Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What to make.. Burda swing dress, Simplicity 1803, Vogue 9668 or A-line skirt with scalloped hem

I'm having a bit of a mental block lately, a block against sewing, against my wardrobe (I changed three times today before I felt adequately 'myself', hate when that happens!), against cooking, against pretty much anything vaguely creative in fact. I've not even particularly excited about going on holidays this week, and I have been dying to go to Budapest for ages! It's weired because I'm a serial doo-er by nature, just like my mum, I usually can't relax because I have so much to do on my mental agenda so this lack of motivation really doesn't sit too easy with me. Usually if I'm feeling lazy I just drink a liter of coffee and that usually kick me onto a roll of endless mindless activity (and productivity, even if it is just a perfectly organized underwear drawer) but even my usual strength-tar brew is failing me lately. I think I need to make a dress, something, anything! I hate feeling so unproductive!
So, anyway, I just spotted this beautiful swing dress pattern in the latest Burda style newsletter. I know the bust and waist dart combo would probably work wonders on my hour-glass figure and I do LOVE a well gathered skirt, but having been so traumatised with Burda patterns in the past (I've used patterns of theirs that failed to mention the seam allowance wasn't included, grrr!) I'm not sure I'm ready to give myself the headache all over again. Their patterns have virtually no information on them (no notches, WTF!?) and the instructions are pretty terrible to boot. This is so very pretty though and if ever a dress would tempt me back there it's this one...

Second on my maybe-to-do list is Simplicity 1803, I am particularly tempted by the pink version below with the adorable cut out neckline, although I'd probably ditch the skirt part of the pattern and just use a regular half circle skirt instead, the skirt included doesn't look too flattering to me and have a feeling that huge hemline really wouldn't work too well for me here in the windy south west. I especially love this little button detail on the yellow gingham version in the illustrations below.

If you look at the back view in the pattern illustration, you'll notice it also has a very elegant low-scooped neckline which I never noticed when I bought the pattern! Definite bonus!

Lauren over at lladybird also whipped herself this little number and worryingly named it 'the disaster dress' although I think her version turned out lovely, I think I'll  be giving the pockets a miss after reading her review.

I also happened upon this beauty, a not so run of the mill A-line skirt with scalloped hem, curved waistband and top-stitched detail.  The lovely lady over at pattern-scissors-cloth very helpfully put together an excellent accompanying tutorial on how to get perfect scalloped edges in your dress-making endeavours ...

Also fairly high up on the temptation list is Vogue 9668, really doesn't look like much on the packet does it!? Kinda 80's and yucky in those drawings, but check out how purdy Tasia's of turned out:

Seriously, you would never think that pattern could lead to such a chic little thing as this would you! This pattern would also give me the perfect opportunity to finally get to grips with piping, just imagine contrasting white piping peeping out around the neckline, cuffs and waistline of this little number and a trail of little white buttons below the sweetheart neckline!

So many tempting options, now I just have to decide which to make, as usual the problem with dress-making (and being a girl) is that there is literally and endless list of dresses to covet and not nearly enough time to make and wear them! Any ideas, which do you prefer?


  1. Oh these are all so lovely!
    I've been feeling myself slowly slipping into an uncreative slump as well so the first thing I did this morning was let the boys sleep in and started working on a half finished dress that's hanging around here. I have a tendency to stop working on something if I need to go at it with a seam ripper and start a new project instead, which means I have several unfinished projects! I'm also loving the yellow version of that dress, anything with 3/4 sleeves and a cute neckline and I'm sold!


  2. Ah I know that one, the seam ripper is the number one demotivational tool in any sewing kit! Sometimes I get too upset with a project that keeps going wrong and just have to put it away for a while until I forget why I was so fed up with it in the first place. The yellow version's my favourite too :)

  3. The scalloped hemline looks amazing. I don't sew, but it looks really complicated to do. I really need to sit down with a sewing machine one of these days...

  4. Love this shape on my figure too. Wish I knew how to machine sew.

  5. Hi Erica, doesn't it! It's such an effective technique.I'd imagine it's actually quite straight forward to do, you'd just need to make lots of notches and stitch it slowly I'd say!

    Hi Ann-Marie, yup you really can't go wrong with it can you! I make dresses with essentially the same 50s cut all the time, my friend calls them my magic dresses, because of all the sins they can make disappear :D