Friday, 27 August 2021

Palate cleanser, a Marinière knit t-dress made from elongated pattern from Burda Easy May 2020





After my weeks of fussing over the pink summer maxis from McCalls and BurdaStyle, I needed a quickie palate cleanser. So I threw together this striped T-shirt dress by elongating a Burda Easy boatneck T-shirt pattern from a long tunic into a below-the-knee version.

In the end, it wasn't so easy. This pattern was too rudimentary for my taste. Without a separate binding offered by Burda for the neckline, I ended up finishing the raw edge three times, twice by machine zigzag and then a third roll-over by hand to give the neckline the necessary body to stay flat against the chest and not curl over. I also finished the hem and sleeves by hand using an invisible stitch.

The dress was too big the first time I wore it, (I'd cut a 42-45) and I had to put it back under the needle and take in a good inch on both sides and also insert an open inverted pleat at the center back neckline taking in a full two inches, (a nice design feature in the end) because the 42 was just too large around my neck. Next time I would cut a 40 at the neck. I also had a bit of trouble matching up the black stripes perfectly along both sides and had to entirely rip out and restitch one side altogether.

This dark cotton knit is perfect for autumn and overall, it's just about what I wanted to throw on—a classic French sailor T-dress in a lively combo of colors for not much money from a Coupons de StPierre remnant.


Wednesday, 21 July 2021

The two 'Elle' Pink Dresses Experiment that almost didn't happen...because of fabric disasters. McCall's 7974 and Burda 'buffet dress' 4/2021/102

One of my COVID confinement resolutions over the past 18 months has been to improve my French and learn German, two of Switzerland's four official languages. It's about time! To help my French fluency and vocabulary, I subscribed to the daily Le Temps and the weekly Elle (which is pretty much eye candy, I admit.) There's not much to say here about the newspaper, which certainly informs me about local affairs. As for German, I finished with Duolingo and am now stumbling through murder mysteries by Donna Leon in the German editions by Diogenes.
Meanwhile, each week, (at least until the summer set in,) Elle did a set of dedicated fashion pages every week, which I always found inspiring during these unfashiony, depressing pandemic seasons. There was one page featuring their 'Dress of Spring' in pink ( see below) that I just fell in love with.
 I quickly ordered some viscose crepe and viscose rayony stuff in two retro flowered prints that I hoped would capture the 'feel' of the Elle looks. Please note that these were bargain-basement buys in pre-cut 3 metre lengths from Coupons de St-Pierre in Paris. We're not talking big bucks here.

And I searched far and wide (okay, okay I ran through my decades of Burda for an afternoon) looking at years of maxi patterns. Despite some misgivings about the 'muumuu' effect of a so-called 'buffet dress' on a woman my age, I finally opted to try the April 2021 Burda cover design (see in green below) after watching the Great British Sewing Bee episode on that style. I was taken with Burda's nice detail of turning the endless gatherings into stand-up ruffles along the cascading tiers. (I realize now that a buffet dress was precisely one look this Elle page avoided!)

For the second dress, I was going to settle for a Burda wrap dress when I fell in love instead with a cute model of McCall's 7974 worn on YouTube by the beautiful French sewist, Raphaelle Dvn, (see her version below) but Raphaelle is some forty years younger than I am. I should know better, right? This popular model is supposed to be a knockoff of something called the Cult Gaia Willow Dress. Okay. I'd never heard of it, but I'm not exactly ahead of trends.

For weeks McCalls didn't have a paper version in stock, so I finally broke a longstanding resistance to PDF patterns and downloaded it during a $4.99 sale. I always hate Burda tracing, but I hate printing and scotch-taping computer paper even more. 

I cut out the McCall's dress first. 
DISASTER! Only after I'd suffered through constructing the pattern, reminding myself that one time, long ago, I sewed with Big 4 patterns with seams included, and congratulated myself on an exhausting evening of pushing pins through stiff paper, did I glance down at the floor and see a long and important pattern piece still waiting UNUSED. It was the side back section of the skirt, "cut 2" no less..
And I had no more fabric.
And of course, neither did the good people in Paris, because that is the point of their existence, selling remnants into nonexistence, right?
So now what?
I had only five sections of a seven-section full gathered skirt: two front, two front side, and one back cut on fold.  Anyway, after a night of kicking myself, I resolved to see if the sections of the skirt that I did have would reach around the waist seam, and praise the Sewing Gods, after basting with very narrow seams, they did—just. My dress now featured a kind of thirties-ish fitted and flowing skirt rather than a cottagey, gathered skirt. The result is not what McCalls intended, but perhaps a little less 'milkmaidy' on a woman of my years. (btw, the very low-cut  V-neck required some digging into the lingerie drawer for an almost forgotten nude bra with a very low-cut middle.
The final insult of this project was that 7974 requires 13 buttons 13!!!!@$% and I had to order self-cover buttons all the way from Germany because my local Swiss outlets didn't have any in stock.  Continuing my Olympic quest for Dodo of the Year Gold, I ordered 11 cm size when I should have ordered 15 cm; getting these tiny buggers covered with slippery viscose was the work of a whole weekend and many curses.

