I did it. I actually made 3 weeks of Me Made May ’13! It wasn’t as desperate as I thought it would be and I’ve really enjoyed it! The only thing that has been a bit tricky is getting a photo when the mister has left earlier for work.
Most of the garments I have worn this week have issues. Mostly fitting issues. Things drafted either too big or too small and things that no longer fit because of some unwelcome poundage that crept up over the last year or so! I must learn to create things that fit in the now and not for when the pounds are shed. Because it doesn’t work like that!
Another revelation, which comes as no surprise to me, is that I need more skirts and tops for work. I’ve no shortage of ideas. Just got to pull my finger out!
DAY 15: Pin dot jersey top New Look 6753. This is one of the few jersey tops I’ve made. I like how it’s an easy-to-wear casual top but it’s not my favourite top to wear. Perhaps because I made it too big and its defied all my attempts of shrinkage too! I have since been advised to make a size smaller when using stretch fabric. I’m sure I’d love it more if it fit more snuggly. Still better than a Primani top though!
DAY 16: Stripy cowl top This was a great free pattern from the Burdastyle website. Really simple to put together and really easy to wear. I’m not convinced I graded it up properly, or enough for that matter so the cowl isn’t as dramatic as it could have been. But I still like it.
DAY 17: Wool pinstripe jacket This is a pattern from Burdastyle magazine, issue 11/2010. It was my first venture into tailoring and is anything but perfect but it prompted me to delve more into the art of old school tailoring techniques which are now ready to employ when I embark on another. Once again I overestimated the size but that means it’s great to wear with a few layers underneath and boy I needed them today! The pinky mauve pinstripe means it doesn’t really go with much apart from a flooky pinstripe skirt that I owned already!
DAY 18: Floral mini skirt
I made this in march last year and it still feels good teamed with Docs and a cardi. Keep meaning to make more of these. They are so simple and so cute and so easy to wear. So long as its none too windy!
DAY 19: Plaid shorts
I do enjoy wearing these. Despite the fabric going all bobbly on me. Only on the weekend, mind. Won’t catch me in the office with that much leg out! I wore them down to the river pub to meet some friends. The pattern I used was Simplicity 2659. A simple and satisfying overnight make. There will be more of these. It’s just a matter of time. However I will not be using the twill tape facing method. I will draft a properfacing this time. They do need a bit more structure at the waist and front. And I must make them a wee bit bigger next time!
DAY 20: Black rose party dress
This is me and my lovely fella, the last of the party people, at the end of his spectacular 40th birthday party. It was taken in the wee hours of the morning and so I’m very glad the photo is such poor quality! The dress, which I just about fit into, was whipped up overnight for a party March last year. I have since found some very similar fabric which will be another one of these one day!
DAY 21: Wool check skirt I didn’t manage to get a photo of today but rest assured it was a me-made kinda day. I wore the same wool check skirt I sported on the second week, day 10. Crazy that May has turned out cold enough to sport a woolly skirt more than once in the space of a couple of weeks.
Can’t believe there’s only one more week left. I think I’m going to have to dig real deep now!
If I’m honest, I thought that So Zo’s Me Made May ’13 would be an easy 4-poster for the month of May. I really thought it would help to bridge the massive gap between my sporadic makes and make me look more efficient than I actually am. Well, it has been a good gap-bridger for sure, but it hasn’t been a doddle!
I’m sure many of you can relate to the pre-work madness of getting kids off to school, while catching up on the jobs you were meant to do the night before, shouting threats of x-box confiscation if the son doesn’t arise anytime soon, feeding the cats with one hand and signing homework books with the other before getting one’s own butt out the door to work. So throw a rummage through the drawers for a me-made outfit and fluttering of the eyelashes at the general direction of ones hubster for a quick photoshoot into the equation and, well you can imagine what the neighbours must think!
But all that aside. It has been a total eye opener. I have worn things I had completely forgotten about and there has been a realisation of how much I’ve advanced. I may even go back to some of these projects and fix some niggling issues. But I equally might not!
DAY 8: 1950s wing-collar blouse Butterick 556. Im still very happy with this blouse even though the shoulder pads have gone all lumpy and weird in the wash! The sleeve heads leave a lot to be desired. I remember thinking at the time that the sleeve looked more gathered than eased into the armscye. I really need to make another but better. So good to wear to work.
DAY 9: 1940s Shoe Dress Butterick 2638. This is the same pattern I used for the red version and with the same issues, ie button placement. I think I prefer the shorter length sleeve. The shoe-print fabric was such a great find from a charity shop. It’s 100% cotton with such a smooth finish. I need more of these dresses.
