A self-drafted coat (in camouflage) made with Burda 6921

camouflage coat Burda 6921 me side 2

This week, I am well excited. After what seems like an eternity, my new camouflage coat finally came together. And as if that was not enough, the weather decided to get colder and give me a chance to wear the coat out every day now. I am so happy with this one, I would have hated to leave it hanging in the wardrobe.

Yesterday was a sunny day and I got my husband to take pictures of me in the coat! He seems to like it a lot, as he keeps telling people that it is really nice.

A bit about the pattern

This is my third time working with Burda 6921 and I decided to change a few things and also add a hood. What I love about the pattern is the way the collar/back of the coat works. Even though I didn’t do a collar at all, the hood still stands up somewhat against the back of my neck, so that I never get too chilly there.

Burda 6921 is pretty well-suited to an hourglass figure, which makes it a great base pattern for me.

The sizing is fairly accurate. I am a German size 42 (UK 14), so that is what I traced and cut and it fit me pretty well. This seems to be true for all Burda patterns, or at least the ones I have encountered before. The only adjustment I made is grading down to a size 40 (UK 12) around the waist.

I pretty much never go off the size charts on the back of any pattern, as that would put me at a UK 22. I did this only once, with my very first pattern, which ended up looking like I was lost in a stylish potato sack. (I am currently working on a Butterick pattern and there the size is always such guesswork…) With Burda at least, I know I can use my “store” size.

On the other hand, Burda patterns require you to add seam allowances. That’s ok when you do it once, but every time I get this pattern out, I have to do it again and it’s starting to annoy me. Next time, I will make new pattern pieces on Swedish tracing paper that will include seam allowances.

What did I add?

I self-drafted a hood. This is my second time attempting a hood and I think I did rather well. It is definitely big enough for my head and would have probably accommodated my dreads when they were longer as well.

I also made some small alterations to the width of lower half of the sleeves, as I thought that a wider sleeve would suit the look of the coat better.

I widened the lapel and added a zip to be closed on the side front of the coat. Again, I didn’t think buttons would be suitable for this coat.

Normally, the inside of the lapel is meant to be made of the same material as the outside of the coat. However, my husband convinced me to use the lining fabric instead and I think he was absolutely right.

This is the original sketch I made for this coat

This is the original sketch I made for this coat

 

The Fabrics I used

The outside fabric is a ripstop I bought from ebay. It is very sturdy and originally meant for military uses. It’s wind-resistant and shower-proof.

For the lining, I bought a shiny polyester satin. While it was cheap and looks really nice, it was certainly a pain to work with and kept fraying very very badly. Next time, I will overlock the edges before working with it.

 

And here it is in all its glory

I do apologise for the dorky faces I pull…

 

camouflage coat Burda 6921 me front

 

camouflage coat Burda 6921 back me

 

camouflage coat front me Burda 6921

 

camouflage coat walking

 

camouflage coat hood Burda 6921 me

And here is a bonus picture of the grumpy jerk that tried to prevent this coat from happening 😉

you are not sewing now

 

Winter is coming – and so are sweatshirts

It is getting colder! Or at least it was sort of meant to. So I decided to invest in some warm fabrics and sew up some sweatshirts.

My husband recently bought me a screen printing kit, so this a good practice run for making him (and me) some hoodies. I honestly don’t know why I have to make them before I print on them, as they are so much cheaper to buy, but then again, I seem to like torturing myself with unnecessary, time-consuming things, such as taking apart old clothes to make new ones.

 

DIY sweatshirt #2 front 2

 

 

Old to new

Speaking of turning old clothes into patterns for new clothes, that is how I made these sweatshirts. I had one that I owned for almost 10 years. It looked super nice on me and I did love it dearly. It wasn’t even falling apart, but it was starting to look a bit… grubby. Rather than throwing it away, I decided to use the pattern. This involves unpicking tons of overlock thread, which is rather dull and, I find, best done while watching something that doesn’t require too much attention.

