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We just can’t get enough of our talented variation designers from The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook! This week get the scoop from Karin Arver (aka: ichigogirl) and the process behind the creation of her gorgeous jacket project based on our Coat Pattern.

I’m in a sewing book, wow! I still can’t really believe it. I think once you read this I’ve held the actual book in my hands and it’s all real, but as I’m writing this it’s still a bit abstract. In a good kind of way!

When I received the email from BurdaStyle saying they’d like to invite me to participate in The BurdaStyle Sewing Book I really couldn’t believe it! Both because I couldn’t believe I would get the chance to be in a project as exciting as that (I was really, really honored, and quite surprised), and then because the e-mail was sent to my secondary e-mail adress, that I only check once in a while!

I chose to sketch variations of the dress- and the coat-patterns, simply because they were the two patterns that appealed to me the most. I went crazy sketching, I think I must have made 40 different ones out of which I sent BurdaStyle three dresses and eight coats. I really enjoyed it, I’ve always liked to draw but I draw by hand much too rarely. The garment that was eventually chosen by BurdaStyle to be in the book is actually a variation of another one of the jacket sketches that I sent to them.


I think the most difficult about writing the instructions was that I had so very little time to do it. I only had a couple of short evenings and half a day to make the pattern and write the instructions since I had a trip to France coming up just a couple of days after I got the original pattern. What doesn’t a girl do to get to visit the French Riviera? And to be in a book? She works hard.

I must give credit (and thanks!) to my friend Malin who was coming with me to France, and stayed at my place overnight before our flight, for keeping me alive during the last few hours of pattern manipulation and instruction-writing, I would have starved if she hadn’t been there to serve me food and drinks. Like an angel.

When I got back from France I only had a couple of days to sew the jacket. Since those two days clashed with the week my family was to meet up in our summer house, I decided to take the project there. My mum was kind enough to bring her sewing machine, and everyone was kind enough to stay away from the dining table during the days I spent sewing.


After a few days of hectic sewing (during which I had to change the size of the yoke and only just had enough fabric, quite a scare), in the most beautiful sewing room I can imagine (in a glass verandah, a few meters from the sea, overlooked by an ancient spruce forest). I was finally done at 3 am in the morning. The next day I had to go to the city (town rather) and hand my jacket over to FedEx for it to be shipped across the ocean. I did have the time to photograph it on a hanger, on a branch in a tree by the water, but not on me jumping around on the soft boulders by the sea on the other side of the forest as I had originally intended to. Oh well, I must compromise once in a while.


Before I saw the preview of the book, I had high expectations for the it but I had no idea what to expect. I must say that even with high expectations I was positively surprised when I got to read the preview, I really love the graphic design, layout and the pictures and I was stunned to see what everyone else had made. It’s fabulous! I’m still very honored to be a part of it.


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    Mar 27, 2012, 06.15 PMby suechtique

    Hi,Karin. You were here. I missed this post so i sent message on FB after i bought my burdastyle sewing handbook. It’s gorgeous. It’s dream of sewyer being part of such a great book. What a lucky girl you are. What a talented sewyer you are. Congrats!!!!

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    Feb 24, 2012, 07.36 PMby somayeh

    oh thanks to God you are here! i am finding difficulty in understanding your lovely coat. i have two problems so far( i am altering the patterns one by one)


    I was planning to make Karin’s coat described on page 150 of the book but i came across a little issue. On page 152, FRONT YOKE FROM FRONT BODICE section 1, line4 says:

    Draw a straight line extending about 6"(15cm) in from the bottom point of the neckline curve, perpendicular to the center front. Draw a 4"(10cm) reference line down from the endpoint of the first line, parallel to the center front. We’ll use these as reference lines.

    Now if you look at the illustration there is no sign of the 6"(15cm) line instead you can see a 2"(3cm) long line.

    I am confused, which is the correct measurement?

    second: i cant understand step two in making the sleeve. is it possible to give more explanations please?

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    Feb 2, 2012, 11.17 PMby nouvellegamine

    i received a copy of the Burdastyle Book for Valentine’s Day and your jacket was one of my favorite variations! I love the double yoke and mandarin collar details. Very inspiring :D

    1 Reply
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      Feb 15, 2012, 10.16 PMby ichigogirl

      Yey, thank you! Makes me glad!
      I actually gave my copy of the Book to my mum for christmas, I have to buy another one! I found loads of inspiration in it too, I wanna make a dress, or blouse!

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    Feb 1, 2012, 08.16 AMby 10ashus

    I do love jackets and your version has a fun personality. I am very happy you were chosen and that you struggled through the time line and succeeded brilliantly. Where did you get the inspiration for this design?

    1 Reply
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      Feb 1, 2012, 06.38 PMby ichigogirl

      Thank you so much!

      I was actually inspired by a jacket I bought ages ago, by the Swedish brand V AVE SR (former Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair), but I sketched quite a lot and it doesn’t look like it at all. The only similarity is the double yoke, that I’ve found is very good at keeping you warm, ie a good feature on a short jacket for cold weather.
      I think I sent ten different sketches to Burdastyle…

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    Jan 30, 2012, 04.34 AMby patti-r


    Your version is absolutely amazing!! Not so surprising to me, you have extraordinary talents in design, sewing and as a person.

    Congratulations on all your achievements!!

    Big Hugs, Patti
    1 Reply
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      Feb 1, 2012, 06.39 PMby ichigogirl

      Thank you SO much (it warms my heart to read your comment)!

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    Jan 29, 2012, 04.46 AMby rochelle49

    Wow! You made some great changes and such a beautiful jacket! You obviously have great talent! I envy you your sewing space. It sounds like heaven to be where you were. Congratulations on your selection and being highlighted!

    1 Reply
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      Feb 1, 2012, 06.42 PMby ichigogirl

      Thank you so much!

      Mmmm, I wish I could do all my sewing there… unfortunately it’s quite far away from where I live, about 60km’s north of here (“here” is Stockholm). My normal sewing space is my living room, and although I like it, the view is much less spectacular… (and it’s tiny and becomes very messy, but oh well).

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    Jan 29, 2012, 02.42 AMby sew4my3

    Hello ichigogirl! I was so impressed with your version of this pattern. Your skills and eye for fashion has always been an inspiration for me, so it was no surprise to open up the Burdastyle Handbook and find you appropriately represented. The coat turned out absolutely beautiful and after knowing the time and effort you put into it, makes it that much more desirable. Exquisite talent!

    1 Reply
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      Feb 1, 2012, 06.45 PMby ichigogirl

      Thank you so much! I’m glad to hear I inspire you (wow)!
      Sadly, the coat/jacket is way to small for me to wear, but that’s life. One day I might make another one :-)
      And it WAS a race to finish it in time (I’m glad my family was there to feed me and keep me company!). On the other hand, if I hadn’t finished it early in the morning I wouldn’t have experienced that magical dawn (in the 2nd and 3rd picture), it’s now etched in my memory as a cherished moment…

    • This is a question
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