DAY 10: Wool check skirt I wasn’t expecting to include this skirt in May. It’s a blanket-weight wool, an ex-throw in fact, turned pencil skirt! But we all know how the weather in Blighty is a constant surprise! I self-drafted the pattern. I didn’t stay stitch the waistline before adding the waistband, hence why it probably came up a bit bigger and just noticed that the lining peeps at the hem otherwise, quite happy with this one.
DAY 11: Dotty shawl collar swing jacket
I made this a good couple of years back from a free pattern in Sew magazine. It is a great spring jacket with three-quarter sleeves and I love the fabric. I had to create the buttonholes by hand but apart from that it was very easy to put together as far as I remember. I do enjoy wearing it. Something about the collar makes it feel vintage and glamourous.
DAY 12: Grey pencil skirt
Hubby off to work early + non obliging offspring = no photo! But see photo above. I wore it yesterday too. Don’t judge!
DAY 13: Stripy wool skirt
You really can tell how chilly it was this week. All the wool came out to play! This is a very simple A-line mini skirt from Burdastyle magazine. The fabric is a twill-backed Italian wool from Ditto Fabrics in Brighton. Very lovely to wear.
DAY 14: Lace-trimmed peasant top I didn’t think I had much love for this top. Mostly because it’s white and partly because of the lace. But seeing it here with a black skirt and after wallowing in all the lovely comments I got at work, I think I do now. One of the quickest tops to rustle up and tuck into a skirt. I need a red one!
Feels so good to round up week two. Only a couple of days for week three… eek! See you soon! x
Not so very long ago I signed up to So Zo’s Me Made May ’13. Whereby I pledged to wear something handmade, every day throughout the month of May 2013. I did leave it till the very last minute, knowing what a flake I can be. And to be honest I could do without creating extra work for myself. I really do have plenty ’nuff on my plate right now! But… what fun! And what revelations…
So here is what I pledged:
‘I, ooobop!, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’13. I endeavour to wear at least one handmade garment each day for the duration of May 2013’.
There was still a big pause before I pressed the ‘publish’ button. I don’t have an issue with wearing something handmade every day. In fact that it an ultimate goal. I would love to own an entirely handmade wardrobe. It’s having enough to last a month that’s the issue right now! So I think you might be seeing a few repeats unless I can rustle up some emergency quick-makes!
Here are the first 7 days along with my discoveries:
DAY 1: Gingham Burda Blouse
Have since learned that this shirt is too long and hence too tight on the hips.
An easy fix… if I get round to it! Would love to try one in a block colour
to make use of those fabulous shoulder darts. Should also wear it with a belt.
It’s not the shapeliest of blouses!
DAY 2: Norman Hartnell blouse
Very fond of this blouse. Very easy to wear. Perfect for work or going out.
And given that it was a relatively simple make, I need to make more!
DAY 3: 1940s Shirt-waist dress
I still love this dress. Any dress with a midriff gets my seal of approval.
Have since learned to be more precise when sewing buttons in position.
DAY 4: 1970s Dress
I have neglected this dress. I didn’t line it and so I can’t successfully wear it with tights
which is kind of a necessary requirement in the UK!
Would happily make this one again. The shape is very cute and I do love
the statement collar!
DAY 5: Daisy dress with red bias trim
New Look 6750. One of the first dresses I made, hence not blogged.
Note to self: As lovely as cotton voile is, it’s not very good at
hiding all those lumps and bumps, expecially if one has made the dress a tight fit!
Also must remember to allow a bit of ease when binding sleeve hems.
Near cut off the circulation in my arms!
Only dress so far I am not entirely comfortable wearing.
DAY 6: Elisalex dress Dress completed and worn to a picnic on this day. By far my most
favourite dress. incredibly comfortable. Very stylish and very satisfying to make.
It’s a keeper!
DAY 7:Gingham peasant top One of the easiest tops I’ve ever made. Love wearing it with a pencil skirt.
Need to make some capri pants to pull off that Doris Day look.
Keep meaning to add a tiny black bow to the front neckline!
One of the great things about this challenge for me, is having some proper attention focussed on each garment. I usually throw things on without a thought, especially when I’m off to work, in a ‘that’ll do’ kinda way. I’ve been wearing far too many rubbish Primani T-shirts when I don’t really need to. If I just make a few more tops, I can ditch them altogether, especially if I include a quality t-shirt or two on my project list. Wearing me-mades on a daily basis really does have a feel good factor.
I’m sure the next few weeks will get more and more challenging and probably with some new revealations but so far so good and lessons learned already. Cheers Zo!
Well this review very nearly didn’t happen. Firstly because I was in a grump when I bought May’s issue – there was no way that anything was going to impress me that day – and secondly the usual onslaught of work that is always determined to steal my blogging/sewing time!