Raphaelle Dvn, in Corsica, a lovely sewist on instagram, and Pinterest. Her vlog is great for practicing French comprehension with a slightly regional twist.



And Disaster Two? On to the Burda cover dress. This demanded a mammoth job of cutting out many ever-increasingly large rectangles and again, I was trying to squeeze a 4-metre maxi pattern into a 3-metre remnant. I was pretty crafty by now and managed it by cutting the bottom tier as economically as possible and making up a little shortfall of about twelve inches wide using fabric left uncut elsewhere along the margine of the shortest, upper tier.

This is a slightly kinder V-neck than the McCalls in the bust area—still deep but not 'find me a special bra' deep. Also it asks for rouleau button loops. I hate making rouleau loops. Mine came out like little origami folded triangles, instead of loops.
Also, you can't tell from Burda's line drawing (below) but it includes a simple, non-gathered mini-lining under the neck-facings  down to mid-thigh. This gives you a built-in slip—nice if you're using very lightweight fabric as your main fabric. Not nice, if you forgot to order lining fabric and have to waste time going to a store to get it. (Me, of course.)

But you should use a very, very, very lightweight fabric. Even my crinkly viscose crepe is a little too thick. Because this dress is a fabric hog. You want to feel like you're flowing in the light seabreeze, not drowning in a shroud, readied for burial, right?

But that wasn't the disaster, believe it or not. I could live with the sneaky piecing in the back of the lowest tier, and the pointy button loops, and the missing-lining-fabric-excursion, but only after assembling the dress (by which I mean endless nights of gathering) did I notice a hole and a rip about an inch long, damage from the tagging by St-Pierre in the warehouse, smack in the center front of the upper tier.  Had I examined the fabric before cutting, these tears would have been relegated to the back of the bottom tier or left altogether on the cutting room floor.

Well, I'd had it by then—well past cursing. This whole Pink-Dress-of-Spring-Thing had taken up weeks of my time and spring 2021 was well over! So I just finely machine-seamed these two tears closed and hoped for the best, ironing them as flat as possible. Luckily wrinkly crepe takes an iron well. Can you find them now? I can't— and I'm wearing the damn thing.

But let's be frank. There is a Sad Sack thing going on with this Burda model on me. Notice the lighter fabric on the Burda girl doesn't pull down the Empire waistline like my viscose crepe does. Short of a seabreeze on a terrace in an Italian hotel at sunset, I feel more 'muumuu' than buffet. But before I bin it, I think perhaps I'll raise the hem a few inches and sit on a jungle tree stump in heels like the lady above. Or at least give it a straw hat and some higher wedge sandals...and a cocktail.








 

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Burda's 'origami?' or 'Japanese?' wrap dress, February 2/2021/101

This dress couldn't be simpler to make and I imagine what determines the outcome, even more than usual, is your choice of fabric. I used a pure cotton remnant from Coupons de St Pierre in Paris (https://www.les-coupons-de-saint-pierre.fr/fr/) 
who supply offcuts of 3 metres each for a song. It took me a while to get them to ship into Switzerland where I have to make sure that every order comes in under Sf60 including postage, so the total doesn't double because of added import taxes (EU to Switz).
I chose a floral that looks rather Japanese because the wrapped tie design struck me as slightly reminiscent of an obi tied at the back of a geisha's waist. My fabric might even be a quilting cotton, since it isn't drapey or see-through but it is certainly lightweight and I wore a short slip underneath for a little body here in the Swiss mountain summer.
I might have lengthened the skirt slightly, but not by much, and I included a bit of side slit to ease walking. The folded cuff is interfaced and sewn down which I like (not rolled, like in Burda's photo) and I finished off the seam edges inside with a simple zigzag stitch. (I don't have a serger, and frankly, have survived over 50 years without one.) 
My one complaint about the design is that this dress begs for pockets, which I will add.
From the front, the design can have a slightly dowdy housecoat feel to it, (needs a necklace to improve the plain V neckline) but the bow over the butt at the back is very saucy, if done in a crisp fabric. Linen might also be nice. Burda used a viscose for their rendition (see below) which might reduce the perky bow effect, but seems to have made their bodice more flatteringly drapey. (Mine comes off as a bit boxy.)
Anyway, it was perfect for a recent Sunday lunch here at home where I did all the cooking and didn't want to wear anything floaty or unwashable over a gas flame and spattering frying pan.
I would say this is a perfect dress to throw on for an elegant breakfast buffet in a really nice hotel resort, or sightseeing with hat and sandals. Not as vulgar as shorts or as revealing as a sarong, but very easy to pack flat, light and simple as a bathrobe, yet flirty and fresh.












