The Handcrafted Wardrobe: BurdaStyle Book Review

Since the start of this project I’ve been hitting up our interlibrary loan system looking for pattern books and inspiration.  This is a fabulously economical way of trying out new patterns.  Within almost any library system you should be able to find a wide assortment of both knitting and crochet books, as well as sewing books, complete with patterns that you can trace and use.

It was in this way that I was recently able to wade through a small stack of BurdaStyle books.

BurdaStyle Modern Sewing: Dresses for Every Occasion

BurdaStyle: Sewing Vintage Modern

Nothing in either of the first two caught my eye, which was somewhat surprising, considering the themes of each.   Of course I can only speak from the perspective of my own sense of style, which may vary wildly from yours.  And I haven’t actually sewn with any of the patterns, so I can’t speak to that at all.

BurdaStyle: Wardrobe Essentials

The third one, however, has a lot of potential. There are a couple of cute dresses that aren’t appropriate for me in this phase of life (read as not nursing friendly) as well as some nice basic skirts.  There are a number of simple, basic tops, with really nice detailing that I would happily sew and wear.  I’m making a note to come back to this one when I start in on my cold weather sewing!

These two are contenders for my autumnal/winter wardrobe….

With maybe a bit of length added to the one above.

I think that with the addition of a modesty panel, this one…

Would make a perfect nursing tunic.  It looks like it would be really comfy made out of a soft sweater knit.

How are things going with you?  Are you working on anything?  The “Summer is a Comin’ In challenge is next week and I confess, I haven’t prepared a thing!  We shall see what the coming week brings.

I have a new theme for your consideration for Monday, June 13th:Aprons” or any other sort of protective clothing that suits your lifestyle.  I’ve decided that if I’m going to take the time to make myself clothing that I love, I better find a way to keep it nice for as long as possible!

Remember the themes are entirely optional!  Please share whatever is inspiring you right now.  I hope you will join us!


7 thoughts on “The Handcrafted Wardrobe: BurdaStyle Book Review

  1. Emily

    I’ve been meaning to make an apron for so long but sewing for my littles always takes precedence! This may be just the push I need.
    Was thinking of this one:
    Or this one which is more nursing friendly for me:
    And check this out-linen overalls tutorial for free!!
    We may have found our gardening wardrobe best friend!!!

  2. Melody Post author

    Linen was my first choice for an apron too, but not wanting to spend any money right now, I’ve been looking around to see what else I can use. I think I found a suitable alternative, but I really think linen would be best. For one thing it resists dirt and cleans up well.

    Thank you for the links!

  3. a little crafty nest

    Ahhh, Melody…I just love the autumn shirts you’ve picked! I would wear these in a snap!

    I look forward to joining your series when I return…until then, sending you big hugs!!!!

    xo Jules

  4. Emily

    I hear you on the fabric buying! I was really excited about making the overalls and then realized I would have to buy three yards of fabric! Even though that site has the best prices I have found for linen, three yards is too expensive for me to get–eapecially when I don’t know how they will look. A yard of that wide linen goes a long way when I’m making things for my children and so is economical for them at least.
    I would love a discussion here on fabric and expense and also cheap but ethical options! Easy to repurpose thrift items to sew for baby but myself and even my four year old not so much as not enough fabric for cutting up. What are your thoughts?

  5. Melody Post author

    Jules- I look forward to seeing your creations!! Good luck on your trip!

  6. Melody Post author

    Emily- That’s a hard one. I’m hoping others will chime in too.

    When my boys were little I used to buy ethically made organic fabric in bulk and make most of their clothing out of it. But I stopped being able to find reasonable prices, even in bulk.

    My mother-in-law often comes across fabric at yard sales, rummage sales, etc. This might be a good option for some people. It doesn’t work well for us because I don’t do well, health-wise, with regular laundry chemicals. I have, however, found that I can buy yarn at, say, Goodwill. I just need to air it out for a bit after. Because it hasn’t been washed, it’s salvageable for me.

    There are a number of fabric co-ops on line where you can get good deals, but of course the ethical factor is up in the air. Though really it is up in the air almost anywhere. I would like to think that the companies that say they are committed to ethical manufacturing processes actually are, but there is no guarantee, unless there is some sort of third party verification. I’d also like to think some of the smaller fabric retailers are carrying a more ethical product, but the fact is they are usually carrying the same fabrics that the bigger chain stores are. And while I would rather support a small business, it still doesn’t change the fabric’s source.

    We can each of us only do the best we can. Unless you have an extensive income and copious amounts of spare time I think that being sustainable, ethical and caring for your family all at the same time is going to be a challenge that requires some compromises. This is what I say; make, mend, repurpose and reuse as much as you can without sacrificing your sanity. Try to live simply and thoughtfully and make purchases within that mindset. But holding on to guilt when you can’t live up to your ideals helps no one. We are imperfect people in an imperfect world, there is only so much we can do. I also find it comforting to know that even if my fabric was produced under less than ideal circumstances, by sewing garments myself I am at least eliminating one level of potential sweatshop labor, which is more than most people can say.

  7. Emily

    Thank you for such a thoughtful reply. I agree 100% with everything you said. And what an excellent point that at least making things ourselves does cut out part of the production problem.
    I too have chemical sensitivities and my husband has to wash anything thrifted from our dumptique multiple times to make something OK and even then some items have to go right back. I did manage to have him wash an old ugly wool overcoat enough times and I upcycled it to a vest for him for Christmas. I love successes like that!
    But oh! The laundry that makes! And we already have so much with a new baby being added to the mix and her cloth diapers.
    Ah well, like you said there is only so much we can do but I will be thoughtful and do my best.
    I hope others join this conversation too.

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