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.
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. 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.
The 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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
50 thoughts on “Continuing on in our theme of Patterns Nobody Has Sewn, I present to you: The Convertible Sundress!”
Oh wow! You look
Absolutely stunning! I love that color. And the slinky back is super gorgeous and flirty. Love it.
Thank You Melizza! I love the back, as well. I actually want to try sewing this dress up in a woven (a slinky crepe chiffon) next.
You crack me up. The fabric was a really good choice, I agree. I would have never been drawn to the pattern from the envelop of it, but your dress has an interesting 70s vibe to it. I liiiiiiike! Very fall.
Yessss! I’m pleased the fabric had that nice drape to it. Doesn’t hurt that it was also on sale for $5 / m! 🙂 Yes, I also see the 70s vibe for sure, and I do happen to be a big proponent of 70s style.
I’m glad that I’m not the only one who avoids test stitching! Great dress, love the colour on you.
Thanks! Yes, the test stitching seemed like it was wasting time, even though I know it definitely isn’t. Sort of like making a muslin, you don’t want to, but in the end, it’s good you did.
Hello summer fundress (see what I did there?!) This is great for lazy afternoons at the beach! And drinks with umbrellas in them… 😀
Heh heh, nice one Amanda. Drinks with umbrellas for everybody!! Even in winter, all season umbrella drinks. 🙂
Wow what a fabulous dress. Six tubes to turn, in a knit fabric – I bow at your feet! The fabric is just perfect, it sits beautifully and looks great dressed for either season. A WIN!
Thanks Sandra! Yup, six tubes. I actually wanted the front and back ties narrower than this to be super skinny, but I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to turn them.
the dress looks so good on you. Love the colour & style. And no I did not notice the different pictures ,I was so enjoying looking at your dress instead.
Ha, see how distracting the dress is?? But, I know the background / artwork change is there, so that’s good enough.
That’s gorgeous and you look fantastic in it! I just love the back and the way you style it different ways. Sexy!
Aw, thank you Tanya! The back is totally my favourite part as well. And, when your summers are as short as the ones here, seasonal garment ingenuity is a must!
You have a knack for picking seemingly uninteresting patterns and making elegant garments out of them! How do you do that?!
Heh heh! I force myself to JUST look at the line diagrams and decide if I like the pattern based on that. Then, if I do, I look at the pics and try to discern what I like or dislike about the fabrics they chose. Then, usually do the opposite, LOL.
Lol, you’re a rebel at heart! And it works 🙂
Super cool. I think you have an amazing ability and knack of seeing past the terrible pattern images / fabric choices / horrific illustrations to the fundamental core of the pattern. Even the line drawings can sometimes be hard for some people to visualise with their own choice of fabric / cut etc.
Another fab and funky outfit that wonderfully spans both S/S and A/W seasons! Nice work Catja x
Hey, thanks Caroline! Yes, for me, I try to block out the models and finished dresses and just look at the line drawings. It’s easier for me to picture what the garment will do on my body just seeing the line drawing. I think people can be swayed too easily by ‘bad cover art’ when the pattern can be a real winner (or vice versa when the cover art is sensational but the pattern is…meh). For instance, I have in the queue, an 80s skirt and the cover art…..OH, the cover art. When I blog it, I’ll photograph the pattern cover, for sure, because it’s hysterical!! But, the skirt pattern is great and the instructions also are so thorough.
Hi, first time I’ve stopped by! Love the theme of this blog post. The dress, especially the back, is wonderful!
Oh, thanks so much for stopping by O! Jolly! I’m delighted to welcome you to the ol’ blog. Glad you enjoyed the post. I like trying to think up interesting themes for my posts and, really, for my wardrobe in general. I like a good story. 🙂
Joosh? I like joosh! Well done, lady!
Yes, Joosh! You gotta have joosh. Everybody needs at least a little joosh. But, more is obviously better.
I too had a fear of knits for a long time. Now I’m all over them! This sundress looks fabulous on you!
Thanks Rebecca! How did you get over your fear of them? Did you just start sewing and realize everything sewed up fine? When I began sewing with knits, it just seemed that every knit I chose would put up some kind of horrific fight. You can see some evidence in some older posts. There were even some fabrics that I could NOT get to sew or overlock no matter what I tried, needles, stitch length, stitch types, tension, tissue paper. So weird!
One more thing I just learned was that you can purchase a double needle for stretch fabrics. It fits into your machine just like a single needle would.
You might want to do some practice projects with stretch until you get the hang of it. I just did the Nettie bodysuit, and the instructions were very helpful. Also, the “Alabama Stitch Book” has TONS of useful info on working with stretch cotton. The Alabama tank top was one of the first stretch projects I did, and after that I wasn’t as scared anymore!
Sassy molassy! This dress looks great on you, and how cool it’s so versatile.
‘Sassy Molassy’ 🙂 Thanks Morgan. I like the versatile aspect too. I try to get a lot of mileage out of all the pieces in my wardrobe.
I love the styling — either way it is a winner!
Thank you Annie! Name the season…I got it covered!
Very cute dress! I really like both ways you styled it! I definitely would not have been attracted to the pattern from the envelope photos, but your version makes me like it a lot. All those tiny tubes turned out really well – you did a great job with all the details! =)
Thanks Brooke! Yes, the envelope photos did not thrill me at all. But, I did like the line drawings and just pictured it being able to drape much better than in the pics. And, the tubes!! 🙂 The front and back ties (not the neck one) were the ones that I actually wanted really skinny-minny, half this size, but I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to turn them. They are still a bit smaller than the pattern calls for, at least.
You’re giving off a most awesome Charlie’s Angels vibe in that dress. Love it.
Oooooh, “Charlie’s Angels vibe”. Best. Compliment. Ever. 🙂
Looks awesome, I like your style.
Thank You Kat! I’m trying to find my style again, it kind of got away from me for a while, I think just with getting older and also seeing all the new and fabulous dresses and patterns on the blogs and wanting to try them, but then realizing that many of them just aren’t me!
You have such a great look. I love how you paired it with a long sleeve tank. Agree with Cari, 70’s vibe but you need your gun and lipgloss.
Thanks Jilly! I figure the colour is bright but also fairly neutral so I can pair it with many different colours of long sleeve tops. And, YES!! I need to go practice my silhouette posing with fake fun. ON IT!
I mean long sleeved shirt.
Love how your dress turned out and the draping on the back! Just gorgeous on you and you wear it so well 🙂 Good idea making the yoga skirt to test your stitching and end up with another great addition to your wardrobe 🙂 Good to see Kitty giving you a helping hand with the top stitching… Way to go Kitty… good to see you keeping up your supervising skills and making sure Catja does a great job using the twin needles 🙂
Thank You Chris! I’m so pleased that the back draped that nicely as well. On the pics on the envelope, the dress back just stands out straight and looks pretty bad! Don’t know why they chose that kind of fabric. And, Kitty is ALWAYS in the mix, but I’m sure you know this by now. 🙂
Hi Catja! You look wonderful in that dress and the transition to fall is so trendy and European, loving the hat and boots. I swear, you can wear everything so well. I think that’d be the nicest thing about sewing so well, is creating one of a kind fashion that NO ONE else will ever own. I bet you get compliments all the time. If you don’t, you *should* 😀
The sewing part sounds complicated to me but then again, I don’t know too much. You’re so clever to make the test stitching worth your while too. You could probably wear the yoga skirt tons with tights and a fall sweater. Happy to see kitty by your side, tippy-toeing around your lovely couture. It’s hard to imagine no ones ever sew this pattern. It’d be perfect for a beach holiday and I bet that fabric travels well. Diggin the bangles too, I’m a bit addicted to the vintage ones and look for them everywhere. 😀 later-alligator
Thanks Kelly! I blush at your lovely compliments! I’m happy with the way the dress came out, I FINALLY found a knit that I can be friends with! And, I’ve worn the yoga skirt tonnes already. I seem to be the queen of sewing patterns that nobody else has sewn or even purchased!
Also, I want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for your lovely post-card! Such nice things to say and I am just touched that you think of me when on your travels. it’s a 3-smiley moment: 🙂 🙂 🙂
Ha, love those smiley moments and you’re Welcome! Alys and I tried to be creative but some nights involved a couple of glasses of wine 😀
How stunning! I really love the color and the fit and drape and just everything! I’m glad you and jersey were able to get along because I think you’ll get a lot of wear out of this for sure!
Thank You Kristin! I’m so delighted that I finally found a knit that I can be friends with. It sewed up really well, drapes nicely and even took a twin needle hem with very flat, even results. The fabric also came in grey and I may pop out to go buy some in that colour. Shhhhhh. 😉
Such a fun dress!
Thanks Laura! I do love an outfit that can span the seasons. Especially where I live. Not so important to a Vegas girl. 🙂
Wow. How did I miss this dress. The colour, the style, the duo seasonal value!! You cracked it Catja! 🙂
Thank You Janene! I wore it recently to a sewist meet-up we had here with a black cowl neck underneath it, and it was met with high praise! Proud moment 🙂 LOL.