Shirtdress mashup: Burdastyle 05/2004 #129 and 07/2004 #135

Mashing up patterns? What could possibly go wrong?

Luckily for me, this turned out much better than expected!

The patterns:

Burdastyle 05/2004 #129 (below left) and 07/2004 #135 (below right). The links go to and the images are reproduced from the Russian Burdastyle site because they’re from so long ago that’s the only one that still lists them

I’ve always liked #129, the green one, but never got around to sewing it. Until now. Nineteen years later.

I’m not in this size range anymore. But that didn’t stop me. I’ve already made #135, the red one, in my size (46 bust 48 hips) so I mashed them up.

My starting pattern had a bust dart so I rotated that to the yoke seam and then converted it into gathering. That was the easy it of the mash up!

I marked up the panels on my front dress pattern piece and then drafted new pieces with extra width at the top for the gathering, using the 05/2004 #129 pieces as a guide.

You can see from the pattern pieces that the gathering isn’t additive – the top of the piece is gathered in but the bottom of the piece is back to what would be the regular width of the base pattern. I replicated this on my pattern pieces. The gathering is modest – about 1.2 times the width of the straight piece it’s sewn onto.

I lined the yoke with white batiste. When my fabric is doubled up, the black shows through the other colours a bit and dulls them down. The white makes them pop.

The gathered and then restrained-back-in panels give the dress a cocoon shape feel – which is a silhouette I love.

Grey hair don’t care

I added pockets – because pockets are always a good idea – and used white batiste for the pocket pieces facing the outer fabric. For the same reason.

Smug sewist because she added pockets

I used the pockets drafted for the Cloud dress. They’re fabulously large.

The lovely fabric I used is a Japanese woven cotton from The Fabric Store. Wonderful to sew and gorgeous to wear.

Such a happy dress!

Silver party dress: BurdaStyle 12/2010 #130

I didn’t intend to make another party dress but a bit more free time than I was expecting on the weekend prior to a gala dinner in November, some old Burda magazine pattern perusing (I was looking for a blazer pattern for sensible sewing. Yes really!) and delightful fabric in my stash made me do it.

Look at this image. What more could you want? A party dress with great sleeves, a sparkler, multiple necklaces, a slouchy knitted hat and a man how clearly adores you! With glasses! What’s not to love?

Line drawing from the Russian BurdaStyle website: https://burdastyle.ru/vikroyki/platya/plate-burda-2010-12-130/

Finishing the hem at midnight on the day before the event – which was, of course, in the middle of the working week because it was a corporate event – did make me question my judgement.

I didn’t add the contrast hem band. Very happy with how it turned out though.

The fabric is a wool and metallic boucle that came from @pinpoint_textiles through the Adelaide sewists fabric swap this year. Thanks Belinda. Its beautiful!

I underlined it with green bemsilk rayon lining from Spotlight. Green because I liked how it looked with the silver and underlining because its boucle and I was worried about it not holding up to stress.

You can see in the image below how I also stitched the underlining to the boucle through all the tuck and pleat markings in the sleeves. I did the same for the darts. Hopefully reducing any possibility of fraying and pulling apart at the seams to zero!

The sleeves are supposed to be gathered slightly onto a self fabric band that is turned to the inside and lightly elasticized. Using boucle for this sounded like a nightmare, so I used a premade satin bias strip from the stash instead.

I sewed it onto the sleeve before I sewed the sleeve seam, leaving a small section unfinished, sewed the sleeve seam, inserted the elastic and then finished the opening by hand.

I faced the neck with an interfaced black poly cotton remnant. Sometimes I remember to sew the interfacing on first and then turn it over and fuse it. I did this time. It makes such a neat finish that I wonder why I don’t always do this?

The neck trim is a strip of black powermesh from EOS stitched into the neck facing seam and then slip stitched down onto the dress once the facing was turned in. The pattern calls for piping, but I didn’t have any in the stash or inclination to make some.

I like the trim a lot more than I thought I would. Particularly happy with how it echos the shadow created by the vertical pleat in the sleeves.

I made this up as a size 48 bust, 50 hips, back to 48 at the hem. This is a size larger than I have been making recently, but its an older Burda pattern that seems to be drafted a bit smaller than the more recent ones, its delicate fabric and I wanted it to hold up to the strain at the side seams when seated.

I felt great wearing it on the night. And I have my very own adoring man with glasses.

