Tag Archives: jackets

More Print Craziness – But Without a Peplum!

I’m so pleased to hear that many of you liked my bees-on-acid-garments. I’ve since gone further down the print-craziness route, but have diverted from Drugs Lane and am now firmly down Folksy Avenue.


Forgive the washed out pictures – I normally have all of two minutes for a “photoshoot” before my photographer gets bored and my facial expression too forced and painful for publication. Plus I have zero photo edit skillz, so keeping it very real is what you get…


This is the same pattern as the Bees on Acid Peplum jacket, but clearly without the peplum. I had every intention of sewing it with the peplum, as that was what had attracted me to the pattern in the first place, but somehow on this jacket it was just too much. So off went the peplum and I added a border to the bottom of the bodice. It’s a touch short for my liking, but that was the height of the border on the print.


You can see a little more detail her. The sleeves have turnups using the same bit of border. I quite like how the yellow line marks the end of the jacket almost like a piece of trim.

Of course, the fabric is the star in this jacket!  I bought it last year in spring from Butinette, a German craft store that you really wouldn’t look to for stylish fabrics, so this was more of a surprise find. I started a different project immediately, made several stupid cutting errors, because the print isn’t symmetrical across the grain and the border runs down the centre of the fabric, not down one side, and both portions on flowers on white background on either side of the border aren’t the same and aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh – you have to think around too many corners to get a regular print placement. Had to reorder fabric, could only get 1 more metre, got annoyed and everything landed in some forgotten corner of deep stash.

But in my recent print frenzy (shortly after firmly declaring that I prefer solids  – oh the irony!) I was reminded of the fabric and pulled it out again.


This time, too, I couldn’t get my head around the print placement, so it isn’t symmetrical across the front, but I don’t even notice that myself with all that is going on on this fabric.


I didn’t line the jacket as I want to be able to wear this now and I do get hot very easily. A lined jacket would end up in a crumpled mess in my handbag in no time. The side seams are just overlocked. I thought of binding them just like in the Bees on Acid Jacket, but then I felt that the one strip of binding around the front facing and the arm scythe seam is enough.


I have to say while I’m easily excited by new and shiny makes I REALLY love this jacket! I think this is one of those items that will stay in my wardrobe for a long time to come. That means a lot as I’m quite ruthless and not sentimental at all when it comes to parting with me-mades…

If you want to have a better look at this gorgeous fabric and a wonderful make (and A LOT better potography), go and have a look at Sea Of Teal’s make using the same fabric. Just wonderful, isn’t it?


Burdastyle 7/2016 #103: Like a Bee on Acid

Summer has been a long time coming (or not) around my parts. Maybe it’s the lack of warmth that has had me reach for the more outragous fabrics in my stash.

Case in point is this little top from the latest issue of Burdastyle:



This is what happened to a skirt project that was abanoned a few years ago. I used Burdastyle 7/2016 #103. It’s a simple, bias cut top with a ruffle.


I’m not too sure about the ruffle, at least in this cotton lawn. It’s meant to have its edges left raw, but to be honest I can see that annoy me even now before the top has been washed for the first time. I guess I will have to try and fold over and stitch – or I might just not bother, given that I feel like a bee on acid once I put this on.

Talking about drugged bees: there is more!



What can I say… The fabric is just crazy, but it’s the craziness I love about it. Oh, and also that is was a souvenir from Vienna, so it reminds me of one of my favourite cities too.


I used the peplum jacket version of this coat pattern from Burda Easy A/W 2014.

It’s obvious that the pattern is too roomy in the back (and it was clearly visible in the post above, but I only realised this when making the pattern for a third time (post upcoming), so clearly I’m being easy on myself on the fit front.


I know that absolutely everyone is over the whole peplum trend, but I’m very, not at all fashionably late to the party and liked this 2014 pattern for its treatment of the front peplum.


Just a touch of the science bit: The jacket is unlined, so I decided to bind all the interior seams in bias tape. Yes, I do realise I could have used black to try and tone down the whole craziness, but where would be the fun in that?


So there, two crazy bee projects in one post. If that doesn’t scare summer out of whereever it is hiding, then I don’t know what else to do!


