Twisted Bustier Dress 03/2018 #113 #burdachallenge2018

 

Twisted Bustier Dress 03/2018 #113 

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:

Twisted Bustier Dress 03/2018 #113

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.

Twisted Bustier Dress 03/2018 #113
Twisted Bustier Dress 03/2018 #113
Twisted Bustier Dress 03/2018 #113
Twisted Bustier Dress 03/2018 #113
Twisted Bustier Dress 03/2018 #113
Twisted Bustier Dress 03/2018 #113
Twisted Bustier Dress 03/2018 #113
Twisted Bustier Dress 03/2018 #113
Twisted Bustier Dress 03/2018 #113

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.

Thanks so much for stopping by! Until next time, Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

This was a planned make for my  March #burdachallenge2018.

 

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One Shoulder Dress with Cutout 07/2017 #111 #burdachallenge2018

 

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 #101 One shoulder dress
Burdastyle 07/2017 #111 Dress – This is what caught my eye.

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.

BurdaStyle 07/2017 #111 One shoulder dress

BurdaStyle 07/2017 #111 Dress – Art Gallery Jersey for the casing.

BurdaStyle 07/2017 #111

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-

There is a top version of the pattern which I will try next in a smaller size so I can go braless with it.

 

 

Thanks so much for stopping by! Until next time, Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

This was an unplanned make for my  April #burdachallenge2018.

 

Tight Midi Dress BurdaStyle 01/2018 #118 #burdachallenge2018

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:

Tight Midi Dress Burdastyle 01/2018 #118

 

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.

BurdaStyle 01/2018 #118

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Internal Back
Hot mess.
It was hard to capture the vividness of the orange because of all the extra light from the snow but this picture is the closest.

 

 

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,

Hila

This was a planned make for my January #burdachallenge2018.

 

Flounce Dress BurdaStyle 01/2017 #112A

 

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.

Burdastyle 01/2017 #112

BurdaStyle 01/2017 #112

 

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.

Thanks for stopping by!

Hila

Burda 06/2016 #101C Wool Jersey Dress

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.

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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.

Burdastyle 06/2016 #101

 

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.

Thanks for stopping by!

Hila

Named Anneli Double Front T shirt maxi Dress as featured in Sew Now Magazine Issue 8

I am super, quite possibly uber, excited to finally be able to share this project. This is a pattern review I wrote for Sew Now magazine (Issue 8 circa May 2017) – a publication I really enjoy as it is a mix of sewing and fashion. For the review, I sewed up Named Patterns Anneli Tee Shirt dress in a delicious green jersey. Enjoy!

Everyone loves tee shirt dresses and I am not an exception. Named’s latest offering from their SS17 Playground collection is the Anneli double front dress. The pattern includes two variations: a straight, ankle-length jersey dress, and a casual T-shirt.

 

Named Patterns Anneli T Shirt Maxi Dress – showing some leg 🙂

 

The packaging screams exclusive brand and you certainly get what you pay for with this incredibly well drafted pattern. The instructions and sizing are excellent. This is achievable as a first time project. All the seams lined up beautifully – even the neckband snaps perfectly flat against my body. Super quick to sew up, it took only 1.5 hours from start to finish with no alterations at all. The double-layered front which creates an interesting wrap effect gives it a uniqueness and a point of difference, making it perfect for the warmer days of spring and summer. 

If I had to pick a word to describe the Milano jersey fabric – delicious! Verdant in colour and lush in texture, this gorgeous fabric is reminiscent of 2017 Pantone’s Colour of the year ‘Greenery’. It feels soft and luxurious next to the skin.sew-now-photo-shoot-065sew-now-photo-shoot-104sew-now-photo-shoot-113sew-now-photo-shoot-126

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Trying a new pose – its called “Running to catch the bus”
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Perfect neckband lies flat

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I love this casual and easy to wear dress. Minimalist with a directional edge, Anneli is effortlessly stylish. I paired my Anneli dress with hoop earrings, chunky bracelet and a pair of thong sandals— and I was all set!  I love that I can stay warm with an oversized baggy sweater. Or get sporty with a denim jacket and trainers, or bohemia with a statement necklace and a floppy hat or throw on some cute flats for a more polished look…..endless possibilities.

I have to say that Named understand the appeal of the tee shirt dress. They are comfortable and when we feel comfortable, we feel confident. Anneli ticks many boxes for me; it is fashionable AND feels good to wear AND delivers on comfort AND is quick to sew. A new favourite!

 

Thanks so much for stopping by and until next time – Happy Sewing!!!!

Peace and love,

Hila

PS. It was a really windy day when we did the photoshoot so apologies for my VPL – it couldnt be helped!

