Tuesday, 3 February 2015

A Dress for the Winter

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about my goal to make three items of clothing from patterns.

Yesterday I finished sewing this dress! Getting pictures of it was a nightmare, mostly involving rubbish lighting and my face. (Anyone else manage to pull awful grimaces when they try to smile on demand?!) But I did manage a few reasonable ones, with help of my family.

The dress is made from a pattern Burda Style 01/2015 issue, style 105:

The magazine included two 'views' - one with chiffon (seen above) and the other with batiste and embroidered tulle.

My goal is to stick to the patterns. I did make a couple of changes, but still within the bounds of 'using the pattern':

1. Reduced skirt length 
The pattern came in Burda style's tall sizes (5'9"+) and whilst I'm around 5'8", I ended up taking about 6" from the skirt, and attaching the frills higher.
The original would have been a massively unflattering length on me ('sack of potatoes' springs to mind).

2. Different fabric
The designs in the magazine use chiffon and batiste in the two different views, with a lining. I used this awesome paisley cotton I found at the charity shop--just over 4 metres for £2.50!
It's thicker than the recommended fabrics for the design, but it's so lovely and warm!

For the frills, I stuck with the recommended tulle. I didn't have enough of the paisley fabric to make frills, but I have got reams of really soft black tulle.

Time Taken
3 days.
I started just before lunchtime on Saturday, and finished just after lunchtime on Monday. If I'd started earlier I probably would have got this completed in two days.

1. Sizing.
My measurements are spread across 2-3 Burda sizes which means baggy bodices. Good thing I plan to cinch with a belt!

2. Comprehending the instructions.
Some was badly worded and some parts didn't make sense, so I ended up guessing!

3. Frills.
The upper skirt frill ended up too high. At some point I might reattach it lower, or remove it altogether.

Good things
1. Fabric
I love the fabric. It's warm, a great print, and nice colours.

2. Coordination
The dress will coordinate with lots of other things from my wardrobe, which is one of the reasons I chose this fabric

3. It's a dress!
I don't have enough casual dresses. Most of what I have are too short on me and always have to be worn with leggings. Although I put leggings on with this dress today, I could just as easily wear tights with it.

4. Shirring
Through making this, I found a much better method of shirring than I've used before.

5. Leftovers
I have enough fabric left to make a skirt or short-sleeved top.

6. One down, two to go
This is a step forward to completing a goal. Hurrah!

As I accessorised the dress with it, here is a shot of my homemade headpiece. I made it a while ago but didn't have much to wear with it. The dress solves that problem!

Next I may sew a skirt. There are a couple in the same issue of Burda Style that I like.
Alternatively, I may just look through my fabrics and decide what I can make with them... Keep watching to find out what comes next!


  1. I think your smile is lovely and the dress is fantastic. I have a pattern upstairs for a top that I have even partly cut out but haven't finished. You may be my inspiration.

  2. This dress is gorgeous and the whole design looks quite 1920's whilst still being modern as well! The way you used net instead of an opaque fabric for the frills gives the pattern a unique spin. Also, even though the dress was the focus here, I adore the hair accessory you made! It looks very wintery but bright at the same time.

    Well done for sticking to the pattern & good luck with the next ones!

  3. The dress came out so pretty. Great job. It looks nice with the belt.