Shirtdress mashup: Burdastyle 05/2004 #129 and 07/2004 #135

Mashing up patterns? What could possibly go wrong?

Luckily for me, this turned out much better than expected!

The patterns:

Burdastyle 05/2004 #129 (below left) and 07/2004 #135 (below right). The links go to and the images are reproduced from the Russian Burdastyle site because they’re from so long ago that’s the only one that still lists them

I’ve always liked #129, the green one, but never got around to sewing it. Until now. Nineteen years later.

I’m not in this size range anymore. But that didn’t stop me. I’ve already made #135, the red one, in my size (46 bust 48 hips) so I mashed them up.

My starting pattern had a bust dart so I rotated that to the yoke seam and then converted it into gathering. That was the easy it of the mash up!

I marked up the panels on my front dress pattern piece and then drafted new pieces with extra width at the top for the gathering, using the 05/2004 #129 pieces as a guide.

You can see from the pattern pieces that the gathering isn’t additive – the top of the piece is gathered in but the bottom of the piece is back to what would be the regular width of the base pattern. I replicated this on my pattern pieces. The gathering is modest – about 1.2 times the width of the straight piece it’s sewn onto.

I lined the yoke with white batiste. When my fabric is doubled up, the black shows through the other colours a bit and dulls them down. The white makes them pop.

The gathered and then restrained-back-in panels give the dress a cocoon shape feel – which is a silhouette I love.

Grey hair don’t care

I added pockets – because pockets are always a good idea – and used white batiste for the pocket pieces facing the outer fabric. For the same reason.

Smug sewist because she added pockets

I used the pockets drafted for the Cloud dress. They’re fabulously large.

The lovely fabric I used is a Japanese woven cotton from The Fabric Store. Wonderful to sew and gorgeous to wear.

Such a happy dress!

Silver party dress: BurdaStyle 12/2010 #130

I didn’t intend to make another party dress but a bit more free time than I was expecting on the weekend prior to a gala dinner in November, some old Burda magazine pattern perusing (I was looking for a blazer pattern for sensible sewing. Yes really!) and delightful fabric in my stash made me do it.

Look at this image. What more could you want? A party dress with great sleeves, a sparkler, multiple necklaces, a slouchy knitted hat and a man how clearly adores you! With glasses! What’s not to love?

Line drawing from the Russian BurdaStyle website: https://burdastyle.ru/vikroyki/platya/plate-burda-2010-12-130/

Finishing the hem at midnight on the day before the event – which was, of course, in the middle of the working week because it was a corporate event – did make me question my judgement.

I didn’t add the contrast hem band. Very happy with how it turned out though.

The fabric is a wool and metallic boucle that came from @pinpoint_textiles through the Adelaide sewists fabric swap this year. Thanks Belinda. Its beautiful!

I underlined it with green bemsilk rayon lining from Spotlight. Green because I liked how it looked with the silver and underlining because its boucle and I was worried about it not holding up to stress.

You can see in the image below how I also stitched the underlining to the boucle through all the tuck and pleat markings in the sleeves. I did the same for the darts. Hopefully reducing any possibility of fraying and pulling apart at the seams to zero!

The sleeves are supposed to be gathered slightly onto a self fabric band that is turned to the inside and lightly elasticized. Using boucle for this sounded like a nightmare, so I used a premade satin bias strip from the stash instead.

I sewed it onto the sleeve before I sewed the sleeve seam, leaving a small section unfinished, sewed the sleeve seam, inserted the elastic and then finished the opening by hand.

I faced the neck with an interfaced black poly cotton remnant. Sometimes I remember to sew the interfacing on first and then turn it over and fuse it. I did this time. It makes such a neat finish that I wonder why I don’t always do this?

The neck trim is a strip of black powermesh from EOS stitched into the neck facing seam and then slip stitched down onto the dress once the facing was turned in. The pattern calls for piping, but I didn’t have any in the stash or inclination to make some.

I like the trim a lot more than I thought I would. Particularly happy with how it echos the shadow created by the vertical pleat in the sleeves.

I made this up as a size 48 bust, 50 hips, back to 48 at the hem. This is a size larger than I have been making recently, but its an older Burda pattern that seems to be drafted a bit smaller than the more recent ones, its delicate fabric and I wanted it to hold up to the strain at the side seams when seated.

I felt great wearing it on the night. And I have my very own adoring man with glasses.

