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Surf to Summit Top Pattern - Out now!

Surf to Summit Top - Three Cycling versions

18 December 2014, 12:38

I’ve got quite a few different versions of my latest Surf to Summit Top pattern to show to you! It’s such a versatile pattern with so many different options, which meant that I had to sew samples of all the different features over the past few months. Today I want to focus on the cycling features of this pattern, for both the men and ladies.

Let’s look at the ladies’ version first, which is again modeled by my friend and multi-talented athlete, Emily, whom you met earlier this week. I made this version using some navy wicking nylon from UK Fabrics in the body, and some “triathlon” printed lycra from FunkiFabrics in the sleeves. The 1.25m I bought of the latter was enough to make leggings for myself and have enough over for the short sleeves here, and probably a sports bra, too! I finished off this top with some turquoise FOE bought on eBay around the hem and back pocket.

This top was one of the very last samples I made of the pattern, a few days before its release, and it uses the exact same version that you buy – it was sewn up to test that the final changes to the pattern were good. I’m pleased to say that the improvements I made to the half zip, facing, and zip underlay in particular are ones I’m particularly proud of – this came together really smoothly!

Here you can also see the dipped hem and big back pockets. The top edge of the pockets is gathered in by FOE along the top edge, so you’ve got some extra space in there on top of the stretch provided by the fabric. The pocket is divided into three by topstitching, or you could keep it as one big pocket, or divide it up however you like!

So that’s the basic features of the traditional cycling jersey – you can use the exact same optional extras on the men’s version, too, or if you want something a bit warmer, like my husband James, then you can use the long sleeves instead!

James cycle commutes to work most days, and he’s found a route that mostly takes him along the river and then through the Royal Parks. But it’s winter in London right now, and the sun sets early, so he requested cycling tops that had long sleeves, back pockets, and a half zip.

You can also see the half zip here on this red version, sewn up in some red wicking supplex from Tia Knight. It’s got a nice underlay to protect your skin from the teeth and rough zip tape, but it means that you can vent a bit if you start to overheat during your ride.

The back pockets and hem are edged in the same turquoise FOE as seen in Emily’s version above. James has a RTW cycle top that mixes bright red and turquoise, so he selected this combo again from my stash, and I think it’s a brilliant choice.

I also wanted to show you an early sample I made of the men’s version because it shows how you can colourblock the side panel and pockets to get a lot of use from some wild prints!

In this case the “print” is actually Beta Brand’s “Disconium” fabric, which is lots of little foil “sequins” printed onto a base lycra. I’ve used it quite a bit in running leggings and tops for myself over the years, plus James has it in his reversible jacket, too!

Since the side panel and back pocket were so eye-catching, I chose to use basic black supplex for the rest of the top (originally from Tia Knight but long out of stock), and used wide black elastic binding along the pocket top and hem.

Can you believe I’ve still got… FOUR more versions of this pattern to show you (and two more sports!)?? That’s what I get for releasing such a versatile pattern I guess! You lucky, lucky sewists, you.

Remember you can save 10% off if you buy two or more patterns by using the code “10OVER20” before 26 December! The Surf to Summit Top pattern comes in men’s and ladies’ editions, too!


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Surf to Summit Top - Winter Merino version

15 December 2014, 13:14

Wow, thank you all so so much for your enthusiasm on the launch of my latest patterns! More than one person went and bought all seven of my patterns in one go, too, which is just crazy wonderful! Can you imagine the fun weekends of sewing them all up?? I’ve been totally bowled over by your comments, encouragement, and enthusiasm, and I haven’t even shown you all the great versions I’ve been busily sewing over the past few months yet, either.

I’m going to start with one of the more basic versions, but one that should particularly appeal to those of you experiencing a North American winter right now, as it’s perfect for winter base layers. I sewed this one up in a freaking fantastic merino jersey which has a wicking backing fused onto it. It came from Mill Yardage in America, and I also bought the mustard colourway, too, which I actually love even more than the teal! I highly recommend grabbing 2yds of this if you’d like your own version (I have no affiliation whatsoever!).

