New Year. New Dress.

A leopard never changes its spots. Nah!

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you probably witnessed my complaint against gathered sleeves and its over puffiness as well as leopard prints and its potential aging effect on the wearer. Probably things I’ll never wear. But, never say never! After thriving season after season, the animal print has kinda grown on me. And when I saw the sleeves on this dress from burdastyle magazine 12/2010 issue, I knew I had to try sewing these!

Here’s the technical drawing of the dress.

So, as a new year approaches, I thought it appropriate to present the Never Say Never Dress which I made using the wrap dress pattern (102) from the magazine.

The bottom of the inner skirt does a peekaboo here due to the way I am standing but when I stand straight, it hides nicely behind the outer skirt. You will notice that my version has shorter sleeves and a different fit compared to the magazine image.

Before I started making this dress, I was concerned about the fit of the dress as seen on the model. It bodice looked too big on her and that would make a wrap dress very unwearable in reality. So I traced the pattern from the magazine and pinned  the pieces against myself to have a better idea of the fit. Turned out, I liked how it looked without the seam allowance. So, I made the dress in size 38, my usual size without adding the seam allowance. 

The leopard print fabric is from fabric.com. The skirt is lined with a beige poly and comes with a facing made with the main fabric.  This way, I wouldn’t have to stay away from strong wind :P

I love the sleeves and all the pleats on the front and back bodice. Here’s a closer look at them :)

I am happy with how the dress turned out and am definitely wearing it for a lunch gathering tomorrow. New Year. new dress.

After sewing regularly for around half a year, what life lessons did I learn from sewing?

- There is a perfect sewing pattern for every fabric, it just takes time finding it. Persevere!

- French seams is still the way to go when you have no serger. I am using light weight fabric a lot more nowadays so I can use french seams for the finishing as I discovered that even with pinking sears, fabric would still fray. I have been reminding myself that practicality is paramount so don’t be lazy!

- Never say never. In sewing garments, it is good to throw out some preconceived notions you have and try new things sometimes. Enjoy the adventure and be brave!

- Habits can be changed. I am wearing a lot more dresses now compared to a year ago and definitely wearing made-me garments a lot more often.  There is always room for improvement and commitment is key. And off course there is always room for….more dresses :P

- Encouragements rock! I believe I managed to keep on sewing because of all your comments, kinds words and off course, the support from my family and loved ones. Thank you all so very much!

So, what will I be up to in the new year? I have not done much long term planning but for the month of January, I will be busy sewing for the Lunar/ Chinese New Year which falls on 3 February this year, making outfits for myself and my family.

Have a very happy 2011 everyone! Blessed New Year!!! Have a good one!!!

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35 thoughts on “New Year. New Dress.

  1. Oh, I love those sleeves… I wonder if I can still find that issue at the newsstand…

    I go back and forth on puff sleeves but I am playing with some myself right now. :)

  2. @Tanit-Isis: I hope it’s still available :) The magazine is so much more affordable compared to the magazine patterns in pdf on burdastyle website. I think puff sleeves would look good on you:) btw, I’m proud to be a member of the Lady Grey (in red) club!

  3. you did a wonderful job with the sleeves and i must say you’re very brave with trying out clothing with printed fabric and your choices never go wrong.

    happy new year! :)

  4. I love your interpretation of the dress. I like what you say about how there’s a pattern out there for every fabric. I have some pieces I take out over and over and stare at, asking them what they want to be! I guess I’ll keep on waiting… : ) Happy New Year to you too!

  5. Finally (!) someone made this! Thank you. I have been lurking the sewing blogs waiting for someone is crazy enough to make up this style. That said, I’m not saying you’re crazy at all. It’s just that I’ve read a lot of negative sentiments about this look, particularly about it coming from the 80′s. I knew I shouldn’t have been so easily shaken by others’ opinion now I’m putting this dream dress aside. Very silly of me, don’t you think?

  6. I Definitively prefer your version of this dress. It’s look very beautiful on you ! Happy new year !
    Sorry for my english, I’m a french Needlewoman !

  7. You did a fantastic job! The dress looks so much better on you than it does on the model in the photo. Maybe it’s because you shortened the sleeves, but they don’t seem to have that overwhelming poof that they do on the model, and yours fits so much better. I also think the leopard print looks fun and very fashionable right now.

  8. I looks good on you and I like your version better, not as dramatic, but definitley makes a soft statement. Looking forward to see what you have in store for this coming year

  9. Your version makes me want to pull out that pattern and make it myself. I wasn’t drawn to it before hand but I love how it looks on you. I think that’s half the problem with Burda, they don’t show how things REALLY look, they are too busy taking artistic photos. Anyways, it looks great on you and I like the fact that you didn’t use SA, I do the same much of the time so I’ll have to remember that when I make this for myself!

  10. Nice dress. It looks great on you.. and the fit you gave to it is perfect.
    I always thought that the dress on the model seems too big for her, but yours is the example of how it should fit.

    Happy new year!

  11. Hi Hi!

    Your dress looks wonderful!

    Im heading to Bali over the weekend and I’m definitely using your Kaftan tutorial to sew a coverall for myself. :)

    Happy New Year

    Brenda (fellow part time home sewer in Singapore)

  12. Your version of this dress is much more flattering than Burda’s. You are so tiny and the proportions you chose for the sleeves are perfect. I will have to look up the pattern to see the sleeve change. And…your words of wisdom are indeed wise!!

  13. Happy New Year and Good Health for you and your blessed familly.
    This dress fit you very well. But like you were before I don’t like spot (but I have fabrics with zebra and snake scales for my 10 years old daughter !!).

  14. Oh I do love this version of the dress. I find that it’s the combination of fabric, the surface appeal (print or texture) and the pattern which is important. (Oh not to forget fit. What’s the point of a gorgeous dress in the closet if you can’t even get it over your hear?) Every design option including animal prints and drapey sleeves will look good in certain combinations. You’ve created a winning combination.

  15. Hi!

    I’ve just starting blogging about my (relatively new) sewing activities and found your blog via The Sew Weekly – so glad that I did.
    This leopard print dress is gorgeous and I love the sleeves!
    Looking forward to reading more and learning as many things I can from other (more experienced!) sewing bloggers out there.

    Donna

    http://www.sewmuchstitching.blogspot.com

  16. Oh, I love this dress! It caught my eye in the December BurdaStyle, too! I love love LOVE your leopard print version. Those sleeves look amazingly chic on a real person in real life. And a Happy New Year to you and your family, too!

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