Tag Archives: blouses

Burdastyle 3/2018 # 114: Desperate Measures (#burdachallenge2018)

If, like me, you’re blogging from Northern Europe you will probably be as fed up with winter as I am. I’m just really, REALLY over it, so much so that I’ve been in full spring sewing mode for about 4 weeks, which coincidentally has been the coldest 4 weeks of this winter. Something does not seem to work quite as it should with my karma…

A case in point is this blouse, #114 from Burdastyle 3/18 in this sherbert coloured cotton lawn.

The fabric was an impulse buy from my local fabric shop, again because the flowers and colours reminded me that there might be warmer temperatures just around the corner.

The blouse has massive sleeves tamed by wide cuffs and a pussy bow.

I’m not sure I like it tied though. It stands up around the neckline, because it’s just a simple rectangle and when tied this becomes more apparent. Maybe that’s a design feature, but  if so, it’s one I’m not majorly keen on.

I made one important change: the bodice is meant to be cut on the bias, but I just cut it on grain.

I lengthened the blouse by about 5 cm, so beware, it is really quite short as drafted. Also I took out about 20 cm of the width around the hemline. I felt it was just too flared otherwise. My instagram has a few before and after pictures, so if you are interested in seeing the difference you might want to look there. I did make one important change: the bodice is meant to be cut on the bias, but I just cut it on grain. So maybe the flare would not have been as pronounced if cut on the bias – I guess this is for others to find out.

Here, I’m wearing the blouse with matching powder pink trousers. They are also Burdastyle, but I don’t remember which pattern exactly. Or better, now I do, thanks to ab, the Compulsive Seamstress, who reminded me that’s Burda 9/2010 #115.

And this one is  just for a quick impression of the proportions of the sleeves.

Because I had time on my hands I made another version of the blouse, this time in a grey and white striped shirting, the antidote to the sweetness of the pattern. I left of the ties this time and in fact I do like it better this way. Sorry I don’t have any better pictures yet and you have to make do with my sligthly faulty mobile picture, but I only finished the blouse today. I think you get the idea at least.

You can see that the arm scythe (do you even say that for raglan seams? But you know what I mean, the sleeve-to-bodice-seam) is a little short and I get some draglines from there. I’m not quite sure what’s happened as I didn’t have the problem on the flowery version. I think I might have made some of the pleats on the sleeves a little too deep thus dragging the bodice seam up too much. I didn’t bother to change it though, as I think this style of blouse is very me in 2018 and so consequently might not be in my wardrobe forever. I’ve already worked out that I can cut an Ogden out of the bodice pieces, so all is well in the world of recycling 😉 .

I’ll take both versions with me on my visit to Porto next week, and when I return from Southern Europe can we agree that then it’s really time for spring to start??!!



Burdastyle 1/2018 #116: Dramatic Sleeve Blouse

I’ll be the first to complain when Burda is churning out the same few bomber jacket or sack dress patterns issue after issue. But equally, I’ll say if I love what they have to offer, and at the moment I LOVE Burda! November 2017 was probably my most widely used issue ever (yes, I know, all still unblogged…), and when January 2018 arrived at the news agent’s I know I had to buy the issue.
The first thing I made was the dramatic sleeve blouse #116.

Look, I brought a friend to keep my company while trying to remote control the camera. If she’s good I’ll even sew her some clothes!

Let’s address the elefant in the room:

The  pattern placement on the back is just atrocious! I felt really angry at myself for not giving pattern placement any thought whatsoever and not checking before the blouse was half sewed up. But then I clearly was not angry enough to re-do the back, even though I still have fabric. I promised myself I was going to make the rest into an Ogden cami, so I let myself off for the back.

Other than that I absolutely love the blouse. It makes it possible for me to sew into the dramatic sleeve trend without the sleeves getting into the way of actually doing stuff. I did change the normal buttoned cuff to a elasticated cuff because I like my sleeves up, and of course I couldn’t ruin a dramatic sleeve by rolling it up.


The sleeves are the star of the pattern of course. They are incredibly full, which isn’t quite so apparent in the very light and drapey viscose I used. They are tamed with four pleats at the sleeve head and additional gathering  to top of the sleeves. They were a bugger to set in, I won’t lie, but if you look at the line drawing I almost find it surprising that they can be set in at all. The rest of the blouse comes together very easily. I made one change to the facings. Burda give you a very small facing just around the neckline and whatever other way of finishing the back slit (I didn’t read the instructions re that step, so I couldn’t say what method they suggest). Instead I enlarged the back facing to go down beneah the slit.

