My first ever giveaway: the May issue of Burda

Monday 25 June 2012
I thought I was a very clever clogs organising my new subscription for Burda magazine directly from Burda to start exactly when the previous subscription from another company lapsed.  Until today, that is.  I received another issue from my previous subscription, which I assume is the final issue.  So now I have two copies of the May issue.  But never fear, I'm going to share some Burda love and give it away to one of you lovely readers that put up with my ramblings each week!  For a critical review of the patterns in the May issue, check out Paunnet - she does the best and funniest analysis of the Burda offerings each month.

I haven't done a giveaway before, partly because I'm a hoarder and partly because those blogs that used to have interesting content about the writer and their life but now are all just giveaways and sponsored reviews annoy me and I never want my blog to get like that.  Oh ok, it's mostly because I am a hoarder and usually can't bear to get rid of anything.....

Since I'm still basking in the happiness that are my newly finished red pants, and the surprise that a pair of pants could just be one of my favourite sewn garments, I'd like you to leave a comment telling me what the best thing is you've sewn.  If you've already got the May issue please feel free to leave a comment anyway sharing your fave.

I'll post the issue anywhere, so it's open to all - the more the merrier.  Leave me a comment before midnight Sunday 1 July, and I'll do an old fashioned, random pull a name out of a hat draw on Monday. 

Thank you all for your lovely comments on the red pants from the last post - as I said above they are fast becoming a favourite garment in my wardrobe.  I've worn them a few times, and even bought a pair of leopard print ballet shoes to wear with them! The only problem is that the fabric stretches with wear, so by the end of the day they are about a size too big so I do need to wash after each wear just to shrink them back to normal, which is a bit annoying.

My July issue arrived in today's mail too - those Burda style people are efficient aren't they? So now I must really get on with making the skirts from April and May issue, so I can do the jacket from the June issue so I can make something from the July issue to keep to my self set challenge! SarahP I wish I could say I've finished with the nappy sewing, but I've only replaced the elastic on about half of them, so still have about 10 to go - it's just soooo boring!

March Burda o' the month: #126 3/2012

Monday 18 June 2012
If you google "trouser fitting problems" you will literally get 61.9 million results.  Thankfully amongst the posts for muffin tops, whale tails and camel toes there are many thoughtful and detailed posts by patient and thorough sewists (both amateur and professional) who have detailed their fitting issues and solutions.  These people have made many, many muslins in their journey to Perfectly Fitting Pants and have shared their knowledge with the rest of us so we too can achieve Perfectly Fitting Pants.

Alas, this post is not one of those.  I ended my pants making journey after two muslins and arrived at Good Enough Fitting Pants which I'm more than happy with because I lack the patience to persevere any more when there are so many pretty dresses out there waiting to be made, and I also have a few more kilos of post baby weight to lose so hopefully these won't fit me in a few months anyway!

To recap, as part of my challenge to sew at least one thing from each new issue of Burda Style I decided to make pants #126 from issue 3/2012.  Don't know why I did this to myself - there were a few patterns from this issue I liked, plus Melissa did warn me in the comments to the last post that these pants are weirdly fitting, but hey I'm two months post partum so what better time to sew some weirdly fitting pants right?!  And funnily enough Melissa it's because I liked the way your pants looked on you that I decided to make myself a pair!

What I liked about this pattern is that the front is lower than the back, which is my preferred way of wearing pants, it has interesting details without bulky pockets, and it has no side seams, which I thought might give me a smoother finish over my saddlebag thighs.

Happily the finished product doesn't look too bad and certainly not any worse than every pair of RTW pants I've ever owned.

Well gosh look at that - I've embraced colour and made some bright red cotton drill pants!

For my first muslin I made it straight off the pattern, making the largest size (42 I think?) based on my hip measurement.  And as flagged by Melissa the fit was strange.  For me the pants fit well from just above my knee down to my ankles, but above that they were way too large, like low rise baggy jodhpurs with a gaping waistline.

For the second muslin I took in a few centimetres at each seam line, slashed and spread the pieces to add some extra height and took out a wedge shaped piece at the centre back to remove the gaping I always get at the waistline. I also deepened the crotch line a bit to cater for my *ahem* ample derriere.  I also decided not to do the diagonal seam lines at the mid thigh because they are just purely decorative and unnecessary.  As I said above, these changes were enough to make the pants fit ok and so I sewed it up in my final fabric, a thick red cotton drill I had bought from the Remnant Warehouse last year sometime.