But do you know what? The delay in between purchasing the mag until now has been enlightening. I am seeing much more potential in designs that I had initially dissed and I am seeing some valuable ‘easy makes’ that might just dig me out of a hole for Zo’s ‘Me Made May ’13’! Admittedly I am in a better mood now the sun is shining so that also helps the different slant!
So without further ado, let me present Full Bloom, the Flower Fashion section.
Lots of pretty lightweight floral loveliness going on here. I so wish I had the guts to go for one of these jumpsuits/playsuits whatever you like to call them. They look such fun. I just don’t think I could take the heckling from the smalls!
A bit difficult to see the detail, but the gathered drawstring top (below, top left corner) looks to be one of those easy ones. I have a fine bit of floral chiffon that I think should do it justice. The bikini below that looks a bit homemade if you ask me. Possibly the fabric – metallic poplin? But that aside I do think with a long skirt attached to the bikini top, it could be transformed into a gorgeous maxi. But my fave by far, out of all these flowery numbers, is the green print dress, on the right. It has a flattering midriff section which I love and some cheeky patch pockets on the skirt front. Total win!
The top (below, top left corner) is a super easy make. Its a tulle lace top over a shorter jersey one, sewn together at the bateau neckline. If you don’t fancy the belly button action, you can always make it longer and I’m sure it would be just as pretty. The denim shorts are included too, though surely easier to cut some jeans down?
I keep coming back to the green, v-back flounce dress but I’m not sure I’ve got Twiggy enough bod for that. Pretty though.
The dress at the end couldn’t be simpler. A long straight cut shirt with low-cut armholes. Pretty much 4 rectangles! Made from transparent chiffon and worn with an underdress. In fact the underdress is far more complicated! Perfect for the beach or a picnic or wherever the sun shines!
Top Stars is next up. A great little collection of funky tops. The gathered draw-string top features again, in a plain brown crepe this time. Not much of a variation except for the length, I think but great to see it in a block colour. If it really is quick to whip up, I would love a few of these to stick in a holiday suitcase.
It wouldn’t be a summer issue without a ‘whites’ section. So here are some of the more romantic looks this month. I personally could never leave the house in a dress as white as this and certainly wouldn’t survive more than half an hour in London if I did, but they would be well-placed on a sunny beach. The dress on the right probably shows in more detail how the upper section of the green print floral dress works.
Add some blue to the white and behold my favourite section of the mag. The Vintage Style. This little beauty gets away with being so stylishly modern despite its top spot in the fashion charts circa 1965. Tricky to see but underneath the deep V-neck, it has a fabulous seamed empire line, finished with a cutesy bow.
Given that my chances of a tropical holiday are very slim this year (or any year to be fair!) I’m finding it a bit hard to relate to the styles and colours in the Tropical section. 10 out of 10 for innovation though. I’ll wait till someone else tries that green knotted skirt!
But I did pick a few tropical delights. Check out the gorgeous Maxi dress (below, left) in large print satin! How divine would that be as you floated off for a pina colada all tingly from a day on the beach! The centre top is a must-have too. I love all the rouched detail is in the back. And the dress on the right is such fun!
I think the kids section is a little strange this month:
Apart from this little red number that I’m trying to persuade LMO to like!:
But hey! I’m not going to push it too much. It’s not like I haven’t got enough on my list already!
And last but not least is the Plus Section. Not so hot this month. But some pretty functional pastels all the same. I really don’t think the shot of the pink jersey top and the grey taffeta skirt (bottom left) best portrays these styles. They both have fabulous details. The top has side gathers just over the bust and to the hem. And the skirt is a double layer, the over-skirt being pretty much a square which creates those lovely flounces. It also has a jersey waistband which would add a bit of comfort to the class!
So there we have it, lovely readers. I do so apologise for the delay in getting this to you. No doubt most of you already have it in your clutches. But for those that don’t yet, I do hope it helps to bridge the gap until you get hold of your copy.
And so, as I sit, still in the depths of winter, double wrapped for good measure, It’s small wonder that I am less inspired by this month’s Burda than usual.
This is April’s edition for goodness sakes. I should be so eager to set about some fluttery spring makes, but its all too much even for my vivid imagination!
The Holiday section tempts me with a batiste maxi a cute bouclé shift dress and a smart pair of cigarette pants but though the rest are very holidayish they do nothing to float my boat I’m afraid.
Having said that, I do keep coming back to that little white dress (below right) but would have to invest in some ‘fashion tape’ for modesty reasons!
The retro section is always a sure fire bet for me and didn’t let me down with this adorable blouse, cute bustier top and equally cutesy dress. I wouldn’t change a thing about the blouse. It was undoubtedly designed with gingham in mind and the dress is a great showcase style for some statement fabric. Always sold on a sweet heart neckline. So flattering.
