Wild Thing for World Book Day

Where_The_Wild_Things_Are_costumeI think I may be subject to mass mum-hate if I proclaim a love for World Book Day. But I do. (Eek!) Don’t get me wrong, I get my knickers in a knot as much as anyone else but I secretly relish the challenge. After all, it involves a must-do sewing project. And that’s always a good thing.

My daughter was very clear about what she wanted to be this year. I’ve come to realise recently, how very grateful I am for people who think for me. I constantly have head soup! Someone thinking on my behalf is better than doing the dishes for me or hoovering the stairs. I’d even go as far as saying that it was better than someone cleaning the bathroom for me. Not that I know what that’s like but you catch my drift?


Anyhows, youngest dort was dead set on Max from Where The Wild Things Are. Easy I thought. A white onesie and we are sorted! Not. Not when youngest dort has other plans, like a white onesie in a faux fur of the furriest kind. I kid you not, this stuff is horrid and has left serious evidence throughout the whole house!

Where The Wild Things Are costume

I’ve never attempted one of these before and certainly didn’t have a go-to pattern but this is where I can justify my 3 year collection of Burdastyle magazines.

Low and behold in January 2013’s edition…. a wookie jumpsuit! Thank you Burdastyle. Really. Thank you!!

wookie costume

The only problem I had was that the size only went up to age 8. My daughter is 9 but a good 4 inches taller than a regular 9 year old! And so I cut and spread and taped and so properly graded the jumpsuit pieces. But then I looked and shook my head in disbelief at the sheer size of the pattern and took out an inch and a half.

Well you can guess the rest. The first test garment was too small. But no biggie because it was only a tester and better still made the basis of a Thing One costume for her bestie! Bestie’s clever mum did a very fine job of sewing on the the all-important detail as well as taking care of  the gorgeous Hermione Granger!

Thing One costume

So once I added those inches back in I just cut and sewed… and got fluff everywhere!
The good thing about this stuff is there is no necessity for neatening of seams, no hems and no need for careful catch-stitching. I actually did double interface the ears with sew in canvas to make them stand up but not be too stiff. The zip was surprisingly ok to sew in, by hand but trimming the fluff so as not to catch on the teeth was really annoying!

Where The Wild Things Are costume

I can’t take all the credit for this one. LMO made and hand painted her own fabulous crown and check out that wonderfully fluffy tail. A tail that Max himself would have been soooo proud to wear. Mr Ooobop himself took on this task while I was at work. He chose the fur and shaped it perfectly before stitching it with his own fair hands. I am so uber impressed.

Where the Wild Things are CostumeI think we can safely say that Little Miss Ooobop was suitably impressed too! And what better place to hang out after school than the local park, in the trees, being photographed by her multi-talented dad!

Where The Wild Things Are costume


Where The Wild Things Are costume

Hope your tales of World Book Day were as fun!
And wishing you all a lovely sunny weekend wherever you are.

(One can dream!)


ooobop! review: Burda Style December 2012

Burda december 2012

Was beginning to get a bit anxious about the late appearance of this issue on the shelves of Smiths! But was it worth the wait?…. In my humble opinion, if there is just one great pattern in there it’s worth the cover price. Two and I’m laughing. Three and it’s definitely Christmas. But more than three? Oh yes, yes yes!!

Party Fashions opens with  a great fitted jacket in black and gold. Sling it on over a pair of jeans and a T and you are so ready for the party. And check out the detail on the ‘Master Piece’ dress. Hurts my head a bit wondering how that is created. And it has 3.5 ‘difficulty blobs’ out of a possible 4  but as luck would have it, there is a step-by-step sewing course included, to help you on your way.

party fashions

I love this ‘Black Power’ dress. Shame it is obsured by the jacket in this shot but the line drawing highlights the simple lines. Would be gorgous in silk. In stark contrast, not really a fan of ruffled layered bottom halves. Only because my bottom half doesn’t need bigging up. But this little skirt is pretty with the metallic tulle lace overlay. And incredibly easy to make.

party fashions

Party Fashions wouldn’t be complete without an adornment of sequins but I can’t help but think how spiky they must be to wear. The skirt part on the black dress however is made from imitation leather scales. Now your’e talking! I don’t tend to do trousers anymore either but stretch nappa leather ones like these are luring me back!


