McCalls 6996 and Burda 7105 – a resurrection

7 months ago I got a brand new sewing machine with all the bells and whistles, I was ready for SWAP 2016, when sloth took over. I was pregnant, tired and at the end of the day I only had enough energy to move from the sofa to the bed. I took a break until spring when after a couple of maternity sewing failures I stocked up on maternity patterns.

I started with a Burda 7105 skirt which, to my surprise, was a great success.


When I saw it I thought the belly band at least would be cut out of something with some stretch. But no, they instruct you to cut the band from the same fabric as the rest of the skirt and the pattern recommends ‘light wools’ and stretch fabric for the trousers only. I was worried the skirt won’t fit for long with a rigid interfaced (!) yoke but 3 months later it still does.


March vs June


After making the skirt I took another long break until the last couple of weeks. I started with a soft bra which is cut and patiently awaiting to be sewn. I made a pair of Burda mag pyjama shorts (documented on Instagram) and a cardigan. Noting maternity specific, I plan to wear all of them for a long time.

The cardigan is McCalls 6996. It looked pretty relaxed, not in a slouchy way and I thought there’s not much that could go wrong with it. I cut an M and didn’t make any alterations to the pattern.  Looking at the pictures, I shouldn’t have skipped moving the shoulder seam forwards.

The hem is curved so I carefully marked, pressed and hand basted it before sewing. When I saw the picture on the left I couldn’t believe it’s so ripply. But then I realised I forgot to press it after sewing (LOL). Problem solved, now I have a perfectly flat hem!


BUT I might need to do the hemming again. I think the combination of colour, length and slightly baggy shoulders make this cardigan look very outdated (me being in desperate need of a haircut doesn’t help either). So my next project is to shorten it by 6 inches, that would suit me a lot better.

There’s a month to go until baby arrives and I think I will at least finish the bra until then AND make a summer dress. I will have a couple of weeks off work so I might do even more!


Simplicity 2451 – the almost perfect skirt

I had a plan, you see? I was going create a wardrobe and enter the wardrobe contest on PR. But I have to admit, I knew 9 pieces of clothing in 6 weeks was not going to happen. But I still wanted to think of a mini wardrobe – “an organized closet where one can pull an outfit together at a moment’s notice”.
wardrobe contest
I’ve only done 3 so far and one of them is the skirt I’m talking about today. I wanted a red skirt. A basic red skirt that I could wear with every top in my closet. Red is a neutral in my book.
I recently gave in and bought Simplicity 2451 after being exposed to many beautiful specimens in the last couple of years.
So the plan was to have a red skirt. I didn’t have any red fabric but I had plenty of other colors and a pack of tulip red dye. The color turned out great, but I dyed only half a meter of fabric. Sometimes my brain goes dead. I’d like to blame it on my age but I’m only 30.
Half a meter wasn’t enough to cut all the pieces out and in another strike of genius I decided to use scraps from my skinny barb for the plackets. Now the skirt doesn’t go with anything in my wardrobe.
EXHIBIT A – where’s my waist?
EXHIBIT B – red, navy gingham and dark floral – are you dizzy yet?
EXHIBIT C – This one kind of works, I’m not one to save red and green for the holiday season :). I’ll probably wear it with a black cardigan. The only (small) problem is I didn’t make the top or the black cardigan I’m going to wear it with.
EXHIBIT D – this is probably the best match, but this old shirt is gaping at the bust so I can’t wear it outside my garden.
Try to imagine all of the above with a full red skirt – a totally different story! I’m thinking of dying this one black and make another red one. What would you do? I’m not looking forward to another hour of stirring the fabric in the dye bath. Have you ever used machine dye? Did it ruin your next 3 laundry loads?


The title describes not only my skirt, but myself as well. I strutted this skirt last weekend with a peafowl worthy attitude.

I bought 2m of this fabric from Goldhawk Road at the sewing meetup. I thought 2m would be enough for a maxi skirt in my size, but I should have paid more attention when drafting the skirt pieces. I almost didn’t have enough for the waistband, I had to sew 3 pieces of fabric together to have enough. The bias seam line is not my idea.

Pieced waistband sewn on the bias to avoid bulk

I searched for inspiration online, trying to find a maxi skirt that wasn’t just a gathered rectangle. I initially thought of using the skirt panels from Anna but I didn’t want to have so many vertical seams, even though they wouldn’t be very visible in this print. I started going through my patterns/Burda magazines to see what I could use and in the February issue of Burda there was this skirt that looked a bit lot (can’t decide) like Gabriola.

I used the top panels from this pattern and drafted the bottom panels myself. I basically draw a straight skirt starting with the Burda panels as the top of my skirt, cut them at the diagonal lines and then I slashed and spread the bottom panels making them as wide as my fabric was. I added a bit to the length just to make sure it will be long enough. I forgot I needed a waistband too!! That is why i ended up piecing the waistband and in the end I had to remove 7 cm from the bottom of the skirt 😦 . And that was not my only mistake. When I bought the fabric and as I was drawing the pattern, I kept remembering myself to cut everything in one direction, with the feathers going top to bottom. Guess what? I cut my front the other way around… I was so upset, I almost didn’t want to go on with the skirt. But after 2 days of agony I finally decided that it’s not SUCH a big problem and it’s not really that visible either.

But I still felt that I needed to make up for all the mistakes somehow. I’ve recently re-stumbled upon one of Susan Khalje’s videos for Threads magazine where she is talking/showing techniques for building waistbands. I decide to give the 4 layers+ ribbon waistband a try – my fabric was light enough to handle this kind of treatment.

