Silver crushed velvet dress: Burda 01/2018 #101

This is a story of going to the fabric store to buy fabric for a specific pattern but buying something we loved that wasn’t really suitable for that pattern. Anyone else do that? When we realised what we’d done, all the Burda magazines came out and Felicity and I spent a pleasant hour or so finding another pattern.

This is Burdastyle 01/2018 #101 in a size 40.

I did a ‘pivot and slide’ 2 cm FBA but it may not have been necessary given the stretchiness of the fabriv.

The waist twisty bit is a nice feature. The line drawing is a bit misleading for this bit (the tucks in this pattern piece end up on the part that you sew to the side seam – but the line drawing shows the side seams smooth). But, as the reviews on Pattern Review said, if you follow Burda’s instructions literally, it might seem nonsensical but it works out just fine.

The fabric is a crushed polyester velvet from Spotlight, and Felicity says its delightful to wear.

I omitted the zip because it is very stretchy fabric.

I wondered about changing the neck facings out for a binding, but thought this might give it too much of a sports look which seems wrong for crushed velvet so I stayed with the facings. Not sure I should have worried about a sports look being inappropriate. This dress is apparently perfect for riding a scooter in the city.

The facings are hand stitched down. But my commitment to hand stitching ended there – the hems were turned up 1cm and stitched with a simple zigzag. This made both the sleeves and skirt 3 cm long than drafted because I’d added a 4 cm hem allowance

So this is a story with a happy ending.

I still haven’t sourced fabric for the initial pattern though.

‘Bib Skirt’: BurdaStyle 10/2020 #118

Bib skirt. Burda. Really? What were you thinking? You have to hope it sounds better in German.

Brooklyn Farm, at which some of this pinafore was sewn, provided the most wonderful backdrop for these photos.

It’s allowed to look great – it was a movie set.

Of course once the pinafore was made it needed a top to go with it. Never mind that this orange top looked great with it. Especially with magical late afternoon light.

So far two tops have been made.

The first one is Simplicity 8982 – a simple long sleeved T shirt in an Australian aboriginal art print. Accessorized with a Venetian mask. Don’t ask me why.

The second is a Wilder top in Liberty tana lawn

Not yet actually worn with the bib skirt. But has been worn with a similar Burda pinafore made a couple of years ago.

So, let’s talk about the technical details.

The bib skirt is Burda Style 10/2020 #118 made up in a mid wale cotton corduroy from Spotlight. It’s a size 40 skirt and size 44 bib and straps (I drafted out to a 44 at the top of the bib pieces from a 40 at the waist – this adds 1.5 cm in length and width to each bib piece). Easiest FBA I’ve ever done!

Flannel Skirt 118|Burda Style 10/20

The skirt is lined with bemsilk and the bib and waistband with a slippery poly woven with a paisley design in a sort of jacquard from deep stash. Because I didn’t have enough of either to do both parts. The buttons are vintage – purchased from a second hand shop in Greenwich, UK, on holiday 4 years ago.

The wilder top was made from Liberty Tana lawn purchased from Liberty in London with Felicity 5 years ago on holidays. I’m seeing a theme here. Holiday purchases and time in the stash.

I added 22.5 cm to the length and 10 cm to the width of the sleeves. Then brought the volume back in with an elastic cuff (turned up 12 mm and then 25 mm to form the casing and inserted 20 mm elastic).

Hardly enough change to qualify as a pattern hack but I couldn’t resist using this label!

And the Simplicity 8982 knit top?

I had limited fabric so I cut this top out width wise (by that I mean with the hems of the sleeves and bodices aligned with the selvedges).

Not really a hack nor was the fabric a holiday purchase or a stash dweller. It’s a rayon spandex knit printed with one of Pauline Napangardi Gallagher’s designs, purchased from Spotlight and sewn up within a month. There’s more about this talented artist here.

Pinafore? Bib skirt? Whatever. It was fun to sew, and has already been worn more than just for the photo shoot. #winning.

