Monthly Archives: February 2015

Burdastyle /2014 # : A Skinny Reptile and a Pattern Ooopsy

Thank you for your kind comments regarding the pattern placement on my Happy Skirt! I can now happily report that after wearing the skirt out for the first time, nobody was shocked, with the small exception of Child 1 who said the pattern placement was “a little strange”, but only after being prompted. Coming from a 15 year old I take this as a compliment!

Today I have a similar project – similar is as much as the pattern placement again is a little strange – but this time it might be “unfortunate strange” rather than “fun strange”…

But judge for yourself:

IMG_0724These are another version of my go-to jeans pattern, Burdastyle 3/14 #115 which I made before here and here.



IMG_0732I did not make them as skinny through the leg as the original and did not go all the way on the topstitching so that they come out as trousers rather than jeans as such.


So far, I am actually quite proud about the pattern matchig. Those reptile patterns are pretty symmetrical across both legs ( can you hear the voice of Patrick Grant off the Great British Sewing Bee in the back of your head as you read this? “It’s preeeetty symmetrical!”) . When I bought the fabric I didn’t even realise it was a reptile print, I just liked the colours. I had always thought I’m not your snakeprint kinda girl, but clearly things have changed.

That’s all so far so good. But look what happens when I lift up my top:


Honestly: How bad is this? Is it as bad as I think it is? I never realised what I was doing until I put them on for the first time and found I had marked out my bum crack for all to see…

Not really sure what to do at this point. Do I wear them with a long top? Or do I wear them and simply not care? Or can you think of another way of saving them? I really would like to, in all other respects they are a nice pair of trousers. Just to prove it, feast your eyes on this:

IMG_0734Yep, there are patch pockets on my bum. And yes again, these ones are pattern matched to perfection. So I do know what I’m doing – sometimes…


Burdastyle 9/2007 #116 : “Because I’m Happy”-Skirt

If you’re telling me this is ridiculous, I would readily agree. It IS ridiculous to wear a skirt has has bambis jumping out of your crotch and pink roses adorning the unspeakable place where the sun don’t shine. And even more ridiculous to have a strapping young lad with a silly hat sniffing those said roses!



But still: wearing this just makes me so happy, inspite of all the hilarity! It is basically a metre of fabric happiness, all pattern-“matched” into a “I don’t care” skirt that is more than a little nod to Oona, the muse of all dangerous pattern placement.

I made up the pattern a few times before (but never blogged it) and what can I say, it’s one of my favourite skirt patterns. I like a pencil skirt as much as the next woman, but always find them difficult to fit across those hips. This has the pegged in look but a lot more wriggle room for the booty.


I should have included a walking vent, but only realised when it was too late. Well, no running away in this skirt, I’m going to have to look all those people who point at me in the eye.



By the way: in case you’re wondering what’s happening with that hair and why I don’t give a hairdresser the job they so clearly deserve – I’m trying to let it grow a little. But because I have had short or very short hair for basically 30 years I’m in some slight confusion as to what length I actually want to grow it to. So at the moment I’m going with straight out of bed hair and call it a look. Because that totally makes it a look, right! Right????….

IMG_0723So there: tummy in, chest out and bottom-roses at the ready… 🙂

You said it was okay – so I made another one…

Let me thank all of you who commented so kindly on my recent sweatshirt makes! I was so pleased to hear that none of you thought my shameless selfpromotion was completely abhorrent.
What you might not have known (but, to be honest, should have suspected if you are a regular reader of this blog) is that I wouldn’t leave it at that.

I had some fabric left, the serger was still threaded, I received some encouragement, I never know when enough is enough, as my dad always used to say – so I only went and made another sweatshirt.

IMG_0709I’m a bit hesitant to even show you…

IMG_0711Are you sure you wanna see?


Allright then:


IMG_0714But you said it was okay!

You might still be pleased that I’m down to scraps with that fabric now. I doubt it’ll run to another top – once I’ve made up the one that I’ve already cut and that is waiting in my sewing queue ;-).

How about you: Do you know “when enough is enough”?

PS: If you want to see what else has been happening in the sewing world this week, go and check out Helena’s linkup party on!

Giving it up for Lent: A Mini Stash Diet

I’m not even religious, but I’m still a big fan of Giving Something Up for Lent, much more so than the Catholics that surround me here in the south of Germany. You see, I have a scizophrenic relationship with consumerism: on the one hand I love stuff as much as the next person, I love getting new stuff, and also I have the financial means to buy stuff without having to go without food or other necesseties. On the other hand I am very conscious of the fact that consumerism and the capitalist mantra to make the world tick on by buying more, more, MORE leads to environmental and social damage that might lead to the exact opposite of the world ticking on.

