ooobop! review: Burda Style December 2013

Burda magazine december 2013

Good grief! How did it get to be nearly Christmas? How do I get to be so not ready every single year?

Well thank you Burda Style magazine for the memory jog but I’m not sure I have enough disposable hours for many more makes before the big day.

I am sorely tempted by your cover dress though. More on that further down.

Merry Christmas is the opening section. Of course!

Burda magazine december 2013On first sight all looked a little uninspiring to be honest but on closer inspection there are some nice surprises. The long-sleeve top (top left) is made of lamé jersey. A very simple make, made all the classier with some glitz. The polka dot dress next door is a chiffon overlay dress, gathered at the waist, over a slinky satin bustier dress with spaghetti straps. I rather like the surprise of that one. And the pink crepe dress (bottom row next to the terrible peplum skirt) makes a beautiful shape (or would do if the hem was trimmed even!) It has a wonderful pointed yoke at the waist and a deep inverted pleat in the skirt. Lovely sleeves and a cute row of black buttons on the right shoulder. I approve!

Now back to that terrible peplum skirt. I don’t know what to say about it really. I just don’t think it works. No integration. No added flare. Just makes the body look cut in half! Just sayin’!

The next section is called Cruise Collection. For those already looking forward to summer! If anything, the garments here are more Christmassy than in the Christmassy section!

Burda magazine december 2013

This is my favourite bunch this month. Buttery washed silk, organza, satin and chiffon. Yes to private stash of all those fabrics and colours please! The cover dress looks even better here (bottom row, 2nd column) It’s a short sleeve version of the polka dot dress in the first section. I’m guessing you could make one underdress and have different overdresses for different occasions! (says me with ardent fear of sewing with chiffon!)

Free Spirit is the next section. Lots of paisley and fine fabric:

Burda magazine december 2013

This amount of opulence isn’t normally my bag but I keep coming back to the gold metallic jersey evening dress. Not sure where I’d wear it. Might have to invent a night out! Either that or strike a pose down at the Southbank with a hat at my feet!

The check bouclé trench coat (bottom right) looks right cosy though. A little bit of Vivienne Westwoodesque styling never goes amis!

Passion for Detail is the next chapter. And I so wish I didn’t have a headache.

Burda magazine december 2013All a bit much for me, sorry! Except for the wrap skirt with exposed zip (top row, 3rd col). I like that! In fact I might like more of this section if the crazy wallpaper didn’t do my head in so much!

Just take a looksy at this cute crocheted bag. Isn’t it sweet? It’s ages since I crocheted and I don’t even think I did it right the first time, but this is thick yarn and big hook with only 16 rows to contend with. I can feel a little Christmas holiday train journey project coming on.

crochet bagAnd hooray! A man project! Well, just a little token one :-/

mans tieLoving the couture-style silhouett of the designer style outfit, below.

talbot runhof dressAnd finally we reach the plus fashions. Businessy and feminine this month. The flounce dress in a wine coloured duchesse is my favourite here. After saying that opulence wasn’t really my thing! I’m not sure I would personally be so bold but I do think it is very striking.

Burda December 2013

In other news. I have bitten the bullet and ordered my coat fabric. I think I will be giving Joseph a run for his money. It truly is a fabric of many colours! I will keep you posted as and when it arrives. I’m a little bit excited and a little bit nervous. But most of all very freezing and so totally in need of a coat!

Keep warm folks and see you real soon! x

ooobop! review: Burda Style November 2013

Burda cover November 2013

Good morning Burda lovers! The sky is blue, the sun is streaming through my window and it’s hard to imagine that we will all be battening down the hatches in preparation for a freak storm tonight. Quite frankly the idea of being house bound for a few days suits me just fine. Mustn’t forget to pop out for emergency supply of spools! 😉

I’m going to start with the cover image because that’s where I gave my first ‘ooo’! Ice-blue wool fleece. It’s just one of the fabric options I’ve been mulling over for my coat, when I eventually get to it. I didn’t really clock the style – it looks fine on the cover – but I think the unfortunate stance of the model in the top left image below, kind of ruins the class and brings on the tent!

