Super Online Sewing Match II Round ONE! The Sutton Blouse

EEP! This is the first challenge of the Super Online Sewing Match II with Sew Mama SewWe were presented with the Sutton Blouse by True Bias, a loose style blouse with a V neck meant for soft drapey fabrics.

SOSM Sutton Blouse

I initially thought to myself that I needed to switch it up a bit, as I’m not usually the type of person to wear loose tops. I’m always afraid they will billow out and make me look bigger than I actually am because of my bosoms. I thought about turning it into an actual kimono, but then this is a competition and this blouse deserves to be sewn as drafted :) As it turns out, I love it! After taking pictures, I went out on a date with Jake and it was so comfortable and I felt really good in it, which is always something you want in a garment, right? Also, thank goodness I got pictures before our night out because after Jake dropped queso on me, I totally dropped pizza on it!! :\ 

SOSM Sutton Blouse

Using my measurements, I was between the 10 and the 12. My bust always throws me into a bigger size, but I usually pick the smaller size and do an FBA so everything fits everywhere else. The pattern suggests to cut the smaller size since there is so much ease in the pattern. I went ahead and just cut the size 10 and made a muslin with it to make sure. The fit seemed to be great, I just felt a little choked out with the v neck, so I deepened it by 2 inches and also widened it by 1/4 inch. I find I have this problem a lot, where some people report a neckline to be too revealing, I feel like I’m wearing a turtle neck. Maybe I just have a long chest? I don’t know. But I love the new deeper V I made for myself. I expected to want to add length to it since I’m 5’9 and it was drafted for women who are 5’5, but I actually really like where the length falls so I kept it as is. The other MINOR change I made was making a box pleat in the back instead of the inverted pleat. I don’t know why, but i just prefer the look of the regular old box.

SOSM Sutton Blouse

Confession time: I’d never sewn a french seam before sewing this shirt. I KNOW! Crazy town. But this pattern calls for them all throughout and guess what… THEY ARE AMAZING. I will absolutely be using them more often. The insides of this blouse are so neat and professional! Looking at the inside is almost as satisfying as looking at the outside!! I love it.

SOSM Sutton Blouse

The directions on this pattern are so awesome and so straight forward. I think I had a major advantage with my actual garment because I used the most obnoxious slippery fraying cheapo fabric in the world for the muslin. I usually sew muslins with basting stitches just to see the fit, but I decided to sew it exactly as described so I could have some experience while sewing the actual finished product. HOLY COW sewing with quality fabric was like a gift from the heavens!!! It was seriously such a pleasure to sew this up after the all day stressful event of putting the flimsy muslin together.

SOSM Sutton Blouse

Harts Fabric generously gave us a gift certificate to use their fabrics for this challenge. They have some pretty amazing fabric choices there, but I was too nervous about having enough time to buy online and have it arrive at my house in time (where was this part of my personality in school when I had term papers to write and saved them for the night before?) so I went to a local shop here in Austin, The Cloth Pocket to buy something. I saw some of the other challengers got their fabric in the mail from Harts Fabric REALLY FAST, which was super impressive! The fabric I used for the bodice is a super soft cotton lawn print from Japan, I LOVE the birds on it! I wanted to add some pizazz to the blouse so instead of using the lawn throughout, I chose a nice beige lace for the yoke. I love how the beige and the brown and the blue all complement each other. It makes it a nicer looking top without being too formal, I could wear it out to a nice dinner or shopping at the grocery store. Pretty awesome! Hooray for versatility!! 

SOSM Sutton Blouse

I had some sweet Art Gallery voile in my stash that i decided to use for the bias binding. I thought the softness would be nice around the neckline, plus I love the print and I always like having a secret little fabric pop that only I know is there on the inside of my garments :D

SOSM Sutton Blouse

I wanted to make sure all the stitching on it came out really nice and clean, so you bet your bippy I changed the thread from brown to beige when sewing around the yoke by the neckline and sleeve :) I’m really happy to have taken the time to do that because I love the end result.

