Category Archives: Burda patterns


I have started SWAP sewing and  have been working on a light blue wool Duffle  Coat from Burda Mag 11/2011.  This coat is a bit of work and so far I have traced the pattern,  cut the pattern out of tracing paper,  fabric, interfacing and lining….four times.   I interfaced the entire jacket and have been working on making the toggles and painting the giant snaps;  sewing them on  while the garment is in the ‘flat’  which will be easier then when the garment has been constructed. Just  hope  I have them positioned them correctly.DSC_0111

Wasn’t happy with the purchased toggles / cords that were for sale in Spotlight,  and decided to make my own using leather from an old pair of pants.

I drew a shape/size ;  and used a rotary cutter to cut the rectangles.

Made the cords  by folding long lengths of leather and edge stitching,  trimmed them down so that I was able to thread them through the holes in the horn buttons.  Used a leather hole punch to make hole in the leather patch,  glued them and used bull dog clips to hold them closed.   The directions suggested covering the snaps with lining which sounds really hard;   I decided to paint them using light blue nail varnish…….

I lined the pockets and flap,   attached them to the front,    they were crooked  and just looked bad,  so I spent an afternoon unpicking  them.    This time I topstitched about 10mm from the pockets edge,  rather then using the 7.5mm width of the foot.  Thicker fabrics need bigger spaces,  and  now the pocket  looks more in proportion with the coat.

All that is left is….the construction of the jacket,  sewing of the lining and insertion of the lining…

More later,  Cheryl

Couch Surfing

Got the dress back,  I  tricked Lucy into getting up so I could retrieve it.  I promised a shot of me wearing it and thought this abandoned couch would make a fun prop.  This  fabric is dog   and dirty couch  proof,  just fling  it into the washing machine,  dry   and  wear.

I had just visited  Inner Souls  (shoe shop) at East Gosford.  This shop has recently re -located from Terrigal and is owned by my friend  Suzanne.  Suzanne  loved my dress and asked where I purchased it from….. “I made it”.  I find making  clothes very affordable.  The 1.5m of fabric  purchased  from Spotlight  on special,  cost about $20, the cotton , pattern are from my stash and it took an afternoon to make.   First I stabilised the shoulder seams,  cut the neck band the finished width plus 2x seam allowance and 2/3 the size of the neck opening,  attached the band while the dress was “flat”,  inserted the sleeves,  overlocked the side seams  and hemmed it. with a twin needle.    Seriously , could have taken longer to get a park at  the mall.  So with the money I am not spending on RTW clothes I can purchase  shoes!  I actually have a pair of navy sandals,  but could only find one….Lucy the shoe thief has hid the other.

Has she hid it down the back of the couch?  and which couch?

More dresses soon,  check out my drawing progress on my Drawing Room blog.

Red Top, White Top, Tropical Top, Grey Top…..but … fish

I purchase two pairs of Rollie’ lace up’ shoes to take on a vacation to the USA,  Mexico and Cuba.  I was inspired from the feet up  to create a new capsule using the shoe colour :  white  and  grey as the neutrals.   I needed a colour  and  decided on RED,   although it was difficult to source,  I found some nice spots and a fun tropical print for T-shirts.

Participating in the SWAPs and 6PACS at Artisan Square has changed the way I sew.  I have adapted to sewing and thinking in terms of a collection  and  spending  more time in the planning  phase of creating a ‘family’ of clothes.   I have boiled down my pattern selection,  limited my colours and  concentrated on  basics  that I hope will mix and match to create a co-ordinated and workable travel wardrobe.   So,  it will be darks for bottoms and lights for tops .


I will be holidaying in hot humid weather,  which I love,  first up I made a few T’s using my TNT Burda pattern.  Super quick with an overlocker and twin needle to finish the hems.

Next up a few tops…..I need something to go over swimmers and under a jacket for a dressier occasion.  As well,   I will be attending Louise Cutting’s sewing retreat at Florida and felt the need to make and wear a few of her patterns.  Both the white linen tops from ‘My Hearts A’Flutter’ pattern and the oversized navy silk from ‘Anything But Ordinary’pattern made one size larger without the sleeves.

Now….I have 4xTs,  a swim coverup and 2x dressier tops.  Almost dressed…..

Happy Sewing




Time was running out and I needed a TWIST for SWAP 15. The last article of clothing could be reversible, up-cycled or have more then one purpose e.g.. a long cardigan that could work as a dress.

Too many ideas, I found my old pair of leather pants and was contemplating using the legs for sleeves….. or maybe harvesting that beautiful silk organza from that full skirt.   None of this was going to work as we were in the middle of a big storm and had lost power.

I found T’s discarded Cirque de Soul long sleeve T-shirt and decided I could manage to re-vamp it with a bit of bling and was not going to need my machine,  I could do it by hand.

Tim's T

Tim’s T

I liked the artwork on the arms and decided to keep them.  I resized,  and cut out a tank.  Contemplated using blue binding but went for the tomato red which was in my stash.  A few months ago I was trying to sew an Alabama Chanin style skirt and had already purchased beads .  Decided to highlight small areas of the print,  and not think to much about it.


Here it is…… worn  with black crystals and my slim shiny satin jeans.  Burda 7863 part of this outfit

So the accidental SPONTANEOUS Swap has been uploaded,  completed and done.   I did go back and reread the rules and pretty sure that mine does not meet the requirement of every top going with all  bottoms and all things matching.  I have battled with sewing all things co-ordinated…. but there is always next year.

Love Sewing   Cheryl

Top it OFF


I wanted to make some new “going out pants” for the trip so that I could   mix +match with pretty  tops.  These Burda Style pants from 2/2014  with their panelled fronts caught my attention  and I decided  to make them from heavy navy blue satin, using  both the shiny and dull side of the fabric.  I cut and made a size 44 ,   adding a little to the waist  The pants went together perfectly and were a pretty quick sew,   but now I needed some matching tops.

I became inspired when watching this Fit 2 Stitch video to make a few basic Tanks from Burda 7075. I like the idea of working to get a perfect basic pattern.  Tanks are great for wearing under jackets and I love jackets!

I pretty much followed  Peggy Sager’s procedure for fitting  her model.  I made the first tank without any alterations.    With the second I changed the angle of the dart  to a french dart.   The third was conceived  because of a trip to SPOTLIGHT  where I came across pleather.  I just had to purchase four colours to make the coloured blocked version.  I often think about making a travel wardrobe in red white and blue.     Before we left  DH took a few photos.


First Tank,  made from a stiff navy silk.  Maybe a little bit small and could be made more flattering by angling the darts. The fabric has a beautiful silk sheen and a deep  inky look.  I have a little more of it and can picture it as a crisp shirt,  with a pointy collar and lots topstitching.

silk geometric print tank

silk geometric print tank

Second tank from a polyester…which I purchased because I thought it was silk  and loved the colours.  The geometric pattern  was distorted when printed which made  it  a bear to cut out.  The straight line are really curved!  I changed the angle of the darts and feel that it is more flattering overall and I getting closer to TNT.    Although yellow and orange are not my  colours the geometrical pattern and other cool colours are…. and I think I can get away with it.  This little top is fun and I love it’s 60’s vibe….  wish I had some large plastic earrings.

Pleather geometrical tank.

Pleather geometrical tank.


Tank 3 in pleather.  The sales assistance mentioned  to use tissue paper between the pleather and the needle TWICE.   While the white, blue and red were difficult to sew the black was a nightmare and I decided to use the navy as my main colour because of this. The black was clammy and kept sticking on the feed dogs,  causing the machine to miss stitches …. and creating irregular size stitches.

I used Peggy’s method of dividing up the front…..making the vertical cut first.   Then cutting each section into the smaller areas.    A  very stretchy navy woven was used for the back which makes putting it on easy.  This top is a little warm to wear;   it is plastic after all,  but  great for those air-conditioned restaurants and cooler nights.

So what made it into my suit case???   The pleather coloured blocked top!!!


Hi everyone.  I’m still into my experimental  knit sewing,  making  patterns with design elements that I would not normally choose.  For instance, the above dress has gathered raglan sleeves,  a feminine flounce, is fushia and has a A line shape.  On the plus side the knit is beefy……  I took it for a test swim the other morning with Lucy.

We walked down to the lagoon and then continued onto the beach.  Last Tuesday a 26yr old man drowned on this stretch of  beach.  Both Avoca and North Avoca beaches are patrolled but the  ‘dog of leash’ area in the middle is not and has claimed a few lives.  You can see how rough it is by sea mist in the photo,  however tomorrow should be huge with  cyclone Marcia in Queensland and a King Tide.


The fabric was this Metro Knit from Kniwit in Perth.  Considering it had to travel from the west coast I received it overnight.  Pretty amazing considering we live outside of Sydney and Australia has 3 time zones.

I used Burda pattern 2/2013,  size 42 and whizzed it up on the overlocker.  Like most Burda Style patterns it went together easily and was a quick project.  However, I do not think I will be making it again as it does not pass  the “would I take you on holidays” test.    I was wondering if anyone else experiments with new designs and styles just see what it looks like and most of all because we can.

Enjoy your sewing,  Cheryl