Monthly Archives: February 2017

#sewdowndewsbury: All my bags are packed…

Only 7 sleeps until the Dewsbury sewing meetup, organised by Ali of Thimberlina! Needless to say I’m already incredibly excited! So much so that I’m already packed and waiting to go, humming Peter Paul and Mary songs.

I’m flying handluggage only, but at the same time I want to do some fabric shopping – not two things that are commonly mentioned in the same sentence. So I thought I have to save on weight by reducing the weight of the carry-all itself. So I sewed a carry-all of the lightest yet toughest fabric my stash could muster.

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Now don’t think I intend to rock up at the Ryan Air counter with a bag as full as this and try to get this into carry-on. The bag is just packed full of my entire bedding for the purposes of illustration. I just thought I might as well make it a bit bigger for those times when I fly carry-on on the way there but have one item of checked luggage on the bag back (which tends to mysteriously fill itself with fabric, at least that’s my past experience 😉 ).
It’s made from a waterproof rip stop nylon that was intended for a jacket until I realised that by virtue of being waterproof it would also be non-breathable. I’m sure boil in the bag jackets have their uses, they are just not for me…

While I was at it I also made a new ultra-light-weight toiletry bag.

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It weighs in at all of 120 gramms – unfilled, of course.

I “designed” it in such a way that it will hold the plastic bag of liquids that you have to bare at security.

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I can just rip the plastic bag out and have the guard inspect the brand of deodorant I’m using and then pack it back in the pouch so that my toiletries don’t get lost in the depths of my massive bag.

In case you are not that interested in the details of my luggage, here’s a look at my goodie bag:

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It even has the date of the momentous occasion on it:

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And finally a little look at a little present for one of the people I’ve wanted to meet for a long time. It’s navy on the outside and has a silver lining on the inside. I bet you know who it is for already 🙂

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I can’t wait to meet all of you very soon! See you on Saturday!

xxx Chris

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A quick review of Burdastyle 3/2017

My feeling is that Burdastyle has come in for a lot of criticism lately, and I have to say that I agree: there have been noticeably fewer patterns in each issue and a lot of repetition.  They seem to have a new design team and for my taste the quality has slipped a little since.

The March issue is a little better, in my opinion, so I thought I’ll share a few thoughts with you.
It’s the wedding dress edition with a few nice dresses:

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I like the look of that, however even on the model the straps don’t really lie flat, so I wonder whether that isn’t a problem waiting to happen.

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This is marketed as a “Duchess of Cambridge”-style dress. Well – not every lacy sleeve makes a Duchess of Cambridge dress, does it?!

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The “wedding guest” dress on the left made me wonder – I guess there must have been a simple A-line dress with wide sleeves in every one of the last five issues. Why another one? And a boring one at that?

The boho-wedding dress… Well, if you’re going in for a beach wedding it could come in useful.

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This made me laugh out loud! Wear this to a wedding?? A beach-coverup style mini dress? Really? I was under the impression that most 17 year olds don’t get married these days.

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This are the two things from the issue that I might just make: I really like the trousers. They are in the tall size and a real classic. I have fabric waiting, so these might be one of my next projects.
The cold-shoulder top is nice too, a bit more structured than most. I might make this once summer comes along, from some black cotton I still have in my stash from Ecuador.
There are instructions for the embroidery and although I personally hate embroidery I think it’s a brilliant idea to teach that skill for those who are ameanable.

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There is another reason that Burdastyle isn’t so attractive to me any more: they are reaching out more to the beginner, like in this very simple top. It’s great in principle for a newbie to get more detailed instructions, but I personally would like it if they branched out more into advanced techniques too, so that more experienced sewists get a chance to learn some new skills too.

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Nice, classes pieces for kids – I expect these patterns will be popular.

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That’s my favourite outfit in the whole magazine, in the plus section, so I won’t be able to use it because I’m too lazy to teach myself the skills to size this down. I like also that they have used a proper plus size model, so you really get to see what these patterns look like on a curvy figure.

img_6016That is great too – love it! This is easy enough to frankenpattern from other sources, so I might just make that. I love the combination of the two fabrics.

