Monday, 2 May 2016

Burda Style 09-2014-115 or 116 Is it a hoodie, is it a dress, are you wearing a dressing gown?

I had every intention of making myself a beach dress, one of those useful garments that one can throw on over a swimming costume, for not mere modesty, but some actual sun protection. However, when I put this on to take an early morning walk with my sister in Noosa National Park this week (there were beaches and swimming costumes involved), she asked me if it were my dressing gown.
 I was staying overnight with her at the time, but still.....
She kindly took a photo of me on the beach, but the slight blurriness may have been due to some sniggering on her part.
Despite these sisterly reservations I am quite pleased with this dress. I am calling it a dress because I made it to the dress length (116) but with the hood of 115 instead of the collar of the dress length.

I've actually been considering this garment for quite some time. Burda, in its fantasy beach issues, is always talking about beach cover ups, but they tend to be glamourous sundresses with navel baring cleavage, obviously designed to reveal as much of the swimming costume and its contents as possible whilst pretending to actually be clothed. I am much more prosaic. My idea of a beach cover-up does not have any need to look good with a cocktail at the fancy beach-side bar (Where are these places in Burda? Do children go to these beaches?)
Beach cover up requirements
1.Lightweight yet non transparent woven fabric that will tolerate wash and wear, be quick to dry, and cool to wear:
Bright green linen, a tad heavier than handkerchief weight, a Michael's fabrics bundle acquisition from a few years ago (I didn't actually pick the colour, which is rather bright for me)
My choice of fabric was inspired by the ever stylish Carolyn of Handmade by Carolyn. Now I know that you have never seen her looking like a blob of lime jelly, and I hope that I am not offending her greatly by mentioning any association in my mind with this possibly-a-dressing-gown dress, but Carolyn has previously used this pattern, and made it up using a  lovely crushed linen from Tessuti in a sophisticated dark brown. Now I just happened to have this exact same fabric (mine was from Sydney),which was my original pairing for this beach dress, but when Carolyn mentioned that her long version had a distinct Friar Tuck vibe, and had to be drastically shortened before she could wear it, I felt that lime green linen was a better direction for me,having a much closer figure to Friar Tuck than Carolyn does!
I also thought that I could perhaps overdye the fabric, should it prove too luminescent, and that would be another inspiration from Carolyn, but alas, I am too lazy. I can live with this colour - at the beach.

2. Long sleeves, for sun protection, that can be rolled up or otherwise shortened for coolness when it is less sunny

The pattern has long sleeves with elastic, but I left off the elastic cuffs and added a tab and button. I hemmed the sleeves and the actual hem of the dress by hand, using running stitch and embroidery thread, because I had a movie to watch with my son, and I am not sure that it is possible to watch a movie without having something constructive to do at the same time :)


3. Knee length or longer for sun protection and also for sitting on hot sand
4. A collar or other neck protection
5. Ability to cover the upper chest and shoulders.
I particularly like this front fastening. There are unusually good instructions in the magazine, this being the featured pattern for the sewing lesson, and the placket is very neat. I embellished the surroundings with machine embroidery, because it amuses me, and used snaps for fastening. There are two close together at the bust for obvious reasons, but in retrospect, I should have used bigger snaps.
The inner neck seam is covered with a strip of Liberty print bias, as are the pocket seams and armscye seams. The other seams are flat felled. I want my beach dress to last for many summers.
6. Will not look ridiculous after being scrunched up under a wet towel
(I'm not sure that we hit this one)
7. Pockets . 
I converted the side seam pockets to zipped pockets, attempting the ribbon welt pocket from Kenneth King's book,  Cool Couture, but I had forgotten that there is an error in the instructions - they are correct for a 5/8th inch ribbon but call for a 7/8th inch ribbon (leave off the 1 mm offset if using a 7/8th inch ribbon). Therefore my welts overlap, but I won't allow myself to be bothered by this. Its a design feature, right?

These pockets are perfectly sized to contain one smartphone and due to the zips, there is no risk of it falling out when you remove the beach cover up in order to go swimming. Don't ask me why this is the most important design feature of the dress.


This garment is very easy to wear. It's a style departure for me, and has not received husbandly nor sisterly approval, but I like it enough to have a go at a tunic length version. Can't you see it in shirting cotton worn over jeans whilst attending important Junior 3 Soccer games?



Deb Cameron said...

I think this looks perfect for the beach! And it is not only practical but a smart sun wear option. Enjoy

Sharon said...

Very practical beach cover up and I really like those zippered pockets.

Summer Flies said...

I love this colour on you. I think it is perfect as a beach coverup and not dressing gowny at all. I know what you mean about Burda summer 'cover ups'... of course I think they get the sun for a shorter period of time so maybe they try to soak it all up at once. I think you have inspired me to get that issue and make that.

Cherie said...

You're a hoot! And, I like your cover up very much. Practical, and the color looks great on you! And it's linen! I think the "gown" (haha) is great!

Bibliophile said...

Really like it on you, the colour is great too and the linen is very practical. Love all the extra details, the zip pockets and fancy stitches. Which Burda is it from?

Sewingelle said...

Who needs husbandry or sisterly approval when you've got sewing blogger approval?
I love the colour and that its a practical but cool coverup

Frenie Agbayani said...

Love this pattern making idea! The dress looks great!

Carolyn said...

Hehe, well I thick it makes the perfect beach cover up, in fact it looks pretty gorgeous on you and only about a thousand times better than mine did on me! trust me, that's why I lopped it off! Yours looks practical, pretty, cool and breezy and feminine. I reallylike your pocket solution :)

Gail said...

I reckon anything goes! Its a beach cover up, but looks great as a dress. It will only look like a dressing gown if you wear your pjyamas underneath.

Unknown said...

I like the overlapping welts. I thought it was a design feature!