We were under yellow lights – my hair does not look this colour, anymore

And, this story gets even better.

Within about 2 weeks of the gala event, my office had its end of year breakup party. It was a coolish day. Could I wear the dress again? The dress code was not silver dress, but.. I feel like I glammed it down enough with sneakers…

Cheers!

Twixtmas sewing: Cloud dress by Sewing Patterns by Masin

The relaxed days between Christmas and New Years, a heatwave and an air conditioned sewing room. The perfect recipe for sewing a Cloud dress!

I love the way this dress has been drafted. Racer back with huge puffy sleeves! Genius. Big sleeve energy without the enormous shoulders.

Line drawing from https://www.sewingpatternsbymasin.com/sewing-patterns/cloud

This gorgeous linen from The Fabric Store was a delight to sew, even all that gathering went well (apart from the bit where I sewed one of the layers to the bodice wrong side to right side. Duh)

I paid a lot of attention cutting out to getting the squares lined up and even – a double layer of yellow at the bodice/tier one seam and a smooth transition at the next tier down, plus matching across the vertical seams. It was worth the effort. Uneven seams on gingham irritate me. And there’s been a lot of gathered gingham dresses for sale to be irritated by!

All this pattern matching meant that my fabric length was not quite enough for a full length second tier. Not by much though – 8 cm – and the length looks fine on. Perhaps a longer first tier and shorter second tier would’ve been more aesthetically pleasing for uneven length tiers but that’s being very critical!

You’ll notice that the hem dips up at the front – because the bodice does too. It’s not because my hands are in the pockets!

I’m not convinced the hem should dip up – none of the modelled versions do this. It might be because I sewed a size down from the one that my measurements suggested and that resulted in my bust hoicking it up? I chose this size (4) because the finished garment measurements gave me 5 cm of ease though the bust, which was just at the limit of the ease suggested, and my actual size (5) gave me twice as much as the maximum ease recommended. I like the closer fit through the bodice so I’ll add more length to the centre front on the next version.

The back bodice is buttoned. Which is very cute.

I used vintage mustard buttons from the stash They are larger than recommended so I used 5 buttons rather than 6. I didn’t adjust the facing width to work for my larger buttonholes. Which was a mistake. Macgyvered with iron-on interfacing.

I repurposed a damaged linen pillowcase for the facings. Because it meant that I didn’t have to think about more pattern matching than I needed too.. I know. It’s cream and the gingham is white and yellow. But it works. I didn’t swap my overlocker thread from cream to white either. Slapdash seamstress.

My tip for gathering? Mark the centre front and backs and half way between centres and sides of the non gathered piece with a fabric marker. Do the same on the gathered pics but add safety pins to the markings. Because your marking may disappear when you gather all that fabric up.

I couldn’t resist adding a label to the outside. I had a teeny tiny handmade tag from KATM in mustard. It’s on the lower tier skirt side seam. And probably only I will ever notice it. But. So cute!

I love this dress. Can you tell?

I wore it yesterday on a family trip to the zoo and it was perfect. Swishy. Cool. And SunSmart – crew neck and almost elbow length sleeves.

Why the zoo? Nostalgia. The kids and I used to always go in the holidays when they were younger. Seems like they still enjoy it as adults!

And how could you not when you get to see meerkats after a big night out?

Happy new year everyone!

Shirty September with Pattern Fantastique’s Phen

Pattern Fantastique’s Phen shirt pattern has intrigued me for a long time. Just look at that shape! Even the simplest cuffs for this pattern are curved!

(Yes, I did print my pdf pattern on pink paper)

The Shirty September theme of #magamsewalong (make a garment a month) was the perfect reason to try it out.

(A new shirt and a new skirt! It was a shirty and skirty September for me. The skirt is another version of Burda 09/2008 #134 in a wool cotton blend)

I used a small floral cotton shirting from my stash but originally from someone else’s stash – I scored this lovely fabric from one of the second hand shops at Port Elliott. It has “Cloud 9 organic cotton” printed on the selvedge and has a crisp shirting weight feel to it – if it’s quilting cotton, it’s very nice quality!

Small floral on a dark background – almost the worse fabric for a shirt with lots of details:

– like two front pockets with rounded corners and placed unusually high. Bet you can’t see them unless I put my hands in them

(Look at the pockets! Don’t look at the waist with some of the facing showing. It doesn’t pay to tuck your shirt in quickly and without a mirror before a photo)

– a deep back yoke with stitching at the top of the pleat and a hanging loop, completely camouflaged

– two piece sleeves which turn into the “placket”, those curved cuffs I already mentioned…

The only thing that isn’t lost in the florals is the amazing dropped shoulder batwing sleeves.

