Seventies coat: BurdaStyle 02/2010 #126

I’ve never liked seventies fashion. I blame it on seventies hand-me-downs from my older cousins that didn’t fit me until the eighties. By which time they were just so uncool.

Felicity, however, has no such bad associations.

We came across a coated denim in the newest store of The Fabric Store in Adelaide. It’s coated in a velvety forest green faux suede sort of layer. Almost upholstery like. Reduced to $12 per metre because it was a bit marked from transport. As you can see above. I just saw a lovely distressed look that would make a great casual coat. So did Felicity!

I used a simple classic coat pattern: BurdaStyle 02/2010 #126. And made it unlined, with flap patch pockets instead of welt pockets, the buttons spread out a lot more and swapped the contrast to the collar instead of the lapels. You know, almost exactly the same.


I normally do an FBA for Felicity but I did a lazy grading instead: a size 40 at the shoulders then out to a 42 elsewhere. It’s not perfect (those drag lines!) and the stiff of the fabric meant easing the sleeve cap in was a challenge (those puckers!), but it’ll do.

I used another The Fabric Store purchase (a mid to heavy weight denim) for the collar and pocket flaps. It’s really a lot darker in colour than these photos would lead you to believe.

It has a bit of stretch so I interfaced these pieces. I didn’t interface anything else –  my coated denim already had lots of structure.

And this coat was completed with vintage buttons might even have come from a coat from the seventies – they were part of a sewing notions collection gifted to me from an elderly sewing friend.

Pretty happy with how this turned out. And so is Felicity. I’m still not attracted to seventies styles for me though…

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Unlined linen jacket: Burda 02/2009 #115

This jacket was inspired by @groovygreylook. Meridy posted a purple linen version to her Instagram and I remembered how much I liked this Burda magazine pattern.

That was all I needed to search through the archives, trace it off and cut out my fabric.

This is style 115 from the 02/2009 issue. Almost vintage!


I made this I in a size 44 and I think the fit is just fine.

(early morning photography = odd light )

Of course getting fit right in a boxy style is really only about the shoulders. The dart could be a touch too low and no doubt there are other things that you can see if you look at it very critically. But it’s an unlined and not very structured crumpled linen jacket. The fit is fine!

I used a coated linen that was a souvenir from Barcelona. And because this was such a fabulous fabric I took a little bit extra care.

Hong Kong seam treatments on the sleeves, shoulders and facings.

That’s fusible interfacing on the bias edges of the raglan sleeve seams. I used quite a bit of interfacing in this project, even in the hem (hoping this will stop it rolling up after sitting. So far it’s working!)

Flat felled seams through the main body of the jacket and top stitching.

Precision sewing. This is the shoulder. Ask me about unpicking and lots of pins.

Lots of top stitching. Did I say that already? And extra nice buttons

I particularly like these pockets. They were fun to construct and they are delightfully capacious.

I’m very pleased with this jacket. It’s the perfect smart casual jacket for cooler summer evenings.

I need to reacquaint myself with the rest of my old Burda magazines. Who knows what other treasures lie therein?

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My new favourite dress: Lynn Mizono V1410

I am very late to V1410 party, but I am very very happy to have finally got there!

This is an awesome pattern and so much fun to wear.

Image result for v1410 pattern

I made two versions in quick succession in January and have since struggled to get photos taken. I’d like my eyes to be open, I’d prefer not to look like a crazy person, my double chin to not make too much of an appearance and not to look 10 kilos more than I used to weigh in my twenties. Too much to ask? Seems so. Hence I’m going with the photos I have.

The first version was made up as a size 14 in a cotton from IKEA.

I cut out a size 14 after comparing the shoulders and neck to a Burda size 44 sleeveless top. This pattern has a lot of ease built in everywhere. Been a long time since I was a size 14 in Vogue! I also took the neck up 5 cm after reading lots of reviews of this pattern which talked about the neck being low.

As it turned out, 5 cm was too much.

I went back to the just 2.5 cm higher (where the size 22 cutting line is at the bottom of the scoop) for the second version.

I love the almost ridiculous ballooned out side seams of this pattern. Another very clever aspect is the adjustable length. There are three buttons up each side seam and a buttonhole in the hem on both sides.

Above is what it looks like inside with the hem up to the first internal button.

And below is me straightening the hem after buttoning it up – it is possible to change the hem length in public. But not advisable.

The top buttons makes it quite short. Definitely the party version.

This is my second version. It’s made up in a black linen nylon blend.

I added pockets to the sides seams of the second version. And yes the buttons are red. So much easier to see! Imagine looking for black buttons on the inside of a black dress.

I skipped the buttonhole for the second version and added a loop of fine elastic instead. Much easier to use.

Here are the loops in use to adjust the dress to knee length and give me a cocktail dress to wear to the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s season opening night. It was too hot an evening to dress up in a fancy frock and heels but this dress still made me feel fabulous.

I love it full length too. Don’t have a photo of it but it’s the same as the blue dandelion print one, except more sophisticated…even if I am not.

I predict the black version is going to be the perfect travel dress. Multiple lengths and looks will make it versatile, the black linen is excellent in hot weather and the nylon in the blend gives it a sheen that elevates it to potential evening wear. I haven’t even started thinking about the layering options for colder days. Tights, leggings, T-shirt’s, turtlenecks …

Thank you Lynn Mizono.

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Happy pants: BurdaStyle 01/2017 #110

These are Burdastyle 01/2017 #110 in a woven Indian cotton from my local Spotlight fabrics store and made without the hem bands – I just added length to the legs.


I made these in a size 42 and they are too big for Felicity through the bum and thigh. But. Happy pants. Is fit something that should even be in the same sentence??

