Tag: Burdastyle magazine

Burdastyle #130 10/2013 Coat Muslin

This year I thought I’d give coat-making another go and chose this pattern.

Burdastyle #130 10/2013 coat pattern
Burdastyle #130 10/2013 coat pattern

I chose this because:

1 – The pattern is in short sizes 17-21.

Burdastyle has two pattern sizing charts – size 34-52 designed for women height 168cm and short fitting sizes 17-26 for women height 160cm. I’m 162cm, so short sizing – CHECK!

2 – According to Burdastyle this coat pattern is designed for women with small busts and wider hips – so again – CHECK!

3 – Burdastyle also recommends using a patterned stripe fabric and I’m using this:-

'Chanel' wool coating fabric
‘Chanel’ wool coating fabric

So again – CHECK!

I bought this fabric at this year’s autumn Hollander Stoff Market in Karlsruhe, Germany and the vendor assured me that it’s by designer, Chanel. Not sure if this is really true but the guy who told me this does have designer fabrics so maybe it is, but either way, I really like it.

I’d decided to replace the hook and eye fastenings used in the pattern for a double ended zip because for a winter coat, that just makes more sense to me.

Stripe 'Chanel' wool coating fabric with zip options
Stripe ‘Chanel’ wool coating fabric with zip options

So far so good! I thought I’d hit upon a perfectly designed pattern for me and my fabric.

The thing I was wary about was the gathering on the skirt. How would that work in thick wool, I wondered?

I thought it wise to do a coat muslin first and thanks to a tip from Crab and Bee , this old bed sheet has now been reborn!

old bed sheet used to make coat muslin
old bed sheet used to make coat muslin

But check out that gathering! Words fail me! Next time, I’m going to ignore the model pictures in Burdastyle magazine because on one page the model is wearing the coat for shorties (height 160cm/5ft 3ins) and on the other page she’s wearing a top designed for taller women (height 176cm/5ft 9ins) and she looks good in both! Go figure!

I include the following shot for your entertainment only!


l know, I know, I look like an extra from the Harrison Ford movie ‘Witness’!

And just to tickle your funny bones even more, here’s a back shot!

P1280371So happy now that I only subjected an old bed sheet to this and not my precious wool!

On the upside, the fit of the bodice is quite good so I’ve cut the extra peplum pattern pieces to make this jacket instead:-

Burdastyle #129 10/2013
Burdastyle #129 10/2013

Only question now is, do I still use the same fabric, bearing in mind that I have just less than three metres of it? Or do I use that for another longer coat and if so, which pattern?

I think this wool would be nice as this jacket and maybe I could squeeze a skirt out of what’s left.

What do you think? I’d be very grateful for suggestions, thanks!

Baby, it’s cold outside! Coat Review Burdastyle #103 10/2012

P1280316It’s minus ridiculous degrees here and like lots of other blogging sewists in the northern hemisphere, I’m turning my sewing attention to outerwear and warm and cosy things!

This is a wrap coat that I made last year from Burdastyle pattern #103 10/2012.

Burdastyle #103 10/2012
Burdastyle #103 10/2012

You need a double-sided fabric or at least a fabric with a decent looking reverse side to make this unlined coat because the reverse of the fabric shows on the huge collar. I used a dense, slightly felted wool knit fabric that I found at the Hollander Stoff Market and even though I needed the best part of three metres to make this, the coat is still lightweight.

Coat worn with hand-knitted cowl from
Coat worn with a cowl that I knitted

The construction of the coat was relatively easy. The only challenging part for me was hemming around the outer edge and getting the mitered corners finished off nicely. A quick check of my ‘Reader’s Digest – Complete Guide to Sewing’ on mitering soon remedied that though – it’s easy when you know how!

Side-seam pockets
Side-seam pockets

The pattern has some nice design features such as the side in-seam pockets and front shaping darts.

In-seam side pockets and collar
In-seam side pockets and collar

As is often the case for me with Burdastyle, the sizing was a bit generous. This is the smallest size 36 and the fit is ok on the shoulders, but I feel this style swamps my smaller frame. I didn’t alter anything, although the sleeves need shortening by a good five centimetres – I’ve just got them turned in here.

widen self fabric belt
widen self fabric belt

I’m not satisfied with the self fabric belt either – I think widening it would make it look better, it just isn’t balanced as it is.

