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!

 

 

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Sssssssay Sssssssewist; Sssssssome Ssssssuper Ssssssassssssy Ssssslackssssss? Sssssssenssssational!

Snakeskin stretch pantsFebruary’s Monthly Stitch Challenge is Smarty Pants where we try our hand at trousers of all kinds! badge As you may already be aware, trousers/pants are not the easiest thing in the world to fit.  So, for my contribution, I went with a fairly simple pattern, no pockets or front fly and used a stretch twill.  Not only is the stretch fabric far more comfortable, but it really is easier to fit.

snakeskin stretch twillI’ve had this super-fantabulous snakeskin print stretch twill in my stash and envisioned slinky, straight legged trousers sewn with it.  And, since February’s Stashbusting february stashbusting badge copychallenge is Love: sew for somebody you love or sew about something you love, it seemed only appropriate to use an animal print fabric since (I’m sure it’s no secret or shock),  I Love Animals!

February 1st was also Serpent Dayserpent day badge, a day to recognize all that our slithery friends do for us.  Many people seem to have an innate fear of snakes, but in fact, without them forests, parks and crops would likely be infested and destroyed by insects and rodents, which snakes eat.  Snakes also help to keep the natural ecosystem in working order and without them, the numbers of prey species would increase to unnatural levels and the predators that eat snakes would struggle to find food.  So, next time you see a snake on your walk, remember to say ‘Thanksssssssssssss’. 🙂

burda 7141The pattern I used was Burda 7141 since it had very little embellishments and would appear very simple and snakelike.  I measured the paper pattern and ended up adding 1.5″ (4cm) to the top, thereby lengthening from waist to hip.  The end result of this is that the front ended up being a bit too high and the back ended up being a bit too low.  I guess I should have taken curves into account.  So, next time, I will add only 1″ to the front and at least 2″ to the back.  I wasn’t sure what type of interfacing to use for the facing, but consensus of the ever helpful sewcialists on Instagram (thank you!!) was to use either Pro Woven fusible weft , which I did not have, or knit, stretch tricot interfacing, which I did have and used with the stretch going cross-wise.

Kitty aids in the fitting process

Kitty aids in the fitting process

I made the smallest size, 8, which did correspond to my measurements, but the pants ended up being very large even after I measured and adjusted the paper pattern.  This could have been due to the fact that my stretch twill had a large amount of stretch to it.  I had to take in about 2 cm (3/4″) of the entire inside leg seam and then put them on and ‘fit’ the rest of the baggyness by pinning the outer side seams to fit my shape.

Two darts in the back instead of one

Two darts are better than One!

I took in enough so that they weren’t baggy but I still wanted them to have some breadth.  My lovely sewing teacher at community centre sewing class, Natallie Chin, put in a second dart for me in the back, rather than just taking in more from the side seams.  This was a great idea as it gave the trousers shape instead of making them look like skin-tight leggings.

Invisible Zip Inside and Out vertical

Invisible Zip

Seam Finishes

Seam Finishes

The side seams were bound with an olive green bias tape.  Naturally, because this will make the snake feel at home in its natural environment.  I finished the inside leg and crotch seams by turning under the seam and zigzagging in an attempt to reduce bulk in this area.  And, I opted for an invisible zipper so that the fabric takes centre stage.

Stretch snakeskin trousers back

Stretch snakeskin trousers side

P.S. Have you voted for my March’s Miss Sew Bossy Patterns yet?  There are four patterns to chose from (pics of each included) and you get to boss me around as to which one I have to sew for March!  The poll is here, please drop by and vote!  Voting closes February 28, 2014.

Snakeskin Trousers Stretch Twill