More sequins and shine…

…. and then we are on to Christmas!!

Boy am I excited about this coat. I was given a decent length of a lime green/chocolate shot silk/wool mix fabric. Quite heavy. Probably intended for furnishing. Certainly not dressmaking. But I instantly had visions of classy and totally original coat. Have been looking for the perfect one. And now, as if by magic, I think I have found it! Just praying there is enough fabric!

burda 12 2012 coat

Not sure if I am suited to the following look, though I think the skirt is very interesting. Perhaps its the distraction of the 1D lookalike in the photo. I do however, reeeaaallly like that little girl’s shift dress. And love that it is actually in my daughter’s size. More often than not, the kids patterns are either too small or too large and I’m far too lazy busy for pattern grading!

girls shift dress

Again. I’m not feeling the puritan look but the jacket with the retro peplum and the little girls coat is totally up my street!

puritan look

The whole sweet angel and tweed look is maybe pushing the boundaries of sweet. Verging almost on sickly, I’d say! I can hear Mr  and Master Ooobop! roaring with laughter as LMO and myself prepare Christmas lunch in such puritanical stylee. The fact that LMO would howl with protest if every I tried to dress her like this is a sure thing too!

angel dress

A good teddy bear pattern always comes in handy as a gift for a small person. Or even a grown up! I do enjoy sewing toys just as much but so far haven’t strayed from the path of Tilda makes. Burda have even included the corochet pattern for the lovely shawl they are sitting on. Oh please don’t get me side-tracked!

teddy pic

I keep coming back to this dress. It’s not instantly my thing but I love how the seam joins have been highlighted in white. Definitely a conversation piece. I quite like the waiscoat too but they can keep their billowy sleeves!


There’s a Master Piece jacket and coat pattern for the smalls too. Very classy. I’m sure I could talk LMO into that jacket, if it meant she could keep her Doc Martens on too!

kids coats

There’s a fun Street Style section with some clever twists on casual using wool. Makes for a more quality look than with the usual jersey. But I have glossed over that because I don’t really do casual street!

This dress certainly makes a ‘Grand Entrance’ when you turn to this spread. Works great as a short dress but soooo elegant as a full length evening dress. It’s made in silk crepe here. Imagine how luxurious it would feel too!

grand entrance dress

In stark contrast I fear the blue shiny combo on the left is a bit wrong! Luckily there is a pleasant distraction opposite! I really like the simple cut of this dress. A variation of the black dress at the beginning. But with the addition of long sleeves and an overlay of floaty chiffon it is transformed into  and enchanting swoosh of loveliness! I do have a little issue with how the neckline seems to be pulling though. Anyone know why this might be happening?

chiffon dress

Here’s a couple of real simple to put together outfits. Well, Im sure the jacket is a little trickier but I do  think it would be worth any amount of hassle to be snuggled in wool velour. The gathered collar and three-quarter sleeves are gorgeous features. Rose and gold is quite a sophisticated colour combo too.

easy patterns

Oh and here we are. My favourite bit! The Vintage pattern. A very stylish French couture look. Though I like a nice bouclé fabric, especially one with a metallic thread, I think that gorgeous design feature at the front bodice is lost. If or rather when I get round to making this beauty I will definitely be employing a plainer wool fabric and keep it closer to the original.

vintage pattern

There’s  a few treats in the plus section. Not least of all this hot LBD. Flattering sweetheart neckline and some glamourous gathering at the hip. Oh to have those curves!

plus section

Well that just about wraps it up for the clothes section but there are lots of extra crafty projects too, just to get you in the spirit of the season!