I hope I’ll have better luck next time! I’m finishing off a coat muslin that I’ll post later this week.

Have you made a coat this winter? Are you happy with how it turned out?

Tiered maxi skirt Burdastyle 3/2013 #122 and #123

So far I’ve had a fairly productive sewing summer although I haven’t blogged too much about it. Autumn’s now looming so I thought I better cram in some pattern reviews of my summery makes before it gets too late. But where do I start?

I’ve made more skirts and tops than dresses and I’ve decided to go back to the beginning and start there because there have been some lessons learnt along the way with the progression of the patterns which may be useful to pass on. So let’s start with this maxi skirt pattern from Burdastyle magazine 3/2013.

Burda linen maxi skirt

This is pattern #122 from 3/2013 Burdastyle.  It’s a maxi skirt pattern with a fitted yoke and side seam pockets and a tiered part on the bottom of the skirt attached with a piped seam.

I made the skirt out of three metres of linen that I bought from my favourite online fabric shop ‘Anita Pavani natural fabrics’ in Germany (see my ‘European Insider Top Tips’ for more details of the shop).

My fabric is soft and not too heavy but I would warn that the suggested fabrics for the pattern are ‘lightweight, softly draping skirt fabrics’ which my medium weight linen wasn’t really.  With three metres of it hanging there, as you can imagine it can feel a bit heavy!  This turned out well in the spring when it was still on the chilly side and a bit of extra coverage was welcomed but I haven’t worn it over the summer.  If you do go with linen, I would suggest using the lightest crepe type of linen that you can find.

One of the consequences of my needlessly heavy fabric choice was that the skirt pulls down a bit and I cut out the pattern size according to my measurements which I matched up to the Burdastyle size chart but the yoke was too loose and I can only wear it with a belt now. So for my next attempt I made up the smallest size and now the yoke fits snugly.

The pattern came together fairly easily although I did struggle with the inseam side pockets and side zip combo.  I’ve sorted this out now – it finally all clicked with a skirt pattern I did after this – you have to attach the zip to the edge of the pocket but more about that later.

The bottom tier was a nice way to finish the skirt off because it is basically just a big strip folded in half along the bottom of the skirt encasing the raw lower edge of the main body of the skirt and eliminating the need for hemming.  Not sure whether it was necessary to hand-make the piping that is sandwiched between this seam though – even though I did do it.  If I made it again, I would probably omit this or use ready made piping out of sheer laziness!

This skirt was my warm-up for this tiered maxi skirt #123 which I made out of three metres of Liberty Art Fabrics tana lawn cotton that I bought online at Shaukat in London, UK.

Burdastyle 03/2013 #123 maxi skirt

I’m really pleased with this skirt but it required a marathon sewing effort to make it!

It’s got the easiest sewing rating in Burdastyle aimed at a novice sewer and while there aren’t any complicated techniques needed to make it, it is worth noting that that bottom tier is four and a half metres long and needs to be gathered before it is sewn and then hemmed and I did French seams and that was a LOT of sewing!  Like cramp-inducing sewing – just keeping the foot pedal pressed to the floor for all those metres was enough to put me off sewing for a very long time.  You could maybe weight your foot pedal down with a heavy book or something and go off, have a relaxing cup of tea, come back and maybe your seam would be just about finished!


I made a couple of adjustments to the basic pattern.

Firstly I lined the whole thing with more of my organic natural coloured cotton batist from www.lebenskleidung.com.  I did this because the Liberty tana lawn is lightweight and can be a bit see-through and also to extend the life of my skirt.  It was easy to do, I just cut all the pattern pieces out in the lining fabric and sewed them up as instructed in the main skirt instructions and then attached the Liberty skirt and lining together at the upper edge of the first tier.

I added in-seam side pockets.

P1230040   in-seam pockets

I also French seamed all the seams.


Overall I’m really happy with the skirt.  It’s a nice simple pattern which results in a twirl-worthy multi-purpose maxi skirt that is equally happy dressed up or down.  Just be prepared for some long distance sewing and check the sizing of your yoke first as I found the pattern to have a generous amount of ease.

Can you recommend any maxi skirt patterns?  I’d love to hear about them.

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