Burda 10/2016 104 (fancy pocket dress!)

This is a rarity for me – actually using a Burda Style Magazine in the same month as it was purchased.  I attempted the Burda Challenge in 2015, where you make something from each months issue, but I abandoned it early in the year.  It didn’t suit the way I make things.  I don’t shop for fabric regularly – I tend to pick fabric up as I see it, and then let it gather dust until the perfect pattern shows up.

The pattern is described on the Burdastyle site as the “Fancy Pocket Dress” !


I’ve had the fabric more than two years – I got it from an Op shop in Australia. That makes me sounds like a globetrotter (I wish!)- I’d happily pack my bags and get on a plane to anywhere, but circumstances don’t usually allow for travel!  So that was my first time abroad in years, and I loved it! I saw lots of Melbourne and a little of Sydney. Anyway, on one of the days I took a bus tour to the Grampians and during a rest break, while everyone was getting tea – I popped into an Op shop and picked up a few bits, this fabric being one of them.

It’s a light stretch cotton, and I had 1.5 metres – which is less than the pattern calls for, but I had enough. I should say that the dress pattern is longer than it looks in the magazine- I cut 3 inches off the hem before sewing it.



Despite the complicated shape of the pockets, this dress came together pretty quickly. I made it on a Friday evening and wore it to dinner on the Saturday evening! It isn’t lined – just overlocked and I made narrow facings for the necklines.

Because of the stretch in the fabric, I used iron-on interfacing strips at the neckline, shoulders and centre back at the zipper.



The instructions for the pockets were as clear as usual with Burda…! So I took a few pictures as I went along which might help if anyone plans to make this.

This is how the skirt looked from the wrong side – I interfaced at the base of the pockets before snipping into the fabric. ( the centre pleats are tacked in place)



You then need to pivot the pockets upwards at the point where it was snipped:


The pocket folds back on itself – you then stitch the pocket seam ,from the point at the base to the top edge- seen below at the left of the pocket piece.

(my pocket shape is a little uneven as I had to cut into the plain selvedge to get it to fit)


The baste the top edges to hold in place, before joining the skirt front to the bodice front.

The picture below is of the front right of the skirt – the triangle on the left is where the pocket was pivoted. You need to make sure to catch this fully when sewing the skirt side seams.



Other than that, the dress was straight forward to make – once I had inserted the zip and joined the front and back at the shoulders, I tried it on and pinned the bodice sides to fit, continuing down to the skirt. Because of the triangle cutout at the pocket on the skirt, it would be difficult to let this out on the hips, unless you adjusted the width of the pleats.

When I tried it on, I didn’t like how much the pockets stuck out. My fabric wasn’t quite as drapey as suggested.  So I improvised by pushing the pocket in towards the centre front, and topstitching it down – it looks like an extra pleat on the skirt, and means the pocket is still roomy enough to use, but doesn’t stick out as much.



That’s about it really – I’ll be keeping the pattern handy, as I would love this in a lighter fabric for the summer – and it looked great without the sleeves, so a sleeeveless version will have to go on the to-do list.





Burda Shift dress #107 09/2012


This dress is more of a remake than a new make….. Whenever I go clothes shopping, I always check out the sale rack for any gems.  The black and white fabric design  really caught my eye – it’s a thick knit, similar to a pointe or double knit fabric.  It was a large size for a very small price! So I picked it up in the hope that it would be useful for cutting up.

I cut the original apart at the seams ( It was a plain shift shape with bust darts). I left the dress intact at the shoulders so that I could use the original neckline. After pressing, I pinned my pattern pieces with the shoulders sewing line aligning with the dress shoulders and then cut it out.




I used a Burda pattern to make this: Shift dress 107

The pattern making at the back  is atrocious, but that’s the original centre back seam, including the zipper, so I’ll just have to get over it!   I also kept the original sleeves and just re-cut the sleeve heads as per the burda pattern.