I don’t dislike the others. I just feel retro is a bit of a loose term for the other garments in this section…
I’m a little bored by the business section. But hey it’s all very ‘fitting’! Some very interesting cuts even if they’re not my thang.
That said, the little pink shift dress works well in a lightweight fabric too. Very simple to put together even though its been marked with 3 difficulty circles. Not sure why.
There’s a lot of pretty going on with the Plus Fashions. And a bit of an education for me too! I thought it was the lesser endowed that benefitted from an empire line. But no. Check out these delightful visions of ‘womanliness’!
And this one is my favourite. I particularly love the neckline and the slashed sleeves.
An interestingly unusual suggestion for ‘Fathers and Sons’. Said parties in my house just gave me a ‘don’t even go there’ look before I even uttered a word! Shame really, because I think its all very charming!
No further children’s section this month but for all of you crochet fans, there are some really gorgeous projects. I’m so seriously considering digging out those crochet hooks for some of this darling bunting!
Or perhaps I ought to consider a crocheted blanky to cover my knees while I work!
I do hope you continue to find these reviews helpful. I must say, in reviewing a lot of the styles grow on me from my first glances. There are always some surprising elements in a Burda pattern. Make no mistake!
If springtime Burda loveliness is what you are after then you should go grab yourself a March issue right now! The cover pic itself says it all. The goodies far outweigh the oddities this month. But as we know, it would be wrong to omit them completely! And no less than 12 ‘easy makes’ included. Great news for those who love a quick-fix project.
First up is Spring Fashion itself. It’s still sub-zero in the UK as far as I’m concerned. It read 2 degrees on the dashboard this afternoon but I’m sure that was a mechanical fault. I couldn’t speak for a frozen face when I got home from the shops! But the following pretties are a good reminder that Spring is on its way. Just feast your eyes.
The cover dress as I’ve already harped on about, was so going to be my first make. But she doth hideth one of those aforementioned oddities behind her back, that I will reveal when we get to the wedding!
I love the floaty dress next to it, second in from the top. The line drawing makes it look like an awkward piece but this lady wears it well and I love the choice of vintagy fabric.
In fact its true to say, I would love to make every piece from this section. I think that would just about get me through springtime… oh how a girl can wish!
If the mag ended there I would be happy but still, there’s more. I’d like to think I was a festival-goer. But I’m not really. Have never managed to dress down with much conviction and that is quite essential really! So these ‘Festival Styles’ don’t grab me as much apart from that little tiered mini skirt. I’ve never owned one but always wanted one. And now I have the know-how so no more excuses! Teamed with some statement tights and a pair of Docs… and Bob’s yer lobster!
And here come the Wedding Belles! Not sure I like the strange ‘boob wrap’ on the title page. I can see where they are coming from and all, a kind of romantic Jane Austen empire type-ness I guess. But a little bit odd don’t you think? I do like the casual lacy top meets lacy skirt weddingy or not outfit. Very simple and very pretty. And there we have that odd back of the dress that kind of looks like you might be wearing an apron (top right). I have stared long and hard and tried to make myself like it. I admire the attempt to be a little bit surprising but I don’t want to be surprised that much. I just want a back to the lovely front of that lovely spring cover dress! I guess I’ll have to go figure!
But I have singled out a very timely dress from this section. Despite her drinking problem, this lady has provided great inspiration for a prom dress I have been asked to make for my friend’s daughter. I was a bit nervous at the prospect. Still am to be honest. But I am hoping she will like this little beauty, with a shorter skirt of course. Because not only will she look stunning in it, the pattern and the instructions look none too complex!
Colonial Style features some casual fashions inspired by the Indian colonial style. Comfortable and chic. Now I’m all up for that kind of irony but I think there is more comfort than chic going on here. Do love that little rouched cardi though. And the placement of the buttons on the spicy orange shirt!
Vintage Pattern time is always a joy. I love how this one has been perfectly recreated from the 1952 lace blouse. But I wore one of these in the 80s when I was a New Romantic and I’m not sure I’m ready to repeat just yet. But it is very pretty!
The Plus Fashions really make their mark this month. Very bold, very monochrome and very stylish. Not so cashing in on voluptuousness this time but very strong and impressionable all the same
And if you are looking for some funky cool kid stuff, that’s all here too.
There are heaps of other styling ideas and easter crafts that you will have to seek out for yourself but I can’t leave without showing you these two cute ideas. Whomever would have dreamed up a cute carrot cushion? Only Burda! And I’m not hot on crochet – I don’t ever leave banging eggs hanging around long enough to need a hat – but just what joy would these little fellas bring to a breakfast table?!