As per usual, when unpicking overlocked clothing, all the pattern pieces come out a bit uneven. One sleeve is unlike the other (I completely improvised the sleeve pattern, as they were so crooked), one shoulder is higher than the other… I think this might be why store-bought t-shirts do that thing where they become all wonky after you wash them, with the side seams not lining up with the shirt sides anymore.

 

All my pattern pieces

So I made the pattern pieces modelled on the original sweatshirt and cut them out of this very thick, very green material.

DIY sweatshirt parts

 

There are two front pieces, which join above the bust. This gives me the opportunity to put elastic at the top of the lower piece and accommodate for my boobs.

DIY sweatshirt elastic sewn in

 

 Some progress pictures of the making process

DIY sweatshirt sewing in the neckband

my trusty overlocker doing a good job

 

DIY sweatshirt front and back

front and back piece joined

 

DIY sweatshirt shoulders sewn in

I sewed the shoulder seams first and then did the sides and sleeves in one continuous seam.

 

The finished product

DIY sweatshirt #1 front

 

DIY sweatshirt #1 side

DIY sweatshirt #1 back

And another

So after finishing the green sweatshirt and being rather happy with it, I made another one in this lovely patterned fabric, which is slightly less thick and warm.

DIY sweatshirt #2 front 2

 

DIY sweatshirt #2 side

 

DIY swearshirt #2 back

 

Prototype raver dress

raver dress hoop skirt front

 

 

Since I had a bit of a moan about the fact that I cannot find clubwear that I like, and with Uproar in the Dam coming up in November, I started concentrating on making some raver dresses.

 

This can be a bit difficult when you’re also trying to think about your autumn/winter wardrobe. So the next couple of months I will be busy constructing another Burda 6921 (and not to give away too much, but it will be glorious…), deconstructing one of my favourite jumpers to give it new life, making some heavy knit dresses and I am sure I can think of some other shenanigans to keep me busy as well. (Somehow my mind is already torturing itself with the idea of making a corset and tutu skirt with many layers of brightly coloured tulle underneath…)

 

However, back to the raver dress.

First, what fabric did I use? I have a great love for knits and the pace at which I can make clothes with them. I like making something tailored too (especially jackets), but when it comes to whipping up a quick but flattering dress, nothing beats a nice knit. For this, I used a “bathing suit jersey”, so essentially a Polyamide/Elastane mix. I got it here. No picture can ever do it justice, as it is really shiny and rather iridescent. However, that also means that you can see every little flaw…

Did I use a pattern? Frankly, I do not really use patterns with knits anymore. I have a base pattern for the bodice and skirt, taken from one of my favourite dresses, so that I do not have to measure everything out every time, but I self-draft around it as much as possible. Similarly, you can use any dress pattern made for knits as a base for this kind of thing.) That means, of course, that I cannot really remake any dress in the same way. But then again, I like making little variations every time. I get bored otherwise.

So why do I call this a prototype? I really wanted to try out making one of those dresses with a hoop skirt at the bottom. This was the first time I did it, and to be honest, it is not quite there yet. I used rigilene, which is not quite as firm as boning, but might still work if I encase it in something to make it look a bit more “bubbly”.

 

Here is the bodice for this particular dress. I completely lined it before attaching it to the skirt. I also ended up putting a dart in the sides for the front.

 

different neckline idea

 

And here we have the back and side view

 

raver dress hoop skirt back

raver dress hoop skirt side

 

There is a definite “Jetsons” feel to this dress, which I don’t mind particularly, but I would still like to bring it more into the here and now. What I really dislike is the wobblyness of the hemline. I think I might shorten it an inch or two. I have already removed the rigilene again in order to alter the hemline and am currently trying to figure out how to give it more shape. Hopefully, I will sort it out soon and get to show you a nice, flawless hoop skirt dress.

I am currently expecting a shipment of different lycra fabrics from the UK (which I ordered in May… the postal services really fucked it up this time), so I will be sure to attempt this again.

 

 

DIY – From bra to dress

As I said in my previous post, it is really hot here at the moment. So hot, in fact, that I have contemplated making something I can wear without a bra. For me, that means something that has wires and cups that can accommodate my chest. In this case, a bra to dress conversion.

