Tag Archives: BurdaStyle patterns

Setting in 200 zips?

29 Jun

Well it was only 5 this weekend. But it reminded me of when I was about 11 or 12, shopping for fabric with my mum at a very fondly-remembered fabric store in Parap, one of the older suburbs of Darwin – and home to the wonderful Parap Markets. The fabric shop woman taught me a lot about sewing simply by giving me good customer service. She also sewed professionally, as well as running the fabric store, her little workshop up the back behind the back rack of fabrics, but open to customers.

This particular day, she was setting is a zip as we came in. I said to her ‘oh, zips are so hard to set in!’ She gave me an ever so slightly stern look over the top of her sewing glasses and said ‘Not after you’ve set in 200 of them.’

One of the most important lessons I’ve learnt, not just for sewing but dancing, and music and pretty much everything else in my life. Do it enough times and it’s no longer hard or intimidating. Except Pilates, where the moment it gets easy, the teacher makes it harder.

However 5 zips in one afternoon was a lot, even though I ‘m sure I hit the 200 zips mark long ago.

Why was I sewing 5 zips up all at once?

Well I’d been working on these items of clothing and kinda crawled to a stop with each of ¬†them because I had to set the zip in. In the end, after they’d all been sitting there unzippered and unsewn for a while, I collected them all up, set up the iron, got out all the zips, found all the colours of threads I needed along with their matching bobbins, dug out the zip interfacing from the bottom of the interfacing draw, and set them all in!

And look! Here’s the proof! They’re all done! Woohoooooo!

Here’s what they all are…

The red one’s the skirt from this retro pattern:

Simplicity 4044

The light blue chambray is a pair of shorts and dark blue chambray a pair of trousers, both for my mother from Simplicity 2700. It’s her latest TNT trouser pattern. She’s totally in love with it. So am I, because the fit for the curvy figure trousers was almost perfect for her straight out of the packet.



Speaking of chambray, I looked it up to check I had the right spelling and found some interesting stuff on it in Wiki. I had thought it was the same as cambrik, as in the Simon and Garfunkle song. But I was half right and half wrong.

The coral butterflies (which didn’t photograph too well, it’s way nicer in reality) are to be a pair of shorts from some trousers in a Burda magazine that is over 10 yrs old.

And the green and black shot fabric (Although I’ve just learnt, presuming the Wiki article on them is accurate, it could also be called a chambray!) is for a pair of 3/4 length trousers based on this pattern (Previously blogged about here)


However I adjusted the pattern by basically cutting it as wide as I could, trying to approximate this recent burdastyle pattern. Although now I look at it again, I think my green ones are going to be a whooooole lot wider than these ūüėÄ :

120_0514_b_large burdastyle cullotes


Well, now the zips are all set in, I’d better go sew the rest of the clothes, right?

Pattern love

3 Mar

I’ve fallen in love with this pattern from Burdastyle.¬†It is even in petite, just for me ūüôā

I just need to work out how to justify buying it. Any help with that, welcome! (Josie, wouldn’t it look wonderful in that turquoise fabric you sent me?)



It even looks lovely as a top:


Burdastyle 01/2010 dress – Weaver’s dress

12 Jul

Fabric: craft cotton, I think 2.5m. The skirt took more fabric than I realised (it is really full!) so I just barely go the dress out of what I had

Pattern was an e-pattern I downloaded and stuck together. Even with the tile markings it didn’t stick together too neatly but thankfully didn’t matter.


  • I never realised just how much easier it is to fit a short back neck-waist if there is a waist seam. How did that sewing detail escape me all these years?
  • Lovely lovely outcome, easy to wear, very comfortable, looks gorgeous, slightly old-fashioned but in a nice way. Could be a bit hot overall, but hey… what isn’t, come Nov?
  • I have a half-made belt, my friend reckons it looks really nice with it, more formal, and really nice without, in a more sweet, charming kind of style. Kewl!
  • Colour is spectacularly good on me ūüôā


  • I didn’t do the buttons right up to the neckline, as that really WOULD have been too hot. I only did them to just above the bust. So the whole neckline doesn’t sit flat and neat. In retrospect it would have been better to redesign the neckline somewhat, to a cooler style.
  • Sleeves catch just a tad over my biceps. There is plenty of room in them. I think it is just the shape of them, meh. I never do well with really tailored, fitted sleeves. Even adjusted to my shape they still aren’t quite as comfy as other sleeve styles.
  • Not totally happy with the interfacing I used (I used japara cotton) Mainly as it looks much better ironed and I hate ironing. Oh well.