SOSM Sutton Blouse

One sweet detail of this whole top is the high low hemline. I said it before, but it is true. The instructions are so clear, this little bit was so easy to execute. The lines are so clean and professional.

SOSM Sutton Blouse

Over all, I’m pretty stoked about this new top! It fits so much nicer than I could have imagined :) I can’t wait to see what the other girls sewed up!

SOSM Sutton Blouse

The Super Online Sewing Match!!!

I still can’t even believe it!!! Last week, Sew Mama Sew put out a call for people to send an email and audition for The Super Online Sewing Match. I was thinking of entering, but I was being too chicken to even try. But then I was beating up on myself for being to afraid so I bit the bullet and wrote them an email. The only way I even had courage to do that was by convincing myself that there was going to be no way in the world I would be picked anyway, so I was safe, lol!


Well on Tuesday I got an email saying I WAS ONE OF THE 10 PEOPLE WHO WERE PICKED!!!!! My heart started racing like crazy, HOLY MOLY I couldn’t even believe my eyes!

I’m still freaking out about it, but I’m SUPER excited and have already gotten started on my first project. There are some talented ladies in the mix and I’m thrilled and honored to be grouped with them! Check everyone out here :D

Crossing my fingers that my entire summer will be consumed by this sewing match!!! :D :D :D

Wish me luck!!!

Getting my Summer Sewing Jollies On

Didja miss me? I tell you what, I’ve missed sewing clothes!!! My machine was in the shop for over THREE WEEKS which was absolute TORTURE. They were waiting for a part from their distributor, my needle threader broke off.. It still hasn’t come in, but I couldn’t handle not having my machine any more so I went and picked it up so I could have it in my possession while the part took it’s sweet time getting to the shop. It still isn’t in, but the machine is home and that makes me happy!! When it finally gets there I’ll just bring it back in so they can put it together.. I figured Murphy’s law would have it come in the afternoon I picked up the machine, lol.


I’ve wanted to sew this little number ever since I saw the pattern. It is the awesome Belladone by Deer and Doe. I’m not really sure what the heck I was waiting for. Fear of the back detail perhaps? I don’t know, but I’m SO happy I finally made it because it makes me super happy!


Do you recognize the fabric? You are not crazy. I used the exact stuff to make this fantastic Hawaiian shirt for Quinn last summer. I’ve been jealous ever since and so last week I finally went out and bought enough of it to make a dress for myself, woohoo!! I actually freaked out for a minute because I couldn’t find it, when I always see it in the store, but I asked and thank goodness they had just moved it somewhere else. I wanted to dress him up in his shirt and take a picture of us together, but dude. I’m amazed I was able to get ANY pics at all. And these days Quinn is not the biggest fan of wearing any clothes at all, so there’s that.


I can’t even believe how simple the construction of this was. I did my usual FBA, made a muslin and the muslin fit PERFECT so I went ahead and cut out the real thing. I guess working with patterns that are built for the curvier (they draft to a c cup and for ladies with hips) works in my favor! That and I guess I am learning a lot of what my actual body needs in a pattern before I even start the muslin now, which is awesome. I read a lot of bloggers had problems with how the back fit, but I had no issues, I made the back exactly as drafted.


I wanted to get some hot pink fabric that matched the flamingos and do some piping around the waistband, but I just wanted to GET TO IT and not have to go to the store, so I nixed the idea. Seriously, sewing is my stress reliever and I just wanted to zone out as soon as I could! I made this up in a day and a half. Seriously. My house can attest. I allowed myself the privilege of sewing guilt free while the kids were home, which was AMAZING. I paid the price, though… the house was covered in fish food and cereal. Top to bottom. Crazytown mess. But I have a new dress and it was totally worth it!!! :D :D :D


Taking photos today was kind of difficult, we tried 3 different locations, the sun was either too bright or things were too shadowy, Millie wasn’t really in the mood and Quinn was naked in more shots than not, lol!! Out of over 200 photos (rapid fire thanks Millie) there were like 12 that weren’t cropping my head off or fuzzy. So sorry for the lack of clarity! Plus I kind of used up my personal time sewing and not making sure photos were awesome. Win for me, really.


