Linton Tweed pencil skirt: Burda 03/2010 #136

I have thoroughly enjoyed the sewing journey with this skirt. Which is fortunate, because the end result was much less satisfying than the journey to get there.

But that’s fine. This fabric was such a delight to sew.

It is a silk, wool and cotton blend purchased from Linton Tweeds in Carlisle whilst on holiday in the UK in 2017. It was one of their 1 metre remnants at 5 pounds. Bargain! Especially when all the fabrics M of Nonsuch and I purchased that day were shipped to Australia for an incredibly low flat rate of 9 pounds. All of you paying normal prices subsidised this for me. Thanks!

So proud to include that Linton label

The lining is a silky remnant, probably polyester, I picked up last year from a secondhand shop in Yankalilla, a local seaside holiday town. It’s the perfect match for the tweed. The leftovers were made into a scarf.

Lots of good holiday vibes in this garment.

I picked a pencil skirt pattern from my back collection of Burda magazines with added interest of the front darts rotated out to the sides: Burda 03/2010 #136

I interfaced the tweed with a very light iron-on interfacing I sourced from a local dressmaker – Tatiana Light. You can see the side darts drawn in on the interfacing in the photo above – an added bonus!

The combination of interfacing and tweed made a hand stitched hem very easy to do.

I know this premade bias binding doesn’t match exactly but I still like it

I need to do invisible stitching? Super easy!

This interfacing feels like adding butterfly wings but gives that essential extra bit of support to the tweed. Perhaps not quite enough to the waist facing, because that seems to have stretched out a bit by the time I went to stitch it on. This meant I had to take the waist in after construction (unpicking with that tweed? Uggh!). It is still a bit big.

The reality is that the delightful weave of winter white, orange, donkey grey and black threads turns into a muddy neutral grey brown at any normal viewing distance.

So I have a thick, long, pencil skirt that’s too big though the waist and in a boring colour. I feel a bit like I’m back in the 1940’s in an English village. Better weather though. And at least I know the fabric is special!

Colour coordination is a bit limited if I trying to match the colours woven into the skirt.

Orange and black are excellent but almost all my existing grey tops and fabrics are too grey and not brown-grey enough.

Except one mystery piece gifted to me by Jann of JannsFabrics. It’s the perfect match to the donkey grey in the tweed. I think it’s a silk cotton blend – it certainly feels like it.

The V- neck was stay stiched and the facing is interfaced. What are those mini ripples there? Not obvious IRL

I made up Itch to Stitch’s Seychelles top in this fabric in a size 14 out to a size 16 at the hips.

It’s the perfect colour coordinated outfit, but a lot duller overall in colour than is my preference. The scarf helps a bit.

The Seychelles top? I like it. I shortened it by about 8 cm because the proportions looked better untucked with this long skirt, but the standard length would be fine for knee length or shorter skirts. Next time I’ll do a forward shoulder adjustment and/or spread the sleeve gathers out over more of the sleeve cap – they are drafted to just be at the very top of the sleeve cap and when your shoulders roll forward the gathers mostly end up at the back.

Also next time I will either do a ‘proper’ sleeve placket or swap the cuff out for an elasticated cuff. The sleeve placket integrated with the sleeve seam is easy, but annoys me a bit by not being ‘proper’

Bottom line? I loved making this skirt. I’m glad this fabric has moved from too precious to sew to a garment in my wardrobe. Even if it only ever gets occasional wear.

Silver crushed velvet dress: Burda 01/2018 #101

This is a story of going to the fabric store to buy fabric for a specific pattern but buying something we loved that wasn’t really suitable for that pattern. Anyone else do that? When we realised what we’d done, all the Burda magazines came out and Felicity and I spent a pleasant hour or so finding another pattern.

This is Burdastyle 01/2018 #101 in a size 40.

I did a ‘pivot and slide’ 2 cm FBA but it may not have been necessary given the stretchiness of the fabriv.