And, talking about photo shoots, the Brooklyn Farm chickens weren’t going to let an opportunity pass them by. If their door was going to feature in my photo shoot then they made sure there was also a photo of them at our door.

The spring coat I haven’t made yet: BurdaStyle 03/2010 #101

This was the final pattern I auditioned this summer for the beautiful yellow roses fabric. And it’s a winner.

https://burdastyle.ru/vikroyki/palto/palto-burda-2010-3-101-b/ Yes the Russian Burda site – its the absolute best for BurdaStyle archives

So. Why haven’t I actually made it up? Well. Timing. March seemed the wrong time to make a spring coat for an Australian sewist.

But I do very much love my trial version.

I used an African wax print cotton and made the pattern 5 cm longer than the jacket length (style #102, not shown in the line drawing) but with the coat length 3/4 length sleeves. The largest size is 44 so I drafted out to a size 46. A size 44 probably would’ve been fine

No lining, no interfacing.

Of course I absolutely adore it anyway!

It is the absolute best to wear with a wide and oddly shaped long dress (can you tell I’ve become a woman of a certain age?!) on a night out with my very stylish friend M from Nonsuch.

It’s also been worn to work. More times than is probably healthy.

It’s one of those garments which gets unsolicited compliments every time it’s worn. It’s the print. It’s almost indigenous Australian art like. I get that comment too. And that’s my cue to tell them about African wax prints. Never let an opportunity pass for textile education!

I added patch pockets. Just letting you know in case you hadn’t noticed my hands shoved into them in the photos above. Pockets are always a good idea. It was also fun pattern matching them. Really, they’re stealth patch pockets.

I also couldn’t resist adding one of KATMs awesome labels to the sleeve cuff.

Other important details are that all the seams were flat felled and bias binding was used on the hems and facings

Great pattern. Remind me to use it again in September!

The last of the summer sewing

The season has turned, I’ve brought my winter coats back into the wardrobe. It’s almost too late to be blogging about summer sewing… but not quite!

This top is Burdastyle 06/2016 #129

Crepe Tunic 129 | 06/16
https://www.burdastyle.com/crepe-tunic-129-06-16.html

I’ve even used a similar colour to Burda.

Crepe Tunic 129 | 06/16

Mine is made from a floaty cotton voile that has been in my stash almost forever (9 years – I’ve patted it appreciatively and admired its colour and hand many times since it came to live with me). This fabric is designer deadstock – from Gay Naffine/Lucy Giles.

I made several adjustments to the pattern to get the fit better.

I traced off a size 46, petite-ed the bodice by 2 cm above the bust dart and made a 2 cm forward shoulder – which meant I also brought the tucks in the sleeve head forward. Are you supposed to do that?

The adjustments certainly worked for the shoulder fit, but the bust darts ended up a touch high.

The neck depth is good but it is quite wide though – if there is a next time I’ll consider bringing it in a bit.

I didn’t include the front slit but I did keep the idea of regular tacks down the front band by adding pearl buttons (shining in the bad side light of the image above)

I used a very light interfacing for the neck band and the front bands as well as to reinforce those square seams

A KATM tag on the side seam above the slit because I can.

I promise this is the last ‘touching my hair’ photo!

The skirt is an old favourite made in my new larger size – 46 waist and 48 hips – Burdastyle 07/2012 #134

Yes this is from the Russian Burda Site. I have no knowledge of the Russian language, but the site is more useful than the US based one. https://burdastyle.ru/vikroyki/yubki/yubka-burda-2012-7-134/

I love the quirkiness of the darts at the hem. I didn’t sew the darts to the outside as per the pattern for this version. There was already enough going on with the stripes.

This is a stretch cotton that’s been in my stash for even longer – 11 years. Bought in 2010. That’s deep stash. This fabric is also designer deadstock- from Gay Naffine.

