ooobop! review: Burda Style December 2014

Burda Style Magazine December 2014 issue
Over the last few months I’ve been having a spot of bother getting a copy of my favourite mag from my local WHSmiths. Well from any Smiths actually. They are getting slack in their orders of big quantities or sometimes any orders at all!

But last month and this month, I decided to order it from an online newsagent and I think this is the way forward for me. It costs an extra £1.60 for post but I get notification of it’s arrival date and it is delivered within 2 days. I love the sound of the thud of the post landing on the mat and I certainly don’t miss the queues to the awful automated cash desks at Smiths!!

So here we are. Although not overly festive. But that’s ok.

The opening section, although very monochrome displays some lovely structure with a touch of shimmer.

Burdastyle December 2014 art deco section

A: Described as a long blazer but I think more a classy occasional coat. I love the asymmetry and I’ve seen some gorgeous silk-like viscose fabric that would work amazingly well. Could really do with one of these. I don’t have any party outer-layers! Burda suggests it could be a mini dress too.

B: I didn’t join the ‘peplum gang’ when they first got fashionable. But I might be persuaded by this one. I really line the clean lines of this top. It’s got a midriff that has sold me and I like the slit at the neckline.

C: A classic sparkly sequin jacket. But not for me I’m afraid. Too shapeless. Too scratchy. And I can just imagine all the cat fluff that would get stuck around the sequins!

D: Quite like this dress. Very classic and very flattering. It’s actually an extension of top B. But I would question that choice of fabric. Impossible to pattern match and so the optical illusion draws attention to a pokey out belly even when the model doubtfully has one!

E: Probably not that clear from this little pic but this is a sparkly turtle neck top with blouson sleeves and a lovely wide cuff. Love the silhouette and for me it’s a perfect work to night out top. There’s a tute to help the process. This one’s on the list!

F: There’s that peplum again! I’m not that enamoured with it but I like the idea of mashing some interesting fabrics together: Pinstripe suiting, lace and embroidered something!

G: This is a great skirt. The fabric choice is stunning. Graphic and structured. You can’t really see the detail but involves a hip yoke and a deep pleat at the centre front.

H: This outfit isn’t my thing. I don’t like the silhouette. I don’t do culottes or drawstring waists. Not on the list!

I: This lacy top looks so pretty in the picture. You’d never be sold by the line drawing. It looks really wide and strange but the draping effect is a winner.

The next section gets some red in with some festive flair!

There’s some cute little girls garments here but only up to age 10. LMO is 10 but wearing age 14 clothes so as much as I’d like to make her coat B, I’ll have to sort my grading skills out or just admire them on the page.

Burda december 2014 festive flair

A: Lovely simple dress with a structured skirt and a petticoat underneath. None too girly but still with a pretty fitted silhouette.

B: Double breasted child’s coat with cute peter pan collar. Sewn up in top notch wool it is truly a classic forever coat. Well at least the child grows out of it! I think I like the grown up dress too. Love the simplicity, the red, the deep pleat and the neckline. But the sleeves are worrying me. They look kind of too big at the top.

C: A raglan blouse (or peasant top in my book!) and an extended version as a dress. Like both. And they would be very simple to make for presents. Don’t have to be too precise with the sizing either.

D: Scarf blouse and skirt with ties says it all. Too much flounce for me. They are both made in crepe too. Maybe that’s what is putting me off asides from the dipped pink and coral combo all clingy like that. Proper girly Christmas wrapping!

E: But just in case that scarf business appeals, here’s another variation on a dress with longer ties to tie in two places. Genius. But not on the list!

F: I think this is the same little girls dress as A but without sleeves. I don’t mind mums semi fitted brocade number but it does look a tad mumsy at that length to be honest.

G: They lost me at ‘loose cut’! And drawstring!

H: Boxy jackets always look good on children! The simplicity of the style can make way for some statement fabric.

A departure from girly to freestyle. Some very interesting fabric combos. And I like that.

Burdastyle December 2014 Free Style

 A: Hopefully you can just about make out the giant underbust fringe! It’s a maxi top sewn in a crushed jersey knit with an asymmetrical draped collar. I don’t wear strides but if ever I did I may have to pair up with one of these. Just because!

B: This is indeed a master piece! Military made beautiful. Slightly fitted wool coat with trumpet sleeves, asymmetric collar and buttoning. And that gorgeous design you can see up one side is appliquéd lace no less. I’m still revelling in my coat from February but I can totes see myself in this. Maybe next year!

C: Described as a bell skirt. Nothing much to see here but some lovely overlaid fabric and trim has planted some seeds for sure.

D: Gotta love a cape. Proper sturdy one too. I do want a cape but not this one with its belts and panels and epaulettes. It looks a bit overly involved for me. Don’t dislike it though.

E: There’s that top again. Same as E in the first section but in a totally different fabric. Making it more jumper than blouse for a more casual approach. You wont be able to see from the little pic but the seams are ‘outwardly open’! Why? Imagine how irritating when everyone and their aunt asks if your top is inside out!

F: In interesting patched shirt using patched stretch jersey, stretch faux leather and wool. You could use any kind of combo but I’m finding this all a bit too much. I do very much like the leathery sleeves though. The skirt looks more interesting than the pencil skirt it is but even though it is relatively straight I think that top needs to be worn with a much less interfering bottom half!

G: Pretty sure this is repeated from the festive section but I love how much more retro it appears with a shorter hemline.

H: Tube dress with rolled collar in a stretch knit lace. Great on the right bod. But not on mine!

I: I like this dress. Lovely defined bodice and flouncy skirt in an overlaid lace tulle. Sold on the colour too. Eliminates girly girly and makes it more day time. I can’t decide whether I like the sporty grosgrain straps or not. Actually I do!

J: I’ve been thinking of a poncho. Not like the one my mum made me wear in the 70s but something understated like this one. In truth I’m being lazy so as not to have to get involved in a cape! Its just a rectangle with minimal sewing, yay!

