This is the dress that started it all. The dress that really got me noticed as a sewer, or is it sewist? Let me introduce you to the Danielle dress.
Danielle is yet another FREE PATTERN – this time from Burda. I think my dress looks nothing like the one featured on their site. Isn’t it amazing how different something can look in a different fabric and without those silly puffy sleeves. While I think theirs looks a little frumpy, mine makes me feel tall, smart and a little fancy!
Once again my reluctant photographer tries to do his best while making me balance on some very uneven rocks in a high wind and high heels. Just so he can laugh at me I think.
The day I wore this into work I felt a bit like a celebrity. It was noticed and commented on as soon as I entered reception. And all the ladies I saw complimented me on my new dress and wanted to know where I got it. When I proudly/casually mentioned that I had made it myself, by the end of the day I’d had 5 people asking me to make one for them too. And offering to pay! I think I might have finally arrived in sewing world. Does this mean I can now cast of my ‘complete beginner’ badge and perhaps promote myself to ‘novice sewist’?
I tried very hard to be precise in my sewing with this dress because it has darts in the bodice front and back, that should line up exactly with the long shaping darts in the skirt back, and the pleats in the skirt front. The seams in the center back need to all line up exactly so the bodice needs to be precisely the same length (obviously) on each side. And the central band needs to be precise. A few mm out and things won’t line up when the zip is closed at the back. I admit to unpicking and redoing those seams a couple of times until I was happy.
There are also facings for the bodice that need to be sewed precisely if they aren’t to show from the front. It was a real project in precision for me as a sewing beginner, but is actually very easy to make. And it was so easy to adjust the fit by just taking in a little off the sides where I needed it. The fit doesn’t have to be precise because of the pleats in the skirt front allowing for easy movement and sitting ease too.
It worked out brilliantly, even though my invisible zipper isn’t quite invisible. My adjustable zipper foot did a good job, but I’m going to get an invisible zipper foot as well for really precise results.
I didn’t attempt to match the pattern on the back of the dress. This was just one challenge too much for me just yet, and I knew if it wasn’t precise as well, it would show that it didn’t match. So I went with a semi-match that had the swirls in a similar placement so I hope it doesn’t look too out of place.
I love the way this dress is so flattering for my figure. Its slim and fitted in the back, but the empire waist and the pleats in front hide my tummy and don’t over-emphasise my hips I think. And the squared off neckline has always been a favorite of mine.
This is the BEST thing I have ever sewn and I LOVE it. If you want a really good dress pattern I highly recommend Danielle. It’s pretty easy to sew if you take your time, easy to fit and doesn’t take a whole lot of fabric.
This was yet again another fabric remnant from my local shop. Total cost – about $5 for the fabric and $1.25 for the zipper. Now THAT is a bargain.
Authored by: Deby at So Sew Easy