Burdastyle in scuba

The above dress is from the 2017 August edition from Burda. It’s the first Burdastyle magazine I got and it’s a really good edition with some beautiful dresses with retro touches and interesting details.

I made this dress before:

That version was made in a teal ponte and I wear it at least once a week.

Now comes the part I’ve been debating myself about: how honest should one be on a public blog? Usually when I outright don’t like something I just don’t blog or post about it online. I don’t feel I need to be negative about things I don’t like when I can be positive about things I do like. If you give attention to things you love these things will grow. But the fact that I didn’t like the fabric of the dress I made is instrumental in how I ended up feeling about the dress. I love ponte and stable knits and sew with these all the time, but I loathe scuba. I worked with it once and I would describe the feel of the fabric as ‘blegh’. I really don’t like the synthetic feel of the fabric and the synthetic way it moves and drapes. I don’t like the feeling of it on my skin either. That one dress I made never got worn. When I thought about making that dress into a Grainline Morris blazer I changed my mind during the cutting (and touching) of the fabric and just chucked it into the bin. So when someone gave me two metres of crepe scuba I was not delighted with it. But I also didn’t want to be ungrateful and I tried to think of a suitable pattern for this fabric, maybe something to wear in winter so it wouldn’t feel sweaty, just nice and warm. I decided on making another version of this Burdastyle dress and here it is:

Construction wise this is a pleasure to make. It’s really straightforward and there are no complicated bits. I understand people find the instructions sparse, but for a dress like this that doesn’t matter. This is my only experience with Burda so far, but I am looking forward to making a lot more patterns from the magazine. I subscribed to the magazine after buying the September edition too and every edition has at least three garments I really love and want to make. I don’t love the tracing, but Swedish tracing paper does help with seeing the lines.

I still don’t like scuba. Since making this dress I’ve had it in my hands three times when deciding what to wear for the day and all of those times I chose something else to wear. The sponginess of the fabric really puts me off. I don’t think I will wear it a lot, maybe I’ll end up not wearing it all. No more scuba for me. If I do end up with scuba again I’ll just give it to someone who does appreciate it.


Burda adjacent?

Burda Style had this really pretty dress with draped elements in their January magazine.

But I didn’t have any fabric in the right yardage. My jersey stash is running pretty low, but I still have so much fabric that I don’t want to buy anything new at the moment. So I took the element that I loved, the knotted detail, and used the Agnes top as a base for a dress with an A-line skirt. I drew a pattern piece for the knot with the width of the waist of the Agnes top, like this:

I cut it out on the fold, then fiddled about with the placement until I was happy and sewed up the sideseams with the ends of the knot and presto!

I will probably end up making the original pattern too, but for now this will do nicely.

Colette Claudette

The theme of 2018 so far seems to be: ‘Make what you fall in love with’. I’m okay with that as I have gotten so much enjoyment from making the things I’ve made in the past few weeks. I really took my time, tried to get all the details right and just enjoyed the process so much. This Colette patterns Claudette dress was again a love-at-first-sight-pattern and an unusal silhouette for me.

I went for version 3, the one you see pictured above. There are four versions in the booklet, but you can mix and match to your heart’s desire. I thought version 3 would be great for the crepe I got from my husband’s grandmother with it’s cowl. I loved sewing all the darts, there’s a total of 12 darts to sew. Two of these are french darts, which I had not sewn before.

These are the front skirt darts:

Everything came together without a glitch, all notches matched and the whole thing was without any frustrations or problems. It also runs true to size for me. I think the back might be the best fitting of any of my dresses.

That all being said and done: I’m not in love with the dress I ended up with. I think the fabric doesn’t really suit me and that it is obvious that someone else bought it for herself. I would not have picked this out for myself because these aren’t my colours. I love the fabric, but not on me. I definitely will make this dress again though! Probably in a pretty solid to show off all the details of the design.

