Monthly Archives: May 2013

Burda 8/2012 #121 : Colour Block Dress Take 2 – With Just One Colour

I only completed this three days ago, but I have already worn this twice and I think it is going to be my new favourite dress: OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is the summer version of the colour block dress I made a few weeks ago. This time I decided not to line the dress as I did not want to add any heat inducing layers. Nevertheless, I think the ponte jersey is heavy enough to hold its own without a lining.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI did some top stitching to emphasise the darts and I decided not to open the darts around the neckline as per specified in the pattern. Originally, I had only basted the darts close for construction, but I really like the cleaner look the full darts give.


I finished the arm and neckline seams with bias tape made from the fashion fabric and hand-sewed the seams. Inspite of my best efforts the seams still show a little, so that is one aspect I don’t like about the dress – but my hand sewing is terrible anyway, so considering this I actually did rather well 😉 .


I promise one day I will manage to get a back shot standing up straight so there aren’t creases and ripples everywhere. When I do stand up straight the back actually fits very well. What is really strange is that I had to take the center back seam in buy about 3 cm more than on the colour block dress, although I used the same type of fabric from the same seller for both dresses. And I even got away without a zip this time.

So altogether and inspite of its limitatons this is a sewing project that makes me very happy:



Inverse Stash Busting

For many of you stash busting seems to be a regular activity. There are some of you who only allow themselves to buy new fabric once they have completed a project from the stash. Others have vowed not to buy any new fabric for a certain period. Even others only thrift and don’t buy.
I certainly have done all of the above – just not this year… Instead I have firmly committed to what I call inverse stash busting:


Isn’t this just paradise condensed into one pile!

I think that my stash needs to get bigger rather than smaller so that I have enough choice if the fancy takes me. Otherwise I might have to go out and buy fabric especially and that would deprive me of an opportunity to stash bust. Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? 😉

Ok, I agree I might have exaggerated just a little, especially since I have omitted from the pictures all autumn fabrics I bought recently – I figured since we are still not even sure whether spring has arrived, the autumn fabrics can wait outside the lime light for a little while…

Am I alone in such naughtiness? Do you ever go on a buying spree like this?

My Journey in Quilts: Part 4


This is my most ambitious quilt so far: yet another Kaffe Fassett model. In the German version of “Caravan of Quilts” it’s called Urknall, which translates as Big Bang – and I think this is exactly what it looks like.

The quilt is 2×2 metres and I made the top entirely from my stash, so from a stash busting point of view it was a very pleasing proOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAject!

At one point I had actually calculated how many diamonds I had cut (it was way over 1000) but I forgot that information asap, so suffice it to say that I had a lot of diamonds on my cutting table.

Of course the assembly of the quilt is in diagonal rows, so basically you just follow a chart without having a feel for the final outcome and you only realise that there might have been a mistake during piecing when the rows are joined. And yes, of course there were a few mistakes, but I managed to correct them. The quilting was done by hand, diagonal rows following the line of the ditch, but about 1cm to one side of the ditch. I must admit that I really did not enjoy this. I am not a great fan of hand sewing anyway, but on this large scale I found it boring and tedious – and I guess that shows in the result. Since completion of this quilt I have bought myself a walking foot for my sewing machine and have had some quite good results quilting smaller quilts, but I have not tries a full size quilt so far. I guess I’m dreading it so I am putting it off… That’s quilting psychology for you!


I bought the backing fabric specially, but the binding is old bed linen, the yellow circles on white from the bed linen I used for my babies, the red flowers leftovers from a dress I made for my daughter when she was little – lots of memories that to me are the essence of quilting.


So what do you think: What is the special attraction of quilting for you? Is it the sewing challenge? The fact that you can conserve memories in fabric? Or something else?

How exciting!!

No, no new sewing projects just yet – my excitement comes from an old project, my colour block dress. It’s featured on the German Burda community page right now:


Thanks to everyone who’s liked my version of the dress.

And now on to more sewing – my second pair of trousers is waiting for me 😉

Burda 11/2012 #107: Trouser Sewing Conquered?

I am so excited! I mean really REALLY excited! I finished my first pair of trousers in years and they have actually come out wearable! I know I should stop the exclamation marks already, but trouser sewing has been my nemesis for so long, so I do feel a bit like having slain the dragon 😉

So here are my trousers on their first outing to the lovely opera house in Nuremberg.


Sewbussylizzy pointed me towards a fantastic way of putting in the zip and after watching these I installed the zip in the 10 minutes just before dinner. This is not a euphemism: it took me 10 minutes flat to put in the zip with no drama, no puckers, no confusion. Amazing! Buoyed by that success finishing the garment only took a couple more hours. They are really simple front pocket trousers.


I think they are meant to be ankle length, but I keep forgetting that I am around 8cm taller than the height Burda specify for their normal patterns, so on me they come up a bit short. Because the coral is a summer colour anyway I don’t mind, but in a more subdued colour I think I would make them a bit longer.


I cut one size larger than usual in order to have more material to play with regarding fit issues. It turned out that that was not actually necessary and I simple took in the side seams by about 1,5 – 2 cm, so basically that made it my normal size again.

One thing I did change is the waistband. I made it much higher than specified, mine ist around 6 cm. That gave me the option to curve it inwards on the waistband on both sides, thus imitating the shape of the waist on the waistband. Am I making myself clear at all? Basically the waistband tapers towards the top, both on the side and on the back seams. This makes the trousers actually stay up without a belt, because they kind of grip at the top of my hips. That may sound a bit strange, but I love it not having to wear a belt.

The top is just a little self-drafted number from some offcut I found in my stash. I have actually worn it a lot, although the neckline gapes a little. Here on the pictures I am trying to compensate with posture… In no way do I have to hold on to the bar in order not too fall over!


The slightly mad look on my face can only be explained by the lack of a barkeeper, don’t you think? And how about those shoes? Aren’t they great? I think I am all in love with them 🙂 .

So what do you think: Is there a future for me and trouser sewing?

My Journey in Quilts: Part 3

Three kids, three quilts: This is the quilt I made for my daughter: OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA It is the only quilt I ever bought all fabrics for. I still feel it is a bit like cheating not to use fabrics with a history, but my daughter did not want “any of that flowery stuff mum has in her stash” 😉


The construction was very simple and it is the only quilt I ever made without any actual quilting at all.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow don’t get me wrong, this is not because I did not want to quilt (in spite of my well documented problems with quilting) but because my daughter did not want any quilting. So you see, it is made to order laziness 😉 !

Burda 2/2013 #126: Raglan Gathered Top – Again

Here you can see handmadeby-Chris in her incarnation as Teacher_Chris in her natural habitat:


I’m wearing another version of the ubiquitous Burda raglan top (I blogged about my first version here) and a Burda pencil skirt. It’s a few years old, so I don’t remember the issue it came from.


This is school, so cue some flat shoes, the better to catch them ;-).

The corsage is one of the little craft projects Burda run in the front of their magazines. I have to say I really love it, almost irrationally so. I will try and get a few better pictures soon.


This is now my fourth version of the top, and the second with contrast sleeves. I had a few problems attaching the neckbinding as the two fabrics have different rates of stretch and so the neckline is a little wavy. But I decided to pretend this was an intentional fashion “thing” and nobody seemed to notice anyway.