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Category Archives: Couture Sewing Techniques

Burda Faux Peplum Jacket – Construction Notes – Magazine 2006/08/128

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I am making up a tailored jacket from the August 2006 Burda Magazine. I found the Russian site has the archives for 8/2006 here I am making pattern number 128

This is the jacket:


I flat-pattern measured and cut a generous size 48 in this Plus Sized pattern. I’ve sewn up the shell and on me it looks exactly like how it looks on the model, with fullness above the waist and the hip skimming flat peplum.

It’s a boxy jacket with one button closing at the waist and rather broad, padded shoulders. Burda calls it a “Faux” peplum, maybe because the peplum does not have much ease. My body shape from the back side does not want or need much of a peplum so this jacket style is attractive to me.

Burda 2006/08 #128 Line Drawing

The Burda pattern has no interfacing nor lining instructions or pieces so I zipped along on my prior experience and research in jacket making, fusing in my favorite weft interfacing (Pro-Weft Supreme Medium Weight) on all pieces and adding Fashion Sewing Supply’s old fusible tailors canvas on top of that in the peplum, fronts, across the back shoulders, lapels and collar stand. I look forward to trying out the new 68″ wide version that is pre-steamed

Yes, the owner is a dear friend but I am endorsing her products because they are the best I’ve ever used. And, no, she is not paying me to say sing these high praises 🙂

I am also taping the edges and roll line with straight fusible tape but haven’t finished that part as of this writing (you’ll see why if you read all the way down this post).

Back Shoulder Stay and Tape

Armscye canvas applied

Armscyle canvas

I sewed up the under collar dart in the front facing. In my classic sample the dart is on the front, not in the front facing, like it is in the Burda pattern:

Dart sewn in under collar
Classically Stitched Dart

Should that have been my first clue? Maybe! But I skimmed along, hoping that one day I would be through with all the fusing, my least favorite part of jacket making.

Dart Sewn

I took apart and used the hand stitched sample jacket I made in 2009 when attending Claire Shaeffer’s Couture Tailoring workshop as a reminder of how things should be done.

Hand Stitched front interior
Hand Stitched Front

Hand padded lapel
Hand Stitched Lapel

Roll line is drawn up one half inch for my DD sized front. This stay is also called a “Bridle”

Roll Line Drawn up Half inch

I moved most of the fullness of the roll line to the bust area of the front facing and the fusing went well. Yes, all that fullness eased in just beautifully!

Roll Line

and put in a perfect roll for the lapel!

Wrong Way Roll!

What? Wait!!! It’s rolling the Wrong Way! So I have to soften the fusing and roll it the other way. Eeesch. Fortunately I am using a premium product and rectification is possible so I steamed and pressed over my store bought roll. I still can’t find my ham. Moving from an 1100 square foot house into a room that’s 10 x12 foot is really tricky! Anyway here’s the two front facings meeting their rectification:


and This is the collar detail:


Do you see that there is no “Gorge Line?” The gorge line is where the collar and lapel meet and are sewn into one unit.

42 (Enlarged)_e

But this detail is missing: the collar is not sewn to the lapel but lies separately. Do you see it???

Yup. That’s a detail I really liked for my plain woven stretch wool fabric and late last night I finally turned to the Burda instructions and found that that collar is sewn into the dart.

Ah ha! Ok, back to the seam ripper. I hope I’ll have a completed jacket to show you in the near future, the good Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise.


LaFred Patterns

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Fred Bloebaum’s patterns can now be found at .  At the moment the patterns are available at a slight discount.

Like so many people I know these days, Fred is wagging an intense war against cancer with the help and support of a large circle of friends, family and medical practitioners and has closed her businesses.  It must feel good to her to have this pressure off her plate.  I met her once at a sewing conference and found her to be intensely devoted to helping her customers.  She’s a sweet lady and I am glad she was/is a part of my sewing life.

I have made up the Iris skirt and love the angled pockets and drape of the slight A-line.  I didn’t review it anywhere but it was a staple of my skirt wardrobe done in linen and linen/rayon mix.

Iris Skirt

I also have made only one iteration of the Helena Dress and still wear it.  Made in a stretchy, drapey matte jersey, it fit well through all my weight fluctuations. My PR review is HERE and I point you to it since it details all the adjustments I made to fit the pattern to my shape after incorporating the fitting information from the 4 other reviews.

There are lots of reviews of LaFred patterns at PR.  Just go to the advanced search function and point to LaFred to see them all.

Hmmmm, I know I have the Athena Blouse pattern, I wonder if I ever got around to ordering the Athena II?  I don’t see it at so maybe it’s too late!  I will have to check the file cabinet…far too many patterns…far too little time.

