Minerva Network: Houndstooth X-shape dress

Houndstooth knit dress

Finally it’s time to share my first make for the Minerva Blogger Network! I finished it a little while ago but had to keep it quiet until my place in the schedule. You can pop over to Minerva’s site to see my blog there and buy the kit to make your own, or read on for details of the pattern and fabric…

Houndstooth knit dress

The pattern is Burda 7034: X-shape dress. I suppose it’s called that because it’s well fitted at the waist and then kicks dramatically out, with a strong shoulder too. The pattern also features a peplum blouse option but I can’t imagine it flattering many people, especially in shiny purple satin (Quality Street, anyone?). I looked past the pattern envelope’s taffeta Tin Man stylings of the main dress too: I know we’re starting to get into the festive season, but that’s no excuse to dress like a bauble.

Houndstooth knit dress

The fabric I chose is a gorgeous grey and black dogtooth/houndstooth ponte knit. This fabric is so nice to work with and wear: it cuts cleanly with no distorting or fraying, sews without puckering, holds the pleats of this pattern crisply yet feels comfy like a sweater. I kind of love it, in case you couldn’t tell. Even the back side is pretty, with a dark grey marl kind of effect, which I managed to show off a little in my version of the dress.

Houndstooth knit dress

The pattern is really nicely drafted and a quick, fun to sew. I must say, I like Burda printed patterns much more than the print-at-home ones as the instructions are so much better. The fit across the bodice, back and sleeves was pretty spot on with no adjustments, so I’ll certainly be using this pattern as a basis for some variations. I cut the size slightly under my measurements as I was working with a stretch, and it’s still got maybe an inch of ease at the waist.

Houndstooth knit dress

The skirt is really full thanks to very deep box pleats. I couldn’t believe how wide the pattern pieces were while cutting them! It creates lovely movement in the skirt.

Houndstooth knit dress
Houndstooth knit dress
Houndstooth knit dress
There are three-quarter and bracelet length sleeve options – I kept mine long but plan to wear them rolled back. Nice to have the option if my wrists get chilly, though. On the neckline I cut a little more of a scoop and used Megan Nielsen’s binding technique to finish it with the reverse of the fabric out. I think the dashes of dark grey help to offset all the loud print.

Houndstooth knit dress

The pattern calls for an invisible zip but I used a chunky exposed one – Minerva sells these too. I didn’t really need one at all due to the stretch in my fabric but I like the effect.

Houndstooth knit dress

More details: It’s got side seam pockets which are stitched down along the waistband so sit nice and flat under the pleats. The sleeve has an elbow dart which I’ve never seen before. I suppose it’s more useful with a stiff fabric like taffeta, I can’t particularly see the benefit in my knit fabric. The bodice is supposed to be lined but it wasn’t necessary with my fabric choice. I shortened the skirt by, er, a lot – almost a foot? I prefer a shorter skirt with tights and I didn’t want the houndstooth to be too jarring over a large area. I did a machine blind hem like usual, which seems to help the pleats lay flat all the way down.

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Well, gotta say I’m pretty pleased with my first make for Minerva and I think this pattern and fabric are a good match, making for a cosy but on-trend winter day dress. If you fancy having a go you can pick up the kit on Minerva here. Hope you like it too!

17 thoughts on “Minerva Network: Houndstooth X-shape dress

  1. Natalie

    I love this Katie. I think it’s my favourite make of yours so far – it looks so professional. Also I think the style really suits you. I have to admit that you are making me think about sewing my first ever garment – I can’t just make cushions, curtains and bags for ever!

  2. sallie

    This dress is just wintery perfection! Seriously what I want to be wearing every single day! Love the bold, graphic (yet classic) print and the exposed zip! And clever move using the reverse of the fabric for contrast!

    1. Katie Post author

      You’re too sweet! Honestly I was on the fence about this frock before I read all the lovely comments, now I love it again!

  3. Rhonda

    Hi Katie,
    I’ve not sewn with houndstooth before, but I have just recently purchased a piece of fabric. I was wondering do you have to match houndstooth like you do plaids? Thanks so much

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