I made a size 18 and its a smidge tight at the hips.

I didn’t baste the side seams to check the fit – an excellent tip from Beck, IsewthereforeIam for this pattern – and I think I probably continued the seam too far. The curved seams mean a few mm too far and you’ve gone down a size or three.

The curved seams also mean that you can have an incredibly blousy top without a lot of volume to tuck in. Genius design.

(Untucked. With bonus tired face)

(Tucked in. With the same tired face, and a touch of shirtiness to my expression)

This pattern has very comprehensive instructions and many of the steps also have diagrams. The only one I ignored was interfacing. Instead of using iron on or sew in interfacing, I just added another layer of fabric. Except for the front button band. Which was a mistake – the button holes are a bit puckered on each end.

I appreciated that the instructions included trimming for turn of the cloth for the cuffs, collar, collar band and yoke. You don’t usually get this level of detail on a shirt pattern.

(The result of my attention to trimming to get the right amount of turn of cloth is impossible to see with this patterned fabric. But I know I did it, and it worked!)

But it’s those instructions that made this a Shirty September sew for me.

Either the instructions were written a bit differently to what I expected, or I’m used to next to no instructions and just doing my own thing. I seemed to spend a lot of time reading them and checking them rather than just sewing. And that made me shirty! Beck has also recently made this pattern and written a great post about it – I agree with everything she says about the instructions!

Will I make it again? Probably! I’m intrigued by the “bunny ears” tie collar and tie cuffs version and I’d like to try it again in a drapier fabric. And I won’t need to read the instructions next time!

From Ikea throw to another Newlook 6471 top

You might see an IKEA VALKRASSING throw. I see 2 meters of 150 cm wide cotton double gauze.

The throw was reduced to $20 – that’s $10 per meter. Bargain. Perfect way to tip my toe inexpensively into sewing and wearing double gauze. And what better way to do it than with Newlook 6471, the pattern I’ve just used?

Mum jeans – #sewoverfifty

After I cut out my pattern pieces I discovered it was triple gauze. I presuming that makes it even warmer to wear and a bit loftier?

That line on the sleeve is not a dropped sleeve seam- it is the T-shirt sleeve hem I was wearing underneath. Also, look how much my natural colour has grown out! #greyharidon’tcare

The triple layers made me decide to go for a rolled collar rather than bind the neck with self bias. Two reasons – this seemed like it was going to be a cold weather top so the extra neck coverage would be welcome and sewing bias binding neatly and evenly in triple gauze onto gathers didn’t sound like fun.

The pattern doesn’t come with a rolled neck. I used the neck tie pattern pieces without the ties but with a centre back opening. To which I added button holes and buttons. This was the only place I used interfacing – a 3 cm strip underneath where the button holes and buttons were going to go.

Front, back, buttoned, unbuttoned. Also look how good this throw would’ve coordinated with my bedspread – perhaps I shouldn’t have cut it up after all?

The instructions are good for this pattern. I like the way the seam allowances for the gathered edges are 3/8 inch and that means the first line of gathering stitches is very close to the raw edge – makes it much easier to sew after it’s gathered because everything seems to stay better in place.

Sewing over pins and stictiching on top of the gathering stitch- #livingdangerously

The cuffs weren’t interfaced. I did the same as last time – cut them wider, sewed one long edge to the gathered edge of the sleeve, folded the cuff in almost half (butted the edge up to just touch to seam allowances which were pressed towards the cuff) and then folded up again and stitched. This means my cuffs are four layers of triple gauze! No wonder they look padded!

Last time I made this I felt the sleeves were a bit short. So this version has 5 cm extra length added to the sleeves. Now a tiny bit too long. Goldilocks sleeve length is still to be attained!

I’m still liking the idea of the high low hem. So for this one I cut the hem edge on the fringed ends of the throw. In fact, given the fringes are the selvedges, all of this top was cut across rather than with the grain, apart from the bias cut collar.

Serious face because I’m on the fence about the fringe

What do you think? Should I cut the fringes off and hem it normally?

Navy border print top: Newlook 6471

If you’ve been reading my blog posts recently you’ll be detecting a theme – stash busting and dated patterns. Here’s another example.

