Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Pattern Review: Burda Style 6/2014 #104

I like so many of the styles in the 6/2014 issue of Burda Style.  I decided to sew #104 first to be able to wear it to an upcoming BBQ.

I used Indigo Blue Ponte Knit which was a good fabric for this dress.  I did prewash the fabric and it shrunk 4" in length. 
(sold out)

I didn't realize until after I traced the pattern pieces that the bands (pattern pieces #24 and #25) were templates for purchased trim.  I rummaged through my Mother’s stash and found a nice cotton trim that was a good match but I was 1 yard short.   I’m sure my Mother used this for a home dec project and that she probably purchased it from JoAnn. I decided to see if by chance JoAnn still carried this trim.  To my surprise (surprised because this trim would have to be about 10 years old) they did and even the dye lot was very close.

This dress is very quick to make but the instructions for the bands could be confusing for a beginner.  I wouldn't want anyone to by pass this dress because of that so I’ll share how I put the bands together and attached them to the dress. I'm only demonstrating on one side of the dress.

  • Be sure to purchase a trim that is made from a natural fiber-something not too thick and is pliable.
  • Don’t forget to add seam allowances-I used 3/8” to reduce the bulk.
  • Press the trim into the shape of #24.   This piece will need to curve under the arm. This is why I suggest you use a natural fiber trim.  Don’t forget to press one for the left side and one for the right by flipping the pattern piece.  

  • Stitch piece 24 and 25 together-this will be the underarm seam (marker #6).  

  • Stitch piece 25 together-this is the center back (marker #4)

  • Press the seams open.  Press and fold the excess trim up.

  • Match the underarm seam with the side seam of the dress.

  • Starting at the back edgestitch the trim to the dress stopping at the front neckline.  

  • Match the center back trim to the center back of the dress.  Starting at the upper back edgestitch stitch to the center back,  pivot and continue to the other side.  

And that’s it!  I hope the steps I shared are clear.  If not, let me know and I’ll try again.  I didn’t add the belt loops so the hem was my last step.  You can sew this dress up in just a few hours.  I also like the version with the sleeves.  I think it would look great made up in a sparkly knit for a special occasion dress.  

Friday, June 20, 2014

Burda Style July 2014

 To purchase, go to (sold out)

All Styles at a Glance

Line Drawings

Quick and Easy Summer Sewing-Only 1 Seam
Gathered Skirt #118A-Summer Blues

Pretty formal gown-with sleeves!

Letterman jackets are still trending and this is the sewing course of the month.  The adorable gathered faux wrap skirt makes it fresh for summer.

Perfect for a summer outdoor concert
halter dress #105-Apricot Linen Blend

Pool Party!
shorts #112A-Black Denim

Plus Size
Love how the waistline is highlighted.
dress #127-Cloudy Blue Floral Cotton Lawn and Woven Shades

Add a jacket and this would be great for the office.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Diane von Furstenberg: 40 Years of The Wrap Dress

I had this particular Vogue Pattern magazine. I just loved (and still love) the wrap dress. I made this pattern and wore it for my junior class picture. Unfortunately, I don't know where the dress, pattern or pictures could be.  :(  Thanks Andrea for the memories and for writing this brief history on DVF and the wrap dress.

Fashion evolves daily, however, there is one staple that has yet to leave the closet and resurface years later – the wrap dress.  

It was 1974 when designer Diane von Furstenberg just simply wanted to create a piece that was bold enough for work and sexy enough for play. Henceforth the revolutionary idea of a printed jersey knit dress came to life, and the woman behind the idea was even more extraordinary. Obviously Diane accomplished her goal, because by 1976 she sold over five million wrap dresses.  That same year, she graced the cover of numerous major magazines including Newsweek Magazine, which dubbed her “the most marketable woman since Coco Chanel.”  

The wrap dress was birthed during an era of change and empowerment, which didn't exclude women.  Women were as striking as men during those times.  They were feminist and proud independent women that were in need of something to wear that complimented their power and new found attitudes.  Diane had the cure.  Inspired by a simple wrap top and matching skirt worn by ballerinas, she implemented unique prints and bold colors and turned the top and matching skirt into a dress and like so the wrap dress was born.  When it came to her designs Diane always tried something new.  

