But before I start on my 2014 year of Burda of the months, I thought I'd round up all the ones I made last year to see if there were any lessons to be learnt to guide me in the coming year. Probably not though, I tend to see my Burda pattern each month as an opportunity to try something new and different so I basically just go with whatever catches my eye.
January - 1/2013 #106 Panelled Dress
I love the fabric I used for this dress, a gorgeous blueberry coloured ponti knit purchased from Tessuti Fabrics at the first Sydney sewists meetup, but I find the dress a bit blah and have hardly worn it to be honest. I think it's mainly because I don't have anything to wear with it, and it gets really cool in my office so I do need a jacket of some sort, but also I don't think those horizontal seams across my bust and my hips are all that flash. And the zipper bulges a little at the centre back which annoys me. In fact I've already started unpicking this dress with plans to make it into something else - the fabric is too nice to languish at the back of the wardrobe.
February - 2/2013 #133 Paisley Dress
I listed in this my Top 5 least favourite makes of the year so no more really to be said - hardly worn, hard to style and not really me. At least the fabric was stash fabric that has now been used up. Lesson learnt: the hippy, boho look is not for me.
I quite like this dress - it's sweet and simple, the fabric is a lovely colour and an interesting texture and it was deep out of the stash. The ribbons along the centre front darts probably start too high on the bust point, but I can live with it. The only problem is that I don't really have a jacket that goes with it to wear it more often. Lesson learnt: make garments that pair with at least one existing wardrobe occupant or sew something with it to make an outfit!
April: 4/2013 #109 Shift Dress
This dress also featured in my Top 5 list recently, albeit on my Top 5 favourite makes of last year. It's a very a simple shape, in fact it's pretty shapeless but I've come to like the narrow neckline and cut away armhole sleeves. The fabric I used was a gorgeous piece from the stash that had been waiting for the right pattern to come along. Lesson learnt: a dress does not always need to be extremely close fitting to be gorgeous.
The May Burda project was the second chance prize for this issue, after my initial pick, a tie neck blouse turned out to be a complete wadder that ended up in the bin. These were quickly made mostly on the overlocker, using a cotton voile that had been in the stash for a while. And I can honestly say that these are probably the most worn garment in my wardrobe - well they are pyjamas after all! And actually I do like the fit of these so I may make them again - but probably not in floral satin to wear with a blazer and heels like the Burda model....
So the June Burda project didn't actually get finished until mid July, but the dress turned out so lovely that it was worth the weight. This is another one my list of Top 5 faves for the year. And the fabrics were all from stash fabric. I can't wait for the weather to cool down so I can wear it again. I'd like to make a sleeveless version when I can settle on the right fabrics because it is a well drafted and well fitting pattern.
This project was also finished in July, meaning I knocked out two Burda of the month projects in July. This is a rather simple cowl neck pattern, made from a silver lurex knit that had been in the stash for a while. I've only worn this top a few times, not because it's not lovely but because I mainly wear dresses when I go out. If I were to make this again I would make the straps from satin with some topstitching because I really like the way Quilt, Sew, Sew Sue's version turned out (review here).
August: 8/2013 #106 Fitted Blazer
August's project was also rather late and not finished until mid September but again it was totally worth the wait because this might just be the project I'm most proud of making! Another one from my Top 5 fave list, the superb drafting of the pattern, perfect fit and the absolute loveliness of the raspberry red wool crepe I used all added up to the perfect wardrobe piece for me. I definitely have plans to make another one of these soon. Fabric also came from the stash, although it had only been in there for a few years so one of the more recent purchases.
September: 9/2013 #130 Pencil Skirt
Another project not made in time! This skirt annoyed me so much while making it, that the only reason it wasn't thrown in the bin in a fit of anger is because it matches the jacket and I needed it to make a suit. The fit was funny, I didn't shorten it before cutting it out so the vents became non existent and basically I should have chosen another pattern. But it's done, and I wear it but I shall never use this pattern again!
October: 10/2013 #127 Floral Pants
These were a surprise hit for me - for someone who hardly ever sews or wear pants I wear these floral ones in linen cotton quite a lot! The fabric (from the stash) does stretch out and sag a fair bit so the fit goes from being really good to about a size too big rather quickly, but worn with sandals and a tee or a shirt they've got that casual summer vibe happening. The legs of the pants aren't as narrow as the pattern or the model indicates though. I also made a pair of shorts from this same pattern in a firm stretch drill which retain their good fit so for me these are a winner - possibly my TNT pants pattern?
November - 11/2013 #103 Keyhole neck blouse
This one just scraped into the month of November, and while nothing special it has been a useful top to wear on the days when it's been really hot here but I need some coverage from the sun because the cotton voile (also from the stash) that I used is the perfect weight to achieve both. I need to take off the cuffs and make them a little wider though because they do ride up and feel a bit tight around my elbows after wearing it for a while. I do like the graceful gathers around the neck, and I may make another version with long sleeves in winter from an appropriately drapey fabric.
December - 12/2013 # 118 Floral Pencil Skirt
One of my most recent makes (again being a little late and not made in the month of issue), a simple skirt style but made more interesting by the textured and printed fabric that came so far from the depths of the stash I can't even remember where or when I purchased it. The skirt is probably not going to go on high rotation in my wardrobe being so distinctive, and I'm not sure it screams corporate wear either but it's nice enough to be worn with casual flats and a white shirt out shopping without looking like I should be at work. Plus the whole point of making this pattern was to develop a TNT pencil skirt for future makes - this one still needs a little tweaking.
So yay to me for completing my self imposed Burda challenge for 2013, I can honestly say now that I got my money's worth from Burda subscription. Also yay for using stash fabrics for each project - not that there's a noticeable reduction in the amount of my stash, but I'm slowly chipping away at it!