Thursday, March 15, 2018

Spanish Sahara

Preparations for spring have started!! I've been wanting to make shirt dresses for my shop, but with my modest drafting skills I had to turn to Burda patterns for basic pattern which I can redraft and embellish to my own ideas.. In this year's March issue of Burda magazine there is an interesting shirt dress pattern #113.. The pattern has that strange twist thing around the bust which I personally don't like, but basic pattern looked like something I could use.. Also I love the skirt and I plan to make one version for myself.. Before that I made this dress I'm showing you here as a test version.. I made in size larger than I actually wear (so I won't keep the dress)..

This cute fabric I bought at a summer sale.. I loved the dragonflies and moths, but I wasn't sure about the main color.. The fabric is very pale and you can hardly see moths, even on close-up photos.. My fave here are green dragonflies.. The fabric is lightweight cotton, perfect for shirt dresses..

Thursday, March 8, 2018


Let me show you my winter coat now when winter has come to an end.. I've finished sewing this coat at the end of November 2017, and I've been wearing it since then.. Even if it took me a month after that to find buttons, and then few weeks to sew them so I won't get cold during windy days.. Luckily, we had very mild weather with temperatures above 0 degrees C so my lack of buttons wasn't a big problem :D

I had my eye on this pattern since it was released in Burda 12/2016.. I loved everything about it, even the model photo.. The coat has very simple silhouette which was important to me because my plan was to make a super warm winter coat using the fabrics I had in my stash.. The main fabric is thick wool I bought several years ago.. I also used padded lining to add warmth.. There's not much to write about sewing process.. I didn't want to make any changes to the pattern, so I just cut all the pieces and put them together.. I even traced the placement for buttons and buttonholes (that part I usually figure out by myself)..There are no tricky parts with sewing this pattern.. Even the pockets are easy to make..

It took me a while to completely finish this coat.. I couldn't find any interesting buttons.. I even bought one set, and changed my mind.. In the end I settled with these simple navy ones and decided that my search is over.. To be honest it was getting colder in second half of January.. Next step was making buttonholes.. To my surprise, this was the first time my sewing machine couldn't finish the task because of the thickness of fabric layers.. It wasn't a big deal, I finished buttonholes by hand (for the first time)..

Sunday, March 4, 2018


I completely forgot my plan to make a winter version of one of my fave and most worn summer dresses.. I guess I was busy with creating new things for my shop, and this project easily slipped my mind.. The original pattern is from July 1995 issue of Burda style magazine, and the full blog post about my first make you can see here.. The dress is very comfortable to wear, body flattering, and has interesting details like bust darts and open V at the back.. For winter version all I needed to do is make long sleeves, which was a very easy modification..

The fabric makes this dress more special.. It's one of my lucky flea market finds and I spent less than 2 euros for it.. The fabric is super soft wool, interestingly woven.. I guess you can see what I'm talking about on the detail photo.. Many of the fabrics that I find at the flea market are such a good quality.. In most cases I keep them for selfish sewing.. Once again I couldn't decide which side of the fabric to use, so I combined both.. One side I used for bodice and sleeves of the dress, and other for the skirt.. Also I added the lining to the skirt.. The only thing I regret is not having pockets.. I kinda got used to having that practical feature.. I didn't make any fit changes.. For next summer version I should slightly take in at the shoulders.. With winter version I was counting on wearing the top underneath this dress when days are colder..

Thursday, February 15, 2018


It didn't take me long to make a dress based on a previously posted top pattern.. My original idea was to make a dress with kimono sleeves, but I didn't have any clear idea about all the details.. I knew only the type of sleeves, that it should have a gathered skirt and a waistband.. For my first try I picked this black & white brush stroke print viscose I had in my stash.. Maybe it wasn't the best choice for this romantic dress, but I like it.. Important thing for this model is that the fabric drapes nicely.. Also, I had the right amount of fabric to make this dress with a midi length skirt..

There were couple of changes I had to make to the original pattern for a top with kimono sleeves to get the bodice I needed for my dress.. Top pattern is #108 from Burda 02/2018.. If you ignore details that are added to the original version, like I did with my version of the top, you get a basic pattern for a kimono sleeve blouse.. To make a dress bodice I cut the top at the waist, included 5 cm for the waistband, and added waist darts to the front and back bodice pieces.. Now when  I look at the finished garment I think that the bodice might look better with gathered fabric above the waistband (instead of sewing darts).. I saw this project as a perfect one to try making a back slit.. That was on my mind for a while, and I'm glad I finally got the opportunity to include it.. I would love to make another version of this dress to make all the details perfect.. Just have to wait for warmer days to come.. 

Friday, February 9, 2018


I've made a new top just as a test version and ended up loving it very much :) It all started when I saw this dress pattern in February Burda.. I liked the bodice and the sleeves and wanted to try making something similar to that.. For me it is easier to try drafting smaller version than resizing the original pattern from size 44 to size 36.. In the same issue of Burda magazine there was a top pattern with kimono sleeves, and if you look at the technical sketch you can see basic similarities between these two..

