Burda Easy blew my mind. (Images from

That’s my one sewing “resolution” for 2017. If the result is less than appealing, my excuse will be that Burda made me do it. Because the F/W 2016 issue of Burda Easy is what got the little cogs turning for me.

I noticed that I seem to operate according to an implicit rule that goes something like this: “why simplify when you can overcomplicate?” As you can guess, I never described it to myself in this way until began to realize I have a growing fabric stash and lots of remaining wardrobe gaps.

The issue is not sewing because I’ve convinced myself that I should save fabric for an appropriately ambitious project. Given the remaining gaps in my wardrobe,* it’s become clear to me that I need to balance the more ambitious plans with some simple garments that will get worn on a regular basis.

Enter Burda Easy. Doctor T has a great post about this issue if you want to know more about the designs and see more garment photos. Seeing the clothes in motion was what did it for me. Now, not all of these fit my life and style preferences: the huge vest and coat, and that oversize sweater would both make me look enormous and like I’m drowning in fabric. But a lot of them look really good.

The biggest suprise is how much I’m digging that tunic. It essentially conforms to Anna of the Paunnet blog’s definiton of Burda cutting corners design-wise: “rectangles by Burda” (see here). And yet I want to wear these rectangles. Obviously not now, not in the depths of frozen hell, but I think they will be close to dreamy when the world boils around us mid-July.

More rectangles for me! Photo from Burda Easy F/W 2016.

But seriously now, here’s the strategy I want to try out this year: for every ambitious project (pants! shirts!) try to add some simple clothes, especially to wear around the house. So more knit tops; ideally, some decent-looking pants to wear around the house (maybe the ones from Burda to replace the ancient worn-out pair of cords I’m reaching for all the time), more shift dresses maybe…

Which brings me to strategy #2:

re-use already fitted and adjusted patterns as much as possible. Not that I haven’t been doing this, but I’ve mostly done it out of resignation when I got fed up with trying to fit a pattern that was turning out to be clearly not suited to my body shape. Funnily enough, given all the Burda inspiration in this post, the Burda bodice is pretty far from my shape (as I discovered when making this dress), so I might hack the Colette Laurel to get something similar to this one:

Image source:

Another simple Burda project I have my eye on is this sweater:

Pattern and more photos available here.

I might have some leftover knit fabric that would be great for this.

What about you? Any easy sewing plans you’re looking forward to? And how do you stand on New Year resolutions?

*Nothing helps you realize things as clearly as waking up in a harsh winter with one pair of pants remaining wearable in the weather conditions. That’s how you know you’ve been goofing up.



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I write about sewing, knitting, and may sometimes be tempted to talk about books.

9 thoughts on “simplify”

  1. I’m doing SWAP at the beginning of the year. Evening wear focussed separates which is a gap in my wardrobe.
    Otherwise like you I need some good basics I think. Some nice t-shirts and *always* more pants.
    I’m not one for resolutions but I do enjoy creative goals. This year I want to learn to knit. And I’m taking a course in Māori weaving in the second half of the year. Also some sewing for the husband will feature in the plans.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That all sounds great! I really loved your post about SWAP from late November. And I’m looking forward to the follow-up!

      I need to do more of that, i.e. planning — but on a small scale, like I did with my monochrome mini-wardrobe. I don’t like these grand plans for the whole year. A lot happens during a year. And the smaller the plan, the less likely it is to get steamrolled by reality.

      But that January momentum can be nice, too. I forced myself to make pants, for instance (!). It’s so gray here still that I don’t know when I’ll be able to snap a photo of those, unfortunately. And now I need to sew up something simple… which might be a pair of “pettipants” intended to go between the new pants and tights. Frozen hell wardrobe needs, what can I say. I should pitch that as a hashtag 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not fond of resolutions but I would like to make a pair of pants or jeans this year, I have been neglecting this the past years and althought it’s not something I’m really interested in I want to make them just for the experiance and so that I get them off my list.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds like a good challenge. I feel like pants are more of a necessity for me — so much of the winter here in the U.S. Northeast is too cruel for dresses with tights. Summer is when I live in dresses… but it’s a long time away 😉


        1. Yes, I made a simple pair last summer and just finished a slightly more challenging pair this week. Slightly more challenging because this one had a fly front zipper, which I hadn’t made before. They’re loose-fitting, which made me a little less worried about the fit.

          I have yet to blog about them, but I can say that I like them so far and am really happy I took the risk of making them 🙂


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