Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!!! Burda 11-2007-106

Happy Easter, Everyone!!! Jesus is RISEN!!! 

My Easter dress this year is Burda 11-2007-106. I have loved this dress pattern for quite awhile, but could never manage to get my hands on a copy of 11-2007 Burda magazine.  Finally, I was looking around on ebay one day and there it was.  It was the German version, but the English instructions were included, so I snapped it up.

Here is how the original dress was made in the Burda magazine.

I did the reverse on mine.  I made my bodice a light pink and the skirt black.  The bodice is made from charmeuse satin in baby pink ordered from and the skirt is a black polyester shantung that I bought at my local fabric shop. 
   The construction of the dress was not hard at all, but I would say a little fiddly with all the ruffle gathering. The instructions were quite good, even for Burda magazine.  I followed the directions and did not line it.  However, if I had it to do over again, I would line it simply because the facing at the neckline wanted to flip out. I don't mind facings, but I have decided I don't prefer them with slippery fabrics.   I sewed coins into the facing to give it some weight so it will stay down.  Since I did not line the dress, I pressed the seams flat and serged the edges of the seams.  Also, I curved the back seam in as I sewed it to make it fit my lower back better. 
      For the ruffles at the neck and armholes, I did a rolled hem in pink rayon embroidery thread on the edge.  I just could not stomach narrow hemming them, particularly since they are made of slippery charmeuse fabric. I used elastic thread to make a little loop at the back neck and fastened it with a pearl button. 
rolled hem edge

upclose of bodice

 Here is my finished version.

  The dress as styled by Burda has a very classic look to it, but I decided to make mine a little more funky.  I love to play with color combinations, so I am wearing a yellow belt and these awesome shoes I bought a few years ago for a steal.  They are "Saki" by Carlos Santana.   Here is an upclose look at them.  They have pink, lavendar, yellow and orange in them. 

I hope you have a  Happy Easter and a wonderful week next week!!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

S2580 - inspired by anthropologie

A few weeks ago, anthropologie introduced the Powdered Pigment Dress.  It is unusual and attracted my eye.  I love the way the stripes swirl around , the cowl neck, and the pleating at the waist.  It is made from silk material. 
I decided to do an inspired version.    I used Simplicity 2580 and a striped ITY jersey I got on sale at  For a better look, see here at the wonderful blog You, Me, and Anthropologie.  This blogger tried it on and has some up close shots of it.  It is probably a very good thing that I don't live close to an anthro.
I used the cowl neck from this pattern and the shorter skirt.  I added a faux wrap to mimic the anthro dress and pulled up some pleats which I topstitched in purple.  I did not add sleeves, but went sleeveless instead.    Because my fabric is different, my dress drapes differently than the anthro, but I tried to capture the main idea.

front view

side view (forgive the dog toy in the background)

Readers, I am just not sure about this dress.  I purposefully did not "slash and spread" the wrap portion of the skirt before doing the pleating because I wanted the stripes to swirl.  However, something about it seems off to me proportionally.  Do you think it is too long?  I have considered chucking the whole anthro vibe of it by just taking out the pleats, shortening the dress, and making a sash out of the same material to go around the waist.  What do you think? 

P.S. I actually already did an earlier post on this, but I did not like it so I deleted it. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Giraffe Dress (V8489) and Refashioned Cardigan

During my week off of Spring Break, I managed to get two dresses made and another cut out.  I wore one of the dresses to church this morning.  It is Vogue 8489.
I made the sleeveless view in a stretch rayon blend jersey knit from  For the contast, I used some leftover Vera Wang ivory rayon knit that I bought when it was on sale for 1.95/yd at a few months ago.  I followed the instructions for making the dress exactly, so there isn't much to say there.  I did find figuring out my size to be challenging, though.  I usually make a 12 for woven fabric and either a 10 or a 12 for knit pattern, depending on the bust measurement marked on the pattern piece.  When I looked at the bust measurement on the pattern piece, it looked like I should go up to a size 14.  I was really afraid to do that because of this dress being a knit, so I took a deep breath and cut into my fabric using the size 12.  It fits,   so I guessed correctly. WHEW!!       The only alterations I made is that I hemmed the dress a little shorter than it is pictured and I omitted the zipper.  I just don't understand a zipper in a knit dress.  I didn't worry about trying to do any pattern matching on the back seam because I think that would have been impossible with this print., or more trouble than I was willing to take.

    It is interesting to me that Vogue calls this pattern "Easy Options".  This pattern was not what I call easy.  Now, I didn't find it to be difficult at all, but I have been sewing for 11 years.  I pity some poor, unsuspecting beginner who picks this pattern up thinking it would be "easy" for them to start with.  There are some weird angles at the neckline and waistband that require some finagling in order to get them to match up with seams.

It was a little cool when I stepped outside this morning, so I wore a cardigan that I refashioned from a sweater I picked up during my first thrifting adventure.  I began with a simple U-neck cardigan that I cut up the front and attached bias tape to each side.   I made the bias with my Simplicity Bias Tape Maker that I got for Christmas.   I added some buttons bought at my local sewing store.
sweater in original form
refashioned into a cardigan
button and bias band closeup\

I cannot take credit for coming up with this method for refashioning a sweater.  That credit goes to Kathleen Frances at Grosgrain.  Here is the tutorial.  
   Here is how I wore the dress in my church outfit:

necklace:  local boutique for 75% off
sea green peeptoes:  Dillards from years ago

    Well, all my patterns that I ordred (and my fabric that I forgot to mention :)  has come in.  I have big plans and a couple of more dresses to show you.  Happy Sewing!!!