The top pattern is #108 from Burda 02/2018..  I made a few changes to the original pattern.. There was no need for me to cut those neckline pieces separately from bodice pieces.. With my busy print fabric, it was best to keep things simplified.. Also I didn't like those cuffs with elastic, so I made regular ones.. I completely forgot I had this fabric in my stash.. It was sitting there for years, waiting for a perfect pattern.. The fabric is lovely viscose I found in a remnant bin, only 0.9m length.. Small amount for most of the projects.. I was happy when I saw I could squeeze my two pattern pieces on this fabric, and I had enough leftovers for cuffs.. That's why I have a back center seam, which I don't mind.. It's always fulfilling when you know you have minimum fabric waste.. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Not In Love

Lately I've been taking more time for selfish sewing.. This cropped sweater is currently one of my favorite new makes which I want to wear all the time.. I bought this textured knit fabric on sale, only 85cm was left.. There was also more in navy color, but I liked more this light version.. Not so much can one do with short piece like that.. At that moment Burda issue 08/2016 was on my table because I used it to make a shirt.. I took one more look at the patterns and saw this cute cropped sweater #105.. One of the rare Burda moments where styling was great and even my fabric matched the one model is wearing.. Only the color is different.. Also, I loved the pleated detail on the sleeves..

I wasn't  sure if I would have enough fabric, so I quickly traced the pattern and lucky me!! I had just the right amount of fabric.. Sewing all parts went very fast.. I decided to finish all the hems with bias binding and handstitching.. After finishing everything and trying it on, I made a decision to make the same detail with pleats at the sides of the bodice because the sweater was too wide at the waist..  With that fix I got a perfect cropped sweater..

Monday, September 11, 2017

Dear Prudence

Summer is comming to an end, and it’s time for me to start thinking about autumn sewing.. Very hard thing to do when it’s still around 30 degrees C every day.. I’m in that awkward phase when I don’t have any ideas.. Long sleeves, thicker fabrics, layering, jackets, coats.. Nothing new and interesting comes to my mind.. The other day I looked through Burda magazines from last few years to get an inspiration and decided to try one of the patterns.. I liked the bodice from the dress #104 from 10/2016 issue (variation A, B).. That V neckline looks so feminine and I wanted to see how it would look on a finished project.. 

Bodice is very simple.. On the front there are only bust darts, and at the back waist darts.. I decided to add half circle skirt with inseam pockets to this bodice.. The fabric was in my stash for couple of years.. Thin cotton with a bit of elastin.. I had about 1,60m of the fabric to sew this dress.. The only compromise I had to make is cutting the sleeves shorter (without part 4 of the pattern).. Also I added lining to the skirt.. 

There are a few things I would change to this pattern in future.. The first is making it narrower at the waistline.. It’s nice to have some room for food and drinks, but with this pattern there is too much even for me.. The dress would look nicer with better fit at the waist.. The second is moving bust darts 1cm lower.. I made the dress in size 36, which I wear now, and darts are positioned slightly higher.. Although setting in the sleeves reminded me why I hate sewing sleeves, I think they look good.. There is enough ease so I can move my hands normally.. That's an important thing.. 

Monday, September 4, 2017


I have a great occasion for a new blog post after four month break.. I was very busy during summer, sewing for my shop, without having time to make anything for myself.. When Camille from Deer and Doe patterns asked me to write a review of their new pattern, Azara skirt, I knew that was a perfect opportunity to squeeze some selfish sewing time.. And I didn’t stop there, I actually made the whole outfit – top and skirt.. I had my eye on this cute wrap top from ‘90s Burda issue.. In my mind Azara skirt with this wrap top was great combo, so I decided to make both garments from this cute black rayon with bees print.. I just love matching separates.. As usual, there's more photos than words in my post.. 

Azara skirt is basically a ¼ of a circle skirt, with sort of side panels (I don’t know the right name for those parts).. On my photos you can hardly see what I’m talking about, so hop over to Deer and Doe page where you can better see the details.. Black fabric is very hard to photograph, but I couldn’t resist making this outfit from this lovely rayon fabric I had in my stash.. There are two versions of this pattern.. Version A is button down skirt, and version B is simpler one with zipper at the back.. Right away I knew I would make a buttoned version..  The pattern is from their fall collection, and originally it’s planned to be made with the lining.. I made a summer version so I didn’t need the lining.. One more thing I changed, instead of making button holes and sewing buttons, I made my skirt with snaps.. I find it easier and neater that way.. 

The pattern comes with clear step by step instructions.. I’m not one of those who follows instructions.. For me it was enough just to take a look at pattern pieces and figure out in which order to put them together.. I didn’t agree with all the steps in the instructions, one more reason to make it my own way.. First, there’s that problem with circle skirts, even if it’s only a ¼ circle.. With most of the fabrics the hemline will stretch on those parts that are cut on bias.. I love to finish everything except the hemline and leave the skirt to hang over night so the day after I could make the hemline even.. In my case I used rayon, and the fabric stretched for about 2 cm at side seams.. There is one more reason why I leave finishing the hemline for the end.. I’ve made dozens of button down skirts over past couple years and from my experience one side is always a few millimetres longer (or shorter) than the other one.. I try to be precise as possible.. I always attach the skirt to the waistband, and after that I hem it.. I find that the easiest way to make even button down skirts.. 

The wrap top is from one of my favourite ‘90s Burda issues 07/1995 which I bought at flea market.. I’ve already shown you one dress from that issue, and there are more patterns I hope I’ll find time to try.. I have a Hungarian issue, where I understand only a few words – colors for tracing pattern pieces.. I slightly changed construction of the pattern and made ties shorter.. This way the top is tied at front.. There's enough interesting things going at back with that V neckline.. Also, I added those cute pleated trims as kind of sleeves.. That detail makes this top more cute and special.. 

This outfit is definitely a big success… I love it, and I feel great wearing it.. Azara skirt gained a lot of compliments from my friends who have very different style than me.. The shape is easy to wear, and looks great.. And I love that I started making more separates, because I’m in need for more tops.. Usually I make dresses and skirts, and I’m glad I have a top that goes well with my summer wardrobe..  

Behind the camera - Matija Vukov