pattern review · sewing

{ BURDASTYLE } Twisted tank…

Ive had this pattern cut out for an embarrassingly long time. In fact, not just the pattern, but the chartreuse satin I used for the lining had been cut out for this top too. I just didnt have the right fabric to finish it off – { ENTER} lovely piece of gorgeously coloured silk….and right there it was a match made in heaven.

The satin is a heavier weight which made it much easier to sew but the multi-coloured bit of loveliness was a real pain in the ass. No amount of spray starch, cutting through paper or pointing at it with that “now you listen to me” tone in my finger could possibly tame this beast. I struggled & cursed & eventually, defeated, I lost my sewjo & she hung, hung, hung.

A few weeks ago I decided it was time to finish her so I steamed through & refused to leave the sewing room until she was done!Burdastyle_07_2013_103B_front

I used the Burdastyle Twisted Tank pattern. I cut my usual size but found the fit ran a little on the big side so I nipped in some under the arms. I also lowered the V-neck for a better look & fit because it was sitting way to high for me. While I love the pattern, Im not that in love with the join down the middle. I dont mind it, Im just not overjoyed with it. The join is necessary in order to get the twisted effect on the front but twisting & joining in the back would also work so if I were to make this again, Id probably look into changing that aspect. You should also notice I gave my straps an extra twist – no reason, just did.

Its a simple tank top with a little bit of whimsy on the shoulder. Its easy to sew up & since the lining & the outer fabric are both luxurious fabrics, its indeed a very luxurious piece to wear – light as a feather!

I cant wait to pair her with my denim mini for summer…

’til soon, Ange x



chit-chat · sewing

{ LEATHER JACKET } Cabernet…

Hello Lovelies –

Im finally getting my a-into-g & started to muslin the BurdaStyle leather jacket from the 08/2013 magazine. I buy the German edition becoz thats whats on offer here in my ‘hood but I need your help { PRETTY PLEASE}. Normally Im quite good at following the german instructions but Im battling to make sense of these.

Can any of you lovelies email me a copy of the scanned english instructions for the 113 leather jacket from the 08/2013 BurdaStyle ? You can send to love you forevs 🙂

Here’s a pic!!


Im very behind in my sewing. Sewjo seems to be back but I just cant find the time to sew. Work is craz-ee. Im supposed to be only working 20hrs per week but its looking more like 50!! & the weekends are filled with housekeeping duties, on top of all sorts of other challenging stuff we’re having to navigate at the moment (more on that another time though)…


Never ends.

I seem to have 3 WIPs at the moment in various stages of “undecided”….does it get any worse ? One just needs a hem, the other needs to progress from muslin phase & the last is dyed, pinned & just needs to be sewed. I need a kick in the ass I know. And somehow Ive started on this leather jacket too…..

I really need to go back to one project at a time!

x Ange




{ PATTERNS } Free downloads…

Unless I manage to stumble on a real deal sale in a fabric store, decent quality fabric costs big bucks – especially here in Europe. Add to that the cost of notions plus pattern & its easy to see why home sewing has dwindled over the years. Gone are the days of sewing me-mades because its cheaper like our grandmama’s used to.  The ‘fast fashion’ era arrived & crapped all over the reality of home sewing being cheaper…now its sometimes hard to find a decent fabric/sewing store in your ‘hood because they’ve all been driven into the ground & out popped a darn H&M or similar…

When I buy a pattern I try to think about how much that pattern can work for me & how many times I can use it & get my money’s worth out but the reality is, its very seldom that I use the same pattern more than once or twice. They can also be prohibitively expensive so I always wait for the sales and then get screwed with postage but thats a different issue all together. So when I come across a good { FREE } pattern, then Im all over it because it means that producing a garment will cost substantially less.

Luckily, with the technology era, locating free patterns online is not such a difficult task & over the years I have come across some really stunning patterns that are free & ready to be loved, over & over again.

Here are a few of my favourites :

{ PLEATED SKIRT } from BurdaStyle – is so fun and versatile & you know me and pleatspleated_skirt_burdastyle

{ KASIA SKIRT } from BurdaStyle is a great pattern. I love how this skirt works for all seasons & I love that there is so much opportunity to play with exciting trims like lace or piping or buttons, topstitching, colour blocking…the possibilities are endless.


{ LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON DRESS } by Twinkle Sews, available from Threads. This is the cutest pattern which can also be shortened to make a tunic but again, I adore the little details that allow for so much creativity. If you google this pattern/book, you will see how many lovely versions of this have been made, all bright & cheerful with some beautiful fabric choices.

{ SORBETTO TANK TOP } from Colette Patterns is awesome, again with opportunity to really have fun & play with fabrics, pattern, trim & colour.  A basic top that can be used over and over again. sorbetto_tank_colette

{ CELEBRATE SUMMER DRESS } from Your Style Rocks is one of my favourite dresses to look at..of all time. I haven’t had a chance to make this yet, but I am really hoping the right fabric will come soon… celebrate_summer_yourstylerockscelebrate_summer2_yourstylerocks

Another more recent gratis pattern is the { POLLY } from the girls at By Hand London. I made one recently for the #RedOctober challenge in October. You can read about it here, where will find links to their website for your own free download.

Have you sewed any of these patterns? Which others free patterns have you tried & tested ? Do share…

{ You’ll notice WordPress have enabled the “snow screen” again since its the 1st Dec. Enjoy }


{ BURDASTYLE } August is out…

After taking a break from BurdaStyle in feb & march, much was my irritation when I realised march probably had the nicest offerings in a long time…the open back dress & a few other things – uuuurrrgh. If anyone has a copy of march they dont want, please feel free to send it my way ok.

August is out & as much as I am bummed to see Fall/Autumn already in the mag, I feel kinda excited about it because there are a few pieces that make me oooh & aaaah….3 of my favourites being :


The peplum top which I love because its a combination of frills & pleats…pleats being my absolute favourite thing { EVAH }. The blouse on the top right Im digging because it looks so over-the-top feminine. Problem with this collar is if you use the wrong fabric, your’e on the super highway to Bobo the clown & we dont want that. Now my favourite is that black leather jacket/blazer….dear me, look at those poofed sleeves, with pleats { BLOW MY WHISTLE } – that is soo cool Im already thinking of what colour I should make that in…

There are some other cute pieces in the August magazine as well, but for now, these 3 have me plotting & planning. Off to the leather shop I go….

giveaway · sewing

{ MMMAY’13 } Week 1

Lovely things, here is my breakdown of MMMay’13 Week 1.

Not terribly exciting since I had some stay-at-home days this week. I tweeted that I think I should make me-made pjs just so I can feel like even SAH days are me-made days. Enter Vogue 8888.

{ Day 1  } mmmay2013_day1{ SKIRT } : Me-made BurdaStyle Tulip Skirt

{ Day 4 } mmmay2013_day4

{ TOP } : Me-made BurdaStyle Frills & Thrills

{ Day 5 }


{ TOP } : Me-made B+W Vogue 2563

Taking pics of yourself is one hellava hard thing to do when you dont have the right equipment { OR } when you have the right equipment but the damn focus is being a! { AND } there is so much to get done in 10 seconds before the self-timer hits the shutter…who knew! I had to have a good giggle at Dibs & the machine as she wrote about the trials & tribulations of self-portraiture in her post “How do you do it?” That last image with the apparatus over her head has got to be the savviest bit of photography Ive seen in a long time…it really made my day 🙂

I trust all is going well in your land of MMMay’13…

Also, dont forget my giveaway closes on Wednesday so be sure to get your comment in if you want to be entered! Good luck x

pattern review · sewing

{ BURDASTYLE } Tulip skirt…

I love skirts more than shorts but I realised, I dont have enough cute skirts for summer hence the birthing of this little tulip. As you may have already seen, I love to use traditional wear fabrics (ie. indian saris, african prints etc) in untraditional ways. BS_04_2010_11_tulipfront

For this skirt I used a piece of Shweshwe fabric in dark chocolate brown that Ive had for years & years. I purchased a whole stack of it in South Africa & made many wrap skirts over the years. The fabric is 100% cotton and starched to the hilt when its new. After a few washes it gets this really lovely softness however Im going to keep mine starched a bit because I think it will hold the tulip better & I love me some starch!BS_04_2010_111_tulipback

Shweshwe is made by DaGama Textiles in South Africa & originally, the fabrics were only available in the indigo blue however the chocolate brown & red followed & remained constant for many years but these days you can find it in a whole slew of fashionable colours which is really cool. Back in the apartheid era though, white people would never have been seen in Shweshwe because it was considered “traditional wear”, however, today everyone in SA wears it irrelevant of size, colour or sex. Its become a celebrated & universal fabric used for clothing, homeware and accessories. I personally have always been a fan & Ive been making my own clothes with it for years, initially because it was cheap fabric but then I became a fabric whore & started buying because I couldnt get enough of the patterns..the more I looked, the more I discovered. If you want to know more, you can read the history of Shweshwe here. Since this fabric is dyed in strong colours, beware of colour running when wet, especially the indigo!!

I used a marigold yellow ric-rac trim on the pocket edges to add a pop of colour & give a bit of interest & I inserted a white invisible zip to the side which went in perfectly the first time. I must admit, having a dedicated invisible zip foot for the Sapphy definitely helps :-).  I love the clever waistband which has a small fitted waistband under the wide waist tie which can either be made up to a bow at the front or tied slightly to the side. It hides the zip head as well as the hook & eye closure.BS_04-2010-111_tulipdetail

I added an extra pocket front for some extra weight to the pockets. By this I mean, I cut 4 pieces of pockets. I stitched the trim to the front piece & then added the whole pocket to the front of the skirt. In other words, I did not use the skirt front as the front of my pocket so there are no stitch lines. It means the pocket sits free inside the skirt. It also gave me the opportunity to have a double “tuck” right up next to the ric-rac which is ever so subtle but adds to the pocket detail.

From start to finish, this project took me around 4 hours including the fussing about with the pocket trim. I couldn’t decide whether to go with an orange piping or the ric-rac. I sewed samples of both & then made a decision.

So this completes my Pattern Stash busting & all in all, I managed to bust 4 patterns that had been in my queue for some time.  Now for MMM-2013!

Thanks for stopping by x

pattern review · sewing

{ BURDASTYLE } The Jenny…

BS_JennyContinuing with the catch-up of old PR reviews today while I have some time….

This Jenny skirt was made some time ago however it is one of my favourite skirts { EVER }.  I love to pair it with my V8032 black & white polka blouse & Zara peep-toes.

The deets :

{ DESCRIPTION } The Jenny skirt 6058 which is a BurdaStyle downloadable. Pencil skirt with plenty oomph.

{ FABRIC USED } A home decor fabric which was left-over after making a ginormous bed throw. The tomato red spoke volumes…

{ SIZING } Pretty accurate, as BurdaStyle sizing goes. I allowed a wee bit extra on the hips for comfort though.

{ INSTRUCTIONS } Good, but not necessary since this is a straight forward pattern.

{ ALTERATIONS } After fitting the muslin, like others, I preferred the fit of the waist band on the straight rather than the bias. I also preferred this skirt with a back vent rather than the slit which I went ahead & added without much hassle.

{ LEVER OF DIFFICULTY } * easy & highly recommended

{ SUM IT UP } A great versatile little pencil with loads of oomph. I love wearing this in fall & winter for a pop of bright colour but still stay warm & fairly well dressed. An excellent pattern for any sewist.BS_Jenny1

Original PR review here if you interested.

Thanks for stopping by x

pattern review · sewing

{ BURDASTYLE 04-2010-112 } Frills & thrills…

Mama mia, am I on a sewing extravaganza or what ?!….

This BurdaStyle pattern was featured in the April 2010 magazine as both a top & a dress version. I chose to make the top because I thought the dress might be a little shapless & to be honest, I did not want to line it. After you see my fabric choice, you will see why this ‘milkshake woulda brought all the boys to the yard” { WHAH } 🙂BurdaStyle_frills

see what I mean??? totally sheer ….

I used a poly chiffon sari (which I already had in my stash). Bright & cheerful all ready for summer to roll around. I can wear this with my white linen pants or with my denim shorts or a skirt, also over my cozzie…endless opportunities!BurdaStyle_frills_front

Ok, so now for the deets :

{ DESCRIPTION }  Blouse with elasticated off the shoulder frills.

{ FABRIC USED } As mentioned, I used a brightly coloured, printed & embroided poly chiffon adorned with specks of silver glitter (what appear to be white dots in the pics)! I photographed this top with a white tank top underneath to show the colour.

{ SIZING } I cut my usual BS size & it was spot on, although, the front & back really is just a box with armhole cutouts. The elasticated shoulder bits you can make whatever size you want….

{ INSTRUCTIONS } I did not use them, not only were they not in my language (from years of living in foreign countries) but the blouse was super simple to put together using your common sense.

{ CONSTRUCTION / ALTERATIONS  / CHANGES } Im not really a frilly kinda gal so instead of three frills, I only used two. I also used french seams on the frills area & in hindsight should have used french seams to the side seams as well – alas I did not! I used a bias binding to finish off the arm areas which worked a charm.

{ LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY } * easy however since I used a chiffon, it made the hemming of the frills a { NIGHTMARE } , real pain in the ass. Chiffon is difficult to work with at the best of times but then I remembered { SPRAY STARCH }. What a revelation!!! I sprayed the edges lightly & let it set for a few minutes. Miracles do happen, the fabric became so much easier to turn over & stitch. WARNING : dont be over zealous with the starch though because there is such a thing as too hard!! haha.

{ SUM IT UP } A really cute little top. I would recommend it only if you have the patience with those frills though (depending on what fabric you choose of course).BurdaStyle_frills_back


Thanks for stopping by x

chit-chat · sewing


Holland 2010
Holland 2010

{ source : my own }

Its official! { SPRING } has sprung here in my ‘hood & Im rejoicing for having emerged through the perils of winter unscathed…without a sniffle of a cold or worse, flu!  It could be due to the fact that there was that breaking of my ankle, surgery & all that which kept me in hibernation for the best part of 8 weeks….so Im thinking, did I really emerge victorious?

There are more than a few bloggers out there dealing with cold & or flu a the moment & I pity you. I wish you health & a speedy recovery because there is nothing worse than shaking with the sniffles. { Bless you all }

After my last two posts discussing the pitfalls of living in the country & the disappointment with BurdaStyle, Im in need of a quick project to lift the spirit & give me instant gratification. What is your go-to pattern, the one that you know so well & always have fantastic results from ? Id love to hear, do share…

chit-chat · sewing

{ BURDASTYLE } Das Ruck-Zuck-Nähpaket

Hello fellow sewers –

I noticed this double page spread in the January 2013 BurdaStyle magazine essentially advertising their Fertig Zuge-Schnitten Nähpaket (Ready-to-sew Kit) which I found rather intriguing. I especially loved the packaging!

BurdaStyle_naehpaketThe kit contains the cut fabric pieces needed, sewing thread, needle, extras ie. elastic and an instruction sheet. All you have to do its get started on construction. No worries regarding cutting out, remembering to add seam allowance or fussing with notions…its all there!

At the moment the options are some comfie leggings/pants available for €29,90 { OR }

A cross-over/wrap-around top available for €26,90.

Both pieces are available in grey, fushia or lavender coloured fabric options.

Now, while I love the idea of something like this being available for beginners, for the life of me, I was unable to locate this for purchasing or further information on the website given –! I looked & looked and eventually gave up. { FRUSTRATING } It could be hiding from me so if anyone else has located this, please drop me a link to the page down in the comments section.

I would like to see BurdaStyle continue with this idea, perhaps offer more advanced kits as an option. I think these are a great idea – if only we could find the link to purchase.

Im also not sure if this translated to BurdaStyle outside of the customers…If so, drop me a line & let me know what you think. As always, thanks for stopping by x