Burda’s designer pattern this month comes with a nod to Jean-Charles de Castelbajac. I love these little insights into the lives of designers. JC professes to be inspired by love andcuriosity. I like that! Just as much as I like this straight cut mini-dress with its massive pocket details and topstitched standing collar. burda december 2014 JC de castelbajac dress

I’ve made pj bottoms for 3 other members of my family but never for myself. It’s just occurred to me that I’ve got the most raggedy selection of nightwear and that things must change. Here’s some pretty things and one seriously crazy pair of pj bottoms!

Burda december 2014 nightwear

 A: Cutesy bustier and French knicker set. Piping, ruffles the lot!

B: Isn’t the idea of a boyfriend shirt that you just nick one off your boyfriend? I’m not sure I can afford to invest that much time into making a proper nightshirt. Piped collar, inverted back pleat, button placket, breast pocket with embroidered monogram and inseam pockets too!

C: Lovely little ballerina slippers. Could be a lovely little Christmas present perhaps.

D&E: A traditional set of pjs. What’s not to like? Love the cool crisp blue.

F: This is a knitted coat and I want it! I don’t want to knit it though. I’d be bored of it before I finished it, I’m that slow. But I’m sure someone out there would love to whip this up.

G: And theres those crazy palazzo trouser pjs! Can’t do those. I’d get myself in a pickle for sure.

H: Camisole and French knickers. Now you’re talking. Maybe this is my Christmas present to me!

I: This nightdress is pretty too. Ruffles top and bottom are a bit cake-like for me but I like the elasticated empire line.

As is traditional, it’s the plus fashions that bring the party to the fore.

Burda December 2014 plus fashion

A: Long jacket and pencil skirt. A classy pairing. The jacket comes with an optional belt but I’d leave that out unless you want the dressing gown look!

B: Low cut V-neck tunic top. I love the contrasting black band around the neckline. Very feminine and perfect with pencils and skinnies.

C: Bit odd this ‘volant’ tunic. Burda’s word not mine! Longer at the back than the front with ruffly bits. Not really my cup of tea.

D: Described as a peplum dress but someone more sophisticated than that I feel by the way that the centre point extends. Very jewel-like indeed. I’m not keen on the colours but greens and blues would do it for me. Or blacks and reds! A lot of precision sewing though. Only for the more patient among us!

E: Ah! There’s that long jacket with the belt. See.

F: Can’t make my mind up about this skirt. Its fundamentally a pencil with satin bands that run down the back. Apparently they make the bottom look slimmer. Are big butts out now then?

G: In the right drapey material this tunic dress would be gorgeous. I’d prefer not to look like a galaxy but I do like the contrast of the black bands and a busy print.

H: This colour-blocked peplum blouse is a no from me. Too much like hard work. Too much going on in such a small space. But I bet somewhere out there, there is a quilter who is itching to get going on it!!

Well that just about wraps things up. I hope you enjoyed the sneak peek. I failed in every way to make this a shorter exercise but no regrets. I thoroughly enjoyed spending the time to look closer at each garment. And of course it always makes for a great record to come back to.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend x

 

My Vintage Dreamcoat!

My vintage Dreamcoat

And so I present the focus of all my dreams since first bidding all my hard-earned pennies pounds on vintage Butterick 547. It’s taken nearly seven months to realise the nagging vision that was persistent even throughout my busiest months.

At least 2 of the 7 months, were taken up with searching for the ideal fabric. Quite incredible seeing as I’m a stone’s throw from the Goldhawk Road. I watched London folk on a daily basis, as they paraded their neutral tones around town, and that was inspiration enough to fuel a rebellious approach and lead me to an online supplier of ‘quality coating fabric’ – Fabric Dreams. Of all the samples I requested (which were incidentally free of charge and free of postage!) this non-wool, fabric was my favourite. I confused myself with this choice at first believing a quality coat must be in wool. But I went with gut and gut came good!

vintage Butterick 547

The hardest bit about the construction was having enough space to lay out the pieces. They were huge. I knew I was going to have to lob off the usual 4 inches from the bottom but I wanted to construct the original length in case I had a later moment of maxi-madness!

vintage coat butterick 547

This coat was seriously made in hourly bursts. If I had no hours left at the end of the day, sleep was stolen. I could not have done it any other way. Full time freelanceness which often runs into the evenings, with school runs and domestic chores to boot, means little or no time to sew. But UK weather waits for no seamstress and I was seriously going to freeze my butt off unless I got a wriggle on. Good enough motivation wouldn’t you say?!

vintage coat B547

The only issue with working in hundreds of little shifts is that I probably spend as much time getting stuff out and putting it away as I do on actual sewing time. But hey ho. Got there in the end. I really must stop dreaming about one of the children’s bedrooms being a sewing room. Terrible mother!

vintage dreamcoat

I interrupt this post to big up my amazing and wonderful bestest friend and boyf in the whole world, Daniel. I swear this coat wouldn’t look half as good if it wasn’t for his amazing photography skillz! I owe him so many waistcoats, it’s untrue!!

The other great thing about him being chief Ooobop photographer, is that we get to mooch around London together finding lovely locations. Today was mostly the British Museum. Feel like a bit of a fraud for not actually looking at one single exhibit. But we did have a cultural day at the V&A yesterday, honest guv!

vintage dreamcoat back

The coat is made of eight panels which create such a lovely shape. There was stacks of ease and I think I could have pinched out a bit more but I like how it feels and I wouldn’t want to feel restricted in it at all. Interestingly enough, even though the ‘skirt’ is not a circle, letting it hang overnight, the hemline dropped in the same way. A lengthy process to level up the hem, and check it at least 5 times before cutting, was quite painful but worth it.

vintage coat at the British MuseumLining this coat was quite a chore. Even though I chose a real quality, strong, gold lining, it frayed like Billy-O. So I serged every open seam. Because I can. Because I now have an overlocker BTW!! But because I am a newbie overlockerist I got all smug and complacent with the speed and completely hacked through the side-back panel. I swore a bit. But didn’t have time for a proper sulk. I’d come far too far enough down the line to be crying over torn lining. Luckily for my sanity, I had over-bought said gold lining by a metre and a half and so I cut another piece, dutifully unpicked the ruined one and half an hour or so later it was as if nothing had happened!

An entire evening and a morning was spent entirely hand-sewing in the lining with tiny stitches. Around the armholes, down the side seams, all around the facings and neckline and of course the hems. What joy!

