Archive | July, 2012

Doryon #6045 Burda Jumpsuit Part two! Finished item alert

23 Jul

As I mentioned in part one of this post (which can be found here for context) I attended C.O.W’s advanced jumpsuit workshop this Saturday. The pattern we used was Burda’s Doryon, of which now I can review.

Take a look here for my Facebook page (more photos)


Pattern Description: We’re in love! The Doryon romper is right in time for hot summer days. With sharp tailored details like the pleated shorts and the demure hand-sewn inset, this romper is calling for your special touch. You can accessorize this look with a contrasting belt or by tying a sash through the belt loops. Basically this is a playsuit with one pocket at the seam, a long zip and a shoulder that opens to enable you to get in and out of it when nature calls!

Pattern Sizing: 32-44 (With my measurements being 34,27,37 suggested would have been 8-10 but I made a straight size 12) This size is a little big for me around my waist, but the the ease on my bust and hips is great. Playsuits are not meant to be skin tight so I am happy with the sizing.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? I believe it looked better, which is simply down to the choice of fabric rather than my sewing ability.

Were the instructions easy to follow? I had help as this was part of a workshop, but I have downloaded the instructions and they are a little confusing at times. Watch out for the arm holes (yes, it DOES tell you to trim the already cut arm holes by another 1cm- which seems fishy to me) Another issue was the V yoke front. Me and the other person making this item got some weird lumps where the V attaches to the bodice…. Only lots of stitching and ironing flattened it out but not perfectly.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?: I actually really like the pleats and the shorts! Who would have thought? They are flattering and the length perfect. I really dislike the annoying V yoke where it will not lie flat. I do like the fact that you can ‘personalize’ the yoke because they are separate.

Fabric Used: I ordered 2m of lovely plaid brushed 100% cotton from Croft mill at £5 per m, which was perfectly soft and is extremely wearable. I struggled with sewing it a little as it is quite stretchy, but this is my issue and I learned as I went! Very pleased with the fabric and how it feels on the skin. I have not lined it. I used all 2m of the fabric as I was matching plaids but 1.5m would suffice for designs without plaids. For the pocket I used a contrast piece of cotton fabric with a French script print.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I omitted the belt and loops. On my wide hips, extra detail is a BAD idea and I also did not have time. Instead I would use a thing tan belt around the thinest part of my waist.  I did not change the size or modify at all- just watch the yoke V, and if you get it to sit flush… tell me how!

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I would sew this again, but probably will not as I actually love the one I have made. I thought about using the short pattern pieces with the waist band from simplicity 2226 and making a pair of shorts…… probably end badly :)

Conclusion: I really like my playsuit. Sewn up in about 6 hours it does not take forever and the end product is cute and unique. What do you think?

Credit to Francine of Creative open worshop for the photos.

Boden Autumn 2012 preview- too many wants on the list!

17 Jul

It is no secret I LOVE Boden. I am far from a yummy mummy- having no children or husband to classify me with such a title. None the less Boden seeps into my want list season after season. Now I lie! It did not last season! The summer collection, in my opinion was just not me. I felt the same way about Joules too. In fact I bought more clothes from oasis than any other brand put together, which is not normal behavior for me. Some how, it was all just too…. yummy mummy. I usually buy a few items from Boden. Simple lines and without embellishment. They can be few and far between, but you can find them. I remember a few months back Boden doing a survey asking what I thought about the latest collection. I was honest and said I disliked it and had bought nothing. I wanted hipper clothes. Hipster was the word I actually used.

So I was very excited when the rumor mill churned out the news that Boden were doing a new more ‘hipster range’! Woop. You can read the article here– but I am slightly confused about the release date/name of the new brand. Is it Shoreditch like the hipsterville London area, or just the name of one item. Who cares. The point is after much deliberation here are my wants from the new range.

As the grand total for this shopping expedition would come to around £1,100 I think I am going to have to choose my very very favorites and deal with not having the rest. This would be:

  1. Casual belted dress. It comes in petite and I can wear this all year (if summer is going to stay this cold)
  2. Peter pan top. Cute cute cute!
  3. Millie spot top. To be worn with the peter pan collar top and jeans or skirt.