A bit of background about my bras:

To be perfectly frank, my bra-size is 34GG (sometimes 32H). Unfortunately, when I say that out loud, lots of people think that my boobs must be the size of watermelons, which is simply not true. Yes, they are bigger than average, which makes it difficult to buy clothes off the rack, but they are by no means “pornstar-big”.

For reference, here is a collection of women in 34GG bras.

It took me ages to find the right bra-size and I am so happy I finally have some idea of what I need to wear. I wore 38Ds for the longest time before I stumbled upon a certain subreddit and measured myself. The result was 36 F at first and the bras I bought in that size made me rather happy for a while. It was definitely more accommodating than a 38D, but while the cups certainly fit me better, I realised that the band was not giving me the support I wanted and that I was heavily relying on the straps to hold my boobs up. This made my shoulders hurt and the bra ride up in the back. I have some ridiculous dents on my back and shoulders from wearing the wrong bra for over 10 years! So I measured again and got to my current size. (It is not uncommon, by the way, to go up a bit in cup-sizes once you’re in a better size for your chest.)

Shopping for this “outlandish” size?

It is super hard to find bras in my size in a normal store in Germany, so Amazon is my friend. I am sure there are lots of small specialty shops, but there is nothing I hate more than being “helped” by an assistant. I hate it so much, I refrain from going to small shops where you have to ask shop attendants to get you things altogether, so when it comes to something as personal as a bra, there is no way I am going to chat to a shop assistant about my size or any fit issues.

When my husband and I recently went to the UK, I was shocked at how many sizes Debenham’s had to offer. They even had their own brand which was offered in my size! For the first time since knowing my actual bra-size, I went into a changing room with 10 bras! (I ended up buying only one, but that one bra is absolutely perfect.)

The other thing I do now is buying cheap 40F bras in Primark (F is the highest cupsize they have) and drastically taking in the band. They never last long, as they are so cheap, so I do literally just cut a bit out and then overlock it back together. I also only wear them at home. I recently had a plunge bra from there and i’m glad I didn’t go to more trouble, as the cups are currently falling apart.

Salvaging old or new bras

These cheaply bought bras, as well as old bras that I am not wearing anymore, are so useful for a bra to dress conversion. Which brings me back to my current project.

I took one of those Primark bras and started taking it apart. Not only could I use the wires, I also ripped out all of the seams on the cups and made a pattern from the pieces. It isn’t 100% correct, as the bra was made of a slightly stretchy material, so for the cotton dress I wanted to make, I had to take into account that there wouldn’t be any give in the fabric.

The cups are a littly bit (read: very) pointy at the moment, so I am still working on that, but apart from that, it fits me really well. I am so proud, as this is the first time I ever made anything remotely like a bra. I am definitely going to use this pattern again

Things I learned when doing this:

  • bra cup pattern pieces have weird shapes that I would have never thought would form something conical
  • when sewing wires into a dress, make sure they are stretched to fit around your boobs. Bras are stretchy, so they naturally widen the underwires when you put them on. The stiff cotton isn’t, so after a bit of wires poking into the sides of my boobs, I bent them into a wider shape.
  • taking a bra apart is a lot of work. There are a lot of stitches, especially around the underwire, that are very tight (and for good reason, you don’t want your bras to fall apart) and hard to take out.

These are the cups with the bottom pieces sewn together and the top still separate:

cups partially sewn

And once they’re sewn on, it looks like this:

cups fully sewn

And here is the bodice, with the gaps for the cups:

bodice part with space for cups

 

Here are some pictures of the dress in progress. Most of it is done, but I need to sew the zip into the skirt and sort out those torpedo boob cups before finishing up the lining. It isn’t hemmed yet either. I’m sorry I am showing you something half done, but I am just so proud of this.

