Tag Archives: Burda

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.

See:

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!

 

Wish you were there – a throwback to summer

Goodness, where has the time gone? It only seems like yesterday that I was on holiday in Mallorca wishing it might be just a little bit cooler – now that autumn has started to bite I look back at those pictures with yearning for the heat.

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We spent a thoroughly wonderful forthnight in a villa in central Mallorca – what a wonderful island! It was our first time there and already I’m hoping to be able to go back soon!

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So this dress with its palm fronds and sunsets is a fitting reflection of the mood of these holidays.

img_4334And did I mention the reflections of light on water across the chest area? Perfect holiday dress, ey?

It’s a really simple shift dress with French darts from an older edition of Burdastyle. I traced the pattern before I thought of labelling the pattern parts properly so I’m unable to identify the magazine it came from.

img_4364Oh see, it works for midnight strolls across Spanish village plazas too!

Sigh – wish I were there!

Burdastyle 4/2016: A Little Review

Just to recap: Burdastyle and I had not been seeing eye to eye for a while in 2014 and 15 and so I cancelled my subscription mid 2015 in what almost felt like a divorce. Then I went to buy every edition apart from one at the kiosk, so when the nice lady from Burdastyle called and offered an eight-month subscription for the price of 3 months, what could I do but agree.

Ever since Burda has been on probation I’ve felt a lot more positive about their offering and April is no exception. In fact, their feature on solid colours is a revelation for me: I would wear every single garment as is (although not all those colours might suit me), but I just love love love the styling.

IMG_2960This is my favourite outfit. It’s nothing special, but it’s an outfit I could jump into straight away and wear every day. The trousers could be my new uniform from spring and I’ve already traced the top (which is for drapey wovens, so I might get to use those silp remnants I’ve been stashing).

IMG_2961Then I’ve just fallen head over heals for this dress. I already bought a berry/purple viscose knit, which I’m hoping will be able to hold its shape with the help of a little structural underling in the bodice and underbust band.

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I do realise that the dress might look a little maternity with those tummy pleats, but I suppose I’m coming to an age where the thought of “Can she still get pregnant?” might start to be flattering again, so I’m going with the flow. I have an event on 1st April where this dress might come in handy, so hoping that i get my sewing machine back in time this jumps right to the top of the queue.

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I’m not sure what it is, but I love this too! It really is just a tunic lenghtened into a dress, and normally Burda do these in crazy patterns which I like, but never love. But in a solid I just think it’s really stylish.

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Look, this really is all it is: If it goes well, this could be done in an evening!

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It looks good in crazy print too and gives rise to all sorts of colour blocking ideas too. On the right there is “my” dress again.

Oh, and then jumpsuits!

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This is for petite sizing, so I doubt I would be able to make this work for me, but isn’t this all kinds of wonderful? I do have fabric for a jumpsuit lurking around, so I’m collecting ideas!

So yes, I’m kinda surprised to learn that I love solids in loud colours! Recently I have bought a lot of prints thinking that they would endulge my love of colour in the best possible way, but maybe I’ve always been more of a solid kinda girl? Who knows…

But in case solids aren’t your jam, at least here’s a full view of all the patterns in April’s edition:

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IMG_2967There is some lovely stuff in the plus size section, some really sweet and classic girl’s dresses and even men’s shorts. I guess my Burda subscription will continue for the time being!

Burdastyle 4/2014 #110: Pleat Front Trousers of Two Years

Peeps, I’m back! I’d deserted this blog for the past few weeks, not even finishing the second pair of jeans I was trying to make for Jeans in January. I don’t think they were missed though, as there were many other pairs of fabulous jeans that saw the light of day in January. I will write a summary post once I get the chance.
I did have a good reason for the radio silence: the written part of the philosophy exams I’m taking in order to qualify for teaching philosophy here in Bavaria. Unfortunately one exam didn’t go well at all, so I need to pull out all stops for the orals – but they are only in April, so normal service will resume here at least for a little while!

So today I would like to show you the trousers that took me two years to make. Well, only one day of each year, to be honest, but those were New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day – which goes to show how boring I am that I spend both days sewing rather than on unbridled partying 😉

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These trousers are part of my drive to test new trouser shapes. See, while I love making jeans I think the ubiquitous skinny shape is quite boring. Nice, versatile, but boring. So I’ve been experimenting with different trouser shapes and the pleat front is one of them. To be honest, I’m not sure that these, Burdastyle 4/2014 #110, work on me, but I liked that I tried.