Deer and Doe Azara skirto

The first time I saw the Azara skirt I was immediately smitten with it and it went straight to number one on my list of patterns to buy on Black Friday (a list I keep going all year and then the week before Black Friday sales decide on which patterns to buy). I don’t usually buy patterns as soon as they’re out, because then I would buy all the patterns all the time, but about once or twice a year I will get those patterns I couldn’t get out of my head and kept thinking about. I love the lines of this skirt so much and I think the silhouette is so very elegant.

I also kept thinking about this fabric from Textielstad in combination with this skirt. It reminded me of an embroidered rtw-skirt I had once owned and loved and then gave to my mom because I wanted her to have something really beautiful (and then regretted giving it away because I missed it so much). I really liked the folklore embroidery on that skirt and this fabric reminded me so much of it I had to break my no-buying policy and get it.

The fabric isn’t perfect for this skirt as you can’t really see the lines of the yoke and the topstitching, but as a sentimental make it’s perfect to me as I feel I got my old skirt back.

I loved working on this and took my time trying to make everything as perfect as possible. I don’t really need instructions these days, so I can’t say anything about those, but the pattern pieces itself came together perfectly and everything lined up nice and neatly. Deer and Doe runs true to size. You can trust their measurement charts and plan accordingly. I switched the back zip to a side zip and added some room to the back.

I took my time topstitching the skirtpieces and inserting the zip. It fits like a glove and is really toasty to wear. Overall, I’m very happy with this! Hopefully I’ll be able to cut out my Lander pants economically and use the wool from that project for another Azara.

By Hand London Anna dresses

This is one of those patterns I have been wanting to make for years. I try to buy patterns thoughtfully and so I keep a running wishlist of patterns. Every year around Black Friday I go through my list and decide on what I really want to make in the year to come. This year I mostly bought By Hand London patterns and Deer & Doe patterns. I wasn’t sure about the Anna dress. It’s not really my silhouette, but I kept seeing beautiful versions and so I took the plunge. BHL says to make this dress in fabric with some body to it and that you need 3.5 m of fabric for it. The fabrics I had in mind were very drapey and I had 2.5 m of both of them. Turns out you can cut this dress easily out of 2.5 m non-directional printed fabric if you place the skirtpieces like sardines on your fabric.

First my golden dress for the schoolgala. I always like to overdress for this so kids have something to gossip about. It’s a very light and stretchy fabric from Textielstad and I had to sew carefully, avoiding pull on the fabric.

It’s everything I wanted and hoped it would be and I now have a party dress for the ages.

Next I wanted to evoke those velvet maxidresses from the nineties:

I got this fabric at Textielstad too. This one is for daily use and I’m wearing it with my kneelength boots and a long black cardigan. It’s really warm and comfortable. The skirt on the Anna maxi is really long even on a tall person like me. As I’m not planning on wearing this with heels I took up the hem an extra inch so it doesn’t sweep the ground and this seems to work really well for going up and down the stairs, getting in and out of cars etc. This was my first time working with velvet. It’s quite slippery to work with, but with slow sewing and lots of pins it didn’t pose any problem. I’ve been wearing this dress all the time. Since making it two weeks ago I’ve worn it five times!

There were some fitting issues with both versions. Not all the pattern pieces lined up and I struggled with the facing peeping out despite my understitching and attaching it at the shoulder seams. With the velvet one I omitted the facing and just turned the fabric under which worked so much better for this fabric. It will be interesting to see how the fit is for the stiffer cotton I got lined up for this next.

I think I will try the skirt with a different bodice for my next version. I absolutely adore the gored skirt.

Pintuck dress

Last year I treated myself to some Craftsy courses in one of their sales. I bought Heirloom Sewing to learn how to create those old fashioned girl’s dresses my mother-in-law loves so much. Dresses like those seem to be a good way to learn and practice new sewing skills.

