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A rescued Burda summer dress

This dress has quite the long lead-time to being finished, and most of that time was spent hanging on the “hook of shame” where failures and UFOs go to shame me every time I walk into m sewing room until I fix them, repurpose the fabric, or bin them. You see, this pattern was really the only Burda magazine design that grabbed me enough to actually sew up last year, and what luck, it ended up being a rare Burda dud!

Not only did I actually trace and sew it, but I did so during the publication month, too! Burda 07-2021-120 (which I actually found online in the steaming mess that is their English site!) is a loose fitting dress in two lengths (I chose the shorter one) with short sleeves and a gathered, panel skirt (no side seams!) and a centre front panel with bust darts integrated into the panel seams.

A monochrome Joan wiggle dress

Carrying on from the struggles I had with the Audrey cigarette trousers, you might be forgiven for thinking that I may not want to sew another Gertie pattern for a while, but you’d be wrong! See, I had already printed and taped together her Joan wiggle dress pattern and sourced the fabric so I was committed and ready to make it happen! Like the Audrey cigarette trousers, the Joan wiggle dress was released as part of her monthly Patreon patterns, which I joined solely because she’s switched to a more 1960s beatnik speakeasy aesthetic this year. This dress was inspired by (and named for!) the character Joan in Mad Men, which was one of my all-time favourite shows.

A chambray Luova tunic dress

I will readily admit that I don’t pre-order many books. But I absolutely pre-ordered the Named Patterns new “Building the Pattern” book as soon as I could! I mean, why wouldn’t I after making so many patterns from their first book (and a few more planned, too!)?! The focus on this book is fitting alterations so there are TONS of diagrams and instructions and advice on getting a great fit even before you get to the patterns in the book (which can either be traced from the sheets in the book, or downloaded in A4/AO formats from their website).

The Luova pattern comes in three styles: a blouse, tunic, or dress, with two different collars and three different sleeves to choose from. The tunic (a short dress, really) stood out to me and I thought that perhaps I’d be able to make it from a 1.5m remnant of stonewashed denim from Fabrics Galore I’d recently bought. I got it thinking I’d use it to make another pair of jeans but it’s in no way what I’d consider a “denim”, btw – it’s far lighter than jeans and what I’d call a chambray, suitable for shirts or dresses. So it seemed perfect for this tunic!

A bottle cap print summer day dress

I have lost my sewing mojo. I think it occurred because I actually completed both sewing plans I laid out at the start of summer (casualwear and activewear), and then I realised that I really don’t need any more clothes. And with no events on the horizon to sew for, I’m kinda left a bit deflated. I actually sewed this dress a few weeks ago, more for something to do but also because I really liked its sister dress, but with summer waning, I’m not sure how much opportunity I’ll have to wear it.

One aspect that drew me to this project was rediscovering this fabric in my stash when I was hunting around for anything to turn into face masks earlier in the summer. I’d kinda forgotten about this cotton fabric that a friend had bought in Tokyo and brought back for me. Its bright and cheery bottle cap print spoke to me now, bringing a bit of a holiday feel to my home-bound existence. It was a narrow width fabric but my friend had the foresight to buy plenty of it so I didn’t have any struggle fitting McCalls 7381 into it.

A big grey Fail of a dress

How excited was I to discover that the Spanish-language pattern magazine, Patrones, had launched an app complete with digital issues and downloadable pdf patterns!? You know, the thing we’d all wished Burda had done years ago rather than the abomination of a website they made instead!

I literally was on my iPad in seconds (there’s a version for Android, too) and was browsing the previews of a few issues when I came across a dress I just had to have!

A blue Tacara dress

I definitely have A Type when it comes to dresses. In general, I like them close-fitting, or at the very least with a pencil skirt. I mean, there are exceptions – some dresses with a very different shape that I end up loving, but in general I stick to what I know I love to wear. I guess this is my way of saying that when I branch out from my comfort zone, I’m never immediately convinced whether I like it or not – it takes some wearings and time to try and figure it out. And I’m still on the fence with this one.

I wasn’t convinced when Seamwork magazine (referrer link) released their Tacara dress pattern as it’s outside My Type. But I kept seeing it on more and more women and liking the way it looked, so I got it printed in A0 (those are some BIG pieces!) and I bought the required 2.2m of lightweight blue cotton spandex jersey from Ditto, when we were at their shop in Brighton over the holidays.

A digital floral sheath dress

I’ve been trying to sew down my stash a lot this year – picking projects that use up fabric I’ve already got (and love!) rather than buying new and running out of space in the little wardrobe that holds my fabric stash. So just before Christmas I was finally starting to recover from the dreaded flu and thought my sewing mojo could really use a boost in the form of a Quick Knit, err, Dress! Usually I sew a Quick Knit Top to boost my mood but this time I fancied a dress instead, and I had just the fabric to use.

I bought this particular fabric from the FabWorks stall at the Great British Sewing Bee Live show back in 2017 and I knew it’d make for a great and comfortable winter dress. I’m not often drawn to prints but I loved that this one was a floral with pixellation in places on a super stretchy but lightweight French terry, so it would be warm and very easy to wear through winter.

A mustard Saraste shirtdress

I’ve been wanting to make the Saraste shirtdress from the Named book, “Breaking the Pattern” ever since I first saw it at their UK launch party. It comes in three different views in the book: as a princess-seam blouse with ruffles, a button-down shirt with shoulder cutouts, and as a shirtdress with ruffled collar. I ended up making the shirtdress, but added in the shoulder cutouts for some extra interest, too.