Tag Archives: Burda

#Burdachallenge 2018: Tracing patterns – a piece of cake!

This is a repost of an article I wrote a few years ago.

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A few days ago, Peter over at MPB asked a question that hugely exercised me: Did we use only individual envelope patterns or did we brave the tracing and cutting conundrum of sewing magazines?

I came down firmly on the side of sewing magazines – well, to be honest I have only ever used Burda Magazine, so I can’t say much about other magazines. One of the main criticisms about sewing pattern magazines is that it’s confusing, boring, difficult and generally unbearable to trace the patterns. Now, I would not for one moment suggest that tracing a pattern is something I LIKE doing I still would like to try and convince you that is something that is perfectly possible and does not take forever. Just a little disclaimer: This is neither a tutorial nor a How-to (my sewing skills are such that I use tutorials don’t make them…), just my version of how I complete this task.

So here is my little slide show of How I Trace A Pattern:

IMG_3683This is where I start tracing skirt #126 out of Burda 9/2007, a back issue that I have wanted for ages and now finally managed to buy off a fellow member of the German Burdastyle website. I use Burda tracing paper – I am not too sure what makes it different form the paper you use to wrap your glasses in when moving house… I use a normal pen to trace the lines.

IMG_3684To prove that tracing does not have to take ages I am showing the times here (yes, I should have changed the orientation of the pictures before I uploaded them – lesson learned for next time.)

Anyway: I started at 10:12.

IMG_3685Find the right pattern sheet – sheet A. This is one of the older Burda magazines where the pattern sheet isn’t quite as full of lines as it is today.

IMG_3688Tracing paper does on top and you can already see the first lines that I have traced. I don’t have a magic method of following the lines. Normally I don’t highlight the lines on the pattern sheet as I find that I can see them quite well. I only have trouble if the lines are red, I find them really hard to follow, no matter how much I squint and bunch up my eyes.

IMG_368910:23: The first pattern piece is traced and cut.

IMG_3690I am being really organised about this: I circled all the numbers I need for this skirt and once they are traced they get ticked off. I don’t do this normally, but I am trying to do my efficient German impression for you here šŸ˜‰

IMG_369110:32: All pieces are cut. So this has taken 20 minutes from start to finish – I don’t think that is too bad for a skirt with 6 pattern pieces. Of course I still need to cut out the pieces, but that has to be done with an envelope pattern as well, doesn’t it.

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10:38: 26 minutes in: All pieces are now ready for use.

IMG_3693So while we are at it I thought I show you how I tackle the problem of seam allowances – or rather lack thereof on Burda patterns. I pin the pattern piece to the fabric.

IMG_3694Then without adding any lines or anything I add around 1/2 inch of seam allowance by using the ruler as a guide for straight lines.

IMG_3695For curves I just eyeball the seam allowance. Sometimes I use more than 1/2 in, especially on side seamsĀ  when I am not sure if I might need a little extra for comfort.

IMG_3696Then I transfer the stitching lines onto the left side of the fabric using the Burda copying paper. When sewing I will match the resulting yellow lines on both my skirt front and back piece. Because I match the sewing lines and not the edges of the seam allowances, it does not actually matter how wide the seam allowances are or whether they are the same on both pieces.

IMG_3697This is the reverse side of the same piece with the yellow lines. I think they are practically invisible on the photo – can you see anything at the tip of my scissors? There truly are yellow lines there, which are clearly visible in real life.

So that’s it, that’s how I deal with the mystery that is Burda sewing magazine. Tracing patterns isn’t all that bad, don’t you think?

If you are a Burda user, is that how you do it as well? And if you have never dared to use pattern magazines, has this post encouraged you to try?

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The Brexit Coat Part IV: Is Brexit a Success?

Public Service Announcement: If you are the kind who doesn’t like to listen to experts you may proceed straight to the end of this post where the ballot box awaits you.

With all things Brexit clearly there are some stormy times ahead and some nay-sayers have maintained that Brexit couldn’t be a success – however, I beg to differ, at least as far as the Brexit Coat is concerned!

