Tag Archives: patterns

The Beauty of Expectedness

Look, look, LOOK!!!!! Look what’s landed on my doorstep this morning:


You see, when the girls of By Hand London did their kickstarter campaign last year I helped fund them and as a reward I knew I was getting some of their goodies. So I knew what I was getting, no surprises there, move on, nothing to see.

But then: Isn’t this amongst the most beautiful sights in the world?

IMG_0843And then fabric!

IMG_0845Yes!! I was allowed to order 2 metres of their print on demand fabric! How very, very exciting. Originally I had thought that I would upload my own design, but quickly realised that designing my own fabric exceeded my skill and time set by far and so I plumped for their gallery pink flamingo fabric. I’m happy to report that the print is exactly like it looks on their site, print crisp and clear throughout the entire piece of fabric.

At first I was a bit worried when I noticed that the print does not go all the way to the selvages:


But then, of course, how can it, obviously the printer needs an area to grip the fabric while feeding it through its works. Doooh!

You do get a full 148cm width area of usable fabric, so I think that is perfect, no more worries.


So I think I’ll spend a very happy hour thinking about what I could turn this fabric into.


In other sewing news, my spring coat is coming on nicely.


That Peter Pan collar is a work of beauty, if I say so myself.


I’m at that (for me) tricky point where I prepare the lining for bagging. I always run into trouble at the bottom edge:

IMG_0839I dutifully leave 7 cm of the lining unattached to the facing, but when I turn the cloth I always get some sort of organised chaos.

Here, I just sewed as I thought was fit and it’s kinda working ok, but never as perfect as in a shop bought coat.

IMG_0840But how does this even happen??!!


I really, REALLY measured the lining to be 1.5cm shorter than the shell. I compared the lining to the shell before attaching it and yes, it was 1.5 cm shorter than the shell. I wasn’t drunk, I wasn’t tired, it wasn’t dark. So HOW CAN THE LINING NOW BE LONGER THAN THE SHELL? AND IF IT IS LONGER WHY ISN’T IT A UNIFORM AMOUNT ALL THE WAY AROUND? WHY DOES THE WORLD NOT MAKE ANY SENSE?

Philosophical questions, I know. So will I sit down to answer them or will I just cut off the lining to the required length?

I think you know the answer to that…

But just to make sure, please do take my little poll:


A quick review of Burdastyle 4/2015

I have to admit that I have fallen slightly out of love with Burdastyle recently. I think the last issue that really had me excited was 3/2014 – the excitement was for the skinny jeans pattern that I made a few times now. But otherwise it kinda left me cold. I even considered cancelling my subscription, but then I did like a few things in the April edition which landed in my letterbox today, so I think I’m pacified again.

So there you have it, April 2015, according to Burdastyle. One pattern I’m going to make like right now, a couple that might jump my carefully organised queue and some to keep in mind – I think I can call myself a happy sewer.

Did you see anything you like? Enough to bring our the tracing paper?

Grading down pluse size patterns – Useful Advice?

It happened to me again: While at the fabric market recently, a fabric spoke to me! A lightweight light blue chambray printed with little white stars stole my ear and told me it wanted to be made into some slouchy beach vibe summer pants.
Well, who am I to disobey fabric orders?  So I have been looking through my Burda stash, and can you believe, the only pattern that the fabric squealed at in delight is a plus size pattern from the latest edition.

It’s Burdastyle 6/2014 #136

This is a plus size pattern starting at size 44. I normally need a size 42 for trousers, so I thought that grading down one size shouldn’t be a problem – in fact if I take 1/2 cm off each side seam and inseam I should be there.

But is my thinking right? Is a plus size pattern simply  “standard” pattern but a little larger? Or are the proportions within a plus size pattern different to standard patterns? Is there anything I need to take into account in particular?

Have you ever down sized a plus sized pattern and would you like to leave any useful advice or word of caution?

As always: Thanks you so much for your comments!

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.

Update: Progress on the Jeans Front

First of all, can I thank all of you for your excellent advice regarding my Big 4 pattern question. I have taken it all on board and have researched my favourite patterns on Pattern review, so now I come primed with a list of interesting patterns to order while my husband is the States. You are the best!

“Progress, not perfection” is our mantra over at The Monthly Stitch where February is the months to tackle pants. This gave me the chance to work on version 2 of my jeans (version 1 is here). I tried to tweak the fit, with mixed results.
Anyway, today I am wearing version 2 for the first time:


IMG_6837I made these from a very light grey denim, too light for the still cold weather, but I can feel spring around the corner so I’m happy to put up with a few shivers.


Even my husband was worried about the gratuitous display of VPL – and he does not even know what VPL is! Sorry about that, styling is not my strong side, I know…

Now for the science bit: construction v. finished result:

IMG_6828IMG_6843I was able to remove a little of the extra fabric at the crotch by deepening the crotch curve slightly, but this was far as I was able to get.


I took a lot of width out of the leg, both on the inseam and on the outside seam. In fact, all the extra room I had added to the inseam in order to accommodate my full thighs was taken out again, and maybe even a bit more. I did keep a little extra at the top of the thigh in the outside seam (around where the V of the pockets ends). There is still a little something strange going on across the seat, but I have a feeling this will stretch itself out with wear, it already seems a bit better than when I made these photos this morning.IMG_6842


Not much as changed here, only the leg is slimmer.

Many of you commented that you thought version 1 fit just fine and did not need changing.


Looking at the comparison pictures I have to agree – version 1 actually looks better than version 2 with the fit changes, but I think that is mainly because version 1 is so very, VERY tight that no wrinkles have a chance of appearing. Also I realise with a degree of shock how much more forgiving the thicker, darker corduroy of version 1 is in comparison to the very light denim of version 2. I guess that’s why people wear black… Unfortunately (for your eyes at least 😉 ) I can’t be bothered with my looks beyond a certain degree, so that’s why you are getting the “warts and all” VPL pictures.

So for the summary:

  • fit wise I don’t really know what I am doing. Most of the changes I undid again when making up the final version, especially as far as the width is concerned.
  • One adjustment that is probably not even visible but that feels an unqualified success is adding a 2,5cm wedge to the seat. It makes the waistband come up a bit higher in the back without having to make the trousers high-waisted and it fits a lot more snuggly and feels MUCH better. In version 1 I often had the feeling I am loosing my trousers, just because the waistband sat on the seat rather than closer to the waist. So I will definitely be making this adjustment in the future.
  • I think I will continue to cut a size 42 and then take the seams in as required. In this case I could have cut a 40, given all the width I took out, but it makes for much more relaxes sewing to know I have some wiggle room.
  • I have now come to a stage where I feel confident about all parts of the construction and sewing trousers is a joy rather than a slightly scary thing. And that is something that pleases me most of all! So I am happy to end this post on a positive note!

Progress on the Jeans Front?

February is Smarty Pants Months over at the Monthly Stitch and I have been busy trying to improve my jeans fit.

Over Christmas I made my first pair of jeans and I had ended up with this:IMG_6718


There weren’t any major fitting problems, but I still tried to improve on version on. I took loads of measurements, looked at a number of fitting books and websites, got a lot of advice from fellow bloggers about fitting and arrived at the conclusion that I should alter the pattern for full thighs and a protruding seat (I wish they could think of nicer terms…).

So I did the following:

  • add a wedge of 2.5cm in the back crotch via slash and spread to accommodate the protruding seat
  • take out a wedge of 2cm in the front crotch correspondingly
  • add a 1cm wedge to the back inseam to accommodate the full thighs
  • add a little to the thigh line of the outside seam, as with my pear shape my biggest measurement isn’t actually around the hip bone but around the top of the thigh

This is what I got (first fix after basting all seams):



IMG_6831To me, real life looked a lot better than in those pictures. Sad case of wishful thinking? To be honest, I don’t think I have improved anything!

  • Clearly I need to take in the outside seam a little more.The leg is too wide, even though I am going for straight rather than skinny.
  • The crotch isn’t any better, I think I might have added a little too much to the backside, but that should be easy to fix by taking in the seam any more.
  • Those wrinkles under the seat really annoy me, but I have no idea to get rid of them and my fitting books are quite shaky on this issue.
  • The front crotch still has me puzzled. There still is a little too much fabric, so I wonder whether I have to shorten the front crotch more or whether the thighs need more room and that’s what’s causing the ripples in the crotch.

In future I almost think I might continue sew the patterns without alterations other than lengthening the leg. While clearly it’s not perfect it’s as least as good as the efforts of my alterations…

A quick review of Burdastyle 3/2014

I am still too excited to write a post about the Georgia dress that could be in any way intelligible, so in the meantime I thought I post a quick review of the latest issue of Burdastyle, which arrived in my letterbox today, one day ahead of the official publication date here in Germany. So you might well hear it from me first 😉 .
There are quite a few nice patterns in there, have a look at this:
# 108


I really like this, it looks like separates on the front but is a dress in the back. Adds an extra little something to a simple shift dress, I guess this could look intriguing as a colour block dress. They made it up as a simple wedding dress too.

#101, 102, 103

IMG_6812IMG_6824This is right up my street, especially this boucle version! They have three different lengths, two blazers and a coat which actually looks really nice in the magazine as well.

# 120

IMG_6816IMG_6820This  I am properly excited about! I love the wrap style top and the pencil skirt, I think this could look really good, even in a solid. I am not so sure about the pleated sleeves, I think making up these pleats is an accident waiting to happen, but the pleat detail could easily be folded out. I’m not sure I need a dress like this in my life, but the pattern certainly gets a lot of love from me.

#117IMG_6815IMG_6821A great basic, I think. I like the pleated front on simple pencil skirt, makes them a bit more every-day-wearable than a very tight pencil skirt. Also the just below the knee-length is my favourite length, so I wouldn’t put it past me to make this very soon.



I kinda like the line drawing of this, a simple dress with a little bit of interest. The made up dress does not tell you anything because the fabric is so busy – please, Burda people, let us see what those garments actually look like!! I am on the fence re the elasticated waist, so I am not sure whether this might be an actual option.


IMG_6814Some simple track suit bottoms (which, ridiculously, they style for three different looks in the magazine! What silly kind of idea is that?) But I need new track suit bottoms (of sporty purposes rather than fashion apparel, I hasten to add, so this pattern comes in handy.

There are another few good patterns in there, for example some properly skin-tight skinny jeans which my daughter made nice sounds about, but LOOK AT THIS: This has me make all sorts of undignified squeaking and squealing noises every time I look at it:


Crochet bunnies!! The pink one is full child size!! And aren’t I in luck: I am a new aunt, so I WILL crochet a bunny! Not the full size one, my niece’s mum would kill me, but the little one is darling, don’t you think?

So what do you think? Have you seen anything that interests you in these pictures or anywhere else? Do tell!