This was another unplanned make for my #burdachallenge2018. The idea for this developed after meeting the fabric. SO I will start with the fabric. This is a beautiful shiny viscose jersey with the most beautiful drape – it is like a liquid gemstone. I picked it up from Fletchers Fabrics in Leeds while shopping with my friend Eleanor. I bought 1.5m without any idea of what to make with it. It was only when I was shooting my Youtube fabric haul video that I realised what this fabric could become.
The pattern is from the Jan 2017 issue of BurdaStyle. Here is the line drawing:
And here is the style picture
The recommended fabric is silk jersey in order to achieve the exaggerated cowl neck. The instructions were easy to follow. The neck is finished in an ingenious way IMO. I handstitched the shoulder yoke facing as I didn’t want to topstitch. The sleeves are set in which is a little tedious to do on jersey fabrics but worth it in the end.
It came together quickly. The little bralet is a gem of a pattern as well. I used rainbow foldover elastic because I like it. The pattern calls for cutting out strips of fashion fabric otherwise. Technically this is the first bra I have sewn :-). I am looking forward to whipping up more of the bralets using scrap fabrics.
I cut my usual Burda 38 but I felt like I could have gone down a size on this which is unusual.
Verdict – a great stylish pattern with the deep cowl. I think I could have done a better job with styling it though. I feel this was designed to be tucked in but in my pictures, I didn’t do that. It does make a difference to how the top looks. Its a lovely top though I doubt I shall be making another one any time soon – I might try it again in size 36.
Up next is a dress that has been “marinating” for a while. I traced this out when the magazine came out as soon as I saw it because I was smitten with the one shoulder style and the peekaboo circle at the shoulder.
On a tangent – my shoulders are my absolute favourite part of my body. Yes they have a forward roll and they are just a bit broader than what is considered normal for a feminine look but I love them. And so the point is that any pattern that shines a light on the shoulder is almost always something I’ll love 🙂
Back to the pattern – the one shoulder dress is one of those rare instances where it was the styled model picture that caught my eye rather than the line drawing. In fact the line drawing is really rather unattractive :
BurdaStyle 07/2017 #111
The front and back pattern pieces are more or less similar – given the size of the pieces and how much greaseproof paper they took up – I might have tried to use only one traced pattern piece of each. But its an experiance thing really. In future, if pattern pieces look similar to me I will check if they are the same and not bother with tracing another one. This has happened to me more times than I care to count.
Any how – this is a relatively simple pattern to sew up. The bit that goes across the chest is hemmed and the circular detail is finished with a casing. The sleeve seam is sewn right up to the point where it joins the casing before its artfully tucked into the casing. A tie band is then threaded through to make that oh so cut bow on the shoulder.
I was very happy with the ease of the instructions and I sewed it up in less than a couple of hours.
The fabric was bought from Fletchers Fabrics in Leeds Market last year. Its a John Kaldor jersey with vibrant red and blue flowers. I have washed it and its maintained its vibrancy.
The thing is I actually cut this out a few months ago before I did a major reorganisation of my sewing cave so I overenthusiastically got rid of a lot of scraps including the scraps of this John Kaldor. When I read the instructions on the sewing pattern pieces I missed the measured out bits that Burda sometimes has you mark straight onto to the fabric. The essence of the story is that though it may look like a design feature to have used some Art Gallery Fabric for the casing – it was actually because I had no access AT ALL to this exact John Kaldor fabric 🙂 . Still, I think it worked out well and looks good.
Wearing this dress is an interesting experience. It definitely exposes a lot of skin and perhaps it felt strange at first since I was just coming out of winter wherein covering up is de riguer. Apart from the novelty of feeling the breeze against my skin – I liked wearing this dress. The one flutter sleeve is very dramatic while the fact that it is made of jersey makes it very comfortable.
Foundation garment wise – I found that I couldn’t carry it off without a bra (I’d need to make a smaller size for that – my bust measurement is based on wearing a t shirt bra, without it I am quite flat chested). I have a strapless bra which worked just fine. I also realised that this could work well as a beach coverup, it goes on and off very easily.
Here is how I wear it – with a belt just like in the magazine style picture-
These trousers have a long history, of sitting in my UFO box. I cut these out almost 18 months ago and I dont know why they went into the box (you know I know why but allow me my delusion okay).
Anyhow since the uber success that was my Better Late than Never Blazer, I have been very slowly picking out a UFO a month to sew up and see what my creative genius abandoned.
Tangent – I have made the decision to work through my UFO box at a rate of one UFO per month on average. After that there WILL be no more UFO box in my cave. It has been mandated and passed into law. I WILL NO LONGER HAVE A UFO BOX.
