Tag Archives: sewing

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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Burdastyle 10/2017 #119 and 9/2017 #121: Lemons in the Lady Garden

One of the problems with my lack of regular blogging isn’t a lack of sewing, but a lack of taking pictures I’m happy with (and my standards of happiness are clearly very much lower than other bloggers’ anyway).
But looking at things realistically, happiness isn’t really achievable in the world of my blog photos anyway, so I ‘ll just post this as it is rather than delaying even further.

These are two of my favourite recent pieces: The trousers are Burdastyle 9/2017  #121, which, following a suggestions from Ali , I’ve named the Lady Garden Trousers, because, of course, there is a lot going on in the lady garden area, as Ali helpfully suggested.

There is actually a lot I would normally not like about these trousers. They don’t have pockets for starters. I hate clothes without pockets as I always have stuff to carrry around with me. So I added a small front welt pocket to at least accomodate my phone. Secondly, they have a side zip, which again I wouldn’t usually chose and which I normally convert into a front zip opening.  Of course I could have changed all that, but I was short on fabric and didn’t want to experiment with a new pattern. And thirdly the fit isn’t great, they came out a bit large and large quantities of elastic were used in the waist line (I did use my usual size 42 in Burda, but I might have needed to size down).

But, but but – I just love them! The fabric just makes these trousers and it makes me feel happy every time I put them on, so they are a big win in my book.

Patternwise I’m in fact more excited about the top Burdastyle 19/2017 #119.

This is a pattern I thouroughly recommend! It’s as comfortable as any regular knit top, but is just elevated a little bit about the standard top. Admittedly you won’t wip this up in an hour, there’s a bit of precision sewing necessary around the waist area and for setting in the sleeves that personally I couldn’t have done on the overlocker. So I used all three machines: the regular machine for precision sewing, the overlocker for the rest and coverstitch for the neck and bottom seams.

I sized down one size to a 38, which I usually do in Burda knit tops and it turned out just right. I used a very hefty ponte and that was a good choice, I this the waist belt wouldn’t sit right in a flimsier fabric. Oh, and I managed to get this top out of 1 metre rather than the 1.3 metres specified. I had to shorten the arms by about 2cm, but that was all.

Regular readers of this blog will know that one of my modellig special skills is walking up and down, so I wouldn’t want to leave you without proof that I’m still at the top of my game!

See, told you so, exemplary stuff!

 

 

 

Merken

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.

Burdastyle 8/2015 #120 : An Almost Crop Top

I’m posting this in the full knowledge that I should try and get proper pictures, you know, with me actually inside the top.
However, I’ve managed to not get proper pictures for the best part of three months, so maybe it’s not to be for this top.

But anyway: I made a top, in my new favourite colour Blush.

The pattern was Burdastyle 8/2015 #120, without the overlay.

I had in fact made this before, but shamefully never blogged it. The fabric was a beautiful looking poly that was so static and sweaty to wear that I wore the top two or three times and sent it on to the charity shop during my last clear out where hopefully it will find another home.

I shortened it a little bit, gently curving the front seam upwards. I also put in split hems – because I could.

The back has a CB seam (because the original pattern has a button closure), but it’s all straight, so it could easily be eliminated.

The neckband is simply the same fabric with the reverse side showing. Unfortunately it doesn’t lay quite flat, but this only bothered me during the first wear, afterwards I quickly forgot to find fault with this project. Doesn’t that happen ever so often that we are overly critical with our own projects, only to be unable to identify a few weeks later?!

Merken

Merken

Burdastyle 12/2016 #107(ish): The Look Behind Me Top

What can I say – long time, no see and all that… I blame Instagram: after not getting it at all for years I suddenly really started enjoying it and have been snapping away on it rather than making the effort to write a proper blog post. (My Insta handle, or whatever they call these things is Said&Done Chris by the way, in case you’re interested).

But anyways, I have been sewing loads, absolute loads!! I’ve had quite a slow time at work, which is unusal for me, but is all part of a big plan, because I’m going to take a sabbatical FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR!!! starting from August. How amazing is that??!! It’s not exactly a surprise as such, I’ve been working towards this for five years, as my employer has this scheme where you can work overtime for a number of years in order to get back the hours accrued during the sabbatical, which means that I’ll be ON MY USUAL WAGES.

Yes, let me just repeat this: I’ll have a paid year off! Funnily, my colleagues don’t seem to enjoy me discussing this fact with them anymore, I can’t think why, so I thought I’ll share this with you 🙂

Anyways, I digress, sewing:

I made a little linen top, something to wear for the warmer weather that we had a couple of weeks back. I love the front with the pleats and all that – but look at the back: it has bum-ruffles:

Just thinking of bum-ruffles is enough to put me in a good mood! In fact I’ve been known to laugh out loud on the train when considering the bum-ruffles.

The pattern I used is loosely based on Burdastyle 12/2016 #107

Obviously I moved the side ruffle towards the back and left off the sleeves. And of course I didn’t make it a dress. That’s because I didn’t want a dress, I wanted a chance to use bum-ruffles. But also I wouldn’t have had enought fabric because I was refashioning this dress I made a while ago.

Again, clearly not this exact dress, but that one – I just thought you might want to look at the dress as it actually looks. It turned out to be one of the makes I really liked the theory of, but that I never wore in practice. The dropped waist just isn’t for me, I guess.

So there, back to the top, inclusive of an honorary appearance for the Brexit Coat, flamingos and all.
(Excuse the hair, by the way. Don’t know what happened there…)

The front yoke is self-lined and I even handstitched it down. And two gratuitous pictures of the bum-ruffles, because this is how I roll. And really, do you know why they are there? Because I didn’t have enough fabric to cut the back as long as I wanted it. What a lucky coincidence, ey?

Merken

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