I decided to try other couture techniques as well, so I went ahead with the snap (popper) and hook and thread bars for closure, fell stitched waistband and lining, hand picked zipper, catch stitched seam allowances and 4 point loops for hanging the skirt. I don’t think i forgot anything, this should be it 🙂

I lined the top panels with a cotton silk lawn. It’s very light, but in combination with the main fabric it should be enough to hide my underwear. 🙂

Unfortunately this lead to some puffing in the back, I think the lining is slightly shorter than the shell and there is some bulging at the bottom of the zipper, I need to trim the seam allowances in that corner. There are a lot of seams that meet there. I’ll try to steam press it after trimming, I hope it will get better. I will need to take another round of photos, as I wasn’t able to see this problem before. My mirror must be deceiving 🙂

Oh, there is one more thing I wanted to say about the thread bars – if you decide to use them – sew them tightly, they get looser with wear. I let them a bit loose and they have stretched more.

I am very happy with the ribbon waistband – it springs back flat after sitting, something that doesn’t always happens with an interfaced waistband.

And that’s my Scout, in case you’re wondering. I don’t think there’s much wear left in it, it’s been on a “at least twice a week” program for many moths now. I’m finishing this post and I’m going to cut two more. 🙂

Have a nice sunny Sunday everyone! 🙂

I am sorry Megan Nielsen

A while back I was looking at Kelly skirts around the web (there are so many versions of this skirt, in so many fabrics) and I found this image:

Brumby and Kelly by Megan Nielsen

Brumby and Kelly by Megan Nielsen

I love Kelly, but Brumby won my heart instantly. So I kind of recreated it.

Ok, maybe recreate is not the perfect word.

Shamelessly copied it might be a better description.

I used a cotton twill and I had to iron the s**t out of those gathers, otherwise I would have had an umbrella, not a skirt. 🙂

The top stitching is not visible, and I did a pretty good job this time. Some bright pink would’ve been nice. Next time.

I hand pick the zip in almost every dress I make, but this was the first time I tried it on a skirt. See how my sewing vocabulary’s changing since I moved to London? The zipper is now a zip 🙂

And I sewed the waistband by hand, just because.

So, I am sorry Megan Nielsen for copying on of your skirt. I promise to buy the pattern if you ever release it. I hope you will forgive me. 🙂


Cum se face fusta simpla cu elastic (si buzunare)?

De cand am tinut workshop-ul in iulie am promis ca o sa fac un tutorial pentru fustele facute acolo. Pozele le-am facut tot prin iulie, dar abia acum ma incumet sa scriu  🙂

Avem nevoie de:

  • material pentru fusta – latimea standard de 140cm e suficienta pentru oricine. Daca esti mai slabuta, poate o vrei chiar mai putin ampla. Pentru lungime trebuie sa te hotarasti cat de lunga vrei sa fie fusta, si apoi sa daugi 3 cm pentru tiv si rezerva de coasere din talie. Eu imi fac fustele lungi de 45-48cm, dar eu am doar 1,5m, s-ar putea ca 45 de cm sa fie cam putin pentru persoane cu o inaltime normala.
  • elastic – cel mai bine e sa masori pe tine cat iti trebuie. Nu exista o formula universala, pentru ca unele se intind mai putin decat altele, dar sigur nu o sa fie mai lung decat circumferinta taliei tale.
  • foarfece, ata, bolduri.

Daca nu vrei sa te complici din prima cu buzunare poti sa cosi dreptunghiul de material pe laturile scurte si sa sari direct la pasul 5.

Altfel taie materialul in 2 – ne trebuie o bucata pentru fata si una pentru spate.

Pasul 1

Avem nevoie de 4 bucati de buzunar, 2 in fata, 2 in spate. Nu am un tipar pentru buzunare, pur si simplu am pus mana peste o bucata de material indoit in 4 si am trasat o forma de fasole burtoasa :).


Pasul 2

Aseaza buzunarele fata pe fata peste partile fustei si coase-le cu o rezerva de 0,5cm. Intoarce buzunarul si calca bine.

Pasul 3

Acum punem fata peste spate, fata pe fata, prindem in bolduri si coasem de jur imprejur cu rezerve de 1 cm.

Pasul 4

Facem o crestatura in rezerva partii din spate pentru a putea calca rezervele desfacut. Asezam buzunarul peste fata fustei si il coasem de fusta in partea de sus.

Pasul 5

Indoim de doua ori cate 1 cm pentru tiv, coasem si calcam.

Eu am folosit un bumbac foarte fain, care se coase/calca usor. Dar in general e bine sa calci tivul si inainte de a-l coase, si daca e nevoie sa-l prinzi si in bolduri.

Pasul 6

Pregatim elasticul – coasem captele sa formam un tub si ii dam un zig zag pe margini sa nu se desire.

Pasul 7 si ultimul!

Imparte elasticul si fusta in 4 parti egale. Daca diferenta dintre elastic si fusta e mare (circumferinta fustei dubla sau mai mare fata de elastic), poti sa imparti in mai multe. Eu am impartit in 8 cred. Apoi coase elasticul de fusta, fata pe fata, tragand usor de elastic.

Mare grija la ultimul pas, eu mi-am cusut un deget dupa cum se vede si in poza :). A fost prima oara in 5 ani de cand cos si nu a fost asa groaznic cum imi inchipuiam ca e.

Nu aveam niciun cui pe peretele ala, intarizam la servici, asa ca mi-am rugat cosortul sa faca pe “modelul”

Daca iti faci o fusta folosind acest tutorial, mi-ar placea foarte mult sa o vad :).