  • fabric $20
  • Pattern $6
  • Zip $2
  • Cotton $2.50
  • Buttons $4

Total = $35 (ish :-P)








A few butterflies

17 Jun

I had one of those days mice and men often have, where nothing goes right. Not that much went wrong either, I just didn’t achieve anything I set out to today. I came home and sulked for half an hour then hit the cutting table. And the ironing board. And the sewing machine. And the overlocker.

Oh I feel so much better!


I saw some gorgeous huge sorta retro-style butterfly craft fabric at Spotlight the other day. I had to get some. But of course, as I have my no-fabric-buying moratorium until September (so tedious…) I can’t buy fabric for new projects, only to complete existing ones in some way (embellishments¬†included).

So, I thought, what can I use this on as an embellishment? (Ahem, working backwards like that really wasn’t what I had in mind when I made my moratorium…)

When I did my recent wardrobe cleanout I discarded the skirt part of this ensemble. The top (Burda 2964, my review here) is lovely, but for some reason I just never liked the skirt, in spite of asking trusted friends what they thought of it, and being reassured it looks great.


Anyway, the skirt was pulled out of the “to go to op-shop” bag, and is no longer as pictured, at all. It has a big retro-style butterfly appliqued on it! I also added a triangular piece of the original fabric leftover to the hem at the higher part, making the hemline more interesting.

It looks fantastic!!! Huh! Sooooo pleased with it!

I plan to put add a little ruffle along the hem too. I think part of the issue with the skirt was the same as this skirt that I also discarded. The fabric is just too light for the straight style of skirt. A ruffle will give it a bit of weight, helping it to hang that bit better and add a bit of visual weight to the hem too. (She hopes ;-P)

More butterflies:

The butterflies were part of a quilting panel. Spotlight wouldn’t let me buy just one strip of it – I had to buy the entire panel with 4 big butterflies on it. Oh dear! What on earth could I do with all those extra butterflies?

Well, my sister-in-law is getting a new skirt based on Kwik sew 2765, an ancient copy I picked up at an op-shop long ago and quickly became TNT. I am happily using up some gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous kingfisher blue cotton poplin from my stash, as well as a spare butterfly.

Plus, as she is in the Southern Highlands of NSW and it is the middle of winter, the cotton poplin seems insanely thin, so I am also using up a bit more of my stash in making her a petticoat. I would say more, but she has been known to read this blog, and I am looking forward to surprising her with it. So no photos yet (besides it was well and truly dark by the time I called it a night on my projects).

Yes, in the was all satisfyingly productive.

Now a lazy half hour in front of the telly with my new yarn and cardigan pattern seems a great way to end the day.

Burda Style 01/2010 dress aka Weaver’s Dress

15 Apr

Oh wow oh wow – it fits!

This is my second e-pattern, this once purchased through the burdastyle website. (Click on the piccie to take you to the dress on burdastyle.com)

Technical drawing of Burdastyle 01/2010 dress

I printed out the little print-size test square they provided, found it was just fine, so printed the whole pattern. Then I went back to kindergarten, cutting and sticky-taping the whole pattern together. Big job! Even with the markings to help, it still came out wonky. Conclusion: e-patterns you print out and stick together yourself are just inevitably a bit wonky. And high humidity and ceiling fans don’t help, either.

Secondary conclusion: fortunately it doesn’t seem to matter.

Why? Because when I traced the pattern onto pattern-trace, did my paper-fitting, cut it out then sewed it up, it fit beautifully! Yay!

