Tag Archives: dresses

Truebias Ogden Cami Dress Hack

If you’re wondering about the more than usual artistic vibe of this photo shoot, let me tell you that was a 11 year old on a mission “to capture the essence of the dress”. I’m not even sure I know what that means, but I’m just going with it.


The dress whose essence is being captured here is a heavily hacked True Bias Ogden cami.


As you can see I extended it to midi length, whilst taking out most of the width. To make striding possible I added side slits on both sides.


The fabric is a mock suede bought on my latest trip to London in Walthamstow, my new favourite haunt for surprise fabric buys. I got 2 metres in two colours, this light blush and a beige and at 8 pounds for 4 metres I’m already sorry I didn’t buy more.


I added a second set of spagetti strips that are attached as normal in the front and go down to the mid of the CB, just to add a little bit of extra interest. A little look at some of the details. I think/hope the pulling in the CB isn’t as bad in real life…

“Look pensively into the middle distance” my photographer, aka Child 3 said – so I did!



BHL Kim: The Waxprint Dirndl

It’s been the day of our local festival again, and noone who’s ever been to Bavaria will be at all surprised that beer plays a major role.

However, I stuck it out with the kids and not a drop crossed my lips! Instead I went to show off my nex wax print dirndl, which started life like this:

The blouse and apron were recycled from my rtw dirndl, which you can look at in more detail here, if you are so inclined.

The story of this dirndl started last year, when I got obsessed about the thought of making a dirndl in non-traditional fabric. Now, although I live in Bavaria I don’t live a traditional kind of life and consequently don’t wear a dirndl more than once or twice a year (and, on a side not, dirndls were never really traditional attire, but started life in the 19th century as the kind of dress the towns people wore when they played at being peasant, much like today).

In order to make the dress more wearable I decided I needed to make one that was wearable on its own, with out the dirndl trappings.

So I decided on using the By Hand London Kim dress pattern for the dress. It’s cut a lot higher than a normal dirndl, which, worn without the blouse would be somewhere between undecent and undressed.

I took a lot of trouble on pattern placement and matching. The front bodice is made up out of strips of half-circles across the border of the print that were painstakingly matched to make up the full circles. At the same time this creates the criss-cross effect that on normal dirndls is normally achieved by threading a metal chain or ribbons through loops in the princess seams. Oh, those seams are piped to add an extra little embellishment

Here you can see the border of the skirt – rotate it by 90 degrees and you get half of the bodice centre.

I made the dress last year in autumn, but never got round to wearing it, so this summer it had its first few outings. I have to say I prefer the dirndl look, with the apron – I’m not crazy on a plain dirndl skirt on me, I prefer something slightly more tummy skimming. Having said that, the dress is just a lot of fun, and because the wax print I used isn’t quite as heavy as most, the dress is swishy and very, very comfortable so if the nice weather continues I’m sure it’ll get worn loads.

Knipmode/Fashion Style: The Dressing Gown Wrap Dress

Good heavens – this is one of those projects that really looks a lot better in real life than in those pictures – I promise.


While it seems I got straight out of bed, put on my dressing gown and (strangely) a pair of boots, I actually like wearing this dress. I think it has a Missoni vibe going on and the rayon knit is oh so soft and has just the right weight for a wrap dress.


I used my tried and true Knipmode wrap dress pattern. What I like about it is that there really is no option for any wardrobe malfunctions. The skirt wrap is so generous that it will not undo, even when sitting down speedily, as I am wont to do. And the the bodice will not gape, even on the less well-endowed and needs no adjusting at all.


See – no gaping!!


In the meantime I also had my hair cut, snow has arrived in my part of the world and so everything is in place to march boldly into the new year!

Wish you were there – a throwback to summer

Goodness, where has the time gone? It only seems like yesterday that I was on holiday in Mallorca wishing it might be just a little bit cooler – now that autumn has started to bite I look back at those pictures with yearning for the heat.


We spent a thoroughly wonderful forthnight in a villa in central Mallorca – what a wonderful island! It was our first time there and already I’m hoping to be able to go back soon!


So this dress with its palm fronds and sunsets is a fitting reflection of the mood of these holidays.

img_4334And did I mention the reflections of light on water across the chest area? Perfect holiday dress, ey?

It’s a really simple shift dress with French darts from an older edition of Burdastyle. I traced the pattern before I thought of labelling the pattern parts properly so I’m unable to identify the magazine it came from.

img_4364Oh see, it works for midnight strolls across Spanish village plazas too!

Sigh – wish I were there!

I’m officially obsessed!

Living in Bavaria, every summer is dirndl season. Normally, I never wear my dirndl, with the exception of one time per year for our local town festival.

This was from two years ago:


So one would think that for one wear a year one dirndl would suffice.

You know where this goes, don’t you?

Avid readers of Burdastyle will know that every September they publish their dirndl edition (to coinicide with the Oktoberfest in Munich) and I’ve always wanted to sew (but not wear) one. And then came the Great British Sewing Bee’s International week and with it African wax prints. And I’ve always wanted to sew with African wax prints.

