Sew Icing: Burda 3/2015 #116 and a scrap busting tie scarf

Behind on photographing 2 recent projects/pattern reviews, but in the meantime here are my quick icing sews!

Sewing costumes are so much fun! I should really the same approach to sewing clothes – being fearless with cutting into fabric with 1cm seam allowances. After all, it’s only fabric!

Initially, for my upcoming work xmas party, I wanted to install battery powered string lights into the tulle skirt from last year. For the top, I used the bodice part of a Burda wedding dress 3/2015 #116  . But after sewing it up, I didn’t like how the skirt looked with the bodice, so I changed my plans. Since not many people will be dressing up, I wanted to really sew something that was more fun and joyful 🙂 And what’s more joyful than Santa!

Which calls for a red velvet 3/4 skirt trimmed in fur!! I used the handy 3/4 skirt tutorial on Miss Make. I don’t know why I put so much stock into sewing fear-mongering from what I’ve read on the web, but sewing with stretch velvet was absolutely no problem! I was worried that fabric wouldn’t have much body so I also sewed another crinoline underskirt, but in the end, I don’t think the skirt needs it since the fur on the bottom gives it volume without making my ass look big.


And as an extra bonus sew, looking through my Pinterest boards, wanting to remix my existing wardrobe, I realized this scarf would so easy to sew!

Schoolgirl tie scarf

Using scrap twill viscose, I quickly sewed together a thin scarf, which I figured I could style in other ways. I found a Youtube tutorial on additional ways to style a scarf though my boyfriend wasn’t a fan of the “choker” styling which I liked 7 Ways to Tie a Thin Scarf

My Reservoir Dogs inspired outfit which I wore to my business casual office. Having “designer” in my job title I feel a bit more free to express myself through my clothes, though this was pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone. I did feel pretty cool though!


Till next time!


Burdastyle 02/2018 #107 Twisted Jersey Top

After the tediousness of the shirtdress, I needed a palette cleanser!

I’m lucky that my library carries Burdastyle magazines, which is great for queue-jumping inspiration. Their section with “outdoorsy, casual” styles appealed to my desperate need for cute, practical, casual clothes. This one in particular jumped out at me:

Burdastyle Twisted Jersey top

It must have been fate or serendipity, since I had a green jersey that had been sitting in my stash for 2 years… I bought it on a fabric shopping spree in Stockholm when I had just started sewing, since we only have 1 fabric (chain) store in my town. I had some looming guilt about the fact I’ve only sewn 2 pieces from the haul of 8 (?) fabrics. I even had the price tag still on and was shocked at what I had paid, $15USD/m… Fabric is expensive in Sweden! Makes me wish I had gone on a bigger fabric spree when I was in New York last Christmas 😉

So much to like about the pattern – knits + forgiving fit + forgiving structure + just 2 pieces = speedy! Even if my sewing construction was slightly off (as it always is) you wouldn’t be able to tell. I also love asymmetrical cuts since they look so *fancy*! 😀

I was nervous about sewing with knit jersey for the first time. Digging around my sewing room I found a small stash of different sewing needles which I had forgotten I had bought! Since I have a vintage Husqvarna, I was unsure if the needles would even work. Investigating further online, I read that stretch needles don’t work well on vintage machines 😦 So I used a sharp, new needle – and you know what? Why was I so scared to sew with knits?! It was probably the easiest sew I’ve had in awhile! And the twin needle for finishing the hem – WHAT KIND OF MAGIC IS THIS??!!

I think this might look cool in a Breton stripe jersey! Not sure if it’s too recognisable to have 2 shirt styles which are so similar. Although, before I started sewing, I occasionally bought 2 of the same style garment if I really liked it – I suppose I’m just self conscious that other people who know I sew will look at it and think – “oh that must be homemade?!”

My review on Pattern Review: 

Pattern Description:
It looks complicated, though it is truly a gem to sew. This jersey top with the bateau neckline and the offset sleeve seam is a quick sewing project that will be a wardrobe favorite right away.

Pattern Sizing:
Made a straight size 36, skipped grading up the hips since the fit is really forgiving

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes. I didn’t read the other reviews, but make sure to mark all seams as well as sides (wrong/right side), otherwise you might not be able to puzzle it together.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
So fast and easy, as the top is just 2 pieces! I really recommend this pattern for beginners – this was my first project with jersey and I don’t know why I was so afraid of it! No fitting adjustments, no zig zag finishing… this was speedy! Was a great palette cleanser after struggling through a shirtdress. The longest step was probably figuring out how to sew the “sides”! But once I figured it out, it was so satisfying!

The design is really unique, (flattering too I think) and the shirt is so comfy!

Only dislike is that the neckline could be a little “tighter” – it tends to just flop out, since it is only turned under.

Fabric Used:
Cotton jersey I had in my stash for the past 2 years! By coincidence it’s the same green hue as what the model is wearing in the magazine… or maybe when I spotted it, it was serendipity that I needed to sew it.