To be frank the poor fit does irritate me, but she’s happy to wear them so I’ve decided I’ll just do a better job next time and not stress about these ones.

This pattern has a nice design of a flat centred waist insert and then the rest of the waist is elasticised.

I didn’t have elastic in the right width so I improvised with two lots of wider elastic rather than three and then stitched through the middle. This gives the appearance of four channels of elastic and prevents rolling (at least it does for the elastic I had in stash. Better elastic to start with might not need this)

Bottom line (see what I did there?!) is that this is a good pattern, the fabric is lovely to wear, and a very cute outfit can be made by putting these trousers with a top Felicity scored from M of Nonsuch sewing.

Happy days!

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Repeat offenders: Bella dress

I’ve being repeating patterns again.

I made another Tessuti Patterns Bella dress.

This version is sleeveless and made up in a gloriously happy silk from The Fabric Store.

And of course it has pockets.

It was hard to capture the fabric colour with these photos taken in late evening light but it’s a gloriously happy yellow with grey/mauve in a silhouette print.

I lined it with a very light weight white silk habotai.

Silk on silk. It feels like I’m wearing butterfly wings.

I love how a different fabric makes such a difference to how a pattern turns out.

I’ve made this dress pattern in wool crepe, a lightweight ponte, a polyester knit, novelty sweater knit, linen and now a lightweight silk. All of them different and lovely in their own way.

Back to this idea of repeating patterns. An excellent post by Sewing Artistry on why we sew has got me thinking. I love the way she puts it: “The very idea that I can take an abstract thought and convert it into something that I can touch, see and wear, but that becomes a useful part of my life is incredibly satisfying.

The pattern I use is only such a small part of this process, and I really shouldn’t feel I need to apologize should I?

What do you think? Of course just because I shouldn’t be apologizing doesn’t mean that it’s interesting to read about another version of the same pattern!


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He Cooks [pork pies]… She Sews [a BurdaStyle shirt 04/2013 #138]

For all the cooking He Who Cooks does and She who Sews eats, you’d think she’d return the favour and does some sewing for him, wouldn’t you? The odd pair of boxers and an apron now and then just doesn’t cut it.

This is another way of saying I finally made Chris a shirt.

I don’t think he really enjoyed being on the other side of the camera!

I used a cotton from Spotlight and BurdaStyle 04/2013 #138


I compared the pattern to his RTW shirts to find his size and traced off a 98. Burda’s size charts would have put him several sizes bigger. I didn’t check the sleeve length against his RTW shirts. And you’ll find out below why that was a mistake.

I was very pleased with how the sleeve tower placket came out

I got him to try the shirt on before I added the cuffs. The sleeves seemed too long. Rashly I chopped off 8 cm, and lost lots of those lovely tower plackets. The sleeves are now a bit short. Perfect for me though. Just saying.  This pattern also has narrow cuffs and a slim collar. Also perfect for me. Not that I’ve been wearing it. Much.

What about those Pork Pies?

Chris’s were based on a recipe for Raised Pork Pies from Valerie Barrett published in  BBC’s Good Food, July 2013.

The filling

Pastry top being added

Crimped edge and a hole to add the aspic through after baking

Egg wash (and 21 because it was for a 21st birthday picnic for a talented pastry chef @lyndarella47)

Just out of the oven

And then calamity struck.

Those pies came out of the tins very reluctantly. In fact one didn’t come out at all, as a pie. The other sort of came out in one piece, albeit looking much more rustic than intended. Yes that is a bobbin case in the background.

All’s well that ends well though. Only one pie was really needed for the picnic and the filling from the other one was absolutely delicious in a salad!





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Maxi dress: BurdaStyle 04/2013 #125

Another addition to Felicity’s black and ivory summer mini wardrobe: a maxi dress based on BurdaStyle 04/2013 #125


It’s sewn in rayon from Spotlight. Unfortunately I didn’t buy a generous amount: I had 2.9 metres and the pattern called for 3.6 metres. This meant the bodice wasn’t lined and there was no belt, no button loops down the front and no gathered trim around the neck and armscyes.

It’s cut out as a size 42 with a 2cm FBA and the front neckline raised by 2 cm. I didn’t add in the vertical dart from the FBA. Instead I angled the side seams in a bit to compensate.

I stabilised the neck with cotton tape.

Then I finished the neckline and armscyes with bias binding from deep stash. The bias binding is stiff and I think it is cotton. It’s also not prewashed. Could be a recipe for disaster…

Both the front and the back bodice have a central seam so getting a nice neat V in the middle is easy: you just sew it in after you’ve finished and faced everything.

The shirring was done with what I think is hat elastic (also deep stash), or could just be elastic thread, in the bobbin. This is a trick my mum taught me. I thought it broke all sorts of sewing rules until I googled and found several tutorials describing the exact same thing. So its a totally legit method.Much more fun when I thought mum had shown me something clever but a bit dodgy!

It’s a bit weird to have elastic in your bobbin. But it really works!

The front and back bodices were shirred individually after the centre back and centre front seams were sewn. This meant the shirring went across the centre back and centre front seams

I tied off the ends and then sewed over them before joining the side seams together. Hope it all holds together.

The skirt is gathered and then sewn into the shirred bodice. You have to stretch the shirring out. If I make this again I’ll do the shirring after attaching the skirt.

I know the pattern placement is not ideal or evenly spaced through the shirring. But not having enough fabric will do that to you.

Pockets were added because pockets are always a good idea. Even when you have no fabric for them. I always seem to find something suitable in my remnants stash for pockets! This time it seems to be a very thin black silk. I can’t even remember what I made from it. Clearly this is also deep stash.

Back view without hair so we can see the V back.

After these photos were taken the hem went up by 5 cm to make it less like a gown.

Lovely pattern. Lovely daughter!

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