Emerald A-line Burda Dress

In October 2019 I have excepted Burdastyle.ru’s Instagram sew-along challenge. I had to complete any Burda pattern dress in 4 weeks, posting my progress and the final result.


My better half was asking for a warm dress and she pulled out emerald wool serge I bought some time ago at Value Village. I had a matching invisible zipper in the stash. It was also an excellent opportunity to use the vintage fur collar that came from Mrs. M.’s mother’s coat.

I chose Burda 7114 pattern, cut the fabric and realized that adding the lining to the dress will help it not cling to the body. So, a quick and successful trip to Fabricville later, I had a polyester satin that matched the wool fabric perfectly. This lining fabric is very fluid and difficult to work with. It is a dream to the touch and it was worth the effort!


This dress pattern is very simple. There is a dart in the front and a dart in the back, one-piece sleeve and a simple stand-up collar. Invisible zipper is in the center back, which I had to put in on a domestic sewing machine, because I still don’t have an appropriate invisible zipper foot for my industrial one.

Veering slightly from the instructions, I added a little backing to the end of the bust dart to help support it and equalize the thickness of fabric in this spot. As well, instructions don’t accommodate lining, so I had to improvise with the sequence of putting the dress together.

I enjoyed sewing the raglan sleeve (my first). It is very unnerving to set in the sleeve before sewing the shoulder seems. But the good news is that this pattern and this type of sleeve don’t have any ease.


Ah, pockets… Easy to make, if the lining plays along. I spent the most time sewing these, especially pocket bags, because the lining fabric was going each and every direction. There was a lot of basting to stabilize the seams. The welt is secured at the sides to the front by hand.

Finishing touches

Mrs. M. and I, we have opted to longer sleeves, which did not give me much room for hemming them. I calculated that the shorter lining should hem the sleeves perfectly. This, however, did not happen, so I had to calculate, iron and secure the sleeve hem by hand after I put the lining in.

Learning from the sleeves, I hemmed the bottom of the dress by hand, and then attached the lining to the hem by hand as well. I did not realize that a simple pattern like this will require so much hand sewing! But I am happy to report that it is becoming faster and more accurate!

Final shoot

It was the last day before the deadline. The dress has already been worn for a day. After work, we just stepped outside in the brisk wind and took a fast couple of shots.

Christine’s Dressing Gown

Pink Dressing Gown for Christine

Our good friends Christine and Berney (that Berney who received a me-made bath robe earlier in the year) were planning to leave on a cruise vacation. To celebrate the occasion, we thought of gifting her with a “perfect” morning dressing gown — semi-sheer, sensual, light. And yes, the project had to be mailed in 2 days.

I started with the bathrobe pattern I used before – Burda 6740. I made a few changes: eliminated the shawl collar and facing and replaced them by a 2-inch trim, shortened the sleeves, lengthened and widened the bottom part of the garment.

The cutting and sewing was not harder than expected. The fabrics where fair to handle, both the burnt-out printed something and the solid pink polyester crepe. I interfaced the pink crepe fabric with lightweight white cotton poplin. I used the french seams throughout. Belt loops are made of black satin ribbon.

Bon voyage, Christine and Berney!

Prada FW19 inspired Nylon Coat

This fall I had to replace my jacket of 18 years. I needed something to stand up to the winds and rain, and be long enough to wear over blazers. My inspiration came from Prada’s 2019 fall menswear, look 31: a nylon jacket (a Prada thing), mid-thigh length, with trendy oversized patch pockets, and lots of shiny hardware.

Prada FW19 menswear, look 31


I picked a Burda 6932 pattern. It is straightforward and fairly easy to put together. I would recommend it for sewers with some experience. I simplified the pattern by eliminating welt pockets. But I also added a few patch pockets, epaulettes and cuff belts (to emulate the look that inspired me as closely as possible).

I used Polar Shield Navy Nylon Z040-NVY and Quilted polyester lining. To match the fabric I recommend Gutermann #118 and Coats and Clark 4980 thread.