I’ve had the pattern for at least five years and the fabric for ten.

Yep- still keeping it real with wearing wrinkles from a morning of sitting, again

This pattern was a freebie in a sewing magazine I purchased whilst travelling. I rediscovered it recently whilst organizing my small pattern stash (ahem, not mentioning the extensive Burda magazine collection…).

I’d pulled out the fabric whilst looking through my fabric stash for all fabrics suitable for tops to go with my two new skirts (the mustard and turquoise ones). Why not put the pattern and fabric together I asked myself? The worst that could happen was bad pattern meets lovely but incompatible fabric.

Inspired by Giedre of Giedre Style who recently made a long sleeved top from a border print and put the border print on the sleeves, I decided to do the same. In hindsight, this very deep and linear border was not the best choice for sleeves, because the upper ‘line’ of the border looks a bit like a dropped sleeve seam, which I don’t like on me, but I sort of love the top anyway!

The fabric is a cotton silk woven from a local designer end of bolt sale in November 2012. I miss those sales! She’d used the fabric in a sheath dress with an overlay of the border running down one shoulder. I’d always thought I’d replicate it. But no. I made a border sleeved top instead.

I made some small changes to the sleeves. I cut the bottom of the sleeve out on the selvedge – I didn’t curve the edges up as per the pattern. This doesn’t seem to noticeably make the sleeves hang wrong.

The pattern has the ‘cuffs’ on the bias. Instead I cut the cuffs out double the suggested width and not on the bias- I used the same part of the border that the sleeves ended on. I sewed the cuffs on folded into thirds- resulting in a 2.5 cm finished width.

The sleeves turned out shorter than I expected given the pattern envelope photo. Other reviewers noted the same. Next time I’ll make the sleeves 5 cm longer. The shorter sleeves might have been because I made a size smaller (18) than my measurements suggested, and I have broad shoulders.

I cut the neck tie in two pieces due to fabric restructions. A centre back seams is not a problem though. Made it easier to orient my KATM label!

I made the high low hem of Style D rather than the regular hem of style A. I paid a lot of attention to centering the mirrored pattern on the front and the back.

More wearing wrinkles

But completely disregarded aligning the pattern horizontally. Which is a problem when you make the high low hem of Style D rather than the regular hem of style A because you think the high low hem will look good when you wear it untucked

Its about 4 cm out. So annoying. Only noticeable when worn untucked of course. So you know how I’m going to avoid that issue!

I like this pattern a lot more than I expected to, so another one is on the cards.

There’s probably lots of sewists out there who bought the sewing magazine with this pattern. But it doesn’t seem like it has been used much – not many reviews on Pattern Review. Is it just that we don’t value things we get for free? Or did the modeled photo put people off? Certainly didn’t encourage me to make it!

Turquoise, teal and blue floral top: BurdaStyle 08/2012 #147

Yes that was a new top under my coat in my last blog post! Well spotted M of Nonsuch.

I had originally pulled out the fabric to use as lining for this coat. It’a been in my stash from before children (my eldest ‘child’, Felicity, is 24). The colours work well with my coat fabric and I liked the idea of a patterned lining.

Then my 24 year old pointed out it was too nice for lining. I knew that! But she was right!

Thus the plan was born for a patterned top to wear with the boucle striped coat rather than lining the coat with it !

And in my ongoing theme of sewing patterns from Burda magazines from the last decade, I chose this pattern from 2012:

Images from German Burda website

I made a size 46 despite reviews that it ran a bit small because my fabric was a stretch polyester. I also didn’t cut the neck ties on the bias, again because it was a slippery stretch fabric. The sizing and the ties turned out fine. it could be snug in a non stretch though – the reviews were right.

The construction was straightforward except for the right angle seams which required a bit more attention. I fused squares of very light weight interfacing to the corners and stay stitched before I sewed the seams. That makes clipping to the stitching line before you stitch it a bit less hair raising.

I forgot to raise the bust darts – a standard change I usually need to make because I’m short waisted. Luckily the busy print means this only obvious when I point it out!

I made the cuffs 2 cm longer and interfaced the cuffs with a poly organza but didn’t interface the neck facing, apart from a square at the point. They both turned out fine, although slippery polyester organza inside slippery polyester stretch fabric probably wasn’t the smartest move for the cuffs. A simple woven cotton would’ve been better.