We were under yellow lights – my hair does not look this colour, anymore

And, this story gets even better.

Within about 2 weeks of the gala event, my office had its end of year breakup party. It was a coolish day. Could I wear the dress again? The dress code was not silver dress, but.. I feel like I glammed it down enough with sneakers…

Cheers!

Turquoise, teal and blue floral top: BurdaStyle 08/2012 #147

Yes that was a new top under my coat in my last blog post! Well spotted M of Nonsuch.

I had originally pulled out the fabric to use as lining for this coat. It’a been in my stash from before children (my eldest ‘child’, Felicity, is 24). The colours work well with my coat fabric and I liked the idea of a patterned lining.

Then my 24 year old pointed out it was too nice for lining. I knew that! But she was right!

Thus the plan was born for a patterned top to wear with the boucle striped coat rather than lining the coat with it !

And in my ongoing theme of sewing patterns from Burda magazines from the last decade, I chose this pattern from 2012:

Images from German Burda website

I made a size 46 despite reviews that it ran a bit small because my fabric was a stretch polyester. I also didn’t cut the neck ties on the bias, again because it was a slippery stretch fabric. The sizing and the ties turned out fine. it could be snug in a non stretch though – the reviews were right.

The construction was straightforward except for the right angle seams which required a bit more attention. I fused squares of very light weight interfacing to the corners and stay stitched before I sewed the seams. That makes clipping to the stitching line before you stitch it a bit less hair raising.

I forgot to raise the bust darts – a standard change I usually need to make because I’m short waisted. Luckily the busy print means this only obvious when I point it out!

I made the cuffs 2 cm longer and interfaced the cuffs with a poly organza but didn’t interface the neck facing, apart from a square at the point. They both turned out fine, although slippery polyester organza inside slippery polyester stretch fabric probably wasn’t the smartest move for the cuffs. A simple woven cotton would’ve been better.

I was delighted to be able to use some mustardy yellow glass buttons in my stash These were my mothers or grandmothers – inherited stash from a long line of sewists! And I love how they look on my cuffs.

I’m unconvinced the length of this top is right. It’s too long to wear untucked with the coat because it’s longer than the coat (yes I am still asking myself why I didn’t measure it up and work this out before I hemmed it).

I don’t think this length works with an above knee length skirt (as below) and it doesn’t look any better with leggings or trousers. Something is wrong with the proportions on me. Even in my highest heels.

It looks particularly bad with a knee length skirt

I like it a lot better tucked in. And then all that extra length makes no sense.

Keeping it real- wrinkled skirt after a morning of sitting

The skirt is new too!

I had a remnant of a light cashmere wool coating in turquoise that coordinated perfectly with the top and the coat.

It’s really glorious fabric. So I made a simplified version of BurdaStyle 09/2008 #136 – no double yoke, no pockets and no hem tucks. I pegged the side seams in about half the amount the tucks would’ve taken them in. I added a centre front seam because I felt I’d oversimplified it too much. Size 46 waist and 48 hips. It’s a bit loose through the waist but the ease makes it very easy to wear.

The yoke was lined with a lighter weight wool blend remnant and the skirt lined with acetate lining that was yet another remnant! Stash busting at its finest. Slow fashion label from KATM seems very appropriate..

These are my favourite colours so I am very happy with this outfit and all the individual elements (except that the top which needs to be 14 cm shorter! Oh and those bust darts! I still love it though..)

There’s also something very satisfying about much loved fabrics in the stash being successfully transformed into garments and moving into my wardrobe.

Doesn’t always happen… so I’m enjoying it whilst I can.

Striped teal and mustard coat: Burdastyle 09/2008 #133

After the success of the ‘Valentino red’ jacket I was ready to try the other version that Burda offered – full length sleeves, longer length and a stand collar.

from https://burdastyle.ru/vikroyki/zhakety/mekhovoy-zhaket-burda-2008-9-133/

Burda made their version in a fake fur. I had a knit boucle from emmaonesock waiting in my stash to be used.

Same same but different. Maybe? I really loved the boucle but strode in undeterred by possible failure! Like much of my sewing…

Why was I worried? Worked out fine!

I interfaced the yoke, the back, the stand collar, the pocket flaps and around the armscyes as previously but, apart from folding out both the neck and bust darts, treated the knit as if it was a woven.

Upgraded to a standard sized iron for fusing interfacing!

The stand collar seems a bit high for short waisted and short necked me, so I took about 1 cm of the height of the stand collar. It’s still quire substantial.