But what warmth!

warm vintage coat

I’ve stubbonly been walking around in my draughty Vogue jacket, lovely as it is, refusing to buy a coat, lest it meant I would never finish this one. But now I have. And boy, it feels good to be warm. Bring on the snow!

Of course the warmth may not have been totally down to the coat. Mr O insisted this was a great photo of me having a cheeky snifter! He’s such a bad influence.

cheeky_snifter

A little wander into Covent Garden was lovely on such a bright winter’s day. This coat is great for twirling in too!

twirling vintage coatAnd a little venture into Neal’s Yard to soak up some more colour, if that was at all possible!

vintage Coat Neals YardThank you all for your support and patience throughout my first coat-making venture. It feels amazing to be wearing something so functional, yet so strikingly original and properly fitted. I won’t divulge cost of this project as it has scared the living pants off me but I can honestly say it was worth every single penny pound!

Vintage coat in progress

And so, six months after my gruelling battle to win this beauty of a pattern, work has begun, in earnest. When I was bidding the for pattern, I had the finished coat, clearly in mind and so to be faced with 19 pattern pieces and the usual vague set of instructions, the fear set in.

Butterick_547

I’ve made a jacket or two, I’ve even tackled the wicked welts. So what was I afraid of? Doing it justice, I think. If I was going to go to the bother of making a coat – not just any old coat, but the coat of my nightly dreams since battle was won – I needed the right fit, the right fabric, the finest construction, let alone the neatest bound buttonholes. (Something I hadn’t yet conquered !)

I live near fabric heaven, The Goldhawk Road. And so finding the right fabric should have been easy, right? Easy enough when your expectations aren’t stationed on the moon! I searched high and low and eventually found this amazingly eccentric fabric, online at ‘Fabric Dreams‘. Quite apt, really! I initially had tangerine wool in mind so I ordered a few different free samples and then sat under the letterbox for all of 4 days!

When they did arrive, it was a no-brainer. Even though the fabulous, firey fabric was 100% not wool (and not just tangerine, but an entire fruitbowl of colours) and the others were, it screamed at me to be given a chance and so I agreed to put it centre stage. After all, if I was ever going to go to the bother of making a coat, there’s no way I wanted it to go unnoticed, oh no!

I even made a toile. Just the body section. And this confirmed my need to loose some circumference. I had my suspicions that the coat would be a little big, and it was, but was worried I’d loose the nipped in shape if I took it in at the top and let it out at the waist (the usual Ooobop sausage-shape adjustment!). So with some careful measuring, re-measuring, a little panicking and some more measuring, I took out half an inch, vertically, all the way down, from each of the front and back pieces. So as not to affect the silhouette of the design. Incidentally, like a good girl, I had pre-traced all the pieces!

And then to cut the real fabric. Ooooo the suspense, the fear, the excitement! The pieces are massive. I know I will eventually chop off about 6 inches but I wanted to start long so I could make that decision later. But that did mean I had to cut out on the floor. My kitchen table just ain’t big enough! And that, in turn, meant I had to wash the floor… doh! Always something to hamper a plan! Still took three roll outs of the fabric and continual shooing of cats.

cutout_on_floor

Honestly, why do they insist on laying where I’m cutting? It’s not like there’s no other piles of fabric in the house!

Cat on fabric

An hour and a pair of stiff legs later, I had a wonderful pile of cut pieces. It’s quite tricky to cut though the ‘corded’ texture but it doesn’t fray.

Yesterday I sewed the main body sections and oooed and arrred as I steamed those seams open. For all it’s 100% not woolness, it presses beautifully. And I haven’t had to clip any curves either.

pressed seams

It was getting late last night and I did hesitate to start on the bound buttonholes but knew my dreams would be sweeter if I at least had a go. So I tried a few tester ones on some scrap fabric using the instructions on the pattern sheet. They were rubbish! So I went to YouTube to find someone who’d show me how. They were rubbish too! And then I remembered Karen’s fabulous Ebook download which proved to be the perfect method and I’d even go as far as saying I loved doing them!

bound buttonholesbound buttonholes reverse

Practising those stood me in good stead for making the welt pockets too!

welt pocketsPretty camouflaged huh?! Thats without the invisible stitching which is yet to be done. I’ll be fishing around for ages trying to find a way in, when it’s finished properly!

I pondered for ages, wondering what kind of collar I should have. Should it be the big dramatic scalloped one? One of the self same fabric to keep it simple or a little furry shawl collar? I opted for the latter, after going round in circles. Mostly in the shower!

Faux fur is fast running out in the Goldhawk Road. The good stuff anyway. I’m told by reliable sources that no more will be ordered as summer stock will soon be on it’s way! So I was well chuffed to find this short pile, soft-as-you-like, faux fur. Works a treat.

faux fur collarThough I’ve made fantastic headway this weekend, there is still a lot of work to be done. The sleeves, the length, the hem, the lining and the facing behind the buttonholes. But it will be worth it I’m sure. I can feel those sub zeros honing in over the next few weeks but hey, bring ’em on. I’m going to be snug as some bugs!

ooobop! review: Burda Style January 2014

Burda Style Mag January 2014

I had secretly planned to make the December 2013 issue of Burda, my last review. It takes an age to put together. And if I’m ever to make a new years resolution, it must be to claim back more time for more sewing. But it proved to be a rubbish plan. And it appears that I am indeed a love-struck addict of  all that is Burda Style magazine!

So here I duly kick off with some snuggly 2014 fashions of the faux furry kind…

faux fur burda Jan 2014

As much as I want to, I can’t possibly  dive into one of these projects. My pattern is traced, my fabric ordered and delivered and my instructions await for a vintage 50s masterpiece. I just need some time… and space! Boy will the pinned pattern pieces take up a whole of the living room floor!

Have well and proper earmarked that little furry cropped jacket, though (above, bottom, left) . I can totally see myself in it! (innit!)

Happy New Year is the next section. Reporting a bit late for a New Years Eve number but really some goodies here for any party any time… or just any time really!

party clothes burda January 2014

Loving the batwing waterfall top (1st row, 2nd col) which comes with an ‘easy to sew’ verification. I’ve just got a few tension issues to sort on my newly inherited overlocker and I am well on my way to knocking a few of these beauties out, I tell ya!

