Tag Archives: dresses

Burdastyle 1/2018 #102: Knots, Stripes and Flowers #burdachallenge2018

Thanks to Hila and her #burdachallenge2018 I’ve felt really inspired to look into the recent Burdas more deeply and in fact I’ve found lots of good patterns in each of the three 2018 issues out so far.
A case in point is #102 from the January edition (in fact, January has lots of great pattern, I definitely got my money’s worth from this magazine).

As you can see I made this both as a top and as a dress.

For the top, the back is cut as one piece and you can see how a bit of a swayback adjustment might have been in order. The dress carries the waist seam to the back so it’s very easy to do one there at the construction stage without having to fiddle on the pattern pieces. I think the back sits better for it, I might even make it a little larger once I’ve checked the fit after the first wash.

(On a side note, and not wanting to be over-critical or put myself down or anything like that: it’s the third time IN A ROW that I made the mistake of cutting the back pieces without giving any attention to pattern placement and getting some unfortunate repetition. I like to call it a pattern-stutter. I do wonder if I should spare myself the energy of inventing technical terms for my mistakes and rather think about not making them again… Well, I live in hope. Also, my next project is in a solid…)

Both patterns are easy to sew, although not speedy, because you have to baste numerous pleats. But it’s not difficult to do: the knot is formed by linking two pieces and then sewing them to the front of the bodice. then the whole thing is sewn as any normal knit top. No massive geometrical pattern puzzling going on here.
My dress version doesn’t use the Burda pattern pieces for the skirt by the way. I didn’t have enough fabric for that, so I just eyeballed an A-line shape with what fabric I had. I like the result!
Oh yes, Burda don’t specify knits, just stretch fabric. In a knit a zipper is not necessary, but if you do make it in a stretch it might, because in order for the knot to sit properly you need a bit of negative ease. Because it gets quite tight around the tummy area I prefer a stable knit such as a ponte to a lighter knit.

Overall I really love this pattern, probably the dress even more than the top. It is so easy to wear and yet looks a bit more special than a standard knit dress. And the diagonal knot is quite slimming as well, because it draws the eye up and across rather than right across the tummy. Can’t hurt, don’t you think?

I’ve found one annoying bit about this pattern though: with wear, the bodice tends to slip upwards, thus forming a bit of a fabric bubble above the knot, in unfortunate “third boob” position.

It does not only seem to be me, others have had this problem to. This is what it should look like when the bodice is re-adjusted:

It’s not a massive deal, and maybe simply hand- stitching the knot ot the bodice seam will help the bottom of the bodice stay in place. I haven’t tried this yet, but that might be a quick fix.

Overall, another winner for me. I’ve been impressed with Burda for the last few months, so much so that I’m even thinking of re-subscribing. I loved January, one of the best issues of the last few years imho and even the March issued, that on a first thumb-through I decided not to buy, has niggled its way into my conscience and then into my shopping basket – and now I have plans for three patterns from this issue and fabric on the way. So well done, Burda for a great start to 2018!


Burdastyle ca 8/2016: The Otavalo Dress

Remember when I went to Ecuador and bought some fabric at the market in Otavalo? Well, I finally used the fabric and made a dress (to be exact, I’m finally blogging about the dress which I made late in 2016…)

Here I am, clutching my BFF for courage, showing off this dress, but mainly my hair, which, in a deviation to my usual customs, has had everything in the world done to it today. I took the change to photograph any number of blog projects, so you`ll be able to enjoy my upgraded hair style for a few more posts before we go back to normal. I didn’t realise how expensive hair salons are, so I’m making the most of my money!

Sorry, I digress – back to the dress: it’s got pocketses!

The fabric is not a dressmaking fabric, I believe in Ecuador it’s typically used as a throw or a table cloth. It’s quite heavy and rigid without any stretch whatsoever.

I used a Burda pattern, I believe it might be from 8/2016, but I can’t be sure as my Burda collection is in a state of slight disarray right now.

But can I draw your attention to that pattern matching across the CF and CB?


And across the bodice/sleeve:

Now really, if that doesn’t make your heart sing, then frankly, I think you may not have a heart!

Apart from the pattern placement, this was an easy sew. However, the dress is very, very thight at the arms and consequently quite restrictive. If I were to make the pattern again, I’d have to change the sleeves in some way. I’ve worn the dress to work a few times and I love the vibrant look, but in the end of the day it’s just not that practical.

My next blog post will very likely contain my Thailand collection, so I’m staying with the travel theme! And the nice hair! ­čÖé

A Blast from the Past: BHL Flora/Elisalex Hack

Can you believe I just discovered pictures from this summer on my laptop – I’d completely forgotten about them!
But waste not, want not, I’m posting them now that the first snow is forcast for the weekend, because I want it to still be summer.

Can you believe I wore this dress once this summer? Our summers are just too short!

At least I can say that I hemmed it before wearing it out, not leaving it unhemmed with the overlocked edge for the world to see like in these pictures.

The dress is the BHL Flora skirt with the Elisalex bodice. There is nothing wrong with the Flora bodice other than the fact that I’d already used the Elisalex a couple of times before and had it fitted to me already. I lengthened the front bit of the skirt, therefore the mullet hem is much less pronounced than the pattern originally called for. I don’t know about you, but I tend to find mullet hems where the front shows half of the thigh a bit childish. Or maybe it’s just me getting old-fashioned in my old age, I’ll leave that decision to you.

