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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!

Fall/Winter 2012 Sewing Shortlist

A lot of sewers like to “Sew with a Plan” (SWAP), but I prefer to call this a “Shortlist” rather than a “Plan”, so I’m free to still change my mind and add/remove items as I go along! My main goal here isn’t so much to create a capsule wardrobe that can be worn together, but more to use up fabrics and/or that have been in my stash for a while that I’d really like to just wear.


(Click to enbiggen!)

From the top down, in no particular order:

  • KnipMode 12-2005 #10 – I’ve got some non-stretch denim aging in my stash from a few years ago, and I love KnipMode’s style lines for these. My wardrobe is in desperate need of more jeans, hence why there are two pairs in this Shortlist!
  • Altered Burda 06-2012 #129 – Now that my stretch satin from Gorgeous Fabrics is in hand, I can finally make the final version of this dress after completing the drafting and muslins back in July.

The reversible disco jacket

I don’t often sew for James (preferring to fill my own wardrobe instead!), but every now and then he either sees something online that he’ll take inspiration from, or have a fully formed idea in mind that he’d like me to bring into reality. So this one is another fantasy jacket, this time modeled heavily on Betabrand’s reversible smoking jacket.

When we were in Paris in March, he bought a wonderful wonderful wool/poly blend corduroy at the Tissues Dreyfuss Coupons shop for €10 total (a complete bargain!) as well as some red chinese brocade to use for the other side.

I started sewing this when we were in drydock in April/May, then I stalled at the bound buttonhole stage since my little red machine isn’t great for precision jobs (no speed control!). Then the pressure was off during summer, but the cooler weather meant I really did want to finish it for him!

Even better – James surprised me buy buying Betabrand’s “open source” disco fabric, so now the jacket changed slightly in that the reverse will be PURE DISCONIUM!

What I’ve made here is the ultimate day-to-night jacket!


(Thank you to Kerry for the photo on the right!)

I started with his last fantasy jacket as the pattern base (which, in turn, started life as Burda 10/2008 #134) since it fit him really well, then James had a bunch of style changes to make to this one:

The MyImage Purple coat

This coat originally appeared on my Fall 2011 sewing plans, so it feels good to finally finish it just as the weather’s starting to defrost (I hope anyway!). I’ve been wearing my muted turquoise coat for most of the winter, but I’m hoping to wear this to transition into Spring!

I’ve used “coat” in the title, but is it really a coat? Is it a jacket? Where’s the line drawn, anyway? It’s short like a jacket, but wool and warm like a coat, so I’m not quite sure what to call this.

This pattern appeared in the Winter 2011 MyImage magazine (along with that awesome cowl top!) and it’s still available to buy if you fancy it (and holy crap, it’s on sale right now for €1.95/US$2.63, too)!.

You can see some in-progress photos of this coat here and here. The nice thing about working on a project for a while is that you get to see a lot of the “guts” as I work! The downside, of course, is that I have the attention span of a gnat and I get bored when projects stretch over the fortnight mark…

The first thing you notice about this coat is that Big! Collar!! It’s a “whole lotta look”, but I totally dig it. Your mileage may vary! I’ve worn it out twice over the weekend already and the collar is great – it’s substational enough and close enough to the neck that I don’t need a scarf!

The Draped jacket & skirt suit

I’m very happy to report that my draped suit (Burda September 2011 #126 and 127) is finally finished! It feels like I’ve been sewing this for f-o-r-e-v-e-r and I am thoroughly sick of it now!

If you recall, it’s a two-part suit, with a draped, collar-less jacket and a pleated pencil skirt:

I’ve been sewing both of the pieces in parallel, so I’ve finished them at the same time. I like a lot of aspects of this suit, but to be perfectly honest, I’m not totally in love with the overall resulting look.

The jacket and skirt together!

Things I really like:

  • The lapel-less shawl collar construction
  • The asymmetric drape
  • The three part, bell shaped sleeve
  • The two-tone, piped lining
  • The folded and seamed facing on the draped side
  • Pretty much everything about the skirt
    • The drape makes for a rather elegant side view, too:

      Things I don’t like:

Draped jacket – no ordinary lining

There’s been only slow and steady progress on my draped suit (Burda September 2011 #126 and 127) this week as there’s been little time to sew, but I did get a few hours of “me time” in on Sunday evening after my insulation work was done for the day.