Rather than having any Great Solution to these problems I’ve fallen into the habit of Giving It Up for Lent: For six weeks I try to do without some of the things that have become second nature at all other times. Alcohol, sweets, meat are the obvious candidates. To anethesize my anticapitalist tendencies I also have included what I call “gratuitous shopping” in my list. In previous years this used to mean all sorts of clothes, shoe and this and that shopping. But of course I don’t really buy a lot of RTW any more, so giving this up wouldn’t really make any difference. This for the first time EVER I’m comimitting myself to a stash diet – a minute one. I vow not to buy and fabrics from today, Ash Wednesday, to –  but not including – 18 April, when the next local fabric market will take place.

The hardened stash dieters amongst you will laugh out loud at me, I know. Especially as I’m giving myself leave to break with my diet should I chance upon interesting fabric shops in my upcoming journey to the south of Italy in late March (you see, real Catholics always have a way out, in this case by making travels a diet free zone. Neat, ey?!).  For me, it’s baby steps: two months of not buying fabrics and sewing only from my stash. Not sure I will emerge from the experience spiritually healed, but at least my fabric chest might have enough room to accommodate the fabric market haul.

How about you? Stash diet going well? Does Lent have any place in your life? Do you think my slight anxiety attacks at the thought of NO MORE FABRIC SHOPPING FOR TWO MONTHS are ridiculous? And what fabric would you buy first after those two months?


Burda Vintage: Rosa – Not pink but black!

It’s all very confusing: Burda have decided to give their patterns in the Vintage edition names rather than their usual soulless numbers.


While that’s all very well, the pattern Rosa got me hopelessly confused. You see, in German, “rosa” means light pink. But I did not intend to make the jacket in light pink…  I had white bouclé in mind, from the stash, so that was my good deed for the day.

IMG_0682I have not managed to get proper pictures of the jacket so I’ll wait for those for a  further post. But believe me that I like the jacket a lot, so much so that I decided to make a top of it too.

IMG_0668This is the same cut as the jacket but without the buttoned front.

IMG_0667For me and my non-fashion ways this is on the edgy side of edgy: coated bouclé for the front and back and pleather for the sleeves and facing. I got the materials from Stoff and Stil, and I have to say I was delighted with their fabrics. I got the bouclé in the sale for a great price. Their normal fabrics are not exactly bargain basement, but I was pleased with the service and will definitely order from them again.

IMG_0665I have to say that I really love it – but I got so many comments on the fashion-ness of the top that I wonder if it might be a bit out there for my usual me  ;-). One thing I noticed was that the pleather is very very not – not sure whether that is just me or whether all pleather garments are quite so sweltering. I certainly couldn’t wear full on pleather – just the thought of those oh-so-fashionable pleather leggins makes me shudder – I would be a climate change inducing factor all by myself!

IMG_0678Here you can see the fabric blocking a bit better. I really love the pattern with the little darts across the elbow. Although they are only small they do give a little bit of sleeve shaping which I think makes all the difference on such an unfitted top.


I finished the neckline with a pleather facing. As you can see I did not quote manage to get in on without creases (the pleather has stretch, the bouclé most definitely not…) but I trust you’re not gonna tell anyone. This is our secret!

Having no fashion-consciousness whatsoever I would not even have thought that Rosa really is a vintage pattern. But Burda do a whole lot of blurb in their magazine about the “history” of each pattern, and lo and behold, there are some proper vintage pictures of Rosa:

IMG_0697So there you go, I’m sure I look just like that! And yes, I did go and buy some light pink fabric to make Rosa in rosa. What can I do,  I just like following instructions 😉


Because the serger was threaded…

In order to make my sweatshirts, I threaded my serger in navy. Regular readers of this blog know that now that I have my air-threaded babylock I sometimes rethread it, just for fun. But on the other hand I decided that once the serger is treaded I should go on a German efficency drive and sew away some stash fabric.

So this came out at the other end:

IMG_0655And this:


Yes yes yes, I hear you, it’s not quite the Mercedes of the sewing world. It is definitely more on the Volkswagen end of the sewing spectrum. Two jumpers for Child 2 and 3  – and two long time stash residents gone! That’s what I call a result!

IMG_0656And here, in  a rare show of unity, Jumper 1 and 2 united in harmony. Trust me, it would be impossible to take a picture like this with Child 2 and 3 inside of the jumpers. Oh for brotherly love…

In Non-Sewing-News: Knitting Confusion

IMG_0653Child 1 wants herself a knitted sweater – but she does not want to knit it herself, so there’s a job for me. Though I’m not sure whether I’m making a job or a dog’s dinner of it – I have mega yarn-tangle issues on the inside!

Any ideas on how to avoid this? Do you have a magic system? Or do you – like I do – untangle regularly while swearing in the most undignified fashion?