May means Burda Sew Along… Wrap up

gracious its the 31st May! Time for the wrap up of my Burda Sew Along experience.

After last weeks post I went over to a friend’s place last weekend who is a very experienced sewist (is that what we’re called?!). She helped me fit the muslin and in the end we needed to take 4cm off each side at the top of the bodice! Hmmm may have added a bit too much to the pattern huh!

On the way back home I popped into Pete’s Emporium to get some cheap fabric to make toile number two. I left with two metres of a polyester for $6 a metre. And I actually like it. I may make something easy out of it as I still have a bit left


So I made the changes to the muslin that we had marked, checked that it would do up 🙂 and then pulled it all apart and used the calico as pattern pieces for the next wearable muslin.

And today I have sewed it up (nothing like month end to get some pressure going huh!). I am pretty pleased with how it all went together. There are only two things I would need to correct on the final dress – the back darts are not quite in the right place and the seam point in the middle of the bodice still doesn’t lie flat. So what do you think?

ImageImageYeah, not really flattering for me huh… I have lumps in places this dress shouldn’t and no lumps in places where this dress should!

But this has been great fun. I managed to take a pattern that was too small in some places and adjusted it to fit me. I am pretty pleased with how the second dress all came together with the boning in the bodice and the cotton tape I used at the top of the bodice for strength. My mother will be pleased anyway as she thought this dress was far to cold to wear to a winter wedding – and I know you were right Mum! I had my doubts about this style from the beginning but it was def worth a shot.

So thanks to Kat and the Curious Kiwi for the challenge, its been great. I did manage to actually make something else from Burda this month, but its only a plain black top so you’ll have to wait til I match it with another piece as its a bit dull! Check out the Kiwi’s site for the others and their Burda successes – there are some gorgeous garments there 🙂

So onto June. I promise to have some outfits that aren’t Burda… I am about to start on my Charlotte skirt – can’t wait 🙂


May means Burda Sew Along… Part 3

Time for another update…

Last time we caught up with our intrepid dress it looked like this….

hmmmm not so good.But fear not dear reader… things have moved on 🙂

I pulled it all to pieces. put the correct edges together (and found another one that had been matched wrongly as well!) to0k out the extra-extra width pieces I’d added, took out the pockets that made my hips look huge and sewed it all together again.

And guess what, it looks like a dress:

Its a dress!!Despite the fact I was wearing my gym gear which means my undergarments are not conducive to support, I think we might be onto a winner. Maybe. However it still needs some major help with the fit….

still a bit big next steps will be to head to a friends and fit it to me. I’m feeling much happier with this iteration.

There are some things to work on though:

  • the darts for the bodice aren’t in the right place, well one is, but the other isn’t
  • the skirt darts are not aligned. need to work on this
  • wondering if it needs a little bit more length?
  • for some odd reason, the front of the skirt which I didn’t make any adjustments is too big and doesn’t match the width of front bodice, which I have made wider. Weird!

But I am still enjoying this experiment and can’t wait to see how it looks next 🙂

So fellow Burda Sew Along folks, how are you are doing? I’m loving the photos on the Pinterest page. What challenges have you had, what successes? only one more week of May – scary huh!

In other news, I have many many many next projects planned. I met up with the fantastic girls from the Wellington Bloggers Network on the weekend and came away feeling really inspired. Can’t wait to get started. On everything. At the same time. Now!!!!!!

May Means Burda Sew Along… Part 2

so…. my Burda dress. We are after all halfway through the  month so time for an update it is.

Just a refresher – this is what the end product should look like when done….

BurdaStyle 3/2010

BurdaStyle 3/2010

challenges with making this are:

  • I’ve never made a dress before
  • I don’t know if it will suit me
  • I have to drastically adjust the pattern as I have nowhere near a Burda figure

Just a few things!  So I am doing the proper thing and making a toile first. As I don’t know if I would wear a dress like this anywhere else and as I think it might take me many tries to get right so I’ve started with muslin. And half a month in, my dress looks like this….

hmmmm not so good.

hmmm. Now I have to be honest and say that I have no idea how to resize a pattern. I started with cutting out the pattern as is, then measured across the front bodice and worked out how much I thought I needed to add on. I figured I needed another 1.5cm all the way around. I decided to increase the size of each front pattern by 1.5 cm – including the length figuring that it was easier to shorten rather than lengthen.

After drafting up and cutting the new pieces out, I then couldn’t work out how to get the jolly things back together! There are 5 pieces for the front bodice alone and of course they curve some so the flat edges don’t match like you think they should. In the end I pinned the original pieces together to work it out, and while playing with them realised that the original middle bodice pieces fit quite well – I just needed width.

