Wordless Wednesday

 

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#burdachallenge2018 January Round up

Welcome to the first of many #burdachallenge2018 round up posts! Each month I will be posting a digest where hopefully you can get amazing sewing inspiration and ideas. Allons-y!
Chris reposted a very useful post about tracing BurdaStyle patterns here: #Burdachallenge 2018: Tracing patterns – a piece of cake!

It is quite interesting to see how she does it as it is different to how I trace. Given that she is a pro at using BurdaStyle I am going to be trying out her method and will let you know how I get on. How do you trace your BurdaStyle patterns? Let me know in the comments down below.

This is how I have been tracing in this video I made last year: Beginners Guide to Using BurdaStyle Patterns.

Anne who blogs at The Compulsive Seamstress sewed up lovely tops: Red Monday & When a Door Closes, Open a Window! & The Burda Challenge 2018

Diane  (Dream.Cut.Sew) has made some beautiful garments – a skirt and a top: Modified Burda Style Cosy Winter Skirt

Eleanor (NelNanandNora.wordpress.com) sewed up a yoga top from the January 2018 issue here Sewing Hope: My Story

Sew Artisan made a stunning pussybow dress with tutorial post too!: Burda Style Pussybow Dress Project 

Meg at BurdaStyle.com has made the leggings from the Jan 2018 issue: Meg’s Magazine Mash Up 01/2018: Part 3

Chris aka SaidDoneChris is an amazing Burda pro: Tops, tops and more tops! A mixed entry for #burdachallenge2018  & Burdastyle 1/2018 #116: Dramatic Sleeve Blouse

Ooboop has made a Red glitter dress with bell sleeves

@ingrid.artur shared how she uses Trello to organise her BurdaStyle sewing list. Great idea!

Meg wrote a Burda Challenge Feature: Melissa Fehr. A great read.

On IG I shared my collection of Burdas and invited others to post their collections too and it was amazing – here is a selection of some of them. The stories that the collectors shared were the best part. Reading about the connections people have with their magazines was awe inspiring. One collector has a collection from May 1968 inherited from her grandmother.

View this post on Instagram

Do you want to see my collection 😶? It's hidden behind a curtain in what used to be my mom's room. They belonged to my grandma. The oldest one is from 1968 and there's a good pile of #80s crazyness as well but the drafting details are always awesome.The new ones, my addition to The Collection, are all over the place🐒. The chunk missing is on my bed. I like to "read them" before I go to sleep. Old or new, there are always at least 2-3 things I want to sew from each of them! I have started posting the contents in my Isntragram Stories. The old ones are too good to be enjoyed just by myself and I need to sell/donate/find a good home for the plus size magazines because sadly I don't have any plus size ladies to sew for anymore 🙁 . #patternaddict #patterncollection #Burdafangirl #Burdacollection #burdachallenge2018

A post shared by The Heiress (@heiressy) on

#burdachallenge2018 isn’t just about the magazine patterns! @Olypateli reminds us that paper patterns count too 🙂 (I know I have loads of those too!)

Don’t just take my word for it, check out the #burdachallenge2018. Trust me, scrolling through the #burdachallenge2018 feed is the perfect cure to a dragging afternoon :-).

Looking forward Chris shared a BurdaStyle Feb 2018 preview post here: #burdachallenge2018: A quick review of Burdastyle 2/2018

And finally, I loved what Eleanor had to say about sewing with BurdaStyle

I’d love to hear from you too. If you have a post you’d like me to add in the next roundup please drop me an email through the Contact Me page.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Until next time, Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

PS. Goes without saying that this is not a sponsored post. I just really love BurdaStyle patterns and the sewcial conviviality that comes with engaging in creative pursuits as a group.

 

Simple Sew Patterns The Cocoon Dress x2

Today I have something a little different to my usual style. In an effort to move out of my comfort zone, I decided to make this cocoon dress. The pattern came for free with Issue 8 of Sew Now magazine. Here is the pattern envelope with the line drawings.

 

 

Simple Sew Patterns – The Cocoon Dress

 

The style is very simple. AT the time that it came on to my radar, I was preparing for a family holiday to USA where we going to be at the beach in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. I knew that it got very hot and humid, I wanted something that wouldn’t be too formfitting.