One of the lessons featured a pintuck foot. I had been intrigued by pintucks and had wanted to create them, but the precision you seem to need always put me off. I’m reasonably precise, but not half a millimeter precise and that seemed the kind of precision you need when sewing pintucks. But Susan Stewart put me at ease as she explained how the pintuck foot and twin needle basically do all your work for you.

Here they are at work.

You have to decide on the amount of space you want in between tucks, but then the grooves and the twin needle take care of the rest. Susan advised to pintuck before cutting out a pattern as the tucks will distort your fabric heavily and so I did. It took quite some time as my left thread kept breaking and I never figured out why, but I think the result is really cool!

I used the building block dress from Oliver + S as my pattern. Honestly, if you sew for girls this book is amazing. I learned so much from the instructions, the variations on the basic dress are endless and it will take you up to age 12. Very good value for money.

I’m still in love with the basic pattern and Hanna hasn’t expressed any of her own dressy wishes, so the basic dress it was.

I love the pretty collar against the pintucks:

I used an invisible zip instead of buttons.

The construction of the dress was pretty straightforward and well explained in the book.

Make nine plans for 2018…

…if by nine you would mean about 40! These challenges don’t really suit me, but I do so enjoy sharing plans with other people so I’m jumping in anyway. This challenge is hosted by @homerowfiberco on Instagram. I made most of my 2017 make nine, some even multiple times. I missed one out of nine because I wanted to use the fabric for something else (and am so happy I did, because that turned out to be my most worn item of the year) and I haven’t gotten a new fabric for it yet. I do have fabric for my entire 2018 list, now we shall see if I have the time and inclination to make them all. I find that, though I’m pretty meticulous when buying fabric in knowing what I’m going to do with it, I’m pretty spontaneous in deciding what I want to make at a particular time. This year I made things within a day of purchasing the fabric, but also things that have been planned 3 years ago (the length of time I have been sewing). So I’m not sure whether I’ll make all of these this year. There’s about 40 projects in my planner and I’m happy with that. This might be the year of the coat. That depends on whether I’ll actually need a coat. At the moment I’m really happy with my outerwear and as long as I don’t need to replace anything I won’t. I do have a couple of coat patterns waiting just in case. I’m also on the look-out for a bra-making course at a convenient date for me (eg. during my schoolbreaks).

1. Sew House 7 Tea House dress

Not sure if it will suit me, but have to get it at least out of my system.

2. Wardrobe by me – Mirri dress

This one will definitely suit me and I’m pretty excited to make this one in my beautiful cherryblossom jersey.

3. Colette Patterns – Claudette

I wasn’t really charmed by most Colette patterns following the Dahlia dress, but I sure do love this one! It’s so elegant and perfect for the flower crepe I got from Wybe’s grandmother.

4. Deer and Doe patterns – Azara

I fell really hard for this one. It seems like a simple skirt, but I love the sleek lines, the length and the panels. I have a perfect embroidered black felt-like fabric for this.

5. By Hand London – Orsola dress

This will be the second pattern I’ll make from By Hand London. I love the sleek lines of the Orsola dress. Very elegant! Not sure whether this will suit me, but I decided to venture into the unknown more often this year. I know what suits me, but what if there’s even more out there that suits me? I won’t be wasting my time as I’m doing what I love and if it doesn’t look good on me there’s always people I can give it to.

6. True Bias – Lander pants

Another love-at-first-sight pattern. I’m going to make this in a herringbone viscose-wool. Hopefully these will be my perfect pants!

7. Tilly and the Buttons – Arielle skirt

Another one that’s been on my mind for a while. Going to make this in a thin dark jeans fabric. It looks so sunny, hope to finish this in time for spring!

8. Deer and Doe patterns – Arum dress

The second of many more Deer and Doe makes to come this year. Love this company and am planning to get and make nearly every pdf pattern as they release them. I bought this pattern to go with this fabric.

9. Colette Patterns – Penny dress

A shirtdress pattern that checks all the boxes for me. Will change the gathered skirt into a boxpleated one (obviously). I hope this one will be sweet and summery on me.