Feb Burdastyle : skirt 109 continued…

Thanks everyone for all your helpful comments on my last post. My posed photo didn’t show enough detail so I’m posting some extra skirt photos that I took on my dressform.


A little note if you plan to make this – I really think it benefits from the belt loops:


It has been very comfortable to wear in comparison to another wrap skirt I own. With the other skirt, I’ve had the problem of the tie-belt slipping above the waistband every time I sat down. Whereas it stays put on this skirt thanks to the loops.


As mentioned in some comments (and I agree), it needs to be styled differently and worn with a more fitted top. I also plan to attach the pockets ( and maybe add some colour with embroidery?) But in the meantime here’s how it looks – Back view first:


Below you can see that the back pleat is stitched closed at the top half of the skirt:


The faux wrap portion of the skirt :


And here it is opened back:


So there you go, hope that gives a clearer idea of how this looks made up! till next time xx


Jan Burdastyle – 107 01/2015

Just in time….. I finished my top from the Jan Burdastyle Magazine. Everyone commenting agreed that it needed the pocket, so that stayed put:


I’m wearing a black top underneath, so the neckline shape looks like a triangle – but it’s actually the bound split as per the pattern:


I cut a size 34 ( I’m closer to a 36 with burdastyle but didn’t want it to be too big). It fits well, its cosy, and I’ve been wearing it all day…but… I’m not overly keen on the way the drop shoulders look.


These are the most flattering of the pictures to be honest. When I see this in the mirror I want to change the shoulders. So, we’ll see – it might get reworked. Because I really like the loose boxy style.

I’m also pretty happy with the high-low hem that Dawn suggested :


Not scratching my head here...!

Speaking of reworking… I took a seam ripper to my shirtsdress. I had worn it twice, but found the belt/sleeves a bit bulky under jackets so I removed them:


I also tweaked the back waist a little so that it would sit better against the curve of my back:


So next for the Burdastyle challenge….? I bought the Feb issue of Burdastyle this week and have my mind set on this skirt:


Skirt 109 Burdastyle 02/2015

I loved the pleats at the front and the large pockets. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it’s a wrap skirt!


It’s always good to have a bit of wiggle room with a skirt waist 🙂

I’ll leave it there for tonight – apart from one last look at the top ( which I only just realised – unintentionally fits with the whole Jungle January theme I keep seeing on blogs ! ! )


September Burda dress 122 09/14


Burda 09/14

Hi there:) Since the last post I’ve been knitting furiously on my City Cape from Purlsoho in a tweedy grey yarn. Unless Halloween costume-making takes over, it should be finished soon!

The dress pictured here was one of my favourites from the September Burdastyle magazine.  It has very interesting seam lines and not too many pieces to trace. I started buying Burda magazines over 15 years ago and once I faced my fear of using them (took about five years!) I found their sizing worked well for me. 



I made this from some lightweight (poly mix) suiting. The grey was a remnant bought in Fabric Select in Dublin and the black was leftover from an old project. I traced the size 36- but as my waist is the larger size, I cut it with 2cm side and center back seam allowances. All other seams were cut at 1cm to make it easier to sew the curved pieces accurately. I then assembled the front and backs and pinned the sides to fit my shape.

I traced a neck facing instead of lining it


Inside view showing neck facing

I understitched the facings and also held them with a handstitch to the inside seams.


I also needed to leave slits in the shoulders to allow for proper arm movement.  When the seams were fully stitched, it meant the entire dress lifted when I raised my arms. I suspect it was a combination of my straight shoulders and narrow sleeves which caused this.


Split at shoulders

I used a centered zipper


I also omitted the center front panel on the skirt by just extending the center front line on the pattern piece and drawing a new hemline.

It was a pretty quick make as I didn’t make any muslin and fitted as I went along which usually works out ok. I rarely spend too much time adjusting patterns unless I think I will be making more than one of it. My to – sew list is so long that I rarely make things twice!

Burda 04/2014 dress 106 …. why a muslin would have been a good idea

It’s been a longer break than expected but I’m back with an update on my blue dress.   Judging by the number of views the last post received, I think more than a few people are considering making this! So I just want to say Hi! to any new followers – thanks for stopping by and do let us know if anyone else is working on this dress.

