Burda 10/2016 104 (fancy pocket dress!)

This is a rarity for me – actually using a Burda Style Magazine in the same month as it was purchased.  I attempted the Burda Challenge in 2015, where you make something from each months issue, but I abandoned it early in the year.  It didn’t suit the way I make things.  I don’t shop for fabric regularly – I tend to pick fabric up as I see it, and then let it gather dust until the perfect pattern shows up.

The pattern is described on the Burdastyle site as the “Fancy Pocket Dress” !


I’ve had the fabric more than two years – I got it from an Op shop in Australia. That makes me sounds like a globetrotter (I wish!)- I’d happily pack my bags and get on a plane to anywhere, but circumstances don’t usually allow for travel!  So that was my first time abroad in years, and I loved it! I saw lots of Melbourne and a little of Sydney. Anyway, on one of the days I took a bus tour to the Grampians and during a rest break, while everyone was getting tea – I popped into an Op shop and picked up a few bits, this fabric being one of them.

It’s a light stretch cotton, and I had 1.5 metres – which is less than the pattern calls for, but I had enough. I should say that the dress pattern is longer than it looks in the magazine- I cut 3 inches off the hem before sewing it.



Despite the complicated shape of the pockets, this dress came together pretty quickly. I made it on a Friday evening and wore it to dinner on the Saturday evening! It isn’t lined – just overlocked and I made narrow facings for the necklines.

Because of the stretch in the fabric, I used iron-on interfacing strips at the neckline, shoulders and centre back at the zipper.



The instructions for the pockets were as clear as usual with Burda…! So I took a few pictures as I went along which might help if anyone plans to make this.

This is how the skirt looked from the wrong side – I interfaced at the base of the pockets before snipping into the fabric. ( the centre pleats are tacked in place)



You then need to pivot the pockets upwards at the point where it was snipped:


The pocket folds back on itself – you then stitch the pocket seam ,from the point at the base to the top edge- seen below at the left of the pocket piece.

(my pocket shape is a little uneven as I had to cut into the plain selvedge to get it to fit)


The baste the top edges to hold in place, before joining the skirt front to the bodice front.

The picture below is of the front right of the skirt – the triangle on the left is where the pocket was pivoted. You need to make sure to catch this fully when sewing the skirt side seams.



Other than that, the dress was straight forward to make – once I had inserted the zip and joined the front and back at the shoulders, I tried it on and pinned the bodice sides to fit, continuing down to the skirt. Because of the triangle cutout at the pocket on the skirt, it would be difficult to let this out on the hips, unless you adjusted the width of the pleats.

When I tried it on, I didn’t like how much the pockets stuck out. My fabric wasn’t quite as drapey as suggested.  So I improvised by pushing the pocket in towards the centre front, and topstitching it down – it looks like an extra pleat on the skirt, and means the pocket is still roomy enough to use, but doesn’t stick out as much.



That’s about it really – I’ll be keeping the pattern handy, as I would love this in a lighter fabric for the summer – and it looked great without the sleeves, so a sleeeveless version will have to go on the to-do list.




More fabric suggestions please…Burda Shift dress #107 09/2012


This dress is more of a remake than a new make….. Whenever I go clothes shopping, I always check out the sale rack for any gems.  The black and white fabric design  really caught my eye – it’s a thick knit, similar to a pointe or double knit fabric.  It was a large size for a very small price! So I picked it up in the hope that it would be useful for cutting up.

I cut the original apart at the seams ( It was a plain shift shape with bust darts). I left the dress intact at the shoulders so that I could use the original neckline. After pressing, I pinned my pattern pieces with the shoulders sewing line aligning with the dress shoulders and then cut it out.




I used a Burda pattern to make this: Shift dress 107

The pattern making at the back  is atrocious, but that’s the original centre back seam, including the zipper, so I’ll just have to get over it!   I also kept the original sleeves and just re-cut the sleeve heads as per the burda pattern.




The dress has a lovely relaxed fit , without being too baggy.   The shaped darts are very flattering – but difficult to make out in this fabric (I’ve outlined a dart in red below)



I have worn this dress so much already – it looks great with thick tights and boots and I really want to make another one (or two!).But, I’m having trouble tracking down similar fabric – does anyone have suggestions or links to a good source of thick (preferably patterned) knit fabric. I’ve found lots of plain pointe, or else more black and white sweatshirt weight fabric, but nothing suitable yet, so any help appreciated🙂

Till next time🙂




Simplicity Shirtdress 8014 – construction notes

I’m sharing some construction notes for my Simplicity 8014 dress that might be useful for anyone considering making it.



Pattern Sizing –

For my measurements 33-28-38, (b cup). I cut a 10 in the bodice which I graded out to a 12 in the hips. (I don’t normally add to patterns at the hips) Yet this gave just the right amount of wearing ease for me.

If you are pear-shaped, or normally need to add to patterns at the hips, then carefully measure the pattern pieces as you may need to go up more than one size at the hips.

