Thursday, December 13, 2018

Jacket and a pair of pants

Accounting for two other garments from Burda magazine: a pair of pants and a jacket.
The jacket is from the June 2018 issue, number 104.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Finished project - coat

Think that I said it already: I have quite a few projects that never have been published on this blog. Sometimes this bothers me, as my blog is also a personal story of my sewing journey. When I see blog posts that I have written, say 8-10 years ago it sometimes strikes me that I have forgotten about a project or see a project that was loved, but worn out in the meantime. I like this keeping track of my projects, so I decided to try to publish more of my projects, even if it's something that it's not very interesting to others.
In this post photos of my coat, of which I published construction photos here and some random photos of a few projects made in the past few months.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Tracing and marking a pair of pants from December Burda

Hmm, could the title be longer? This post is exactly about what the title says. I started making a pair of pants from the Burda december issue and in this post will show you how I use a pattern from the magazine.
A short aside: a comment was made yesterday on my post on the missing cutting layouts that Burda will bring them back in the March issue (see here (text in German), thanks Beate for sharing this information and Burda for listening to their readers!).

This is the pair of pants I'm making, omitting the flap in the waist. It's pattern number 102 from the December 2018 issue and available as pdf from the Burda site: Link to the pattern.

A very easy pattern, 4 pattern pieces and made in a stretch fabric. It's more close fitting/slim fit than I would normally make. I intend to wear it with a longer cardigan,

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Test (for partial readability in feeds)

My posts are irregular at the moment, to say the least. I've quite a backlog of projects that were not mentioned here, either because they're not really interesting material or just because the time lacked to make proper pictures in good light.
I read quite a few blogs through Bloglovin but was wondering why I sometimes see a complete post, sometimes only a few lines and have to click on "See original post" to go to the blog.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Burda magazine

As most of you will know, I use Burda magazine patterns a lot. I haven’t counted but I think that around 2 out of 3 garments I make are (based on) a Burda magazine pattern. They do have consistent sizing, I know what to change for my figure. I know I’ve had my share of posts/rants on their photos (hiding what the pattern is about), complained about the diy projects or not having nice patterns any more and stopping my subscription. But they certainly have interesting patterns again and I renewed my subscription, because often after a while I saw a pattern made up and finding out I didn’t have that particular issue. Apparently I sometimes have to get used to a style/trend and am a late adapter.
There is a change though in the instructions apparently. Yesterday evening I was browsing the November issue and wondering about yardage and the way they placed the pattern pieces on the fabric for a specific pattern. To my surprise and dismay: there are not cutting layouts in the November issue!

Monday, October 29, 2018

2 yards of fabric–a coat!

Many, many years ago I participated in a contest on PatternReview and won a prize. I think it was second or third place, but I can’t remember which contest it was. The prize was fabric from Textile Studio (a company that no longer exists) and I chose a lovely wool fabric. It was 2 yards (which is 1.80 meter). Every year when I examined fabrics in my collection at the beginning of the autumn/winter season, this piece of fabric came out and I always thought “I must make some special jacket from it” and back it went in my closet for that special pattern that I would someday make from it.

This year I realised that my taste in jackets has changed and I no longer wanted a jacket from it, but that it would make a lovely coat. That provided a challenge: only 2 yards of fabric and the desire to make a coat from it. Sounds like mission impossible, doesn’t it? It took some browsing of patterns, pattern magazines and of course the internet and I found it. I checked all my Burda magazines from the August-January range and couldn’t find a suitable pattern. Having decided it should be a coat without a collar (too much fabric needed) and I googled something like “Burda coat without collar), a pattern from the March 2012 issue came up. I hadn’t checked my March issues, as I did not think that a March issue would have a pattern for a coat I was looking for.


Luckily I had that issue in my collection and decided that this would be my project to be made in my sewing days with friends. I planned a few changes: bound buttonholes instead of snaps, pockets with flaps instead of inseam pockets. For the pockets I took the position and shape from a Burda magazine from 2007! It is helpful to have a collection of over 100 Burda magazines Smile.

A few in progress pictures to get an idea of how it looks and how the inside is done.

Sample of the buttonhole, which is not done in the official way, but using the “window” method. Bottom right you can see the “window”, which is done with silk organza.


The welts for the buttonholes, made of faux leather. On the inside is a piping cord, which you can see peeking out on a few.


Buttonholes and welt for pocket done.


All pattern pieces were block fused with a middle weight coat interfacing. I did that first (still at home) and after the block fusing marked the seamlines on the pieces.

I thought the  the fabric was not thick enough for winter temperatures, even after the fusible interfacing was applied. All pieces were interlined with a flannel. For this I cut all the pattern pieces without seam allowance and used a catch stitch to attach it (did take some time!). After that the rest was relatively easy.


Front shield as in most of my jackets applied here too.


