Nothing too drastic this time, but I expect that Kristy Chan would like me to point out that she doesn’t [necessarily] make something out of each Burda magazine, but that she has actually set herself a challenge to make something out of a Burda magazine every month and she quite intelligently calls it ‘her Burda challenge.’ She set this challenge herself as far as I am aware and has actually kept up to it, albeit she may be a little late in showing, but she is a busy working Mum to two small children and her output is phenomenal. Check it out here. Now hopefully I have put matters straight regarding those screaming at me that I have got it wrong.

Secondly, I think I mentioned in passing that about 12 days or so ago I finished a pink version of my blue ‘jeans’ top, but didn’t show a picture of it. Omission rectified below; [usual fuzzy pictures I'm afraid, and a bit scrunched up I can see now!]

second try 001second try 003second try 004

What I really love about this pattern, apart from how quick and easy it is – honestly! – are the dinky old fashioned sleeves [or are they retro? one never knows these days]. They just sit there neatly and fit. Beautiful! The pattern takes DK. but I had only 4ply pink cotton, so I doubled it up with a 4ply pink soft wool, which almost matches, but the difference just gives a subtle shading and lift. What do you think?    second try 005  any of the above images can be clicked to enlarge. Meanwhile, back at the happy place, I have cut out and sewed up the grey silk lining for Burda M104 [I'm sure the M stands for mystery] and will hand sew it in, hopefully this evening. Then, just one bound buttonhole and ‘finito’ – bliss.

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It’s Hot. I’m English – I don’t do hot. It’s muggy too. Only to be expected after all the rain that fell [remember the floods a few months ago?] and consequently all the residual moisture hanging about. But I like sunny, fresh, breezy, comfortable days, and not just because I’m past my sell-by date either. Even as a child this was what I expected of my Summers. But the world’s gone mad along with the weather and we now do tropical it seems.  But the gardens seem to approve and mine in particular has gone mad and here are the picture to prove it.

garden july 2014 007garden july 2014 006 garden july 2014 001 garden july 2014 004garden july 2014 008garden july 2014 003

On the sewing front, I helped a friend draft and grade a princess seamed top [Burda 8503, my version 3 posts back]. She was resurrecting her sewing skills after many years and it was quicker to start from fresh in many ways. We had a fun three and a half days and she drove home wearing it happily. I have just got to cut out the lining for the Burda M104 Jacket. I am going to make a second one with a few very minor adjustments in the way I sew it. The drafting of the pattern was excellent considering the cut pieces were cut out yonks ago and sat in bag bundled up, so I am happy it came together very well. I have a few blouses/tops in mind too, so quite a bit to keep me out of trouble. In the garden I have been weeding and weeding and weeding and weeding, but I am losing the battle so I think I will just give in gracefully!.















Posted in Blouses, dressmaking, handmade, Life a Work In Progress, me-made wardrobe, Sewing, Works in Progress | 1 Comment


If you’re a hoarder, take heart from this post! Bear with me it’s a bit convoluted.

It started with reading this post from Kristy Chan. A lovely skirt to die for, and it started me thinking about skirt patterns and fabric. I found a length of green fabric and just managed to squeeze a skirt from it with a spare strip left about the same length and width as half a back skirt. I thought I’d keep that for waistbands. But I needed pocket linings. Back to the long lost fabric stash [i.e not folded neatly on the fabric shelves but stashed in boxes and drawers]. I began finding more creased up bits of green fabric strangely cut in pattern pieces. Ah, my Burda jacket. The one and only time I have every traced a pattern directly from the magazine. More curious than serious I began putting the pieces together and realised isn’t wasn’t really a bad pattern of a jacket and it was all there except one top sleeve piece, which hurrah, I could cut from the spare skirt strip. All thoughts of the skirt were by this time out of the window. I looked through the meagre stash of Burda magazines I owned but couldn’t recognise it. I  found just a large envelope with the inscription “Burda January 2003 pattern pieces – notched shawl collared jacket” and inside were all the pattern sheets for that issue, laid out in typical Burda fashion on top of one another. I really couldn’t identify which was ‘my’ jacket.

