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.
Diane @DreamCutSew has killed two birds with one stone when she made this lovely belted – Burda Waist Detail Top . The top was from Burdastyle ticking off her #burdachallenge2018 and also #makeyourstash which is a great challenge by TimetoSew.co.uk and PilarBear.com.
Maggie (magscreativemeanderings.blogspot.co.uk) made a peplum blouse that has me thinking of cheery cherry trees – March BurdaStyle Challenge.
Remember to check out the #burdachallenge2018 for inspiration. Though IG has its limitations and annoyances – I appreciate the “translate text” options which means that language is not a barrier. There are many non-english speaking sewcialists also participating in this challenge and we are able to read about each other’s journeys, thoughts, joys and frustrations.
If you are also sewing with Burda to tick off your own personal goals then please share your journey & connect with others around the globe via #burdachallenge2018.
Looking forward – I love the April issue (which is a relief since it’s my birthday month :-).
However, between the holidays, my annual spring clean and Minerva Blogger Network makes, I cannot reasonably expect to sew more than a couple of items so my plans are reflective of this. So here are my plans….plus I need to catch up with unblogged makes 🙂
If you’d like to hear my thoughts on the latest April issue
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 →
January is all about setting intentions and resewlutions but February – I love February – it’s the month for indulgence – about emerging out of hibernation. At only 28 days this month felt the shortest ever and I barely squeaked in with my personal goals for #burdachallenge2018. I’ll get to those later but first lets go see what other creatives have been making and blogging about.
There have been many wonderful makes and these are some blog post. Remeber to check out #burdachallenge2018 on IG to see works in progress and finished garments.
Ellen’s Sewing Passion (ellensewing.blogspot.co.uk/) is a veritable delight of inspiration She is an incredibly talented and prolific maker who has been an inspiration to me since I started sewing. She had made a delicious knotted midi dress which you can read about here
Small Artisan made a fantastic men’s hoodie which has been added to my to sew list. She also has a tutorial on making the shawl collar hoodie – yay! Read all about it here .
Anne continues to inspire me with her impeccable sewing and planning skills. She sewed up a couple of tops and I dare you to read her post and not add them to your sewing list too 🙂 Link here.
I consider Chris (handmadebychris.wordpress.com) to be the Queen of Burda in my life as she is always getting the magazine before I do here in the UK. Here she is in stripes and flowers and knots – variations on the same pattern – so inspiring. See here for the post.
Meg Healy at BurdaStyle.com has made a wrap dress for her Magazine Mash up – and its a stunner! Click here for the post.
BurdaStyle.com are also offering a free Biker Jacket Video Sewalong with Meg Healy. The PDF patterns are included and I believe there is a plus size option as well. This is my 2nd free Burda sewalong course I’ve taken up :-). You can click through the main website or use this link here . Here is a picture of the jackets:
Over on IG I am meeting so many wonderful creatives and every day I am in awe of our shared joy in creating and sewing. I just wanted to share this IG post from @groovygreylook whose use of colour is just spectacular
It was a challenging month to keep full steam ahead once the excitement of making resolutions had gone. But I found that instead of focusing on what I hadn’t yet done in terms of planning and tracing – I just hit a reset button and reminded myself that this is fun! And so far I have made things I am loving wearing and that feeling is what I remind myself of when I have to face the dreaded tracing!
I am also super excited that I had the opportunity to talk about #burdachallenge2018 on the Clothes Making Mavens Podcasts Episode 18 – I was a bit giddy though because I love Lori and Helena’s show and was slightly starstruck :-). The episode includes other sewing challenges like the #daytonightdresschallenge hosted by Elizabeth Made This (I am participating in this challenge as well) and #sewmystyle hosted by Jessica Lorraine. Definitely worth a listen here: Clothes Making Mavens Podcast
For March here is my sewing plan from the current 2018 issue. I will probably add more from other issues but for now, these are the definites. If you want to get a feel of the patterns in the March magazine I posted my March browse through and sewing plans here on my YouTubes
I hope your sewing plans are going well too. Here’s to March and all its joy!
Thanks for stopping by and until next time, Happy Sewing!
Peace and love,
PS. Not a sponsored post. I do not get paid. This is a passion project.
This is a long wide legged jumpsuit that I absolutely loved wearing last summer. Pardon me for posting such an obviously summery make in winter but bear with me, please. Spring is on the way and I am very excited about moving on to sewing with lightweight fabrics so this is whetting my appetite.
I knew that I was getting Vogue 9259 the moment I saw it. Unfortunately, I had to wait months before collecting my patterns while we visited the USA. It was worth the wait though.
It has a criss-cross halter neck front. Here is the line drawing:
The line drawing looks like the band is at the waist but I found that for me it was a smidge higher than my natural waist. I looked at the model pic and it also looks a bit higher than the waist. It is not uncomfortable or anything but it does make me look like I have very long legs.
Although we only had a few days where it was hot enough to wear this on its own I cant tell you how lovely it was! I loved the feel of the sun on my back and the breeze against my skin.
My initial worry about making it had been than my breasts wouldn’t be secured and that I would constantly be tucking them in. But this was not the case at all. I found that there was no gaping (to be fair I am not very endowed in that area when I am braless so I might not be best placed to recommend this if you are a larger cup size than B). On other days I wore it with a lightweight black elbow length cardigan.
I took my son to a birthday party that had a bouncy castle which I snuck into while everyone was singing Happy Birthday and had a go. No escapees. They were safe and secure.
These days I am trying to qualify myself when I say that something was easy to make. As an intermediate seamstress, I found this to be a straightforward make that was easy to sew and get a good fit on. I cut my usual size 12 for Vogue patterns and made no alterations.
I do like the lightness of viscose. It was a swish factor that I love.
Verdict: Its a winner! Deep pockets and comfortable while making me look like I made an effort.
Thanks for stopping by, until next time, Happy Sewing!
This is another dress I made specially for a holiday to the seaside. Its from the May 2016 issue of BurdaStyle Magazine. The style is called a bat sleeve dress. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I was intrigued by this pattern enough to make it.The pictures didn’t really do anything for me but it was the line drawing that grabbed me:
I have made it in ponte before here.The instructions were quite good – though this is very simply constructed dress made up of 2 pieces (front and back) and a neckband. You just have to finish the arm flaps before draping them over each other and securing with the neck-band.
I used a viscose jersey – very drapey and perfect for my purposes. I wanted something akin to a beach cover-up. Easy to to pop on and off. It did the job admirably! Here it is in action.
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….
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.
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!
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.
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!
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 yetto 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.
Thanks for stopping by this corner of the interwebs.