Dress 7 – Burda E971 Tunic Fabric – Grey Asha by Kaffe Fasset
This tunic dress is a free download from the Burda Fashion website. If you’ve never downloaded a pattern off the internet, it usually means that the pattern has been tiled over many pages. Be prepared to print off 30+ sheets of paper and then have to tape them all together. I found this to be one of the few perks of working in an office, the endless supply of paper and high quality printers to facilitate such projects
I was very excited about this dress. I taped the pattern together, cut it out, then cut out my fabric and started to read the instructions. OOPS! I quickly found out that the pattern did NOT include the seam allowance. I talk about this all the time in my classes, always check your seam allowance on a pattern. I had heard that some patterns don’t include it, but to be honest, I had never encountered it. It’s not just an urban sewing myth, they do exist!
The tunic dress is quite loose, so the biggest effect that not having the seam allowance made on this project was that it was impossible for me to put the sleeves in. There was just nothing at the shoulders for me to sew the sleeves onto. Thus, the dress turned into a sleeveless dress with bias trim around the armholes. The dress is still cute, but not exactly what I had planned.
Dress 8 – Burda E971 Tunic (round 2) Fabric – Fresh Poppies by Amy Butler
I hope you don’t think that this is cheating, but I had to get this pattern right. I went back and added seam allowance on all the pattern pieces and started again. The second time around was pretty easy. I really loved the cute puff sleeves of the tunic. There’s a piece of elastic sewn into the sleeve cuff that makes those tiny gathers. It’s my favourite detail, I’m a sucker for gathering. I don’t often repeat the same pattern, but I’m happy that I did for this one, just for the sleeves.
There are some important lessons to be learned here. a) Always read through the instructions of your project before cutting out your fabric and embarking on a potentially heart breaking journey, b) a 1/2″ seam allowance doesn’t seem like a lot, but it has great impact on a garment and c) if something goes wrong, don’t fight it, just go with it and make the best of it. Mistakes are fantastic lessons and lead to unexpected discoveries. (or sleeveless dresses)
There’s only five more weeks until Labour Day and five more dresses to go….