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.
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!
At some time in December last year, I came across a French pattern company on Instagram, DP Studio Fashion. The company ethos is to keep abreast of the latest fashion news to find out about new shapes, volumes and shades. They sell a collection of ready-to-use patterns through their online boutique. I was quite taken by the designs which are so unique and fashion forward. There had so many patterns I wanted to buy, however, I limited myself to two. Here is the first one – a skirt:
Le 406 is an asymmetric skirt constructed in one piece and has no waistband. The pleats on the right side create volume that is then added to a frill sewn on the true bias creating a front ruffle of full volume and effect.
This is the picture that got me
Postage and Service
The ordering process was very simple. The online website has pages for english and french language users. Postage was incredibly efficient with the patterns arriving within four days via courier. I was impressed.
I knew I wanted to make my Christmas outfit using this pattern. Looking through my stash I considered using a denim and very nearly cut it out in denim but at the last minute remembered some tartan fabric that I believed would be more festive.
A note on the pattern – it has one of the largest pattern pieces I have ever worked with! The main front piece has two pieces that have to be taped together. The 2 pieces were not aligning perfectly along the grainline points. I emailed DP Studio Fashion and they responded within a couple of hours saying that this was a problem they were aware of – an error in the printing. I had to tape it along the right side seam and draw in the hem curve. It’s a simple enough thing to do – I don’t know if subsequent batches of the pattern will have this error. This picture shows what I mean – it really is a minor issue.
All the pieces are cut single layer so this pattern requires a lot of fabric. I failed with pattern matching the side seams but I figured it could be a design feature.
As an intermediate level seamstress, I found the instructions clear and well written. There is a picture tutorial available on the website.
Sizing was spot on. I chose the pattern size based on the provided grid and it was perfectly right for me.
I made no changes to the pattern. The waistband is supposed to have a facing but I opted for a Petersham ribbon. Two reasons: it is quicker and more comfortable.
I managed to finish the skirt in the nick of time on Christmas Eve and was able to wear it on Christmas morning paired with my black BurdaStyle roll neck top. A fetching combo that I felt good in.
After a couple of hours I noticed that the side where the flounce is anchored tended to ‘drop’ creating an asymmetric waist look. My assessment is that the waistband needs to be snugger to keep both sides at the same level. But then again it might just be this particular fabric which has a slightly loose weave that seems to let out over time and tightens when washed.
Verdict: I love this skirt! I felt edgy when I was wearing it. The swish factor is a definite plus for me. It is a skirt made for striding forward towards…something! My sister in law said it had a Vivienne Westwood punk rock vibe. I was pleased beyond reason with that compliment :-).
I am looking forward to making another version of this skirt. It has much potential when using different fabrics. There are more patterns from DP Studio Fashion that I have my eye on.
Thanks for stopping by and until then, Happy Sewing!
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.
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.
I love this casual and easy to wear dress.Minimalist witha 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,
PS. It was a really windy day when we did the photoshoot so apologies for my VPL – it couldnt be helped!
2017 hurtles to a close and I am not particularly sad to see this year go. In fact, I can’t wait to put this year behind me. It was more bitter than sweet and when I look back on this year I will focus on the sweet. And yet, I have made it through and that’s worth celebrating too.
I am so excited to begin 2018. There is so much I have to look forward to and so much to achieve. I will put on my dancing shoes and dance every day. Every. Single. Day. Every day will be my own fashion catwalk. I will embrace my younger self. I will be fearless. To 2018, I say
On that note, here are 3 videos that I had recorded but hadn’t posted on my Youtube Channel including the garments I made. Enjoy!
For the new year, I wish you all the best and many happy moments with your loved ones.
My July Minerva make was a new to me indie pattern company : Deer&Doe. I had seen several lovely versions on the Melilot out in the wild but had yet to take the plunge. Now I am not even sure why I waited so long!
Here I am (pre hair chop) feeling very smug in my Melilot :-). For the full post click here to be taken to my Minerva Craft Blogger Network post.
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 :-).
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 :-).
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.
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.
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 :-).
I have been trying to do a bit more pattern drafting. Often I just get carried away with the idea that it is far more convenient to just cut into an already drafted pattern and take it from there. However, I have spent quite a lot of money towards books, classes and tools on pattern drafting so I must make more of an effort.
I decided I wanted to make a drop shoulder tee-shirt which was inspired by this Boden top.
As it happens I had an easy fit tee-shirt sloper from when I used Metric Pattern Cutting for Womenswear by Winifred Aldrich.
I drafted the sloper about 2 years ago so I decided to play around with that.
I started off with the basic tee-shirt sloper and I went on to follow the instructions for dropping the shoulder. The instructions don’t give you any further info regarding the sleeve pattern piece so I used my own logic by gently drawing an opposing curve with roughly the same amount taken off. Eventually, I stumbled upon a great post<link here> which explains in great detail the technicalities of the dropped shoulder.
I decided that at this point it would be a good idea to make a toile as I hadn’t made one yet. I used some jersey fabric that had been in my stash since 2014 – I bought it on EBAY during a late night browsing session (I have since managed to break that bad habit). I think it’s a viscose jersey which is very comfortable to wear. I also quite like the Argyl print :-).
For the neckband I measured around the neckline once I had finished and deducted 30% of the measurement – added my seam allowances and voila – a neckband that snaps perfectly against my body.
My next step with this draft will be to create the yoke pattern pieces and to drop the shoulder a bit further. The next iteration will be colour blocked to see if the proportions work well.
This was a quick refreshing project as I was not having to think about the instructions or whether I may have missed out something – if I can hang on to that feeling it would help me focus on doing more drafting. Do you prefer drafting your own or find it easier to use patterns?
I made this after buying the pattern during the 12 days of Christmas sale. It was a bargain at £5. Here is the line drawing.
My thoughts are that it is very quick to sew up and took one sitting to finish. The sleeves are very straight forward and there is no easing involved. The most challenging part for the beginner might be the mitred corners. The sizing was spot on and I didn’t make any alterations at all.
Personally I feel like the side vent is too high for a winter garment given that its supposed to keep me warm and cosy. With my poor circulation I would feel this gap acutely. In winter I wore it layered over thermal sweater underneath. The fabric is a wool jersey that I bought form Fabworks. It washes in the machine and I tumble dry it on low – that seems just fine. I have since washed this about 5 times now with no problems.