I was delighted to be able to use some mustardy yellow glass buttons in my stash These were my mothers or grandmothers – inherited stash from a long line of sewists! And I love how they look on my cuffs.

I’m unconvinced the length of this top is right. It’s too long to wear untucked with the coat because it’s longer than the coat (yes I am still asking myself why I didn’t measure it up and work this out before I hemmed it).

I don’t think this length works with an above knee length skirt (as below) and it doesn’t look any better with leggings or trousers. Something is wrong with the proportions on me. Even in my highest heels.

It looks particularly bad with a knee length skirt

I like it a lot better tucked in. And then all that extra length makes no sense.

Keeping it real- wrinkled skirt after a morning of sitting

The skirt is new too!

I had a remnant of a light cashmere wool coating in turquoise that coordinated perfectly with the top and the coat.

It’s really glorious fabric. So I made a simplified version of BurdaStyle 09/2008 #136 – no double yoke, no pockets and no hem tucks. I pegged the side seams in about half the amount the tucks would’ve taken them in. I added a centre front seam because I felt I’d oversimplified it too much. Size 46 waist and 48 hips. It’s a bit loose through the waist but the ease makes it very easy to wear.

The yoke was lined with a lighter weight wool blend remnant and the skirt lined with acetate lining that was yet another remnant! Stash busting at its finest. Slow fashion label from KATM seems very appropriate..

These are my favourite colours so I am very happy with this outfit and all the individual elements (except that the top which needs to be 14 cm shorter! Oh and those bust darts! I still love it though..)

There’s also something very satisfying about much loved fabrics in the stash being successfully transformed into garments and moving into my wardrobe.

Doesn’t always happen… so I’m enjoying it whilst I can.

Striped teal and mustard coat: Burdastyle 09/2008 #133

After the success of the ‘Valentino red’ jacket I was ready to try the other version that Burda offered – full length sleeves, longer length and a stand collar.

from https://burdastyle.ru/vikroyki/zhakety/mekhovoy-zhaket-burda-2008-9-133/

Burda made their version in a fake fur. I had a knit boucle from emmaonesock waiting in my stash to be used.

Same same but different. Maybe? I really loved the boucle but strode in undeterred by possible failure! Like much of my sewing…

Why was I worried? Worked out fine!

I interfaced the yoke, the back, the stand collar, the pocket flaps and around the armscyes as previously but, apart from folding out both the neck and bust darts, treated the knit as if it was a woven.

Upgraded to a standard sized iron for fusing interfacing!

The stand collar seems a bit high for short waisted and short necked me, so I took about 1 cm of the height of the stand collar. It’s still quire substantial.

Loving how my label matches the teal in the fabric

And continuing in the theme of treating the knot like a woven, I lined the coat with a black non stretch woven lining and faced the front edges and neck with a black linen nylon woven.

The facing being in a plain black fabric was mainly because of fabric restrictions. But it was probably a good idea, even if I had enough fabric, because it reduced bulk.

I backed the pocket flaps with this same plain black woven too. For the same reason. the pockets are also in this plain black woven fabric

All the seam edges were overlocked and then hand sewn flat (apart from the armscyes and the pocket openings). I was trying to ensure all the seams remained as flat as possible in this crazy fabric.

Lots of hand sewing love in this garment!

Buttonholes? Don’t be crazy I told myself! Use big snaps instead! But the only big snaps I could access in black were not very black.

My multistep process to cover snaps

So I covered them in my linen nylon facing fabric.

Now they look intentional rather than an afterthought.

Of course I only covered the ‘female’ part of the snaps. The male bits are naked …

Naked male snaps looking more pewter than black

I followed Burda’s advice for their boucle version and cut the yoke and pocket flaps out running the other way. I like it!

I’m calling this one a success.

Gorgeous and snuggly to wear too!

I had quite a bit of success with this pattern collection for 2008. Perhaps I should I make some of the other designs? I particularly like the knit dress.

translated to English form the Russian Burda webpage

Do other sewists make “old” Burda patterns? Or am I just stuck in the recent past?

Mustard yellow skirt: Burdastyle 09/2008 #136

This skirt is from the same collection as the Valentino red jacket in the last blog post

I like the details. And I like the way the jacket pockets are echoed in the skirt. So I made a skirt to coordinate with the jacket.

