A few months ago MinervaCrafts and Quadrille offered me an opportunity to review a sewing book that would be released in November. I eagerly signed up along with 4 other bloggers to make something from the book, write a review and of course take pictures.
As soon as I received the book I was immediately taken by at least 6 patterns so selecting what to make for the MinervaCrafts blog was challenging! In the end, I used the logic of sewing for the weather I am in right now. Plus the coat pattern is called Halla kinda loosely alliterates with Hila. Hila’s Halla sounded fun. My fate was sealed :-).
If you’d like to read my 800 word review of the book then please click on the link here: Hila’s Halla Coat which will take you to the post. You can check out the other makes from the book posted by the bloggers over there.
I love (lurve) the colours of the boiled wool! I have my eye on the mustards and the emerald green….
Have you also got Breaking the Pattern; A Modern Way to Sew?
Thanks so much for stopping by! Until next time Happy Sewing!
Peace and love,
NB: Quadrille Publishing provided the book. Minervacrafts provided the materials. I did all the hard work of tracing, sewing, taking pictures and writing up a post. So yeah – all opinions are 100% my own. I was under zero obligation to proceed with the review if I didn’t want to.
This is the fifth garment that I made for the SWAP2017 capsule – an endeavour which started in 2016! I did finish this in time for the April 2017 deadline but for some reason its taken its time to get to the blog.
The capsule plan was to have one statement-y dress.
There was a limit on how many patterns you could use – the max was 8 patterns for 11 garments. I used the Anna dress because it could be easily modified.
The trick was to find a fabric that I loved but that could go with all the other pieces. After much searching, I eventually landed on the Frida y Catarina fabric in a blue background on EBay. To say I fell for this fabric is an understatement. I freaking love this fabric and consequently the dress.
I have made the Anna dress three times before. I have not made it using a medium weight quilting cotton like this Alexander Henry fabric. Ruth’s Core Couture tutorial was a godsend. She shows with well-detailed instruction and rationale how to prevent neckline gaping that can be an issue with wide V necklines. You can check out the tutorial here – a must-read for anyone who has ever been exasperated with a neckline that won’t lay flat.
The results more than speak for themselves. I have since used that same approach on many more projects with great results.
When we went to the US last year for my FIL’s 70th birthday celebrations I took it along. Its one of what I like to call “The Magnificent 3” dresses. Whenever I wear any of those 3, I get a lot of compliments. I will probably write up a post about them and why I think they get so many compliments – advance spoiler – it is not about the dress per se. Anyway, I digress pictures.
The fabric is a border print and I was not keen to cut into the print. I cut the bodice on the cross grain so that the Frida print was only at the hem. The skirt pieces are rectangles with darts added. The darts matched up with the bodice darts. That created the A line shape of the skirt. I contemplated adding pockets but decided that the design lines were more important. My problem is that I do actually use my pockets heavily and there are some styles that look and feel odd to me when the pocket is in use.
The hem is exactly at the selvedge edge. I wanted the maximum length I could get. It used 3 meters of fabric with very little scraps. The benefit of quilting cottons like the Alexander Henry ones is that they do wash and keep the colours well. I imagine that in time, with more washes, the fabric will get softer. The thought brings a smile to my face as I hope to be wearing this dress for decades.
Last week on Saturday I went to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit in London – I believe that’s what prompted me to finally write about this dress on the blog. I am still processing my thoughts on the experience and will be writing a post about it soon.
Back to the SWAP2017 – I still have more of the garments to write about and those posts should be ready…..soonish :-).
In the meantime, I do have a video on my YouTube channel if you’d like to see this dress in motion.
Thanks for stopping by this corner of the interwebs.
One of my favourite dresses on the planet is finally on the blog! Whoop! Its a Moneta dress – number 8! Will there ever be a number 10? How many more can I make? Only time will tell. In the meantime this is a pictures post :-)..
Here is a pattern that I like so much I made several of them in succession! I like the simple look and feel of the pattern. It is something that I have had traced for almost 2 years but never got round to making it. It seems I have made up for that.
