Burda magazine June 2013

I’m a tad late with my review of the latest Burda magazine (or as it’s known these days “Burda Style” – but that just makes it too confusing with the other zillion things they do with the same name), but a) it arrived in the midst of my World tour, b) it’s competing with both the April and May Manequim magazines, and c) well, I have made something from it already so I think I’ve earned a pass!

In any case, this is a surprisingly good issue, despite being a summer one!

First up is this sheath dress with angled side panels and hand-stitched details. On first glance it appears quite vintage-inspired, but the sharp seaming in the line drawing actually shows it’s a pretty modern draft!

I chose this next image not really for the batiste skater skirt (which isn’t really my style), but because OMG is this the first black model Burda have ever used?? And I realise this is the “street style” section so she’s not really a model per say, but seriously, I cannot believe how white Burda’s models are, even when they’re showcasing African or Moroccan or Asian inspired patterns they still use white models!*


A bit of an aside, but as I was travelling the other week I saw a massive advert for the German Wings budget airline with three cabin crew ladies: a blonde, a brunette, and a redhead. To which I chuckled to myself “oh, it’s German diversity!”

Next up is a nice figure-hugging knit dress with a cowl neck and gathered side seams. It’s also available as a top, which I think would be an excellent summer basic, or even for layering under jackets.

Burda magazine July 2016

Burda definitely keep up with the seasons, but I still kinda miss the reliable rhythm that the issues used to have back in the day – January had loungewear, March was always the wedding special (the only one they’ve reliably kept!), some menswear in April, May had tons of dresses, August was the Fall fashion previews (and usually maternity, too), cocktail dresses every November, and evening gowns in December. But my least favourite was always the summery beachwear in the June and July issues, because there was pretty much nothing I could wear in an English summer, where it rarely gets about 70-75F (25C)!

But in recent years Burda have been mixing things up, and the old scheduling has given way to more unpredictable features, which I think gives more variety and appeal to a wider rare of sewists. This issue certainly has a lot more than I’d usually like from a July!

Look magazine – August 2015

I briefly mentioned the Argentinian pattern magazine, Look, when I told you all about buying magazines in Argentina last month, but it’s time to take a deeper look into what’s inside!

I totally love sewing pattern magazines – you get so many fashion-forward styles for such a low price, and it’s fun to see what fashions are like in different parts of the world. So far I’ve bought pattern magazines from Germany (Burda!), The Netherlands (KnipMode and My Image), Belgium (La Maison Victor), France (Fait Main), Spain (Patrones), Italy (La Mia Boutique), Brazil (Manequim, Moda Moldes, and Molde & Cia), and now Argentina, how exciting! It doesn’t matter if I can’t speak the language the magazine is written in – as long as I can translate enough to pick the right size and fabric, and identify the pattern pieces, I can sew together most garments without instructions (though usually you can just look at another similar pattern’s English instructions and follow along with those instead). The Google Translate app can translate most text on-the-fly if you point your phone’s camera at the magazine text, too, which saves you from having to type in all the text yourself.

But back to Look! This was the current issue when we were in Argentina in August, along with a “mother and baby” issue from the previous month which I didn’t bother to buy (having several kids pattern magazines already and nieces and nephews into adult sizes now). This particular issue just captured my heart, as it features a huge amount of SS15 runway designs! Remember back in the 1990s and early 2000s when Burda used to do International Collections magazines knocking off all the runway looks? Well that’s precisely what this issue of Look is all about!

I’d say a good half of the patterns in this issue are straight off the runways. Look is a bit different from the other pattern magazines in that the instructions are in a separate booklet from the glossy magazine and the pattern sheets. This means you kinda have to have both open at the same time to see tech drawings next to the runway photo, but is a bit easier than flipping back and forth in the same magazine. If you buy Look on a newsstand, make sure you get all three pieces! Even though the instructions are in their own booklet, these are the briefest I have ever seen in any pattern magazine, so clearly they’re not intended for beginners…

Another observation – like Manequim magazine, most of the Look patterns are only offered in one or two sizes, and the sizes are tiny!! Like, Japanese tiny. Which is strange because even in Buenos Aires the people on the streets seemed to be fairly normal European-sized… Seriously, I’m a size 48 in this magazine, which means I could only fit into one or two of the patterns in this entire issue. (By comparison, I’m a 42 in Burda, La Mia Boutique, La Maison Victor, and KnipMode, and 44 in Patrones and Manequim). Usually with Manequim, most patterns I like are either in my size or a size up or down, which makes it easy to just fudge into fitting, but grading up a bunch of sizes is just too tedious to me.

