Category Archives: Burda Style

The Avoidence Top

I’m not going to lie to you. I have, at this moment, 3 dresses and 2 skirts which I have made which have yet to be photographed and recorded (and therefore they might as well just not exist). That is 5 pieces of clothing I have made recently and have yet to show the world. And I’m working on a sixth! That’s a true story! Now, one of these things is a dress for the wedding I shall be attending next Sunday (Team Jenny’s Wedding! WOOOOOOOO!) but other than that, I have no excuse, let’s be real. And instead of showing you ANY of these things, I’m going to show you the top I whipped up late last night. What can I say, I’m a fairly sick individual.

It’s strange, in real life I’m not an avoider, except of confrontation (sidenote, people always say they shy away from confrontation. Well of-fricking-course they do! Who LIKES confrontation?) but somehow I just don’t like to ask people to take photos of me, and I hate torturing my mother, who has to like me regardless, so it’s hard to get things photographed. However, I am taking all this stuff with me to Chicago for the wedding, so my darling friends ought to prepare themselves for photographer duties. Thanks in advance, Becca and Lisa! Note how I didn’t give you a choice? Yeah, that’s 100% intentional.

In fact, that’s the only way I got the following photos to happen, by strongarming my friend Sarah. Sarah, however, is delightful, and she played along with the whole photography thing excellently. Given the fact that we’ve been friends since we were about 6 years old, I would expect nothing less.

Just a little park shot between apartment showings and shopping sessions! This shirt is a Dixie DIY pattern which sadly has been discontinued. Dixie has since published her Concert T-Shirt pattern, which is adorable, but I actually really wanted to make this one work because I was really on the fence about the last one I made.

What a difference a fabric makes! This is clearly what Dixie had in mind when she drafted this pattern. This light and airy jersey from GirlCharlee is fantastic and perfect for this pattern. Instead of feeling awkward like the last time I used this pattern, I feel chic and breezy, and I love the way the shirt drapes! Fabric, people. It’s a revelation.

This shirt is crazy easy to put together. It took me about 2 hours to cut out and sew, so you know I love something like that. It also only uses a yard of fabric, so it’s basically my new best friend. A shirt ready to wear before I’ve finished watching the late night screening of Common Law? Amazing.

Can we talk a bit more about GirlCharlee? Good LORD the knits there are amazing. A. Maz. Ing. I got 6 yards of amazing knits for 30 dollars. WHAT? Yes. Awesome. I love GirlCharlee.

That’s love all over my face.

I totally cut the front piece upside down. Yes. I did. I don’t care, I really don’t. Still, I find it rather funny.

Sarah REALLY wanted to photograph my chest area.And when she did you can clearly see that these tables don’t want to deal with normalcy. Or gravity. They just want to live upside down. I suppose I must deal with that.

I love it! NO ambiguity, no quibbling, I love this shirt.

Now, back to those other pieces of clothing. Anyone want to photograph me? Anyone? Buller?

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The One Year Later Dress

Life is funny. That might not be the most original statement ever to be made, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true!

You may or may not have noticed some radio silence on my end in the past few days. Sorry about that, folks, I just had to take a bit of a break in the post-me-made madness and deal with my life. Like this benefit I was working on for the theater company for which I work. It’s interesting, a little over a year ago I was working on a benefit as well, but I was in a completely different place in my life, different job, different immediate goals, different stresses, different concerns. Now I’m about to leave my full-time theater job for a summer renting apartments (I’ve already started on that score, for the record) and anticipating, in the not-so-distant future,  a completely different existence then the one I’ve been living for the last few years. Uprooting my life, moving myself and my cat to New York, it’s all a lot, and it’s all coming. However, it’s not coming TOO soon, and for the present, I’m just going to concentrate on the here and now. Sure. Because that’s my style. Living in the present.

Still, I’m going to try, and if I can’t focus on the present, at least I can consider the past. And so, in celebration of the past year and all that has happened, and in celebration of my final event at work, I made this dress:

These photos are a touch yellowy. What can you do, I had my lovely friend Katie take them on the fly in the stairwell outside of the performance venue.

The fabric is yet another piece from my grandmother’s attic. I think my aunt must have bought it in her youth, at least, that’s my mother’s theory, it seems rather 1960’s, don’t you think? Hippie-dippy, as my mother says. Still, I had what seemed like half of a table-cloth or something, and it seemed like enough to make a dress. I used my trusty Burda Dress with Cap Sleeves. I know this pattern gets a lot of hate on the internets, but I have to say, it works for me! Yes, the neckline is a bit wide, but I’m into it, what can I say.The issue really is the waist, it’s a bit low and  it doesn’t fit as snugly as one might hope, but I just belt my many incarnations of this pattern and call it a day.

