Monthly Archives: March 2015

The Amalfi Dress – in the suitcase!


Well now: I promised to wear my new dress once in Amalfi. But I hope you will forgive me if I leave it in my suitcase for another day until I work out if I might. Have landed n Wales rather than in Southern Italy…


Burdastyle 3/2014 # : Not Another Pair of Skinny Jeans!

Don’t hold your breath, nothing new to see here – just another pair of my TNT skinny jeans, Burdastyle 3/14 #104:IMG_0783

I don’t really have anything to say that I haven’t said before, but I bet you are relieved that these sport a less questionable pattern than the last version before these.





Avid stash busters will be pleased to hear that this fabric came from the midth of my stash and I’m still on track with my miny stash diet with less than 4 weeks to go, two of which I’ll be away on holiday.

And just to prove to my reader Mia (so there, this is not gratuitous bottom photography 😉 ): No VPL in sight!




So I’ll leave you with what I believe to be my “professional model pose”IMG_0789

It’s as well they keep me on at the school, don’t you think?

This is likely to be the last post before my holiday, so let me wish you all a happy Easter well in advance! And who knows, I might even be able to convince the Gods of Mobile Internet to upload a picture of the Amalfi dress once it is in its natural habitat. 🙂

Burdastyle 3/2014 #117 and Rosa Jacket: Spring Time White

Spring has sprung rather suddenly here, which – after a warm winter – shouldn’t be a surprise, but it still is exciting every year to see how quickly the weather can turn. So I was the happier that my efficiency pre-cutting programme has yielded a spring time skirt right in the nick of time.


I used Burdastyle 3/2014 #117, in principle a basic pencil skirt, but with  front pleats and a fly front.

I was attracted to the pattern because of the extra tummy room behind the pleats – while I adore the look of a pencil skirt I find their tightness a bit restricting and this one offers a bit more room. The pattern specifies a straight waistband, but I swapped it out for a curved three-piece one (off my TNT skinny jeans pattern, that seem to work best in most projects)


I used my usual size 42 for bottoms but found this rather big. I took in a lot more than what going down to a size 40 would have resulted in, probably around 8cm allround at the top and a lot more tapering towards the knees. I was suprised by having to take it in so much, but then my fabric has a to of strech and the pattern may have been for a  non-stretch (I didn’t consult the instructions so I can’t be sure). Your eagle eye will have spotted that I omitted a walking vent – so the skirt had to go back right to the sewing table when one of the seams burst on first wear. Lesson learned, I hope.


Bacause the fabric is quite light I underlined it with stretch lining.

The jacket is the Burda Vintage Rosa which has been completed for a while but not worn yet.


Special effects photography on the bottom left 🙂





The jackets has been finished for a little while and I wore it a few times already. It seem to have found a its niche in my wardrobe. I tend to wear it unbuttoned. IMG_0781


It closes with three poppers. If you are thinking of making this up and you normally do an FBA then it might be worse doing it larger than norma. As you can see, it pulls little buttoned up even on me – and I don’t even you you spell FBA!




I’m never sure whether “fun” linings aren’t in poor taste, but a fun lining it is. It’s got palm trees on it and lighthouses and all!


So spring: I dare you to wear all white all day!IMG_0778

Burdastyle 4/2015 #120: The Amalfi Dress

Ever since the latest issue of Burdastyle arrived I’ve been feverishly at work. The object of my attention was the wrap dress #120:

This the kind of project where I saw the dress in the preview, auditioned fabrics from my stash right away, had tracing paper and notions at the ready the night before the issue was due and started to trace as soon as it arrived.

And so this turned out:



The pattern is for a woven fabric and I cut one size down from my usual size because I don’t fill wrap dress like they are supposed to be filled. So I cut a size 38 up top grading out to a 40 from the waist. Also I shorteded the back shoulder about 1.5m because the armhole gaped a little across the shoulder blades. Otherwise the pattern was sewed as is. I did combine the lapels and collar that come with two different views, just because I like a collar with American shoulders. Oh, and I used the welt pockets from a different view to the one on the picture too.


I have to say that I love love love the colours on this! I love strong colours but don’t wear them all that often, but this fabric, which I bought in Barcelona last year, really spoke to me. And you know what happens if fabric speaks to me in the shop… The sales assistant did try to explain to me that this is curtain fabric (at least I think that’s was she was trying to say, my Spanish isn’t all that great…), but I knew its time would come.


I might still shorten this a little, haven’t quite worked out if this length is good or dowdy.

I like the fact that the skirt is gathered only at the sides and not at the centre front and back – I’m pear shaped enough not to need any extra emphasis at the rear end, thank you very much 😉
Note to self: Get racerback bra!


So far, I haven’t worn the dress out because it’s still freezing here, but at least for the short while I wore it indoors it seems front gapage is well under control. Gaping is what normally puts me off wrap dresses, although I love the style. This one seems to sit a lot better – and if the worst comes to the worst I think I might be able to hide a little button under the lapels so that I can secure the neckline more or less invisibly.

If your are into wrap dress geekery like I am, here’s a look at the innards:


The inside front is fixed with a little button (here it’s not buttoned up because my dress form is set to Christmas gluttony 😉 ), the outside front with a bow.


CB seam for easy swayback adjustment, although I did not need to make any changes.

It’ll certainly be at least a couple of months before I can think about wearing this dress at home, but I’ll be spending Easter in the south of Italy at the Amalfi Coast this year, so this dress will come with me.


