Tag Archives: e-pattern

My made June-ish

17 Jul

June is usually the coldest month here, and my warmer clothes are usually just op-shop finds to see me through an average of all of 3 weeks of cold weather. So I didn’t sign up for Me-Made June.

But this June turned out sooooo cold I had to dig out some of my southern travel clothes for their extra warmth. One old favourite is this blue velvet skirt. I found the skirt, a straight wrap-around in I think a size 8, (too small for me) in an op-shop in Darwin when I was 19. I made it into this straight skirt that buttons up at the side. (Gorgeous buttons. Mmmm!) The fabric was a tad worn and frayed in places when I found the skirt, and I do secretly love that. It has Character!

It turned out to be the perfect weight for the extra-cold weather. Yes yes, I really was barefoot even though it was freezing 😛 I wore this skirt so much that, especially on days I wore a top I had also made, like this one, I was doing a Me-Made June after all.

One day I will work out how to fit the back of my bodices so they don’t have all that extra fabric in them. I already take some length out of the waist. I have trialled taking some of that excess out of the shoulders/neck, without affecting the armscye. I think it is working. More on that in a later post when I am more confident of what I am doing.

The top is my “wearable muslin” of Sense and Sensibility’s swing era dress pattern, started when I optimistically joined Casey‘s Swing era dress sew-along earlier this year. I ‘fess, I went on holiday in the middle of the sew-along and never started the actual dress The muslin worked out just fine, however, so I finished it off as a top, (practised that crazy shoulder corner seam!) and it soon became a wardrobe favourite. I suspect it is partly to do with the colour (looks lovely on me and goes with everything in my wardrobe), partly the weight of the fabric is so nice (cotton poplin), the style is comfortable (love that back pleat!) and it suits my figure. What more can a girl ask for?

(For the record I have some red, red, red cotton sateen in the cupboard to make the actual dress up.)

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 🙂


  • 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)








Cardigan shoulders

28 Jun

Ok, so it looks a bit wonky, but that is just how it was sitting. Honest! But no, it really doesn’t quite meet at the front. Oops…

But if you look at the back, you discover it is sitting very nicely.

I started out doing the medium size, then discovered the back was swimming on me, so I undid the previous few rows of increase and basically went down 2 sizes at the back, while keeping the increasing at the front. Hate to think how small the front would be if I hadn’t kept the increasing there!

The front still has a bit of an edging to be added after everything else is finished. I’m not sure if allowing for that is why the cardigan isn’t meeting in the front, or if it is just a tad small there after all my fiddling. I figure if need be I can make that front edging a bit wider. I am planning to continue the edging around the neckline too, as I would like it a closer in around my neck.

I love love love the colour! And the yarn is so soft and slithery to crochet. It is also not hot to handle (which is good as the humidity went right up for a few days there) but obviously is still going to be suitably warmish when finished.

I have one row of dc, then I am onto the mussel pattern. Wow!

And for the record I have no idea why one piccie is huge and the other is small … ?

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 sew-along – cutting and fitting the paper pattern

12 Feb

GGGGRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr <—— very loud, very frustrated growl.

1) What is with the 1/2 inch seam allowances? Every other pattern (well, in my experience anyway) apart from the occasional lingerie one, has 1.5 cm seams interchangeable with 5/8th inch seams. What on earth is a half an inch in metric anyway?
And I like having 1.5cm seams to play with, it makes vagaries of fitting different drapes of fabric so much easier to manage.

2) The pattern totally lacks any markings such as waist, hips, bust point. It lacks nape-waist markings or measurements.
These two factors, combined with this piece of information in the pattern notes have me totally frustrated:

The bodice is designed to accommodate long-waisted ladies – those with a nape-to-waist measurement of 17″ to 18″. If your nape-to-waist measurement is less than this, you will most definitely need to shorten the bodice pieces.

