Me Made May is long over, but it really got me thinking about what was working in my wardrobe-and what wasn’t. Last summer I made a gorgeous Ice Blue Twill Burda Midi Skirt but it didn’t get as much wear as I imagined it would. I thought long and hard about what I could do to make it more wearable and decided turning it into a dress might be my best bet.
I actually haven’t sewn many dresses the last few years. I’ve been on a bit of a utilitarian sewing kick to get a fully handmade closet. I feel like my wardrobe and style has been transitioning quite a bit over the last few years and finding what I like to sew vs. what I want to wear has been tricky. Now that my closet has almost all the basics I feel like I can play around a bit more. Hoping to add a few more touches of whimsy to my closet.
One big problem with the original skirt, the twill I used is quite heavy and while I loved how pretty the interior was it was just adding too much bulk. Another problem- it’s at once too dressy and too casual. The bulk was an easy fix. I removed all the hong kong finished seams and then serged them to keep it light. Not as pretty but infinitely lighter. The style issue was solved once it morphed into a dress. Because it doesn’t need to mix and match with my wardrobe it’s much easier to just wear by itself.
I found inspiration on pinterest in this black and white check sundress (board linked below-images under SUMMER). The lines of the flared skirt match really well with my burda pattern- I just needed a structured bodice with simple seamlines and a button front. I lucked out that I had a good sized chunk of leftover fabric from the skirt so cutting the bodice out was a breeze. Bonus- now I’ve used up all the remnants!
Before + After
I went with my trusty Holly Bodice. I’ve made it before so it only needed a few tweaks. I skipped the sleeves and drafted a lining instead of facings. I also sewed everything together and then turned it inside out at the shoulder seam to keep everything pretty. The back was cut as two pieces so I could adjust as needed. My upper back is a bit narrow so I often end up taking a dart there. Much easier to alter with the seam. I really love all the darts on this pattern, it makes it fit like a glove. And with the stiffness of the twill it acts a bit like a corset. I purposely wanted the top very fitted for the silhouette I was going for.
All the Details:
Holly Bodice, By Hand London (holly review here)
Burda Flared Skirt 05/2012 #106 A (full review here)
Fabrics + Notions
- Ice Blue Twill Fabric courtesy of Organic Cotton Plus ( affiliate review here)
- Buttons from Joann’s
- Plaid Cotton (gifted remnant for lining)
I had a bit of an odd plaid that has a line of blue that perfectly matches my twill. It’s a print that I wouldn’t normally wear but makes a really fun lining. Having a seamless interior really makes this dress extra comfortable. I also changed out the buttons since I didn’t have enough of the coconut one’s (and I wanted to wear it immediately). I actually was a bit short on the ones I chose but had some in a slightly larger size that I used on the bottom of the skirt. Not noticeable unless you are scrutinizing my hem.
I wore this dress for our 13th anniversary last month and it felt like a dream. I really need a few more slightly more casual dresses like this. It’s a perfect afternoon out/brunch look. Not too fussy, oh so comfortable and pretty.