from the jazz age to the space age

Category Archives: burda

It’s summer and I have a baby, so that means that like it or not, there’s a lot of sitting involved. I decided to revisit the glorious train wreck that is Once Upon a Time. I got hooked on it a few years ago and it remains my favorite guilty tv pleasure. The acting is mostly good and in some cases very good/spectacular- Robert Carlyle clearly acts rings around everyone, going from manic to menacing to tender in the blink of an eye. But the writing suffers from one of my least favorite narrative devices- telling instead of showing.
Seasons 1 and 2 are delightful. Imagine Dynasty and Dallas where everyone is magical. ZOMG! Beginning with season 3 and going forward the writers seem to just churn out stories with some new novelty and forget about developing the characters we’re (supposedly) invested in. Season 4 in particular was a nearly complete waste until the very last midseason episode. Luckily the second half of season 4 picked up a little.
Seasons 1 and 2 also have some of the best costuming. I’m not talking about the Enchanted Forest scenes, which are pure Alexis Carrington run through Drag Race- in the best way possible. No, I’m talking about what they wear in Storybrooke, which is a twee girl’s fantasy.

Mary Margaret Blanchard is werkin’ the Amelie vibe so hard! Of course I love it.
number 1- buy a cardigan in every color. Every. Color.


I frequently page through my collection of Burda Magazines late at night and play dress up in my head. Can you tell I made a lot of paper dolls when I was a child… and a teen… and still. Anyway, Burda seems to have some holes in their pattern collections. I couldn’t find a simple shell with a lace inset collar. Obviously you can make one, which is what I’ll probably do. I don’t get paid by Burda, this is just because I love their patterns and find them incredibly reliable. But, I don’t spend much time on their website anymore since it turned into Craftsy.

I’ve recently figured out that the sewing world has changed enormously in the last couple of years- and not in a way that interests me. There are a lot of beginner seamstresses, which is great, but as a result there’s a trainload of money to be made is in simple, beginner patterns. And that’s trickled into every pattern company, including Burda. Along with the current fashion trend of simple shapes paired with expensive fabric this has resulted in the same ultra simple patterns all over the internet. It’s not that I hate simple. I just made a shift out of quilting cotton for crying out loud. But I’m definitely suffering from samey pattern fatigue. So, I’m consoling myself with my stack of magazines. These however I pulled from their website bc I’m not up for scanning everything.OUAT1x03_1838




plus blouse

I’m so into this outfit. I love the shoes. I used to have 2 pairs of lace ups that unfortunately wore out over the course of 15 years. I’m currently on the hunt for replacements. And how hot was Graham? He was on some British show I tried watching with Gillian Anderson, but I decided watching serial killers with my kid was a bad idea. 117A_tech_dwg_large



plus pants

OUAT1x06_0855 OUAT1x06_1068So many cardigans, right? Anyway, this was my least successful Burda find. While I enjoy a mandarin collar, i thought it was weird that there weren’t more sleeve options. I like the skirt pleats though. I’m so in love with both of the plus dresses.Jan_109_tech_drawing_large

shirt dress


plus shirt dress


plus 40s style shirt dress


Have I mentioned how much I hate pockets on dresses? Or anywhere on the lower half of my body. I think I’ve sewn one things with pockets and they were totally decorative. Oh- they work. You could put items in them, but never in a million years would I actually do that. Probably bc I don’t want to look like my saddlebags are giving birth to my keys. Anyway, this dress has been on my “easy make” radar since the issue came out. I love the Dior darts.117b_c_tech_dwg_large

strap dress


plus strap dress

This one was impossible to find! It’s such a basic design that it seems weird that it wouldn’t exist. But I’m thinking that since most plus women are rectangular or ovoid with waists close to their bust measurement that maybe it’s not a popular style? I do know that the plus sized women I know in real life won’t be caught dead in a dirndl skirt, so maybe there’s that too.

I’m not going to make any of these anytime soon, esp since I already have my Autumn sewing plan. But I do love to day dream. Between Mary Margaret in season 1 and Belle in season 2, I have lots of clothes pr0n to ogle ;D

Ugh- procrastination over!