A Year of Burda Magazine Patterns – Challenge Completed!

I (silently) set myself the challenge to sew one garment from each issue of Burda magazine (aka BurdaStyle) in 2012, and I’m proud to say I completed it! I’m not the sort of person to make New Year’s resolutions, or proclaim lofty goals to everyone who’ll listen – I’m more the sort to quietly commit myself to something, and see if anyone notices what I’m up to before the completion… I do know that Kristy has also been keeping up with the Burda challenge this year, and it’s been fun to see which patterns she’s chosen from the same issues (and on occasion we selected the same pattern!).

There were some roaring successes, a few fails (both my fault and not), and some that I changed my mind on only after months of wear. So I thought it was worthwhile to have a look through all the projects from this year, and my thoughts on each looking back from now…

January


Rating: 9/10
Link to original post: Great Basic – Grey Flannel Trousers

At the time I said: There’s nothing particularly earth-shattering about this design, but I just thought it looked nicely versatile, and something I could wear to business meetings as well as just team with a teeshirt if I fancied it.

My thoughts now: I don’t think these look as nice in the photoshoot as they do in real life. I genuinely love and adore these, and have worn them pretty much nonstop, at least once a week to work, since I made them a year ago. I wouldn’t change a single thing about this pattern, and the silk pocket linings fill me with glee everything I slip my hands inside. I really do need to make some more of these!

Happy 2013!

As is traditional, I like to take the first of a new year to take the opportunity to look back on what I’ve sewn in the previous year. So without further ado, here’s a visual reminder of 2012!


Click the image to see it better, or right-click here to see it in a new tab to get a better look!

Tip: If you’d like to skim back through the posts for the above projects, you can click Gallery in the upper left menu, which will only show you finished projects, without all the magazine reviews and in-progress reports getting in the way!

By a mere glance at the collage, it looks like I’ve sewn less this year than in past years, but really I just became more efficient with my photoshoots and so most of the photos contain more than one garment! That, and there were a few that weren’t properly documented, oops.

The Year in Stats

In terms of pattern companies used this year, I made: 11 Burda magazine (more on that in January as I finish up my Year of Burda), 6 Papercut Patterns, 5 Jalie, 4 Pattern Magic, around 4 self-drafted, 2 Manequim magazine, 2 Young Image/My Image magazine, 2 Pattern ~ Scissors ~ Cloth, and one each from: Lekala, Simplicity, Vogue, So… Zoe, Christine Jonson, Wiksten, and KnipMode (oh how the once-mighty have fallen!).

By my count, I made: 19 Tops, 15 pairs of Trousers, 4 Dresses, 4 Skirts, 3 Coats/Jackets, plus two slips and a handful of pairs of panties, an iPad cover, some running armbands, and a boat skylight cover!

But the biggest number of them all – 21 of the above were for running! omg.

Happy 2019! (My year in review)

Happy new year! It’s traditional for me to reflect on the year that’s just finished on the first of a new year, and this year’s a weird one because I’d love to just say “this year sucked”, but there were some fantastic things that happened this year amoungst all the sickness, disappointment, frustration, and hard work. So let’s try and focus on those.

Happy 2018! (My Year in Review)

Happy fresh and new baby year, everyone! I always like to celebrate the first of the year with a look back at the year that’s just completed – this gives me a chance to reflect at the things I’ve accomplished, the garments I’ve made, and challenges conquered. As is traditional, I find myself starting 2018 with lots of great stuff on the horizon but unable to talk about it (this time last year my two big secrets were my Threads article and my book deal, so you’d better believe 2018’s secret project is a good’un!) so you’ll just have to trust me that the outlook for 2018 is rosy indeed!

