BurdaStyle 11/2013 #111

BurdaStyle 11/2013 #111

I like this one.  Its not complicated or difficult and goes with everything, even a cardi.  Perfect for autumn.

Next time I’ll make a smaller size and use a softer slightly weightier fabric.  I cut a 38 and swam in it so ever-so-lazily lopped a bit off at each side seam.

The fabric is an almost sheer 50c piece of merino/nylon from the Levana bargain bin.  I love bargain bins.


BurdaStyle 10/2012 #119 – sorry about the sour face!

I like this one too and have worn it a few times already.  I learned my lesson from #111 and cut a 36 this time plus removed the back darts by taking width out at the back side seams.

I don’t know why Burda included darts, to be frank.  The top needs a fairly drapey stretchy knit to work and that sort of fabric shouldn’t need darts, right?  I am straight up and down though, so perhaps the darts would be needed to cater for more curves.  I don’t know.  What do you think?



Posted in Serger, Sewing | Tagged , , , , | 28 Comments


Before throwing myself into the next Big Trouser Thing, I thought a top or two would be in order.

I fancy a knit and am currently drawn to draped / wrapped designs for some reason, so it’ll probably be one of these.

They are all BurdaStyle : clockwise from top left – 10/2012/119, 12/2013/119, 03/2013#121B and 11/2013/111.

I have promised a friend the top left #119 so what the hey, I’ll make one for myself too.  Just need to decide which others to do as well.  As I type, I’m washing some merino and modal fabrics so I’ll be pattern tracing tonight and hopefully decisively sewing shortly thereafter.

I was also thinking about the linen trousers I’ve made recently and how my pattern looks with most of the alterations and fiddles noted en route to a wearable garment.  I think my brain is made up of series of small and not so small edits, if this is anything to go by.


Oh, and look what I stumbled upon in one of the local op shops last week.


Posted in not sewing, Patterns | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments


The clocks ‘fall’ back early tomorrow morning so these are autumnal trousers.

P1050368The fabric is twice the weight of the linen I used in the last pair of pants, but I needed to make the same adjustments again to cater for fabric expansion in the back.


(Next time I’ll allow more length to wear with heels too …..)

In terms of fit, I had already steam ironed out some of the excess from the back crotch point (pic here) but again that wasn’t enough.  So I also removed more at the upper side seams, centre back and upper back inseam and back crotch point.


Do you know I’ve never owned a pair of white trousers.  I love them.

Posted in fitting, Sewing | Tagged , | 33 Comments

Late Summer Linen

P1050344I have been slowly trouser-ing it up in the sewing room and finished this pair of slouchy, light weight linen pants last night.  The fit is good enough and I took these pictures this afternoon after wearing them most of the day.

P1050334Yes there are drag lines but there isn’t significant stretched bagginess in the butt and frankly that was the aim.  I’ll spend time on the next iteration sorting out the back legs but for now I am very happy.

What did I do?  First have a look at the last pair of linen pants I made:

Saggy baggy butt of doom from 2012 – click on the picture to go to the original post.

When I went back to this picture, I noticed the pants stretched from just below the waist band down to a little below the crotch point.  Essentially everywhere in the back.  So, I needed to work on the side seams, centre back seam and upper back inseam too.

And that’s precisely what I did this time around, a little bit at a time.  I took some width/length off then tested each step by wearing them for an evening or so.  It took a while but it was worth it I think.

I did start by steam ironing and stretching the back crotch point, removing an inch in both length and width on each side of the point.  I wouldn’t do this next time, to tell you the truth.  I’ll simply do a test square and see how much I can iron stretch it then will remove that amount from the pattern piece.

P1050342Time will tell whether my new trousers will need to be washed after each wear….

BTW I used New Look 6382 from waist to hips cos I was lazy and then widened the legs.  I fiddled about with crotch fit first before snugging it up.  The waist I finished with 1″ wide petersham rather than a facing, which I think is neater and simpler.

Posted in Sewing | Tagged , , , , , | 28 Comments

Roses and White Linen

Last week I whizzed up a few pairs of leggings for the kids.  They were very plain and very practical and by the third pair I was bored.  So, as the sewing machine was back I thought I’d try a little something to pretty them up.

P1050210 I have been meaning to try flower embellishments like this for ages but kept forgetting, then Rhonda blogged a beautiful version recently and finally the grey matter obliged.  Cute, no?

I have been informed that I will be making more rose leggings again soon.  In purple, apparently.

Onto another pair of trousers, though sadly without roses.  Have a look at this:


This is one of the back pieces of a pair of white linen pants I will start sewing up tomorrow.  Note – the newsprint paper pattern piece is on top of the fabric piece.  I love linen trousers but the first and only pair I made bagged out terribly after the first wear and then my skinnies did the same thing.

Well Jo and CG both sent me a very interesting way to potentially rectify the problem.  That is to stretch out the area on the back pieces with a very steamy iron, then trim off the excess and sew up as normal.  You can see how much extra room this generated.

Interesting hey?  I will be underlining and/or lining the pants too and will let you know whether the butt held it together or not.

Posted in fabric, Serger, sewing machine | Tagged , , , , , | 17 Comments


P1050199The Orange is finished, teamed up with a little more Purple and a smattering of light Pink.  Orange is a colour I am pretty sure I have never worn before.  How can this be?