 

bra dress from the front

Please ignore the brown bra fabric on the mannequin. Unlike me, there is no way it would fit into this dress without wearing a stuffed bra underneath. 😉

Here you can see the unfinished zip from the back (I’m only really showing you, so you can see how low it is cut in the back):

 

bra dress back

 

One of the best things about this dress is that not only can I wear it without a bra, but the back is so low, it’s the kind of dress where a bra would normally definitely show!

Another Butterick B5209 – this time for the office

It being summer and rather ridiculously hot, I felt the need to make a few dresses that had the following criteria: be very light and very flowy.

Often, I make dresses that I want to wear within a day or two. Not that I can make them within that timeframe. I have a couple of projects on my mind for autumn, but it’s so hot at the moment, nothing seems further from me than making something heavier for colder weather.

So, in an impulse to make something wearable for this weather, I went to the local Stoff und Stil shop, as I had seen this nice Viscose print on their website. Normally, I like to buy my fabrics slightly cheaper (and online) than the 10,95 € a metre I paid there. This comes out of practicality rather than looking for a bargain, as I still don’t see myself as a competent seamstress. I just don’t want to ruin expensive fabric. I really loved that print though. On top of that, I just love being able to go to a shop and look at the quality of the fabric.

I decided to make another Butterick B5209, as the long version I made earlier in the year turned out so flattering. I went for a straight A-Line skirt rather than the suggested gathered skirt and cut the back a bit longer than the front. What I didn’t take into account was that this fabric in combination with that pattern would look, shall we say, a little matronly?

I asked my husband what he thought about it and he said it looked smart. His approximate words were “Don’t wear it to a rave, but I can see you in it at the office.”

I don’t normally do smart. I guess I do smart-ish, but I like having a bit of an edge to my clothes. Then again, I am rather proud of this dress and it is somewhat elegant-looking.

Oh, and for the first time ever, I did a properly hidden zip. It is so hidden, you can’t see anything but the tag. I know that’s how it’s supposed to go, and it’s dead easy when using the hidden zip foot, that is, as long as you know you’ve got one… I did not realise for ages that I was in possession of one. I have this box of assorted sewing machine feet and I’m still learning what all of them are used for. So for some stupid reason, I am well happy with that zip.

The hidden zip I am stupidly proud of:

 

B5209 invisible zip

The fabric is pretty good at hiding my sewing flaws, so apart from a couple of seams not perfectly lining up around the zip, there is also a seam more or less on top of the bust. For some reason, this didn’t happen with the version I made before. The chiffon I used for the long version of the dress probably stretches a bit more. However, it is not unflattering and makes my boobs look smaller (which is a plus for me).

So here is my elegant take on the Butterick B5209:

 

Butterick B5209 floral front

 

Butterick B5209 side

 

Butterick B5209 back

Clubwear might just be my passion

So, I have just returned from HTID Summer Gathering and I have to say, apart from absolutely loving the experience, I felt rather comfortable in my self-made clubwear outfits.

Obviously, improvements can be made and I am still practicing. My finishings are not perfect, despite using an overlock and coverlock machine. They are a lot better than they used to be, but I still have a long way to go.

Mostly, people don’t seem to look at the things I make with the same eyes as me though, so no one else seems to notice the dodgy stitches and they appear to be taken by surprise when I say that I sewed them up myself.

I am definitely going to make more outfits for myself, as I find that I feel quite proud of them.

However, there is one thought I have not been able to shake:

Am I the only one?

I do wonder if there are other ladies out there like me, who have fuller figures and find it hard to find anything nice to wear to a rave. I know I bemoaned the lack of decent rave clothing for my size before, but can I be the only one?

I don’t want to dress in black every time I go out. I also don’t like feeling frumpy and need something that highlights my waist (as otherwise my boobs make it look like I am wearing a tent). Most alternative clothing lines, like hell bunny, will cater to bigger sizes and make beautiful things, but while I have a few of their dresses, they don’t make anything I would wear to a rave.

I want neon colours and weird straps, spacey cuts and foam-filled hemlines. And yes, that is mostly inspired by cyberdog, who make exactly what I would love to wear in their one tiny size. They do make some things in S to XL sizing, but most of what I would identify as comfortable clubwear are made in one size, which I could squeeze myself into, but it just wouldn’t look nice.

I am a size 14 (UK)! I can make my own stuff, and that is fun, even if it is hard to find the right fabrics in the right colours at times, but what about people who don’t make their own stuff? Am I the only weirdo out there that likes to rave it up while not being a size 8?

Clearly, I saw other girls at Summer Gathering, but most of them were thin and wore what appeared to be bathing suits with tutus on top, which, don’t get me wrong, looks well cute on a tiny girl, but would look horrendous on me.

So what do I actually want to make?

Apart from making my own dresses in neon colours and spacey fabrics, I would like a kind of futuristic design element as well.

I recently went to a second-hand bookshop and saw this book called millenium mode.

In it, 40 designers are asked to envision what they would like the fashion of the future to be. While this book from 1999 is incredibly outdated, I found all the models wearing these creations looked like they were going to a rave.

It was rather inspiring for me. There is, for example, a long trenchcoat in camouflage fabric, which I absolutely must make for myself. There are lots of metallic fabrics and interesting cuts.

Maybe I am just stupidly nostalgic for that era when electronic music and the fashion that went along with it was massive, and when I was too young to take part in it, but I want to make outrageously nice things to dance in, as well as nice things to go home in. Most importantly, however, if I ever go to a festival in England again, I need to make myself a lightweight, 100% waterproof coat. 😉

 

 

A flowery Burda 124b-072014 summer dress

This weekend was hot. So hot, it felt like I couldn’t leave the house. Even opening the window, nothing but warm air would come in…

I took this opportunity to make a summer dress for myself. I wanted to play it safe and use Burda 124b-072014, which I had made twice before. The second time, I added a full-bust adjustment. However, it being Burda, there were no seam-allowances added and I couldn’t remember how much I had given it before. (The version of this dress in question has a lining, so I couldn’t check without taking it apart.) This lead to some fit issues, which I am still working out (most apparent in the side view.)

It seems that even when I think I play it safe, I never get consistent results. The solution to this is obviously to be more dilligent and write everything down. I simply cannot trust my memory.

With that in mind, here is the more or less finished product. I have not decided what to do with the hem yet. Part of me wants to drape it nicely, and the other part just wants to shorten it. With the length it is at the moment, it doesn’t suit me at all. Plus, it’s too hot to wear anything longer than above-knee-length.

 

 

 

Some details

 

burda 124b-072014 front neckline

burda 124b-072014 back neckline

burda 124b-072014 open back

 

And here is some of the construction process:

 

burda 124b-072014 constructed bodice

 

burda 124b-072014 inside

 

As you can see, I overlocked every single edge. I had originally planned to line it, but the hot weather made me think twice about this idea. “The less fabric, the better.” had become my motto.

I used a lightweight cotton, which is really the best material for summer dresses in my opinion. I don’t particularly like working with it, and as you can see, I have some issues with puckering around the topstitching around the shoulders.

I bought this fabric mostly for its pattern and I can’t say I’m disappointed. I might just have a thing for little flowers on a black background. It is really forgiving when you don’t pattern match and I find it rather hard to find the seams when I don’t look too closely.

Also, I could have basically used any colour thread, as long as it was present somewhere in the pattern. I chose light blue, as it was prominent in the flowers and I think that came out rather nicely.

I added some alterations to the pattern (not including the FBA). The original dress asks for a gathered  circle skirt. I made some skirt panels and matched them with the vertical seams of the bodice instead. I also shortened the straps, as they were falling off my shoulders.

Once I have widened the seam allowance on the bust and hemmed it in one way or another, I will finally be done. I have definitely spent a good 6 or 7 hours on this dress so far.

Burda 6921: a work in progress

A few months ago,  I made view A of Burda 6921 and am actually still getting lots of wear out of it (since the summer has proven to be a bit rainy and cold for this time of year).

Still though, I haven’t completely given up hope to see more of the sun this year and am currently making it again, in a shorter version, to be worn in the morning/evening on hot summer days.

The front panels of this one are going to be shorter than the others, so it looks a bit victorian (or what I imagine that to look like). I changed the collar to be a bit bigger, as the small collar bothered me on the original. The sleeves will be button-fastened at the wrists, so that I can unbutton and then roll them up. That is, if my shipment of buttons ever arrives at my door…

I made the decision to add a lapped slit in the sleeves with three buttons for a closure on a whim when cutting out the pattern, so I ordered some more of the buttons I had intended for the front, but guess what? DHL is on strike again… I know I could add different buttons to the whole coat and just go and buy them, but I really like the ones I already have for the front closure…

Well, I’m sure I’ll still be working on sewing it together till the end of the week, so DHL, you have 4 days to deliver. Also, it would be really nice if I could get that parcel from the UK, which, according to RM tracking, arrived in Germany on the 4th (19 days ago…)

Ok, I’m sorry. I will stop ranting now. I guess I should use the time to actually finish this coat. Let me tell you though, it is quite a bit of work.

Despite not being overly difficult (it is classed by Burda as intermediate) – and if you make a few shortcuts (as I do), it’s not overly tedious either – it still takes an amazing amount of time to make a coat.

I am a lazy seamstress and try to avoid all the handsewing the instructions suggest. I didn’t baste a single stitch on the original and only handsewed the very middle of the hem to finish it up. Everything else was machine-sewed. And yet, it took me about two weeks (mostly evenings and weekends) to finish everything.

The most difficult thing is probably fitting the collar on. I am still on the fence about having the whole lapel on the front panel of the coat. I know that this is the proper way of doing it, but, as a home sewer, I think it would be easier if it was a separate piece. As it is, the instructions ask for the sides of the back collar to be sewn onto the top of the lapel first, then for the bottom of the back collar to be sewn onto the back. It is rather awkward and the instructions are a bit unclear if you’ve never made a coat with a lapel before. Both times, it took me an entire evening to sort out the collar and lapel.

I think that this is something most people say about burda patterns in general though. Often, their instructions make you feel like you should already know more about sewing than you do, and are taking for granted that you know what they’re talking about. Things are not as well explained as on other companies’ patterns.

I might be wrong here, but in my experience, this is pretty much a tradition for all things German. We are expected to know stuff already or have been shown it by our mums/nans/aunts or whatever other female with sewing skills available. Never would we turn to a pattern to learn how to do the stitches it requires. 😛

I always find it such a luxury to work with a non-German pattern, where seam allowances are included and instructions are super detailed… (This, btw, also goes for recipe books…)

Oh yeah, I forgot to say, this pattern does not include seam allowances. The first time I made it, I looked at the pattern pieces and thought “hmm, they look a bit small”… Luckily, I had only cut into Swedish tracing paper at that point.

And here is my work in progress:

 

 

I haven’t sewn the lining into it yet and the whole thing needs to be hemmed. Then of course, I will need to make button holes and sew some buttons on.

Adapting McCall’s 6741 to make a space dress

McCall’s 6741 was the third dress pattern I ever bought. I have used it many times and changed it a few times along the way to make different garments.

The first time I made it, I chose a size that was essentially too big for me and I ended up taking it in quite a bit. In this case, I had picked a size 16, which was still better than the first dress I ever made, where I managed to ruin a pattern by cutting it out 3 sizes too big for me. 🙁 That pattern was also from McCall’s (6504) and even though I still like the shape of it, I cannot quite get myself to buy and make it again…

I have since decided to make the dress in a size 14, but add a fuller bust, which seems to work fine.

However, making this particular dress, I didn’t seem to take into account that I was going to overlock the seams, which leaves quite a bit more room, so another size down would have probably been more appropriate…

On top of that, the material is a bit stretchy as well, so I ended up taking it in a few times once again…

I must say though, I absolutely love this fabric. It is so gorgeous, and I could have never imagined making anything but a dress from this. Even though I bought it as a “digitally printed stretch jersey”, it feels quite a lot like a (one way) stretchy, but heavy satin and has a slightly shiny look to it.

