The Smurfette Dress

Smurf Dress4

Hi everyone/anyone! I am back after a huge break and very excited about making some beautiful spring/summer wear, now that we have been blessed with some great weather. I was hibernating over winter and did not get much done with respect to sewing, but it’s time to get the ball rolling again, or better said, the sewing machine sewing again!

My latest project was supposed to be a very quick dress to make on a lazy Sunday, but turned out to take a little longer than expected…. I first saw this Tibi dress in navy blue on the by Blair Eadie. I am always checking out what she puts together. She’s got great taste and beautiful photos to present her fashions.  So when I found a beautiful chambray on sale at The Fabric Store, I thought it would be the perfect fabric for this dress. The pattern I used was Burda Young Fashion 8517, with some DIY alterations, such as lengthening the sleeves and adding the tie ends, adding pockets and rounded hems.


Tibi Dress

Tibi Dress

I didn’t really trust the pattern and thought it would be too tight around the hips in a non stretch fabric, so I ended up widening the dress by about 10cm for the front and back. Big mistake! I had already sewn the sleeves on, put in the elastic around the shoulders and tried it on only to find that it was WAY too wide. So me being me and taking the easiest way out, I unpicked only one side of the dress including the sleeve and pocket and recut it to the original burda size 10 that I should have done in the first place!


That worked quite well and I only had to redo one whole side, which still cost me a bit of time, but was definitely worth it in the end. I underlined the front and back of the dress in a beautiful navy silk/cotton blend fabric also from The Fabric Store to give it more body and left the sleeves without underlining, otherwise they would have been too bulky to tie. The pattern recommended using a narrow elastic around the shoulders, but I wanted to copy the Tibi dress and chose to use a wider elastic, which I think looks better and is also better for the weight of the dress.


I had washed the chambray before cutting and was disappointed that when it came out, it had lighter coloured creases where it had been folded in the washing machine. I am not sure if these will come out in future washes. It had also faded in some parts of the fabric, so I had to pick the best parts to cut out, leaving some of the fabric to waste. But having said that, the chambray has a beautiful, soft feel to it. The other thing was that during sewing, my hands were constantly BLUE!

Smurfette Dress Insideout

Smurfette Dress Inside Out

Blue Hand

Blue Hands!

The pre-wash probably did remove some of the colour of the fabric but certainly not all of it and who knows how long that will take to happen. So that is the reason I have called it the Smurfette Dress. It’s safe to say, that wearing it with a white jacket is not recommended! Overall, I am happy with the outcome and the dress is nice and comfortable to wear on or off the shoulders. But most of all I am happy about the price. The fabric only cost me $10/metre, so it was a bargain compared to the original dress by Tibi at over $500!


4 thoughts on “The Smurfette Dress

  1. An absolutely much better priced garment! It looks great on either way and I love the ties. Thinking I could incorporate that into something I make soon…

    On another note, I’ve found that linen can also come out of the wash with faded crease lines that do not ever come out; terribly annoying! Glad to see you have blogged again as I was missing you 🙂

    1. Thanks ChaCha! I was almost lost in sewing hibernation! Lucky I managed to come out again somehow! How is your sewing going? Missing seeing your projects too! Regarding the faded creases, we will see, I have just washed the dress for the first time after making it and I wonder what has happened to the fabric now… Ivona xx

  2. Hello – I’ve just found you via BusyLizzie’s blog. She was right, your blog is beautiful, congratulations. I’m especially envious that you have a photographer friend with an excellent eye. I’m even newer to blogging than you are, and I have to rely on my (not always willing) children and an old relic of a camera :/
    I like this dress very much. The details, and the way you wear it, lift it from simple to so-much-more. I look forward to seeing how you style your future creations.
    Baci Sallyx

    1. Hi Sally, thanks for your nice comments! Setting up the blog was very frustrating without any help until I decided to do a web design course to help me out with some of the set up and answer a lot of questions! I can highly recommend a short course! My friend Meg has been taking some photos for me and my very supporting husband does the rest. We started with the iPhone and then we upgraded to our Nikon D700 for better quality shots. I thoroughly enjoy working on my blog but it is very time consuming – too bad it’s not paid work!! x

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