Tag Archives: dresses

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!

 

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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See – no gaping!!

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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!

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!

I’m officially obsessed!

Living in Bavaria, every summer is dirndl season. Normally, I never wear my dirndl, with the exception of one time per year for our local town festival.

This was from two years ago:

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So one would think that for one wear a year one dirndl would suffice.

You know where this goes, don’t you?

Avid readers of Burdastyle will know that every September they publish their dirndl edition (to coinicide with the Oktoberfest in Munich) and I’ve always wanted to sew (but not wear) one. And then came the Great British Sewing Bee’s International week and with it African wax prints. And I’ve always wanted to sew with African wax prints.

Well, I thought, couldn’t one sew a dirndl using a wax print? A quick poll of my family concluded unambiguously: NO, one couldn’t, what was I thinking??!!!

But guess what google says: It’s already been done! (Never mind all the waffle in German – look at those pictures!!!)

So needless to say, I’m now officially obsessed with sewing a wax print dirndl. So much so that I ordered some wax print already (oh, the choice!!! How can I possible chose??!!)

But chose I did and came up with this from Middlesex Textiles. So now for a pattern. Ironically, the only edition of Burdastyle since 2010 that I DON’T own is the one whose dirndl I like best (September 2015).

So I might have to buy this issue too – serves me right for daring to let my subscription lapse…

I hope this all comes together and I will have a dirndl-with-a-twist to show for all my obsession.

In the meantime and while I wait for my fabric order to arrive from the UK I’ll be keeping myself busy with sewing camis from the slipperiest silk ever, which I recently ordered from Ebay. Did I say I wasn’t going to buy that many fabrics anymore??

Well – obsession, ey?!

 

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