The o-so-cute bustier (bottom row, col 1) is a fabulous party separate. In a quality shiny black, it would rescue any old skirt or trouser in a jiffy. But it would be exceedingly traitorous of me to detract from the Georgia dress before I’d even started!

Another ‘easy’ option is the cerise one-shoulder dress (row 2, col 2). Big attention seeking effect incorporating scant sewing time equals massive win!

Now I’m forever trying to stray from all that is monochrome. It doesn’t make for a very colourful blog, for one. But how can I ever move on when such striking temptation is blatently bowled in my general direction?

black and white burda january 2014

I love the neat mod look, I love the fat stripes of that jacket in the first pic and I love how the skinny stripes behave in the long sleeved jersey shirt. Some interesting points of gathering to achieve all that psychedelia! Thinking this may well be a job for my overlocker too!

Now even if I hated each and every one of this issues patterns (which I don’t, obvs), I would pay double the cover price. Double I tell ya! Just to get this Master piece pattern of ultimate gorgeousness….

aquilano rimondi dress

Such a flatering shape. I love the neck. I love the colour. I love the contrasting leather. I will make this dress. At some point!

Now I’m not really one for fancy dress. But Burda certainly does us proud each and every time there’s an excuse for dress-up. No exception with this months selection of saloon characters, superheroes and exotic animals from the jungle, the sea and even the circus! Take your pick. Creative costuming for the whole fam!

role play burda jan 2014

And if mermaids and snakes don’t do it for you then feast your eyes on all that is classy and plus size.

plus fashion burda jan 2014Burda love a bit of Asiatic influence and I’m personally loving the black and the red (obvs) but I’ll leave the rest of the commentary to you, my lovelies.

Here’s hoping that 2014 buys us all some more precious time to sew some more wonderful creations. Love and luck and the very best of health to you all. Now go party your lil sock off!! xxx

ooobop! review: Burda Style December 2013

Burda magazine december 2013

Good grief! How did it get to be nearly Christmas? How do I get to be so not ready every single year?

Well thank you Burda Style magazine for the memory jog but I’m not sure I have enough disposable hours for many more makes before the big day.

I am sorely tempted by your cover dress though. More on that further down.

Merry Christmas is the opening section. Of course!

Burda magazine december 2013On first sight all looked a little uninspiring to be honest but on closer inspection there are some nice surprises. The long-sleeve top (top left) is made of lamé jersey. A very simple make, made all the classier with some glitz. The polka dot dress next door is a chiffon overlay dress, gathered at the waist, over a slinky satin bustier dress with spaghetti straps. I rather like the surprise of that one. And the pink crepe dress (bottom row next to the terrible peplum skirt) makes a beautiful shape (or would do if the hem was trimmed even!) It has a wonderful pointed yoke at the waist and a deep inverted pleat in the skirt. Lovely sleeves and a cute row of black buttons on the right shoulder. I approve!

Now back to that terrible peplum skirt. I don’t know what to say about it really. I just don’t think it works. No integration. No added flare. Just makes the body look cut in half! Just sayin’!

The next section is called Cruise Collection. For those already looking forward to summer! If anything, the garments here are more Christmassy than in the Christmassy section!

Burda magazine december 2013

This is my favourite bunch this month. Buttery washed silk, organza, satin and chiffon. Yes to private stash of all those fabrics and colours please! The cover dress looks even better here (bottom row, 2nd column) It’s a short sleeve version of the polka dot dress in the first section. I’m guessing you could make one underdress and have different overdresses for different occasions! (says me with ardent fear of sewing with chiffon!)

Free Spirit is the next section. Lots of paisley and fine fabric:

Burda magazine december 2013

This amount of opulence isn’t normally my bag but I keep coming back to the gold metallic jersey evening dress. Not sure where I’d wear it. Might have to invent a night out! Either that or strike a pose down at the Southbank with a hat at my feet!

The check bouclé trench coat (bottom right) looks right cosy though. A little bit of Vivienne Westwoodesque styling never goes amis!

Passion for Detail is the next chapter. And I so wish I didn’t have a headache.

Burda magazine december 2013All a bit much for me, sorry! Except for the wrap skirt with exposed zip (top row, 3rd col). I like that! In fact I might like more of this section if the crazy wallpaper didn’t do my head in so much!

Just take a looksy at this cute crocheted bag. Isn’t it sweet? It’s ages since I crocheted and I don’t even think I did it right the first time, but this is thick yarn and big hook with only 16 rows to contend with. I can feel a little Christmas holiday train journey project coming on.

crochet bagAnd hooray! A man project! Well, just a little token one :-/

mans tieLoving the couture-style silhouett of the designer style outfit, below.

talbot runhof dressAnd finally we reach the plus fashions. Businessy and feminine this month. The flounce dress in a wine coloured duchesse is my favourite here. After saying that opulence wasn’t really my thing! I’m not sure I would personally be so bold but I do think it is very striking.

Burda December 2013

In other news. I have bitten the bullet and ordered my coat fabric. I think I will be giving Joseph a run for his money. It truly is a fabric of many colours! I will keep you posted as and when it arrives. I’m a little bit excited and a little bit nervous. But most of all very freezing and so totally in need of a coat!

Keep warm folks and see you real soon! x

ooobop! review: Burda Style November 2013

Burda cover November 2013

Good morning Burda lovers! The sky is blue, the sun is streaming through my window and it’s hard to imagine that we will all be battening down the hatches in preparation for a freak storm tonight. Quite frankly the idea of being house bound for a few days suits me just fine. Mustn’t forget to pop out for emergency supply of spools! 😉

I’m going to start with the cover image because that’s where I gave my first ‘ooo’! Ice-blue wool fleece. It’s just one of the fabric options I’ve been mulling over for my coat, when I eventually get to it. I didn’t really clock the style – it looks fine on the cover – but I think the unfortunate stance of the model in the top left image below, kind of ruins the class and brings on the tent!

This first section is all about Grey. (Even though that coat has an ice blue hue about it on the cover!) I wish I could wear grey with conviction. It does look dramatic, moreso than black, because you can actually see the detail in the cut and style. But it just accentuates my deathly palor. I don’t mind being ‘pale and interesting’ but when people ask if you are feeling ok more than once in a day, you know there’s an issue!