Anyways, I plan on wearing the poo out of this dress all summer and I’m really excited about it!! I’m also excited to have my machine back and make more things, SEW ALL THE THINGS, yay!!


OH, Home on the Range!

Howdy, Pardner!

Darling Ranges

Participating in Me Made May has gotten me really excited about sewing for myself again. I peruse all the Instagram hashtags and find all sorts of awesome things, and make note on which patterns I really need (or just want but who’s keeping tabs on things like that?) If you don’t follow me on instagram, I’m michellebryer and I’ve been pretty good about posting every day with something hand made! One of the patterns I decided I needed was Megan Nielson’s Darling Ranges dress. So I bought it immediately. Plus, who could argue against that ridiculous Australian Dollar to American Dollar exchange rate? MUCH nicer than the Dollar to the Pound!! For once a conversion works in my favor!

Darling Ranges

I had quite a time doing my FBA on this bad boy! The pattern had a dart coming from the waist, so I had to move it to the bust to alter it. Then I moved half of it back down to the waist so that the darts wouldn’t be too wide and pointy. I had to move the apex all over the place and also the darts and then 3 muslins later, I was finally happy with my result! Although, looking at these photos is making me realize I could have given the girls just a teeny bit more space.. OH WELL!! It was funny, I ended up matching it up to the darts on my Emery pattern and they were almost identical after all the toiling. Makes me want to bite the bullet and make myself a proper bodice sloper..  Anyways, the paper pattern ended up looking a little hilarious, especially since I was using painters tape (Quinn is always stealing the scotch, I swear I buy it ALL THE TIME and can never ever find it)

Darling Ranges pattern alterationsI did end up retracing it and perfecting it so the pattern piece is a little bit less chaotic for my cutting needs!

Darling Ranges

The fabric I used is from Art Gallery Fabrics, I don’t know, they must spin their cotton with clouds.. every time I’ve used Art Gallery it is the softest fabric ever, whether it is quilting cotton or voile.. This stuff happens to be voile and I love it! I bought this stuff at 50% off when one of the stores near me was closing.. It was pretty sad, for a little while it seemed like all the local fabric shops here were closing down all at the same time :(


I bought these sweet buttons at Joannes with the help of Millie. Actually, Millie was ZERO help in that department, she kept suggesting the most RIDICULOUS buttons, which was hilarious. She actually poopooed on my choice, but I don’t care, I love em’! ANyways, other than the millions (3) of fittings I had with this thing, the actual construction was cake. I obviously omitted the sleeves because, you know, Texas. It is hot here. I didn’t even mind sewing on those 12 buttons!! I had Quinn asleep on my lap while catching up on some Outlander and couldn’t have been happier stitching away :)Darling Ranges

I should really start ironing my outfits and doing my hair before these photo shoots… Or not, whatever! ha! Anyways, I love the yellow, I love the style of the dress. It is super springy and happy and it is exactly the kind of thing I want to wear this time of year :) I think I’m going to tweak this just a teensy bit more and make another one :D

I know, I KNOW!!!

ANOTHER Emery dress!!

Another Emery Dress

But for real, when you love a fabric, you want to make sure you are sewing up a pattern you know is awesome, right?

I bought this amazing Cotton and Steel double gauze at The Cloth Pocket here in Austin. The buying experience in itself was wonderful, I freakin’ love that store. All the wonderful ladies there tried to occupy Quinn while I perused, and I was there for an hour, just hanging out. It was awesome. I had a hard time deciding on the colorway, either mustard or pink, but in the end, the pink won :)

Another Emery Dress

I bought 2 yards because the other double gauze emery I made was squeaked by with just that. Now I don’t know who I sold my soul to on that other dress, but 2 yards just WAS NOT GOING TO WORK this time. I spent 2 days trying to manipulate the pattern pieces on the fabric to get a dress but it just wasn’t going to happen. So I improvised. Luck be it, the pinks in the flowers on the other double gauze I had (Nani Iro) left over from my other emery matched the pink on the dress PERFECTLY. So I cut some panels and gussied up the zipper area. I am a fool and STILL you can see the white selvage of the pink next to the blue, but whatever, that is just another design element of awesome home sewn clothes, right??

