Hello Hello and welcome to my first post of 2017 (and also my first sewing project of the new year – I’ve got such bad sewist guilt about that little factoid!). I’ve got high hopes for this year in terms of developing my sewing and I’m pretty excited about some of the pieces I’ll be challenging myself with over the next few months.

So onto my Rock Lobster dress: I really loved the look of this Burda Style Sewing Pattern - a relaxed tie-waist dress. I wear dresses a lot –they’re a real staple in my wardrobe and this kind of style is perfect for me. I then spotted this awesome green craft/lobert print Cotton Fabric and a match was made. I really like the bold design of this fabric – it’s so unusual, and it has a lovely printed feel, almost like batiq or tie-dye. The fabric is a cotton/nylon blend which makes it a little heavier and, great news, very easy to sew with. My sewing time flew and I made the dress in just a few short evening sessions.

You might remember my craftfail just before Christmas when I ran out of time so used tiny offcuts of this fabric to make a no-sew Christmas garland? Well really this fabric needs space to be shown-off – small projects just don’t do it justice so a dress feels like the ideal fit.

I haven’t used a Burda pattern before and I have to say I didn’t always find the instructions that clear. The actual dress is very simple with two large pieces for the front and back and then options to customise the look with sleeves of two different lengths and pockets if you want them, but the instructions for dress A and dress B are combined and while sewing under pressure I had numerous moments where I was reading the wrong instruction (maybe that’s just me!).  

I chose to make dress A which has short sleeves and no pockets – although as I was making I decided to keep my dress sleeveless because I preferred the style without. I’m also still umming and ahhing about pockets – I’ve tried this dress on a few times now and each time my hands automatically reach for pockets which aren’t there so I think I might have to add some.

Now there always has to be a challenging moment and for me it was the neckline. I really struggled with the neckline on this dress and this was the point where I felt the pain of the combined pattern instructions most as the images in the instructions swapped between dress A and B leaving me battling with both my interfacing and feelings of abandonment. 

My finished neckline isn’t perfect – the weight of the fabric, while beautiful for the rest of the design, was maybe a little too bulky with the interfacing and I didn’t quite get the smooth finish I was hoping for. Some clever pressing might be needed...

After constructing the main shape of the dress the finishing touch is adding the waistband –and this is where it all comes together. The waistband is simplicity itself – simply add casing and cord (or ribbon if you have some pretty and durable styles in your stash) and suddenly the dress transforms to an amazingly flattering nipped-in waist while still being easy to throw on and wear. 

Now full disclosure I forgot to order cream cord for my dress so I had to raid some pretty Cream Lace from my stash which looks really lovely but is definitely not going to last.. my replacement Cream Cord is in the post as we speak. (Ive added both lace and cord to my materials list, so you can chose which to use!)

Because the fabric has some stiffness to it, it falls really well showing off the shape – although I’d definitely like to try the same pattern again with a slightly looser fabric to see how it affects the draping. I really like this pattern though and I’m looking forward to making the longer sleeved version.