Burda Colourblock Dress II

Ever since finishing the first Burda Colourblock Dress, I have had various colour combinations on my mind for a second or even a third version of this pattern – Burda 02/2012, model 117b.

I have been and still continue to wear the first version very often and it is very likely that the new dress will be one of my favourites as well:



As the pattern had been tested before, it was even easier and quicker to sew it up this time. The only time-consuming detail is changing the threads – when connecting different colour blocks, I use different colours of upper an lower thread accordingly.

The size I cut is the same as always for Burda patterns – size 38. The material is ponte knit – exactly the same quality and weight of fabric in different colours. I think this is also the most difficult part in colour blocking – finding the same fabric in different shades (and more than 2!) is not always easy.

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Isn´t it amazing how the shoes can change the whole look? I love high heels, but due to my work and lifestyle I cannot wear them as often as I would like to.

In March I will spend a short holiday in Paris with my mother and obviously the sportier look will be my choice. The edgy sneakers are from my trip to Portugal in September.


I think the pattern contains endless options – in addition to playing with different colours, one could also combine the same colour but different textures or materials – say, black ponte knit and faux leather? This would also be a solution if the same fabric cannot be found in several colours, as I pointed out earlier.


Burda Colourblock Dress

In winter and early spring we had a very rough time because of a serious health issue in the family and the general situation in crisis-hit Greece, so I didn´t have the time and energy even to look at Burda Style magazines for a couple of months, and of course when I finally came around, they had suddenly come up with some great patterns in February and March!

I managed to order these issues from Abo Press, France eventually and it seems they will be my favorite Burdas for a long time. It was also nice to get them in English, it is way easier to follow the instructions, because although I read Greek, the Burda instructions are notorious and I can certainly decipher English better than Greek.

One of the patterns that made me go through the whole ordering process was this colourblock dress, Burda February 2012, model 117b:

I also loved Amanda´s version and actually I was pretty sure that I would not copy the Burda colour scheme. But as I was fabric-shopping in Estonia in summer, I saw a suitable jersey in lime and changed my mind.

I made the last stitches on this dress on my birthday. The plan was to show the dress on the blog and then forget about it for some weeks at least, because it is too early for it here in Greece. But surprisingly enough, the chance to wear it came already yesterday!

I had arranged to meet my friend Anastassia, who happened to be in Athens for the weekend (another christening!) at 10 AM for a coffee, and although getting up early in the morning has never been my strong side, it was even more difficult yesterday, because it was raining outside, the air was cool and getting out of my cosy bed seemed not an option. But then it dawned on me that this could be the first chance to wear my new dress and out of the bed I was!

Because of the grey weather, the photos are not the best in terms of colour and clarity, but I hope they will do.

The dress was quite easy to make, apart from some stupid mistakes I made during the process. The mistakes were mainly due to the fabric looking exactly the same on both sides and so I managed to sew up something like a colourful chessboard, before I realized I had joined the wrong backs and fronts. So, it was easy to make but took me longer than it should have.

I omitted the tucks on the shoulders, as I liked the way they were without them and used an invisible zipper instead of the exposed one that the pattern calls for. I like the exposed zipper idea in general, but because I used it on one of my dresses already, I decided against it this time.

Another change that I made was omitting the snap fasteners in front. Since the dress has a zipper on the back, I don’t see a reason for leaving the front open at all. So the final stitches I made, was sewing the front yellow piece onto the beige from the inside, on the outside it still has the overlapping effect. I feel that this way the dress fits much better as well.

I cut size 38 and the fit was perfect, which was a relief, because otherwise it would have been difficult to make the colour blocks run smoothly at the side seams. The hemming was done by hand, so the stitches are not visible on the outside.

I am thrilled with the dress, because it is SO comfortable and I think it can be dressed up and down very easily by changing the footwear. Yesterday I wore it with black/silver leather flats in the morning and since the shoes got soaked, I ended up wearing the dress in the afternoon with wellies (rainboots), to meet another friend! The wellies were a bit extreme I guess, but I hate to have wet feet, so I didn´t really care.

The shoes that can be seen in the photos are Pump & Circumstance Nadine leather flats, very comfortable and although I purchased them last year from Amazon, I have noticed that metallic cap-toe shoes are around a lot recently.  I guess the silver leather toes of my shoes kind of fit the trend as well!

Another idea that still has to wait for colder days to try out, is to wear the dress with black matte tights and these Calvin Klein Karla booties that I absolutely love:

I don´t know why really, but the pewter-silver footwear seems to be the best for this dress, maybe because of the grey skirt-block.

By the way, I am so happy with the outcome, that I already got fabric to make the same dress in another colour combo! But that will have to wait a little, since right now I am working on Stefania´s dress and keeping fingers crossed for a good result!

Zebra Pants

Although I mainly prefer to sew dresses, I got very much inspired by one of the most interesting sewing bloggers, Erica B.  She made a pair of trousers recently, that I loved instantly and after taking a look around at some shops I realized I can make my own at a fraction of the price. At first I liked these Mango snake print pants a lot, but I had already bought a top with a similar print on it and I didn´t manage to find a suitable fabric here in Tartu, either.

Although Erica B. and Mango had opted for an elastic waist, I decided to try out a proper fly closing for my trousers.

The pattern I used is Burda February 2012 issue, model 103B:

In Estonia there is a very simple solution for finding Burda, Diana Moden, Ottobre and some other sewing magazine patterns with zero cost – they are available at most libraries and one can take the magazines home for tracing for 7 days at a time, unlimited amount of issues, free of any charge, only a registration at the library is required. I only wish I had such an opportunity in Greece as well, but I haven´t heard of it so far.

The reason why I mention this here is that although I have this February issue in Athens, I wanted to use the pattern now, being in Estonia and at that moment I was only able to find the Russian edition of Burda magazine at the library – they had given out the English one. So I traced the pattern, but I was pretty concerned about my ability to insert the fly with my poor Russian and the notorious Burda instructions.

Instead of getting myself into trouble, I googled around and came across this video tutorial. Another link to the same think is here. Probably a lot of sewists have seen it already, but it is simply amazing, or amazingly simple way of inserting a fly without any stress.

Here are my trousers:

The pattern was very easy to work with and I didn´t need to make  any alterations, apart from omitting the pockets. The zippers in the side seams were actually unnecessary, because the legs were wide enough, but as I had bought them already, I decided to use them anyway.

The fabric is synthetic charmeuse, very thin and slippery. I normally just zig-zag the seam allowances, but in this case it was impossible, because the fabric was fraying and it didn´t look nice. So, as I have been admiring the perfection of Amanda S.  garments and especially the amazing finishing on the inside, I decided for the first time to use bias tape for the seam allowances. I am so happy with the result, that I will probably start doing it on all of my clothes. It just looks so clean and neat!

So, thanks to some fantastic bloggers and hobby sewists, I got myself a pair of trousers that I am really proud of! And if I add all the expences for fabric and notions, I think the total cost of these was about 10 euros. Not bad!