I’m intrigued by the strides (middle row, first col). I love that wrapped-look from the front view. I almost want there to be tails behind. But that amazing mirror prop only serves to highlight how ‘unusual’ they are from the side. Steals every ounce of flattery I’m afraid.

The blazer (centre pic) is a great wardrobe standard. It’s made in a twill weave wool here. Nice and heavy and great paired with skinnies.

And I really like the biker-style jacket in ponte jersey with leather sleeves and trim. (row 2, col 3).

There’s a strong likelihood of an overlocker joining the family soon and so the world of knits is becoming more of interest to me. I have a side-cutter attachment on my machine which doesn’t render the process impossible but it’s just really slow compared to the formula one skills of an overlocker! And I’m just imagining how delightfully speedy that two-piece jersey set would be to run up. It’s an ‘Easy’ one too! In case you think, as I did that its a long sleeve top with under arm air holes, I can confirm that its a sleeveless cowl-neck tank with a separate long-sleeved bias-cut shrug. (col 3, row 1)

Burda 11-13 Grey garmentsIt is heading for that time of year when we need to add a little sparkle to the dark winter nights and days. And party season will be upon us before you know it. So although I’m not favouring much in this next ‘Metallic Mood’ section, it’s inspiring enough to make me go on a treasure hunt for some shiny fabric.

The little cropped jacket (2nd row, 3rd col) is not dissimilar to the Vogue jacket I made recently. Excepting the flared sleeves. And I think if I could get past that fabric it would be a cute cape-like addition in wool or silk.

The skirt, (3rd row, 3rd col) has the same laid in pleats as the strides in the first section, but I can’t see a side view here to see what happens. The gold lamé is a good distraction and defo a new fabric consideration though!

burda 11-13 metallic garments

I need no encouragement to make black clothes. It was my ‘colour’ of choice before sewing and I only sew coloured things because I think I ought to veer away from black. Because black is boring, no? Actually I don’t think it is boring and there’s a part of me that wants to revert to black every winter. The other inner me just fights it off all the time!

And so here temptation is laid before me once again in the shape of the inevitable LBD’s.

I love the idea of a massive silk flower added to an otherwise simple and classy dress. (row 1, col 1) and I really want to incorporate some cotton lace into garments. If I can find some, that is! Looks great on the bodice section of that dress (row 1, col 1). No sweaty pits either!

The line drawing of the fitted dress (row 3, col 1) didn’t sell well to me at all. I didn’t see the point in sewing quite so many sections together unless one is doing some serious colour blocking. But if the effect is a sophisticated dress which moulds to the figure, such as this one. I’m sold!

I quite like the coat dress with it’s low cut V-neck and front snap fastener band too (3rd row, 3rd col). Well, that is of course if somebody would sew on those little darling snap fasteners for me. Serious pet-hate!

I’m not quite sure what’s going on with the crêpe de chine dress (3rd row, 2nd col). It is fundamentally the same as the coat dress but with gathering at the vertical seams and leg of mutton sleeves. A bit too much pouffiness going on for me. Apparently this dress is reminiscent of the ‘wirtschaftswunder’ era. Learn something new every day!

burda 11-13 black garments

Alessia Giacobino is the highlighted designer in this issue. I find these mini Burda features inspiring as I never studied fashion so never had any prompting to delve into the lives of designers. Guilt always overcomes me when I confess (or not) to not having heard of a certain designer. And I love it when I come across one that I truly love. I googled some more on Alessia and I really like her classy, flattering and surprising designs. I’ll leave you to do your own recce. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

Burda has supplied patterns for this designer-style outfit below. Imagine how luxurious that washed silk blouse would feel. I think the flounce would annoy me in the front. Would much prefer it at the side. But I do appreciate the detail, nonetheless.

Alessia Giacobino blouse and skirt

It always surprises me, how drawn to campus style I am. I am neither the age or of the leaning towards these fashions so I can only assume that Burda sells them well or that students have properly upped their game recently!

Let’s start with the dress (row 1, col 1). Not dissimilar to some of the summer dresses I have made this year, but with the addition of a midriff (how I love a midriff), a low V-neck, long sleeves and made with a delicious mousseline (a very fine, semi-opaque fabric similar to muslin, apparently). So actually quite different, really! But I do love it!

I also love the cowl neck knit dress (row 2, col 3). Mostly because anything in tartan/plaid makes me go ‘ooo’ right now. And because I am dreaming of being behind the spools of an overlocker soon!

I don’t wear strides. Mostly because I have never found any to fit properly. But if I get the inclination one day, I will definitely be fashioning some like the ones in row 2, col 2.

The wind is starting to pick up now. We’ve got ghostly ‘wooooos’ whispering round the windows. So that’s why I guess I’m being drawn away from ‘classy’ and towards the ‘practical’ of the odd hooded-scarf (row 1 col 2). It’s not knitted but sewn from a knitted fabric and it has pockets too! Might need an overlocker for that one too!

burda 11-13 campus style

Sophistication is definitely the theme for the plus fashions this month. Loving the star-shaped darts in the wool jersey dress (row 1, col 2). The neckline is lovely too and the shoulder line is really sharp. The dress in row 2, col 3 is pretty much the same but with a different neckline, creating a less formal but nonetheless still stylish look.

The tie-waist dress (row1, col 3) is very flattering too. Or is it that I’m just sold on the idea of animal print angora jersey?!

burda 11-13 plus fashions

The kids section is great as always. A great selection of fun, versatile staples for little girls. But what about the boys? Not that I have a little boy but it does seem a little unjust to leave them out.

I’m also a little bit miffed as Little Miss O sits outside these sizes. I tried to make a pair of shorts from a very small ladies size recently but of course the proportions were all wrong and though they fit round the waist, they were massively massive elsewhere. So perhaps I need to attempt to scale up the shorts pattern (row 3, col 1) to see what happens. The dress is super cute too but I am sad to say that most 9 year olds seem to have ditched the dresses for now.

burda 11-13 kids clothes

Well the sun has gone in. The ‘ooos’ are getting a little more howly so I better get finding some patterns… I mean battens!