Happy 2017 (my year in review)

Woohoo! It’s a fresh new year! Each year I like to take the first of January to look back on what I’ve sewn in the previous year. So while this post is a celebration of the new year, it’s also a look back at what I’ve been up to in the last twelve months, which I always find to be a helpful exercise!

Happy 2015! (My year in review)

As I do every year, I like to spend the first of a new year to take the opportunity to look back on what I’ve sewn in the previous year. So without further ado, here’s a visual reminder of 2014!


Click the image to see it better, or right-click here to see it in a new tab to get a better look!

Tip: If you’d like to skim back through the posts for the above projects, you can click Gallery in the upper left menu, which will only show you finished projects, without all the magazine reviews and in-progress reports getting in the way!

The Year in Stats

In terms of pattern companies used this year, I made:

  • 29 FehrTrade patterns (no surprise, really!),
  • 7 Burda magazine (aka Burda Style),
  • 5 Self-drafted (including traced from RTW),
  • 4 KwikSew (well, the same one pattern four times!),
  • 3 Manequim magazine,
  • 3 Cake Patterns,
  • 2 Style Arc,
  • 2 Vogue,
  • 2 Orange Lingerie,
  • and 1 each from Simplicity, McCalls, ThriftyStitcher, Christine Jonson, Seamster, Named, Sinbad & Sailor, Drape Drape, House of Pinhiero, and Jalie.

By my count, I made: 31 tops, 19 trousers (including leggings & shorts),
5 dresses, 4 pieces of lingerie (bras, panties, slips, etc), 3 skirts, 3 jackets/coats/cardigans, and 4 bags. James also did well this year, being made a winter coat, 2 shirts, 2 cycling tops, and a dop-kit bag.

And I realise I’ve been sewing a lot of running gear but the total number even surprised me – 34 of the above were for running (though not all for me)!

The above may sound like a lot of sewing, but even this is only a fraction of what I’ve actually sewn – I couldn’t really include all the garments sewn for the Great British Sewing Bee, for example, or those made for custom clients (of which there’s been a LOT!), or for the book I’ve been working on, either. In all honesty, I think you could probably double the amount shown above and it’d be closer to the total output!

A Big Weekend for Sewing

I had an uncharacteristic free weekend – no races and not much planned, so I ended up getting lots of sewing bits done!

Sewing room clear-out

I’ve only got a small (temporary) sewing cave, and I’m a very tidy, organised person, but I’d let it get a little messy and it was feeling crowded, so after my two hour hill run on Saturday morning, I came back and had a bit of a clear out. I filled a full black bag with rubbish, but here’s what I pulled aside to swap at the Goldhawk Road meetup on Saturday!

Yes, you could be a good home to some pattern, pattern magazines, books, craft kits, or fabric that once lived on board! Now, if I can manage to be good and not fill up the space with things I pick up in the swap or fabric stores…

Skylight cover

Remember the last time I made a skylight cover (strangely, I see last time I was sewing jeans alongside it, too!)? I’d only ever made them for the back cabin, where the skylights are peaked, with windows that open like wings, but on the front deck, the skylights are flat and require grills that fit overtop for safety and security.

We had a joiner make a gorgeous new cover for the skylight over our bedroom, but it’s been shamefully covered in tarpaulins for the last few months while I procrastinated swearing my way through sewing another.

Even with a walking foot, the clear plastic is a total P-I-T-A to sew because it sticks to the machine bed, the foot, is stiff and rams into everything, and is generally just awful.

This time around, I got so sick of the stickiness that I grabbed a “newspaper” (tabloid left from our joiner) and ripped off pieces to go underneath and also under the presser foot.

This surprisingly worked rather well, and the newspaper just rips out easily afterwards. Worth remembering if a) you don’t mind newsprint on your fabrics, and b) like me, you never have tissue paper lying around

It’s not my best work, but it’s done and will allow more light into our new bedroom!

Jeans muslin

If you recall, I decided on a Burda pattern for my non-stretch denim so I sewed up a quick muslin of that on Saturday after my skylight triumph.

The triumph was short-lived.