I used some thick, stable, wool-polyamide double knit jersey bought from Cloth House in Berwick St. Unfortunately the first length I bought shrunk in the wash but Cloth House were brilliant and kindly replaced it. It’s a stable knit and was very easy to sew using my Toyota set on a medium width zig-zag. Pressing was another matter, being quite thick it needed a lot of brute force and ignorance to get the seams to lie flat, particularly where the different triangles joined together.
Once I cut out the fabric, sewing it together was relatively quick. This pattern had “sewing course” instructions which were a bit more detailed than the usual Burda instructions, even so I found I had to concentrate a lot to ensure all the seams lined up. A sideways picture of the dress would have helped; even now I’m not sure whether I got my upper left front seam in quite the right place. My first attempt at the main triangle on the front skirt piece had the tip buried in the seam allowance. I was quite tempted to leave it but after seeing Catherine’s red dress I decided to unpick it and rework (I’m glad I did my little perfectionist streak would have yelled at me every time I saw the dress had I not).
I didn’t include the shoulder pleats, once I’d sewn up the arm holes I decided I liked them as they were. Also I made the dress 4cm shorter than Burda’s version, which would have come to my knee and looked to my eye a little frumpy.
The pattern goes a bit overboard on fasteners and asks for a two way full length zip in addition to 3 poppers for the front. As it’s a knit dress which pops over my head quite happily neither of these are really required. In the end I included the zip (1m long from Klein’s in Soho – I managed to get there on one of the rare occasions they are open) but sewed up the front opening.
If I were to make it again I would probably go for a smaller size. The back in particular seems to be quite big and I am getting a little gaping at the back of my neck. In this thick knit it doesn’t matter too much that’s it’s slightly large, but if it were in a stretchier fabric it would show.
I’d like to make this dress again with sleeves for winter. I don’t think a sleeveless dress is entirely practical for someone who feels the cold and putting a jacket over the top would spoil the impact of the back detail.
Oh! I haven’t shown you my favourite bit………………the orange zip maybe not be to everybody’s taste but I love it.