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#SewTalk: What first sewing machine to get? (+Burda Pattern Review)

Hello Darlings!

Today, I am very excited to bring back two things to this blog: pattern reviews and #SewTalk.

SewTalk is a series where you ask sewing related questions, and I answer them. This conversation between us is very dear to my heart and I did quite a few of them in the past (like, How to find time for sewing, How to avoid making “home made” looking clothing, etc. - I will link all of them at the end of this post. Those are quite some good reads!). Unfortunately, I stopped doing SewTalks last year, but I think it's time to bring them back!

So today is a new chapter of #SewTalk, but first... let's take a moment and review this red Burda beauty, shall we?

BURDA STYLE 11/2012, #138 REVIEW

Technical patern drawing of Burda Style 11/2012 #138 and My version of this dress

If you've been sewing for a minute (well, a bit longer than that), you might remember this pattern - eight years ago it was a BIG hit and I had my eyes on it ever since. Beautiful bust darts/gathers, 3/4 sleeves, close-fitting shape and breathtaking neckline - this Burda Style 11/2012 #138 pattern has it all. So finally, after 8 years of having this pattern, I decided to go ahead an make it.

I often change commercial patterns, however, this time I decided to leave it as it is, so I didn't make any design changes.

I did, however, did quite a few fit alterations - Burda patterns often runs a bit large, and this one is no exception. As an example: I cut size 38 (which, according to the measure table, is my exact measure in bust and waistline areas), however, I had to reduce the waistline by about 10 centimeters to achieve the fit you see in the photo below. I would say that's quite a difference!

One mistake I made, was choosing the fabric - I huuugely underestimated how important fabric is for this specific design, and ended up making a dress a fabric that wrinkles severely; in hindsight - going for wrinkle-free fabric would have been a way way way better choice (oh, well - you live and you learn!).

All in all, this dress is classic beauty and I enjoyed making it. I do plan to wear it for a date night out once the restaurants are open - it is a stunning piece, isn't it? I do recommend trying this pattern out, but please note that it's not a beginner friendly one!

Well, cat was not impressed with my new dress, but I still like it! :)))

Now let's start #SewTalk!


Which first sewing machine to buy? I am a beginner and want to sew as a hobby, nothing fancy.

Throughout the years, I have stayed very consistent when asked for sewing machine recommendations: if you never sewn before, any machine under 100 Euros will be a great start. Many big manufacturers (Brother, Singer, etc.) produce entry-level options, that are somewhat in the one-hundred euro zone, and they all do a really good job on basic functions (in this case - the less functions, the better) and will be a reliable partner to start your sewing journey with.

If your hobby will start to pick up, you will always be able to upgrade to another machine later on and - once you have more experience - you will know exactly what functions matter for you and which ones don't; and if you find out that sewing is not for you after all (I know examples like this one, too) - well, then you won't have an expensive machine laying around unused!

Which piece of clothing haven't you dared to sew yet (too complicated, etc.)?

Oh this one is easy: SEQUINS! I swear, I have this strange big fear of sewing sequins and them breaking and flying anywhere unpredictably, that I left every beautiful sequin fabric in store, even if I was tempted in buying it, lol!

In all seriousness, though, after making my wedding dress (which I would name my most difficult and time consuming make ever), I think anything is possible to sew, as long as you put in work and dedication!

What are your favourite pattern websites or magazines?

My entire sewing journey started with Burda magazines and to this, if I am making a commercial pattern - most likely it will be a Burda one. However, once I learned how to make my own patterns, I am rarely making something with a commercial ones - drafting my own patterns is so much quicker and better fitting!

What would you consider as being the hardest item to sew?

For me, it was definitely my wedding dress: not only from technical side, but also from time it required to make; plus, working with white gown fabric requires having a perfectly clean and dust-free environment every single second - that's a job on itself! So won't see me offering to make anyone a gown anytime soon, ha!

This is it for todays #SewTalk, and if you have any question about sewing - send me via Instagram DM and I will answer it in the next SewTalk!

In the meantime, here are some oldie, but goodie #SewTalks from the past:

Best wishes,



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