Screencaps from

My son Karl just graduated from Preschool and I wanted something special to wear as well as something to wear with the Twin Peaks collar necklace I made last year. I found this lovely geometric fabric at Joanne’s in the quilting section. I washed it a couple of times and it got very soft, which is pretty standard for most quilting cottons I’ve gotten there. It’s thin enough to be breathable in summer, but thick enough that I didn’t have to line it or wear a slip. Here it is on the morning before we left for the ceremony. photo (6)

photo (7)

And here we are after. I’m so proud of him! Yes, I’m a little wrinkled post sitting and socializing. Plus with a belt it has a tendency to creep upward, but all in all it’s very comfortable and easy to wear.

IMG_3939 IMG_3940I added cuffs and a sleeve pleat from a Burda Easy pattern. I wanted an early 80s look with the shoulders which I think worked out nicely. I’m one of those broad shouldered women with even broader hips (Hello Joan Crawford!) so a strong shoulder balances me out nicely and makes me look less pear and more hourglass shaped.




I used the Built By Wendy Shift pattern from her Dresses book and swapped in the sleeve head from Burda Easy Spring/Summer 2013 (one of Burda’s best issues in my opinion).IMG_3950Given that I’m 35″ bust and 41″ hip post baby, with a few more pounds and LOTS of toning to go, I should have cut a Small bust and a Large hip, but I like my clothes slightly more fitted & in my experience most modern patterns have loads of ease. Loooooooaaaaaaads of it. I used the Xtra Small through the bust and graded out to a Medium in the hips, which ended up being totally unnecessary and I ended up with a Small through the hips ( which is bonkers).

IMG_3951As for the sleeves, I used the Built By Wendy sleeve and added the Burda Easy sleeve cap. It turned out perfectly!

I added an invisible zipper, which took forever for me to remember how to put one in, but eventually it worked out. The insides are just pinked so there’s no fancy finishing to show off and instead of a facing I used bias tape for the neckline, which reduced bulk.

Now I’m off to the store and hopefully I’ll be able to get some drawing done this afternoon~


September 24th is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s birthday. I have to admit, one of the joys of reading Fitzgerald are his abhorrent characters. Everyone is so rich, so pithy, so good looking, and above all else so fucking blond that they make me sick. And then Fitzgerald lets them have it. All of their darling vices overwhelm them, crippling or destroying them. I find it embarrassingly satisfying. Pure literary schadenfreude. I’m not going to lie, I’ve hate read, “Beautiful and Damned” far too many times, gripping the pages and mentally punching every character. But then I get to the end and think, “that was good. That was justice. I love you Scotty.” He’s one of my top five authors and I find his life is as interesting as his work.


Gerald and Sara Murphy were socialites and friends of the Fitzgeralds- scratch that- they were friends of everybody. If you love the mood and time period of the 1910s through the 1930s, you’ll find this book endlessly fascinating. Spoiler- just like Fitzgerald’s characters, they have a terrible end.



I freely admit I love Zelda as much as her husband. Don’t believe Hemingway. She was magnificent. Scott plundered her diaries for his heroines, including Nicole Diver of “Tender is the Night.” When she had a chance to read the finished book, she felt so betrayed she had another breakdown.


Scott, sans Zelda, in Hollywood. The events that inspired his unfinished masterpiece, “The Last Tycoon.”511l-DngUML

Annnnnd Hemingway’s posthumous fuck you to everyone he knew. From slyly referring to the nameless Murphys as “the understanding rich” who were determined to corrupt his talent to exposing Scott Fitzgerald’s small penis, this book is a non stop shit talking fest with poor Ernest at the center just trying to be so darned authentic and write really good books. Take it with a grain of salt and enjoy Hemingway’s vigorous writing style.
And if you’re feeling the bug to live out your inner flapper, dig in to some of the books above, make a gin & tonic (try Bombay Sapphire. It’s amazing.) and lounge around in your decadent drop waisted dress. Here are some Burda patterns that are in a 1920s style.

From Burdastyle 11/2010thumb_800x600_10-4 thumb_800x600_10-5

From Burdastyle 7/2012thumb_800x600_10-1 thumb_800x600_10

From Burdastyle 4/2011thumb_800x600_10-6

From Burdastyle 6/2012thumb_800x600_10-3

From Burdastyle 4/2011

And yes, I can Charleston.

I’m pretty excited, I won “Doodle Stitchery” by Aimee Ray in a Burdastyle give-a-way! I love simple embroidery and have been wanting to decorate some towels for our kitchen, but as usual, I haven’t been able to decide what to do. This book provides plenty of inspiration. I have to admit, Space themed dish towels are appealing right now due to all the Star Trek: The Next Generation we’ve been watching.

