skirting the issue: Burda 1/2009 #138

Monday 30 July 2012
Ever had a case of the blahs when it comes to writing something, anything, on your blog?  That's me at the moment - I have a few projects to share but can hardly think of a blog title let alone some interesting and intelligent sentences.  I think the zombie stage of new motherhood has finally claimed me because I'm feeling quite tired and weary at the moment.  Unbelievably Toby seems to be growing some teeth and he has been so grumpy during the day that I end up holding him all day long, which is quite an effort since he weighs so much.  Thankfully he still sleeps well at night, only waking once or twice but his sister, who used to be a terror at night has now started having night terrors so she's also waking once or twice a night too which makes for a tiring night. It's still not as bad as the days when Anna was sleeping badly, so really you'd think I'd be able to handle this stage better......

Soldiering on though, I've been making a few more skirts for Anna because her favourite skirt, a purple tiered ruffle skirt bought from Target last year is just too short now but she won't let it go because apparently it twirls the best.  All those dirndl skirts I made for Anna thinking I was so clever for using up largish fabric scraps are apparently 'broken' because they don't twirl enough!  So I've been searching for a full, twirly skirt without resorting to a full circle skirt since they use a fair bit of fabric and too much mathematics for my tired brain at the moment.

I even let Anna into my sewing room and let her pick out some fabric to increase the chances of it becoming her favourite.  This was probably a mistake because now she thinks all the fabric in there is going to become something for her - "what are you going to make for me from this fabric mummy?" is what she keeps asking.  Little does she know that my stash is so huge that she'll probably be making things for herself from that fabric for the rest her life as well as mine!

I used Burda 1/2009 #138, which is a simple double layer gathered full skirt with a waist yoke.  Anna picked out a black and pink butterfly printed linen that was bought on sale and has been in the stash for ages waiting for the right use, and I used a bright pink cotton poplin for the underskirt to make this:

And it meets with approval, if you measure happiness by the width of the smile:

It's probably a tad bit too long, sitting just below her knees but she is growing so tall so quickly that it won't take too long before it's just right.  And it doesn't stop her engaging in her usual whirlwind of activity either:

And now I need to get back to my Burda challenge projects, I'm so excited that I've nearly caught up with it.  The May project is done and just needs to be photographed, the June project only needs a zipper, and the July project is almost done as well.  This may just be a self imposed challenge that I actually stick with (unlike many other good resolutions I've had over the years).

Burda of the month of April: 4/2012 skirt #122

Monday 16 July 2012
I'm still chugging away with my Burda challenge: not only have I finished April's garment, I've nearly finished the one from May and have traced out the one from June too.  I may be able to stick with this self imposed challenge after all.....

The skirt I made from the April issue (4/2012 #122) was easy, but a little boring.  There were a few nice patterns in this issue, but none really fit with my current stay at home lifestyle so I went with this simple A-line skirt pattern with somewhat bizarre darts:

I couldn't figure out the purpose of those darts at all.  They are horizontal darts coming in from he side seam like a bust dart, except no one that I know has a bosom so low hanging that they require darts for their bosom at hip level! But I had nothing really to lose except a bit of fabric, so I decided to make the skirt as per the pattern to see what Burda was trying to achieve.

And frankly, I still don't see the purpose of those darts.  The skirt as made was way too loose at the waist (to be expected since the waistband was not pinched in) and the front stuck out where those darts ended.  So in the end to make the skirt work I also inserted two vertical darts in the front and back at the waistline, but since I was too lazy to remove those horizontal darts there is a bit of fabric bulging there at the dart point still but I can live with it.  Hopefully in a few months time I'll have lost the last of my baby weight and this skirt will no longer fit anyway, so I'm not stressing about getting a perfect fit.

I made the skirt from a deep plum coloured fine wale corduroy I bought at the beginning of the year on sale at Spotlight, which is a beautiful colour and I was smart enough to cut all the pieces with the nap in the correct direction (phew!).  And here is the finished product, rugged up for a sunny winter day with tights and a woollen roll neck jumper:

Funnily enough all the colour combinations I put together for the red pants a few posts ago also work for this colour too.  I even found a short beige trenchcoat in the back of my wardrobe that goes with it as well, and is just right to be smart casual but not overdressed:

So in review, I cannot recommend this pattern at all - there are far better designed a-line skirt patterns out there, and no fabric deserves a fate like this! 

