A tribute to Paul Kelly


I made so many mistakes that this dress got named “I done all the dumb things” and that was only half way through the project!


“Welcome, sewists, to the show

I’m the one who should be lying low

Had instructions, turned my back

Waistband didn’t match, didn’t use a tailors tack

In the middle, in the middle, and far too late at night

I unpicked so many seams, I just had to sing

I’ve done all the dumb things”

(apologies to Paul Kelly)


I love the retro styling of this pattern. It has a stand collar, front bands, armbands and high waistband in contrasting fabric, and a chunky contrasting zip on the front (plus the nice retro touch of a side zip to make it possible to get into and out of).

The A-line skirt has welt pockets in the contrasting fabric and two pleats at the front that align with the welt pockets.

Technical Details

Pattern BurdaStyle Magazine 04-2008-118

Fabric Used: The main fabric is a cotton batiste in a great panel print with the contrasting bands in a shiny stretch polyester. The main fabric is really not quite appropriate for this style or to put together with a heavier polyester, but my daughter fell in love with both of these. Belinda from Sew-4 Fun made a fabulous blouse out of this same fabric and it totally works with her design!

I initially intended to underline the main fabric, but then decided it would be a lot cooler to wear as it was. This was probably another dumb thing. The dress design probably would work better with a heavier fabric, or with the contrasting fabric more similar in weight to the main fabric.

I made a size 38 for my daughter, but it was a bit big around the waist, particularly the back waist. So I took this in by a further 5 cm, after I had sewn in the waistband, inserted the zip and so on (that was one of the dumb things – not making a muslin!). At this stage in the project I wasn’t going to use the seam ripper again unless I really had to! So I made two tucks in the back waistband in line with the back darts, and took the darts in as well as adding some new ones to the skirt.

It’s a fairly involved design with 12 pattern pieces and lots of curved seams on the bodice as well as welt pockets. Lots more opportunities for dumb things, like two left pockets. I was reacquainted with my seam ripper several times.
I need a quick and easy project now!

3 thoughts on “A tribute to Paul Kelly

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