Thank you Burda Style, for reminding me there is a Spring. There is a glimmer of warmth on the horizon and of course for these brilliant patterns that will serve to keep me pleasantly occupied in the meantime!
February’s issue opns up with the Land of Dreams, where Bohemian and eastern traditions fuse for some pretty original styling. Not exactly my thing but I do appreciate the sentiment.
However, I’m not entirely sure how the little bouclé skirt suit (top right) fits either category. More Chanel chic. Incidentally, if any newbie sewers are paging in, the skirt to that suit looks super easy to put together with its elastic waist. No tricky zippers going on here!
A sophisticated hint of the twenties rings through the Women of the World section. Black and white is always a winner though my wardrobe is more black than white!
The black top on the opening page, top left, is defo one for the list. Very casual chic in silk jersey. You can’t really see from the photo but it has gathered raglan sleeves. A kind of posh black T…. love it!
I would never ever be able to pull off the proper twenties thing though (top right). It would do nothing but to accentuate my sausage shape!
My least favourite section (sometimes never even reported) is always the casual section. I am trying so hard to stay away from ‘easy to wear’ casual clothes. I really like how I feel when I dress up properly and ‘leisure’ clothes do nothing for my productivity!
That said. I reeeeaalllly love the shorts from the College Girls title page. I have made a couple of pairs before, but the ones on the opening page have pleats and pockets. Double yay! Might have to try some of these in a wollen/tweedy sort of fabric because lets face it, we’ve got a fair few more months before that UK sun returns to warm our bones!
The striped T she is wearing is a short sleeve version of the posh black long sleeve one, with same gathered raglans. A few of them in the T drawer wouldn’t be a bad idea for summer.
The red zipper jacket, bottom left, looks great too and I can’t quite work out whether or not I am sold on fabric or style of that red polka dot draped shirt.
The batik dress bottom right is verging a bit on the hippy side but I can see it transformed with use of a large print floral jersey, so long as it had a black background 😉 Would be great to make that assymetric hemline a little more prominent too.
There are a couple of wowzers in the Urban Safari section too. I don’t think the prints are really me but the dress on the title page looks to be the same style as the red polka dot top above. Great silhouette but I would have to test out that drapey bit on the front to make sure it doesn’t have that maternity factor.
The centre top dress is really lovely. Great shape. And oh boy do I love that maxi dress. I’ve never owned one. And have been hunting for the right one for some time. Was rather hoping it would be suitable for chiffon but I think the only way forward with this one would be with the suggested stretch jersey. No biggie though. I still think it would be gorgeous.
Got a bit panicked, flicking from page to page, trying to find the vintage pattern. And it was nowhere to be found in February’s issue. The designer pattern kinda makes up for it. It’s made in stretch crepe satin here and I can well imagine you would turn a few heads if you wore this out for a dinner date.
The plus fashion section has some sexy wins (as usual) and one major fail! I will let you work that one out for yourself but suffice to say there might be an issue throwing the bouquet!
And last but not least some very lovely dress ups for children. The boys waistcoat and pleated trousers are so cool. Oh to have a little boy again. And the little girl dresses are so pretty and victorianaesque! Little Miss Ooobop says that I can make her the one on the bottom left, so long as it is in blue and she can wear her Doc Marten boots with it. No surprises there then!
Well hopefully that brought a little injection of Spring. I sit here in my fur lined slipper socks, vest, jumper and cardi and I’m so not ready to start sewing cottons just yet, I’m still on the wools. Funny isn’t it. Does anyone else feel that way in the winter months? But patterns have been earmarked, virtual fabric shopping has been done and a whole lot of fresh dreams been stored.
One might be advised to take the following review with a pinch of salt. I am ill and grumpy and should never have ventured out on this cold, wet miserable day to get hold of my belated issue. Belated, not because of any neglect on my part to pick it up sooner but because Smiths clean forgot to put it on the shelves. I think I might have got a poor sales assistant busted as a result.
My glee turned to gloom when I flicked though the first section, before I got to the checkout. The ‘Party’ section. Really? Not my kind of party. What no LBD? No slinky numbers, save the Bacofoil one. Maybe overload of purple has left me unable to think outside of the box. mmmm…. what do you think?
There were a couple in this section that left me a little more hopeful. Gosh I am being so negative, soz! Strange though because I don’t really do strides or leggings but quite fancy a pair of leather ones, Given my determination to grow old disgracefully! Still not very partyish though.
But hang on. Here we go. This is far more up my street. A section entitled the Aenne Burda Collection. Five reinterpreted dresses and a coat from the 50’s and 60’s. And I love each and every one of them! Though I really want the button band on the pink dress to be narrower. I don’t need my midriff highlighted quite so much!