My want but can not afford list

  1. Boiled wool coat- maybe Santa will read this?
  2. Lottie tunic.

What are your favorites this season?

Doryon #6045 Burda Jumpsuit preparation. Part One

17 Jul

This weekend just gone was my Birthday. I wanted to cover up my birthday suit by wearing a new dress that I had made, but sadly the chance to sew up something suitable never presented itself. Do not worry, I wore a bought outfit so no birthday suit was on show :)  The realization that I now have only one item in my wardrobe made by me that fits got me thinking about this whole sewing shenanigans. I really want to be able to join in with the various ME MADE challenges that crop up from time to time, but this means making items that are actually wearable. Tilly and the buttons made some very interesting comments surrounding the issues of sewing with quilting cotton, which I realized most of my fabric stash is made up of. My major issue is that I get over excited about a fabric, buy way to much of it, use a inappropriate pattern, do not make a muslin because I am to impatient and then end up left with one of three situations:

  1. A garment that is very well made but does not fit me
  2.  Something very under finished that will not last because I did not launder the fabric or serge the raw edges
  3. A lovely wearable item, but it simply does not suit my other clothes so therefore gets worn very little.

Really these issues need consideration because what is the point of spending hours on a project that you will never wear? None. Wearability is a very important issue when designing and making your own clothes.  Sometimes using quilting weight cotton can be successful. My latest project for instance Simplicity 2226 is a wearable addition to my wardrobe. The pattern did not call for drape of movement so quilting weight cotton worked well in this case.

Had this been a wiggle dress the results would have been disastrous. This is a mistake I have actually made. I do not want to make these mistakes again. So what am I going to make next? A dress? A top?…. a cuddly toy? Nope! I am making a onesie, a romper, a play-suit, jumpsuit…call it what ever you will! You either love them or hate them, but I have got one of these babies and I love wearing it. Of course mistakes have been made. I friend of mine laughed copiously into her drink, whilst telling me about her classic school boy error of wearing her play-suit to a festival. Porter loos are not made for onsies people!  (they should be mind because playsuits are meant to be played in!

The pattern

Burda Doryon #6045             Difficulty: Intermediate


We’re in love! The Doryon romper is right in time for hot summer days. With sharp tailored details like the pleated shorts and the demure hand-sewn inset, this romper is calling for your special touch. You can accessorize this look with a contrasting belt or by tying a sash through the belt loops.

Recommended Materials

Silk, wool, cotton blends

Amount of Fabrics

1 1/2 – 1 5/8 yards (1.30 – 1.40 meters) self, 1/2 – 5/8 yards (.35 – .45 meters) inset.

The inspiration

Partly because I got some birthday money, have had enough of sewing in silence and because help is always helpful I am undertaking this project at a workshop at Creative Open Workshop. C.O.W run many different types of classes and mine will be run by the lovely Francine of Framboos who made my lovely crochet horseradish necklace and can me seen modeling the Burda project above. I am not as slim as the Francine so can not hope the item looks like that on me, but I love her fabric choice.

Montage! Starting on the far left you can see Burda’s representation of the pattern. As this model is probably 6’2” I will not worry to much about mine not looking the same on me. I dislike the colour, and wonder why Burda have their models act so oddly? The next picture of eunnyjang’s make is darling. I love the plaid fabric and the yoke. She has also raised the waist line, which is flattering. The blue stripped version by wzrdreams has the contrast yoke, and I have to say it is not for me. Although the make is well made (this lady cleverly reworked the zip to the back) I think stripes and contrast would be to over powering on my short frame. I love the plain blue version by laramossler. The yoke has been removed for a lower cutting fit, and the simple fabric drapes well. The very end is made by figamadood and I love the adaptation of the shoulder clasp. Apparently it does up on one side with press studs, but I can not help worrying that I will sit down with force and they will open up…..

