Saturday, 26 January 2013

In the Jungle Burda 09-2007-104

At last!

I can join in Prettynpink's Jungle January with all the other cool cats! I am so lucky that the weather co-operated with a (relatively) cool day to take my photographs of the fake fur coat made from a pattern in Burda, September 2007, number 104 and cut out years ago. I must have borrowed it from the local library and traced it off and not thought of photocopying the line drawing or instructions, as I would now.

Here it is.

I would so love to model this somewhere glamorous,  a Santorini cliff top perhaps, but I even left my umbrella downstairs in the car so you get me on my balcony in the rain. At least I've got a Santorini Western Sydney tan. I am so glad I finished this coat. It turned out better than I expected and the pattern is a gem.

Standing in the drizzly summer rain. I shouldn't point out faults but there is something going on with the right hand  corner of the hem. I know it is all straight and it is partly the way it is falling but I will go back and re stitch bits of it. I may as well aim for perfection, or rather as close as I can get to it. 

Pretty vintage buttons.

Black lining from the stash.

I love this coat. In fact I love all coats. I would love to live somewhere cooler, but in the meantime I will have to wait until the Aussie winter. I'll wear it on my birthday to dinner or the opera house.  Right now it is in my laundry airing out to dry.

Here is a link to my Pattern Review which has all the nitty gritty about the construction of the coat.

Edited to say I unpicked the right side of the hem and some of the back and fixed it where the lining had been pulling a little. I'm totally happy with the Kitty cat coat now. 

Going by the extremes of weather that we have been having with a heatwave, bush fires and now floods all the way down the east coast a flurry of snow in Sydney in four month's time would hardly be a surprise. 

Happy Jungle adventures everybody,

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Burda 9-2007-104 coat update and an award

Dear Bloggers,

I normally don't do update posts but I thought I'd tease you with this:

The fake fur coat is really coming along. We are having a cool drizzly weekend so I can actually bear to sew. A cool change swept in on Friday evening after a record setting blisteringly hot day that reached 46.5 C. Luckily I worked a long shift and missed most of it.

Incidentally I spent 2011 working in the UK and I desperately wanted to experience snow. I do realize you can have too much snow, like is happening in France and the UK at the moment. Keep safe guys! But of course I had an idyllic English summer that eased into a mild winter.

I had to go to Norway to see real quantities of snow. Snow falling, snow lying on the ground. I went to gorgeous Tromso to experience the Northern Lights. Tromso is so pretty and I had my put-on-your-thermals and coat and hat and gloves and scarf before-you-go-outside cold weather and of course the amazing Aurora Borealis.

I also experienced icy streets for the first time and slipped over with my camera gear and fell on my behind. The camera was fine. Ah, memories.

My real reason for this post is that Erin of i heart fabric has given me a Leibster award. Thank you Erin.

I am blogging about it straight away or I won't get around to it!

Here are 11 things about me you may or may not want to know.
1. I am allergic to cats, which is a pity. My mother had a brown burmese that would meet me at the door and hold cat conversations with me.
2. If I type fast the middle letters of most words come out in reverse order. Some part of my brain is dyslexic I think.
3. I always, always wanted to travel. As a child I would look at horizons and want to go there. I finally started overseas travels in 2008. I am not finished yet.
4. I heard the sound of the sewing machine in utero. My mother and grandmother taught me to sew.
5. I didn't own a digital camera until I joined Pattern Review.
6. I didn't have a large pattern or fabric stash until I joined Pattern Review either.
7. I love the earth and nature and wide open spaces.
8. I could spend three months just touring the great art galleries of the world (or revisiting the ones I have already been to).
9. If life makes me anxious I find myself buying material (or patterns) and if I don't I find myself buying books on photography.
10. I love photo blogs as you can see from my blog roll. I love the visual. It doesn't  have to be arty or perfect, just have that certain something. Come to think of it that's how I choose my sewing blog roll too.
11. I believe if you love something just do it, be it writing or sewing or art. Do it for the love of it.

I am passing the Leibster on to

Michelle at

Tigergirl at

Reana Louise at

Pauline at

Beverly who is on the

I've decided to add one more awardee to this list, a very new blogger, Fifi, who is fighting with fabric

Some are established blog-friends, some are fairly new discoveries on my part. All are interesting. Check them out!


Monday, 14 January 2013

Never Say Die Burda 7547 Revisited

Dear Readers,
You may remember my previous disappointing flop, the long off-white Burda 7547 dress? I was going to cut it up into dishcloths and serger covers, dust the furniture with it and tear it's little zipper out.. No? Well maybe that is just as well because .. as I started to unpick the zipper I remembered that I already had two more back bodices cut out and a drafted-to-fit-me front on paper for next time and it really wouldn't be too hard to just unpick the 'wrong' bodice and have another go at making it .. right?
Well, dear reader I cut out two revised fronts and went for it.

I am stubborn and I hate waste. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Never say dye ..

But back to the beginning, I straightened and de-sagged the front piece and finished the dress and ended up with this.