The second summer top is Friday Pattern Company’s square neck top.

https://fridaypatterncompany.com/products/square-neck-top-pdf-pattern

It is the second version I made – the first one was an XXL as per my measurements but with the neckline raised by 2.5 cm. It was too big in almost every dimension except through my hips. It was made up in a beautiful blue shirting cotton but that wasn’t enough to save it. It has already been donated.

The second one was a XL bust out to XXL hips plus 2.5 cm removed in the bodice above the dart and through the sleeve and then the neck also raised by 2.5 cm.

It’s still not quite right – the cap sleeves pull when I move my arms forward. I doubt I’ll make another one unless I use a knit.

The fabric is lovely though – an embroidered linen cotton remnant from my local Spotlight. It is also from the stash, but it has only been marinating for 3 years.

Stash busting, three garments I can wear and two I love!

***EDITED to add how I do a petite adjustment to the bodice***

I’m very surprised to find that I couldn’t easily point Sandra to a youtube or blog post from someone else that explained how I do this. Either I haven’t looked well enough or what I do is different to what everyone else does. Or perhaps both.

This comes with several warnings:

  1. Writing tutorials is a skill that I don’t have – it’s highly likely that none of this will make sense.
  2. Drawing simple diagrams is also a skill I don’t have – it’s not going to be pleasing to the eye.
  3. This works for me but possibly works for no-one else on the earth – try on something unimportant, like a muslin/toile before you commit to this!

The green lines A, B and C are your cutting lines

  • Line A: draw this in starting at the centre front and perpendicular to centre front, at least 2 cm below neckline (if you’re doing a 2 cm petite-ing, more if you’re doing more, less if less) out to just before before the armscye stitching line
  • Line B: draw this in also perpendicular to centre front but start 2 cm below armscye on the side seam (or more or less depending on your adjustment) and stop at about the same position as Line A.
  • Line C: this line joins Line A and B and is parallel to the centre front

The purple dashed lines are the lines you’re adjusting to.

  • Measure up 2 cm (or more or less, depending on your adjustment) from lines A and B and draw in a line parallel to them (this is the purple dashed lines).

The red bit is the amount you’re going to remove.

  • Cut along your green lines.
  • Shift the pattern piece up to the dashed lines and tape it back together

Now do the same to the back bodice piece

Why I do it this way:

  • It doesn’t change the armscye, which means you don’t have to adjust the sleeve. I don’t usually have an issue with where the sleeve joins the bodice being too low so I avoid having to make this additional change.
  • It takes length out only above the bust, which is where I seem to need it to get the bust point in the right spot for me.

This isn’t what I did on the square neck too (I just took 2 cm out from centre front through the cut on sleeves) but it is what I normally do and what I did for the V neck Burda top.

Sandra: Hope this helps and good luck with your fitting journey

Does this make sense? Does anyone else do this? Is there a better way to do this?

Liberty lawn robe: BurdaStyle 01/2012 #134

I’ve made myself a summer robe with Liberty lawn and I love it.

It seems indulgent to use such delightful fabric for clothing I don’t wear in public but

  • I do wear it most days a week, even if only briefly
  • I have a large stash of lovely fabric
  • this is not my only piece of Liberty lawn
  • Liberty lawn is expensive but not rare, and
  • beautiful fabric should be sewn

This is BurdaStyle 01/2012 #134B in a size 48 with extra width added to the front edges and the front bands also a bit wider than Burda intended.

I like my robes generously sized!

@sewover50 put pattern mixing in my mind so I used a coordinating rainbow striped lavender cotton gauze for the front bands, sleeve bands and belt.

This gauze is a long term stash dweller. My initial intention for it was a balloon blind or drapes for my toddler daughter’s room – yes that daughter who is now 22 years old.

Liberty lawn really is the best- lovely to sew, feels delightful against your skin, and beautiful patterns and designs.

Perfect to wear while you’re still waking up with your first cup of coffee on a warm summer morning

Pink linen shirt dress: Burda 07/2004 #135

I’ve really gone back to the archives of my Burda magazine collection for this one. Moving up into the Plus size range will do that to you!