PSA: I am able to fit the blouse over my head easily enough without unbuttoning it, so if you wanted to go without the slit it would likely be fine.

The blouse if going to be my Christmas blouse – no Christmas dress for me, ever since starting my sabbatical my dressing habits have become so casual that making it out of tracksuit bottoms fells like an achievement. There are two dresses in the January edition that I want to make too and a couple of other things that I just ordered fabric for – all in all I’m delighted with the issue, so much so that I’m prepared to overlook the carnival costumes without even passing comment!

I guess this will be the last post before Christmas, so let me take the change to wish you all a very happy Christmas or a great time off work if you are not celebrating. May all your wishes come true! xxx

Burdastyle 11/2016 #109: Isn’t it a great time to be alive?

Well, of course I know that there are many things in the world that don’t make life all that great, both on a political and personal level. But then, so many things are good about the world and my heart is overflowing with these right now!

I mean, how great is to have a quick drink down the ice cream parlour on a Saturday morning with Child 3, who, I feel, is camouflaged enough to warrant a rare appearance on these pages.

And how fab is it to be able to give an outing to the blouse that has been lingering in my wardrobe for about 6 months waiting for warmer weather.

What do you think of Child 3’s qualities as a blog fotographer? Not doing badly, don’t you think?

And my qualities as model are unparalleled, as has been discussed many times. Look how versatile I am: I can even look the other way!

But back to the blouse: It’s Burdastyle 11/2016 #109. I’d actually traced the corresponding dress pattern and then decided to make this into a blouse, so the hemlined is eyeballed rather than what is intended by the pattern.

I’m wearing a cami underneath because I felt it was still a little cold. But even without one the neckline feels perfectly fine to me, and that’s though I’m not always at one with Burda’s opinion that where there is  a neckline there’s a belly button.

The blouse is plain in the back. I used a lovely silk cotton woven. It’s quite sheer and it would have been a bugger to cut and sew if I hadn’t given it my gelatine treatment.

I also gave an outing again to my Rosa jacket – still one of the light jackets I reach for most often.

Because of the sheerness of the fabric I took some time over the interior finish. All seams are French and the neckline is faced in self fabric.


The sleeves are a little wide for my liking, but they have an elastic finsh and I can push them up and out of my way, so that’s fine with me. I like the little vintage touch of the front yoke with the gathering.

Let me just leave you with a few impressions of this perfect morning that made me smile!





The Hila and Teresa Tops #sewdowndewsbury

I’ve already written about how much I enjoyed #sewdowndewsbury and spending time with Ali of Thimberlina. Another thing I was particulary looking forward to was meeting Hila and Teresa, who I’d already felt a connection with via their blogs  and 2015’s antics of Jumping Into June.

Turns out that they are just as fantastic in person as they are on their blogs – and maybe on some cosmic level there is a connection between me and them, because we bought the same fabric in Fabworks. If that isn’t proof that we met in some earlier life or something then I don’t know what is!!

So I decided to call my makes after them – so may I introduce the Hila and Teresa tops.

First up the Hila.

This cowl neck top, one of the many Burda permutations is one of my favourite patterns. So far I had only made longsleeve or sleeveless versions of it, but a picture on Lucie‘s blog convinced me that actually it looks really smashing with short sleeves.

One thing I changed from the Burda pattern is the size of the cowl. I made it a little bit less pronounced by pinching out a little from the pattern and also by making the shoulder seem come closer to the neck. In that way the cowl doesn’t open quite as far as normal and bra-revealing accidents are a thing of the past.


There’s your evidence. Yep, I follow the scientific method on this blog!

Next up is the Teresa blouse:

Fashioned from spotty cotton lawn/batiste (which unfortunately creases like a thing possessed, so much so that I’m inclined to group it with “creases are fashionable” linen).

I used the Barbara pattern from Maison Victor 3/4 2017

As you can see, the patter is acutally for a dress, so I just lenghtened the bodice and eyeballed a few changes to make it look right.

Do you know Maison Victor, by the way?

It’s the younger hipster’s answer to sewing magazines. I’m neither young nor a hipster, but ever since I cancelled my Burda subscription I feel I have leave to buy loads of other magazines. It has some nice boy’s and men’s patterns that come in slim sizes (those hipsters don’t seem to be very hungry…) so that’s good for my boys.