Monday, 5 July 2021

Another blue shirt with inserted, full dolman sleeves Burda 113, April 2020



 As part of a wardrobe that's becoming rather 'capsulized' around variations of French, cornflower, or light blue, this was a wildcard, a blouse with a difficult and voluminous cut that demands sharp interior corners to accommodate large dolman sleeves. Notice in the Burda photos just above the difference that fabrication makes--in the crisp cotton you get fuller sleeves and a good peek at the interesting design, while the viscose green on the righthand side droops to ill effect.

Unfortunately, I did my version in a strange blue viscose ordered online that lacks enough crisp hand to keep the definition. This blouse seems to be an unconscious echo of the drapey Burda blouse I made last year in a similar blue with a similarly strange diagonal cut and less than successful flouncy sleeves. 

It seems that I just can't learn this lesson. If you want to get into architecturally-cut blouses that show off novelty lines, don't sew them in shapeless viscose!

Anyway, it's a cool-looking, loose-fitting piece that demands very hot weather, crisp white pants and a Greek shore.

Next up--I confess to an experiment with Fibre Mood, a nostalgic dip back into the McCall's pattern world of my youth and the famous (almost) Burda origami twist V-neck dress!

Monday, 22 March 2021

THE LONG READ; My version of the season's quilted jacket, made from six pairs of old jeans and lined with a patchwork of remnants, using Burda Easy pattern 06/20 #1B






This project was more ambitious that many of my recent stints at the sewing machine. It started with one of my grown sons pulling a pile of used jeans out of his closet over Christmas  in a big clean-up of his childhood bedroom. 
I picked apart all these jeans to see what I could rescue. I became interested in doing a version of the popular quilted jacket with a touch of the Japanese denim work-jacket look, (although I wasn't prepared to go full-on recycled rags with shashiko embroidery.)
 I considered a number of patterns, including a recent, collarless, Burda Style version of the popular Tamarack Jacket. But already, the basic shell of the jacket design above, from Burda Easy last summer, had caught my eye for that extra touch of the mandarin collar.

Well, it's done, at last. Enfin. Nailed it.  But the whole project was a bit of a long-haul bitch, tbh.

First I collected and quilted a lot of blue and white remnants from last summer's dress projects to produce a cotton lining, making sure that the sleeve linings would be in proper slippery fabric, of which I happily had just enough navy blue. 
The next stage of construction was a matter of feeling my way without the benefit of any instructions.

(After patchworking together enough yardage for the lining, see below) I assessed as best I could the placement of the exterior pattern pieces on the denim. One of the reasons to opt for the Burda Easy pattern was the two-piece sleeve. I did not have any jeans piece that could accommodate an entire width of a standard sleeve.
Then after putting in the neckline darts on the four front pieces, I quilted all the denim pieces to the lining pieces one by one, allowing enough extra margin to allow for shrinkage during the quilting and to allow me to re-cut a cleaner seam allowance once the batting was sandwiched inside. The patchworking and quilting of all the elements of the jacket took a couple of weekends.

A more serious drag was next: I constructed the side and shoulder seams and then found myself making bias binding from lining leftovers to enclose all the quilted interior seams that were pressed open. These raw seam edges couldn't be biased together because of the sheer thickness of each seam allowance. In retrospect, perhaps I should have assembled the jacket body and lining body pieces at the side and shoulder seams (I also had to introduce a center back seam to accommodate my narrow jeans pieces) and then quilted those two body pieces together before inserting the sleeves. And then there was the binding of the sleeve seams to do as well, requiring some very hot, tough steaming pressing to get them to behave, pressed outward.

