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Showing posts from March, 2013

Ghost of Burdas past

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One of the nice things about sewing for myself has been the chance to reconnect with Burda magazine. As a child, and into my teenage years, I looked forward to each new Burda with as much anticipation as I do now. My mother bought nearly every issue through the 70s and 80s, and I would pore through each one and point out the patterns I liked, which Mum would then make up for me. I loved Burda Moden as it was then (there was also another magazine Neue Mode, which seems to have slipped into oblivion over the years).Yesterday I was at my parents' place. Nosing through my mother's craft magazine stash (which between Australian Stitches, various quilting and knitting magazines is mammoth) and came across two ghosts of Burdas past.

Here is July 1989. In those days, Burda was entirely in German, except for the front cover and an English supplement for the pattern directions. Check out this cover including the promise of "s*xy for swinging parties". Heh, I bet that translati…

Lessons learned, and a giveaway!

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I'm so happy with the skirt in the previous post. It just feels great on. Analysing why this skirt is such a success, I'm thinking it boils down to the wide yoke. If those pleats came off a waistband, that skirt wouldn't be anywhere near the success it is.
I am somewhat shortwaisted, and as I age, I feel I'm even more so. I need to keep skirts and pants smooth from waist to hip. Yokes are good. Faced waists are good. Pleats stitched down to the hips are good. Highwaisted garments - not a success.
The more I sew, the more I realise that successful sewing projects are a happy marriage of the right fabric with the right-for-me pattern. There are so many lovely patterns out there, but if  I can sift through the patterns that just aren't going to work on my body type, I'm well on the way there. Which brings me to my first ever giveaway...
I've had Colette Patterns Beignet skirt on my to-do list for oh, two years. Yep, I like my ideas to cook a while, but moving…

Burda 103-10-2008

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The calendar is saying "autumn" but the weather is all summer, so I'm squeaking in a few more summertime makes. Pardon me while I give myself an uppercut for not making this sooner. I've had the pattern since, well, 2008. The fabric I bought at Tessuti about 2 years ago. I've had the fabric and pattern married in my mind for a while now. It's just taken me a while to get around to it (story of my life!). The pattern is a two-dot Burda. It's easy. Although you can't see it in the photos, the pleated skirt comes off a deep yoke. Yoked skirts suit my short-waisted figure, and I always feel most comfortable in them. Note to self...make more of them. Having given myself an uppercut, may I now give myself kudos for buying 6 metres of this fabric. I knew when I saw it at Tessuti it would be a great fabric for me - it looks like a chambray, but it has a drapy, silky feel, that is very unlike a chambray.It is just magic to sew and wear. It wasn't cheap, …

Grainline Scout Woven Tee

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I wish this Grainline Studio Scout Woven Tee pattern had been around when I first started sewing. It's a great pattern for a beginner to hone some basic skills. And I'd have a series of them in my wardrobe by now. How useful is a plain t-shirt, after all? And I'd much rather wear a pure cotton woven at the height of summer. Far cooler than a knit, at least to me. This is a simple, quick make, but I spent a bit of time fiddling with the fit. According to my measurements I cut a Size 12. I found the shoulders too narrow (unusual for me), so added 1.5 cm to the shoulder width, and compensated by scooping out the armseye at the side seam about 1 cm. Seemed to work ok. Then, I did an FBA. I didn't want to add darts to this pattern, so experimented with the "pop technique"that Sandra Betzina outines in Fast Fit. Worked a dream for me. Love this technique - it gives you room for the bust with the extra with at the hem, or the need for darts. Check it out, especiall…

Walking foot - do i need one?

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So this week I've been quite chuffed with myself, because I've mastered the use of not just one, but TWO of my presser feet.
To start, I busted out my new narrow hem foot, and did the hem on a Grainline Scout Woven Tee. The instructions that Bernina provides with this foot are woeful to say the least. If you think Burda instructions are the pits, look again, Bernina tops Burda for opacity. Yeah, hard to believe but true.
Thank God for the internet. I found this Youtube video which laid it all out for me. And the hem came out like a dream. (Actually, come to think of it, if it weren't for the internet I wouldn't be sewing at all. It's a godsend for lonesome sewists like me). And my narrow hem foot has become my new best friend.
Then...my daughter's school had a crackdown on skirt lengths, and she was told her skirt was too short. Yes, I suppose she has grown about 10cm since we bought her uniform skirts at the beginning of last year. At first I thought, great o…

Made by Me - Treasured Collection Jacket J

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A few weeks ago I went on one of my all-too-infrequent visits to the Fabric Store. I love the Fabric Store, but I dunno, that day I wasn't being inspired. Do you know what I mean? Nothing, and I mean, nothing was speaking to me.
I had my teenagers with me, and although they weren't moaning,  they were sitting on the sofas the Fabric Store provides , looking at me meaningfully. Done yet? Their eyes were saying. So I felt a little pressurized.
I ended up buying this linen. It's a very nice linen, in a very er, nondescript colour. As soon as it was cut, I had a severe case of buyers remorse.
That continued for a few days until I remembered this pattern in Treasured Collection by Yoshiko Tsukiori. I'd made a mental note to make this jacket one day, then lost the note. But this fabric was meant for this pattern, and my buyers remorse subsided somewhat.
This was an easy make to start with, so I ramped it up a little, and finished all the seams with a Hong Kong finish (you&#…

Overdressed, by Elizabeth Cline

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Like so many others in sewing blog land, I've recently read "Overdressed" by Elizabeth Cline. It doesn't surprise me that sewists would want to read this book, because so many of the issues it addresses speak to the reasons why we park ourselves behind sewing machines in the first place. At least it has for me.
After a childhood and adolescence of having nearly everything I wore made for me by my mother, I steadfastly refused to learn much in the way of doing it for myself. (Don't ask me why. I reckon it would need a psychologist to unravel the complex relationship my mother and I had when it came to learning to sew. Mum did her best pressuring me to sew, I stubbornly refused . I guess I saw it as a means of feminine oppression or something. For a while I was right, I didn't NEED to sew in order to clothe myself once I left home. In the end, though, the cheap clothes revolution means mother was right after all. Of course.:))
Once I left home, I did buy a mac…