Adaptations to consider

  1. Fabric choice is going to either make or brake this project. I am leaning towards a very plain cotton/linen mix with some drape but structure too. I hope I have such an item in my stash….
  2. That closure on the shoulder.  Other ways of finishing it could be to have tie’s like figamadood. Maybe I could adapt the pattern like Butterick 5708? That has tie shoulder….
  3. I am not going to have time to raise the whole waist line but make omit the belt loops or make them sit and the natural waist?
  4. NO contrast yoke! Maybe take ideas from the plaid version…. i really like that version.


After pulling ALL my fabric out of my stash I realize that it is mostly quilting cotton fabric :( I have one suitable linen/cotton mix but it is very red. Not sure it would be that wearable and I already have a summer romper so a thicker one would be a better idea. In the end I decided brushed cotton would be suitable and have ordered this awesome fabric from croft mill.

Hopefully it will arrive in time to wash and iron- i asked them to sprinkle fairy dust on it. Fingers crossed. I know it is not a plain fabric……  but i have made a mood board to help prove that it will fit in with my existing wardrobe :) With a pair of black/grey tights in winter i think we are on to a winner!

Mood board

Bella Swan’s wedding dress and The Pippa middleton Bridemaids dress.

6 Jul

I try to hide it from most people, because I am meant to be a well-educated and respectable young woman but I have watched and read the twilight series. Yes, all of them. What did I get from them? A dark insight to one woman’s personal belief that to be happy you need a rich, dead husband who can provide for you eternally. Other than that, I am not sure. I would love a husband who is eternally faithful to me and able to run fast between engagements to get back to me…. Coming back to reality what I did like was Bella’s wedding dress in the latest film. I am all about vintage lace things, and think weddings are the only time I could wear something so extravagant. (also, do you think filming this scene was weird for the couple in real life? I mean, there must have been that uncomfortable moment where one of them asked ‘are you sure that minister is an actor? or ‘this could be us in the future’….WEIRD)

Now did you know this dress was designed  by Carolina Herrera, which was custom fit for Kristen Stewart, took Ms Herrera and four seamstresses six months to complete? Made out of  crepe satin and French Chantilly lace, 152 buttons line the back of the dress, with 17 additional buttons on each sleeve, this dress is now available to all brides! You can have a hand crafted, fitted to your body Bella dress and made by the designer for a mere $35,000. Wow. Personally I would not want the same dress- this seems very stalkerish in my opinion but a similar dress, taking elements from the design….yes! Any way the point I was going to make before I started researching this dress (that I knew nothing about previously) was that Butterick have released a pattern that is very similar to the Herrera design.

This is Butterick 5779. To be legal and not be charged with copy right infringement garments have to have 7 major changes made to them (need I mention the Harry potter fleur delacour wedding dress issue). Can you see what these could be? I know which one I would want, but i also know which I could afford. I would like this dress in dark navy without the train. I wish I had some balls to go to…I might actually consider making this.

The other dress that I stumbles upon (and have actually bought the pattern) is Pippa middletons Bridemaids dress.

Now, I had not thought about it but it very similar to the Bella Swan dress. Designed by the lovable Alexander McQueen this dress reportedly cost around £20,000. Just like the Bella dress you can get replicas all over the net at much lower prices but Butterick have struck again with a very similar pattern.

Butterick 5710 is a wonderful alternative. I bought this pattern the week it was released- not because I am a royalist, getting married or even making a wedding dress for anyone else. No, I have a surplus of vintage velvet and I thought a short version of this would be a lovely evening dress. One of my favorite seamstresses has made this dress from scratch already. Julia bobbin’s sister looks every bit (or is it Butt) the Middleton.

After making another version of this Skirt and designing a wiggle dress that actually fits, then I may turn my gaze on to this pattern….. watch this space.

