Summer Tunic

I crave colour these days and sewed this tunic while it was still cold and rainy outside. The pattern is a free download from the German Burda Style website. Unfortunately I could not find out in which issue it was originally published.

For once I made no alterations to the pattern. It has huge sleeves that end up in your spaghettis if you are not careful ; ) I think it is meant as a cover-up for the beach, but I have been wearing it with a red tank top underneath.

What I absolutely  love about the tunic is the fabric. I bought it last year and it is a cotton voile by Anna Maria Horner. It is just wonderful: soft, smooth and feels like silk.

Pattern: Burda Style

Fabric: Anna Maria Horner, Little Folks Voile: Coloring Garden – Berry, Baby Bouquet – Sweet


All She Wants is a Dog

My youngest daughter wants a dog real bad. So far she has not been able to persuade her Dad that our lives would be so much better with a dog. In the meantime she has been decorating her room with dogs: she has porcelain dogs, a dog calendar, books about dogs, dog pictures, stuffies and now a dog pillow.

It started out with a drawing:

And we turned it into this:

I used a very quick method. My daughter copied her design onto white muslin using a water-soluble pencil and she cut it out leaving some fabric all around it. I sandwiched a piece of interfacing between the fabric of the pillow and the muslin and stitched over the pencil lines with narrow zigzag. I think my daughter stopped breathing while I sewed. She was so nervous I would mess up. When it was done (and she was very pleased) we cut away the excess fabric using Duckbill scissors. She filled in the eyes and nose with fabric marker.

I Wanted a Red Skirt

This all started when I was “just browsing” at my local fabric store. Well, I managed to leave the store without buying anything, but I had seen a red cotton fabric with pinstripes that I really liked. I few days later I saw this skirt and I knew the perfect fabric for it. I went back, bought the fabric and a zipper and started sewing right away. ( Note so self: Great idea!) I compared the length of the skirt to another one I own and added 1 1/2 inch to the pattern. I wanted the skirt to end right above the knee.

I had fun sewing it, but late at night I was a bit puzzled as to what they wanted me to do regarding the front. After a good night’s sleep I was able to figure it out, but a little drawing would have helped a lot. The other change I made is that I omitted the buttonholes. The front opening is fake anyway, there is an invisible zipper in the side seam.

I am very happy with how the skirt turned out and I especially like the large buttons I found in my stash. I hope the weather warms up a bit so I can wear it.

Pattern: Burda Style 4/2009 #101
Fabric: cotton/lycra blend
Buttons: stash

Another Apron: Kaleidoscope

This apron is also from the book A is for Apron, but I have made many changes to it. Before you start you should check out the errata posted on the publisher’s website. You can find the complete pattern and instructions there for this apron. For me it still did not quite work out. So what did I change?

– The Apron is too wide if you use quilting fabric. I briefly considered having a seam in the middle, but decided instead to make the apron about 2 inches narrower.

– I “lined” the apron using the same fabric on the back

– Instead of traditional pin-tucks I used a narrow twin needle on the waistband

– The instructions about the hem did not make much sense to me, so I made up my own version

– The waistband did not match the apron even taking into account that I made my apron narrower, so my waistband ended up not being as wide as it was intended.

Again I had a lot of fun sewing this apron. It is nice when you can do some fancy work and not have to worry about it not fitting!

This is another birthday gift so I should mail it as soon as possible.

The Apron is Done

I finally managed to turn the small pile of pretty fabrics into an apron. I had a lot of fun sewing it. I have not sewn anything so elaborate in quite some time. The pattern is called Lorelei from the book A is for Apron.

For some reason the book does not offer real size patterns that you can cut out or trace, instead the patterns are printed onto the last pages of the book and it tells you how many times you have to re-size it using a large photo copier. In this case it was 400%. I chose the old fashioned method. Using a pencil and a ruler I drew a 1/4 inch grid onto the pattern. Then I took a tracing cloth that is printed with dots at 1 inch intervals and marked the corresponding dots on it. Every 1/4 inch in the book would be 1 inch in the life sized pattern. Admittedly it is a little bit tedious, but it would have taken quite some time to drive to a copy shop and it is expensive, too.

As an added bonus I found the tracing cloth great to work with because it sticks to the fabric, so cutting out the pattern pieces was very easy.

The fabrics I used are called Bubblegum Basics by Barbara Jones.  I made these changes to the pattern:

  • I lined the apron with a white cotton to make it a bit sturdier
  • I made my own bias binding
  • I did not use rick-rack, but cut a strip of the red fabric, folded it in half and stitched over it with a blind hem stitch to give it some picots.

I really like the style and fit of the apron, but if I make it again I would turn the top of the bib into a curve. In the pattern it forms a point, which makes it stand away from your chest. All in all I am very happy with hit and I just found out this morning the recipient likes it, too.