It was then I remember my favourite of Kristy’s makes, her red wool crepe jacket that she sewed from the Burda magazine [also shown in the above post]. In fact Kristy sews at least one item from every issue.  I emailed Kristy, but alas she only started keeping the magazines from November 2007 but gave me a possible third party to ask. Before doing that I decided to stitch what I could without the instructions or clear idea of construction, take a photo and send it on to see if could be identified, but before that I found my original tracing and on the envelope was a sketch of the jacket, the number and the fact that it had only one button, quite low as identified by the sketch. This showed I was pretty much on target. It doesn’t mention a lining, but I have drafted a lining pattern and will line it in pale silver grey silk . Here is the shell, so far. Ta da!  Mystery solved!
****For those of you who are thinking ‘that’s not a shawl collar – it is. ‘Shawl’   it refers to the construction of it [i.e. one lapel/collar piece attached to the front, meeting at the centre back neck. The fact that it is notched is immaterial ['scuse the pun].BURDA M104 007
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The modern idiom for talking about the past! I was thinking recently about when “in the day” I would walk up this staircase at 8.20a.m. every morning in order to be at my desk by 8.30a.m. with the typewriter cover off and a pile of handwritten letters to be typed at the side of it.

great staircase euston

Isn’t it beautiful? So elegant and grand! I would scurry up the four flights and scuttle round the gallery at the left hand side and through a doorway – and then -just like a swan you would see the inner works of the place. Narrow dark passageways reminiscent of Dickens. Bare floor boards and wooden staircases and a thousand [it seemed] tiny offices all with name plates with grand titles such as ‘The Estates and Ratings Manager’, who was the grand being I worked for,  not that he knew of my existence. The room[s] I worked in had no name plate, just eight desks, one slightly bigger where the supervisor sat. At intervals during the day “messenger boys” in uniform of sorts would bring round the handwritten correspondence collected from the various offices. These “boys” were actually retired railway workers and seemed as old as Methuselah to me. We would each have to take a pile and beaver away on old Imperial ironsides and then take them for approval to the supervisor. The slightest mistake and the letter was rejected and had to be retyped, such joy!  Where was this place? Why here of course  - Euston Station.


This is where I earned my daily bread as a teenager until two days before I got married. I earned the princely sum of £4 per week and free rail and underground travel working as a copy typist for British Railways and I loved every minute of it. London was a good place to be then not too crowded and with a spirit of optimism. Rationing had finally ended a few years before and the street markets, which seemed to be in every side street around, were full of wonderful things. Not quite 9 till 5, I worked from 8.30 – 5.30p.m. five days a week and that was better than most, who started at 7.30a.m. and went on till 6p.m. London hadn’t yet begun swinging and decorum was still the rule of the day. I know that things always seem rosier in hindsight and that we only remember the good things. We have selective memories, I know, but I do remember that times were hard and we had to work hard and be responsible no matter how young we were, no leeway was given because you were still wet behind the ears, as they put it. The good old days? Depends on who and where you are right now. I can’t see many young ones swapping the life and technology for what we had then, but give me the simple life every time.

A Bit of History; Sadly none of this exists anymore. John Betjeman fought tooth and nail to save the doric arch at the front, to no avail as it was demolished in the 1960′s.This is what Wikpedia says about it.  “The Euston Arch, built in 1837, was the original entrance to Euston station, facing onto Drummond Street, London. The Arch was demolished when the station was rebuilt in the 1960s, but much of the original stone was later located—principally used as fill in the Prescott Channel—and proposals have been formulated to reconstruct it as part of the planned redevelopment of the station,[1] including the station’s use as the London terminus of the High Speed 2 line.[2]“”

Picture below are from the Daily Mail archives.


euston great archgreat arch before my timegreat hall euston


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 blue blouse two 006

This blouse was super easy and super quick to make. The most time was taken fitting the princess seams, which I had to take in quite a bit. I also brought the front edges in so that it buttoned higher up as the original showed quite a bit of cleavage. Oh, yes, I also drafted new short sleeves as the original pattern had a high, narrow ‘head’ which dated it somewhat. The new sleeves are much more comfortable and I like the smoother head.