This first section is all about Grey. (Even though that coat has an ice blue hue about it on the cover!) I wish I could wear grey with conviction. It does look dramatic, moreso than black, because you can actually see the detail in the cut and style. But it just accentuates my deathly palor. I don’t mind being ‘pale and interesting’ but when people ask if you are feeling ok more than once in a day, you know there’s an issue!

I’m intrigued by the strides (middle row, first col). I love that wrapped-look from the front view. I almost want there to be tails behind. But that amazing mirror prop only serves to highlight how ‘unusual’ they are from the side. Steals every ounce of flattery I’m afraid.

The blazer (centre pic) is a great wardrobe standard. It’s made in a twill weave wool here. Nice and heavy and great paired with skinnies.

And I really like the biker-style jacket in ponte jersey with leather sleeves and trim. (row 2, col 3).

There’s a strong likelihood of an overlocker joining the family soon and so the world of knits is becoming more of interest to me. I have a side-cutter attachment on my machine which doesn’t render the process impossible but it’s just really slow compared to the formula one skills of an overlocker! And I’m just imagining how delightfully speedy that two-piece jersey set would be to run up. It’s an ‘Easy’ one too! In case you think, as I did that its a long sleeve top with under arm air holes, I can confirm that its a sleeveless cowl-neck tank with a separate long-sleeved bias-cut shrug. (col 3, row 1)

Burda 11-13 Grey garmentsIt is heading for that time of year when we need to add a little sparkle to the dark winter nights and days. And party season will be upon us before you know it. So although I’m not favouring much in this next ‘Metallic Mood’ section, it’s inspiring enough to make me go on a treasure hunt for some shiny fabric.

The little cropped jacket (2nd row, 3rd col) is not dissimilar to the Vogue jacket I made recently. Excepting the flared sleeves. And I think if I could get past that fabric it would be a cute cape-like addition in wool or silk.

The skirt, (3rd row, 3rd col) has the same laid in pleats as the strides in the first section, but I can’t see a side view here to see what happens. The gold lamé is a good distraction and defo a new fabric consideration though!

burda 11-13 metallic garments

I need no encouragement to make black clothes. It was my ‘colour’ of choice before sewing and I only sew coloured things because I think I ought to veer away from black. Because black is boring, no? Actually I don’t think it is boring and there’s a part of me that wants to revert to black every winter. The other inner me just fights it off all the time!

And so here temptation is laid before me once again in the shape of the inevitable LBD’s.

I love the idea of a massive silk flower added to an otherwise simple and classy dress. (row 1, col 1) and I really want to incorporate some cotton lace into garments. If I can find some, that is! Looks great on the bodice section of that dress (row 1, col 1). No sweaty pits either!

The line drawing of the fitted dress (row 3, col 1) didn’t sell well to me at all. I didn’t see the point in sewing quite so many sections together unless one is doing some serious colour blocking. But if the effect is a sophisticated dress which moulds to the figure, such as this one. I’m sold!

I quite like the coat dress with it’s low cut V-neck and front snap fastener band too (3rd row, 3rd col). Well, that is of course if somebody would sew on those little darling snap fasteners for me. Serious pet-hate!

I’m not quite sure what’s going on with the crêpe de chine dress (3rd row, 2nd col). It is fundamentally the same as the coat dress but with gathering at the vertical seams and leg of mutton sleeves. A bit too much pouffiness going on for me. Apparently this dress is reminiscent of the ‘wirtschaftswunder’ era. Learn something new every day!

burda 11-13 black garments

Alessia Giacobino is the highlighted designer in this issue. I find these mini Burda features inspiring as I never studied fashion so never had any prompting to delve into the lives of designers. Guilt always overcomes me when I confess (or not) to not having heard of a certain designer. And I love it when I come across one that I truly love. I googled some more on Alessia and I really like her classy, flattering and surprising designs. I’ll leave you to do your own recce. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

Burda has supplied patterns for this designer-style outfit below. Imagine how luxurious that washed silk blouse would feel. I think the flounce would annoy me in the front. Would much prefer it at the side. But I do appreciate the detail, nonetheless.