The Brexit Coat is finished now (apart from the buttons that I still couldn’t make a decision on, so I have given me a protraced transitionary period in which to make further decisions. I’m hoping not to crash out onto No Button Status in two years’ time.)

During the pre-Brexit negotiations it was felt across the board that a true Brexit Coat should harbour something unexpected. Well, I was at a loss what that could be, given that I was using a very nice, but borderline boring boucle fabric.

So boring, in fact, that unbelted the coat reminds me more of Eastern European decorator’s attire than is healthy for any true Brexiteer.

So naturally …

I put some flamingoes inside!

It might just be a touch silly, but then, maybe I can inspire any other Brexit process with a little dose of silliness. It might be taking itself rather a bit too seriously, imho.

Dressform pictures:

Just some boring facts: I used Burdastyle 9/2013 #103 and I’m forever grateful to Anne, the Compulsive Seamstress who traced the skirt portion for me in the spirit of international collaboration. I significantly streamlined the sleeves, as per taking back control of the overblown mess they had become. Because it’s a Brexit Coat, you know!

The boucle is from a local shop, the flamingoes can be had from Stoff&Stil. It’s not really a dressmaker’s fabric, rather a calico, but then: flamingoes! In order to make the sleeves more slippery I cut them and the yoke in a lining fabric from my stash rather than the calico.

 

Now, I don’t want to come across all Lib-Dem, but I thought no Brexit Coat could be complete with a second referendum:

Now that you see the full terms of the Brexit Coat, is it a yes or a no? Please do vote, even if you are young or haven’t registered yet.

I’m hoping or a strong and stable verdict from you good readers, so I can keep the upper hand in the future wearing of this coat!

Merken

Merken

Burdastyle 8/2016 # : Pleat Front Trousers

To those of you who are waiting for news of the Brexit Coat: Rest assured that the project is in strong and stable hands and the Minister for Sewing the Brexit Coat would like to stress that while the difficulty level of choosing those buttons is in another galaxy the project is neverthelessĀ  progressing at an appropriate speed.
But as I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be able to keep up Brexit-related analogies, let me give you some light relief: In a departure from my usual style I made some pleat front trousers.

They are one of my #sewdowndewsbury projects – in fact the only one that I went to buy fabric for specifically. I used a non-stretch woollen suiting, and when I say non-stretch I mean absolutely no give whatsoever, neither across nor perpendicular to the grain. I was a little worried about this as I’d never made or even worn trousers so relentlessly non-stretch, but it’s turned out well.

I used Burdastlye 8/2018 #111. The trousers are quite high-waisted (please note that I am high-waisted anyway, so they look rather “normal”, but on someone with a figure that corresponds more to the norm the trousers do come up high). Also the pleating is rather more pronounced than is usual. I am never sure whether this is wise on a pear-shape like me, but yolo, I’ve decided to embrace this.

I didn’t make any changes to the pattern other than scooping out the crotch curve a little. I normally add some extra room to the back, but this was not needed in this pattern – I guess the roomy front takes care of any booty issues. I think the pocket opening should move further down, so if I ever make these trousers again I have a good change of forgetting to make this adjustment ;-).

Next up: further procrastination on the Brexit front in the form of not one but three shirtdresses. Buttons pending, so don’t hold your breath!

Merken

Merken

Burdastyle 3/2013 #103: The Brexit Coat Part III: Some Leadership!

Well, what can I say? I sure didn’t think that the connection between sewing and political life was quite so direct. But in view of the event of the day I decided that some leadership was needed and put a collar on the Brexit Coat.

Yes, I know I asked for your vote on no collar or Peter Pan collar. But what can I say – listening to experts is not what should be done on a Brexit Coat.

But let’s look at the poll first:

Clearly, no collar won over Peter Pan collar – and a notched collar was nowhere on the ballott sheet. But that’s what you are getting, suck it up, you lost! (Well, you didn’t loose, but I’m not sure that matters)

I other news it seems that the outward looking option of a snazzy lining seems to be ahead in the voting process rather than the make do and mend option of the plain lining. However, I considered my stash and realised that there might be another option hiding in there. Which one that is I’m not going to reveal at this stage as I like to keep my options close to my chest.