The waist twisty bit is a nice feature. The line drawing is a bit misleading for this bit (the tucks in this pattern piece end up on the part that you sew to the side seam – but the line drawing shows the side seams smooth). But, as the reviews on Pattern Review said, if you follow Burda’s instructions literally, it might seem nonsensical but it works out just fine.

The fabric is a crushed polyester velvet from Spotlight, and Felicity says its delightful to wear.

I omitted the zip because it is very stretchy fabric.

I wondered about changing the neck facings out for a binding, but thought this might give it too much of a sports look which seems wrong for crushed velvet so I stayed with the facings. Not sure I should have worried about a sports look being inappropriate. This dress is apparently perfect for riding a scooter in the city.

The facings are hand stitched down. But my commitment to hand stitching ended there – the hems were turned up 1cm and stitched with a simple zigzag. This made both the sleeves and skirt 3 cm long than drafted because I’d added a 4 cm hem allowance

So this is a story with a happy ending.

I still haven’t sourced fabric for the initial pattern though.

Monochrome floral tunic: BurdaStyle 08/2020 #125

Experimental sewing. Wearable, but getting close to a wadder. I guess we’ve all been there.

I wouldn’t have said this when this top was fresh off the sewing machine, but subsequent episodes of wearing have led me to conclude that its not quite the right fabric for this pattern.

What is this pattern I hear you say?

BurdaStyle 08/2020 #125 in a size 46 bust and waist and six 48 hips.

Recommended fabrics are light weight blouse fabrics like viscose-rayon crepe

The fabric I used was not the recommended types but is actually quite lovely – a sophisticated monochrome panel print in a fine stretch cotton woven. With a beautiful multi coloured striped selvedge. And it has those special souvenir fabric vibes – bought in Bordeaux, France in between meetings on a work trip, back in the day when that was a thing I did.

I knew the pattern would be better in a drapey fabric, but I thought I would give it a try anyway. Experimental. Did I say that already?

It sewed up beautifully. Lovely fabric.

The interesting faux button V neck thing is good- not too deep but deep enough to be not frumpy. The lack of depth of colour on the underside of my fabric shows though- because there is no button band just a narrow turnback of the fabric edge to finish it. It’s not terrible, or even very noticeable to anyone else, but it irritates me.

The three quarter sleeves are nice but I had the unwelcome discovery that my forearms are larger than the pattern was drafted for. The cuffs only just meet. No chance of an overlap and buttons.

So instead I have ribbon tie cuffs. Design feature? Maybe! And an easy thang to fix for next time.

I used the burrito method for the yoke. It always seems like magic! And I couldn’t help myself with the label. That multi-striped selvedge needed to be seen – even if only by me. The native American blanket vibes are incongruous, but it makes me smile!

So what don’t I like about the top ( apart from the wrong side showing at the neck edge)?

It sticks out – it doesn’t drape. Of course it does. It’s a cotton with body. All operator fault in matching fabric to pattern.

I’ll keep on wearing the top before I judge it better donated, and I haven’t given up on the pattern. I just need to select a drapier fabric.

This photo is not very convincing is it? Its good to acknowledge that not all sewing results in garments you love. All part of the rich tapestry of life….

‘Bib Skirt’: BurdaStyle 10/2020 #118

Bib skirt. Burda. Really? What were you thinking? You have to hope it sounds better in German.

Brooklyn Farm, at which some of this pinafore was sewn, provided the most wonderful backdrop for these photos.

It’s allowed to look great – it was a movie set.

Of course once the pinafore was made it needed a top to go with it. Never mind that this orange top looked great with it. Especially with magical late afternoon light.

So far two tops have been made.

The first one is Simplicity 8982 – a simple long sleeved T shirt in an Australian aboriginal art print. Accessorized with a Venetian mask. Don’t ask me why.

The second is a Wilder top in Liberty tana lawn

Not yet actually worn with the bib skirt. But has been worn with a similar Burda pinafore made a couple of years ago.

So, let’s talk about the technical details.

