Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sparkling new dress

I wanted to sew a new dress to wear out to dinner while we are on holidays. Every year DH’s family and my parents, who are mostly all down the coast holidaying, go out to dinner the night before New Year’s Eve.


I had bought this gorgeous blue fabric online intending to make Burda 05-2008-115, which is a flared sheath dress with a twist front. When the fabric arrived, the width was a lot narrower that I had thought (107cm wide) and I did not think I had enough for that particular pattern. Well, I sure did not feel like tracing a pattern to check out whether there was enough. Cue getting out the patterns and searching for something different.
In my mind, I wanted something fitted through the bodice and flared in the skirt. The fabric was thin and drapey but I only had 2.5m of it. I remembered about a pattern I had already used, the bodice of 107 with the skirt of 116 from the 05/2009 Burda. Being lazy, it was lovely being able to see that I had enough fabric without tracing a new pattern. The only other change I wanted was to ditch the sleeves. After trying on the dress that I had previously made, I saw that it would be easy to change the sleeve pattern.

The fabric is a linen/cotton/lurex blend. It is quite silky and likes to misbehaves. You know, you look at it and it crushes...or stretches out of shape. Even with stabilising interfacing tape, the fabric near the zipper looks puckered. And I am not talking about the hem (which seems much longer in the back but fine when I look in the mirror.) But is it such a delightful colour and the perfect fabric for high summer.

In hindsight, I would have bound the entire armhole rather than lining the “sleeve” and sewing the rest of the armhole seam with bias. It would have created a cleaner finish. And if I would do it again, I would have chosen a slightly thicker fabric without a mind of its own.

Here is how I did the sleeve alteration. First I pinned the pattern together.

Then I eyeballed where I thought the armcyce should go, using the rest of the armcyce as a basis.

 Trace a new pattern and see how it looks.


  1. What a beautiful colour of fabric! It certainly suits you, and our climate at this time of year.
    You have made yourself a very pretty dress - enjoy the compliments at your family dinner out...J

  2. This is lovely.
    Thanks for the inspiration for that pattern too. I have made three dresses already from that pattern and have the fit sorted out. I love it, but making a fourth version seems a bit boring. Now, my fourth version can have a flared skirt like yours!

    1. It really is a great pattern. I think I need to make a straight version eventually.

  3. Pretty! The flared skirt looks great and the linen blend should be lovely and cool for summer

  4. You look gorgeous in your new dress! the colour is electric and I am sure you will get zillions of compliments.. and well done for making the most of a smaller piece of fabric than your were expecting!

  5. A lovely holiday dress! Merry Christmas (a little late)!


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