What I really enjoyed is the addition of “Other” – the almost Goove-ian subversiveness of this addition becomes the whole project, I think.

Now, when I started on the notched collar I realised that it is a lot more complicated than I was expecting! Somehow, I cut the facing piece too short and only realised what the problem was after I was missing what I should have had. This will forever go down in history as the Welsh Farmer move.

So I had to add another little piece to the facing to make up for the subsid — ahh, piece that I had cut off.

So I almost wonder if no coat might be better than a bad coat?

But I took heart from Nigel Farage (and no, I never thought I would say that), thinking that if the Brexit Coat didn’t work out I could simply go and buy myself a RTW coat – of course not without making ALL OF YOU have to wear the coat that I botched up,Ā  mwahaha.

So while I ponder that thought, I wll give you the cold sholder and think of my sewing programme.

Burdastyle 9/2013 #103: The Brexit Coat Part II: A Plea For Help

The Brexit Coat has come on in leaps and bounds from its inception as a distraction from other things that should have been more important.

Remember when in my last post I confessed that I had started without a plan to such a degree that I didn’t even own the Burda magazine that the coat came from anymore and so didn’t have the option to trace the skirt pieces that I needed to make the Brexit coat a success?

Well, miracles do happen! Anne, the Compulsive Seamstress, came to me in my hour of need and offered to trace the missing part for me (she has a comprehensive Burda collection and clearly doesn’t do things as short sighted as throwing out old magazines just because she thinks a little tidying should be done). And she didn’t only offer and then retract her participation as is customary for the Brexit process. On no, she followed through:- onlyĀ  a few days later the beautifully traced pattern pieces arrived in the post, making this the perfect Easter present! Thank you so much, Anne!

So this is where I am now: Bodice and skirt completed.

I rather like the sleeve construction where the raglan sleeves form a front and back yoke:

And look, this Brexit Coat has pockets – if that doesn’t send a message to the politicians I don’t know what will (although I do admit I have no idea what that message is, but I have a feeling that doesn’t matter in all things Brexit):

 

But now I’ve stalled again, and like last time when Anne gave me a helping hand I hope you, my dear readers, will now. Because I have more Brexit decisions to make and I don’t quite know what I want. Collar or no collar? Do I want a hard border between my coat and my neck?

On the left there is the Brexit Coat’s older, but little sister (and if you think that is a contradiction you’d better not believe anything that’s written on the side of a bus!). Do you think I should use that Peter Pan type collar again? Or maybe leave it collarless?

And how about buttons? Self-covered buttons like on the Little Sister Jacket? Or should I try and find something exciting?

And the the lining: Should I go with a plain white or light blue lining to match the colours of the fabric? Or use something snazzy? The biannual fabric market comes to town next Saturday, so I could find something there. On the other hand I have white lining in my stash and surely any Brexit Coat should be about self-sufficiency? Especially given that most vendors on the fabric market are in fact foreign?

I realise that my little blog doesn’t have many readers, much like the EU commission’s sadly under-appreciated 2004 leaflet “How to avoid mass immigration from Eastern Europe if you feel it’s not the right thing for your country at the present time”. But I’m still hoping for at least 27 votes on all the important issues for the Brexit Coat. Anybody can vote – you can add your own options and you don’t even have to have a dubitable human rights record in order to share your values with me.

In order to appeal to my British readers I have created a little referendum for you. I appreciate it’s a little more complicated than you are used to, because it has many options. But on the other hand you can click as many as you like and it will be my job to glean from your choices the Will of the People (TM) in order to deliver for you a blue white and blue Brexit Coat.

So please: Do vote! You know your vote counts! Just please, don’t delived a 50/50 verdict!

 

Merken

Merken

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 blogsĀ  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 šŸ™‚ ), 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!