Friday, June 28, 2019

Girl Charlee knits: a Vogue dress and a new Burda pattern

Recently I've had a string of good luck at finding some great fabrics at garage and guild sales. I was just looking admiringly at the pile yesterday, a bright pink eyelet is calling out to be sewn up into something summery. But when it comes to knit fabrics I almost never find anything good at these kinds of sales, perhaps because people are delving into their "sort of vintage" stashes in order to donate/sell, and mostly that means wovens.

So when I am in the mood for some bright knit prints I can always find something at Girl Charlee. I know some people have had mixed results when ordering from them but I think about 90% of the fabrics I've ordered have been great. I stick to the cotton/lycra blend or the cotton jersey, and haven't tried any of the other fabrics. Looking through my old blog posts I've sewn quite a few things with their fabrics, this one might be my favorite  - and possibly get worn next week for 4th of July!

First up was a new to me knit t-shirt pattern that will surely become a pattern repeat. Burda 6329 envelope pattern.

Pink tile top 4

I love this color combo. You can't really see the details of the knit top in this photo but here is a better look.

Burda 6239 pleats close up

It has 4 pleats at the front neckline, the back neck is smooth. Plus raglan sleeves. I chose the flutter sleeve and cut it out as shown on the pattern envelope, but lopped off about 3 inches as I just prefer shorter short sleeves. I'm sure I'll make it again, particularly the long sleeved version in the fall. It would be so nice in silk jersey. The pattern envelope not very inspiring but the line drawings sold me.

Burda 6329 pattern env knit pleat top     Burda pattern env B6329

For this one I tried a smaller size at the neckline and shoulders, so I cut a 10 there, then a 12 at the bust and a 14 at the hip. I think this might be my new way of doing Burda knits, as I often feel the necklines are too wide for me but this one felt great.

And now for a knit dress. Navy blue and green is a combo that Heather really likes so I happened to see this fabric and ordered it on a whim. Turned out to be just her color combo so we decided to use it for another version of Vogue 8787 which I first made for her in 2015. I think this one is the 4th version, it's a great pattern.
With a soft jersey the neckline drapes really well. The front is self lined and I do line the rest of the dress with a knit lining, look at the post linked above to see details.


This fabric has a distinctly vertical print so having a pattern that changes due to the bias in the top could have been wonky but I think adds more visual interest to the front. It's not yet hemmed in this picture below but I like the way the print changes due to the bias cut. The skirt is cut on the fold on the straight grain. In a stripe this dress would also be interesting. I guess this fabric really is a stripe hiding among the dotty print.


Unfortunately I didn't get a photo of the dress on Heather.  This pattern was a bit tricky to fit but also had the advantage of being a knit, so there are no bust darts or seaming to deal with. Often you can find the right size for the circumference but the problem with pattern fit is needing more length over the bust. Here's a rough diagram of the changes I made to the pattern.

V8787 pattern adjustments

A couple of things to note, I often raise the armhole, while leaving the bodice length as is, or even adding length. Since patterns are made for a person 5'5" to 5'6", the full busted figure might take up some of the height differential over the bust, but the armhole depth is too much. And in a sleeveless dress that doesn't look good! I did add more length in the bodice front, and then since it is a knit I gathered just that section to make the side seam length match the back. It works well and I often add this bust shaping on knit items. The back length is reduced a good amount also, due to being shorter than the standard back waist length and very straight posture (admirable!).
Anyway - with some knit patterns you can get away with small tweaks that won't show in the final result.
Here's the pattern envelope.

Vogue 8787

And here's my latest sewing room tool. I can't believe I didn't have one of these already. Found it at the thrift store, there were 2 of them and they were $ 5 each. Now why didn't I buy the other one for a friend? who knows? Maybe I'll go back and see if it's still there.


So that's the latest on my knit sewing. Up next, I'm making a version of the Zadie jumpsuit so I can wear that when I teach that class in late July. Which is sold out so we've scheduled another one on Sept.22. In fact most all my classes in July and August are full - which is great. So much sewing enthusiasm!! There are a few spots still open in the Myosotis Dress class, and then in September we have the How to Copy a Garment. After that we are planning a jeans jacket class, plus a few other new ones.

But I have a few unselfish sewing projects to do in the meanwhile, including a new tunic top for my mom to wear to her birthday party. Plus there are a few dresses calling my name in the recent issues of Burda magazine (what else is new).

pink tile top 2

So onward with seasonal sewing, a bit of gardening and a lot of relaxing and enjoying the summer.

Happy Sewing, Beth

A perfect penstemon to match my pink top. I just had great success with making new plants from cuttings from my existing penstemon so my garden will be full of them. A lot of these are California natives that do really well in dry conditions. so my ideal plant, low water requirements and lots of pink flowers.



  1. Love this post especially the drawn pictures of alterations to your friend's dress. These bits of info are so helpful. Thanks! Karen

  2. I love your top made from the knit fabric you used.It is lovely color. I appreciated seeing the adjustments you made for the dress.

  3. I have never managed to use this fba method in knits successfully. I think part of my issue with this method is that I have very narrow shoulders with a DD cup bust and I have to pick my size by my high bust measurement which gives me a big difference between my upper bust and my full bust. I do like a high underarm is knits even without being sleeveless. I am used to Burda which tends to have a high cap and high underarm. It fits more neatly.
    The top looks great on you. Your classes sound wonderful There is nothing like it on LI. Quilting and embroidery classes abound. Garment classes and what there is are too far and tend towards the beginner. You are very lucky. Gorgeous Penstemon.