There are a few other LaFred patterns in my totally huge stash that deserve exploration: the Daphne Pant, the Europa Blouse, the Maia Jacket.  Her instructions are really good and each pattern has an interesting sewing challenge.  Just a few style changes can bring the basic shapes up to date.

Do you have any favorites?

My Favorite Waistband Is None at All!

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Almost finished today is a satin wool skirt from my self drafted straight skirt pattern. It needs the lining hand-stitched to the zipper, and a good pressing but before all that I wanted to show you my favorite way to produce a no-waistband skirt with a back zipper.


You all know this technique, right? You use heat and steam to stretch one edge of the rayon millinery petersham so that it will fit over the flare of the hip. The un-stretched edge lies against the waist. The zipper pull is not lying flat in the photo…sigh.

Close up

I used petersham on my Prada Knock Off lace skirt (see part one and part two for background on that project) with the ribbon next to the body because the lining would be visible through the lace and use the snap to tighten the ribbon enough to avoid any pull on the top of the zipper when it is closed


The ribbon keeps the skirt from moving around and getting skewed on the waist


but on this skirt I wanted the silk and cotton lining to cover the petersham


I’ll hand stitch all the threads and ravel-y stuff from trimming the plastic teeth off the zipper tape until they are tucked nice and neat inside


I stitched the top edge of the petersham to the seam allowances and lining


and tacked it down to the lining by stitching in the ditch along the darts and seams.


Rather than add even more thread to the waist by under-stitching I tried something new to me. I used Fashion Sewing Supply’s fabulous Pro Weft fusible to hold the waist seam allowances and top of the zipper tape tightly against the ribbon. I don’t think I’ve ever heard about this method before so I don’t know if it’s a good idea or not.


So now I can finish the hand stitching, give it a good pressing and move on to making up a sleeveless top and jacket from the Edith Head pattern. I only had a 1.5 yard piece of this wool so I have to decide on the fabric for the rest of the outfit.

Historical Aside:

I heard on the radio today that Babe Ruth, the Sultan of Swat, was trained primarily as a tailor and shirt maker and played baseball on the side. Due to his early training in the art we love he became a very refined dresser.

It’s About Time

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I have been thinking about this post for the past month. I miss what used to be a big part of my life: sewing and then sharing. So it’s time to break the silence.

These days it’s all about Patch

Patch on March 20, 2010

As soon as I scraped myself off the ceiling about the sudden death in my family, Patch entered what looked to be time for more surgery to remove his latest crop of tummy tumors.

But there are too many tumors to do surgery. So we did chemo to shrink them. And found the cancer had spread to his lungs and possibly his brain. He’s had some strokes or brain malfunctions and ends up with problems like missing the door by a foot and a half or loses some abilities like walking or hearing or seeing. Right now he’s not able to keep anything down.

But still Patch has good days and bad days.

So he’s resting except for bathroom and sick breaks if I’m lucky enough to catch him in time. Everything changes all the time and I’m on a dog watch and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning.

In between I have been slowly working on a bodice and skirt sloper following the techniques given in the book The European Cut by Elizabeth Allemong.

I have made mistake after mistake: taking my measurements wrong (especially in getting a waistline that isn’t level), putting on weight and taking it off, misreading the directions, inaccurate drafting measurements, and for the life of me cannot get 2 photos of the same muslin that reveal the same “problems”!!! This is ridiculous. I’m made slopers that fit before and drafted (and draped) my own patterns. My focus is elsewhere.

All I wanted was a solid sloper on which to base alterations to the Edith Head pattern, Advance 9291.

1950-1960 Edith Head pattern

I’m in a sloper slump, something I’m sure others have suffered through and survived, and I will pull out of this as soon as the weather warms with Spring.

I am absolutely am not going to cut short this dog’s life to get the freedom I think I want. He’s as much a part of the Whole of Life as I am and he cannot be slighted any chance to live it. My needs can wait for the time being. I know he appreciates having a real home in the meantime. Dying alone will not be in his future.

And I hope to be back to producing sewn garments soon with Patch sleeping by the clear glass door in the sewing room and next to his buddy, Gaely GoLightly.

Raglan Lining: Notes

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The following notes were made as I researched the creation of a lining for the Orange Plaid Coat. They are not intended to be exhaustive of the subject and will be best understood if you are in the midst of hand drafting a raglan coat lining. This is not a Tutorial.

I spent more time making and fitting the lining than I did making the coat. I had to piece in extra lining fabric at the top of the sleeve/neck facing area where raveling had depleted the 1/4″ seam allowance. Careful matching and basting of all the seams is how I discovered why and where the lining pulled. Lining must not pull in any area of the garment.

