Continuing on in our theme of Patterns Nobody Has Sewn, I present to you: The Convertible Sundress!

Burda 7512 Front and Back Summer and Winter Style

Burda 7515 Sundress Front View

Not only can you convert it for the seasons, but I used a knit fabric!  You may or may not know, but knits and I have not always been the best of friends.

Crinkle Knit Fabric

Crinkle Knit Fabric

This one is a 70% polyester, 30% rayon crinkle knit with a lovely wavy creased texture to it.  I used another Burda pattern, that I do believe NOBODY has ever sewn before, Burda Style 7512. 7512_SB.indd I really liked the line drawings, but not so much the way the dresses fit the models, nor the fabrics they chose, so I was not sure what the result would be.  But, I think the crinkle knit was an excellent choice!  The cowl back drapes nicely and it top stitches with a twin needle well without stretching at the wrapped cross-over front, and the hem.

Burda 7512 Back Views Summer and Winter

sew sundressThe fabric colour and texture and the fact that it is a knit, really allow it to span the seasons as being either a spring/summer or fall/winter fabric.  So, that’s how I used it!  Summers here are so short (and this one has been cooooollllllddddd!) so I really like a wardrobe that is easily converted for the seasons.  This dress is my contribution to Heather’s Summer Sundress Sewalong.

Burda 7512 Front Views Summer and Winter

The style reminds me of the new Colette Patterns Myrtle dress, except the cowl drape is in the back and the front is a cross-over style which I think adds a bit of joosh.  The pattern calls for Vilene Bias Tape to be used on hemmed areas, at the crossover front, armholes and bottom hem, but if you can’t find this, you can just use knit stay tape or even cut knit / tricot interfacing into strips.

Check Out the Twin Needle Top Stitching!  And, I Used Matching Over-locking Thread, Booyaa!

Check Out the Twin Needle Top Stitching! And, I Used Matching Over-locking Thread, Booyaa!

For those of you that like sewing with knits because it is faster, this may not be the pattern for you.  You cannot sew the whole dress on your overlocker, and you are constantly switching from a stretch stitch to a twin needle on your sewing machine.  You can’t save up all the twin needle topstitching until the end.  Also, there are six straps as fabric tubes to sew and turn.  Six!

Burda 7512 Side Views Summer and Winter

I asked around on Instagram if anybody knew how to care for this fabric and consensus was that I sew test stitching samples.  Good advice, but it sounded really boring.  So instead, I sewed a yoga skirt with a slight A-Line and added fold-over elastic at the waist.  This way, I could practice my stitch lengths, twin needle stitching, pressing methods and use of knit stay tape and still end up with a wearable garment.  Bonus!

Test Samples as a Knit Yoga Skirt

Yoga Skirt Instead of Test Sewing Samples

Stretch Yoga Skirt

Burda 7512 Autumn Knit Dress Front View

Psssst, did you happen to notice the change of artwork from spring/summer to fall/winter?  It’s the little things…. :)

If you haven’t voted yet on ‘what is your favourite fabric to sew with’, be sure to go here and add it to the comments section!  Chart forthcoming…

See you next time!

 

 

I said I’d do it and I did!! Tank top version of the Burda Horse Dress. (Plus some Questions for Y’all!)

Burda 7221 tanktop side view

Well, since barely anybody else has sewn this pattern (Burda Style 7221), I thought it only appropriate that I sew it twice (first time sewing a pattern more than once!)  I made version B, the tank top.  To see version C, the dress, go here.

Burda 7221 tanktop front view

The upper bodice is a lightweight quilting cotton and the lower bodice is a striped silk in different textures that I purchased at a thrift/op shop.  I loves me a thrift store and always find such sewing treasures there!  (I’ll be writing a blog post on my haberdashery and sewing book thrift-ed finds soon).

Burda 7221 tank top sideview

I used the same front and back upper bodice pattern pieces that I used for the dress version.  I had already altered them before sewing the dress, so I ‘knew’ that it would fit.  Right??  WRONG.

When I sewed the upper part in the quilting cotton, I did not take into account that it had a vastly different drape, hand and thickness than the white rayon-blend fabric used for the dress, and the fact that this version was sleeveless.  And… it did not fit.  At all.  The neckline gaped considerably in the front and back (forgot to snap a pic, sorry).  Thing is, I had already completely sewn the entire top (and it is self-lined) so altering it became something of a creativity contest.

Burda 7221 tanktop back view

This is what I did:  I added a long dart in the centre front and centre back, ending at the seam that attaches the lower bodice.  Then, I pressed the darts open, not to the side (without cutting them first, so that everything was still finished off inside).  I then hand sewed the top of the darts to the bodice.  It worked beautifully!  Who knew? Although, it may  have slightly altered the straightness of the empire waist seam. Since the darts extend the length of the upper bodice pieces, it looks like a 2-piece bodice with CF and CB seams.

