Hi everyone and Happy New Year! 
I am starting off the New Year in the best possible way by sharing with you a cosy comfortable sweatshirt dress with a drawstring waist - perfect to accommodate all that Christmas over indulgence!
I really enjoy sewing with Knit Fabrics, and have made several sweatshirts just lately, so I decided that I would try a pattern that has been in my pattern stash for a while now - Burda 7148. Let's just ignore the fact that it is described as a Burda 'young' pattern shall we. I have!
I quite like how many options there are on the pattern. I chose to make the dress, but you could make a hooded sweatshirt and a drawstring skirt too with this pattern. My fabric choice is a wonderful loop-back Sweatshirt Fabric, which is black with flecks of white running through it. It is just the right weight for this project and although black is quite difficult to photograph, I hope that the above picture gives you some idea of the fabric close up. Unfortunately Minerva have now sold out of this exact fabric, but they have other similar ones to choose from.
This is the first time I have made a Burda pattern for many years. The instructions are fairly brief, with line drawings to accompany them, and although not too difficult to follow I would perhaps recommend this pattern to someone with previous sewing experience and some areas were a little tricky to understand. The waistband attachment for example had me scratching my head for a while. But I got there in the end.
As I had never made this pattern before, I decided to search the internet to see if I could find out anything about it. I always do this and was glad that I did, as several pattern reviews that I read suggested that I would probably need to make some alterations to my dress. Where possible I will most often make a toile for a new pattern, and in this case it was very much needed.
So, let me take a deep breath and take you through the adjustments that I needed to make to the pattern after making the toile.
I had read some reviews suggesting that the neck opening was a little wide for some. I, however, quite liked the wide neck so pretty much kept this as it was. I might be tempted to cut the neck band piece a teeny bit shorter next time though. It looks pretty neat, nicely finished with a row of double stitching and the raglan sleeves give a casual feel.
The bodice was far too long for me, so I needed to shorten it by a massive 10cm.
The sleeves were also too long and I shortened them by 6cm each. I also felt that they were to wide so graded them from the underarm to the cuff to where I felt more comfortable with them.
The skirt was too short, so I lengthened it by 6cm.
The pattern has a kangaroo pocket in the skirt, but I felt that it sat way too low to be useful and left it off my dress completely. I wonder if perhaps it may look better placed just above the waist rather than below it? Not sure.
I quite enjoyed using the cord and toggles to gather the waist, rather than regular elastic. It gives the dress a great focal point - although i must admit the bodice gathering can sometimes obscure your view of the cute toggles.
Again our camera did not like the black fabric and it was difficult to get a close up of the waist band and toggles without the colour looking a little 'washed out' but hopefully below you will get a little idea of how it came together. I will say that threading the cord through the waistband channel was tricky as it is a little more bulky than elastic, but it is fine as long as you sew your channel plenty wide enough for it to run through.
Something that I did add after the dress was made (and also after the main photographs were taken) was to pop some cord ends on to the ends of the drawstring cords. The pattern does not mention this in the notion requirements but I felt that it needed a little something to make it look more finished, and these did the trick.
Despite all these adjustments, I feel the dress was worth it. It is super soft and warm and an easy pull on dress to wear on cold days with thick tights and boots. Kind of like secret pyjamas! For reference I am only 5'2", so all of the adjustments that I made might not be necessary for someone who is taller of course. Now that I have the fit perfected to just how I like it I will certainly make it again and there is a huge choice of knits available on the Minerva site which would be perfect for this dress.
As always, a massive thank you to Minerva for their generous supplies, I hope you like this casual dress, and I look forward to wearing it through the rest of the Winter and forthcoming Spring.
Take care and happy sewing!
Kathy x