I sewed the first make with a linen chambray type fabric that I bought from Jacks Fabrics in Leeds Market. Sewing it up really is very easy. No zips. No buttonholes. I eliminated the center front seam but cutting the front piece on a fold (I can’t recall why I did this but it worked out).

I staystitched the neckline and used stay tape to keep it from gaping. If there ever was an hour project then this surely is. By the time I made my second one – it was less than one hour from cutting to snipping the final thread.

The sizing was accurate. My bust measurement is between their size 8 and 10. I opted to cut size 10 which was just right. The pockets are nice and deep.

I confess a part of me was worried that this might look like a sack of potatoes on me. By the time I tried it on for fitting I got a bit more excited. It is so comfortable and quite stylish. I made a video immediately after I had been wearing it for a day because the number of compliments on the dress I received that day was astounding.

My personal philosophy about making my clothes is that I make and wear what makes me happy. When I am putting together an outfit – my concern isn’t primarily on how I look to others who see me. It is on how I feel and whether I like it. Of course its lovely when I get compliments on my outfits. But, when I have left my comfort zone and I receive compliments – its an even nicer feeling.  I digress….

Simple Sew Patterns The Cocoon Dress

And my YouTube review..

The second one was made using some fabric that I had been very precious about for a long time. The fabric was won in an Instagram competition wherein 2 meters of Nani Iro triple gauze fabric turned up on my doorstep – FREE!!!

I have oohed and aahed over this fabric for years. I thought it might work well with the Cocoon dress. Cutting was hard! There was plenty of wincing and bottom lip biting. But cut it, I did. It was a point of importance that I sewed it up straightaway in order to avoid buyers remorse so to speak.

A note on sewing with triple gauze…..triple gauze is made of 3 layers of gauze that are loosely woven together. Its about twice the thickness of double gauze. Being 100% cotton the fabric is breathable and incredibly soft. Sewing it however was not fun. The thickness created by the 4 layers of gauze added up. Though I have never quilted – I imagine that it was like sewing a quilt. After sewing one seam it was clear I had to use the walking foot which made things a bit easier.

In the end, I had a lovely deliciously comfortable dress, albeit that looks a bit like pyjamas. I love it. Its bright, lively and vibrant! It is the kind of dress that makes me feel obliged to project the energy it embodies.

Enough words…pictures…..

Simple Sew Patterns The Cocoon Dress

 

Verdict: Highly recommended! Another thing I love about this dress is that I can go braless without any obvious issues. Win!

Thanks for stopping by!  Until next time, Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

 

 

 

Pattern Review: DP Studio LE 406A AND B – LONG ASYMMETRIC SKIRT WITH RUFFLE DETAIL

At some time in December last year, I came across a French pattern company on Instagram, DP Studio Fashion. The company ethos is to keep abreast of the latest fashion news to find out about new shapes, volumes and shades. They sell a collection of ready-to-use patterns through their online boutique. I was quite taken by the designs which are so unique and fashion forward. There had so many patterns I wanted to buy, however, I limited myself to two. Here is the first one – a skirt:

Le 406 is an asymmetric skirt constructed in one piece and has no waistband. The pleats on the right side create volume that is then added to a frill sewn on the true bias creating a front ruffle of full volume and effect.

This is the picture that got me 

Postage and Service

The ordering process was very simple. The online website has pages for english and french language users. Postage was incredibly efficient with the patterns arriving within four days via courier. I was impressed. 

I knew I wanted to make my Christmas outfit using this pattern. Looking through my stash I considered using a denim and very nearly cut it out in denim but at the last minute remembered some tartan fabric that I believed would be more festive.

A note on the pattern – it has one of the largest pattern pieces I have ever worked with! The main front piece has two pieces that have to be taped together. The 2 pieces were not aligning perfectly along the grainline points. I emailed DP Studio Fashion and they responded within a couple of hours saying that this was a problem they were aware of – an error in the printing. I had to tape it along the right side seam and draw in the hem curve. It’s a simple enough thing to do – I don’t know if subsequent batches of the pattern will have this error. This picture shows what I mean – it really is a minor issue.

