Tag Archives: MonthlyStitch

Pauline Alice: Marvelous Malvarosa

IMG_8534I’ve been away for a little while, walking the Alps, which gave lots of time to ponder my next sewing move and I settled for some inspiration from The Monthly Stitch’s Independent Sewing Month: the Malvarosa dress by Pauline Alice.

IMG_8525 I’ve already seen a few great versions around and although I have never tried the drop waist look before I thought I might give it a try now.

IMG_8526This version is made from some Ikea cotton and really is a wearable muslin for me to check out if this look is for me.

IMG_8527Look, the dress even has pocketses!

IMG_8529They are fully functional, even from the side!

I cut a size 40, following my waist measurement, this is also my standard RTW size. I think in this style I might have got away with a 38. But maybe I am just still a little unsure of the loose waist style and it is perfectly fine the way it is. Anyway, the width is easy to take in as the side seams are the last seams to be sewn.

IMG_8531I was surprised to see the dress come out as long as it did. I made the skirt 2cm longer than indicated, 42cm rather than 40 cm, but at 174cm I am quite tall. Normally I have to lengthen skirts by about 5cm  to make them similar to the look on the pattern. I if you are petite, you might definitely want to hunt down the tutorial about how to shorten the whole dress.

IMG_8536I really like the little sleeves. On the inside they are finished with facings. This works perfectly well, but I find that whenever I put on the dress I have to push them back inside, so on a second version I might just self line the whole bodice rather than using the facings. I would like to point out though that this my personal preference, once the facings are in place they will stay put so there is no need to fiddle with them once the dress is on.

IMG_8533After a little indecision when I first wore the dress I think I might make it again quite soon. I am thinking in mint coloured linen for the summer? Or the version with sleeves for the autumn in simple black? Or maybe a Hello Sailor version?

Would you?


By Hand London Georgia: Again!


Following on from my slightly hysterical excitement about my first Georgia I suppose no-one is surprised I made another. In fact I had plans for months, but only got the right fabric a little while ago – which is as well because I can now enter this dress into the Indie Dress competition over at The Monthly Stitch.



I can’t say much more about the construction of the dress than I did last time. I sewed a size 10 grading out to a 12 from the waist straight from the envelope and the only change I made was lengthening the dress by about 5cm.

My husband even did some fancy stuff with the camera!


I just hope the nice weather is going to hold, because I feel with this dress, lots of al fresco cocktail sipping is in order!


Burdastyle 2/2014 # 109: Strawberry Skirts Forever

Miss Bossy over at The Monthly Stitch told me to make this skirt in March – but she also added  that after I had finished my homework I might use my favourite fabric of the moment to make another skirt. And so I did!


Yes, it has strawberries all over! It might not be wise, but I love it.


I had originally thought to make a pencil skirt, but over since Burda came out with this denim style skirt I knew this was the one for the strawberries.

There is not much to say about the pattern, Burdastyle 2/2014 # 109:

It’s a straight forward jeans style skirt, Burdastyle has several length and I used the longest length, just above the knee (I achieved this by lengthening the standard pattern by 5cm, my usual “alteration”). I cut a size 40 and graded out to a size 42 over the hip and upper thigh area. It came together without any incidence and after all my good jeans sewing practice of the last few months I did not even have to look at the instructions. I made the waistband using pre-cut interfacing, do you know the stuff that has the seam allowance and centre seam already perforated? I have to say I was not thrilled with this. The interfacing would have resulted in a 5 cm high waistband that is very stiff and inflexible and I found this uncomfortable and just a bit out of proportion. So I just reduced the height to about 3cm and I am much happier with this. I still think I will cut my own interfacing in future, even for a straight waistband as I don’t like the stiffness of the pre-perforated stuff so much.

The sewing of this skirt turned out to be very timely as we have had an unusally early and warm beginning to spring and I was able to wear the skirt twice already!

Here is me looking into the middle distance, as suggested by my teenage daughter:

IMG_7479Well, what would she say about this picture? Something like “Stop trying mum”, I think. How about you? Are you a natural when it comes to having your pictures taken? Or is it only second to going to the dentist like it is for me?