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This pattern is so old that the only Burda website that has it is the Russian one: : https://burdastyle.ru/vikroyki/platya/plate-burda-2004-7-136/

I’d learnt from my mistakes about sizing and this time I traced a size 46 with a 2 cm petite adjustment above the bust and out to size 48 hips. I omitted the band on the sleeves and went for the shorter length of style #136.

This dress is wonderfully comfortable to wear. Being made from lovely linen helps.

This is a very beautiful cross dye linen from Emmaonesock in hot pink fibers in the warp and sand in the weft. It has gorgeous sheen IRL and an overall salmon pink colour when you’re not looking at it up close.

I purchased it in 2018 so this particular fabric isn’t available anymore but it looks like other similar cross dye linens are still on the site. Yes I am tempted. No I haven’t succumbed. Yet. Also, I’m not affiliated in any way, just a very satisfied customer.

I wondered about the smallish hip level patch pockets. Would they look like they’d slid down from the bust? Would they add too much of a lab coat vibe? The verdict? – they are just fine.

And all those wrinkles? It’s linen. I’m embracing the wrinkles. These photos were taken after the dress had been worn for most of the day, but it did look almost this wrinkly within about 10 minutes…

I used ‘rescue buttons’ from a shirt of Chris’s that would have otherwise ended up in landfill, and thread leftover from a previous project. I love it when I have everything I need for a project already in the stash.

I didn’t interface the button band, and I folded it to the right side rather than the wrong side. There really is no wrong side to this fabric, and I liked the faux sewn on band effect this gave me.

I love this dress! Beautiful fabric is key. Did I say that already?!

NYC in the snow and rain dress: 04/2010 #108

I still haven’t cut into my yellow roses fabric….

I am often but not always this indecisive – I do sometimes sew up other fabrics from my stash that are irreplaceable or have a back story.

This fabric is the partner to the Paris street scenes fabric. Both were bought on a bit of a whim from Ribes & Casals in Barcelona whilst on holiday. How odd to think we used to get on planes and fly to places like Spain from Australia without any thought of infectious diseases. Seems so long ago.

I fell in love with the Paris street scenes fabric displayed at the end of one of the fabric tables and then saw the NYC version.

I could not choose. So a panel of both come back home with me.

And this spring I decided I’d use the NYC fabric for a Burda pattern that had been on my to do list for ten years: 04/2010 #108

I traced off a size 44, but really should have paid more attention to what my body measurements have changed to since covid baking. A size 46 would’ve been a much better choice.

It might look okay in these images from the front and back, but, really, its a bit snug all over, as you can see below when I’m not standing directly face on to the camera. Luckily the fabric has a teensy bit of mechanical stretch.

All that pleating across the stomach draws attention to my ‘full stomach’ (pot belly) when the rest of the dress is so snug. I should’ve gone a size up!

Shoulders back and pulling that tummy in doesn’t help much with the silhouette…

I do love the print though.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to put traffic lights and a one way sign on their bum?!

Going a size up isn’t the only change I need to make in the next version, I also need to raise the bust darts and neckline. This first dress already has a slapdash version of this adjustment.

Before I put the sleeves in, I tried the dress on to check fit. The bust darts were too low, and the neckline gaped and was a classic Burda plunging neckline. So I sewed the shoulder seams 2 cm lower, adjusted the facing and neckline and scooped out the armscye to make up for some of the reduction at the shoulder. Now it’s much better.

Despite its close fit and ability to spotlight the body part I most want to skim over, I really like this dress. The print is fun, I love the colours, the little puffed sleeves are cute and I like the neckline. And its perfect for Zoom meetings – it’s interesting enough without being too distracting, it looks good under a jacket and no one can see my full stomach.