I wasn't sure how to manage the collar which I wanted to ensure would stand high and not flop over. I  ended up constructing a finished collar, very carefully quilting it after slipping the cut batting inside, and then attaching the finished collar directly to the jacket. This left me with a difficult bulk of seam around the neck but I didn't trim it down--that width of fat bulk was going to serve as a sort of stand supporting the collar upwards. I finished it by pressing the whole thick seam allowance affair down into the interior of the jacket and closing it up by hand-stitching an opened-up length of the bias over the interior as a clean facing.

I finished the edge of the jacket sleeves, front and bottom by HAND on both sides of the edges with the 30 cm navy blue cotton seam binding that I ordered online, along with the batting. I used the same bias binding to cover two large jacket snaps. I skipped the inserted pockets in the Burda pattern, as I wasn't sure how to do a clean insertion with all the quilted seams going on, so instead I stole two patch pockets from the jeans scraps to apply to the front.

I also rescued two belt loops from the jeans and found a completely forgotten belt in a shoebox. It's a bit of a tight cinch for me to close the belt and maybe I'm better off letting it hang, hence the belt loops.

But overall, it's been a good COVID confinement project and I think it's a good jacket for casual, work and garden wear.
And apart from the time expended, it was pretty much FREE.









 






Burda is repeating too many designs...COVID side effect or new policy?





Seen that twisted top design before? I have, and in fact, I sewed it up in the dress version many years ago. But it has just reappeared in a 2021 Burda Style magazine. As did the parka below, in an edition that appeared some ten years ago. So did the elasticated skirt with the slit, above, only a few years ago. In fact, Burda Easy seems to think we just want the same knit sheath dress with a collar variation and yet another pair of joggers or leggings to get by. Come on, Burda. The Easy editions were much better before you increased the number of issues per year.

This 'new money for old rope' approach with Burda seems to have stepped up—or I've just collected thirteen years of Burda only to discover that they always recycle old designs?

For me, the disappointment started with Burda Style monthly reprinting some of their featured retro designs that had been collected for their 'one off' vintage issues of the past, the 50's, the 60's, etc. But they were upfront about that. They weren't trying to sell their vintage greats as if they were new product, but marketing them in a different publication for a wider audience. I could forgive that, as many people passed up those special editions and missed some great designs.

But now, those of us who collect BurdaStyle mags might have noticed that we're often just getting recycled patterns without any admission that these were sold to us already.

Take April 2021, for example: here are two jackets, the one with the button the 'new' April 2021 version and the one with the snapped collar, the version from 2011.



 

There is a possibility that this is a sad side effect of the COVID crisis which may have reduced Burda's creative possibilities. Okay, that I will certainly understand. In our own extended family, we've suffered two deaths and nine cases to date. People are grieving near and far and what's a little duplication from Burda?

So, no, I'm not going to go on over trivia, but I'll keep an eye out.

Thursday, 4 February 2021

Spring is about to spring again and 'model' goddaughter about to sprout a Hector


 

Yes, I've been doing some sewing of a rather modest variety: two tube skirts in black and blue heavy stretch knit to fill out my Covid-simple needs— to go with all the blue and black tops that I have. I have of late noticed that my wardrobe is hanging together more colorwise, around a palate of white/cream, black, navy, with red or mustard accents. I reckon two navy and two black skirts over tights and ankle boots are good, staple substitutes for the ubiquitous leggings and motorcycle boots I so often reach for.
(And I needed a backup black skirt for future travel, should I be so lucky. Fiddlerkid washed my London-capsule-wardrobe after my last visit over a year ago,  as a courtesy. But he accidentally put my black tube skirt on his kitchen counter top, which had just been bleached. So...deep-six that skirt!)

Over Christmas, I also sewed an Easy Burda dolman-sleeved cowl-neck sweater dress in a cozy poly-rayon navy knit and I'll blog that after sewing the slimmer turtleneck top in the latest Burda Easy edition for comparison. Belted sweater dresses over tights and ankle boots seem to be just the right balance of being dressed, yet home-comfortable for Switzerland's extended COVID lockdown.

And more on a bigger project to come later. I'm turning a drawerful of old jeans into a quilted jacket for the gardening season to come.

But as you can see, a few January days went into knitting my London-based goddaughter a boyish version of my go-to baby sweater pattern seen so many times on this blog before. (I've done the seagull lace version in grey, pine green, denim blue, ivory, and two different pinks.)