 

digitally printed stretch jersey

 

I wanted a dress with a spacey look for this spacey fabric and adapting McCall’s 6741 seemed like the perfect choice to me.

First, I made the front panel into two pieces that would overlap just over the bust.

Here is the top and bottom piece:

 

edges sewn with the coverlocker

 

 

And here is what they looked like once I secured them on the sides:

 

all sewn together

 

 

I did the “hems” on those pieces (and on the whole dress) with my coverlocker and for once, I was happy with the result, despite using a stretchy fabric.

For the arms, I simply cut two 15 cm-strips of fabric that where slightly thicker in the middle and tapered off towards the ends. I sewed each one together lengthwise and inserted them into the armholes, with the middle of the strip meeting the shoulder seam.

I then hemmed the shoulder seams and made sure to straddle the seam where the “sleeve” and bodice meet. Here you can see the back and front view of the finished armholes:

 

arm finish back

 

arm finish front

 

I didn’t manage to finish hemming the whole dress, but this is what I plan on doing all around the hemline. I made each panel longer than the one before, so that the back is 21 cm longer than the front. However, I kept the edges instead of slowly grading them down, so that I get a kind of “stairs-like” hemline.

 

partly finished hem

 

Since I can’t wait to show it off, here is the dress in its half-hemmed state:

I am aware that these pictures aren’t the greatest at showing the dress off, but as I said, I just couldn’t wait… I will put pictures up once it is hemmed. Maybe I can get my husband to even take some of me in the dress. 🙂

I am currently working on a summer jacket as well as this and the “fox” dress (a panelled jersey dress, nicknamed in the process of making it, as the bodice had the appearance of a fox’s face), so I have a few unfinished projects at the moment. I also keep putting off making a short tracksuit jacket.

Since it is now only about 6 weeks to the HTID summer gathering, I better get a move on…

panel jersey dress

I have started doing too many things this weekend. I began work on two dresses and a jacket. Naturally, none of those projects were finished, but this dress is the one where I got the furthest. I only have to hem it and add the sleeves.

After making a few dresses out of cotton jersey and realising that I quite like the material, I decided to move on to the next challenge. Ultimately, I always want to make more complicated things and design lots of elements as I go along. I really enjoy changing patterns to add something a little bit extra or to make it more diverse.

This time, I decided to use two colours, purple and black, and divide the bodice to make a panel jersey dress. I made the panels up as I went along, so I didn’t think too much about it, but once I sewed them together, I realised they look quite a lot like a fox. 🙂

I used a jersey dress bodice pattern like this and cut where I thought would look good:

 

bodice all sewn together

I also shortened the sides by cutting off a triangle at the bottom.

These are all the panels for the front (the back is identical):

 

all panels

 

For the skirt, it was just a question of adding the required length on the side panels, so it would still meet the bodice where I shortened it.

And this is what the bodice looks like, once sewn up:

 

fox bodice

 

 

I lined the neckline, as I wanted it to be quite smooth. Also, I didn’t want to ruin it with my coverlocker by stretching it out… There are fabrics that it doesn’t hate, but cotton jerseys sadly don’t belong to that category.

Here is the lining from the outside:

 

lined bodice

 

and from the inside:

 

bodice and lining

 

 

Originally, I wanted to line the armholes as well and make it a sleeveless dress, but then realised that I should have left the shoulder seams unsewn. It wouldn’t have been difficult to rip them out again, but I generally don’t like the bulkiness I get when I sew shoulder seams after lining. My other option would have been to have an open back, which would have been a whole lot of work and it probably wouldn’t have lined up properly in the end. Well, there’s always next time…

Here is the dress, as yet unhemmed…

jersey panel dress

On the subject of next time though, I am definitely planning on making more panel dresses with more panels. 😉 It is definitely a part of sewing I enjoy immensely and it doesn’t appear to be too difficult.

 

Update

 

So in the meantime, I did get a bit of time to hem the dress, and even got my husband to take pictures of me in the finished version: