Patrones: one out of three ain’t bad

Why Patrones? Good question. The answer is a lot to do with feeling dissatisfied with Burda itself and how I could subscribe in Australia. And liking the idea of an online magazine. And liking the concept of a smallish pdf that you then trace off your pattern from. Sounds odd?

This is what Doctor T said recently about Patrones : The downloadable PDFs are an interesting compromise; you have to both print and tile the PDF pages and trace them; but because each Patrones pattern only prints onto 9 pages it isn’t too bad to attach the PDF print-outs, and because each print-out only has 1 design, it isn’t that bad to trace either.

Seems like Patrones has it all. And you can subscribe issue by issue. So I did. For three issues.

Why have I stopped? Well you will need to read this post!

The first thing I made was this skirt. Which I totally adore.

Patrones 429 modelo 29 – Falda con pliegues (pleated skirt)

It has pockets. It has interesting drapes and folds. It has a shaped hem. It is inspired by a catwalk outfit. Of course this pattern spoke to me!

Worn here with a much loved Kalle shirt made in Liberty lawn

Wisely, I made a toile first. New pattern company and sizing, instructions in Spanish, no pictures of the pattern made up and worn by an actual person – too many unknowns!

Just as well I did because the pockets are a very different sort of construction and the goggle translation of the Spanish instructions were of very little help. It took a few adventures and quite a lot of unpicking before I worked it out.

The actual pocket is that little piece at the bottom. And no it is not attached to the facing of the drape. Ask my quick-unpick how I know. The larger piece is the yoke/side skirt
The drape is then attached to the yoke with a few stitches to hold the folds in place
Final step is to baste to the side seams
And here’s the flat lay. You can see some of my changes compared to the original draft. I curved the side seams back in by 4 cm to narrow the hem and create a balloon shape skirt and the back hem curves down rather than mirroring the front and curving up

How would have expected that the pockets and the turnback of the drape are not even connected?? Not me! I haven’t yet put something in the pockets and have it drop all the way through, but it will happen at some point!

The toile confirmed that size 48 worked for me but that I didn’t like the hem as drafted (shorter at CB and CF, longer at both sides and not pegged). So I changed that too and then made it up in a delightful midweight linen from Spotlight.

And have worn it at least once a week since.

My second attempt was not successful at all

Patrones 430 modelo 9 – Camisa Hawaiana Lloyds (Lloyds style Hawaiian shirt)

I drafted out from a size 46 (the largest size offered) to a 48 (which might be my size based on my success above). No toile this time – flat pattern measures through the bust suggested it would be fine.

Not making a toile was not a good idea – the sleeves bands on the extended shoulders were too tight, and the ease through the top was fine in terms of the fit, but not for style – this really needs to be looser to look good.

So Felicity has a new top! For the record – the sleeve bands are not loose enough on her either – pattern drafting fault I say!

I used a remnant of a lovely drapey viscose crepe – last used for a Tide dress.

But I didn’t have quite enough fabric so it got a contrast collar band in linen

Optimistic label use.

The third attempt was almost successful

Patrones 429 modelo 25 – Top cruzado (cross top)

The asymmetry drew me in.

No toile on this one (yes, I had learnt nothing..) but I did use fabric which had been languishing in my stash for a long time..

I love this cotton, polyester and metal blend fabric and I originally bought this ten years ago (yes! ten years!) in two colours – cream (this one) and light brown – like milky coffee. The coffee one got made into a skirt. But it always looks crinkled despite rigorous ironing because of the metallic content and yet its sort of fancy because of that metallic content so the creasing and the shimmer is a bit odd. I also remember that it was a bit itchy against my skin. So… almost toile fabric…

But, because it wasn’t really a toile, I used a soft linen cotton blend for the neck facing, so that the itch factor was dialed back. The linen cotton blend was harvested from a ripped pillow case – there’s a lot of back story to the fabrics in this blog post!

I traced off and made a size 48, and although it fitted okay, I thought it would be better with a bit more width through the body of the top to make it a bit boxier. So I added another strip of fabric to the side seams.

The insert is a strip the length of the top and 4 cm wide. I added 6 cm extra length at the top of the strip and tapered it to a point. This was inserted into the sleeve seam like a gusset. With all seams at 6 mm, this meant I added about 5 cm of extra width to the top below the armscyes.