Loving how my label matches the teal in the fabric

And continuing in the theme of treating the knot like a woven, I lined the coat with a black non stretch woven lining and faced the front edges and neck with a black linen nylon woven.

The facing being in a plain black fabric was mainly because of fabric restrictions. But it was probably a good idea, even if I had enough fabric, because it reduced bulk.

I backed the pocket flaps with this same plain black woven too. For the same reason. the pockets are also in this plain black woven fabric

All the seam edges were overlocked and then hand sewn flat (apart from the armscyes and the pocket openings). I was trying to ensure all the seams remained as flat as possible in this crazy fabric.

Lots of hand sewing love in this garment!

Buttonholes? Don’t be crazy I told myself! Use big snaps instead! But the only big snaps I could access in black were not very black.

My multistep process to cover snaps

So I covered them in my linen nylon facing fabric.

Now they look intentional rather than an afterthought.

Of course I only covered the ‘female’ part of the snaps. The male bits are naked …

Naked male snaps looking more pewter than black

I followed Burda’s advice for their boucle version and cut the yoke and pocket flaps out running the other way. I like it!

I’m calling this one a success.

Gorgeous and snuggly to wear too!

I had quite a bit of success with this pattern collection for 2008. Perhaps I should I make some of the other designs? I particularly like the knit dress.

translated to English form the Russian Burda webpage

Do other sewists make “old” Burda patterns? Or am I just stuck in the recent past?

Mustard yellow skirt: Burdastyle 09/2008 #136

This skirt is from the same collection as the Valentino red jacket in the last blog post

I like the details. And I like the way the jacket pockets are echoed in the skirt. So I made a skirt to coordinate with the jacket.

Yes there’s some drag lines on the waist yoke. More about that below

This is a size 48 hip grading back to a size 46 waist through the yoke. The fabric is a stretch cotton twill from Spotlight. I didn’t interface the yoke but I did line it with non stretch lining I think that’s what contributing to the drag lines in the photo above – stretchy fabric fighting with non-stretchy fabric as I move.

I am very pleased with how well the yoke seams lined up across the invisible zip. Basting and patience are my tips!

I’m not yet sure whether I think the hem tucks are cool or a bit stupid. I like the way they peg the skirt back in but they’re a bit poufy in this fabric. I’m very likely to turn them into darts.

The pockets turned out very well, from the outside. On the inside the bags are upside down. Which doesn’t impact on functionality but did mean they weren’t going to be attached to the yoke. So I added ribbon ‘stays’

The shirt I’m wearing in these photos is a Closet Core Patterns Kalle shirt with the long sleeve extension. It’s made up in a Jocelyn Proust print with the sleeve vents, cuffs and hem facings in another colour way. I love these designs! And the Kalle shirt!

I added almost 4 cm extra to the sleeve length by taking smaller seam allowances at the shoulders and cuffs but they still could be longer – I’d like them to hit my wrist with the cuffs turned up, not down.

Back to the skirt.

It’s a very comfortable skirt to wear. Perfect for stretching out on the couch in front of the fire after a delicious meal 🙂

‘Valentino red’ jacket: BurdaStyle 09/2008 #134

I seem to be drawn to Burda’s plus size designs from a decade or more ago.

This jacket is no exception.

I really like its simple lines

from https://burdastyle.ru/vikroyki/yubki/yubka-burda-2008-9-136/

I made it in a RPL bottom weight stretch gabardine from emmaonesock in ‘Valentino red’. Gorgeous colour. It has drape and medium body

I lined it with a polyester satin animal print non stretch woven from the stash.

I didn’t have enough so the sleeves are in a solid black bemberg

Hand sewing the sleeve lining hem whilst admiring my ridiculous pedicure

I did have enough for the pocket bags – and the satin makes them feel great!

I wasn’t sure on sizing so I made up a toile in size 48 and then took 4 cm out in width in total through the body – its probably more like a 46. I added a centre back seam to remove some of the width and adjusted the neck facing accordingly. The smaller back neck seems perfectly fine.

I also took 1 cm of height off the sleeve cap and moved the bust dart up by 2.5 cm. Which was probably a bit too much. The darts are very obvious and a bit pointy in this fabric.