Burdastyle 2/2014 #106 : The “Are You Happy, Miss Bossy” – Skirt


In the recent poll of The Monthly Stitch you voted for me to make the skirt with pleated waist detail, Burdastyle 2/2014 # 106. It was pretty clear from the start that the skirt would be the winner, so I cheated a little and started sewing it on the 28th of February :-).

So are you happy now, Miss Bossy?

Still being a bit shy…


Should I really show you from the front? Well, I better keep my new favourite jacket securely buttoned up…


I’m not drunk! I am just doing my Bavarian folk dance impression. Cue yodeling from the top of the hills 😉


But now seriously, where is that pleat detail?


O come on now, you tease. You are not Burdastyle, it’s not your job to HIDE the interesting design detail like they do in the magazine:


Well, yes, exactly my point! Now show us!

P1070980All right, there you have it. My daughter (who took these photos) said: “Oh, that’s very interesting around the waist. But, boy, it does make you look fat.” Nothing like a 14-year-old to tell it like it is, ey?

P1070979“But come on”, she helpfully added, “throw your jacket over you shoulder and try and look stylish.”  Yes Ma’am! You see, I have lots of practice being bossed around 🙂

The obligatory “Does my bum look big in this” shot:

P1070985Daughter’s unsolicited advice was: “Can you make your bum be less big now please”  I have nothing to add, apart from wondering where those bubbles around the zip come from. I think inspite of following my new mantra of “That’ll steam out” that I copied from lladybird, I might have steamed these bubbles IN as everything was perfectly flat and normal until I took to it with the steam iron. I am going to wash the skirt first and then see what happens. (Yes, you are right in assuming this might be another one of my mantras – this time all of my own making).

Bum questions aside the skirt was actually really easy to sew. The pleat detail is constructing by pleating a rectangular piece of fabric and then overlaying it onto the normal front yoke pieces, basting both together and then cutting the pleated piece the same size as the front yoke. So while this takes a little time it is really easy to do, no complicated moves at all. The rest is then just a front and back skirt piece, pleated and sewn to the front and back yoke.

I cut a size 42 rather than my usual size 40 because I had gained a little bit of weight and did not want to end up with too little at the top, but I think I should have make it a little tighter so it sits a little higher up on the waist. But again, I will reserve judgement until I have worn the skirt a few times.

One thing I found really hard was to find ways to style it. Wearing it with a blouse it looks a little too much like “on my way to church on a Sunday” (nothing wrong with that of course, but it’s just not my scene) and not enough like the fluid elegance of “The Great Gatsby” that I envisioned. And almost all of the tops I have are too long to show the pleating. So I ended up now in these photos with the only top I possess at the moment that kinda works. Just as well I sew, isn’t it?

How are your Miss Bossy projects coming on ?

Miss Bossy, are you skirting the issue?

Maybe you know that over at The MOnthly Stitch we get a new sewing challenge every months. In March we are to make a pattern that has been in our stash for a while but has never been made – but to make things a little more interesting we have you decide which pattern we get to make. After February, which was Pants Month, I thought I might make March Skirt Month, so I would like to propose three skirts patterns:

1. Burdastyle 2/2014 #106 and pastelly lemon coloured wool


I like the skirt for the pleated detail around the waist – unfortunately the magazine pictures doesn’t even show the unique selling point of this skirt. Burdastyle layouters, what’s up with you?
The picture doesn’t do the fabric justice: it is a very light pastel lemon colour which I originally wanted to make into a blazer. But because it makes me very washed out right next to my face I think it might work better as a skirt.


2. Burdastyle 2/2014 # 109 with strawberry denim

This is basically the long version of the Moss mini skirt, just a simple straight jeans-style skirt. I think it would be very versatile and could be made up in different length, although for Miss Bossy I would make the just above the knee-length like on the picture:

IMG_685020140102_152423I would pair this with my most favourite fabric at the moment, strawberry on white stretch denim.