Alessia Giacobino blouse and skirt

It always surprises me, how drawn to campus style I am. I am neither the age or of the leaning towards these fashions so I can only assume that Burda sells them well or that students have properly upped their game recently!

Let’s start with the dress (row 1, col 1). Not dissimilar to some of the summer dresses I have made this year, but with the addition of a midriff (how I love a midriff), a low V-neck, long sleeves and made with a delicious mousseline (a very fine, semi-opaque fabric similar to muslin, apparently). So actually quite different, really! But I do love it!

I also love the cowl neck knit dress (row 2, col 3). Mostly because anything in tartan/plaid makes me go ‘ooo’ right now. And because I am dreaming of being behind the spools of an overlocker soon!

I don’t wear strides. Mostly because I have never found any to fit properly. But if I get the inclination one day, I will definitely be fashioning some like the ones in row 2, col 2.

The wind is starting to pick up now. We’ve got ghostly ‘wooooos’ whispering round the windows. So that’s why I guess I’m being drawn away from ‘classy’ and towards the ‘practical’ of the odd hooded-scarf (row 1 col 2). It’s not knitted but sewn from a knitted fabric and it has pockets too! Might need an overlocker for that one too!

burda 11-13 campus style

Sophistication is definitely the theme for the plus fashions this month. Loving the star-shaped darts in the wool jersey dress (row 1, col 2). The neckline is lovely too and the shoulder line is really sharp. The dress in row 2, col 3 is pretty much the same but with a different neckline, creating a less formal but nonetheless still stylish look.

The tie-waist dress (row1, col 3) is very flattering too. Or is it that I’m just sold on the idea of animal print angora jersey?!

burda 11-13 plus fashions

The kids section is great as always. A great selection of fun, versatile staples for little girls. But what about the boys? Not that I have a little boy but it does seem a little unjust to leave them out.

I’m also a little bit miffed as Little Miss O sits outside these sizes. I tried to make a pair of shorts from a very small ladies size recently but of course the proportions were all wrong and though they fit round the waist, they were massively massive elsewhere. So perhaps I need to attempt to scale up the shorts pattern (row 3, col 1) to see what happens. The dress is super cute too but I am sad to say that most 9 year olds seem to have ditched the dresses for now.

burda 11-13 kids clothes

Well the sun has gone in. The ‘ooos’ are getting a little more howly so I better get finding some patterns… I mean battens!

Keep safe and warm everyone xxx

Skirt-shorts (not skorts, ok?)

stripy skirt shorts

Anyone with a nine year old daughter will completely understand how increasingly hard it becomes to appease one’s little darling in the wardrobe department. My offers of handmade dresses and skirts are still mostly being politely refused but I’m ok with that because it keeps the project list nice and selfish!

skirt shorts

But every now and then she gets a bee in her bonnet about a must-have item of clothing that even Primani just can’t deliver. This weekend it was a pair of skirt-shorts. Not skorts, you understand. There is a difference apparently. I could see the little foot-stamp brewing when I Googled pictures of skorts and it was a while before the penny dropped. The rolling eyes of a nine year-old are a picture I can tell you!

stripy skirt shorts

Getting the picture was one thing. Getting the pattern was another. Only one thing for it. Had to self-draft. I’m not quite ready to share my winging-ways until I’ve perfected it. But suffice to say it worked, kind of. Well totally if you judge by the response of the recipient!

I’ve had this stripy jersey in stash for some time. Yes! Can you believe it? Another piece of stash successfully busted! Doesn’t appear to have reduced the pile any though.

stripy skirt shorts

I used the side-cutter attachment on my Brother Innovis to create some faux overlocked seams and I used a regular zig-zag stitch for the hem and the elastic casing.

