Monthly Archives: April 2015

Burdastyle 4/2015 #113a and #103: So I Made Culottes!!!

Well, I’m still a bit speechless – not something that might usually be said about me, I assure you. It’s just: I only just made culottes!
What does that make me: really cool and trendy or an embarrassing fashion victim? Are culottes the item of clothing the modern woman has been waiting for or the rebirth of the worst looking trend EVER?

Judge for yourself:


I’ve been wearing this outfit all day and honestly: I still don’t know whether this is yeah or nay…

I used one of a glut of culottes patterns from recent editions of Burdastyle. This is 4/2015 #113.


I made a muslin in the suggested fabric with a crisper hand – with such ridiculous results than I have banned the pictures from my memory forever. For the make that made it out of the sewing room I used a really light rayon, the kind of stuff you’d use for blouses. I figured it had spent a while in the stash so I might try and think out of the box to make something unexpected with it.


While I know practically nothing about fashion, I do know that culottes only leave the realm of the ridiculous when worn with heels. So I hemmed these to just hit the top of my boots. It is what Burdastyle intended as well – I cut a size 42 as usual and make no changes to the pattern at all other than using a curved waistband rathern than a straight one. Again, this is what I always do, as far as the fit is concerned I cannot fault this pattern.


I have to say that culottes are the most comfortable thing ever. Breezy while offering full coverage of any important bits, no thigh chafing issues even in hot weather and when worn with boots even suitable for days with less than examplary leg shaving routines. What’s not to like!

The top, which I might well write a full blog post for at some point, because I already made two and have plans for more, is also from the April edition of Burdastyle, #103.


Given that I have complained about how I haven’t been much impressed with Burdastyle recently I maybe should reconsider: this is my third make from this edition, next to the culottes and the Amalfi dress (still unworn, by the way, the weather just isn’t on my side).

The top is my version of cropped boxy – I don’t really follow fashion trends, but this trend, high-waisted bottom and cropped boxy top did filter through to me and I fell head over heels in love with it. I’ve always found the full mid-rif-baring look a bit desperate, even on the young and fit, but the sliver of tummy skin look is very sexy, I think. It’s just that I’ a bit too self-conscious to show a sliver of my tummy, three pregnancies and northern European pasty white and all. (Just to assuage everyone who thinks such body hangups are the work of the devil and we should all love the skin we are in: I will happily let it all hang out in the open and wear a bikini, because then the spare tyre is in context, as it were. But JUST showing the spare tyre is a bit much…).

Anyways, so I made this top, which hits the bottom of the waistband and therefore doesn’t show any tummy at all. So at best it alludes to the look I like – but then I only allude to fashion at best, and so all is well ;-).

So readers, is it yah or nay for the culottes look?

She loves them…


She loves them not…


What do you think?


Me Made May 2015 Meets Wardrobe Architect

In the nick of time I’ve decided to sign up for MMM15.

For a while I was not sure what to commit myself to. Over half of my wardrobe is me made, so it would hardly be an endeavour to pledge to wear the usual “one me made garment per day”. So I decided to do something different:

 ‘I, Chris of Said&Done, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’15.
I endeavour to wear my me-made dresses in May 2015 (weather permitting) and analyse why I do or don’t like wearing them. I pledge to draw conclusions from my findings in order to sew more wearable dresses in the future.’

I`m thinking I might get the best of MMM and the Wardrobe Architect. I can join in the collective fun of MMM, but also I get to reflect a little about my me-mades in the real world.

You see, I have loads of dresses! And I want to sew even more of them. And my sewing is advanced enough so that most of the new dresses turn out wearable. But I don’t wear all of those dresses. Some of them stay in my wardrobe for years on end – and I couldn’t even say why.

So this year I would like to find out what puts some dresses in regular rotation and makes others stay on their hangers.

Because this is how I roll, I will make a list assessing the following categories:

  • style of dress
  • fit
  • colour/pattern
  • comfort factor of material
  • ease of care

I will then devise a plan for my future sewing that will allow me to avoid sewing dresses that I end up not wearing.