Another Emery Dress

It was a fairly easy hack, I just drew a line where I wanted the blue fabric to be on the pattern piece, then measured my seam allowances on either side. I simply folded the pattern to cut the proper fabric.Another Emery Dress

I gathered the skirt this time, just to make sure all my clothes are just slightly different (and to be real, I was feeling lazy), but honestly I kind of wish I pleated it.. OH well, it’s not like I’m going to unpick it and fix it, I’ll still wear it and and still love it with the gathers. But I’m not really the biggest fan of poof in my belly area… Although, looking at these pictures, everything seems to be laying down quite nice!

Another Emery Dress

Again, I used some leftover bias binding I had from my first quilt I made for the neck and arm holes.. Obviously I had NO idea what I was doing when I made that binding because I have used it SO MUCH, there must have been like 100 yards of it, but that has proven to be extremely helpful in all my latter projects so YAY! The pockets are made with extra voile I had left over from a dress I made Millie last year. It is great since the voile is a bit slippery on a sticky gauze dress, they work perfectly. It sure is fun being able to use whatever you have on hand to make something awesome for yourself! Hooray for being a fabric hoarder!

Another Emery Dress

Quinn got upset at Millie being my photographer, but she ended up getting some cute pictures of me consoling him, I love his little hand around my neck here as I’m pointing out the birds :)

Fashion Inspired Fitness and Motivational Pants!

I’ve been finding ZERO motivation to work out lately. I THINK about it, but that is basically as far as I get. I had to quit my gym membership a while back because Quinn does NOT do well in the child care center there and the most I ever was able to work out before they called me down to get him was 17 minutes. The shortest was 6 minutes. (did they even try that time??)


I think part of my problem is that I felt like I had nothing to wear. Please don’t tell me how silly that is, since I would just be exercising at home. I KNOW! I’m ridiculous. But then I remembered that free pattern by Spit up and Stilletos that I grabbed a while back, the Matilda leggings. And then I remembered all that extra fabric I had left over from when I made that Bombshell bathing suit last year.

motivation pants



And can you believe it worked?? I sewed these up late Wednesday night, then ACTUALLY USED THEM on Thursday!! AND THEN USED THEM AGAIN ON FRIDAY! I’M ON A ROLL, PEOPLE!!! My life is about to change and it has EVERYTHING to do with these pants!

motivation pants

They were so incredibly easy and fast to make. There are only 2 pattern pieces, one for the legs and one for the waistband. I LOVE how there are no side seams, easy to sew and it doesn’t break up the gorgeous peacock feathers.

motivation pants

Yikes, looks like I found something I need to work on :P

I made the size M, but I probably should have gone with the L… I ALWAYS find that clothes are too big on me when I go with my measurements, and I figured since I was sewing with spandex it would be fine. And it totally IS fine, I’m just wondering if they would have been better a smidgen bigger..

"mommy, close your eyes!"

“mommy, close your eyes!”

Speaking of spandex, is that even the proper fabric to use for workout pants? LOL. I don’t even know.. All I know is that whatever it is, these things have totally given  me the juice I needed to start getting fit and healthy again! YAY!!!!

What about you? What motivates you to get off your tushy and start getting healthy?

The Art of Imperfection

I love sewing. It is my safe place, my “me time”, my sanctuary. If I’m feeling tired or overwhelmed or low on spiritual energy, I like to turn to my sewing machine. I don’t know what it is about it, but the simple act of sewing a few lines of stitches just seriously recharges all my batteries and makes me a better human all around. Lately, I’ve had a LOT on my mind, lots of thoughts running around, keeping me a little down and anxious. I’m not going to talk about the specifics of those thoughts, but I will talk about what helps me and what doesn’t.

imperfect emery

A lot of people really like to judge sewing on the details and the neatness and the perfection. Sometimes I’m anal about that stuff too. Not lately, though, because that sort of stresses me out sometimes, and stress is exactly what I’m trying to stay away from.

