Monthly Archives: September 2015

Burda Easy Style A/W 2014: Leather and Sparkle


Well, there you go: I sewed with leather for the first time! It’s only leather accents, admittedly, but I was quite excited about the whole concept of little Chris actually sewing with leather (like – LEATHER!!) .

This biker jacket was a loooong time in the making, in fact it was staring at me accusingly 75% finished for about a year. As is so often the case, finishing only took a few hours and afterwards I didn’t even remember why I hadn’t finished it months ago.


This is the biker jacket from the Autumn/Winter Edition of Burda Easy Style 2013 or Spring/Summer 14 (I don’t quite remember and don’t seem to be able to find it online right now). Or rather, it isn’t quite: The original pattern doesn’t feature the collar, but I decided that my head somehow is too big for collarless jackets with a rather high neckline. It sort of makes my head balloon out from the jacket, if you know what I mean, so I decided to add a collar to frame my head.


IMG_2412The fabric is a boucle – type fabric in all shades of blue and was the most expensive fabric I had over bought until the Siena dress came along. And it glitters! For real, I had never ever EVER even thought about glitter or sequins or any of the fancy effects that I always thought were not me at all. But in my old age I fell myself drawn towards fabric that “only teenagers should wear”, as Child 1 so thoughfully put it. Well, what can I say…


I fell in love with those elbow patches!


I just want to walk sideways all the time, just to show those elbow patches!

I’m pleased with the fit (a straight Burda size 40, my usual size) although the sleeve head looks a bit funny in this picture.


Maybe that’s because the fabric is a little stiff: I block interfaced the whole fabric even before cutting (I had boucle fall apart on me before and decided I would interface this one into submission!), so maybe that’s what causes the slight bunching. I guess I will have to do without the “Lift me up and carry me away” pose in this picture.

It took me forever to decide on how to cover the zipper band. According to the instructions it is just sewn on top of the jacket on the one side, but come on, I’m not gonna sew a semi-exposed zipper on glittery boucle! I think  my solution to cover it with strip off fabric works quite well. It’s covered with a strip of leather on the other side.


IMG_2472Also, remark those elbow patches! 😉

As I mentioned this project has been in the making for quite some time, I seem to remember I bought the fabric in March 2014. I did notice that my tastes have changed somewhat in the past 18 months, because I find the lining quite boring now.


If I were to start over again I would chose a flashier lining, something “fun”. Maybe that’s all to do with the sudden liking for glittery fabric. Child 1 would have a word or two to say about this. It’s as well she’s spending a year abroad and won’t find out about my wanton ways!

I still haven’t had the courage to add the metal snaps to the waist band. Firstly, I can’t find metal snaps the exact same colour as the zip (I bought gold ones, but now I don’t like the look of them) and also: snaps in leather??? Scary stuff! So scary that I have worn this jacket with a floppy flappy waistband for weeks now.

I did get to use the golden snaps on a parka (grey with gold glitter 🙂 ) but that is a post for another day, so I leave you on this cliff hanger!



Is it still June?

No, I didn’t think so.
But I still thought I’ll leave you with a little reminder of the fun that was
Jumping into June.


Not a jumpsuit, I know, but mighty fine jumping, don’t you think?

Burdastyle 11/2012 # 107: End of Summer Trousers

At the end of July I spent a week in London – touring with 20 students, so I didn’t get a huge amount of time to  follow sewing pursuits. But I did get a change to visit both Goldhawk Street and Walthamstow Market and TMOS (Karen will be able to tell you all you need to know about him).

After I’d been to TMOS first there wasn’t much that exists in the world of fabrics that I had not bought yet, so I only bought one fabric in Goldhawk road, which told me it wanted to be made into a pair of late summer trousers..


They are, of course, completely OTT, but isn’t it the most fun fabric all the same? Unfortunately its quality is not very good: it grows considerably during wear and although I have worn those trousers only twice it has already started pilling a little bit where the legs rub together. So they might well be the trouser of only one summer…. We’ll see! That’s what you get for buying cheap fabric, I suppose.