Doodle Stitchery


mermaid and octopus!
the final frontier!
garden gnome and matryoshka!

I had the pleasure of seeing Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows. And yes, it’s very current Tim Burtony with all of the good and bad that goes with that. The good is that the movie has a lovely painterly aesthetic, without the cgi blurriness of his Alice. There’s still cgi in Dark Shadows, but it’s not as overwhelming (until the end). The bad is that it needed an editor in a couple of scenes (such as the end) that wanted to be “Mars Attacks so-bad-it’s-good” but were instead, just bad. Of course there’s no coherent plot, but after all this time if you’re still watching a Tim Burton film looking for plot then you deserve to be disappointed. Visuals are where he excels, and he mostly delivers. After some opening plot- that will also be all the plot you’ll get for the next 2 hours (until? yes, the end. Not the end-end, which was good, but the almost end. Ugh.)- we have the lovely visual above: a train winding its way through autumnal New England while the Moody Blues, “Nights in White Satin” plays. And since I’m super into autumn trees, I’m pretty much set for the film. But then the real star shows up: Colleen Atwood’s costumes. Do you like 60s/70s bohemia? Troubadours? Barbara Hulaniki’s Biba? Then sit back and enjoy the clothes prOn.

click on pics to enlarge~
No joke, I thought it was, “Knights in White Satin,” and had something to do with courtly love a la, the Rolling Stones, “Lady Jane.” Nope. Totally fooled by those troubadour shirts that the band wore in my imagination. Anyway, how cute is her coat?
Close up of the adorable cloak/coat.
There will be a follow up post regarding Michelle Pfeiffer’s amazing hair. In the meantime check out that gorgeous green and plum print! She’s also wearing macrame owl earrings!
I love the keyhole neckline on Victoria’s dress.
Michelle Pfeiffer/Elizabeth Collins Stoddard killing it.
Adorable jabot. I actually have a pattern from my Grandma with a similar look.
Victoria Winters bears a striking resemblance to Elizabeth…

Helena Bonham Carter as Dr Julia Hoffman wearing vintage Biba

HBC busy being awesome.

Johnny Depp as Barnabus Collins. He was pretty funny and definitely enjoyable. Also, his cloak/coat is gorgeous (and actually dark green). His Lugosi crossed with Orlock vampire worked for me visually. He was just handsome enough to be… well, handsome, and just gross enough to be awesome. His hands in particular are delightful. He wears prosthetics and seems to enjoy using the skills he picked up on Ed Wood of hypnotic vampire fingers.


c20vintagefashion, felicelog, joblo, newsie_nympho screencaps

various patterns from Burdastyle if you’re inclined to create your own romantic 60s/70s style.

well, it pains me to write it because I’m a total Burda fanatic, but the Burda Classics issue was a bust.

As you can see, the problem with the patterns is that they lack both vintage fit and vintage details. I have a number of Burda patterns with far more detail and much better cut. Few patterns would be fine, but who buys a vintage inspired pattern collection for shapeless styles? 3 of the 5 jackets have very little shaping. And I love pencil shirts, but how hard would it have been to throw in a raised waistband variation? I do realize that 16 patterns for $10 is a steal, so I’m not complaining too much, but I am disappointed. The retro inspired features in Burda’s monthly magazines are some of their best designs. August/2012 retro Chanel/1940s mash up was beautiful! 9/2012 retro 60s and  70s designs were endlessly inspiring and useful. Sigh.
And the dresses give us the choice of super generic LBD and frankly out of place wrap dress.

The faux fur short jacket is cute, but the Chanel inspired jacket is bulky looking in the arms.

The Yves Saint Laurent inspired group was hit or miss, but I did like that they used a mature model. This particular jacket pattern is nice.

beyond in love with Burda’s April patterns. Everything is so retro-tastic that i can barely handle it. You know Joan Holloway {i refuse to call her Harris} would look amazing in this.

cream colored dress? why yes i will indulge my inner Betty Draper-Francis.

a Jane Sterling special.

It’s even in Peggy Olson’s signature mustard yellow gold.