Sleeve head and shoulder pad inserted.


Almost finished. I still have to insert the lining. As said, I’m still travelling and this last step will be done when I’m back home again.


To conclude this picture heavy post a photo of the white cliffs, close to the location where I was with my sewing friends. I’ve been at several places along the south coast of the UK this time and wow, what breath-taking views! So different from county to county.


Tuesday, October 9, 2018

A knitted sweater

At the beginning of August I showed you a knitted sweater in progress. I finished it a couple of weeks ago and I’m ever so pleased with it. The base was a pattern by Asa Tricosa, but my version doesn’t resemble the original much. It’s mainly used for the general shape, number of stitches, increases/decreases etc. Center front I added a cable from the book Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible: 260 Exquisite Patterns by Hitomi Shida. At the sides I repeated the small cable at the edge.

I love the technique that Asa Tricosa has developed, which she calls the “Ziggurat” method. It’s knitting top-down and with very clever techniques you knit the top of the sleeve in one pass with the body too. A way in which you can try it on in an early stage too and adapt for fit more easily. My fear in knitting sweaters was always that I would spend hours and hours (far more time than most sewing projects take) and after assembly would find out that it was not fitting. If you’ve been reading my blog for a little while you know I can be obsessive about fit Winking smile. I’ve found a technique that suits me very well and have two more garments on the needles from her book

The book has many projects with lovely details that have a huge appeal to me, like this double knitted hem. Isn’t it a lovely detail? It’s a bit like nice underwear: you know it’s there, even if no one sees it.

The annual sewing retreat in the UK with a group of friends is next week, I’m preparing a coat and a jacket to sew. Sewing projects will be shown here again soon .

Monday, September 17, 2018


My wardrobe needs a few t-shirts added to it and I don’t particularly like t-shirt sewing. So I experimented with some different styles to make sewing them a little more interesting.

The neckline of this one was inspired by a rtw t-shirt. As a starting point I took the very basic t-shirt pattern from Ottobre (issue 2, 2006) which I’ve used often before. Only to notice when it was finished that it didn’t fit as well any more. Too tight around the bust area to my liking. I was ready to toss it when my daugher came home and I asked whether she would like to try it on. It’s a good fit on her and she liked it. Happy result after all.



There was just enough of the fabric left to squeeze out a basic shirt for myself. This is one size larger and so much better! But also very, very basic/boring. On the bright side: I have a new base again.


This last one is Valetta from Schnittquelle, a German pattern company. I made a few changes and added a facing, instead of the fold over neckline hem as per the pattern instructions. I intended this to be a shirt with 3/4 sleeves and did change and sew it up like that. In all planning and thinking about how to draft the facing for the neckling I overlooked the fact that this has cut-in shoulders and the sleeve was a horrible fit (read: not fitting at all) at the shoulders. Cut off the sleeves with 1 cm at the armhole left to be used as facing. Ready for summer next year.


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

A pair of jeans

I finished my jeans last week and they are ever so comfortable. I’ve already worn them for two days, which says enough. Like Nancy said in her comment: once you have a pattern that fits, jeans are not too difficult. It saves time if you can set up 2 machines for it: one with normal thread and one with topstitching thread.

The legs are a bit long with these flat shoes.



For the topstitching of the pocket I checked the internet for some inspiration, then drafted the lines without a specific one in mind. It may look like topstitching of a rtw brand, but I did not knowingly copy any.

P9041827A peak inside, just for fun I used this cotton, which was in my stash.


I don’t sew because it’s cheaper than rtw, but in this case it certainly was. I bought the denim fabric years ago as a remnant piece. The price tag still on it told me I paid 11.50 euro, all other notions I already had too. To be fair I have to calculate those too.So this pair cost me about 20 euro. Can’t buy a well fitting pair in a store for that price!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Sneak peek next project

BC0AD20F-3033-44BE-B0AF-522FBE6ADD64 (002)
It’s been many years since I made a pair of jeans. Six years actually! I don’t know why it took me so long. The jeans I made back then still fit me though they are only worn around the house nowadays. They have seen better days. I found a nice piece of denim that I bought quite a while ago too. The price tag said it cost me 11.50 euro. Realising that the pattern was there ready to sew and all notions needed were around I started on Friday evening and I can happily say it’s as good as finished now.
No project without a hiccup somewhere and this time the pockets had to be re-done. In a “it will work out” mood I thought I could topstitch the upper hem of the pocket without interfacing it, using a walking foot. I used water soluble stabilizer on part of the pocket, but not in the hem. WRONG idea. It stretched!!! Horrible, so I did the pockets again. Lesson learned.
A picture to show the difference.
IMG_1137 (002)

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

A knitting project

I’ve been in doubt about writing about my knitting projects as my blog has always been about sewing and only very occasionally I mention other subjects. But well, as it is my blog I’d like to share my knitting projects too and if knitting is not what you like to read about, this post is not for you.

