Monthly Archives: August 2013

Burdastyle 9/2013 #101: A Dress with a View

Having teased you with pictures of my version of this dress #101 from the September 2013 issue of Burdastyle


on the dressform I thought it is only fair to show you a few pictures of how the dress performs in real life.


Sorry, I have just noticed this photo shows more of my garden than of the dress… I hope you can forgive me, I will pay better attention next time. If only I felt more comfortable with the photo-shoot aspect of blogging I could pose next to a chimney staring into the heavens like the Burda model as well 😉

If those pictures do one thing, they do away with any doubt as to the cami-issue. Can you see the neckline Burda put onto this dress??!!! Who would want to wear this as is without a cami underneath? You would be practically naked – and if that is the intended look I doubt anyone would go for this style of dress 😉


With a cami I really like the neckline – you twist the front parts of the top and knot them in the back:


While I like my version I don’t think I would make it again in a print. I think it would look better in a solid because all the twisting and knotting does get a little bit busy.

Also my biggest suggestion to anybody considering this dress is to use a fabric with two nice sides. Just look at this:

IMG_4421Yep, due to the nature of the twist at the waist sometimes the underside shows a little bit (and is testament to my ongoing disaffection of my sewing machine with my twin needle…). The tie at the waist also does this sometimes:


As per the instructions both parts are not sewn together for the first bit, which makes sense because a single layers of fabric drapes more easily than a double layer. But I have noticed that when I move the underside may show sometimes. This is not a big problem and I can rearrange it without any problem, but if I had used a solid fabric I wouldn’t really have to worry at all.

May I draw your attention to the sleeves again:


I just love them! I almost fell over when I wore the dress for the first time because I was looking at my shoulders more than at where I was going. 🙂

So altogether I am happy with the dress, although I can clearly see its limitations. I might make the top version of this in a solid jersey that has graced my stash for rather too long. And I also wonder if this could look stylish if made as a cardi from a chunky knit and knotted rather loosely for a draped rather than tight look. Hmmm… lots of options – just the way I like it.


Burda 9/2013 #127: The Strange Sleeve Dress

I need your help please: What do you think about the sleeves on this dress? It’s #127 from the September 13 issue of Burdastyle. Now for once the model picture in the magazine makes no secret about the wideness of the sleeve: 127 0913 B It does look a bit like a geisha house coat, doesn’t it? It did think that when I first looked at the picture but decided to make the dress with these slightly strange sleeves thinking it might be fun to make something different for a changeIMG_4429.


But is it still fun in real life? What do you think? Should I leave the wide sleeves that look a bit odd with the fitted dress?

Or maybe I should roll them up?



Hmm, not sure about any of this…


The more I look at those pictures the more I think the strange sleeves have to go… Do you agree? Or is there anything you would like to say to rescue the strange sleeves?

Burda 5/2012 #119: Unexpected Skirt

So sorry for posting this yesterday without any content… Don’t know what’s happpened there  🙂

It just is a tiny post to show a skirt that came as a very happy surprise to me:



When I went fabric shopping the other day I just fell in love with this fabric and it was on sale as well, so I just had to have it. I first thought I might make a very simple gathered skirt, but then I remembered this pattern that I had wanted to try for a while:

119-052012-M It is #119 from Burdastyle 5/2012. I made mine a lot longer because I wanted to show off the whole of the border print. I don’t know that the length the skirt has ended up is the most flattering length for me, but I don’t care – I just love the skirt.

It sits quite high on the waist and is a little tight in that area – I was affected by a sudden attack of the middle age spread earlier this year (yes, yes, I hear you, I am sure it has crept up on me, but it just felt very sudden to me…) and have not got used to fitting for this yet, but I can just about fit in.

So very late in the course of summer I have a new favourite summer skirt! Better late than never, ey??!!

