Burdastyle 10/2016 # + True Bias Ogden: Culottes with silky top

Oh culottes!! If only I could make my mind up about them! My love/hate relationship with them goes so far that I don’t even know whether to love or to hate them at any given time. I mean, it would be great if I loved them: they are such a great garment in principle. The beauty of skirts with the practicality of trousers! Plus they are having a fashion moment and for me to partake in that is a rare pleasure.

But then: do they really look good, in real life, not in the “cool city girl” life that clearly isn’t mine? Not sure…

A case in point are these culottes that Burdastyle has been going crazy about for a couple of years:



Aren’t they just the coolest thing?

Well, here is my version:

(BTW: Don’t get any delusions about the quality of the weather here in Germany. These pictures were taken a few weeks ago. We are well into autumn dreariness right now…)

It’s all a bit more art teachery, isn’t it? Clearly, they should be worn with heels rather than with flats. A slightly drapier fabric would be good as well, rather than this rigid denim from deep stash.



But feast your eyes on my new favourite make: the True Bias Ogden cami! I already made about 5 and they are revolutionising my underwear drawer.


As you all know I like to prove the versatility of my makes! Look, the Ogden is fully pull-outable!

And just in case somebody should think I don’t pull out all the stops for my blog photography here is proof to the contrary!


Always in action for your viewing pleasure!

But back to those culottes:


I made them with slanted pockets rather than with single welt side pockets as in the pattern. I did make another version that I don’t have pictures of with the welt pockets, but I did not like the way the pocket bag feels against the leg, so I went with slanted pockets.

The front and back creases are sewn in, not just ironed. I made a little mistake there by sewing them just a bit too wide, so they look a bit severe. I really should have sewn just a needle width away from the edge of the crease.


It’s especially obvious running down the back where ironed in creases would have been sat flat, so this looks a bit unnatural. Well, lesson learnt, I’m not loosing any sleep over it.


I love me a gold zipper, so they got the hardware salvaged from a previous make. Obviously, there’s a little metal confusion going on, what with the gold zipper and the silver belt, shoes and top but hey, this is how I roll😉.

And indulge me with one last picture: I’ve been clearing out my wardrobe recently and have given away a lot of me-mades that just weren’t got worn. But one of the items that is still going strong is the white topper from Burda’s 1950s Vintage edition:


I still love it and wear it regularly, both as a jacket in the spring and a top in the autumn/winter.

So what do you think about these culottes? Yay or nay? I’m still undecided – but I have a few bits of fabrics in my stash that would be just right for another pair. So should I – or shouldn’t I?


Trump, Brexit: Thank God there’s sewing!

Like probably 80% of Europe I’m looking at the new US president in shock and disbelief. But if course it’s not my election and therefore none of my business – but what I am really profoundly sad about is that I absolutely did not believe this could happen.

I had no idea that life in America has become so bad, so impossible, so difficult for so many people that they decided that waking up to Trump is the end, not the beginning of a nightmare.

And I feel I should have had an inkling that this would happen, after all that’s what friends are for, to feel and empathize when a friend is hurting.

See, I have always thought of “us” in Europe and the US as friends, as peoples who, inspite of smaller differences, basically share the same values – but now the realisation dawns on me that maybe that is  no longer the case.
I for one was always happy and proud to live in and be part of “the West” and of course whatever “the West” stands for was always epitomized in the US. But “the West” that Trump represents is a different country – at least for me.


And then there was Brexit. Now this, for me, was personal!

If I still lived in England, as I did for 5 years in the late ’90s, Brexit would have meant me! I would have been the economic migrant that would have gone on that list of foreign workers. I would have been the one to be criticised for using the scarce resources of the NHS. I would have been the one who would not have been sure if I would be able to stay in the country where my children were born and where I paid my taxes, I would have been a pawn in negotiations. I would have been one of the reasons that the UK left the EU, just to be able to get rid of me (because, let’s be honest, it was never about the sovereignty of Parliament in the face of the EU bureacracy…)

So yes, Brexit really hurt!

For an Anglophile like me 2016 hasn’t been a good year!

So I’m glad there is sewing to occupy my mind on a day like today that has profoundly shaken me up. My next sewing job might be therapeutic enough: bagging my new winter coat.

Here’s to new beginnings!


Getting there!


Readers, thanks to all your encouragement I’m actually doing this! I really am getting on with the job of sewing up my knit projects!

Look at the photo evidence: this is Child 1’s long forgotten sweater that I put on my to do list yesterday and finally managed to complete today. And do you know what: it only had about an hour’s work left in it to do.

So I hope to get going while the going is good and finish that cardigan that started the whole thing soon enough. And  I promise there will be a “normal” sewing post soon – to contain the words “lingerie” and “culottes” both in one post! If that doesn’t intrigue you (more than sewing up sweaters …) then I don’t know what will!😉

If it can’t be seen on a galloping horse at 30 paces, it doesn’t matter!


Thank you so much for all your tips and encouragement on yesterday’s cry for help!
Lots of food for thought, but mainly all your encouragement has given me the much needed kick up the back side I needed to pull myself together and start the assembly of the cardigan already.

As you can see I’m getting there – and as predicted by Gail, who can also take full credit for the title of this post, it isn’t half as bad as I thought it might be.

And meaning to go on as I started I blocked another one of my knitting UFOs today, assigned one to the charity shop bag (with a heavy heart, but I guess I knew even when I first started knitting this project a few years back that it wasn’t really my style) and prepared the sweater for Child 3 for weaving in.

There is hope for me yet!



Can you appreciate the drama of what’s happening here?

Let me explain:

I like knitting and I HATE assembling the pieces. So much so that at the last count I have four projects that only need sewing together, one of which was supposed to be for Child 1 the year before she spent that year in Ecuador. Well, she’s been back since June…

Another cardi only needs about 25 cm of collar to be sewn and the buttons sewn on – but wait, I don’t seem to be able to find the buttons now because it’s been such a long time since I bought them.

So yes, I have a problem! But this make in the picture, a cardi in the most delicious Malabrigo yarn has to be finished soon as I know I really love wearing it plus the yarn was my birthday present.

So please help me: Any encouragement, tips for my predicament or convincing threats are much appreciated!

Maison Victor: A little more jumping


You just need to look at the state of my garden to know that this is not a recent project. In fact, while I have been sewing a bit, the weather has been atrocious here, so no recent projects have outdoor pictures, consequently no blog posts about them.
This jumpsuit was made in May following a Maison Victor pattern.


It was very much a werable muslin kind of project. I loved the suit in the magazine but wasn’t sure if I would actually like to wear it. In fact I’m still not sure it’s all that flattering on me, but I’ve worn it a few times during the summer and into early autumn, so I guess that tells me it’s  a winner.


The bottoms are like wide leg culottes, but I fell for the interesting arm scythe of the bodice.


Objectively speaking there is something a little off about these arm scythes on me. I can’t pin point what it is, but something bothers me when I look at it on a picture. But it’s a garment that is fun to wear and apparently a little fashion forward – I got a few compliments from friends as well as strangers who asked which shop I had bought it from, so that’s all good.

This is definitely the last of my summer garments that I have pictures for. The wax print dirndl did get finished but never worn as intended as the weather turned just days before the October fest style event I wanted to wear it for. But there is always next year for that!



The Jumping out of Summer Jumpsuit

I realize I might be going on a bit about this – but I loved our recent holiday to Mallorca! Of course, I had a suitcase full of newly made clothing with me, mainly because our summer here in Germany had been quite cool and so my plans of wearing all my new clothes all summer long had been frustrated.


Case in point is this crazy patterned jumpsuit. I only wore it once before showing off in an old castle overlooking the marina of Palma de Mallorca!


But when I did take it on its first outing it was to a worthy destination: the city of Bamberg’s rose garden. I know, this blog seems to be turning into a travel blog all of a sudden. But I’m sure normal service will resume shortly, once I’ve overcome the realisation that German autumn and winter is a 5-month-long reality against which resistance is futile…


The jumpsuit is a hack of one of this summer’s little frilly tops that Burdastyle was full of and the BHL Holly bottoms.


The bathroom question was solved by adding a back split and tie. Please excuse the bra – I didn’t have a strapless bra with me on holiday…


So with this I’m jumping out of summer and hope to be able to blog about my autumn sewing soon.


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