imperfect emery

I decided, since my muslin of my Emery dress fit so nice, I would just go ahead and make the darn dress out of it. Why not? It isn’t my favorite fabric, as a matter of fact, I bought it because the whole bolt was something like $7 when the Joanne’s by me was closing a couple years ago. I thought it would be great muslining fabric and maybe I would even make some sort of suit jacket for Quinn with it one day. It is some seriously fugly fabric. But whatever, let’s make a dress!

imperfect emery

hot mess

I scooped out the neck line a bit to make it a little lower and I scooped out 1/2 inch on the arm holes again. This time, instead of lining it or using bias tape, I decided to just make some facings instead so I could have that nice polished look of a lining on the outside without all the thickness of 2 layers of fabric.. And instead of an invisible zipper, I decided to sew an exposed zipper (my first one ever) since the zip I had matched so well.. That zipper doesn’t look too great on the bottom, whatever!

imperfect emery

fugly wrinkly insides

I was SERIOUSLY not concerned with the perfection here. I didn’t bother changing my serger thread from black. WHATEVER. I didn’t feel like winding new bobbins, so I used 3 different colors for the bottom thread. WHATEVER. The zipper is crazy wonky. WHATEVER.

imperfect emery

Millie really does do a hilarious job of posing me

Somehow, this dress does NOT fit as well as the other Emery dress… it feels huge.. Perhaps it is the fact that the fabric is way heavier, and has a bit more stretch to it than the double gauze of the other dress… Perhaps I could have turned more under during the zipper sewing process.. The truth is, I don’t even care how this dress came out. I felt DAMN good while sewing it and for that little while during the creation, all my cares went away. There was something so freeing about just DOING IT without worrying about the little details. Maybe sewing this dress is the metaphor of life?

Why Did I Wait So LONG?

Okay, first let me say, HOLY MOLY sorry for that 2 month hiatus from blogging! Sometimes life gets in the way and things happen and family visits and then you go on epic 3 week long trips the the UK… But enough about that, on to this most recent amazing make..

Emery Dress

Meet my new Emery Dress!! Why the heck did I wait so long to buy and make this pattern??

I went to Quiltcon this year because amazingly, it was held in the city that I live in. It was AMAZING and I almost cried when I found out they weren’t going to hold it here anymore. Anyways, while I was there, I got into a conversation about how so many dress patterns are REALLY not suited for women with ample boobies. I happen to be one of those ladies who has huge ladies. It is true. I actually went to a proper bra shop the other day and found out the sad truth that “I’m fit, I’m flirty, and I’ve got double Fs” (anyone here a fan of the Gordie Shore? lol) Anyways, she said that people in our situation usually adore the Emery dress pattern so I bought it right then and there. And honestly, the more I’ve looked around the interwebs at other people’s versions of this dress, I’m inclined to say that chesty girls actually make this dress look best! Anyways, fast forward two months and I finally made it!

Emery Dress

Taking my measurements, I traced out the size 10 and did an FBA on it. Then I made up my muslin, thinking there were probably going to be crazy other alterations that I would have to do as well to make it fit my body, because that is the experience that I’ve had with all other patterns so far. Now I’m not sure if it is due to my shiny new bras that actually fit me or the fact that this pattern KICKS ASS, but that muslin sure seemed to fit me perfectly right then and there!! COULD IT REALLY BE??

Emery Dress

I bought this awesome Nani Iro double gauze fabric during one of the Austin Fabric Shop Hops at Bunny’s Designs. I only had 2 yards of it and was really hoping I could squeeze this dress out of it.. The pattern calls for almost 4 yards so I was doubting it, but then I realized that if I left it unlined (as I wanted to anyway, it is HOT here in Texas, let’s keep that fabric at a minimum!!) and made it sleeveless (which I also wanted initially), I could TOTALLY DO IT! Unfortunately, this bolt measured less than 45″, it was more like 43″ or something weird, I had to cut RIGHT up to the edge of the fabric, which leaves a line down the back where print stopped and the selvage started. I actually like the effect though, so yay for happy accidents!

