Monthly Archives: November 2015

Fashion Style/Knipmode 9/2015: Raglan Bluse x 2


I was going to write a big long post about this! After all I made two blouses, starting off from the same pattern but taking out a LOT of width from model 2. But then life happened and so there’ll only be a few pictures.


This is blouse no 1, from a very thin rayon (that started to pill even after the first wear at the area where I wore a belt to hold in the width of the blouse. SO annoying!)

IMG_2661As you can see it is really quite wide! I cut a size 40, same size I would usually cut in Burda, but I need to get used to the fact that Knipmode cut their patterns more generously. I was inbetween a size 38 and size 40 on their chart, but I think I could have safely gone down to a 38 or even 36.

The original pattern has a straight hem, but I put on a high-low hem. Not completely sure about it, maybe I’ll cut it off. On the other hand, I doubt this fabric will make many washes, so I might as well not bother.


I also lowered the neckline considerably. I do appreciate that high necklines are much more en vogue at the moment, but they make my neck look huge.

IMG_2652And this is version 2 in an “all my favourite colours in the world” rayon. I’m trying the front-tuck here, which I understand is a thing. Not sure if I have quite mastered it just yet 😉


Full tuck here so you can see that I took out about 12cm of width all round compared to no 1.


Still roomy enought, don’t you think?


Constructing the lower collar in a much less drapey solid  stash fabric was a bit of a white knuckle ride. The collar was meant to be cut on the bias, but as the solid was strictly no drape I decided to cut it on grain but to amend the pattern piece by making it curve to lie flat.


Well, that kinda worked… It took a lot of steam and a liberal dose of post-watershed language to make it lie as flat as it does.


All in all, those bloused are fine, but I haven’t really fallen for them. Or maybe it’s me in them. But especially the ivory one has been worn a few times already – it’s great as a layer that goes with everything and is not as same same as my usual knit tops.

The jeans in those photos are my latest iteration of Burdastyle 3/14 #115, which I did again here and here and there are a few unblogged versions. I think I got the front crotch area as right as I can:


The back still needs a little bit of work, but I didn’t quite get there through all my different versions. So rather than flog a dead horse I bought the Ginger pattern by Closet Case – all blogged version look just amazing, so I’ve overcome my PDF fear and hope to be able to report great things asap.

In the meantime, however, I have embarked on a selfless-sewing project of an epic scale. After making a shirt and then another shirt for Child 2 I have now succumbed to his calls for a suit. So I made a boys suit (finished apart from the button holes). And a suit needs shirts to go with it, doesn’t it?! So I made not one, not two but, three shirts. And now I need to make a matching shirt for Child 3, ’cause otherwise that would be unfair. It’s as well that Child 1 is staying abroad this year – helps me to prevent sewing overload.

Three of those shirts are basically finished – apart from  (Guess what?! – Yes, you guessed it!) the buttonholes. So one of these day, before Christmas, I will need to make about 50 button holes and attach the corresponding buttons. Why, oh why, do I decide to go overboard like this???? I don’t think this is the first time I quote my dad on this blog: “Chris never knows when to stop!”

Photos of the finished project will be up hopefully after Christmas.

Oh and then I bought supplies to make another coat, the long lusted after Burdastyle 12/2012 #104. I have fallen for his coat when it first came out but never had the confidence to try it. But if I can make a suit and shirts sweat shop style surely I can make a coat like this?! Please say yes…


Fashion Style/Knipmode 9/2015: It’s a Wrap!

Some of you might know that Dutch sewing magazine Knipmode have started publishing a German edition this year, which they call Fashion Style. While I can just about work out sewing Dutch, using their patterns with German instructions is of course a lot easier, so I bought a few of their magazines in recent months.
My impression is that they specialize in simpler designs that are wardrobe builders you can wear everyday. I haven’t seen any of the more experimental things Burdastyle sometimes have, but their patterns aren’t quite as obviously utilitarian/art teachery as Ottobre – all in all there is a lot to like, in my opinion.

A case in point is this wrap dress from their September edition.


“I can’t see the dress for the background” I hear you say. You are right, of course, but I’m standing here on the drawbridge of Ingolstadt castle, one of the most historic buildings in Upper Bavaria. So there, now you know.

History lesson over, let’s look at the dress:


One might be forgiven for thinking that this is just a standard wrap dress. Well, let me tell you it isn’t, at least not for me: it is the first wrap dress in the history of mankind (or at least Chris-kind) that stays put all day! I didn’t have to adjust the dress once, didn’t expose myself in any way I didn’t want, I can’t tell you how pleasing this is! Take the other wrap dress I made this year as a contrasting example:


I love the look of this – but I have only worn it twice since I made it in the spring and it is now in my refashion pile because it just gapes and gapes, not matter how tightly I wrap it. So after I have moved once I have to adjust it unless I want everyone to be able to discuss my choice of underwear and that constant fiddling annoys me no end.