Burda Easy Style A/W 2014: Leather and Sparkle


Well, there you go: I sewed with leather for the first time! It’s only leather accents, admittedly, but I was quite excited about the whole concept of little Chris actually sewing with leather (like – LEATHER!!) .

This biker jacket was a loooong time in the making, in fact it was staring at me accusingly 75% finished for about a year. As is so often the case, finishing only took a few hours and afterwards I didn’t even remember why I hadn’t finished it months ago.


This is the biker jacket from the Autumn/Winter Edition of Burda Easy Style 2013 or Spring/Summer 14 (I don’t quite remember and don’t seem to be able to find it online right now). Or rather, it isn’t quite: The original pattern doesn’t feature the collar, but I decided that my head somehow is too big for collarless jackets with a rather high neckline. It sort of makes my head balloon out from the jacket, if you know what I mean, so I decided to add a collar to frame my head.


IMG_2412The fabric is a boucle – type fabric in all shades of blue and was the most expensive fabric I had over bought until the Siena dress came along. And it glitters! For real, I had never ever EVER even thought about glitter or sequins or any of the fancy effects that I always thought were not me at all. But in my old age I fell myself drawn towards fabric that “only teenagers should wear”, as Child 1 so thoughfully put it. Well, what can I say…


I fell in love with those elbow patches!


I just want to walk sideways all the time, just to show those elbow patches!

I’m pleased with the fit (a straight Burda size 40, my usual size) although the sleeve head looks a bit funny in this picture.


Maybe that’s because the fabric is a little stiff: I block interfaced the whole fabric even before cutting (I had boucle fall apart on me before and decided I would interface this one into submission!), so maybe that’s what causes the slight bunching. I guess I will have to do without the “Lift me up and carry me away” pose in this picture.

It took me forever to decide on how to cover the zipper band. According to the instructions it is just sewn on top of the jacket on the one side, but come on, I’m not gonna sew a semi-exposed zipper on glittery boucle! I think  my solution to cover it with strip off fabric works quite well. It’s covered with a strip of leather on the other side.


IMG_2472Also, remark those elbow patches! 😉

As I mentioned this project has been in the making for quite some time, I seem to remember I bought the fabric in March 2014. I did notice that my tastes have changed somewhat in the past 18 months, because I find the lining quite boring now.


If I were to start over again I would chose a flashier lining, something “fun”. Maybe that’s all to do with the sudden liking for glittery fabric. Child 1 would have a word or two to say about this. It’s as well she’s spending a year abroad and won’t find out about my wanton ways!

I still haven’t had the courage to add the metal snaps to the waist band. Firstly, I can’t find metal snaps the exact same colour as the zip (I bought gold ones, but now I don’t like the look of them) and also: snaps in leather??? Scary stuff! So scary that I have worn this jacket with a floppy flappy waistband for weeks now.

I did get to use the golden snaps on a parka (grey with gold glitter 🙂 ) but that is a post for another day, so I leave you on this cliff hanger!


Burdastyle 2/2013 #125: The “Chris 4 – Stash 0” – Bomber Jackets

Inspite of some horrible weather here this is turning out to be a great weekend for me. First of all, Helena from Gray Day Patterns was kind enough to feature me in her Sew it Chic in a Week Series this week! Exciting, ey?!
And also, and more to the point of this blog post, I have won a major victory over my stash! I made two garments, each including an outer shell and a lining from four long-time stash residents! So it’s Chris 4 – Stash 0 this weekend. That’s what I call success!

Along to help me in this epic win was this bomber jacket pattern Burdastyle 2/2013 # 125:


I made this in my usual size 40 with two alterations: I added 8cm to the sleeves and 10cm to the bodice, thus making it from 3/4 sleeves to full length and from waist to hip length.


Lengthening it by quite so much was probably a bit too much, especially since I didn’t add and width to the waistband and it is really quite tight around the hips when worn zipped up. But the waistband is stretchy, so it isn’t a real issue.


This is my second attempt at a bomber jacket after the rather epic fail of the first attempt.

I tried to take to heart what I had learned from the first time round:

  • set in rather than raglan sleeves
  • neckline lower
  • whole jacket longer
  • thin, drapey fabric

As a consequence I’m much happier with this version. It is made from a cotton batiste that I bought on impulse two years ago and never really knew what to do with. The instructions call for an unlined version with a facing, but I thought this is nonsense and lined the jacket with a very fine cotton voile that had hidden away in deep stash.