All the pieces are cut single layer so this pattern requires a lot of fabric. I failed with pattern matching the side seams but I figured it could be a design feature.

As an intermediate level seamstress, I found the instructions clear and well written. There is a picture tutorial available on the website.

Sizing was spot on. I chose the pattern size based on the provided grid and it was perfectly right for me.

I made no changes to the pattern. The waistband is supposed to have a facing but I opted for a Petersham ribbon. Two reasons: it is quicker and more comfortable.

I managed to finish the skirt in the nick of time on Christmas Eve and was able to wear it on Christmas morning paired with my black BurdaStyle roll neck top. A fetching combo that I felt good in.

After a couple of hours I noticed that the side where the flounce is anchored tended to ‘drop’ creating an asymmetric waist look. My assessment is that the waistband needs to be snugger to keep both sides at the same level. But then again it might just be this particular fabric which has a slightly loose weave that seems to let out over time and tightens when washed.

Pictures…..

DP Studio Fashion LE 406A AND B – LONG ASYMMETRIC SKIRT WITH RUFFLE DETAIL

 

Verdict: I love this skirt! I felt edgy when I was wearing it. The swish factor is a definite plus for me. It is a skirt made for striding forward towards…something! My sister in law said it had a Vivienne Westwood punk rock vibe. I was pleased beyond reason with that compliment :-).

I am looking forward to making another version of this skirt. It has much potential when using different fabrics. There are more patterns from DP Studio Fashion that I have my eye on.

Thanks for stopping by and until then, Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

SWAP2017 Pt 4: Sewaholic Hollyburn & Granville Shirt

Hi guys!

Last year I was working full steam on a SWAP2017 wardrobe. You can read some of the previous SWAP2017 posts here <link here>:

For my lower, I had the Hollyburn skirt which was to be made in an orange bright orange fabric.

I bought the fabric from Fabworks. It’s a cotton twill weave which also has a geometric pattern. It has spandex it with some (about 3% stretch on the cross grain).

Instead of a facing, I used Petersham ribbon on the waistband. Pink satin bias binding on outside

Sewaholic Granville modified –

The fabric is linen dyed a navy blue using Dylon washing machine dye. This was one of the few successful results from my experiments with dyeing fabric.

The embroidery is from Kate N Rose patterns which I had bought over 3 years ago but hadnt ever bothered with it. It’s called Faraway Garden. When Kate was helping me with inspiration pictures I remembered that I had it somewhere in my digital files. Unfortunately marking dark fabric was challenging. Chalk faded away easily and my Frixion pens were not very easily visible. Patience is not one of my strong virtues and eventually, I reached a point which I just wasn’t bothered. But that’s ok – I realised that I am not yet at the beautiful intricate embroidery stage. That’s okay.

I eliminated the center front button placket. The front is sewn together with a flap for snaps of some sort (am yet to do this). I made it sleeveless by raising the armscye by 1/2″ and narrowing the shoulder by 3/4″. This makes it have a closer fit around the armhole. I bias bound the armholes using same linen fabric.

The idea was to have further embroidery on the front and back but seriously, it’s not my thing. I should have got appliques and in future, this is what I will do. As far as embroidery goes – I need to walk before I can run :-).

I am very happy with these 2 garments, more so because they are 2 of my most beloved patterns that I have made more than a dozen of collectively. Pictures….be warned the orange is really bright :-). Pictures were taken in May 2017.

Sewaholic Patterns Hollyburn Skirt and Granville Shirt

Guess the song from the dance pose 🙂

 

Thanks for stopping by this corner of the interwebs.

Peace and love,

Hila

BurdaStyle 01/2017 #105 Activewear Edition

I actually made this outfit in January 2017 (Yay for actually sewing a BurdaStyle magazine of the same month!).

Athletic Tank Top 01/2017 #105

Tha fabric for the top is a self wicking knit which has some stretch. The stretch is quite minimal and not like a t-shirt jersey. Unfortunately, I don’t know its exact specifics as it was part of a bundle of fabrics from MinervaCrafts that I had won on IG in 2016. It is very comfortable to wear and supports my bust well.