Let me first take a minute to introduce Emily, my athlete-model for the ladies’ version of the pattern. Emily runs with me every week at Run Dem Crew, but we also ran the Copenhagen marathon together a few years ago, too. But Emily is a truly talented, multisport athlete – she’s not just a runner, but an avid Cornish surfer, snowboarder, and skateboarder, too. She also cycles just about everywhere in London, so she was the perfect choice to show the versatility of the Surf to Summit Top pattern!

You’ll see the cycling and surfing versions (and Men’s versions!) soon enough, but here I used the basic, no frills version of the body, going for the long sleeve length, and (because this is actually going to be my winter running top!) I added on the optional sleeve mitts because I just can’t go back to wearing gloves again! Now, you wouldn’t normally need sleeve mitts for skiing or snowboarding, as you’re probably going to be wearing more heavy-duty gloves like Emily is here, but the mitts don’t get in the way when they’re not in use, so it’s really not a problem. The body of this pattern is drafted to be a tad looser fitting than the XYT Workout Top (which had 10% negative ease), with 2cm negative ease in the Bust, 8cm positive ease at the Waist, and 1cm negative ease at the Hips. I did this specifically so you can use fabrics with a little less stretch in them, like merino jersey!

Top: Sleeve mitt engaged (hand covered), under side. Bottom: Sleeve mitt open (hand exposed), upper side.

Note that the wrong side of your fabric (and twin stitching) will show when the mitts are engaged and over your hands, but I’ve found that I usually end up only having the mitts over my hands for the first few minutes at the beginning of a run. And even with a fabric which has two distinct sides, it doesn’t really look bad. The hem is on the under side of your hand when it’s engaged (ie: against your palm) so it’s not very obvious, either, but you could choose to finish the edge with FOE instead if you have an objection to the underside of the stitching showing.

I also wanted to highlight the high neck on this pattern, which works well for winter coverage as well as rashguard coverage. It’s an integrated funnel neck, and uses a facing to finish the neckline. I know, right – eating my words about facings on knits!! But this facing is a) un-interfaced, so it stretches along with your fabric, and b) tacked down by machine along all four seams so it really does stay put without flipping out everywhere. If you’re making this up in a stretchy fleece or sweatshirting, though, you’ll want to use a thinner jersey for the neck facing to reduce bulk.

Also, a few people asked about whether this top has side seams – there are no side seams – the Side panel wraps around to join the Front and Back at the princess seams. This means you can get some great colourblocking opportunities, which I’ll show you in some later versions I made…

Remember you can save 10% off if you buy two or more patterns by using the code “10OVER20” before 26 December! The Surf to Summit Top pattern comes in men’s and ladies’ editions, too!


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On sale now - Surf to Summit Top pattern for men and women

12 December 2014, 16:54

It’s finally here! After months of hard work, dozens of pattern revisions, ten sewn samples, three athlete-models, and meters upon meters of spandex, the Surf to Summit Top is on sale now!

Both the men’s and ladies’ versions feature princess seams, side panels (so no side seams!), your choice of long or short raglan sleeves, optional sleeve mitts for keeping your hands warm without fiddling for gloves, a tall integral collar to keep your neck covered, and your choice of two hem lengths. An optional half zip and back cycling-style pocket are also included.

Click any image to make it bigger!

This pattern truly does cover all seasons and a multitude of sports – everything from a rashguard for surfing, to a winter base layer for skiing! Plus you can make a traditional cycling jersey with it, and I absolutely love it for winter running.

I’ve also been asked if women could wear the men’s version and vice-versa – absolutely! If you’re a lady who prefers straight-cut tops, you may be happier with the men’s version, and likewise, if you’re a guy who prefers his workout tops to be form-fitting, you may be happier with the ladies’ edition (albeit with a Small Bust Adjustment!).

As usual, this pattern comes with fully illustrated instructions, including a Common Fit Alterations section showing you how to alter the pattern pieces if you want to increase or decrease the waist and hips, have square shoulders, need an FBA, plus loads more! The pattern comes with both Print at Home version, compatible with both US and A4 printers, as well as a Copy Shop version sized to fit within 36in wide and A0 printers.

As promised, my newsletter subscribers have been sent an exclusive 15% off discount code, but if you’ve been holding off buying one of my older patterns until this release, you won’t be disappointed, as you can use the code 10OVER20 to save 10% off any order over $20 before Boxing Day (26 Dec 2014). Note: This code is valid only on shop.fehrtrade.com and not my Etsy Shop.