Loungewear, leisurewear, sporty home knits, whatever… not really a fan of such garments. Even though I could be accused of hypochrisy as I sit here, sniffling in my sloppy pjs and age-old baggy T!
But never say never. These patterns do come in handy from time to time and they whip up quick so long as you don’t have an aversion to stretchy jersey fabrics. I’ve made a few peasant tops but I think one in a lovely drapey viscose jersey with long sleeves might be a more glamourous casual addition.
So was the glamour saved for the Plus Section as per usual? Nope! I like the green dress and the waterfall fronts of the jackets. In fact I quite like the layering and the colour palette but I might give the huggy bear waistcoat a miss!
And just in case you need a fancy dress costume…. there is certainly a mixed bag going on here!
Looks like a lot of work to pull of a Hungry Caterpillar costume but wouldn’t that be a hoot?! I always gloss over patterns like these but on closer inspection there is always a bodice or a sleeve pattern that could be borrowed. Not forgetting random dressing up days at school!
There are lots of lovely little crafty projects in this issue too, like detatchable collars, a bead-embroidered neck band, bejewelled bangles and shoes plus these adorable teddies made from recycled jumpers and blankets. No actual pattern for these but the instructions and inspiration is all that is necessary.
Well in case I don’t touch base before the new year, here’s wishing you all a fabulous 2013. Thank you for faithfully sticking with me and for all your wonderful comments. It is already so difficult to remember life pre-ooobop! I’m hoping to get more stealthlike in my attempt at stealing sewing time in the new year and so be much more productive. But what good would that be without having you lovely lot to share it with.
Was beginning to get a bit anxious about the late appearance of this issue on the shelves of Smiths! But was it worth the wait?…. In my humble opinion, if there is just one great pattern in there it’s worth the cover price. Two and I’m laughing. Three and it’s definitely Christmas. But more than three? Oh yes, yes yes!!
Party Fashions opens with a great fitted jacket in black and gold. Sling it on over a pair of jeans and a T and you are so ready for the party. And check out the detail on the ‘Master Piece’ dress. Hurts my head a bit wondering how that is created. And it has 3.5 ‘difficulty blobs’ out of a possible 4 but as luck would have it, there is a step-by-step sewing course included, to help you on your way.
I love this ‘Black Power’ dress. Shame it is obsured by the jacket in this shot but the line drawing highlights the simple lines. Would be gorgous in silk. In stark contrast, not really a fan of ruffled layered bottom halves. Only because my bottom half doesn’t need bigging up. But this little skirt is pretty with the metallic tulle lace overlay. And incredibly easy to make.
Party Fashions wouldn’t be complete without an adornment of sequins but I can’t help but think how spiky they must be to wear. The skirt part on the black dress however is made from imitation leather scales. Now your’e talking! I don’t tend to do trousers anymore either but stretch nappa leather ones like these are luring me back!
More sequins and shine…
…. and then we are on to Christmas!!
Boy am I excited about this coat. I was given a decent length of a lime green/chocolate shot silk/wool mix fabric. Quite heavy. Probably intended for furnishing. Certainly not dressmaking. But I instantly had visions of classy and totally original coat. Have been looking for the perfect one. And now, as if by magic, I think I have found it! Just praying there is enough fabric!
Not sure if I am suited to the following look, though I think the skirt is very interesting. Perhaps its the distraction of the 1D lookalike in the photo. I do however, reeeaaallly like that little girl’s shift dress. And love that it is actually in my daughter’s size. More often than not, the kids patterns are either too small or too large and I’m far too lazy busy for pattern grading!
Again. I’m not feeling the puritan look but the jacket with the retro peplum and the little girls coat is totally up my street!
The whole sweet angel and tweed look is maybe pushing the boundaries of sweet. Verging almost on sickly, I’d say! I can hear Mr and Master Ooobop! roaring with laughter as LMO and myself prepare Christmas lunch in such puritanical stylee. The fact that LMO would howl with protest if every I tried to dress her like this is a sure thing too!
A good teddy bear pattern always comes in handy as a gift for a small person. Or even a grown up! I do enjoy sewing toys just as much but so far haven’t strayed from the path of Tilda makes. Burda have even included the corochet pattern for the lovely shawl they are sitting on. Oh please don’t get me side-tracked!
I keep coming back to this dress. It’s not instantly my thing but I love how the seam joins have been highlighted in white. Definitely a conversation piece. I quite like the waiscoat too but they can keep their billowy sleeves!
There’s a Master Piece jacket and coat pattern for the smalls too. Very classy. I’m sure I could talk LMO into that jacket, if it meant she could keep her Doc Martens on too!