I drafted a back stay with iron-on interfacing. I’ve finally realised that my fancy pants iron that works out what temperature to be depending on the fabric is not the right iron to use for iron-on interfacing – it never gets hot enough. So I used my baby travel/craft iron. Works so much better! Even if its pretty slow because it only fuses a small area at a time. I need to resurrect the standard iron that must still be somewhere in the house

I added raglan shoulder pads – from very deep stash. If my memory is correct they were in a rtw jumper from the nineties – removable through the wonders of velcro. I took the velcro off and tacked them in.

Lots of topstitching – which probably isn’t noticeable to anyone but me – and a nervous moment cutting the buttonholes. I love my chisel, but the first cut is always made with trepidation.

The buttons were from my local independent fabric store – Ferrier Fashion Fabrics. I took my jacket in and auditioned several buttons before setting on black with a thin brass edge. The staff were fully engaged in the ‘auditioning’ – coming up with several alternatives for me to consider! Love it when this happens!

Bottom line – this is a great design and I now have a lovely work jacket

Lemon Sherbet dress for Felicity: BurdaStyle 07/2021 #119

The other wedding guest dress.

This one was sewn in a delightful rayon nylon blend from The Fabric Store. This is what The Fabric Store say about it (and it still seems to be available – this is not a sponsored post – I just love the fabric!)

A deadstock rayon blend in a lemon yellow horizontal stripe. This lightweight fabric has been woven with a clear nylon warp and a striped weft in varying stripes made up of lemon yellow, candy pink, fine black and white. This unique structure creates a subtly textured fabric with great bounce. A semi-sheer fabric with a subtle sheen and no stretch.

The pattern is BurdaStyle 07/2021 #119

I cut out a straight size 40 but with the main skirt piece (its a rectangle) cut the full width of the fabric (150 cm) rather than as drafted (126 cm). I lined the dress with cotton batiste. I didn’t line the sleeves.

I cut the rectangle bit of the skirt lining the width of the batiste (about 130 cm) and then had the annoying task of having to gather the outer fabric onto the lining and then gather both of them to fit onto the bodice. Oh well, the bit of extra fullness in the skirt was probably worth it!

I lined to the edge of the neckline and slit and then treated the lining as an underlining for the rest of the seams – I sewed the front and back bodices together at the shoulders for each of the lining and the outer fabrics and then, with right sides facing, stitched the lining and outer fabric bodices together at the neck and slit before clipping, turning and under stitching. No interfacing – the other fabric is light but tightly woven and hasn’t stretched out or distorted. Yet!

The neck is a bit tight and high. I’m glad I left the slit open rather than adding a button – that button would never have been used! The bust darts are a bit too high too.

Melissa for Fehr Trade posted about this dress recently and also found the bust darts and the neck too high. So I’m calling out the drafting as being a bit off.

The fit is loose, as you’d expect from the line drawing. So I added thin ties, attached where the side seams of the bodice meet the skirt, to create a little more shaping at the waist

The sleeve ‘cuffs’ are cute

I’m very happy with my unintended but quite excellent strip matching across the bodice to the sleeves!

And its a thumbs up from Felicity!

And this is the dress that was worn on the day!

Here she is on her way to the ceremony. With bare legs and the most delightful pale pink shoes that coordinated so well with the dress… and if you are a shoe lover – you’ll want to take a closer look at these. Fortunately they’re featured in another wedding post

I’m so pleased the weather cooperated and she wore this dress to the wedding. It was my favourite out of the two.

Eucalypt Merino wool knit dress for Felicity: BurdaStyle 11/2021 #115

In March, Felicity and I started planning what she was going to wear to a wedding at the end of April.

We ended up with a shortlist of these three Burda dress patterns:

BurdaStyle 07/2021 #119, BurdaStyle 12/2020 #103 and BurdaStyle 11/2021 #115

After shopping the stash, no appropriate fabrics were found. I know. Amazing…

Off we went to The Fabric Store, and found many lovely fabrics. And came home with one that would work with 07/2021 #119, the white dress on the left, and another that would be fine for 11/2021 #116, the mint knit dress on the right. And some other fabrics for other projects which I might get to in the next ten years. Fabric shopping is dangerous!

The plan was to make both dresses and then pick which to wear on the day depending on the weather…

The end of April is usually cool and can be rainy in Adelaide. So I hedged my bets and made the long-sleeved knit one first.

This is Burda Style 11/2021 #116 in one of The Fabric Store’s many lovely 100% merino knits.

It’s a size 40 with a 1 cm dartless FBA – made using the pivot and slide method. Lots of great resources online on how to do this- I used this one on oliver+s’ blog. I also made the sleeves full length.