Keep safe and warm everyone xxx

Couture Inside Out

I’m fresh back from the ‘Couture Inside Out – 1950s Paris and London’ workshop at the London Fashion and Textile Museum.

Must blog straight away for fear of forgetting anything! After all I forgot notebook and pen in the first place!

First treat of the day was that I got to meet and enjoy this experience with Handmade Jane. It’s always so good to have like-minded people to raise your eyebrows at, make ‘ooo faces’ with, and give knowing looks to, during a lecture!

It was a very informal 2-hour affair with such amazing content divulged by the lovely Dennis. We donned our white cotton gloves and prepared to soak up all the info we could.

The first thing I learned (and remembered) was the definition of ‘haute couture’. (please spare me if I’ve got this wrong!) It is a term used to describe the highest level of hand-sewn, bespoke garments, in Paris by a delegated team of incredibly experienced seamstresses to strict regulations. Interestingly enough it was a term that was originally associated with the fine work of Charles Worth who was an Englishman.

Of course we have couture in the UK but with much more relaxed rules, apparently!

As the garments were presented, on a white covered table, the polite student audience jostled for position to get a better view and a feel and a photo.

First up was Dior. A gasp as the two Dior creations were revealed from under the tissue.

The fact that both were aged: faded, stained and torn, did not deter from the unanimous awe.

Both dresses were in two pieces which was intriguing. Nothing like a skirt and a top. So much clever scaffolding with fine underskirts attached to the bodices. No waist-stay required.

dior cream dress

Every little bit of both of these dresses were hand-stitched!! Including the tiny rolled hems on all the chiffon layers. Beggars belief!

Please excuse the fuzzy photos taken on a phone whilst being too polite to jostle too much!

dior embroidered dress

dior embroidered dress detail

Next up was a later Dior in a really heavy weight fabric. I will be looking at furnishing fabrics in a totally different light from now on. This was heavier than any curtaining I have ever felt.

It was laid out on the table, ready for inspection! A gorgeously shaped one-piece dress. Made for someone who clearly didn’t eat that much. The waist was super tiny. The seam allowances on the other hand were enormous. At least one and a half inches. All pressed open and hand finished. The fabric had a ridged, pin-tuck like texture. All the rows of which lined up perfectly on the side seams.

dior later dress

No lining, which was a surprise. Though the dress was underlined and interfaced.

dior dress inside

Chanel then graced the table with black contrast dress and two piece skirt suit. Both very classically Chanel.

Chanel black dress

The bling was upfront and out loud on this one but only took shape as a collar detail and chain weight in the hem on the set below.

chanel skirt suit

Chanel only incorporated details if they worked and if they were functional. The little ‘petal’ pockets sit at the hemline, precisely centred with the seams. The chain weights are typically seen in Chanel hemlines. She was obsessed with the way that fabric hung and remained throughout wear and this little trick became one of her many signatures.

chanel_hem_weight

Far removed from the finer details of Chanel but not to be sniffed at, is the work of Balenciaga. This Spanish master draped most of his designs and employed much fewer seams than other designers.

This coat was A blooming Mazing. My rubbishy i-phone photos do not do it any justice whatsoever. Firstly the colour. Secondly the texture of this fabric… OMG. It was hand created to get this incredible effect. And yet the design remained oh so simple. I can’t tell you how much I want this coat!

balenciaga green coat

I didn’t care too much for Balenciaga’s Sarong Dress. But you gotta take your hat off to someone who incorporates so much into the under-scaffolding of something that fundamentally looks like a sarong!

balenciaga sarong

Now, will I get shot for not having heard of Courréges? Probably. As these designs were pretty iconic!

courreges blue dress

Jane got right in there! Impressed by those perfectly bound buttonholes.

courreges coat

Dennis couldn’t be sure of the fabric that this Pierre Balman dress was made. It kind of felt like the sew in canvas that I recently used to interface my jacket! But it was gorgeous and necessary to keep that amazing shape. There were cutouts trimmed with velvet at the hemline and on the sleeves.

pierre balman dress

Of course it goes without saying that every detail counts. Balman even ensured that his labels were mitred.

Pierre Balman labels

The following is a really bad picture of the Ellie Saab dress that Halle Berry wore to the Oscars for Best Actress, The Monsters Ball. In stark contrast to the dresses that were 50/60 years older you can see no seam allowances, no underskirts and no hand stitches to speak of. It is undeniably a gorgeous dress and she looked amazing in it, but it is incredible how standards have changed over the years!

Ellie Saab dress

I cannot for the life of me remember who designed this dress but the fine pleating in the linen was unbelievable. An underlayer of shimmering copper gave a depth to the translucent linen and you could also see where the pleating was tacked.

(Thanks to the lovely Angela, I can now confirm it was Sybil Connolly!)

pleated linen dress

detail of pleat dress

Just when you thought you’d seen it all, something very little left me lost for words. If you look closely at all those painstakingly sewn on eyes, you will see that they are all oversewn with thread!

bound eyes

Now it would have been rude not to have mentioned Zandra Rhodes creations at this very museum. She is the founder, after all!

She entered the fashion world as a textile designer and the following two garments are testament to her designs. I’d never be able to carry these off in a million years but you have to admire her total originality in the way that she designed around the design of the fabric instead of sourcing suitable fabrics for a pre-determined design.

zandra Rhodes tunic

Here is her Knitted Circle dress. So called because the fabric design is made up of graphic knitting stitches. I swear there is more fabric in one of the sleeves than in the whole dress!

Zandra Rhodes circular knitted dress

knitted circle design

Both Jane and I left the workshop in a fuzzy reassured kinda way. It made us proud that we hand made our own clothes, albeit perhaps not to the same level of lavishness but there was nothing on show that we could not have handled. Give us a year or two for a deadline and we would gladly knock one up. But perhaps we might delegate the binding of the hook and eyes to someone else!

I did wonder whether I should have posted in so much detail so as not to spoil the experience for future visitors but really, you have to be there to actually see it. You have to feel and you have to hang onto every word that Dennis speaks because he knows everything there is to know!

ooobop! review: Burda Style October 2013

Burdastyle magazine October 2013

Before we skip to some of the inside shots of September’s Burda Style Mag, I just want to reiterate the wording of the flash on the cover.