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As a pear shape I always think that pleat front trousers should be great because they hide the hip  area – but I never consider that in doing so they draw the eye to exactly that area. In fact I had made these trousers before, when the pattern came out in 2014, but donated them after one wear because they just made me look so big. Then I saw a version of these on a blog recently, unfortunately I can’t find the link or name anymore, where they were slimmed down along the leg and just looked great.

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I used a navy wool suiting from my stash to make these. As I said, I love the theory of them, the way the pleats open from the hip bone rather than from the tummy area. In order to emphasise this effect I stitched them closed for the first 3 cm.

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If I decide to keep these, I might make the lower leg a bit smaller still, but as I said, I’m not really sure yet. I should add that I have worn these a few times so far, so they seem to fill a wardrobe gap of sorts.

For the first time ever I made welt pockets that look as nice inside as out:

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The pattern didn’t have the pockets, I added them kinda following this tutorial, but I only used one continuous length of the fashion fabric rather than using lining fabric and fashion fabric. For the first time it clicked on how to sew French seams on inside pockets (the Ginger jeans have those as well) – it’s a very pleasing look I think!

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So in all the jury is out on these: Construction-wise they are proably the best work I have produced in my trouser-making journey (even the invisible zip is truly invisible!), but shape-wise this journey surely isn’t at an end.

In a triumph of hope over experience I haven’t given up on the pleat front shape just yet. Next up (after another pair of Gingers that graces my sewing machine at the moment) is Burdastyle 1/2015 119, thought I don’t intend to make them in shiny material and add a crazy waist bow – not even I am that deluded… Who knows, maybe I will have got pleat fronts out of my system after the next try??

Talking about Burda: I think Burda have picked up again for the last few issues – there is a lot I like and some numbers have made it right on my to sew list. Those of you who, like me, walk the Burda way: what do you think? Burda 2016 yay or nay?

 

A Look Down Memory Lane – in Honour of Jeans in January

Thank you so much to all of you who’ve already said they will join Jeans in January – and a big welcome to those of you who are still thinking about it!
A few of you are planning to make their first ever pair of jeans, some want to hone their craft. I kinda fall into both categories.
I made a fair few pair of jeans, using three different patterns, but I only wear one regularly.
The first pair of jeans I ever made was Burdastyle 4/2010 #120 . When I started making jeans I didn’t really understand about stretch percentages in fabrics yet – so some of the pairs I made form non-stretch or barely-stretch fabric were simply too tight (first try)

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or too loose (second attempt).

I also decided that I perfer a higher rise that contains both muffin top and butt crack and so I stopped experimenting with this patten.

Then I tried bootcut jeans, Jalie 2908, again in a barely stretchy fabric, which unfortunately caused my completing a pair of jeans , pattern size chosed exactly according to my measurements, finished with lovingly executed top-stitching, that I wore exactly once.

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It turned out so tight that my lady bits felt quite uncomfortable, so they went to the back of the cupboard to wait for slimmer days. Well, don’t hold your breath for a reappearance, I tried them on the other day and I can’t even do them up now. All those pies taste a lot better than their result looks… However, I’m certainly not done with this pattern, so a hopefully much better fitting version will feature in Jeans in January.

Finally, my third and (to date) only truly successful jeans pattern is Burdastyle 3/2014 #115. It’s my go to skinny jeans pattern and I lost count of the versions I made. Here, here, here and here is a little bit of evidence. But in fact the one pair of jeans that I wear most often isn’t even properly blogged:

Same pattern, look at the bottoms here, of course, not the blouse!

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So by and large I’m really happy with this pattern – BUT I still have a little bit of an issue with the back crotch that isn’t quite 100 % the way I would like it.

I did consider the possibility that my behind might not be quite 100% the way I would like it, but in the world of all-shapes-are-beautiful-sewists that would be heresy, wouldn’t it?! So during Jeans in January I’m going to throw myself into the adventure of trying a new pattern, the Ginger, of course, because truly: I haven’t seen a single bad version of them in blogland ever.

How about yourselves? Do you have previous regarding jeans sewing? And highs or lows to share? Or are you one of the (apparently) many jeans virgins who printed off the Ginger and never managed or dared to go further?

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

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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.

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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.

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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 😉

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

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Still roomy enought, don’t you think?

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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“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:

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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:

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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.

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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?

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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:

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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.

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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?

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