The bib skirt is Burda Style 10/2020 #118 made up in a mid wale cotton corduroy from Spotlight. It’s a size 40 skirt and size 44 bib and straps (I drafted out to a 44 at the top of the bib pieces from a 40 at the waist – this adds 1.5 cm in length and width to each bib piece). Easiest FBA I’ve ever done!

Flannel Skirt 118|Burda Style 10/20

The skirt is lined with bemsilk and the bib and waistband with a slippery poly woven with a paisley design in a sort of jacquard from deep stash. Because I didn’t have enough of either to do both parts. The buttons are vintage – purchased from a second hand shop in Greenwich, UK, on holiday 4 years ago.

The wilder top was made from Liberty Tana lawn purchased from Liberty in London with Felicity 5 years ago on holidays. I’m seeing a theme here. Holiday purchases and time in the stash.

I added 22.5 cm to the length and 10 cm to the width of the sleeves. Then brought the volume back in with an elastic cuff (turned up 12 mm and then 25 mm to form the casing and inserted 20 mm elastic).

Hardly enough change to qualify as a pattern hack but I couldn’t resist using this label!

And the Simplicity 8982 knit top?

I had limited fabric so I cut this top out width wise (by that I mean with the hems of the sleeves and bodices aligned with the selvedges).

Not really a hack nor was the fabric a holiday purchase or a stash dweller. It’s a rayon spandex knit printed with one of Pauline Napangardi Gallagher’s designs, purchased from Spotlight and sewn up within a month. There’s more about this talented artist here.

Pinafore? Bib skirt? Whatever. It was fun to sew, and has already been worn more than just for the photo shoot. #winning.

And, talking about photo shoots, the Brooklyn Farm chickens weren’t going to let an opportunity pass them by. If their door was going to feature in my photo shoot then they made sure there was also a photo of them at our door.

The spring coat I haven’t made yet: BurdaStyle 03/2010 #101

This was the final pattern I auditioned this summer for the beautiful yellow roses fabric. And it’s a winner.

https://burdastyle.ru/vikroyki/palto/palto-burda-2010-3-101-b/ Yes the Russian Burda site – its the absolute best for BurdaStyle archives

So. Why haven’t I actually made it up? Well. Timing. March seemed the wrong time to make a spring coat for an Australian sewist.

But I do very much love my trial version.

I used an African wax print cotton and made the pattern 5 cm longer than the jacket length (style #102, not shown in the line drawing) but with the coat length 3/4 length sleeves. The largest size is 44 so I drafted out to a size 46. A size 44 probably would’ve been fine

No lining, no interfacing.

Of course I absolutely adore it anyway!

It is the absolute best to wear with a wide and oddly shaped long dress (can you tell I’ve become a woman of a certain age?!) on a night out with my very stylish friend M from Nonsuch.

It’s also been worn to work. More times than is probably healthy.

It’s one of those garments which gets unsolicited compliments every time it’s worn. It’s the print. It’s almost indigenous Australian art like. I get that comment too. And that’s my cue to tell them about African wax prints. Never let an opportunity pass for textile education!

I added patch pockets. Just letting you know in case you hadn’t noticed my hands shoved into them in the photos above. Pockets are always a good idea. It was also fun pattern matching them. Really, they’re stealth patch pockets.

I also couldn’t resist adding one of KATMs awesome labels to the sleeve cuff.

Other important details are that all the seams were flat felled and bias binding was used on the hems and facings

Great pattern. Remind me to use it again in September!

The last of the summer sewing

The season has turned, I’ve brought my winter coats back into the wardrobe. It’s almost too late to be blogging about summer sewing… but not quite!

This top is Burdastyle 06/2016 #129

Crepe Tunic 129 | 06/16
https://www.burdastyle.com/crepe-tunic-129-06-16.html

I’ve even used a similar colour to Burda.

Crepe Tunic 129 | 06/16

Mine is made from a floaty cotton voile that has been in my stash almost forever (9 years – I’ve patted it appreciatively and admired its colour and hand many times since it came to live with me). This fabric is designer deadstock – from Gay Naffine/Lucy Giles.

I made several adjustments to the pattern to get the fit better.

