Burdastyle, craft, diy, fabric, fashion, sewing

The Burda Marthe

mg 9847

The emotion shame sponsors todays post. I don’t usually blog about my complete sewing failures but this blog is my only way of cataloging what I’ve made and this is the only wearable sewing failure I’ve had, which is absolutely sewing progress.


The Fabric

The first thing I thought after finishing this project and trying it on was, should a grown woman really wear baby pink??? *tears* Such a wrong choice of colour for my complexion, I need warm tones.

This fabric was a total impulse buy from miss matatabi. I should have been convinced it wasn’t really meant for me when it was described as perfect for baby clothes but it was on sale and there are Penguins holding hands!


Here’s a closer look at the material, I got this image from Miss Matatabi’s Etsy shop here

On the plus side, this is cotton seersucker and it was amazingly easy to sew with. I have more seersucker in my stash and I’m gonna patiently wait for the perfect project to use it with.

I love reading and looking at the blogs of fearless quilting cotton, bold print, I love it so I’m wearing it, sewing ladies but, unfortunately, I think I’m too much of a conservative dresser to wear unusual prints with any confidence.

The Pattern

This is a Burda pattern, blouse 109. I was looking longingly at all the versions of the Marthe blouse, by Republique Du Chiffon, going around the internet but really couldn’t justify buying another pattern. I was looking through my Burdastyle magazines to remind myself I literally have hundreds of sewing patterns and, luckily, one of my magazines had a Marthe doppelgänger.


I really don’t mind tracing and adding a seam allowance but I’m useless at organising pattern pieces once I’ve finished a pattern. I’m trying to rectify this with having a pattern folder. So to use this pattern again, which I do want to, I’ll have to trace it again. I think I might start adding 2cm seam allowances on patterns so I have more fabric to alter with.

The Fit

…and to top it all of, it doesn’t fit properly. Which I thought was impossible in this style of  over-sized top but those glaringly obvious bust creases don’t lie.


This project was a bunch of rookie errors tied in with sewing toile laziness. I’m not kicking myself too much about it but I really hope some of the fabric can be saved…and yeah a baby project is what it’s gonna be reserved for haha

Meg xx

Megan valero

About Megan

eco sustainable natural fabric and exclusive print for the fashion and dressmaking industry wholesale supplier.

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27 thoughts on “The Burda Marthe

  1. megsewing says:

    I’ve been away from blogland for awhile so sorry this took so long to reply and love your blog.
    I thought there wasn’t a colour on earth that didn’t go with brown skin but yep this is a hard colour to wear. You look lovely in the peach top you made but I guess it depends on styling too (with the white trousers with it gorgeous).
    The shape of this was off too. definitely a live, learn and trash make 🙂

  2. megsewing says:

    That’s a really good idea. I think I have enough for that too and I have a pyjama bottom pattern. yep. ok, that’s my new plan! Thank you!!! 🙂

  3. megsewing says:

    That sounds fantastic. I’ve been trying with the A4 plastic envelopes but they get so easily misplaced or put into the wrong folder. I’ll definitely try this. I’ve been going on freecycle and business have been closing and asking people to collect there old supplies so I’ll try my luck with that 🙂

  4. Gillian-Claire Pearman says:

    Re keeping patterns I go to Office World and buy packs of A5 plastic envelopes. You may have to cut the original pattern pack pictures to fit but as these plastic see through envelopes have a stud fastener your patterns are safe and you can see at a glance whats inside. A friend of mine has even bought them in a Poundland type store.

  5. tg33 says:

    This is a bit random, but what about making pjs from the fabric if you like the fabric, but don’t think you can wear it out in public? If you are unsure about the colour (and I think the colour is good on you), then maybe make pyjama bottoms in the fabric and use a toning fabric in a better colour for the top.

    Mind you, I buy fabric but find it hard to get anything made, so…

  6. Ebi Poweigha says:

    Wadders are instructional! Also, pale pinks/peaches are tricky on medium-brown skin because it’s not dark enough or light enough to be in contrast or in harmony. I’m darker than you, but even I can’t pull off paler pinks…anyway, on to the next one. Sometimes wadders are good to photograph, wince over, then trash. :-p

  7. Chantal L. says:

    I can relate to your experience. Some of my sewing projects are either unfinished because they’re going badly or some of them don’t fit. The Ginger jeans are made by a local Montreal girl. They are garnering a lot of attention on the web… If you want to try something an easier version of a skinny jeans, might I suggest the Jalie Eleonore pattern (which I wrote about on my blog). They are a pull-on stretch pants with jeans details. They give you the look of jeans without the fuss of having to sew the zipper, pockets and belt loops. However, having made a pair of bona fide jeans, I can tell you that there’s nothing like the feeling of pride I get when I wear them. They are priceless to me now!

  8. Despite all your criticism I think your top really looks pretty and suits you well! Since you used such a modern pattern the cuteness of the fabric isn’t too obvious, I think (and, whom am I kidding, I don’t mind cuteness in general 🙂

  9. megsewing says:

    Toile laziness is now my number one sewing problem. Especially now I’m buying cheaper and cheaper fabric!