Huh? What? When your nape-waist is 14″ a variation of 1″ is waaay too much. NOT IMPRESSED. I might as well go buy an RTW dress. With no pattern markings telling me where the waist is, let alone the nape, how on earth am I supposed to work out how much to shorten the bodice by? The whole thing is made even more impossible by the fact the shoulder seam does not sit on the shoulder, nor is there a shoulder point mark.

On a related subject, how much am I supposed to shorten the skirt by too, when there is no waist, hip – or heck, even the nape – markings?

I know I know. “Make a muslin” BUT, I have always found muslins work best when it is a bit of a tweak here or there, not practically re-drafting the entire garment to fit. After all, isn’t the point of a paper pattern so that you don’t have to do that?

Not impressed.


I don’t remember having this issue with the Regency gown. Mind you I did buy the Simplicity print of the Sense and Sensibility pattern, not the pattern direct from Sense and Sensibility. I just did my usual height adjustments, and straight back adjustments and it is fine.

I did consider the possibility of simply cutting it out as it was, and fitting the length on the muslin as best I could. But I find it almost impossible to adjust a muslin for my straight back, which needs a longer upper front than upper back, while still making the side seams match up. That really needs adjusting at the flat pattern stage, and needs the same reference points as to adjust the nape-waist length.
So I figured I would give it my best shot at getting the length and straight-back fitting issues resolved by tissue-fitting the pattern a la Palmers Fit for Real People. This isn’t really my favourite method of fitting as without a helper it is very hard to make sure everything is sitting on the body the way the finished garment would have fallen. And something like this dress is so involved, my Fitting Consultat aka mum won’t do it. (And I didn’t have the energy to bribe her with doing a bit of sewing for her in exchange!)
It is also not exactly easy to gather the printer paper up, and two seams needed it for this method for this dress. O_o
So I just tissue-fitted as best I could. I will cut out the seam allowances at 1.5 cm so I have that bit of playing room with the muslin.
I still have to adjust the skirt – the lack of waist marking is making that a bit hit-and-miss as well. But thankfully the muslin can sort that out easily.
Next up – muslin.

Swing dress sew along – adventures in home printing patterns

20 Jan

Printing the pattern
I had an amusing time with the Swing Dress e-pattern…

Apart from the odd small craft pattern, this is my first try at an e-pattern. I downloaded it, printed it out and stuck it all together.

There are no matching up marks as there are in the Burdastyle e-patterns I downloaded at the same time, but as the pages printed up in order from right to left, bottom to top, and it came with a printout of the entire layout, it was a lot easier to work out than I feared. There were the odd bits that didn’t quite match, but not so bad it will throw the finished garment off.
I used up heaps of stickytape, and it was like a grown-up version of kindergarten. My inner child had lots of fun! And it really wasn’t as big a job as it looked at first glance.

But half-way through I did get frustrated wrestling with the wind from our always-turned-on ceiling fans. I had the airconditioner on too, but the fans make the aircon’s capacity to cool just that much more effective (and friendly to our electricty bill and environment).
So when my fiance mentioned at his work they are always printing up large-sized plans at the copyshop, and it doesn’t cost a lot, I decided to just get it printed on one big sheet of paper there, along with the 3 burdastyle e-patterns I bought at the same time.
I sent it to them to print, and the copyshop had NO idea how to get the swing dress to print on one big sheet. So  I checked the FAQ’s on the Sensibility site, (only then, of course, not beforehand) and discovered it simply couldn’t be printed out like that. The only way was the stickytape and A4 sheets, as I was already doing.
Oh well.
However… the lovely girl that helped me out at the copyshop asked me where I got the pattern from. Her grandmother had just recently given her a sewing machine, and was in the process of teaching her how to sew (how awesome! Just like my Granny and mother did for me) And loved the patterns and wanted her own.
So I gave her the URL to the Sensibility site, BurdaStyle and a few other places I have found. Sadly, I discovered I knew the URLs off by heart I visit these places so much.
I hope she has much fun with them all.

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.

%d bloggers like this: