Getting Rid of My Burda World of Fashions

I just put 16 issues of Burda World of Fashion up for sale on the site. These are mostly from 2007 and 2008, which were (IMO, and I’m not the only one) the best years, with great designs and classic styles. They are $13.50 each, which includes priority mail postage within the US. The truth of the matter is that I won’t get around to ever using them, so I’d rather have them go to good homes. So help a girl out, would ya?

Click Here for Burda Magazines

I’m working on another version of the Lori jacket from StyleArc, this time using couture techniques. Stay tuned for more on that.

Happy sewing!

Pattern Review: Burda 6984 Blouse

Pattern Description: From the website. Two delicate blouses with tiny front pleats, nicely feminine and absolutely top of the line. Either with gathered collar and sleeveless, or collarless with long, gathered sleeves with binding edges. I made View a, the collared, sleeveless version. A couple of additional notes: the collar is cut on the bias, and the armholes are finished with bias facings.

Neckline detail showing bias collar and pleats.
Armhole Facing

Sizing: 8-20. I made a size 12.

Available as a PDF? No

Fabric Used: Chanel stretch silk charmeuse that I bought from my friend Alice at Mendel Goldberg (yes, I do occasionally splurge and support my colleagues, especially Alice, who gets fabric that I can’t).

It’s worth noting that this pattern requires a very drapey fabric to work well. I made a muslin with cotton muslin (naturally) to check the fit and construction, but I recommend silk or rayon wovens for this.

Machines and Tools Used: Pfaff home machine, Juki home serger, Naomi the Naomoto iron.

Needle/Notions Used: Stretch 65/9 needle, mesh tape invisible zipper, thread.

Tips Used during Construction: Anything by The Pressinatrix, Scary Silks.

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes

How were the instructions? Good. This is a very straightforward pattern to make, and it goes together well.

Construction Notes: This pattern fit the bill on all levels. I made a muslin before cutting into my fabric, and it didn’t need any big adjustments, not even an FBA. So away I went!

I used a 2.5mm straight stitch for the seams. I finished the seam allowances with a 3-thread overlock. I hand hemmed the bottom.

Hand hemming is one of the few things I can do while being sidelined by a really nasty cold.

Likes/Dislikes: I wanted a pattern that would let this fabric sing – i.e. not too many lines. Since I only had 1.5 yards, I wanted a sleeveless or short sleeved top, and I really like the collar treatment. I love the simple shape, and I’ll wear this top both under a jacket and by itself with jeans, if the weather ever decides to cooperate. It’s 31 degF outside my office right now, so I doubt I’ll wear it this week.

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? Yes and yes! This is a perfect pattern for showcasing a super special fabric. The simple lines and the lovely drape at the neckline let the fabric sing.


Conclusion: Love it! I hope I get to wear it some day, if spring ever comes. Here’s the full top on Shelley.

And back.

In other news, the big event this weekend (and next) is DS the Younger got the lead role in the High School production of “The Music Man.” It’s a blast to see him having so much fun, and the entire cast is excellent.

76 Trombones

Happy sewing!

Next Up, a Burda Top for Spring

If spring ever comes, that is. Here’s my WIP, a sleeveless Burda top.
Burda WIP
It’s a pretty straightforward pattern, with a cool collar. I’m waiting for some lightweight mesh-tape invisible zippers to arrive, then I can attach the collar. The zippers are supposed to arrive Friday, so I’ll finish it this weekend. With any luck I’ll be able to wear it some time this year! Brrrrr…

Happy sewing!

Pattern Review: BWoF 6-2009 120 Shorts

Wherein fabric gets switched, mistakes get made, saves are performed and ultimately all ends well…

Burda 6-2009 Shorts A funny thing happened on my way to the sewing machine. Fabric alchemy of sorts – linen changed to piqué!

Seriously, I went downstairs to put a load of laundry on, including my gray linen for these shorts, when what confronts me in front of the washing machine, but about 2 weeks’ worth of teenaged sons’ laundry. I was (and still am) unconvinced that said teenaged sons’ laundry would get done without maternal intervention, and since both of them were out of the house, I started doing load after load. Which meant that my laundry, along with my gray linen, got shuffled to the back of the laundry queue, and didn’t get done for a couple of days.

But I did have a yard of Blue Aster Stretch Cotton Piqué that was pre-washed and waiting for a project, so all worked out. The linen is now washed, and it will be the next piece I cut into, probably after I finish this post. Allons-y!

