together easily. I feel like a bad-ass in it.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Trouble Puppet Show (Local Austin)

I went and saw the Trouble Puppet Show's production of Frankenstein last night. As Suzy Snakeyes would say...Amazeballs! I would be sending everyone I know to see it, except that it was the closing night of the show.

The puppets were amazing, the acting outstanding, the accents realistic and the content both dark, smart and funny as hell. They will be doing The Jungle next. From what I hear, it's terribly depressing, which is a bummer (ha!). But they did comedy so very well, I'll still go see how they do tragedy, despite the fact that I don't like my entertainment depressing.

All images from Trouble Puppet.