This pattern didn’t have seam allowances. Usually I use patterns with the seam allowance included. However with this one, knowing the exact size of the finished garment pieces made it easier to work out fitting measurements. Not that I ever found it difficult before, simply subtracting the seam allowances. But with no seam allowances, it was just … easier… to be accurate.

Another thing I really like about this pattern is it is a dream to sew up. Every piece fits neatly together with every other piece. Seams are the same length on each pattern piece, that sort of thing. Nice. Very nice.

Here is the bodice front and back. Paper-fitted, cut and sewn with no further alterations.  Although the back looks too long, if the seam allowance is folded under it is fine. yes 1.5cm of extra length in my centre back really does make that much difference!

Bodice front

Bodice back

Check out that pattern-matching on the back. Close but no cigar! It was the second time I did it and it was no better than the first. I just left it as is. I figure it is only slightly psychedelic….

And, last but not least, what colour do you think this dress is? I thought it was a duck-egg blue with a calico background. But my mother and Auntie (visiting from Canada YAY!) think it is green. What do you think?

These natural disasters are cramping my sewing style!

5 Mar

My brother-in-law was badly injured in the Christchurch earthquake. For a while there I thought I was going to NZ for a funeral. It was awful.

However, thankfully my bil is going … ok. Alive, not great, but ok. *phew* A trip to NZ may still be on the cards, but not the rush it was before.

I didn’t get any sewing done for a few weeks. Surprised?! And I am TOTALLY behind on the Swing Era dress sew-along. *sigh*

With life returning to normal (mostly – I also got a new computer and am still sorting that side of things out) I have been sewing again. Mostly accessories – mostly for my hair. Piccies to follow when I have the computer working fully.

Today I’m starting on this dress from BurdaStyle. I am calling it Weaver’s dress (Too much fantasy writing, I know I know. But my characters must be well dressed!)

Weaver's dress

This is the magazine’s version of it. Too girly for what I am after.

Here is one BurdaStyle member’s¬†version with a few adjustments. I LOVE it!

Coffee with Tim Burton dress

Because it was an e-pattern download, the kitchen counter has been seconded as a Grown Up Kindergarten while I stickytape the pattern together. The BurdaStyle downloads have markings to help guide putting it together from A4 sheets, unlike the Swing Era dress e-pattern. These make it sooooo much easier to do.

Last but not least, while on BurdaStyle I found an article on bias tape and its potential for embellishment, especially vintage-style ones. Much fun!

Swing dress sewalong and other pattern delights

19 Jan

¬†Last night I bought my first e-pattern – Sense and sensibility’s “swing dress” Never being one to do things by halves, I also bought a few BurdaStyle e-patterns.

Going back to Sense and Sensibility this morning to check on fabric types, I discovered there is a sew-along on this very pattern, happening at this very moment! They are up to about the muslin/fitting stage. I’ve never done a sew-along before (I figure the stuff I did in Home Ec at school doesn’t count) and am gonna give it a go. Could be a lot of fun! At the very least I may get my dress done sooner than I possibly would have otherwise.

The BurdaStyle part of my shopping expedition started with these gorgeous-looking wide-legged trousers in “half-sizes” ie petites, drafted for women 5ft 3″ which I happen to be – plus another half-inch that must not be forgotten, that takes me to 5 ft 3-and-a-half inches. (I reckon the extra half-inch is my curly hair so it shouldn’t affect the trouser pattern too much!)

I have been wanting to make a dress in a similar style to this one here.
This Burda pattern is the closest I could find (I am not too fussed on having a collar).
In thin white fabric, with a scarf and loose hair to tangle in the sea breeze along the seashore, as the pattern photo shows, doesn’t strike me as much to write home about (I prefer bathers or board-shorts on the beach!) but the one below, one of Burdastyle’s members, is pretty much exactly what I want – but maybe in a soft blue instead?

And last but not least, I bought this just because I couldn’t resist the pretty dress. Oh dear.

However, I realise I have in my stash a potential fabric. This cotton-lycra woven sateen.

The flowers are quite large, but with judicious placing of pattern on print, and application of lace and trim, maybe it would work…?

Having thus inspired myself, I am now going to sew.

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