You can see from the side view, these pants are very form fitting (but not skin tight), and I've managed to get rid of the gaping at the waistline which is always a problem for a pear shape.  What I liked about this pattern is that it has a two piece waistband, with a centre back seam which makes it easier to adjust:

And I can't believe I'm sharing this, but here is the back view, which fits but isn't overly flattering.  Thankfully I don't have eyes in the back of my head so I don't have to see this too often!

So overall I'm pretty happy with these - they aren't too tight around my hips and thighs, but they fit at the waistline.  And a pair of red pants are far more versatile than I ever thought.  I'm in the middle of a closet clean out, so while I had all my clothes out I played a bit of dress ups to see what I already owned that would work.  Quite a bit it turns out!

Classical pairing with a navy striped tee - very nautical:

A preppy pairing with a blue button up shirt and white cable knit jumper:

Over the top colour (I doubt I'd wear this combination):

More subdued colour (unfortunately this top isn't a flattering cut and may become refashioned into something for Anna):

A casual look with a beige and cream stripe knit:

Finally a nursing friendly combo of a striped button up shirt worn over a nursing singlet:

That's quite a few different looks without even resorting to the easy option of wearing red with grey.  And when I was watching The Nanny today (don't laugh, repeats just happen to be on when I'm nursing Toby), Nanny Fine was rocking a pair of red capris with a tight leopard print top so that's always a left field option too!

And now on to my next Burda make, a skirt this time which won't require a muslin.  Whilst I can appreciate the value of making a muslin, it's still annoying to have made three pairs of pants of which only one is wearable.

Besieged by Burda

Wednesday 6 June 2012
Even though I haven't mentioned it for a while, I haven't given up on my Burda challenge inspired by Julie's more comprehensive Burda challenge over at ReadyThreadSew.  The challenge I have set myself is to sew at least one garment from each magazine in the month I receive it and before the next one lands in my mailbox.  But the good thing about a self set challenge is that you can reset the parameters without hurting anyone but yourself! I think I might make my challenge to sew something from each issue before the end of the year because this month things have gone haywire.

About two and a half weeks ago I finally received my March issue in the mail after waiting impatiently for ages.  I'm so glad I haven't renewed my subscription with that company because it was getting very annoying waiting so long for them to arrive.  But as soon as I got it I sat down and traced out the pattern for pants 3/2012 #126 and have even cut them out to make a muslin but haven't sewn them yet since I'm up to my eyeballs in nappy sewing at the moment.

Then exactly on the 1st of June, not only did my June issue arrive from my new subscription directly through Burda Style but they also included the May issue as well.  What amazing customer service - I had organised my subscription after the May issue had been released and so fully expected my subscription to start with the June issue, but since they thoughtfully sent it to my now I don't have to search it out. Thanks again to Renata for telling me about subscriptions directly from Burda Style, they are so much more efficient.

And then to cap it off, a few days later I received the April issue which is the final issue from previous subscription.  So now I have four garments to churn out before the end of the month if I want to get my challenge back on track.  Hmmm, we'll have to see about that.

To make things worse I haven't exactly found the April or June issues exactly inspiring either.  I found April particularly lacking but I have decided on the super simple a-line skirt 4/2012 #122 (version B), in a bright coloured cotton drill that I have in the stash:

The May issue had quite a few nice garments in amongst the shapeless tunics and wacky one shouldered big ruffled dresses, but I've decided to make skirt 5/2012 #119 in a brushed cotton again from the stash:

The June issue pretty much has nothing I want to make, but I will attempt to find some suitable fabric in the stash to make jacket 6/2012 #121:

So this is a pretty boring post wasn't it? But I'm hoping that by making my to do list public I'll be more likely to follow through. 

Totally unrelated but just to liven this post up, here's a funny photo of Anna:

She was running up the footpath in our street in her tutu and bright pink Crocs as you do, when she spotted a bizarre cactus plant towering over a fence and she literally skidded to a halt and was transfixed by it!