The ‘brief’ was to create shorts that looked totally like a skirt. Mission accomplished though I think perhaps I made them a little too full – the waistband is really tightly gathered. Little Miss O assures me they are comfortable enough but I think they could do with a little less volume.

stripy skirt shorts

Who would have guessed that a pair of skirt-shorts would encourage such climbing skills? Making them was easy enough. Getting them off her to put them in the wash might be an entirely different matter!

stripy skirt shorts
Beautiful photos as always by my very talented fella, Daniel Selway.

ooobop! review: Burda Style August 2013

Burdastyle Magazine August 2013

Well hello August Burdastyle Mag with 16 Free Patterns. So very pleased to receive you!

This month veers completely away from the beach and heads into Autumn with a whole range of styles. Heaven knows how the Burda team keeps it up each month. It’s as much as I can do to come up with one style that I wan’t to actually make!

Neo Romantic a la Downton Abbey, makes a dramatic entrance with chiffon and ruffles. Very reminiscent too of my 80s New Romantic phase. I’d have killed for a neck ruffle like that back then… and actually maybe now! Don’t ask me about the Michael Jacksonesque lace blouse though. I actually don’t have words. But I did use to have a dress very similar to that white one, top right. Though mine didn’t look like I was wearing pants over the top!

neo romantic burda august 2013The lace dress in the centre is lined with silk. A fitted bodice and three quarter length sleeves make for a very special dress indeed. I don’t reckon I could carry off the Hong Kong Phooey look, alongside, though.

Bottom row left corner, coat is a very simple but stylish design and I might have considered it had I not have accidentally on purpose purchased a good looking coat pattern just recently 😉

I like the pinafore dress though. Very much. But it’s odd that the chiffon sleeves are joined on. I would defo leave them out and have the option to wear my own blouse under or not.

And that jacket, bottom right is really cute. I would defo have worn that in the 80s and I might be persuaded now. Leather puffy sleeves or not!

Described as having graphic inspiration from the 20s, I get an 80s vibe too from this next section: Form and Style. I don’t dislike anything from this section, I just don’t think it’s my thing. It’s a bit too ‘blocky’ and casual for me. I’m aware that it’s completely away from my colour palette (kidding myself I actually have one) and as much as I try and envisage the styles in a teal or a red or a black or an orange, it’s still not working for me. The skirt, top row centre, is quite interesting though.

Form and style section

And then enter the Style Icons!

Swinging London, rock ‘n’ roll meets bohemia. Now that’s very much more up my street.

I have had a blouse like the first one on my list for such a long time but the leopard print chiffon brings it up a line or two. I love the idea of leather drainpipes but might have to rein myself in a bit there! The jacket top centre is a very sleek chic sort and there’s a great step by step tute included for this one too.

Check out that cape! Kind of commands a big floppy brimmed hat to carry off the whole dramatic look and I might be inclined to add a pair of thigh high leather platform boots. (Woahhh…..there I go again!)

One of these days I will run up a maxi. I’m sure I won’t look back. I love the whole floaty nature of them but I just can’t seem to get going on one. Too busy eyeing up the leather pants and fitted jacket look! (bottom right)

style icons section

Am I just fickle or is the next ‘All in Red’ section the best? Am I blinded by one of my favourite colours or are all of these styles indeed strong, sophisticated and stylish, red or not?

all in red sectionOk, ‘all’ might be a bit of an exaggeration. The peplum is still hanging around. Just to annoy me. I got vaguely interested in creating something with a peplum at the beginning of the year. I toyed with it in my head and for whatever reason, now it just really annoys me. There is a ridiculous amount of volume in the front of this one too. I don’t need that kind of volume placement, I can tell you!

But I do like everything else. That gorgeous dress top left is made of washed silk. Red washed silk! So cool and soft and luxurious. I love that massive bow. But I dislike the pockets. I think they are too much for a fabric so delicate.

Red silk velvet for the dress 3rd one along top. I would make the front opening a tad more discreet but I do love an empire waistline. The collar stands higher at the front than at the back and again I love the three quarter length sleeves. Teamed with some 60 derniers and some Docs, I would be happy as some Larrys in that cheeky little number!

The coat is lovely but not as lovely as mine! 😉

The jacket bottom and bottom right is the one that has a supporting step by step tute. Such a versatile shape. Teamed with strides or a skirt. Dressed up or down. But properly bringing some class each time.