Well, I thought, couldn’t one sew a dirndl using a wax print? A quick poll of my family concluded unambiguously: NO, one couldn’t, what was I thinking??!!!

But guess what google says: It’s already been done! (Never mind all the waffle in German – look at those pictures!!!)

So needless to say, I’m now officially obsessed with sewing a wax print dirndl. So much so that I ordered some wax print already (oh, the choice!!! How can I possible chose??!!)

But chose I did and came up with this from Middlesex Textiles. So now for a pattern. Ironically, the only edition of Burdastyle since 2010 that I DON’T own is the one whose dirndl I like best (September 2015).

So I might have to buy this issue too – serves me right for daring to let my subscription lapse…

I hope this all comes together and I will have a dirndl-with-a-twist to show for all my obsession.

In the meantime and while I wait for my fabric order to arrive from the UK I’ll be keeping myself busy with sewing camis from the slipperiest silk ever, which I recently ordered from Ebay. Did I say I wasn’t going to buy that many fabrics anymore??

Well – obsession, ey?!



Burdastyle 3/2016 #121: A Tale of Two Dresses

Thank you so much to everybody who commented such nice things on my purple maxi dress! Isn’t it strange how we are so happy to overlook the faults in the work of others while often we are so critical of our own makes…

I’m slowly catching up with a bit of a blogging backlog. This new project has been in my wardrobe since March…


Is is Burdastlye 3/2016 #121. Burda have this as a wedding dress in their usual March=wedding edition, but also as a “normal” dress, and I was immediately taken with it. I love me a sheath dress, and I love tummy rouching as means of covering up some self-consciousness inducing tummy flab, so making this dress was a no brainer.


The fabric was an experiment: I got my hand on some neoprene style jersey (by accident, I misread the description of the online seller), and for the longest time I didn’t know what to make of it as it seemed rather sweaty to me. So I opted for a sleeveless dress for spring/autumn, thinking that the cooler temperatures paired with the lack of sleeves would allow for enough comfort. It kinda worked, although I have to say i was already borderline too warm in it in April.


I decided to put on the jersey wing (wing-less option below). I very rarely wear anything flouncy, but I fancied it on this dress


So there, this is how the flounce works.

The dress is superbly easy to put together (at least in a knit). And look at the bust dart on the non-flouncy side: It’s length and locations couldn’t be more perfect if I tried (and probably a lot less perfect if I had tried! Darts and me is not a marriage made in heaven…). Straight from the tracing sheet with no alterations! Thank you, Burda!


I was going for a “sporty” look the the topstitching of the neckline and armholes. In hindsight an invisible finish might have been better, but I’m not ripping out the three step zig zag now!

Like with most of my sewing, there is one blogger who does what I do, only better. In this case it’s Allison C, who sewed this dress a while ago, and whose slighly lighter material looks even better. I like the dress a lot with the cap sleeve too, might just add this on next time.

However, there already was a next time with this dress.


This knit has all the colour I love perfectly assembled in one piece of fabric!


This time I ommitted the back vent. It isn’t necessary in a knit and on the first dress I found it is hard to keep straight in a knit too. The pattern placement could have been better, but I only had 1.2 metres of fabric, so I was working with what I had.


This version as a normal binding for the neckline. The original is meant to be lined, but that’s because it is made up in a woven.

I’m really happy with these dresses. I feel the silhouette is very “me” – it’s my traditional fall-back shape if I don’t want to give shape any thought.

Strangely I have been in the mood for a little variety and experimentation though and I am considering other dress shapes. Who knows, I might just make something with a pleated skirt next…

Burdastyle 4/2016 # 101: Floaty Maxi Dress

aaaand I’m back! I haven’t posted in a while, but this time with good reason: I was off on my holiday to Ecuador, visiting Child 1 who is doing an exchange year right now. I’ve also done a Spanish course, so I can now just about haggle in the market for fabrics and crafts – but more on this later.

In the meantime I’d like to show you a dress that I made back in March but haven’t worn yet – it’s still far too cold and rainy for this kind of flippancy around my parts.


This is Burdastyle 4/2016 #101. I’d fallen in love with it right from the start and knew exactly I wanted to make it from this precise shape of purple. HOWEWER (and there always is a however with this type of definite plans, isn’t there) I couldn’t get a rayon woven in this shade, only a really rather fine rayon knit. I kinda knew this would be courting desaster, but I soldiered on anyway.


In order to stabilize the bodice, I underlined it in knit lining and then lined it in self fabric. This turned out not to be a great idea, because both fabrics have different amounts of stretch and so I do get some creases and puckers.


It’s quite evident in the back – but to be honest, I think this is one of those projects that doesn’t benefit from photos and a closer look. In real life, the swishiness of the dress takes over and it looks a lot better.


Or am I kidding myself?



All in all I can’t really call this dress a success, its mistakes are just too obvious. But at the same time I quite like it, and given that I will only get a handful of wears out of a maxi each summer I guess it’s good enough.

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