I like the simple neckline on this style

I used a light weight fusible knit interfacing to give a touch more stability to the collar. First time I’ve interfaced a knit. Always something new to learn!

I also added strips of interfacing to the shoulder seams and to the insert square bit that you can’t see where the collar joins the bodice.

I’m pleased with how it turned out. Let me show you a closer view. Two reasons – the awesome label from Kylie and the Machine and my lining.

Yes I lined this dress with power mesh! I only had this off white colour – a darker colour would’ve been better because there is some shadowing of the knit facing and seam allowances. But this is much less obvious IRL, and in the photo taken below on a different day

Using power mesh was another first. I immediately purchased more (from emmaonesock – 80% nylon and 20% spandex- much superior quality to what I can purchase locally, and less expensive, even with exchange rates and shipping to Australia). Fabulous stuff! Gonna line all my knit dresses with it now!

Here’s a back view. This also shows that the skirt lining is shorter by 6 cm and all the hems are done with a double needle

Felicity says the knit lining feels gorgeous – secret pajamas if she ditches the belt..

And the other dress? Yep, made that too. And another blog post is coming soon about its story

Blue and orange Closet Core Cielo top and Burdastyle 07/2012 #134 skirt

This was an indulgent project. Not because the fabric was precious or special. But because it was totally decided upon on a whim.

Which shoes?

This project leapt ahead of other projects that would have been more practical and actually filled a wardrobe gap. Just because I felt like sewing the three 1 metre lengths by 115 cm wide pieces of fabric left from an earlier project.

I have to admit that it was very satisfying to sew so organically and without a plan. When I overthink projects they sit uncut and unsewn. Yellow roses spring coat I’m talking about you!

There is some sentimentality associated with this fabric

Eating crepes from a street vendor on Avenue des Champs-Élysées 

Bought in Paris with Felicity

Best fabric weights ever

Cut out, for a previous project, at M of Nonsuch’s place on a rug, with Mr Bingley. There was still cat hair on these remnants five years later!

The remnants are also those bits of the fabric on which the pattern was printed a bit off grain. A whim with a sewing challenge. What more could I want!

I picked simple patterns – the Closet core’s Cielo for the top in a size 16 and a Burda pencil skirt made in my new larger size – 46 waist and 48 hips – Burdastyle 07/2012 #134. I didn’t add the hem darts but I angled the side seams in about half the amount to sort off get the same pegged effect.

There wasn’t enough of the alphabet fabric for a top and skirt, or of the stripey squares for either, so the top got a bit of both. In hindsight, stripey squares on the back might’ve been a better idea than using them on the front.

those shoes…hahaha

I surprised myself by not only having blue and orange shoes that worked with these new garments, but also having other me-mades that work – a blue and orange top, an orange coat and an orange shirt (not pictured). Of course plain black works too.

Who knew orange and blue were neutrals and could play so nicely in my wardrobe?

Handmade Halloween: Burda 07/2016 #111

“Mum can you make me a dress for Halloween?”

“Sure, what were you thinking?”

“Carrie. Pink prom dress covered in pigs blood. I’m thinking the same dress you made for Christmas in 2016.” Actually nothing like Carrie’s prom dress, but no problem.

Great I’m thinking. The Christmas 2016 dress is still around so I can check fit (a bit big). And I’d have the traced off and adjusted pattern somewhere. Turns out I didn’t, so I traced off and adjusted another one. This time in one size smaller (size 40 with a 2 cm FBA and then had to add 5 mm back to the side seams). It also has wider straps and higher neckline like last time, because comfortable bras needed to be worn, and lots of boobage on display was not part of the brief – Felicity was wearing this to work (in a bar at a bowling club, but still, we have standards!).

I didn’t have to buy fabric because we had a pale pink single bed sheet that was surplus to needs. I fully lined the bodice (easier than facings or bias!). Included pockets, Because. Pockets. Did not finish any of the seams. Because. One wear costume.

It’s actually very cute. I need to make this pattern again.

And then, red paint was added to simulate pigs blood.

Yes there was a face mask too

I don’t yet have any photos of Felicity in the costume, but I’m confident she looked great. And horrifying.

Orange shirt: BurdaStyle 06/2009 #136

I’ve been admiring the collar on the Myosotis dress for some time. Then it dawned on me – there’ll be a BurdaStyle magazine pattern for that.