The dress has a lovely relaxed fit , without being too baggy.   The shaped darts are very flattering – but difficult to make out in this fabric (I’ve outlined a dart in red below)



I have worn this dress so much already – it looks great with thick tights and boots and I really want to make another one (or two!).But, I’m having trouble tracking down similar fabric – does anyone have suggestions or links to a good source of thick (preferably patterned) knit fabric. I’ve found lots of plain pointe, or else more black and white sweatshirt weight fabric, but nothing suitable yet, so any help appreciated 🙂

Till next time 🙂




Burda Challenge 2015 (April)

The Burda Challenge 2015  entails making something from each months issue of Burdastyle Magazine and then sharing it online.  These are the Culottes from the illustrated sewing section in the April issue of Burdastyle –   a little late to the blog!




Although people’s opinions vary on whether they really are culottes, or if they are (as said by a friend ) “just really wide pants”?

I think I’d like them better if they were more like a skirt around the legs.  As they are now, they look quite straight. Although they are very similar to this example of culottes found on ASOS:





They have pleats at the waist,  which I ended up stitching down by a few inches




But even so they still stick out a little – I used a suiting weight fabric, a lighter fabric would drape better.



They are a little high-waisted too, so look best with a cropped top. High heels are a definite too.  With flat sandals they just looked disastrous ( see ASOS example above!).  When hemming these, I pinned them to be parallel to the ground as due to the width they looked to dip lower at the inner legs.

They were a straightforward make and the instructions are very clear. If I was to make these again I’d go for a fabric with more drape and add some width from the hips down.


A list of blogs participating in the Burda Challenge 2015 can be found  here:

burdachallenge pic

Feb Burdastyle… (again?)

Hi there, I know it’s May, (the weeks have flown by!)  but somehow I’m still stuck on my skirt from February’s Burdastyle!  I didn’t find anything I liked in the March issue,  but I have made culottes from the April issue, which should show up here soon…

In the meantime – I’m finally finished with my blue wrap skirt.


Ta da!

I machine embroidered some leftover fabric and then cut out the pockets.


Embroidery in progress

My Pfaff is about nine years old, but it’s working fine. The only issue is the software is outdated and only works on an old desktop running Windows 2000 or xp ( forgotten which one?). This means waiting a looooong while for the computer to sluggishly boot – normally time to make a cuppa.!


I rarely use my embroidery machine for clothing – it’s normally used for gifts or interior sewing.  I’m always conscious that it could look like I made the garment from an old tablecloth!!

But I didn’t think it could make the skirt any worse, so what the heck.


Positioning the pockets

The pockets are topstitched in place:


Now that I’ve added some colour to the skirt it’s much nicer to wear,  and easier to match with other clothes. Definitely an improvement!

Next up are some culottes – they’ve gotten some bemused looks around here, but I’m kind of pleased with them. Once I get a picture,  you can make up your own mind….!


Textured top – Feb Burdastyle 02/2015


I put my blue skirt aside to work on a quick make – again from the February Burdastyle Magazine – it’s the cropped top style 127



Cropped top… No thanks…. I’d freeze! The sun might have appeared the last few days… but it’s still an Irish spring! So I lengthened mine – 4cm above the dart and another 7cm onto the hem.


I had traced this at the same time as my blue skirt. (… Which btw I have started to like again – pockets are in progress).

I used french seams on the sides and shoulders. And then overlocked and turned back the armhole seam.


I bound the neckline and continued it into a button loop at the back neck:


I quite like the shaped armhole seam, which I topstitched down-


I used a lightweight fabric that isn’t very drapey – not surprising since this isn’t apparel fabric! It’s cut from a curtain voile remnant.
I thought it was sticking out too much at the back, so instead of closing the centre back, I added a thread chain and two buttons –



I’m wearing it with along sleeve top underneath, but it looks quite nice on it’s own too…. when it’s warmer maybe!