Monthly Archives: April 2013

Burda 1/2013 #107: Vintage Inspired Sundress – Work in Progress

I am not sure that anybody cares at all about my sewing – but if you don’t try you will never know, as my granny used to say. So I thought I show you my latest project, a vintage inspired sundress. This also my second project using the fabrics I bought on last weekend’s visit to Fürth Fabric Market. So you see, I am not just buying stuff! I do use some up as well!

As I don’t have any actual vintage patterns, I went fusion between recent Burdastyle and timeless Bavarian dirndl style.
I started off by taking the bodice from this Burdastyle 1/2013 #107:

Don’t you think the sweetheart neckline is just that – very sweet? However, I felt that the fashion shoot showed that the neckline would gape a little, so I shortened the inside neckline a little to make it sit closer to the body.


I was not too sure whether to add a petticoat style skirt, but because I have a petticoat project in the pipeline I opted for a dirndl style skirt. It is still a bit of a mess as I have not yet ripped the gathering stitches, but I think you can see where this is going to go.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt is a bit of a departure for me as I tend to prefer a more tailored look, but on the dressform I think I quite like it. Is that normal to have to convince yourself that you like something new? Or is it just me being inflexible 😉 ?

The bodice came together really well and I had to make no fit changes at all apart from the neckline front. I suppose that was my way of doing a SBA without any scary interference with the bustline…


The piping is the first project I made with the aid of my brand new piping foot. Ever since I learned how to make my own piping rather than having to use the restricted range of shop-bought piping I am crazy about it. Maybe somebody needs to tell me to stop 😉 .

So at this point there are still a few things to ponder:  the length, for one thing. Right now it is too long, which makes the whole dress more Bavarian dirndl old-fashioned than vintage.


And then the belt-question, again. What do you think? Should I go for a small belt, just to accentuate the waist?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOr rather a tie-belt, either from the blue fashion fabric or the red accent fabric? Any opinions?


A Visit to the Fabric Market

Look at what is on my clothes line as we speak:


These are the results of my latest visits to the bi-annual fabric market in Fürth, the next town along from Nuremberg. A very clear colour scheme is emerging, don’t you think? I was not joking when I said that red, aqua and white are amongst my favourite colour schemes :-).

The fabric market was the Stoffmarkt Holland, which takes place in April and October and is one of the most keenly awaited events on my calendar.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The aqua and the red fabric with the blue polka dots are meant to be for a 50s style sundress – my next project. And the red flowers on light pink will hopefully become the dress to wear for my sister’s summer wedding.
The red fabric with the turquoise and pink flowers was an offcut which the lovely man at the market gave me for free – I already made it into a little skirt which I will post about soon.

My Journey in Quilts: Part 2

This is, I think, my favourite quilt! I made it for my younger son’s fifth birthday and although it is by now mOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAeans the most complicated I love it! Red and aqua and white are among my most favourite colour combinations, I think they are so vibrant and optimistic together.

The pattern was inspired – again – by a quilt in Kaffe Fassett’s book “Caravan of Quilts” and again I forgot the name of the pattern. In contrast to the original I interspersed the star block with solid block to make the quilt more quiet. Not that a little boy needs to much quiet of course 😉


Like the previous quilt I handquilted this one, very sparingly, in red. I only picked out the stars and although I did not quilt more because I have never worked out how to do it properly without puckering I really like the result in this case.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Learning to sew trousers

or rather learning to fit trousers! This is my next aim in sewing – in fact something I have wanted to learn for quite some time but have never really dared to try.

I have sewed trousers (all of them from Burda patterns), but in contrast to the patterns for tops or dresses I have never had a real success. The last pair of trousers I made around five years ago had such a terrible fit that I did not even sew the button on and rather tossed them in the bin straight away.

I don’t even understand why I can’t get them to fit! I have no problem buying trousers that fit. Clearly, not every pair fits, but in general I don’t have to try on 20 pairs in order to find on I like. And I have almost never had a major fit issued with patterns for tops or dresses – so I don’t quite see why trousers should be such a problem. But they are!
So I bought some some coral fabric on sale in order to work on (hopefully) wearable muslins. And if they turn out not to be wearable then maybe I will be relieved once I have got over my current coral obsession 😉

My Journey in Quilts: Part 1

I am never sure which I prefer: dressmaking or sewing for the home. Both have their attractions, both their disadvantages.
One great thing about a quilt is its longevity: you can keep it forever, no matter how young or old, big or thin you are and will travel with you on your life’s journey in a way that most clothes wont. Or at least that is what I would like to think and it’s why I made a quilt for each of my children and my husband.
So here I would like to show you my journey in quilts. I’m glad you are coming along!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is the quilt I made for one of my sons. The pattern comes from my favourite quilt book (disclaimer: I don’t know that many books, but this is my favourite one 🙂 ) “Caravan of Quilts” by Kaffe Fassett. I really love the way he makes the most spectacular patterns from a small number of individual pattern parts. Unfortunately I can’t remember the name of the pattern, as I had to return the book to the library. I didn’t use the Fassett (style) fabrics though – they are so bright it is a step too far for me and especially for my son…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Here you can see: it’s just three shapes, a triangle, a strip and a diamond that make the pattern. So simple, yet I could never have thought of it myself.
The fabrics came all from my stash and almost all of them where leftover pieces from some other project that I have done over the years. Somehow that seems to give the quilt more meaning than using new fabric, don’t you think? Or am I being sentimental here?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne quilting task I have yet to master is the actual quilting process. I don’t like hand sewing a lot, for me it lacks the meditative quality that machine piecing has, but I have never really got the hang of machine quilting. So on this quilt I only picked out hte white stars on the front using navy quilting thread. It does not really show on the picture – and to be honest it hardly shows in real life either. I adorned the quilt with some hand embroidery, my son’s name and year of birth.

So many things to sew – so little time…

Have you ever had so many sewing plans that you didn’t know where to start? That’s exactly where I found myself last night. I have everything planned out, all the pattern have been chosen, the fabrics bought and I really could just begin. Instead I was dillying and dallying and so rather than not doing any sewing at all I made two pencil cases.

One of them is meant as a little birthday present for my daughter’s penpal. She is from India so I figured any selection of patterned fabrics would not impress her much, given that the Indians are such masters at producing colourful fabrics. So I went for a Bavarian colour scheme together with a hand-drawn picture of the castle of Nuremberg as embellishment.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

At least this way my daugher’s friend will have a pencil case that is an original. Not quite a Dürer, I know, but I have to start somewhere, don’t I?

The other pencil case speaks for itself:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

To add a little continental touch I put the German version of “Pens and Stuff” OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAon the back:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Some English rose style fabric on the inside and I have got myself an English-Bavarian fusion pencil case. Surely, that must be the way forward for Europe, don’t you think ;-)?

Burda 2/2013 #126 : Raglan Gathered Top

Everybody in Blogland made it, so I thought I will try my hand too on the raglan gathered top.IMG_2397IMG_2405

Like most other bloggers I think this is a great little pattern that I am sure I will make again. Doing it in two colours like above has allowed me to use two fabric leftovers that I have always been to greedy to bin yet never knew what to do with, so that is another thing that really pleased me.

I did have a few problems with the neckline binding, like so many others. I thought the length Burda specified for the binding was just a little too long and so on my first attempt the neckline would not sit flat against the body. I cut the whole binding off and made another one which was quite a bit shorter and that seemed to work better.IMG_2401

It still is not completely flat, but it’s definitely wearable. And next time I know and will make the binding even shorter. Oh yes, and the whole top needs to lose a bit of the length I think – so lots of room for improvement next time around 🙂