A simple pattern that feels stylish, and on-trend. There’s nothing better, eh?
The pattern for this sweater dress is one I’ve used before, traced patiently from a Burda style magazine pattern sheet. Once I’ve taken the time to trace a pattern, it’s always pleasing when I’m inspired to use it again!
This pattern is Burda 1/2019/111, destined to be a tried and true pattern for me. There are two things that attracted me to it ; the cocoon shape….
and the ‘audrey hepburn’ collar!
In-seam pockets are so useful and stylish, don’t you think?
Construction Details: My fabric is a unusual textured knit I bought last year on sale at Joann’s. The knit is incredibly comfortable to wear, but I do have to admit, the stretch recovery is a bit on the relaxed side. As a result, the cocoon shape of this dress isn’t quite as pronounced as my last version (here.) Even though I’m a tad bit disappointed, the dress is fast becoming a favorite, worn over leggings, even jeans. Live and learn. I’ll be more careful when I choose knits for dresses in the future. Other than that, construction of this dress was pretty straightforward. I used my serger ( so easy) to sew and finish my seams. All in all, this dress only took about three hours!!
The Burda pattern magazine is so inspiring, but to be honest, I haven’t renewed my subscription for this year. The price tag is pretty hefty (in the States the price has increased to $100 per year), and I’d have to trace alot of patterns to make the montly investment pencil out. Instead, I’ve subscribed to the Burda on-line newsletter, (recently updated). I hope to get my monthly dose of Burda that way! We’ll see how long I can resist the urge to renew….
This weekend, I pulled a few pieces of linen and cotton from my fabric stash. I’m getting in the mood for Spring sewing. How about you?
Do you follow #magamsewalong on Instagram? I find the monthly sew alongs created by @suestoney and @sewinginspain to be so inspirational. This month’s theme is Neglected. The idea is to create a project using somethng you’ve ignored for too long. This fabric has languished in my stash for years. I have no idea where I bought it or why! Now, finally, the neglected has become a dress.
You can see my friend Mitchell had to participate in this photo shoot. If I want some attention from him, I just put on a pair of black tights, LOL.
Knit dresses are really my wardrobe go-to at this time of year. (see others here and here). You can throw them on them over a pair of cozy leggings and still manage to look polished.
Speaking of neglected…I’ve been using so many Indie sewing patterns, I’ve neglected the new offerings from the Big 4 pattern companies. A few weeks ago I took the time to peruse their Fall offerings. New Look 6632 caught my eye because of the princess seams and empire waist, details you can’t always find in a knit pattern. Also, it has in-seam front pockets…perfection!
Of course, I couldn’t resist using a bit of contrasting fabric on the side panels. It always feels good to use a remnant I’ve saved from an old project!
Construction of this dress was pretty easy. There isn’t a zipper. Instead, the dress slips over your head. I modified the pattern and finished the neck with a contrasting knit band instead of the suggested bias binding. I cut a size ten based on the pattern envelope measurements, and the pattern fit welll without adjustment.
Of course, I had to make the optional cowl neck that’s removable…so cozy! I love my new dress made from neglected fabric. Thanks to #magamsewalong for inspiring me!
First, the Burda top…..My box of precious fabric bits and lacy remnants is overflowing these days, so I’ve adopted a new ‘tidying up’ rule. If I can’t find a use for a remnant within six months of adding it to the box, it must go. So, I was thrilled to find this lovely pattern that seems designed to use up my bits and pieces.
Burda Style 12/2018/103 ticks a lot of boxes for me. Since my daily uniform of choice is a knit top with jeans, this one has the potential to stretch my every day wardrobe significantly. I also have a thing for peplums (here and here), so I couldn’t resist this assymetrical version. Then there’s the opportunity here to mix fabrics…a big plus when you’re working with remnants.
Because I could see lots of potential here, I decided it would be worth the extra step of tracing the pattern from the magazine insert (usually a hard sell for me!!). Luckily, this pattern only has four pieces to trace (a front and back bodice, and a front and back peplum) so it took me less than a half hour – – Score!! Also, since Burda patterns don’t include seam allowances, I’ve taken to tracing a size up to avoid the process of adding seam allowances to each piece. So far, this method has worked well for me.
Recommended fabrics are knits for the bodice, and softly draping blouse fabrics for the peplum. I used a rayon knit for the bodice of both my versions. On the white version, I used a remnant of eyelet lace for the peplum and a remnant of silk for the blue peplum.
