“Going to California” Dress

Finally, I’ve completed my first, β€œofficial” summer dress of the year.

I’m going to California to visit family and friends in a week, and I wanted to have a “summer worthy” dress.

There are more pictures of the dress at the end of the post.


Instead of going through the step-by-step process for this project, I thought I’d change it up. I’m going to tell you a few quick things about the project: the pattern, the highlights (the most challenging aspect, my favorite part, etc.), and the total time spent.

The Pattern

I used a pattern from Burda magazine 7/2010 to make this dress. Using a Burda magazine pattern always takes longer, because I have to trace the pattern and adjust it (In the highly unlikely chance that you haven’t noticed, I have large hips).

The nice thing about this pattern is that it’s in petite sizing, so I didn’t have to adjust the torso length, etc.

The Highlights

Originally, I was going to use one color for the whole dress, but I didn’t have enough of the aqua knit. So, I went through almost every color combination imaginable, and after hours of agonizing over my decision, I settled on a grey knit for the straps.

The most difficult part of this project was stitching the gathers in the center section.

While working on this dress, I tried a new stitch for knits on my machine: the tricot stitch.

I’m never going back.

The seams that I sewed with the tricot stitch are beautiful; they’re strong, but at the same time, they have just the right amount of stretch.

Total Time

From pattern tracing to completion of the dress, I probably spent about six hours. That’s not bad, because I really took my time with every step. The most time-consuming steps when working with a Burda magazine pattern: tracing the pattern and deciphering the instructions.

Other Details

To make the flowers, I gathered long strips of aqua material, twisted them around into the flower shape and stitched buttons in the centers.

I’m in the process of making a little matching flower pin that I can put in my hair on the left side.

After all, then I’ll really be raking in the Zeppelin allusions. πŸ˜‰

I’ll leave you with a line from “Going to California” that encapsulates the way I feel lately:

Standing on a hill in my mountain of dreams/Telling myself it’s not as hard, hard, hard as it seems.

  1. Lauren

    August 11, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    pretty! that turquoise is such a great color!

  2. GA

    August 11, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    Can’t wait to see you in it in person but……we may not see you before we get back from Yuba City.

    1. Becca

      August 31, 2011 at 7:03 pm

      I can’t believe I didn’t actually wear this during my CA trip. πŸ™ What was I thinking? …I miss all of you, and I want to go back already. πŸ™‚

  3. Korey

    August 12, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    This is crazy cute, and I think it looks better with two colors than it would have with one so the agonizing paid off

    1. Becca

      August 31, 2011 at 7:02 pm

      Thank you, Korey. I really have grown to like the two colors, though I was unsure at first.

  4. Kristy

    August 13, 2011 at 3:23 am

    I’m contemplating this dress for our upcoming summer, so thank you for sharing the tip re: the tricot stitch – I’m hopeless with knits so need all the help I can get. Your dress is super great, the colour combination you finally decided on is just perfect

    1. Becca

      August 31, 2011 at 7:01 pm

      I’ll definitely keep a lookout on your blog for your version of the dress. Thanks for the compliment about my dress. πŸ™‚

  5. Angie

    August 15, 2011 at 10:57 am

    I love it! I admit, i have this issue, and couldn’t imagine making most of the things in it, this dress included. It just did not appeal to me the way they did it.

    However, after seeing your cute cute cute version, i may go back and have another look-see at it.

    Your version is darling, i also love the 2 colors. Good job! And have a good trip!

    1. Becca

      August 31, 2011 at 6:55 pm

      Thanks! Yeah, you should go back and look through the issue. I would love to see your version if you decide to make one for yourself.

  6. Cindy T.

    August 25, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    I love this one too! Honestly, I know nothing about sewing other than like…fixing a loose seam : / lolz so the whole pattern tracing thing goes over my head xD πŸ™

    Anyhow lol… I LOVE this one on you! The color is perfect. And embrace your hips! ;D bein’ a real woman is awesomesauce! πŸ˜€

    1. Becca

      August 31, 2011 at 6:53 pm

      Thanks, Cindy! I’m sure you would have fun if you tried it yourself. I agree, curves are beautiful. And I do love my hips, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that they are a pitfall at times. πŸ˜‰

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