A Velvet Dress for Fall – Burda 6829 Pattern Review

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I’ve had this velvet in my stash since last year.  I found a bolt of this on the clearance table for an insanely low price a yard.  So, I bought the bolt.  I initially had envisioned using most of the bolt to make a floor length wrap dress with long sleeves and an amazingly full skirt for winter.  Then I started testing wrap dress patterns (as you can see from the previous posts on my blog) and couldn’t decide on a pattern to use as the base for my vision.  Fall is coming though and I’ve decided it’s going to be a velvet time of year. So Burda 6829 gets to make a debut in my wardrobe.  I liked this pattern at first sight, the crossover front that gathers to the side drew me in.  As mentioned in the previous post, I purchased two textured velvets last week, with this pattern in mind for one of them. However as I prepped the pattern, I decided to put them aside and use the green and black velvet from my stash instead.  It has been waiting patiently for a year to be something and it wants to come out and play.

As a sewing pattern review I made View A in the smallest size, which is an 8.  The instructions were easy to follow.  The changes that I made were very small.  I did not use interfacing on the facing pieces. I also used the twin needle on the hems of the front pieces instead of edgestitching per the instructions. The instructions direct you to use the twin needle on the back hem and I wanted to have a clean twin line from one front edge to the other.   I noticed on someone else’s review, there was a comment about not liking how the instructions direct you to hem the front pieces and back piece separately.  Everyone is different and will have their preferences, and I understand why intuitively one would want to complete the hem at one time. I decided to follow the instructions and liked the outcome and the method.  Maybe the instructions had it done separately because it used two different finishes…who knows?  Just a hypothesis.

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Anyway, the pattern is well drafted,the dress went together quickly, and I like it.  As a note, for anyone that is going to make the View B (like me :), eventually) the sleeves in the picture are not pushed up to show forearm.  It is not a full length sleeve, but I wouldn’t consider it 3/4″ length either (at least not for me, I’m 5’8″).  I will be adding length to it to make it full length when I make this pattern again. So, depending on your preferences you may want to compare and add (or subtract) length to suit your needs.

Also having worn it for a complete work day, after it comes out of the wash, I will tack the facings down along the length of the neckline.  They work their way out as I move my shoulders during the course of the day.  I may also release the right side and restitch it so that the left skirt panel is not caught in the seam for the entire length.  I think making them more even inside will eliminate the slight snugness that shows on the left side since the left skirt panel is sewn much farther down than the right panel.  Some stuff you just don’t decide til ya wear it for 10 hours. 🙂

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Wrap Me in Velvet – McCalls 7186 Pattern Review

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Here is one of the textured velvets I just couldn’t pass up.  The colors are more vivid in person, but these pictures were at close to sundown so you can’t see the sparkly flowers that well.  It’s technically not cold enough here for me to wear it all day, so I used the coolest time of the day to take photos.  Fall weather in Louisiana tends to have a 30-40 degree range through the day, We start out before dawn in the 50s, rise to the 80s-90s by lunch time, and back down to the 60s-50s after sundown.

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As a pattern review, the description says “Close-fitting, pullover dresses have front extending into back collar, gathered shoulders, and stitched hems.” I would like to point out that the gathered shoulders may apply for a regular knit, but the velvet didn’t really need gathering.  I think there are three “gathers” on each side, and I know I cut the pieces properly.  Maybe because it’s thicker than your average knit? I don’t see that many gathers on the sleeves of the solid color one, so maybe it’s supposed to be more of a hint of gathering and not a real good gathering, like on the side. 🙂

I used the smallest size, a 6 for View A which is like the picture to the left, except sleeveless.  I adore the velvet I used.  It has embossed-like muted tone flowers trimmed with small sparkly stones on a bed of velvet dyed rich browns, golds, and oranges…I wish you could see it in person.  As for the pattern, I didn’t make any design changes this time.  I would definitely make it again with sleeves, and I may deepen the arm holes for the next sleeveless iteration.


I like this dress, the only thing that makes me slightly sad about it, is that a whole panel of my pretty fabric is hidden by the right front. They could have used a left bodice front only instead of a full panel. At least my front will definitely be warm. 🙂 The pattern used a narrow hem for the armholes, and didn’t denote using a twin needle to finish the hem, but I did anyway.  Now I need to decide what to do with the other textured velvet.  It’s a similar composition but with burgundy instead of orange.  Off to the pattern stash I go! 🙂

Another Drape Top for Work – Burda 6838 Pattern Review

100_3317_FotorI always get stopped by these drape top patterns, it seems I just can’t pass them up.  I’ve already done two, and I have two more that I haven’t even tried yet.  You will see them in a soonish, one of these days, as soon as some fabric jumps out at me, kind of timeframe.  So here we go, I managed to use a piece from my stash that I picked up from the Hancock Fabrics remnant bin, so I only had a yard.  It’s still warm in Louisiana though, so who needs sleeves?  (As I say that, we won’t discuss how I bought two similar but different velvets yesterday, and made a velvet dress from my stash on Saturday.  We’ll call it winter prep!)  Anyway, say hello to Burda 6838!