So, I ended up with the original pieces with extra length added on. They went together fine and I figured I was on a roll. I added some width to the back pieces as well and then turned it into a bodice – yay! The only thing I couldn’t work out was a strange pointy thing where the centre bodice seams met – it stuck waay out… very very very strange. I looked it up online and couldn’t find anything like it elsewhere.

But onwards and upwards. I added some width to the back of the skirt – cause the front strangely fit the adjusted bodice as is (go figure). I knew I had some extra room in the back of the bodice. But this is a learning project and I AM learning. By late last night I had it roughly together, ready to fit I thought. Til I figured out I have an extra 14cm of fabric in the back of the bodice. And that the weird pointy bit was caused by one of the bodice pieces being sewn together upside down. Whoops.

So I spent the rest of last night unpicking most of what I have done. However before I did that I tried to see what it would look like on me finished – and I am very sad to say I don’t think this is gonna be a goer. I’m not the right body shape I fear. However, as annoyed as I was last night I think this dress is gorgeous and I am determined to keep trying. So its back to trial and error…. More updates before the end of Burda Sew Along May I promise!

In the meantime, a shot of my front room/drafting room!Scene of the ctime

Watson jacket – completed!!

All done!Aah the Watson Jacket by Papercut patterns. I have loved this jacket since I first came across it nearly 18 months ago.

Papercut is New Zealand based company, and I was so excited when I came across them. I ordered my pattern and when it came it was beautifully packaged and presented. A really detailed (I thought) sewing guide.  I brought the fabric (not sure what it is, sorry)  and a light blue lining (both the jacket and the cape are lined) and was all set. I cut it out and started.

All was going well until I had to sew the cape across the top of the shoulders. Then I lost it. Could not make head or tails of the instructions, couldn’t work out what bits to sew together… and gave up (are you seeing a theme here? It gets confusing and I stop.) I picked it back up late last year and gave it another go… it became a little bit clearer but only kinda.

BUT I am a determined type. I was going to finish this jacket come hell or high water. All I can say is thank goodness this jacket has a cape and a collar – they cover a world of sins! thanks goodness for collars!!!At one point I was left with weird gaps in the shoulder seams so I just topstitched it across knowing it would be covered! (look how ugly and puckered it is!)

Finally after a long long time I got the jacket almost done. The lining was in, all (well most) of the pieces were attached to each other, I turned it the right way around…. and one of the sleeves was sewn in the wrong way… bugger.

Righto. Sorted that out and carried on with getting this jacket done. And here we are. The end.

I love this jacket. At the same time it is the most frustrating thing I have ever made. I think there are a couple of gaps in the instructions, but I am sure most of the problems was from this being my first ever jacket. In fact this is my first of a number of things… full lining, buttons, sleeves… and it looks pretty good!

I have worn this jacket all week whenever I’ve been outside (I’ve been waiting for some sunshine so I could get photos) and have had lots of comments. Every time I see it I smile – I made this!!

smile for the camera         side view - with a peek of blue under the capepop of colour on the inside artistic gazing into the distance shot

May means Burda Sew Along!

Wow, May already! That means its the official kick off of Burda sew along month.

Two fellow Wellington Bloggers The Curious Kiwi and Kat at Modern Vintage Cupcakes have set this up – and its not too late to join 🙂 They figured they probably weren’t the only ones who had a stock of Burda magazines sitting there gathering dust so the challenge is to make at least one thing this month…

I love Burda mags, they have lots of pretty pics 🙂 However I haven’t had much luck. I have tried to make two things – a pair of pants a few years back that didn’t fit right and the green singlet that I had cut too small. But I plan to take this slow and steady and see what I can do.

BurdaStyle 3/2010

BurdaStyle 3/2010

I have a family wedding at the start of July and I saw this dress about two years ago, about the same time as my cousin got engaged. I want to wear this dress. However I’m not even sure this will suit me. And the wedding is in winter. And the fabric I have is gold and I don’t wear gold jewellery. And I’m bigger than the biggest dress size. And I’m not sure I will even be able to construct this thing – it has boning eep!!

Regardless I love it and I am going to try. The Burda Sew Along is the perfect excuse to get my butt into G. And I am going to do it properly and start with a muslin (even made out of calico!! no wearable muslin for me! ) And if I make the muslin and don’t like the dress then at least I’ve tried it.

So the first step is to cut out the pattern and start sizing for my fit! My bust and hip measurements fit a size 44 (the biggest size) perfectly but as I have no waist to speak of – I’m straight up and down – my waist measurement is somewhere out in the stratosphere. And yay its May so I can get it started!