One of my favourite dresses on the planet is finally on the blog! Whoop! Its a Moneta dress – number 8! Will there ever be a number 10? How many more can I make? Only time will tell. In the meantime this is a pictures post :-)..
In March I decided to sew up this interesting shirt dress pattern from the March Issue of BurdaStyle Magazine. The March issue itself was not that awe inspiring to me and I struggled to select styles to sew. I ended up with 2 things this dress and the panel skirt here.
The shirtdress has a twisted bustier which piqued my interest – if only to see how it sews up. The skirt is wide with some sections of gathering and the bodice is accented with the casual twisted bustier that has the look of a bikini top. This style gives the traditional shirtdress a playful makeover. Here is the line drawing:
The fabric recommendations were lightweight cotton dress fabrics, with stretch blend. I used a shirting cotton that I bought from SewDown Dewsbury here. It has a twill weave which makes it reversible – its raspberry pink on one side and pale pink on the other side.
I thought the fabric could work even though it doesn’t necessarily have any stretch in it being a woven cotton. It is crisp and I felt that might look good with the full skirt.
The process of sewing it was quite easy. It is the featured sewing course in the issue which means it comes with full instructions supported by illustrations. The magazine instructions say the pattern pieces to be traced are shaded in but there is a printing error. It is actually the green lines of sheet A.
The only change I made was to remove the long sleeves and keep it sleeveless. In my head I was imagining this as a summer wear, especially with the pink fabric so I just couldn’t fit the long sleeve with the my vision. All I did was to not sew in the sleeve and used a satin bias binding instead to finish the armhole. It has side zip and it fit like a dream when I made it. I sewed size 38.
I love the dress – I positively feel like gliding and bouncing everywhere when I am wearing it! Here is my YouTube video review of the dress so you can see it in motion.
It so funny how the March issue was one that really struggled with and yet it has produced two really outstanding garments for me! Goes to show that sometimes you don’t have to be madly in love to try something.
Up next is a dress that has been “marinating” for a while. I traced this out when the magazine came out as soon as I saw it because I was smitten with the one shoulder style and the peekaboo circle at the shoulder.
On a tangent – my shoulders are my absolute favourite part of my body. Yes they have a forward roll and they are just a bit broader than what is considered normal for a feminine look but I love them. And so the point is that any pattern that shines a light on the shoulder is almost always something I’ll love 🙂
Back to the pattern – the one shoulder dress is one of those rare instances where it was the styled model picture that caught my eye rather than the line drawing. In fact the line drawing is really rather unattractive :
BurdaStyle 07/2017 #111
The front and back pattern pieces are more or less similar – given the size of the pieces and how much greaseproof paper they took up – I might have tried to use only one traced pattern piece of each. But its an experiance thing really. In future, if pattern pieces look similar to me I will check if they are the same and not bother with tracing another one. This has happened to me more times than I care to count.
Any how – this is a relatively simple pattern to sew up. The bit that goes across the chest is hemmed and the circular detail is finished with a casing. The sleeve seam is sewn right up to the point where it joins the casing before its artfully tucked into the casing. A tie band is then threaded through to make that oh so cut bow on the shoulder.
I was very happy with the ease of the instructions and I sewed it up in less than a couple of hours.
The fabric was bought from Fletchers Fabrics in Leeds Market last year. Its a John Kaldor jersey with vibrant red and blue flowers. I have washed it and its maintained its vibrancy.
The thing is I actually cut this out a few months ago before I did a major reorganisation of my sewing cave so I overenthusiastically got rid of a lot of scraps including the scraps of this John Kaldor. When I read the instructions on the sewing pattern pieces I missed the measured out bits that Burda sometimes has you mark straight onto to the fabric. The essence of the story is that though it may look like a design feature to have used some Art Gallery Fabric for the casing – it was actually because I had no access AT ALL to this exact John Kaldor fabric 🙂 . Still, I think it worked out well and looks good.
Wearing this dress is an interesting experience. It definitely exposes a lot of skin and perhaps it felt strange at first since I was just coming out of winter wherein covering up is de riguer. Apart from the novelty of feeling the breeze against my skin – I liked wearing this dress. The one flutter sleeve is very dramatic while the fact that it is made of jersey makes it very comfortable.
Foundation garment wise – I found that I couldn’t carry it off without a bra (I’d need to make a smaller size for that – my bust measurement is based on wearing a t shirt bra, without it I am quite flat chested). I have a strapless bra which worked just fine. I also realised that this could work well as a beach coverup, it goes on and off very easily.
Here is how I wear it – with a belt just like in the magazine style picture-
I neglected to mention that I made 2 dresses for the Day and Night Dress challenge hosted by ElizabethMadeThis.com.