Being Busy with Burda: Three pieces from Burdastyle 9/2013

I have made the best possible use of the school holidays (and my boys away for a day trip 🙂 ) with a heavy sewing session based on the latest edition of Burdastyle. A lot of people in blog-land were rather non-plussed with it, but I actually really like it and I have made/am making three pieces from it.
First up is dress #127 (I blogged about my immediate infatuation with it here).

It’s not quite finished yet as I have not decided on the hem length and there is also a lot of umming and ahhing about the sleeves. I am not sure whether to leave them as wide as intended by Burda or to go for a more traditional tighter sleeve.


Then I made dress #101 from a very busy knit fabric. I am kind of hoping it does not look as busy in real life 😉


You can see the dress has very low neckline, so for reasons of decency I put a camisole on my dressform 🙂

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe knotted front pieces tie around the back, but the tie almost disappears in the business of the fabric.


I am all in love with the little gathered sleeves:


Finally, to complete my day’s work, the batwing top #113. I decreased the width of the batwing a little. Somehow having too much fabric around me makes me nervous…


I did not even look at what the instructions specified for finishing the neckline. I just used a strip of black bias stripe that was kicking around in my stash.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo what do you think: Did I get my money’s worth out of this edition of Burdastyle?

Burda 9/2013: September Excitement

When I looked through the preview of the September ’13 issue of Burdastyle on their website I was actually rather non-plussed. Same feeling when I looked through the first pages of the actual magazine yesterday. But then this:

127 0913 B127-092013-M

Isn’t that just a brilliantly stylish dress!  After a little rummage through my rather copious stash I have tentatively decided to make this out of a grew light suiting fabric for the sides and sleeves and a black/red/beige/brown flowery fabric for the centre part. I have just finished tracing the pattern so hopefully it should not be too long until I get around to sewing it.

Then there is a jersey faux-knot dress/top the technical drawing of which I can’t find online right now. This looks super stylish as well. Then a batwing top which looks very versatile and very easy to make, so what’s not to like.

And then there are baby clothes for girls, when my sister and a good friend are going to have girls in a short while – I call that handy!

So against expectations, the September issue has left me all excited.

How about you: did you see anything you like in a Burdastyle recently?


My Journey in Quilts: Part 6


Boy, it’s been hot! Here in Germany we really are not used to this kind of non-stop heat – we have had almost continuous sunshine since the beginning of July and temperatures of above 30 degrees Celsius (don’t know what that is in Fahrenheit, but believe me it is hot!). So what with the temperature and the fact that my sewing room is in the loft of our house, right underneath all that heat, it may come as no surprise that I have not exactly been churning out new pieces. So I thought I could blog about a quilt I made a while ago.

In fact the quilt hardly didn’t involve any piecing at all as the main fabric is a print.


It was purchased a few years ago in the East End of London in one of the many shops stocking African fabrics there. Another piece of the fabric almost made it into a dress, but so far this is languishing as a UFO ;-). I might just summon enough energy to do a finish-up-Friday one day…

The time I saved on the piecing of this quilt I put in the quilting as I hand-quilted the whole thing. I have to say I really hated it – I found it boring and tedious and exhausting and upsetting at the same time – and I pierced my fingers more than I care to remember, so I assume this will be my last attempt at hand-quilting.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI think my annoyance and lack of committment are clearly visible in the quilting too , so I was actually quite unhappy when the quilt was first finished. But now I am glad to report that it has found a happy home in our treasure chest of garden quilts and many happy hours lounging in the garden have now been spent on it. And I guess that is the beauty about quilting – your products become a part of your (or someone else’s life) and take on a new meaning beyond what they meant for the quilter making them.

For my next quilt I still need to up my game: My sister is getting married and so I want to give the happy couple a wedding quilt. I am almost finished with the piecing – still no clever idea on how to do the quilting in the best way though. It’s just been too hot for this kind of hard thinking…

So how are you all coping with the challenges of summer/the middle of winter? Have you managed to do meaningful amounts of sewing recently?