Friday, June 17, 2011

Burda Style 6/2011

A few days ago, I mentioned the Burda Style magazine I picked up recently (6/2011), and people seemed interested in a recap of what's inside. Well, I'm sick of doing thesis edits, so here's that recap! WARNING: Picture Heavy!

Being the June edition, there's a strong bias towards beach wear and fun summery clothes. I adore almost all of it. While there's not a lot of structured garments, who wants to wear constricting clothes in the summer! There's some fabulous basic pieces in this.

First off, they did a bit of a tribute to Brigitte Bardot, and from what I read in this article, they hit the nail on the head capturing her style, with lots of feminine and chic - but simple - pieces, and great styling.

LOVE this top! (And the one above it, too!) It'd be difficult to get the wide neckline right so that it's not slipping off the shoulder or showing off bra straps (although I just discovered that strapless bras can actually be comfortable if you get the right kind, so I may need to take advantage of that). This would look fantastic with my denim pencil skirt, I think!

Okay, so I won't be wearing a bikini any time soon, but I've been wanting to make some simple undergarments for relaxing at home, so I'm not stuck in my more structured pieces. I really want to make this bikini top, and I want to try out the bottoms as underwear, as I don't have a pattern that works for wovens.

J'adore this dress, although I'm not sure if it'd be a good look on me with my larger bust and hips. The sweatheart neckline, fitted bodice, and flaired skirt in such a feminine floral fabric is just lovely!

They recommended painting little hearts on a pair of ballet flats (which I think is a cute idea, actually), and I loved the look so much, I was inspired buy these ballet flats (below) yesterday!

I wasn't a fan of the next set of garments, although they were certainly colourful! I liked this one below as a cover-up in the summer, though!

I wonder if a pattern for the parrot is included?

Okay, so the dress above is cute, but I can't get away with wearing something like this. With a larger bust and hips, I'd probably look like I was wearing a potato sack (granted, a colourful and fun potato sack). Probably wouldn't be hard to fix, though, with a self-fabric belt or something.

What I liked about this Burda edition is that they're targeting beginner sewists. They wrote up this step-by-step tutorial to make the pink dress above (it even has pockets!), and I think it's a much better first project than the shorts or A-line skirt most people start with! Really easy with great results. May need to keep this in mind for the next time I convince a friend to start sewing!

Don't these two dresses scream summer? I noticed that Burda remakes the same garments in different fabrics and styles throughout the magazine, but I liked that as you can see the diversity of the pattern. I often get stuck on how the envelope design and get intimidated from trying different fabrics, so I appreciated the multiple versions of the same pattern.

I'm loving all the plaid fabric they used! Seriously, Fabricland needs to get some larger print plaids in stock.
Okay, this is the same blouse shown in the Brigitte Bardot section, but how cute is it made up in a sheer fabric! I wish I'd seen this before I cut into my sheer black polka dot fabric shown here.

Love this wrap top...thing. They had made it up as a beach cover up earlier on in the magazine, but it only caught my eye here in the white. See, that's another reason to appreciate them making it up in different fabrics! Diversity, I love it.

Once again, another good beach cover up when full length. I like the simplicity of it, rather than the drape-y complexity of the bright one shown earlier in the post. I also think this would make a fantastic top if shortened, or a great dress if you omit the slits! Yay longer sleeves!

This is a very basic and loose top, but I really like it. It would be easy to adjust, too. Add a self-fabric belt or a bit of shirring on the sides or back to define the waist a bit, and it'd be perfect!

The dress here is just a longer version of the top above, and I adore the simple lines. Once again, very easy to alter, if needed. I love the idea of making it in an eyelet, although I'm always torn with the fabric. Do you line it? Leave it unlined?

I'm always on the look out for cute blouses. I'm not sure if this one would ever work for me and my curvy body, but I love the simplicity of it, and the gathers at the shoulder front. Here though, it's styled to be another beach cover up.

I wasn't a big fan of most of the trousers in this edition, to be honest. Cute fabric, though. For those of you with little boy sprogs, the shorts the kid is wearing is also in the magazine.

Actually, there were some cute kids outfits in this magazine. My favourite is this adorable purple dress. And also maybe the man carrying her. Where can I get one of those?!

In previous Burda magazines that I've managed to take a look-see through, I've generally been impressed with the plus sized garments. In fact, I'm planning on making this dress from Burda Style 9/2010. So I was excited to see what summery garments they'd come up with in this edition.

Boy was I disappointed. Granted, the coat above is sort of cute, but everything in this section was baggy drapey shapeless knits in black. Wow summery.

I mean, can it get much uglier and less flattering than that dress on the right? And what the heck is going on around the crotch of those pants? Maybe they'd be nice if made up, but I doubt I'd ever give them a shot.