After a pleasant hour or so trawling through my Burda magazine collection I found just what I was looking for in the June 2009 issue – a long line loose shirt with this type of collar and bishop-ish sleeves. In my size range. Happy days!

Image source: the Russian Burda site

I traced off a size 46 bust and waist and size 48 hips, petite-ed 1 cm above the bust and cut it out in a beautiful cotton linen blend shirting weight Japanese twill from The Drapery.

The fit is very loose through the waist. Since taking these photos I’ve added fisheye darts to the back for shaping and to remove 4 cm in total in width through the waist. Its still delightfully loose.

I used 2 layers of self fabric to ‘interface’ the front bands and cuffs and one for the collar band. Why? The fabric has a looser weave than cotton shirting I’d usually use so I was a bit concerned that the heavier weight iron on interfacing I had on hand would cause bubbling or puckering after repeated washing. I probably should just up my interfacing game…

I didn’t consult the instructions for the cuffs, and didn’t realise I should have left a considerable underlap past the slit to allow for two rows of buttons

I really like this feature, but its too late now! I have one button and a considerable underlap including the slit. Trying to make up for it with a button of contrasting colour and contrasting thread.

Yes my hair does have a hint of pink. My hair salon changed over to a new brand of hair colour and this is what happened. We toned it down on the next visit. I’m already most of the stereotypes of a middle aged woman – I don’t feel ready for pink hair too. Yet.

Another feature no-one else sees when its being worn is the fun bias finish to the hem. This fabric was a souvenir from Denver purchased in 2011. I used it as trim on an unsuccessful dress project in 2013. Now very happily used on this shirt. There’s a bit of a theme here isn’t there? Pattern from 11 years ago, bias from 9. Only the fabric was brand new – purchased only weeks before being sewn.

I love the colour, the rumply linen goodness of the fabric and all the features of this pattern. Looks great with jeans and leggings too.

I probably shouldn’t jinx it and make this pattern ever again.

Basics – a Burda pencil skirt and a Forget-me-not Patterns Vera top

This is one of those boring posts about basics. Great for blogs that are mainly personal journals, like mine. Not so good for blogs that other people actually read.

And to make it worse, this post comes with not so great photos of creased garments and tired faces because the photography was done at the end of a day of sitting at a desk. At least I am wearing yellow snakeskin ankle boots. That’s got to count for something!

Feel free to move on to something more interesting and with better images.

Basic 1: The Camel Pencil Skirt.

Camel is supposed to be one of those excellent basics. So are pencil skirts. I’m a fan of pencil skirts. And I’m very taken with pencil skirts that have a teeny bit more interest than normal. Like this one with its horizontal darts.

I used this pattern for one of my gorgeous Linton tweeds but it was not a resounding success. The tweed version may have stretched out, or been traced too big. Whatever.

So this pattern needed a second chance. And what better fabric to use than one I picked up at a fabric swap! This polyester twill fabric was from my dear friend M of Nonsuch, who had already offered her large remnant to me. I didn’t recognize its potential until I saw it again at the fabric swap.

This skirt turned out so much better than the Linton Tweed version.

Changes I made were minimal – I took 5 cm off the length (still plenty long enough for that retro look) and shaved about 1 cm of the side seams above the hips (making this a sort of size 47 waist, I should have just gone to a straight size 46 because its still loose).

Its lined with a lovely bemsilk from the stash, and I love the way my aqua label really pops.

Basic #2: a Black Knit Top.

This is Vera, a free PDF pattern from Forget-me-not Patterns

This pattern is also elevated above basic with its sleeves and subtle high low hem

The V-neck is nicely proportioned, and the instructions for achieving a nice finish for the V neck are terrific.

My first version was a size 42 in a red fine merino wool, and it was a bit too big. I wanted to make the next version in a black merino/nylon blend. The black knit is much firmer than the red 100% merino knit. I also knew that I’d made both into a Papercut rise turtleneck in the same size and the black one was almost too tight whereas the red one was just right.

So, with all that in mind, I went ahead with the firmer black knit cut out in the same size as the red one, but sewed it up with a seam allowance of 10 mm rather than 6 mm.

It worked well! either the fabric difference or the larger seam allowance, or both..

The sleeves really are quite lovely – here’s the red one at work (I made this first version wearable by shortening the shoulder seam by 8 mm and reattaching the sleeves and reducing width through the body of the top about the same).

Lesson (re)learned- stretch and drape and weight matters with knits!