So you can use it to buy both versions of the Surf to Summit Top, or maybe buy Surf to Summit and my PB Jam Leggings for a great winter medley, or if you’re in the southern hemisphere, Surf to Summit pairs nicely with my best-selling Duathlon Shorts pattern for hot weather exercise.

I want to thank you all again for all your support over the past year of FehrTrade Patterns – I launched my first two patterns right around Christmas last year, and it’s been a fulfilling year of design and a fantastic learning experience! I’ve got some fantastic photos to show you of my athlete-models for this pattern over the next few weeks, too!


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Coming soon: The Surf to Summit Top pattern

11 December 2014, 14:26

My next sewing pattern is very nearly ready to release, so it’s high time I gave you a pre-release look at what I’ve been slaving over the past few months, right? I’ve been dropping hints all over, but this pattern will be released simultaneously for women and men for the first time ever! I’ve been wanting to release menswear patterns since the very beginning and I’m super proud that my first is such a versatile one, too.

My official description is:
A top with long or short raglan sleeves with optional sleeve mitts, tall integral collar to keep your neck covered, princess seams with side panel, and your choice of two hem lengths. An optional half zip and back cycling-style pocket are also included.

Click any image to make it bigger!

This one’s called “Surf to Summit” because with all the optional extras, you really can wear it for surfing, running, cycling, and skiing or snowboarding, as well as just as a regular casualwear base layer, too.

The men’s version has the same style lines and optional extras, but has a completely separate draft, with a straighter cut which a lot of men tend to favour over the ultra slim-fitting fitness tops.

If you want to get a head-start on ordering fabric for Christmas gifts, you’ll need a 2m (or 2yd) if you’re making any of the long sleeved options, and about 1.5m (1 1/2yd) for the short sleeves, depending on the options you choose and how you colourblock it. And both colours of this wicking merino jersey are freaking gorgeous, just sayin’ (the teal is shown with the snowboard above).

When I said this will be released very soon – I mean it! I may be able to finish up the last few bits tomorrow, or barring that, it’ll be up for sale on Monday. My newsletter subscribers will get an exclusive discount code for use in my pattern shop on top of a notice as soon as it’s released, so if you’re not signed up yet, it’s a really good time to do so!

Pop over to shop.fehrtrade.com and use the signup form at the bottom of the page. It’s a very low-volume newsletter service, I promise – I’ll only be using it to showcase new patterns, discount codes, and (heaven forbid!) any corrections that might occur.

Update: I’m hearing reports that some people are having problems visiting the Shop (seems fine when I test it though?). Alternatively, you can sign up below:

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Mustard ponte seamed sheath dress

9 December 2014, 10:01

Like many of my most well-loved dresses, this one was quite a long time in the making. A few years back I’d bought a yellow ponte sheath dress from ASOS that had some amazing seamlines. I don’t often buy clothes anymore these days (preferring to spend my time sewing than fighting my way to the shops, or waiting days for an internet purchase that’s low quality or not quite right), but I really liked this dress, and wore it often despite the sleeves and hem being too short. Inevitably, the yellow also got dingey and pilled over time, but I still liked the overall design.

So I traced it! I literally just laid the dress over brown paper and ran a serrated tracing wheel over the different sections, leaving an impression underneath, just like how I trace patterns. I remember I traced James’s well-loved linen shirt at the same time, so it was a few months ago, and even though I had this mustard ponte in my stash for even longer, it took me a while to get around to sewing it up.

It may look like a complicated design, but it’s actually really quick to sew up on the overlocker, and only the back invisible zipper takes a little bit of sewing machine time.

Here you can see me holding the original dress, whilst wearing my copy!

All the things I loved about the original dress are present here – the figure-hugging design, the flowing, curved panels, the vibrant colour – but the sleeves are nice and long instead of “unintentional bracelet length”, and the hem doesn’t go scandalously short when I bend over!

I did notice, however, that the shoulders could be a tad longer here, and the neckline is a bit too high at my neck edge, so I’ve fixed those on my paper pattern for my next version, which will be some manner of colourblocking, either with the ideas I showed you last week, or with some other leftover ponte colours I found while clearing out my sewing room this weekend! Charcoal, fuchsia, and pale turquoise are also looking pretty tempting as a combo…

It’s hard to see the seams from a distance with the dress in one colours, so have a look at these closer shots to see what I mean about the amazing curves! They really are surprisingly easy to sew, and look fabulous on.