Pattern Description: Pleated, cuffed shorts with faced waistband and mock-fly front.

Sizing: 34 to 44. I made a 40.

Fabric Used: Stretch Cotton Piqué (sold out, sorry) from Gorgeous Fabrics (of course). A remnant of a long-sold-out floral cotton voile for the pockets.

Machines and Tools Used: Juki DDL8700 industrial straight stitch to start, then I finished it at home on my Pfaff and my Juki home serger.

Needle/Notions Used: Universal 70/10 needle, 7 inch zipper, 1 metal snap, 2 pairs of D-rings, thread.

Tips Used during Construction: Press that Bad Mamma Jamma and Anything by the Pressinatrix, “J”? or “L”?, Stabilize a Crotch Curve with Clear Elastic.

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes, for the most part.

How were the instructions? Standard issue Burda, meaning they suck. These shorts are pretty well drafted, and as long as you don’t make any boneheaded errors (see below) then you’ll get good results. As it is, even with the boneheaded error it turned out okay.

Construction Notes: I made the shorts more or less according to the directions, though I threw up my hands and pulled out my 1980 edition of the Vogue Sewing Book to remind myself how to do things like mock flies and turn back cuffs, rather than trying to figure out Burda-speak.

I changed the curve on the crotch to more of an “L”, per usual for me. I used a length of clear elastic (not stretched) to stay the CB seam and the crotch curve.

I added ½ inch seam allowances all around, except for the waistline/facing, which were ¼ inch SAs. I sewed all the seams on a straight stitch machine. Because this particular piqué is rather loosely woven, I used my serger to finish all the raw edges.
Pocket and Seam Finishes
To reduce bulk, I used pique for the pocket that is visible, and a remnant of a lightweight cotton for the pocket piece that isn’t.

Bonehead Alert! I know that I’m (in Boston parlance) wickid smahht. Hell, I got a 100 on the Mensa test. As an aside – really? Come on people, if I can ace that test a monkey can get into Mensa. But of course, I wouldn’t be a member of a club that would have me for a member.

Where was I? Ah yes – bonehead! I was happily chugging away, completely ignoring these pretty red tailor tacks I had put at the center front. I installed the zipper and fly, and I was pretty darned pleased with myself and my progress. Then I happened to look at the picture of the shorts. Hey, what’s that button doing at the top? Riiiiight. Faced waistband. Fly zip. Geometric awkwardness at best. Hmmmmm. That’s a boatload of stitching to rip out, and I didn’t have any more of the piqué to cut a new piece. So I improvised. I ripped out part of the facing and redid it.

That's what happens when I get cocky.
That’s what happens when I get cocky.

To keep things neat, I added a snap at the top. It’s not the most elegant solution, but it worked, and as Jim Blinn once memorably stated in a panel discussion at Siggraph, “Brute force is a wonderful methodology.”

The other thing to note is that for this pattern Burda actually gives you a hem allowance. The problem is that, with a fabric like this pique, if you turn the hem under, then when you do the turn back cuffs, you have 5 layers of fabric at one point. And when you’re wearing shorts with cuffs, that can be a lot of bulk in an uncomfortable place. So I cut the hem allowance off, serged the raw edge, sewed it using my sewing machine, then turned the cuffs. That helped a lot.

Inside view of the hem and cuff.
Inside view of the hem and cuff.

Finally, Burda calls for belt buckles for the side belt-tabs. I have several, but none of them were the right size, or the ones that were the right size clashed with the blue. So instead, I used D-rings for the time being. I’m going to New York this week, So I’ll get buckles there. Or maybe not, we’ll see.
D Rings

Likes/Dislikes: These are very cute. My husband really likes them. They are very comfortable to wear. They go together well, as long as you pay attention to your markings. :\

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? I would recommend it. I’m not sure if I’ll do it again. JoAnn had a $1.40 sale on McCalls patterns this weekend, so I picked up a couple of shorts patterns that I might use on the linen instead. But I do like this pattern.

Here’s a sucky selfie. I never wear my shirt tucked in, but this gives you an idea of how they look on me.
And On
I realized after I took this pattern that the fly stitching had not caught the entire length of the facing – that’s why the fly flares out a bit. I hand-stitched the facing down invisibly after I saw that. Now there’s no flare-out.

Conclusion: A good, cute, summer basic that will work for lots of figures.

