Repurposed Italian cherubs and a stripy grey top

This very cute fabric was purchased in Italy and made into a dress. I wore it a lot, and it faded.

The fading bit was okay, but it also grew, width wise. The curse of stretch woven cottons perhaps?

Now it’s a skirt.

Technical details


The dress was BurdaStyle 02-2009-124A

I sliced the bodice of the dress 4 cm down from the seam, through the zip and then turned down 3 cm for the waistband. The side seams came in a further 4 cm at the waist (that’s 16 cm overall- that’s how much it had stretched!).

I ‘reinforced’ the waist with elastic in the same way as I did for the pink ponte skirt.


BurdaStyle 09-2011-108

Size: 36-44, I made a 40, taken in about 4 cm at the waist both front and back seams and shorter than drafted- 11 cm final length from waist).

Fabric: Polyester knit from Gay Naffine (from the stash and a bargain at $2 per metre)

The top is not supposed to have three quarter length sleeves, but that’s how it worked out. It could be partly because I made a 40, and I normally make a 42. Felicity’s version was a touch short in the sleeves too.

I’ve had the problem before with stretch cotton woven garments becoming shapeless. What is the secret with preventing stretch out?

16 thoughts on “Repurposed Italian cherubs and a stripy grey top

  1. Do you line dry or tumble dry your stretch wovens? Do you think the heat from the tumble dryer is melting the elasthane?

    I don’t have trouble with my stretch wovens growing or stretching out, but I line dry them.

    1. I line dry almost everything ( except towels in winter). This dress was washed on the gentle wool setting too. Perhaps its something to do with the quality of the fabric?

  2. Oh, I love that fabric. Can’t say I know how to prevent stretch wovens stretching out.
    I haven’t trawled your blog, but I wonder if you got to Rome on your Italy trip? I’m going to be there in a week’s time, and would be interested in any fabric shopping intelligence you may have!

    1. I did use villainess (don’t you love autocorrect!- vilalene) tape on the neck and that was the one bit that didn’t stretch out. I ended up with a balloon neckline….

  3. Good that you’ve saved/repurposed that fabric, it is lovely. I too sometimes get growing clothes, and not just in cotton, but I haven’t really figured out how to solve that…

  4. Well done – another tres chic outfit – Burda sleeves are always way too long on me but in your case I’m guessing you are quite a bit taller than the 5 ft 6″ they draft for?

    Even cotton without stretch will grow – as the fibres warm up with body heat they loosen out – I think underlining the garment – that is sewing a lining to each individual piece then treating the 2 pieces as one going forward – will probably reduce the amount the outer stretch fabric can be heated and stretched by the body since it will be constrained by the movement of the lining. That’s what I would try.

    I love the floral and stripe combination. If you had your hair in a chignon, I would be expecting you to say, “garcon, le billet s’il vous plait.”

  5. at least growing fabric is better than shrinking fabric! Like that you have more to work with in the remakes… but joking aside, I can imagine how annoying it is.
    I just donated a favourite pair of linen trousers as every time I wore them they got bigger and bigger, and without belt loops, they were a liability! I could have repurposed them, but they were also the kind of linen that wrinkled absurdly every time you so much looked at them!

  6. I too like the combo of print and stripes …. and I know what you mean about BS sleeves being too short as I need to add a couple of inches at least every time! Oh the trials of long gorilla arms, or being tall, or both. Anyway I have no idea about the growth thing but am going to take Mary Nanna’s advice next time.

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