The preview for next month is pretty uninspiring, I'll be honest. I probably won't even try to track it down. There's enough pieces that I love in this edition that I don't really need to, anyways.

However, this plus-sized dress is promising...may be worth checking out on the Burda Style site.

So there's a quick recap of some of my favourite (and less than favourite) garments from the June edition of Burda Style! I don't know about you guys, but I'm excited to try out a few of them! The only downfall of the magazine is this:


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

One Year (+ 1 Day) Blogiversary!

So apparently yesterday was my 1 year blogiversary! I was actually anticipating this and considering what to do to celebrate for a few weeks now, but between actually winning the Sewtropolis giveaway yesterday and stressing over final thesis corrections, it completely slipped my mine.

Plus part of my plan is sitting in Manitoba.

BUT THAT'S OKAY! I'm just going to do what I did for my 30th birthday this year, and postpone it! Just as I plan to party it up this summer once I return home, so too will I have my little blog party next month or something!

Instead, here's a picture of my Grandma (Mom's Mom, second from the right) at a party in 1963. I thought it was my Mom in the picture until I saw the date at the top. We've already established that I look exactly like my Mom.

So if I want to know what I'll look like when I'm in my 70's, I just need to look at my Grandma. That's alright though, because she's beautiful! I aspire to someday have as many laugh lines as she has!

Cousin on the left, honorary cousin on the right, gorgeous Grandma in the middle!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sewtropolis Quilt Kit Giveaway Winner!

HOLY HANNAH, 3 posts on 3 consecutive days! Don't get used to this, I really don't have that much free time right now!

Sewtropolis is a sewing studio and fabric store located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where you can come by and take a class or just use their sewing room for a very low hourly rate. I'm sort of desperate to go visit it, because it's basically my dream sewing place.

Well recently, the Sewtropolis studio blog, run by Nikol, moved over from blogspot to wordpress. In order to encourage her followers to follow her in the move, she hosted a giveaway for a kit to make this adorable baby zig zag quilt top (based on a design by Cluck Cluck Sew).


Honestly guys, I'm having a fantastic month! Totally made my dreary Monday morning when I received that text on my phone.

Of course, this means that I'll be learning to quilt again. I swore to never quilt again after making a scrabble quilt for my Mom.

Okay, it's flipped sideways, but you can only tell because of the star in the middle and the weird angle. :) Dimensions are 3.5 x 3.5 feet. It was supposed to be bigger, but I forgot about seam allowance. Give me a break, it was one of my first real sewing projects!

This was the backing fabric, a soft flannelet with random words all over it. PERFECT!

*gesters you over*
But let me tell you a secret. I've secretly been wanting to try it again. There is nothing more cozy than a quilt, and considering my love of colours, it's right up my alley!
*ssshhhh* Don't tell anyone! I have a quilting-hating rep to maintain. ;)

Ahem. Anyways, if nothing else, it'll be a fun project to tackle, and will definitely force me to practice my straight stitching! Plus it's baby-sized! Baby-sized things are too much fun!

Of course, this time I'll be using a grown up sewing machine instead of poor little Herbert here:

Aw Herbert. My first sewing machine! A $20 Walmart special. He was such a trooper too, and great for hauling along to sewing/craft nights! I've passed him along to a friend last December (was sad to see him go, too). Actually, I'm heading over there this evening with a bunch of supplies from my stash to help her get started. YAY ENABLING!

Now I just need to get at my sewing machine, Maggie, which won't happen until at least next month. GUYS, I JUST WANT TO SEW! :(

Thanks again, Nikol of Sewtropolis. I hope you enjoy your new blog home!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fabric and Pattern Rewards!

Okay, so despite trying to reduce the amount of stuff I still need to ship home - including my fabric stash - I went fabric shopping yesterday. To those who suggested it in my last post, obviously we fabric fiends think alike!

These are both cotton voile (see! I'm getting better at keeping track of fabric type). I couldn't decide which one I liked best, so I uh..bought 3 m of each. But I do have a plan for them! Or one of them, at least.

I borrowed Fuss's copy of Burda Stype 9/2010 because I need to make that purple dress (pattern 137)! And also maybe everything else in this picture. My best friends little sis is getting married this August, and I think this would be a fun summery dress to wear to it. I really like the look of the line art, with the tie and front pleats, the shirred cuffs, and even those epaulets.

Of course, I couldn't decide which fabric and it requires 3 m, so I got both. Playing around with the fabric, though, I think I've made my choice of which I'll use.

I think the blue flowers (because these two fabrics are actually the exact same print but in different colour schemes) stand out too much from the background. It's sort of distracting. It'd probably be fine, but it's not the overall look I was going for with this dress. The later picture, with the pink flowers on the light blue background is much more what I was wanting. More subtle, I guess.