Part of the fabric had a border, so I cut the bodice carefully from the non-border parts (well, the front, anyway) and then cut the skirt on the border. I folded the skirt into large soft pleats. I like pleats more than gathers these days, because gathers make my hips look huge, and my hips don’t need any aid doing that…

I totally adore this dress. Not every pattern works for every person but this bodice is one of my go-tos and I have to say I wear the hell out of every garment I’ve made with it.

Again, pleats are awesome. See, my not-un-sizable rear looks not-horrible with these pleats!

I hand picked the zipper. Fun fact: I hand-pick all non-invisible zippers. I have a zipper foot. It’s just what I do. I know it’s weird. Don’t judge me.

Katie really liked the idea of me posing seated on the stairs. I can refuse Katie nothing. This looks like I’m posing for a debutant ball. Yeah. Like Puerto Rican Jewish girls become Debs.

Can you guess what my favorite part of this dress is? Can you? CAN YOU?

It’s fo sho the pockets. FO. SHO.

Glamour shot!

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Filed under Burda Style, Clothing, Fabric, Sewing, Vintage

The What’s Up Buttercup Shorts (Me Made May Day 28!)

These really should be called the “What’s Up Iris” Shorts, but that doesn’t rhyme, so it’s dead to me. I normally have more photos for a introducing the world to the garment post, but given how many times I’ve made this pattern (Simplicity 7688, but of course) I feel like maybe that’s not really necessary. And I’m not even going to pretend I’m not going to make more pairs because hell, these shorts are awesome, and they use less then a yard of bottom weight fabric, which is great, because I’m not really sure what to do with that otherwise. See, lighterweight stuff can always become a sorbetto blouse, but what do you do with mid-weight linen? You make shorts!

The fabric is leftover from a project I made for my Mamala. Check it out:

It’s a touch wrinkly because, hello, linen, but it’s the BurdaStyle Shari dress and I think it’s pretty excellent. My mamala thinks so too.

And that’s our house in Puerto Rico! Which my mamala renovated! See, she’s with something she made with something I made! What????!!!!! I know. Minds are blown.

Enough of that, to the shorts!

See, I thought I would have to content myself with mirror shots, but then I sweet talked my mamala into shooting me in the garden, amoung the irises. (Yes, I just said my mother shot me.)

Wow, my hair is the worst. Sigh. It was hot, what can I say. The blouse is my Parque de Palomas Blouse.

I flat felled all the seams because linen frays like whoa, and I hand stitched the hem. Like I do.

My very best Vanna White to show you the wonders of our garden.

In other news, Poirot, who has gotten very little face time here, decided to be all adorable yesterday. It was too much.

Look at that guy. Does he care about my linen shorts? No he does not. And yet I love him. Curious. No human in my life could get away with such a thing.

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Filed under Burda Style, Buttrick Patterns, Challenge, Clothing, Sewing, Simplicity Patterns, Vintage

Me Made May Days 15-19 (All Over The Place)

Boy have the past 5 days been busy! I’m transitioning between jobs, I’ve been showing apartments (Yeah, I’m a real estate agent. It’s fun.) working for the theater company, running all over town, pretending to be a nice friendly person when really I’m fairly evil and dead inside, it’s been crazytown! But don’t worry, I’ve made the time to catch up on Revenge and Community, finish a project (more on that in the days to come), made catnip mice for all four cats in my life, and, of course, watch Law and Order C.I. streaming. Can we talk about Law and Order C.I? It’s 100% my favorite law and order. Mostly because there is almost no court time, just crimes, getting solved, but also because the crime doesn’t ever stop, it keeps going all through the episode, up until the end! It’s amazing. ALSO, all the best people have been on it. Liza Minnelli, Whoppi Goldberg (oh, she was EVIL!), Steven Colbert (also the villain), my friend Krista Apple (she was awesome), everyone! It’s the best. I’m not a huge fan of Chris Noth (though DAMN does he rock on The Good Wife) but Vince D’Onofiro? Yes. Solve all the crimes with eccentric methods and weird stares. I will watch that every day of the week.

ANYway, on to the outfits!

Day 15!

My Wildcard Clovers with a tunic I bought years ago in San Juan. Why am I barefoot? It POURED this day, and I padded about the office in my bare feet as my whole self dried. Biking in the rain. It’s a fun struggle.

Day 16!

Ah, yes. I failed a coerce someone  into taking my photo so I did it myself in the mirror. This skirt is a new one I made, but I haven’t had a chance to do a dedicated post to it. All in due time….

Day 17!

My denim clovers with a never-blogged Men’s shirt refashion! I used Colette Patterns Sorbetto pattern as the base. I actually really adore this blouse. I gots to make more of these. Thanks, Papi, for the shirt!
Day 18!

This was a great day! I had showings all day on Friday, but in the afternoon my showings took me near Spool, so of COURSE I had to go in. The owner,  Amy, graciously took my photo. Look how happy I am! Spool is the best. The dress is my dumb luck dress.

Day 19!

Ah, Saturday. I have other photos of this outfit from this day, but I decided to use this one because of the guy in the back. Thank you, stranger, for your incredibly creepy expression. Stay weird, Philadelphia! This is, of course, my Completely Uncreative Blouse with my Nautical Bias skirt, along with a vintage German souvenir scarf. I wore this showing apartments all day, and then into the afternoon when my mom and I biked to Fishtown and wandered around the Trenton Arts Festival. And what an event it was. From scores of hipsters to craft booths to the firetruck our friend Jeff bought to a mud pit to these organic local strawberries I’m holding, it was a blast. Oh, Fishtown, never change.

So that’s my last couple of days. Oh, and as a bonus, you should know that my pajamas have been me made this WHOLE TIME. I know, blowing your mind.

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Filed under Burda Style, Challenge, Clothing, Colette Patterns, New Look Patterns, Sewing

Me Made May 11, 12 and 13 (skirting the issue)

After a long stretch of pants, the skirts are back!

In my mind, my closet is totally the site of gang warfare. When I close the door the pants and the skirts throw down against each other. They don’t really fight, though, they dance fight. The pants are the Jets and the Skirts are the Sharks and the blouses are like the Cowboys and the dresses are like the Farmers (that’s Oklahoma!, for those who got the obvious West Side Story thing but aren’t as into Rodgers and Hammerstein. Amateurs.)

ANYway, without further whimsical ado, my Me Made May outfits over the weekend:

Day 10!

The blouse is my Fecund by Thrifty Blouse, and I still get more compliments on this then almost anything else I’ve made. The skirt is my Nautical Bias skirt. Man, I have to make more of these, it’s simple and comfortable and goes with everything. And the earrings, which you can barely see, are vintage.  On this day I worked and then met my parents at synogogue and it was randomly a service honoring grandparents and grandchildren which was adorable, if odd to be attending. Then we went out to dinner, and you can see my leftovers in my hand and the glow of wine on my face. I loves wine.

Day 11!

Heh. The skirt is my My Lips Your Lips Tulips Skirt, which looks a little crazyface in this photo, but in real life is actually cute. The shirt is my Blank Canvas Top with the modified neckline. The guy wearing nothing I made is my friend Aubie. I went out to Malvern (and when I say out I mean OUT, it’s very far away) to see Aubie and my friend Emilie (who was also the photographer!) in a production of A Wrinkle In Time. I can honestly say I never really liked the book as a kid, but I did like the play, so maybe the character of Meg Murry gets more tolerable with age.

Day 12!

And for Mother’s Day I dressed up in my Too Hot for Tzaft skirt and made my mom dinner. Seared scallops and grilled fennel and asparagus, if you must know. I also made her a Fenfrew and a tote bag! With houses on it! Because she’s an architect! It was adorable! But I had to share with you another cat-centric shot because for the time being that’s the only mothering I’m prepared to do.

Goodness, we are almost at the halfway point for this month of me-made-moments. How is everyone doing? Anyone need a breather, or some water, or maybe a stiff drink? We’re going to make it, people. I know it.

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Filed under Burda Style, Challenge, Clothing, Simplicity Patterns

Me Made May 7 through 10 (playing catch up)

I realized today that because of my trip to Puerto Rico and my insistance on posting long diatribes for every new garment I make, I’m a bit behind! And I didn’t even get to do a dedicated post for my newest creation, which happens to be the fourth installment in my Spring Palette Challenge! So you are about to see a whirlwind of outfits, and don’t worry about that blouse in there, it’s going to make it’s debut soon, just consider this a preview. Okay, without further ado, Me Made May:

Day 7!

The blouse is a surprise which you shall see sometime in the future, but rest assured, I made it. The pants are my denim clovers. My smile is totally fake, I’m sad to have returned from paradise. Ah, well, all things must pass.

Day 8!

My Wildcard Clovers with an unblogged me-made knit top. My first, in fact, and a rather error ridden thing it is, too, but I still wear it all the time, so whatever. Morse may LOOK like he’s desperate to escape me but REALLY he’s thrilled to be a part of Me Made May.