I traced off a size 46, petite-ed the bodice by 2 cm above the bust dart and made a 2 cm forward shoulder – which meant I also brought the tucks in the sleeve head forward. Are you supposed to do that?

The adjustments certainly worked for the shoulder fit, but the bust darts ended up a touch high.

The neck depth is good but it is quite wide though – if there is a next time I’ll consider bringing it in a bit.

I didn’t include the front slit but I did keep the idea of regular tacks down the front band by adding pearl buttons (shining in the bad side light of the image above)

I used a very light interfacing for the neck band and the front bands as well as to reinforce those square seams

A KATM tag on the side seam above the slit because I can.

I promise this is the last ‘touching my hair’ photo!

The skirt is an old favourite made in my new larger size – 46 waist and 48 hips – Burdastyle 07/2012 #134

Yes this is from the Russian Burda Site. I have no knowledge of the Russian language, but the site is more useful than the US based one. https://burdastyle.ru/vikroyki/yubki/yubka-burda-2012-7-134/

I love the quirkiness of the darts at the hem. I didn’t sew the darts to the outside as per the pattern for this version. There was already enough going on with the stripes.

This is a stretch cotton that’s been in my stash for even longer – 11 years. Bought in 2010. That’s deep stash. This fabric is also designer deadstock- from Gay Naffine.

The second summer top is Friday Pattern Company’s square neck top.

https://fridaypatterncompany.com/products/square-neck-top-pdf-pattern

It is the second version I made – the first one was an XXL as per my measurements but with the neckline raised by 2.5 cm. It was too big in almost every dimension except through my hips. It was made up in a beautiful blue shirting cotton but that wasn’t enough to save it. It has already been donated.

The second one was a XL bust out to XXL hips plus 2.5 cm removed in the bodice above the dart and through the sleeve and then the neck also raised by 2.5 cm.

It’s still not quite right – the cap sleeves pull when I move my arms forward. I doubt I’ll make another one unless I use a knit.

The fabric is lovely though – an embroidered linen cotton remnant from my local Spotlight. It is also from the stash, but it has only been marinating for 3 years.

Stash busting, three garments I can wear and two I love!

***EDITED to add how I do a petite adjustment to the bodice***

I’m very surprised to find that I couldn’t easily point Sandra to a youtube or blog post from someone else that explained how I do this. Either I haven’t looked well enough or what I do is different to what everyone else does. Or perhaps both.

This comes with several warnings:

  1. Writing tutorials is a skill that I don’t have – it’s highly likely that none of this will make sense.
  2. Drawing simple diagrams is also a skill I don’t have – it’s not going to be pleasing to the eye.
  3. This works for me but possibly works for no-one else on the earth – try on something unimportant, like a muslin/toile before you commit to this!

The green lines A, B and C are your cutting lines

  • Line A: draw this in starting at the centre front and perpendicular to centre front, at least 2 cm below neckline (if you’re doing a 2 cm petite-ing, more if you’re doing more, less if less) out to just before before the armscye stitching line
  • Line B: draw this in also perpendicular to centre front but start 2 cm below armscye on the side seam (or more or less depending on your adjustment) and stop at about the same position as Line A.
  • Line C: this line joins Line A and B and is parallel to the centre front

The purple dashed lines are the lines you’re adjusting to.

  • Measure up 2 cm (or more or less, depending on your adjustment) from lines A and B and draw in a line parallel to them (this is the purple dashed lines).

The red bit is the amount you’re going to remove.

  • Cut along your green lines.
  • Shift the pattern piece up to the dashed lines and tape it back together

Now do the same to the back bodice piece

Why I do it this way:

  • It doesn’t change the armscye, which means you don’t have to adjust the sleeve. I don’t usually have an issue with where the sleeve joins the bodice being too low so I avoid having to make this additional change.
  • It takes length out only above the bust, which is where I seem to need it to get the bust point in the right spot for me.

This isn’t what I did on the square neck too (I just took 2 cm out from centre front through the cut on sleeves) but it is what I normally do and what I did for the V neck Burda top.