I think I need to try modeling my fabric more often! Definitely helps me 'see' how the fabric will work on me.

Also, I bought myself my very first Burda magazine, and I absolutely adore the latest edition. Maybe I'll do a recap of the patterns available in it (and which ones I'm drooling over) next time! Can't sew right now as my machine is in Manitoba, but a sewist can dream, can't she?

Saturday, June 11, 2011


I did it!! I successfully defended my M.Sc. thesis! In fact, my committee members each told me it was well written and a good read! I'm not sure how much I believe that last point, but then I guess you need to take into account the amount of undergrad term papers they've just recently graded. :)

I looked pretty sharp in my Mariana Trench Dress, if I do say so myself! (Sorry for the crummy dirty-mirror picture. Forgot to get someone to take one earlier.) My supervisor was impressed when she found out I'd sewn it myself, and a friend said the magic words: "it looks store bought, not home-made at all"! The best thing, though, was that I felt and looked professional and confident in my appearance while up there, even if I was a giant bundle of nerves.

I treated myself to a new pair of shoes for the event, but I can't tell you how long it took to find some basic, grey (or grey-ish), low-heeled, non-bedazzled club shoes that didn't have cork anywhere. Thanks Fuss for the patience and sharp eyes while shopping, I probably wouldn't have noticed these without your help!

Do you know what the best part was? Despite all of my family being a province away, they were all with me up there while I defended. You see, I'm all about symbolism. It's the reason I wanted to wear something I'd made myself, since that dress represents new skills that I've learned during the last 3 years of this degree.

Allow me introduce you to the representatives of the people I care about the most, and send out my thanks for their unwavering support:

Grandma D: My Mom's Mom was represented by the diamond pendant necklace she gave me for my high school graduation in 1999. She is the most stubborn and determined woman I know, and while also one of the big procrastinators in my family, is excellent at Getting Stuff Done when needed. It was those inherited traits that got me through the final drive to finish this degree. Thanks Grandma!

Memere and Pepere: My Mom's Dad and Step Mom were represented by the gold earrings they gave me May 2008 as a thanks for assisting at their wedding. (Yes, their wedding - Memere decided that after 36 years of training, she was finally willing to marry the poor guy.) Love you two!

Mom and Dad: My wonderful parents gave me this silver watch Christmas 2004, and I rarely am without it to this day. And it even helped me keep to my presentation time limit!

Aunty Monda: My favourite great aunt was one of my biggest supporters, and unfortunately passed away this February. However, she was up there with me when I wore the gold spiral bracelet she gave me Christmas 2008. Thank you Aunty Monda, I wish you were here to see me finish this bloody degree (despite the procrastination)!

Dad: My Dad passed away in 2006, and because of that I wanted something extra to represent him with me when I defended. I had his electrician zippo sitting next to my computer as a good luck charm so that the bloody computer would behave and not freeze/crash/shut down randomly like it's been doing lately. Thank you Dad, because the computer behaved itself!

My Brother, TJ: Also sitting next to my computer, in case it did die and I needed to stab it or something, was the pocket knife that my brother gave to my Dad, which my Mom then gave to me after Dad died. Because the little brat went and took all of Dad's tools, so Mom didn't feel at all bad giving me a pocket knife that I'd would (and have) used. :) THANKS BROTHER!

Grandma C: The gold cameo ring is actually a stand in for another gold ring I left behind in Manitoba that was given to me by my Grandma C. Whoops! We'll just hand-wave that symbol, eh? Thank you for all the support, Grandma (I know you're reading this). Sorry for all the worries I've caused you. Love you!

My Mom and Step-Dad Ron: I couldn't have done this without my Mom and Step-Dad's support, especially this past winter when I needed to move back home. They are represented by the beautiful silver with aquamarine ring they gave me Christmas 2010. Love you guys so much!

Uncle Gavin: I never would have gone to university if it weren't for my uncle. He helped me out when I needed it, paid off my debts, helped me look into student loans and got me enrolled in university back in 2002. I wouldn't be here if it weren't for him. So my geoscience ring (the one in the middle with the seismic symbols and crossed hammers), that I received when I graduated with my geology degree in 2008, represented my uncle during my defense. Thanks Uncle G.!

One of the most important lessons I learned through this degree was that my Family means the world to me, and are more important than almost anything else in my life right now. Thank you all for your unwavering support and love, despite the long silences and once-yearly visits. You're all the best family a woman can have, and I was proud to have you all up there with me when I finished my degree. I love you all!

In addition, thank you, my lovely readers. Your patience with my long silences, hiatuses, and unfinished projects was very much appreciated! While updates will continue to be a little sporadic for the next few weeks, I will be posting again, I promise! :)
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