village dress, for Cassie

DSC_2731It’s taken a while but I’ve finally taken pictures of Cassie wearing the dress I made for her for Christmas!IMG_7763

The fabric is a crepe printed with Cinqueterre-like, or Amalfi-coast-like villages, and we both loved it upon first sight.  I knew at once it would be perfect for her, and make a fun little dress for her to wear to work.  See, she works in an office, but it is a creative field, and apparently most of her female colleagues dress quite fun and funky, more arty than corporate.  And previously she had mentioned in a slightly wistful tone that she was the most conservative dresser in her office.
My Christmas pressie radar immediately perked up.

O reaaaaaally!!!

Fortunately for her, she has a mother who will pick up on even the vaguest of  vague-hints, well, when they’re sewing related that is, not so much other stuff that is.. um, less sewing-related ahem.   Anyway, I’m launching the fun-and-funky-wardrobe goal right here and now.   I sneakily snuck back to Fabulous Fabrics on my own and deviously bought some of the village print… mwahahaha.

DSC_2703btw, it’s faaaaaaar harder to hide Christmas sewing from Cassie than it is the boys! who pay precisely zero attention to whatever I’m mucking about with in the laundry… Cassie is a high probability to go snooping around the stash to periodically pet the fabrics and select stuff for herself.  I had to be SUPER devious to get this made without her twigging as to what was going on… and she was completely surprised!  Yay!!!


For a pattern, I chose Burdastyle magazine 02/2015, number 107, a little loose, raglan-sleeved, gathered into the neckline, tunic style of dress.  It has inseam side pockets and an elasticised waist that sits up on the hips, allowing extra length above to loosely blouse out over it.  The dress looks adorable when worn by a person, but unfortunately I think it comes across as kind of dumpy on a dummy and, dare I say it, positively heinous on the hanger… prime reason why I decided to wait until she could model it for me herself!  In the meantime it has been a great success; having been washed and worn enthusiastically to work several times already.  There is no greater compliment…!


The print was aligned crosswise and I laid down the pieces that way too, to have the houses “upright” in the dress.  I found 2m of 150cm wide fabric to be sufficient.  My fabric is quite see-through, so I lined it with ivory poly-crepe, the same fabric I used for my ivory Ruby slip… and I made the necktie in ivory as well.  Actually I first made the necktie in the village-y print but it looked way too busy and a little overpowering so I made another one in ivory and it looks about a thousand times better.  I suggested getting black fabric and making it in black instead but she likes the ivory.


I have some thoughts on the pattern construction too… skip this bit if you’re not making the pattern since it’s not going to make any sense otherwise…

DSC_2630Although it looks short on the model in the magazine, it didn’t look that short when made up so I removed about 9cm off the bottom to get the same look.   Sleeves are about 2cm shorter.

The way they’re written; the instructions are a touch confusing  since for much of it you’re bouncing back and forth between different construction notes, for style 105 and 106, and to complicate things the neckband of style 105 is very different from that of 107, since it has a collar whereas 107 is collar-less!  and there’s zero mention of the collar-less version in the instructions…  so you sort of have to work it out alone.  I attached the folded neckband to the neckline in one pass, gathered it up inside the seam allowance a little, then overlocked the raw edges along the gathering inside.  This helps pull the neckline in a little tighter, and the necktie does the rest of the work in gathering up that wide neckline.

With the pockets, the instructions have you stitch up the side seams, THEN insert the pockets… well I always do it the other way around, so it was kind of a whaaat? moment for me.  Anyway, gave it a whirl.  It works fine, of course… just thought I’d mention it because it was different…  🙂

I made a size 36, Cassie’s usual size, but in the course of making it I tried it on a  few times, just to check various bits and pieces, and found it worked perfectly well on me too, a size 38. Something to keep in mind if you’re a larger size but only have enough fabric for a smaller size!

Anyway whatever; she loves it, I love it on her I think she looks adorable in it, so the final verdict; a great success!



Dress; Burdastyle magazine 02/2015-107 also available here, crepe
Sandals; Sportscraft, mine! I’ve had these for about 10 years or so


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47 Thoughts on “village dress, for Cassie

  1. She looks so beautiful! A nice fabric.

  2. What a lovely Christmas present. That fabric! She looks gorgeous.

  3. Cute fabric! Nice dress and I am sure you appreciates it!

  4. Very nice dress!

  5. Oh my goodness, that fabric is amazing!

  6. The fabric makes this dress. Excellent choice on your part. I would never have chosen it from either Burda’s pics or models.

  7. Such a cute dress! Love this look.

  8. What a beautiful dress for Cassie! She looks wonderful in it. I have this issue and have wanted to make just the top for myself so it’s good to hear what you have to say about the construction. She’s lucky to have a mom who not is a great sewist but can hear the subtleties in what her daughter wants (at least sewing related like you said)! 😉

  9. I loved reading your whole story in sewing this beautiful dress for your daughter! Such love in action just warmed my heart 🙂 The dress is adorable and I’m not a bit surprised she loved it. It’s modern, unique, comfortable AND very classy!

