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17 January 2020

Starting 2020 with a new dress

Happy 2020 to all sewing and fashion enthusiasts out there!

I started off the year with a thought of no longer struggling through sewing projects that don't want to be.

After many hours stitching, unpicking and working on a chiffon dress pieces that started to look different every time I picked it up, I just got so fed up and thought. Time to let go. I'm not doing this anymore. So many hours of wrestling with idea in my head, and it feels like I'm just peddling mud and not getting anywhere. 

So, then and there, I made the decision, that starting now, in January of 2020, I will not longer struggle and battle through a pattern or pieces of fabric that don't want to work. So, I put the top of the dress (that was causing my headache) aside, took the bottom skirt pieces and made a quick a-line skirt with a wide black elastic and that was that. 
The skirt (that was supposed to be a dress) came out beautifully, by the way.

And there was my first new years resolution and I plan to cut out a few more things that just don't work, even if I've invested countless amount of hours on it.
Below is a dress I made during the holiday break. It was a real easy-peasy pattern drafted from a Burdastyle 6/2019 edition, pattern #123 and the fabric I chose is a drapey dress fabric with a satin woven finish on the right side and matt finish on the wrong side. The fabric and pattern is perfect for the hot summers here as the large armhole openings makes it nice and airy. 
No need for long sleeves and I omitted making the slip dress as it was not needed for this dress. I might use it for future projects though....

Blue dress - front and back view

Below are the sketches of the front and back of the pattern to show the boatneck shape of the neckline and the drop shoulder seam lines.
Burdastyle 6/2019 #123

30 October 2019

It's spring time and there are flowers everywhere!

After a very dry and dusty winter in Johannesburg, seeing flowers blooming everywhere is a welcome sight. There has been some rain, just enough to get excited about and dream of Spring time and Summer rain that are very much needed.

A little bit on the history to the trees. The Jacaranda "mimosifolia" is not a native African tree, but originated in South America. It is believe that the trees first arrived in Gauteng in 1888, during the Gold Rush and quickly became so popular that the trees were planted in every street during a time when the cities Johannesburg and Pretoria were growing very fast.

The fragrant purple blossoms are seen every year during the October and early November months, especially in Johannesburg and Pretoria's older suburbs.

The photos' below were taken in one of Johannesburg oldest suburbs, Kensington.

Kensington street, Jacaranda trees
Hello! That's me and my little girl posing for the camera

The ground is covered in fallen blossoms
More about Jacaranda trees and their history in South Africa, can be found here:

14 August 2019

Update on the 2 blouses

The first is a short sleeve blouse (Burdastyle 10.2015) with pleats around the neck, in stunning spring colors.

Close up images below of the pleats around the neck, facings and the short raglan sleeves. I decided on rounding the bottom edge seams and then ended up leaving a little opening higher up on the side seam.

Woohoo, the blouse looks great and the raglan style fits amazing too. The pleats around the neck gives plenty of space for the bust and chest area and very flattering also. 
Another stunning addition to my work wardrobe and will go with any of my black, blue and white pants!


The 2nd blouse (from Burdastyle 6.2019) has long sleeves with a bunch of pleats and a wide eye-catching placket at the front of the blouse.

So here are close-ups of the slit openings at the cuffs, below.

It took me a little longer than I thought it would, only 'cause it requires a little test run and then lots of patience and slow going on the machine.


Here are the 2 sleeves side by side, ready to insert into the arm holes.

Next, I will attach the cuff bands and button holes with buttons, attach the sleeves to the bodice and finally the finishing of the remaining part of the neckline.

And another look at the placket, this time completed, on the inside and the outside. I didn't tuck in the seams as some of the tutorials suggested. The overlocking stitches on the edges won't peek out or be visible to anyone but me, and I'm totally fine with that.


I can't wait to wear my new blouses in the coming months. Spring is just around the corner and the long sleeve blouse is cool enough in the cotton/viscose fabric that I will get a lot of wear out of it and it's perfect addition to my work outfits!