Sandra: Hope this helps and good luck with your fitting journey

Does this make sense? Does anyone else do this? Is there a better way to do this?

Style Arc’s Adeline African wax print dress

I really, really love this dress and I am wearing it, again, right now as I press publish on this post. I’m surprised to have arrived at the end of summer without having made at least one more version. Four Lodos and then distraction in the form of lovely yellow roses fabric might be the reason….

I’m very late to the Adeline party – this pattern has been out for some time and there are multiple lovely versions showcased on sewists’ social media sites.

Better late than never? Definitely!

The Adeline is a cocoon shaped dress with a high low hem.

Adeline Dress Sewing Pattern By Style Arc - Easy Designer Dress
https://www.stylearc.com/shop/sewing-patterns/adeline-dress/

The robust body of my fabric illustrates this shape very effectively!

This is a size 16, printed at 98% by mistake. I made it up in an African wax print cotton bought in a market in Bordeaux, France a couple of years ago as a sewing souvenir. It was a typical wax print length of fabric – almost 6 meters long but only 120 cm wide.

This meant I had to piece one of the cut-on sleeves with the integrated cuffs. The seam is pattern matched but hidden under the turned back cuff. Only noticeable when ironing!

I also pattern matched the pockets – one perfectly and the other one with room for improvement.

It’s a very subtle mismatch (it’s the pocket on my right) – the yellow flowers don’t align. This is because I cut this pocket piece across rather than with the grain. Not on purpose.

I didn’t try so hard with the neck and hem facings- just centered the large teal design – but this worked out surprisingly well.

This dress was sewn at a holiday house at the beach. Yes I am that person who takes their sewing machine on holiday. The overlocker didn’t get to come so the seam finishing is old school zigzag. Which you can see if you look at the image of the neck facing above very closely…

This is the smug look of a sewist who is very pleased with their work and delighted to have another garment that matches these shoes.

Today, like most times I wear it, this dress is being worn with trainers, but it’s nice to know I can dress it up with these shoes if I want too. Shoes only seen on sewing blog posts? Surely that’s not a thing!

Liberty lawn robe: BurdaStyle 01/2012 #134

I’ve made myself a summer robe with Liberty lawn and I love it.

It seems indulgent to use such delightful fabric for clothing I don’t wear in public but

  • I do wear it most days a week, even if only briefly
  • I have a large stash of lovely fabric
  • this is not my only piece of Liberty lawn
  • Liberty lawn is expensive but not rare, and
  • beautiful fabric should be sewn

This is BurdaStyle 01/2012 #134B in a size 48 with extra width added to the front edges and the front bands also a bit wider than Burda intended.

I like my robes generously sized!

@sewover50 put pattern mixing in my mind so I used a coordinating rainbow striped lavender cotton gauze for the front bands, sleeve bands and belt.

This gauze is a long term stash dweller. My initial intention for it was a balloon blind or drapes for my toddler daughter’s room – yes that daughter who is now 22 years old.

Liberty lawn really is the best- lovely to sew, feels delightful against your skin, and beautiful patterns and designs.

Perfect to wear while you’re still waking up with your first cup of coffee on a warm summer morning

Flag Lodo

I‘m up to my fourth Lodo dress this summer. And I don’t think summer coming to an end will stop me sewing this pattern a fifth time. How good would a winter Lodo look with a turtleneck and tights?

This version might be my current favourite – partly because of the fun I had deciding how to use this fabric, purchased a year or so ago from EmmaOneSock

It’s a 160 cm wide stretch cotton with a large plain border along each selvedge and a wide geometric print through the middle. Or I could describe it as a geometric print with a lot of non patterned potentially unusable fabric each side of the print…

The fabric is from Milly’s 2016 Spring Collection. The three garments shown are all cut across the grain rather than with the grain. I like the effect, but it means the stretch is running up and down rather than around the body. Wouldn’t work with Lodo.

The print is reminiscent of a flag isn’t it, but whose? There are more than 20 national flags with red, white and blue stripes, so lots of options.