BurdaStyle 02/2018 #101 Dress
For my day dress, I decided to multi task by also making a dress for my #burdachallenge2018 plan for the month. The dress I chose was style number 101 from the February issue of BurdaStyle magazine.
The style was a bit outside my comfort zone given its vintage vibes. Normally the vintage I like tends to be the maxi variety. Here is the line drawing :
It was actually the line drawing that drew me to this pattern. The details were quite unique to me especially the lower skirt godet.
I used a fabric that I bought a while back on holiday abroad. It’s a peach skin that has the most glorious drape. My husband actually chose this for me – though I was sceptical of the Pollock-like abstract print – it worked really well for me. The only downside is that with the print it hard to see the design lines clearly.
With my usual Burda size 38, this fit right off the pattern sheet. The only alterations I made were to omit the cute but labourious self-faced buttons and loops on the sleeves and the lower skirt.
Sewing with peach skin was not as challenging as I thought it would be, which is a relief as I have a few other lovely peachskins that have been sitting in my fabric collection.
Its a very pretty dress and something that makes me feel quite charming :-). By the way, the instructions on this pattern were actually quite good.
For the night dress, I had in mind to make something for a date night we had planned to eat out at a Cuban Tapas restaurant. So when I saw the red viscose jersey with a lovely surface sheen my idea of a little red dress was cemented.
I have sewn with this Mimi G pattern before here and had plans to make it again because I wasn’t happy with my fabric selection especially after a few washes. The sizing on this pattern was spot on and the drape of this viscose was better suited than the ponte I used previously. Its a sexy little number and I do feel like roaring when I am wearing it :-). The collar band that goes over the shoulders is quite snug and tends to roll up as seen in the pictures so its not as wide as shown on the pattern envelope. I think for the more endowed in the bust area that a toile is definitely recommended if you are thinking of making this pattern. Pictures-
Here is my video review of the two dresses:
The Burdastyle dress was my planned February make for #burdachallenge as well 🙂
Thanks so much for stopping by! Until next time – Happy Sewing!!!!
Here is another dress that I like to call my “Go Bold or Go Home” dress. Its bright neon orange colour – the sort of orange that doesn’t blend into the background. Its a crepe jersey that I picked up at The Shuttle in Shipley for my SWAP2017 capsule. I found a better alternative for my SWAP and this had been chilling in my collection since.
When the Jan 2018 Burda dropped – I immediately knew that the orange crepe jersey would be perfect for the midi dress. Here is the style picture that hooked me:
I got excited that I didn’t fully check the recommended fabric part. This pattern actually calls for viscose crepe with elastine. My crepe jersey has fourway stretch and though more substantial than t-shirt jersey, it does have a lot of stretch. SO much so that I didnt include the CB zip.
I really struggled with sewing this dress. My initial ardour was dampened by an inability to comprehend the instructions. AT one point I put it aside and moved on but when I saw @AllisonCSewing’s version on Instagram, my ardour was renewed.
I tackled it with a single minded focus. Though I still did not get the instructions I just pinned it out. Using the magazine pictures I tried to pin it to best achieve what my eyes were seeing. This is what came out of it. The inside is a hot mess and its supposed to have a lined bodice but mine doesnt.
I really like this dress and I wore it layered with a roll neck top. I will be trying this again with a viscose crepe. Ideally I’d like to have a patterned fabric for the skirt and a solid for the bodice so it looks like a 2 piece. And I hope that the second time around the instructions will make sense to me!
Thanks so much for stopping by! Until next time, Happy Sewing!
Peace and love,
This was a planned make for my January #burdachallenge2018.
I will preface this by saying how much I love this dress! So I will go right ahead and show the pictures before all the talking.
Now, the talking bit.
The flounce dress includes a bold flounce to drape in front – which piqued my interest. Initially, I was going to use a cobalt blue crepe, however, at the last minute, I remembered this bright pink wool fabric that I had bought from Fabworks. It is a lightweight wool fabric, similar in texture to pashmina shawls. I found it washed well in a cold water wash and low tumble dry.
Sewing it up was a treat. The fabric is a joy to work with and responds beautifully to a steamy iron. Since the style doesn’t have a zipper – it sews up quite fast. The only tricky bit is when cutting out the pattern. The pieces have to be cut single layer and it is important to mark the seam numbers.
The pattern is a Burda Tall size which is drafted for taller persons. I selected my size based on my bust measurement which put me on size 76. I didn’t change the length of the dress but I did reduce the sleeve length by 2″ to maintain the bracelet length sleeve.
My favourite part of this dress is the flounces at the front. My least favourite is the back fastening. I am considering redoing that back closure and inserting an exposed zip instead. I wore it quite a lot these past 2 months but the back wasn’t an issue since I always wore it layered over a roll neck top. The other annoying thing is that the wool has started pilling where my coat would rub against it :-(.