Sleeveless Peplum Blouse 07/2015 #114
I have the tops in this Youtube video here
So I made it in the John Kaldor Lizzano sateen fabric first. The John Kaldor was something I fell for when my friend Ali (akathimberlina) showed hers on IG and I quickly bought from an online shop. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of the shop. Its beautiful vibrant fabric that I used to make a shirtdress the M6696 shirtdress and used leftovers to make some this top.
I managed to sew this out of just under a meter of fabric. The rest was used to make a sash.
The instructions tell you to insert an elastic on the waist but opted not to do that as I found (much to my surprise) that I like the free boxy look.
Instead of sewing the armhole bias binding in the round, here is what I did:
After finishing the neckline I sewed up the shoulder seams. Then sewed the armhole binding in the flat. Next, I sewed the side seams. I fell like this was far easier and neater than sewing in the round.
So when it came time to think about my #makenine2018 I knew that the barkcloth would look amazing in this pattern and I did not hesitate to cut into it. I love it!
I also had some linen left over from the Hollyburn skirt I made a couple of years ago and it was just enough to make this top too. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures but you can see it on my Youtube channel at the link above.
And then I tried the longer non-peplum version of the top but with a few twists, i.e. adding a knit cuff neckline on a woven like I learnt when I made the Merchant and Mills Tee for my husband. It did quite work out though because I forgot to not stretch out the knit cuffing. I am so used to stretching it slightly when sewing but I needn’t have done it with this one so. It does do a bit of a puddle but never mind. The John Kaldor fabric is so comfy against the skin. I barely had 3/4m left from when I made the Sheath Dress.
The line drawing shows that the back has a CB seam which means cutting 2 back pieces. I only did that with the first one. Subsequent ones were cut on the fold. It makes no difference at all because the CB is straight.
Size traced: 38.
Verdict – Definitely, a great top that I have no doubt I will come back to again and again. I had a think about which one is my favourite and………..its…………
In March I decided to sew up this interesting shirt dress pattern from the March Issue of BurdaStyle Magazine. The March issue itself was not that awe inspiring to me and I struggled to select styles to sew. I ended up with 2 things this dress and the panel skirt here.
The shirtdress has a twisted bustier which piqued my interest – if only to see how it sews up. The skirt is wide with some sections of gathering and the bodice is accented with the casual twisted bustier that has the look of a bikini top. This style gives the traditional shirtdress a playful makeover. Here is the line drawing:
The fabric recommendations were lightweight cotton dress fabrics, with stretch blend. I used a shirting cotton that I bought from SewDown Dewsbury here. It has a twill weave which makes it reversible – its raspberry pink on one side and pale pink on the other side.
I thought the fabric could work even though it doesn’t necessarily have any stretch in it being a woven cotton. It is crisp and I felt that might look good with the full skirt.
The process of sewing it was quite easy. It is the featured sewing course in the issue which means it comes with full instructions supported by illustrations. The magazine instructions say the pattern pieces to be traced are shaded in but there is a printing error. It is actually the green lines of sheet A.
The only change I made was to remove the long sleeves and keep it sleeveless. In my head I was imagining this as a summer wear, especially with the pink fabric so I just couldn’t fit the long sleeve with the my vision. All I did was to not sew in the sleeve and used a satin bias binding instead to finish the armhole. It has side zip and it fit like a dream when I made it. I sewed size 38.
I love the dress – I positively feel like gliding and bouncing everywhere when I am wearing it! Here is my YouTube video review of the dress so you can see it in motion.
It so funny how the March issue was one that really struggled with and yet it has produced two really outstanding garments for me! Goes to show that sometimes you don’t have to be madly in love to try something.
I knew that I would be making Vogue 9259 again after the success of the first one. Its a pattern that comes so easily together that when I decided I needed a hot pink number for the summer I reached for it. Except for this time, I made the “shorty shorts” view A.
Here is the line drawing:
I used some crepe fabric that I picked up from The Shuttle in Shipley. It washed well and irons quite nicely. It has what I like to call a “spongy” like texture. I didnt like topsticthing the fabric because of the texture so I opted to use a fair bit of hand sewing where I could. I think it gives the jumpsuit a more luxe look, but thats just my opinion.