I had planned to have this burda dress finished before my holidays in April, but it just didn’t happen.  Nevermind,  it will still be worn when it’s done!

Here’s a reminder below of the dress in question:

burda dress 04 2014 line drawing

I had gotten as far as this with it:


The sleeves were tacked in and the side seams stitched together. But when I tried it on, it did as expected and pooled weirdly around the legs.

I decided to stitch the pleats in place to hold their shape.  I first pressed each side as far as the hem .Then pressed them towards the center of the dress.  I had taken pictures of theses steps but unfortunately they were deleted by mistake.!

I did encounter another problem after trying on again- it was almost impossible to raise my arms without hiking up the entire dress. The armholes seem to be very low.  I cut a slit in the sleeve  as it was impossible to lift my arm!

I’ve since taken out the sleeves and plan to bind or face the armholes and just leave the dress sleevless. ….ahh lesson learned… shoulda done a muslin!  I parked it for a few days to work on some less taxing sewing and also machine knitting – which worked out really well.

Stayed tuned for my version of Marianne Cant’s  Slouchy Cardigan – made in less than 24 hours! Exactly what I needed ater struggling with my blue dress 🙂

Burda 04/2014 – Dress 106

Have you seen the April Burdastyle Magazine?  It’s the best I’ve seen in a long time.   Finally some interesting designs worth tracing off !   In fact, as soon as I got it home, I traced off this number:

burda dress 04 2014

I love the fold over detail at the front – not sure I like how it is folding in at the legs, I’ve noticed a few other bloggers mentioning it too. I’m hoping that I can figure a way to make it look better.

The line drawing gives a clearer picture :

burda dress 04 2014 line drawing


It’s also shown as a top in printed fabric.   Which I think I could always shorten it into, if the dress doesn’t hang nicely.

I’ve had some dark blue crepe de chine ( poly – something , definitely not silk!), in my cupboard with over a year.   It was just waiting for this kind of pattern.  So far I’ve begun to assemble it and, even though it is illustrated in the pull-out section, it is still a little bit of a head scratcher.

My measurements almost match the size 36 ( bust & hips –  my waist is always closer to the 38).   I cut this as a 36 as it looks to have enough wearing ease to allow for a larger waist ( but I added a half inch to the side seams just in case)

This is what the folded front piece looks like :



I rarely use chalk to mark darts or dots, instead I pin right on the dot and then sew to where the pin is.




Here’s the front piece opened out . The rectangular shapes are the draped front & collar pieces.

open front piece

The drape pieces are folded in half toward the centre of the dress and stitched from the marked notch to the dot at the end of the v , and back up to the centre front.


Here is how the centre of the dress looks after stitching:   The instructions tell you to fold down the tip of the centre front piece before you sew.


And here is the right side :


The wrong side again after both sides have been stitched:  The instructions tell you to reinforce the v points before stitching ( which I forgot to do) And then to snip into the v as close to the stitches as you can.


Then from the right side you need to reach in pull the drape pieces right side out and then press:


How it looks after both sides have been pulled through:


The next part of the magazine instructions were a bit confusing to me,  I’m not sure if it was tiredness on my part or that the pictures threw me off slightly.  But it took me a minute to understand that I was to partially baste each draped piece to the front neckline.20140326_211834

Lining up notches, I then pinned and basted some of the way along the front neckline:


After that I sewed the darts in the back piece, and then basted the side seams and shoulder seams. I also basted in a sleeve.


And then it was ready for trying on….. no pics I’m afraid as it was pretty late at that stage.  The fit was pretty good, it has nice shaping in the back. Although it calls for a side zip, I was able to pull it on without any trouble, so I might not bother with one.

The centre front skirt is going to be an issue. It is pooling oddly around the legs because the folds are opening out.  So far,  I have two options of fixing it that I’m trying to decide between.   Either I follow the line of the draped piece with a line of stitching on the right side to make them like angled pleats . Or I stitch the folds on the inside so that they don’t open up.  I came across a good example of how to do this on the ‘Off The Cuff’ blog-  Here’s a wonderful tutorial on controlling a bias pleat 

I’m experimenting with it and will have it figured sooner rather than later, as I really want this finished in time for my Hols next week !