Monthly Archives: January 2015

The First Skirt of the Year!

I spent the end of 2014 in Berlin and naturally I did a bit of fabric shopping. I have to emphasize the “bit” bit – I was with my family and they don’t tolerate and real in depth fabric purchasing research. So in the end of the day I shopped in one of the large department stores – in fact I probobly could have got the same fabrics in my local branch but still: in my mind these fabrics will forever be associated with my Berlin trip for me.

The first fabric was one metre of heavy wool coating – but I knew from the start I wanted to make a skirt out of this. The colour, “dark forest” probably comes closest to describing it, is one of my very favourite colours.

IMG_0592I dug out an older Burdastyle A-line skirt pattern (can’t remember which one, as only the traced pattern remains) and only added the tabs to the pockets.

IMG_0598I need to have pocketses, don’t I ?!

IMG_0596The back just has two darts and an invisible zip (which unfortunately ended up not to be quite invisible where the waistband meets the skirt. Should have chosen a lapped zip in this thick fabric. Live and learn, ey?

The blouse is my first ever make of a Ottobre magazine, Ottobre Woman 5/14. I might even get around to blogging it one day, given that I made the pattern twice already.


IMG_0595This was completed at the beginning of January, right after the Russian General Coat and what you see here is pretty much the only snow we had this winter. Just to illustrate the crazyness of winter 2014/15, feast your eyes on this picture (and a preview of my latest trousers) taken a few days later:

IMG_0611Well, weather!! How has your winter been? Or are in in the midth of summer, waiting desperately for a breath of fresh air?


Top 5 Ideas to Get More Out of My Stash

I’ve been kinda lazy on the top 5 front this year – although I did make quite a few nice things that I have worn a lot. But somehow I felt I couldn’t decide, especially as some of my favourites are – as yet – unblogged.

But I did decide that 2015 might be the year where I take away from my stash more than I add to it. Revolutionary, at least for me, I know, but somehow it’s time. Note that this is NO committment to a stash diet – I don’t do diets 😉 .

Aaanyways, I thought I might look through my stash and find some fabrics that I like and start some plans as to what to do with them.

IMG_0585 So here’s the pile of fabrics I identified for new ideas.

Starting from the bottom, the first fabric is already spoken for:

IMG_0573 It’s a ivory colour boucle type fabric. It came from the remnants bin of my local fabric store and I always wanted to make a straightforward blazer. But now I’ve fallen for the jacket ROSA from the Burda Vintage edition. So this is towards the front of my queue.

IMG_0574This cotton crochet lace has been in my stash for far too long. I know I want to make a simple 3/4 sleeve top out of it. Burda has had a few suitable versions over the years, but I have always chickened out because I’m not really sure of how to finish this rather thick lace. It’s time for some experimental sewing!

IMG_0575This wants to be a spring coat! The solid blue is a wool fabric, relatively light for a coat, that’s why I think it might be good for spring. The flowery lining is a cotton satin – I orginally bought it for a dress, but I think it’s a bit much for that. Much better as a lining! I’m not quite sure about the pattern yet, so it might take a little while before I get round to making this.

IMG_0580 This stretch satin is going to be slimline trousers. I have a new Burda pattern in mind and if everything goes according to plan this will be on my sewing table next.

IMG_0581 Hmmm… Shirtdress? Shirt? Pajamas? I have three metres and this needs to go now as it’s looking at me with an evil eye. Ideas anyone?

IMG_0584 This I’m actually excited about. The striped fabric is a wool mixture boucle and I have enough to make a light indoor coat. The black is only a 25cm remnant of a leather effect something or other, but I think it will look good as an accent. I think I will use the same pattern as for my accidental autumn coat. Soon, I can feel it.

Well, these were even top 6 ideas (although one is hardly an idea yet, so I’m back at five.) But I wouldn’t want to leave you without a look at my last fabric purchase of 2014:

Isn’t that just the bees’ knees?


Completely mad, but quite wonderful, don’t you think? I only have one metre, but this will have to be a skirt of some sort. How I’ll  avoid Bambi-on-bottom pattern placement issues I don’t know yet, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

How about you: Stash diet, yah or nay? And what are your next sewing plans?

Burdastyle 11/2011 #111: The ” I Quilted My Own Lining” Duffle

Peeps,  I thought I was going mad (and maybe I have, some might say the jury is out on this), but I did it: I quilted my own high-viz night-glo lining for a duffle coat, using Burdastlye 11/2011 #111:

IMG_0355Yep, metres of shiny, slippery, SLIPPERY; S:L:I:P:P:E:R:Y: orange satin were painstakingly quilted to form the lining of this duffle coat, because I can!

IMG_0350So I can do my English Farmer on Acid impersonation whenever I feel like it.

Which is more often than one might think …


No, no, all quite harmless, I was just going to cut the Christmas tree (yes, observant reader, this make has been finished for a while, but we were not going to mention my lack of blogging discipline, were we??!!!)

IMG_0352It’s quite roomy and I had added a waist drawstring, but then I decided I like the roomy version better, so I ripped it out again.


IMG_0349I made my own toggle thingies, from leftover bits of leather and brown cord. This, and the buttons and the fabric and lining all came from the stash, so I feel mighty proud of myself (and justified to buy a whole load of other fabrics…)
I have since added press buttons as the toggles will not sit straight and distort the stripe matching across the CF.