The blue silk was a bit tricky to work with. It’s sheer and my Bernina wanted to eat it:). I’ve found that to sew with silk, I have to use the right needle in my machine..the sharper the better!
The sheer fabric really dresses up the top, so the torture was worth it. I used my rolled hem foot to put a narrow hem on this peplum. I didn’t have enough of the bodice fabric for the sleeves so I cut them from a remnant of solid blue rayon jersey – – another piece from the pile!! I always feel so virtuous when I use a remnant, don’t you?
This top was an easy sew. The neck is finished with a bias strip, and I used my twin needle to hem the sleeves and the lace. All of the seams are serged, but you could use a zig-zag stitch as well. Instructions on Burda Style patterns can be a bit brief, but in this case, there really wasn’t much of a need to elaborate. One other note…the fit on this top is loose and very forgiving, so I didn’t find I needed any adjustments.
I was able to complete both of the tops in an afternoon. There’s nothing like a quick project on a Sunday afternoon, don’t you think?
In other news, I visited the Dior exhibit in Denver last week and was completely blown away by the exquisite designs and fabrics and finishings. Here are a few shots to enjoy…
(If only I was a better photographer…) The first dress here is embroidered with branches and leaves and flowers…so beautiful! The green dress was worn by Nicole Kidman to the Oscars. It has netting, embroidery and fur trim! And let me tell you, this dress is….well, tiny.
The dress on the left is covered with equisitely made tassels. The red dress here is embroidered with flowers and studded with pearls and sequins. The white dress is tassled too. Touching these gowns was out of the question of course, but wouldn’t that be fabulous? We sewists are tactile creatures, aren’t we? After leaving the exhibit, I could hardly wait to get home to sew.
This week, I’ll be working on my look for the Day/Night Dress Challenge. I’ll be posting my look on February 22. There’s a community challenget too and prizes…join us!
When Named Clothing released their book, Breaking the Pattern, I could hardly wait to get my hands on it! I’m not a big fan of sewing books, but the Named Clothing designs really appeal to me (here, here, and here, ). Their modern, pared-down vibe is so contemporary and elegant. So, I asked Santa for a copy and he delivered.
The book was even better than I expected. Breaking the Pattern is all about taking their basic patterns, and ‘breaking’ them apart with variations and hacks. The book comes with ten patterns with two variations each and instructions on how to do more. In fact, the ten patterns in the book can generate fifty variations (!!) which makes this book and its patterns an economical choice. The ‘easy’ patterns are at the beginning of the book..the hard ones at the end. All the patterns are included – – you trace the ones you like.
The Ruska knit dress caught my eye right away which isn’t a big surprise. These days, I’m really drawn to knit dresses. After watching a few episodes of Marie Kondo ‘tidying up’, I’ve been ‘Kondoing’ my wardrobe. Guess what! Knit dresses and tops consistently bring me joy (secret pajamas!!). They make great layering pieces too over tights, leggings, even jeans.
The Ruska can be made as a basic dress, a tee or with a knotted tie in the front. It’s probably no surprise to anyone that I immediately went for the version with the knot in the front, LOL! Admittedly, I do have a ‘thing’ for ties, knots and twists (proof available here,here and here.) And, there’s a challenge on Instagram this month, hosted by Meg from Cookin and Craftin,Sew Twists and Ties, which I just can’t resist!
For the dress, a firm knit with good recovery is recommended. For my first version (the aubergine version above), I used stretch velor (Britex.com) with medium stretch, but not great recovery. Yes, this fabric is a bit thick for this dress, but I have been trying for years to re-create a stretchy velor dress I had in high school! The dress turned out well, especially when you consider the fabric wasn’t perfect. The fit was good without fuss, and it felt stylish and comfortable So, I couldn’t resist trying the Ruska again with a another knit fabric.
This knit from Joann’s is fabulous; a wool blend with great recovery. There’s such a difference in the look and feel of this dress. I made this version long (midi length) for fun. We’ll see if I leave it that long, LOL. I tend to favor shorter dresses because I feel more energetic in them for some reason. Maybe it’s the fabric against my legs that makes the difference? Obviously, the drape of this knit is better for the dress, and the fit is sleeker too.