I managed to squeeze the fabric out of 1.2m x 150cm/60″ wide fabric, so if you are on the smaller size range it might be good to know that you can squeeze it out of less fabric!

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Accidentally forgot to add the correct arm hem seam allowance, so it’s a little shorter in the sleeves.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I recommend it highly! I might sew it in a stripe jersey, although it’s a rather unique design to have 2 of this style. The top is rather long, it could almost be a dress, so that is another option.

2 year sewing anniversary!

And a 1 year break from blogging, eeps! I decided to take a few months off from sewing, due to my frustration at selecting appropriate fabrics for patterns, learning how to fit, learning to sew, learning what garments I like wearing, all at once. So I took some time to really analyze what I wanted to wear and what I felt good wearing. Also have started a fabric stash of beautiful fabrics from Sri Lanka and Mood in New York from business and personal trips 🙂

Still I was suffering from some sewing-perfectionism-paralysis for some periods. What broke me out of that was surprisingly, sewing costumes! Since I didn’t need to sew perfectly  for an outfit that only needed to hold up for a night, I could really just jump into sewing for pure fun! As a new employee at my workplace, I was a part of the party planning committee, and I insisted that we dress as clowns a la Clockwork Orange 🙂


From my workplace’s previous summer costume party as Gogo from Kill Bill, which I never posted. I ordered the skirt online from a Chinese eBay seller which ended up a tad short (eep!) though I figured I was well covered on the upper body at least.


Pic of Burda cocoon dress just before finishing. Realised I don’t like dresses that don’t have waist definition, so I tapered and took in the sides a lot. Only to not be able to walk up stairs in it. I might put in a back slit, maybe, never.


Burda tank (my detailed Pattern Review BURDASTYLE MAGAZINE 04-2016-#118 (TANK WITH NECK PLEATS), with some modifications (left the pleats open). Wasn’t crazy about it until I tried it on with a high waisted skirt. The interfacing is a bit too stiff?! But I’m happy about the fit! At this point I learned that I have an erect back (possibly narrow back with “wide” shoulders, as in I need to size up from my bust size).


My second version of this Burda Bowtie blouse 10/2011 128A (my detailed Pattern Review 10-2011-128A (BOWTIE BLOUSE). Obviously I needed to customise it 🙂


Self-drafted quarter circle skirt + the skirt just before hemming. Of course made mistakes during drafting and adjustments, and needed to put in a lining since I misjudged how thin the linen (bought in Sri Lanka) would fall. Worst of all, the hem is uneven, and I hand sewed the hem with a single thread while watching a 2 hour movie, so I’m dreading the thought of redoing it… Most likely I will just live with it. The matching top I had planned is a WIP since it ended up being more matronly than expected. Really trying to let go of my disappointment in the result not being as good as hoped for, and trying to see it as learning experiences.


And the latest project, which I am super proud of! Finally, something that fits amazing and looks store bought! (Or, better than store bought, since I have never purchased a pencil skirt in my life, as pencil skirts never fit me right!) The fabric is from Mood, cotton twill marked with a designer whose name escapes right now… This fabric was an absolute dream to work with! Pattern is BURDASTYLE MAGAZINE HIGH WAISTED SKIRT 04-2012-118 (my detailed review on Sewing Patterns). Oh, and of course I made a number of changes to the pattern design – I really can’t leave it be to follow directions exactly!

Currently trying to finish a shirtdress which I started back in January, and lost motivation for since it was cold… Now that we’ve had the hottest and longest summer ever, trying to rush to get it done before it gets too cold (omg!). I may need to learn to sew ahead of seasons. One thing I realized about my sewing is that I sew like I cook – I almost absolutely cannot follow a recipe/directions without making my own modifications to it, haha!

Feels a bit silly(?) that I somehow feel compelled to blog even when it’s been a whole year since I last blogged, and that I don’t really have followers so to say. I guess I feel that I’ve gotten so much from the online sewing community, that I want to have some presence online, as well as share whatever I can, however little it may be 🙂

Burdastyle 10/2011 #128B Tie blouse

Last make for the year!

Burdastyle 10/2011 #128 – this image is of view A, though I made version B where the tie neck is not fully attached to the collar.

Burdastyle 10-2011 #128 image

I don’t know why I feel compelled to apologize for the poor pics – it is my blog and I’ll do what I want 🙂

Burdastyle 10-2011 #128 image
Burdastyle 10-2011 #128 image

I’m trying not to be so hard on myself – I’m not as happy with the shirt as I should be(?) For whatever reason I end up being slightly disappointed with everything I’ve made so far. I have made huge leaps and bounds in my sewing! The shirt is definitely wearable, and next time I make it (and there will be a next time) it will even closer to perfection!

During the last few weeks I have been reflecting over how I want next year to be different. And that includes being more kind to myself 🙂 2017 will be my year of Self Compassion. Happy New Year!