Emery Dress

I didn’t even LOOK at the instructions for this dress, it all seemed pretty straightforward. Especially since I did my own thing with it anyway. Since I made it sleeveless, I carved away 1/2 inch from the shoulders to make it more flattering. I used bias tape to finish the neck and armholes. That caused me some strife. I hand sewed those suckers on first, which took some time and patience, but then I didn’t like the way they looked, they were getting puckery maybe because the fabric is double gauze and the binding is quilting cotton? I don’t know, but I wasn’t totally happy with the results, so I picked those stitches that I labored over and then cut away more and pressed some more and then just machine stitched those suckers on. There is now visible topstitching on the dress, but I prefer that to the wonky puckers. Maybe next time I WILL add the lining.. I do prefer the finished look of no top stitching.

Emery Dress

OH I almost forgot, instead of gathering the skirt, I made some pleats instead. I didn’t want so much poofiness in my skirt, after all, I am a lady in my 30s, I don’t need to call any more attention to this belly that has held two babies inside it. It was pretty easy, I just made little 1 inch marks and pleated them, it all worked out pretty easily and evenly (thank goodness)

Emery Dress

The only thing I will change about this next time I sew this is I will make it a tad longer.. There isn’t much room for bending over without being indecent! Other than that, I’m pretty stoked about the fit! Unless anyone sees anything I can fix? I have this AMAZING pheasant fabric I bought in Edinburgh that reminds me of the shots we heard while in a farm in Charing, England, where apparently they were hunting pheasants… morbid, but family trip memories!! YAY! I want to make sure that dress is perfection!

Emery Dress

OH and photo credit to Millie, who is turing into a pretty damn good 5 year old photographer. She took over TWO HUNDRED pictures of me in under 5 minutes. “Sorry, Mom, I guess I got a little too into it!” LOL I love that girl. A couple of these poses were absolutely necessary, according to her and I’ve been led to believe her creative visions are better than mine, so I kept them for the blog.

Emery Dress

Banyan Pants to Melt For

I can’t even with these pants.


The pattern is the Banyan Pants by Figgys. I’ve had this pattern in my stash FOREVER and I can’t even believe I’ve only now sewn it up. I guess it is because I was a little afraid of sewing pants, but now I’m on a total pant kick! It has these wonderful pleats in the front, which make me think of those hilarious pants of my childhood, the Z Cavariccis! I was a tad too young to actually own a pair, but my sister had some and she was basically my idol, so these pants are kind of iconic for me lol.

                 ahhh late 80’s early 90’s, why are you so good to me?

 This amazing fabric was procured at Bunny’s Designs during the Austin fabric shop hop. This store is uh-mazing! So many Japanese fabrics! I can’t help but to go crazy when I’m in there! When I saw this particular stuff, these Banyan pants for Quinn were EXACTLY what came to mind, so I had to snatch some up. The animals. SO CUTE. I’m sorry, I actually cut out the selvage to save it and write down what it was here, but that scrap has gone missing. I even dug through the garbage. Not there. I’m going to blame this on the kiddos running amok here. 


I’ll admit, I kind of screwed up while doing the fly. But I also didn’t really care to unpick and start again. Can you see there has been a theme in my sewing lately? My goal is to sew, NOT to sew perfectly, ha! So now there is an exposed zip fly. Which totally is okay because now you can see the adorable teal zipper I used! It was a design flaw that works for me :D I top stitched using some thread that almost matches the zipper perfectly for fun. Also, woah, looking at these pics makes the waistband look curly and weird too.. I think it is that way because I sewed up the size 2/3, thinking this kid will be 2 in just a few months and I wanted him to be able to wear them next winter too. HOLY MOLY they are so big on him, HA!!! There are about 5 inches of room to grow in the legs and the waist is super big too. Good thing I added a little modification to the pattern!


It didn’t call for it, but I decided to add some buttons and button holed elastic (I just cut holes into some regular stuff I already had) to the back of the waist so I could cinch it up to fit him for a long time, letting it out as he grows. A super simple pant hack. OH and check out that awesome button I had, another from my antique button haul I got at Uncommon Objects.