There’s me practicing gazing into the sunset. The island of Capri is close to where I’ll be, so gazing is definitely de rigeur. Oh, and sipping martinis and prosecco from long-stemmed glasses!


And the Italians love kids, of course, so I’m practicing standing like a little girl too, just in case somebody wants to offer me some free ice cream.

So picture me: Ice cream cone in one hand, glass of prosecco in the other, gazing into the sunset 😉

Where will you be this Easter?


GBSB Series 3: I’m an Amateur Sewer – Get me Out of Here?

So, the Sewing Bee is over for another year! Great news – in as much as I can sit down in front of the telly again without shouting and the judges at regular intervalls or biting my nails about topstitching ;-).

What did you all make of it? I had a quick browse through the web and most commenters seemed very pleased with how things have gone.

I have to admit I didn’t enjoy this series as much as the two before. To be honest, I felt they had taken it down the TV entertainment jungle a bit too much for my taste.
For one I didn’t like the emphasis on having to do things fast, fast, fast all the time. It may well be the case that professionals have to work under incredible time pressure – but GBSB is about amateur sewing and why should an amateur activity have to conform to the same madness as the world of work? I get that it makes for more competition, but to me, having to sew a chiffon blouse in, what, 2 hours?, is the sewing equivalant of having to eat a dish of maggots for the viewer’s delectation.

Also, as the weeks got on and the contestants more professional I found myself disagreeing sometimes with the judges about their technical judgements. Sometimes the topstitching was “really very very good”, sometimes ” a little bit wonky”, sometimes “not quite even enough” – when it looked near identical to me.

Also, personally I don’t like the fact that the winner is announced only on the strength of the last garment. I do agree that Matt’s dress was the best by quite a way. But then, clearly, the contestants design and practice their garments at home, they know or at least strongly suspect who to make them for, so I don’t know that making one rehearsed garment well makes for the best amateur sewer. So I would prefer it, if the overall performance were taken into consideration as well when deciding on the winner. The way it is now it’s as if one Garment of the Week determines the overall decision.

So, am I alone in thinking that GBSB has been disney-fied a bit too much? That the comments about straight or wonky top-stitching don’t always bear a relation to reality? That maybe making something well rather than fast might be more inspirational? That altering old curtains/80s dresses/old sports gear into some crazy one-wear-wonder gets a bit boring after a while?

Do I, in short, just not get TV entertainment?

What are your thoughts?


PS: Will I watch the next series, if there is one? Absolutely! GBSB still is one of my TV highlights, inspite of my misgivings!


The Beauty of Expectedness

Look, look, LOOK!!!!! Look what’s landed on my doorstep this morning:


You see, when the girls of By Hand London did their kickstarter campaign last year I helped fund them and as a reward I knew I was getting some of their goodies. So I knew what I was getting, no surprises there, move on, nothing to see.

But then: Isn’t this amongst the most beautiful sights in the world?

IMG_0843And then fabric!

IMG_0845Yes!! I was allowed to order 2 metres of their print on demand fabric! How very, very exciting. Originally I had thought that I would upload my own design, but quickly realised that designing my own fabric exceeded my skill and time set by far and so I plumped for their gallery pink flamingo fabric. I’m happy to report that the print is exactly like it looks on their site, print crisp and clear throughout the entire piece of fabric.

At first I was a bit worried when I noticed that the print does not go all the way to the selvages:


But then, of course, how can it, obviously the printer needs an area to grip the fabric while feeding it through its works. Doooh!

You do get a full 148cm width area of usable fabric, so I think that is perfect, no more worries.


So I think I’ll spend a very happy hour thinking about what I could turn this fabric into.


In other sewing news, my spring coat is coming on nicely.


That Peter Pan collar is a work of beauty, if I say so myself.


I’m at that (for me) tricky point where I prepare the lining for bagging. I always run into trouble at the bottom edge:

IMG_0839I dutifully leave 7 cm of the lining unattached to the facing, but when I turn the cloth I always get some sort of organised chaos.

Here, I just sewed as I thought was fit and it’s kinda working ok, but never as perfect as in a shop bought coat.

IMG_0840But how does this even happen??!!


I really, REALLY measured the lining to be 1.5cm shorter than the shell. I compared the lining to the shell before attaching it and yes, it was 1.5 cm shorter than the shell. I wasn’t drunk, I wasn’t tired, it wasn’t dark. So HOW CAN THE LINING NOW BE LONGER THAN THE SHELL? AND IF IT IS LONGER WHY ISN’T IT A UNIFORM AMOUNT ALL THE WAY AROUND? WHY DOES THE WORLD NOT MAKE ANY SENSE?

Philosophical questions, I know. So will I sit down to answer them or will I just cut off the lining to the required length?

I think you know the answer to that…

But just to make sure, please do take my little poll:

A quick review of Burdastyle 4/2015

I have to admit that I have fallen slightly out of love with Burdastyle recently. I think the last issue that really had me excited was 3/2014 – the excitement was for the skinny jeans pattern that I made a few times now. But otherwise it kinda left me cold. I even considered cancelling my subscription, but then I did like a few things in the April edition which landed in my letterbox today, so I think I’m pacified again.

So there you have it, April 2015, according to Burdastyle. One pattern I’m going to make like right now, a couple that might jump my carefully organised queue and some to keep in mind – I think I can call myself a happy sewer.

Did you see anything you like? Enough to bring our the tracing paper?