“Don’t panic, we’re from the future!”

Burda Sew Along

I was hoping to get my tracing post up today but I am running a bit behind so please bear with me callers, I’ll aim for mid this week so that those of you yet to trace off will be ready to tackle your pattern/s by the weekend!

When we first started discussing the Burda Sew Along idea I claimed to have hardly sewn from any of my many Burda issues.

Perhaps the warm sun on my back had made my mind sleepy because after a little bit of Sewing Archaeology I have to admit that is not entirely true.

More correct would be to say that I haven’t sewn much from them recently. I have also sewn quite a few BurdaStyle downloaded pattern items from the website before the whole Burda-becomes-BurdaStyle takeover thing, but I am choosing not to count those for my challenge.

80% of my past Burda makes are from my pre-blog days therefore we will need to find a way to travel back in sewing time to see them, luckily I have this:

Elna Tardis

Oh yes, I made a Sewing Machine Tardis!

So jump into my Sewing Time Machine, hold down the reverse lever and let’s travel back through my first “sewing-life” to approximately 2003 for the oldest make I can find:


Skirt 118a – 10/2003

You might remember Skirt 118a from October 2003 that I posted about after returning to NZ and exploring some long forgotten random storage boxes. I love the two-sided stretch denim that I would have originally bought from Spotlight, I wish I had some in my stash right now.

Now jump back in the Elna Tardis and head back towards the light to my current “sewing-life”, now we are in Perth and here are my very first projects after getting the Elna back:

Blouse 109b – 04/2008

Tunic 103B – 03/2007

Blouse 109b from April 2008 which I don’t wear any more, although I was super proud of it at the time. I can see now that my skills were rusty, the seersucker was a poor fabric choice and it was never that flattering, but we learn.

Tunic 103b from March 2007 followed quickly after and I learnt about my long torso and the need to add in length to the bodice of my future makes. I wore this blouse quite a bit and I still have both these items, but they are no longer in the regular wardrobe rotation.

Then I took a break from sewing for myself when two close friends (from different social circles) announced they were expecting within a week of each other and I got excited about trying out some miniature sewing. I got Burda July 2008 out from the library for the super cute baby section and chose two items for each friend.

One friend knew she was having a boy and the other was keeping the gender a surprise…long story short, one of those “friends’ turned out to not be that much of a friend after all. A mocking comment about my new “hobby” aimed to draw laughs from the rest of the group towards me meant that the wonderful Nicci received all the pretty baby clothes and later her new daughter looked super sweet even in the dinosaur rompers!

Baby Rompers 136 & Hat 139C – 07/2008

Bibbed Overalls 138 – 07/2008

Bibbed Overalls 138 – 07/2008

Baby’s Playsuit 137 – 07/2008

Nicci was so overjoyed she had a little cry (blaming the hormones) and therefore I had a little cry (blaming Nicci!) and I knew I had made the right decision. If nothing else this taught me the lesson that on the rare occasions I do choose to sew for someone other than myself or Nerdy Husband, that I should be absolutely sure they are the kind of person who truly appreciates the skill and love that goes into a handmade garment.

An Alice and Wonderland themed 21st party (what the hell I was doing at a 21st so long after my own 21st I have no idea) was a great excuse to sew my own costume and a simple dress to embellish came from March 2008. Clearly this is not in the usual wardrobe rotation 😉

Next was Blouse 108 from January 2008, worn here with a Kasia skirt, a great staple that I wore to death. Blouses used to be my sewing crack, I have since weaned myself off them and developed more imagination when it comes to tops.

Dress 102b – 03/2008

Blouse 108 – 01/2008

And then I had my first Burda fail. I’ve never had any issues with Burda in terms of fit, I find their draft quite consistent and the construction well tested. However this fail was stunning in its epicness, a combination of poor fabric choice, a pattern that was never going to flatter me. It’s possible this could have been saved but I moved on quickly and so we shall do so now.

Blouse 117 – 08/2009

My first shirt dress from February 2009 was a huge success, I sill have this in my wardrobe, but not my second version of Blouse 108 in black, worn here with a Jenny skirt.

Shirt Dress 105 – 02/2009

Blouse 108 – 01/2008

There was quite a large break before I picked up another Burda pattern, you might recognise these last three, we’ve travelled back to New Zealand now and I’m sharing my sewing on my blog.

The Gok Coat of Doom doesn’t look so bad now that we’ve had some time apart, still, my trench/mac coat love is firmly with the Robson Coat now…I am considering gifting this coat to my Mum, we are the same size and she loves this shade of purple…her birthday is in July, smack bang in the middle of Winter.

Is this a good present idea, or is that a bit lame to give my Mum what I consider a fail? The fail isn’t a technical one, this coat is beautifully made (if I do say so myself) and the failure is more of the personal style type. Does that make it OK? Is it not better that someone is enjoying the Gok Coat rather than it just hanging in my sewing room?

Trench Coat 119 – 03/2009

The Elna Tardis has dropped us back off, almost in the present day, I love this t-shirt from February 2009, in a kiddies print I grabbed during a Spotlight visit. I also made it in a grey Merino (worn to death) and have 2 more Merino copies cut out, waiting to be sewn up.

Top 108 – 02/2009

Men’s polo shirt 130 – 04/2007

My most recent Burda triumph was the Nerdy Husband Rugby Jersey however if we are being properly honest, not much remained of the original Burda pattern…maybe the neck line and collar…the rest was slashed and spread and re-drafted beyond recognition…but it worked!