Construction –

I made this with french seams on the sleeve and side seams – they could also be overlocked or bound.

I found this tutorial very useful for seaming the sides with in-seam pockets : In-seam pockets with french seams.


french seamed pockets



The sleeve hems feature a neat tuck, which traps the raw edge of the hem inside the tuck.

The pattern instructions didn’t make sense to me at first – I couldn’t picture the outcome, but I followed along with the pattern steps and they worked out fine.


Sleeve hems with tuck detail


Sleeve hem interior

The dress hem is curved at the sides, and is finished with a shaped facing. The instructions were mostly fine, but I changed how the facing attaches at the centre fronts. The pattern step included some hand sewing.

The way I did the facing was to turn the button band toward the dress fronts,then sit the facing on top of the button band and dress hem, sew the bottom seam and turn through. The facing then gets caught with the later top-stitching.



Button band folded towards front and hem facing pinned over button band and dress hem.



Hem finish



Button Placement

I didn’t follow the pattern for button placement, as I wanted to wear a belt without it catching on a button every time I sat down. So I marked the button placement with pins, while I was wearing the belt.


Using pins to mark button placement


I also didn’t have enough buttons to get as close to the hem as I would have liked, instead I top-stitched just below the last button, to keep the hem from flying open in a breeze!

(You might notice that the last button doesn’t have a buttonhole – it’s just stitched on through all the layers – that’s because I found that button under my sewing machine when I was tidying up after myself!)


topstitched for safety!


And that’s as much as I remember, hope it was useful! I’m on the lookout for more fabric to make this again, I could see it becoming my winter uniform – layered up with boots and tights🙂

Shirt success – Simplicity 8014

This shirt-dress is one of those makes that as soon as you finish, you start planning the next version.  I made it in fits and bursts over the last two weeks, and wore for the day on Sunday. It was really comfortable, but felt and looked like I’d made a bit of an effort!




To start with – here’s a picture of it worn with a belt and accessorised with  a cat….



The pattern is Simplicity 8014 – I made very few changes – just adding my usual 1cm to the shoulder at the armhole edge to straighten the slope. I didn’t move the armhole up, and it doesn’t affect the fit – it probably made inserting the sleeve easier as there wasn’t much need for easing in the sleeve cap.



View D


It’s made from a soft cotton with a pale vertical stripe – not as obvious in the pictures as in real life.  I cut a size 10 in the bodice which I tapered out to a size 12 at the hips – which I always think is pretty useless information, unless you know what size body it was made to fit !!! So, in the hope of it being useful to someone else – my body measurements are approx 33 -28 -38!. The fit has just the right amount of wearing ease – not too much extra fabric around the waist, so it sits nicely with a belt.



sideview ….with bonus cat-



I cut out the self fabric belt and didn’t sew it at first, but after seeing the pictures, decided it’d be good to have the option of the matching belt, and then I managed to find a leftover piece of fabric big enough to make a pocket, and attached that as well.



The sun has washed my skin out so much that it looks like I’m about to blend into the wall!


I did try wearing it without the belt – I liked the loose fit (and really love those pockets!) – but my daughter thought the combination of the pale blue colour and shape, made it look like a night-shirt!


wandering around in a nightie…as you do…:)

It was great to get such a wearable result without the effort of a muslin – I’m honestly too impatient to make one, unless the pattern pieces are very complicated – it’s just easier to measure the paper pieces and compare the shape to patterns that I’ve already made.

I had also planned to get some pictures of my finally finished burda dress while the weather was so nice, but I ran out of chocolate to bribe the little photographer -” ah no, do I really have to take more pictures?” (… said with an eyebrow in the air and a look of misery!) … they were getting more crooked and out of focus with every minute that passed , so I quit while we were ahead🙂

I pink it might be summer….

At least I’m pretty sure it was summer …we swam in the sea and used sunscreen for the first two days of this week…..but right now it’s raining heavily on my wetsuit that I left outside to dry!!

I’m happy to say that I made it outdoors before the rain to photograph my new top –


Made using Simplicity 2599 – I also used the same pattern here and here. On my first version of this pattern I straightened the shoulder slope to match my shoulders, and it’s now my favourite pattern for a quick make.



For this top I rotated the bust dart to sit horizontally across the centre bust ,and left the extra  drape that this created at the lower front, so that it is pretty loose-fitting
from the bust down. There is a useful explanation of rotating a dart on Megan Nielsen’s blog .


I stitched the dart from the right side so that it would add a bit of interest to a pretty plain



The fabric is a very lightweight cotton that was cut from an old dress that didn’t fit anymore. The armholes and neck edge are finished with bias strips and the side seams are french seamed.

It’s good to finally have some sewing to show. I’ve also pulled out a few UFO’s to finish… does anyone remember this dress? After seeing a lovely orange version made up on Catherine Daze’s blog, I went back to my blue version – and now it’s almost done , so fingers crossed that I can get outside on a dry day for some pictures!