16 Free patterns, 51 different outfits worth £61, for only £4.75!

So whether you like 51 or just 1 of the following styles, you must agree, it’s still such an amazing cover price.

There’s a bit of a War and Peace theme this month but before we launch into that, it opens up with a softly, softly approach. I’m not really a pastel person or a boxy one for that matter and so I wasn’t grabbed by any of these. A close fitting ‘nude’ dress would have me feeling just as self conscious but I like the wrapped over pleats on the front waist of the dress, bottom row middle pic. I also quite like the asymmetrical skirt, top right, but I’d have to see views all round to be convinced. I think it might not look so great from the other side! Now generally, I do like a square neckline as in the tunic, top centre pic but what is going on with it rolling out? Too big/too small, not pressed? That would annoy the pants off me!

The A-line skirt that sits directly below has large hip yoke pockets. I am so going to incorporate those into another skirt.

Nude jersey dress

Light and breezy is the theme of the next section. Lavish cocktails of lace and silk, flowers and bouclé, jersey and sequins.

Of all these, the sequin mini skirt grabbed me the most (bottom row 3rd column). Not that I would make it with said crunchy fabric, more tartan or plaid wool. Quite by coincidence, I was planning on drafting one of my own last week. Looks like I wished hard enough!

The dress is quite nice. I think I’m being sold on the print though. Its a great shape but it is a variation of that tunic in the first section so I’m assuming the same issues with the neckline.

I may have liked more in this section had it not have been for the accompanying style tip on the page of the pink bouclé coat. Apparently ‘The egg shape form is ‘in’…’  Noooo! I don’t want to be an egg shape!

Light and breezy fashions burda october 2013

So to war it is then with the New Military section.

I love the opening furry lined mini cape. No fastenings. Nothing complicated. Just a chic little snuggly accessory. There is another, more practical cape of coated twill, top row, 2nd column. But I’ve never been one for a practical choice!

Now it’s probably the styling. This model and her mane is very striking, it has to be said, but there is something about that camo mini dress, top right. It is fundamentally a long-sleeved T with batwings and a front placket closure, cinched in with a belt, and I like it a lot!

You can keep the metallic voluminous  shirt though!

The dress certainly looks better to me in darker contrasting colours (middle row, far right). I’d wear that and those fancy gloves!

military fashions burda october 2013

And just as the army greens take hold, the Peace section comes bearing flowers and paisley. Never did I think that flares, ponchos and banana skirts would make such a return. But hey, each to their own.

The maxi coat is lovely (top, centre). Ankle-length with fitted upper section and gathered skirt. A standing collar with hook and eye fastening is a neat touch too. But I already have the loveliest coat pattern, as you know!

It’s a bit difficult to see the detailing of the jacket, middle row, far right, but it is essentially a uniform-style Sergeant Pepper jacket. Timeless and always so cool. Apparently its the ‘it’ piece of the season!

70s fashions burda october 2013

Plus fashions are a bit slim on the ground this month.

I’m not sure I approve of asymmetrically cut blouse with laid-in and partially stitched pleats with one white lapel (top row, middle pic). Far from being clever and a little bit unusual, it just looks like a bodge job. Sorry Burda. It looks far better in the ‘dark gemstone shade’ below it. All those odd fancy details are a little more subtle!

However the leather trousers (opening pic) save the day. I had no idea you could get ‘stretch leather’. Perhaps they are referring to ‘pleather’. You know how things get lost in translation. But maybe there is such a thing. mmmmm…. the possibilities!

Plus size burda fashions october 2013

And so to the kids! Shirts, dresses and strides in jersey and denim. Perfect for mucking around in.

I love the little girls jersey dress, made from patches with cute ruffles on the shoulders and ribbing on the neck cuffs and hem. Quite a bit of faffing I should think but the end result is really neat.

The little boys blazer steals the show though. Also made from sweatshirt fabric, it looks so cool but with the elements of stuffy and prep taken away.

kids burda october 2013

There really are only a couple of defo makes for me in this issue: The skirt and the little fluffy cape. But that never ever deters me from looking forward to the next issue of Burda Style.

I can be inspired by a sleeve or a shape or a colour or a photographic location… and inspiration is what so totally floats my boat!

ooobop! review: Burda Style September 2013

Burda September 2013 Good afternoon lovely ooobop followers. Today I bring you news of September’s Burdastyle mag all the way from sunny Malta. Well actually not so sunny. More stormy right now, which Is why I am insanely posting from my phone. Impressed that I am able to do so but RSi of the thumb and index finger setting in already! Plus forthcoming punctuation and spelling blunders abound! 80s fans are in for a treat this month with batwing sleeves, baggy pants and pirate shirts aplenty! Some loves some hates but no borings! Batwings all of a sudden look great in open work knit lace. Fine example of the power of fabric! (Top right) and slinky floral dresses appear to make schoolboy socks acceptable! (Top left). I love the vintage style double breasted coat (top centre) but I already have the most divine coat pattern in the world! Just got to make it, that’s all  but I do love and have a need for that fabulous tweed jacket. (Bottom centre)

Great outdoors burdastyle september

Ok. Bananarama eat your heart out. The blouson and the chiffon is back! Add a cheeky little hat, raise that waistband, ladder those stonewashed jeans and you are as good as a walking time machine! All a bit too fresh in my mind, I fear and I’d certainly give Bobby Ball a run for his money in those strides… Rock on Tommy! But I can forgive that lovely dress (top left), socks and all! Fashion stars Asia style is up next featuring kimono sleeves, wraparounds and asymmetric necklines with a dose of almond blossom applique in jacquards, silks and linen lawn. I quite like the dress (centre left) with its wide over cut shoulders and would equally give time to the geisha style dress (centre right) but I’m not entirely sold on the sleeves. Irritated even by the thought of them flapping round my elbows! Asia style I keep promising myself a white shirt and the next section serves to remind me that it is a must have timeless wardrobe essential to dress up or down. That said, I’m not really drawn to any of these. I’ve got one in mind that goes by the name of Edith! A fabulous 50s style blouse pattern designed by Maria Denmark. The following shirts have their place but create just a bit too much white space for me. The ‘masterpiece’ a la John Richmond (bottom left) is 80s blouson typique in an extravagant mix of organza satin and linen. Totally time machine worthy! And even though its not included, I so totally want a black leather circle skirt. White shirts Plus fashions go Patagonia stylee this month. It’s all about patterns, layers and colours. That cape is so earmarked for my next UK camping trip. I will be the envy of all fellow campers. Though I imagine a few pleading orders will arise out of it too! The blue rouched jumper is described as a shirt if Angora jersey. I like it a lot. And I love the dress too with its high waist and softly frayed ruffle neckline. Plus fashion Baby Bliss rounds up this months collection with some really cute makes. Apart from the diddy clothes, patterns are also included for that cute little case and the doll and the moccasins. I don’t have a baby anymore but I so want to make all of these especially the dress and the blouse and the coat… Baby bliss

