Tuesday, February 7, 2012

DIY Chevron Dress: My Burdastyle Sewing Project #1

Burdastyle Dress

I'll be honest-- even though I love to sew, I haven't sewn anything from a pattern since I was 12. Seriously, 12. Sure I've sewn dresses, flower dresses, fixed up formal dresses-- but patterns aren't really my thing. There's something about perfect organization that really freaks me out, I think it is because I know I am just going to mess everything up immediately after I put it in order. While I love to be tidy, I hate to slow myself down from my next task. My mom on the other hand, she's a serious detail and sewing expert. She used to own her own sewing shop and she even took pattern making in college. The lady pays attention to the little things like matching prints and everything she makes is pretty much perfect.

And this is why I haven't sewn a dress from a pattern since I was 12. See, the last dress I made was for my 4-H sewing project at the Johnson County Fair. As I sat at the sewing machine listening to my mom tell me to rip out the sloppy sleeve seam again, I don't remember disliking her more than in those moments. (I'm pretty sure the feeling was mutual.) The memory of my mom and I butting heads harder than horned sheep stuck with me for years... and I didn't want to touch a pattern ever again. (By the way, I also showed sheep in the fair. 10 years!) ;)

Here are my two dresses: (Next to my glittered lamp shade.)
Burdastyle Dress

The infamous dress is in the front. (It still fits. I was one tall 12 year old.)

But when my favorite sewing community, Burdastyle, sent out an email asking if anyone was interested in reviewing their new sewing handbook, I forgot all my previous sewing-with-mom experiences jumped at the chance. When I asked my mom if she would help me out a bit, she said, "Do you remember the last time we sewed something together?" ;)

Burdastyle Dress

While sewing with a pattern is really tricky for me (all that measuring!) and very time consuming, it is a lot more fun than I remember. (It helps to have old Don Draper and some Mad Men reruns going on Netflix while you are pinning a seam together, for sure.) I love the Burdastyle book, it helped me learn a lot and I can't wait to start my next project. (A skirt this time, I think.) The book is fun, colorful, and has pretty good directions. Advice for new seamstresses: Read the directions. Read the directions. Read the directions. There are some tricky parts to the Burda patterns in the book because you need to add seam allowances and other detail-oriented things.

Burdastyle Dress
The book.

Burdastyle Dress

One of the main principles of the book is that you take one of the 5 patterns and tweak and twiddle with them to get your own unique design. Since I wanted to use some crazy black and white chevron fabric from my favorite fabric store Fabric.com, I chose to create a simpler design.

Side note-- my favorite sewing blogger and the most hilarious curly haired bloggess around was IN THE BOOK. IN the Burdastyle BOOK. A lot of blogs I just look at the pictures and skim the words. On Oona's blog, I read ALL the words. The lady has a funny bone. Also, she makes shirts out of scarves.

Burdastyle Dress
Close-up of the front. I used a button I found in my mom's button bin.

Burdastyle Dress
The back. I chose to do an exposed gold zipper.

Burdastyle Dress
Front again with my blue tassel scarf and yellow crinkle scarf-- both from work.

Burdastyle Dress
Dress shadow. :)

Overall, I am so excited about my new dress. I am definitely learning that the details pay off in the end because this dress fits like it was made for me or something. It is incredible how much you can *gasp* learn from your mom. I have the best-fitting dress in the world to prove it. :)

Next up in my Burdastyle Handbook challenge-- a skirt! ♥


Meher Makda said...

how are you so beautiful?

Stacie Grissom said...

Meher!! *blush *blush *blush

Alice said...

WOW!! °O° You are beautiful in this dress :D
Really great job! I want the Burda's book too!!


Agy said...

This is beautiful - I'm loving the whole outfit - fabric, cut, button. Great sewing skills!

Dittemusen said...

It looks really good on you, and matches you perfect.

kid28 said...

My mom tried to teach me to sew as well. We fought like cats! I started this black and white polkadot dress, but it was never finised.... This is all the inspiration I need to do that. Thanks!! :)

momitablog said...


oonaballoona said...

oh my god you make me blush! and also cry with envy over your GORGEOUS. DRESS. i can just see you & your mom eyeing each other, needles and scissors in hands, the distant memory of 4H club looming...

i really heart your dress. it's fabulous and crisp and you need to make more garments! i was just lamenting the fact that i left my burdastyle book in new york. you know, when you get to that packing point where just nothing else will fit, and you have to leave a man behind? that was me on the floor of my apartment three hours before the flight. DAMN.

Molly White/ Technology and Tutus said...

WOW! It looks awesome and like a dress that I would like to wear! I've got the book but none of the dresses were totally up my alley looks wise. This one is just perfect though. How much did you fidget with the pattern?

Stacie Grissom said...

@Molly Hey!! I hardly fidgeted with the pattern other than fitting it for myself. I did the dress without the frilly overlay thing. It's the white dress in the book. :)

Sew Country Chick said...

You did a beautiful job! I love the piping and the gold zipper! I prefer it without the ruffle.

Amy Anderson said...

That turned out amazingly cute! I love! I want the same thing. In blue. :D

Borealchick Designs said...

Your dress turned out BEAUTIFUL! I can relate to having an amazing sewer as a mother. Even at almost 30 I still feel anxious when my mother looks (detail by detail) at a dress I have made from a pattern. In the words of my mother, "You did such a great job with a directional fabric!"

Mina Stickor said...

It really beautiful, I love it!

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