A coatigan to remind me of my grandma’s carpet: Burda 12/2011 #114

I was lucky enough to get 2 yards of this totally glorious fabric from emmaonesock last year. It looks like a fabulous vintage carpet.

It’s a wool fleece with raised areas, a brushed texture, and decorative selvedges. The design seems to be knitted in as you can see below on the reverse.

The fabric arrived and I petted it. A lot. And then it sat in my stash. You know. That too precious to cut into fabric. I had a Pinterest board dedicated to it. Searching for the perfect pattern. Surely what I did with something similar to this fabric several years ago was too simple and wouldn’t be good enough?

Winter passed, before I was smart enough to realise that it was more than good enough. I still wear the coatigan I made in 2013 a lot. It’s the ideal pattern for this fabric.

So I bit the bullet and cut it out.

This is Burda 12/2011 #114 and I made a 44.

For my version there’s no zip, no petersham ribbon trim, no hip length seam or pockets, no lining, just a neck facing and I lengthened the sleeves to be full length.

The hem is simple turned up and stitched by hand. No finishing treatments – it doesn’t fray.

Sometimes simple is best!

I adore my carpet coatigan!

Fabric swap skirt: Burda 01/2011 #137

Fabric and pattern swaps.

A small part of the ‘cotton’ table

What a wonderful idea.

Some of the patterns waiting for a new home

@adelaidesewists organised this swap in July. I took 13 lengths of fabric and it felt good. My no-longer adored fabric was going to a good home and not landfill. Someone else is going to make something amazing from it.

What I took

I come home with 6 lengths of fabric (not as much as I took – #winning), so I saved fabric from landfill too. So much to love!

Fabric swap skirt!

This skirt is from one of those fabric. Thanks Rhoz! And thanks @adelaidesewists!

So happy about the fabric swap.

Also, so very happy with this skirt.

This is a Burda pattern I’ve made multiple time. It’s pegged and it has pockets. Some of my favourite sewing things.

The not-so-useful US Burda site has the pattern here. The German Burda site is much more helpful, even if you don’t read German (and is where I took the line drawing from).

The fabric is a bengaline with good stretch and recovery. I made the skirt up with an elastic waist but without a zip or walking vent or lining or top stitching around the hem.

Do you see a wrinkly waist ?

Does it look like an elastic waist skirt to you?

Do you see a wrinkly waist at the back? No, didn’t think so

It looks very corporate doesn’t it? Especially when I stand more normally.

I love the trickery of using the right fabric.

This is a size 46 waist and size 48 hips (thanks, no thanks, to hormonal imbalances for the size changes – yes I am a woman of a certain age).

This fabric was difficult to cut out because the print didn’t appear to be strictly on grain. I pinned every 5 cms or so and then stretched and ironed to force it into shape. I cut the front in a single layer and the back pieces separately.

The elastic waist was a bit of an experiment. I could have added a waistband to this pattern and inserted or sewed elastic to that, but I didn’t.

Instead, I cut a length of 4 cm wide elastic to my waist measurement, joined it, and then sewed it to my already prepared facing. Yes a nice even circlet of elastic sewn to a curved facing. I stretched the fabric of the facing and the elastic and used a zigzag stitch to sew the elastic to the facing just a smidge under the waist attachment sewing line. (No I did not change the thread in the overlocker to blue. I like the red. And I might be a bit lazy)

I then stitched the facing, with its elastic, to the skirt, using a narrower zigzag stitch and stitching very close to the elastic but not catching it in. Also whilst stretching. Which is why the stitching is a bit wonky.

Then trimmed the excess seam allowance of the facing close to the stitching line

After I turned and ironed, it all looked pretty good! The bottom edge of the facing has a bit of fluting due to the elastic but it’s very smooth from the outside.

Smooth waist! Also this is a classic scissors in the pocket photo with bonus measuring tape in the other pocket

I stitched in the ditch to secure the elastic/facing down at the side seams and centre front and back. So easy!

The hem was also secured with a zigzag. Almost invisible on the outside but pretty obvious inside due to that lovely red overlooking.

The skirt is about 4 cm shorter than drafted.

The orange and blue top is Burda 02/2015 #128 and you can read all about it here.

I’m very happy with this new skirt. It’s super comfortable to wear and just the right weight for the end of winter in Adelaide. Thanks again Rhoz! I hope you like my grey, black and white knit as much as I like your blue and white bengaline.

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.