I’ve now finished the fourth garment in my March Mini Wardrobe plans and I think you’re going to love it as much as I do!
I bought some utterly luscious grey leather when I was in New York in September, and I’d thought about a few different patterns (even going so far as muslining one I never showed you), but I finally settled on the long, slim pencil skirt from the August 2010 Burda magazine (#128).
Since we’re talking about leather here and you cannot unpick any stitches once they’re sewn, I made a muslin, which revealed a few minor fitting issues which needed fixing in the final skirt. Other than that, I shortened the length to make it above the knee (which also eliminated the back vent) and removed the centre front seam to improve the look.
You’ll get to see my Manequim silk blouse tomorrow, but in the meantime I thought I’d give you a progress update on the fourth item in my March Mini Wardrobe, the leather skirt (Burda magazine 08-2010 #128 – though #127 is nearly identical).
I’m making this skirt in some utterly luscious grey leather I bought while on honeymoon in New York, and despite having sewn with leather loads of times before, this is my first real leather garment. So knowing what I know, I knew I had to make a muslin first because once you sew leather, it’s done – the needles holes are permanent so you can’t rip out stitches!
I made up a quick muslin at the end of February, and, unusually for Burda, the size 42 was too tight over my hips. Rather than trace a bigger size (boring!) I drew two long lines up the front of the skirt on either side of the centre front. On the waistband and yoke pieces, I added 2cm width to each line, and for the lower skirt piece, I made a triangular wedge which tapers to nothing at my marked hem.
I know this issue is a bit old now (replaced by the April issue which I’ll be reviewing shortly), but it’s got some really great designs in it and I didn’t want it to just drop by the wayside because I was ill. Besides, I’ve even got the German edition, too (scroll down to see why!).
This cover makes me pine for Spring already!
First up is a pattern for a dress which looks like separates. I like that it’s both casual and can hide a large dinner underneath, which makes it pretty practical, too.
This dress cleverly has an integrated side tie like something out of Pattern Magic. I’m super excited about this pattern because I’ve kept a note of a very similar dress from the July 2012 Manequim magazine that I’ve been wanting to make for several years but frankly, I trust Burda’s drafting more, and I like the raglan sleeves on this one better than the sleeveless Manequim one, too. Definitely high on my To Sew list!
I feel like I made this top so long ago, but the delay in showing it to you really wasn’t my fault! First it got delayed for a week while I went and bought more grey topstitching thread for the shoulder bands (and then immediately afterwards I found my other spool inside the case of my vintage hand crank Singer machine! Isn’t that always the way??), and then I had another week delay in taking photos while we waited for a break in the awful weather (mid-50sF and rainy for the past week, guh).
But cast your mind back with me and you’ll recall that I chose Lekala 4020, only I opted to create echoing sleeve bands on the back to decrease the “coffin back” look:
I’ve got full instructions on this pattern alteration and my order of construction coming shortly (honestly, they’re ready to go – I made the wise decision to write them right after making mine), so if you like the design and you’re roughly a Burda size 44, you may want to snap up this pattern while size 44s are free on Lekala’s site for another few days….
I made this top using some more offcuts of silver silk jersey, either leftover from Gez’s bridesmaid dress or from my sister-in-law’s LMB tunic, I’m not entirely sure which. But this stuff is so lush and drapey and easy to wear that I just can’t bear to let a single scrap go to waste! And the cowl neck here definitely benefits from a nice, drapey fabric, too.
I think Burda Towers must’ve taken a break for the holidays or something because everyone I know received this issue really late for some reason! But better late than never to kick off a brand new year of Burda sewing patterns, and this one’s not only got the traditional January carnival costumes (and nary a “recycled water bottle lady” bonkers one in sight!) but also… activewear! 😝
We experienced a bit of Brazilian heat here in London last week, but I’m happy to report that it didn’t stop me from moving into my new sewing room. Hefting furniture and hauling boxes wasn’t fun when dripping with sweat, but I’m about 80% moved in and I’ll of course give you all a tour once I’m done. Even without my machines hooked up and with some temporary lighting, the space just makes me happy just being inside.
But for now, let’s try and cool off with some thoughts of a Brazilian winter…
First up is this leather pencil skirt, which really reminds me of my grey one I made a few years back, though it’s sadly now too big. And this one’s sized far too small!
These may not seem like much, but a nice, basic trouser pattern in the full standard size range is an absolute goldmine! I get asked over and over (and over!) again what I do when a pattern I love isn’t in my size, and basic patterns like this are great for transferring interesting details from ones that are too-big or too-small. Just take the pleat, or panel, or pocket, or seamline you love and transfer it onto a basic version in your size…
From the same “black and white” feature, we get a pattern for this asymmetric, faux-wrap skirt, which is really striking with the colourblocking, but I think would also be great in an all-over tweed with a leather buckle detail.
I received my subscription copy of this magazine the day before we left for our Bohemia trip, but by that point I’d already written a full week’s worth of posts (I hope you enjoyed all those book reviews!), and didn’t have any time to spare to scan this until after we came home.
