Eyes on The Prize

BurdaStyle held a pattern competition in June and July to search for new styles to turn into open-source patterns for their site, with a prize of $500 for the winner (not quite as impressive with the devaluing dollar, but still a nice chunk of change)!

I’d done loads of pattern alterations before, but never created a pattern from scratch. I had a vision of a simple lined sheath with a gathered, dropped, and curved shoulder seam and a wide neckline. The side opening could be buttoned, zippered, or even corset laced, and since it was lined you could even make it out of semi sheer or holey fabrics like lace. I saw a lot of possibilities in my mind’s eye, but even after 3 muslins, the shoulder seam still didn’t work out quite the way I wanted, but that was more down to my sewing than the pattern itself. Still, the pattern was simple versatile, and left wide open for customisation, which didn’t seem far off the ethos of BurdaStyle itself.

A skirt for the hurt

I ponied up the $1.50 (76p) for BurdaStyle’s Alexis 7945 skirt on Monday. On Tuesday, I printed out all the sheets, taped them together, then trimmed them down to size 42. On Saturday I got out some offcuts of grey summer wool leftover from my Mouret Galaxy dress and some assorted bits of lining, and sewed it up right then and there.

And then on Sunday we dropped a fridge on my foot. Oww. So pardon the fact that I’m barefoot, but at least the X Rays say it’s not broken.

Such a tease

The last few days’ time and spare thoughts have been devoted to my entry in BurdaStyle’s Design and Pattern competition. The last few nights I’ve spent cutting, pivoting, and taping pattern pieces, making quick and dirty muslins out of bedsheets, then repeating the process. I even had a burst of inspiration while I was waiting for Emma Pollock (her of the Delgados) to come on stage on Thursday night and scribbled some ideas into my notebook then and there.

Diamonds and silver

What better way to celebrate the start of the Christmas party season than with a luxe new top that shimmers in the lights? I made Burda 8132c for the pre-launch of, a new community-based sewing site that’s launching in December 2006. I’ve written up a TON of tips and tricks for the site, so I’ll amend this article with a link to those once it goes live.