Megan Draper would totally rock these shorts, even if they are ridiculous in leather. really? leather? in the summer? riiiiiiiight, maybe in post apocalyptic Australia. 

for the record, i think this shirt is hideous, but the model and scarf are so lovely i just had to include it.

alright, so Maria Callas wasn’t Italian, but she had a marvelous, very Italian style and she fucking Owned La Scala in the 50s. And yes Sicily is only sort of Italy. As a proud 1/4 Sicilian chock full of viking, moorish, and jewish blood (the last two forcibly converted in the 12th century) i’ve heard it all, so let’s just get along and delight in the pretty pictures. 
First of all, i’d like to state that i wish designers and magazines would hire plus models so we could have greater variety in high fashion editorials.

The opening pictures are from my copies of Burdastyle Magazine (a sewing magazine full of patterns) 04/2012 and 05/2012. What’s interesting, and maybe not in a good way, is that these patterns are for sizes 34-44 and 44-52. The larger numbers are “plus” sizes. Now take a look, can you find the plus size model? Now, plus size models are much smaller than ready to wear plus sizes, but this plus model, while very beautiful, doesn’t really show how these clothes will even sort look on their intended audience. In fact, she’s a dead ringer for my body and i wear a 38. It’s disingenuous, to say the least, for Burda to use my body type and size to represent plus sizes. 
What’s up? Is it just the plight of the shrinking model? Is it due to Crystal Renn’s influence? Crystal Renn became famous as a small plus who modeled in both plus campaigns and high fashion editorials. Now that she has shrunk her hips to 36″ she’s sits in an interesting position between the two places a model can find work. And by all reports that’s exactly what she wanted. She’s been very vocal about wanting to demolish modeling barriers, which i think is great. But is this the fallout?
But back to the pictures- clothes are produced to fit certain measurements and so models are supposed to be those measurements so when they get to the shoot, they’ll fit into them. So i understand that one model shows up at the industry standard for mainstream modeling, 32″-24″34″ (although this model looks a tiny bit fuller) and ok, but how the fuck did a plus model show up looking 35″ 28″-38″ and fit into those clothes which should have been sewn a few inches larger? As in 38″-30″-40″ at the very very smallest. That’s not really very fair. Like i said, the model is beautiful, but why not put her in a straight size Burda editorial? 
Of course, ideally there’d be a mix of body types from 34″ to 50″ hips and varying heights and ethnicities. Don’t get too excited, they’d still have incredibly symmetrical faces, glorious skin, and be far better looking than us, but i’d hardly begrudge them for that. Even good looking people have to pay the rent. I don’t know. It’s a mystery.

fashion- and fashionable people- always strikes me as being rather silly. style and stylish people on the other hand… fill me with delight, which is rather silly too, but what’s a person to do?
Alfred Hitchcock was, strangely, someone with an unerring eye toward female style. While Edith Head was Hitch’s favorite costume designer, he was apparently very vocal about what his heroines could and could not wear on screen.

I first saw “The Birds” when i was little kid, probably far too little to be watching something like that, though i didn’t end up with a bird phobia or anything. My mother actually has a fear of birds- not caused by this movie- but definitely aggravated by it. Her doctor is going to have a ball figuring that one out for her.

In their september 2009 issue {09/2009}, Burda Magazine ran sewing patterns inspired by Hitchcock’s famous film style.

i love the clipped lapels on this jacket. 

this jacket and skirt are classic and modern. i love the swinging Jackie Kennedy look.
this dress is easily my favorite of the bunch. it has both a 1940s Notorious Ingrid Bergman feel, but it could also, just as easily be a futuristic Blade Runner Rachel style dress. 
i think the styling alone sells this for me. My grandmother had a set of black pearls she got when she lived in various islands in the Pacific.  

Hitchcock inspired Vogue fashion editorial photographed by Mario Testino. Fashion Editor- the divine Grace Coddington.

yes, that is Pierce Brosnan. 

oh hey, i’m the heroine bc i’m rich and blonde. 
gurl, you shoulda bleached your hair bc shit is gonna get real. {alas, events bode ill for any brunette who dares show her face in Hitchcock’s films.}
Hitchcock wants me to do what? … and this is why i smoke. {Tippi Hedren had a small breakdown after filming a particularly grueling scene.}

screenshots via~ screenshotworld

also check out beadinggem~ birds movie inspired jewelry photoshoot

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again”
These pages have been on permanent display on my small easel for inspiration. i find the colors and micro patterns endlessly inspiring, art wise. And they remind of of one of my favorite movies when i was a child, Alfred Hitchcock’s, “Rebecca.” I instantly identified with the shy, plain, nameless, “Darling” who spent her days trying to not fuck everything up and sketched costumes in her off hours.
I think this skirt, which sits at waist, is to die for. The delicate tie neck blouse is pretty dreamy too. She looks like she’s ready to solve a murder! or cover one up- yaknowhatimean?!
{sizes 34-42}