I did have a special occasion which prompted me to finally sew up this dress, I must admit – I was personally invited by Samantha Cameron to attend a reception at Number 10 Downing Street in honor of Anthony Nolan, the charity which found me my bone marrow donor!! I wanted a great dress to wear to this, and this yellow one was just perfect (even if I did match the walls on the grand staircase!)

We had to place our phones in a cabinet on arrival, but I did get a few with the famous door outside, and the official event photographer caught a nice one of me chatting to Chris while at the reception itself. I don’t know how, but I managed to find the most interesting man in the room to talk to (though I was too shy to bug Stella McCartney and say hello!).

Oh, and in other news, there’s a fantastique interview with me at Thread & Needles that you should totally go read – it’s a great exercise for your French-language skills! Full respect to Amelie for translating all my wordy answers – she asked some amazing, interesting questions, and I just kept on talking!

My newsletter subscribers got an exclusive peek of my next pattern yesterday! If you don’t want to miss out on the best news (& discount codes!), go get yourself signed up over at shop.fehrtrade.com (scroll to the bottom for a direct signup)!

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Patrones 343

5 December 2014, 14:02

What a nice surprise! I wasn’t expecting this magazine at all, but my in-laws were visiting Spain recently, saw it on a newsstand, and grabbed it for me. I’m so glad they did, too, as not only is it a great issue with a bunch of wearable separates (much better than dozens of holiday dresses), but it also sees the return of the designer names!

Granted, it’s been a while since I’ve had a Patrones magazine (18 months by the look of things??), and to be honest, I’d gone off them a little bit. But this one has me excited again that they might be turning things around and getting back to their heydey of a few years ago… But let’s not get ahead of ourselves – let’s take a peek inside, shall we?

There are a ton of button-down shirt patterns in this issue – some traditional, some more blouse-like for flowing fabrics, and some more unusual, like this one with the attractive yoke panelling, dolman sleeves, and unusual centre front invisible zipper. I’d need to do a muslin first, of course, but I’m keeping this one in mind for the unusual Liberty lawn I bought earlier this year, especially since this shirt needs less than the 1.5m I bought.

To run the risk of sounding entirely predictable – ooh! A short coat! Yes, I know I’m consumed with short coat/jacket patterns right now, but this one is a good example of a design I rarely see outside Patrones (and the seamlines are really similar to the grey tweed jacket I made a few years ago that I’ve worn to death!).

There’s a fantastic feature in this issue which contains a ton of designer dresses and jackets, but ones that would be not only quick to sew, but could easily work for office attire. First up is this Joseph sheath dress – quite plain in the front with only two horizontal seams, but the back features a flounce from shoulder to knee. Also shown here is a Zadig & Voltaire jacket, which has a pretty traditional tech drawing, but made more interesting for leaving some of the edges unfinished to fray.

There’s an Alexander McQueen dress (an incredibly basic knit sheath), Dries Van Noten jacket, plus dresses from Marni, Just Cavalli, Lanvin, and French Connection, but I just adored the back view of this Alberta Ferretti dress. The pattern pieces for this dress are crazy as the sleeve is partially incorporated into the back, and all that gathering distorts the back pieces, but wow. What a show-stopping back view!

The next feature creates patterns from high-end RTW garments which are shown alongside the designer catwalk photos they’re copying. So I guess we get a copy of a copy with our patterns? Regardless of the inspiration, again we get some very wearable separates with a lot of long sleeved blouses and shirts, office-appropriate trousers, and some nice skirts, too, like this one from Comptoir des Cotoniers with a single, central pleat.

The Plus feature is a bit dressier than the rest of the magazine, and includes patterns for several tops, a pair of trousers, dress, and bolero, but I liked the lace placement on this blouse and skirt best.

And finally, the kids section in this issue is for babies, and includes an adorable little hooded jacket (plus another one with knitting instructions), plus this tunic and pair of trousers. It’s not like the pockets will actually get used for one so small, but they’re a cute detail anyway, right?