The pattern is McCalls 5856, size 12 with no fitting alterations at all and made up in cotton voile.  I used the same purple bias strips to finish the waistline and extended the ends to add a splash more colour at the side for ‘ties’.  Everything is french seamed so the inside is almost as pretty as the outside – I’m starting to love this element of garment sewing.


I have an RTW skirt very like this (though not orange) with a 1″ grograin strip finishing the lining hem and I love the way it brings the lining out from hiding.  The ribbon also adds nice weight and a touch of stiffness to the swirl of the skirt, so I had intended to do the same with this version.  Unfortunately I couldn’t find the right colour ribbon so substituted the bias tape.  Successfully I think.

I will make this again soon in my lovely silk cotton as I have everything ready and waiting.  There is one other item in my sewing cue to be finished first however.

Oh, and before I forget, have a look at these.


Clockwise from top left – BurdaStyle special autumn/winter No. 5/2013; BurdaStyle 09/2013; Simplicity 6622 dolls pattern; Vogue 9771 size 12-16 some pieces cut in size 16; Vogue 2393 18-22 cut in size 22; Vogue 1166 size 12-16 uncut.

Would you like any of them?

I sorted through some of the piles on my sewing tables and these need a new home.  I am happy to post to wherever in the world the post will deliver, so leave me a comment stating your preference(s) and email address before midnight NZ time on Sunday 2nd of March 2014.  I’ll draw it shortly thereafter.

Posted in Patterns, Sewing, sewing machine | Tagged , , , , , , | 29 Comments


I broke it.  My sewing machine.  Only a little, but broken it is nonetheless.

So this morning into the shop it went for a week’s stay.  Oh poo.

Now, I do have a rather lonely overlocker and so on the way home I stopped off to buy cotton lycra destined to become leggings for the kids.  And maybe a skirt, cardi or long sleeve T or two.

I can’t possibly have nothing to do.

Oh, and look what arrived today?

P1050130I couldn’t help myself after reading about it.  Its not my fault.

Like I need any more patterns.  And I’ll need to grade them down.  Sounds like fun.

Still not my fault.


Posted in fabric, magazines, Patterns, sewing machine | Tagged , | 25 Comments

Colour me up


Cotton-silk gorgeousness and just look at all that colour.  Oh and the pattern was an op shop find – in my size, pristine tissue un-cut and a mere 50c.

I’ll line the skirt in white cotton-silk of the same blend and weight and maybe finish the lining hem with the 1″ wide red grosgrain.  Hopefully that’ll work as an extra shot of colour and not simply emphasize a wonky hem.  We’ll see.

And to continue in the same vein, I’m trialling the pattern with a vibrant orange cotton voile.  I haven’t managed to wear orange successfully so this is definitely going to be interesting.  I may need to invest in new makeup to pull it off.  Hah!

On a completely different colour set, mum gave me a lovely slightly stiff 1m square piece of silk.  The fabric hails from Pakistan (via a well traveled aunt) and I can’t decide which side I prefer.  Today I’m tending towards the blue flowers on gold flecked brown background.

pakistani silk

Posted in Sewing, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 30 Comments


P1050102This is my first purple garment, possibly ever, and I like it.

It is another BurdaStyle 07/2012 #117, in a cotton voile I got for $2/m a year or two ago.  I love the french seams, bias finish on the sleeves hem and neckline and lightweight summer flow of the thing.  I can see myself making another one…..

The one thing I didn’t like about this is how much I suck at making continuous bias strips.  The voile is such a lightweight fabric so I had to crack out the ruler and get on with it.

Oh dear.

A quilter I will never be.


Posted in Sewing | Tagged , , | 29 Comments

Wonders never cease …..

During the run up to Christmas I lost my inclination to sew, blog and pretty much stopped internetting completely.  I don’t know why and I am sorry to have been so neglectful.

Do you know what set me on my feet again?  Hand rolling hems.  Yes indeedy.  But forgive me, I am a little ahead of myself.

Seasons Greeting and a very Happy New Year

Anyway, all the craziness has finished and we are happily meandering through six weeks of summer break.  Bliss.  I did make a lot of festive gifts this year, mostly from the kitchen but had planned several scarves as well and that’s where the rolled hems came in.


I found a fab video tutorial (added to the side bar on the right if you’re interested) and set myself up in front of the telly of an evening to stitch.  The gentle, quiet time required to hand roll the edges of each silk square was wonderful and just what I needed.

Amazingly (well I’m amazed) I did sew up a couple of garments as well.  Nothing tricky but worth noting.  The first was for my sister in law – another New Look 6976 in dark blue cotton voile with french seams and vintage lace for the neckline drawstring casing.  No picture sorry but fingers crossed it fits.

The second was a simple summery top for me.  BurdaStyle 07/2012 #117.

P1050086Perfect to get back into my stitching groove – a quick easy make ideal for summer holiday slouching.  I’ve worn it as often as it can be washed and dried!

Its in a soft as soft cotton from mum (she’d had it for 20 years or so I think) and I made minimal changes to the pattern – a little less neckline gathering and slightly longer at the hem.  I feel rejuvenated.

Now I will leave you with a gratuitous Christmas morning shot.  Ho ho ho.


Posted in Patterns, Sewing | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments