Sunday 31 May 2020

Burda Jacket

Earlier this year I purchased the November 2019 issue of Burda Style magazine, and fell in love with quite a few of the jackets and coats in it.  Fast forward to late autumn in New Zealand and suddenly the idea of making some slightly warmer garments feels like a good idea.  I had seen a black wool blend with embroidered flowers on it for the last couple of years, and decided that this was the year I was going to buy some of it and use it in a garment for myself.

I spent a weekend tracing the pattern and this time added seam allowance to the paper pattern rather than trusting myself to remember as I cut the fabric out.  It definitely worked out a lot better, especially as I cut each pattern piece individually to take advantage of attempting to align the embroidery.

The pattern itself was relatively easy to sew, however I did find some of the instructions a little on the light side.  I think I get quite spoiled with the very detailed instructions indie designers give sewists, which include photo and diagrams too.  My biggest problem was the large black button I bought especially for the jacket wouldn't fit in my buttonhole foot, I found a perfectly matched raspberry one in my button jar, but decided that a black one was better, so bought a few different buttons till I found the perfect slightly glitzy one I ended up using.

The jacket has ended a little more cropped that I thought it would, but I think I am going to love wearing it as a smart casual warmer layer for work.

Pattern details: Burda 103/11-2019   size 38 no adjustments
Photos courtesy of Mr J

Saturday 23 May 2020

Bonn Shirt


I  have rediscovered a love of wearing shirts with jeans, whether it be loose boho styled shirts or the classic white shirt, so decided I needed to find some good patterns and make my own,

First up is the Bonn Shirt from Itch to Stitch Patterns. This shirt has three different sleeve variations and can also be made a a shirt dress. I have made a few different Itch to Stitch patterns and have found that the sizing is good for me and the instructions are very detailed.  This pattern was no exception.

The fabric I used was a printed vile from Spotlight, I made a size 4 and the 3/4 sleeve option.  While I think the fit is very good I am going to size up for my next one for a little more room around the back of my arms and shoulder blades.  The only area of making this I had difficulty with was fitting the mandarin collar on, however there is a tutorial on the Itch to Stitch blog which showed and explained what I wasn't doing properly.

I made this shirt during the first week of our lockdown, but didn't have enough thread to make the button holes.  This was remedied this week once our stores were opened again.  Last night I sewed the buttonholes and buttons on.

Unfortunately it is a little too lightweight to wear now, so will need to be put away till slightly warmer weather next spring. 

Monday 11 May 2020

Staying Home - Week 6

Mangatawhiri Dam and the low water level.

New Zealand's silver fern

The concrete walls are usually covered by water

Today we find out if we are moving to Level 2 later this week.  This will mean that schools, workplaces, shops and cafes, maybe hairdressers will open. New social distancing rules will apply , so life will be very different from how we lived pre lockdown. I have to admit, I feel slightly apprehensive about going out into the wider community with lots of people around after being in lockdown,  Later this week, I should find out whether I am returning to work.

The past week I will say was a bit of a meh week.  I seem to have lost enthusiasm for a lot of things including my sewing.

I did try some new red kiwi fruit - the overall verdict from the family was that they look pretty but don't have a lot of flavour.

I baked a salted caramel oaty slice - nice recipe - not quite enough caramel to base ratio.

I made a hearty warming Roasted Kumara and Pumpkin soup - recipe here.

My dahlias have all been pulled out and stored ready for planting next spring, hopefully garden centres will open this weekend and I can get some seedlings for winter colour.

The Scout and I went hiking in the Hunua Ranges on Saturday.  Lots of old fence posts and fungi caught my eye.  It's quite heartbreaking how low our dams are in Auckland - next week water restrictions will start applying to all residents.  Much as I love warm sunny days, we desperately need a long sustained period of rain to fill them up for us.

Hoping that everyone is well and stays well, where ever you are.

Kia Kaha

Saturday 2 May 2020

Staying Home - Week 5

Another week of lockdown - this time at level three.  It hasn't really had any impact on me, but I have noticed the traffic noise has increased in the early hours of the morning, there are tradespeople and contractors out working again and we can online shop, get takeaways through drive through or click and collect.  We are also able to go to beaches, or regional parks for exercise as long as we practice socially distancing still.

We celebrated a birthday this week.  Miss B turned 18, unfortunately none of our plans to celebrate this occasion was able to come to fruition.  Miss B really enjoys her coffee, so I decided to make her a coffee cake.

Panna cotta was our dessert one night.  Not really a hit with the boys,  recipe from here.  I liked it, but don't feel the need to make it a regular feature on my dessert menu.

Back to working on my lockdown challenge applique project again. I've added bullion knots, some kantha style stitching, more french knots.
I've traced another Burda Style pattern, and started sewing it.  I think that this fabric was possibly not my best choice for it, I'll persevere with it, but suspect it may not be totally wearable.  It's hard to press the seams and darts, due to the fabric which I think was a georgette or chiffon, and I possibly should have invested in some plain sheer black fabric for the inner  lining pieces.

And some really exciting news, today, The Scout, Mr J and I went to Tapapakanga -  one of our regional parks for a short hike.  It was so nice to walk somewhere new, to not have to give way to other people or cyclists and just get out of my neighbourhood. Real fresh air, a brisk breeze off the sea, feeling much happier now.

Kia kaha