Those few hours were enough for me to finish the entire shell of the jacket and skirt, but I needed a clear surface to cut out the lining fabric, so that was delayed until last evening (since my running group was cancelled). Since the wool suiting has stretch, I didn’t want to negate the benefits of that with a non-stretch lining, so I pulled out one of the few stretch wovens in my stash – a blisteringly hot pink stretch satin I’d bought from Fabric.com last year (and came across in my mom’s suitcase before the wedding). Despite it being polyester, it actually feels wonderful and it was worth the price to be such a high quality lining.

Draped jacket – in progress

Last weekend I cut out all the pieces for my upcoming draped suit, Burda September 2011 #126 and 127, in the beautiful grey stretch wool suiting I’d bought specifically for it.

Since then, though, progress has been slow. I’ve got an evening class for work every Monday night, I’ve found a wonderful, brilliant amazing running club I go to on Tuesdays, and our weekends are still chock full of boat DIY work as we scramble to get the last outside work done AND the insulation up before the weather turns. Which leaves exactly three evenings left for all of our social activities, and any sewing left to squeeze in. This week I’ve got something on all three of those evenings, too.

So this really leaves progress to be made in very small segments. I’m very good at finding spare ten minute pieces of time here and there, but lately even these have been thin on the ground. Over the past week, I only managed to work on this jacket twice – on Wednesday night I fused all the necessary pieces with Pam’s weft-insertion interfacing and vilene bias tape, and then Sunday afternoon I actually managed to get a few hours of sewing done once I’d done 3 hours of insulation work and the dust settled enough in the hold for me to get out my ironing board.

Beyond that, while we were working on the construction part of the boat, something happened to the 24v cabling and so the lights in the bedroom, sewing room, and one other area no longer work. So my sewing room is very dark now, even when it’s light outside! Please accept my double apologies for the quality of these photos – I had to light the area with a headtorch while taking these on my (soon to be upgraded, yayyy!) old iPhone 3G camera.

The Burda trench jacket

I’m so pleased to finally show you the first piece from my Fall 2011 sewing aspirations – the trench jacket!

As you recall, I was restricted in my pattern choice since I bought the last 2.5 yards of this waterproof gabardine from Mood when we were in NYC last Fall, but in the end I settled on Burda 02-2009-112. The gabardine feels great – it’s not coated with anything and it doesn’t feel plasticky – it’s just that the weave is so tight that water beads on it! Perfect for London!

This is a Burda Petite pattern, but the only change I needed to make to the muslin was to lengthen the sleeves! I’ve been busy sewing this in tiny increments over the past few weeks because I’ve been so busy, and you can see that we had to squeeze in this photoshoot after work, too!

I really love the overall shape of this totally curvy jacket, but I especially love the pleated back vent, which was surprisingly very easy to sew! I cut the same pieces in the lining, and I cleverly waited to sew the diagonal topstitching to keep the folds in place until after the lining was in so the two layers stay together nicely.

The Burda trench jacket – in progress

I am on fire for Fall sewing right now, and the latest object of my desire is my beautiful little trench jacket. I’d bought some waterproof gabardine from Mood when we were in NYC last Fall, but it was the end of the roll so I only had 2.5 yards to play with while selecting a pattern.

With several years of various pattern magazines to choose from, I was in no short supply of trench coat patterns. However, many of the traditional, double-breasted, longer length trench coats require at least 3 yards/metres of fabric, so my fabric shortage helped me narrow down the possibilities immensely. In the end, it was down to Burda 02-2009-119 and Burda 08-2007-111, and I figured I’d get more years of wear from a stylish jacket than I would a cape.

So the curvy, feminine, petite pattern won out!

I did make a muslin of this (I’d be mad not to for a petite pattern), but surprisingly, the only alterations needed were to lengthen the sleeves. Despite being 5’8”, I tend to find that Burda’s Petite patterns fit me waaaay better than Burda’s Tall patterns (which seem to be grotesquely oversized whenever I try them).

The Burda Armani coat strikes again

Remember back in November when I made a muslin for the Burda Armani knockoff coat and found it to be absolutely, unforgivably awful? Well, even at the time, I could see that my main problems with the coat weren’t necessarily likely to be problems with the shorter, jacket version of the same pattern (Burda 09/2010 #117).

So while I’ve been contemplating my Fall sewing options, going through my stash, and tidying up my tiny sewing room, I decided it was time to alter it to evaluate the jacket.

The main differences from the coat are:

  • It has no collar
  • It has extended sleeve bands instead of the awful dropped sleeves
  • It’s cropped at the hips

Believe it or not, I still had the muslin tucked away from last year’s coat FAIL and I came across it again when I was tidying up my sewing room. In about 15 minutes I had adapted the earlier muslin to be the jacket – and most of that time was spent pressing 10 months of wrinkles out of it!

The front view kinda looks okay: