Sewing makes you happy. The proof is this stylish dress - plus the story of its creator, Elfie Woldrich. Burda style reader Elfie Woldrich loved the outfits her mother sewed her when she was a child, but a stroke of fate showed her the true meaning of her hobby.
Q: WHY DO YOU LOVE SUCH STRIKING, COLORFUL FASHION?
A: Some time ago, I received a devastating diagnosis: malignant breast cancer. My re-action was no different from that of others – you feel like a rug has been pulled out from beneath your feet and you think ‘Oh my, life has an end after all’. Somehow, I made it through the operation and radia-tion, and then went on to stationary rehab. I was the only one who brought her sewing machine along. Before going there, I sewed an ‘uplifting’ dressing gown and a colorful ‘cheerfulness waistcoat’ to keep away dark thoughts. For me, sewing is a type of coping strategy, my ‘positive therapy’ for the soul.
Q: YOUR LOVE OF BRIGHT, YET SKILLFUL COLOR COMBINATIONS HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH YOUR HAIR. WOULD YOU MIND SHARING WITH OUR READERS?
A: Yes, it actually does have something to do with my hair (laughs). The doctors consider me healed, but my mind keeps on plaguing me with doubt. It did so six months ago, for example. I made a pact with the good powers that be: if the finding is ‘be-nign’, I’ll never color my hair again. And as I said, everything is fine now – but I’m grey (actually, silver). I still get a shock when I look in the mirror, that’ll take some time. And to compensate, I feel like I have to wear very colorful clothing...
Q: HOW DID YOU START SEWING?
A: When I was a child, my mother pampered me with dresses she made herself. When I was 17, a wintery green suit with fur trim that I saw in a film about Princess Sissi impressed me so much that she sewed it for me as a Christmas gift. My friends at the time thought I was a bit daft: they all wore jeans, t-shirts, and quilted jackets, and there I was in my ‘odd’ suit. But I felt won-derful wearing it. Her sewing skill fascinated me so much that I began to sew myself: first clothing for my Barbie, and later for me. I have so many ideas, even today – from extrav-agantly upcycling used clothing to painting fabric – that I sometimes have a guilty con-science for not taking the time to realise them.
Uplifts the spirits AND creates a fun figure: the ‘60s dress with swinging pat-tern pieces cut from three different colors. Show-stopping details: a high side slit and asym-metrical hemline. Sew up your own Elfie inspired dress!
FUN WITH FABRIC
This dress just screams for fun with fabric paneling, print mixing, and really just whatever you feel like putting together. This pattern also makes for a fabulous scrap-busting project.
This looks and style looks so great when you really lean into it - we're talking accessories, make-up, match the entire look to your custom dress colors!