Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Magic Eye material

When I was in late primary school there was a fad with those 'Magic Eye' books: the ones where you defocus your eyes in order to see the picture in what looks like TV static and ruin your eyes at the same time. Maybe that's why I wear coke bottle contact lenses now?

This material reminds me of those Magic Eye pictures.

This pattern is Burda 7949 - view B. It looks a bit boring on the pattern but I quite liked the design of separate bodice, midsection and skirt and was sure that using eye-strain inducing fabric would liven it up!


This is cotton with a bit of stretch, from Tessutis of course, and it ticks all my favourite boxes (flowery, Japanese, cotton) and the print is more of a cubist rendition of the floral genre.  It also smells a bit funny (I don't think it's me - it's the print's paint!), which might be why I don't wear it a lot, although that's a shame because it's one of the nicer dresses I've ever made.

Cubist hibiscus

There is a lot going on in this pattern.  It has the high collar, the teardrop at the front, the handmade button loop, and each section is cut a different way on the fabric (bodice - crosswise grain; midsection -  lengthwise grain; skirt - bias). The midsection acts as a yoke for the skirt and the skirt is gored with four panels.

Looks slightly wonky on the mannequin
One interesting point is that it is nearly entirely devoid of facings, apart from the teardrop and the collar. Not even around the armholes. I'm a bit of a pedant and prefer to line dresses, but lining this one would be a bit of a pain with the yoke and the teardrop...easier just to choose material that doesn't need lining. The skirt hangs very nicely without lining too, so I was happy to let this one go through to the keeper.

It did mean, of course, that I had to bind the seams.

Pattern challenges

I had a big problem getting the point of the yoke at the front to work. Maybe my brain was having an off week (or month) but I just could not visualise how to sew the damn thing! The instructions are not that instructive - "Baste bodice right sides together with upper edge of skirt, matching side seams. Stitch." ??!?  But...what about the big V intersection? How do you navigate it? this day I'm sure I did something wrong or missed a step. In any event I showed mum and she worked it out, thus avoiding a brain explosion.

The collar is fastened with a handmade button loop. This was pretty easy to do - I googled how to do it and made it out of cream embroidery thread. After attaching the loop and the button to the dress I had a blonde moment trying to figure out how to undo the button because the loop is too small for the button to pass through. How was I going to get the damn thing on and off?!

For about 10 seconds I berated (a) myself for being a dill and (b) the pattern for not pointing that out...then I remembered that it has a zip at the back.  D'oh!

So there you have it. I really like the pattern, and would encourage you to give it a go using fabric that has really obvious lines to make the most of the lovely bodice/yoke/bias cut skirt. If you do give it a go and work out how the V in the yoke is meant to be sewn please tell me!!


  1. This is a really lovely dress, and you are right, the extra ping does work really well, especially as you have a personality with "ping". I went to Sydney on the weekend and went to Tessuti - first time - gorgeous fabrics live there!

  2. Thanks Sarah Liz - and I'm so glad you got to the shop! It really is lovely. Great range and really helpful sew-it-all staff ;)

  3. this is a great pattern, the details work really well together. I probably wouldn't have picked this fabric of the bolt but made up it looks amazing. Really like this one.

    1. Thanks Amy :) it is kind of weird fabric but eventually the right pattern comes along...

  4. This a really interesting dress - it has so much going on with all the different fabric grains, and you executed it beautifully! The inside of the dress looks as nice as the outside. And, of course, it looks lovely on you. Each time I see a Burda dress, I think I should give Burda another try, but my first (and only!) experience with Burda wasn't good and I'm still not over the trauma. : )

    1. Hi Kim - yes Burda patterns are a bit odd but give them another go!