Darts Added into Centre Front & Centre Back and Pressed Open

I sewed darts into the CF and CB, then pressed them open. How would YOU fix this fitting issue?

What would you have done?  What would the sewcialists / spoolettes do?  (#wwtsd)  (Besides, of course, the obvious of re-fitting before sewing).

Hi Kitty!  "Off to my catnip garden..."

Hi Kitty! “Off to my catnip garden…”

One thing that did not go unnoticed was how easy it was to sew with 100% quilting cotton.  It’s such a breeze to put together, but obviously doesn’t have the same drape and qualities that you might want in your finished garment.  This poses more questions for you:

  1. What is your favourite fabric to sew with and why? 
  2. What is your favourite fabric to wear and why?  (They can be the same fabric or not).

I’d love to get an idea of who is sewing with what, discover any fabrics I may be missing out on and perhaps I will even generate a chart (CHART!!!!) with the results.  Thanks for playing!

Oooooh, I get MUCH better cellphone reception if I move my giant hat like this!!

OOOOOOOH, I GET MUCH BETTER CELL PHONE RECEPTION IF I MOVE MY GIANT HAT LIKE THIS!!

 

“Ohhhhh, OK. I totally thought she was dead.” No…And, I SEWED something!!! (It has horsies on it)

Burda Style 7221 front view with shoulder straps

Hi everybody!  I have been MIA for quite some time now, and I have genuinely missed you all and the sewing and blogging world a lot!  Where was I?  Well, stuff happened and this and that and the other thing and then, yadda, yadda, yadda, I sewed this dress!  :)

I might blog about the lull at some point, but right now, it’s a sewing blog, so onwards and upwards!  I can’t wait to see what all of you have been up to!  Feel free to leave a link in the  ‘comments’ section of your favourite recent activity, if you like.

Burda Style 7221 front view 2

A sincere Thank You  to everybody who asked about me on twitter, instagram, email and even through the post and in person and kept me in mind!  It was so very sweet of all of you.  (I must give a special shout out to a few people:  Anne, other Anne, Caroline, Shannon, Kat Eldridge, Kat and Mel).  I can’t begin to tell you how touched I am by this and how much it cheered me.  I feel loved.  :)

BurdaStyle 7221 front view

7221So, in the meantime…..I finally sewed something! :)  BurdaStyle 7221.  If you follow my blog, you know, I loves me a good research project, and I always research the pattern I’m about to sew.  Well, I found absolutely nothing about this dress blogged on any sewing blog and only ONE (1) review on Pattern Review.  Anne always says that she selects sewing pattens that others do not, but I have to say, I may have won the “Has Anybody Sewn This Pattern?” prize!  And… I like the pattern and the resulting garment!  If you’ve sewn this pattern, or if you own it, or even if you’ve had a drunken-stupor induced dream about it, I’d love to hear from you!

BurdaStyle 7221 back view

Mono SewnHorse FabricI used black and white fabric as my entry into July’s The Monthly Stitch Mono Sewn challenge, where we shun colour and sew garments in monochromatic, only black and white.  Have you checked out the monthly sewalongs by TMS?  They are just getting better and better!  Also, to celebrate the Year of the Horse, I used black and white horse fabric for the skirt.  To find out more about Chinese New Year and the Year of the Horse, go here.

Kitty.  Looking Dramatic in Monochromatic.

Kitty.  Looking Dramatic in Monochromatic.

Burda Style 7221 back view close up

Model Poses.  Model Pose 1:  Look far off into the distance at something interesting and/or an emergency.  Result:  Well, kind of an uncaring raving lunatic, standing there doing nothing but looking at an emergency off in the distance.  Model Pose 2: Come Hither Look / Bedroom Eyes.  Result:  Fairly self-explanatory.  Extremely tired and/or really stoned.

MODEL POSESPose#1: Look far off into the distance at something interesting and/or an emergency. Result: Well, kind of an uncaring raving lunatic, standing there doing nothing but looking at an emergency off in the distance.  Pose#2: Come Hither Look / Bedroom Eyes.  Result: Fairly self-explanatory. Extremely tired / bored and/or really stoned.

Burda Dress 60s Hippie Style

The dress has a bit of a 60s vibe. At least when it kind of hikes up as I raise my arms. In the Garden of ridiculously enormously tall flowers, I totally feel appropriately dressed! (PEACE!)