Hmm fits better but a bit nightgown-ish. What to do? I had some navy blue dye bought for another project so I researched different tie dye techniques, got busy with the rubber bands and ended up with this.

Because if I was going to get reacquainted with the Seventies I may as well go all the way. Yeah, baby.

Peace, love and mung beans to you all.


Wednesday, 9 January 2013

It's Not You Its Me (no really) Burda 7547

Dear Readers,

I've been sewing so long that there are things I should know by now, like
a) How to match a pattern to fabric
b) How to match a pattern to this body
c) How to listen to an inner voice that tells you something isn't working.

In my previous post I mentioned that before tackling my fake fur coat, which has uncrushed itself while 'resting' like a steak waiting for pepper sauce, I would just quickly run off a white maxi dress, which brings us to

d) Not to sew in a hurry. I tend to sew myself right into the land of stuff up when I sew in a hurry.

What stuff up? It is this sad thing on the hanger here, with the ruffle just roughly pinned on..
all innocent looking..

Burda 7537, soon to be unpinned, unpicked and invisible zipper (which of course went in like a dream) recycled and made into a cover for my machine and possibly place mats which will be an echo of the tablecloth this too-heavy-for-a-dress seersucker should have become.

It is not the fault of the pattern, well, not entirely. The body of the dress and the v neck back of the dress sit well. It was the front that was the problem. Let me show you a picture of the pattern.

The front bodice is a deep v with gathers at the shoulders. The original front piece slants toward the outer edge of the shoulders while maintaining a snug armhole. The front v edge looked too loose. I thought yeah, yeah, it will all be taken up by the gathers.
When gathered it was still loose so I cut a bit off the front shoulders, not too much. I put in drawstrings instead of just gathering the shoulder seams. I raised the front seam a bit at the centre bust. It still didn't sit right. I took off the front neck facing and eased in the excess gaping at the neck. Nope, still didn't sit right. Did a bit more, also correcting for one slightly uneven shoulder. Then the v sat right but strained across the top of the bust while simultaneously sagging at the seam which runs under the bust. So ..

I had a bodice that was tight and saggy at the same time. Not a good look. Meanwhile the material was just too thick for the floaty hippy retro seventies look of the dress. That's another thing. You know how they say if you've lived through an era once you shouldn't revisit it? It is possible that  they were right. But I have fixed up the front piece just in case I feel the urge to try..

Meanwhile back to the coat of faux fur, I spent this evening hand trimming the fur on the seam allowances of all the pieces and trying to figure out the order of construction  because wouldn't you know I do not have the Burda magazine issue - no instructions and no picture. I am not sure if I traced it from a borrowed copy, or if it was from one of the copies  I gave away. It doesn't matter, I'll track it down. I do remember that the coat featured in this pattern was in a fake fur, so that's a good start. While trimming the seam allowances outside on my balcony in the blessed evening coolness I thought 'It's sort of like a really thick velvet'. That's how I've decided to approach it.

My it's too hot to wear anything but a loose shift dress Simplicity 3505, made ages ago but not reviewed (yes that is a green leopard cotton print)

Yesterday was a day of massive heat here with scorching wind from the interior pushing temperatures up over most of the country. Our eucalyptus forests, what we call bush, were already bone dry and there were many bush fires as the heat continued into the night. It was still 30 degrees C at midnight in Sydney. Many people in the paths of these fires in country areas were in danger and some people have lost houses and businesses and livestock. It sort of puts it all into perspective.

My sympathies to anyone affected by the fires.


Edit: Another high fire risk day forecast for today. For some astonishing summer photos click here.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Burda 7207 Beach Dress and a Squashed Cat Coat

Dear People,

2013 is four days old and there are hot cross buns in some stores here already. Eesh! Let's get through Australia Day and Valentine's Day first if you don't mind!

I am on holidays and have been partying sewing. I have even done a Pattern Review here of the beach wraps I've sewn in the last few days. My daughter requested a dress/wrap modeled here by me, from material she knew was in my stash and a design she had seen on the internet. She doesn't sew but she's very clever :) Her version is black, knee length and drapier and looser, made to specifications after she tried this one on.

Doing my best Holly Golightly, in the Burda 7207 Beach Dress

A Square with two loops

So why did I buy a pattern for a square piece of material? For the dimensions, which were all wrong! The whole story is in my Pattern Review.
To be fair it is an interesting concept and the short version in the pattern has a nice looking  frill and would look good in a light colorful woven. 

On other matters, the next thing in my queue is a cream maxi dress but after that I will be tackling a three year old UFO, that's unfinished object to you non sewers, as part of Jungle January over at Petty Grievances Jungle January.

I'll be letting the cat out of the bag. From memory I had cut out Burda WOF (as it was then) coat 104/09/2007 from a lovely fake ocelot, remembered how I hate breathing in faux fur, and put it aside in favor of something else. I am determined to be brave, get myself a face mask and rev up the vacuum cleaner because this baby will be made. I'm just letting it and me breathe..

Happy January everyone,