The “Apple of my Eye” dress

The Theme
This week’s Sew Weekly theme = Make It Your Own: This week we’re adding our unique spin to the patterns in the recently released BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook. Don’t yet have a copy of the book? Sew along with us with any pattern available at

The Facts

  • Fabric: 3 metres of apple-printed cotton, $8 per metre; 3 metres of blue lining, $1.50 from Fabric-a-brac
  • Pattern: Burda Style 02/2011 #101 for the bodice, McCall’s 3411 for the skirt
  • Year: 2011 for the bodice, 1955 for the skirt
  • Notions: 60cm invisible zipper, ~$5, vintage hook and eye
  • Time to complete: 4 hours
  • Will I wear it? Definitely!

The Story
My mother was up visiting me last weekend (yay!), and wanted to go into the fabric store. I try to avoid fabric stores – they’re just too tempting, and the last thing I need is more fabric. So I made a pact with myself – I was only allowed to buy something if it was a decent-priced dress fabric with a fruit print on it. I figured I’d be reasonably safe, since I’ve been on the hunt for a good fruit print for a while with no luck at all. Then this apple printed cotton jumped out at me, before we even walked in the door. (It was in a display in front of the shop.) There was 5 metres left. So it came home with me, with the intention of making a 1950’s New Look style dress. (After all, what else should you do with apple print fabric?!)

I first made up this BurdaStyle pattern back in April, for the ‘Kiss the Cook’ Sew Weekly challenge, and I’ve been planning on making it up again ever since, as I found the bodice fit so well. I wasn’t so keen on the gathered skirt for the dress though (I try not to add more bulk than I need to around my waist, funnily enough), so I frankensteined the bodice pattern with the skirt pattern from McCall’s 3411, to make a more 1950’s style shape.

Thanks to the lovely blogging world, I read a couple of tips this week that I wanted to try out – a different way of adding lining (courtesy of the Slapdash Sewist), and marking the midline seam on a zip with tailors chalk before inserting it (courtesy of Ooobop). Both of which worked out very well! Yay for finding new ways of doing things! I’ve always struggled with inserting invisible zips and the waist seams not quite aligning, no matter how much careful measuring I do. But with Ooobop’s tip, and a random decision to try the sewing a bit differently this time, they all met up perfectly. Which made me very happy.

Tips for anyone else who struggles lining up waist seams when inserting an invisible zip:

  • Sew the first side of the zip as per normal
  • Mark where the zip meets the waist line on the unsewn side of the zip
  • Attach the second side of the zip in two stages – first sew from the waistline down to the end of the zip (thus getting the waist seams perfectly aligned), then sew from the top of the zip down to the waist
  • You should now have a perfectly aligned waist seam. Yippie!

(Yeah, I’m probably well behind the 8-ball with that method, but better late than never!)

The Pattern
As per last time I made up the BurdaStyle pattern, I did a small bust adjustment and took out about half the width of the front bust darts. I also raised the waistline by 1cm, so it sits at my natural waistline. And I tells ya – this bodice fits like a glove! I may make it slightly looser next time, so I can layer it in winter…..

No alterations needed to the skirt – it’s a tried-n-true pattern. Gotta love that. I did make one small change though, since the zip was in the centre back of the dress I added two pockets – one on each side. Dresses with pockets = awesomeness.

The Verdict
I like it! I think this is one of my favourite dresses that I’ve made this year. Yay for apples! (And a big thank-you to my flatmate for unwittingly loaning me the apple for the photo shoot.)

13 responses to “The “Apple of my Eye” dress

  1. Oh oh oh…. I love it soooo much!!!! What a wonderful post to read first thing in the morning! It does indeed fit you like a glove and the overall teaming of skirt and bodice is perfect. Clearly your rationale for only buying fruit patterned fabric at a good price was genius!

    • Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚ Sometimes it seems like a length of fabric is just sitting there, waiting for you to come along for it. The apples was one of those. And even better – I still have enough left to make a blouse, so I can wear apples all year ’round! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I love this with the red belt!

  3. Hands down my favorite thing you’ve made. Love multiplied by a billion. You cannot go wrong with pockets and apples!

  4. Wow love this dress Kat ๐Ÿ™‚ And it looks awesome with the bright red shoes!! Yay for bright accessories

  5. Pingback: Apple of my Eye dress «

  6. ooohhh! this is SO WONDERFUL! It does fit fantastically…I just love the apple print with the red accessories! This might be my favourite thing you’ve made too….oh, but then there was the halloween suit…you’ve made too many wonderful things to decide but this is definately one of my favs!

  7. Cute dress! Love the gorgeous sky in the photo background too!

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