Happy sewing!

On the Cutting Table – BWOF 06-2009 Shorts

I discovered that, other than athletic shorts, I’m woefully short (pun intended) on summer shorts that are suitable to wear about town. I guess that gives me a project for the weekend. I thought about making another set of StyleArc’s Karen Walk Shorts, but I wanted something shorter. So I pulled out my old Burda World of Fashion magazines (now renamed BurdaStyle), and came upon this pair in the June, 2009 edition:

Burda 6-2009 Shorts
Can’t find an online image of it, so here’s a shot from the magazine.

I’m going to make it using this Herringbone Gray Linen from Gorgeous Fabrics

Which, coincidentally, is 25% off through July 6. Just sayin’

I’m busily tracing it off today, and hopefully by tomorrow night I’ll have a new pair of shorts. More later, and in the meantime,

Happy sewing!

Pattern Review: Puppy Dress, And…

The pattern is also known as BurdaStyle Spring 2014-102

Can't find a linkable image
Can’t find a linkable image

Pattern Description: “The delicate pleating and handmade fabric flowers turn this dress into a true work of art.” Yeah, whatevs. Sleeveless, bateau-neck dress with shoulder and waistline pleats. Optional self-fabric flowers.

Sizing: Petite sizes 17-21. I made a de-petited size 20 (equivalent to a regular Burda size 40)

Fabric Used: French bulldog print silk crepe de chine that I got from the designer. Sorry, it’s not available on Gorgeous Fabrics. Silk habotai in Oyster (sold out, sorry) from Gorgeous Fabrics.

Machine(s) and Tools Used: My Pfaff, Ham, Shoulder Press, Naomi the Naomoto Iron

Needle/Notions Used: Universal 60/8 needle, silk organza for interfacing, 14 inch invisible zipper, petersham ribbon and hook/eyes for the waist stay, hook and eye at the top for the zipper, thread, an old brooch for the back of the flower pin.

Tips Used during Construction: Anything by The Pressinatrix. The Right Bra Makes All the Difference. Make the Lining First. The What and Whys of Waist Stays.

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes

How were the instructions? Sucked. I know BurdaStyle says they have revamped the instructions, but they are still pretty bad. Fortunately, I made a muslin, and the pattern is drafted well, so I didn’t need them.

Note that there is an error in the pattern instructions. It says to use a 9 inch invisible zipper in the instructions, but the pattern is marked for a 16 inch zipper. If you use a 9 inch, you either won’t be able to get into the dress or you’ll have a humongous gap. I used a 14 inch invisible zip because I didn’t have the right color in a longer zip. The 14 inch worked fine.

Construction Notes: I made a FBA, which you can see In This Blog Post. I added shoulder darts in the back. I also underlined the bodice (the pattern is unlined) and lined the skirt. I finished the bodice seams and the facing edges with a Hong Kong finish:

Front inside, showing the facing and lining
Front inside, showing the facing and lining

I inserted a waist stay, made of rayon petersham ribbon and two hooks and eyes. It’s attached to the dress at the side seams, the darts, the center front waistline seam allowance and on either side of the zipper, where it emerges from between the lining and the outer fabric:

Waist stay hooks at the zipper
Waist stay hooks at the zipper
Waist stay as seen from the outside of the dress
Waist stay as seen from the outside of the dress

I machine hemmed the lining, but I wanted a really smooth, elegant finish on the outer skirt, so I hand hemmed that.

I machine-hemmed the lining, but I hand-hemmed the outer shell
Damn, I’m good!

The shoulder pleats add a lot of bulk at the seam. You really need to use a lightweight fabric for this dress. Even a cotton would be too bulky. I think that’s why Burda put the flower pin there: to camouflage the seam, since it is noticeably thicker than the other side. Even with thoughtful pressing and grading, you can see it.

Three pleats in a very small space
Three pleats in a very small space

Likes/Dislikes: Love it! It’s very comfortable to wear, and the print is darling without being twee. What’s not to love?

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? I probably won’t do it again, but I do recommend it.

