Saturday 11 December 2010

The January Burda

I've been away for a week, watching one kid conduct his first full concert— of Beethoven, Shostakovich and Schubert— at Cambridge Univ.  (For those of you who read A Visit From Voltaire, this is the grown-up Theo who as a little kid plays violin on New Year's Eve to soothe the fractious Party from Hell.) For over a week I wondered what the mother of the maestro should wear and whether I should sew something special. The answer is humbling: don't worry, nobody cares at a university about the mother of the maestro unless you import chocolate for the whole orchestra in your suitcase, and if you do, I realize, they're too busy munching to worry what the lady with the chocolate shipment wore. Instead of tending to my wardrobe, I spent the morning of his debut ironing the maestro's black ensemble on a broken ironing board and a low heat "safety" iron in the basement of student housing.  This was cosmic payback for a quip I made a decade ago watching Maxim Vengerov solo in a crumpled tuxedo jacket, saying, "Doesn't that kid have a mother who can iron?"
And it was so cold that I left my "MaxMara knockoff" camel coat on the whole time. It was worth it, even if it took two planes instead of one to get me to Luton and it took two days of unexpected flight cancellations including an unexpected night in a Paris hotel next to the Gare du Lyon to reach Geneva and home by TGV.
Easyjet is getting suckier by the day and it seems, even a Swiss airport can't cope with a blizzard these days. At any rate, what else would a sewer choose when offered a week's wait for a seat to Geneva, or a substitute ticket to either Warsaw, Marseille or Paris? Paris was, as I remembered it from long ago, permanently perfect. Would you believe it's back on a plane tomorrow with daughter for a college entrance interview on Monday in the UK?  Lord, let the skies be blue.

Back to sewing. Although I didn't like the preview, I'm definitely more inclined now to give the January Burda a more thorough look once the holiday madness is over. I like romantic blouses, so I'll trace the one above, and also a jacket and coat in the same late 30's mood. I'll skip the (literally) dippy skirt and unless you're built like a gazelle, I'd advise you do, too.

There's also a slinky dress that looks easy and depending on the fabric, could be partyish or just chic or in a sweatshirt flannel, very comfy. So after the first shock of the Carnival costumes, and the quick flip through the lounge lizard section that features every January, there are a few nice things here if you're in a retro mood.

P.S. I know my black leather pants were sinister-looking, but would the person using the site and then being "referred" to my blog please explain the connection? The CIA shows up in my "referral sites."Maybe I'm the preferred expert on sewing for the fashionable spy? Cool.


  1. How exciting for the Mother of the Maestro!!! We have 3 violists at my house....but as life presents other paths.....the violins are left to the side. I believe they will pick them back up as life allows....
    Can't wait for the January Burda.....but I do think they repeat many designs....

  2. Yes, I saw your recent fur jackets, love them both, and always wanted to try that short Burda style, but I'm very short-waisted and my husband has vetoed that style, probably for the best.