Tag Archives: dress

Burda Style UK PDF patterns

So I took advantage of Burda Style UK’s BOGOF offer on their PDF patterns recently. I bought 2 dress patterns, both I’m pretty excited about. For the first one, “Burda style magazine 01/2010 Dress #10”, I bought some black fabric for at the market – pretty boring but I’m starting plain.

Burda style magazine 01/2010 Dress #10




For the second pattern, I chose “04/2011 Long dress with side slits #116” and I bought the perfect fabric at the market for £1 a metre! Now I bought 3, as they come in metre panels, but I want to have a go at making this dress soon because if it goes wrong (chances are it will) I want to be able to get some more before they sell out. 

04/2011 Long dress with side slits #116



The problem is, how do you get the instructions for these patterns?! I get that you print off the pdfs and tape them together, but there are no instructions on how to sew it….. Anyone used Burda Style UK patterns before? They must be somewhere? If I have to guess I’ll end up buying the whole roll of fabric!



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Sewing jersey success

ImageShowing my jersey dress off on Christmas morning with my lovely Mum!

I’ve wanted to sew a jersey dress for ages and it’s finally happened. Nervous at trying something new, I had no excuse when I got a new overlocker for my birthday. And I got the courage to to do it when this landed on my doorstep:

ImageWendy Mullin’s Sew U Home Stretch


Inspired by reading about this book on Did you make that and Scruffy Badger‘s blogs I decided to go for it, and I’d recommend it to anyone. Wendy explains in detail how to sew with jersey fabrics and gives alternative instructions for whichever type of machine you may be using. With patterns supplied, easy to follow instructions and details on how to alter them, this is a great book.

I started by following the dress pattern. I picked up some floral jersey at the market ages ago for £1.50 a meter, and knew it would be my practice piece. I’m glad I’d made this decision, because although I started to really like the fabric when sewing it, when I put it on I looked like a sausage, squeezed into a fabric tube. Not a good look!



I needed to change the skirt so it wasn’t so narrow. I looked at one of my favourite dresses and used the cut and spread technique I learnt at a Sew Over It class to make a new pattern.


Stage 1. Copy your skirt pattern piece and cut equally spaced perpendicular lines from the hem to the top of the piece.
Stage 2. Decide the width you want the skirt to be and draw this on another piece of paper. Spread the cut pattern pieces out along this line and tape them down.
Stage 3. Draw a line to match all these pieces up to form your new skirt hem line and trace the rest of the pattern piece.
Stage 4. Take off the cut up pattern and your new skirt piece is ready to use! Remember to do for skirt front and back and copy the other pattern markings.

I made my Christmas Day dress in just half a day on Christmas Eve using some crushed velvet I bought in New Fabric Shop in Walthamstow for £2 a metre. I love it! 


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NewLook 6070 from Project Runway

As typical British bank holidays do, this weekend started off with a lot of rain. Yesterday was a complete wash out! There was nothing to do but stick the kettle on  and watch back to back episodes of cheesy US sitcoms. And what better time to start on a new project.

This time I’m having a go at NewLook 6070 from Project Runway.



Against all my own advice, I’m not making a toile for this. I might regret this choice, and if I do I will regret it a lot because I’m using fabric that has sat in my stash for a while. Not because I don’t like it, but because I like it a lot. And I don’t want to screw it up! So now I have probably jinxed myself 🙂

Instead of making a toile I took down my measurements and took some time looking at the pattern and adjusting it before I cut my fabric. I’ve chosen a UK size 10 for the bodice and graded the skirt from a 10 at the waist to a 12 UK at the hips. Finger’s crossed this works, I’ve never tried it before. 

So far so good. the pattern isn’t made up of too many pieces and I had all my fabric cut out and ready on Friday afternoon. Today though, the sun is shining! The pattern seems very straightforward, but I’m yet to get to the sleeves and the zip. Note, I have never sewn sleeves before… Eeek. I’ve just had time to sew up the bodice and I’m about to sew up the side seams of the skirt. But I like how it’s shaping up:



I’m sure the sleeves will be tricky, any advice before I tackle them?


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A rediscovered project: Simpliciy 2360

The Little Room of Sewing is back in action! The fishing gear has been removed (sorry Tom, you’re not having my sewing room) and my machines have been dusted down. Just looking at my fabric stash got me excited about the possibilities of what I could be making.

Starting off easy. I don’t know about you but I have a bundle of half finished projects. Or projects that I didn’t like when they were finished.  The Project Runway Simpliciy 2360 pattern, one of my first ever makes, has been picked from the pile to become the work dress it was destined to be!

I remember I took a long time with sewing this dress, and I gave up because I sewed the sleeves on the wrong way! But I dug it out the pile to try it on and see if it fitted, and I don’t think its too bad if I do say so myself.


 There are a few things that need fixing on the dress.

1. The frilly sleeves are sewn on the wrong way! When re sew them, I might take them in by 2cm so they are less frill. What do people think? I’m undecided.

2. I have a gap on either side seam where bodice meets skirt. I don’t know why, I must have wanted to make some change here. Ah well, I’m just going to sew them back up!

3. Its a little tight around the neck line and bust. I was considering changing the neckline to try and solve this but I think I might just open up the back a little (cut a v shape in the fabric and  sew a button to do at the top?). If anyone has seen a blog post/tutorial on how to add this type of adjustment to a pattern I would love to hear.

And then I think I will have a perfect work dress!


Filed under Dress, sewing

The Cambie dress stage 2

So I realise “Day 1 of alterations” was a long time ago…. 11 days to be exact. There has been work on the fit of this dress in between, I just haven’t taken time to write about it. My toile went from looking like a shapeless sheet to a voodoo doll. After lots of pulling, pinning, tucking and googling, I ended up with this:

 toile 1      toile 2

The Toile #1

me in toile

Once I was pleased with the fit I transfered the changes I’d made onto the paper pattern. I copied the pattern first, which I’m so glad I did because there were lots of changes going back and forth. Years ago I did a pattern making course, and slowly what I had learnt started coming back to me! Like how you can remove a dart by opening out another.

Once I’d made all the changes I created toile #2 to make sure my alterations had transferred successfully to the pattern pieces. It’s all gone well apart from…

– My darts dont quite meet up. I could change them, or I could hope no one notices in patterned fabric!?
– Instead of taking fabric out of side seams of the skirt, I took it out of the centre back on the pattern piece because I was being lazy. I think this might have had an effect on how it fits. The skirt sways to the front and is too tight on my bum. So I’m going to put this change back in and maybe grade out the side seams a bit. I think that should solve it?!

IMAG0768 v2 back v2 side 2
You see how the front sways out?

So next step is to make some more changes to the pattern pieces, and then I’ll make it up in my lovely new bargain fabric from Walthamstow market (more to come on this new stash later…)



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