I used some cotton shirting which is delicious to wear, but with its wide wrong side it wasn’t really the most inspired choice for a dress where the skirt shows the wrong side… Oh well, I’ve decided it’s a feature now, so all’s well.

Finally, a big thank you to all dear readers who commented so kindly on the state of the photography on this blog. I couldn’t leave you without a bonus picture of one of my posing special skills (along with gazing into the middle distance): twirling!

Have a nice day!


The Siena Dress – not in, but quite near Siena!

Oops, whrere has the time gone? I’ll spare you the usual spiel about how I had been busy and all that – let’s just say I hope I’m back in some sort of more regular frequency.

Those of you who follow my Instagram might have noticed that I spent time in Italy – first on a walking tour in the mountains up north and then visiting my friend Z. in Tuscany. She’s one of my oldest and dearest friends – me met back in the early 90s when we were both at university in Ireland. She came from Hungary, I from Munich and for both of us it was our first time living abroad. Inspite of moving to different countries over the years we managed to stay in touch and so I didn’t hesitate to visit her in Siena where she now lives.
Of course it was a question of honour to bring the Siena Dress, made from the fabric I bought when I was last visiting Z. two years ago.

Z. took me to visit the Abbey of San Galgano, a little drive from Siena, a gorgeous ruined church, embedded into the most beautiful Tuscan landscape. Honestly, it’s just so beautiful there!

I could have spent hours just gazing into the distance!


And finally, I did visit Siena, albeit not wearing the Siena Dress. But at least I was sporting an Ogden cami, with birds and trees on, so that’s almost as good:

Don’t you just love Tuscany?

Next up: a review of Burdastyle 11/2017, an issue that got me really excited (and I don’t say this lightly, as I’ve been very critical of Burda recently) AND a post about the Lady Garden trousers and a new Burda top. In my mind, those posts are written already…

Truebias Ogden Cami Dress Hack

If you’re wondering about the more than usual artistic vibe of this photo shoot, let me tell you that was a 11 year old on a mission “to capture the essence of the dress”. I’m not even sure I know what that means, but I’m just going with it.


The dress whose essence is being captured here is a heavily hacked True Bias Ogden cami.


As you can see I extended it to midi length, whilst taking out most of the width. To make striding possible I added side slits on both sides.


The fabric is a mock suede bought on my latest trip to London in Walthamstow, my new favourite haunt for surprise fabric buys. I got 2 metres in two colours, this light blush and a beige and at 8 pounds for 4 metres I’m already sorry I didn’t buy more.


I added a second set of spagetti strips that are attached as normal in the front and go down to the mid of the CB, just to add a little bit of extra interest. A little look at some of the details. I think/hope the pulling in the CB isn’t as bad in real life…

“Look pensively into the middle distance” my photographer, aka Child 3 said – so I did!


BHL Kim: The Waxprint Dirndl

It’s been the day of our local festival again, and noone who’s ever been to Bavaria will be at all surprised that beer plays a major role.

However, I stuck it out with the kids and not a drop crossed my lips! Instead I went to show off my nex wax print dirndl, which started life like this:

The blouse and apron were recycled from my rtw dirndl, which you can look at in more detail here, if you are so inclined.

The story of this dirndl started last year, when I got obsessed about the thought of making a dirndl in non-traditional fabric. Now, although I live in Bavaria I don’t live a traditional kind of life and consequently don’t wear a dirndl more than once or twice a year (and, on a side not, dirndls were never really traditional attire, but started life in the 19th century as the kind of dress the towns people wore when they played at being peasant, much like today).

In order to make the dress more wearable I decided I needed to make one that was wearable on its own, with out the dirndl trappings.

So I decided on using the By Hand London Kim dress pattern for the dress. It’s cut a lot higher than a normal dirndl, which, worn without the blouse would be somewhere between undecent and undressed.

I took a lot of trouble on pattern placement and matching. The front bodice is made up out of strips of half-circles across the border of the print that were painstakingly matched to make up the full circles. At the same time this creates the criss-cross effect that on normal dirndls is normally achieved by threading a metal chain or ribbons through loops in the princess seams. Oh, those seams are piped to add an extra little embellishment

Here you can see the border of the skirt – rotate it by 90 degrees and you get half of the bodice centre.

I made the dress last year in autumn, but never got round to wearing it, so this summer it had its first few outings. I have to say I prefer the dirndl look, with the apron – I’m not crazy on a plain dirndl skirt on me, I prefer something slightly more tummy skimming. Having said that, the dress is just a lot of fun, and because the wax print I used isn’t quite as heavy as most, the dress is swishy and very, very comfortable so if the nice weather continues I’m sure it’ll get worn loads.

Knipmode/Fashion Style: The Dressing Gown Wrap Dress

Good heavens – this is one of those projects that really looks a lot better in real life than in those pictures – I promise.


While it seems I got straight out of bed, put on my dressing gown and (strangely) a pair of boots, I actually like wearing this dress. I think it has a Missoni vibe going on and the rayon knit is oh so soft and has just the right weight for a wrap dress.


I used my tried and true Knipmode wrap dress pattern. What I like about it is that there really is no option for any wardrobe malfunctions. The skirt wrap is so generous that it will not undo, even when sitting down speedily, as I am wont to do. And the the bodice will not gape, even on the less well-endowed and needs no adjusting at all.


See – no gaping!!


In the meantime I also had my hair cut, snow has arrived in my part of the world and so everything is in place to march boldly into the new year!