The top is made up of 8 pieces – nice seam detail to look at but a pain in the neck to deal with. First of all, when tracing it I forgot to write in the seam numbers that tell you which edge to join where and had to rip out twice and cut more pattern pieces (I was using an overlocker). Eventually, I got my head around it and it worked out nicely.  I even put in a fancy neon green exposed zip. The zip is purely decorative, in my opinion, as I can easily pull this over my head without using the zip. The next time I make it I will omit the zip.

I really like this top because despite all the seam lines it is very comfortable. The upper half is self-lined so no overlock seams rubbing against my skin. Its fussy but well worth it.

 

Athletic Leggings 01/2017 #106B #106B

The fabric for the leggings is deep dark brown ponte roma with a shiny surface. I quite liked the angular seams and the high waist of these sporty leggings. Though fussy to sew up if you are trying to line everything up, I think they are worth the hassle. The pattern actually calls for zips at the ankle side seams. No thanks.

 

For both patterns, I cut the size 38 without any adjustments. I have worn both of these quite a lot over the last year, especially for yoga classes. The leggings are a tad too warm in summer but perfect when the weather is on the cooler side (on account of the ponte).

This outfit was/is a win for me – a great addition to my activewear collection!

Athletic Tank Top BurdaStyle 01/2017 #105

 

Thanks for stopping by and until next time, Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

Facing my fears

I felt the urge to write after I got back from my swimming lesson. I have never been able to swim. My whole life I was convinced that I will meet my death in water. Sure I could wear a swimsuit and I could get into a pool – hardly ever straying from the shallow end of the pool. If I happened to get near the deep end, I always stuck by the edges where I could hold on.

The funny thing is that I was always so ashamed of the fact that I couldn’t swim that I vowed my own children wouldn’t feel that way because I was going to make sure they will be able to swim. All my children have had swimming lessons from babyhood. Smugness was a feeling I carried around whenever I thought about how enlightened I was. Even though I can’t swim I wouldn’t pass on a fear of drowning to my kids because I have empowered them! How wrong I was.

As a family, we travel a lot. Most places we end up have some large body of water. The kids and my husband love the seaside (especially a warm beach like Dubai or US ones in summer). 

During these times I was constantly on edge, worried, concerned, agitated, tense. Constantly exhorting them to be careful, to watch out, cautioning. I would move from these gentle feelings and actions to stronger admonishments and occasional freaked out yelling the longer we were at the beach in the water.

Ocean Grove, New Jersey. June 2017

 

My kids are comfortable in water. I was not. My anxiety was ruining what would have otherwise been an awesome time. The sad thing is that this wasn’t why I realised that I needed to learn to swim.

My decision to learn came out of 3 separate but interrelated issues

  1. My anxiety around water was the fear that I couldn’t dive in and save my child should they need me to.
  2. Feelings of powerlessness contribute to depression and taking an action helps with mental wellbeing (for me). I felt powerless about this possible scenario and learning to swim would empower me.
  3. I needed an aerobic regular exercise in addition to yoga (endorphin release that happens with exercise is good for mental wellbeing)  that was gentle on joints – I had tried running (again) and after 2 weeks I remembered why running never sticks with me – my joints don’t like it.

These 3 combined pushed me to take the plunge and find adult swimming lessons. I was lucky enough to find a space on a Tueday morning class in October 2017. I have had 8 Tuesdays of swimming so far since I started (there have been half terms, school training days and Christmas holidays in between).

Guess what? Swimming was nowhere, nowhere, near as hard as I thought. I can now do front crawl and backstroke. Currently, I am working on improving on my left arm stroke, making my breathing more efficient and improving stamina. I can do laps now. The one hour in the pool flies by and I LOVE the time I am swimming. The glee that I feel when I am splashing about and diving around is all powerful. Why, oh why, did I not do this sooner? Why did I have to wait 37 years? I want to apologize to my children for curbing their enthusiasm and bliss when they were in the water and feeling like I now do. All I could see then was danger. I now know the joy – which I didn’t even consider while deciding to do it.

Even though I had made sure they had swimming lessons I was still passing on my fears because I hadn’t faced my fear. I did. I conquered it so easily it was like in those movies where the protagonist walks up to face the large, tall and menacing shadow looming from around the corner but it turns out to be a small creature standing in front of an angled light.