No little retro number for me to harp over this issue but there is a special Designer Style a la Wolfgang Joop. I had a ‘quick’ Google of the Wunderkind label and was pleasantly surprised. This dress pattern, though tamer than most of the dramatic styles I saw, is an attention seeker nonetheless. (Would be even moreso in red!) And oh how I love that style of fashion drawing. Going to teach myself how to draw like that one day.

Wunderkind dress

But it’s the Plus Fashion section that captures some fine vintage styling for me. I love all the styles apart from the crazy wide cut silk trousers. It would take someone special to carry them off. I’m getting closer in my quest to grade patterns, having just dipped my toe in with my latest dress. So I’m taking more notice of the bigger sizes with the hope that one day my grading skills will be enough to start with any size and make it fit me just so!

plus size burda august 2013

And so the Children section wraps up this issue. But not in such an uber dramatic way. The coat is lovely but Little Miss Ooobop didn’t look overly impressed. And both of us agree that the skirt looks more like a sewing fail than anything else! I’m sure the T-shirt pattern will come in handy at some point but hey. I’m not complaining. I could do without a small person adding more to my list!

burda kids august 2013Any faves? Any already made up? Do tell. x

ooobop! review: Burda Style July 2013

Just when you thought I’d forgotten all about you! So sorry for the really really late review. I’ve had this issue in my clutches for quite some time and I’m sure most of you have snapped one up and made up your entire summer wardrobe in the meantime. But for those faraway friends who always get the bum end of the deal when it comes to Burdas on shelves, this post is dedicated to you.

Celebrating Summer is the opening theme for July. So get your sunnies on because there is nothing shy or wallflower-like about these there garments.

Cotton, jersey and linen. Bold prints, floral and batiks… all a little bit hippy for me, to be honest, but for any beginners looking for some dramatic starter projects, a few of these could well be worth a punt.

Burda July 2013 summer designsThe dress, bottom right corner, for instance is fashioned from a rectangle of fabric with single slit. You can just about see the diagram to the right of the dress. There are some nifty instructions to wear this dress in three genius ways with the help of a circular bangle. But, easy as it states, I haven’t quite got my head around it enough to explain, I’m afraid!

My hippy tendencies, however, do extend to love of tipi!

Burda July 2013 Tipi

The next section gets a bit more versatile. The opening shorts and silk vest top with twisted straps brings a little sophistication to some interesting casual wear. Not sure what to make of the pink wool and leather-trimmed shirt dress (centre) with oversized bellow pockets. I already don’t like the puckering around the waist! But the cowl neck  on the jersey satin top (centre right) is so classy as is the soft wool jacket (bottom left corner) with its silk trim and pocket flaps. Really interesting asymmetric closure too.

Burda July 2013 summer fashionsI wasn’t immediately bowled over by the retro pattern. But on closer inspection those shorts are really cute with their angled hip yoke pockets, waist pleats and turn-ups. I’d really like to give these a go before my holiday, if I get a chance. The T-shirt though a useful pattern to have, is a little boring really but far more intriguing is the use of fabric here. It’s made of striped raffia! Can’t imagine that’s a snuggly wear!

Burda July 2013 retro shorts and Tshirt

It lightens up somewhat with shimmering silks, floaty tulle and pearly sequins. My pick of the set is that silk batiste with ruffle appliqué jacket (bottom left corner). Short, boxy cut and properly unnecessary! Which is why I love it so much! I quite like the deep v-neck top (centre bottom) but I wouldn’t sew with that sequin fabric for all the silk in china!

Burda July 2013 Summer shimmering fashionsIncluded in this section are some more of those genius wrap dresses. The top one shows another two ways to wear the one shown previously. Beach dress becomes evening dress with clever usage of a bangle!

The one below has two side slits and makes such a great beach dress. No bangle involved here, the fabric piece is simply draped around the body.

Burda July 2013 wrap dresses

Some lovely lingerie patterns included in this issue. I’ve made a couple of pairs of pin-up pants but I really want to explore the world of undies in more detail. I’m tempted to rustle up a couple of slips too as a cheats way of avoiding a lining!

