Again with BurdaStyle 09/2018 #108


A comfy baggy sweatshirt is a good thing and I really like this one.

Instead of lace, I used a two way stretch cotton sweatshirting – much warmer though a little less elegant – and the top is somewhat larger than the lace version.  If I make this again in a knit, I’ll go down at least one size.


As always black is hard to photograph so forgive the variable colour quality.  I played around with the picture settings a little bit to try to get some contrast.

I wore the top all yesterday afternoon with a double layer merino rollneck underneath.  Despite its bagginess, all those layers didn’t swamp me.  It’s a keeper.


Oddly JJ likes this version but still dislikes the lace one.

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Simple Lace

I didn’t notice this pattern (BurdaStyle 09/2018 #108) when the magazine came out – essentially it is a sweatshirt with a little bit of pleating in the sleeves.  Boxy and even slightly utilitarian.

I do however love Sweet Shard’s version in brilliantly hued lace and wondered if the silvery grey lace I had would work.  A generous gift from lovely JH xx.

This grey lace isn’t as sheer as Sharadha’s but works just fine I think, though could do with more softness and drape.  The sleeve pleats are kinda cute, even if you don’t really see them much, and I like the volume and shape they lend to the lower sleeve.

JJ doesn’t like the top at all – too boxy and square, he thinks, but it will go into regular rotation anyway, weather permitting.  The lace is pretty and the colour is one of my favourites.

I have a black sweatshirting version ready to go tomorrow.  It is completely different to the lace, very stretchy and drapey, so will be an interesting comparison when done.

I was going to also post a pair of black pants I finished today but the day was ending and it was getting cold.  Couldn’t get a decent picture in the fading light.


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Summer threads in autumn

It is still mostly warm enough to wear summer things during the day, though a warmer layer does get added when we venture out.

I made BurdaStyle 07/2018/119 a while ago and it fit the bill as an almost T-shirt with a slightly less casual bent.  I like the relaxed raglan fit, sleeve ties, wider neckline and the deep back, though it definitely needs shoulder thread loops to keep it from slipping off.

The blue version has a higher back neckline which means it is perhaps a little less elegant but saves my dignity somewhat as there are no snaps to forget to undo before trying to take it off.

Both fabrics are from my stash – the purple is modal I think and I don’t know what other is.  The blue has wee eyelets and embroidery all over and the colour is wonderful.  It was sent to me very kindly by my lovely friend J.  Thank you J xx

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Summer threads

A crazy long time ago I muslin’d this skirt, finally finished making it last summer.  I wore it a lot the last two summers and like it muchly.

The pattern is a 1990s’ish Burda 4022 and I cut a size 38 more or less straight from the envelope – the only alteration was shaving off some of the hip shaping, and changing the closures (tie and hidden hook and eye).  It is a not complicated, fortunately.

The fabric is a medium weight linen with a light cotton underlining (possibly a voile – I can’t remember), both from my cupboard, and the only thing it lacks is a little snap or something to keep it from revealing too much in the wind.

In the end, rather than using the pattern’s fabric ties that wrap around the back to tie at the side, I opted for a simple ribbon tie at the side front with a hidden hook on the inside.  Much less bulky and prettier too, I think.

I have a slightly modified winter woolen version almost finished, just waiting to be hemmed and ribboned.

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Sewing in Lockdown


I haven’t posted for a long long time – sorry to have disappeared.  I didn’t really go away, just paused for a while and I am determined to change that.  Community is just so important so I hope you will forgive me.

COVID-19 sucks and I hate what is happening around the world because of it.  The news reports break my heart every day and I work hard not to let anxiety and worry take over.

We stay within our bubble (which is what we in NZ call those we are in isolation with), keep our distance from everyone else, though that also hurts our heart, and hold our precious ones close however we can.

So far we are all OK in our little patch of isolation in New Zealand.  We are lucky enough to have a back garden, a long driveway and plenty of places to stroll to or run to or bike to.  We have stable income for now and plenty of work and school to do during the week.

I also have stitching to help keep me sane and I am sewing again, though not masks (yet).  I have again started making skinny pants, which I muslin’d with this wonderfully mad cotton lycra….

The crotch curve just aint right yet and I know what I have to do to fix it but I’m taking a wee rest from it and start something new.  Possibly a Burda Style?  Can’t quite decide.