This time instead of doing the prescribed lace stitch or the Aran cable I tried on the ivory version, I invented the 'Jurassic Scandi' navy number pictured above for the little guy due in a month. I reckoned someone about to be christened the virile-sounding 'Hector' won't be into duckies. Sadly, the straight stitch means it won't stretch for a growing baby for as many months as the classic Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern, below.


Tuesday, 3 November 2020

Back to the Future, the second Burda longer dress, (a 'handkerchief') dress meant for autumn, November, 2019 103 A/B EPIC FAIL. Should it see out 2020 or die an (ig)noble death?



 The second autumn dress I sewed up for Fall-Winter 2019 repeat 2019 pre-Covid was another attempt to wear the longer skirts lengths without looking dowdy. I wore skirts and culottes this length in the 70's the first time around and still have some fantastic Vogue Designer patterns from that era to prove it. It's a little harder to wear now that I'm so much older, with wider hips, a shortening torso, and the inability to trot all day in the high-heeled boots that make it work best. But I liked the grace of this silhouette after so many years of tight, knee-length sheaths.

This was made up in a drapey navy-blue leopard viscose print ordered online.  There are two unsatisfactory things about my fabric choice for this design: First, the 'leopard print' is too busy to see any of the waist piecing and second, the underside of the fabric is noticeably different from the printed side. Ideally, the skirt should flow without drawing attention to the two sides of the hemline.

This dress is a fabric hog as the skirt pieces are cut on the bias. I'm not sure I'm really feeling this handkerchief hem. And to do it, I needed 3.5 metres of fabric, almost twice the fabric needed for a sheath dress.

Well, it was a good thing I had extra; I decided that Burda's strange single bow design looked sad, even half-assed. (Even though a secretary wears one of these single-bow blouses in white silk in the recent BBC David Hare thriller Roadkill starring Hugh Laurie.) My solution was to cut mirror pieces of the long tie for a classic pussy bow blouse instead.

This dress was also a frightening reminder of how much my skills and patience have slipped. I forgot how to do a proper invisible zipper and made a bit of a mess of it. Only later did I review Kenneth Lane's excellent Youtube on this particular step and have resolved not to mess up again.

But worse! I misread the instructions and doggedly went ahead putting in the zipper below the collar point, assuming the collar folded down over the zip in the back. Wrong. So I had to add a dirty fix—to close the collar at the top.

Added to that frustration the fact that, in the end, I wouldn't have chosen this fabric online if I'd had a chance to see it up close. It doesn't look like leopard print at all, just a messy, ugly print. An entire long dress of this stuff just looks... awful. I'm not sure how much wear, if any, this dress will see.

UPDATE as of January 2020, not worn once. EPIC FAIL
UPDATE as of February, 2020 worn once under a long navy cardigan to casual dinner out. Looked all right, just, as the cardigan gave it a bit of shape at the waistline.
UPDATE as of March, quarantined, so no need to wear a dress until 2021.
UPDATE Lost weight during lockdown, so took it in at the side seams. Looking at it again and thinking it's okay to bring out for autumn 2020. So maybe I'll post this to ask all of you:
UPDATE okay, it's the one-year anniversary of wearing this dress exacly once. So I put it on and styled it with a similar long cashmere cardigan, this time in beige.

I think it just passes, but hell, it took me a year to figure out what to do.What do you think? Is it okay or the ugliest dress in town?

Thursday, 10 September 2020

ARRRGGH! Trying to delete some spam comment, I lost all your wonderful comments going back at least a year! I'm so sorry! (meanwhile...) Burda Easy Cardigan January 2020 models 4A+C. A modest replacement with a few hesitations.

Okay, I think I've sorted out this new Blogger format and restored all your valuable comments that do cheer up my days. If I missed an important one, let me know...and I'm trying to thank KS below for her kindness about the Epic Fail jumpsuit, and Blogger keeps saying I'm in error, so...arh again.