I love the French knickers and the camisole tops. And imagine how luxurious they would feel in silk crepe satin…

Burda July 2013 lingerie

But hey. Guess what section tops it all off, once again? You guessed it!

Bolder, shapelier, sexier and far more likely to appear in my holiday suitcase. Check out that all-red stretch satin halter neck dress (top left corner). Sparkly rhinestones cover a small gathered section under the bust. Soooo flattering. Loving the red lace dress (next to the halter dress) with three-quarter length sleeves too. (I do like a red dress!) I’m not entirely sold on the use of asymmetric darts though. Looks to me like a mistake.

And wow! That purple cowl-neck dress (3rd column first row) sports a cowl to behold. Its made of a double layer of silk jersey, here. I anticipate a nightmare sewing scenario but if anyone wants to make this for me, I’d be happy to receive!

Burda July 2013 plus fashions

From the lack of reviews on this issue along with the odd very negative ones, I gather this hasn’t been the most popular. I have to admit, it took a few going-back-to’s to get a fair impression but as always, if there’s only one pattern that hits the mark it’s still so worth the cover price. So stick with it lovely sewists!

ooobop! review: Burda Style June 2013

Burda magazine June 2013

Can you believe this is the summer edition of June 2013? I can’t. I’m wrapped in my fleecy blanky, fingerless gloves no less, shivering my butt off as I point blank refuse to turn the heating on. My toes are curled for no other reason other than I can’t uncurl them because they are frozen solid. Is this weather for real?

I really want to get excited about summer clothes, really I do. But I’m struggling. So if you hear a slightly less enthusiastic tone this month, please bear with!

First section up is… Summer Fashion… ha! “Keep looking stylish, even in the heat…” is the opening line of the first intro copy.  Ha bloody ha! Rub it in why don’t ya!

Summer fashion Burda June 2013Ok. I’m going to try. I actually do really like the hand finishing on the brown shift dress, bottom left (above). Its a great couture technique that I’m thinking of employing on a future wool crepe dress I have planned.

The shorts, centre, bottom row, are not dissimilar to the plaid shorts I made. These ones are made with stretch pique which sounds more comfy. I will defo give these a go as one of my gripes was the lack of facing with with Simplicity ones. I know I could probably draft one but hey, I don’t need to now! A bit difficult to see in the photo (top row, centre pic) but that t-shirt looks to be a good fit with side panels and neat little sleeves. Don’t have an overlocker as yet and I’m wincing at the thought of messy insides so I’ll just hang on a bit for that one until I win the lottery. Boy I can’t believe how much those overlockers are!

My dislikes are the pink pants, bottom right. I love this look on the right kind of body. I don’t have that kind of body, unfortunately so they won’t be appearing on my list anytime soon. As won’t that dress top left corner, funnily enough. I say funnily enough because at first glance it looks like a classy dress. Save the pompoms! But it’s not even the pompoms that are putting me off. I quite like them. Its more the “artfully laid little pleats” that appear on the right shoulder aligned with the left hip. Even from the photo I can see some annoying crosswise folds that would annoy the heck outa me!

So who doesn’t like lots of dots? That’s the theme for the next section:

Lots of dots Burda June 2013I think I can safely say I like everything in this section save the long shorts, first column middle row. Just a bit unflattering and boyish for me. I love the shirt-dress top right, most of all. If Me-Made-May’13 has taught me anything it’s that I need more shirt dresses. I love how comfortable and stylish and edgy they can be. It’s not to do with cutting edge design. More clever choice of fabric that makes a great shirt dress. And I’d love to have one for every day of the week. This is quite a slim-fit one and it sure fits the bill as far as I’m concerned.

The shift dress, bottom right corner, has some great side panels that are piped. I still haven’t attempted piping but this would be a great opportunity to practice. It would also be a great chance to practise some colour blocking too. Employing some block colour in those panels would create a great slimming effect.