I kind a know already which dress will come out top in my list – the Siena dress. But it’ll be interesting to see why those full-skirted vintage style dresses that I love looking at don’t really get worn once the initial excitement is over.

Readers, how about you? Are you joininig Me Made May 15? And what is your pledge?

BHL Elisalex/ Burdastyle 9/2007 # 116 Frankenpattern: The Siena Dress

Remember how I made the Amalfi dress especially to wear at Easter on the Amalfi Coast? Well, that didn’t happen – given that my dress was neither suitable for fog, nor for pouring rain, nor for the snowstorm that greeted my ascent of mount Vesuvio on Easter Monday.

Mind you, I was on a walking tour, so the bad weather wasn’t too bad once I had switched on the old frontier spirit: you get warm once you walk briskly enough, clothes will dry on the body, wool warms you even when wet and what gets wet will eventually get dry.

On the plus side, when I got to Tuscany a few days later to visit a dear friend the weather had turned warm enough to at least do some fabric shopping at the weekly market in Siena, thus using the get of of jail free card my stash diet rules had provided me with.

Let me tell you, there were a LOT of very nice fabrics at the market – but let me also tell you that they were asking Italian prices for them, so I only came away with 1.5 metres of a cotton pique that cost me more than any other fabric I had ever bought before. To be honest I was a little bit traumatised by the thought of ruining 50 euros worth of fabric by making a silly mistake, so the fabric stayed in my sewing room for days, untouched – not something that happens a lot at Said&Done HQ!

After much deliberation I decided on a frankenpattern of the BHL Elisalex bodice and my trusted skirt TNT pattern Burdastyle 9/2007 # 116.  I just love that skirt!

So, to cut a long story short, may I introduce the Siena dress:



I cut a size 14 for the bodice following my measurements, but the muslin showed there was quite a bit of gaping at the back neckline which I resolved by taking out two wedges angling from the shoulder blade at about the middle of the neckline down to the armscythe. Other than that the bodice fit well, I only took out a little bit under the bust at the princess seams to remove a little bit of extra fabric.

Because Italy was too cold for a lot of ice cream I caught up on my duty to Italian culture when back at home:



Oh yes, this neckline does fit!! Can’t quite be said about the invisible zip, which I did not manage to make disappear at the waist band where a double section of fabric just refused to bend to my exact specification. You can’t win them all, can you?!


And because I know you come to this blog for the splendid fotography ;-), here’s a style shot!

Before leaving for Italy I said I would eat ice cream and drink prosecco and I didn’t do either of these things – I felt more like grog than prosecco. So get this:


Prosecco at my local pizzeria! I feel quite like the cross-cultural ambassador!

So let me drink you you, dear readers who come to read this blog, to Italy – and to the Siena dress, of course!


Burdastyle is going to be great from now on!

I just thought I should let you know that as from this day – and whatever reservations you might have had in the past – Burdastyle is going to be absolutely great from now on!
How do I know this? Well, because this is just my luck. I cancelled my subscription today and so I just know that as from the next issue I will want to make ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING!!! in it…

Nothing really drastic has happened to make me decide to cancel. I received the May issue today and while it isn’t great it isn’t completely horrible either. But I have found too many issues a bit blah recently and too few that I was really excited about. Also I have five years’ worth of Burdas as home, so pretty much any patterns in the history of sewing is already at my fingertips.
So – a great friendship comes to an end. Let’s see whether I will end up buying every single issue at the kiosk 😉

How about you Burda fans out there: Has it delivered for you recently? Or have you fallen out of love with it too?

The Siena Dress: The Pre – Making Of

Look what I just bought:


May I introduce: the beginnings of the Siena dress! Bought at the market in Siena in Italian! I had to use some retail therapy as I still have not been able to wear the Amalfi dress. Can you believe I was walking through a snow storm on Vesuvio?

Now that

I am with a friend in Tuscany things are looking up a bit weather wise so I might give the Amalfi dress a chance later.

So: what should the Siena dress become? I have 1.5 metres (paying Italian prices I coould not afford more – although there were some true gems there! Made my heart bleed to walk away!)

So I only have enough for a sheath type dress. Any suggestions?

Buon giorno and ciao!