Sadly, I long had a beloved navy blue cardigan that finally died. I had just successfully built up a capsule wardrobe of navy blue items, (various blue blouses, a pull-on stretch pencil skirt from Burda Easy, navy jeans, tights, culottes, leggings, navy and white striped T's, a navy cashmere turtleneck stolen from my husband,) you get the idea.
For me, navy had become 'the new black' over the last few winters. The jewels in my capsule were two navy-blue jumpsuits to be worn under various kimonos in silky blue prints for evenings with friends at home. I wore one to the wonderful wedding of goddaughter in England under one of my kimonos, blogged already.
But the basic piece that pulled many of these combos together by day was my basic navy cardigan.
Now dead. I scraped it across some wet white paint and when I tried to remove the paint, I rubbed an actual hole in the weave in the front tail.
I have tried here, with only some success, to replace it. With the best of intentions, I ordered a navy blue knit online that turns out to have just a tinge of too much violet to it. And the pattern I chose, which looked quite trendy in Burda Easy in January 2020 may not be my style. The hem is asymmetric, the sleeves are a bit too dolman for my taste and without neater finishing by a knit cuff or elastic, the sleeves require being pushed up the arm not to look a bit naff. There are no buttons, so the tie from Version A is a must, as are the pockets from Version C. I had to make little thread belt loops which I hate doing, too.
But let's give it a winter to break in and I may learn to love it as much as my long, slim-line classic with the buttons.









Wednesday, 9 September 2020

CONFINEMENT SEWING PART II Croquet Dresses for Lockdown Games, Burda Easy March 2020 #4C, Burda Style 6-2020-118, and Burda Style 4-2020 cover model, with Burda's Hollywood homage

During a summer of serious Covid confinement, keeping in consideration my soon-80-year-old husband's lung frailties and my own last decade of serious health treatments, we needed to find a more and immediate source of daily joy here in our Swiss village in hard-hit virus-heavy Vaud. Our three adult kids were in lockdown in London. Our constant worries for them with their employment abruptly curtailed or, in one case seriously overloaded, were sometimes overwhelming. Our routine companions here were also being ultra-careful because of age and health histories and sticking close to home. I continued writing and husband continued his own projects, but...meh...

We had wonderful weather, a large house and garden to enjoy, a vast library of music and books to rediscover, the internet and a new Netflix account, and myriad digital contacts with friends and family. And we've kept our health, fingers crossed, so far. The numbers are shooting up again and we know we're counted among the 'vulnerable.'

But we mourned our cancelled vacation to a beloved hotel on the Ligurian shore in Italy, where the virus has been raging up and down the coast with the coffins piling up, as well as our traditional visits to rough it lakesite at camp with extended Swiss family in Walchwil, not far from Zurich, another national hotspot of infection. I also missed all our usual outings to concerts in Lausanne and Geneva for which I love getting properly dressed.

So, no occasions, no meetups, no sewing?

Working hard as usual, we still needed to play away from the computers on a regular basis. So we settled into a serious season of good old-fashioned American croquet, with suitable iced drinks and lots of laughs. And I sewed three 'croquet' dresses, (as this is a decorous sport, to say the least.) White sneakers were de rigeur.

First, the striped linen-viscose number, with its very loose-fitting, dropped waist and unfitted bodice is my tribute to the 1920's resort of Deauville, using Burda's Easy March 2020, 4C. The only challenge of this model was to match up the stripes and reverse the given layout for the more interesting horizon/vertical effect of the stripes.




The second dress, Burda Style's 6-2020-118, is my tribute to a 1940's tea dress, with its chintzy viscose print, fitted waistband, and slightly puffed shoulder seam. To mature this wrap dress a little for a woman my age, I finished the lower edge of the sleeve without the gathered puff. The construction of this design's waist band extending into ties turned out to be a bit of a puzzle. I had to take it slowly, and translate Burda's cryptic instructions from the French into English with an uncharacteristic level of attention. Their construction of what should have been a straightforward collar was also odd and I ended up just reverting to what I was used to doing with similar collars, using a technique from a book of couture shortcuts.





My third 'croquet dress' is a rip-off of the Pretty Woman polka dot dress, done in a lively red viscose.

This is a beast of a skirt to hem, as the skirt pieces are cut on the bias, but the result gives a really lovely flow. I skipped the slit cut at the back neckline as I found this construction cheaply designed, without a center seam and in the end, unnecessary. The dress slips over your head without any special opening at the back.
This was the featured cover dress of the April 2020 Burda which included a wonderful tribute to memorable dresses from Hollywood, including Julia Roberts' brown version in Pretty Woman. I love the rare occasions when Burda does this.





The Russian cover for the same Burda Style April edition featured Grace Kelly's outfit by the wonderful Edith Head from Rear Window. But notice that Grace's version, in an expensive silk faille? or taffeta? has been carefully lined, while the Burda version isn't. I'd add a lining for more elegance.