FehrTrade in Burdamode!

I’ve been featured in quite a few press clippings before, but I must say, to appear in my favourite magazine is extra exciting! The German edition of Burda magazine (named “Burdamodenmagazine” there and “Burda World of Fashion” here) runs a monthly special feature on creations made from Burda Style patterns, and months ago I was asked if I could send over some bigger photos of my trousers and vest combo for inclusion in the magazine!

We ended up having a new photoshoot to get some better (and bigger) images, and the end result has finally been published in the September 2008 issue!!

Sleeping beauty mask

I was in such a buzz of sewing activity on this bank holiday Monday that I finally got a chance to make BurdaStyle’s Marcel sleep mask pattern that I’ve been meaning to sew for ages now!

One sleep mask is for myself, but the second one is a surprise for my friend (and will-be bridesmaid) Gez (who got it slipped through her letterbox last night!).

The adorable kitties fabric is from a tunic she gave me that was a bit too long for a shirt but too short for a dress, so I chopped off some length and saved the offcut to make something for her. The grey fabric is from a skirt her auntie gave me years ago that I completely forgot I even had until I dived into my scraps bin looking for something to use here. The dark grey backing was the skirt itself, and the shiny (silk?) casing used to be the waistband of the skirt. So it’s an entirely recycled sleep mask!

There aren’t any instructions for the pattern, but it’s very easy to make one and would be a great project for beginners:

Pucci playtime cowl neck top

This weekend I finally got a chance to properly play with my new toy and whip up a few knit tops to see what this baby could do!

First up was BurdaStyle’s Sadie top (with the added cowl neck) using some lovely Pucci-esque printed knit which you may remember from last Spring’s tunic top. I was really just keen to use up the stash fabric on something very quick and easy, and also in case something went horribly wrong on my first serger attempt and the whole thing became a wadder!

Luckily no such thing happened and I got a decent summer top after an hour or two…

I love a man in yellow

I started work on this shirt so long ago it almost seems amazing that I finished it at all! I was first held up by buying some machine feet for this project back in the beginning of April, and here it is in June and I’m finally showing it to you (though I did finish it over a week ago so it was technically May!).

I’ve made quite a few button-down shirts for my boyfriend James over the years, but after reading through Shirtmaking: Developing Skills for Fine Sewing by David Page Coffin I had the epiphany that they were all really badly done and I couldn’t possibly ever go back to my old ways after that. Really, I cannot recommend this book highly enough – even if you never sew menswear, it is essential reading for all shirt and blouse construction.

So instead of using the old Simplicity pattern (OOP 5273), I thought I’d break with tradition and make my first long-sleeved shirt for him using BurdaStyle’s Jakob pattern. According to his measurements, I made a size 52 and it fits him perfectly. He also adds that he’s “a textbook 15 1/2” in dress shirts in case that helps anyone at all.

Collar Me Bad

Yesterday was a beautiful, warm and sunny day – I’d already done all my DIY work on Saturday (plus cooked and hosted a three course charity dinner for 5!) so the day was all mine to relax and sew for a change!

I’ve been slowly working on making BurdaStyle’s Jakob pattern in a lemon yellow linen/tencel blend for James, but it’s been slow going because I’ve been trying to unlearn all my bad habits and follow David Page Coffin’s “Shirtmaking” book to the letter. I cannot say enough fabulous things abut this book – really, within 5 pages I knew I could never, ever go back to my old ways. Even if you never sew menswear, it’s still a must buy in my opinion for its techniques in dresses, shirtwaisters and the like.

Pattern matching

I should have some photos for you very soon of my beautiful silk blouse, but in the meantime, I’ve started thinking about sewing up my next pair of jeans, using some brand name Levis 3% lycra denim from Crybaby’s Boutique (though it appears to be sold out now!). It’s all washed and dried (in my neighbour’s tumble dryer) and pressed and ready to go, but now I have to decide whether I’ll stick with my tried and true jeans pattern, Burda World of Fashion 08/2006 #109, or whether I should a new pattern, BurdaStyle’s Anita skinny jeans pattern.

So my first thought was to compare the two patterns to see exactly how different Anita is from my usual pattern. It fits me like a glove, but has back darts rather than a yoke, which is my only aesthetic issue with it. Now, the BWOF pattern (in brown paper) does not have seam allowances and Anita (in white paper) does, so if the two patterns were exactly the same there should be 5/8 inch of white showing all the way around the edges.

Here’s the waistband pieces:

Dude looks like a lady

As part of my FW/07 Collection, I decided to embrace the menswear trend and create a pinstripe suit, borrowing from classic tailoring, but updating it all with feminine elements.