I didn’t have enough fabric to make the wider skirt of the original pattern, so I simply added the skirt from the Burda dress above. In the more drapey rayon knit it looks very different, don’t you think?


Many wrap dresses work better on the more well-endowed, because they need something to keep the bodice held taut. Not this one! No wardrobe malfuntion all day, even though I was wearing a slippery slip underneath.

What would a sewing post be without the science bit? So have a look at the insides of the dress:


I really like the way this pattern deals with the problem of attaching facings to the wrap fronts: It doesn’t have any. Rather the wrap fronts fold over on themselves so that the entire center front is doubled and then attached the the side front. In this way there are no problems with finding the right tension for attaching facings and also all seams on the front are nicely enclosed.
You can also see that the shoulders are quite wide. I cut a size 40, according to my measurements (which would be a size 42 in Burda, fyi), but I feel I should have gone down one more size on this. Next time I make this I might cut the pattern witout seam allowances, effectively taking it in by a size or two. Please note, however, that my dress from is suffering from an anorexia problem at the moment (in fact it’s threwn up all the screws that keep the waist setting in place, thus resetting her to the smallest setting) – so waist-wise, those are not my measurements and the dress is not sewn to be as small as that.


The centre front continues to the back to form a little shawl collar. Again, this helps to make the front give more coverage than on most wrap dresses and for me, that makes it so much more wearable.

And finally a rare glimpse of Child 3, who has never been fully behind my “no child photography on the internet” policy. Will there ever be a point in life when pebbles do not magically jump into shoes?




Burdastyle 6/2015 #121: Rouched Dress Take 2: Print Madness

When I showed my new favourite dress recently I also announced that I had made a second version in a crazy panel print. I had not actually worn the dress at the time!
Well, if you’re looking for print craziness, I’m sure this doesn’t disappoint:

IMG_2621It’s the same pattern as for the British racing green dress, but in a panel print. Looking at it with the benefit of hindsight, the white section looks quite unfortunate, I think. But I could not have cut the dress any other way with the fabric I had, so if I were to start again I would not use this fabric for a dress again.


There was some discussion about the tummy camouflaging properites of rouching and whether a print will hide more than a solid. Well, judging from this dress and the solid green version I don’t think there is much of a difference. I guess I will either have to stop wearing snap-to-fit clothing or get over my tummy-phobia!

IMG_2627Here’s me crossing the road – because I can!


And here again me with my white bum… The more I look at it the more I am convinced this will not do. I guess I’ll just cut it off and use it as a top – do you think that’s a good idea?

And while I ponder the the dangers of print placement I ‘ll leave you with my “To be or not to be” moment if this Halloween


PS: The tombstone reads “They wanted a treat, but what they got was a trick” – it’s our take on reverse psychology on Halloween 😉

Burdastyle 2/2014 #101: Twee Tea Dress

To be honest, I don’t even drink a lot of tea! But then again, have you ever heard of a Coffee Dress? No, me neither, so a Tea Dress it is:



I used the bodice of Burdastyle 2/2014 #101.


Really, I had wanted to duplicate my Siena dress and use the BHL Elisalex bodice. But I could not get the sleeves to work. When I put them on my Elisalex muslin from back in the spring the whole thing just looked way off, so much so that I did not know where to start fixing it. So instead I used the Burda pattern that I knew would fit. Not because I have a dress using it – I have a wadder using it. But what made it a wadder was the skirt that I cut wrongly, so that dress had been hiding in my stash for more than a year. All tears have been cried, the wadder is all taken apart now, the fabric’s been cut for something else and the pattern has materialised in this tea dress again.


I’m in two minds about this. I have already worn this dress a few times and I love wearing it. It is really easy to wear, not restrictive in any way, it’s made from a medium weight ponte, so it really is like secret pajamas. It also doesn’t need ironing, so what’s not to like?!

IMG_2596On the other hand I’m not sure it’s not all a bit too twee. Burda US market this pattern as “softly charming” and “demure”. I’m sure it’s all that, I’m just not sure that anyone would describe me as softly charming… Maybe it’s the half circle skirt in that just below the knee length? Or the rather Catholic purple?

IMG_2594This is where I search for the answer to all these questions – I’m sorry to say I haven’t found it down the water wheel.

All in all I’m still happy with this project. I envisaged this dress exactly when I bought the fabric, so it’s not a case of my vsion not becoming reality. I just thought I might look a bit more stylish in it. But I love the colour of the ponte so I think it’ll see me through autumn, even if it might not be the pinnacle of fashion.