The cowl top with gathered sides (top left corner) is a firm fave too. Much more stylish to wear than a plain old T! And I love the yellow swinging full skirt. Perhaps not in yellow though. It’s got plenty inset godets on top of all the gathering. And a big bow at the waistband. Dead funky!

The next section is all about beach wedding/party dresses. I truly have goosebumps right now thinking about how the chiffons and georgettes might feel next to my skin, but there are some pretties…

beach beauty section burda June 2013The cowl neck dress, bottom left corner, is my favourite here. With its side gathers and simple shape I think it could be really flattering and perfect for a few evening cocktails on the beach. The dress, top right, is quite stunning and doesn’t look that difficult to construct but there is some yardage of crèpe satin going on here, so it’s not really for the ‘thrifties’ among us!

I don’t dislike the others. They all have their place. Apart from the strange diagonal pleated bodice dress, top left corner – same issues as that purple dress in the first section. Oh, and that one sleeve wonder dress bottom right corner. Not sure I could handle that!

So, swiftly we move on to ‘Surfer Girl’. Not me. Not any part of it. I have noted there are a lot of runners that sew. Or sewists that run! I wish I could say I was one of those. But I’m not so I will leave judgement in the hands of the “Sporty Spices” of the sewing blogger nation…

surfer girl section June 2013That said, the little jersey skirt in the centre, bottom row, could be a quick and easy casual make for holidays and weekends. The jacket is a bit 80s for me, mind!

The Mother & Daughter section is at the very least tweeee!

Mother and Daughter section June 2013Would anyone ever consider dressing to match their daughter?

I quite like the dress, top centre. Though it looks a bit starchy in the batiste. I might be inclined to use something slightly drapier. I do really like the idea of printing on the fabric though. That would totally seal the uniqueness of the garments. You could really create some signature pieces with a clever use of design. I just made a skirt, similar to the star-print one, top right corner, but from an old vintage curtain. I love the deep waistband. I need to finish mine but I hope it looks as good as it does on this mummy!

The Plus Section gets as much attention, if not more this month:

Plus fashions June 2013I love how each of these designs incorporate clever structured detail to flatter the curviest of bods. Simple lines and crepe satin exude the elegance and the loose cut sleeves and empire waistline of that red dress, bottom left is simple yet stunning. But the one I like most is the red dress on the right. Cute standy up collar and dinky button loops on a fabulous yoke bodice add perfect detail to really versatile dress.

So what do you all think? Any faves? Any absolute disses?

I’m off up the wooden hill to Bedforshire right now. I’ve given up trying to keep warm. But I’m still thinking shirt dress. Perhaps in some rockabilly print that I have in a box somewhere. I’ll dream about it and see how it looks!

Night all. And thanks so much for keeping up with my ramblings x

Last of the summer shorts

gingham shorts

When I was a child, I remember that the end of the summer holidays was always marked with a change in the weather. Going back to school, following countless sunny days in the park, sporting a coat for the first time and being bemused by the blustery weather. Well something has gone awry this year but I am certainly not complaining. 29 degrees in September? That’ll do nicely!

I did have plans for something a little more exciting than a pair of shorts this weekend but who wants to be in when its so glorious outside? Not me! So a quick pair of shorts it was.

I have made these shorts before in a more wintry plaid, so I knew how quickly this pattern was to piece together. Just under 2 hours no less.

simplicity 2659

I have given myself a ban on fabric buying for a while. I have been so lucky to have inherited so much over the last year or so and I must start using it, or Mr. Ooobop! is going to have a meltdown! It is a little bit out of control to be honest. And to be fair, I haven’t scratched the surface with these shorts as a stash-busting project but hey, it all helps!

gingham shorts back view

On the subject of stash busting, I honestly think it’s the part of sewing that hurts my head the most. I keep the fabric because I like it (obvs) and I know that one day it will be perfect for a project. But that project might take years to materialise. And in that time the stash just gets taller! I don’t want to pick any old fabric for one of my makes. It has to be right!

