Sunday, July 18, 2010


Lindsay tagged me, and I think it's fun to think about questions I wouldn't ask myself. Such as:
Which pattern/vintage style have you been thinking about lately?

I'm not into vintage patterns. I appreciate a certain nostalgic style of dressing, but hunting down vintage patterns is just too much of an effort for this die-hard Burda collector who can easily find ten patterns for high-waisted trousers etc. etc. in her Burda stash.

I remember thumbing through my mom's old Burdas when I was little, but those were the 70s and I'm not sad they don't exist anymore!

I tried to find out what kinds of patterns were used in Germany before Burda. I came upon a couple of pattern books but nothing else. If anyone knows more about this I'd love to hear it!

(I also asked my mom who famously together with her sisters made all their wardrobes in the late 40's/50's. Well. They didn't use patterns because none were available (to them). They just took whatever detail they liked in others' garments and copied them. Later, there was Burda.)

Because a post without pictures isn't fun, here's a real vintage garment my mother made and wore when she was pregnant with me (exactly 40 years ago):

I wore it, too when I was pregnant. Luckily we have the same figures. Detail pics:

What is the one place you want to visit you've never been before?

This may be subject to change (as a child it would have been Egypt, later Australia), but for now it's Israel/Palestine.

How do you relax?

Contrary to other sewers I don't find sewing per se relaxing. I relax by reading, eating a leisurely meal (or chocolate!), taking a walk.

What is your favorite holiday/ vacation?

I really like visiting cities. Not necessarily to see the sights but just to wander and take it all in. I loved Leningrad in 1988, Berlin in the 90s, all the long weekends in Paris before the kids, New York City in 2000, but my all time favorite city is London. Love it. Could spend weeks just walking there (and eating, and shopping...).

What is/are sewing skills you want to learn/try out?

I'm not very ambitious in my sewing, just going where my fancy takes me. Who knows where?

Can you knit? Crochet? Other crafting talents?
I knitted a few pairs of socks when I was flat out on my back during my last pregnancy. I also did a lot of cross stitch then. I know how to crochet, and there's no textile craft I wouldn't study given the time.

What garment/accessory do you wear most often?

My watch. And some sort of cardigan.

How much time do you spend reading blogs (per day/per week)?

Oh my. My only saving grace is that I don't just read sewing blogs when surfing the 'net. Unless I feel a surge of energy to sew or have a rare appointment at night, I often spend a couple of hours on the sofa with my laptop before going to bed!

Your motto/mantra?

I don't have a catch phrase per se, but I try to live by putting kindness and thankfulness first.


I'd like to tag Karin of The Mrs., because she lives where I'm going next and Wendy of West 38th because she sews beautiful vintage patterns. If anyone else wants to play, I'd love to read your musings, so consider yourself tagged as well!

I'm off on vacation in a week or so. (Yes, we like to leave our planning until the last minute!) If things go well we'll go to the Netherlands again, which means Knipmode magazines and fabric outlet shopping in Alkmaar. I may not have time to blog until then, so I'll see you nice and relaxed sometime in August. Happy sewing!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Skirt Burdastyle 2/2010/104

Thank you for the lovely feedback on my swimsuit! It's very satisfying to find out that almost anything can be sewn, even by a home sewer with limited means (technique and machines). FYI, I did use a stretch needle, but I think the blue fabric was so thick and luxurious any needle would have had a hard time poking through!

After the swimsuit, I took out a piece of fabric I'd bought at IKEA some time ago with the intention of making a bag. Well, with the current heat wave I'm in need of more summer bottoms, so I thought I'd give the Burda pattern, a slight A-line with front pockets, no lining, a try. I cut out the short length (didn't have any more fabric), but I just don't like the mini length on myself anymore. My legs are alright I guess, but I don't like how a mini skirt looks so terribly wide on anyone above size 36. So I cut into a favorite piece of green linen, hoping that the rest will still be enough for the envisioned shirt dress, and added the border. Incidentally, I really like the skirts with a contrast border that have been around for a few years but never owned one.

Now I'm proud to report the skirt goes very well with the rest of my "Craving Color Wardrobe" that I started last summer and still wear heavily.

(As always, sorry for the blur!)

I think the skirt has a bit more hanger appeal than in real life, and looks a tiny bit like an apron on (and I don't wear aprons for fashion). DH says it's the border and I should cut it off ;-) I think it just takes getting used to and some creative combining.

Happy sewing!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Swimsuit Jalie 2446 View A

While working on the swimsuit, which took quite a while - the weather being positively tropical here at the moment - I thought about posting on it. Emotionally, posing in a swimsuit is no different than posing in a dress for me. And I'm all for being cool - a swimsuit is a swimsuit etc.

On the other hand, this is the internet. Who knows what big bad wolf might happen upon my pictures and abuse them, or use them to ridicule me? (A thought I also have when posting pictures of the children.)

I always tried not to let fear govern my behaviour. When I was younger and out and about, I consciously chose the alley that was the shortest walk for me, no matter how dark or isolated it was.

This is a sewing blog. So, for the benefit of anyone pear-shaped wanting to sew this swimsuit, here's the full picture, and the full story:

This was my second time sewing a single (not magazine) pattern, my first Jalie pattern and my first swimsuit.

I like the Jalie pattern, the instructions, and the sizing is spot on. I think it also looks a lot like the picture on the pattern envelope. (Not Jalie's fault, but would you believe I didn't understand that "fold line" meant "cut on the fold"?)

I had a few glitches sewing on the elastic, and my machine didn't particularly like the lycra fabric (skipped stitches unless I sewed through tissue paper). Considering I did this without a serger I'm quite satified though. When it was done I had my doubts whether I chose the right pattern for my body type, but now I'm starting to like it a lot. Sometimes a picture is a better judge than the mirror!

A short note on the covered buttons I made for DD's apron top: They held up perfectly well in the wash! So, for anyone wanting to save a few pennies, or wishing for a low-tech method for covering buttons, try the method I outlined in this post!


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