“I’ll make a bargain with you,” she said. “You’d look rather foolish trying to divorce me now after four days of marriage. So I’ll play the part of a devoted wife, mistress of your precious Manderley. I’ll make it the most famous showplace in England if you like. Then, people will visit us and envy us, and say we’re the luckiest, happiest, couple in the country. What a grand show it will be! What a triumph!” 

the cruel and beautiful Rebecca wears a pretty silk robe- a good case of a simple pattern to show off beautiful fabric.
{sizes 44-52}

Happiness is something I know nothing about.”

ok, i hate the skirt simply bc i look terrible in elastic waisted skirts like this. But, i love the photo. From the stiff pose, to the colors, to the amazing wallpaper. I wish i’d painted this~ except i would have given her a much better skirt. And i’m guilty of loving sandals and socks. 

{sizes 34-42}

“No, it’s not too late. You’re not to say that. I love you more than anything in the world. Oh, please Maxim, kiss me please.”

so this is dicey too. Love the color and material. Love the neckline. Hate the elastic waist. the difference between my waist and hips is 11″. That’s just too much without darts. Darts are my friend and i’ve been sewing them into my skirts since i was 18. 

{sizes 34-42}

“Rebecca” still haunts me to this day. I wonder if Beauty and the Beast syndrome is born or acquired? i’ve always loved moody, possessive men who are devoted to me. And when their devotion lagged, well, that’s what breaking up was for. When i met my husband he was the ideal person i’d been searching for~ goofy, sweet, devoted and worshipful, but also moody and difficult to please~ a great bear of a man who hoped i loved him. i did and we lived happily ever after. 

As usual, these are from an old issue old Burda Magazine 😀

herge, how do i love your creations? Tintin, Milou/Snowy, Captain Haddock, Thompson and Thomson, Professor Calculous, and of course Loch Lomand whiskey!
Herge’s beautiful style, known as ligne claire {the clear line}, is instantly recognizable. I plan to post and discuss Herge and his work at a later point, but today we have fashion inspired by Herge’s Tintin. what? yes, you read that right. Burdastyle Magazine, in their continuing quest to ignite clothing envy and hope in my heart published these patterns in their december 2011 issue. I plan to sew my heart out, cuddle up with my own Captain Haddock, and toss down a few whiskeys~
adorable trench for the girl and an adorable dog- though not a white wire fox terrier like Milou/Snowy- who is wearing a dapper dog coat of his own.
there’s even a pattern for the dog coat!

the rolled up jeans, arglye socks, and oxfords are a wonderful twist on gamine style.
collars made from men’s suiting for your dapper dog or a bustopher jones style cat about town. 
i don’t know if it’s a side product of being tall, but i love too short trousers. i used to get teased for looking like i was waiting for the flood but really, i like the style. My husband does too. his slightly too short pants were one of the first things i noticed. wes anderson agrees and approves.
Tintin wears “plus fours” which are essentially knickers that end 4 inches below rather than at the knee. i love the modern ungathered version here. 
 this dog is killing me!
a couple of pages from “Destination Moon.” 
right click & open in a new tab to read. Just whiskey Capt. Haddock? A man after my own heart!
i have to say i hope the movie is popular enough to introduce a new generation to Tintin’s adventures. By turns brainy, silly, and serious the Adventures of Tintin are smarter and funnier tales than most children or adults come in contact with. They are true adventures to delight both young and old. 
{patterns are available in the 12/2011 issue of Burdastyle Magazine or individually through burda german and burda english}

did you know the orient express still exists? i didn’t. i was sure it had gone the way of the dodo. unfortunately {actually fortunately}, due to cheaper airfare it no longer goes to Istanbul, its original destination, and instead ends in venice*. check out their site. it’s nuts. they have animations to show you how the cabins transform into sleepers and gorgeous vaguely retro styled photos of rich people with decent taste. it’s pretty dreamy. so, if you have $5600 dollars burning a hole in your pocket {for 2 people}- not counting airfare- then i envy you.

in the event that you’re a little more like me, well, here are some patterns from burdastyle magazine to aid you in fashioning your own pretend holiday. and no, i don’t think there’s anything wrong with fixing your living room up to look like a train cabin. nothing-at-all.

steward, please get me a gin. on the rocks.

what luggage? i’m a woman of mystery. 
yeah, i’m going to cruise around these gorgeous cobblestone streets in my rad 1930s/1970s outfit. uncomfortable? not at all- it’s like walking on a cloud. 

ummm, no. i was not Yves Saint Laurent’s muse, but only bc he never met me.

it’s fake fur. please don’t spray me with paint and inadvertently ruin my trousers. it took a couple weeks to make them. bias cut insets don’t sew themselves ladies. amirite?!?!

and if you are lucky enough to take a trip on the orient express, let’s hope you don’t get snowed in. {via so classic screencaps}
*the current “orient express” has many trains and hotels world wide}

brrrrr!!! 39 degrees F here in socal! i swear the bay area was warmer. i have a theory the cloud cover kept us insulated. anyway, these burda patterns are so lovely, so romantic, i want to wrap myself in plaids and wools and daydream about scottish selkies and ghosts on the moors, especially Emily Bronte’s, “Wuthering Heights.”

“my love for heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks…”

“be with me always – take any form – drive me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you!”

if all else perished and he remained, i should still continue to be: and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger…”

“it would degrade me to marry heathcliff now; so he shall never know how i love him…”

“proud people breed sad sorrows for themselves.”

~kate bush’s absurd, haunting, paean to romanicism taken to the nth degree. i absolutely love her brittle soprano.
as always the patterns can be found at burdastyle american and burdastyle german.

i’m already dreaming about cold weather fashion. we’re moving back up to northern california in february. what to make, what to make?

burdastyle magazine 8/2009~ i have some beautiful fabric set to make this amazing cape, but time? hmmmm, not so much. i promised myself i’d sew something after my paper doll project was finished, but i still have a commission i’m working on, so it’ll be a little while.

burdastyle magazine 1/2010~ i can’t wear long shirt/tunics like this, but they’re so pretty. 
another spectacular trench from burda

super cute trench style skirt. i love the knitted necklace and faux fur thing.
sigh, well, if i can scrape some time together and stop bopping around online i might get everything together and sew something. wish me luck!

i’d recommend ebay for back issues otherwise, some of these patterns can be found on their american site: burdastyle english
or on their original german site: burdastyle german

as i discussed earlier here– generally, i don’t read fashion magazines. 
sewing magazines, however, are the best. looking at pretty clothes is nice, but shopping for clothes is terrible. they never fit me correctly and the entire experience is demoralizing. thankfully, making and sewing clothes is awesome. sure i have to slash and alter every single pattern but as long it looks good in the end, it’s worth the effort.
well, september’s issue of burda featured a great set of patterns inspired by one of my style icons, coco chanel. 
this blouse features an asymmetrical jabot.
how cute is this dress? peter pan collar, bracelet length sleeves, and front pleats. but not in black. black makes me look like i rose from the grave. not in a “blood and roses” kind of way, more like a “shaun of the dead” kind of way. 
it’s funny that, out of all of her lovers, they chose to style him as paul iribe. iribe was chanel’s most contentious lover and retrospectively, the only one she had less than perfectly kind things to say about in public. but who cares? i love that dress!

chanel as “marianne” by paul iribe. if you would like to see more of iribe’s art, the brandeis special collection houses his entire run of “le temoin.”

if you can’t find a copy online, the patterns are available for purchase on their website.

i‘ve been thinking a lot about sartorial inspiration. probably bc it’s fall and fall equals cute clothes. generally, i don’t read fashion magazines. i have my own set style and whatever’s happening in mainstream fashion doesn’t interest me {with rare exceptions.} i’m far more influenced by movies {amelie}, books {agatha christie}, and art {too many to list}.
however, there are magazine oases in my fashion desert- “Lucky,” japanese pattern books, and “Burdastyle” sewing magazine.

Burdastyle magazine consistently offers exceptional patterns. it’s a german company and their taste reflects european sensibilities. in each monthly issue there are usually 4 collections in sizes 34-44, one children’s collection, one plus collection in sizes 44-52, and then sometimes a couple men’s patterns, once a year maternity patterns and/or lingerie patterns, some knitting patterns, and crafts.

i’ve been collecting them for a few years. usually august through may suit my style perfectly. i’m not a summer sun and fun kind of person, so their summer patterns generally leave something to be desired. however, the last couple of summer’s have featured retro inspired collections that have been breathtaking!

it’s pricey for a magazine, but cheap for patterns so i guess it’s how you look at it. the style lines usually follow similar themes like: boho/70s, retro, business, romantic, british country, french, and folklore {aka-oktoberfest}. the children’s patterns are beautiful and unlike anything you can get from the standard pattern companies like vogue or simplicity. and completely unlike the bulk of what’s affordability available in stores such as, dressing your son like an illiterate bro or your daughter like a pepto bismal pink, princess obsessed, bitch in training. imagine your kids in something other than overly baggy pants or day-glo leggings! {sorry, but i currently live in a pretty ugly section of southern california, mostly populated by mean, lazy, materialistic, stupid parents. whoops! time to move!} 

the only thing i find somewhat lacking are the plus patterns. the patterns themselves are beautiful, but i wish burda would publish a separate monthly plus pattern edition. there seem to be a lot of plus sized sewers {at least they’re very vocal in the forums} but strangely enough over the years burda has cut the plus magazine from a quarterly to a bi-yearly publication- and their recent issue has simply republished some monthly patterns and mixed them with new ones. which suggests it hasn’t been selling well and that accounts for their cost saving measures, but i still find it very hard to believe. there are very few stylish plus patterns out there so i’d have expected it to be a big seller. 

all in all though, a very useful and inspiring magazine for me. i can’t wait to see what they have next month!

i’ve been wanting to post some of the clothes i’ve made, but painting has been occupying all of my time. however, i finally got it together, a little, to post a blouse i made 2 years ago when i was pregnant with karl.
first, i really wanted a cool cotton blouse for the months of august and september. we lived in san francisco at the time and no one has air conditioning. even though i’m normally cold all the time i was hot-hot-hot when i was pregnant. i found some lovely cotton and preshrunk it.
i used the top and back of burda 6/2009 # 123 and the bottom of burda 2/2009 #110. on #110’s piece i didn’t cut it on a fold. instead i extended the fold another 2 inches and connected the front center pieces with a seam. the most challenging issue was the bust. i wasn’t sure what to make in order to accommodate pregnant/nursing breasts. i ended up adding 2″ to my bust measurement in preparation and it worked out wonderfully. but for you, i would ask whichever female relative you take after and get a good estimate.

here are some photos of me while pregnant.

but, they don’t really show the blouse, probably bc my priority was getting shots of my tummy.
so, today i took some photos~
trimmed with ric rac. 
i love the sleeves. 
here are some pictures of my blouse from different angles. there are more details to be be seen, but since i’m not pregnant it doesn’t fit right.   
i like the back quite a bit. it reminds me of a sack backed dress. 
i feel like the mymble from “moomin.”
plenty of tummy room. 

ps~ taking actual pictures of myself is very awkward. trying to figure out what to do with my arms so that people could see the blouse was murder! 
from burdastyle 6/2009 and 2/2009

my 4 year anniversary approaches on august 2nd! i can’t believe it’s been 4 years already. my husband mikael is my absolute dream man. now that we have karl i don’t have much time to sew, although after i’m done with my current art project i’m going to take a month off from painting and make something- anything!
i’ve always wanted to make my wedding dress. i originally chose a vintage vogue pattern but adding 2″ to the length of the torso was going to prove too difficult. i happened to browse through my then newest issue of burda and fell in love.
issue 3/08 had a bridal pattern inspired by wallis simpson’s wedding gown. it was perfect! easy to add length to the torso and skirt and easy to add width to the hips. i made a muslin first and worked out the kinks, mostly fitting through my hips. my measurements then were 34″-25″-38″.  
made from champagne silk shantung. i omitted the belt bc i loved the triple darts in the front and wanted to show them off.
i loved the 30s vibe. we felt like the hippy version of nick and nora!
yes, we had a keg as well as almond champagne. my priority was to provide great drinks and food for my guests. i appreciated them coming to share our day!
stationing han and leia on planet cake!