Dark green dress: Burda 08/2012 #143

I acquired this very lovely piece of fabric from an etsy seller (JannsFabrics). Jann is a dear friend IRL and an inspirational sewist with an enviable fabric collection. She’s rehoming some of that fabric and I’m very pleased to have a few of her pieces.

It’s a linen silk jacquard and a delight. So delightful that I’m racked with indecision about what to sew with it. A dress? A jacket? A coat? I have 2.7 m – (too many) options!

So I’m making up a couple of patterns in other fabrics to audition their suitability – are they good enough for my beautiful and special fabric? Is this what I should use it for?

Trialling patterns is also needed due to iso- baking and menopause induced change in my figure. I’m celebrating by exploring the plus section of my Burda magazine collection. Yes, celebrating. #BodyPositivity

This is one of trial patterns.

BurdaStyle 08/2012 #143

I made it in a woven cotton damask fabric without the centre front trim. I also made a tablecloth in this fabric many years ago – this was the remnant. Yes I am that person who could match her dress to her table linen.

This pattern is drafted to be lined, but because this was a trial version in tablecloth fabric I used bias for the armscye and cap sleeve hem and drafted facings for the neck instead.

I’m surprised but pleased with how this turned out and how well this tablecloth fabric stands up to being a dress. I was expecting a lot more creasing. I should have taken more effort with a matching zip and overlocking thread!

It’s a loose fit through the waist and almost cocoon like in its narrowing down at the hem. The impression of being a sheath but only close fitted through the shoulders and bust. This is a size 46 bust and waist with a size 48 hips.

I like this pattern a lot. I’d have an elegant dress if I combine it with my yellow roses fabric. But perhaps too mother-of-the-bride and not enough fun?

Flippy skirts for Felicity: #108burda02/2020

Simple pattern. Cute skirt. Gorgeous daughter. Stash fabrics. These are some of my favourite things.

This is Burda 02/2020 #108. In size 40 waist and size 42 hips.

The first version was in a poly cotton tartan cotton for spotlight. Horrid fabric to sew – the weave is too loose. It turned out well as a garment. I credit lovely bemsilk lining for that!

The second version is in delightful Italian cotton shirting purchased a hundred years ago for a great little shop in Turin. Not actually a hundred years ago but in our COVID-19 world it feels like this.

A vintage button adds to its charm. Yes it probably is sewn on upside down.

I didn’t line this version but it may have hung better if I had.

These pictures were shot in my new sewing space. l love having a large dedicated sewing space! Even if is a work in progress – there is still a lot of stuff in random spots and the pictures need hanging.

Just look at the light!

In conclusion. Great skirt pattern. The goldilocks of flounce. Highly recommended.

Orange and blue top: #128burda02/2015

A colour blocked top in ponte is an idea that has been percolating in my head for a while.

It all came together this winter because I made a simple pencil skirt in an orange and cobalt plaid and I had ponte in matching colours in my fabric stash. I love my stash!

The project included the fun of playing with colour blocking combinations on the screen before I committed to cutting. This is style 128 from Burda 02/2015

The pattern is in petite sizing (17-21), which works for me because I am short waisted. Except that COVID-19 induced isolation, grieving and menopause mean I now need plus sized petite sizing. 22 or 24 would be perfect. But that is not really a thing. Luckily, the pattern is boxy and flat pattern measurements suggested it’d be okay as a 21.

It was.

I liked the split sleeves of the ¾ length sleeves on the dress/tunic version of this pattern but wanted longer sleeves.

I don’t know how the orange part of the slit turned out slightly longer than the blue and was perfectly matched at the seam but I suspect it was due to the orange ponte being lighter andstretchier than the blue and me not marking the slit point. I’m not mad at how its turned out. Its hardly noticeably different and if it is then I figure it just adds a little bit more drama.

I’ve worn this top as is and with a black turtle neck layered under it.  I love it – and am asking myself why it took so long to make this pattern

This is not a complicated sew – just requires precision around the piecing and the square corner of the armscye. I used a square of interfacing on this spot and marked in the stitching line with a FriXion heat erasable pen, reduced stitch length around it and crossed my fingers (virtually) when I snipped into the corner.

It’s ponte, so none of the seams are finished. How weird, but freeing, it felt to leave everything raw!

I used a double needle for the hems, and went to the trouble of changing colours for the different colour blocks. Slow mindful sewing was what I needed to do.

The skirt? It’s a simple pencil skirt made from a gorgeous wool knit from Tessuti’s lined with a fine merino wool nylon blend from The Fabric Store and an elastic waist using fancy elastic from Seamstress Fabrics. All purchased online, but that’s no surprise is it? It’s 2020 and there’s a global pandemic.

It is certainly not a subtle top or skirt but it makes me happy!

Cielo Top and a Burda pencil skirt: BurdaStyle 11/2019 #110

My new year’s resolution to sew my fabric collection (AKA stash) is still going strong.

Formerly too-precious-to-use fabric continues to break out of my fabric collection and into my wardrobe.

This gorgeous fabric comes from Mood in NYC and was purchased 5 years ago. A beautiful cotton voile with a huge pattern repeat featuring birds, flowers, botanicals and the odd old map or two.

090715_1250_VisitingNew15.jpg

It has almost been a dress several times, but I never got to the cutting out phase.

This time I broke the jinx and its now a Cielo top

I used French seams for construction and bias binding on the neck and hems. This is a size 14.

The neck and hems are an inch higher and longer than drafted because I attached the bias binding flush with the cut edges rather than in the seam allowance.

I didn’t add the seperate back yoke – there is plenty already going on with this top and one of the shoulders looks like it has a yoke anyway.

Pattern placement was a bit of a head scratcher, but I settled on the pinker and brighter section on the front and the yellower and more muted section on the back.

This top works well with my grey blue linen wide leg pants (love the yellow wall, don’t love the messy hair so much –  it was very windy)

It’s a beautiful match with a new pencil skirt.

This is BurdaStyle 11/2019 #110, at the #111 length and without the D rings, made as a size 44 with size 42 waist.

My fabric is a stretch cotton in dove grey with a lovely sueded feel to it.

I was not careful enough with cutting out so the front was a touch bigger than it should be. I added two small tucks to the front and solved the problem.

This pattern has the front pockets drafted as a single piece. It acts almost like a tummy control. And inaccuracies in cutting out this piece and the front skirt mean that extra design features such as tucks need to be added.

So, to sum up how I’m feeling.

  • Love, love, love my top. Glorious fabric and beautiful lantern sleeves.
  • Very happy with my skirt. It’s a neutral basic that I need in my wardrobe and its lovely to wear.

 

A skirt of Japanese cats: BurdaStyle 05/2019 #112

Who buys Japanese fabric on holiday in Spain? Who wouldn’t when it’s as irresistible as this!

I mean. Look at that cheeky cat in the middle with the ball of wool. And the smiley yellow one. And the little black one. And the….

I turned this souvenir fabric purchased from Nunoya in Barcelona into a skirt for Felicity.

This is BurdaStyle 05/2019 #112 (or #112burda052019 in instaspeak)

( image source: the previous USA based Burda website that was so good. No point adding the link now. Not happy Burda!)

I added 7 cm to the length and cut the front skirt and yoke on the fold. This omitted the centre front seam and the decorative button tab.

I lined the yoke with a poly/cotton from an old shirt of her fathers.

I covered the end of the zip with a scrap from his shirt too.

It’s very satisfying to recycle like this 😊

My Missoni ‘Tee’ jumper: BurdaStyle 06/2016 #101

Back in 2015, I was incredibly fortunate enough to acquire this Missoni summer weight wool/viscose knit from Liz of designerfabricsaustralia.

It’s been sewn into many imaginary garments over the last five years. But they never got past the planning stage and actually into my wardrobe. It was one of those too-good-to-sew fabrics. Until now.