Back to the Teresa:

I love the scoop neckline – I know that choking high necklines are all the rage, but all the do for me is give me a rage (plus they look ridiculous on me, my head seems to be twice the size when I wear a very high neckline), so I was pleased about this variation. The blouse has a gathered back bodice and a yoke with I lined in a remnant because I was worried the dots of the fashion fabric might show through to the front.
I think the rick rack makes this – just breaks up the fabric enought to add a little bit of interest.

The blouse was a big hit with my students today (“Oh Miss, you look very pretty today” “Hush, don’t tell her that, tell her she looks pretty all the time” “But she looks particularly pretty today” – sometimes you just gotta love teaching 🙂 ), so I am pleased to have scored in a young person’s world. Maybe there’s a hipster in me yet?

So, Hila and Teresa: it was lovely to meet you in Dewsbury and I’ll think of you every time I wear these tops!


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…

Burda Easy A/W 2014 #4C: Blouse from Deep Stash and a Stash Diet Update

I have been a good, good girl! Egged on by all your encouragement about my mini stash diet I’ve been digging through the outer regions of my stash and I found 1 1/2 metres of some powder pink mystery fabric. It feels like a sandwashed viscose pique (if such a thing exists), but have no expertise judging fabric content other than deciding what it feels like 😉
I used one of the patterns from Burda Easy Autumn/Winter 2014, view #4c :

It’s a cowl-neck woven blouse with a waistband, consequently it has a zip, although on a thin day I can just about get it on without opening the zip.



I made this without alterations of any kind, cutting my usual size 40.


Although I haven’t worn this out yet, I’m not sure I’m going to make it again. I love me a good cowl neck, but this seems a little roomy all over the front, so I wonder if doesn’t make me look bigger than I need to be.

But still, for now, with the first spring air on the wind I think the colour will go well with my usual first spring pastell phase, so I’ll wear it a few times before I decide if this is a keeper.

In other sewing news I’m unexpectedly enjoying my stash diet a lot! I’ve rummaged through the stash an found a number of fabrics that I have found homes for right now. I’ve even started cutting stuff in advance! Look:

IMG_0745All those boxes do not contain utter chaos – au contraire! Each box holds the precut parts for one project together with notion, instructions and the pattern pieces. The top box has already been turned into pyjama bottoms – took me all of two hours on a weekday night, given that all the prep was alread done. And once a project is finished, the pattern goes into the “out” box on the left:

IMG_0746So everything in the out-box can be tidied away should the fancy take me. It never does, don’t get me wrong, but a girl can hope!

So yes, against all expectations my stash diet is going well and I’m enjoying it. I “found” a blouse worth of red viscose in the back of a cupboard that I pre-treated in a gelatine bath yesterday, so I might soon be the proud owner of a red pussy bow blouse that came out of nowhere.

So yes, in spite of everything I said in the past, a little bit of a diet can be a good thing!


The First Skirt of the Year!

I spent the end of 2014 in Berlin and naturally I did a bit of fabric shopping. I have to emphasize the “bit” bit – I was with my family and they don’t tolerate and real in depth fabric purchasing research. So in the end of the day I shopped in one of the large department stores – in fact I probobly could have got the same fabrics in my local branch but still: in my mind these fabrics will forever be associated with my Berlin trip for me.

The first fabric was one metre of heavy wool coating – but I knew from the start I wanted to make a skirt out of this. The colour, “dark forest” probably comes closest to describing it, is one of my very favourite colours.

IMG_0592I dug out an older Burdastyle A-line skirt pattern (can’t remember which one, as only the traced pattern remains) and only added the tabs to the pockets.

IMG_0598I need to have pocketses, don’t I ?!

IMG_0596The back just has two darts and an invisible zip (which unfortunately ended up not to be quite invisible where the waistband meets the skirt. Should have chosen a lapped zip in this thick fabric. Live and learn, ey?

The blouse is my first ever make of a Ottobre magazine, Ottobre Woman 5/14. I might even get around to blogging it one day, given that I made the pattern twice already.


IMG_0595This was completed at the beginning of January, right after the Russian General Coat and what you see here is pretty much the only snow we had this winter. Just to illustrate the crazyness of winter 2014/15, feast your eyes on this picture (and a preview of my latest trousers) taken a few days later:

IMG_0611Well, weather!! How has your winter been? Or are in in the midth of summer, waiting desperately for a breath of fresh air?