I definitely want to make this again and do some contrast blocking with the flounces.
This was one of my January #burdachallenge2018 planned makes.
This is a dress I made for my February #burdachallenge2018 project. It wasnt a planned make – I reacquainted myself with the dark blue wool jersey that I bought from Fabworks in Dec 2016.
When I bought the fabric I recall that I wanted to make a Talviki sweater. Alas, with only 1 meter, it was not enough. Enter Burda 06/2016 #101C dress. Here is the line drawing which shows the simplicity of this pattern.
Since 1m was not enough for the mini dress – a fact I realised after cutting out three of the four pieces; inventiveness meant that I used a navy ponte for the front yoke – a design feature bourne out of necessity.
For the neckline, I just folded it under and zig zagged. I think this is a finish you can get away with when the fabric is of a more substantive weight like the wool jersey.
The picture shows how I wore it most of the time- with tights and boots and sometimes with a roll neck as well. Wool jersey is very warm and cosy which served me well for the colder days. The pictures were taken during the big snow days that ground Britain to a halt.
This is quite a versatile pattern – it works for summer with a lighter fabric like this one that I made here and can work for winter with a thicker fabric.
The Breton jersey dress attracted me with its wide boat neck line. It also looked simple enough to make and yet it took me nearly 18 months between tracing out the pattern and actually sewing it. Here is the picture from the book:
Sewing the dress was a pleasure as it is instant gratification of the best kind. And to end up with something that makes me feel like a stylish well considered adult, well, that’s just the cherry on the cake! The sewing instructions in the book are really good. Plus the sizing was spot on. This size was selected based on my bust and without any alterations at all this is what it looks like.
If I had to nit pick I’d say that there is a swayback issue on the back but honestly I asked my husband what he thought and he earnestly said that the behind was fine. And that is good enough for me :-).
Fabric was from Jacks Fabrics in Leeds market, bought last year so I am quite pleased at how quickly this fabric was turned around :-).
Overall there are many things that pleased me about this project.
The book only cost £9.99 on Amazon with free P&P. Its great value given the number of patterns that come with the book (27 I think). There are a few more patterns I want to make from there. I did make the Japanese top already.
I have already traced out this skirt which was the reason that I bought the book. After seeing Beth’s version I was very inspired to make it.
This is another dress I made specially for a holiday to the seaside. Its from the May 2016 issue of BurdaStyle Magazine. The style is called a bat sleeve dress. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I was intrigued by this pattern enough to make it.The pictures didn’t really do anything for me but it was the line drawing that grabbed me:
I have made it in ponte before here.The instructions were quite good – though this is very simply constructed dress made up of 2 pieces (front and back) and a neckband. You just have to finish the arm flaps before draping them over each other and securing with the neck-band.
I used a viscose jersey – very drapey and perfect for my purposes. I wanted something akin to a beach cover-up. Easy to to pop on and off. It did the job admirably! Here it is in action.
Today I have something a little different to my usual style. In an effort to move out of my comfort zone, I decided to make this cocoon dress. The pattern came for free with Issue 8 of Sew Now magazine. Here is the pattern envelope with the line drawings.
Simple Sew Patterns – The Cocoon Dress
The style is very simple. AT the time that it came on to my radar, I was preparing for a family holiday to USA where we going to be at the beach in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. I knew that it got very hot and humid, I wanted something that wouldn’t be too formfitting.
I sewed the first make with a linen chambray type fabric that I bought from Jacks Fabrics in Leeds Market. Sewing it up really is very easy. No zips. No buttonholes. I eliminated the center front seam but cutting the front piece on a fold (I can’t recall why I did this but it worked out).
I staystitched the neckline and used stay tape to keep it from gaping. If there ever was an hour project then this surely is. By the time I made my second one – it was less than one hour from cutting to snipping the final thread.
The sizing was accurate. My bust measurement is between their size 8 and 10. I opted to cut size 10 which was just right. The pockets are nice and deep.
I confess a part of me was worried that this might look like a sack of potatoes on me. By the time I tried it on for fitting I got a bit more excited. It is so comfortable and quite stylish. I made a video immediately after I had been wearing it for a day because the number of compliments on the dress I received that day was astounding.
My personal philosophy about making my clothes is that I make and wear what makes me happy. When I am putting together an outfit – my concern isn’t primarily on how I look to others who see me. It is on how I feel and whether I like it. Of course its lovely when I get compliments on my outfits. But, when I have left my comfort zone and I receive compliments – its an even nicer feeling. I digress….
And my YouTube review..
