Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Burda adventure. Or lamentation.

I've bought maybe three Burda magazines in my entire life. I looked at the modeled pictures of the finished garments, thought some of them were cute, got the delusion I could make some of that stuff and then opened the pattern 'thing' - a piece of folded paper as big as my entire apartment, filled with a bunch of interlocking lines - and gave up. 

But as it turns out, Burda also publishes a simpler edition, for those of us who don't want to spend an entire day sitting on the floor looking at a bunch of lines, whispering 'where is it' and slowly going crazy while trying to find the pattern we want to make. 

Enter Burda Easy. Each pattern on it's own part of the giant paper. I was very happy when I found that. I chose the German version because I speak German (the alternative was Italian, which I totally forgot).  I chose the only pattern for a pair of shorts that was in the magazine. It was high waist, but the model was working it, so why couldn't I. 

Image from

So I got the Burda, got some fabric I bought ages ago for a bag but never used and my super awesome knowledge of the German language - I was all set.

BUT THEN! As it turns out, I don't speak Burda German. At all. The detailed instructions for a simple pair of shorts that were supposed to be easy gave me so much grief you wouldn't believe. Freaking German and its composite words. I re-read everything at least ten times and still only got maybe half of it. Some of these words aren't even in the dictionary, okay? So I said: whatever, let's take some measures and cut the fabric. 

It turned out I'm between sizes - big butt, small waist. I chose the larger size, cut everything, ironed it out, and went back to reading the step-by-step instructions before sewing everything together. Spent more time reading than actually sewing.

Successfully managed to sew two back pockets and install a side pocket. Made darts on the pant fronts and backs. Managed to sew a not-so-invisible invisible zipper. Sewed the pants together. Sewed a top border, folded it down and attached it to the zipper sides. And then I tried it on. 

The pants were too big in the waist. As it was to be expected. I had to rip out the top border and adjust the darts to make it fit better around my waist. It wasn't enough, but I left it as it was - had I taken it more in, I wouldn't have been able to pull the pants over my ass.

Final steps included figuring out how to use the blind hem stitch on my machine to hem the pant legs. Haven't quite mastered that, the stitches show on the front a bit too much

But all in all, after a day and a half I managed to produce my first garment made from a Burda pattern - a pair of high-waist shorts too wide in the waist area, made out of material that matches absolutely nothing in my closet.

But still, I'm pretty proud of myself. Maybe now I can try to sew something from the 'real Burda'. 

Are you ready for pictures? 

Maybe a belt?

Belt, definitely.
Yes, the zipper is blue. It's the only one I had.
This pocket is the straightest thing I've ever sewn.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It was a nice day for a...

... white wedding. 
Not mine, just so we're clear. A friend got married, I was only the creative committee. That explains my absence from the blog for the past month or so. I've been busy making ring pillows, confetti pouches and was generally up to my neck in red and white ribbons and fabrics. 

So let's see what I made. First up - confetti. It's a custom in Croatia to hand out decorated confetti at weddings. The confetti themselves are just almonds in a rock-hard white sugar shell. They're really disgusting to eat, so nobody actually eats them, they just end up gathering dust on a shelf or in a drawer of the wedding guest. Confetti are a kind of a way of saying 'thank you for coming to our wedding'.

The bride, Ana, chose the colors red and white, and wanted roses,  so I went from there. I borrowed something from various creative magazines and images of other confetti I found online, and finally ended up with this: 

The bride and groom chose the quote, it's from the Bible, Genesis 2:24: For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. Not what I would have chosen, but it's not my wedding, ad thus not my place to comment. 

I made 90 of them. It took forever. Made me realize I'm not one for mass production. And that it's highly unlikely I'll ever be making confetti again. 

Next up - the ring pillow. I couldn't decide on the concept, so I made them two. They chose the first one. 


The fabric is satin. Slippery. Hard to work with. And delicate. I had to tape pieces together with scotch tape before sewing. It's highly unlikely I'll be working with satin again. 

So, now that the wedding is done, I'm free to do some knitting. I don't know what, but it has to be with yarn from my stash. This summer will be stash summer. I mean it. Really. No more yarn until I use up the stuff I have. Yeah, even as I'm typing this I know I'll fail in my determination and buy some bright colorful cotton. Damn. ;)