If you like this issue, too, I see that the Dutch shop Sewingpatterns.eu (aka Naaipatronen.nl) has this one and many others available to buy. Oh, and I just realised that the Extra issue #41 contains reprints from two of my favourite issues ever, #272 and #285! (The “Extra” issues reprint old patterns, but the higher issue numbers are all new)

In other news, I’ve succumbed to the Funkifabrics 20% off sale this weekend! Is it sacrilege that I actually bought some solids to coordinate with my crazy prints??

The turquoise solid lycra should pair nicely with the leftover bits of triathlon fabric I have in my stash, too!

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A Tour de France inspired box bag

4 December 2014, 16:01

Today is James’s birthday!!

I recently noticed his dop kit (toiletries bag) was getting a bit ratty, and I thought it might be nice to make him a replacement, and I stored the idea away in the back of my brain for a while. Then I saw that Spoonflower were having a BOGOF sale on all fat quarters, so I jumped at the chance to buy him some nicely coordinated Tour de France fabrics, since he loves Le Tour!

Since you could mix and match the base fabrics, I bought one fat quarter of “Vive Le Tour de France!” printed onto recycled eco-canvas for the exterior, and a fat quarter of “Les Montagnes” on quilting cotton for the lining. The colours are nice and manly, the prints coordinate perfectly, and it was a pairing I really hoped he’d like.

I then went in search of a good, free boxbag tutorial that wouldn’t use more than a fat quarter, was lined, and looked good, and I settled on my friend Stacy Sews’ free box bag tutorial, which also comes as a pdf if you’d rather view it on your tablet as you work (like me!)

I had the zipper in my stash already. I would’ve bought a chunkier one had they been available in white, yellow or grey, but all the big plastic zippers in the UK seem to be in dark colours, and the metal teethed ones aren’t available in long enough lengths.

The only thing I don’t like about this tutorial/pattern is that there are raw edges left inside at the corners, which I wasn’t expecting for a lined bag. I pinked these off so they won’t fray, but I would’ve preferred if everything was nicely enclosed. But c’est la vie!

He likes it (and just in case – I filled it with chocolate bars), and we’re off to Brussels for the weekend very soon, so he won’t have to wait long to take it for a test drive!

In other news, UK readers – FunkiFabrics are running their first-ever sale this weekend, with 20% off all fabrics. Seriously! So if you wanted to make a pair of triathlon leggings like mine, or a tribal shorts & bra set, then this is an excellent opportunity…

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Designer colourblocking inspiration

2 December 2014, 15:00

My next pattern is off with the pattern testers right now and I’m frantically sewing up final samples for photoshoots, filling in missing illustrations, and responding to comments as they come in, but I’ve managed to occupy my brain with the thought of things I might sew for fun next!

I did indeed wear my traced-from-RTW mustard yellow sheath dress to Number 10 Downing Street last week, and even managed to get some photos with the famous door(!) afterwards, but you’ll have to wait for those until the proper photoshoot is done showing the rest of the dress details in some decent lighting.

But I can say already that I love the dress! It needs some slight tweaking to the shoulder area, but apart from that, my tracing was spot-on, and I’m so chuffed it turned out so well without a muslin.

The crazy seaming really started getting my brain thinking about all the ways it could be colourblocked, though, and I looked up and suddenly found inspiration from a magazine photo I’d cut out years ago and had hanging on my sewing cave wall!

So I rummaged through my ponte scraps and realised that I had the most perfect shade of teal viscose ponte leftover from a client commission, and together with the leftover mustard scraps (and some newly-bought white ponte), I could make my very own Chalayan-inspired sheath dress!

I whipped up a tech drawing in Illustrator so I could play with the different colourblocking combinations, and I’m not sure which I should go for.

I’ve only got 1.2m of the teal and even less of the mustard, but I could buy whatever white I need to make up the rest. I think I have enough to make any of these combos, but I will of course double-check with my pieces before I order the white.

I also finally sewed up a muslin of this short coat from the Sept 2010 Burda (also known as one of my favourite issues Of. All. Time.):

I actually like the design enough on me that I’m willing to push on through the changes required, and that’s saying something! I’ll need to extend the sleeves (easy), broaden the back shoulders, take in the back waist (as it’s too boxy back there), and importantly, I’m going to add zippered pockets into the massive front darts – because what’s the point of a coat without pockets?!? I’ve already got a wonderful navy wool coating and vintage Italian silk twill lining earmarked for this, so I’d really only need to buy the zippers.