Lining the jacket makes the inside look as tidy as the outside and really pleases my inner sewing nerd. Also, it hardly takes more time than sewing the facing, as there are no darts, and the set in sleeves are loose enough not to require complicated pinning. The hardest bit was shortening the metall zipper, which was accomplished with the help of my husband’s pliers and a varied array of swear words.

Jacket 2 is what actually started the whole idea. I had bought some yellow lace (on impulse, of course, someone was having a sale – story of my life!) two years ago. Of course, yellow really isn’t my colour at all and I have never felt girly enough to wear lace and not feel in costume, so it went to the stash. Then I tasked myself that this spring would be the time when the yellow lace went, so I came up with this idea:

IMG_1422It’s the same jacket as above with the same alterations, but this time in lace with a navy cotton underlining. Combining the lace with the darker lining and a masculine cut takes away the sweetness that seemed to jar a little with my more matter of fact world view.


Although I say it myself, this looks better in real life than in the pictures!

And look, I can even take it off!



Allright, no further…

Of course your eagle eye will have spotted the problem with the lining here! I chose to construct two separate jackets but then to use them as one layer when adding the ribbing, zipper and neckline. This means that you can see some of the yellow lace peeking through on the wrong side.


So my inner sewing nerd isn’t happy with that and I will probably add some sort of seam tape to cover the zipper tape and neckline seam. But my stash was depleted of tape on a Saturday night and I could not wait to finish this. More shopping is required, I’m sure you’ll agree 😉 !


IMG_1436Otherwise I tried to finish this as well as I could, given it was my first time working with lace. All seams are French, on both the shell and the lining. On the shell I also sewed down the completed seam, thus making it a flat felled French seam. Who would have thought?!

So for now I’m pretty happy with how this project has gone. Both jackets are meant to be worn as tops rather than jackets – they don’t really add any warmth at all. They will be included in my Me Made May wearability drive, so hopefully I’ll take note if these work for me in the real world.

Burdastyle 3/2014 #117 and Rosa Jacket: Spring Time White

Spring has sprung rather suddenly here, which – after a warm winter – shouldn’t be a surprise, but it still is exciting every year to see how quickly the weather can turn. So I was the happier that my efficiency pre-cutting programme has yielded a spring time skirt right in the nick of time.


I used Burdastyle 3/2014 #117, in principle a basic pencil skirt, but with  front pleats and a fly front.

I was attracted to the pattern because of the extra tummy room behind the pleats – while I adore the look of a pencil skirt I find their tightness a bit restricting and this one offers a bit more room. The pattern specifies a straight waistband, but I swapped it out for a curved three-piece one (off my TNT skinny jeans pattern, that seem to work best in most projects)


I used my usual size 42 for bottoms but found this rather big. I took in a lot more than what going down to a size 40 would have resulted in, probably around 8cm allround at the top and a lot more tapering towards the knees. I was suprised by having to take it in so much, but then my fabric has a to of strech and the pattern may have been for a  non-stretch (I didn’t consult the instructions so I can’t be sure). Your eagle eye will have spotted that I omitted a walking vent – so the skirt had to go back right to the sewing table when one of the seams burst on first wear. Lesson learned, I hope.


Bacause the fabric is quite light I underlined it with stretch lining.

The jacket is the Burda Vintage Rosa which has been completed for a while but not worn yet.


Special effects photography on the bottom left 🙂





The jackets has been finished for a little while and I wore it a few times already. It seem to have found a its niche in my wardrobe. I tend to wear it unbuttoned. IMG_0781


It closes with three poppers. If you are thinking of making this up and you normally do an FBA then it might be worse doing it larger than norma. As you can see, it pulls little buttoned up even on me – and I don’t even you you spell FBA!




I’m never sure whether “fun” linings aren’t in poor taste, but a fun lining it is. It’s got palm trees on it and lighthouses and all!


So spring: I dare you to wear all white all day!IMG_0778

Burdastyle Bomber Jacket: An Unexpected Fail

Yes, this time I don’t have good things to report:

I finally made a bomber jacket

– I took time and care

– I ended up not liking it at all.