Conclusion: A great dress. This is one that would make a great dancing dress. Here’s a picture on Shelley. Sorry it’s wrinkly – I took it this morning, after wearing it last night.
Front on Shelley

And here it is on the hoof. I accessorized it with a black patent leather belt, ivory silk peep-toe pumps that you can’t see, alas, (Phyllis, I liked them better for this occasion than the pink Giuseppi Zannotti shoes) and a Milly clutch. I wore the dress to dinner last night, and our waitress kept exclaiming that she loved it. She was floored when my husband told her that I made it. It’s a winner!
Puppy on the Loose

The reason we went out to dinner? Because 29 years ago today…

Wedding Party
The gown! The hair! The mauve dresses! How very 80s 🙂

Like the first picture in this post says, “Love Story”

Happy sewing!

Memorial Day Miscellany

First up, a very big Thank You to those who serve or have served our country. Memorial Day is meant to commemorate the service of our veterans. Thank you, thank you, thank you. As part of the celebration of Memorial Day, our high school marching band plays at the ceremony that takes place at the local cemetery. The vets and other attendees always appreciate it, and the kids love to do it. It’s the last band event for the seniors, so it’s a poignant moment.

After the ceremony, the band goes back to the high school, where the band director posts the results of the drum major competition. In the fall, any sophomores who are interested in becoming drum major submit their names, and for the remainder of the year, each candidate has many opportunities to conduct the band, do march-offs, and partake in other activities that will help the band director decide who will be the drum major for the next two years. DS the Elder was the drum major, and he led the band during their march at Disney, which was one of the highlights of his high school career. This year, DS the Younger threw his name in the ring. When DS the Elder applied, there were only 4 candidates. This year, there was a field of 10 very qualified sophomores – it was a very, very tight competition. When he left to go to the high school this morning, I gave him a big hug and told him to be gracious to whomever won, and to know that he did his absolute best and should be proud of himself regardless of the outcome.

Well, guess who’s the next drum major!?

That’s right – he did it!! DH and I looked at each other in vague disbelief when DS the Elder texted us to let us know (he was with his brother, and I think he was as proud and pleased as could be, though he won’t admit it). Then we said, “Sh*t, that means we have to go to football games on Friday night AND Saturday, doesn’t it?” (DS the Elder plays in the UMass Marching Band). I guess that’s not such a bad problem. 🙂

On another note, here’s a picture of me in the Jacinta Maxi. It’s really comfortable, and is perfect for casual entertaining. Both sons have friends over for dinner – DH is slow-grilling ribs. Have I told you I love long weekends?
Memorial Day Cazh

The other thing I worked on today was the Puppy Dress. I sewed the front and back, and right now they are pinned on Shelley at the shoulders. Our wedding anniversary is a week from today, and I hope to have this ready to wear to dinner to celebrate.

Front in Progress
Front in Progress

Closeup of the print. How could I resist?
Closeup of the print. How could I resist?

Back in Progress
Back in Progress

That’s enough excitement for one day.
Happy sewing!

Muslin for the Puppy Dress

… or “Un-Petite-ing a Petite Pattern”

I made the first muslin for the puppy dress last weekend, and it required a few adjustments. First, I added about an inch to the torso length, then I did a full bust adjustment. This is what the pattern looked like when I’d finished slicing and dicing:

Adjusted Bodice

Rather than futz with floppy and fragile pattern pieces, I just decided to trace off the adjusted pattern to a new piece of paper.
Adjusted Bodice Traceoff

When I make standard (non-petite) patterns, I often have to do a swayback adjustment. I didn’t need that here. The back length is perfect for me. But I did have to adjust the side back piece to match up to the adjusted front torso length:

Sliced to match up to the front
Sliced to match up to the front

I sliced it open to add length at the side front seam, tapering to nothing at the side back.

Here you can see the front and back of the second muslin:


After trying it on, I added darts to the back and back facing, to get it to lay better against my shoulders. I have pretty erect posture most of the time, but I find that adding darts makes a big difference,even for me.

Darts in the back pieces
Darts in the back pieces

In the picture on the model (who has no boobs), the dress is very sweet looking. On me, I noticed two things. First, the dress looks very “Joan Holloway”, which I rather like. Second, the bra I wear with this dress makes a HUGE difference. I was wearing a tee-shirt bra when I first tried it on, and I didn’t like the fit, so I changed to one that hoists the girls higher and closer together. That will be the bra I wear with this dress from now on.

And speaking of bras, if you haven’t already read it, go Read This Post. Now. It’s just as important as ever.

I’m happy with the fit of the muslin, so next step is to cut into my puppy silk and lining habotai. More soon!

Happy sewing!

Take Two on the Puppy Dress, and Happy Mothers Day!

