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Three-Piece BurdaStyle Ensemble Plus Personalised 'M' Tote

Added Feb 24, 2012

by mahaila

Berlin, Germany






It has been a few years since I made my last jacket, so I thought that it was about time that I took the plunge and made a well-tailored jacket. I must say, it was a little more challenging than I had initially anticipated. So naturally I learnt quite a bit from this project. I created the shorts, the top, and the ‘M’ alphabet tote bag to complete the entire ensemble.

1. burda style magazine Cropped Velvet Jacket
This was certainly an exciting project for me. It took me awhile to find this really lovely brocade fabric and I just knew that I could make a unique piece with it. First step of the jacket construction process was the muslin draft. I was so glad that I made the muslin version first as I ended up altering the pattern a great deal plus I was able to go through the instructions with little fear of making major mistakes. I also had great difficulties in understanding sections of the instructions. I often find that sewing instructions can be difficult to decipher. I have recently been trying to decode the German instructions in the magazine. My poor German language abilities make this task quite challenging, however I am sad to say that I discovered that the English version was just as hard to decipher. So I was naturally excited to read that BurdaStyle has recently reviewed and updated some of their pattern instructions. For the jacket I relied on YouTube clips and my pattern making book to guide me through the construction process. I ended up altering the pattern a great deal by significantly reducing the overall size. Alterations included reducing the cap ease, taking centimetres off each piece of the bodice, and increasing the dart intake. I made the necessary alterations to the pattern and hesitantly cut my main fabric. It sure was a treat working with this brocade. I added a boned cuff as I thought that it would really give some added character to the jacket. I am really happy with the cuff so I think I will share my love through a tutorial…hopefully coming soon.

2. burda style magazine Short Shorts with Back Pockets
I am loving little shorts at the moment. I have already made similar versions in black, navy blue, light blue with coral pockets, stripes, and houndstooth, yet I still have many more on my to-do-list! On this occasion I chose a burgundy coloured fabric with a subtle print as I felt that it would work well with the brocade jacket. I also widened the waistband to make them a little more high-waisted. A recent sewing goal of mine is to finish off garments properly, so these little beauties are fully lined.

3. burda style magazine Top from August 2011 Issue
This is the third version that I have made of this simple top. This top is made with a simple black cotton and I added a little floral pocket to make it somewhat more interesting. My other versions are made with jersey and chiffon (although not in combination). I think that I like the top so much as I like how it is cut.

4. The ‘M’ Fickle Sense Tote Bag
After having spoken to a heap of sewers it seems that many aspire to have their own little online craft/fashion store. I am one of these sewers and I am happy to announce that in early February I finally opened my own Fickle Sense Etsy Store which features alphabet tote bags and button earrings. It has been a long road. Many things went wrong including…I had great difficulties in finding a screen printing supplier. I struggled to find environmentally friendly fabrics. PLUS I broke my hand and my sewing machine decided to stop working part the way through. But it all worked out in the end :) so if you are thinking of starting your own online (or market stall) store…just do it!

So what did I learn from these projects?
1. Create a draft garment/muslin.
It’s the way to go! It saves you heaps of time (honestly it does!) and you get a better product at the end. This is the time where you can make mistakes and alterations. It may feel like it is a long process, but the end garment makes it all worthwhile.

2. Create lasting garments, finish them properly.
I am definitely guilty of rushing through the finishings in an effort to wear the item for an anticipated event. Lately I have spent the time lining the garments, finishing off edges properly, and hand sewing the finishing details….before I wear the garment! This last point is important.

3. Don’t underestimate the power of hand sewing.
When I first started sewing, I hand sewed everything! I have recently revisited it in a big way! Hand sewing slows the process down and can allow you to achieve a better fit.

4. Treat yourself to good quality (even if it’s once in a blue moon).
Sewing can be an expensive hobby which means that a lot of us can’t afford fantastic quality fabrics. I have recently allowed myself to purchase a few items that I have had my eye on for awhile. It’s nice to reward your hard work with quality purchases :). Maybe save up all of those spur of the moment cheap fabric purchases and spend your well earned dough on something that you really want.

Fickle Sense Blog
Fickle Sense Shop

Material Notes

Navy blue metallic brocade, purple lining, burgundy cotton blend, locally sourced calico




Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Garment Type
Casual, Vintage

17 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Missing

    Oct 16, 2012, 06.16 PMby aprilBerube

    I love the jacket and the short. I like how you mix clothes and match it. This is very cool for a cute girls out there. – Texas Lending

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    Mar 13, 2012, 12.22 PMby dmattson

    Very nice clothing; I’m also really impressed with your photos.

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    Mar 9, 2012, 08.07 PMby zranitelna

    Great choice of fabric, makes the jacket look very expensive and chic. I love your work and also the way how you allways make Berlin look the best on your pictures.. (I live just 5 min around the corner of frankfurter tor and the humana shop behind your back is one of my worst enemies :)

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    Mar 8, 2012, 12.33 PMby janene

    This is such a fabulous ensemble. I’m particularly drawn to your jacket because that is what I am working on right now…. or rather should be working on it if I wasn’t so busy with work! I have made the muslin and I agree the instructions are a nightmare especially if this is your first time making a proper jacket! But I did the same, ie looked up youtube videos… particularly useful for the welt pockets and for constructing the notched collar. Well it will be a while yet but thank you for posting yours. It really is great inspiration to carry on!