Back to the project at hand – I first made this pattern in 2016 (sadly its out of print now) and loved the trousers which I still wear to this day. These ones were made in a cotton sateen with 3% spandex giving a nice amount of stretch. The fabric is reversible and I did play around with that by using the reverse for the waistband and the hip yokes.
The pattern is supposed to have a center back zip which is an interesting concept on trousers (I didnt realise how accustomed I am to center front or side zips on trousers until I went to the toilet in these trousers – I still automatically reach for my CF). Given these TMI observations – I decided to move the zip to the side seam for this second pair. It worked out beautifully even if I do say so myself.
If you’d like to read further details about the size I cut etc then please <click here>. Pictures.
Ever since I sewed up the turtleneck top from Burdastyle 09/2010 in 2016, I have been planning more variations in my head. You see, this top pattern is so easy to sew up and comfy to wear as it doesnt have a neck seam. Here is the line drawing:
To be honest with you I could waffle on but there really isn’t much more to add about this pattern that I haven’t already said here. So here are pictures of the three latest ones which also fulfilled my March #burdachallenge2018 goals.
So these have been in heavy rotation especially for layering in the colder months. Its been getting a bit warmer so for now they have been put aside until September. Isn’t it lovely to find a TNT pattern? I now have 5 of these 🙂
I made this shirt for May the Fourth Star Wars day. Mr SNS had selected the fabric himself from B&M Fabrics around the New Year. He originally wanted piping all round the collar and button band but I kindly declined.
The compromise was what you see here. Having made this 7 times now , there isnt much else I can add except to say that sewing the short sleeve is even faster than the long sleeve. Its the same pattern I have used since the first one made in December 2015 so if you’d like to read a more detailed review then please click here.
Thanks so much for stopping by! Until next time Happy Sewing!
Here is another dress that I like to call my “Go Bold or Go Home” dress. Its bright neon orange colour – the sort of orange that doesn’t blend into the background. Its a crepe jersey that I picked up at The Shuttle in Shipley for my SWAP2017 capsule. I found a better alternative for my SWAP and this had been chilling in my collection since.
When the Jan 2018 Burda dropped – I immediately knew that the orange crepe jersey would be perfect for the midi dress. Here is the style picture that hooked me:
I got excited that I didn’t fully check the recommended fabric part. This pattern actually calls for viscose crepe with elastine. My crepe jersey has fourway stretch and though more substantial than t-shirt jersey, it does have a lot of stretch. SO much so that I didnt include the CB zip.
I really struggled with sewing this dress. My initial ardour was dampened by an inability to comprehend the instructions. AT one point I put it aside and moved on but when I saw @AllisonCSewing’s version on Instagram, my ardour was renewed.
I tackled it with a single minded focus. Though I still did not get the instructions I just pinned it out. Using the magazine pictures I tried to pin it to best achieve what my eyes were seeing. This is what came out of it. The inside is a hot mess and its supposed to have a lined bodice but mine doesnt.
I really like this dress and I wore it layered with a roll neck top. I will be trying this again with a viscose crepe. Ideally I’d like to have a patterned fabric for the skirt and a solid for the bodice so it looks like a 2 piece. And I hope that the second time around the instructions will make sense to me!
Thanks so much for stopping by! Until next time, Happy Sewing!
Peace and love,
This was a planned make for my January #burdachallenge2018.
I will preface this by saying how much I love this dress! So I will go right ahead and show the pictures before all the talking.
Now, the talking bit.
The flounce dress includes a bold flounce to drape in front – which piqued my interest. Initially, I was going to use a cobalt blue crepe, however, at the last minute, I remembered this bright pink wool fabric that I had bought from Fabworks. It is a lightweight wool fabric, similar in texture to pashmina shawls. I found it washed well in a cold water wash and low tumble dry.
Sewing it up was a treat. The fabric is a joy to work with and responds beautifully to a steamy iron. Since the style doesn’t have a zipper – it sews up quite fast. The only tricky bit is when cutting out the pattern. The pieces have to be cut single layer and it is important to mark the seam numbers.
The pattern is a Burda Tall size which is drafted for taller persons. I selected my size based on my bust measurement which put me on size 76. I didn’t change the length of the dress but I did reduce the sleeve length by 2″ to maintain the bracelet length sleeve.
My favourite part of this dress is the flounces at the front. My least favourite is the back fastening. I am considering redoing that back closure and inserting an exposed zip instead. I wore it quite a lot these past 2 months but the back wasn’t an issue since I always wore it layered over a roll neck top. The other annoying thing is that the wool has started pilling where my coat would rub against it :-(.
I definitely want to make this again and do some contrast blocking with the flounces.
This was one of my January #burdachallenge2018 planned makes.