Win some, loose some, I suppose!

IMG_8904I originally made this for my daughter, although it should have been in a different fabric. But when I started to lay out the pattern pieces I realised that the fabric had some marks on it which were so widely spaced I could not use it. I soldiered on with this flowery denim, kinda knowing that it wouldn’t be my daughter’s kind of thing but thinking I could wear the jacket in the end.

IMG_8911Let me show you the insides:

IMG_8912Tadaa: I really took care with this. I did not want to line the jacket, so I finished all exposed edges with self-made bias tape.

IMG_8913All seams are French seams!

IMG_8909You can totally flash your bits in this without having to be ashamed about the seams!

But unfortunately I’m never going to! I really don’t like this on me!

The fabric, a quite substantial denim, is too thick and although I absolutely love looking at those flowers I should have followed my initial idea and should have made trousers out of it. I don’t like it as a jacket!

IMG_8907The cut, combined with the stiff fabric is too boxy for me and the raglan sleeves don’t work.


Overall the jacket is too big (though I cut my usual size 40) and it is too short. The sleeves are too long and too full at the end I think. I hate the high neck. I feel strangled just by looking at this.

IMG_8916And no, pretending to be really small and wearing the jacket inside out doesn’t help either.

So I’m putting this down as Fail of the Year. Every thing went well in the sewing room and all went wrong in the dressing room.

I’m still not put off bomber jackets, though. I am going to try again – with a lighter fabric – and a longer cut – and with set in sleeves, not raglan sleeves – and a deeper V-neck.

Do you think this shows spirit in adversity or simply a lack of willingness to accept the lessons that life teaches me?

Burdastyle 2/2010 # 128: Another White Jacket

I’m not really quite sure why, but I made another white wool jacket. Earlier this year I made my winter trench coat jacket – my first foray into coat making. Then I got another cut of wool in  an absolute, incredible, mind-boggling bargain from fabricmart.com (my husband’s American haul), but due to weight restrictions (and my stupidity in trying and failing to convert yards to metres – I know, it really isn’t hard at all) I only got 2 yards of the fabric. Note to self: 1.8 metres is not enough to make a full length coat!

So I make a blazer-type jacket. The pattern is Burdastyle 2/2010 #128.


IMG_7584The front looks a bit doubtful on this picture – I think it looks a lot better in real life. Hope it is the way I’m standing 😉 . Or have I sewed on those buttons at different heights and never noticed? Hmmm…

IMG_7592I can put my hands into the pockets, but they really they sit a bit too high up to do that comfortably. I did not even consider that when deciding on the pocket placement. In fact, I did not really decide either, I just placed them where the pattern wanted them. So maybe this is not a hands-in-pockets jacket.

IMG_7585It’s a very straightforward oversized/boyfriend type blazer cut. It has bust darts as its only shaping which I would not usually consider, but because I already have a white jacket I thought I might as well experiment with the looser cut that I don’t usually wear. I quite like it at the moment, but I keep looking for a belt to cinch it in. The looser cut is definitely something to try and get used to.

IMG_7591It’s lined with a light green lining and on this photo you can really see how thin the fashion fabric is. This makes the choice of making two white jackets a lot more sensible (or so I’m telling myself at least): the winter trench is for colder weather, this jacket is for cool but not cold weather. Not that this is much help to me at the moment (North American readers who have been suffering in what must the longest winter since the beginning of time, scroll down now in order not to get completely frustrated)…

Well, the coat is not much use to me at the moment, because the warmest winter ever has just given way to the loveliest and most consistent spring I remember and I don’t need a wool coat of any description any more. It’s very early autumn sewing, I suppose 🙂 .

The construction was very simple, but I made my own shoulder pads using this tutorial. I’d always thought this would be really complicated, but in fact it took about half an hour to make those shoulder pads from scratch and they sit much, much better than ready-made ones. So certainly for a coat or blazer I am going to continue making my own – the garment is a joy to put on now because the shoulder pads really mould to the garment and feel supportive but don’t get into the way.

How about you: Are you sewing season-appropriate garments at the moment? Or are you or have you ever been too early or late for the season with your projects?