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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And the Giveaway Winner is!….(also some Inspiring Women, Guinness and Connect Four)

I hope you all had a terrific International Women’s Day! Thank you to everyone for entering the Giveaway Fabric Magazine Pattern Tote Winning Bundleand for leaving such heartfelt comments about so many wonderful women that inspire you.  Here’s a rundown with some links, and quotes by all of you.

Inspirational Women

Family Inspiration: mother, grandmother, mother-in-law, Nana, aunt, sister and daughter.

Generations of Women in Adama, Ethiopia.  Source.

Generations of Women in Adama, Ethiopia. Source.

dottiedoodle says she was inspired by her husband’s Auntie. “She did an enormous amount for others and raised hundreds of thousands for Cancer Research.”  How wonderful Denise, I hope she inspires more people to raise money for good causes.

Kat Eldridge. wrote about her Nana, “she taught me to be true to myself and loved me for who I am.  She died at 102, after calling me and saying that she thought she had seen everything she was meant to see.” Wow, Kat E, I want to go exactly like that!

Shelley c’s grandma “was a botanist in the 1950s, helped people of all races register to vote, and was a well-known philanthropist in southern California.  She always rejected the rules placed upon her.” Shelly, I am in awe!

everystitchthoughtout gives a big inspirational shout-out to her daughter who suffered burning and scars from a horrible accident and picked her self up and moved on, just two days after her month-long hospital stay!

Ulyana Sergeenko collection, 2011

Ulyana Sergeenko collection, 2011

Betsey Johnson in the Red Dress Collection, 2007 for the Heart Truth Campaign (raising awareness of heart disease in women)

Betsey Johnson in the Red Dress Collection, 2007 for the Heart Truth Campaign

Style Inspiration: Betsey Johnson and Ulyana Sergeenko about which MaZeLiving said, “she is a Russian designer who combines just the right amount of vintage, modern and feminine.”  I would have to agree MaZe.  You can click on the link to see for yourselves.

Personal Inspiration: your teachers and good friends.

Kat H was inspired by her high school chemistry teacher, “-she was fabulous, didn’t care what other people thought, super intelligent, and clearly loved life.” I sort of want to BE her, KatH!

teacher

Jane P said: When I was 7, I entered school for the very 1st time.  I couldn’t speak any English and was very shy.  My form teacher was extremely kind to me.  Although she only taught me for a year, she changed my life forever.”  Sounds like a terrific woman, Jane.

Nancy Zieman

Nancy Zieman

Sewing Inspiration: Nancy Zieman, Steph of Sewing Cake, Indie Designers, Bloggers you follow and sewing groups like The Monthly Stitch and WSBN about which 1107nikki said, “I get to chat and gossip daily.  I consider myself very lucky!”  Me too, nikki, there are some absolutely fantastic bloggers, indie designers and sewing groups out there that inspire me every day.1955 elna sewing machine ad

People making a living by their handmade goodness also inspire me!” said EmSewCrazy.  It is definitely not an easy job, but we are all pretty happy they do it!

The Brontë Sisters, painted by their brother Patrick Branwell Brontë (died 1848)

The Brontë Sisters, painted by their brother Patrick Branwell Brontë

Literary Inspiration: the Bronte Sisters and the character, Kirsty from The Peasant Girl’s Dream, by George MacDonald (1893).

The Bronte Sisters, Emily, Anne and Charlotte wrote Jane Eyre (Charlotte), Wuthering Heights (Emily), and Agnes Grey (Anne) and, since in the 1800s, it was not commonly accepted for women to author, they originally wrote under male pen-names.  The three sisters published a joint volume of poetry before their untimely deaths.

margueritedesigns wrote: “How on earth did so much creativity exist in one family in such an out of the way community?”  I have no idea marguerite, but I’m so glad that it did!

Sociological Inspiration:  Arlie Hochschild.  Meri feels “her book The Second Shift (The Second Shift: Working Parents and the Revolution at Home, 1989) should be required reading for all young women.”

Hochschild imparts the idea that human emotion and feeling—joy, sadness, anger, elation, jealousy, envy, despair—is, in large part, social. Each culture, she argues, provides us with prototypes of feeling.  She has written several books including:

Famous Inspiration:  Angelina Jolie “for her work with the UN and her bringing awareness to women and children in unsafe conditions overseas.” (wrote Kristin).  Important work indeed, Kristin!

Scientific Inspiration:  Marie Curie.  Colonel Hazard wrote that “she was so dedicated to her work and was recognized for it at a time when women in science were still dismissed as oddities.”  I love that kind of dedication!

Marie Curie in her laboratory

Marie Curie in her laboratory

Marie Curie won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903 and in chemistry in 1911.  She is the only person to win a Nobel Prize in two different sciences.

By far, the winning inspirational woman in your lives was….Your Mom!  (mom is so proud 🙂 )

laurahoj’s mother “was dedicated to her family no matter what came up.  She fought cancer, refusing to take pain meds at the end.  She always stood by what she believed.”  I’m sure her bravery and commitment rubbed off on you, Laura.

She not only taught me so much, on her last years on earth, she taught me patience compassion and tenderness.  You see, she had Alzheimer’s and it really took its toll on her when my father passed away.” wrote cathynd95, about her mother.  Let’s hope that there is a cure soon, Cathy.

Lisa Eck reminds us that a mother never stops mothering. “Even now that I am older, if I need any advice or just a word of inspiration, I know that I can count on her.”

Kristin took a philosophical approach to the relationship with her mom. “We think very differently, we argue all the time, and we tend to talk only a few times a year, however she’s a very strong person.  She pushed me a lot growing up and while I hated it so much, I also learned to stand on my own and achieve anything I want.  If I had some strange new goal, after my mom told me it was a terrible idea, she would sit down and help me figure out how to get there.”  A wonderful reflection on the fact that not every family is the Waltons or the Bradys and not every mom is June Cleaver, yet we can all still learn something from our situation and accept others for who they are, not for who we wish they were.  Thanks, Kristin!

OH, I almost forgot.  The Giveaway Winner!

The Winner

Kitty decided to combine Game Night with the winning entrant selection.  He often has guests over for some board games and cards, where he’ll kick back, put on a casual tee and pour some Guinness.  Tonight’s featured game is Mini Connect Four!

Remember Connect Four?

Remember Connect Four?

First, Numbers 1 to 44 (the number of entrants) were written on the teeny tiny Connect Four pieces.

First, Numbers 1 to 44 (the number of entrants) were written on the teeny tiny Connect Four pieces.

Next, all the Entrants were assigned a number from 1 to 44.

Then All the Entrants were assigned a number from 1 to 44.  “I Writed Da Numbers”.

When the winning piece is played to win the Connect Four game, the number on that Connect Four piece that corresponds to the Entrant's number will be declared the Winner of the Giveaway! Get it?

When the final winning Connect Four piece is played, the number on that piece that corresponds to the Entrant’s number will be declared the Winner of the Giveaway! Get it??

Let the Connecting of Fours Begin!!

Let the Connecting of Fours Begin!!

Ready! Snacks, games, Guinness. No, that is not a giant cell phone from the 70s, that is Merlin!  Remember Merlin?

Ready! Snacks, games, Guinness. No, that is not a giant cell phone from the 70s, that is Merlin! Remember Merlin?

Guest Has Arrived!  Let's Connect the Fours!

Guest Has Arrived! Have a Guinness and Let’s Connect the Fours!

My Turn.  Hmmmmm......

My Turn. Hmmmmm…… (Kitty’s Garfield shirt says “Do I Look Like I Care?” Strategic dressing to help psych out his opponent)

Your Turn.  Not an Easy Game.

Your Turn. Not an Easy Game. Am I winning???

Blocked You!  Muwah ha ha!!!

Blocked You! Muwah ha ha!!!

My Move .....Wooooaaaaaahhhhh!  It's the Winning Move!!

My Move …..Wooooaaaaaahhhhh! It’s the Winning Move!!

I WIN!!!!

“I WIN!!!!” Kitty. “I Sad.” Dawg.

In Your Face, Dawg!!

In Your Face, Dawg!!

N'Awww, Dont be Sad, Dawg, have a Guinness.

N’Awww, Dont be Sad, Dawg, have a Guinness.

Don't Mind if I Do.  BEER!  Nom Nom Nom.

Don’t Mind if I Do. BEER! Nom Nom Nom. (Send your complaints of animal abuse to: ,,,,,,)

And the Winning Piece Number is FIVE! (5)...Which corresponds to the entrant name....

And the Winning Piece Number is FIVE! (5)…Which corresponds to the entrant name….

Kat Eldridge!!  Congratulations Kat!  Please send over an email and we will post your wining sewing notions out to you.

Kat Eldridge!!

Sewing Notions Winning Package

Congratulations Kat! Please send over an email and we will post your winning fabric and haberdashery out to you.

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