There’s a fun Street Style section with some clever twists on casual using wool. Makes for a more quality look than with the usual jersey. But I have glossed over that because I don’t really do casual street!
This dress certainly makes a ‘Grand Entrance’ when you turn to this spread. Works great as a short dress but soooo elegant as a full length evening dress. It’s made in silk crepe here. Imagine how luxurious it would feel too!
In stark contrast I fear the blue shiny combo on the left is a bit wrong! Luckily there is a pleasant distraction opposite! I really like the simple cut of this dress. A variation of the black dress at the beginning. But with the addition of long sleeves and an overlay of floaty chiffon it is transformed into and enchanting swoosh of loveliness! I do have a little issue with how the neckline seems to be pulling though. Anyone know why this might be happening?
Here’s a couple of real simple to put together outfits. Well, Im sure the jacket is a little trickier but I do think it would be worth any amount of hassle to be snuggled in wool velour. The gathered collar and three-quarter sleeves are gorgeous features. Rose and gold is quite a sophisticated colour combo too.
Oh and here we are. My favourite bit! The Vintage pattern. A very stylish French couture look. Though I like a nice bouclé fabric, especially one with a metallic thread, I think that gorgeous design feature at the front bodice is lost. If or rather when I get round to making this beauty I will definitely be employing a plainer wool fabric and keep it closer to the original.
There’s a few treats in the plus section. Not least of all this hot LBD. Flattering sweetheart neckline and some glamourous gathering at the hip. Oh to have those curves!
Well that just about wraps it up for the clothes section but there are lots of extra crafty projects too, just to get you in the spirit of the season!
Thanks for swinging by. Hope you get some sewing in over this busy time. Till next time, toodlepip! xxx
First I must thank you all for your lovely comments on my initial post about the finished jacket. I’m so touched and I love that warm and fuzzy feeling I get when they find their way into my mailbox!
So as promised, here is some nitty gritty detail from the project for those that might be considering this jacket for the first time.
Though I am pleased overall, with the results. I can’t help being niggled that more tailoring techniques weren’t employed. I’ve only myself to blame. I could have researched them myself but there’s always a next time!
The jacket is cut from pieces #131, Burda Style magazine 11/2010 but the construction details are from #130. The only difference being that I chose the full length sleeves with vents… and proper working buttonholes… glutton for punishment, me!
I made the toile back in February and was intending to make adjustments to the waist only. But I got worried about it’s ‘snugness’ and just went up a size in the end. A little bit chicken perhaps, but also concerned that I was more likely to be wearing a few layers underneath in the colder months!
It is essential that you make a toile. There is so much work involved in this, you don’t want to get to the end to find it doesn’t fit!!!
My first slip up, that I DIDN’T clock until I got round to dealing with it, was the back vent. I am so used to adding the statutory 15mm seam allowance to each edge that I clean forgot to add 4cm as specified, to the vent openings. Doh. I could kick myself. It doesn’t look so bad in the photos but I know that it isn’t created properly. It is intended as a ‘split’ but would have been so much neater with an interfaced proper allowance. So please remember to do this if and when you cut yours! I would even go as far as to make it a vent rather than a split. But that opens another can of worms with the lining!
The miniature pattern layouts indicate what pieces are to be interfaced with fusible interfacing. I did toy with the idea of sewing traditional interfacing. I liked the idea of employing some traditional skills but I agreed with myself that I was embarking on a big enough journey and that the fusible stuff would be just as good for what I was trying to achieve.
And so the interfaced pieces included: centre front; side front; outer collar stand; under collar; back facing; outer pocket flap; neck and armhole edge of centre back.
The main construction of the body came together very easily. Darts seams and pressing.
But then came my reality check. Welt pockets with flaps. Needless to say I practiced these before the real thing. You can see how I got on with this here. Well worth checking out YouTube or the Burda site for instructions. I challenge anyone to get the gist of welt pockets from the following instructions!! Or it could be just me!!
I am over the moon at how they turned out in the finished fabric. I don’t intend to put anything in the pockets, for goodness sakes, don’t want to misshapen them! But I am so proud when I slip my hand inside. Feels so special! And no one gets to see that lovely welt under the flap, except moi! Though I have pointed it out to a few of my friends who smile loyally with raised eyebrows!
Next up was the notched collar. This was actually not as scary as I was anticipating. I did pin and I did baste before stitching and it all worked out just fine. The stitches sank invisibly into the wool when I machined the seam so I didn’t want to risk having to unpick at any point! Neat trimming and clipping is essential and it is also important to take care when you ‘push out your points’ Very easy to push a pointed implement through the point of the lapel, (especially if you are using soft wool) and ruin everything. It’s worth being slow and patient with this part because it is such a lovely sharp feature. You’ll be really chuffed when it comes together at this point.