How many more fears have I not faced that are holding me back from living my best life? What I have gained from facing this fear is far more than I could have imagined when I decided to face it. So – this year I will continue to face my fears and let’s see where that takes me.

Thanks for reading my internal dialogue. Have you faced any fears in the recently?

Tuesday 16th Jan 2018 10:35am

 

Peace and love,

Hila

McCalls Shirt dress M7387 Pattern Review

This was a dress that I made for a sewing challenge called #sewingtogetherforsummer last year. The challenge was to sew a shirtdress in time for the British summer (I know – its an oxymoron). Anyhow, I chose this pattern as it had been a recent addition to the stash from my epic US pattern haul.

McCalls M7387 is a top, tunic and dresses pattern. Its semi-fitted through bust and has a collar, back pleated into self-lined yoke with forward shoulder seams, and front-fly button closing.

I was drawn to the pattern by the high side slits and the super curved hemline. The fact that it has dolman style sleeves was also lovely. I made view D, size: small.

The fabric I used was bought from Jacks Fabrics during one of my many fabric shopping jaunts last year. It’s a lightweight rayon or viscose challis. I don’t normally go for black and white but this ikat print was attractive.

Sewing the pattern up was reasonably okay. The button placket is covered so that had a few tiny challenges which resulted in me eliminating the covered placket in favour for showing off my cute black rim buttons.

The style of this reminds me of the Deer and Doe Melilot which has similar sleeves. Curved hems are always a bit tricky to sew but with rayon a good pressing removes all evils.

The back pleat is a big one – not a regular box pleat. Consequently, it is very important to mark the notches and the direction of the fold for the pleat. When I make this again in the future I will be adding pockets – its the one thing that’s missing for me. The pattern envelope shows it worn with a belt but I much prefer it without one.

Its a joy to wear this dress – light and airy,  it was perfect for summer. Here is how I wore it most of the time. Sometimes I swapped the wedges for black flip-flops.

This pattern is great value all round – it has many variations which I am definitely interested in making. The next one will be view E in some rayon fabric languishing in my stash at the moment :-).

Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful day 🙂

Peace and love,

Hila

Love Sewing Issue 44 Reader Review M6886

I made another M6886 as a reader review article for Love Sewing magazine (Issue 44). They invited me to their studio for a proper photoshoot with a make up artist and everything! Even got my nails done :-). It was quite an experience – one that I will cherish. Here is the review……

McCall’s M6886 Pattern Review for Love Sewing Magazine

You can never go wrong with a classic silhouette like McCall’s M6886. Designed to be a close fitting pullover dress, it has three neckline variations and four sleeve lengths. I love the scoop neckline on View D. The simplicity of sewing this dress is at odds with how well presented and chic I feel in it – surely something so quick to sew shouldn’t be so elegant?  Yet it is and that is the beauty of this pattern – I can see why it’s incredibly popular in the sewing community with over 160 reviews on PatternReview.

Well written instructions mean that even a new beginner can tackle this. The instructions are also written for sewing machines so even if you don’t have an overlocker you are covered. I cut a size 8 which fits me well – I took in a half inch at my narrowest waist point as I wanted a snugger fit there.

Let’s talk fabric – this lush wool ponte from Minerva Crafts is the bee’s knees, the cat’s meow as it were. I was torn between the brown and pink colourway but settled on the popping pink of course! Unusually, this beautiful ponte roma stripe is made from 100 percent wool fibres. It has a luxurious feel and was an absolute dream to sew. The stripes measure approx 7mm wide so I easily got away with minimal stripe matching (I can honestly say that stripe matching is not my forteJ.). It also helps that it’s reversible which means cutting out can be economical. The fabric is comfortable to wear, isn’t scratchy and the wool makes for a cosy warm dress – perfect for fall/winter. Love!

This dress has got so much layering potential for winter too – I plan on keeping it cosy by layering it over a black turtleneck with tights and knee length boots! Sweet!!!

If you are looking for a practical, easy to sew and figure flattering pattern then look no further than McCall’s M6886. I have more plans to add to the three that are already taking pride of place in my closet!

And pictures…….

I don’t think I did too bad in a studio 🙂

Thanks so much for stopping by and until next time, Happy Sewing!

 

Peace and love,

Hila