Another Giselle Maxi Dress for Indie Pattern Month 2017

July is Indie Pattern Month over at The Monthly Stitch. Its a month set aside for celebrating indie patterns. I always the challenges set by Kat and Mel and this year is no exception. Week 1 is dresses and I made yet another Giselle maxi dress using fabric bought from my first Yorkshire Spoolette meet up in Feb 2016 <link here>. Tangentially, I have used all but 1 of the fabrics I bought then and that’s great for me :-). I digress, lets get to it ……..

Can I just start off by saying that I love this dress! OK. So when Kat and Mel announced the themes I was pleased to see that dresses were in Week 1. It didn’t take me long at all to decide on which indie pattern dress to make – Giselle by Kate and Rose Patterns.

I have made 3 of them ( here and here) before but none in a rayon challis fabric. The fabric is irresistibly soft and I  very nearly made pyjamas with it. It also gets double points for stash busting as it has been in the stash since Feb 2016 :-).

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Since I have sewn this before fitting was not an issue. I made the version with the under bust yoke but sleeveless. The sleeves and neckline were finished with cotton bias binding.

This is a quick dress to sew up. The skirt panels are basically rectangles that are gathered and sewn together. I always add in seam pockets to this pattern as it comes without pockets and that’s my only complaint (a very minor one 🙂). I finished my seams with the overlocker.

Its a loose fit easy to wear dress. Very swishy and its one of those dresses that always has me on my best posture. You know the sort of dress you feel like you are letting it down if you slouch or don’t stand proud :-).

Thanks for stopping by!

Peace and love,

Hila

Burda 06/2016 #101C Maxified Dress

I made this dress using a birdy fabric that I had bought some time ago but was quite precious about it. The challenge was just perfect – it made me brave enough to cut into the birds :-). I had bought the viscose jersey from B&M Fabrics in Leeds.

I wanted a simple pattern with few seam lines to maximise the impact of the birds. Enter Burda 06/2016 #101C dress. Here is the line drawing which shows the simplicity of this pattern.

101-062016-m_large

The dress is meant to be a mini but I maxified it for full impact 🙂 Sewing it up was so fast and took less than an hour to sew up. I opted to sew a neckband for a t-shirt look.

The dress is so comfortable and I love it.

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Burda 06/2016 101C
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Burda 06/2016 101C

I can’t help but feel like lifting off and flying when wearing this dress. Thanks for this challenge Kat and Mel! Now, I need to go finish my Apron challenge make :-).

Thanks for stopping by!

Hila

Good things come in threes: A trio of Anna Dresses By Hand London Pt 3

Hello again everyone,

Phew ! Its Part 3 of my BHL Anna dress blog arc. Part 1 is here and Part 2 here.

This final dress was made in a viscose fabric I bought on Ebay earlier this year. It was one of those late night shopping things. The fabric is very light and breathable. Once I washed it – it was so completely off grain that I gave up after an hour of trying to tease it back onto grain. I just did the best I could. The next time I buy a similar fabric I will know not to wash it first. The shrinkage was very negligible as I recall. Anyhow moving on…

My little sister managed to squeeze us in for an overnight visit in between her globetrotting life. She was severely jet lagged the short time she was with us but we had a whale of a time – as always. She is my best fried as well so when she snuck a peek into my cave and mentioned how much she loved the purple maxi dress that was hanging on my door, I immediately offered the dress to her.

She tried it on and didn’t take it off for the rest of the day – I offered to take it in at the side but she was adamant she likes it the way it is.  Being so tall and willowly she looks great in just about anything.

She obligingly agreed to a quick photo shoot using my phone camera (unfortunately big camera was out of action that weekend :-(.) WIthout further adue here is number 3….

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BHL Anna Dress back view
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BHL Anna Dress – V neck and no thigh split
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There is no neck gaping on this one 🙂

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My little sister 🙂
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It was fun being behind the camera yelling “Show me fierce!”

BHL Anna Dress

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Its not often I get the chance to spend time with my sister but writing this post took me back to the lovely time I had with her. It makes me happy that she liked something I made and has added it to her wardrobe. Especially since its also something that I really enjoyed sewing up.

That concludes my Anna trio blog arc. If you read this far then I thank you and appreciate you. It has been fun for me doing a blog arc (especially because all I have to do is copy the previous post so all the categories and tags are already selected :-). I think I will do something similar in future….Speaking of the future, I have just one last summer sewing project to share with you guys then I will move on to the fall stuff I have been working on.

Thanks for stopping by and until next time – Happy Sewing all.

Peace and love,

Hila

Good things come in threes: A trio of Anna Dresses By Hand London Pt 2

Hello again,

As promised I am back with the second of three By Hand London Anna dresses that I made over the summer. I posted my first one here <link here>.