Nota Bene

A word of caution: this Burda pattern runs very true to size. I did not follow the pattern’s recommendation based on my measurements and regretted it in the end. By using the quilted lining the size of the coat felt smaller. I would have benefitted from using the size the pattern called for. However, if I were to sew it without the bulky lining, I would have used the same 1 size smaller pattern.

One more thing. There is a generous amount of ease in the sleeve cap. This particular nylon fabric did not want to cooperate: it created a lot of little pleats in the cap. To counteract it, I have cut 2cm off the cap height and was able to set the sleeve with almost no ease at all.

White jersey jacket à la Claire Shaeffer

This project was long time coming. I purchased the fabrics in Fabricville over the years, then in 2018 I did a blog post for Fabricville featuring Claire Shaeffer’s jacket pattern. And then it all came together – the fabrics, the patterns, the mood.

White jersey jacket

First of all, I simplified the pattern and eliminated the pockets. Second, I raised the gorge and extended the lapel. Third, I added 2 deep pleats to the sleeve. Forth, I did not use sleeve and bottom hem facings.

Padstitching the lapels to organza interfacing

To put the jacket together, I used synthetic organza as interfacing. Pad stitched the lapels. For the rest of the garment, there are no interfacings, as the fabric is fairly stable and has a good hand. The buttonholes are all handmade. It took me about 1/2 hour for each of them.

Handy markings on nail to maintain consistent distance from the edge

The trousers are self-drafted. By Maya’s request, I made a 10cm wide contoured waistband.

Maya wears white jersey jacket à la Claire Shaeffer and turquoise cotton twill trousers

Photos 2 and 6 courtesy of Christine Ball.

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My (almost) first shirt


Stripe shirt

I wanted a dress shirt. I needed a dress shirt. Shirts are expensive. Shirts need to fit well. I took on a challenge. I bit more than I could chew.

The draft

Honestly, it is not my first shirt . There was one before. It was drafted according to the Rudschau system (M. Mueller). It was okay. I was not very happy with the fit, and it was not very comfortable to wear, because I drafted the sleeve too narrow.

This time around I started from scratch. Again I employed the Rundschau drafting system and followed it to the T. I was careful not to make the sleeve too narrow. The result was far from perfection. See exhibit A.

Exhibit A. Front

Exhibit A. Back

I drafted the shoulders slope too square (diagonal folds from the chest down). I found the shoulder width too wide. There was a lot of ease in the sleeve. The sleeves were too long. The collar too small.

Completion of the 2-year project

I made the changes. Re-cut the fabric (a linen from Fabricville), started to put it all together and… it ended up in the unfinished pile for almost 2 years. This summer I pulled it out. Finished it. It felt good to complete something.

Sleeve cuff before buttonholes

Sleeve seem

Shirt felled seems

Preparing felled seem before setting the sleeve

The result is that again, it is not perfection. I added to the collar, but it is still too tight on the neck. I aggressively narrowed the shoulders – the proportions and the fit are still off. There is probably not enough ease in the sleeve, so there is pulling in the front of the armpit – the shirt is not so comfortable again.

Wearable toille

I am still on my learning curve.

Jalie’s sport top into casual dress

Sometimes projects don’t turn out to be a success. This is one example.

Jalie's sport top front bodice
Jalie’s top’s front bodice

In the spring of 2018 my plan was to introduce a new casual dress into Maya’s wardrobe. It did not seem to be a difficult task, because I have already sewn a few successful jersey dresses for her using a Rundschau draft. I was given a few meters of this lovely red floral print jersey by Fabricville. I was exited. (more…)

Fabricville x Jalie = Lace Bomber Jacket

A casual bomber jacket in chic lace fabric – how does it fit in a curated wardrobe? Is it a piece that you would reach for time and time again, or is it a once-in-a-while kind of garment, which is hard to pair with other clothes? Upon completion of this sewing project these were exactly the questions that me and my lovely half had to find answers to.

I could smell the spring in the air, and that meant for some meaningful wardrobe renewal. My spouse Maya was talking about this sporty / casual / easy look of the bomber jacket. We have tried countless iterations from cheap $10 garments to some in the hundreds of dollars. There was always something off: too blouse-y, too cropped, too long, too tight, wrong colour or fabric quality.

Lace, Jersey, faux leather and other goodies