I haven’t seen much about this issue online yet, but after two mediocre Fall issues, this is the Fall fashion issue I’ve been waiting for!
I usually shy away from “nautical styles” since it can be a bit cliché to live on a boat and dress like a sailor, so I was surprised that I really liked a lot of the styles in this feature, including the His’n‘Hers pea coats.
It’s hard to beat a good long sleeved cowl neck tee as far as I’m concerned (they’re pretty much my uniform in the colder months) and I really like that this version has a crossover at the shoulder which brings the cowl a bit higher. This should prevent any “leaning over gaping” issues that some cowl tops have, but there’s only one way to find out! (There’s also an un-pieced version of this same tee)
Now, I thought the trousers pictured with the stripey tee above looked nice enough, especially since they have an interesting back view, but then I saw this note in the instructions! What?? That sounds like a problem, not a feature! I don’t know about you, but one of the reasons I sew is to avoid RTW fitting issues like trousers falling down as I wear them…
I don’t know why, but this issue was really late to arrive this month, only turning up on Friday, after (I swear) everyone else on earth already received theirs, and some had even started making things from it! I love my subscription, and it’s usually timely, but it makes me cranky when it’s a really good issue I’m waiting on!
I’m not sure why so many of the garments in the first feature were made with waffle piqué (maybe the Big Waffle Piqué Cartel got to Burda?), but I rather liked the design of this sweetheart-necked dress. I thought at first there might be kangaroo pockets in the skirt, but no – the model is just holding her hands at the pleats for the fun of it…
This banded dress is just ok IMHO – it reminds me too much of the overdone “Duro dress” of a few years ago, but I more wanted to point out the blatant advertorial for Frizz-ease in the corner. Look, I don’t mind if Burda start introducing ads into the magazine (frankly, I find it really weird that it doesn’t contain any), but make them ads. Don’t try to shoe-horn ads into your crappy, poorly-written copy and expect readers to be stupid enough to lap it up. Give Frizz-ease a full page ad and don’t insult your readers’ intelligence.
The maxi dress on the right isn’t really my thing, but I really like the paneled seams of the mini dress on the left. The dress has a few variations shown in this issue, including an above-the-knee length, and both strapless and spaghetti strap versions, but I liked this cap sleeve treatment best.
From a total loser of a silk blouse to a triumph of a silk blouse, all in one afternoon! After the Burda FAIL, I turned around, cut into my gorgeous butter yellow floral silk charmeuse I bought at Ditto in Brighton last weekend, and sewed up this blouse in about two hours flat!
The layout of this blouse is really cool, and the entire blouse is just one piece, with only one side seam (and two shoulder seams). I took a photo of my fabric when it was laid out on the floor, and I added some annotations in pink (below) to help show where the drapey side comes into play. I hadn’t realised it from the diagram, but the CF neckline is on the straight grain, and the CB neckline is on the cross-grain, with the only side seam on the bias. Very cool, and the design feels quite Bunka.
I used the leftover silk in the bottom left corner to make several bias strips about 4cm wide, as I prefer a narrow bias edge on my silk blouses instead of finicky facings. I also left off the shoulder bow, as I felt there’s enough going on in this blouse already!
We were very lucky to catch the “golden hour” on Monday evening, which just makes this silk come alive in these photos! I’ve paired it here with my grey leather skirt to try and give an edgier look to the twee floral of the silk.
We had a long weekend here in the UK this weekend, and I’m pleased to report that I made the most of it! On Saturday, James and I made an impromptu trip down to Brighton, and we stopped off at Lewes on the way down. Our main objective in Lewes is always the Harveys Brewery shop, but I also discovered The Stitchery just across the road upstairs in the Riverside Centre, which stocks a wide variety of fabrics, embroidery floss, yarn, and haberdashery. I checked my handy “sewing shopping list” on my phone, and bought black waistband elastic and trouser hooks, both of which I needed. Very sensible of me, I know.
But the real temptation was walking right past Ditto in the North Laines in Brighton, and I told myself I was only allowed to buy ONE fabric there, so it’d better be a good one! In the end, this gorgeous butter yellow floral silk charmeuse won out over a similar yellow coloured, textured, ex-Blumarine crepe.
Florals really aren’t my usual fabric choice (and I would’ve never bought it from the terrible photo on Ditto’s site), but in real life, I was just captivated by it, and I’m thinking I’ll need to pair it with some edgier like jeans or my leather skirt to diffuse the twee-ness.
After our big day on Saturday, on Sunday we didn’t leave the boat at all! I spent most of the day doing sewing stuff, starting off with fusing all the interfacing onto James’s reversible smoking jacket pieces. I find fusing interfacing to be really boring at the best of times, but it’s beyond teeeeedious with a mini ironing board and mini iron! Once that was all fused, I then moved on to hand basting all the pocket placements (it’s a fantasy jacket, so there are five pockets!) and then basted the bound buttonhole placements, too.