The Inside Story

The pattern has a self-lined bodice and unlined skirt, but I underlined the skirt horse fabric with the same white fabric that I used for the bodice.  This white fabric and I were not friends.  It stained SO easily.  I bought it in the ‘ends’ bin, so once again, I don’t know exactly what it is.  Likely a rayon/linen blend with something else.  It has a tonne of lovely drape and is textured.  But, I transferred pattern marks with sewing chalk and it stained permanently, I couldn’t wash it out.  So, I had to re-cut everything but the sleeves.  Even just ironing it, would sometimes leave a brown/yellow stain, so I had to use a press cloth.  I have no idea why it absorbed everything so easily, but it will likely make it difficult to wear.   The horse fabric is a cotton voile, so very transparent, hence the need to underline it.

Burda Style 7221 side views

How do you eliminate wrinkles on a garment made with very drapey fabric with a self-lined bodice with darts, and an underlined skirt without creasing the under layer?  Well, you can’t really use the iron, since you would have to spend a lot of time shifting, smoothing, straightening, etc.  So….you use your new Rowenta Steam Iron!  It works really well for getting out wrinkles without creasing the second layer.  But, with my model (Rowenta Ultrasteam GS2010), you do have to refill the water reservoir rather often if you have a lot of wrinkles.  I got mine on sale for a good deal and do highly recommend it!  I will definitely be using it for most of my ironing needs.  (Keep in mind, you still have to ‘press’ your just sewn seams, the steamer would be used for removing wrinkles afterwards).  You also don’t require an ironing board and it is Kitty-safe if he happens to knock into it!

Steaming with Rowenta

I added white iron on interfacing and then sewed all around it, to finish off the raw edges of the folded straps.  It adds strength and ensures that the black horse pattern does not show through the white bodice after I sew on the straps.  I overlocked the seams and hand sewed a blind hem.  I was able to stitch the hem to just the white underlining, so that it was truly invisible on the right, horse fabric, side.

Self-lined bodice and underlined skirt; overlocked seams; hand sewn blind hem; interfaced raw edge straps.

Self-lined bodice and underlined skirt; overlocked seams; hand sewn blind hem; interfaced raw edge straps.

The sleeves were a bit wide and did not touch my shoulders, plus I found them to be really boxy.  So rather than just taking in the seams to make the sleeves smaller, I added a dart to the centre of the top of the shoulder on the sleeve, to alter the fit, and to provide some roundness and shape.  I have no idea if this is the ‘right’ alteration to make, but it did work out perfectly!  The sleeves fit great on the drop shoulder now and have more of a round shape to them.

Kitty indicating darts added to shoulder area of sleeves.

Kitty indicating darts added to shoulder area of sleeves.

Drop shoulder, straps detail.

Drop shoulder sleeves and straps detail.

Next time, I will narrow the sleeves.

Next time, I’ll narrow the sleeves.  They’re looking a tad too boxy and wide.

In the Future

The only alteration I would make for future Burda 7221 garments (and I do believe there will be more as I’ve already cut out the pattern for version B, the tank top) I will narrow the sleeves by about 2 cm (3/4″) as I felt they were a bit wide on my twig arms.  Also, keep in mind, the pattern runs long.  I shortened the bodice by 3cm (1″) and the skirt by 6cm (3″).

I find this dress easy to wear and fairly casual without looking sloppy.  I’ve no idea why practically nobody else in the world has sewn it!  But, perhaps it’s a testament to my, ummmm, fabulously avant-garde style??  Yes, that’s what we’ll say.

 

Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty.

Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty.

"Help Me!"

Kitty!!! “Help Me!” -Kitty

The Garden where literally hundreds of tomatoes are forming.

Me and my Burda dress in the Garden where literally hundreds of tomatoes are forming.

Ooops, sorry a little distracted by my tomato plants; Oooooooooh!; An almost ripe one!!

Ooops, sorry a little distracted by my tomato plants; Oooooooooh!; An almost ripe one!!

Black Cherry Tomatoes (will turn a merlot wine colour); Roma Tomatoes; Zebra tomatoes (these are huge, can't wait to see what colours they turn).

Black Cherry Tomatoes (will turn a Merlot wine colour); Roma Tomatoes; Zebra tomatoes (these are huge, can’t wait to see what colours they turn).

Kitty's Eye View of the Garden.

Kitty’s Eye View of the Garden.

 In Conclusion

So, to sum up:

  1. Black and white is über chic
  2. I love my sewing friends
  3. We heart horses and horsie fabric
  4. If you are in the ‘hood in the next 2 to 4 weeks, drop on by and we’ll have bruschetta, gazpacho, pasta marinara, Bloody Marys/Ceasers and caprese salad.

Looking forward to it!