So there we have it! Mission September Burdastyle i-phone blog post complete. Squiffy eyes and permanent pointy finger but so happily delivered from the comfort if the poolside! Wishing you all summer loveliness and looking forward to reading about your new creations. Laters x

ooobop! review: Burda Style August 2013

Burdastyle Magazine August 2013

Well hello August Burdastyle Mag with 16 Free Patterns. So very pleased to receive you!

This month veers completely away from the beach and heads into Autumn with a whole range of styles. Heaven knows how the Burda team keeps it up each month. It’s as much as I can do to come up with one style that I wan’t to actually make!

Neo Romantic a la Downton Abbey, makes a dramatic entrance with chiffon and ruffles. Very reminiscent too of my 80s New Romantic phase. I’d have killed for a neck ruffle like that back then… and actually maybe now! Don’t ask me about the Michael Jacksonesque lace blouse though. I actually don’t have words. But I did use to have a dress very similar to that white one, top right. Though mine didn’t look like I was wearing pants over the top!

neo romantic burda august 2013The lace dress in the centre is lined with silk. A fitted bodice and three quarter length sleeves make for a very special dress indeed. I don’t reckon I could carry off the Hong Kong Phooey look, alongside, though.

Bottom row left corner, coat is a very simple but stylish design and I might have considered it had I not have accidentally on purpose purchased a good looking coat pattern just recently 😉

I like the pinafore dress though. Very much. But it’s odd that the chiffon sleeves are joined on. I would defo leave them out and have the option to wear my own blouse under or not.

And that jacket, bottom right is really cute. I would defo have worn that in the 80s and I might be persuaded now. Leather puffy sleeves or not!

Described as having graphic inspiration from the 20s, I get an 80s vibe too from this next section: Form and Style. I don’t dislike anything from this section, I just don’t think it’s my thing. It’s a bit too ‘blocky’ and casual for me. I’m aware that it’s completely away from my colour palette (kidding myself I actually have one) and as much as I try and envisage the styles in a teal or a red or a black or an orange, it’s still not working for me. The skirt, top row centre, is quite interesting though.

Form and style section

And then enter the Style Icons!

Swinging London, rock ‘n’ roll meets bohemia. Now that’s very much more up my street.

I have had a blouse like the first one on my list for such a long time but the leopard print chiffon brings it up a line or two. I love the idea of leather drainpipes but might have to rein myself in a bit there! The jacket top centre is a very sleek chic sort and there’s a great step by step tute included for this one too.

Check out that cape! Kind of commands a big floppy brimmed hat to carry off the whole dramatic look and I might be inclined to add a pair of thigh high leather platform boots. (Woahhh…..there I go again!)

One of these days I will run up a maxi. I’m sure I won’t look back. I love the whole floaty nature of them but I just can’t seem to get going on one. Too busy eyeing up the leather pants and fitted jacket look! (bottom right)

style icons section

Am I just fickle or is the next ‘All in Red’ section the best? Am I blinded by one of my favourite colours or are all of these styles indeed strong, sophisticated and stylish, red or not?

all in red sectionOk, ‘all’ might be a bit of an exaggeration. The peplum is still hanging around. Just to annoy me. I got vaguely interested in creating something with a peplum at the beginning of the year. I toyed with it in my head and for whatever reason, now it just really annoys me. There is a ridiculous amount of volume in the front of this one too. I don’t need that kind of volume placement, I can tell you!

But I do like everything else. That gorgeous dress top left is made of washed silk. Red washed silk! So cool and soft and luxurious. I love that massive bow. But I dislike the pockets. I think they are too much for a fabric so delicate.

Red silk velvet for the dress 3rd one along top. I would make the front opening a tad more discreet but I do love an empire waistline. The collar stands higher at the front than at the back and again I love the three quarter length sleeves. Teamed with some 60 derniers and some Docs, I would be happy as some Larrys in that cheeky little number!

The coat is lovely but not as lovely as mine! 😉

The jacket bottom and bottom right is the one that has a supporting step by step tute. Such a versatile shape. Teamed with strides or a skirt. Dressed up or down. But properly bringing some class each time.

No little retro number for me to harp over this issue but there is a special Designer Style a la Wolfgang Joop. I had a ‘quick’ Google of the Wunderkind label and was pleasantly surprised. This dress pattern, though tamer than most of the dramatic styles I saw, is an attention seeker nonetheless. (Would be even moreso in red!) And oh how I love that style of fashion drawing. Going to teach myself how to draw like that one day.

Wunderkind dress

But it’s the Plus Fashion section that captures some fine vintage styling for me. I love all the styles apart from the crazy wide cut silk trousers. It would take someone special to carry them off. I’m getting closer in my quest to grade patterns, having just dipped my toe in with my latest dress. So I’m taking more notice of the bigger sizes with the hope that one day my grading skills will be enough to start with any size and make it fit me just so!

plus size burda august 2013

And so the Children section wraps up this issue. But not in such an uber dramatic way. The coat is lovely but Little Miss Ooobop didn’t look overly impressed. And both of us agree that the skirt looks more like a sewing fail than anything else! I’m sure the T-shirt pattern will come in handy at some point but hey. I’m not complaining. I could do without a small person adding more to my list!

burda kids august 2013Any faves? Any already made up? Do tell. x