This is a dress I made for my February #burdachallenge2018 project. It wasnt a planned make – I reacquainted myself with the dark blue wool jersey that I bought from Fabworks in Dec 2016.
When I bought the fabric I recall that I wanted to make a Talviki sweater. Alas, with only 1 meter, it was not enough. Enter Burda 06/2016 #101C dress. Here is the line drawing which shows the simplicity of this pattern.
Since 1m was not enough for the mini dress – a fact I realised after cutting out three of the four pieces; inventiveness meant that I used a navy ponte for the front yoke – a design feature bourne out of necessity.
For the neckline, I just folded it under and zig zagged. I think this is a finish you can get away with when the fabric is of a more substantive weight like the wool jersey.
The picture shows how I wore it most of the time- with tights and boots and sometimes with a roll neck as well. Wool jersey is very warm and cosy which served me well for the colder days. The pictures were taken during the big snow days that ground Britain to a halt.
This is quite a versatile pattern – it works for summer with a lighter fabric like this one that I made here and can work for winter with a thicker fabric.
Once I had selected the pattern the next challenge was finding the bright red yarn colour. Someone on Ravelry recommended Cascade Ultra Pima Cotton DK yarn. The yarn has a lovely lustre to it and it had a lipstick red shade that looked promising. I ordered several balls of different reds from various brands but this was the one that nailed it. Luckily they also had the black and white of the same yarn.
The next challenge was how to prevent bleeding. From the many posts that I read where people had knitted with red and white or black and white – there was a bleeding issue when the garment was washed. After ruminating on the issue for a while I thought that maybe I could try pre-washing the yarn before knitting to reduce any bleeding potential in the same way we prewash fabric for sewing.
Luckily the yarn comes in skeins. My first attempt was a bit of a travesty because I didnt do anything to prevent the yarn from tangling. On my second attempt, I loosely tied the skein at 4 different points so that I could easily reconstitute the skein.
The prewashing process involved filling the sink with hot water and soaking for about an hour, gently wringing the water out and repeating until the water ran clear. For the red this took approximately 4 soakings, the black took 6 soakings to run clear. I also did the white twice because I needed it to have a similar texture to the black and red.
After drying out the skeins I then had to wind them into yarn balls. There were a lot of online tutorials to help. I used a kitchen roll tube and spent several hours balling up the skein. It was tedious but I think it was worth it in the end.
I swatched with 3.75, then 3,5 but it was 3,25 that got the correct stitch gauge. I should have done some mods since the pattern calls for fingering 4 ply but my yarn was DK. However, I still do not understand these things so I went on ahead with the proviso that I would be trying it along the way to see what I need to change. On the whole this worked, I think I managed to get away with it :-).
This pattern knits up quite quick since it all stokinette stitch. It was also a great opportunity for me improve my Portuguese knitting skills. I think the fit is quite good. Yarn feels comfy against my skin.
The prewashing seems to have worked. When I washed this there was no bleeding.
And here I am wearing it last year.
The pattern instructions were very clear and well written. I learnt some new techniques like the saddle stitch for the raglan sleeve. It may not be the best but I had a great time knitting this. I’d have liked to do add in a HILA motif on the white section but my skills are not yet there. I am still very happy with this jumper.
Finally, I used just under 5 skeins of red and less than 1 skein each of black and white. The total cost of the yarn was £50.48. Not bad considering the inspiration retails at £300. Win!
Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the internets. Until next time, happy knitting!
Peace and love,
Thanks for stopping by this corner of the interwebs.
The Breton jersey dress attracted me with its wide boat neck line. It also looked simple enough to make and yet it took me nearly 18 months between tracing out the pattern and actually sewing it. Here is the picture from the book:
Sewing the dress was a pleasure as it is instant gratification of the best kind. And to end up with something that makes me feel like a stylish well considered adult, well, that’s just the cherry on the cake! The sewing instructions in the book are really good. Plus the sizing was spot on. This size was selected based on my bust and without any alterations at all this is what it looks like.
If I had to nit pick I’d say that there is a swayback issue on the back but honestly I asked my husband what he thought and he earnestly said that the behind was fine. And that is good enough for me :-).
Fabric was from Jacks Fabrics in Leeds market, bought last year so I am quite pleased at how quickly this fabric was turned around :-).
Overall there are many things that pleased me about this project.
The book only cost £9.99 on Amazon with free P&P. Its great value given the number of patterns that come with the book (27 I think). There are a few more patterns I want to make from there. I did make the Japanese top already.
I have already traced out this skirt which was the reason that I bought the book. After seeing Beth’s version I was very inspired to make it.
This is a skirt that I have made 2 times already (bright floral here) and (cobalt scuba here). I always said that I wasnt done with this pattern and it still feels accurate even after this 3rd make.
Perhaps its how easy it is to make the skirt that attracts me so. Or it might be the shape of it – not quite a plain A line skirt, it has the drama of the side box pleats on the lower skirt section. left out the back zip and cut the back piece on a fold. Scuba has great stretch and recovery.
Size wise I traced a 10 based on the finished garment measurements (I am normally a 12 on Vogue patterns). I did this because the scuba has some stretch in it. The fabric was an impulse online purchase from FC Fabric Studio . One of those posts you see on IG and click away and before you know it, you are receiving a lovely package of fabric. And it really is lovely, just look at it. Continue reading →
I have a little brother who is quite fussy about his clothes. When he finds something he likes he tends to buy upwards of 5 of the same item as he hates shopping and doesn’t like ‘wasting time’ on what to wear. His clothes are all similar colours and shapes therefore interchangeable.
While in Japan, he found a jacket he liked but there was only one in his size. No problem he thought – “my big sister can copy this jacket for me and make 5 more“. Luckily he visited with us at the end of August last year with his jacket and an express desire to go looking for fabrics that he likes. I took him to Fabworks where he spent all of 10 minutes before deciding on a wool suiting in navy blue.
Now, though I was in the doldrums at the time, even I refused to just copy something and not add a little extra…….something. My philosophy is that if you are going to ask Michaelangelo to paint a ceiling – then LET MICHAELANGELO PAINT A CEILING LIKE THE SISTINE CHAPEL!!! I refuse to spend hours working on something that is just going to look …..bland. That’s not me.
So, I stood my ground and insisted that there had to be something different to denote that it was truly a one of a kind. He agreed to look at contrast fabrics for the lapel/facing. This was huge. My brother is not one to change his mind or indeed concede his sartorial choices. He chose the Liberty Tana lawn which reminds me of a Wuthering Heights’esque moorland. Still, it was better than nothing.
Did I mention this was at the end of August last year?
With all that time I didn’t come back to the project nor think about it until he asked me during a recent Skype session. Feeling bad I set to it this past weekend and copied the jacket using carbon paper and a tracing wheel. It’s not an exact science but between my pattern drafting knowledge and common sense, I made some headway.
A weird thing happened. Duty and honour (and some guilt – ok mostly guilt – that I had made him wait all these months) drove me to start on the project. At some point I started enjoying the process. It felt like the wild west (why am I saying this? I’ve never experienced the wild west nor do I wish to); but as a metaphor, its meant to say that I was excited and curious at how I would do. It’s been a long time since I have felt like that.
When acquiring a new skill set there is joy/exhilaration when you first learn to do new techniques. But, as time goes and you gain more experience that sense of fear/anxiety/exhilaration that keeps you on edge is gone because you get to a point where you know how to do this that or the other. It becomes easier to execute a vision and the high is never is as good as that first high of nailing a fly front or easing a sleeve for example. Which is not necessarily a bad thing in itself…..
But this was new territory for me.
Not only was I making it for someone else who has a very clear expectation of what he wants; I also had no pattern.
Figuring out grainlines, forgetting notches, not adding ease to sleeve cap………so much minutiae of things I forgot to do but I carried on. Lessons learnt. Falling forward.
To frame the time period here:
August 2017 – Assignment given and materials procured
15 March 2018 – Casual enquiry about jacket over Skype
18 March 2018 – Copied jacket, cut fabric and sewed up body
19 March 2018 – Sewed collars and sleeves.
20 March 2018 – Hems, buttonholes and final pressing.
This is the toile. I had no fabric that was similar to this wool suiting to use and since he wants 5 of them I reckon by the time I get to the fifth one, it’ll all be gravy.
I have written this before I send it off to Switzerland tomorrow. He will now have to feedback to me before I embark on the next one. I am at peace and in calm within myself. I tried my best.
Hand on heart tried my best. And thats good enough for me.
Even if he doesn’t like it – it doesn’t matter to me any more – it won’t affect my sense of pride and achievement in this. I had tried to express my feeling that I feel now but last night as I read the closing chapters of Bartlett and the Ice Voyage (a great book btw) to my kids Bartlett said the words for me so I will share them…
For a long time he (Bartlett) gazed vacantly at the last two pieces of pale iceberg. If the ice melted, if the melidrop thawed and rotted, then everyone would say that they had failed. But hadn’t they really succeeded? He and Jacques, together with Gozo, and Captain Wrick, and Mordi, and Michael, and all the others who helped along the way, had captured an iceberg, and towed it across thousands of miles of ocean, and preserved a melidrop for weeks. No one had done any of these things before. Did it really matter now if the melidrop reached the Queen?
Thanks for reading this far if you have. Ramblings sometimes take over…sometimes 🙂