Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Behaviour of Patterns (and patterns of behaviour)

I love Burda.  The patterns are brilliant. They accommodate the hips and waist of an hourglass figure with very little alteration –depending (ahem) on the state of that figure at the time.  And if I do happen to have reduced my waist at any stage through exercise or self control, I’m not usually too fussed about such a simple and happy pattern alteration.  I know that size 42 is a good starting point for me, and I know it will continue to be so provided I periodically exercise some self control or, er just exercise.  The size won’t change sneakily to accommodate my growing girth, because (in my experience) Germans don’t manoeuvre like that – they won’t flatter you or bend the truth to make a sale.

Interesting clothes, well drafted, and they go together beautifully.  I know some people don’t like their instructions (some people – should I rather say anyone who ever commented on the net about them?) I don’t find them to be better or worse than other companies – largely because I don’t read them when sewing unless truly stuck.  I do try to read them when not sewing, by way of entertainment, or education.  I tend to zone out about three sentences earlier in Burda but really that only means I get three and a half sentences into other pattern instructions. 

 I’ve sewn for a while, seen and tried many techniques, read books, made the odd garment. I know how most things should go together,  and youtube/instructibles/make etc supply the rest.  Actually, I haven’t bought a non-burda, non-op shop or vintage pattern since about 1993 anyway, so I have no idea what the instructions are like these days.  But I digress.

But I hate Burda for the fact that we get them here three sodding months late.  And that is the shortest delay.  Often it’s three and a half sodding months.  Which is a long time to a borderline OC who has to check the newsagent twice a day just to be sure (and thank god it's the local newsagent, or I would be found sobbing in corners).  This is not strictly Burda’s fault – clearly the distributor is just not that interested but hey, they chose those monkeys so actually yes it is their fault. 

Burda 2012.10.121 - really liking pocketss
But I love Burda because now I can bypass those monkeys by going direct.  As a result of which, for the first time ever, at least until the end of tomorrow, I have a current English language Burda in my hot little mitts.  And I’ve already sewn a skirt from it.  Which I like a lot.  And here it is…

Though I’m pretty sure I’m not quite so ..so… victorian dance hall in the silhouette in real life.  I hope not, as I really like the dart idea and the marsupial pockets.   I’m keen to adapt this idea to other bikeable skirt shapes.   

So, October 2012 Burda – sourced, devoured, stitched and now displayed, all before the end of the month.  A PB.  Of course now I haunt the mailbox twice a day.  In Europe they get the new Burda before the end of the month, doncha know. 

PS have now decided that knee boots above about 20 degrees  C is old school and aging.  I've sensed this change in the wind, but now it's here.  They are ok with jeans tucked in or tights and skirts in winter - for now.  But they no longer work for spring. And this would reduce the High Victorian pin-up effect too.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

On Bread

So I’m finally sewing. But not blogging about it – can I not do both together?  It would appear so far not!

However, tonight I had decided to try.  And I had a post have worked out in my head, but while procrastinating I looked at Kbenco’s blog and there it was already.  Pre-empted. ( But no-one reads this blog anyway, so here goes)

Soft focus trouser wearing shot in new bathroom
I was musing today on how there is much online discussion on “cake” sewing and “icing” ( I believe some may call it “frosting”) sewing, but in fact I seem to be stuck on bread sewing.  Really basic pieces that I can wear day after day to work, like well fitted work trousers.  Not ruthlessly memorable, because I may well want to wear them two days in a row. Made for my body which has hips and a short waist, and made well and hopefully flattering.

I dream of cake, I do, I yearn for icing.  But I want to wake up in the morning and put on something that is half decent and carries through my day helping me to feel good about being me. So bread is what I have been trying to sew.

Really boring very plain but versatile waistband

Gentle non-readers, these trousers gave me fits.  I just couldn’t get them over the line.  For a year  they fought me and I fought them.  There was very little actual unpicking as such, just a constant feeling of confusion and lack of interest.  I thought the fabric was too light once I’d cut them out (and it is, a bit, though ok for summer).  I thought I would feel like a blimp in them.  My head wanted to finish them - "nice fabric, goes with everything, very practical" but at heart I just wasn’t very interested, because they’re not very sexy.  So I would sew one seam and drift away to do something more interesting.

Rather nice, neat fly
Finally I gritted my teeth and  finished them at 1.30 on Sunday night.  And I’m still paying for that one – hence the soft focus shot.  Normally I would have worn them yesterday, being the first available day after finishing them.  But I just didn’t like them on me enough.
Actually rather groovy pocket/fly finish, if I say so myself.
Then I bit the bullet and  wore them today and they made me feel great. Comfy, cool, swishy -  I was really happy in the outfit I'd put with them.  I even got an unsolicitation from my most stylish work friend. Ciabatta! Baguettes!! Bread can be sexy!

And I have finally worked through a process to give me a fly finish I like inside as well as out, using the pocket yoke as a kind of curtain.  I may document that one later.

In fact I am a breadmaker in my cooking life as well, it's what I bring to work morning teas and family functions.  So I suppose that’s how it is. Bread for me.

But maybe cake tomorrow.