Sewing Challenge – Planning the Next Phase

I only got around to posting the coat update yesterday, but I actually got a bit further along than I thought I would (sick again… means more sewing time).  Now that my raincoat project is nearing completion (need to finish facings, linings, buttons, etc), I am starting to think about what my next few projects should be, before I head into several months of dedicating my sewing time to skating dresses.  I am hoping I can maybe get two more challenge items completed by mid-March, at which point I will be shifting the focus of my sewing.  Looking at my list, I wanted to pick two items where I had a fairly good idea of the patterns I wanted to use, as well as already having fabric and most of the necessary notions.  Not to mention that I wanted to pick some of the less complicated items (as in, no coats or jackets) so I could have a reasonable chance at finishing them within the time frame I need.

So I decided that my next challenge project is going to be the basic black dress.  I have had my eye on this dress ever since I saw last July’s BurdaStyle magazine:


I am planning on making this dress from a black cotton sateen from Mood online, lined with my Bemburg rayon from Joann’s.  I am not planning on making that little capelet to go over the dress, and I am even debating keeping the little capped sleeves, but I will test those out in the muslin.

My dress fabric – a very shiny cotton sateen (black)

After that I am thinking I might make the button-down shirt.  I have been debating and wavering between several patterns (an older BWOF and the newer Vogue 8747 among them), but I have finally settled on a McCall’s pattern:


Currently I am debating between the version with the drawstring sleeves (blue) and the version with the rolled cuffs and sleeve tabs (pink), though I am leaning a bit towards the drawstring version.  I am planning on using some of my $1.99 cotton poplin I got from last year’s Fabric Mart sales…

Thinking about using one of the cottons on the left…

So far my basic wardrobe pieces have been sort of dark (black and grey), and I am thinking that using a brighter color could be a great piece for the transition to spring.  I am going to try to make a “wearable muslin” from some red tag Joann’s fabric, so I might make one sleeve version in the muslin and another in the real thing.  Not sure yet… need to finish my coat and the dress first.

So anyway, that’s what’s up with my challenge.  I will post more updates soon!

4 thoughts on “Sewing Challenge – Planning the Next Phase

  1. I love that dress. I think the shirt would look really nice in the cotton at the bottom left of the photo. It looks like a dark purpley-pink on my monitor and I can easily picture it with both grey and black.


  2. It's like your post was written for me – I've just bought fabric to make that burda dress as well (although it'll be another fortnight before I get the chance to start) and just yesterday I was thinking about patterns for cap sleeve button up shirts. That McCall's is perfect! The other two shirt versions you're deciding between are lovely too, so I think this would be a great pattern to have. Looking forward to seeing what happens with the dress!


  3. I am leaning towards that color as well. I think if my test run goes well then I am going to use the deeper pink/purple color. If it is just ok I will probably go with the more lavender color for the real version and save the deeper color for later. I mean, it is sort of silly because I only paid $1.99 for the fabric but I really love the color and want to make sure I use it on something I am going to love.


  4. OOh! I'll be watching you and Poppykettle's dresses with great anticipation since that dress will be one of my next few projects too! (Probably not till April.)


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