Burda magazines contain so many patterns, including the basics, don’t discount the basics! For someone who cannot draft from scratch they make great base patterns to try out alterations.

Hmm, yes, a lot more Burda items that I thought although they do still make up a small proportion of my overall sewing “wardrobe” and a teeny tiny percentage of my Burda magazine collection!

Fellow Sew Alongers I encourage you to share your past Burda makes with us too.

Now, get out of my Sewing Time Machine, I’m off back to a few weeks ago to catch a fabric sale I missed! 😉

footer_kiwi with needle1

21 thoughts on ““Don’t panic, we’re from the future!”

  1. I just love your Tunic 103b and your shirtdress 105. Just stunning! All the little rompers are screamingly adorable! 🙂 And, I see no reason why you can’t give your mom the coat. Everybody has their own taste and style that they are drawn to.

  2. I picked up my first copy of the Burda magazine the other day after reading all these blogs and seeing how great the clothes looked…. Im’ not sure if it’s me or Burda, but the patterns in the magazine seem to only be for very small peps!!! Im only a size 12-14 normally but the only patterns that will fit me appear to be the plus size section – Am i missing something or is it time for me to learn so pattern drafting skills??

    • I wear a 12/14 NZ/Aus too and I usually cut a Burda 42 which is often the largest size they go up to for the non-plus patterns (sometimes they go to a 44) – blow to the ego huh? I know! I would suggest you pick a simple dress to start with and make it out of some inexpensive fabric to check your fit. Once you’ve worked out your Burda size it’s consistent across the magazine and envelope patterns so you’ll be set then 🙂 Even if you are a 44 or 46 you can easily increase the largest non-plus pattern by one or two sizes. I use the Burda tutorial here and it has worked really well for me. Come back to ask more questions if you need to, I’d be happy to share my measurements if that helps you out 🙂

      • Thanks for the advice, I’ll give it another shot.. I think I will be the 44-46 range (or petite 22-23 being short and all) my measurements are bust 98cm, waist 82cm and hips 104cm, so hopefully im on the right track this time. I did cut a size 42 in a top pattern and there was no way that baby was going to fit! Best I head off to the inexpensive section at spotlight!!! Thanks again for the help and the link, glad I found ur blog.

  3. That is a lot of excellent makes! What a shame about your nasty friend but at least you found out before you gave her anything. If your Gok coat is well made but just doesn’t suit you/is too imbued with negative memories to be enjoyable to wear then sure, give it away. But you’re the best judge of how well your mum would take it!

    Also, I love love love your Tardis.

    • Nasty people are everywhere, I’m glad she showed me her true colours in time too!

      I am definitely leaning towards giving mum the coat, she’ll love it and really treasure it.

  4. Pingback: My Burda Story | Sewing for Me!

  5. Love your tardis too! I’m not sure what the story was wuth the Gok Coat of Doom. I used the same pattern and was really pleased with it. Having said that, I’m inclined to agree that it isn’t nearly as flattering on you as the Robson.

  6. You have some terrific garments there, how nice to see some pre blog things, so many people have a long sewing history, and yours is rich indeed.

  7. You’re such a clever kiwi. I first started following you blog when you put up instructions on how to put fabric choices onto patterned pictures. I’ve been here ever since, but mostly quietly absorbing all your fantastic information in the background. You’re now inspiring me to pull out that collection of burda magazines and have a look through. Re your gift to your mum. I understand that quandary all too well. How about giving her the coat, but adding a nice scarf as well? That way you can say ‘here’s a beautiful scarf for your birthday, and gosh look, a coat that goes with it!’

    • Aww I am so glad to have you following along for so long. Feel free to comment any time 🙂 and I am glad you might be inspired whip up an item of two from your Burdas. Even if you don’t they are fun to look through anyway.

      I like your idea to add another item to the gift, it completes it. I think my Mum would really love this jacket and a matching scarf or maybe a hat would be perfect for Winter, thanks!

  8. Wow, lots of handsewn gorgeousness 🙂
    If it’s something you consider a fail because it doesn’t work for you rather than because you don’t think it’s well sewn, if it’s something you’re not wearing and that you know someone else will wear, then I’d say pass it on to someone who’ll love and wear it.

  9. I love your Elna TARDIS! And I’m sure it doesn’t have nonsensical-future-creatures running around in it menacing us like in last week’s episode that I just watched…
    Anyhoo, it’s fun to see all your old Burda makes. I’ve also had a few of the “personal style” type fails, and I think it’s totally better to have somebody wearing it than just having it sit neglected in your closet. It’s still amazing to me that after sewing for a while now I still sometimes can’t tell how much I’m going to like/wear something until after it’s done!

    • Thanks, funny how sewing and Dr Who go together! 🙂

      I think sewing makes me more brave with my style so with that comes the odd fail but it’s more fun experimenting that way.

  10. I loved seeing all your creations – you’re right, you have made a quite a lot. As for sewing for others, I rarely do it because you never know how it will be received, so many people have a strange aversion to handmade as though something made in a sweatshop from inferior fabric could be any better!

    • Isn’t that strange that some people can’t appreciate the love of a hand made garment and also see that it isn’t inferior? Oh well, more sewing time spent sewing for just ourselves I guess 🙂

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