I really think that this fabric is right for these shorts. It is a poly cotton mix (I think) but of the sturdy kind. So those interfaced cuffs on the legs are sturdy indeed! Pretty design too. Gingham, which is always good, with little embroidered daisies. Not so good to iron though. I tried with a hot-ish iron and it turned one of the daisies pink! I guess that’s the ‘poly’ bit in the mix!

I made a lapped zipper… a bit more confidently and certainly more neatly this time round. Can you see it?!

lapped zipper on side of shorts

Well I don’t think I will get many more days of shorts this year, though stranger things have happened, but I got a great deal of satisfaction in making and wearing these today. Plans for autumnal garments are starting to emerge. But I’ll wait ’til it cools down before I can start handling wool!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. x

The 4-birds-with-one-stone plaid shorts!

plaid shorts simplicity 2659A little bit of sunshine was all it took to inspire these shorts. Don’t panic! I’m not about to get those pasty pins out just yet! I much prefer to wear shorts as spring attire with a pair of 60 dernier tights and the trusty Docs! That photo will have to wait until I can grab Mr Ooobop! to work his photographic magic. In the meantime, I’m afraid we’ll have to make do with my boring pics.

The 4-birds-ness came about as follows:

  1. After my recent pleasure working with and deciding to invest in better fabric (re the audition dress) I also made a conscious decision to wade into ‘stash mountain’ for practice projects and toiles rather than buy any more substandard material. This plaid/tartan fabric was quite a large piece left over from my vintage plaid dress. Its totally synthetic, I’m sure, but it was a good weight for these shorts and so minor stash bust #1 achieved!
  2. I’ve been hearing the words ‘lapped zipper’ on other peoples blogs and in sewing mags quite a lot recently. And I figured it should be something I should know how to do by now. Since getting the hang of the ‘invisible one’ (after some practice, mind) I have kind of forgotten that there is any other way of inserting a zip. Of course I headed straight to YouTube as my first love of demos. I am far more receptive to watching someone demonstrate it for real! Turns out that this was the perfect kind of zipper for these shorts. I think I did it properly. Well, the zip goes up and down and the lapped bit covers the teeth so that’ll do me and will also tick the box of having mastered a new (for me) zip technique.
    plaid shorts side zip
  3. Plaid matching has always been a bit flooky for me, I have to say, and using this fabric on a small, uncomplicated project gave me the chance to practice matching up those seams. Both left and right side seams are as near as dammit and at least across the front and the butt the horizontal stripes line up. Shame I couldn’t do the maths on the side seam of the cuff. I have to say though, having the checks line up across the zipper had me doing a little dance round the ironing board!
    plaid shorts side
  4. And finally the fourth birdie was the mere fact that I have never made a pair of shorts before. This pattern is Simplicity 2659 and I’m pretty sure it came free with an issue of Sew magazine. I’m not sure I would ever make the dress. I can make my belly stick out without any extra help thank you very much, but the top could be cute and I’m sure the bolero would work with a classic dress! Anyhows, one baby step closer to making a pair of trousers but its defo a baby step I am very likely to repeat with some different fabric.
    simplicity 2659 pattern

The cuffs of these shorts are my favourite addition. I love that they are separate and cut on the bias. I wasn’t expecting that as the turn ups on the sleeves I did for my wing collar blouse were technically a very deep hem, turned back on itself. The bias of any sort of checked/plaid/tartan fabric is fabulous against a straight grain of its own kind and I think it really looks neat. Finishes off the hem inside perfectly too.

plaid shorts cuff

I would say that I lost big points on the waist finishing. I have never finished a waist without facing or waistband before and this pattern called for the use of twill tape at the inner waist edge. Very simple to understand and to achieve but I really must remember to stitch from the top when I’m doing things like this. That way I will get a much neater and straighter line. It won’t get noticed, I know, as my children will be horrified if I start tucking my tops into shorts but I know I could have done better. I just find it very amusing, and everso slightly annoying, that a little bit of topstitching is my main cause for concern on this tiny project!

plaid shorts waist

I highly recommend this shorts pattern for anyone wanting a little project to run up in an evening. I’m sure they would look great (on someone else) in a more summery linen or gingham… ooo gingham… imagine the cuffs!