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Your First Sewing Project: Simple Silk Dress

Added Jul 28, 2010

By burdastyle

New York, New Yo...






Carol Cho, BudaStyle’s PR maven, recently went to Sandra Betzina’s sewing retreat where she had tons of help from Sandra and Karen in making her very first dress based off of the Anda dress pattern.

Here’s what Carol had to say about this project:

“For my first sewing project I used silk in a camo color— much like splattered paint. Everyone thought it was a pretty brave of me to use silk, but I love natural fabrics and thought the pattern would look great in it!

I cut the pattern in a size 38 which was actually way too large for me so I took 2” off from each side seam and when it came time to sew, I made french seams down the sides. I actually made a mistake and placed the waist casing open on one side— but only after finding out that I needed to take it in, (phew) so I made an opening for the casing on both sides, although it would have been cute with the ends tying on just one side too…

I then found out that I didn’t like the shoulder coming down like the length of a t-shirt so Karen, an educator at Sandra Betzina’s sewing retreat, suggested I place the same casing as the waist on the shoulders. After I did that, and showed them the results of the pulled/scrunched shoulders, Sandra mentioned it might be nice to place a line down the center and loop the bias/tie I made myself to loop it though so both sides come out in one end. Brilliant!

I also wound the unfinished pieces at the end with thread. i think this is a Japanese technique to finish off.
I rolled the neck line hem as well. The right side was folded under and sewn at the neck— then I pulled the folded end inside and stitched in the ditch to create a cleaner line. There must be some kind of name to this right?

Everyone also suggested I make it shorter but I wanted to be able to wear it into fall and then take it up next summer. But in hindsight, this length doesn’t really look that great in flats… but hey! I made a dress!"

Material Notes

Recommended fabrics are silk, linen, viscose-rayons, and crepe fabrics. Notions: 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 yards (1.5 to 1.85 meters) of 1 1/4" (3 cm) trim or fabric for waist band. 20 to 26" (50 – 65 cm) of 3/4" (1 cm) wide elastic.

Amount of Fabric: 2 5/8 yards (2m 40cm)



Related Techniques


Garment Type
Bohemian, Classic
Blends, Linen, Silk



10 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • 71f81a7e5da94ff8950c3b39488895d308910e85_large

    Aug 11, 2010, 02.55 PMby sewhipmomma

    wow..i luv this…i would make it tunic length and wear with leggings…i will def make one for my 8 yr old im sure she would luv it and be able to dress up her leggings :) thanks for sharing…

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    Aug 9, 2010, 01.29 PMby lucaltd

    I love this take on Anda! I made one a year ago and sadly it came out looking more like a nightdress so I never got round to sewing the casing in, now though I can see that this could look so great with the ruched shoulders and ties at the waist – brilliant!

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    Aug 8, 2010, 07.03 AMby June Frederiksen

    This is great! I’d love to make something similar & shorten the length.

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    Aug 6, 2010, 06.27 PMby lovefrommum

    lovely job, well done you! quick question – what do you mean when you say that you ‘wound the unfinished pieces at the end with thread’…is it tricky and what result does it yield? thanks : )

    2 Replies
    • Carolheadshop_large

      Aug 9, 2010, 01.24 AMby handsomerobot

      For the ties for the shoulder that hang down, I made them by just turning them inside out and the edges were really not finished. I tried pushing the other ends in and it didn’t look good. So Sandra Betzina, who is a huge sewing educator told me of this technique. I literally wound grey thread around the ends to present a cleaner finish. Then placed some glue that prevents fraying, so the threads stayed together. I hope you try it :)

    • Carolheadshop_large

      Aug 9, 2010, 01.25 AMby handsomerobot

      So the end looks almost like the end of a shoelace.

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    Aug 3, 2010, 04.10 PMby squirrellypoo

    it looks fantastic, Carol! Great job!!

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    Aug 3, 2010, 02.13 PMby carottesauvage

    Yeah Carol!!!!!!!!! you rock! (and so your frock!)

  • 970316_10201865009255816_2084508514_n_large

    Aug 3, 2010, 11.23 AMby lclausewitz

    Hee. Very cute. I wouldn’t have dreamed of making something that nice the first time I began sewing!

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    Aug 2, 2010, 11.49 PMby nessys

    Good for you on your first project – looks lovely! Congrats!

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    Aug 2, 2010, 10.11 PMby nikkishell

    It looks fabulous Carol! Well done :)

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    Aug 2, 2010, 02.29 PMby marcy harriell | oonaballoona

    crazy golf claps for silk on your maiden voyage! i tired silk on my first dress and it was such a huge fail, i decided it was not my first dress. which was true, as the dress stayed in pieces.

    this is beautiful, i love your added casings and i think the length will look awesome in boots— you could always add some some of outside button/strap feature to the skirt to hike the sides up for summer :)

    congrats girl!

    • This is a question
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