There was a suggestion to sew the pointed lapels to the underside of the collar to keep them in place but I didn’t really feel this was necessary for the weight of the fabric I used. I like being able to turn up the collar when its chilly!
Now shall we talk mitred corners? I’m so glad these were included. It makes so much sense and makes such neat corners. Nothing else will ever do from now on! Of course it goes without saying that you won’t survive with these instructions, especially if this is your first time…!
I mitred the sleeve vents and the back vent in the same way. Though I had created a bit of a monster on the back vent by forgetting the extra allowance. Please don’t forget this!!!
When I came to set in the sleeves I realised I had clean forgot a couple of notches. You will never work out how to inset those sleeves if you forget the notches, I can tell you. Mostly because I tried… and failed… 3 times!!! Till I relented and placed the pattern pieces over the made up sleeves and marked them.
Once I’d put the shoulder pads in, I tried it on and grinned from ear to ear. I was definitely on the home straight! But one niggling factor was that I didn’t like how the sleeve just ‘hung limp’ off the shoulder. I had heard mention of sleeve headings before but obviously never had to take full notice. So I found this little tute in my book Readers Digest: New Complete Guide to Sewing. This book has been so useful and really didn’t let me down this time.
Make a sleeve heading:
Cut 2 pieces of 3 x 5 in (7.3 x 12.5 cm) pieces of lamb’s wool, flannel, or polyester fleece. I had some leftover cotton flannel from my son’s pyjamas. Probably not as weighty or as poofy as lamb’s wool but it was better than nothing!
Make a 1 in (2.5 cm) fold on long side of each piece. How lucky is this. My fabric had 1 in square pattern!
Centre and pin heading to wrong side of sleeve cap with fold against seamline, wider half of heading against sleeve.
Whipstitch fold of sleeve heading to sleeve seamline. Heading now supports and rounds out sleeve cap.
The difference is subtle but is hugely important for my self satisfaction!
Before I lined the jacket I neatened and pressed all the seams. I did wonder if you have to neaten the raw edges, after all they wont show but I was worried about it fraying inside with wear and if it might eventually have a knock on effect to the seams coming apart. Probably over worrying but better to be safe than sorry was my own conclusion. But here presented my next concern. As much as I pressed this gorgeous wool, the seams would not lie perfectly flat throughout and I knew that would affect the overall shape and create a lumpy lining. And who would want lumpy lining?!
So I decided to stitch the seams down, like a good tailor lady. But hey! Guess what little tailoring trick was missing. NO UNDERLINING!!! Not that I have ever had to underline anything to date. But I have heard about it. I have wondered why you would want to but now it was blindingly obvious. My fabric was sturdy enough to live without it but how much easier would it have been to sew the seams down flat onto an underlining. I will definitely underline next time I make a jacket and I wholly advise you to do this even if you think your fabric is sturdy enough. It makes sense you know!! Fortunately my fabric was quite thick with a forgiving texture!
I found it was much easier to do, over my knee, whilst watching The Paradise! And also safer to stitch onto the interfaced pieces.
Hemming was easy with this fabric but be aware that a curvy hemline is naturally created with all those shaped pieces. To take in that excess fabric I just made a couple of tucks either side of the vent, symetrically positioned so that the finished shape was uniform. You’ll notice here that there is no evidence of interfacing. After I hemmed I remembered I was supposed to interface the hems. So I dutifully unpicked all that hand stitching, cut some strips of fusible interfacing, fused it on and re-hemmed. BUT do remember to interface the hem sections of your pieces from the start and NOT at this stage. You know it makes sense 😉
So then came the lining. I had pondered a silk lining but the lilac poly satin I found was so lush I looked no further. So long as you remember your ‘ease pleat’ in the centre back, you can’t go far wrong. I can’t give to much advice about this stage because I kind of winged it!!! But what I did remember to do was to push the lining up to the hemline of the outer fabric and roll it down over itself to create more ease and allow for shrinkage. Not that poly lining shrinks but I think its general practice! I did the same on the sleeves. I’m not sure I lined the vents on the sleeves properly but it works… of a fashion!
The buttons were a lucky find, though I was gutted I couldn’t find smaller coconut shell buttons. The two pictured here were way to big even for the front! So sparkly resin shank buttons it was. Lucky to find them in 2 different sizes at Shepherds Bush market. 20p each… a snip!
I created the buttonholes on the machine. Holding my breath as I did so. You know how it is. There’s always a chance of a wayward buttonhole! But next time I would love to try bound buttonholes. Karen did such a beautiful job with hers and I bet it feels far more special to button up with bound ones!
Well here ends my waffly post of niggles. I hope to have been of some help and not too much of a waffling bore!