    I’ve just looked for the cellphone bags and they look great and cheap from amazon. I’ve tired the rolling up system which was a nightmare! Thanks for the tip 🙂

  10. megsewing says:

    I always love how pale colours look on paler skins, which is why I feel I look a bit odd. After looking at the pictures, your right, it is much too oversized and I look kinda square. I’m going to take it on a bit and use a much floatier fabric on the next go! 🙂

  11. megsewing says:

    It was great seeing you! A bit mad but with that much fabric and sewing patterns it was bound to be crazy. Thank you so much for the orange fabric! 🙂

  12. megsewing says:

    The top isn’t too bad of a sew, which is one plus! The bigger problem was just how uncomfortable I felt wearing it, the print is just too much for me haha plus it just doesn’t go too well with anything I own. If I knew someone who liked it I would pass it along to get some wear but with me it will sit in my wardrobe never worn. I’m a bit conscious about how nice the fabric it to waste it like that.

  13. megsewing says:

    I’m really shocked because as a cup size B I never thought I’ld be doing full bust adjustments! but I do really like this top. Thanks for the luck I need it for all the toiles I don’t make 🙂 I need to set myself new no lazy dressmaking rules haha

  14. megsewing says:

    Next time I’m making this I’m definitely taking in the waist a little bit and lowering the neckline. It’s so strange how those little details will make all the difference and make it less box like.

    I’ve gone a bit pick crazy so I’m glad I can just pull it off as I have some more, though not so pale, pink in the stash 🙂

  15. megsewing says:

    For some reason it shocked me Chanel would have loved pink so much but glad I can say I’m channeling one of the fashion great haha

    I’m so glad you put it so positively, it’s been awhile since I’ve made something dodgy but your right, I now can’t wait for a make I’m gonna show with pride!

  16. megsewing says:

    Thank you Kate, I think I was a bit overconfident in how well I can pull off anything when I chose this fabric but lesson learnt. A light orange sounds fantastic and if I ever come across fabric in that shade I have to buy some but definitely sticking with the warm/deeper colours for now. I never even thought of the neckline but you’re right, it gives me such a broader/boxier shape. Not flattering haha

    I really hope to meet up soon! Maybe without my husband because he’s really just these days.

  17. megsewing says:

    You know I’ve been thinking of light blue jeans for months now! Ginger jeans are calling my name haha I tried wearing the top for a day and sadly I felt so uncomfortable in it and it’s going in the unwearable pile.

    I think I need to start making a toile and get a bit more serious because these days fitting is my biggest sewing issue!

    I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. I was really debating showing the top but I guess not every project can be a success 🙂

  18. Look at Kate’s IG today – I think she’s right – pink for everyone. I think it’s a combination of pattern and blue penguins which makes this less successful on you. Looking forward to your next cracking make! I kinda enjoy the not so good makes of mine – it makes me feel really triumphant when something goes well!

  19. I think you can pull off that Colour. I agree you could take in the waist seams a smidge.

  20. musingrunner says:

    I have the same issues with tops. I have to cut the size for my high bust measurement and do a full bust adjustment to make up the difference, even though I don’t really have a large chest. Good luck next time!

  21. jay says:

    I don’t think this top is in disaster category. The colour works on you imo, yes there is a little problem with the front pulling but it isn’t screaming at me. I agree with sil that the neckline could be better lower. How badly do you want to re-use the fabric? To me it’s a wear-it-anyway one.

  22. sewchet says:

    I rather like the baby pink contrasting against your dark colouring – much better than on pale skin like mine. Your gorgeous neat frame is lost in this top though:)

  23. dr P says:

    Aaaah yes, the toile sewing laziness will bite you on the arse!

    What I do if I’ve traced off a pattern I may make again is this: I label up all the pieces and put the date on each too. Then I put them in a plastic bag for next time. The bags I use are the cellophane type that card makers put their finished cards in to sell. They come in all sorts of sizes but I usually get C5 or 8″×8″. I make sure there is the name of the pattern and line drawing on the front of the bag and any adjustments I’ve made. That way it’s ready to go next time without all the palaver of retracing etc.

  24. sil says:

    I think widening/lowering the neckline and taking the sides in could change the look. Cute fabric and print, and if you really don’t like it, can consider dyeing? Great post, thanks. I’m just about to start making something with fabric intended for childrenwear..still deciding if too twee for me or not. I’m fully grown and then some :’D

  25. Caroline says:

    That’s the great thing about sewing. Even when we make a garment that we don’t like in the end we see the positive side to the journey. A refreshingly honest perspective.
    Look forward to seeing you on Saturday ; )

  26. fabrickated says:

    An interesting post. I agree that this does not do much for you really – thank you for your honesty – although you are so pretty you can get away with anything. It is, IMO, way too full under the bust and waist area, and a bit tight at the upper bust/neck. Personally I think the light orange is OK with your colouring, although deeper colours eg orange would be far better. Hope you are OK and it would be fun to meet up again soon.

  27. Chantal L. says:

    Hi Meg, I admire your candor about your sewing mistakes. I think that this top would be super cute with a pair of light-colored blue jeans. Also, it would flatter your frame if you took in the sides to highlight your waist. Otherwise, the color shows a side of your personality (and it looks good against your complexion). Good job!

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