Simplicity 2226, the perfect skirt pattern. A homage to the Cath Kidston Guard Skirt

6 Jul

A while back Cath Kidston released a Jubilee inspired range called ‘London calling’, which included this lovely guard skirt @ £35.   I had full intention of buying one but they sold out in about 2 days. I was sad about this, but life goes on and you can not cry over spilled milk.   This year I visited the NEC’s creative craft fair and bought quite a lot of fabric, as well as participated in a few demonstrations. One of my favorite stalls does not sell their merchandise online, so I always look forward to buying their well sourced fabric. This year they had a lovely Jubilee themed selection by makoweruk. This is the same company who designed that lovely Brighton fabric that I am hording. One of their fabrics jumped out at me.

So it’s not exactly the same as the guard skirt, but Cath also did a ‘London sites’ fabric that had the London eye on it, and suddenly I was imaging owning my own guard skirt after all. I bought 1m for £11. Bargain. Then all I had to do was find an appropriate pattern. The Cath version has side pockets, elasticated contrast waistband and it is lined. The fabric was pretty thin so it needed to be. I looked around but then I had an operation and all thoughts of sewing went out my mind.

In May, Cath Kidston reissued their Guard skirt. Edward bought it for me, as a present. I kind of forced him into it, but he knows how grateful I was and still am. We were going to a friends wedding over the Jubilee weekend in Bournemouth and I wore that lovely skirt 2/4 days we were away.

It really is a beautiful skirt- and it sold out very quickly again so I am very lucky. The only issue I have with it, which other people have blogged about as well, is the amount of excess fabric. Having an elasticated waist band means the fabric can bunch up under things and I have to wear a top over it to rain it in. I know this is the reason it was £35 and not the usual £60 you may expect to pay. I still love that skirt.

But I had the Makower fabric not being used and my good friend and bully Pilar suggesting I needed to sew something. I had bought a skirt pattern with the high hopes of using it, but then stored it away with all my other patterns. That pattern is Simplicity 2226. There are lots of versions of this skirt all over the Internet.

Here are a few of my favorite Blogged here, here and here. I love how the skirt can be made as quirky or as simple as you like by manipulating small details. I have been struggling with the idea of sewing something new because after loosing weight ALL the items of clothing I painstakingly and lovingly made no longer fit me :( I will be reluctantly selling these items on ebay (or if you are interested contact me) but I decided it was time to accept I am slim enough and clothes can be made without worry of them being to big/small anytime soon. My body has completely changed and I have found committing the fabric, and time needed to get to know it quite scary! Usually I make dresses. I hardly ever wear dresses strangely enough. I tend to wear jeans and tops, or skirts with shirts. With this in mind I concluded a skirt would be a good compromise. No worry about talking the top in/out and only half the amount of fabric needed. Win, win! With some research I found that a very awesome person had done a Sew along for this pattern! I am year to late, but It helped boost my lacking confidence and it was very well explained, which we can all agree most simplicity pattern instructions are not. More sew alongs please!

And here we are, me prating about in Stratford Upon Avon wearing my fully finished Simplicity 2226 view c with bias binding finished pockets, contrast pockets and belt loops and added contrast bias binding waist band for detail. I call it, Alice underground. As the pattern calls for 1.5m of fabric (short length) I had to use contrast pockets, which I would rather have not done. I used 0.50m of my Cath Kidston for Ikea blue with red spots to give it a more ‘Cath’ feel.

Because I have been sewing for some time now, I always try to add something a little harder to the pattern and finish the inside as neatly as the outside. Here are some close up pictures of the finish and detail. I used Bias binding where the pockets ended to give them some strength as I know I will be shoving my hands in and out of them all the time (like the child I am) and I serged as I went (really helped by the sew along) to make sure all the seams are neat. Next time I will use the `French seam’ method on the side seams as suggested by Noodlehead in the Sew along. There of course will be a next time- it is already on the sewing table :) This skirt is so wearable and needed no alterations making it a very quick project. I cut a straight 10. I worried about it being to small because of where is sits on the waist, but after making a mock up of just the waist band I realized a size 8 would also have been okay. I am 36, 26, 36 for all you ladies wondering what size to make.


Main fabric £11, Contrast fabric £2.50, Bias binding £2, Zipper £2

£17.50 seems very reasonable to me compared to £35 for a unfitted skirt….

Which one do you like? (the answer for me is both)


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