Ridiculously cute. But ridiculous: Ottobre 3/2009 #11 Jeans

Monday 9 July 2012
I've always considered myself to be a rather sensible person, and a sensible and rational parent too.  I've tried hard not to join in the mass consumer culture that is pushed on to new parents, with the wide variety of very expensive items marketed as 'must haves' and instead used a lot of hand me downs, some second hand items and what we bought new we went for the mid priced version and not the rolls royce overpriced items ($2000 prams? $1000 cots? pfft!).  When Anna was a baby I dressed her in pretty but practical clothes with comfort and washability the key factors.

Which is why I feel a tad silly showing you the latest thing I've sewn for Toby.  I made him a pair of itty bitty blue denim jeans - nothing wrong with that of course, except that the pattern I used comes with a fully functioning zipper and fly shield, a coin pocket and belt loops. Seriously, what 3 month old needs a coin pocket?!  The pattern is #11 from issue 3 of 2009:

I came to my senses whilst sewing these, and was too lazy to make the coin pocket, belt loops or fly shield because those little details are seriously fiddly when doing it on such a small scale particularly when unnecessary.  I did make the side pockets and back patch pockets because they wouldn't look like jeans otherwise, and I included a zipper because I wasn't sure if they would pull up over a nappy without a zipper (for the record they do and therefore the zipper was unnecessary).  So I could have saved some time and just top stitched some faux pockets and zipper, but it's done now and they look pretty cute:

I used stretch denim, and it has some buttonhole elastic across the back so the jeans are cinched in nicely above the nappy at the waistline.  I couldn't find any hammer on jeans buttons in a small size, so I cheated and used a plastic snap in orange to match the top stitching thread.

Luckily they fit the little wombat, but for how long is the question given he's gaining a whopping 400g (a bit less than a pound) each week!

And I guess I may not be as sensible as I thought, because you can be sure I'll be making him that cute collared button up shirt this summer too!

And the winner is......

Monday 2 July 2012
Thank you to all of you that left a comment on the last post - obviously there was incentive for you to comment but I really enjoyed reading your memories of your favourite garment. And now I have some new to me blogs to read too, so we're all winners.

I just loved how some of you can remember minute details of what you had made even though it might have been 20 or 30 years ago.  The colour and type of fabric, the buttons and the linings - all still vividly recalled.  I guess that's what happens when you pour yourself into the making of your clothes, you value and cherish more so than you might a store bought garment (unless you bought something fancy from Chanel!).

I also found it interesting that many of you nominated a special occcasion dress like a wedding dress or prom/formal dress as your favourite.  Isn't it funny how we spend so much time and effort on a garment that may only be worn once (and rightly so, too), but don't always give the same amount of attention to the everyday garments which are the real heroes of our wardrobe! I think Kirsty hit the nail on the head here when she said the plain zip fronted cardigan would be one of her faves based on frequency of wear.

Also touching was those of you (especially newbie sewists) that nominated your first wearable garment - I too still have those feelings of pride that something I made from scratch actually turned out good, although I can't say the first wearable thing I made is my favourite.  The first clothing item I remember making is a pair of fluorescent yellow shorts 22 years ago in high school home economic class - it was a compulsory subject and I thought I was too cool to sew my own clothes so I didn't put in much effort and nor did I wear them.  How things have changed for me now!

And the final word goes to BConky who said that she had made so many that it was hard to choose just one - very true!

Anyway enough blabbing from me, on to the winner:

which is this comment from Antonia:

I think that it is so lovely that a garment you made was well loved and well worn, it makes the effort you put into so worth it.  If only everyone valued their clothes this much we'd have much less environmental problems in the world today (and much less disposable horrid fashions too).

So Antonia please email me (Kristy_Idle "at" your address and I'll pop the mag in the mail for you.

I wanted to do a "draw a name out of the hat" process so I could post a cute photo of Anna doing the honours, but since there was too many names for me to do that I went the high tech route instead.  But here's a totally unrelated but still cute photo  of my chunky wombat at 11 weeks with his favourite facial expression - a big smile and twinkling eyes!