And now I think its wearable.

I couldn’t work out from the line drawing or pattern or sewing instructions if the buttoned front was functional. It didn’t seem to be. The neck is crew neck style so no chance of putting this on without some sort of opening. So I added a slit and a button with a loop to the back.

The second label is “slow fashion” because this fabric spent a long time in my stash. I’m amusing myself with my labels.

Now I’ve gone back and paid more attention to the flat lay photo in the magazine it looks like there is an invisible zip at centre back. That would work too.

I could “french tuck” half of the front and make it even more asymmetric. But not the best look!

I love these buttons. They’ve been the stash a while too.

So back to the question of why I stopped my subscription

I don’t yet have the sizing sorted, but that’s not a major issue. I don’t mind the printing and tracing – 9 pages is easy. Some of the designs are delightful so its not because I don’t like enough of the styles.

I think its two things: the language barrier – I must enjoy reading about sewing more than I realised – and it being online – despite the convenience of being online, I’d much rather read from an actual magazine.

Any one else tried this new format of Patrones recently? What did you think?

Panettone trifle

Last weeks Australian Review recipes section had a great recipe. Even She who Sews could make it. And she and Felicity did.



Panettone (we used one with dried fruit in it, but any sort would be fine)

250-300 g fresh or frozen raspberries

900 mL cream

Grated rind of 1 orange

2 tablespoons caster sugar


Juice of 2 oranges

Grated rind of 1 orange

2 tablespoons caster sugar

To make the syrup, bring the juice, the rind and the sugar to boil and simmer for 1 minute, cool then add the Grand Marnier.

To make the cream, whip cream with sugar and rind until soft peaks form.

To assemble the cake, cut panettone into 3 slices, horizontally about 3 cm thick . Save the rest and toast it for breakfast the next day (Yum, don’t even think about all the butter in panettone…).

Brush or drizzle with syrup.

Layer with one third of the cream and then the raspberries.

Repeat ( yes, He who Cooks, couldn’t resist being part of this). A palette knife is great for spreading out the cream

And if you can’t bear the thought of not using all the syrup, this is what happens

It’s a better idea to put any excess into a little shot glass and drink it…

Once you have all the layers on, cover the rest of the cake with the rest of the cream and chill for up to 2 hours.

We put some silver and pick cachous in a star shape on the top of ours,

and it looked nice,

but was a bit disconcertingly crunchy when we ate it.

Ohh, and, the left over cream was delicious!


Dessert in a hurry

I guess we all have  those days when plans are changed and suddenly there are more guests than you first thought or your  children remember as you pop them into bed that they are supposed to bring cake to school tomorrow or friends pop in and you need a recipe for dessert in a hurry. This week  happily we have had guests for dinner Monday and Tuesday night that I had not originally planned and on these occasions I try to avoid experiments and fall back on something tried and true.

A  quick what can I make for dessert’ standby is cheesecake. Almost everyone likes it it needs nothing to  accompany it, save a little cream or ice cream if you want.

I like my cheesecake to be cheesy and have a little bite so I substitute sour cream for normal cream and prefer all cream cheese rather than a mix of cream cheese and riccotta. I like the slight tang of the lemon zest and have made this without the poppy seeds, but they do give extra flavour and interest.

The secret to stopping the cheesecake from cracking is to cool it slowly, Leave the cake in the oven when it is done, turn the oven off and leave the door slightly open until the cake has cooled.


Lemon and poppy seed cheesecake


125 g Nice biscuits (or similar)

45 g butter, melted

750 g (3 packs) cream cheese, softened

200 g sugar

15 g plain flour

10 ml vanilla extract

5 eggs, lightly beaten

120 ml cream

60 ml lemon juice

6 g grated lemon peel

45 g poppy seeds


1.      In a food processor, combine the biscuit and butter. Press onto the bottom of a greased 23cm. spring form pan. Set aside

2.      In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, flour and vanilla until smooth. Add the eggs, cream, lemon juice, peel and poppy seeds. Beat on low speed just until combined. Pour into prepared crust

3.      Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 180 degrees C for 55-60 minutes or until centre is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.