Check that out. Already stained. LOL! Jake even said to me as I was making these “REALLY? White pants for Quinn?? Those will get messed up fast!” Looks like he was correct. I probably should have taken pics BEFORE I let him wear these all day. I’m pretty sure pizza sauce got on his tush .5 seconds after I put these on him. OH well. There are nice little cuffs on the pattern that you can’t see right now while Quinn is wearing them because I have to roll them up a crazy bunch for him not to trip over himself. Maybe by next year he’ll be able to wear these unrolled and we can actually see the cute design element.


I realize these pants are SUPER busy, I need to make Quinn some simple shirts now! It was actually hard to find a shirt to wear with them that didn’t look RIDICULOUS. Why, oh why do I love patterned fabric so much? Plain can just be SO BORING though!


There really isn’t much to say about the construction of these pants, they are pretty straight forward and simple to make. Even the zipper was a pretty cool way of doing it, but a word to the wise, learn from me: read all the directions BEFORE you start sewing ;)

banyan pants

Quinn is turing into a hilarious little model, it used to be hard (and fun) to take little action shots of him running around in the clothes I make, just capturing what he is doing in life.. Now he just stops and stands in front of the camera saying “CHEESE! CHEESE! CHEESE! CHEESE!” I have NO idea where he learned that, I’m sure I’ve never said “Say cheese!” Crazy! What a little nut ball <3

Perfecting the Fit of my Burda Bib Dress

Burda 120 DressThere is something totally satisfying about perfecting patterns! I sewed up this dress last year (almost exactly a year ago!), and while I totally loved it, there is no question that it is way too big on me. The front of the old one is very immodest (and I’m not the most modest girl) and there is a lot of gaped space by the arm pits. Before wearing it to a wedding, I sewed up over and inch on both side seams and the darn thing was STILL too big. The pattern is Burda Bib Dress 04/2014 #120.

Burda 120 Dress

I bought this AMAZING african-esque fabric in NY last year, and this dress was absolutely what I wanted to make with it. I don’t know why it took so long to actually sew it! Do you see the zebras? ZEBRAS!!! It is a very light and thin cotton, possibly lawn? $5 a yard, woop woop!!

Burda 120 Dress

When I finally sat down to figure out how to fix this, I knew I had no real idea of what to do, so I just winged it (my usual method of madness). I put on the too huge dress and just stood in front of the mirror, pinching out the excess fabric where I would want to modify the dress. It was very unscientific and unprofessional. Remember, I am a totally self taught sewer and have never actually taken any fitting (or sewing for that matter) class. I pinched out stuff and measured about how much, then just cut it off the pattern, redrawing lines and connecting them where I thought they should go. I drew a slightly higher neckline so my ladies could be covered more properly so my bra wouldn’t always be hanging out the front. Turns out my method worked just great for me! This thing is almost perfect!!

Burda 120 Dress

I probably should have taken more time to iron this before the little photo shoot.. and also probably should have made sure the bow was tied more centered! To my defense, I finally had a willing photographer and we were loosing light fast! There are a few little wrinkles around the princess seam, but I think that had to to with the thin fabric getting easily stretched when sewing the curve. They press out if I try hard enough, but honestly I don’t care THAT much.. The only thing I might change is to lengthen the bodice very slightly, probably only about a centimeter. I’m SUPER happy with how this dress came out!! It is oh so comfortable and super nice for the spring :) The only thing I’m not in love with is just how fiddly turing the super tiny loops of fabric to hold the buttons is, but I really like the look so I don’t care. I remember it being much easier when I was working with voile, so maybe the fact that this wasn’t as slippy is what made it more annoying. I got it in the end though and that is what matters :) It was hard to find 8 matching buttons in my stash that worked, but I was happy to use these silver ones.. I was afraid they would be too much, but I really like how they make the dress pop a little more.

Burda 120 Dress

Speaking of stash, I’m slowly working through mine and it feels SO GOOD to see fabric as a garment instead of folded on my shelf!!


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