Downloads & Tutorials

The curious kiwi loves free stuff and I am sure you do too. Here are some patterns & tutorials I have made, plus a few other random but useful downloads. Please feel free to have a go and make sure you share your results with me, I am curious to see them 🙂.

Tutorial: Tracing Burda patterns is like eating peas…(you can do it!)

It’s not that hard once you get the hang of it. There is a method to the madness, a way to find your pattern piece within the scribbley mess of lines and after a while your eyes start following the right line and you sort of blur out the rest of the pattern sheet. I call this phenomenon “Burda Vision”, it’s magic!

Tutorial: Unravelling the hilariousness that Burda calls “Instructions”

Burda instructions have a reputation for being hilariously bad – and they deserve it! If you are used to sewing envelope patterns from the Big 4 or beautifully illustrated independent patterns then you are probably going to be left scratching your head a few times.

I have broken the entire instructions up into sections to explain some important points.

Tutorial: Make your own Sleeve Board

I don’t tend to make official New Years Resolutions but this year (2012) I do want to spend more effort in the finishing of my garments in order to finally crack that elusive rtw look, which we all know is the antithesis of the “home-made” look. A big part of achieving this is good pressing, something I am pretty good at but I still need a bit of help in the form of some sewing gadgets and I love a good sewing gadget!

See how to make your own Sleeve Board here and check out the other weird shaped pressing item I decided to make at the same time.

Tutorial: Visualising Fabric on Patterns – Part One (Photoshop)

I posted recently about my NERDY stash busting using Evernote. Several sharp-eyed seamstresses noticed that in my examples I had included images showing my selected fabrics with the pattern line drawing. I make these up to help me decide if I like the pattern in that fabric and also to help me chose how best to place my pattern pieces on the fabric, for example if it is a boarder print like in two of the examples below.  I find if I get the perfect fabric choice I’m much more excited about the finished result.

So for those of you who were curious how I achieved this, and so you should be, I would love to share with you how I do it.


Tutorial: Visualising Fabric on Patterns – Part Two (Gimp)

This is part two of my tutorial showing you how I transform pattern line drawings with photographs of my fabrics to get a little taste of the end result. It also helps me decide if I like the pattern in that fabric and it is particularly helpful when using boarder prints to work out how best to place the pattern pieces on the fabric..


“Strawberry” Shopping Bag (Pattern)

I saw this little bag in a shop when I visited Wellington in November 2009 and I’ve been planning to make myself one ever since. I’ve seen a few more around since then and considering Mother’s day is not far away it’s the perfect excuse to make a few to give away (and of course one for me).



Ikea Hack = Happy Sewing (Tutorial)

I have been threatening to cover my Ikea chair to match my ironing board for some time now so I thought it was time I followed through. I have posted this mostly to inspire others because it is simply a super easy project and everyone should have the choice to say “no” to bad taste ironing board covers and itchy cheap Ikea chair upholstery 🙂 Because I am sure I am not the only one sitting in her knickers sewing and getting itchy thighs! Hehe xx.


Small thread Spool Holder for under AUD$5.00 (Tutorial)

I like to display my sewing items and keep them within easy reach so I’ve had this little project in mind for a while and thought I would document as I go to see if I can inspire someone else. Here is my solution to displaying my sewing threads in a nice manner


BSC Perth Reversible Apron (Pattern)

I made this apron pattern and instructions up for my Perth, Australia based BurdaStyle Sewing Club. We made one each at our second meeting on September 12th 2009. It was a huge success and a lot of fun so I thought I would post it for others to give it a go 🙂 It is a very basic pattern designed not to scare off beginners and has huge potential for personalisation and modification.



Size Charts

Scanned and translated size charts from the magazines I subscribe to – hover over to discover which is which and click to enlarge.



Burda/BurdaStyle Tutorials:

Click to enlarge:


5 thoughts on “Downloads & Tutorials

  1. Hello, there! I’ve just started in this crazy fun world of sewing and man I’ve got questions!
    Example: how do I use the charts when my measurements are SO different from the ones in magazines?! I’m 5’2″ (158.5cm) tall, which means I’m already shorter than the “mignon” chart. I’m a bit overweight, my hips are narrow and I’ve got “love handles” that won’t go away with diet or exercise. My waist is 83cm, my bust, 95cm, the “love handles” go 91cm(!) and my hips, 99cm. how should I choose a pattern size? I can’t just go Frankensteining pieces of different sizes together! Please, HELP!!!

    • Hi Lilian! Actually frankensteining sizes together is exactly what you need to do 🙂 If I were you I would take a simple dress pattern with 2-dart bodice and then circle on the size chart each individual size for you bust, waist and hips (don’t worry about the other bits just yet!) When you cut your size you grade between each. So if your bust is a size 14 but your waist is 12 and your hips are 16 you just join the dots. I would make a muslin out of cheap fabric first and then tweak that. Once you get that right then you have a great template to check against other patterns. I hope that helps xx

  2. Hello…I’ve just discovered you! Your work and ideas are so inspiring and I’m looking forward to reading and learning on here.
    Liz (ex-Wellingtonian now living in Waipukurau)
    PS I see that Theunis Kok, who used to run a wonderful sewing machine repair shop in Wellington (Absolute Sewing in Vogeltown), and is an expert in Bernina and Elna has relocated to Hastings which is near where I live so I’m going to take my old Elnas to him for servicing and advice.

  3. thank you for the burda help! i thought i may have bit off more than i can chew!! i bought two of the burda books at once. i have bookmarked your pages to come back to!!

  4. Really enjoying reading & exploring here! Thank you for sharing; thans for inspiring me!
    Trish (ex-Wellingtonion now in Brissie!

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