Sorry about the dreadfully naff poses, but what do you do with your arms when you don’t want them in the picture? I realise that I have distorted the blouse doing this, but then Kate Moss I’m not!

What about the thrifting? The pattern was a Charity shop find yonks ago. It has £4.25 on it, but it would probably have been 50p – £1 by the time I bought it. This fabric was originally a new single poly cotton sheet, bought still sealed in its wrapping for £3 in a Charity shop. I also bought a new creamy beige one, also still sealed in its wrapping for the same sum. I calculate that you could easily get two tops out of each sheet, making £1.50 per top in fabric.

blue blouse two 008

I used 5 of the above buttons [blue/white polka dots] out of the tube of  30 buttons for £3. [There are some missing in the picture - probably in the drawer, the 30 include the one on the tube cap and of course the 5 on the blouse]. 5 of  these would be 50p, so not counting thread* I spent £2 on this blouse. Pretty cool if you ask me [and it is too].  ** I don’t count patterns and thread, which I would use again and on several projects in the cost of each individual item, whilst of course they have to be bought originally and I do count them in my annual round up of costings.

p.s. I realise that I sometimes mention when posting knitting items without saying where to find them on Ravelry. My Ravelry name is Creatifcrafts.

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Both in post and make with this one. The blouse itself is just a good old standby, short sleeved cotton blouse. The sort that is always a good Summer time staple, quick to make and economic in fabric and a handy go-get to have in the wardrobe. I’ve made it before here.   It is McCalls 2094.

yellow blouse 001

Not the best of places to photograph a blouse I know – but quick!

What I really wanted to do a quick post about is thrifting – one of my favourite past-times. The local charity shop now has a haberdashery shelf of sorts, with used buttons, zips and odd lengths of fabric. I bought two large pieces of this yellow cotton for £1 each.[the colour is actually a deeper sunny yellow than shown] . This blouse also took four yellow’white polka dot buttons that I bought at the White Lion Antique centre and cost £3 for a tube of about 50 small blouse buttons. So I suppose my blouse cost about £1.40. Now that’s  definitely a handy blouse!

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No I blooming well didn’t!!  Although I do love this pattern [Islander Jacket Express] [and this is the third time of making, so far and will not be the last] this particular version was just like sewing a candlewick bedspread. I ordered the fabric from a source that I normally like [and still do] but, ~and it is a big but~, when the fabric arrived I have to admit I had my doubts. It was definitely not what I was expecting. The wale was too wide, hence the candlewick simile, the gold was definitely too gold and it seemed very loosely woven and soft. It clogged up my overlocker and played havoc with my sewing machines, but I still pressed on. I am still not sure the journey was worth it, but I shall wear it, [where I don't know, it might be a bit like wearing wallpaper] but it doesn’t look as bad on as on the dress form I have to say.

sea of jeans 008sea of jeans 010sea of jeans 009

On another note I have been busy making some things I do like and shall wear whenever and wherever. The top here is a knitted DK cotton top called Sea of Jeans designed by Maggie Vremic [pattern on] I have been  wanting to knit this for ages and not got round to it until now. I’ve worn it a couple of times and it fits and is comfortable too. I really like this one.

sea of jeans 001        sea of jeans 002

The ‘A’ line skirt just peeping at the bottom is an old  OOP  pattern, made up in grey/polka dot cotton, which I originally bought for a blouse but found it a bit too heavy for that although still light so I lined it with the silk lining taken from the gifted dirndl skirt from which I made this top blogged here . p.s. I just realised I also used the zip – thrifty or what?

sea of jeans 005sea of jeans 006

I put in tuck/pleats instead of darts to give it a bit more ‘difference’ and it has side seam pockets, always handy in Summer skirts.

sea of jeans 003


Posted in coats and jackets, dressmaking, handmade, knitting, Life a Work In Progress, me-made wardrobe, Sewing, skirts | 2 Comments