Thanks for swinging by. Hope you get some sewing in over this busy time. Till next time, toodlepip! xxx

ooobop! review: Burda Style November 2012

Burdastyle magazine november 2012

A little later than usual but I do hope that November 2012’s Burda Style magazine serves to whet your appetite and make your sewing list longer all the same!

I’m going to jump straight to the Vintage pattern because that is exactly what I did in the shop and it is so totally my favourite and my best! I do like it in black but I also like its original floral form. Such style in the fifties! Bring it back, I say!

burda november 12 vintage

Lots of lovely misty neutrals in the first section this month. I am quite surprised to see a floaty batiste dress (top left, below) considering the chill factor but I like it all the same, especially styled with boots and the faux fur waistcoat. I am also tempted by the blouse, centre bottom row. Batiste with a metallic print…. not sure I will stumble across that fabric choice in the Goldhawk Road, but always worth an ask! It’s got 3/4 raglan sleeves and bust darts so its simple but not completely shapeless.

The trousers (bottom right) are nagging me to attempt my first pair of trousers. These ones have hip yoke pockets and are ankle length to display some fabulous show-off shoes!

art of fashionNext up is the Gem Colours section. You may have already have seen some of these patterns on the Burda web site. They were quick to go up this month.

This jacket or ‘blouson’ as its called here, would present such a rewarding project. Having just completed my first proper jacket I’m itching to employ some more tailoring techniques and this one looks like it could present a few more. Its got some beautiful hand stitching going on which gives it such a professional finish.

Gem colours

Undertones of the 70s with oranges, purples and browns are the order of the day for Gem Colours. I’ve not worked with crèpe de Chine before but I think the first dress (below, top left) would be a great place to start. It’s semi-fitted and has a wide neckline, with broad sleeves that taper into slip on cuffs. Perfect for those bloaty days or when you just want to throw something over a pair of leggings or sturdy coloured tights before flying out the door.

gem coloursTwo Sides of Me is an interesting section this month. I like the dress!

Two sides of meNot too sure about the boyish looks. Bit boyish for me to be honest! But I’m quite drawn to the blouse on the left. Not my usual style but I like the idea that this could be whipped up a couple of hours before a theatre date! It is made of stretch silk satin here. Much like my pin up pants, so I bet it feels gorgeous on!

Two sides of me

I kind of flicked past the Knits section to get to the Kids. Nothing against knits, honest, and I feel bad now for not including them. But they just seemed like staple loungewear. And I need to avoid making stuff that everyone is going to think is from ‘Primani’!

But… there is some totally cool kid stuff as usual. Keeping the neutral theme and mixing up metallics and matte. Lovely textures and fun, chic designs that will even fit Little Miss Ooobop!… hoorah!!

Burda Kids november 12And a Burda mag would never be complete without some hot plus-size gorgeousness. My picks this month are very vintagesque. Creature of habit, moi?! Very elegant and sexy and perfect for a hot wintry date!

plus sectionAny faves? Any dislikes? Feel free to share your thoughts!

Snow leopard coat

snow leopard coat

Sporting the snow leopard coat

‘Hoorah!’ she exclaimed as she snipped the thread from the last remaining press stud.

‘Booooo!’ she growled when she discovered that half of it was in the wrong place.

Can I just say, that my sherry was so deserved after sewing on 7 press studs and 7 furry fake buttons last night. Threading a needle by Christmas tree light 21 times is no mean feat in itself you know!

Don't you just love sewing on 'poppers'?!

Don't you just love sewing on 'poppers'?!

Thank heavens for one of these . . .

My beloved needle threader

My beloved needle threader

. . . or it would never have happened!

I really and truly thought that this would be a quick little project to put together before Christmas but I can’t even tell you how long it took in total.