IMG_0386This pictures does more justice to the neon-ness of the orange! When I put up the hood I am almost blinded by the orange inside it. It feels as if I’m walking around on Cloud Orange all by myself.

IMG_0385So with my hands in those oversized pockets and my head in a cloud of orange I might just about make it through winter!

Top 5 Unexpected Fails of 2014


2014 has been a prolific sewing year for me and I’m pleased to say that with all that practice my skills have improved so much that I made very few wadders as such. But there were a few items that I completed and to acceptable standard and that still have not stood the test of time in my wardrobe.

So feast your eyes on the Top 5 Unexpected Fails of 2014.

A click on the picture takes you to the relevant posts



Clear Winner: The Not-At-All-Bomber Jacket.
I really took my time on this, but it turned out that everything is wrong on this, fabric, high neckline, poofy sleeves, short lenght… I have since traced a different Bomber pattern, because I don’t learn, do I?


Runner Up: The Oooh-tight-JeansIMG_8605

Completely nothing wrong with these – I just made them for a thinner version of me… I squeezed myself into them for the pictures, thinking that jeans need to be tight, but I have not worn them a single time since. Chances I’m gonna get thinner? Well….


Joint Nr Three: Is it the Yellow?-Skirts


I really should learn! Here are two skirts that I thought about for a long time, made with effort and put into my wardrobe not to wear them once. I don’t even know why. I still like them, even looking at the pictures now, but I still never reached for them when the weather was right. Does that only happen to me?



And finally the Bit Too Psychodelic-Top

IMG_7866I was all excited when I bought the fabric, but I had to learn that I look better in psychodelic print inside my head than in real life.  I like the pattern as such but I think it looks much better as a dress:

IMG_8124 This top is just too much, plus I always think it looks a bit maternity on me, so this has gone into the alterations pile.  Maybe the fabric is going to be reborn as a tanktop or some thing not as voluminous.


So there, my Top 5 Unexpected Fails of 2015. As of this evening, January 6, I have already completed three garments in 2015, but only blogged the Russian General Coat. If I go on at this rate I might have to increase the list to Top 10 Fails of 2015 😉 .

In Off-Sewing News: Travel Advice for US East Coast needed!

I know, I know… First she doesn’t post for ages and then she comes along and wants info that has nothing whatsoever to do with sewing. But maybe, just maybe you could indulge me?? Pretty please?

Thing is: We’ve been thinking about spending our summer holidays in the States. First off we thought of going to Florida, but then we had second thoughts because while we enjoy a beach holiday we would like to have more options than just that.
So we have now been wondering about combining a beach holiday with a slightly more “educational” trip by flying into New York, driving first up the coast towards Boston and ideally even further up into New England, then down to DC for a spot of sightseeing and then to Virginia for a few days on the beach.

  • We have looked through some guide books and that all looks feasible to me, but is it really?
    We`d be taking Child 2 and 3 with us, who will be 12 and 9 at the time, so they have some stamina, but do you think the distances are ok? Or would be need to spend days and days on the road just to get from A to B?
  • Is a beach holiday in Virginia a good idea? Virginia Beach looks nice, but is it? Everybody from Europe seem to only ever got to Florida or California for a beach holiday. Are they right or are they missing something in not going to Virginia?
  • How warm is the sea likely to be? Is is nice to swim there or so cold that you need to be a hardy soul to swim?
  • Any nice places to visit along that route or general good ideas?

As always, your input is greatly appreciated!

Burdastyle 8/2013 #143: Start as you mean to go on – The Russian General Coat

I hope that 2015 finds you all in good spirit and health and you have been able to celebrate in style. I have had a rather quiet time of it, much as I like it.

Now admissions first: I haven’t blogged for so long I am beyond embarrassment now! I’ll cut out on all the apologies, seeing that they are futile anyway and just turn over a new leaf, if that’s okay with you.
And what a leaf it is, if I say so myself. I started 2015 sewingwise with a selfless sewing project, a coat for Child 2’s 12th birthday. Now you must promise me that you are NEVER going to show him the model picture. I used Burdastye 8/2013 #143


which is modelled in the magazine like this:


Of course, if Child 2 knew I sewed him a girl’s coat, he would never wear it again. Given that he doesn’t know he rather likes it (forgive the crude editing, I don’t yet know how to make faces blurry other than by drinking copious amounts of alkohol. But it’s still the morning, so I’m resorting to black boxes instead):


IMG_0563As you can see it’s a bit slouchy, but I thought I’ll leave a little room for him to grow into.



I must admit I’m a little bit proud of this coat, first of all because Child 2 really likes it, and what better could there be for Mum than to have done good? And also because it is like a proper grown-up coat, with welt pockets, and two-part sleeves and shoulder pads and lining and everything.

IMG_0561Child 2 calls it his Russian General Coat. I’m not sure he knows his uniform code, but I think it might be the detail that creates this impression for him.


IMG_0568IMG_0570Both the fashion fabric and the lining came from my stash, so that’s a winner already, given that I decided I need to work on reducing it (but more on that story in another post…).

All the difficult bits such as the pockets or the button holes went in like a dream this time, so maybe the stars aligned on this make.

So: Quite a good start to the sewing year, don’t you think?
What’s on your sewing tables right now? Have you started the first make of the year?