This dress went together quickly, and the instructions in the book were easy to follow. I was so pleased with the fit. I found my measurements on the size chart in the book and found it accurate. There really weren’t any construction challenges. The knot and tie look trickier to sew than they really are. The tie is part of an overlay piece that just fits over the basic dress and is attached at the shoulder and side seams. The edges of the tie are finished with a narrow machine hem. Easy!
I’m giving this pattern a big thumbs up! The fit of the Ruska is such a winner for me, I’m going to use the basic tee option to sew to fill some gaps in my basic wardrobe. I’ll make the Ruska this summer with a colorful jersey, maybe even a stripe.
Yay!! A couple of new dresses that will ‘bring me joy’. (Are any of you as focussed as I am on ‘Kondoing’ my wardrobe, my house, my life???) This pattern was a great way to ease into using this book. I can’t wait to try a some of other patterns this Spring.
If you’ve been on the fence about buying it, give it a look. Yes, you have to trace the patterns, but the sheets aren’t nearly as crazy as they could be (Burda Style, anyone?).
Thanks to Meg at Cookin and Craftin for hosting this fun challenge! Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by.
I have to admit it…There was very little forethought behind these two new ‘makes’. I made these cocoon dresses on a whim….merely because I thought they would look pretty good with my new Cocoon coat (here)! Shallow…but true. Now that the 2018 RTW fast is over, I’m feeling quite free. I can sew anything I want without a single thought about whether I ‘need’ it to fill a hole in my wardrobe or not. Frivilous sewing is the life for me!!
I’m such a sucker for a good knit dress in the winter, so if anyone waves a pattern in front of my face that gives me an excuse to make yet another one, I’m all in. And this one has pockets, which makes it perfect!
I absolutely love a dress with side seams that wrap around to the front. I’m a big fan of stand up collars too….so Audrey Hepburn!
Burda Style patterns have never been on the top of my list because they come in a magazine insert, so they all have to be traced onto pattern paper before they’re cut and sewn, and, well, I hate tracing patterns. I’d much rather buy a paper pattern, thank you very much. But the design of this dress was too good to pass up. So, I put on a binge worthy show just did it. This Burda Style pattern (1/2019/111) was worth the effort.
I loved the pattern so much I made two versions – – one from a soft, ‘poppy’ colored sweater knit I bought at the Mill End Store, and one from a textured sweat shirt jersey that I found at Joann’s (on sale!).
It’s always interesting to see how different a dress/pattern looks with a two different knits. The gray textured jersey is a heavier moderate stretch knit so the dress and collar look more structured in that fabric. The poppy knit is so soft with a bit more stretch so the fit is loose and easy.
The dress went together easily. The collar is cut as part of the bodice so that makes things simple. The shape of the dress is created by the forward placement of the side seams. The hardest detail is the zipper at the back. Fitting is pretty straightforward…you can modify at the side or center back seam. I used a double needle for the sleeve hem and dress hem.
I love the neckline and the cocoon shape of this pattern – obviously, I’ll likely make it again. And the best part? Both dresses work under my new coat:)
It’s always fun to follow an intense project like a coat with a less involved project, a palate cleanser! To be honest, the tracing of the pattern wasn’t as bad as I expected…really went pretty quickly and I’m getting better at figuring out all of those crazy lines on the magazine insert. So, there will definitely be more Burda Style makes in my future.
I hope your New Year has had a strong start. I’m excited about all of the sewing happenings this month – – the Pattern Review Sewing Bee started this week. I’m not participating this year, but I love watching the fun. There should be lots of inspiration there. I’m hoping to make something for Sew Japanese In January, and there’s the Day/Night Dress Challenge coming up next month, hosted by Elizabeth Made This! Lots to look forward to…
You can never have too many cardigans. I feel quite certain about that. That’s why, each Fall, I find myself yearning for a new one…or two. I’ve made several in the past (here and here) but today I want to talk about the two cardigan patterns I reach for time and again – – the Blackwood cardigan by Helen’s closet and McCall’s 6844 (OOP but available on-line). Both patterns are easy to sew and friendly to a variety of knit fabric options. It’s the neckline that is usually the deciding factor in why I choose to make one over the other.
This version of McCalls 6844 is a coatigan of sorts. I found this thick sweater knit at Joann’s. The weight is perfect for this time of year, and the stretch recovery is great for this pattern.
I made view B but lengthened it by six inches. I love long cardigans these days (my Pinterest page is proof of that). The wide shawl collar makes it so warm, and by cutting the front bodice pieces a bit wider than I normally need, I was able to make the closure have a bit of an overlap, which makes it appropriate for windy weather.
Next up is (no surprise) the Blackwood cardigan by Helen’s Closet. Who doesn’t love this pattern?
I’ve made this before, but this time, I really wanted a stripe along a solid front band for contrast, as I’ve seen that detail on RTW cardigans.
With this striped fabric, I got lucky! The selvege edge of my fabric was solid navy with a thin purple stripe, and I had enough fabric to manage to cut the entire neck band from it!! Such a perfect opportunity to add a fun easy detail to this cardigan. Again, I made this version very, very long. The advantage is that the longer look makes a shrimp like me feel tall. The bad news? It’s so long, none of my coats cover it. Such problems….
My new cardigans are so wardrobe friendly since they go with everything in my closet. I know they’ll get alot of mileage! What’s your favorite cardigan pattern these days?
The holidays are coming and I cannot let the season go by without a new velvet make so that’s on my sewing to do list. Oh, I guess I’ll have to go on Pinterest and start a new ‘velvet inspiration’ page, don’t you think?
Me-Made May is winding down, but not without a few more revelations that are worth mentioning. I used to wear solids and very few prints – – Not so anymore! My wardrobe is dominated by prints and textures. There isn’t anything bad about this, but I miss the drama that solids bring to the table. A well-cut top or dress with drape and style looks sophisticated and polished when there isn’t the distraction of a print.
Ha – – Look at the volume in these sleeves! You have to admit – this top is dramatic, much more than I realized when I chose McCall’s 7658.
There are many views and options with this pattern (Yay!), but I chose the long sleeve version because it’s still (always) on the chilly side in Oregon. Because of the overlay, recommended fabrics for this pattern include chiffon, Georgette and sheers. I didn’t have any of those in my stash, but I did have a lightweight sheer knit so I gave that a try.
This style looked complicated to me, but the construction steps weren’t hard at all. The long sleeve version has the sleeves built right into the overlay, so makes them a breeze to sew. The trickiest part of the make was the sleeve cuff. You’re supposed to insert elastic to give the cuff a gathered look. I chose to skip that part, since you’d never see those details on my fabric anyway, so I just inserted the cuff without the elastic. The finish of the overlay is simple – – you just turn under the edge and stitch.
Voila! A half hour to cut this pattern, one and half hours to sew! Not a bad way to go…:)
The bat wing sleeves really give this overlay some style and drama. It’s pretty obvious though, that the wrong fabric choice would make this style look, well, pretty hideous, LOL. So, if you’re inclined to give this one a try, stick with lightweight fabrics with lots of movement and drape.
I’m happy to say, there were no adjustments necessary on this pattern for me! I know some people aren’t fond of sleeves with volume, but I think I love this look….it’s sort of cape-like and fun. I just might have to make it again for summer with the pleated overlay in a lightweight chiffon…but wait. I hate sewing with chiffon. Hmmm, what else would work? Any thoughts?
I think I’ve found a new tried and true top pattern to add to my go-to collection. This one is a favorite because it’s perfect for knit remnants! As you all know, I can’t bear to part with sweater knit pieces, no matter what the size or shape, so I have quite the collection of lovely bits. It’s so great to find a pattern that accomodates my need to save them!
My preferred wardrobe choice at this time of year is pants and a top, so cute options are always on my to-sew list. I really love the curvy raglan sleeves on this pattern! It’s the sort of detail that takes this top from ordinary to something I’ll reach for again and again.
On this version, I added a large cuff to the sleeve just for fun. I love this fabric, and am so glad I saved this lovely remnant. I didn’t have enough fabric to do the entire shirt so the back is a solid black.
This top is made from remnants of two different sweaters and I added narrow cuffs to the sleeves to make it look a bit more polished.
This Melissa Watson design is McCalls 7574.
It’s an easy sew, the perfect diversion from a more demanding project (my night dress for the Day/Night Dress challenge, soon to be revealed.). I was pleased that this top fit me right out of the envelope with no adjustments. It has two options on the neckline, either a narrow band or a collar. I used the collar option twice and the neckband on the bright floral version. Both were really easy to sew and are so comfortable to wear. I think the dress version of this pattern would be great to try.
I love the efficiency of sewing several versions of a pattern back to back. By the time I was sewing version three, I was able to complete the top in less than an hour, LOL!
It’s nice to have some fresh options in my closet to go with jeans. If I had to choose a favorite, it would probably be this one. The textured wool knit is so colorful and I love the bold print. Which do you prefer?
Do you save bits of knit or am I the only one who can’t bear to let them go? Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!
When I saw this textured knit last winter at Britex, it was love at first sight. I was so taken with the open weave, the natural color, the texture that was remiscent of eyelash knit, that I didn’t bother to check how much stretch it had, or to think about what I might sew with it. I just bought it!
When it was time to sew, I was pretty surprised to discover my lovely knit had absolutely no stretch at all. Ha, that will teach me. My gut told me it was perfect for a cardigan, but most patterns require two-way stretch. I did find one in my stash though that was more like a jacket than a sweater, a style that would be compatible with a stable knit.
McCalls 6708 is an out-of-print pattern I’ve used before here. I love the Chanel Jacket look, and the structure the front and neck bands add. I think you could get a similar look using a collar-less jacket pattern, adding patch pockets and front bands.
Challenges: This pattern required inserting buttonholes into a very loosely woven knit. I tried a few with remnants of the fabric and discovered my machine just wanted to eat it. So I fused little pieces of interfacing to the back of the band to put a protective layer between feeddogs and fabric. The buttonholes were a success, but this changed this project from easy to requires patience.
This knit, even though stable, has a tendency to stretch, a less than ideal characteristic when it comes to patch pockets. So, to help the pockets keep their shape, I interfaced the entire pocket. Because the fabric unravel easily, I serged the seams.
I think it looks a little bit retro, don’t you? This sweater will be perfect for Spring. Even though this knit wasn’t ideal for this project, I do love how it turned out and I’m so glad it came home with me! Have you started your Spring sewing?
In other sewing news, I’ve started my night dress for the Day and Night Dress challenge. I can’t wait to show it to you. I’m also gathering fabric and patterns to participate in the Pattern Review Wardrobe Challenge. I’m not sure I’ll be able to get them all sewn before the deadline, but I’m going to have fun trying. It’s stripe month over on the Sewcialists too…so much inspiration right now in our community!
This Butterick pattern has shown up on alot of blogs since it was introduced in 2016 and I can see why. It’s fun to sew and to play around with! Since committing to the 2018 Ready-To-Wear Fast, I’ve also been committed to filling some significant holes in my wardrobe. Casual dresses to wear when it’s chilly and damp have topped the list.
This sweater knit (fabricdepot.com) is perfect for this dress because it’s fairly dense and textured with a moderate crosswise stretch.
In contrast, this stretch terry is also cozy, but it behaves differently since it has less body and no texture, and a bit more stretch.
It’s always interesting to see how different knits can change the look and feel of a pattern! The side seams are an interesting detail of this design and I like how they show up with the contrasting fabric.
I was attracted to Butterick 6388 because of the cozy collar, the side seam detail and the in seam pockets.
It also has a shaped collar that overlaps and a back yoke. To give my striped version a bit of an athletic look, I added a contrasting sleeve band at the dropped shoulder seam before attaching the lower sleeve.
As far as sewing challenges, there were very few with this pattern. After comparing my measurements to the pattern, I concluded I needed a size small and the fit was pretty spot on. I did my usual narrow shoulder adjustment. The in seam pockets were easy to insert and I love how they’re given some definition with top stitching. There’s top stitching at the collar and back yoke too which makes the dress look polished. To insert the curvy back yoke, you do need to do a bit of stretching so making sure your fabric has some cross wise stretch. I also clipped the seams to make this easier. To make sure the collar isn’t floppy, a knit with some body and stability is important. This dress was really a fun, speedy make. I was able to cut and sew it in an afternoon, a plus if you ask me!
Both of these knits were so nice to work with! High quality knits are always worth the extra money in my opinion, because they’re easy to handle and wear.
I’m not sure which version I like best, but when I wore the textured knit version out last weekend, my friends gave it a big thumbs up. Which one is your favorite?
The athletic/leisure look is so popular right now, and this dress makes me feel like I’m following the trend, LOL! Obviously, I have a new favorite pattern here. Might have to make the shorter top version too. Do you have a favorite knit dress pattern? Please share!