I learned knitting as a child, did a lot of knitting in the 80’s and knitted nothing for about 20 years after my children were born. I wanted to knit for them, but when a sweater was already almost too small when I finished it, I stopped doing it completely as there simply was not enough time to do all I wanted to do with young children around.

Fast forward to about 4 or 5 years ago. At the time I was offered a free Craftsy class as a birthday present (they only did it that one time), but it had to be a knitting class. I took a class on lace knitting and I liked it that much, that knitting was part of what I did again. Mostly shawl knitting. I liked the techniques, the more complicated the better. Is there a relation to my sewing?? And shawls had the great advantage that size/gauge/tension didn’t matter. It takes more time to knit a garment than to sew one and I was so afraid that after hours and hours of work, a sweater wouldn’t fit.

But…. after I knitted quite a few shawls the thought came up: how many do you need? So at some point I dived into knitting sweaters again. I haven’t done many yet but like the top-down method where you can fit as you go.

Currently I’m knitting Sweatrrr. The technique is top-down, with knitting the top of the sleeves at the same time too. It’s called the Ziggurat method. When I found this technique, I had to try it and even though this is my first sweater in this technique, I’m already so convinced that I bought the recently published book too. (disclaimer: I have no affiliation to the designer, have bought my own copy of the book, I’m just very happy with the result)

I wouldn’t be me if I would not change something, so instead of the squares in the front and back, I added a Japanese stitch pattern center front. The back is plain stocking stitch.


Can you believe that the top of this sleeve was knitted at the same time as the top of the body? Fascinating isn’t it? There’s still a little jog but that’s my fault, knitting this way for the first time.

It will take more time than the average sewing project, but I’ll show you the result at some point.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

A muslin in silk

Well, not a true muslin of course, I definitely hoped this would result in a wearable garment and decided to use this silk that’s cheaper than the linen I planned to use for this shirt. Still wanting to do that, but didn’t want to take a risk with that specific fabric.

I think this is quite a good fit on me. I did not change the length of the body, nor of the sleeves. I did measue the sleeves, as in most companies they are too short for me. Not necessary here, which means that if you’re shorter (my length is 1.74 and my arms are a bit longer than average) you even might want to shorten them.

One thing I forgot to mention on the pdf is that it has the actual seam lines in it too, not just the 1cm seam allowances without indication of the actual seam line. I really like that as it helps with the tricky parts like the collar and stand. I mark the actual seamlines on those pieces.


Not my usual colour scheme, but definitely a “me” print. P8051783

The slit is a bit long. I’ll make it shorter next time


I could have added a bit more to the hip area and will in my next version. I used a size smaller than I should have used based on the size chart and am quite happy with the fit. As said in my previous post, there’s no waist/hip shaping which for the blouse might be an issue for more women with a pear shaped figure.

As to the instructions: I’m not a good judge of those, as I’m too experienced to really need them. But in one illustration a pattern piece was very different from the actual pattern piece and I thought that very confusing. There’s also quite a bit of information in the instructions that imho belong to your basic sewing knowledge or can be looked up in a general reference book or online (what is basting, what is clipping, that sort of instructions).

All in all I quite like the pattern and will sew it again when this heatwave is over. It’s just too hot to do much these days. Not my kind of wheather.

Monday, July 23, 2018

A new to me pattern company

If you’ve been reading my blog for a long time you know I’m not too much into Indie designers. After the initial hype a few names/brands have survived that offer more than just a simple pencil skirt at a ridiculous price. I still haven’t tried many but this time I was intrigued enough to buy the Wenona shirt pattern from Named Clothing.


I saw a review on this shirt that made me look further. Must have lived under the proverbial rock because I’ve never seen or noticed it before and it has some nice details and there are some nice variations to be found (here and here for example). Though I’m certainly not the first one to try this pattern, I’ll post my experiences with it in this and upcoming posts.

The pattern is a pdf pattern. I’m not fond of them, but have grown accustomed to the idea that it’s the way it is now. Sometimes it is instant gratification if you want the pattern fast or don’t want to pay high shipping costs.

Notes on the pdf file

  • Available in English and Finnish
  • Lots of instructions (haven’t read it all yet)
  • You receive a pdf with instructions, pattern layout etc and 3 files that each contain 2 sizes of the pattern.
  • 1 cm seam allowance included
  • Overlapped pattern layout: this is a tricky one that is stated on the website, but I did not realise fully what it meant until I traced it. Usually pdf patterns can be cut and taped together right from the printed pages (or traced, like I often do). With this pattern that is not possible as the pattern pieces for the skirt and the sleeves are on top of each other. Which means that even if you don’t want to trace, you’ll have to do that for the sleeves (and skirt if using the dress variation).
  • The page numbers are printed in a small size at the edge, no markings on the lines where to match (like StyleArc for those who know their patterns)
  • In the instruction pdf the page numbers are not indicated in the overview of pages. It would have been helpful to have that.
  • No indication of the pattern size on the printed pages. See below, if you keep two sizes of the pattern, there’s no way of telling to which size a single sheet belongs.