Speaking of pictures, do you recall me talking about the StitchRoom Sewcial? And how we had a photoshoot for up to 2 outfits in a professional studio ? Well guess which outfit I took with me for that? :-)…
I used some silk habotai to line the waistband which makes it so very comfortable. Unfortunately I didnt manage to get interior pictures but they can be seen here on my Youtube video.
Verdict: a cute and dare I say it “sexy” little number that my hubs loves :-). Good thing its comfortable too!!!
Thanks for stopping by, until next time, Happy Sewing!
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-
I neglected to mention that I made 2 dresses for the Day and Night Dress challenge hosted by ElizabethMadeThis.com.
BurdaStyle 02/2018 #101 Dress
For my day dress, I decided to multi task by also making a dress for my #burdachallenge2018 plan for the month. The dress I chose was style number 101 from the February issue of BurdaStyle magazine.
The style was a bit outside my comfort zone given its vintage vibes. Normally the vintage I like tends to be the maxi variety. Here is the line drawing :
It was actually the line drawing that drew me to this pattern. The details were quite unique to me especially the lower skirt godet.
I used a fabric that I bought a while back on holiday abroad. It’s a peach skin that has the most glorious drape. My husband actually chose this for me – though I was sceptical of the Pollock-like abstract print – it worked really well for me. The only downside is that with the print it hard to see the design lines clearly.
With my usual Burda size 38, this fit right off the pattern sheet. The only alterations I made were to omit the cute but labourious self-faced buttons and loops on the sleeves and the lower skirt.
Sewing with peach skin was not as challenging as I thought it would be, which is a relief as I have a few other lovely peachskins that have been sitting in my fabric collection.
Its a very pretty dress and something that makes me feel quite charming :-). By the way, the instructions on this pattern were actually quite good.
For the night dress, I had in mind to make something for a date night we had planned to eat out at a Cuban Tapas restaurant. So when I saw the red viscose jersey with a lovely surface sheen my idea of a little red dress was cemented.
I have sewn with this Mimi G pattern before here and had plans to make it again because I wasn’t happy with my fabric selection especially after a few washes. The sizing on this pattern was spot on and the drape of this viscose was better suited than the ponte I used previously. Its a sexy little number and I do feel like roaring when I am wearing it :-). The collar band that goes over the shoulders is quite snug and tends to roll up as seen in the pictures so its not as wide as shown on the pattern envelope. I think for the more endowed in the bust area that a toile is definitely recommended if you are thinking of making this pattern. Pictures-
Here is my video review of the two dresses:
The Burdastyle dress was my planned February make for #burdachallenge as well 🙂
Thanks so much for stopping by! Until next time – Happy Sewing!!!!
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.
This was one of my March #burdachallenge2018 planned makes. Its the panel overlay skirt from the March 2018 issue. The issue itself was not very exciting and I struggled to select what to sew from it. After several browse throughs I landed on this skirt.
I rather liked the idea of the asymmetric panel on the top with the extra gathering. That bit was quite a challenge to sew up though it looks like a simple enough skirt.
BurdaStyle 03/2018 #116
The gathered overlay goes over the waistband but its also part of the in seam pocket. There is two sets of gathering in this skirt – the first is the main skirt itself gathered to fit the waistband. The second is the panel overlay which is gathered by way of elastic inserted into a casing. Quite a clever little feature when you think about it.
The fabric was bought from a flea market in Ocean’s Grove, New Jersey last year. Technically this is an upcycled project since they were originally a pair of bark-cloth curtains. The curtains were only $2 :-). Barkcloth is always such a pleasure to sew with. I finished the waistband with a cheerful yellow bias binding and an invisible zip at the center back.
By the time I snipped my last thread on this project, I had got over my ambivalence to the skirt and found that I actually liked it. Perhaps its the nice deep pockets or the barkcloth or the fact that the fabric cost me $2 in total. I have worn this quite a lot and find it to be very comfortable.
The morale of this particular project for me is that I am glad I tried something that I wasn’t too over the moon about. This is one of those projects that I feel has given me some growth in terms of my approach to sewing : its okay to sew things that don’t make my heart race with excitement at the prospect of wearing them.
Thanks for stopping by and until next time Happy Sewing!
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 🙂