The other idea rolling around my head right now is that I really want to make more from the Japanese-design inspired feature in the June 2014 Burda magazine that I loved so much. I realised that I have the most perfect fabric in my stash for this bonkers jacket:

It’s a dark navy denim that has a woven repeat in it that looks like little dots/starfield/snowflakes which gradually gets denser and then fades away. Extremely cool.

I’ve got 2m and the woven-in dots appear every metre, and I think it’d be stunning made up in this jacket. So I might work on it a bit over the holidays, along with the other coat above, even though it’ll be too lightweight to wear until Spring.

But back to the Chalayan colourblocking – which should I go for? Answers in the comments below or on Twitter to @fehrtrade!

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Triathlon Leggings and Three Molehills

28 November 2014, 16:12

I’ve been a fan of FunkiFabrics for a long time (ie: before it was cool!), having made a sports bra, shorts, and leggings from their digital print lycra back in 2013. I’ve been meaning to get some more to use for myself, but it always felt like I was buying it on request for clients and students and never for me!

But recently I decided enough was enough ad I splurged on some luuuuuuuuuscious Funki Fabrics lycra in the “triathlon” print (bought with my own money). This fabric could not be more me – geometric print with turquoise and purples?! (It also comes in a red/orange/pink colourway).

I teamed it up with the basic, one-piece Kwik Sew leggings pattern that I’d recently altered in strange places to suit my runner’s legs, so I knew that the pattern would work well on the run and not bother me by shifting around! I’d made these with an eye to wear at the Three Molehills race, but the old adage “Nothing new on race day” lives deep within my psyche, so I took them out for a test run through Hampstead Heath (and the infamous Swains Lane) the weekend before:

It was only a short loop round the Heath, but long enough for me to tell they were going to be great (and that the mud washed out of them just fine on a cold sports wash!).

When I got home and put a sweatshirt on to warm up, I realised how well the print teamed with royal blue as well as purple! It’s a definite bonus for me when I can pair leggings with a number of tops in my running wardrobe…

So when the morning of the Three Molehills race arrived, I wasn’t even all that concerned that the forecast was for heavy downpours the entire day – at least I had fun leggings to wear round the super hilly, 16 mile course mudbath!

Photo credit: SussexSportPhotography.com

I’m proud to say that I even got a few compliments from the other runners while I was running! It’s not uncommon for me to have marshals in races comment on my leggings, but it was nice to have other ladies come up and ask me where I bought them (and then see the level of respect rise on their face when I reply I’d made them!).

Big thanks to fellow sewing runner Amy Heinen for taking these photos for me!

There were more ankle-deep puddles on this course than I could’ve possibly counted, plus we were getting full-body splashed by the cars along the motorway section of the course, but frankly it was raining so hard that we couldn’t really tell. You can see how nicely the leggings print accepted the mud, though – it just looks like part of the design!

Head over to my RiverRunner site for a full race review, but the short version is that I ran this with my friends Cat and Chris and we had a blast. We also came in last place, believe it or not!! This was a first for all of us, as we’re pretty fast runners, but we were taking it a bit leisurely, plus there was a 10min toilet stop, but still, coming last was a shock!

Left photo credit: SussexSportPhotography.com

We reckon the reason was two-fold: it was an incredibly fast field, but also, we imagine all the slower runners took one look out their window on Sunday morning and went right back to bed! Which is the sensible option, but definitely not the fun one.

And you know what the best bit is? I have about 40cm of this fabric left over so I’m already dreaming of coordinating sports bras, tops, running armband pockets, etc!!

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Burda magazine December 2014

27 November 2014, 12:29

It’s the last issue of the year, boo hoo! Oftentimes Burda have some easier projects (including menswear) you can make for gifts in their December issues, but this one’s just for ladies and girls. I initially wasn’t that impressed with this collection, but the more I looked through it, the more I found myself drawn to a few…

I’ve often admired the sequin tops other sewists have made, but I’ve never quite gone as far as to buy some sequin fabric for myself. This boxy jacket might change that, however!

