Tag Archives: sewing

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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Well it can be a ‘wearable muslin’

Colette’s Sorbetto top. The pattern to get me back into sewing. It did do this. I now have a table of new fabric and Tom reminded me I’ve done nothing but sew all weekend!


This version was meant to be a muslin for fit, with fabric that I picked out of the stash that I had no plans to use (polycotton I think – feels too rough for a top really). But once I started using it I actually decided I liked it. I think what went wrong with this top is that ideally I needed the pattern to have a little more fit. The Sorbetto is designed to be loose, but when I tried it on it didn’t do me any favours. I added 3 inches to the length and then I did add 2 darts into the back once it was sewn but it needs more shaping I think. Perhaps it’s the fabric ? Something with a bit more ‘drape’ might be ok. But I do need to sort out those armholes.


So I’m back to the drawing board and measuring out one of my own tops to see where the differences are.

Why is sewing not simple?!


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Soft cotton suitable for baby bedding… help?!

I’ve been asked for a favour. My mother in law has bought a lovely baby travel cot for her new granddaughter and needs a pink cot quilt. She has a neutral colour one that she likes the shape of, but wants to make the cot more girly for when baby comes to stay next month!

I need to get my hands on a fleece material, but more importantly, a soft pink patterned cotton. I had some pink gingham cotton left over from my window blind that I thought would be perfect, but it feels a bit rough, not something you want for a baby. 

Can anyone recommend a good supplier of this type of fabric in London? It would be great if I can buy online and trust the quality will be what I want. If not I need to squeeze in a trip to Walthamstow!



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Sewing again :)

The problems I encountered with my last two jersey dresses have made me avoid my sewing room like the plague. I keep finding other things to occupy me (not hard). But The Great British Sewing Bee is back, and what better way to reignite a sewing passion! Watching them made me jealous – I want to sew again. And I’m easing my way back in. No pattern drafting, no invisible zips to drive me crazy, let’s just make a top. If they made it in 2.5 hours – I hopefully can fit it into a weekend, somewhere.

I’m starting with Colette’s *free* Sorbetto pattern. There are loads of great makes out there for inspiration. I haven’t decided on a fabric yet – challenge 1 is printing out the pattern! How typical for my printer to pack in today. Is the universe trying to tell me something…?

In my search for the Sewing Bee 2014 patterns, I came across this site on the Simplicity New Look website which is pairing up the makes on the show with their patterns. I’m already loving the first three…. could this be a new challenge?



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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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The New Look 6070

I love this pattern. I really enjoyed making it and it’s a dress that I love wearing! I had a bit of a problem with the fit but after some pinching, pinning and cutting we got there in the end. I think I might just make it again.

PicMonkey Collagedress

Apologies for the headless pictures. These are taken after a long day at work 🙂


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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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