Firstly I had to grade up the pattern. And with many thanks to Mrs C and her wonderfully helpful comment, I managed pretty well. Though I may have made the back section a little too large. But on the plus side theres plenty of room for a Christmas jumper or two underneath!

snow leopard coat, side view

snow leopard coat, side view

The pattern is from Burda Style magazine, 11/2010. And I just knew I had to make it, even if Little Miss Ooobop! didn’t want one! Transpires she did and she loves it! It is in all essence a simple one and putting the main pieces together would be very quick given a correct sized pattern but I really did underestimate the time to hand finish the lining and sew on those’ darling little snappers’!

Fur fabric is so much easier than I thought to work with. My scissors glided through like skates on ice and of course the real beauty of it is that it doesn’t fray, so no neatening of seams necessary.

snuggly furry collar

loving the snuggly furry collar

The fabric was a great find from Ditto Fabrics in Brighton. The ladies in there are so lovely and helped me to pick out the fabulous lining which is shot blue/pink/purple.

cheeky purple shot lining

Cheeky purple shot lining

I love how a lining heavys-up a garment and makes it hang all properly!

Ooo, what’s next, I wonder?

ooobop! how to: furry covered buttons

I was hoping to post the finished furry coat this evening but as per usual all sorts of other things got in the way. So this is just a little tease, as evidence if you like, to show I’m on track!

These little faux furry fellas will be the finishing touch, once I’ve got my butt into gear and tackled all the hand stitching!

Furry covered buttons

Furry covered buttons

The buttons I chose had a concave and convex side – the concave side being the right side. I wanted them roundier on the front so I covered them back to front.

Left: wrong side of button, Right: topside of button

Left: wrong side of button, Right: topside of button

  • Cut a piece of the furry fabric just a bit larger than the button . . .
Cut fabric larger than button

Cut fabric slightly larger than button

  • Sew closely round the edge with small running stitches and pull up to gather tight around the button.
Pull up gathers

Pull up gathers

  • Stitch over and over the edges in a star shape to completely enclose the button.
Close up the opening by stitching in a star shape to secure

Close up the opening by stitching in a star shape to secure

  • Trace around a smaller button to get a small circle of felt and stitch that over the opening. This helps to secure the previous stitching and gives you a base to sew to the garment.

Sew felt circle to back

And there you have it. In no time at all. In fact just the duration of Charlie Brookers 2nd part of the Black Mirror Trilogy and a short while into The Long Kiss Goodnight!

Pattern grading for the first time

I had a lovely plan this weekend to run up a this gorgeous little faux fur coat for my daughter…

burda childs coat

Girls coat from Burda Style mag 11/2010

But true to form, ‘the best laid plans…’ The largest size isn’t quite big enough. I thought I could get round matters by adding 5mm all round which would give me an extra 2 cm across the chest and back. So I did just that and made a toile for the bodice and the sleeves. But not only is that still not quite enough…. that’s not really how it works, is it?!

And so I have begun researching how to grade patterns to a larger size, the proper way. I knew I would have to go down this road at some point and I know it will benefit my sewing skills. But I’m just so impatient and I want to make this coat now!

The pattern pieces are very simple and the little bodice doesn’t have any darts so I’m really hoping the task is not going to be too arduous.

furry coat layout

Furry coat pattern pieces and layout

My first port of call was the Burda Style website itself and I found this tutorial for grading a bodice with darts. Given that mine is thankfully dart-free, I think this one on the Laura Marsh site might be the best approach and it includes how to grade the sleeves too.

Ultimately I will need to be able to grade patterns up and down for all sorts of lovely ladies garments as I still have this obsession with buying vintage patterns and of course none of them are even close to my body shape!

I did have a little look on Amazon for a good book but I can’t quite believe the prices! I really don’t mind investing in one if I know its going to be helpful so this is where I would like your help, lovely readers. Can anyone please recommend a great book for pattern cutting/grading? or equally any hot tips before I start? You can tell I’m stalling on this one but equally itching to see my daughter skipping around in furry leopard print coat!

Have a lovely weekend all!