The lining is made with 1/2 to 1″ extra ease vertically from the vent up to the join with the back neck facing. Horizontally extra ease is added at the side seams as well. I added extra length to the front lining which I caught up into a dart, cross stitched at the underarm and at the front edge where the lining joins the front facing, the extra east allowed to open in the middle.

Cut lining using the fashion fabric pattern, making allowances for the desired depth of the back center pleat in the lining and 1/4″ seam allowances at the front and back facings. Cut at least 1/2″ extra length above the back center vent and at the side seams and width in the front and back.

Fitting the lining into the coat:

First fit and pin the shoulder pads to the fashion fabric. Machine stitch the sleeves seams together and insert them into the body of the lining.

In raglan sleeved styles the sleeves must be installed into the lining first, unlike set in sleeve style where the sleeves are inserted by hand stitching after the lining is fitted into the body of the garment.

Place the lining into the coat turned face down on a flat surface. Smooth the lining across the back neckline, folding out and basting the center back pleat and across the shoulders, matching the seam lines at the back facing and at the armscye.

Hand stitch the sleeve allowance to coat seam allowance at under arm seam. Leave space at the lower end, the sleeve hem, for stitching the lining to the fashion fabric by machine at sleeve hem as you would when “bagging a lining”

Anchor shoulder pads through both the fashion fabric and the lining by basting in the seam allowances of everything including the shoulder pads. Baste loosely to avoid compressing the pads but make sure they are held in place.

Straighten the grain of lining at shoulders across the back of the coat, pin or baste, adding ease in lining where possible

Pin or baste neck edges, in a downward direction throughout the back, across the shoulders and down the front

Smooth down mid seam and side seams, check hem level against coat hem, mark and machine stitch double folded hem into lining, making sure it is evenly 3/4″ shorter than the garment.

Hand stitch front facing to coat front with loose stitches

Leaving ease at vent beginning of vent, join to coat at vent edges by hand stitches

On the issue of whether to hand stitch the sleeves into the coat or to machine stitch, stretch in either methods has proved in this test to be the same:

Orange Plaid Coat: Marfy 1877 Forties Adventure

More bad weather coming so here’s the coat, just a bit shy of finished:

Orange Plaid Coat from the Back

This pattern is a 40’ish style with raglan sleeves and flare at the vented back center seam and side seams, (my hands in the pockets are pulling the side seam forward), bracelet length sleeves with turned up cuff and patch pockets

Side Showing the Swing

It’s straight sided when viewed from the front

40's Style Front View

front darts at the shoulder, folded to the outside of the coat and top stitched,

Dearts on the exterior of the coat with top stitching

and a modified standing collar,

Modified Standing Collar

And lots of top stitching

Saddle stitching

I had to draft the lining and the back neck facing. I added a rat tail piping at the lining/front facing join but it seemed so small and inconsequential that I added a bigger and much fatter half-inch piping next to the first piping.

Interior Piping and Lining

The lining still needs 2 details to be declared Finished!!!: First the hem needs to be attached via French tacks to the coat hem

Bust Ease Darts or Folds

And the front ease tucks need to be cross stitched down.

The main question about this coat is whether or not my vent lining technique will cause pulling. So far, the answer is no, there’s no pulling.

Interior Back

But I’ll have to wear it a while to test it in action

On and Off, Testing in Motion

My next post will be some of the things I’ve learned in my research on adding a lining to a raglan coat. It’s been quite an adventure to discover a new-to-me vent technique using my older tailoring books.

More construction details to come and some explanation of fitting a lining by hand.

Less-Stress Lining Technique in Pictures

Words have not been my friend lately. My goal was to avoid the stress of inner or outer corners in my coat lining. But, for the life of me, I couldn’t describe what I wanted or why.

I’ll try to do the Less-Stress lining in photos. My camera has finally come home just in the nick of time!

Here was the Gertrude Strickland starting point:

Strickland Fold moved over, underlap is minimal

My ending point was with the fold of the lining ease on a diagonal up to the center of the neckline facing:

Blue line is center back, Red dash shows the fold will be on the diagonal from edge to top of vent opening

Here’s WHY a diagonal:

000_1474 copy

Usual Fold for Lining

With the Strickland style the lining is folded over the meeting point of the under and over lap

Close up of Under Lap Point copy

and stitched to the vents so they meet folded edge to folded edge when lyin gflat

Folds will be stitched to vent edges

so there is no cut on vent

Lining Fold To Avoid Cut On

If the fold line goes straight up

Lining Fold To Avoid Cut On

the lining fold does not hit at center back

Neckline Offset copy

unless the lining ease is set on the diagonal.

Blue line is center back, Red dash shows the fold will be on the diagonal from edge to top of vent opening

That’s why.

It is the simplest, fastest vent lining I’ve ever done, once I could Just Do It.

I just can’t talk about it.