Day 9!

My Sewing Is Not An Exact Science Clovers with Renfrew #2! I had to work that evening, so I made a co-worker snap a photo before the show.

Day 9!

This day was great because while I had to work and ended up at the gym at 10pm as Parks and Recreation concluded for the season, my new friend Shamus took these photos, and I couldn’t help including two because A. my legs look AMAZING and B. The second one is hilarious.

I made the top, it’s my “Happy Trails by Two Friends” blouse. The rest is purchased, sigh.

Am I growling? You bet I am. At this point Shamus was like “give me your best Melrose!”. Melrose was a character on America’s Next Top Model. Yeah. Kindred spirits, people.

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Knickers In A Twist

So, it’s that special time again, the time that single people and coupled up couples…also hate, I assume. Yes, that’s right, folks, it’s Valentines Time! The big day is just a scant 14 days away and already Etsy and CVS and Godiva have teamed up to make everyone feel bad about themselves at all times. It’s the most wonderful tiiiiiime, of the YEAAAAAR.

Oh, that’s just the bitterness talking. Really, I don’t actually hate Valentine’s day, I think it’s sweet if it’s done in an understated way and HILARIOUS if it’s not. And I look awesome in red, so I don’t really mind the color-scheme. But given that as a single woman I’m entitled to, nay, SUPPOSED to, EXPECTED to hate this holiday, I figure I might as well act the part. Which is a shame, because I’ve been thinking a lot lately about sewing my own unmentionables.

Which brings up two questions. One, as a single person, why am I expected to always be sad and bitter and especially angry about couples? I’m happy for people in relationships, if that’s what they want. I’m especially thrilled for people like my friend Jenny, who is getting married this summer, or my cousin Jessie, who is getting married this spring. Not only are they celebrating their love, but I get to make some new dresses! It’s win win!

And number two, what do you call your undergarments? Underwear? Panties? Knickers? Immortal Enemies? Best Friends? And, perhaps more importantly, would you make your own? Would you make your own slips, your own negligees? Would you, in fact, make your own Valentine’s day/Friday night/Tuesday morning (what? I don’t know your life or your, um, schedule) ensemble?

Now, I’ve made my own pajamas, and even a half-slip for an event, but I’ve been more and more interested in breaking into the world of what-to-wear-under-there. Luckily, BurdaStyle just released a couple of new patterns to that effect including this retro-charmer:

Cute, right? But they have a zipper which is just odd. Who has zip-up underwear? Burda has also released this business:

Which is not exactly my cup of tea but I could see many a woman or daring drag queen rocking it. They actually made 9 bedtime inspired patterns, and why any person needs a boudoir bolero escapes me. But apparently they do, and you can see all 9 patterns here.

I recently bought a few downloadable patterns off of Etsy, too, from the lovely Anna Depew, who blogs at A Few Threads Loose and offered a sew along based on these patterns:

Is it weird that I really want to make myself tap pants? Maybe I just like the NAME, tap pants? But really, I’m sure I would wear them with everything. All the time. Of course.

And there is a matching slip/camisole. But say you don’t want to spend any money? Personally, I never want to spend any money. Well, then you have this amazing slip pattern/sewalong from Sherry at Patterns Scissors Cloth (clearly I love this woman, I keep linking back to her, she’s just inspirational and helpful, why isn’t everything in my life like that?)

Behold, the Ruby slip. It’s a FREE PATTERN.  Actually, in these shades it looks spot on, as Sherry might say, (she lives in New Zealand, they say that there, right?)  for Valentine’s Day, but you could also go with classic cream or chartreuse or cerise, whatever. Life is about choices.

But really, if we want to get right down to it, there is also underwear. And I found a world of tutorials and patterns of how to make your own.

This one from Drumbellina has a host of cute illustrations. This FREE PATTERN from BurdaStyle is mighty cheeky. And this classic layout teaches you how make a hanty (panty from a hankerchef. If I didn’t hate the word panty so much I might find it cute.)

The question is, should I? Would you? Is it worth it? Honestly, it might be the most cost effective sewing possible, you can cut up old t-shirts, make cute undergarments out of mere 1/4 of a yard of nice knits and luxurious stretch silks and laces, and really be able to make your own outfit, from the foundations on up. So, what do you think? Would you get your knickers in a twist? Or make a slip? Or join me in tap pants adoration? Or do you leave that the professionals at Victoria’s Secret? Discuss.

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Filed under Burda Style, Clothing, Inspiration, Refashion, Sewing