Previous Liz only bought 2 yards of this fabric. Which is not enough for a dress if you want to run the geometric print symmetrically through the centre back and centre front. Previous Liz probably though she could make it work, for a shirt. When in doubt, buy another metre/yard… Stash accumulation beyond life expectancy? Yes! Drowning in remnants? Also yes!

Back to Flag Lodo. I offset the print on my pattern pieces and cut both the front and back across the width in one dress length. All the white on one side. All the pattern on the other. Asymmetric print placement for the win!

But do I use blue or white thread for topstitching and the hem? Well, no need for this to be binary – I can use both. White on the white sections, blue on the patterned sections and change over from one to the other on the hem.

The facings were cut from white stretch cotton from the previous Lodo and I again added in seam pockets.

A departure from previous Lodo’s was to add a centre back zip. I used a white one. Not sure why I didn’t use navy given my commitment to change threads over if needed but at least it’s an (almost) invisible zip.

A zip is not needed for this pattern – I can pull the dress on over my head – but I prefer to step into a dress. For fabric like this with only horizontal stretch, it’s a simpler dressing experience.

This Flag Lodo dress now joins a growing collections of Lodos: Brilliant White Lodo, Corporate Tulip Lodo and Holiday Red Lodo.

Final word? This blog post is unlikely to be my final words on this pattern. It’s an excellent pattern in so many ways, and one that works well with my body size and shape and my lifestyle.

Pink linen shirt dress: Burda 07/2004 #135

I’ve really gone back to the archives of my Burda magazine collection for this one. Moving up into the Plus size range will do that to you!

Платье
This pattern is so old that the only Burda website that has it is the Russian one: : https://burdastyle.ru/vikroyki/platya/plate-burda-2004-7-136/

I’d learnt from my mistakes about sizing and this time I traced a size 46 with a 2 cm petite adjustment above the bust and out to size 48 hips. I omitted the band on the sleeves and went for the shorter length of style #136.

This dress is wonderfully comfortable to wear. Being made from lovely linen helps.

This is a very beautiful cross dye linen from Emmaonesock in hot pink fibers in the warp and sand in the weft. It has gorgeous sheen IRL and an overall salmon pink colour when you’re not looking at it up close.

I purchased it in 2018 so this particular fabric isn’t available anymore but it looks like other similar cross dye linens are still on the site. Yes I am tempted. No I haven’t succumbed. Yet. Also, I’m not affiliated in any way, just a very satisfied customer.

I wondered about the smallish hip level patch pockets. Would they look like they’d slid down from the bust? Would they add too much of a lab coat vibe? The verdict? – they are just fine.

And all those wrinkles? It’s linen. I’m embracing the wrinkles. These photos were taken after the dress had been worn for most of the day, but it did look almost this wrinkly within about 10 minutes…

I used ‘rescue buttons’ from a shirt of Chris’s that would have otherwise ended up in landfill, and thread leftover from a previous project. I love it when I have everything I need for a project already in the stash.

I didn’t interface the button band, and I folded it to the right side rather than the wrong side. There really is no wrong side to this fabric, and I liked the faux sewn on band effect this gave me.

I love this dress! Beautiful fabric is key. Did I say that already?!

NYC in the snow and rain dress: 04/2010 #108

I still haven’t cut into my yellow roses fabric….

I am often but not always this indecisive – I do sometimes sew up other fabrics from my stash that are irreplaceable or have a back story.

This fabric is the partner to the Paris street scenes fabric. Both were bought on a bit of a whim from Ribes & Casals in Barcelona whilst on holiday. How odd to think we used to get on planes and fly to places like Spain from Australia without any thought of infectious diseases. Seems so long ago.

I fell in love with the Paris street scenes fabric displayed at the end of one of the fabric tables and then saw the NYC version.

I could not choose. So a panel of both come back home with me.

And this spring I decided I’d use the NYC fabric for a Burda pattern that had been on my to do list for ten years: 04/2010 #108

I traced off a size 44, but really should have paid more attention to what my body measurements have changed to since covid baking. A size 46 would’ve been a much better choice.

