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.
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. 🙂
So, 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!
I 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
So, to sum up:
- Black and white is über chic
- I love my sewing friends
- We heart horses and horsie fabric
- 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!