3. Burdastyle 3/2014 117 #  with crazy triangle Ikea fabric

IMG_6815This still has the front zip and button closure but is pleated at the front for a more elegant look:


While elegance is great, my result might be more mad than great, because I plan to use this fabric from Ikea’s home section:


So Miss Bossy, what’s it to be:

I’ve tried my best with the poll, but if it doesn’t work for you for some reason, please just give your vote in the comments and I will add it to the end result. The poll is open for one week, until 1 March.

Burdastyle 8/2013 #118: Trouser Fitting Practice

One of my Resewlutions for 2014 was to expand my repertoire of trouser patterns from the one or two patterns that I know I can make fit to add some variation to my trouser wardrobe.
So I started with Burdastyle 8/2013 # 118:


Following my measurements I cut a size 42 (in RTW I wear a size 40) and my first impression was that the leg came up far to wide. It did not result in a bootcut but rather in a wide leg from the top. No big deal, it was very easy to take in the legs along the seams. One thing I really don’t like is the placement of the welt pockets. On me, at least, they come up way too high, so next time I will move them down by a few centimetres.

Otherwise I actually got a decent enough fit on the first attempt. There seems to be some slight fullness in the crotch:


I bought the excellent Sewing Pants that Fit and I wonder if what I need to do is shorten the front crotch:

P1070898The extra fabric on my trousers isn’t as much as pictures in the book, so that might easy to rectify.

The side seams look fine to me:

P1070895It arrives on the floor nicely perpendicular, cross-secting the ankle, so I think I can leave this as it is.

The back view still puzzles me though:

P1070896Do those creases at the upper thigh tell me the seat wants more room? So I would need to adjust for protruding seat:

P1070900Or to they mean I need to let out the back inseam so as to give more room for the thigh? Haven’t quite worked that one out yet.

Otherwise I am encouraged by this first attempt. I am not crazy about the fabric, so this will be a wearable muslin at best, but I have some nice navy wool suiting waiting for the adapted version.

In other sewing news I finished my Georgia dress:

IMG_6790I am planning on wearing this tomorrow, winter or not, so hopefully I will have some good pictures. I can tell you that much: I love love love the dress!

Burdastyle 12/2013 # 105: The First Long Then Short Blazer

When I started making #105 out of the December issue of Burdastyle I fully intended to make it a long and oversized blazer as in the magazine:


But when I first tried it on half way through the making process I didn’t like the length at all, I felt swamped and not stylish at all. What is more, my daughter hated, just HATED it. So who am I to wear a blazer that my 14 year old hates?

So it got chopped off:

IMG_6682aaah, much better already! The double welt pockets are in the wrong place now, they should really sit a bit higher up now, but I am happy to live with this. I will, however, amend the pocket placement on the next version.

IMG_6684I think it looks much better cropped like this, a bit closer to the By Hand London Victoria blazer, which I think is fabulously stylish.



I added cream lining, just because I could 🙂


The blazer is meant to have a hook and eye closure, but I only had silver ones in my stash, when I wanted black. So I left off the closure for now – I doubt I am going to wear this closed much anyway:

IMG_6691But that’s what it would look like.

During assembly I used a new technique for setting in the sleeve: Rather than gathering the sleeve before setting it in, you sew a stripe of bias tape to the seam allowance, stretching slightly as you sew. This slightly gathers the sleeve and gives you a sleeve head at the same time.

I half – followed this tutorial from Lolitapatterns. The tutorial calls for the use of tie interfacing for the bias strip, but somehow my husband was not amenable. He said, he wanted to keep all his ties. Shocking lack of cooperation, don’t you think?


I must admit I didn’t fall in love with the technique on my first attempt. Maybe I did not stretch the bias tape enough, or maybe it was too stiff because I used the fashion fabric rather than a thinner material, but anyway I did not manage to get the sleeve in without a few tucks and creases:


So a little bit of ripping and re-sewing was in order, nothing drastic, but I need to experiment with this method a little more.

Overall the blazer is a really nice pattern which I am sure I’m going to use again. In fact I already have tentative plan for a spring version using some IKEA fabric.

How about you: Have your thoughts turned to spring sewing yet? Or autumn sewing, as the case may be?