Yes there’s some drag lines on the waist yoke. More about that below

This is a size 48 hip grading back to a size 46 waist through the yoke. The fabric is a stretch cotton twill from Spotlight. I didn’t interface the yoke but I did line it with non stretch lining I think that’s what contributing to the drag lines in the photo above – stretchy fabric fighting with non-stretchy fabric as I move.

I am very pleased with how well the yoke seams lined up across the invisible zip. Basting and patience are my tips!

I’m not yet sure whether I think the hem tucks are cool or a bit stupid. I like the way they peg the skirt back in but they’re a bit poufy in this fabric. I’m very likely to turn them into darts.

The pockets turned out very well, from the outside. On the inside the bags are upside down. Which doesn’t impact on functionality but did mean they weren’t going to be attached to the yoke. So I added ribbon ‘stays’

The shirt I’m wearing in these photos is a Closet Core Patterns Kalle shirt with the long sleeve extension. It’s made up in a Jocelyn Proust print with the sleeve vents, cuffs and hem facings in another colour way. I love these designs! And the Kalle shirt!

I added almost 4 cm extra to the sleeve length by taking smaller seam allowances at the shoulders and cuffs but they still could be longer – I’d like them to hit my wrist with the cuffs turned up, not down.

Back to the skirt.

It’s a very comfortable skirt to wear. Perfect for stretching out on the couch in front of the fire after a delicious meal 🙂

‘Valentino red’ jacket: BurdaStyle 09/2008 #134

I seem to be drawn to Burda’s plus size designs from a decade or more ago.

This jacket is no exception.

I really like its simple lines

from https://burdastyle.ru/vikroyki/yubki/yubka-burda-2008-9-136/

I made it in a RPL bottom weight stretch gabardine from emmaonesock in ‘Valentino red’. Gorgeous colour. It has drape and medium body

I lined it with a polyester satin animal print non stretch woven from the stash.

I didn’t have enough so the sleeves are in a solid black bemberg

Hand sewing the sleeve lining hem whilst admiring my ridiculous pedicure

I did have enough for the pocket bags – and the satin makes them feel great!

I wasn’t sure on sizing so I made up a toile in size 48 and then took 4 cm out in width in total through the body – its probably more like a 46. I added a centre back seam to remove some of the width and adjusted the neck facing accordingly. The smaller back neck seems perfectly fine.

I also took 1 cm of height off the sleeve cap and moved the bust dart up by 2.5 cm. Which was probably a bit too much. The darts are very obvious and a bit pointy in this fabric.

I drafted a back stay with iron-on interfacing. I’ve finally realised that my fancy pants iron that works out what temperature to be depending on the fabric is not the right iron to use for iron-on interfacing – it never gets hot enough. So I used my baby travel/craft iron. Works so much better! Even if its pretty slow because it only fuses a small area at a time. I need to resurrect the standard iron that must still be somewhere in the house

I added raglan shoulder pads – from very deep stash. If my memory is correct they were in a rtw jumper from the nineties – removable through the wonders of velcro. I took the velcro off and tacked them in.

Lots of topstitching – which probably isn’t noticeable to anyone but me – and a nervous moment cutting the buttonholes. I love my chisel, but the first cut is always made with trepidation.

The buttons were from my local independent fabric store – Ferrier Fashion Fabrics. I took my jacket in and auditioned several buttons before setting on black with a thin brass edge. The staff were fully engaged in the ‘auditioning’ – coming up with several alternatives for me to consider! Love it when this happens!

Bottom line – this is a great design and I now have a lovely work jacket

Lemon Sherbet dress for Felicity: BurdaStyle 07/2021 #119

The other wedding guest dress.

This one was sewn in a delightful rayon nylon blend from The Fabric Store. This is what The Fabric Store say about it (and it still seems to be available – this is not a sponsored post – I just love the fabric!)

A deadstock rayon blend in a lemon yellow horizontal stripe. This lightweight fabric has been woven with a clear nylon warp and a striped weft in varying stripes made up of lemon yellow, candy pink, fine black and white. This unique structure creates a subtly textured fabric with great bounce. A semi-sheer fabric with a subtle sheen and no stretch.

The pattern is BurdaStyle 07/2021 #119

I cut out a straight size 40 but with the main skirt piece (its a rectangle) cut the full width of the fabric (150 cm) rather than as drafted (126 cm). I lined the dress with cotton batiste. I didn’t line the sleeves.

I cut the rectangle bit of the skirt lining the width of the batiste (about 130 cm) and then had the annoying task of having to gather the outer fabric onto the lining and then gather both of them to fit onto the bodice. Oh well, the bit of extra fullness in the skirt was probably worth it!

I lined to the edge of the neckline and slit and then treated the lining as an underlining for the rest of the seams – I sewed the front and back bodices together at the shoulders for each of the lining and the outer fabrics and then, with right sides facing, stitched the lining and outer fabric bodices together at the neck and slit before clipping, turning and under stitching. No interfacing – the other fabric is light but tightly woven and hasn’t stretched out or distorted. Yet!

The neck is a bit tight and high. I’m glad I left the slit open rather than adding a button – that button would never have been used! The bust darts are a bit too high too.

Melissa for Fehr Trade posted about this dress recently and also found the bust darts and the neck too high. So I’m calling out the drafting as being a bit off.

The fit is loose, as you’d expect from the line drawing. So I added thin ties, attached where the side seams of the bodice meet the skirt, to create a little more shaping at the waist

The sleeve ‘cuffs’ are cute

I’m very happy with my unintended but quite excellent strip matching across the bodice to the sleeves!

And its a thumbs up from Felicity!

And this is the dress that was worn on the day!

Here she is on her way to the ceremony. With bare legs and the most delightful pale pink shoes that coordinated so well with the dress… and if you are a shoe lover – you’ll want to take a closer look at these. Fortunately they’re featured in another wedding post

I’m so pleased the weather cooperated and she wore this dress to the wedding. It was my favourite out of the two.

Eucalypt Merino wool knit dress for Felicity: BurdaStyle 11/2021 #115

In March, Felicity and I started planning what she was going to wear to a wedding at the end of April.

We ended up with a shortlist of these three Burda dress patterns:

BurdaStyle 07/2021 #119, BurdaStyle 12/2020 #103 and BurdaStyle 11/2021 #115

After shopping the stash, no appropriate fabrics were found. I know. Amazing…

Off we went to The Fabric Store, and found many lovely fabrics. And came home with one that would work with 07/2021 #119, the white dress on the left, and another that would be fine for 11/2021 #116, the mint knit dress on the right. And some other fabrics for other projects which I might get to in the next ten years. Fabric shopping is dangerous!

The plan was to make both dresses and then pick which to wear on the day depending on the weather…

The end of April is usually cool and can be rainy in Adelaide. So I hedged my bets and made the long-sleeved knit one first.

This is Burda Style 11/2021 #116 in one of The Fabric Store’s many lovely 100% merino knits.

It’s a size 40 with a 1 cm dartless FBA – made using the pivot and slide method. Lots of great resources online on how to do this- I used this one on oliver+s’ blog. I also made the sleeves full length.

I like the simple neckline on this style

I used a light weight fusible knit interfacing to give a touch more stability to the collar. First time I’ve interfaced a knit. Always something new to learn!

I also added strips of interfacing to the shoulder seams and to the insert square bit that you can’t see where the collar joins the bodice.

I’m pleased with how it turned out. Let me show you a closer view. Two reasons – the awesome label from Kylie and the Machine and my lining.

Yes I lined this dress with power mesh! I only had this off white colour – a darker colour would’ve been better because there is some shadowing of the knit facing and seam allowances. But this is much less obvious IRL, and in the photo taken below on a different day

Using power mesh was another first. I immediately purchased more (from emmaonesock – 80% nylon and 20% spandex- much superior quality to what I can purchase locally, and less expensive, even with exchange rates and shipping to Australia). Fabulous stuff! Gonna line all my knit dresses with it now!

Here’s a back view. This also shows that the skirt lining is shorter by 6 cm and all the hems are done with a double needle

Felicity says the knit lining feels gorgeous – secret pajamas if she ditches the belt..

And the other dress? Yep, made that too. And another blog post is coming soon about its story

Red and olive colour blocked dress: Style Arc Mila

Another experimental dress!

How did this happen?

Well, I had intended to add olive cuffs to my last red Bella dress but the fit issues dampened my enthusiasm.

But you know how it is – I still had the olive fabric out and there was a sizeable remnant of the red fabric left. Plus a new to me pattern to try: Style Arc’s Mila dress, which seemed perfectly suited to colour blocking.

Why not give it a try?

This is a size 16 and I like the way it fits

That V shaped bit in the centre was less tricky to do than it looks

My two fabrics were both from the stash. I’ve told you about the red before – it is a woven rayon from a local designer roll end sale in 2014. Almost vintage! It has more structure than a rayon normally has, a dry hand, and no stretch.

The olive is a polyester hi-tech microfibre from emmaonesock with great texture, drape and mechanical stretch. It was bought with a garment for Felicity in mind back in 2019 but she was less than happy with its colour so it’s languished in the stash. Despite it’s loveliness.

The Mila dress is an interesting design. The skirt has no side seams and curves from that V just under the bust to well below the waist at the back

I really like it. What I now need to do is work out how to add long sleeves to it so I can make a winter version.

Any tips?

Sizing up Bella

Tessuti’s Bella dress pattern is an old favourite. Search through my blog – you’ll see I’ve made several Bella’s for myself and Felicity.

But I am no longer the same size thanks to having so many birthdays that I’ve hit menopause. So it was time to test another size.

Version one was in a red rayon fabric from my stash but originally from a designer fabric sale. It’s an odd fabric. Gorgeous colour but has a very dry hand and is prone to creasing.

I traced off and made a size 16 with shortened sleeves.

It was too big through the shoulders – the only bit that really needs to fit.

So I added a 1.5 cm tuck to the centre front,going down 15 cm, to remove 3 cm of the excess fabric through neck through the bust.

This sort off worked.

Although the armscyes are too low – I really should not be able to lift up the hem this much when I raise my arm! Another pointer to the size being wrong

Whatever. I have a dress I can wear. And the colour is still gorgeous despite the fit!

So for my next version I went down a size to size 14.

This one is made in an embroidered wool blend purchased on holiday in Leicester.

Souvenir fabric!

I didn’t have a lot of fabric but was pleased that I had enough to be able to line up the embroidered motifs reasonably well.

It’s lined with a polyester galaxy print which I bought as a roll end several years ago for a fabulous price because it was so last years.

Now so dated after sitting in my stash that’s it’s best used as a lining.

The facing is a grey linen. Because I thought the wool might be itchy. But it was a bit of an afterthought once I realised that lining right to the edge with the galaxy print might not be such a great idea. So I overlocked and stitched it on a top of the lining rather then doing things properly with a seam.

I used a wool 4 cm strip for the pocket openings for the same reason. And also just stitch an overlocked strip on top of the lining. What can I say? Consistently slapdash!

I used a wide stain bias from the stash for the hems -and the stitching just disappeared into the wool.

Love it when that happens

So. What do I think about the sizing? This is probably the right size. But the fit is not great. The shoulders are good but it’s a bit tight through the bust whilst being looser through the back.

And of course everywhere else is fine because the style is loose everywhere else

Bottom line -I like the dress. I’m not convinced Tessuti’s block works for me. It did work when I was a smaller size. Now, perhaps not so much.

So what other trapeze style dress pattern are out there that I should try? All suggestions most welcome 🙂

Should’ve made a shirt

I’ve had this small floral woven cotton in my stash for a while. It’s always been earmarked for a shirt. Shirting weight, small floral. Makes sense doesn’t it? Light grey and white. Perfect as corporate wear.

But I had an idea in my head that I wanted to use the Closet Core Cielo dress pattern for. And I needed a wearable toile because the hips are a bit tight on the last Cielo dress I made.

Yes I used the shirt fabric. And played around with a coordinating fabric on the back yokes and as a sort of flat piping on the sleeve cuffs.

I have successfully tested the sizing (too big – took in the side seams).

But I haven’t made the best use of this fabric – too light both in weight and in colour.

It’s a fail.

So some further experimentation couldn’t really make it much worse (spoiler alert – it did).

I asked myself: Could Cielo be used as a very casual interpretation of a Chanel jacket inspired dress? Likes these from the Chanel Spring 2022 RTW collection?

Chanel Spring 2022 RTW image source: Vogue.com

The answer is maybe but probably not. The loose fit makes it a very loose interpretation of Chanel gloriousness. It might be more successful in a more appropriative fabric.

What did I do? I added a strip of contrast fabric at centre front-the length was determined by the amount of remnant I had . I topstitched it in place. I then added two bands to the top of the pockets. The topstitching of these was tricky to do with machine sewing but looks ok if you’re not close. I didn’t have enough for a neck band.

I wore this dress on very hot days only. When I’m not likely to be seen in public….

I should’ve made a shirt. But it was fun whilst it lasted.