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So near and still so far! I think it’s brilliant they are doing info on pattern changes. This is for FBAs – but I just think the instructions are a bit too sparse, two pictures for each type of FBA. I would much prefer it if they had fewer methods, but more clearly explained.

And now for my pet peeve:

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A few months back they started baking recipes. Baking recipes!! Are these in the international edition as well? What place do these have in a sewing magazine? There is a rebellion against them on the Burda Facebook page every month, but Burda’s heart seems set on them.

Just a quick overview of all patterns:

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and technical drawings:

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Overall, I think it’s not a bad issue, but not stellar either. I cancelled my subscription in December, so this is my last issue of the subscription and I have to say that it has not changed my mind.

By the way: Please excuse the bad quality of the pictures. I do recognise the problem and I ordered a new camera. It’s still just a point-and-shoot, but a more high-end one than the point-and-shoot that I’ve been using so far. AND I have enrolled into Photography for Beginners course in order to learn at least the tiniest bit about photography AND I hope to find a corner in my sewing room as a “photo studio”, so maybe I’ll have a more regular supply of well-lit photos in future. One can just hope!

Knit Fever!

I don’t know what it is, but after a hiatus of a few years when I did very little knitting I really enjoy it right now. So much so that I even stopped making UFOs – instead I made two projects from start to finish since the beginning of December without any procrastination at any stage.

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Exhibit 1 is this cardigan.

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The pattern is Vitamin K by Heidi Kirrmeier. It’s a top-down cardigan with waterfall front and without closure. I apologize that I can’t show you any better pictures, but this is the second attempt of photographing this cardi and it was ever so cold (plus I was prancing about outside the restaurant where my dinner was waiting for me which didn’t exactly increase my posing motivation).

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The waterfall is created via increases at the front so that it forms a triangle that flows down in rather a pleasing fashion when you don’t keep hold of it 😉 . This picture is from my first attempt (sub-zero temperatures, both outside and for the motivation of my photographer).

Underneath you can see a dress to blog – but I just can’t bring myself to step outside in it again while it is quite so cold, so this might have to wait for another couple of months.

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I loved knitting this! You start at the neck and work your way down. The eyelets serve as increases which help you get the width you need for the waterfall. The sleeves are knit straight after the shoulder section (I knit them flat because I hate knitting in the round with small circumferences, but I’m sure it would be perfectly possible if you are a fan). After the sleeeves the body is finished in one piece – which means that when you are done knitting there is hardly any seaming to do (only the sleeve seams) and tadaa- you are done! Perfect!

While we’re at it, let me show you my most regularly worn garment of 2016:

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Yep, it’s this simple boring white T-shirt.img_5873

It’s a slight hack of one of the Burda patterns, I don’t even remember which one. While there is nothing special to it, it seems to have hit a nerve because whenever I put it in the wash I miss it immediately.

By the way: The jeans are RTW – shock horror! I’m kinda over skinnies at the moment and while I haven’t found the perfect non-skinny pattern I’m stuck with RTW… But hope is in sight, the latest Fashion Style (which I bought yesterday) has a boyfriend jeans pattern, so I ordered fabric and will try the pattern asap. Marianne of Foxgloves and Thimbles did a really interesting review of this edition if you want to know more. I bought it for the boyfriend jeans which are unusual in as much as the front pocket extends towards the back in one pattern piece, thus forming the yoke. I’ll report more once I know how it has gone. There also is one more pattern that struck my attention: a shirt-bodysuit. It’s a straightforward fitted shirt with a bodysuit attached so that your shirt will never ever untuck itself. I’m not sure I’m going to sew this because I wear shirts quite rarely, but I still like the idea of having this pattern in my stash, so Fashion Style/Knipmode 2/2017 get a definite thumbs-up from me.

Otherwise I haven’t been sewing that much recently. It might be because my sewing room is quite cold, it may be because I’m really waiting for spring now, but the temperatures are far too cold to even contemplate wearing spring clothes just yet, or maybe it’s just that I enjoy knitting more. Hopefully my sewing mojo will pick up again soon – and if it doesn’t the Dewsbury sewing meetup will surely give me new motivation. Can’t wait to get there!

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