I used my usual trouser pattern, Burdastyle 11/2012 #107. I made the pattern so many times, but this time I decided to try a side zip rather than the front fly. I thought this would be a quicker make and more flattering to the tummy. The later may be true, the former certainly wasn’t as the zip broke after the first wash and I had to replace it. That’s what you get for buying cheap zippers of some guy off ebay… Lesson learned, I only buy the expensive OPTI zips (one for the price of four off ebay) now, after three of the crappy zips broke on me in a row.



Let’s not talk about my need for a racerback bra – I only included these pictures to show how those trouser fit.


The sweater is one I knitted about five years ago and probably only wore once or twice until I forget about it. I recently did a bit of a wardrobe purge and came across it again. During the purge I tried to follow the Mari Kondo mantra of “Only keep what sparks joy!”

I found joy a bit of a strong word for the purposes of tidying. I get joy from my family, from nature, from a sunset at the beach, an evening with my friends, I don’t really associate joy with clothes (although there are very clear exceptions, as the Siena dress proves.) 🙂

But of course I get the point behind the Kondo approach: get rid of stuff you don’t like, that doesn’t make you feel good. A few things in my wardrobe fell prey to that, but with a few others I really didn’t know. One example is this sweater, so I decided to wear it a few times in order to decide whether to keep or chuck it.

To be honest I still don’t know.


Let me leave you with a little flower and a look at the state of my nail varnish testing:

IMG_2458And a question: Should this sweater continue to have a home in my wardrobe or should it move on to a better place?

All shipshape and Bristol fashion

Don’t be disappointed: no sewing to be had in this post! But I’m sure you’ll be happy to bear with me while I get to grips with the local wildlife:


or whatever limited means of transportation there is:


At least the navigation is competent and ever vigilant


and I get to spend time with some half clad crew


So yes, not much sewing to be had…


However – I did get to do some shopping! With the course of the dollar against the Euro being what it is money is syphoning off through my prettily varnished hands more quickly than I can say “She sells seashells by the sea shore” and  I didn’t throw myself into fabric shopping with gay abandon (plus, here in South West Florida there don’t seem to be many fabrics suitable for a Northern European autumn). But I did stock up on quilting supplies:

IMG_2289 (Haha, just on a side note, can you see the empty note pad at the top left of the picture? Yes, that would be the one I brought to prepare for the coming school year and the philosphy exams I am meant to be taking in the spring. And yes again, I only used one page – to scetch out the American kitchen complete with ice cube making fridge that I now know I need as a matter of urgency 😉 )

Anyways, I completely fell for a new to me quilting thing called One Block Wonders . Basically, you take only one fabric, preferably with a hideous print, like so


and then you cut it all up in triangles which you rearrange in cunning ways in order to make a stunning quilt like this:


Because I don’t trust myself with the whole process just yet I bought a fabric that is actually nice, the flowery one in the picture above along with loads of other quilting supplies (and nail varnish!). I went to Joann’s, with was an experience in itself and now I have coupons burning holes in my wallet where my dollars should be. Oh well, apparently it’s the plastic that pays it all.

In order to make up for the sins of the present I have gone along with Teresa of Navybluethreads and committed myself to a three months ban on RTW shopping. I might even add a half hearted stash diet as well (with the exception of the bi-annnual fabric market in Fürth, of course) because I have a feeling I should push the philosophy exams to the top of my agenda rather than autumn sewing. And did they want me to start work again in 12 days? Hmm, not sure – I might have to go and ask el Presidente.


Apparently, Monday, which is Labor day here in the US, marks the end of summer. It hardly feels like it here in Florida, but I’ll take their word for it.

What have you been up to during the summer? And wild sewing plans for autumn? Or do you plan to be good like I do? Famous last words….