This dress is the Tall offering this month, and even though the shorter, peplum top versions works fairly well, I pulled this out because the simple act of adding a straight skirt onto the curved seam means the model looks absolutely pregnant. Not really a look anyone wants, and it seems like a good idea drafting-wise. But in practice? No!

I’m really not a fan of the dress (square neckline, yes, but the puffy sleeves and awkward pleat at empire waist? Urgh.), but I love the little girl’s coat! Like the trench cape a few issues ago, I’d totally make this if it were in adult sizes!

This little boxy jacket for girls feels like the sister to the ladies’ sequin jacket above. They’re both for special fabrics and have a similar fit and seam lines, without feeling too “mini me”.

I utterly love the asymmetric collar on this coat, plus the off-centre closure, and (though it’s hard to tell in the garment photos) the hidden pleating just above the pockets would really give this some wonderful shaping. They’ve gone one step further and appliqued fancy lace over a portion of the wool coating, which I just love. Two thumbs up for this one, Burda!

Half of the details are hidden inside this cape, but a look at the pattern pieces shows there’s been a great amount of thought and detail gone into this. The shaggy fabric isn’t to my liking (too Fozzy Bear!), but that’s easily remedied.

This tube dress seems like a bit of a cheat – yes, it’s technically a little different from the one I made from the April 2014 issue but not really enough to warrant another pattern only a few months later, surely!

Hurrah, a designer dress pattern, from JC de Castelbajac (whom I must admit, I’d not heard of previously). I’m not entirely sold on the big side pockets, though they feel a bit Maison Martin Margiela, and on closer inspection they’re actually an integral part of the dress rather than just patch pockets slapped on, which makes me warm to them more. I also like that they have openings cut in at the sides for your hands to go (rather than from the top, as you’d expect.)

I love it when Burda do pyjama patterns, and this time around we get some truly wearable ones, including a camisole, nightgown, shirt-gown, and… bra and french knickers! Now, the bra is only a “bra top” so it couldn’t really be adapted for lingerie use, but it’s definitely a start (though I’d leave off the girly ruffles, personally).

I also really liked this more classic pyjama combo – a short sleeved shirt and capris made up in flannel with nice piping accents. There’s another pair of wide-legged pyjama trousers included, too, if that’s more to your liking. Lots of options for mix & matching amounts the different variations, too. And those little ballet slippers get an additional pattern, along with a sleep mask and cloth organiser.

This Plus dress with the geometric panels is just stunning. Fabulous design, flattering lines, and a great look for the party season. You could make it coolourblocked like Burda have here, or even alternate the shiny & matte sides of a satin like I did for my swirl sheath dress if you wanted a subtler look.

Now then. The addition of shiny fabric bands to one’s Plus-sized backside is a questionable fashion choice to begin with, but direct your eyes towards the upper right of the page…

WHAT?! Who doesn’t have panties “to hand”? Ever? But would have panty hose to chop up?! This just boggles my mind.

It’s been suggested that perhaps this was a translation issue but a) when confronted in the past, Burda have vehemently insisted they use native English speakers for the English translations, and b) two pages previously the “Extra Tip” box suggests wearing shape wear under the geometric dress, so it’s not like they didn’t know the term!!

And finally, we get a little online freebie from Burda – a cute little wristlet pattern. You need to go to BurdaStyle.de and use the code “Handbag2014” at checkout, and you’ll be allowed to download the pdf for free. It takes some wrangling if you’re not familiar with German, and you need to be a registered user, but it does work. But the pdf has German sewing instructions, so I’ve included the English instructions below.

This is the final Burda magazine for 2014 (boo!), but hopefully I should have a few Manequim magazines yet to arrive. All us international subscribers received some Taylor Swift teenybopper magazine instead of the October issue (which Abril tend to do in a mixup about once a year, thanks guys), so I’m still hoping to receive a replacement for that, and they always do two November issues, too.

Oh! And if you’re as fed up with browsing Burda’s official websites as I am, take a look at Burdavisor.ru. The website is in Russian, but if you download the .zip file, and open up the resulting .htm file in your browser, you can view all the patterns going back to 2004! You can filter by issue, garment type, fabric type, size, and see the tech drawings right alongside the fashion photos without having a bunch of extra clicks. The .htm file is in Russian and English, and it’s so much easier to use than even my own cataloguing method or Osinka.ru. Merry christmas!

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