  10. Yes, super cute and love that fabric.

  11. I always have those problems you’re describing when I’m working with Burda patterns. I end up confused and sewing a smaller size than I would have needed according to the chart. But whatever, the dress turned out beautiful, totally funky and fun and arty, I bet your daughter’s colleagues will be very impressed and even a little jealous! 🙂

  12. What a beautiful dress! Your daughter is a lucky young lady! I also take any chance I can get to sew for my young adult daughter and consider it a high compliment when she likes and wears what I have made.

  13. Super Fun! I love coming across a fabric that instantly speaks its mission. Great job keeping it hidden too!

  14. Great dress! Love the fabric & pattern combo. Spot on! Glad she loves it!

  15. A super dress, so unique! I have been on holiday to Sorrento so really appreciate the gorgeous fabric.

  16. I LOVE that dress – the fabric is divine! What an excellent gift. I’m glad Cassie wears it a lot. Your sneak skills are outstanding!

  17. Oh, cute, cute, cute! You had me right from the get-go…I mean that print totally makes me ever so happy!!! And the Burda pattern is perfect for it. So…tell me please…is poly crepe different than forty years ago? I just remember sewing some super pretty blouses that were, unfortunately, uncomfortably warm.

    PS that last photo is a bit of a ‘mini-you’ photo. Me likey!

  18. The fabric gives a beautiful drape and she looks super chic in it. Jo x

  19. It is beautiful just as your daughter is 🙂

  20. Beautiful marriage of fabric and pattern. I wonder if the neckline gapes when she leans forward? Or does the elastic take care of that? After seeing your creation, I might like to try that pattern myself.

  21. She looks beautiful!!! Love the fabric for that pattern. A perfect pairing.

  22. Karen on 04/01/2016 at 6:38 am said:

    she looks lovely!

  23. Beautiful dress and what a wonderful fabric – so colorful and fun!

  24. What a fabulous dress! Great job keeping it a secret from Cassie too.

  25. Great fabric and it looks terrific on.. I like the white tie too. I agree re the instructions as I made this in the top a few months ago (love it) but it does run very big and I will take it in under the arms and side seams a bit when it cools down as it is long sleeved. I’m going to make it again as it’s a terrific pattern.

  26. Fabulous fabric and the dress has ticked all the boxes, especially the “she loves it and wears it” one. 🙂

  27. Lucky lucky girl! I have that pattern and dismissed it as unbearable but you’ve matched to this fabric beautifully.

  28. Annette on 04/01/2016 at 2:59 pm said:

    Lovely dress! You get great use out of your Burda magazines. I need to sew more from them rather than just planning to sew from them!

  29. Really cute! Love the fabric.

  30. Perfect marriage of pattern and fabric. Cassie looks gorgeous in this very pretty dress. Well done Carolyn.

  31. Great fabric, adorable dress, lovely daughter, fun challenge for you to un-conservative her! Happy 2016!

  32. There is a definite “arty” vibe to this dress. Cute fabric, perfect for this style. So great that your gift stayed a surprise and has been very much appreciated.

  33. So, so cute and perfect for Cassie!!! Also impressed you were able to keep it a secret! Just got through with secretness with my daughter and it was sooooooooo hard….. and she doesn’t even go through my stash. You are such a good and loving mom. 🙂

  34. Ilse on 04/01/2016 at 11:37 pm said:

    Cassie looks adorable. She sure is her Momma’s “mini me”. Great job

  35. That is one amazing dress! LOVE, love the fabric! Your daughter looks super cute in it.

  36. It looks great on her! I love the print, and hopefully it makes her feel more comfortable at work.

  37. Hélène on 05/01/2016 at 2:04 am said:

    Great dress, lovely prints, super original — the elongated white band gives it more style. The whole outfit screams summer and the model looks ravishing!

  38. I love loose style dress in great print fabric 🙂 The dress suits her beautifully. You have a pretty daughter, Carolyn 🙂

  39. A gorgeous Christmas present and Cassie looks fresh and relaxed in her new dress.

  40. Vicki on 05/01/2016 at 2:14 pm said:

    Cute!! (Ha, tried to just post “Cute” but I got an error saying it was too short – well it is longer now :))

  41. Beautiful! Great job keeping it a surprise for Christmas…that’s a tricky one to do.

  42. Pingback: Wednesday Weekly #20 | Helen's ClosetHelen's Closet

  43. That is a great print, and Cassie looks lovely wearing it.

  44. This is just the perfect summer Dress. I love everything about it. After the Burda technical drawing, I would never have thaught that the pattern is so lovely. The fabric is stunning and your daughter just beautiful

  45. Erin on 09/01/2016 at 10:03 pm said:

    love it! looks so comfortable!

  46. Absolutely adore this dress!

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