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    Mar 3, 2012, 11.45 AMby Vita Bonetto

    very beautiful!!

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    Mar 2, 2012, 12.13 PMby loulourosa

    What a nice combination. The jacket is beautifull!

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    Mar 1, 2012, 11.55 AMby Lolibraun

    What can I say, you inspired me to hand sew the seams, and yes it looks amazing.

    Thank you!

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    Feb 29, 2012, 09.37 AMby 10ashus

    I adore your choice of fabric and patterns for your outfit and handbag. The quality of your skills and your fabric is evident in the photos. Thank you for such a wonderful example of the sewing possibilities, how to put an outfit together, the detailed description, and the advice.

    I have an unfinished muslin that I have been avoiding due to fitting frustrations. I will finish it and my reward will be to purchase a quality fabric.

    Your photos are fantastic. Good luck with your Etsy shop!

    1 Reply
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      Feb 29, 2012, 11.03 PMby mahaila

      Wow! Thanks so much for your absolutely lovley comment. Much appreciated!
      Make sure that you post a photo of your garment once it is completed! good luck and thanks again for your lovely words:)

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    Feb 29, 2012, 03.41 AMby feydragon

    Beautiful, absolutely beautiful! Your time was truly well spent on making this jacket.

    1 Reply
    • 2008-04-24_093_large

      Feb 29, 2012, 10.59 PMby mahaila

      Thanks for your comment. I really appreciate it:)

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    Feb 28, 2012, 08.44 AMby libbysharf

    I love the whole style! Very well deserved to be featured… The pants looks so cute, I have to make them for the upcoming summer

    1 Reply
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      Feb 29, 2012, 10.57 PMby mahaila

      Thanks for your comment:) I love these shorts too… I can’t stop making them. BTW, I love your self drafted Blackberry Icecream Skirt. It’s a really great feeling when you can draft your own patterns:)

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    Feb 27, 2012, 09.52 PMby mokosha

    i love the blazer.. want to make it since i first saw it in the magazine, but i never seem to find the time to do it (i guess i have way too many planned projects already).. oh, and i also love your haircut :)

    1 Reply
    • 2008-04-24_093_large

      Feb 29, 2012, 10.50 PMby mahaila

      Thanks for your comment!
      Making this jacket was a little bit of a challenge, but if you have made these types of jackets before it should be a breeze…. and thanks for the comment on the hair, I am quite liking the short hair…. though I must say, I now get jealous of long hair:) I suppose you can never win:)

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    Feb 27, 2012, 07.28 PMby lunacyfringe

    I love this outfit, to cute!

    1 Reply
    • 2008-04-24_093_large

      Feb 29, 2012, 10.47 PMby mahaila

      thanks for the comment:) I really appreciate it!

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    Feb 27, 2012, 07.25 PMby leahfranqui

    This is fantastic, I love it! Well done.

    1 Reply
    • 2008-04-24_093_large

      Feb 29, 2012, 10.45 PMby mahaila

      thanks for your comment! Just had a look at your blog! I love the vintage style pieces:)

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    Feb 27, 2012, 06.32 PMby Anne Wagenhauser

    Very nice, and I absolutely love the jacket fabric, gorgeous!

    1 Reply
    • 2008-04-24_093_large

      Feb 29, 2012, 10.37 PMby mahaila

      Hi! Thanks for your lovely comment. I love the fabric too:)

  • Missing

    Feb 27, 2012, 05.47 PMby Lolibraun

    I love your style!

    Just this morning I was wrestling with the Idea…if I should hand sew the seems on a bolero, smile:-)

    1 Reply
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      Feb 29, 2012, 10.35 PMby mahaila

      thanks for your comment! I hope it all goes well with the bolero:)

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    Feb 27, 2012, 05.45 PMby infinite-plus-one

    wow, i love this! and after reading your post i’m definitely going to start making muslins, thank you (:

    1 Reply
    • 2008-04-24_093_large

      Feb 29, 2012, 10.33 PMby mahaila

      Hi! Thanks for your comment! Yeah making the muslin really worked out for me… particularly with something as tailored as a jacket! BTW I love your burdastyle cardi. It worked out really well:) perhaps I need to have a go at it too:)

  • Missing

    Feb 27, 2012, 05.42 PMby Petitemess

    I love the entire outfit. And the fabric of the jacket is really beautiful. Great work!

    2 Replies
    • 2008-04-24_093_large

      Feb 29, 2012, 10.30 PMby mahaila

      Thanks for your comment:)I really love your creations too! In particular the petite shorts!

    • Missing

      Mar 1, 2012, 06.51 PMby Petitemess

      Thanks so much!

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