I’ve been silent for way too long!  That doesn’t mean that I haven’t been making things… more that I haven’t been able to convince my hubster to take great pictures of the things I have made.  Really, I should just use the self-timer more.

So, since I last posted, I’ve made myself a burgandy stretch velvet skirt, an awesome pair of jeans (which I then grew out of, I must do something about that) and most recently a pair of dress pants for work.

For the latter, I started with a Burda pattern (Vol 8/04, adapted from style 105).  For length, I cut to the line for style 104, I didn’t make cuffs, and I didn’t add the front pocket flap either.  The back features faux pocket flaps – I wanted the detail without the fuss.  Because I’m carrying a little extra weight at the moment, I also made some changes to the actual pattern pieces.  The style went up to 42, which was fine for the waist (in fact, I had to remove some material from the back waist), but I have chunkier hips and thighs.  Instead of playing with the outside leg seams, I made the adjustments on the crotch and inner leg seams, effectively scaling them to a 44 from my wider bits.  In the past I’ve done this using the marked pattern lines, and just rejoining them, but as this style didn’t go up quite big enough, in this case I actually had to do the measuring and drafting work myself on those seams.  So I can tick off a new skill!

Do these pants make me look short?
Full length rear view


Here, Kitty Kitty!
And the all important question: Does my butt look good in these?

I think these pants are a success.  I don’t have a pic to prove it, but the fly is very nicely done.

Purple silk top from Veronica Main, shoes from Hannahs, handmade earrings by zippitydoodah.

Kitty model is M from next door.  Hobbes was hiding (and I needed to distract M from stealing his food).


I conquered my confusion

I made myself a new dress for work from freebie houndstooth, and conquered my mental block on sewing bodice linings.

I have long struggled with trying to work out how on earth a fully lined neckline and armholes work.  Wanting to make myself work-suitable dresses meant that I really needed to get over this.

So when one of my colleagues gave me some black and white houndstooth crimpolene(!) that her mother was clearing out of her stash, I decided it was time to face this conceptual block once and for all.  This dress made up like a dream – apart from a few weeks in the middle of making it when I got a bit busy with other stuff…

Houndstooth Dress

I had to alter the pattern (Burda issue 01/04, style 111) somewhat, as it is quite fitted through the skirt, and while my top half might fit a Burda 38 well, the lower half is something more like a 42.  There are no side seams on this dress, rather princess seams front and back, and long underarm darts for shaping.  I didn’t get the adjustment quite right on front panel, so I had to take those darts in a little more.  I’ve still got a little too much fabric across the front waist, but nothing that I can’t cover up with a belt or cardie.

Is it possible to be coy while wearing houndstooth?

The seaming through the back on this style is really nice.  I realised as I was cutting that the darts had slightly different shaping on each side, so I marked them carefully with chalk and basted by hand, matching up the lines before stitching.  I’m sure this helped with the overall fit and finish, especially for the side darts.  You can’t really tell from this image, but the invisible zip is near perfect :-).  I love how they are so much easier to insert and I especially love that you don’t have to handstitch the lining to them in the back.  Because you don’t topstitch like you do with a normal lapped zip opening, you can just flip the lining over so you have the right sides facing, and then stitch the lining into the seam allowance along the teeth of the zip.

And it turns out I had nothing to be worried about with the neck and arm edges.  I followed the directions in the Burda magazine for pushing and pulling, and got a really neat finish, even without using a wooden spoon!

I think I nailed the neckline and arm edges!

The last thing I made

Showing off the last dress I made.

Whoops, February is slipping away on me, and I still haven’t made anything new.  I have to take the machines in for servicing this week, so it might be a little bit until I have something really new, but in the meantime, I thought I’d show you that last thing that I did make myself.  I whipped this dress up for my parent’s 50th anniversary.  It’s made an appearance several times this summer, as it’s light and easy to wear.  And flattering, which is always a good thing.

Light summer dress

The pattern is from Burda Magazine 6/2005, style 112.  I didn’t add the pockets or frills though – not quite me :-).  I also added a lining, as the fabric is a very light cotton.  It’s cut on the bias, and I think if I make it again (quite likely) I’ll skip the zip, as it’s easy enough for me to slip on and off over my head.

What’s coming next?

As suggested by Cindy, I definitely need to get on to making myself a new handbag.  I also found an almost finished pair of jeans that I put aside about 3 years ago, after a booboo on the waistband.  Stay tuned!

Forward Planning

Help Elisabeth choose her first project for her handmade makeover.

Ok, so here’s my list of projects that I want to complete in the next wee while.  Help me choose what to make first!

  • new casual trousers
  • new trousers for work
  • new top for work
  • new dress for work
  • new jeans
  • new jeans for the hubby
  • new handbag (for me!)
  • re-cover my lounge chairs
  • new roman-blind for my bedroom

So, what should I start with?  Leave a comment below to help motivate me 🙂

It’s not just me!

HandMakeMeOver isn’t just going to be about me: there will be other contributors as well!

Well hello!

I mentioned that I was setting up the blog to a few friends, and I’ve managed to convince a couple of others that they should join in the fun!  So this blog isn’t just going to be about me and my handmade makeover, but will feature projects from others as well.  With any luck, there will be a new project to read and talk about each week.

I’ll be back soon with a list of the projects I’m looking to complete over the next few months, and to introduce my fellow contributors.


Hello and welcome

Welcome to HandMakeMeOver.

Welcome to HandMakeMeOver!

I’m a bit of a fabricoholic – my stash is rather large.  In the past, I used to make lots of clothes for myself, but recently I haven’t been so good at actually sewing up that fabric into stylish garments.  In the meantime, my wardrobe has got to feel a bit boring, and mainly bought.

I decided that this needs to change, and  I’ve started this blog to help me stay motivated.  I’m going share my revamp with you, but also, I hope that you’ll help me out along the way with comments, feedback, and most importantly, advice.  Help me look stylish again!  Help me with my Handmade Makeover – help me HandMakeMeOver!