Saturday, 2 June 2018

A review of May

Ahem. *blows dust off blog*

Since I last posted, in mid-April, I have variously:

1. Gone away on holiday for a week. This was, in fact, the first time I've really spent any time away from home since I first got sick in the summer of 2013. It was not what one might call the most perfectly successful holiday, insofar as I was away 7 days, the weather was beyond awful for 2 days and I was extremely unwell for 1.5 days (though luckily (?) the 0.5 day of feeling ill coincided with a terrible weather day). However, I was still somewhere that wasn't here (although still in the UK) and I had a pretty good time, so I am going to call it an overall win.

2. Struggled through several more weeks of total sewing apathy.

3. Overcome the apathy and made five things. :D

More specifically, I made:

a. Two kimono jackets using Butterick 6176

Butterick 6176 Kimono jackets (views F and E from left to right)
This was a semi impulsive project. I love the look of these jackets when I see them in shops and on other people but somehow, although the trend has been around a while, I have never got around to buying or making one for myself. I therefore picked up Butterick 6176 very cheaply on eBay. Most of the views in this pattern are completely rectangular and not really very interesting. However, views E (short version) and F (long version) have a shaped hem that I thought looked nice. I made a size Medium of each of these views.

Originally I was just going to make one, the longer view F, in a blue and tile print (see centre, above). It turned out so well, however, and I enjoyed wearing it so much that I immediately wanted another. I ended up making a short version with the remains of a piece of polyester georgette that had been lurking, thoroughly unloved, in my stash ever since I made a top from the rest of it in 2012. I actually loved how this second jacket turned out too right up until I tried to hem it. The fabric would NOT hold a crease for a hem, and once I'd finally struggled all my way around the (ENORMOUS) hem I discovered that the weight of the doubled over fabric makes the front edges flip out and exposes the wrong side. As a result, though I still like it, I'm also mildly irritated by it.

b. A cardigan in a fine open-weave knit

McCall's 6844 View B in navy lace knit
This is everyone's favourite cardigan pattern of the last couple of years, McCall's 6844.

I've made this pattern before, but in a very different fabric (purple ponte) and a different view (C, with a peplum). I learned from that previous version and added about 2.5cm width to the bicep of the sleeve and 1cm of squareness to the shoulders when I made this one. I chose this pattern because my fabric is VERY nice and also VERY expensive, and I definitely wanted to use a pattern I knew worked and that (with my minor changes) would fit.

Construction wise, it was extremely straightforward. You can only just see in the image above that the fabric has a faint lurex silver horizontal stripe woven into it, which was a bit of a pain to match but lined up nicely in the end. Other than that though, it's a very fine and light fabric, and yet also handled really well through the overlocker despite all the holes. I love how this turned out, and it's a perfect summer top layer.

c. Two items for my 2018 Magazine Challenge.

I bet you thought I'd given up on this! But no, although I didn't make anything in April, I made up for it this month by making two different things from the May issue of Burda.

Burda 05:2018-113 Top, images from

Burda 05-2018-113A is a short sleeved knit top intended for heavier/sweatshirt knits, and it has a collar that is intended to stand up a little, and eyelet and ribbon trim. (Version B is similar but doesn't have the eyelets -- it has a tassel trim all along the diagonal seam.)

I wanted one of these the instant I saw the previews of this issue and then I wanted to make it even more when I found a perfect striped knit to recreate their version. Then I dithered, because the fabric was CRAZY expensive. I kept going and looking at the fabric listing, and putting it in my shopping basket, and then taking it out because it was ££££, lather, rinse, repeat. In the end I decided to get it because I couldn't find anything I liked even half as much, and hoped it was worth it.

My version (sorry about the terrible, super dark mirror selfie)
TOTALLY worth it. This fabric is gorgeous and I love how the pattern turned out.

I made my usual size 44 with few alterations. I was a bit stymied for how to alter for a smaller and squarer neck/shoulder line and in the end went with a straight size to fit my bust, which is kind of a step back, fitting wise. As a result, it doesn't have the "perfect" neck and shoulder fit I'm striving for this year but eh, it's an over-sized t-shirt. It's fine.

I left off the hem band (because I hate them) added some length but then, uh, took some of it away again when it came time to hem (so I have no idea, really, where I ended up in terms of additional length), and in the end I also left off the eyelets and ribbon. I bought the eyelets and everything, but when I tried them out on a piece of scrap fabric, I didn't like how it looked at all. Honestly, I don't think my version needed it -- there's SO MUCH going on with the painted stripe style fabric and the multi-directional stripes.

Worth noting: despite the magazine version being exactly like mine, the pattern as printed doesn't have the grainlines marked to make this with stripes running in a contrast pattern, nor does the fabric layout diagram show an appropriate configuration. I had to spend a little while squinting at my pattern before I got the correct grainlines drawn in

My second item from this issue of Burda was a skirt, 05-2018-105 (#104 is the exact same skirt, but midi-length).
Burda 05-2018-105 Skirt (images from
I am not really sure why I was grabbed by this skirt pattern, but I really liked the look of it, and when I looked more thoroughly at it, I was pleased that it is bias cut, which I always think drapes more nicely. The pattern as written also has a back feature -- a self-belt on the back only that laces up through eyelets (again with the eyelets!). I'm sure it's very pretty, but (a) what a giant faff having to do that up behind your back would be; and (b) I never wear my tops tucked in, so nobody was ever going to see it. So I left it off. Other than that, I made a straight size 42 with no alterations except to add a little length. Actually I added too much length and ended up having to sew in a very deep hem. That's my own fault for mis-reading my own "preferred length" scribbles in my sewing notebook. Other than that minor misadventure, this was extremely easy to put together.

My version, and a close up of the (fake) pocket flap, turtle fabric and turtle buttons(!)
This was another expensive fabric, mainly because I bought it direct from Japan. I'm not normally one for novelty/cute prints at all, but I absolutely fell in love with these little multi-coloured turtles swimming around on a navy cotton fabric. From a distance it looks like a small floral, so it's also not too obviously "I'm wearing a novelty print!" either. I bought 2 yards (1.8m) about three years ago and I'm afraid it became one of those fabrics that I put in the ridiculous category of "too good to use". I am glad once I worked up the courage to cut into it that it turned out well. I even found little turtle buttons to go on the (decorative) pocket flaps! :D
June plans: Burda 06-2018-112 blouse and Burda 05-2017-113 skirt (if I can figure out how to lengthen the latter!)
Next up: making my Magazine challenge for June, which will be Burda 06-2018-112, a short-sleeved woven top with a pleated detail. I'm also trying to work out the pattern adjustments for a skirt from Burda 05-2017 that I meant to make last year but didn't manage for some reason (illness at a guess). I am a bit stuck because the skirt is very short (centre back length = 43cm/17") as written and I don't wear my skirts shorter than 52.5cm (21"). I'm not sure how I will go about make the skirt 10cm longer without messing up the angles on the front pieces.


  1. I love what you’ve made— especially the two Burdas!

  2. I just made 3 jackets with the McCalls 6844. I just love it. It is a real no-fail pattern