I bought the fabric from Leeds Market about a year ago- so it was a stasher (term I use for long term stash residents) for a long while. I am certain that it was happy to get out. I had brought it out to make a Burdastyle dress but seeing it again with the Anna dress pattern out – it suddenly became an Anna. I had just enough to make this dress. Lucky for me the print inst directional so I could lay skirt panels next to each other. The fabric also has some stretch to it on the cross grain which allows for a nice comfortable fit.  Like the first Anna dress I finished the split and hem by hand. It was a pleasure to hand sew those finishing details.

The V neckline is possibly my favourite feature of this dress. However all did not go well in sewing it.  Despite trying my best to stay the neckline using some stay tape – there is some gaping on one side. What’s annoying is I cant figure out where I went wrong because the other side sits perfectly flat…if anyone has any ideas please let me know. I tried loads of steam and clapper action to get it flat but I may have made it worse. Still – its a lovely dress and I will wear it regardless :-).

I love the blue of this dress so much. I even wore it to a wedding with my Morris blazer. My mother in law is not one to be easily impressed but for the first time she was bowled over when I told her I had made it (she was kindly babysitting for us so we could go to the wedding). That was a cherry on top for me. She doesn’t hand out compliments willy nilly :-). Pictures!

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BHL Anna Dress
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BHL Anna Dress
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BHL Anna Dress
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BHL Anna Dress – that pesky gapey neckline
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BHL Anna Dress
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BHL Anna Dress
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BHL Anna Dress Waistline detail
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BHL Anna Dress Back view
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BHL Anna Dress
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Such a lovely neckline shape – one of my fave features of this dress
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BHL Anna Dress
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BHL Anna Dress
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See how one side is fine and flat while the other has a wobble
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Close up of the wobble
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BHL Anna Dress with my mustard Morris blazer
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BHL Anna + Morris Blazer
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Yep! I like this dress 🙂

And here is a clip of it in motion…

As always thanks for stopping by! I will b e back this time tomorrow with final one that my little sister adopted 🙂

Peace and love,

Hila

 

Good things come in threes: A trio of Anna Dresses By Hand London Pt 1

Hello again,

One of my winnings from Indie Pattern Month 2016 was an Anna Dress pattern from BHL. This is a pattern I have coveted for some time. So when I got it I went a little bit gaga and sewed up 3 dresses in a row!

My little sister came to visit around the time I had finished them and she fell in love with one of them. She tried it on and I gave it to her. She looks amazing in hers – she is tall, willowy and graceful ( I am the shortest one in my family – a sore point with me!).

Anyway I love these Anna’s so much. I cant add anything construction wise that isn’t already out there. There is an excellent sewalong on the BHL website which is what I used, I didn’t read the instructions that came with it.

Its a fabric hog though. Printing it and taping it up was not that much fun if I had to be honest.

I did a muslin of the bodice after tracing the size 8/10 which fit my measurement. The fit was good. What I didn’t muslin was the skirt and it turned out to be at least 6″ too long – its only later that I realised i think its drafted for wearing with very high heels. I shortened the skirt and went on to cut out the second one in the V neck and the 3rd one in the V neck. I really like the V neck. I had to hand sew the slits for a neat finish. The seams were finished using an overlocker. The hem was hand sewn as well. A good chance to practice some of the new sewing skills I am learning from the Claire Schaeffer book.

Ok pictures and pictures….very picture heavy this post. I was going to do pictures for all three Anna dresses in one post but I was late with processing the pictures so I am presenting them as a 3 part blog arc over the next 2 – 3 days. This is the first one which has a lovely story behind the fabric. When I went to the Yorkshire Spoolettes meetup back in February , I had the pleasure of meeting Karen who blogs over at thesewingmiserabilist. She was wearing this wonderful dress made out of a beautiful crepe fabric – I fell for the fabric and she helped me find it at Fabw0rks. I bought it later but spent an age dithering over what to make with it. The fabric is so beautiful – the pictures dont do it justice – the rich deep purple almost aubergine background for the fiery orchids like print. It has some stretch on the crossgrain. I love the fabric and feel fabulous in it :-). In the end it was Anna!  Enjoy!

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BHL Anna Dress
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We only had sun for a few minutes during the shoot and the oranges in the fabric really come out
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BHL Anna Dress
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Anna dress Bac View – I love how it billows as I walk
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Invisible zip LIKE A BOSS!
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Love the thigh high split
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There are always kids around the photo shoot – I have become adept at posing quickly
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Anna dress – its a fabric hog. It requires at least 4 meters.
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The kimono sleeve
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Anna Dress
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BHL Anna dress Side View
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I also love the neckline – its very well drafted.
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Close up of the neckline.

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I even wore to London over the summer…

Thanks for stopping by and until next time Happy Sewing!

Hila

XoX