The second one was made using some fabric that I had been very precious about for a long time. The fabric was won in an Instagram competition wherein 2 meters of Nani Iro triple gauze fabric turned up on my doorstep – FREE!!!
I have oohed and aahed over this fabric for years. I thought it might work well with the Cocoon dress. Cutting was hard! There was plenty of wincing and bottom lip biting. But cut it, I did. It was a point of importance that I sewed it up straightaway in order to avoid buyers remorse so to speak.
A note on sewing with triple gauze…..triple gauze is made of 3 layers of gauze that are loosely woven together. Its about twice the thickness of double gauze. Being 100% cotton the fabric is breathable and incredibly soft. Sewing it however was not fun. The thickness created by the 4 layers of gauze added up. Though I have never quilted – I imagine that it was like sewing a quilt. After sewing one seam it was clear I had to use the walking foot which made things a bit easier.
In the end, I had a lovely deliciously comfortable dress, albeit that looks a bit like pyjamas. I love it. Its bright, lively and vibrant! It is the kind of dress that makes me feel obliged to project the energy it embodies.
Verdict: Highly recommended! Another thing I love about this dress is that I can go braless without any obvious issues. Win!
Thanks for stopping by! Until next time, Happy Sewing!
This was a dress that I made for a sewing challenge called #sewingtogetherforsummer last year. The challenge was to sew a shirtdress in time for the British summer (I know – its an oxymoron). Anyhow, I chose this pattern as it had been a recent addition to the stash from my epic US pattern haul.
McCalls M7387 is a top, tunic and dresses pattern. Its semi-fitted through bust and has a collar, back pleated into self-lined yoke with forward shoulder seams, and front-fly button closing.
I was drawn to the pattern by the high side slits and the super curved hemline. The fact that it has dolman style sleeves was also lovely. I made view D, size: small.
The fabric I used was bought from Jacks Fabrics during one of my many fabric shopping jaunts last year. It’s a lightweight rayon or viscose challis. I don’t normally go for black and white but this ikat print was attractive.
Sewing the pattern up was reasonably okay. The button placket is covered so that had a few tiny challenges which resulted in me eliminating the covered placket in favour for showing off my cute black rim buttons.
The style of this reminds me of the Deer and Doe Melilot which has similar sleeves. Curved hems are always a bit tricky to sew but with rayon a good pressing removes all evils.
The back pleat is a big one – not a regular box pleat. Consequently, it is very important to mark the notches and the direction of the fold for the pleat. When I make this again in the future I will be adding pockets – its the one thing that’s missing for me. The pattern envelope shows it worn with a belt but I much prefer it without one.
Its a joy to wear this dress – light and airy, it was perfect for summer. Here is how I wore it most of the time. Sometimes I swapped the wedges for black flip-flops.
I made another M6886 as a reader review article for Love Sewing magazine (Issue 44). They invited me to their studio for a proper photoshoot with a make up artist and everything! Even got my nails done :-). It was quite an experience – one that I will cherish. Here is the review……
McCall’s M6886 Pattern Review for Love Sewing Magazine
You can never go wrong with a classic silhouette like McCall’s M6886. Designed to be a close fitting pullover dress, it has three neckline variations and four sleeve lengths. I love the scoop neckline on View D. The simplicity of sewing this dress is at odds with how well presented and chic I feel in it – surely something so quick to sew shouldn’t be so elegant? Yet it is and that is the beauty of this pattern – I can see why it’s incredibly popular in the sewing community with over 160 reviews on PatternReview.
Well written instructions mean that even a new beginner can tackle this. The instructions are also written for sewing machines so even if you don’t have an overlocker you are covered. I cut a size 8 which fits me well – I took in a half inch at my narrowest waist point as I wanted a snugger fit there.
Let’s talk fabric – this lush wool ponte from Minerva Crafts is the bee’s knees, the cat’s meow as it were. I was torn between the brown and pink colourway but settled on the popping pink of course! Unusually, this beautiful ponte roma stripe is made from 100 percent wool fibres. It has a luxurious feel and was an absolute dream to sew. The stripes measure approx 7mm wide so I easily got away with minimal stripe matching (I can honestly say that stripe matching is not my forteJ.). It also helps that it’s reversible which means cutting out can be economical. The fabric is comfortable to wear, isn’t scratchy and the wool makes for a cosy warm dress – perfect for fall/winter. Love!
This dress has got so much layering potential for winter too – I plan on keeping it cosy by layering it over a black turtleneck with tights and knee length boots! Sweet!!!
If you are looking for a practical, easy to sew and figure flattering pattern then look no further than McCall’s M6886. I have more plans to add to the three that are already taking pride of place in my closet!
I don’t think I did too bad in a studio 🙂
Thanks so much for stopping by and until next time, Happy Sewing!