First impression of the sizing

I read that this pattern runs very large, so despite the size chart indicating that I would need a size 40 or 42, I started out tracing the front and back for size 38, which I then compared to my sloper. This is not a close fitting shirt (or I think it shouldn’t be) and decided that size was too small. Which meant I had to print it again, as size 40/42 are in one file together. I can keep it for my daughter, who likes the style too, but otherwise it would have been a complete waste of paper. Based on the finished measurements at bust level I’ve now traced a size 40.

The line drawing suggests waist/hip shaping. There is none! I will have to add it, as I need a bit more room in the hip area. 

I’ve yet to decide whether I cut it from the white linen I have in mind or whether to test it first in another fabric.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Dress from souvenir fabric

It’s not often that I find a fabric store close to me when I’m on holiday. This year, when we drove into the village where we had rented accomodation for the second week, I noted a fabric shop when we entered the village. Of course I had to pay a visit to the store, being at walking distance. It’s a shop specialised in linen fabrics, garments and home decoration (cushions, tea towels) with the name Lin ou l’Autre (nice wordplay).

Two fabrics came home with me as souvenir fabric. Note the flax thread and the cute cards they have. I particularly like the one with the picture of taking a strand of thread out to make sure it’s straight! I’ve often done that.


Both the colour in above picture and of the finished garment below are too bright. It’s really red, but not as fire-arms red as the pictures suggest.

I made a dress from one of the fabrics I bought, which is fast in my book, only been on the shelves for about 3 weeks!

The pattern I used is Vogue 8972, view B.


I made a muslin of the upper part because I didn’t want to take a risk with my good fabric. It has pattern pieces for different cup sizes. I used D-cup and that was fine. As always I had to lengthen the bodice, which I did at the indicated line, which was in the waistline pattern pieces. That certainly was wrong: the upper part ended too high, not covering the bust area, which made the waistline look silly. I added the extra space to the upper bodice pattern pieces and that was where it should have been in the pattern too. As you can see I add quite a bit (4 cm).

IMG_0965 (002)

Unfortunately the photos don’t do the pattern justice. I really love this pattern and how it looks and feels on me. I think it’s a great pattern for hourglass figures.

Back dressformBackDetailFront2

The lining was sewn by machine. It was a bit of a puzzle. The instructions tell you to do quite a bit of hand sewing. More than necessary in my opinion. I know it’s not that difficult or time consuming, but I like to do it by machine if I can. In this case it’s extra complicated as you can’t leave the shoulder seams open till the last moment, which is one of the ways to do it. Not if there’s a cap sleeve of course.

It was a bit complicated and one day I might make photos and write it down properly. For now I will have to make do with some short notes I made myself too.

Lining 2Lining

Friday, July 13, 2018


July already. It’s hot and dry in our country for weeks on end. Very uncommon. It gives the nice summer feeling though and a lot to do in the garden and my allotment too. It takes some time to water it all, not all plants thrive as they would normally, others do much better. I’m already picking the loveliest tomatoes from our plot (there’s a greenhouse where I grow them) and looking forward to tasting a few special varieties that need a bit more time. But hey, that’s not what you’re reading my blog for. I’ve been sewing a little too.

An update on the Burda dress from the June issue I started before my holiday: I didn’t like the baby blue on me and it’s been laying around for weeks. As I write this it’s in the washing machine after having dyed the partial constructed dress. If I like the result I will finish it, otherwise it will be the bin.

The blouse I show today is a pattern I’ve used very often before. It’s an adapted Ottobre pattern that I like for summer. This fabric is very fluid, which makes the neckline a bit too deep for everyday wearing. Must remember to adapt the pattern.

I call this my “crazy fabric” as it’s totally not my normal style. Something I do sometimes for summer tops, not on purpose, but I made this top in a “not me” print several years ago too.


The fabric has a visual illusion: it looks like tucks but it’s all printed. Several people have thought it was a special sewing treatment by me: none at all!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Inside of dress 1351

An update with a few photos of the inside of Vogue 1351. The lining has a deep neckline with darts, to which the cowl of the dress is sewn. No seam edges visible


I made sure the dress was folded a bit inward at the armholes and the edges were understitched as far as possible. The light blue was the only colour I had available and as you don’t see the lining from the right side, it works well.


The lining with the darts keep the dress close to the body. No unwanted exposure when moving in this dress.


I really love this pattern and am thinking of making another one soon.

PS: in my previous post I mentioned making a center back seam, that was not on this dress, but on another one.