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Wrap skirt muslin musings

I love wrap skirts and this looks like a good basic from which I can make a variety of weights and styles for summer/winter or in between.  Perfeck.


I’ve muslin’d it up in calico and am now mulling about the tie closure because the pattern ain’t doing it at all well.  Unless I’m being dense.

It looks fine in the next picture which shows the front of the muslin (please ignore the ‘lazy me’ pattern paper ties) ….

The long band wraps from the right hip around the back to join the shorter tie attached at the left hip, and it’s a fairly wide tie band.  So you have the bulk of the band across your back whether it’s on the outside or the inside of the skirt.

Odd and definitely unflattering.

Now I’m starting to wonder if the tie is a little fussy and with a winter weight fabric it may be better to have no tie at all, even if I thinned the bands or used ribbon of some sort.  I don’t really fancy the two symmetrically placed buttons option either.

Granted this isn’t a complicated sewing conundrum but rather a disagreement about closure style and placement.  I’ll probably do a hidden inside button instead of the long tie and close the outside front panel with an external button.

What worked best for your wrap skirts?


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Cover Stitch Happiness Continues

I’ve been playing with my new cover stitch machine doing decorative top stitching, something that was impossible with the old machine.

This was my first try and yes the tension is too loose but every line of stitching was fault free.  The fabric is a soft cotton sweat shirting with a dense cotton/lycra knit for the cuffs, neckline and waistband.

Test number two in a merino sweatshirting with the same black cotton/lycra for the cuffs, neckline and waistband.  This time I wanted to try the needle stitching on the outside and again the whole thing took minutes to finish with no skipped stitches, bunching or tangling.

Happy sighs all around.

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A Waterfall for Mermaids

BB performed in her drama club’s Peter Pan play a couple of weeks ago (a wonderfully fun and exhausting experience as always) and rather than working back stage, I offered sewing services instead.

Peter Pan’s mermaids needed more splash and sparkle in their pool so eight metres and three layers of fabric were in order.  Easy peasy.

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A Wonderful New Tool

New baby lock BLCS-2

I have a new cover stitch machine and am very very happy with it.

My old cover stitch machine (a Bernette 009DCC) has been difficult more often than not, at times leading me to believe I had figured out how to operate around it’s quirks.  Evidently I was wrong and those quirks returned no matter what I did.

Over the years I have tried different needles, different thread of various quality, spool nets, spool disks, seam jumpers, multiple tension and presser foot pressure combinations (whilst swapping needles and thread in and out), hand cranking and holding my breath.  And combinations of the above.

I have kept lists of setting combinations, notions + setting combinations, fabric + setting + notions combinations and more.  I have read and re-read every tip and trick and review that I could find and all this did very little to help.  The lack of consistency of results and performance has been and still is utterly frustrating and I remain unable to sew a line of stitching on that damned machine without skipped stitches, most of the time.

I even had it looked at by the shop but they said everything was as it should be.

Frankly, the Bernette 009DCC is an expensive lemon.

So a few weeks ago I made my way to the very helpful Wellington Sewing Centre, road tested the babylock and bought it.  Done.

Oops didn’t remember to match the stripes!

Now, if you are in the market for a stand alone cover stitch machine, the baby lock is a pricey individual but if you can afford it, I highly highly recommend it.  Out of the box, I ran up three cotton lycra and three merino long sleeve Ts without a hitch and in no time at all.  I only modified thread and looper tensions once or twice.

Then and since, I have sewn over seam intersections without a seam jumper or any other tools and have had no skipped stitches.  Not one.

I have used up to three different quality and types of serger thread (sometimes at the same time) while top stitching necklines, and have had no skipped stitches.  Not one.

I have stopped and started mid-way through stitching and sewn around fiddly small circumference sleeve hems on the round.  Again no skipped stitches.  Not one.

Oh the joy of a machine that does it’s job without a hitch.  Happy days indeed.

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Winter layers for the kids

BB’s best friend Miss I is a pearl, one of three in a lovely family.  Her mum chose merino colours for all three – Miss I has the blue and teal on the right, pink and pink for Miss A and blue and pea green for wee Mr J.

There’s a black and white cotton lycra long sleeve raglan for my girls too but it’s in the wash already.

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