Wednesday, 9 January 2013

It's Not You Its Me (no really) Burda 7547

Dear Readers,

I've been sewing so long that there are things I should know by now, like
a) How to match a pattern to fabric
b) How to match a pattern to this body
c) How to listen to an inner voice that tells you something isn't working.

In my previous post I mentioned that before tackling my fake fur coat, which has uncrushed itself while 'resting' like a steak waiting for pepper sauce, I would just quickly run off a white maxi dress, which brings us to

d) Not to sew in a hurry. I tend to sew myself right into the land of stuff up when I sew in a hurry.

What stuff up? It is this sad thing on the hanger here, with the ruffle just roughly pinned on..
all innocent looking..

Burda 7537, soon to be unpinned, unpicked and invisible zipper (which of course went in like a dream) recycled and made into a cover for my machine and possibly place mats which will be an echo of the tablecloth this too-heavy-for-a-dress seersucker should have become.

It is not the fault of the pattern, well, not entirely. The body of the dress and the v neck back of the dress sit well. It was the front that was the problem. Let me show you a picture of the pattern.

The front bodice is a deep v with gathers at the shoulders. The original front piece slants toward the outer edge of the shoulders while maintaining a snug armhole. The front v edge looked too loose. I thought yeah, yeah, it will all be taken up by the gathers.
When gathered it was still loose so I cut a bit off the front shoulders, not too much. I put in drawstrings instead of just gathering the shoulder seams. I raised the front seam a bit at the centre bust. It still didn't sit right. I took off the front neck facing and eased in the excess gaping at the neck. Nope, still didn't sit right. Did a bit more, also correcting for one slightly uneven shoulder. Then the v sat right but strained across the top of the bust while simultaneously sagging at the seam which runs under the bust. So ..

I had a bodice that was tight and saggy at the same time. Not a good look. Meanwhile the material was just too thick for the floaty hippy retro seventies look of the dress. That's another thing. You know how they say if you've lived through an era once you shouldn't revisit it? It is possible that  they were right. But I have fixed up the front piece just in case I feel the urge to try..

Meanwhile back to the coat of faux fur, I spent this evening hand trimming the fur on the seam allowances of all the pieces and trying to figure out the order of construction  because wouldn't you know I do not have the Burda magazine issue - no instructions and no picture. I am not sure if I traced it from a borrowed copy, or if it was from one of the copies  I gave away. It doesn't matter, I'll track it down. I do remember that the coat featured in this pattern was in a fake fur, so that's a good start. While trimming the seam allowances outside on my balcony in the blessed evening coolness I thought 'It's sort of like a really thick velvet'. That's how I've decided to approach it.

My it's too hot to wear anything but a loose shift dress Simplicity 3505, made ages ago but not reviewed (yes that is a green leopard cotton print)

Yesterday was a day of massive heat here with scorching wind from the interior pushing temperatures up over most of the country. Our eucalyptus forests, what we call bush, were already bone dry and there were many bush fires as the heat continued into the night. It was still 30 degrees C at midnight in Sydney. Many people in the paths of these fires in country areas were in danger and some people have lost houses and businesses and livestock. It sort of puts it all into perspective.

My sympathies to anyone affected by the fires.


Edit: Another high fire risk day forecast for today. For some astonishing summer photos click here.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Carol. Thankfully no lives have been lost.

  2. It makes it way worse that some are deliberately lit! The green dress is lovely.

  3. I didn´t know about the sorry.
    But that dress you are wearing! Love it. Great print!

  4. oh, so awful to have such heat and fires. Thinking of you folks.
    Love the story of the seersucker sad sack...I have a few of those on my garment rack in the loft as well. Keep thinking they will change or grow on me.
    And the green leopard is great! Soon, please.

  5. I couldn't even look at faux fur during the heatwave! Love your shift dress.

  6. So funny, Valerie, the Land of Stuff Up! love it, and go there quite often myself he he. yes, isn't the heat and the fires an awful worry. Yesterday we had thick smoke on the hills surrounding our valley, which was disconcerting at the very least. Not so bad today; I was worried i might have to evacuate. The green leopard is fantastic - I want!!

  7. I've heard about the fires -- how terrible it must be for so many folks. You are brave for tackling faux fur in the heat! I worked on a long wool coat during the hottest part of our summer, and now that we are experiencing an atypically cold winter, I'm glad I have that coat! Can't wait to see it!

  8. I'm loving that green leopard print!

  9. Thanks everyone. The heat has abated but I've put aside the coat for now. All will be revealed soon!

  10. Love the green dress.Looks cool and comfortable.. So sorry about all the heat and fires.. Sending prayers.