26 year-old Diane knew what women wanted and needed when it came to clothing.  She knew that no two women were crafted the same.  She chose prints and jersey knit material to hid things that were not meant for the public eye and shine light on areas that women wanted to express.  Like the hips, breasts and legs, and essentially the wrap dress became the must have staple for any independent woman.  

This year DVF celebrates 40 years since the first wrap dress was revealed to the world, and in honor of the iconic dress Diane toured the world with an exhibit entitled DVF 40: Journey of a Dress, Diane von Furstenberg.  The exhibit showcased some of her most beloved wrap dresses, including the first ever wrap dress. 

While living out her most famous quote “Feel like a woman, wear a dress”, try using Fancy Leopard Matte Jersey in a maxi length wrap dress.  Or if you are looking for a fabric with a more modern design try Red/Brown Chain Knit or Scallops.   

Andrea Henderson is a fashion writer for Empower Magazine and her own magazine-style fashion website.  She features tips for fashion trendsetters and the fashionably challenged and covers the fashion scene in her hometown of Houston, Texas.  Andrea wants the world to know that Houston is more than cowboy hats and boots.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Mini Wardrobe Planning: Black, Tan and Metallic Gold

Sewing is a creative process and there is nothing wrong with sewing as the "mojo" moves you.  But sometimes sewing in a more organized manner can do wonders for your wardrobe.  I will be featuring posts on doing just that--putting together 3-4 fabrics that make mini wardrobe capsules.  These posts are meant to inspire and get your creative juices going so you can sew garments that will fit seamlessly (pun intended) into your closet.  All fabrics featured are from my shop Sew Much Fabric.

Left to Right: Black Denim, Black/Tan Tropical Print Lawn, Gold Metallic Linen Blend
The Basic Fabric: Black Denim
In this mini wardrobe capsule, Black Denim is our base piece.  It will automatically work with whatever you have in your closet. It is a wardrobe mainstay and is the cooler/edgier side of the denim family. Black denim not only works for a weekend glam look but can be easier to wear to the office than blue denim.  Jeans, capris or shorts are the usual items that come to mind when you're thinking about black denim fabric. Consider taking this fabric out of its traditional box and make a blazer style jacket with or without sleeves or a fitted sheath dress.  For the trendier set overalls would fit the bill.  Pattern Suggestions: StyleArc-Jennifer City Shorts, Colette-Beignet, Simplicity 2340

The Trending Fabric: Gold Metallic Linen Blend
This is the fabric that keeps your fashion game current and on point. Metallics are shining bright this season but a little can go a long way. Because this is a linen/cotton/elastine blend the metallic is toned down a bit for a more sophisticated look.  I love the idea of a pencil skirt or a sleeveless shell top to add a little sparkle to an outfit.  A hip-length jacket without a collar or lapel would add a glam factor to any outfit you already own.  This fabric is also reversible (natural linen color) making it perfect for a color blocked dress.  Have an outdoor wedding this summer? This would make a striking dress to wear for just such an occasion.  Pattern Suggestions: Vogue 8923, Butterick 5617, Butterick 5899Named-Vanamo Two-Piece Cocktail Dress 

The Completer Fabric: Black/Tan Tropical Print Lawn

A "completer" fabric is the fabric that pulls the entire look together.  The neutral color palette of this tropical print makes it a perfect candidate to coordinate with most other colors you already wear like red, kelly green and turquoise to name a few.  Because this fabric is light it lends itself to skirts and blouses with pleating, sheering or gathering without adding bulk.  A maxi dress for vacation also comes to mind or make an infinity scarf to add a summertime feel to jazz up your office attire.  Pattern SuggestionsStyle Arc-Stephanie Woven Blouse, McCalls 6749, Vogue 8818 

The three fabrics work well together and with garments already in your closet.  Add some fun accessories and you will have a mini wardrobe capsule you will enjoy!

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Burda Style Kids 2014

 To purchase, go to

All Styles at a Glance

Line Drawings

For that Special Occasion
Ruffle Dress #637-White on White Stripe

Trousers #602-Navy/Cream Seersucker

Future Fashionista!

For the little man