The new and improved Skinny Barb

Yes, I did it again, this time skinnier and with back pockets.

With reversed half red – half blue legs (totally unintentional)

They now have ankle zips

And top-stitched elastic waistband

I’m thinking of making a matching jacket. I need to build my jacket making skills and wouldn’t it be fun to have a crazy floral print two piece?


Burda 8/2014 103 or the million pieces dress

Actually there are only 14, but still…

It was love at first sight with this dress. I don’t know why it took me so long to make it. This is actually a test, I don’t love these colors together, but this ponte I had around was a suitable fabric to test the pattern. And luckily for me, the pattern fits! There are some obviously changes I made:

1. added sleeves – I like my dresses with sleeves, don’t really get the little wings Burda keeps using for all their dresses. The sleeves are from an older Burda dress, same size as the one I used for this one, 38

2. I made it a lot shorter, probably close to 20cm shorter. This makes the dress a bit unbalanced, the proportions are now a bit off with so much white at the top and so little at the bottom. Oh, well!

3. Because I shortened it I didn’t feel like raising the back vent and dropped it completely. I never made one before and I didn’t want to start now 😀

4. I did some kind of sway back alteration, as in I started sewing the skirt to the top at the sides using a 1/4 seam allowance and I gradually went to a 1/2 seam allowance at center back.

The pattern doesn’t have  facings, and while they are very easy to make yourself, I thought that the neckline would get to bulky. So I sewed the lining directly to the dress at the neck and then I pick stitched the neckline to keep the lining from showing. I did understitch as well, but I felt that it wasn’t enough. The lining is a very light elastic lining so I was worried that it would get dragged out by the heavy outer fabric. I used Sherry’s wonderful tutorial for sewing the lining using the machine.

Looking at the dress, you’d think sewing it it’s going to take forever. It only took me about 3 hours from start to finish, BUT I did skip ironing. Naughty, naughty! The ponte is very forgiving with fit and pressing, but I do need to press that center back seam below the zip :|. I think tracing the pattern took longer, because DID YOU SEE THE AUGUST PATTERN SHEETS???!! Sorry for the caps but they are atrocious! Fortunately the September sheets don’t look as bad, so hopefully this was a one off.

Ok, so I don’t love the colors , but I love the dress, the fabric makes it super comfortable for a sheath dress and I’ll probably wear it again. Because  I did wear it yesterday to work and everyone loved it. Or they say they did 🙂

Skinny Barb

I haven’t tried any StyleArc pattern until now, not because I don’t like them, but I keep hearing how expensive shipping is. To be honest, I never checked, I have no idea how much it costs. Recently I found out about one of their free PDF pattern – Barb – I think it’s their only PDF pattern. I think you can still download it, and you get the size you choose, plus the two nearest, each of them comes in a separate file.

It’s a very simple pattern, it has only 3 pieces – front back and waistband. I went for size 10 based on my measurements and I think 8 would’ve been better. After sewing them I decided to take them in and make them skinny. I don’t have a “before” photo, but straight trousers don’t look very good on me, I need to go to the extremes 🙂

I was looking after a bird 😀

The waistband sits pretty high, but I’m short so it might be just right for people with a normal height. The pattern requires 5cm wide elastic for the waistband.

The fabric is a stretch cotton I bought from Saeed Fabrics in Walthamstow Market. It was £8/m, expensive compared to what you can buy there, but there weren’t many stretch cottons available then, AND it has spots!

Two weeks ago I went back to Walthamstow and found a generous selection of stretch cottons so I have another pair of skinny Barbs planned. I will however make the following changes:

1. Make the waistband 1 cm narrower. I have plenty of 4cm wide elastic and no 5cm and it’s too high anyway.

2. The waistband has the same pattern piece for front and back, but the front and back of the pattern are different widths. I think I will change the waistband to reflect that.

3. I will add back pockets. I need a place to keep my Oyster and they make the backside look smaller.

4. I will make them even skinnier and add metallic exposed zippers at the hem. Probably in different colors because I don’t think I have a matching pair, but the fabric I’ll be using next is a colorful print, so it should be fine.

I wore the spotty pair 3 times last week, this would’ve been a good pattern for OWOP. They are comfortable enough to do this

This photo took a lot of hard work!

Soo, does anyway know how much the shipping costs for StyleArc patterns? I really like this jacket, similar to an out of print Vogue. I’m also worried about customs, I paid 30% in VAT and custom fees for an already expensive yarn I bought from US.

Monique Jacket