Let’s go backwards. First, happy Mothers Day to those who celebrate it! We made it a bit of a weekend, with DH and the boys building me a raised bed garden:

Home Depot sells pre-fab raised beds. Yay!
Home Depot sells pre-fab raised beds. Yay!


We also went out and bought lots of herbs, since I have a brown thumb and herbs seem to be hardy enough to survive me.

These came from a local farm. We won't plant them until later this month, because we're supposed to get a cold spell.
These came from a local farm. We won’t plant them until later this month, because we’re supposed to get a cold spell.

We plant tomatoes, and this year we’ll plant a whole lot of them. We love heirlooms, as well as the good ol’ beefsteaks and cherries, so when the weather warms up a bit we’ll put them all in.
For my Mothers Day dinner, DH tried cooking ribs for a very long time over very low heat. They were wonderful! And he got to spend quality time with the little Weber we got for him last year. I think everyone had a nice day!

That's the fire pit we built last year. One of these days we'll get around to replacing the 30 year old length of cedar fence, but honestly, no one notices.
That’s the fire pit we built last year. One of these days we’ll get around to replacing the 30 year old length of cedar fence, but honestly, no one notices.


The other thing I did this weekend was punt the Burda dress muslin. Mary and Mardel nailed it in their comments on my blog post about it. There’s a lot of work to be done, and it still doesn’t guarantee that I’ll be happy with the result. And honestly? I really want to love the result, because I lurve the fabric! So I decided to look through the patterns in my stash, and I stumbled over the Spring 2014 BurdaStyle magazine.
Burda Style Spring 2014
You know, I’ve seen some posts on various forums grousing about this publication, saying that it rehashes patterns from Burda World of Fashion issues. Well here’s the deal as far as I’m concerned. I have a bunch of BWOFs, and I can honestly say they have been a losing investment. They cost around $15 each, which if you look at the number of patterns in them seems like a good deal. But in order to use said patterns, you have to trace them off (I can do that) and – here’s the deal killer to me… add seam allowances. Look, I barely have time to sew, never mind trace, and then add seam allowances. To heck with that. With this magazine, at least the SAs are added to the pattern. So for me (and this is only my personal bias, mind you), I am far more likely to use the patterns in this magazine than in the original BWOFs.


Anyway, I saw a cute cute CUTE dress that I thought would work beautifully for the puppy dress. It’s pattern number 102 in the magazine, a dress with pleats at the left shoulder and right waist. Now the only wrinkle, so to speak, is that it’s a petite pattern. But when I measured the pattern pieces, they really weren’t too far off, so I made a muslin:

I think this will work much better with my Puppy Silk
I think this will work much better with my Puppy Silk

The changes I need to make are to lower the bust point, make a FBA, and add about an inch to the hem. Other than that? At 5’6″, I never thought I was a petite, but this works for me.

So I think we have a winner!

Happy Mothers Day to all, and Happy Sewing!

Puppy Dress: The Muslin

I’m using Burda 7378 for the Puppy Dress, as I’ve taken to calling it. I haven’t had a lot of time to sew this week, but I have stolen 15 minutes here, 30 minutes there, and the muslin is complete. Well, the first muslin is complete. Here are some pictures.

Burda 7378 Muslin Front
Full frontal
Burda 7378 Muslin Front Closeup
Detail showing where the neckline needs to be adjusted, along with markings for FBA
Burda 7378 Muslin Front Detail
Another detail shot of the changes needing to be made to the front bodice
Burda 7378 Muslin Back Detail
And the back, with back neckline darts added

I’ve tried it on, and it looks nice. But that’s about all. It needs several adjustments, including a slight FBA, tucks in the pattern at the neckline, and the addition of neckline darts in the back. And with all that, it will fit well. But the pleats at the center front of the empire skirt give me pause. The cotton muslin is, of course, much heavier and stiffer than the silk crepe de chine. But I want to think about whether I like the silhouette enough, or if it’s something that would make me think, “Pregnant!”

And let’s face it, pregnant at my age? Not a good look at all. I may try converting the pleats to darts and see what I think of that. I do like the lines of the dress in general, but it may not be what I want for this fabric. And that, my dears, is why I do muslins! I’d rather figure it out before hand than have to deal with the heartbreak of a dress that I’ll never wear, don’t you agree?

More to come this weekend. In the meantime,
Happy Sewing!