This is style 101 from BurdaStyle 06/2016 or #101burda06/2016 in instragramspeak

A very simple pattern – just right to showcase my Missoni knit.

I cut out the patterns pieces so that the hem of the sleeves and the front and back were on the zigzag selvedge. This meant the upper bodice/ sleeve piece stretched across the complete width of my fabric from selvedge to selvedge.

I spent a lot of time working out how to cut this out of my slightly too small length of fabric and I’m pleased how well it tuned out with all the zigzag edges meeting and matching. What I didn’t do is pay enough attention to getting the flow of the zigzags going the same way on the front and back. If I’d done this the shoulder seams would have been patterned matched. Not mismatched like they are, as you can see above. Oh well. Live and learn.

I stabilised the neck and shoulder seams (about 13 cm down from the neck) with a strip of very lightweight interfacing. The neck was then finished with bias binding.

I love it!

You are my sunshine: #117burda04/2019

“This is my favourite thing ever that your mum has made for you”

I’ve got to agree with that!

The lovely fabric I used is a cotton and silk blend Tory Burch gauze from The Fabric Store.

I used a double layer of fabric for the bodice and skirt. The flounces are a single layer and you can see how delightfully light this fabric is.

I love this design with its asymmetrical twist and flounces.

This pattern is from the April 2019 issue of BurdaStyle

I traced off a size 40 with a 2.5 cm FBA. It ended up a little tight through the bust and hips so I took the side seams out in both these spots.

I didn’t trace a facing for the neck or arms yes but instead used premade bias binding in beige. Somewhat regretting this because the difference in fabric weight has resulted in some puckering. Clearly not enough regret to remove it! And no complaints from the recipient!

Sequined and bowed swing top: #108burda12/2017

A gala dinner ticket, 2 metres of sequined stretch velour in the stash and almost enough time to sew something to wear. How could I resist?

My collection of BurdaStyle magazines going back several years provided just the right pattern: Bow Back Blouse 12/2017 #108.

108

Image source: Burdastyle

I have to say that I love my new pattern weights – a much appreciated gift. Thanks M!

Sequins went everywhere and my scissors now need sharpening.

Removing sequins was a very tedious part of this project.

Several needles were harmed during production of this garment. I took note of Burda’s advice and used fine size 70 needles in the sewing machine and overlocker. Six needles later I moved to size 90 needles. Much better outcome!

Sewing details

  • Traced out a straight size 44. Forgot to raise the bust darts by my normal 2 cm. At least it’s not noticeable in this fabric.
  • Fabric is a stretch velour with reversible sequins sewn on in a lovely pattern (not straight lines as is often the case and this makes sequin removal more difficult than normal). This fabric is from Gay Naffine and has been in my stash for five years.
  • I used wide cotton bias binding instead of a neck facing. I used the pattern pieces to cut the tapes to length and seamed them to make the V at the base of the front and back before sewing them onto the garment.
  • Only overlocked the armsyces as a consequence of needle breakage. I didn’t remove the sequins from the seams before sewing because it was way too tedious and I was time poor. I did reduce some bulk in the seams by snipping most of the sequins off after seaming, but still needed three overlocker needles to complete overlocking of the armsyces.
  • Hemmed with a wide blind hem stitch and was surprised how well this worked – the sequins made this stitch totally invisible.
  • Grosgrain ribbon hand sewn over the shoulder seams to prevent stretch out and to cover the scratchy sequins.

The back view on Eliza the dressmaking dummy. That bow is such a great feature.

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The back view on me

Black garments are difficult to photograph. At night and in poor light – almost impossible. Add sequins to increase the difficulty factor. And to make the challenge even greater, try to take blog photos in a rush just before you’re supposed to leave for the event. And then stand in front of a dark stained wood panel to make it really hard to see. Such amateurs! Nicely dressed though.

You’ll just have to trust me that the sleeves are awesome and this is really an excellent pattern.

It goes without saying that we had a great evening.