Pattern Sizing:
I made size 36

Fitting/design changes made:

  • Raised depth of the V by 4.5 cm in order to make it more work appropriate
  • Shortened the sleeves by 3cm.
  • Shortened the body length by folding it up twice and sewing a blind-hem by hand

Next time I would:

  • make the neck band thinner
  • lower/round out the neck

Some inspiration for next time

Tie neck black
Tie neck pattern
Tie neck pattern
Tie neck beige

Burdastyle Short Sleeve Raglan Top 02/2016 #118

I was super excited to make this queue-busting top when I borrowed a Burdastyle magazine from the library:
Burdastyle short sleeve raglan top

Unfortunately I’m a bit disappointed in the result… I think it looks a bit unflattering on me so I won’t be sewing it again.

Burdastyle 02/2016 #118 Burdastyle 02/2016 #118 Burdastyle 02/2016 #118

This is my first Burda top (not counting the nightgown I sewed), so I was unsure whether to go with size 36 as recommended. I wanted a bit of extra ease and decided to play it safe by cutting a 38 – which ended up being too big, even after taking in the sides and raising the armhole as much as possible. I also know I have a rather short neck, so I shortened the height.

Fabric used
French terry, though the collar is rather floppy…

Fitting notes
– Took in the side panels 21mm in total each side
– Narrowed the arm width 16mm total under each arm
– Shortened collar height 1cm (2cm total)
– Hemmed 2cm instead of 3cm to keep length

The pattern is a fairly quick sew though, especially if you use a fabric that doesn’t fray, so maybe it might work for you?

Garment #3 Flannel Nightgown – Sweet country girl meets 90’s grunge

So what happened with garment #2?.. It’s officially my first UFO (unfinished object). Right now it’s been sitting for a month waiting for buttons and buttonholes, but that post will come when I have pics. For my second garment I was a little ambitious, wanting to do a button up shirt, but my choice of quilting fabric was a bit unfortunate. Chalk that up to a (rather common?) fallacy of being drawn to novelty prints, though I also reasoned that a sturdy cotton would be a good choice as a novice. Now I wish I had sewn it in a plain cotton shirting, so it would be more wearable.

Anyhow, the idea I had for my nightgown was to do a plaid flannel slip dress style nightgown. Sweet country girl meets 90’s grunge! I wanted to do it in a red and black check (which I kind of still wish I had done), but the best fabric I could find in my local fabric store was a white and blue flannelette, and on impulse I wanted to sew it sooner rather than order fabric online. So now the nightgown is just “Sweet country girl”.

I also didn’t want to spend money on a pattern – I’m “only” going to be wearing it at home! Why spend money on that?? Although come to think of it, I wear it practically every day now that I’ve sewn it… Maybe it should be worth spending money on. I haven’t “Marie Kondo’d” my home wardrobe, so most of what I wear at home is old castoffs that are too worn to wear in public – is it any wonder I feel so dumpy a lot of the time? Hmm.

The pattern is from Burdastyle magazine (07-2013 #116) borrowed from my local library.


My version

These photos were taken 1 month ago, when it still felt like the end of summer – right now it’s starting to feel like winter! I’m pretty uncomfortable with being photographed, and I feel even more self conscious standing out in our yard in my nightie, but I enjoy seeing other people’s sewing blogs, so in the spirit of keeping good karma going, I am uncomfortably putting myself out there on the int-er-net!

Squeezed this out of 1m x 140cm checked flannelette, which after pre washing showed how NOT square the print was

Fitting notes
– Burdastyle really doesn’t have much ease to their patterns as I confirmed / found out. According to their sizing I should make a size 34/40/37 bust-waist-hips but then the waist of the garment would have been wider than the hips(!) I cut a 34 bust grading to 38 in hips, which I was glad I did since the garment is pretty tight in the hips… I think because of my fabric choice, there isn’t as much extra give with the bias.

– The cups are super small and widely spaced. I’m not busty in the least but I fall out when I sleep. I shortened the straps a lot since I took the photo for more upper coverage so now the under-bust seam sits ON my breast.

– Brought in straps at back to prevent slipping off shoulders

Construction notes
– The Burda directions were pretty useless for me as a beginner – some lines of brief text, and on top of that in Swedish, when I barely know English terms for sewing. I used instructions from SEW Sew Everything Workbook book.

Design changes
– Trimmed the cups in wide lace (which was fortunate since the cups are tiny!). I only wear this at home around my boyfriend because nip-slips galore. Now if someone knocks on our door I’d probably decline to sit down in the gown.

– I shortened the length by about 3″ (which despite pre washing the flannel is now too short) and added a split side seam.

– I also added a pocket for my iphone and a matching mask 🙂


Make again?
I don’t know if I would recommend this pattern or make it again – maybe if I manage to hack the pattern to increase the cup size. I saw someone else on Pattern review made it as a slip for under clothing, and it might be better for that purpose.

I don’t think the flannel was well suited for this pattern (too stiff), and there is surprisingly little ease in the hips. After adding the split hem and shortening the length, the nightgown drapes a bit nicer on the body, as well as giving more ease when turning over in bed.

Despite these imperfections, I still love my nightgown 🙂