As a sewing pattern review, I made View A in the smallest size, a 10.  It is definitely hip length on me, and I’m 5’8.  The instructions were easy to follow, I just didn’t like when I got to the first set that said to handsew.  Like a good girl, I did it anyway.  It wasn’t too much and went by quickly.  I used a very soft, silky, dusty rose jersey that feels great to wear.  I did not add the sleeves, as discussed above and used Steam-A-Seam on the armholes for a clean finish.

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Oh and I finally broke out the twin needle on my machine and per the instructions stitched the back hem with it.  And then unpicked it, and stitched it again, and unpicked it, and stitched it again, and unpicked it  Then I did as I should have done initially and tested the twin needle on scrap fabric until I figured out exactly how much paper I needed to stabilize the jersey for a clean stitch. Once I learned it needed at least 4 layers of the paper i had on hand, I stitched it cleanly for the fourth and final time.  As a side note, it took longer to mess it up and unpick it three times, than it did to use the scrap fabric to test several times and then do it well.  (You’ll be happy to know that I learned my lesson this time.  On the velvet dress, I used the scrap fabric to test first and then stitched it up, no stabilizer required and no problems).

I would recommend this pattern, I like this top, it’s flattering and simple. A co-worker told me this morning, “You should make more of those.. no, really!”  I consider that a win.100_3320_Fotor

A Floral Dress in the Fall – McCalls 6834 Pattern Review

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McCalls 6834 caught my eye when I saw the full skirt on it so I picked it up some time ago.  I never ended up buying enough fabric for it whenever I went to the store, and technically I still didn’t.  The pattern recommends 3-1/8 yards plus 5/8
yards in contrast for the binding for the smallest size of view A. The floral print you see above was 70% off on a time limited sale when I purchased it.  I picked up three yards thinking I couldn’t pass up the deal, and would figure out what I would make later.  Fast forward to later at home, I was perusing my pattern stash and knew this was the one.  After arranging and rearranging the pattern pieces, I just barely managed to fit all the pieces (on grain, even :)) on the three yards by cutting all the pieces on a single layer.  Even the binding!  Talk about using every inch of fabric. 🙂

As a pattern review, I made the size 6, in View A. The floral fabric has a nice feel and a small amount of stretch.  I found it in the Spring Coordinates section of Hancock Fabrics.  I picked up another print that felt the same (also 3 yards) that was also 70% off.  Hopefully I will make a decision on the pattern for that one soon as well.  I really liked the construction of this dress.  It’s simple, though a little time consuming, but the result is worth it.  I like that there is no waist seam. 100_3300_Fotor 100_3302_Fotor

I love the fullness achieved in the skirt.  Speaking of the skirt, the pattern calls for a 1-1/4″ hem.  I used the same depth but did not follow the sewing instructions.  Instead, I turned up 1/4″ and stitched it down.  Then I turned up 1″ and blind hem stitched it down, by machine, of course.100_3310_Fotor The only other deviation from the pattern I made was to use the same fabric for the binding.  I like this dress and will most likely make it again, although I’m not sure when.  Winter is coming and I see velvet on my horizon.  However, next time I pull this pattern out, I will try to buy the correct amount of fabric. 🙂

I will leave you with one of the pictures we took to try to show the fullness of the skirt with it in motion.


A Jacket For Dance – McCalls 7026 Pattern Review

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I’ve had McCall’s 7026 in my stash for a while, I fell in love with the back shaping as soon as I saw it. I just couldn’t figure out what kind of fabric I wanted to use to make it.  Every time I went to the store looking for something, nothing jumped out at me.  I saw other reviews from people using lightweight knits for running jackets, but I get cold easily and wanted something a  little heavier.  I had some leftover red fleece in my stash and a free weekend before a dance competition so I made a muslin of the size 6 to test it.  I consider this muslin quite wearable, even without a zipper.

As a pattern review, I used a red fleece to make the the size 6 of View C (shown above and to the right) without the lace and trim.  The instructions were easy to follow, the pieces were well drafted and fit together nicely.  I really like the shape of the jacket, especially the back and the hand cuffs.  I didn’t use a zipper because I didn’t go anywhere that day and don’t keep separating zippers on hand.  I actually like it without the zipper and I love the fit and shape of the back.


This muslin has proven quite wearable. I wanted this jacket for the cold ballrooms at dance competitions. I’ve worn it to two now and it keeps me warm while I wait and if I dance in it before I warm up, it moves with me and doesn’t swing and hit my leader. I would definitely make it again, perhaps with the hood and a zipper for outdoor wear.