It might look okay in these images from the front and back, but, really, its a bit snug all over, as you can see below when I’m not standing directly face on to the camera. Luckily the fabric has a teensy bit of mechanical stretch.

All that pleating across the stomach draws attention to my ‘full stomach’ (pot belly) when the rest of the dress is so snug. I should’ve gone a size up!

Shoulders back and pulling that tummy in doesn’t help much with the silhouette…

I do love the print though.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to put traffic lights and a one way sign on their bum?!

Going a size up isn’t the only change I need to make in the next version, I also need to raise the bust darts and neckline. This first dress already has a slapdash version of this adjustment.

Before I put the sleeves in, I tried the dress on to check fit. The bust darts were too low, and the neckline gaped and was a classic Burda plunging neckline. So I sewed the shoulder seams 2 cm lower, adjusted the facing and neckline and scooped out the armscye to make up for some of the reduction at the shoulder. Now it’s much better.

Despite its close fit and ability to spotlight the body part I most want to skim over, I really like this dress. The print is fun, I love the colours, the little puffed sleeves are cute and I like the neckline. And its perfect for Zoom meetings – it’s interesting enough without being too distracting, it looks good under a jacket and no one can see my full stomach.

Zero Waste sewing: Liz Haywood’s Ursa dress

It was impossible to resist Liz Haywood’s zero waste Ursa dress pattern when it was released – zero waste and a cowl neck? In a sack dress style perfect for a hot summer day? Exactly what I love!

The hard part was working out which of the several drapey fabrics in my stash I should use for my first version.

I settled on a rayon from Spotlight in my favourite colours of turquoise and blue in a smallish Moroccan tile pattern.

The fabric was 130 cm wide so I cut off 20 cm to make it 110 cm before drawing up the pattern directly on the fabric as per Liz’s excellent instructions. It seems a bit like magic doing this.

After construction, the dress seemed a bit long so I cut off another 7.5 cm before turning up 2.5 cm into the hem. It could probably go even shorter.

I cut out a size 16 even though my measurements suggested a size 18. It was very loose. I removed 1 cm in width by running in the front dart from hem to waist dart a bit. It is still looser than it needs to be.

I’ll size down to a 14 for the next version.

Liz’s written instructions for the underarm gusset are brilliant as is the video clip

Why is there a stray thread!!?

It is a very clever pattern.

Don’t be put off by my comments about its looseness. Its an absolute delight to wear on a hot day.

This dress was made in those magical days between Christmas and New Year. I am a bit early for the Sewcialists theme for February of zero waste sewing.

If you’re wondering if you should try zero waste sewing I say go for it. I’ve been very happy with both this and the other zero waste project I’ve made. I also have Liz’s zero waste sewing book* so I have plans for more..

* I am not affiliated with Liz Haywood in any way and I purchased my patterns and the book. I’m just a happy customer.

Jenny Shorts

This is another winner pattern from Closet Core Patterns! And I’ve only just scratched the surface by making the shorts.

The first version was a trial using an unloved fabric from the stash. Bright happy colours but not on my good list for showing some dye run during prewashing.

You know how this turns out don’t you? Much loved garment… worn multiple time since being finished….

The #KATM label on the pocket says it’s all. You really can’t buy this.

I confused myself when putting in the side lapped zip on the first version, so it goes the wrong way.

And that means the button tab on the waist band also goes the wrong way

This has not stopped Felicity from wearing the shorts. A lot.

For the next pair I moved the zip to the centre front and constructed it as a proper fly.

Why a green zip? It was in the stash. And it’s a lovely green. Also it’s vintage – from my mum’s notions stash)

Like all Closet Core Patterns, the instructions were excellent. Very happy with how the fly turned out.

This version has pockets on the back but not the front. Design choice by the client. Lack of pattern matching due to fabric constraints! We did spend some time selecting which dogs to feature though, from the limited choices.

The pockets on these shorts also have a #KATM label but you can barely see the pockets let alone the label. So here’s a photo I prepared earlier.

Loud patterns are really another form of camouflage

Both shorts are made from cotton drill from Spotlight.

Love this pattern! Did I say that already?

Paris street scenes dress: Burda 06/2013 #138

Burda 06/2013 #138 is another potential dress pattern for my delightful yellow roses fabric.

My trial version is in a souvenir fabric featuring street scenes from Paris. It’s a light weight ponte, so a good match in terms of drapiness and body to my yellow roses fabric.

It’s a lovely pattern and I like the resultant dress, but I’m not sold on this as the right pattern for the yellow roses.

This is good pattern for fabric with a large print that you don’t want to break up with lots of seams. My fabric was 150 cm wide with the two different panels across the width. The panels almost flow from one to another but not exactly. A bit like looking up a street towards the Eiffel Tower in one panel and then down the street in the opposite direction.

One panel needed to be on the front and the other on the back. Putting the Eiffel Tower on the front seemed like it had too much potential for looking like an unintended phallic symbol (maybe I was overthinking it…).

So, the decision was simple – the Eiffel Tower on the back

The bodice pieces with their integrated sleeves couldn’t both fit across the width of the fabric either, even if offset or one of them was placed upside down. A centre back seam, some fabric tetris and I solved that fabric meterage constraint.

I’d recommend a full centre back seam and zip in a simpler fabric, or one that wasn’t impacted by seaming. Eiffel Tower I’m looking at you! I know side zips work, but I really prefer to step into a dress and zip up though the back.

My side zip went in a bit lower than drafted, so a button and loop was added at the top.

This is a size 46 bust and waist out to a size 48 hips with a 1 cm forward should eradjustment and 2 cm petite adjustment above the bust. I think the petite adjustment was not needed when I look of where that bust dart ends.

The hemline is ever so slightly lower in the back than the front. I hemmed the dress 1.5 cm shorter than drafted.

The neckline is quite wide. I added my normal 1 cm seam allowance but sewed the facing on with a 5 mm seam allowance.

It also gapes a bit. Not sure what fit issue that might be – a need for a FBA? narrow shoulders (I’ve never had a large bust or narrow shoulders in my life..) I do wonder whether those drag lines are due as much to poor posture as they are to fit.

I don’t feel any closer to a pattern I’m happy to use for my special fabric but I do have two new frocks in my wardrobe.

Perhaps I need to audition some coat patterns?

Dark green dress: Burda 08/2012 #143

I acquired this very lovely piece of fabric from an etsy seller (JannsFabrics). Jann is a dear friend IRL and an inspirational sewist with an enviable fabric collection. She’s rehoming some of that fabric and I’m very pleased to have a few of her pieces.

It’s a linen silk jacquard and a delight. So delightful that I’m racked with indecision about what to sew with it. A dress? A jacket? A coat? I have 2.7 m – (too many) options!

So I’m making up a couple of patterns in other fabrics to audition their suitability – are they good enough for my beautiful and special fabric? Is this what I should use it for?

Trialling patterns is also needed due to iso- baking and menopause induced change in my figure. I’m celebrating by exploring the plus section of my Burda magazine collection. Yes, celebrating. #BodyPositivity

This is one of trial patterns.

BurdaStyle 08/2012 #143

I made it in a woven cotton damask fabric without the centre front trim. I also made a tablecloth in this fabric many years ago – this was the remnant. Yes I am that person who could match her dress to her table linen.

This pattern is drafted to be lined, but because this was a trial version in tablecloth fabric I used bias for the armscye and cap sleeve hem and drafted facings for the neck instead.

I’m surprised but pleased with how this turned out and how well this tablecloth fabric stands up to being a dress. I was expecting a lot more creasing. I should have taken more effort with a matching zip and overlocking thread!

It’s a loose fit through the waist and almost cocoon like in its narrowing down at the hem. The impression of being a sheath but only close fitted through the shoulders and bust. This is a size 46 bust and waist with a size 48 hips.

I like this pattern a lot. I’d have an elegant dress if I combine it with my yellow roses fabric. But perhaps too mother-of-the-bride and not enough fun?