Category Archives: Books

Burda WOF 4/07 #107B

I loved this style the minute my April 2007 Burda magazine arrived but am just now getting around to making it. Surplice tops look really good on me so I can’t resist one that has some unusual detail to make it a little different from all of the others in my closet. Well, when I was in JoAnn’s last week, I noticed that Burda had released this style as a paper pattern, #7828


So, I bought it figuring that the cost of the pattern would more than make up for not having to spend the time tracing. 🙂 I cut a straight 34 which fit me perfectly right out of the envelope. The only alteration I made was for a forward shoulder, I also narrowed the forearm of the sleeve by 5/8″ on each side during my final try-on. I don’t think my forearms are particularly thin so that might be an area to watch if you make this. The fabric is a beautiful rayon/lycra that I am pretty sure I bought from Textile Studios. I also have this in a red colorway but I thought the purple would look great with jeans.


I used an organza-edged lingerie elastic to finish the neckline – what could be faster and easier than that? The pattern allows for a 5/8″ turn-in at the neckline so I cut it down about 1/2″ because the edge of my elastic is narrow and I wanted to compensate somewhat for the width of the organza edge. That worked out really well.

I really like this style a lot and intend to cut the cap-sleeved dress out tomorrow and probably one more top with the cap sleeve. I highly recommend this as an instant-gratification project!

Oh! I almost forgot to mention that my Japanese Vionnet book arrived today too! You can read about it on Fashion Incubator.


I have been AWOL quite a lot lately and missed Kathleen’s post but I did manage to buy a copy from a Japanese Bookseller on Ebay. Here’s a link to the Buy-It-Now auction: Vionnet book. My copy arrived quickly – in about a week. Mostly, I just enjoy looking at her various designs and how they were cut – pure genius. However, if I ever find myself with a lot of time it would be really fun to copy some of these garments.



Filed under Books, Burda, Burda WOF, Fabric

A Sewing Treasure

Last week I noticed this book for sale on Ebay. The seller had posted beautiful photos of the inside of the book (like the one shown below), several of which caught my eye. As is my luck, it caught the eye of a few other bidders as well.

Before I bid on Ebay books I always hop over to first. Often I will find the same book for less as I did here. This book, as you can see, is titled clothing construction. The authors are Evelyn Mansfield (formerly of Michigan State) and Ethel Lucas (of Framingham State).

I don’t often get overly excited about sewing books but this little gem is truly a treasure trove of techniques. Loaded – and I mean loaded – with photographs, clothing construction covers a lot of ground. For example, Chapter 1 covers sewing equipment and setting up a work space. Chapter 2 contains lovely photographs of various machine and hand stitches. Chapter 3 goes into pattern selection, general fitting principles and fitting a pattern – including tissue fitting. Would you like to know how to sew a padded slot seam? Or maybe you’d like to make curved tucks on a collar. How about covering weights to control the drape of a cowl neck? It’s all in there! There are seventeen chapters over nearly 400 pages with photos too numerous to count. This is truly a wonderful addition to the library of any sewing fanatic, beginner or advanced. I notice there are still four copies available at Amazon….

UPDATE: I take that back – there are no more copies left! Wow, you guys are quick.

Clothing Construction, 2nd edition
(c) 1974 Houghton Mifflin Company
ISBN 0-395-16728-0


Filed under Books